Andrew joined Watsi on November 15th, 2015. Three years ago, Andrew became the 2745th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 3,731 more people have become monthly donors! Andrew's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Tone, a refugee from Thailand, to fund leg surgery.
Andrew has funded healthcare for 44 patients in 10 countries.
Tone is a 22-year-old agricultural day laborer in Thailand. He lives with his friend on his employer's land and he earns 150 baht (approx. 5 USD) per day from his work. He also supports his parents and four younger siblings who live in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. In his free time Tone likes to watch cartoons and comedy soap operas on his phone. On the evening of 15 April 2020, Tone and his friend were preparing to go hunting after work. After he loaded his pellet gun, Tone placed it upright on the ground, propped against the wall of his hut. Since the hut’s wall is not stable, the gun fell down and went off, shooting Tone's left shin in the process. When Tone received an x-ray at the hospital, he learned that the pellet had fractured both bones in his lower left leg. Since his accident, Tone has been unable to work and support his family. He suffers from pain around the site of his injury, especially when that area is touched or pressure is applied to his leg. His lower left leg has not healed properly and he needs to use crutches to get around. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Tone will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for September 22nd and will cost $1,500. This treatment will allow Tone to regain mobility in his left leg. He will also no longer suffer from pain and he will be able to eventually return to work and continue to support his family. Tone said, “When I was injured, there were travel restrictions [in Thailand] due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I’m lucky that the traditional healer said Mantras over me, otherwise my leg would be rotten and in need of amputation already.”
Swabra is a baby from Tanzania. She is the youngest child in a family of four children. Swabra has grown into a happy, playful, and very friendly girl. Swabra’s mother is a stay home mother and her father is a driver in public transport. Swabra has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Swabra traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 21st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Swabra's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Swabra’s mother shared, “It has been a joy to see our daughter begin to walk and play, like her sibling. But she is having a hard time walking and we are worried. Please help us.”
Rehema is a child from Uganda who started school last year. She is the last born of four children to her mother. But her father has a total of eight children. Her parents are small-scale farmers and are not able to afford the treatment cost thus they are asking for help. Rehema was diagnosed with genu varus. Her legs bow so that her knees do not 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, the walks to and from school were becoming difficult for her. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Rehema. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 23rd. Treatment will hopefully restore Rehema's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Rehema’s mother says, “I would like to see my daughter walking like her other siblings but the treatment cost is expensive and I can’t come up with the money, please help.”
Kyaw is a 37-year-old man who lives with his wife in a village in Tak Province, Thailand. He has two daughters that they support and who live with their maternal aunt in Burma. His wife is an agricultural day laborer while Kyaw has been a homemaker for the past two years. Unfortunately, his wife has been unable to find work for the past two months, due to COVID-19 restrictions. Even when she was working, the income she earned was not enough to cover their basic necessities and sometimes they would have to purchase items from the shop on credit. In 2013, Kyawa was injured in a car accident that took his brother's life. His doctors implanted a steel rod to repair his fractured left leg. He was told that he would need to have the steel removed in three to six years. Recently, Kyaw started experiencing pain in his left leg again. He traveled to Mae Sot Hospital to have the steel removed so that his leg could finish healing properly. Our medical parter, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of his surgery. A surgery that will alleviate his pain and enable him to walk again. Now, we are asking for your help in funding Kyaw's life-changing treatment. Kyaw shared, “I am very upset about my leg. I want to work like other people but because of my condition no one will offer me a job. I'm also worried about my wife and daughters' future. As a father I want to fulfill their needs which I can’t at present. Instead I rely on my wife's income. If the surgery doesn't help to improve my condition, I'm worried that my leg will be amputated. My wife is also worried that my condition will worsen, but she urges me to be strong and accept our fate.”
Thi is a 31-year-old woman who lives with her husband, father-in-law, nephew and daughter in Shwepythar Town in the Yangon Division of Burma. Thi is a homemaker while her husband is an electrician. Thi’s nephew and her daughter are students. In mid-February 2019, Thi developed a fever, a cough, and difficulty breathing. She went to the nearest clinic where she received an injection and oral medication to treat her fever and cough. When she took the medication she felt better, but the next day, she had difficulty breathing, felt tired, had a sharp pain in her chest, and a rapid heartbeat. She then went to a hospital in Yangon, where she received another injection, oral medication, and an x-ray. After the doctor diagnosed her with asthma, she also received a nebulizer for her asthma. Once the doctor checking her had the x-ray results, the doctor told her that her heart is enlarged and referred her to another hospital for further investigation. There she received an echocardiogram (echo) and another x-ray. After her results came in, the doctor told her that her heart valves are not working well and that she might have to replace two of the valves in her heart. She was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis, mitral valve regurgitation, aortic valve stenosis, and aortic valve regurgitation. The doctor also told her that the surgery would cost 2.5 million kyat (approx. 2,500 USD). Thi could not afford to pay such a large amount and when she told the doctor this, the doctor provided her with oral medication every month. She did not feel better after she took the medication. Last month, Thi’s husband was setting up the electricity in his friend’s house when he met a cardiologist. The doctor had come to look after his friend’s sister, who has a heart condition. Thi’s husband had told his friend about Thi’s heart condition and his friend introduced him to the cardiologist. After he told the doctor about Thi’s condition, the doctor told him to bring her in to his office with her medical records. After they came into his office and doctor reviewed her medical records, he referred her to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Pinlon Hospital to finally receive the treatment she needs. Currently, Thi feels tired, has difficulty breathing and cannot walk long distances. Aside from her symptoms, she is very stressed and upset about her financial situation. In her free time, Thi likes to do housework and bring her daughter to and from school. In the future, when she is fully recovered, she would like to work as a seamstress and save money for her family. Thi said, “I think too much about my condition and worry about the treatment’s cost. So, I cannot sleep at night and I have a small appetite.” Thi’s husband said, “I have to accompany her whenever my wife visits the hospital. My daughter and I have had to stop working and attending school whenever she is sick. I feel bad for my wife because she cries every night since she found out that she needs to receive surgery.” Thi added, “I am very afraid to die and to lose my family as my daughter is still young.”
Kyi is a 58-year-old woman from Burma. She lives alone and used to sell clothing in her village. However, she stopped working since her symptoms worsened, over a year ago. She now has no income but is able to pay her daily expenses with money she has saved. Kyi was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Kyi feels tired when she walks and has a rapid heartbeat. She has also started to experience chest pain and shortness of breath. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Kyi. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 4th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Kyi said, “I felt very sad when I was told that the surgery will cost a lot because I do not have enough money to pay for my own heart surgery. I used up a lot of my money to go to a hospital which did not diagnose me. I felt less burdened when I met Pinlon Hospital’s staff and she told me that an organization [BCMF] will support my surgery’s cost.”
Nwe is a 36-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her family in Thingangkuun Township in Yangon Division. Nwe works as a seamstress at home while her husband works in a factory. In her free time, Nwe likes to play with her nephew who lives close by and also loves to watch movies at home. Nwe was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Nwe experiences tiredness especially when she walks for longer periods of time. If she feels tired, she also experiences heart palpitations. Sometimes, she also suffers from dizziness. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Nwe. The treatment is scheduled to take place on March 24th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Nwe shared, “I feel stressed about my condition. I am afraid to have surgery but there is no other option. I hope that after I have fully recovered from my surgery, I will be able to work as seamstress again.” Nwe’s husband is also worried for her and he has had to take time off from work to accompany her to all her appointments. He said, “I get paid daily for my work and if I do not work regularly then I have less income. Before, we were able to save some money from our work but since my wife was diagnosed with a heart problem and started to see the doctor for tests and medications, we can no longer save any money.”
Bravel Paul is an 8-year-old student from Kenya. He likes playing football and watching cartoons. His family hails from Kajiado County. He is a class 1 pupil and likes reading books and other hobbies. His father is a caretaker for some houses, while his mother is a housewife. The family lives in a one-roomed rental house in Kitengela. Bravel has clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Bravel traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 24th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Bravel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. "I would like to see my son walking comfortably and therefore any assistance accorded to us will be highly appreciated," Bravel’s father told us.
Tevis is a two year old boy from Kenya. Tevis’ mother is a single mother of one. She is a trained teacher and has tried sourcing for a job opportunity without luck. Tevis’ mother is currently employed casually as a shop attendant where she sells cereals to earn a living, with a daily average wage of $2. Tevis was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Tevis has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Tevis will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on January 17th. AMHF is requesting $535 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “I will appreciate to see my son well and thriving. Please help me out,” says Tevis’ mother.
Meet Paul, a 17 year old young man. He is social and polite and likes doing charity work. He visits the aged, sick and the orphans in his village together with his friends. He hails from Cheese village, Karangatha town Kinangop, in Nyandarua County. The village ‘Cheese’ was named after a white man who settled there for a long time. Paul finished his O-level last year and scored a grade which will enable him to enroll into a college. He is currently helping his parents at home as he plans to go for surgery before joining school. Paul’s father is a carpenter while the mother is a farmer. Everything seemed normal until about 2 years ago Paul noticed an unusual carving on his back. His friends also would tell him that he has changed rapidly. Due to so many observations and comments from friends, he was taken to a hospital nearby and later advised to seek further consultation with a spine surgeon. Paul came to CURE hospital early July and on seeing Dr. Theuri a spine specialist, he was scheduled to undergo post Instrumented spine fusion surgery. Paul and his family went home to look for ways in which they can raise the estimated bill but up to date, they have never raised. They depended on (NHIF) but the insurance rejected the request. Paul is complaining of severe pains in his back, muscle fatigue and stiffness in the back. His self-esteem has also slowed since the condition developed when he is mature. He is desiring to undergo surgery to correct the deformity so that he can continue with his normal life and studies. “My prayer is that I can go for surgery so that I can live a normal life like my friends and continue with my studies. Any kind of support will be appreciated," Paul expressed himself.
Ei is a 31-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her mother and two younger sisters in Dawei Township, Tanintharyi Division. Her mother and her youngest sister, who dropped out of university to work, are vendors who sell vegetables in the street market. Ei’s other sister is in her final year of university. Ei used to help her mother sell vegetables but stopped five years ago because of her health condition. Ei was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Ei feels tired and she cannot walk long distances and has difficulty climbing stairs. In addition to feeling tired, she has difficulty breathing and experiences heart palpitations. Due to the lack blood flow, her lips, toes and fingers are blue especially when she cannot breathe well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Ei. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 7th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Ei said, “I want to have surgery soon so that I can work, and so that our family will have enough money. Now, my mother cannot work while she accompanies me to the hospital. Only my youngest sister works, and we are in debt now”.
Myar is a 34-year-old from Pin Lounge Township, Shan State, Burma. She lives with her husband and four children who are all students. Myar and her husband work as farmers and grown rice, corn and onion depending on the season. In July 2018, Myar moved to Singapore and worked as a domestic worker. After one month of working in Singapore, Myar started to get frequent headaches and felt tired. A few days later, she wanted to go to a clinic but Myar’s employer told her not to go because the treatment cost is very expensive there. However, she feels pain in her chest and couldn’t work anymore. Myar’s sister who stays in Mae Sot asked her to come to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot. On July 25th 2019, Myar arrived to Mae Sot Clinic and was referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for an echocardiogram. The echo result shows that Myar's heart has a hole and the doctor told her that she would need to undergo surgery. Currently, Myar feels uncomfortable while sleeping because of her chest pain. She sometimes has high fever and she also has difficulty breathing. She is tired very easily. Myar said, “When I am fully recovered, I will work hard with my husband and pay back my debt. I will also support my children so that they can receive an education.”