Ian joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven years ago, Ian joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ian's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Sa, a woman from Burma, to fund foot surgery so she can keep her independence.
Ian has funded healthcare for 138 patients in 17 countries.
Ian has funded healthcare for 138 patients in 17 countries.
Sa lives with her husband, daughter, and two granddaughters in Burma. She is a homemaker, and her daughter and husband are day laborers. However, due to constantly changing regulations regarding the number of people who can gather, they have difficulty finding work. Sa's granddaughters are students, though their schools are currently closed. Their family shared that they were only able to earn 100,000 kyat (approx. $100 USD) last month, which is not enough to cover their daily needs. A few years ago, Sa was diagnosed with diabetes. This September, she had an injury on her right toe. Her toe became itchy and infected, so she visited a local clinic twice. After her symptoms did not subside, she visited a private clinic, where the doctor diagnosed her with an ulcer and told her she would need to undergo surgery to clean and remove the necrotic tissue. On September 24th, she underwent this procedure. A few days later, the toe continued to worsen, and a second surgery is now required to amputate Sa's right toe and keep her infection from worsening. To help with the cost, Sa was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund the costs of this surgery. Sa is currently experiencing swelling and pain in her foot, especially when the weather is cool during the night and morning. As a result, Sa cannot do her daily household chores. She shared, "Even though I cannot meet my donors, I want to thank them. If you [BCMF and donors] had not helped me during this difficult time, I do not know who else I could have turned to for help."
Chum is a 65-year-old farmer and mother from Cambodia. She has one son and four daughters, and many grandchildren. Chum lives with her husband and their eldest daughter. She enjoys taking care of her grandchildren and listening to the monks pray on the radio. Four years ago, Chum developed a cataract in both eyes, causing her sensitivity to light, blurry vision, and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Chum learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled with her daughter seeking treatment. On June 9th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $425 procedure. Chum shared, "it makes me so happy that after my surgery I will be able to see well. I am looking forward to going outside on my own, helping my daughter plant crops and cook, and take care of my grandchildren."
Ar is a 28-year-old man who lives with his wife, three sons, and two daughters in a refugee camp. Originally from Burma, his family fled to Thailand 20 years ago due to civil war. His children attend school, except for his youngest daughter, who is not yet old enough. His wife is a homemaker and Ar works as a day laborer when work is available. Ar's family shared that, in addition to his day laborer pay, they receive a monthly cash card from The Border Consortium to purchase food in the refugee camp. Overall, the family's total monthly income is just enough to cover their basic needs. On September 2nd, Ar climbed a tamarind tree to pick tamarinds fruit. When the branch he was standing on suddenly broke, he fell and landed on his right arm and experienced pain in his back. He visited the camp hospital that day, and the medic initially determined that his arm was not broken. Due to recent positive COVID-19 cases in the refugee camp, Ar could not be immediately referred to the local hospital for further testing and was kept for observation at the camp hospital. When the pain in Ar's back and arm did not subside the next day, the medic referred Ar to the local hospital. After receiving a negative COVID-19 test, Ar was finally able to visit the hospital on September 6th, where he received an X-ray for his arm and a blood test for a second COVID-19 test. The X-ray revealed that his upper right arm is broken. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ar will undergo surgery on September 8th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will enable Ar to continue working in the future. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Ar shared, "I am scared to receive surgery. But I was told that I will not be able to work using my right arm if I do not receive surgery, so I gave my consent to the doctor. I hope that I will be able to work again after I receive treatment."
Lo is a 41-year-old rice farmer and married with one son and one daughter. Lo's daughter is in 7th grade, and her son has just finished school and works as a farmer. In her free time, Lo enjoys watching TV, sewing, cooking, and taking care of her children. On March 3rd, Lo slipped and fell, fracturing her left elbow. At first, she received traditional Khmer treatment in the form of a bamboo splint, but her arm did not heal. Now, it is difficult for her to use her arm and she experiences swelling and chronic pain when she attempts to move or flex it. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On May 27th, Lo will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will help her use her arm easily again. Lo shared, "I am thankful that I can return home and be healed after surgery. This will allow me to farm again and feed the chickens."
Noemi is a cheerful three-year-old girl from Venezuela. Her family moved to Colombia two years ago, and she will start school soon. Noemi loves playing with dolls and painting. Noemi has clubfoot of both feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Noemi's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 28th. Now, Clínica Noel, is requesting $1,500 to fund Noemi's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk more easily and wear shoes. Her mother shared, "it breaks my heart when she tells me she wants to walk and I see that she is not able to... she is starting school soon and I would love to see her walk and play with her new friends."
Nancy is a middle-aged mother from Kawaida village in Kenya. She separated from her husband and has been raising their two children on her own. Her daughter is married and her son lives with Nancy but has not started working yet. Nancy works jobs when she can find them, such as helping in the neighboring tea farms or washing clothes, to support her family. Nancy loves singing at her church, but now her condition forces her to remain indoors and in bed. Five years ago, Nancy began experiencing worrying symptoms. She has been diagnosed with uterine fibroids and needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $755 to fund Nancy's surgery. On July 2nd, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Nancy will be able to resume her daily activities free from pain. Nancy is eager to recover so she can continue her working and pursuing her musical passion: “If this bleeding continues I feel like it will be more challenging for me to continue working for my family. My children look unto me and so I really hope for help so that I can be well again, take care of them and be able to sing as I used to do."
Yin is a 62-year-old woman who lives with her husband, daughter, son in-law, and granddaughter in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. She is a homemaker, and she loves cooking and cleaning around her house. In her free time, Yin loves to play with her granddaughter. Her husband is retried, and her son in-law is unemployed. Yin’s family receives 800 baht (approx. 27 USD) on a cash card every month to purchase rations. This income is just enough for their daily needs, but they cannot afford to pay other costs like healthcare. Currently, Yin has limited vision and can only make out if it is dark or light outside with her right eye. The vision in Yin’s left eye is starting to blur, and she cannot see far with her left eye. She is worried that she will lose vision in both of her eyes. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Yin. On June 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Yin's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Yin shared, "Before my vision started to blur, I used to make and sell mohinga [a type of Burmese noodles]. With the money that I earned from selling mohinga, I was able to buy vegetables for my family. However, when the vision in my right eye vision became blurred, I could no longer make mohinga anymore. I hope that my vision will be restored after I complete my treatment.”
Elvin is a one-year-old baby boy and the youngest in a family of two children. His mother shared that he is usually a smiley and happy baby. Elvin's mother sells goods at a shop, while his father is a welder. Elvin has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Elvin has been experiencing pain and is at risk of brain damage. His condition has made him irritable and he experiences regular fevers and vomiting whenever he eats. Without treatment, Elvin will experience physical and developmental delays. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) can help. AMH is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery to treat Elvin's hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th and will drain the excess fluid from Elvin's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Elvin will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Elvin’s mother shared, "my son’s head keeps increasing in size and his health keeps worsening each day, please help."
Naw Mu is a five-year-old girl who lives with her family in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Naw Mu, her older brother and older sister are all primary school students. Her mother is a homemaker and her father works as a day laborer outside of the camp when he can. Her parents also look after a small shop in the camp. Her family's combined income is just enough to cover their family expenses and are grateful they can receive basic healthcare and education in the camp. On April 8th, Naw Mu was playing with her friends when she fell to the ground and injured her left arm. Her mother immediately took her to the hospital in the camp, run by Malteser International Thailand. When the medics examined her arm, they suspected that Naw Mu's forearm was fractured and referred her to another hospital to confirm her diagnosis. After Naw Mu received an x-ray, the doctor confirmed that Naw Mu's radius and ulna bones are broken. Currently, Naw Mu is experiencing pain in her left arm and has to take pain medication to have comfort and to sleep. She cannot lift her left hand or move it around. Fortunately, with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Naw Mu will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for April 9th and will cost $1,500. With this treatment, she will no longer be in pain and she will be able to move her hand and arm fully again in the future. Naw Mu's father shared, “my daughter loves to play outsides with her friends and watching cartoon clips on the phone. After she receives surgery, I hope that she is able to play with her friends again.”
Gyi is an agricultural day labourer from Thailand. He lives with his wife, who also works as a day labourer. However, both Gyi and his wife struggle to find work and often have to borrow money to make ends meet. On January 12, 2021, Gyi started to experience difficulty urinating. His abdomen became distended, and he felt uncomfortable as if he had severe gas. For the next two days, Gyi was able to pass urine without difficulty, but he started developing pain on the right side of his abdomen. Four days later, he was unable to pass neither urine nor stool. Gyi and his wife went to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), where a medic assessed him and thought he might be suffering from partial obstruction of his bowel. Doctors want Gyi to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Gyi's CT scan and care, scheduled for January 20th. In the future, Gyi shared, "I want to continue working in the fields. Also, I would like to move back to Burma one day."
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."
Phorn is a 40-year-old construction worker with three children: two sons and one daughter. They all are now in school. Phorn is not working now but his wife is a factory worker. His parents live with his family and he supports them. For over two years, he has had pain in both hips. He feels his left side is much worse than the right. He describes his current health as generally very poor because he is in such pain. When he has pain, he has traditionally been able to buy pain medication from the pharmacy, but it has lately become unbearable. Doctors diagnosed his condition as avascular necrosis (death of bone tissue due to lack of blood circulation) of both hips. Fortunately, Phorn learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Phorn of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for February 9th, and Phorn needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. He hopes after surgery, his left hip will not have pain, he can walk without help, and go back to work as before.