Hannah joined Watsi on July 1st, 2014. Eleven months ago, Hannah joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Hannah's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Adamba, a three-year-old boy from Kenya, to fund surgery for his birth condition.
Hannah has funded healthcare for 21 patients in 9 countries.
Hannah has funded healthcare for 21 patients in 9 countries.
Adamba is three-year-old boy and the youngest of two children in his family. He's excited that he recently began attending school. Adamba's parents separated not long after he was born. His mother works as a tailor and shared that her job is difficult because she does not have regular customers as she did before the pandemic. She has not yet found a different job, and she sometimes is able to do casual jobs in their neighborhood to provide for her family. Adamba was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Adamba will have an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Adamba receive treatment. On September 21st, he will undergo corrective surgery and, now, AMH is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Adamba’s mother shared, "I have been wondering how and when my son would get treated because I felt like I failed to do my part as a parent. Sometimes, Adamba could not eat or sleep because of the pain and I could not help him since I have no money."
Meshack is a young baby and the third born in a family of three children. His mother sells groceries in a local market and his father is a mechanic. His parents work hard to earn a humble income, just enough to provide for the family. Meshack was born a healthy and happy baby. However, a few days later, his mother noticed that he was not passing urine properly. His parents took him to a nearby hospital for examination where he was diagnosed with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. The doctor referred Meshack to visit BethanyKids Hospital once he turned 7 months old. Once they visited the hospital, he was scheduled to undergo a hypospadias repair surgery. Fortunately, Meshack is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on August 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $847 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Meshack’s mother shared, “It is hard for us to even think of raising any money as we cannot afford it, please help us. Thank you for your support.”
Mengsim is a 49-year-old tour guide from Cambodia. He is married and lives in the province with his wife and two sons. Mengsim's wife sells soft drinks from their home. In December 2020, Mengsim was in a car accident that caused paralysis of his right hand. This injury, a branchial plexus nerve injury, can cause him to lose feeling and control of his shoulder, arm, and hand. Mengsim is unable to lift his arm and he cannot work. Mengsim traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On June 23rd, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, He will be able to use his arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Mengsim shares, "I am thankful that I will be able to return to work when my arm heals so I can support my family."
Guadalupe is an one-year-old baby from Colombia. She is an only child, so she is regarded as the little princess of the family, which consists of her mother, grandma, and uncle. She is already sympathetic and friendly, and loves to play with stuffed toys and with other kids. Guadalupe has clubfoot on her right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Guadalupe's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel, where they can offer treatment. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 13th. Our medical partner is requesting $1,422 to fund Guadalupe's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to start walking and running without pain. Her mother shares a story and her hopes for Guadalupe, "I would really love to see her walk and run normally, she is not the first person with this condition in our whole family, I have a cousin who received treatment when he was 8 years old and it was really hard to see him asking why he couldn't run like the other kids."
William is a hardworking motorbike taxi driver from Kenya. He earns $2.50 daily and lives in a one-room house in Naivasha, costing about $24 a month. His parents are elderly and live nearby on a quarter of an acre piece of land. William suffered femur and distal tibia fractures and is unable to walk and cannot work. Currently, the hospital has admitted him to the respiratory ward since he developed difficulties in breathing. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 20th, William will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. These surgeries will enable the bones to heal and he will be able to walk again normally. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. William says, “I don’t have anyone to depend on, I survive on my own through this motorbike taxi business. But with these fractures, I cannot walk or work at all. I need the surgery to normalize my life and be independent again.”
Zaw is a 40-year-old man from Thailand. He lives by himself in a hut on his employer's land on the Thai-Burma border and he harvests sugarcane for a living. He is paid 45 baht (approx. $1.50 USD) per bundle of harvested sugarcane, with each bundle containing 200 canes. He shared that the income he earns in a month is not enough to cover his basic needs, and has recently had to borrow funds to purchase food. Last Wednesday, Zaw decided to go home on his bicycle during his lunch break. While riding his bicycle, a dog started to chase him. He put his feet up on the handlebar so that the dog would not bite his legs. But while his feet were still on the handlebar, three cars drove towards him on the narrow road. Zaw swerved to avoid the cars and lost his balance, falling into the drainage ditch on the side of the road. The villagers who had seen him fall ran to the side of the ditch to check on him. When Zaw tried to stand up, he had difficulty breathing and had to sit down due to the pain in his abdomen. Since the accident, Zaw feels worse. He still has difficulty breathing, and he suffers from abdominal pain. He cannot stand up, has difficulty sitting up, and has difficulty eating or drinking water. Doctors want Zaw to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Zaw's CT scan and care, scheduled for March 26th. “When I get better I will continue working,” he said. “I also have to pay back my debt.”
Deborah works as a helper at a house and for a family in Kenya. Her husband passed away 11 years ago and she has been raising their three children on her own. Her children are now adults and, although they are supportive, they don’t yet have stable jobs. One year ago, Deborah began experiencing severe lower abdominal pain. She was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. She needs to have a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $794 to fund Deborah's surgery. On March 18th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Deborah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Deborah shared, “I am in so much pain and the discomfort has made me unable to work. My savings cannot cover the required cost of surgery.”
Tun is a 73-year-old man who lives with his three daughters in Umpiem Mai Refugee Camp in Thailand. Each month, Tun's household receives a small cash card to purchase rations in the camp, and their monthly household income is just enough to cover daily expenses. In his free time, Tun loves to read books and loves telling stories to his neighbours’ children. He is always welcoming, giving the children snacks and telling them stories from his home. Tun also loves to grow different types of vegetables around his house, sharing the harvest with his neighbours who cannot afford to buy vegetables. Before he felt unwell, Tun used to volunteer, organising cleaning groups in the camp and helping with road repairs. Currently, Tun experiences on and off pain in his upper abdomen. He also has a slight fever and often feels nauseous. Over time, his appetite has gradually decreased, and he has lost weight. Tun has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If his condition is left untreated, Tun's symptoms will continue to worsen and he will be at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Tun is scheduled to undergo his cholecystectomy on February 16th. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Tun's procedure and care. Once recovered, he will able to resume gardening, volunteering, and socializing with others in the camp. Tun shared, “I love volunteering and I am happy to help the community with whatever I can. But since I got sick, I cannot participate, and I cannot go to the monastery to help clean nor can I meditate. If I ever feel better again, I will continue to help my community with whatever I can do and I will also continue to grow vegetables around my house for my family and for my neighbours.”
Saidi is a 23-year-old from Tanzania who was born with spina bifida. He was able to have his spina bifida corrected when he was younger, which saved his life and allowed him to grow up to a strong young man. Saidi was able to go to school until class seven but was not able to continue with his education due to his parents' financial challenges. Saidi’s parents are small-scale farmers and have six children, of which Saidi is the third born child. Saidi used to join his parents in farming, but he had to stop and seek treatment because his legs and feet are bowed, which makes standing and walking very challenging. In 2014, Saidi came to our medical partner's care center to seek treatment because he had limb external rotation, which was causing him difficulty with walking and carrying out daily life activities. Through funding support, he was able to have his feet and legs corrected, and was able to resume normal life once more. Since then, over the last few years Saidi’s left foot has developed a serious infection that has struggled to heal. The infection would repeatedly start to heal but would return within five to six months, which makes it difficult for him to work and make a life for himself. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 19th, Saidi will undergo a left leg amputation below the knee to save him from the pain and suffering he is going through as doctors noted his foot can no longer be saved. Through this surgery, Saidi will eventually be able to use a prosthetic leg which will enable him to walk with ease and return to his daily life activities. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,088 to fund this procedure. Saidi shared, “Please help me as this foot has taken me through so much suffering and pain. I would like to be able to work and make a living for myself, but due to this infection I haven't been able to do that. Kindly help me.”
U Win is a 54-year-old man who lives with his wife and youngest son in the Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. He has three sons and three daughters, with five of his children already married and working. His 17-year-old son left school because they were unable to pay school fees, and worked as a day laborer until COVID-19 happened. U Win used to work as a day laborer as well, but stopped working around two years ago due to his health condition. His family survives on 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) each month that U Win's three other daughters and another son send them, enough to cover their basic expenses. In January 2012, U Win felt tired, had a headache, suffered from heart palpitations, and a rapid heartbeat. He went to a clinic where the doctor listened to his heart with a stethoscope and checked his blood pressure. U Win was told that he has high blood pressure and that he would need to take oral medication for a long time. He received an injection, oral medication, and another appointment for more medication. After he took the medication, he felt better and he went back to work. However, U Win continued to experience worsening symptoms over the next few years, returning to clinics and receiving the same treatment. He was told at one point to visit a cardiologist, but did not do so until later on. In August 2020, during another clinic visit in Yangon, the doctor diagnosed U Win with an atrial septal defect, and said that he would need to receive surgery to repair this hole in his heart. If not treated, the condition could weaken his heart further and cause lung problems later on. He was unable to receive surgery in November due to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases, and was also told the procedure would cost about 3,000,000 kyat (approx. 3,000 USD). Luckily, U Win’s wife remembered that there is a charity group in Yangon that might be able to help. The group told him about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, to look for assistance with accessing the treatment he needed. U Win currently experiences chest pain and back pain, has no appetite, and cannot sleep well at night. He appeals for financial support for his cost of care. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 20th, U Win will undergo an atrial septal defect closure procedure. Once recovered, his quality of life will significantly improve and he will be able to return to work. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. U Win shared, “I want to get better soon so that I can work for my family again. I am worried about my family’s future because we cannot find work in the village. My son also cannot go to Yangon to find another job because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.”
Leang Sim is a seven-year-old 1st grade student. She has one older brother who is 11 years old and in the 6th grade. Their father sells vegetables at the market and their mother is a vegetable farmer. When Leang Sim is not at school she likes to play with toys with her brother, read books, watch TV, and go outside with her parents. When Leang Sim was one, her mother first noticed she had a curved spine. Doctors have now diagnosed Leang Sim with thoracolumbar scoliosis. She arrived at Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) with a curved spine reporting difficulty walking, sleeping, and trouble breathing after strenuous activity. Surgeons at CSC will place an extending rod inside Leang Sim's back to help improve her condition now and as she grows, the rod will be extended to alleviate her scoliosis. Leang Sim's mother is hopeful for the surgery and said, "I hope my daughter can walk well after surgery."
Naw Mar is a 35-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, two daughters and two sons in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Four years ago, Naw Mar started to suffer from pain in the right side of her abdomen. At first, she thought the pain would disappear after she rested. When it did not, she went to the hospital in the camp run by Malteser International Thailand (MI). She received medications which helped for a bit. Two years later, the pain became severe and the right side of her abdomen also became swollen. After more medication and follow-up appointments, she was eventually admitted to Mae Sariang Hospital and received an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that she had multiple gallstones, and she was given more medication. However, the medication did not help her much. In early June 2020, the pain in Naw Mar’s right abdomen increased. After she went to the camp’s hospital, the doctor referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital again, where the doctor told her that she would need to have surgery to remove the gallstones. Since Mae Sariang Hospital doctors could not perform this surgery, she was again referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital. However, the high cost of surgery proved difficult, so she was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance with accessing treatment. Currently, Naw Mar has constant pain in her right abdomen that is only manageable through pain medication. Her right abdomen is also swollen, and she suffers from back pain as well. When the pain in her abdomen is excruciating, she develops a headache and high blood pressure. Naw Mar is a homemaker, while her two daughters and her youngest son go to school. Her oldest son helps her with household chores. Her husband works as an agricultural day laborer, but has been unable to find work for the past month. While their family does receive a cash card each month for food support, it is not enough to cover their daily expenses and they struggle to make ends meet despite receiving free health care and education in the refugee camp. Their family is appealing for financial support. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Mar's surgery. On October 25th, she will undergo a cholecystectomy at our medical partner’s care center. Once recovered, Naw Mar will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and her quality of life will improve. Naw Mar shared, "After I receive treatment, I want to work for an organisation [NGO] in the camp so that we [my family] can have an income. Right now, I have no pocket money and I cannot borrow money from any one because we have no way of paying them back. I appreciate any support you can provide.”