Zaheed joined Watsi on April 7th, 2013. Four years ago, Zaheed became the 2628th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 3,865 more people have become monthly donors! Zaheed's most recent donation supported Tone, a refugee from Thailand, to fund leg surgery.
Zaheed has funded healthcare for 33 patients in 9 countries.
Tone is a 22-year-old agricultural day laborer in Thailand. He lives with his friend on his employer's land and he earns 150 baht (approx. 5 USD) per day from his work. He also supports his parents and four younger siblings who live in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. In his free time Tone likes to watch cartoons and comedy soap operas on his phone. On the evening of 15 April 2020, Tone and his friend were preparing to go hunting after work. After he loaded his pellet gun, Tone placed it upright on the ground, propped against the wall of his hut. Since the hut’s wall is not stable, the gun fell down and went off, shooting Tone's left shin in the process. When Tone received an x-ray at the hospital, he learned that the pellet had fractured both bones in his lower left leg. Since his accident, Tone has been unable to work and support his family. He suffers from pain around the site of his injury, especially when that area is touched or pressure is applied to his leg. His lower left leg has not healed properly and he needs to use crutches to get around. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Tone will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for September 22nd and will cost $1,500. This treatment will allow Tone to regain mobility in his left leg. He will also no longer suffer from pain and he will be able to eventually return to work and continue to support his family. Tone said, “When I was injured, there were travel restrictions [in Thailand] due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I’m lucky that the traditional healer said Mantras over me, otherwise my leg would be rotten and in need of amputation already.”
Martha is a hardworking 54-year-old mother from Kenya. She is a single mother of two, who are now adults. She used to run a small green grocery along the road in Ruaraka, but she is now jobless. One month ago, the structure where she used to sell her produce was brought down to pave way for the expansion of the road. She therefore has no source of income. Her oldest daughter used to work as a hotelier in Mombasa but lost her job due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which greatly affected the hospitality industry. Her son used to help Martha with the grocery shop but he is also jobless after the demolition. Their family is struggling to meet their daily needs and pay their $35 rent for their two-room home. Martha has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $857 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Martha. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 25th. After treatment, Martha will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Martha says, “I am confident that I will be able to fight this disease and have a normal life. However, I don’t have means to cover for the cost of this surgery since my business went down. If I get assistance, I will greatly appreciate it.”
Nigel is a small boy from Kenya. Nigel’s mother used to work in people’s homes before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the financial strains that COVID-19 has caused, work is now very hard to come by. His father is a casual laborer in a construction site near their home. They only make just enough money for their family to live on. Nigel was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Nigel is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 7th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $735 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Nigel’s mother shared, “Since we are unable to raise any money for my son’s treatment, the financial help offered would be of great help.”
Pann is a 20-year-old man from Cambodia. Pann is the eldest sibling, with one brother and three sisters. He helps his parents with rice farming. Beside works, he likes to play football and listen to pop music. In January, Pann was in a motor vehicle accident that cause a closed fracture on his left leg. After that accident, he was sent another hospital for surgery however but it did not treat his fracture. His leg is very weak and painful. He can not move his leg easily and needs crutches to walk. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On April 21st, Pann will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will allow him to walk easily again. "I hope that I will be able to walk so I can return to working in the rice field again, be able to help my parents. I also hope that I can play football with my friends again," Pann said.
Cha is a 20-year-old young man from Burma. He lives with his father, older sister, brother-in-law, and three nieces in Hpapun Township of Karen State. Cha is a student and his oldest niece goes to school while the other two are still too young to attend. His father and brother-in-law are subsistence farmers while his sister is a homemaker. In his spare time, Cha loves to play cane ball and football with his friends. He also likes to help his family with farming during school holidays. Cha goes to the nearest high school to his village, located four to five hours away by motorbike in the village of Day Bu Noh. During the school year he lives in a dormitory and he does not have to pay for school and dormitory fees. On May 6th, Cha was getting ready to move back home for the summer holidays. He borrowed his friend’s motorbike and started the trip back to his village. Not long after he left Day Bu Noh Village, his motorcycle slipped on the uneven dirt road and he fell from the motorcycle. The next thing Cha remembered was waking up at a clinic in Day Bu Noh Village with his friend beside him. When he asked his friend what had happened, his friend told him that some of the villagers had found him unconscious on the side of the road and brought him to the clinic. The medic at the clinic examined Cha and told him that his lower jaw was fractured but they could not treat him at the clinic. The medic gave him injections and oral medications to help control the pain. Cha’s friend, who works for the district’s office in the Day Bu Noh village, told his superiors about Cha’s situation and that Cha did not know how he could receive treatment at another clinic in Mae Sot, Thailand where another friend works. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Thailand had shut its borders to neighboring countries. His friend’s superiors were able to arrange for Cha to be brought to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), accompanied by Cha’s friend. Cha was discharged from the clinic in Day Bu Noh Village on May 15th and started to make their way to MTC. After they crossed over into Thailand on a boat, Chan and his friend arrived at MTC on May 16th. At the clinic, the medic examined Cha before telling him that he will have to go to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for an x-ray. He also received some oral pain medication from the medic and, on May 20th, Cha received an x-ray at MSH. The x-ray showed that Cha had fractured his lower jaw in two locations, the left side and in the middle, as well as that the fracture was now infected. He was told that he will need to receive injections to treat the infection and that he will need surgery to help his jaw heal properly. Currently, Cha’s jaw is swollen and painful. He cannot eat solid food and is only able to eat boiled rice and drink liquid food. One of his teeth hurts and he cannot open his mouth wide. He is not able to speak properly, and his lower jaw is extremely painful, especially on the left side. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Cha will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for May 29th and will cost $1,500. The surgery will help Cha to be free from the pain and he will be able to talk properly again. “I feel sad that I cannot help my family during this summer holiday,” Cha said. In the future, Cha said that he plans to continue his studies next year at Mu Traw Junior College in Day Bu Noh Village. He is also interested in working with his friend at the district office in the branch that looks after the environment, forest, and wild animals.
Win is a 49-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband and four sons. Two of her sons are distant learners at university while her husband and two other sons work as masons. However, her husband had to stop working to look after the housework when she was no longer able to do so. Win was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of her 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, Win feels tired, has no appetite, cannot sleep well nor walk longer distances. She also has a headache, chest pains, and tingling and numbness in her extremities. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Win. The treatment is scheduled to take place on March 11th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Win said, “When I recover from my illness, I will go back to doing the housework so that my husband can also go back to work.’’
Sopheak is a 45-year-old grocery seller from Cambodia. She has three children, two sons and one daughter. She likes to listen to the radio, watch television, and look after her children. When she was young, Sopheak had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Sopheak experiences ear discharge, tinnitus, and ear pain. She finds difficulty in hearing clearly, and she has trouble communicating with her family members and her customers. Sopheak traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 11th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care.
Aung is a 15-year-old novice monk from Hpa-An. He lives with other monks in the monastery. His parents own a piece of land where his father and oldest brother grow vegetables and fruits for sale. The family also grows vegetables for their own consumption. He was born with encephalocele and it was the size of a fingerprint. It grew bigger over the years and was the same size for the last three years before receiving surgery in 2015. He also suffers from hydrocephalus and he received ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VP) in 2016. Two months ago, Aung developed headaches and his head has grown bigger on the right side. At that time, his father bought medicine from the pharmacy to reduce his headaches. He took it for two days, but he did not feel better. Later on, his father took him to Hpa-An hospital where he received a blood test and x-ray. The doctor suggested his father to take him to Yangon but his father returned to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot instead of going to Yangon. On February 25th, he arrived at MTC and he was referred to Watsi Medical Partner's Care Center Mae Sot Hospital to be seen the next day. At MSH, the doctor recommended a CT scan, which Watsi donors have also generously supported, and with these results Aung's father was told that doctors need to replace Aung's VP shunt as the previous shunt from 2016 is blocked. Aung’s father said, “I am very worried for him as he is my son and I hope that he will be healthy as soon as possible. In the future, I want him to be a monk for the rest of his life. Because I know my other older sons will not take good care of him as he is not a healthy boy. If he stays at the temple, he can be able to sleep and eat regularly."
Khin lives with his wife and five children along the Thai-Burma border. Khin and his wife work as porters on the river that runs between the Thai-Burma border. They carry items to and from the boats that bring Burma people across to Thailand. However, Khin has been unable to work for the past year, and his wife stopped working in December 2019, when she accompanied Khin to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). His eldest son works at a bicycle shop as a salesman and earns 200 baht (approx. 7 USD) per day. Khin’s other children all go to school. One day in February 2019, Khin was playing football with his friends. During the game, Khin went to hit the ball with the inside of his right foot. However, someone from the opponent team accidentally kicked him above his right ankle when they tried to take the ball away from him. Right away, Khin’s leg hurt and he was unable to continue with the game. His friend brought him back home. For the next two months, Khin sought help from a traditional masseuse and a traditional healer. When neither treatments helped, he sought help from a health worker. There, he received an injection into his right leg, close to his injury. Khin said, “As soon as I received the injection, I felt better but it did not last for a long time and the pain returned.” He returned twice more and each time he received another injection that at first helped reduce the pain. One day, Khin heard about a traditional healer from a friend. When he went to see them, the traditional healer applied a bandage with herbs to his injured leg and provided him with instructions on how to reapply the bandage at home. Afterward, whenever Khin applied the bandage with herbs, he felt better so he continued to reapply it for the next six months. Khin thought his leg would finally heal, but after using the bandage for six months, he noticed that the area around his ankle and his right foot had become swollen, and that there was pus from sores on his ankle and the sole of his foot. A friend told him about a charitable clinic called MTC right across the border in Mae Sot, Thailand. Khin decided to seek help there, so accompanied by his wife, they arrived at MTC on the 1st of December 2019. He was admitted right away and he received oral medication, injections and had his leg dressed and changed daily. Every 10 days, he also had the pus in his injured leg drained. During the first week of January 2020, MTC brought Khin to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further treatment. There, he received blood tests and an X-ray before the doctor told him that he needs to receive surgery which would cost him around 30,000 baht (approx. 1,000 USD). However, Khin was unable to pay for surgery. Once Khin was brought back to MTC, the medic saw that he had been diagnosed with chronic osteomyelitis, a severe infection of his bone, and referred him to Watsi Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing further treatment. BCMF connected him to Mawlamyine Christine Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) in Burma. After the doctor reviewed his medical records, the doctor recommended an amputation of his right leg below the knee. Currently, Khin suffers from a lot of pain in his right leg at night and he is not able to sleep. During the day however, the pain lessens if he does not walk long distances. He also needs to use crutches to get around. Khin said, “I would like to feel better as soon as possible so that I can go back to work to support my family and so that we can pay back our loan.”
Veronica is a 12-year-old from Tanzania who has a bilateral club foot. She enjoys studying mathematics and has 5 siblings, with one brother suffering from the same condition. Our outreach program met Veronica and referred her to our hospital where manipulation and casting were recommended. She struggles with walking and suffers from blisters due to long walks to school. With successful surgery, Veronica will be able to walk to school with ease and less pain. Veronica's parents are peasant farmers, relying on little harvest to meet their daily needs. They have not been able to send Veronica and her brother to the hospital due to lack of funds. They are saddened by their children's condition but are hopeful that she will be able to walk with ease soon. They appeal for help. Fortunately, Veronica traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Veronica's treatment. Veronica’s father says, “I have always felt hurt and that I failed my children every time I see them walking with difficulty due to their leg condition that I couldn’t afford the treatment. Please help.”
Kyu is 38-year-old-woman from Burma. She owns a farm which she is able to rent out for 200,000 kyat (approx. 200 USD) for each season. In her free time, she enjoys doing housework such as cooking and cleaning. Kyu was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle that controls the flow of blood. Currently, Kyu has difficulty breathing, chest pain as well as pain in her neck. She also cannot walk fast or for long distances because she gets tired easily. Kyu is unable to sleep well for she worries about her condition. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Kyu. Once her treatment is completed, it will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. “If I feel better after surgery, I want to work and save money for my daughter,” said Kyu.
Kelvin is a motorcycle (bodaboda) rider from Kenya. Kelvin was a passenger motorcycle rider (bodaboda) and was on his way to work when he hit a donkey cart. His jaw and left shoulder broke on impact. Kelvin was rushed to the nearest hospital where first care was administered and put on painkillers. The pain was intense and could not be eased by painkillers. His parents brought him to Kijabe. After the review was done, surgery to repair the mandibular fracture was advised. If not treated, Kelvin will not be able to feed on hard solid foods, and working will be difficult. Further, he will be at risk of further complications on the closed fracture. Kelvin has since been dependent on family, friends and well-wishers for well-being. He had no savings whatsoever and cannot raise the funds needed for his surgical care. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 17th, Kelvin will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow Kelvin be able to feed well and reduce further complications. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $640 to fund this procedure. “I am not sure I still want to operate a motorbike taxi when I recover,” says Kelvin