Van joined Watsi on August 23rd, 2016. Five years ago, Van joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Van's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Shallet, a very special three-year-old girl from Kenya, to fund clubfoot repair surgery.
Van has funded healthcare for 52 patients in 12 countries.
Van has funded healthcare for 52 patients in 12 countries.
Shallet is a humble and jovial three-year-old girl. She's the third child born in a family of four children and her parents are teachers. Shallet has hydrocephalus, spina bifida, and clubfoot of both feet. She has visited local hospitals since birth for treatments, and began casting for clubfoot when she was four weeks old. Her condition causes her difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Shallet traveled to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for treatment. At AMH's care center, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 18th and now, AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Shallet's clubfoot repair. Her parents shared that they hope that the treatment will be of great impact to Shallet because she will be able to wear shoes and walk with ease. Shallet's father shared, “we have high hopes for Shallet and it is our joy to see her excel in life and become an independent person like other girls in the society.”
Gladys is a 47-year-old hardworking woman and a mother to three children. Gladys is separated from her husband and now lives with two of her children in a small rented room. In January, Gladys began experiencing troubling symptoms including neck swelling, headaches, and difficulty swallowing. She was diagnosed with an enlarged thyroid and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Gladys receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on June 9th at AMH's care center, where surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. Now, she needs help to fund this $657 procedure. Gladys shared, "if this condition is treated, I can continue with my work. I am requesting help so that I can be treated and be okay to take care of my children."
Destiny is a two-year-old boy who likes playing and eating sweets 🍭. His mother works in a hair salon and rents a one-bedroom house for the two of them to live in. When Destiny was three months old, his mother noticed a swelling in a sensitive area. They visited a government hospital and he was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. He had surgery in December 2019 to repair the hernia, but a month after the surgery, unfortunately, the hernia recurred on the other side. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is now helping Destiny to receive treatment. On June 9th, Destiny will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Now, he needs help to fund this $575 procedure. Destiny’s mother shared that she believes the surgery will significantly improve Destiny's life and that the pain and discomfort will go away. She shared that she believes Destiny will be able to lead a normal life without episodes of pain and will be able to concentrate in school and have a bright future.
Makara is a 36-year-old driver who is married and has one daughter. Makara's wife works in a garment factory but it has been closed for two months due to the COVID lockdown. Makara is home right now too because of his poor vision. He enjoys Khmer boxing and spending time with his family. Three years ago, Makara developed a cataract in his left eye, causing him impaired vision, photophobia, and tearing. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Makara learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two hours with his brother seeking treatment. On May 12th, doctors will perform a small incision 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. Makara said, "After surgery I hope I can drive again for my work and find other jobs to be there for my family."
Hong is a 66-year-old widowed rice farmer. She shared proudly that she has eight children: four sons and four daughters. All of her children are married except the youngest daughter - a factory worker - with whom she lives. She also has ten beautiful, lively grandchildren. When not helping to care for her family, she likes to listen to monks pray on the radio. Eight months ago, Hong developed a mass on her right elbow. At first, it was small, but it quickly grew larger. Now, the mass on her right elbow is painful and swollen, and Hong is unable to work with her right hand. She visited her local provincial hospital in January for a removal, but the mass has grown even larger since then. Another local hospital referred her to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, for treatment. On April 21, surgeons at CSC will perform excision of mass in her right elbow and a flap for a skin graft. These surgical procedures will help her feel comfortable again and regain use of her right arm. Now, she needs help to fund this $657 procedure. Hong said, "I hope that this treatment will be successful this time, so I can go back home and work as I did as before. I hope I am able to use my right hand without pain, without a recurrent mass, and have full function of my right hand again."
Biruk is a young boy from Ethiopia who loves to eat spaghetti and macaroni. He also enjoys doing arts and crafts, and loves to play hide and seek with his friends in his neighborhood. Biruk is the second child in his family, and he has one older sister. His dad is a teacher in primary school and his mom is a housewife. Biruk lives together with his parents and sister in a rented house. Biruk was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment and surgery, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility as he grows older. Fortunately, Biruk is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,231 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Biruk shared with us, “I want to heal well and go to school and become a pilot.”
Uzima is a two-year-old boy from Tanzania and the second born in a family of three children. Uzima comes from a family that is living in hardship. His father has had health issues and is not strong enough to work on a farm, but he takes cattle out to graze, and through this, he is able to get milk or a bit of maize as payment. Uzima's mother works on farms to support her family. Uzima has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Uzima traveled to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Uzima's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes well. Uzima’s uncle shared, “my nephew suffers from this condition, and life is hard at their home. His parents have no means of treating him and I am afraid life is going to be really hard for him if he lives with this disability. Please help treat him so that he is able to grow up and take care of himself.”
Elnatan is a 1-year-old boy from Uganda. He is very playful and loves to play with car toys. Elnatan is an only child. His mom makes traditional coffee for a living, and she is the main breadwinner and caretaker for the family. His dad is an assistant mechanic, but, as his mom shared, he does not contribute as much to the family due to his problems with alcoholism. Elnatan was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Elnatan has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Elnatan will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo a corrective surgery called an orchidopexy on January 21st. AMHF is requesting $754 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Elnatan's mother shared, “I believe he will heal and go to school and become a clever student. I hope he will lead his own organization and become financially successful one day."
Khaing is a 27-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and a three-year-old son in a village in Tak Province. Originally from Karen State, Burma, they moved to their current home three years ago in search of better job opportunities. Her husband is a day laborer and she is homemaker. Ten years ago, Khaing started feeling like her nose was blocked and that she could not breathe well. She also had a runny nose and saw a small mass in her nostril while looking at her reflection in the mirror. At the time, Khaing did not go to see a doctor because she could not afford to pay for treatment, and she thought that she would feel better over time. However, four years ago she noticed that the mass had grown. Khaing went to her local hospital in Burma, where the doctor confirmed she had a mass in her nostril and gave her medication for a week. She did not go back to her follow-up appointment as she had run out of money. She then tried to treat herself with traditional medicine unsuccessfully as the mass continued to increase in size. In the beginning of May 2020, Khaing developed a severe headache and pain in her nose. The area around her nose also became swollen. She went to Mae Tao Clinic for treatment, where the medic found large masses in both of her nasal cavities. She was then taken to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. At MSH, she received an x-ray of her nose and the doctor told her that the masses were large and surrounded by a lot of pus. After a CT scan, the doctor diagnosed her with a nasal polyp and scheduled her for surgery on December 28th, 2020. Currently, the area around her nose is swollen and painful. Her nostrils feel itchy, her nose is blocked, and has to breathe through her mouth. She still has a headache, though since she received pain medication from the doctor at MSH, this has been less severe. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 28th, Khaing will undergo an endoscopic sinus surgery. Once recovered, she will be able to breathe normally again and her quality of life will significantly improve. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Khaing shared, "I really want to have surgery and feel better. I am not scared because I believe that the surgery will help me be free from headaches and breathe well again."
Song Heu is a 28-year-old man from Cambodia. He has three older sisters and to support their family, Song Heu's mother sells vegetables in the market and his father is a tuk tuk driver. In his free time, Song Heu enjoys exercising, listening to music, playing games on his phone, meeting with friends to discuss problems, and doing house work. Last month, Song Heu was attacked by someone trying to steal his motorbike. The thief cut Song Heu's left arm and neck with a knife, causing paralysis. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left arm side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. Now, Song Heu has a scar on his left neck and has no control of his left shoulder, elbow, or hand. He cannot lift his arm at all and therefore is unable to work. Fortunately, Song Heu traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 17th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, Song Heu will regain use of his left arm. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Song Heu shared, "I hope I can use my arm again with full function so I can resume my normal life activities."
Parani is a young boy from Tanzania. He is now seven years old and the firstborn child in a family of three children. Parani is a very social boy and used to spend time looking after his father's cattle. His parents are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers, and sell milk to supplement their income. Parani has yet to enter school. In 2018, Parani experienced a tragic accident. After a long day, he was warming himself by the fireplace and dozed off, falling on open fire. Parani sustained severe burns on his neck, chest, and abdomen area. He was rushed to the hospital and admitted for two months, but soon his family was unable to afford the high cost of his treatment. Parani's doctors referred him to our medical partner for help with funding. At the time, he had just undergone a surgery that released skin contractures around his neck, which were preventing easy neck movement. Post surgery, his wound took a long time to heal due to multiple infections. Thanks to Watsi donors, he was able to receive funding for a skin graft surgery that covered his wound and accelerated the recovery process. Parani has since healed from this procedure, but still has contractures around his groin area that are limiting his upright gait and cause him to lean forward while walking. With the help of plastic surgery doctors, he has been scheduled for another surgery that will release his left groin contracture. His parents are unable to meet the cost for surgery and ask for your help. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Parani receive treatment. They are requesting $639 to fund his procedure. On October 14th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery that will allow him to walk with ease. Parani’s father says, “You have been of great help and support in treating our son for all this period without getting tired, something that has changed his life. He needs to have another surgery which will help him walk with ease. Please help us once more.”
Tok is a 53-year-old farmer from Cambodia. Tok got married 35 years ago, her husband recently passed away from an illness. She has one son, four daughters, and four grandchildren. She spends her time cleaning, cooking, and taking care of her chickens. In February 2018, Tok was in a motor accident the injured her left knee. She was taken to a government hospital for a tibia fracture repair surgery but this did not restore her left leg's range of motion. She arrived at our Medical Partner's Hospital unable to extend her left leg fully, which has made walking difficult for her. When Tok learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for five hours seeking treatment. On September 22nd, surgeons at CSC will perform a quadricepsplasty procedure of her left knee to help her walk again. Now, Tok needs help to fund this $430 procedure. Tok told us, "I hope I will be able to walk easily again after this surgery."