Matt Lerner
Matt's Story

Matt joined Watsi on March 22nd, 2015. 10 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Matt's most recent donation supported Myint, a teenager from Burma, to fund heart surgery.


Matt has funded healthcare for 7 patients in 4 countries.

All patients funded by Matt

Di Par is a 14-year-old boy who lives with his mother and three brothers in Burma. He enjoys playing marbles, snapping rubber bands with his younger brothers, listening to music, and visiting with his friends. Di Par enjoys school, but he is only in grade five since his health condition makes it difficult for him to keep up with his classes. Di Par did not present with symptoms until he was five years old. He was easily tired, especially after playing, but his mother did not think it was out of the ordinary and did not seek medical attention for him. When Di Par was 10 years old, the symptoms worsened as he began having difficulty breathing in addition to the fatigue. His mother took him to the clinic where they listened to his heart and detected abnormal heart sounds. He was prescribed medication that seemed to improve his condition, so his mother did not seek further evaluation. In March of 2016, Di Par appeared to go into shock and lost consciousness, and he was brought to the hospital. Although a definitive diagnosis was not made, the physicians thought Di Par might have meningitis and treated him medically. While he was in the hospital, he received a battery of exams: blood tests, urinalysis, CT scan, and X-rays. He also received an echocardiogram, which provided the diagnosis of congestive heart disease — severe tricuspid regurgitation with severe pulmonary stenosis. Di Par was in the hospital for 12 days, and family members helped his mother and brothers pay the hospital costs. Since his hospitalization, Di Par has been experiencing palpitations, fatigue, and difficulty breathing. He is at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in the children’s inpatient department. He is also cyanotic with a bluish tinge to his lips and fingers. After evaluation by the medics at MTC, he was referred to Burma Children Medical Fund for surgical consideration. Di Par and his family have lived in their current village for three months; they moved there to be closer to his mother’s sister and to improve chances for employment. Di Par's father passed away several years ago, so the family's financial support comes from his mother, who sells vegetables and flowers in the market, and his older brother, who works as a day laborer. Despite their hard work, the money they earn does not cover daily expenses, savings, or health care costs. His mother has to borrow money at 10 percent interest to meet those costs and is currently in debt. Di Par’s mother is very concerned about him, as he is falling further and further behind with his studies and, more importantly, his condition is becoming more severe. His mother and older brother alternate caring for Di Par, and his younger brothers help with family chores. This arrangement has not yet affected their work schedules, but Di Par's condition will only complicate the family's needs as further care is needed. For $1,500, Di Par will undergo surgery to replace the damaged heart valve and restore proper blood flow through his heart and lungs. Funding also covers the cost of 12 pre- and post-operative consultations, transportation to and from the hospital, and nine days of hospital care after surgery. Di Par's mother looks forward to a successful operation for her son. "My son enjoys teaching his brothers," she shares, "so when he grows up, he may become a teacher in the village."

Fully funded

Neiyeyo is a five-year-old girl from Tanzania who “used to be very active and liked to compete with other children,” says our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). However, after an accident that left her with burns in her groin area, Neiyeyo has lost some of her mobility. “One day, Neiyeyo was fighting over a ball with a friend,” says AMHF. “Each one wanted to have the ball so they were pulling each other.” As a result, Neiyeyo was mistakenly pushed over and fell onto a pot of hot porridge, splashing the contents over her groin area and lower abdomen. Neiyeyo is a previous Watsi patient who underwent surgery in October 2015 to treat the burns sustained in her accident. “After her first surgery Neiyeyo is showing great improvement, but when she came for follow-up the doctors saw there is more that can be done to make Neiyeyo walk even better and have greater flexibility of her lower limbs,” reports AMHF. Neiyeyo still has burn contractures—or areas where the skin tightens after a serious burn—around her groin area. She requires contracture release surgery, a $550 procedure that will increase the amount of tissue over the scarred area and thereby increase Neiyeyo’s range of motion. “Her parents, who are livestock keepers and small scale farmers, have done the best to help their daughter and now they cannot raise enough cash to cover the cost of operation which Neiyeyo needs,” says AMHF. “My daughter has shown great improvement and I will be happier if her lower limbs can be more flexible,” says Neiyeyo’s mother. Let’s help fund Neiyeyo’s final surgery!

Fully funded