Brock joined Watsi on January 28th, 2014. Eight years ago, Brock joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Brock's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support U Pyin, a 36-year-old monk from Burma, to fund heart surgery.
Brock has funded healthcare for 115 patients in 13 countries.
Brock has funded healthcare for 115 patients in 13 countries.
U Pyin is a 36-year-old monk who lives with three other monks, seven novice monks, and his two younger brothers, in a village in central Burma. His two younger brothers are not monks, but work at the monastery as helpers, assisting with cooking and cleaning. U Pyin has no income, but receives food and accommodation at the monastery. If he is ill, there are three local families that help to cover the costs of his basic health care expenses. In early May, U Pyin began experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, and headaches. One of his brothers brought him to a hospital, where tests revealed that one of the valves in his heart needs to be replaced. This is a particularly dangerous condition, as it can lead to a stroke, and U Pyin has already suffered a stroke, earlier in his life. U Pyin was given medication, an appointment to return in two months, and sent home. When U Pyin did not feel any better after taking the medication that he had been given, he and his brother decided that he should see a cardiologist in Yangon. The cardiologist confirmed U Pyin's diagnosis, and stressed the need for U Pyin to have surgery to replace the ailing mitral valve. As U Pyin was unable to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to an abbot for assistance. Fortunately, the abbot referred U Pyin to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, and now U Pyin is scheduled to have mitral valve replacement surgery on June 24th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of U Pyin's procedure and care, which will enable him to breathe well and to sleep comfortably again, things that he is unable to do right now. U Pyin will also be able to return to teaching the novice monks at the monastery, which he has been unable to do because he feels so unwell. U Pyin said: “After I recover, I want to teach novice monks again and I want to open a Buddhist school near Yangon.”
Ya is a 40-year-old woman and a mother of four daughters. She works as a factory housekeeper, while her husband works in construction in the capital city Phnom Penh, which is three hours from their province. Their daughters are all in public school. When Ya is not caring for them, she likes to listen and sing along to music and spend time with her mother. Thirty-five years ago, Ya developed an ear infection that caused her left ear's tympanic membrane (or eardrum) to perforate. As a result, Ya experiences hearing loss, frequent ear infections, tinnitus, and severe pain. Ya shared that it's also difficult to communicate with others, which has been really hard on her self-esteem. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Ya finally heal. On March 7th, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her left ear, during which surgeons will close the perforation. CSC is requesting $464 to fund this procedure; this covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Ya is hopeful that her hearing will finally improve and she will be rid of the chronic infections because of her surgery.
Daw Than is 54-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, daughter-in-law, grandson, daughter and her son-in-law. Her daughter-in-law looks after her son, while the rest of her family makes and sells different types of breakfast food from their home to earn a living. Their income is just enough for their daily expenses, but they haven't been able to save any money. Five years ago, the vision in Daw Than's left eye began to blur. In 2021 she underwent surgery to replace the lens in that eye but soon after the surgery, she developed blurred vision in her right eye. She went to the hospital last week to have her right eye checked. The doctor told her she needs to undergo lens replacement surgery on that eye. She told the doctor that their family had used all the money that had for her first surgery so she went home feeling uncertain about the future. Later on, Daw Than's neighbour told her to go to a monastery where the abbot might be able to help her access surgery. Daw Than followed the neighbour's advice and went to see the abbot. The abbot then referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing the surgery she needs. Daw Than's daughter said, "We do not have any money to pay for my mother's surgery. It is very helpful for us that the organisation and donors are hopefully willing to help pay for it."
Daw Nwe is a 61-year-old woman from Thailand. Originally from Mon State, Burma, she moved in with her sister’s family in Thailand in January 2022, when her vision worsened and she did not have anyone to take care of her at home. In her free time, she enjoys watching videos about Buddhism, reading books about Buddhism and praying. She has cataracts and she can can only perceive darkness and light with her left eye. The vision in her right eye is slightly better as she can still see a bit, but her vision is blurry and she needs help from her family for daily personal activities. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Daw Nwe. On April 25th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Daw Nwe's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Daw Nwe said, “I am very happy when I think about how my vision will be restored. I am thankful to all the donors and the organisation [BCMF] for helping me receive eye surgery.”
Voeun is a 48-year-old man who is married and farms along with his wife. The couple has two sons, two daughters, and two grandchildren. In his free time, Voeun enjoys playing with his grandchildren, fishing, and listening to the radio. In January 2022, Voeun fell from a truck and badly injured his lower left leg. After the accident, he stayed at home for 13 days without medical care, and has developed skin necrosis on the back of his leg. He has no sensation or pulse in the leg, and now he is unable to walk. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), are helping Voeun receive medical treatment. On February 7th, surgeons at CSC will perform a knee disarticulation amputation, leaving the patella and femur in tact. This type of lower leg amputation will not cut through bone. After surgery, physical therapists will work Voeun while he recovers and learns to walk with a prosthesis. Now, he needs help raising $446 to fund his procedure and care. Voeun shared, "I hope I will heal soon and an artificial leg will allow me to work again."
Laizer is 17 years old and a happy guy who loves to play with his siblings. He is the fourth born of his mother's eight children and does not attend school yet due to his disability. Laizer was diagnosed with a condition called Right Varus that affects the alignment of bones in his legs. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Laizer experiences pain at the end of the day and cannot walk for a long distance, including to school. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help him finally heal. On March 22nd, Laizer will undergo corrective surgery that will restore his mobility, allow him to participate in various activities, and significantly decrease his risk of future complications. AMH is requesting $880 to fund this life-changing procedure. Laizer's mother shared, "I am happy to know that his leg can be corrected. This will help him walk well and stop having pain."
Taing is a 60-year-old farmer who is married with one daughter, four sons, and six grandchildren. Taing lives with her husband and their daughter, who is a farmer. Taing shared that she likes to listen to the monks pray on the radio. Five years ago, Taing developed a pterygium in her right eye. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. They occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage, and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. As a result, Taing experiences tearing, burning, blurry vision, and discomfort with her appearance. She also has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going outside. When Taing learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On January 4th, Taing will undergo surgery to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft. CSC is requesting $216 for the total cost of Taing's procedure, which includes medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. Taing says, "I hope I don't have to worry about my eye anymore, and I will be able to feel comfortable and see well."
Pwe is a 56-year-old woman who lives with her husband, her older brother, her daughter and her grandson in a refugee camp in Tak Province, Thailand. Since they came to the refugee camp, Pwe teaches at one of the primary schools and she earns 1,060 baht (approx. 35 USD) per month. She has a resourceful family: Her daughter teaches piano on a keyboard, and she earns around 2,000 baht (approx. 67 USD) per month. Her older brother is a carpenter who earns income when someone commissions a piece of furniture. When he does have work, he will earn around 150 baht (approx. 5 USD) per day. Pwe's grandson is a nursery school student in the refugee camp. Her son-in-law went back to Burma to visit his parents in 2019. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, he has been unable to come back to the refugee camp since then. All together, they work hard to make finances meet their day to day needs. The doctors at our medical partner's care center, Mae Sot General Hospital (MSGH), have diagnosed Pwe with a cataract in her left eye. Currently, Pwe cannot see people’s faces and she can only perceive light out of her left eye. With her right eye, she can see things that are near, but nothing that's far away. She received a pair of eyeglasses from the doctor at MSGH after her first visit, which helps her see better with her right eye but if she does not wear the eyeglasses, she cannot read or teach her students. Fortunately, on February 23rd, doctors will perform a lens replacement surgery, during which they will remove Pwe's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly again and go back to teaching her students without difficulty. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to help fund Pwe's treatment. She said, “Since the vision in my left eye worsened, I feel uncomfortable reading and teaching. Sometimes, I ask my daughter, who also graduated from high school in the refugee camp, to teach in my place as I cannot read or prepare my lesson plans.”
Mary is a quiet and hardworking farmer. Mary and her husband plant maize on their one-acre farm and have four children aged between 33 and 24 years old. Their family is having a hard time financially due to the high bills needed to cater for their grandmother's hospital bills and she undergoes chemotherapy for breast cancer. Her children do not have sustainable jobs and are unable to pay for the treatment that Mary now needs. One evening, while Mary was listening to the radio , she heard about a medical camp that was organized by our medical partner's Kapsowar Mission Hospital in their area. She decided to seek medical advice from the doctors. After being seen, the doctors diagnosed her with a multinodular goiter that needed to be removed surgically. Before Mary sought medical care, she resorted to herbal medicine as she could not afford to go to a hospital. Years later, her condition did not improve and her general well-being has not been getting any better. She's become weak and cannot perform her daily duties of farming and house chores. Mary is unable to raise money for her surgery and is seeking financial assistance to get the surgery and lead a normal and painless life. Mary has had a long journey with her condition. In 2008, Mary began to experience troubling symptoms, including a mass on the neck, rapid heartbeat, increased sensitivity to heat and sweating. She visited the nearest healthcare facility where there were no diagnoses made. They advised her to go to a better facility for further investigations. But still many years later she hasn't been able to undergo the treatment she needs to heal. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Mary receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on November 17th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money. Mary says, “I want this mass to be removed for two reasons; so that I can continue with my daily chores and also, for my community to learn from my experience that herbalists cannot cure and should seek medical care at a hospital.”
Marigarita is a four-year-old girl and the youngest in a family of four children. Both of her parents are farmers, growing maize for food. They get some money from doing manual labor jobs such as harvesting and looking after other people's farms. Marigarita was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus. Her legs bow inward so that her 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, she feels pain after walking a long distance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Marigarita. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 3rd. Treatment will hopefully restore Marigarita's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Marigarita’s mother says, “Please help treat my daughter so that she can walk well without difficulty.”
Rachhou is a 23-year-old food seller. He has three siblings who are all married. Rachhou lives at home with his mother, who is also a food seller, and his father, who is a scrap buyer. Four years ago, Rachhou developed nasal polyps, or noncancerous growths in the lining of the nasal passage. As a result, he experiences nasal obstruction, itchiness, headaches, and pain. His mother took him to a government hospital four or five times, but unfortunately his condition has never improved. It is difficult for him to breathe and to sleep. When Rachhou learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On October 19th, doctors will perform a nasal polypectomy to finally remove the polyps. After recovery, he will be able to breathe more easily. Now, he needs help to fund this $291 procedure. Rachhou shared, "I hope I can breathe easily again and that my hearing improves."
Pheak is a 33-year-old construction worker. He is married and has two daughters who are in elementary school. His wife stays at home to take care of them. When Pheak is not working he enjoys watching boxing matches, listening to the news, and telling stories to his daughters. Five years ago, the retina of Pheak's right eye detached, causing him blurred vision and irritation. He has had limited work opportunities due to this condition as well. When Pheak learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On November 9th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Pheak said, "I am hopeful that when my vision is better I can work more and support my family well."