Yolanda joined Watsi on May 11th, 2016. Six years ago, Yolanda joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Yolanda's most recent donation supported Poeun, a loving grandfather from Cambodia, to fund ear surgery so he can communicate more easily.
Yolanda has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 13 countries.
Yolanda has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 13 countries.
Poeun is a 70-year-old grandfather with two daughters, five sons, and six grandchildren. He takes care of his grandchildren when his children go to work. Eight years ago, Poeun developed a severe ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membranes, or the ear drums, in both of his ears to perforate. As a result, Poeun experiences hearing loss, pain, and discharge, and it is difficult for him to communicate clearly with others. Poeun traveled to Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre, the care center of our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, to seek treatment. On June 7th, he will undergo a procedure on both ears, during which doctors will close the perforations. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $914 to fund this procedure, and to cover Poeun's medications, supplies and inpatient care. Poeun says: "I hope after surgery my hearing improves and the pain stops."
Ko Kyaw lives with his wife and two daughters in the border region of Tak Province in Thailand. He is a homemaker while his wife works as a day laborer. He plans to send his older daughter to a Thai school in the new school year, but his younger daughter is still too young to go to school. In early 2021, Kyaw was still living in his village in Myawaddy Township in Burma but it has been a very challenging time for his community ever since the military coup. He and his wife were injured in an emergency involving the local soldiers who came to their area. Luckily other villagers came to their rescue and Kyaw was treated for fractures on both his upper and lower leg, where a metal rod was inserted to help him heal. Now the bone in his thigh is misshapen and doctors have diagnosed osteomyelitis (infected bone). His doctor told him that in order to heal, he would need to have the metal rods replaced in both his upper and lower leg. Currently, Kyaw’s left leg is in a lot of pain. He can only bend his leg slightly and needs to use crutches to get around. With his leg in pain, Ko Kyaw spends most of his time helping out with household chores he can do and teaching his oldest daughter how to read and write in Burmese. He feels frustrated that since his leg was broken, he cannot support his family. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund is helping to pay the cost of his treatment and is raising $1500 to cover his surgery, which will take place on May 10th. “I feel upset that I cannot support my family as the head of the house,” he said. “We only have my wife’s income. We do not have our own house to live in. I want to say a lot of things but I cannot express what I want to say. I never thought that I would lose my house, my possessions and that my leg would be in pain.”
Gebreegziabher is a brave, young, and fun boy who loves to hangout with his friends. He loves to play chase and other games with his friends and brothers. He has five siblings and shared with us that he loves goats! Gebreegziabher never went to school because of his condition. He is a shepherd and helps to keep the sheep and goats of his parents. Because of his condition, he has endured bullying, but he continues to be brave and his dad shared: “He is so strong despite his sickness. When others pick on him and speak bad things about him and things related to his disease he even gets in to fights.” Gebreegziabher's mom and dad counsel him and comfort him and help him to bring out self-confidence and strength. His dad and his mom are farmers and his mom takes care of all the household chores. Dad said: “Our area is dry. We work hard and farm but the harvest is poor with lack of rain. We purchase food because our harvest is not enough to support the family.” They also raise animals to support themselves. The community survives with the dry land and the scarcity of food by donations from the government and NGOs. But the past two years they couldn’t get the donation since they are in the war zone. For these reasons they can’t afford the medical bill for their son. Gebreegziabher was born with congenital anomaly called bladder extrophy. That is an abnormally where the bladder is open to air. Given the pain and risk of infection, he just ties clothes around the wound. His mom is very much worried and concerned because of his condition. She shared that she has excluded herself from the community for years in taking care of him and raises him and recalls that when growing up, he would sit faraway from others and boys in his age. They keep up hope for better days ahead and are a loving family who support each other the best they can. His Dad said: “He learned to exclude himself from others growing up. We are sad as a family because of his condition. The neighbor insults us, discriminate us and we feel so sad about this. We couldn’t tell what will happen to him. And we bring him to God always.”
Angelica is a hard-working young mom with a three-year-old son. She and her partner work in construction, earning just enough to support their daily needs. Angelica was diagnosed with external hemorrhoids. Because of her financial situation, even though she experiences pain, she is not able to get the medical care she needs to heal. Fortunately, Angelica is scheduled to undergo surgery to treat her condition on March 5th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,163 to cover the total cost of Angelica's procedure and care. After her recovery, Angelica will no longer experience severe pain and other complications in the future. "I want to be able to take care of my child without worrying about my condition," Angelica explained. "I am fortunate to have been referred for surgery with World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi; without them, I'm not sure where we would be able to get help for my treatment."
Emmanuel is a jovial boy who lives with his mother who is a housewife, and his stepfather who works as is a taxi motorbike rider. Emmanuel was brought to the our Medical Partner's Care Center Cure International Outreach Clinic by a social worker who found him under a tree, where he had been left after his step-father mistreated him. The social worker who helped Emmanuel works with a USAID-supported program that promotes better health by rescuing children who are physically impaired and mistreated by their parents, mostly in the Maasai area of Kenya and northern Tanzania. Emmanuel was born with clubfoot on both feet. Clubfoot is a congenital musculoskeletal malformation in which the foot is twisted out of shape. As a result, Emmanuel has difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Fortunately, Emmanuel has now come to AIC Cure International Hospital for treatment. On February 28th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Emmanuel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, Emmanuel will be able to walk, put on shoes, and hopefully live a happier life. Emmanuel's social worker says, “Our desire is to see Emmanuel lively and happy, walking on his feet and joining school like other children.”
Benson is a twin two-year-old. His mom shared that Benson is a playful boy but a little shy and quiet compared to his twin brother who is more social and more talkative. Benson’s mother makes a living doing other people’s laundry while his father is a public transport driver commonly known as a “daladala” driver in Tanzania. Their income is not enough to provide for the family's needs and still cover Benson’s needed treatment cost. They are asking for help to support his medical care. Benson was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. He and his brother were born healthy babies and their growth has been on track until they learned to walk. Benson’s mother started to notice that his legs were not straight as he started to crawl. He took a long time to learn to stand and walk compared to his twin. When he got on his feet and walked, his mother noticed that his legs were bowed outwards. Benson's mother had never taken him to any hospital for help or treatment, she thought he would eventually grow out of it but that has not been the case. His condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, his legs keep bowing outwards, making walking more difficult. One of Benson’s father’s friends advised his parents to seek treatment for him. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Benson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Benson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Benson’s mother says, “I would love to see Benson walking normally like his brother but the treatment cost is too high for us.”
Susan is a mother of three, with her eldest child now 23 years, and two twins who are 17. She used to work at a salon in Nairobi, but the owner closed the business at the beginning of the year. She has been out of work since then and husband works as a casual laborer in a pharmaceutical firm, which recruits them in intervals depending on the availability of funds. She has applied for national health insurance coverage, but it is not yet approved and her doctors have recommended that she undergoes her surgery as soon as possible. Susan first noted a lump in July so she visited a facility in Nairobi and was treated with pain medication and an ointment. She felt better, but the pain recurred after two months. Due to the pain, she went to a government clinic and was advised to visit a higher-level facility. She opted to visit our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital after a recommendation by a neighbor. However, Susan is not in a financial position to pay for the surgery and is appealing for financial assistance. Susan has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Susan. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 6th. After treatment, Susan will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Susan says, "My family and my kids are my motivation. This lump is just increasing in size and pain. I hope I get the treatment I need.”
Moe lives with his two uncles, one aunt, two nephews and a niece in a village in Mont State in Burma. Moe's two uncles are retired, his niece looks after his youngest nephew who is a baby, and he had to stop working two years ago after he had a stroke. His aunt and his older nephew are shop vendors, earning 150,000 kyat (approx. 150 USD) together in a month. In his free time, Moe likes to read magazines. Two months ago, Moe noticed that he had a blister on his right big toe. Three days after he first noticed the blister, it ruptured. Over time, the area around the blister turned red and swollen, before developing pus and becoming itchy. He went to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) after a nurse at the village clinic advised him to go there to get help. At MCLH, the doctor examined his toe and performed surgery to clean and remove necrotic tissue. Moe returned to that hospital several times, however, his toe never healed. He has diabetes and it is especially difficult for his body to heal from an injury like this. His doctor at MCLH has now determined that he needs to have his toe amputated. By this point, Moe has run out of money and can no longer pay for his treatment. Moe cannot walk long distances and he cannot sleep well due to pain that worsens at night. He hopes that with this treatment, he can finally feel well again. "I don't have any money to pay for my surgery and I feel sad about this. I worry about my toe getting worse and I feel sorry that my aunt [and nephew] have to work hard to support our family. But I feel so happy to receive support from you," said Moe.
Sa lives with her husband, daughter, and two granddaughters in Burma. She is a homemaker, and her daughter and husband are day laborers. However, due to constantly changing regulations regarding the number of people who can gather, they have difficulty finding work. Sa's granddaughters are students, though their schools are currently closed. Their family shared that they were only able to earn 100,000 kyat (approx. $100 USD) last month, which is not enough to cover their daily needs. A few years ago, Sa was diagnosed with diabetes. This September, she had an injury on her right toe. Her toe became itchy and infected, so she visited a local clinic twice. After her symptoms did not subside, she visited a private clinic, where the doctor diagnosed her with an ulcer and told her she would need to undergo surgery to clean and remove the necrotic tissue. On September 24th, she underwent this procedure. A few days later, the toe continued to worsen, and a second surgery is now required to amputate Sa's right toe and keep her infection from worsening. To help with the cost, Sa was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund the costs of this surgery. Sa is currently experiencing swelling and pain in her foot, especially when the weather is cool during the night and morning. As a result, Sa cannot do her daily household chores. She shared, "Even though I cannot meet my donors, I want to thank them. If you [BCMF and donors] had not helped me during this difficult time, I do not know who else I could have turned to for help."
Ar is a 28-year-old man who lives with his wife, three sons, and two daughters in a refugee camp. Originally from Burma, his family fled to Thailand 20 years ago due to civil war. His children attend school, except for his youngest daughter, who is not yet old enough. His wife is a homemaker and Ar works as a day laborer when work is available. Ar's family shared that, in addition to his day laborer pay, they receive a monthly cash card from The Border Consortium to purchase food in the refugee camp. Overall, the family's total monthly income is just enough to cover their basic needs. On September 2nd, Ar climbed a tamarind tree to pick tamarinds fruit. When the branch he was standing on suddenly broke, he fell and landed on his right arm and experienced pain in his back. He visited the camp hospital that day, and the medic initially determined that his arm was not broken. Due to recent positive COVID-19 cases in the refugee camp, Ar could not be immediately referred to the local hospital for further testing and was kept for observation at the camp hospital. When the pain in Ar's back and arm did not subside the next day, the medic referred Ar to the local hospital. After receiving a negative COVID-19 test, Ar was finally able to visit the hospital on September 6th, where he received an X-ray for his arm and a blood test for a second COVID-19 test. The X-ray revealed that his upper right arm is broken. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ar will undergo surgery on September 8th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will enable Ar to continue working in the future. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Ar shared, "I am scared to receive surgery. But I was told that I will not be able to work using my right arm if I do not receive surgery, so I gave my consent to the doctor. I hope that I will be able to work again after I receive treatment."
Samson is a 26-year-old minibus conductor. He shared with us that he was orphaned in 2008 and currently lives with a relative in a rented two room house. He has relied on his older sister to help with his medical bills, but unfortunately, his sister lost her job due to the pandemic. Two months ago, Samson was struck by a motorcycle on his way home. He fractured his left tibia and was seen at a hospital in Nairobi where his leg was casted. However, after removing the cast, re-examining his leg and doing an x-ray, surgery was recommended as he had not healed. Samson currently moves around with crutches due to difficulty walking and he continues to experience leg pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On August 10th, Samson will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help his fractures fully heal and allow him to walk comfortably again. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Samson shared, "I am struggling to walk and my leg is so painful. I cannot work in this condition and unless I get the treatment I'm worried I might end up crippled.”
Rady is an 11-year-old, sixth grade student. He is the only child in his family. Rady's father works in construction, and in the future Rady wants to become a policeman. One year ago, Rady had an ear infection that caused cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. The growth made Rady experience hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. It is difficult for him to hear at school and communicate with his friends Rady traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 1st, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Rady would like his life to return to normal, "I hope my ear will improve soon so I can return to school and see and hear my friends."