Shubhang joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Shubhang joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Shubhang's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Jesca, friendly, music-loving teenager from Tanzania, to fund mobility-restoring clubfoot treatment.
Shubhang has funded healthcare for 92 patients in 12 countries.
Shubhang has funded healthcare for 92 patients in 12 countries.
Jesca is a hardworking, friendly, and sociable girl who loves music and singing in the choir at church. She's an 18-year-old teenager, born as the third child in a family of nine. Jesca was only able to study until seventh grade because she was experiencing mobility issues due to clubfoot, making going to school particularly challenging. Jesca's father tried to encourage his daughter to continue with school by discussing with her the the importance of education. However, Jesca was too concerned about going to secondary school, which is located even further away and thereby posing an even bigger challenge for her. Jesca has clubfoot on her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Jesca has now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform a clubfoot repair surgery on June 29th, and requests support of $935 for her treatment costs. After treatment, Jesca will be able to walk normally and is hopeful for a better life ahead. Jesca describes her previous decisions about school with regret but turns an optimistic outlook for her future: "If it wasn’t for my foot I would have probably continued with school and maybe today I would be in a better position. I am now working but my foot is still limiting my work. Please help me have my foot corrected."
Htoo is a 29-year-old woman from Burma, and the headmistress for a middle school. She lives with her seven friends in a dormitory, and they are all teachers at the same middle school in the village. She raises chickens and also grows vegetables in a small garden beside the dormitory. She and her friends often go to the forest on weekends. Due to impacts of COVID-19 on her school, her income has been irregular since June 2020, but she and her friends share meals to make sure they have enough. In late March 2021, after a friend had mentioned how to do a self-exam for breast cancer, Htoo found a mass in her right breast later that night. Currently, Htoo does not experience any pain but she is very worried that the mass will turn cancerous. Htoo felt very scared to undergo surgery, as she feels stressed about her condition and she also thinks about the work she has to do at school which stresses her out even more. However, the doctors have recommended surgery to remove the tumor before it causes more risk or has a chance to spread. Htoo is seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo tumor removal surgery on May 25th and is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Htoo said, “When I think about my condition and my work, I become so stressed, and I cannot sleep well at night. I cry very often when I think about my condition. I feel like the stress has made me lose my appetite.”
Zipporah is jovial and keeps smiling the whole time we are talking, shared our local Watsi rep. She delivered a happy baby one month ago and she says that her child is her source of encouragement. For almost four years now she has not been able to use her right ear, a condition that has greatly affected her Mitumba business (second-hand clothes vending). She needs a hearing aid to boost hearing on her right side. She remembers it starting while she was working one day in June. She started hearing echoes on the right ear as she negotiated with her customers. It was slight at first but gradually worsened over time. She visited several health facilities seeking treatment but she never improved. She finally opted to visit our Medical Partner's Care Center Kijabe Hospital in December 2018 after being referred by a friend. She has been following-up for treatment, and recently doctors recommended that she gets fitted with a hearing aid. Her last visit to the hospital was in December last year and she has not been able to get the treatment and device due to financial strain. Zipporah currently doesn’t have a source of income and is home taking care of her one-month-old baby. She had to stop her clothes business after she started having problems with her ear. Her husband works as a data entry clerk whose income is just enough to cover basics for their family. They live in a rental house costing $50 a month. They have national insurance for health but unfortunately it will not cover this treatment and hearing aid fitting.
Stephanie is a seven-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her aunt, uncle, and three cousins in a rural area in far southwestern Haiti. She enjoys going to school and church. Stephanie has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects, including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Stephanie will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On April 9th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in Stephanie's heart with a patch and remove the blockage from her valve. Another organization, Akron Children's Hospital, is contributing $17,000 to pay for surgery. Stephanie'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 Stephanie's family overseas. Stephanie's aunt shared, "we have been waiting a very long time for this surgery and are relieved it can finally happen!"
Ra Sa is a 67-year-old woman who lives with her nephew in Mae La Refugee Camp in Thailand. Ra Sa is a homemaker and her nephew is a student. Ra Sa’s daughter, who also lives in the camp with her husband, supports Ra Sa with food and visits several times a week. Ra Sa’s daughter works as a domestic worker in the camp, and her son-in-law works as a porter unloading supplies from delivery trucks, but the support they are able to provide for Ra Sa does not always cover her expenses. In her free time, Ra Sa likes to teach children at the local mosque. However, since a hernia appeared last year, she has not been able to teach in the same way. Once she has recovered, she wants to live happily with her nephew and to continue teaching. Since the 7th of March 2020, Ra Sa has had an umbilical hernia. She experiences a lot of pain in her lower abdomen and has three lumps that are increasing in size every day. She can no longer sit for more than 10 minutes before she is in pain, feeling more comfortable when she lies down. Sometimes she cannot breathe well and is having other troubling symptoms. Fortunately, on March 5th, she 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 Ra Sa's hernia repair surgery, which will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably again. Ra Sa said, “I prayed every day that I would get a donor to cover the cost of my surgery and I feel like my prayers have been answered. I am so happy! I would like to say thank you so much to all of the donors. I will never forget what you have done for me and I hope that you will continue to help more patients in the future.”
Ron is a 60-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. Ron is married with five sons, one daughter, and 10 grandchildren. She lives with her husband and her son who are also rice farmers. She enjoys watching Khmer dramas on TV. This is getting more difficult as about ten years ago, Ron developed a pterygium in her left eye, which is causing her burning, irritation, and tearing. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. When Ron learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours with her son seeking treatment. Ron needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The total cost of her procedure is $216. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for September 28. Ron shared, "I hope my surgery to remove the pterygium from my eye is successful so I can feel comfortable again with my eye and my appearance."
Collins is a young boy from the northeastern slopes of Mt Kenya in Meru County, Kenya. He is 5 years old and is the firstborn in a family of two children. His mother is a housewife, while his father is a mason. Collins was born with clubfoot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. Since birth, he has had serial casting treatment, but his condition has yet to improve. Both his mother and his sibling also have neglected clubfoot conditions. Collins has difficulty with walking and wearing shoes, and is unable to play with other kids. In January 2020, he was able to undergo a left posterior medial release (PMR) with Watsi support, and his foot has corrected well. As a result of the surgery, he is able to wear his left shoe and his walking has improved. However, his right foot is still deformed and requires surgery for him to be able to walk comfortably and confidently on both feet. Fortunately, Collins' family traveled back to our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on his right foot on January 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Collins's clubfoot repair. This surgery will be very impactful for Collins because he will be able to walk, play, and enjoy life like other children. His mother is grateful for the support for his first surgery, and again appeals for support for this procedure as their income level is not high enough to afford his needed care. Collins' mother shared, “I would like to thank CURE Hospital and AMH-Watsi who made possible my son’s first surgery. May the almighty God bless you. I continue to plead for support for the planned surgery on his right foot so that he can fully walk without any difficulty.”
Naomi is a single mother of three, all of which are still in school. Naomi earns a living through casual jobs, like washing clothes for her neighbors. In 2018, she started experiencing pain on the right side of her abdomen. She was diagnosed with gallstones and her surgeon has shared that she needs a laparotomy. Unfortunately, she could not afford the surgery until a neighbor, who is one of our supportive staff, told her about the Watsi program. If not treated Naomi will continue to experience pain and may develop an infection or inflammation. Fortunately our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. Now, they are asking for your help to fund this $788 surgery. “When I did not have this condition I was able to provide for my children, but now I have difficulties so I plead for help. I hope to get well so that I can take care of my family,” shared Naomi.
Humphrey is a young boy from Tanzania. Humphrey is four years old and an only child to his single mother. He has been staying with his aunt because his mother works at a local food joint commonly known as "mama ntilie" (mum serve me) and can't afford to get help to stay with him. Humphrey's father tries to offer support whenever he can, but doesn't have a regular income as he is a small-scale farmer. Humphrey was diagnosed with genu valgus. His legs bow inward so that his knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Humphrey. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 4th. Treatment will hopefully restore Humphrey's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Humphrey’s mother shared, “Please help my son so that he can be well and be able to walk without difficulty."
Yarm is a 74-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has five daughters, one son, and twelve grandchildren. She enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio in her spare time. Two years ago, Yarm developed a cataract in each eye, causing her photophobia, blurry and cloudy vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Yarm learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On January 6th, 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. "I hope that I will be able to go outside on my own again and return to visiting the pagoda," Yarm shared.
Andry is a small child from Kenya. Andry's father sells secondhand hoodies in Kikuyu town to provide for his young family of three members. To supplement their daily earnings, Andry's mother also sells secondhand dress tops. The family tends to rely on family members to help boost them financially and meet basic needs. Since one year ago, Andry has had a hydrocele. This swelling is causing him pain and discomfort. Fortunately, on October 5th, he will undergo repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $444 to fund Andry's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Andry's mother says, “We will be grateful to see our son receive the required treatment and feeling all better.”
Khin Htay is a 26-year-old-Araknese woman who lives with her younger sister in Yangon, Burma. She 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 Khin Htay's sister earns is enough to cover their daily expenses and pay for basic health care. In 2018, Khin 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. The neighbor advised her to seek treatment at Pinlon Hospital in Yangon, where the neighbor had undergone heart surgery. She decided to follow the neighbor's recommendation and also moved in with her sister in Yangon for extra support. In December 2019, Khin 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 she 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, Khin Htay and her sister lost hope of ever getting Khin Htay treatment; they could not afford to pay such a large sum of money. When she 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). Khin 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, Khin 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. Khin 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.”