Neeraj joined Watsi on July 9th, 2014. Seven years ago, Neeraj joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Neeraj's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Yoon, a beautiful 12-year-old girl from Burma, to fund an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure so that she can walk again.
Neeraj has funded healthcare for 123 patients in 12 countries.
Neeraj has funded healthcare for 123 patients in 12 countries.
Yoon is a bright and loving 12-year-old girl. She lives with her mother and uncle in Karen State of Burma near the border with Thailand. She was a student in grade three but stopped studying in August 2020 when she was no longer able to walk. Yoon enjoys painting pictures and reading books. In the future, she wants to go back to school and continue her studies. She helps out her mother with household chores. Her uncle is unemployed whereas her mother is an agricultural day labourer. One day at home, Yoon fell down when she tried to stand up to go to the bathroom. Her feet felt painful and were pointing downwards. After that, she did not try to stand up again and would move around her house on her knees. Her mother would have to carry her to the bathroom. Due to their financial situation, her mother was not able to seek treatment despite being very worried for her daughter. Over time, Yoon noticed that her feet were increasingly pointing downwards and were stiff. Her legs would feel painful and were also stiff. Sometimes, she could not stretch out her legs due to feelings of tightness and pain. Her mom shared that she would cry whenever her legs pained, and she would have to wait until the pain lessened by itself. Additionally, her hands began to weaken until she could not hold food with her hands. At the same time, her speech became slurred and her voice became hoarse. On June 17, Yoon arrived at our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), and was admitted that same day. She received a physical examination and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and tightness of Achilles tendon in both of her legs. The doctor recommended she receive surgery on both of her feet, which would help her walk again, and scheduled the procedure for June 21st. When Yoon’s mother told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for surgery, the doctor referred Yoon to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing further treatment. Our medical partner, BCMF, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure for Yoon. This procedure will elongate her Achilles tendon, allowing increased motion at the ankle joint. Without treatment, Yoon's condition will continue to cause her discomfort and will further limit her movement. Her mother said, “I cried almost every night when I saw my daughter in this condition. She always cried and complained about her feet. She always asked me to bring her to the hospital to get treatment. Whenever she asked me, I felt very sad and I would cry in secret. I want her to get treatment, but I cannot afford to pay for it. Due to COVID-19 and the current fighting in Burma, I cannot make enough money or save it. Often, I would only eat fishpaste and rice, but give her meat so that she can have something nutritious. When I heard that she has donors who will help her receive treatment, I felt very happy and thankful to BCMF for this kindness. I never thought she would receive such an opportunity. It makes me so happy that I do not know how to express it in words.”
Myo Htay is a 22-year-old who lives with his parents and younger brother in the border region of Burma. His parents work as day laborers at a gold mine, carrying dirt and debris. Myo used to work with his parents but stopped last November when his health deteriorated. Because the gold mine closes during the rainy season, his parents only have work for six months out of the year. The rest of the time they try to live off of their savings. Around six months ago, Myo started to feel tired when he worked. At first he thought he was tired from working too hard. When he continued to feel tired for over a month, he thought that he needed to see a doctor. However, because of their limited funds, he did not want his parents to spend what they had on a trip to a clinic or a hospital. Around the middle of April, his condition worsened. He had difficulty breathing, experienced chest pain, and also heart palpitations. His parents brought him to a nearby hospital where he was diagnosed with a heart disease. The doctor told them to bring him to Yangon for further treatment. After Myo's parents borrowed money, they went to Yangon and took him to two different hospitals. At the last hospital, Myo was admitted for five days as he was unwell at that time. He received a follow-up appointment for two weeks later, but was brought back on April 30th when he developed rapid breathing, heart palpitations, chest pain and oedema (swelling) in both his legs. Myo was readmitted to the hospital, and the doctor told Myo's parents that his surgery would cost 20,000,000 kyat (approx. $11,000 USD). When they told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for his surgery, a nurse gave them the phone number of an abbot in Yangon. After they called the abbot and told him what the doctor had said, the abbot referred Myo to our medical parter Burma Children Medical Fund for the assistance accessing the cardiac treatment he needs. Currently, Myo is on oxygen. If he does not receive oxygen, he has difficulty breathing as well as heart palpitations. He cannot walk for more than three minutes and if he does, he feels extremely tired. His whole family is worried about his condition. Fortunately, Myo's surgery has been scheduled for May 8th. He will have both valves of his heart replaced. His family needs $1,500 to help with the total cost of his surgery and care. Myo’s mother said, “I would give up everything to save my son’s life. I would sleep on the ground if we had no home to live in. I only wish to see my son getting better.”
Sorn is a 35-year-old garment worker with one son and one daughter. Together they live with Sorn's mother. Sorn enjoys being home to play with her children. Two months ago, Sorn developed a chalazion, an inflamed cyst in her left tear gland. This condition causes Sorn swelling, itchiness, and irritation making it difficult for her to see clearly. Sorn traveled for two and a half hours to seek treatment from our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). On March 7th, surgeons will remove the cyst through an excision procedure. CSC is helping Sorn raise $187 to cover this procedure so that Sorn's symptoms can improve. Sorn shared, "I worry about my eye's condition preventing me from work. I hope this surgery removes the cyst and I can heal quickly."
Sarin is a 63-year-old woman with a large, loving family: three daughters, four sons, and many grandchildren. Sarin lives with her youngest son, who goes to school and works part-time to help support the family. She is a potato seller at the local market but has been unable to do her work due to her declining vision, as she can no longer recognize faces and count money. In her free time, Sarin likes to listen to the news and the monks praying on the radio. Two years ago, Sarin developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her cloudy vision. Additionally, she cannot see well in low light or go outside in bright sunlight. As a result, she has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking. When Sarin learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On March 7th, doctors will perform cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. CSC is requesting $229 to help fund this procedure. Sarin shared, "After surgery, I hope my eye can see well again. I want to go outside on my own and return to the market to sell food to support my son."
Mith is a 55-year-old rice farmer with one son, two daughters, and four grandchildren. Mith lives with her youngest daughter, who is a student, and her husband, who is also a rice farmer. When not working outside in the fields, Mith likes to watch Khmer dramas on TV. One year ago, Mith developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her photophobia, tearing, and blurry vision. Mith is unable to do all she needs to do each day now that her vision is worsening. When Mith learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for four hours seeking treatment. On March 7th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery, and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. CSC is helping Mith raise the $229 needed to fund this procedure. Mith shared, "I hope after surgery my eye will see clearly. I want to be able to go outside and recognize familiar faces. I would like to be more independent in my village and travel outside by myself."
Medius is a farmer from southwestern Uganda and a mother to five children. She lost her husband in 2008 and became the sole provider for her family. Medius shared that the limited income from her small-scale farming meant she could not afford the school fees to educate her children past primary school. Nonetheless, she is glad all of them are now grown with some already having families of their own. Ten years ago, Medius began to experience troubling symptoms, including fatigue, breathing problems, and difficulty swallowing. She was diagnosed with a goiter. Upon learning about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), she came in for review, and doctors determined she will need to undergo surgery to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Fortunately, AMH is able to help Medius receive treatment to finally heal. On March 29th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy, where surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $252, and she and her family requested assistance raising the funds. Medius says, “I have had several issues with my condition. I wish this burden can be relieved from me, and I can resume farming.”
Soklin is a 3rd grade student with one brother who is 14. Her parents sell coffee from their home to earn a living for their family. Soklin was born with polydactyly on her left foot. This means Soklin was born with an extra toe. This condition makes it difficult for Soklin to wear shoes and she is uncomfortable and worried with the appearance of her foot. On April 19th, surgeons will perform a polydactyly repair procedure to remove the extra digit. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is helping Soklin's family raise $299 to fund this procedure. After surgery, Soklin will feel comfortable and confident, and will be able to wear shoes easily. Soklin told us, "I hope I will quickly recover from surgery!"
K is a 46-year-old homemaker from Burma. K lives with her husband, son and two daughters in a refugee camp. K and her husband are small scale vegetable farmers. K's eldest daughter is a nurse in the refugee camp's hospital, while her other daughter and son are students. In her free time, K enjoys cleaning her house and weaving traditional Karen shirts. K has a cataract in her left eye that causes blurred vision. K's challenged vision has prevented her from weaving, and causes her to walk slowly so she does not get injured. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to help fund K's lens replacement surgery on February 16th. After recovery, K will be able to see clearly again. K shared, "After surgery, when I can see again, I hope to go back to weaving and helping with all the household chores.”
Xyrie is an adorable 18-month-old girl from the Philippines. She loves to watch educational videos and is learning the alphabet. Her mother, who works as a public school teacher, is the sole breadwinner of their family. With her mother's income, Xyrie's family has tried hard to access care for her medical needs. Xyrie was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Xyrie is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on April 6th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to cover the total cost of Xyrie's procedure and care. After her recovery, Xyrie will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. “It will be so much more convenient for Xyrie to move without the colostomy bag, and we don’t have to buy her colostomy supplies anymore. I also won’t have to worry that she’ll be bullied when she grows up,” Neriza, her mother shared. “The help provided by WSFP and Watsi are really of big help to our family,” added Neriza.
Channarith is a 19-year-old student and security guard. He's the eldest of three in his family and his father is a construction worker. When not working or studying, he likes to play football, watch TV, listen to music, and help his mother with housework. Last November, Channarith was involved in a motorbike accident. He lost consciousness and severely injured his left arm. His parents took him to a clinic in their province, where doctors suggested they take him to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. Channarith cannot move his left shoulder and he has no elbow mobility nor finger movement. His muscles have atrophied and he has no feeling in his left arm. Doctors anticipate that a nerve transfer will help to restore movement to the associated muscle. Channarith traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment, which is the only center in the whole country where this treatment is available. On March 3rd, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he hopes to use his arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Channarith says "I hope that I can use my arm and return to work as soon as possible."
Jules is a beautiful fifth-grade girl from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, cousins, and her several siblings in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. She enjoys art, listening to music, and spending time with her friends. Jules was born with a congenital circulatory malformation that entails a hole in-between two major blood vessels near her heart. As a result, blood leaks through the hole without passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, which leaves her feeling sickly and weak. Jules needs surgery to treat her condition. To do this, doctors will use a catheter probe device to plug the hole, which will prevent blood from continuing to leak through it. Fortunately on February 15th, Jules will have surgery at our medical partner's care center, Clinica Corominas. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is asking for $1,500 to help fund Jules' surgery. A non-profit organization, Gift of Life International, has generously subsidized $5,000 to also help fund her treatment costs. After surgery, Jules will be able to go to school and play with her friends without feeling sick, tired, and uncomfortable. Jules' mother says, "Our family is very excited that Jules will have her heart fixed soon!"
Dom is a 43-year-old woman who married with three daughters and one grandchild. Dom used to be a pottery maker but has been unable to work due to the pain she is experiencing. Dom makes pottery in her province of Cambodai, called Kampong Chhnang, which is known for its beautiful ceramics that are sold all over the country. Dom has been experiencing acute pain in her right hip for several weeks. The cause is unknown but, as a result of the pain, she is unable to walk and must use a wheelchair. Dom shared that she feels unwell, cannot sleep, and has lost her appetite. She visited her local hospital, where doctors diagnosed her condition as a fracture of the femoral neck and referred her to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for treatment. Fortunately, on January 5th, surgeons as CSC will perform a total hip replacement to relieve Dom of her pain and allow her to walk easily. CSC is requesting $1,087 to pay for Dom's procedure. Dom shared, "I hope the doctors will discover why I cannot walk and fix it. I want to be able to walk again, have no pain, and take care of my family."