Dana joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Five years ago, Dana became the 695th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,097 more people have become monthly donors! Dana's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Aung, a 15-year-old from Burma, to fund a hydrocephalus shunt.
Dana has funded healthcare for 66 patients in 12 countries.
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."
Marvens lives in a rural area in northwestern Haiti with his aunt and uncle and their family. He has not yet started school due to his cardiac illness. He has a condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Marvens will fly to Jamaica to receive treatment. On March 4th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will close the hole in his heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage. Another organization, Chain of Hope UK, is contributing $6,000 to help pay for surgery. Marvens's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Marvens's family overseas. His uncle said, "We are hopeful that after this surgery Marvens will become stronger and gain weight so that he can be enrolled in school."
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.”
Jane is a farmer from Kenya. She lost her husband twelve years ago who was working as a driver in a faith-based organization. Jane is a farmer, she plants sorghum in her small farm left by her dear husband. Since she lost her husband, Jane has been the sole breadwinner of the family. She has done all sorts of work to meet daily needs of her children. Jane was well until Friday evening when she fell and sustained a fracture on her right knee. She was brought to hospital by relatives around 9pm in the night. A X-ray was done on arrival which confirmed the fracture of the right patella. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 12th, Jane will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help Jane heal well and walk again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $771 to fund this procedure. Jane says, “Help me raise funds to make it possible and a success. I want to get back on my feet again.”
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
On August 13th, after classes, Michale was playing with his friend at school. While fooling around, Michale’s friend poked him in the right eye. Right away, Michale’s eye began to hurt and his eye became watery. Eventually, he could no longer open his right eye. When he told a teacher about this, the teacher called his mother. His mother then took him back home before bringing him to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand, on 15th August 2019. Unfortunately, that day was a full moon Buddhist holiday in Thailand. Therefor he had to wait till the next day to have his eye examined by a medic. After checking his eye the following day, the medic gave him an ointment for his eye and painkillers. On August 20th, he was referred to Mae So Hospital for further assessment. At the hospital, the ophthalmologist checked his eye, diagnosed him corneal perforation and informed him that he will likely have to remove his right eye and referred him to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further treatment. After he came back from the hospital, Michale told the MTC medic about what the doctor had said and how he could not afford to seek further treatment in Chiang Mai. Therefore, the MTC medic referred him to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing further treatment. Michale says, “I would like to become an engineer, so I would like to study engineering when I graduate from high school.”
Bun Thong is a 48-year-old rice seller from Cambodia. He has three daughters and enjoys exercising and taking care of his children in his free time. In January 2019, he was in an accident and was thrown from his moto, causing injuries to his right shoulder and elbow. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right 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 is unable to extend his elbow and experiences sensory loss in his shoulder. Bun Thong traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On August 12, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will regain control of his shoulder and allow him to move his arm normally again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $637 to fund this procedure. He says, "I hope that my surgery will go well and after I will be able to use my arm and return to work."
Netsanet is a young student from Ethiopia. She was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Netsanet is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on July 23. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Netsanet's procedure and care. After her recovery, Netsanet will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Her mother says, “I can’t afford the medical bill. We managed to come to hospital through the support of another organization."
Gift is a baby from Tanzania. He was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Gift is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $966 to cover the cost of Gift's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 17. This procedure will hopefully spare Gift from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Gift’s mother says, “Please help my son I have no means of affording his treatment cost.”
Dennis is a young student from Kenya. He is the youngest in his family. Dennis has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Dennis traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 2. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Dennis's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. “I am seeking for support. I want to see my son walking uprightly. God bless you," says his father.
Vichheka is a 23-year-old teacher from Cambodia. She has one daughter, and enjoys reading books in her free time. When she was a small child, Vichheka 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, Vichheka experiences discharge, headaches, hearing loss, and itchiness. It is difficult for her to focus and listen to her students when she is at school. Vichheka traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 26, 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 $842 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. She says, "I hope that after my surgery, the ear infection will stop and I will no longer have any ear discharge."