Kevin joined Watsi on April 14th, 2013. Three years ago, Kevin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Kevin's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Thunchey, a creative high school student from Cambodia, to fund ear surgery so he can hear again.
Kevin has funded healthcare for 68 patients in 10 countries.
Kevin has funded healthcare for 68 patients in 10 countries.
Thunchey is am 11th grade student and the youngest of five children in his family. At school, Thunchey's favorite subject is mathematics. Outside of school, he loves to play football and wants to start a Youtube channel to share about life in Cambodia. One year ago, Thunchey had a severe ear infection, causing his eardrums in both ears to perforate. Thunchey experiences pain, pus discharge, and hearing loss. He cannot communicate clearly with others and often has to miss school. Thunchey traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 13th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears so that the surgeons can repair his eardrums. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Thunchey is eager to recover, "I hope that I can hear well after this surgery and understand my friends better. I can become a better friend and soccer player."
James is former motorbike taxi driver from Kenya. He's married and is the father of two children 13 and 6 years old. James' wife is works part-time on a rice farm in their hometown. The family currently lives in a rental house paid for by their local church pastor. In November 2017, James was in a motorbike accident. Due to the accident, he lost his job, and he shared that his life became one revolving around experiencing pain and constant hospital visits. He underwent surgery on his broken leg in a nearby health facility in his hometown. Following the procedure he had a challenging recovery due to infections, causing him sleepless nights and visits to different healthcare facilities. James was finally referred to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital where he underwent several treatments in May. James returned home but later came back to the hospital with a wounded leg that was in bad shape with an exposed bone. The doctors originally admitted James for repair surgery, but determined he needed a below-knee amputation which took place in mid-June. James still experiences a lot of pain, so the surgeon recommend he undergo another round of intense debridement in the amputated area to remove his damaged tissue and help him to finally heal. James has national health insurance, which supported his two major surgeries, but his coverage has been depleted and will not support the care he needs now. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping James receive treatment. On June 25th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to prevent the spread of infection and speed up his recovery. Now, James needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. James wishes to be free from pain, “I, unfortunately, lost my leg due to a sudden amputation, and I am still in shock. I will never be able to use both legs again. I am still in a lot of pain and the wound needs another procedure for me to be well. I need to get out of the hospital and figure out how to take care of my family with my current condition.”
Htoo is a 29-year-old woman from Burma, and the headmistress for a middle school. She lives with her seven friends in a dormitory, and they are all teachers at the same middle school in the village. She raises chickens and also grows vegetables in a small garden beside the dormitory. She and her friends often go to the forest on weekends. Due to impacts of COVID-19 on her school, her income has been irregular since June 2020, but she and her friends share meals to make sure they have enough. In late March 2021, after a friend had mentioned how to do a self-exam for breast cancer, Htoo found a mass in her right breast later that night. Currently, Htoo does not experience any pain but she is very worried that the mass will turn cancerous. Htoo felt very scared to undergo surgery, as she feels stressed about her condition and she also thinks about the work she has to do at school which stresses her out even more. However, the doctors have recommended surgery to remove the tumor before it causes more risk or has a chance to spread. Htoo is seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo tumor removal surgery on May 25th and is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Htoo said, “When I think about my condition and my work, I become so stressed, and I cannot sleep well at night. I cry very often when I think about my condition. I feel like the stress has made me lose my appetite.”
Phuon is a 27-year-old tuk tuk driver. He's married and has three sons. In his free time, Phuon shared that he enjoys listening to romantic music and pop songs, playing volleyball, and relaxing at home. On March 14th, Phuon was shocked on both hands in an accident with electrical wires. This badly damaged the tissue and after three days in a government hospital he ran out of money to cover treatment. He is in pain and cannot use his hands to hold anything. When Phuon learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On April 22nd, surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre will perform a debridement procedure to remove the dead tissue to preserve and return the function of his hands. Now, he needs help to fund this $787 procedure. Phuon shared, "I hope after surgery I can use my hands again and get back to work to support my family."
Salim is an 18-year-old student and the oldest in a family of two children, with a younger sister who is seven years old. His mother hawks mandazi (fried dough) for a living and sometimes sells cosmetics to supplement the family's income. Their family lives together in a single room. Salim has profound hearing loss in his right ear and severe sensorineural hearing loss in his left ear. When he was two years old, Salim's mother discovered that he was unable to speak well and that he had a small wound on his right ear. Salim has visited several healthcare facilities through the years for treatment and speech therapy, but he still has difficulty hearing and communicating. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Salim to get a hearing aid for his left ear. He is scheduled to receive his treatment and be fitted for the hearing aid on March 23rd. Now, his family needs help raising $748 to fund the cost of this care and device. Salim's mother shared, “his hearing condition and speech problem are affecting his studies, and he is always sad and secluded. He is suspicious and scared of making friends. He needs this hearing aid to hear his teachers in school.”
Daw Mya is a 59-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her daughter, granddaughter, son, daughter-in-law, and grandson in Yangon, Burma. Daw Mya is currently too ill to work, but her daughter works as a seamstress in a factory. Her granddaughter goes to school, her son is a taxi driver, her daughter-in-law looks after their son at home. Her daughter and her son both help look after Daw Mya and try to support her as best they can. Daw Mya was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Daw Mya feels tired and experiences heart palpitations with chest pain. She has no appetite and cannot sleep well at night, and both of her legs are swollen. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Daw Mya. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 21st and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Daw Mya said, “I want to get better soon so that I can help my family. I want to help them because my daughter-in-law is always looking after me and her child [my grandson], so she cannot work. If I can look after the household chores and take care of the family, they can go to work and earn more income for our family. I cannot go anywhere because of my condition. They always take care of me and they spend too much of their money on me.”
Sinon is a 62-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia with four sons and five grandchildren. Her husband passed away last year from brain cancer. Sinon shared with us that she enjoys visiting the local pagoda to listen to the monks pray. Around three years ago, Sinon developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurry vision, tearing, itching, cloudy lens, and photophobia. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Sinon learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and a half hours with her son seeking treatment. On October 15th, doctors will perform phacoemulsification and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Sinon said, "I hope my surgery will help me improve my vision so I can do work at home and take care of my grandchildren."
Paul is a 52-year-old hardworking man from Kenya. He mainly works in building sites in his home village Magumu, earning a daily wage of $4 when he is able to find work. Paul's income is inconsistent because it depends on the availability of work. His wife is also a laborer who washes clothes to earn a bit more to and support the family. Paul and his wife have six children and live together in a three-room house in their ancestral home. Their kids are aged between 12 and 26 years old. On January 9th, Paul was hit by a motorbike along the Magumu highway. He sustained many injuries, including on his maxillomandibular. Paul is not able to eat and is in a lot of pain. He needs multiple surgeries to repair his fractures, but he cannot afford the cost of his care. Paul's and his wife's earnings are limited, and he already sold his cattle to raise some funds for his surgeries, but it is not nearly enough. Paul is appealing for financial support. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 28th, Paul will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal and eat comfortably again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Paul shared, “I am not able to eat well and I am always in pain. I need help with the surgery so as to be able to get well and fend for my family, who depend on me."
Horn is a 55-year-old father of four. He has been married for 33 years and together they have one son, three daughters, and seven grandchildren. Horn's wife is also a farmer. In his free time Horn enjoys doing exercises, taking care of his grandchildren, and doing house work. When he was young Horn fell off a truck and never saw a doctor after the accident. Over time, his right hip pain worsened and Khmer traditional medicine treatments did not improve his condition. When Horn arrived at our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), doctors noted his leg lengths are unequal and his right leg has limited range of motion. He cannot walk and is in pain. Fortunately, at CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Horn of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for December 24th, and Horn needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Horn said, "I hope I can finally walk again after surgery so I can work without pain and support my family."
Sal is a 41-year-old chef from Cambodia. Sal has been married for 11 years and has one son and two daughters. His wife sells coffee from their home. In his free time Sal enjoys searching for new recipe ideas, playing sports like football and volleyball, listening to the radio, and watching comedy programs on TV. On the weekends he enjoys spending time with his family outdoors. A year ago, Sal was in a motor vehicle accident that injured his left shoulder and arm. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He can not move his left shoulder, arm, or hand. Sal traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 24th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, Sal will finally regain use of his arm. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Sal said, "As a chef, I need my arms to work to cook well in the kitchen. I hope after surgery I can use my left arm again and be free of pain."
Naw Mar is a 35-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, two daughters and two sons in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Four years ago, Naw Mar started to suffer from pain in the right side of her abdomen. At first, she thought the pain would disappear after she rested. When it did not, she went to the hospital in the camp run by Malteser International Thailand (MI). She received medications which helped for a bit. Two years later, the pain became severe and the right side of her abdomen also became swollen. After more medication and follow-up appointments, she was eventually admitted to Mae Sariang Hospital and received an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that she had multiple gallstones, and she was given more medication. However, the medication did not help her much. In early June 2020, the pain in Naw Mar’s right abdomen increased. After she went to the camp’s hospital, the doctor referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital again, where the doctor told her that she would need to have surgery to remove the gallstones. Since Mae Sariang Hospital doctors could not perform this surgery, she was again referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital. However, the high cost of surgery proved difficult, so she was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance with accessing treatment. Currently, Naw Mar has constant pain in her right abdomen that is only manageable through pain medication. Her right abdomen is also swollen, and she suffers from back pain as well. When the pain in her abdomen is excruciating, she develops a headache and high blood pressure. Naw Mar is a homemaker, while her two daughters and her youngest son go to school. Her oldest son helps her with household chores. Her husband works as an agricultural day laborer, but has been unable to find work for the past month. While their family does receive a cash card each month for food support, it is not enough to cover their daily expenses and they struggle to make ends meet despite receiving free health care and education in the refugee camp. Their family is appealing for financial support. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Mar's surgery. On October 25th, she will undergo a cholecystectomy at our medical partner’s care center. Once recovered, Naw Mar will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and her quality of life will improve. Naw Mar shared, "After I receive treatment, I want to work for an organisation [NGO] in the camp so that we [my family] can have an income. Right now, I have no pocket money and I cannot borrow money from any one because we have no way of paying them back. I appreciate any support you can provide.”
Max is a young boy from a rural village in Kenya and the only son in his family. He recently lost his dear mother who passed on after a long battle with diabetes and heart complications. Their family is currently servicing debts accrued from his mother’s several visits to different facilities as they were forced to deposit their grandfather's title deed to be able to bury Max's mother. His father is a driver who used to work for a private lorry owner. However, he lost his job because of his continued absence from work to take care of Max’s mother during her numerous hospital admissions. On August 20th, Max broke his arm while scaling an 8ft. ladder on their farm in the Kiambu region. Unfortunately, he tripped and came down tumbling, causing him to break his arm. He is in pain and cannot use his left hand at all now. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 23rd, Max will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal well and he will be able to use his hand with no pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Max’s father shared, “If my son doesn’t get this surgery, he might not be able to use his arm again. He is young with a full life ahead of him.”