Robert joined Watsi on April 22nd, 2013. Five years ago, Robert joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Robert's most recent donation traveled 5,900 miles to support Mo, a refugee and student from Thailand, to fund brain surgery to remove a tumor.
Robert has funded healthcare for 67 patients in 12 countries.
Mo is a 22-year-old student from Thailand. He lives along with his father in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. While living in the camp, Mo finished high school and is now completing post-high school education. Their household receives 480 baht (approx. $16 USD) each month as part of their food support from an organization called The Border Consortium. However, this amount is not enough to cover their daily needs. Therefore, Mo's father works as a seasonal agricultural day laborer in a nearby village. He is able to earn an extra 350 baht (approx. $12 USD) in a month but this amount is still not enough and they shared that they struggle to make ends meet despite having free basic health care and education in the camp. In early September, Mo started to feel dizzy frequently, especially whenever he stood up. At first, he thought he would feel better after he rested and slept. However, he was unable to sleep well for about a week and was suffering from insomnia. After a medic examined him he was referred to the local hospital for treatment. The doctor at the local hospital referred him to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) to see a neurologist. After he returned to the camp, Mo rapidly started to lose his vision in both of his eyes. An NGO called Malteser International Thailand (MI) was able to arrange Moses’ travel documents, he was brought to CMH on October 5th, 2020. The next day, he received a CT scan which showed that he has a mass in his brain and a build-up of cerebrospinal fluid in his brain due to the mass. Because of the severity of his condition, the doctor scheduled him to receive surgery right away on October 9th. The mass will be removed and sent for biopsy. He will also undergo a procedure to receive a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt to drain the excess fluid from his brain. Currently, Mo has a headache, and he is not able to move his eyes from side to side. He needs his father to accompany him wherever he goes because he can no longer see far. He spends most of his time lying down in bed and needs to be pushed in a wheelchair to get around due to his new vision problems. Mo sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo a brain mass removal surgery on October 9th. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “Life suddenly become darker without me knowing why," said Mo. "It is extremely difficult for me to even go to the toilet [by myself]. I cry while I lay in bed for many hours. I really miss seeing colors."
Florian is a 20-year-old farmer from Tanzania. He is sixth born in a family of nine children. He is a very hard working young man and helps his mother working in the family farms. He also helps his mother to look after his young brothers and sisters and assist with putting them through school. Florian was not fortunate to proceed with the school after graduating from his primary school education since his father passed away shortly after and he was forced to join his two brothers in helping their mother. Florian’s father passed away five years ago and his mother is a subsistence farmer. Florian 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, Florian has been experiencing severe headaches and dizziness. Without treatment, Florian will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Florian that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 9th and will drain the excess fluid from Florian's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Florian will hopefully continue to develop into a strong, healthy young man. Florian says, “Please help me get this treatment, my family is not able to pay for my needed surgery. Please help me so that I may get well.”
Joseph is a two-month-old baby boy from Tanzania. He is the last born of his mother who has eight children. His father is polygamous with two wives, Joseph's mother being the first wife. The second wife has five children making a family of fourteen children. Four children in the family have been able to join school but the rest have not had a chance to attend yet. Joseph's older siblings who do not go to school help their parents to look after their cattle of five cows and five goats. Both parents depend on small-scale farming of maize, beans, and vegetable for their food and they are able to sell a goat once in a while to be able to get money to buy other commodities. Joseph 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, Joseph 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, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Joseph's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 10th and will hopefully spare Joseph from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Joseph’s mother shared, “The money needed to pay our son’s surgery cost is too high for us to afford, kindly help us.”
Kong is a 60-year-old tour guide from Cambodia. He and his wife have three children. Kong has to travel a lot for his work, but he can support his family. He enjoys taking care of his children, helping them with their schoolwork and taking them on trips. Last year, Kong had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Kong experiences hearing loss, ear pain, and pus discharge. He has trouble communicating in his work now, and his wife is very concerned that he will have permanent hearing loss. Kong traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 8th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Kong said, "I hope that my ear can heal well after this surgery and that I can have an easy time going back to work. I do not want my family to worry too much."
Sambo is a 39-year-old rice farmer. She has five children, three of whom are in primary school. Her husband passed away after a traffic accident three years ago. She spends most of her time looking after her children and doing housework, but when she has free time she likes to watch TV. On June 4th, she fell out of a tree from a height of about three meters and suffered trauma to her spine. Her family took her to a local government hospital where they determined she has a compression fracture. Now, Sambo cannot stand or walk, and is experiencing severe back pain. She has also lost some muscle and bladder control. She has come to Watsi's Medical Partner CSC for treatment. The doctors at CSC will perform a decompression surgery in order to restore her nerve function. Once Sambo fully recovers from the procedure, doctors hope she will be able to walk easily again. She will also regain muscle strength and control, and will no longer experience severe back pain. Sambo said, "Since this accident, I am so worried about my children, and that they will not have me to take care of them. I hope I can walk again quickly after this surgery, so I can do everything I need to do for them."
Justin is a jovial 7-year-old girl from Kenya. She is a class 1 pupil at Kisisi Primary School and her family hails from Igoji village in Meru County. Justin is an only child, her mother stays at home with Justin’s elderly grandmother while their aunt is a peasant farmer. Justin 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, Justin traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Justin's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily without the deformity. “My joy is to see Justin walking like other children. I am pleading for support that will make her undergo surgery and continue with her studies uninterrupted.” --Joyce, Justin’s aunt told us.
Phyo is a two-year-old boy from Thailand. He lives with his parents and sisters and a brother in Fo Fai Village. His parents are originally from Bago Division in Burma and moved to Thailand in search of better job opportunities around 10 years ago. Both of his parents are agricultural day laborers. Phyo’s parents cannot afford to send him or his siblings to school and they are looked after by his six-year-old sister when his parents are working. Phyo was born a healthy baby boy at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). In June 2019, Phyo’s mother noticed that both of Phyo’s testicles were swollen. At first she thought that the swelling was caused by an insect bite and that the swelling would come down on its own. However, the swelling never reduced. Busy with work and since Phyo did no complain of any pain and looked otherwise healthy, his mother did not take him to a clinic or a hospital. In the beginning of November 2019, his mother realized that his testicles were increasing in size and he was uncomfortable. His mother decided to have this checked and brought him to MTC in early November. When they arrived at the clinic, the medic completed a physical examination and gave him antibiotics. The medic also told Phyo’s mother that they could not treat him further because the medic was not completely sure what his diagnosis was. They were told that Phyo would need to receive an x-ray at Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) so that they could diagnose him properly. Since his mother did not have enough money to pay for the x-ray and she had work she had to do at home, she brought Phyo back to their village. At home, Phyo took the antibiotics the medic had given him, which seemed to reduce the size of his testicles. However, on April 7th, 2020, Phyo’s mother noticed that his swelling was increasing in size again and that he could not pass urine nor stool; she became worried when she noted that he ate and drank a lot the whole day. The next day, his mother asked her pastor if they could take them back to MTC, as she did not have enough money to pay for transportation. Their pastor agreed to help them and drove them to the clinic. At MTC Phyo received a physical examination and the medic explained to Phyo’s mother that he might have a hernia. The medic diagnosed him with incarcerated inguinal hernia and told them that he would need to receive surgery at the nearby hospital. Phyo has an inguinal hernia and currently cannot pass urine nor stool. He cannot walk or stand for the past two days as his swelling is severe and uncomfortable. Fortunately, on April 8th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Phyo's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 8th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Phyo's mother said, “I feel very stressed and worried about my son. I can’t help him any further as I don’t have money. His father has also not come back since he went back to Burma [a month ago to take care of his sick parents]. I cannot work and I have no income as we have less work during this time of the year. Sometimes our neighbors have to give us a meal. Now I have a debt of 600 baht (approx. 20 USD) already from my neighbor, without interest.”
Misgune is a 3-month-old baby boy from Ethiopia with one older brother. He loves to play and laugh with his mom. He's exclusively fed by breast milk. Misgune’s mom is a house wife; she dropped out of school at grade 9 when she got pregnant. She used to do a bit of small business before she gave birth to him. Misgune's dad is a daily laborer. They live in a rented house and their family's income is unpredictable and limited for the expenses of the basic needs of the family. Misgune was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Misgune is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on March 10th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Misgune's procedure and care. After his recovery, Misgune will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Misgune's mom said, “It is my hope that my baby will get healthy and as normal as other boys. I hope I will raise him well and educate him. I hope I will start working again and support my children. ”
Pyae Pyae is 14-year-old girl from Burma. She lives with her parents, two sisters and four brothers in a village in Burma. Her father is a subsistence farmer, her mother is a homemaker and Pyae Pyae goes to school. She is currently in grade nine. Pyae Pyae 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, Pyae Pyae is taking medication which stops her from having difficulty breathing and feeling tired. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Pyae Pyae. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 12th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. "When I grow up I would like to become a nurse," said Pyae Pyae. "I would like to take care of others like me who suffer from a heart disease."
Joe is a 12-year-old student from Thailand. He moved to Mae Sot in early 2019, in search for better education. He now lives at a boarding house while studying at a migrant learning center. Joe noticed his blurred vision since he was five years old. Although he told his parents about it, his parents thought it was not that serious; they just told him that his eye sight will get better with time. As Joe did not experience any pain, aside from blurry vision, Joe stopped complaining about his problem to his parents. Joe continue to have a blurred vision, especially in his left eye. After he moved to Mae Sot, he told his uncle about his eye sight. His uncle made arrangements for him to meet with a medic, who later found that Joe has a cataract on his left eye and that it needs to be fixed in order for Joe to regain a clear vision in his left eye. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Joe. On December 10th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Joe's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Joe said, “I don’t know yet of what I want to be in the future, but all I’m looking forward to is to ride a bicycle and play with my friends without any difficulty seeing.”
Morgan is a young boy from Kenya who was diagnosed with nasal blockage a few weeks ago at Kijabe hospital. At two years, Morgan’s mother noticed her son had difficulties in breathing and thought that to be a common flu. But this condition went on for quite a longer time than the normal flu, raising concern. They went to the nearest hospital and were put on medication, which barely helped. A friend advised them to visit Kijabe Hospital where Morgan was diagnosed with adenoids and tonsillitis and surgery recommended. They came back to the hospital and were told that Morgan needed adenotonsillectomy surgery to improve his condition. Morgan's mother is employed as a casual saloon attendant with little income to meet her son's cost of surgery. Morgan was abandoned at birth by his biological father. It would be very fulfilling for his mother to see him breathe normally again and be comfortable after a long and uncomfortable experience. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $779 to fund an adenotonsillectomy for Morgan, which is scheduled to take place on December 9th. Surgeons will remove his tonsils and adenoids, hopefully relieving Morgan of his symptoms and helping him live more comfortably. “I look forward to those days my son can sleep peacefully,” says Morgan's mother.
Chantha is a 4th grade student from Cambodia. She is the youngest of four siblings, and enjoys playing with her toys, watching television, and going for walks around the village with the family. When she was two years old, Chantha accidentally came into contact with an open flame and burned three of her fingers on her left hand. The burn has since healed, but the skin has tightened around the fingers, making it difficult for her to flex her hand. When Chantha learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On September 11th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to release the skin around her fingers and allow her to move her fingers and hand without difficulty. Now, she needs help to fund this $448 procedure. "I hope that my daughter will be able to move her hand normally and her hand will look better than before." -Chantha's Mother