Erich joined Watsi on November 5th, 2014. 56 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Erich's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Khon, a rice farmer from Cambodia, for cataract surgery.
Erich has funded healthcare for 25 patients in 8 countries.
Erich has funded healthcare for 25 patients in 8 countries.
Khon is a 60-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She is married with no children. She likes going to the pagoda to listen to monks pray. She knew about the Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), a Watsi medical partner, because her aunt had surgery there before. Khon traveled for three hours with her sister to reach CSC for treatment. Khon developed a cataract in each eye about three years ago, causing blurred vision, pain, and burning. This makes it difficult for her to see things clearly, do any work, and go anywhere outside on her own. After a phacoemulsification procedure, to break up and remove the cataracts, and an intraocular lens (IOL) implant in each eye, Khon will be able to see clearly again. $292 will cover the costs of the surgery and care Khon needs. Khon says, "I hope that I can see everything clearer than now so that I can continue my work as a farmer again and I can easily go to the pagoda or go anywhere outside by myself without needing to disturb another person to take care of me."
Rose is "quite an adorable 4 week old girl," her medical team shares. The last-born in a family of three children, Rose lives with her parents and siblings in a two-room house in Nairobi, Kenya suburbs. Rose was born with a mass swelling on her back, and has been diagnosed with spina bifida. Rose's parents were hesitant to ask their friends and neighbors about the condition since it would most likely be associated with witchcraft. They opted to keep it to themselves and visit Bethany Kids, a Watsi partner hospital, as advised by the doctor who had seen them from a local hospital. It was a relief to them when they learnt that the condition existed and there are other patients who come with the same. Most of all they were glad that it could be treated here. Unfortunately they are not able to raise the funds required for their daughters care -- $1,097 in total. Rose’s mother is a hair stylist while her father sells little household items to supplement the income. Even with their combined income, they are not able to raise the funds required for her surgical care. Her parents are in distress and hoping to have their daughter treated. “I really would like for her to grow up normally with no disabilities whatsoever," Rose's mother shares.
Benjie is a student (pictured in the green shirt) who likes to play outside with his friends and his four siblings, and help his mother do the household chores. His symptoms started last November 2015 and from that time on, he has suffered pain around his right inguinal area and his schooling has been compromised due to the pain. He has been confined at home to rest and he likes to rest and sleep in a prone position with a pillow underneath his lower abdominal area. Normally, Benjie is very active and attentive to school and during playtime. However, he had stopped going to school since January 2016 because of the pain he felt and has to repeat the same grade next school opening. After surgery, Benjie would like to continue his schooling. He is excited to play without restrictions - running and carrying stuff by himself. Benjie's parents both finished elementary education and they were both laborers at a farm nearby. His mother stopped working to look after Benjie when he started to feel extreme pain due to his condition, so his father is the only one earning for their family. "The only hope I have is that someone can help us," shares Benjie's mother. "This would be a great testimony to my family and to the entire community. I have great hopes that my son will be able to go back to school again, and I can help my husband to work so we can provide for the needs of our children."
Eight-year-old Morgan is a responsible, fearless, and outgoing child. He loves studying mathematics at school and helping his parents with chores at their home in a remote village in Kenya. Morgan has a right undescended testicle, a condition known as cryptorchidism. In male infants, both testes usually move down into the scrotum just prior to birth. However, in some infants, one or both testes may stop along the path to the scrotum, pausing in the abdomen or groin. Morgan's parents noticed that his genitals were not developing properly and decided to take him to the nearest hospital. The doctor observed him and noted that his right testicle could not be felt in the scrotal sac. When it came time to go in for a specialized review, the doctor noticed that Morgan requires surgery—known as orchidopexy—to move the undescended testicle into the scrotum. Without treatment, Morgan is at risk for an inguinal hernia or testicular cancer. During the orchidopexy, a surgeon will make an incision in the scrotum or groin, detach the testis and cord from surrounding tissues, manipulate the testis into the scrotum, and suture it into place. Morgan’s mother works with a local youth group to keep their locality clean, and his father is a casual construction site worker. They can see that their son has a bright future ahead of him, and they hope that Morgan will be able to get treatment through any means possible. $540 from Watsi pays for Morgan's surgery as well as three days of hospital care, pain medicine, and blood tests. Morgan's parents have managed to raise $52 to help pay for additional costs associated with their son's care. “I hope to get treated and carry on with school," says Morgan. "I want to be an electrical engineer when I grow up!"
Meet Mya Htay, a 41-year-old woman from Burma. Mya Htay lives with her father, her 15-year-old nephew, and her 11-year-old niece. In September of 2015, Mya Htay began experiencing particularly heavy bleeding. She also began to experience back pain and cramps in her lower abdomen. As she was tied up working in Bangkok to support her family, she never sought treatment in Burma. In November 2015, the symptoms were still present. Mya Htay visited a hospital in Bangkok to get checked out. There she received an ultrasound test that uncovered a 6 cm uterine mass. The hospital referred her to a gynecological specialist, who presented her with the option of having surgery or leaving it alone and hoping it goes away on its own. She was prescribed some vitamins and was given a follow up appointment; however she didn’t attend because she went back home March of 2016 to see her family and rest. According to her: “It is hard and very expensive to get complex surgeries in Burma and Burmese hospitals can only do minor treatments." Mya Htay returned to back to work in April 2016 due to financial hardship, even though she was still unwell. Her whole body was tired, she was experiencing joint pain and abdominal pain, had no appetite, and began to see the mass protruding from her skin. Mya Htay’s sister-law is a staff member of Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), a Watsi partner, so she decided to make the trip up to Mae Sot. In order to cover the fees for the trip, the treatment, and support the family while she unable to work, Mya Htay’s sister borrowed 1,000,000 Kyat (approx. 1000 USD) at 5% interest. The trip costs 10,000 kyat (approx. 10 USD) and took approximately three hours. MTC then referred her to the Watsi program for treatment funding. All of Mya Htay’s symptoms are still present, and now her blood pressure is getting dangerously low. Not only does her condition prevent her from working, she is unable to do daily tasks around the house like she used to. She is exhausted and feels too much pain to clean or take care of her family. Mya Htay is quite stressed about not being able to provide for her family because of her condition. Mya is a strong, hard working and independent woman. In her spare time, she loves to unwind by reading magazines. Her dream is to one day own her own home. $1,500 will fund the surgery Mya Htay needs to recover. "After surgery, I am hopeful that I can return to work and pay back my debt," she said.
Two-month-old Noemi is acutely malnourished. She lives with her mother in Guatemala, and her mother is currently unable to produce breastmilk. "Her mother cannot afford formula, so she has been giving her daughter water with sugar or corn mush when she is hungry," explains our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq (WK). "Unfortunately, this has given Noemi stomach problems, put her at increased of diarrhea, and has increased her risk of seizure due to the electrolyte imbalance that consuming non-breastmilk liquids causes in small infants." Noemi is dangerously underweight for her age. Her mother visited different local healers for herbal remedies to increase her milk production, but nothing worked. "Although she wants to help her daughter, she lacks the money to buy her daughter the formula she needs," says WK. With $1016, Noemi will receive the formula she needs. "This will save Noemi's life, giving her the calories, nutrients, and protein she needs to be a healthy baby," WK explains. "Her immune system will grow stronger with the treatment, and she will no longer be at risk of seizures." This funding will also provide her mother with "motivational nutrition education, giving her the tools she needs to help her daughter overcome her malnutrition and help her prevent future malnutrition and illness." "I hope that my daughter reaches a good weight and height," her mother said.
Meet Khoeun, a 67-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia with four sons, two daughters, and 11 grandchildren. When he is not farming to support his family, he enjoys reading Buddhist texts. “Khoeun developed a cataract in each eye 4 months ago," our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) tells us. "This causes him blurred vision, tearing, irritation, and he is afraid of sunshine. He can't see everything clearly, do work well, or go anywhere outside.” The cataracts have clouded his vision to the point that it is difficult for him to work. As he works to provide for his family, it is difficult to make enough income to afford the surgery that would restore his eyesight. $225 funds cataract surgery that will remove the cloudy lenses from both of his eyes and replace them with artificial lenses. These funds will cover the costs of post-operative care, where he will be given eye drops to apply daily to prevent infection and help his eyes heal. After one or two days of recovery, Khoeun will be able to see clearly again.
Mamerta is a 45-year-old mother from the Philippines. With her husband, she runs a small business selling snacks. “In her spare time she is fond of making delicious snacks for her children,” our medical partner, International Care Ministries (ICM), tells us. Mamerta has developed a goiter; an abnormally enlarged thyroid gland. This manifests as a bulge in her neck. Because of the goiter, “Mamerta experiences physical discomfort when she does many things, such as carrying heavy things, working house chores for long hours, and there is slight discomfort when eating solid food,” explains ICM. Mamerta needs a thyroidectomy, or surgical removal of her thyroid gland. This surgery would normally not be affordable for Mamerta, as she and her husband barely bring in enough income from selling snacks to support themselves and their children. However, for $1,500, we can fund the procedure she needs. Not only will funding cover Mamerta’s thyroidectomy, but it will also pay for her transportation to and from the hospital, and all post-operative care. “Thank you so much for paving the way to my healing,” Mamerta shares. “After the treatment, I am excited to feel better and take care of my family without any difficulty.”
“Nemrani is a quiet and polite boy,” shares our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). He is a 16-year-old from Tanzania, where he lives in a large family. “His father married six wives, and Nemrani’s mother is the fifth wife and has six children,” AMHF adds. Nemrani went to school up until grade four, “when his right leg slowly started to bow inwards and walking the long distance to school became a problem," AMHF says. “He used to enjoy playing soccer, and he now herds his father’s cattle, but he cannot go far." Nemrani has what is commonly called “knock knees,” and AMHF reports that "he feels pain after running and he can’t walk or run long distances, and if not treated, Nemrani will be at risk of developing osteoarthritis at a young age.” $940 will allow Nemrani to have the surgery he needs to correct his gait, and with it, AMHF says, “Nemrani will be able to walk without knocking knees.” Nemrani’s mother makes and sells beaded jewelry at the market, and his father is a livestock keeper. “With such a big family to look after, it has been difficult to come up with enough cash to cover the cost of operation which Nemrani needs," AMHF adds. “I will be happy to walk without knocking knees and have the ability to walk and run long distances,” shares Nemrani.
49-year-old Elda lives in Haiti with her two children -- a 16-year-old son and a 22-year-old daughter. Our medical partner, Project Medishare (PM), explains that in 2005, Elda’s husband died in a car accident. Since then, Elda has been the sole provider for her children, supporting her family by selling motor bikes and auto parts. In 2008, Elda noticed a growing lump in her breast and sought medical advice. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery to remove the tumor. “Six years later Elda had another surgery to remove a growing mass in the same breast and receive chemotherapy,” PM continues. It’s been about one year since Elda’s surgery and PM tells us that Elda is doing well. However, in order to be completely cancer-free, Elda needs one final round of radiotherapy. $1,500 covers the cost of Elda’s radiation therapy as well as her travel arrangements to the Dominican Republic, where her treatment will take place. After years of battling cancer, this treatment will allow her to finally enjoy a healthy life. PM shares, “Elda is excited to finish with the treatment, build a small boutique, and live her life in peace by the sea.”
Meet Jean Willio, a 17-month-old boy who lives in Haiti with his parents and seven older siblings. Jean Willio's two favorite pastimes are playing with his older siblings and enjoying music. His parents are both farmers. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) shares, "Jean Willio was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which a hole in the heart which normally closes shortly after birth, remains open." As a result of his heart condition, "blood leaks through this hole without passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen." Without treatment, Jean Willio will remain sickly and weak. Jean Willio's family cannot afford the $1,500 surgery he needs to restore blood flow to his heart. Fortunately, we can help. After the surgery, "he should not have any further cardiac symptoms," says HCA. "We have made many trips to the hospital with our son," Jean Willio's father shares. "We are very happy his heart can be fixed so we don't have to do that anymore."
Meet 23-month-old Olga from Guatemala, the youngest of five siblings. “Olga is an energetic little girl that loves to jump and dance when she hears music. She imitates her mom’s singing voice and pretends to cook with little plates and cups while her mom prepares meals for the family,” shares our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). Olga has acute malnutrition, causing her to be far below the average height and weight for her age. “Her immune system is weakening, and she is showing signs of developmental delays. At almost two years old, she is only speaking 12 words, whereas children on a normal developmental trajectory speak approximately 50 words at that age,” reports WK. “We worry that without intervention, Olga will continue to fall away from the growth curve, and her immune system will continue to weaken, putting her at risk of acute illness,” continues WK. “Furthermore, without medical intervention and parental education, Olga will have a higher risk of suffering from the long term effects of malnutrition.” With $535 in funding, Olga can receive comprehensive treatment for malnutrition, which includes growth monitoring, medication, micronutrient, and food supplementation. Her mother will also receive nutrient education that will improve the health of their entire family. This treatment will allow Olga to recoup the height and weight, strengthen her immune system, and reduce the risk of long term effects strongly associated with malnutrition, such as diabetes and complications during pregnancy. “We are so happy to be a part of this program," shares Olga's mother. "Thank God for allowing you to find us and for wanting to help our Olga. We hope she will recuperate soon.”