Ho joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Ho became the 78th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,841 more people have become monthly donors! Ho's most recent donation traveled 8,100 miles to support Joshua, a casual laborer from Kenya, to fund cancer surgery.
Ho has funded healthcare for 120 patients in 16 countries.
Joshua is a 47-year-old man with renal carcinoma. About eight months ago, he started experiencing abdominal pains and was treated with ulcers. However, with persistent pain, he changed hospitals and was later diagnosed with a kidney mass. His condition kept worsening as he changed hospitals. In one of his admissions, he had a blood transfusion of 10 pints due to low blood count. When he came to our partner facility in late April, he was admitted and started treatment of acute kidney infection, renal failure and liver failure. His surgeon recommended a nephrectomy as part of his treatment. If not treated, he is at risk of cancer metastasis. Joshua used to work as a casual sculptor in the capital city. He would fend for his family with the little income he earned. His wife works in the village as a hired laborer in other people’s farms. Their two children are in secondary school. Joshua is not able to meet the entire cost of surgery. His wife shared, “Please help us with financial support. We are really overwhelmed.”
Shatrice is a playful child whom her mother describes as exploring. She was born with hearing loss which was only noted when she was two years old. Efforts to seek treatment in their home area were fruitless. This was mainly because of financial limitation. Her mother was advised to bring her to Watsi's medical partner facility, about 500km from their village. Shatrice was diagnosed with profound hearing loss and requires hearing aids. With the fittings, she will develop her speech and her hearing will greatly improve. Shatrice’s mother is the only breadwinner in the family. She has to care for her two children and Shatrice’s grandmother who is struggling with esophageal cancer. From time to time, she has to take up cleaning jobs to meet demands at home. The family, however, relies on the church to meet their daily needs, including their transport and consultation fee. Shatrice’s mother desires to have her child grow up like any other child. She appeals for help.
Bres is a 38-year-old rice and vegetable farmer from Cambodia. He is married with one son and two daughters. When he is finished working, he enjoys listening to music and spending time with his children. Twenty-three years ago, Bres 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, Bres experiences dizziness, discharge, tinnitus, pain, and hearing loss. He is unable to hear others clearly and cannot communicate easily. Bres traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 9th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right 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 the ear discharge and the ear infection stops, and my hearing improves," he shared.
Alice is a wife and mother of eight from Tanzania. Her husband, is also a farmer, and they both assist each other in their daily duties. They plant potatoes for consumption and also for commercial purpose. The family is hardworking but due to having a large family, they struggle financially to make ends meet. Also to add to their hardship, one of their children is paralyzed and disabled. Alice has give him special attention because he can’t leave the compound and all he can do is crawl outside and in the house. Seven years ago, Alice began to experience troubling symptoms, including anterior neck swelling that has been increasing in size. She was diagnosed with a goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Alice receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on November 15th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $641, and she and her family need help raising money. Alice says, “I want to be a strong mother for my children especially my son. I have good plans for them.”
Phors is a 22-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He has two older sisters and one older brother. In his free time, he likes to help feed the animals around the house and work on his family's farm. In September 2019, Phors fell off his motorcycle after a collision with another vehicle. He suffered injuries to his left arm but was unable to receive any initial treatment. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left 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. He is unable to move his arm and cannot work. Phors traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 10th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, will be able to use his arm again and can return to his work. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. "I hope that my left hand will regain function again and I can return to my work easily like before," he shared.
Meet Belinda, a quiet lady in her mid-30’s from Kenya who has been blessed with two kids. Belinda runs a small grocery business in the market to make ends meet. Her husband takes up casual jobs such as clearing bushes to compliment his wife's income. The family lives in a single rental house and their daily income is not sufficient to meet all the expenses including surgery fees. On 30th November 2019, Belinda fell and fractured her right proximal radius. She had a cast applied and went home awaiting funds for surgery. She was not able to raise funds required yet she desperately needs the surgery. Belinda is not able to cook for her family nor operate her grocery business. With successful surgery, Belinda will be able to use her hand with ease and reduce chances of further complications on the fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 10th, Belinda will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $771 to fund this procedure. Belinda says, “Life has never been the same since I broke my hand. I am worried about my children who need care every day. My hope is to get treated so that I can continue supporting my family.”
Tak Van is a first grader from Cambodia. She has one younger brother, and she enjoys playing with her toys and watching television. Five years ago, Tak Van had an accident and fell off her bed, hitting her right cheek bone on the floor. She developed swelling under her right eye, and a small soft mass has now developed. When Tak Van learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. Surgeons at CSC will perform an excision procedure to remove the mass and relieve the swelling below Tak Van's right eyelid, making her feel comfortable again. Now, she needs help to fund this $220 procedure. "I hope that my daughter's surgery is successful so that she will not have to undergo anymore surgery, and she will feel better," shared Tak Van's mother.
Kyi is a 58-year-old woman from Burma. She lives alone and used to sell clothing in her village. However, she stopped working since her symptoms worsened, over a year ago. She now has no income but is able to pay her daily expenses with money she has saved. Kyi 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, Kyi feels tired when she walks and has a rapid heartbeat. She has also started to experience chest pain and shortness of breath. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Kyi. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 4th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Kyi said, “I felt very sad when I was told that the surgery will cost a lot because I do not have enough money to pay for my own heart surgery. I used up a lot of my money to go to a hospital which did not diagnose me. I felt less burdened when I met Pinlon Hospital’s staff and she told me that an organization [BCMF] will support my surgery’s cost.”
Samnang currently studies in sixth grade, and enjoys playing with his two sisters, reading books, and listening to music. Samnang was born with scoliosis. Since birth, the curvature in his spine has been slowly worsening over time. Today, he experiences pain when lying down, and difficulty walking, breathing, and sleeping. Surgery will remove the curve in Samnag's spine and realign the bones along his lower spine. Samnang will be able to breathe normally and walk and sleep without difficulty. He looks forward to returning to school and playing with his friends and siblings.
Judith is a middle-aged woman with lower back pain problem that has persisted for over 8 years. Judith has tried managing the condition with injections, medical pills and physiotherapy sessions. The interventions have not been fruitful as she recently started using a walking stick to attain balance. Judith was referred to our facility by a neighbour and upon MRI imaging, she had spinal fusion surgery recommended. If not treated, the pain will persist which might weaken her walking gait further. Judith is a mother of three children and used to work on their farm for subsistence farming but has since stopped. Her husband is employed as a timber yard operator. The family is not able to raise the total funds needed for her surgery and they appeal for financial assistance.
Guivens is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and older sister in a small town on the western coast of Haiti. His father is a fisherman and his mother is a vendor in the local market. Guivens has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves in his heart was severely damaged due to a fever he suffered earlier in childhood, and cannot adequately pump blood through his body. Guivens will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On September 2, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will first attempt to repair his damaged valve; if this is not possible, they will implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Mitral Foundation, is contributing $6,000 to pay for surgery. Guivens'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 Guivens's family overseas. His mother says, "I am very thankful that God is answering our family's prayers and allowing our son to have surgery!"
Toem is a 55-year-old taxi driver from Cambodia. He has five children and enjoys watching boxing and soccer on television. One year ago, Toem 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, Toem experiences hearing loss, pain, tinnitus, ear discharge, headaches, and vertigo. He has a difficult time communicating and understanding others. Toem traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 8, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $842 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. He says, "I hope that after my surgery my hearing and will improve and all my other symptoms will go away."