Shubhang joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Shubhang became the 364th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 6,087 more people have become monthly donors! Shubhang's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Khin, a university student from Burma, to fund cardiac surgery.
Shubhang has funded healthcare for 81 patients in 12 countries.
Htay is a 26-year-old-Araknese woman who lives with her younger sister in Yangon, Burma. Htay is in her final year of university. Her sister works as a seamstress in a shop and earns 200,000 kyat (approx.200 USD) per month. Their parents and their eldest sister are rice farmers in Rakhine State. Every year, they sell half of their harvest to earn an income. Htay's sister in Yangon sends their parents money occasionally, while their parents support Htay's medical expenses. The income that Htay's sister earns is enough to cover their daily expenses and pay for basic health care. In 2018, Htay started to feel very tired and could not sleep well at night. She also experienced chest pains if she walked anywhere far. She took traditional medicine which helped her feel and sleep better. However, she continued to feel tired and experience pain. One day in 2019, a neighbor who has a heart condition, told her that she could have a heart disease like her; the neighbor had also experienced the same symptoms as Htay. The neighbor advised her to seek treatment at Pinlon Hospital in Yangon, where the neighbor had undergone heart surgery. Htay decided to follow the neighbor's recommendation and also moved in with her sister in Yangon for extra support. In December 2019, Htay went to Pinlon Hospital to see a cardiologist. After receiving an echocardiogram (echo), the doctor told her that two valves in her heart no longer work and that she would need to receive surgery to replace those valves. The doctor also told her that because her condition is not severe, she did not need surgery yet. She received six month's worth of medication and a follow-up appointment for June 17th, 2020. When Htay came back for her appointment, she received another echo and an x-ray. After checking her results, the doctor told her that her condition had progressed and she now needed surgery, which would cost 15,000,000 kyat (approx.15,000 USD). When they learned about the price of the procedure, Htay and her sister lost hope of ever getting Htay treatment; they could not afford to pay such a large sum of money. When Htay told a nurse at the hospital called Sandar Ko about their financial situation, the nurse told her about an abbot who might be able to help her. The abbot heads Kyaung Gyi Parahita Monastery and is a partner of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Htay called the abbot and asked for help accessing surgery. The abbot then referred Htay to Watsi's Medical Partner BCMF for assistance receiving treatment at Pinlon Hospital. Currently, Htay feels tired and suffers from chest pains when she walks a lot. She cannot sleep very well at night and she feels short of breath at least twice a week. To try and cope with her symptoms mentally, she prays or recites Dhamma. She also tries to help her sister with household chore such as cooking and sweeping. She hopes that she will be able to continue her studies after surgery and she would like to work for the government as a civil servant once she graduates. Htay shared, “When I graduate, I will work and support my parents because they are getting old and they will not be able to work on the farm in the future.”
Thol is a 54-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. Thol has three sons and one daughter. His wife farms as well, and his daughter works at a local factory. He enjoys watching TV, singing with his daughter, and helping his wife to do house work. Since 2006, Thol has experienced chronic pain in his lower back associated with the lumbar spine. He paid for a surgery that helped him become mobile again, but it failed to heal his back. In 2015, he had an accident while working his rice field, which injured his ankle and re-injured his lower back. He now experiences pain from the ankle of his right foot rising to his lower back. He cannot walk without support and has increasing difficulty doing daily activities on his own. Fortunately, Thol learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). At CSC, surgeons will perform a total hip replacement to relieve Thol of his pain and allow him to walk easily and regain his independence. Treatment is scheduled for August 3rd, and Thol needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Thol shared, "I hope that I am able to walk better again without support, and that I can do everything by myself so that my wife and daughter don't need to help me."
Vincent is a 20-year-old and the third born in a family of 10 children. Vincent harvests Khat to make a living but is currently not working due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His parents are small-scale farmers who plant maize, beans, and potatoes. They sell the surplus for additional income. Four months ago, Vincent began to experience a painful scalp lesion that was increasing in size. His doctor recommends an excision of the scalp mass to ensure that the pain and pressure he is experiencing do not worsen. Fortunately our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. Now, our medical partner is requesting $554 to help fund the cost of the surgery. Vincent shared,’’ I will be appreciative if given any financial support.’’
Sarith is a 14-year-old student from Cambodia. She is the oldest child in a family of five who live in Siem Riep. Her family farms and sells crops, but they also do daily wage labor when they are not farming. Sarith is in grade six, and her favorite subject of study at school is mathematics. She wants to run the farm business and improve it when she grows up. One year ago, Sarith had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Sarith experiences hearing loss, infection, occasional tinnitus, and constant irritation. Her family has spent a considerable amount of money paying for treatments for Sarith's ears, but nothing yet has been effective. She has found it difficult to participate in schooling with her reduced hearing, and her parents are worried that her condition will worsen. Sarith traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On June 2nd, she 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. Sarith said, "The itchy feeling in my ears is always there and it makes me crazy, I hope that it will go away soon and I can feel calm."
Rebecca is a former business lady from Kenya. Rebecca used to sell clothes to earn a living. However, due to persistent abdominal pain, fatigue and backaches, she stopped and relies on her sisters for her daily upkeep. She separated from her husband since she could not bore a child and has since been living alone in a single room house in the Nairobi outskirts. About 14 years ago, she started noting some abnormal abdominal swelling that has since persisted. She tried using herbal medicines and other hopeful therapies without fruition. Rebecca came to Kijabe Hospital in 2016 and was diagnosed with uterine fibroids. They have increased in size to the equivalent of a 37 weeks’ pregnancy. Rebecca came back in 2020 having made up her mind that should would like to move forward with a recommended hysterectomy. With successful surgery, Rebecca's health will be restored. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $756 to fund Rebecca's surgery. On April 30th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Rebecca will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Rebecca says, "My wish is to be treated and regain my health back. I have decided to have my uterus removed after a lengthy denial."
Esther is a 32-year-old mother of two from central Kenya. She recently separated with her husband, who left with all the belongings they had bought together for the family. Despite coming around from time to time, he does not support the family. Esther shared that she borrowed a TV set for her children since the one they had was carried away. For the last five years, Esther has been having abdominal pains; sometimes severe. She has been to many hospitals, taken many drugs but the problem persisted. Esther’s condition is becoming worse by the fact that she is currently not able to work due to a fall she had in 2017, where she hurt her back but feels better now. A friend advised her to try visiting Nazareth hospital. Our doctor ordered an ultrasound that showed multiple gallstones. He advised a cholecystectomy but Esther is not in a position to pay for this treatment. Before, she used to run a small shop but now does not work and depends on her sisters and brother for her family's basic needs. If not treated Esther may have complications such as blocked bile duct, pancreatic duct or even gall bladder cancer. “I request for help to undergo this treatment and God will bless you. I am confident I will be well and can’t wait to see myself back to my normal life and taking care of my children,” said Esther.
Kelvin is a 13-year-old student and the fourth born in a family of six children. The family hails from Karangia village in Nyeri County of Kenya. He is a class 3 student at Karangi Primary School. His mother is a peasant farmer while his father passed away six years ago after a long illness. According to his teacher, Kelvin is a bright boy and performs well in class however she has noted that his self-esteem has been very low. “Kelvin likes playing with other kids but he cannot, he falls every time as his feet knock each other.” Kelvin 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, Kelvin traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 9th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Kelvin's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. “I am appealing to the people of goodwill to support my son for surgery so that he can live a better life free from struggles/hardships and also progress well in his studies,” Ann, Kelvin’s mother shared with us.
Ethiopia is a three-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He loves to interact with people he knows. Ethiopia loves to play games and to watch television. He has three brothers and a younger sister. His mother is a house wife and his father is a teacher in a high school. His father has a low monthly income and is barely able to support his family's basic needs. Ethiopia 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, Ethiopia is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 17th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,231 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His father said, “In the future, I hope he will be a doctor because he loves to play as a doctor.”
Ma Ni is a 30-year-old woman from Burma. In her free time, she likes to pray to Buddha. She and her husband work as government officers. Together they earn 414,000 kyat (approx. $414 USD) per month, which is not enough for any safety net after they pay their bills for utilities and other household expenses. One day in July 2019, Ma Ni stood up from her desk at work and had pain in her hip joints. She had to push her hand against her hips to help her walk. She did not think there was anything seriously wrong so she did not seek medical attention. However, two weeks after this incident, when she was going to work, she slipped and fell in front of her house. Right away her hips started to hurt and two weeks later, the pain gradually became severe. Her condition worsened day by day, although she visited several hospitals and had taken medications. Currently, Ma Ni has a lot of pain in her hips. She cannot walk for more than two minutes or the pain becomes unbearable. She does not feel comfortable when she lays down and has problems sleeping from the pain. She also needs help going to the bathroom and taking a shower. Fortunately, Ma Ni learned about Watsi's medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). At BCMF's care center, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Ma Ni of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for December 17th, and Ma Ni needs help raising $1,500 to pay for this procedure. Ma Ni said, "I had to send my son to my mother’s place in Mawlamyine and my husband also had to ask for leave. [When fully recovered] I want to take back my son from my mother and send him to school. I will support him in whatever he wants to become when he grows up.”
Meet Josephine, a 15-year-old girl from Mbembani Village in Kenya. Josephine likes socializing and playing with her friends both at home and at school. Josephine is the 3rd born in a family of 6 children, 2 of her siblings (Musau Muasya & Maureen Mwikali) have physical impairments and have been previously supported by Watsi. Josephine was born partially blind and with additional congenital abnormalities. She is a class four student at Joy Town Special School in Thika. Besides being partially blind, Josephine walks by herself, she seems not to like people who pity her but those who play with her and encourage her. Her mother does household and farm work at their neighbor’s home. This job entails fetching water, washing clothes, as well as going to the shamba. Her husband fled home 3 years ago and has never returned leaving his family in a very difficult state. Treatment will be of great benefit to her as she will walk without straining. Her mother cannot afford to pay for surgery and hence requested for support. Her mother shared, "First, I wish to thank Watsi for the help they have rendered to my two children Musau and Maureen, God bless you so much for the support and I hope you will not get tired in helping my daughter Josephine as well. God bless you so much.”
Chhai Na was born with osteochondromas, a benign tumor of the bone which has caused deformity in Chhai Na's left elbow joint. This causes Chhai Na to experience a limited range of motion in his elbow. Surgery will remove the tumor and will lengthen the bone near the elbow, allowing for Chhai Na to regain range of movement in his arm. He enjoys playing with his younger sister, watching television, and playing soccer in his free time.
Josphine is a middle age woman from Kenya. Josphine fell from a height while carrying water on her back a few days ago. she complained of pain not knowing that she had fractured her clavicle. A day later, Josphine visited our hospital where x-ray imaging confirmed a clavicular fracture. She was admitted for an ORIF surgery. Afraid of the financial lack, Josphine requested a discharge from the hospital but the surgeons were afraid she might not come back for surgery. We planned on sourcing funds for her surgery. Josphine Komen, a widow, has never lost hope in looking after her five children. She has done all sorts of low-status jobs including working in other people’s farm to make sure her children have basic needs including education. She is a strong woman who has stood firm to raise her children after her husband passed away in 2011 after a short illness. Josphine is in need, her condition has restricted her from performing her daily duties of providing for her children. She is appealing for support to access surgery. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 26th, Josphine will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The ORIF surgery will allow Josphine utilize her hand with ease and reduce chances of further complications Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. Josphine says, "I am looking forward to quick recovery so that I can continue providing for my children."