Andrew joined Watsi on November 15th, 2015. Four years ago, Andrew joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Andrew's most recent donation supported Htoo, a 12-year-old girl from Thailand, to fund mass removal surgery.
Andrew has funded healthcare for 55 patients in 10 countries.
Andrew has funded healthcare for 55 patients in 10 countries.
Htoo is a 12-year-old girl who lives with her parents, two older sisters, an older brother and a younger brother in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Htoo’s father works as a construction worker while Htoo's mother is a homemaker and looks after Htoo's younger brother who is too young to go to school. Htoo and her older siblings study in the camp. Every month, the family receives oil, rice and charcoal rations, but they shared that the rations are unfortunately not enough to cover their daily needs. They also receive free basic health care and education in the refugee camp. In her free time, Htoo likes to play with her friends and help her mother clean. Htoo was born with a small mass in a sensitive area. At the time, Htoo's mother was told not to worry about the mass. However, beginning in 2016, Htoo noticed the mass increasing in size and she could no longer pass urine comfortably. A medic at the camp's hospital examined the mass and determined that it is benign and recommends it is surgically treated for Htoo's comfort and peace of mind. Htoo is receiving treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and she is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 6th. Now, their family is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Htoo shared, “in the future, I want to finish my schooling and become a teacher in the camp. I want to teach Karen [language].”
Seng is a 59-year-old farmer with one daughter, who is also a rice farmer, and three grandchildren. Most of the time, Seng stays at home and cares for the grandchildren while her daughter is in the rice field. She enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio and watching Khmer and Thai dramas on TV. Life has become more challenging for her since about five years ago when Seng developed a cataract in her right eye. This causes her itchiness, tearing, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Seng learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours with her daughter seeking treatment. On May 17th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Seng shared, "I hope after surgery I am comfortable with my vision and can get around easily on my own."
Mu Hee is a 23-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her parents, older brother, sister in-law, three nephews and three nieces in a refugee camp. Mu Hee’s older brother is the sole income earner in their family. He works as a nurse in the camp’s hospital, which is run by International Rescue Committee (IRC). Mu Hee’s parents and her sister in-law look after the household chores. Mu Hee’s nieces and nephews are students and Mu Hee is a Bible school student. Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in March 2020, she has been studying online in the refugee camp. Her teachers support her school fees and food. In her free time, Mu Hee likes to play with her nieces and nephews. She also loves to listen to music and sing. When Mu Hee was 14 years old, she began to experience severe abdominal pain. The first time it occurred, her father called a medic who lived close to their house, and the medic gave her an injection. She felt better after the injection, but continued to feel unwell every month. When she was 15, her father took her to the clinic in the camp to check whether Mu Hee had a serious illness in her abdomen, but the medic could not find any problem. Mu Hee's pain continued and she continued to receive treatment to help, but she did not think that her condition was serious because she had heard from her friends that some women experienced pain during the first day of their period. In early 2020, Mu Hee spoke about this condition with a staff member from a nearby clinic and with one of her teachers. Both urged her to get a check-up, and in February 2020, Mu Hee went to a clinic and a medic found a mass in her left ovary. Doctors have tried to treat her with medications for almost a year, but the mass has continued to grow. During a follow-up appointment in January 2021, the doctor told her that she would need surgery. Recently, Mu Hee has experienced pain in the left side of her lower abdomen almost every day. The pain is on and off and she feels most uncomfortable when running or walking, especially over long distances. She also experiences some pain as she does other basic daily tasks. Mu Hee sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery, and she is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Mu Hee said, “The first time when I heard that I have a mass in my ovary, I felt very sad. I am also worried that the mass might be cancerous. I think about my condition very often, but my parents are very supportive, and they encourage me not to be afraid. I believe that I will no longer experience pain after surgery.”
Erick is a 10-month-old baby and the last born in a family of two children. He is already developing a sweet personality and is a charming young boy. Erick's parents are small scale farmers who grow maize and vegetables for their food. His father also seeks casual labouring jobs like working on other people's farms to supplement their income. Since he was three months old, Erick has had a bilateral inguinal hernia and bilateral undescended testis. Each time the hernia swelling would appear or disappear it would increase in size and make Erick very uncomfortable. As a result, Erick would cry a lot and was unable to sleep or eat well. Fortunately, on March 22nd, Erick will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $566 to fund Erick's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to grow and live more comfortably and confidently. Erick’s mother shared, “My baby is usually in pain when the swelling appears making him not be able to sleep or eat well. Please help him."
Daw Mya is a 59-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her daughter, granddaughter, son, daughter-in-law, and grandson in Yangon, Burma. Daw Mya is currently too ill to work, but her daughter works as a seamstress in a factory. Her granddaughter goes to school, her son is a taxi driver, her daughter-in-law looks after their son at home. Her daughter and her son both help look after Daw Mya and try to support her as best they can. Daw Mya 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, Daw Mya feels tired and experiences heart palpitations with chest pain. She has no appetite and cannot sleep well at night, and both of her legs are swollen. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Daw Mya. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 21st and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Daw Mya said, “I want to get better soon so that I can help my family. I want to help them because my daughter-in-law is always looking after me and her child [my grandson], so she cannot work. If I can look after the household chores and take care of the family, they can go to work and earn more income for our family. I cannot go anywhere because of my condition. They always take care of me and they spend too much of their money on me.”
Sela is a 19-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. Sela has two brothers and one sister. Her mother is a farmer and her father is in the military. In her free time Sela enjoys listening to music, watching Thai movies on TV, doing housework, and cooking. In August 2017, Sela was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a fracture of her left leg. She had a nail put in her leg to heal the fracture. Now, the bone is better but to complete her healing she needs to have the hardware removed. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On November 24th, Sela will undergo a hardware removal procedure, which will cost $230. This procedure will be remove the hardware to avoid future complications like an infection. Sela siad, "I hope after the operation I will not be in pain so I can return to work soon."
Neang is a 74-year-old shopkeeper from Cambodia. She has three sons and three grandchildren. She lives with her youngest son since her husband passed away five years ago. She occasionally helps out with her son's farmwork, and otherwise likes to make cakes and sell them with drinks. In her free time she listens to news and music on the radio. Six years ago, Neang developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurry vision, tearing, and photophobia. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Neang learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled more than three hours seeking treatment. On August 10th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Neang said, "I think my cakes will be made much better when I can see well and do everything by myself. I am hopeful that I will see everyone in my family better too."
Tuon is an 81-year-old former rice farmer from Cambodia. Tuon has three sons, eight daughters, and twenty grandchildren. He spends most of his time at the rice field with his wife and family. Tuon enjoys planting vegetables surrounding his house. In his free time he reads Buddhist texts and listens to the monks pray at the pagoda or on the radio. One year ago, Tuon developed a cataract in his left eye, causing him blurry vision. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Tuon learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for one and a half hour seeking treatment. On May 15th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. "I hope after surgery I can see everything better so I can walk outside, join ceremonies at the pagoda, and do any housework on my own. I will continue my reading of the holy book and take care of my vegetables too," Tuon said.
Vann is a 23-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. His favorite activities are watching television, listening to music, growing vegetables, and feeding the farm animals nearby his house. Seven months ago, Vann was in a motorcycle accident and fractured his right leg. He was treated at a hospital in the city where his leg was fixed with external hardware to help his injuries heal. Now, he cannot afford further treatment, and he still experiences pain and is unable to walk without support. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On February 24th, Vann will undergo a hardware removal procedure, which will cost $230. Treatment will allow for Vann to walk easily again without any support, and he will be able to return to work again. "I hope that my bones will heal completely and I will no longer have any pain and can walk and return to work again to make a living," he shared.
Margreth is a six-year-old girl and the second-born child in a family of six children in Tanzania. She is a hard-working girl despite being young and not being able to straighten her left hand after being involved in a fire accident two years ago. Margreth helps look after her younger siblings when her parents are out working on the farm. Her parents say she has not had a chance to join school in fear of discrimination due to her disability. Her parents are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers. They depend entirely on what they harvest from the farm for a living and sometimes they are able to sell milk from their cattle. In 2018, Margreth was sitting around the fireplace warming herself with her siblings when her Maasai clothing caught fire. Margreth panicked and started running crying for help when her grandmother and mother came to her rescue and put the fire out by taking her clothes off. She had sustained severe burns around her belly and the left hand. She was rushed to the district hospital where she was admitted for six months for treatment. The cost of her treatment made her parents sell almost all of their cattle in order to settle the bill. She healed but now she is unable to straighten her left hand which is limiting her in carrying out her daily life activities. She needs to have her hand-corrected, but her parents can’t afford the cost thus they are asking for support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Margreth receive treatment. On October 12th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery so she will be able to utilize her hand with greater ease. Now, her family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Margreth’s mother says: “Life would be easier for our daughter if she is able to have this surgery. Our problem is that we can’t afford the treatment cost. If it’s possible please help our daughter.”
Soe is a 49-year-old man from Burma. He and his wife got separated about six years ago and he has been living alone since. Soe does not have a regular job, but sometimes he drives a shared-taxi to make a living. About two weeks ago, Soe's left eye started to get irritated and the itchiness did not go away for a few days so with the advice from neighbors and friends, he soaked some betel leaves in water with salt and used the liquid as eye drops. As soon as he dropped the liquid in, he sensed a burning sensation in his left eye. In hope to get cured, he used the homemade eye drops for two days. After two days, his eye became worse and the pain even radiated to his head. He could no longer open left eye due to the pain. Soe had no money to go to the hospital, but with the help from his neighbors and friends, Soe arrived at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) on December 3rd, 2019. The medics at MTC explained that his left eye has totally been damaged and that the only option now is to remove his eye. Soe feels sad and frustrated most of the time now and he keeps blaming himself for not being careful. He feels that his neglect now has caused him an eye.
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.”