Braden Hassett
Braden's Story

Braden joined Watsi on April 27th, 2016. 69 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Braden's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Edward, a primary school student from Kenya, to treat burn scars on his arm.


Braden has funded healthcare for 33 patients in 8 countries.

patients you have funded

Ko Ko is a 20-year-old man from Burma who lives in Thailand with his mother and aunt. He works as a day laborer in a car workshop, but he has a hard time completing his work since he was involved in a motorcycle accident in April 2015. At the time of the accident, Ko Ko was looking for work and did not have any money. Most of his right side of the body was broken, and the muscles were torn. He went to a hospital two days later, and doctors told him that he would need surgery for the majority of his right side, including his arm, shoulder, and leg. To pay for the surgery, Ko Ko's mother was forced to sell many of her possessions, including her house in Burma and all of her jewelry. The family also had to borrow money to cover their daily expenses. The driver of the car into which Ko Ko crashed insisted on being compensated for damages. Since Ko Ko had no money, he was not able to pay the driver and was taken to court and given a six-month jail sentence. Before going to jail, Ko Ko was able to complete his medical follow-ups. However, on the ride home from his last appointment, he was in another car accident that was much worse than the first. He broke the same leg, which left his foot hanging and his muscles torn. He had no money for any other treatments and was forced to enter jail with a broken leg. While in jail, Ko Ko was able to bring his crutches with him, but he found them difficult to use on the slippery tile floors. On multiple occasions, he slipped and landed on his broken leg, causing further trouble and more pain. He received no help or treatment for his leg while he was in jail. He wrapped his leg himself, making a homemade splint to keep the bones in place. After his release from jail, Ko Ko learned about assistance from Watsi's medical partner, Burma Border Projects, and he was referred to Burma Children Medical Fund for surgery. Due to the repeated injuries to Ko Ko's leg and the delay in treatment, surgeons are unable to repair the leg and recommend amputation. $1500 covers the cost of the surgery as well as travel to and from the hospital, inpatient pre- and post-operative care, and follow-up appointments. Ko Ko grew up learning about medical procedures from his grandfather, who was a medical assistant. He has long enjoyed studying medical treatments and procedures and surfing the internet to learn about plants and botany. “With the knowledge from my study, I knew how to care for my leg when I was in prison,” Ko Ko shares. “I hope to be able to work in the field of anatomy one day.”

Fully funded

Dickson is a 75-year-old father and grandfather who farms tobacco in Malawi. He came to our medical partner, World Altering Medicine (WAM), seeking treatment for an enlarged prostate gland. “Dickson's enlarged prostate has led to urinary incontinence, an embarrassing and inconvenient symptom,” WAM tells us. “He is occasionally unable to go to work in the garden due to his condition.” The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. An enlarged prostate—known as benign prostatic hyperplasia—is a common condition in older men due to hormonal changes. As the prostate gets larger, it squeezes the urethra, causing problems with urination. Typical symptoms include difficulty starting or stopping urination, weak urine streams, and inability to empty the bladder. For $742, Dickson will undergo surgery—transurethral resection of the prostate—in which doctors insert an instrument into the urethra to remove the part of his prostate that is blocking urine flow. After surgery, a catheter will be inserted temporarily to remove urine from the bladder. When the urine is free of blood or blood clots, the catheter will be removed, and Dickson can urinate on his own. Funding for Dickson also pays for a three-night hospital stay, lab tests, medicine, and transportation to and from the hospital for him and two caregivers. “Following surgery,” says WAM, “Dickson is expected to have his catheter removed and make a full recovery.”

Fully funded

Daniel, a one-month-old boy from Kenya, is the only child to his parents. “He seems healthy and according to his mother, Daniel feeds pretty well,” says our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Unfortunately, Daniel has a lump in his navel area that has been diagnosed as an umbilical hernia, or a protrusion of the intestine through the abdominal wall. “The lump gets bigger when Daniel coughs, cries, or when he goes to the bathroom. It shrinks when he is relaxed or when he is lying down,” explains AMHF. “If not treated early, Daniel is likely to develop intestinal obstruction or strangulation,” continues AMHF. However, Daniel’s parents cannot afford the treatment their son needs. “Daniel’s father is a casual worker in a tea factory near their home,” says AMHF, and he is the sole provider for the family. “My son is still very little and I am worried of the effects that come with this condition,” shares Daniel’s father. “We have tried our best and have raised $52 towards his treatment but unfortunately it cannot cover all the cost of Daniel’s surgical care.” With the help of Watsi donors, the remaining amount of $430 can be raised for his hernia repair surgery. During the procedure, doctors will return the herniated intestinal tissue to Daniel’s abdominal cavity and fix the weakened area in his abdominal wall. “After a hernia repair, Daniel’s risk of intestinal obstruction or strangulation will be lowered,” states AMHF. “He will have a chance to grow up healthy and normally.”

Fully funded

Byabazaire is a 23-year-old man who lives in Uganda. He completed high school in 2015 and plans to enroll in a carpentry and joinery program at a technical institute this summer. “Byabazaire developed a swelling on his right scrotum when he was 13 years old,” our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us. The scrotal swelling is the result of an inguinal hernia, a protrusion of the intestines through a weak spot in the abdominal wall. In males, the weak spot is typically in the inguinal canal, where the spermatic cord enters the scrotum. The protruding intestines descend into the scrotum, presenting as a bulge that may be painful. When Byabazaire first noticed the swelling, “he always pressed [it], and it would go back inside,” explains AMHF. “When he turned 20 years old, the swelling increased in size, and it could not be pressed back inside anymore. [Now], the swelling is painful, especially when he is digging and walking.” Byabazaire has tolerated the symptoms of the hernia for 10 years because he has not had enough money to pay for medical care. “I have lived with this hernia since I was 13 years old because there was no one to help me as my father died, and my mother is poor and sickly,” he shares. Any further delays in treatment put Byabazaire at risk of intestinal instruction or strangulation, which can be life-threatening. For $220, Byabazaire will undergo hernia repair, in which a surgeon pushes the protruding tissue back into the abdomen and sews together the weakened muscle with a synthetic mesh. Over time, muscle tissue grows into and around the mesh to strengthen the area. Funding for Byabazaire also covers the costs of a two-week hospital stay, pain medicine, antibiotics, and blood tests. “This treatment will reduce the risk of strangulation and improve the quality of life that Byabazaire leads,” says AMHF. “He will be able to work and also concentrate on his studies.”

Fully funded

“I would like to be a pilot when I grow up,” says Francis, an 11-year-old boy from Kenya. “Francis is a brilliant primary school student who is in standard four. He meets you with a cheerful disposition and confidence for a child his age,” shares our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). “Francis was sharp enough to notice that his left testicle was ‘missing,’” continues AMHF. “He mentioned it to his mother jokingly but she took it with seriousness.” Francis’ mother took him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with cryptorchidism—a condition in which one or both of the testicles fail to descend into the scrotal sac. “If not treated, Francis is likely to develop testicular cancer and/or hernia,” states AMHF. “He will also be at risk of infertility in the future,” and the condition has the potential to affect Francis’s self-esteem as well. In order to eliminate these risks, Francis requires single orchidopexy surgery. During this procedure, doctors will move the undescended testicle to the scrotal sac and fix it permanently in place. “With a menial income from subsistence farming and no external income, Francis’ parents are not able to raise the funds required for his surgery,” explains AMHF. “The family of three children resides in a two-room house in Central Kenya.” “Francis’s parents just want the best for their children,” says AMHF, and together we can help them achieve this by funding the $540 operation, which includes a three-day hospital stay and medication. “Francis is a very active child. If only I knew that he could have been treated, this would be far behind us now,” says Francis’ father. “But I am happy we are not very late to get him treatment. I don’t want anything affecting how my son views himself— I want him to have good self-esteem. I hope we get funding towards his treatment.”

Fully funded