Jonathan joined Watsi on May 8th, 2016. Four years ago, Jonathan became the 1920th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,538 more people have become monthly donors! Jonathan's most recent donation supported Naw Dah, a refugee from Thailand, to fund kidney stone treatment.
Jonathan has funded healthcare for 53 patients in 9 countries.
Naw Dah lives with her four daughters and three sons in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. Five of her children attend school in the camp while Naw Dah looks after her two youngest children at home. Her husband, who lives most of the year at his worksite, is a gardener and farmer in a nearby Thai village. He earns 1,000 baht (approx. $33.50 USD) in a month. Every month, Naw Dah’s family receives 1,538 baht (approx. $51.30 USD) as part of their camp food support from an organisation called The Border Consortium. Despite receiving basic health care services and not having to pay for her children’s education, Naw Dah is struggling to make ends meet to feed her large family. In 2016, Naw Dah started experiencing pain and difficulty passing urine. She frequently sought treatment at the camp’s hospital, run by Malteser International Thailand (MI). From time to time, Naw Dah would be admitted to receive treatment for a reoccurring urinary tract infection (UTI). On March 27th, 2020, Naw Dah gave birth to her youngest daughter. While still admitted, on April 1st, she came down with another UTI. She was in extreme pain and had a high fever. That same day, the camp doctor referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital for additional review and treatment. Naw Dah arrived at that hospital later that day and received x-rays and an ultrasound of her abdomen. When her results came in, they indicated that she has an oval shaped opaque stone in the area where her right ureter connects to her urinary bladder. The doctor then referred her to the bigger local hospital for further treatment. Knowing she could not afford to pay for treatment, she was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner BCMF for financial assistance accessing treatment. After she was seen by the doctor at Chiang Mai Hospital, she was given antibiotics to treat her infection. On August 8th, 2020, she was admitted at CMH. Two days later she underwent a procedure called percutaneous nephrostomy to drain the urine in her kidney through the insertion of a catheter into her right kidney. Before she was discharged on August 11th, 2020, she received another appointment to be readmitted on September 14th, 2020. During that admission, the doctor scheduled her to undergo a surgical procedure to remove the stone from her ureter and she needs support raising funds for this critical treatment. In the future, Naw Dah would like to go back to work. “I want to work in the [camp’s] hospital because I used to be a nurse there in the past,” said Naw Dah.
Min lives with his wife, son, and daughter in a village in Tak Province, Thailand. He moved from Burma to Thailand nine months ago in search of better job opportunities. His daughter is still too young to go to school and his wife and son work as day laborers on a farm, each earning 150 baht (approx. 5 USD) per day. Min had to stop working with his wife and son three months ago because of his condition. Their monthly household income of 3,000 baht (approx. 100 USD) is not enough to cover their daily expenses. Sometimes, they have to borrow money from their relatives to meet their basic needs. Four years ago, Min used to work as a construction worker in Bangkok. One day, he started to experience pain in the left side of his abdomen. He went to a clinic twice and was diagnosed with a kidney stone in his left kidney after receiving an ultrasound. The doctor told him that he would need to undergo laser treatment at a hospital to break up the stone. The next day, Min went to a hospital in Bangkok. He received another ultrasound and underwent laser treatment which he did not have to pay for because he had health insurance at that time. When he returned for his follow-up appointment, he underwent another round of laser treatment, followed by more oral medications to take home. Min was not able to return to the hospital because his father passed away before his next appointment and he had to go back to Burma for the funeral. Before he had a chance to return to Bangkok, his mother also passed away. After spending money on the two funerals, Min did not have enough money to return to Bangkok. He moved back in with his wife and children and started working as a day laborer on a farm with his wife in their village. In May 2019, Min started experiencing pain again in his left lower abdomen. He would also pass small stones about twice a month while urinating. He went to a clinic where he received oral medication as well as an ultrasound. The doctor told him that he has a stone in his left kidney as well as small stones in his urethra. Min went back to the same clinic several times for his follow-up appointments, where he received oral medication each time for his abdominal pain. By September 2019, he was feeling much better and was no longer in pain. He was also no longer passing stones when urinating. Min then stopped going back to the clinic and stopped taking medication. Later in December 2019, Min and his family moved to their current home in Thailand and in May 2020, the pain in Min’s lower abdomen returned. He has pain when urinating and has started to pass small stones again about every two weeks. He went to a local hospital in the beginning of May with his wife, and he received an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that he now has stones in both of his kidneys in addition to a bladder stone. The doctor referred him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for treatment, but his family was not able to afford the estimated cost so he returned home. At home, Min told his friend about his condition and his lack of funds to pay for it. His friend told him to seek help at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) and with Watsi's Medical Parter Burma Children Medical Fund. Surgery is now scheduled for August 14th. Min shared, “I had to sell my phone to pay for my treatment [the ultrasounds and oral medications] and my transportation when I sought treatment. For the past few days, we don’t have enough rice and we also don’t have any money to buy more food. So we have to eat rice porridge. I feel so sad for my family.”
Dismus is a small child from Uganda. He is the second born in a family of two children and his parents are eager to see their son get treated. His father works in a local tea farm and his mother is a casual laborer who mostly washes clothes for neighbors. Dismus was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Dismus is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on July 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Dismus's procedure and care. After his recovery, Dismus will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Dismus’ father shared, “I will be grateful for any financial help offered.”
Joseph is a father of 9 children, now all grown up and working in small-scale businesses. He lives on his subsistence farm in Nakuru. Joseph started to experience hearing problem 20 years back but he could still hear with difficulties. The condition become severe about four years ago where he was forced to go to a provincial hospital. He was checked and the plan was to wash his ears. Since then he has been going for ear washing regularly when his family heard of our facility through the social media. This is when we had a free clinic for patients with a hearing problem. Joseph was diagnosed with mild to moderate-severe hearing loss. The plan is for him to have hearing aids for both ears so that he can return to a higher quality of life and independence. Currently, Joseph is not working due to his health and is fully depended on his children. He lives with his wife who is also elderly and can’t work either. "I will really appreciate if I can be able to hear clearly and communicate with my family," Joseph said.
Harrison is an elderly man from the Rift Valley in Kenya. For the last two years, his hearing has gradually deteriorated, making him struggle with communication. He had been to a different hospital previously and was given hearing drops. However, his hearing did not improve and he has now sought treatment at Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital. The audiologist recommended hearing aids for him which would improve his hearing and communication ability. Harrison is a father of 12, who have all made their own families too. His eldest son supports him and his wife from time to time. Harrison used to work in his farm but no longer does due to his older age. Because of ongoing flooding in his area, Harrison and his neighbors have been evicted from their houses as a nearby lake continues to swell. They did not get any compensation and his children are now paying for his single-roomed rental space. He is not able to meet the entire cost of hearing aids and appeals for help. Harrison shared, “I will be delighted to hear with better clarity than I am currently.”
Rena is a five-month-old baby girl from Kenya who has an inguinal hernia. From her parent’s description, the hernia seems to be quite painful for her and she has been crying a lot since Friday, March 27th. Rena was taken to their local hospital and diagnosed with a hernia. Her family was then referred to Watsi Medical Partner's Care Center Bethany Kids Hospital where hernia repair surgery was recommended by the medical team. Without the appropriate treatment, Rena will be at risk of complications such as strangulation. Rena’s parents are peasant farmers from central Kenya living on their ancestral land. They rely on seasonal farming with limited income. Rena has an elder sibling who is five years old. The family is not able to raise the funds required for her surgery. They would require several weeks of saving which might be too late for the young child. They appeal for financial assistance. Fortunately, on March 31st, Rena will undergo repair surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $423 to fund Rena's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Rena’s mother says, “We came here hopeful that Rena will be treated. Thank you for your willingness to support our child.”
Hour is a 48-year-old grocery seller from Cambodia. He has two children, one daughter and one son. He likes to watch television and he also likes to play games with his children. Ten years ago, Hour had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Hour experiences smelliness, ear discharge, itchiness, and hearing loss. He has a difficult time hearing and he finds it challenging to communicate well with his family and people at the market. Hour traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 11th, 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. "I hope that my ear infection stops, my ear drum heals, and my hearing improves," he shared.
Oum is a 62-year-old retired military officer from Cambodia. He has four sons, three daughters, and three grandchildren. In his free time, he enjoys listening to the news on the radio. One year ago, Oum developed a cataract in each eye, causing him blurry vision, tearing, and photophobia. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Oum learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On January 15th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $425 procedure. "I hope that I will be able to see better than before and can return to my normal activities again," he shared.
Naw Lel is a one and a half year old girl from Burma. She is from a population that is ethnically Karen. She lives with her parents and her grandmother, who are subsistence farmers.The family does not have a regular income, but Naw Lel’s father and grandmother sometimes make homemade noodles and traditional beverages and sell them to bring in an income for the family. When Naw Lel was five months old, her mother noticed that a small lump appeared in the upper left side of her daughter’s groin. Naw Lel had femoral hernia. Naw Lel can neither play actively nor run, because if she does so, the lump in her groin will appear, causing her pain. She also cannot eat and sleep well. Sometimes, she vomits and catches a fever at night. Whenever she cries, she would touch her groin. Her parents are very sad to see her in pain, but they could not do anything for her. Fortunately, on January 16th, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Lel's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 16th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Naw Lel’s mother said, “I want her to grow up healthy and I want her to become a teacher.”
Tun is a 33-year-old man from Burma. He used to work as a day laborer at a construction site until he fell sick. During his free time, he enjoys playing billiards with his friends. Tun 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, Tun is experiencing tiredness, fast heartbeats, sharp chest pains, and he is unable to sleep well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Tun. The treatment is scheduled to take place on December 16th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Tun said, "I am very happy that I received this chance of getting treatment. It is impossible if I must fund my own treatment. Thank you very much for your support.”
Guerdina is a student from Haiti. She lives in a small village in the mountains of central Haiti with her parents and 4 siblings. She likes going to school and would like to become a teacher. Guerdina has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged by a rheumatic fever she suffered in childhood, and can no longer adequately pump blood through her body. Guerdina will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On October 29, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair her valve; if they are unable to do so, they will implant an artificial replacement.. Another organization, The Mitral Foundation, is contributing $7500 to pay for surgery. Guerdina's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Guerdina's family overseas. "I am hopeful that after my surgery I will feel healthy and normal," said Guerdina.
Kakada is sixteen years old and enjoys reading books, playing soccer, and listening to music. Since the age of five, Kakada started showing signs of a curve in his spine. Over time, the curve has worsened, and now the spine deformity causes difficulty breathing, sleeping, walking, and an overall uncomfortable life. Surgery will help to straighten out and realign his spine, allowing him to breath without difficulty and create a less straining posture while he walks, eliminating discomfort. Kakada's favorite subject in school is Khmer literature, and he hopes to become a doctor when he grows up. "I hope that after surgery, I will not have to worry about my son's spine getting any worse and I will be happy that he can return to his normal activities again." -Kakada's Mother