Catherine joined Watsi on June 18th, 2015. Seven years ago, Catherine joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Catherine's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Pan, a 60-year-old husband and father from Cambodia, to fund a hip arthroplasty so he can walk on his own.
Catherine has funded healthcare for 84 patients in 12 countries.
Catherine has funded healthcare for 84 patients in 12 countries.
Pan is a 60-year-old husband and father from Cambodia. His wife is a farmer who grows rainy day rice. The couple has a son, who is a construction worker, and a daughter in the seventh grade. In his free time, he enjoys listening to the news on the radio or watching television. For several years, Pan has experienced hip pain from osteonecrosis, where blood flow to a bone is interrupted. He has had surgery on both hips in the past, but still experiences chronic pain. He is unable to help his wife on the farm and stays inside because he cannot walk without assistance. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), are helping Pan receive treatment. He traveled two and a half hours to CSC's care center, where, on November 14th, surgeons plan to perform a right hip arthroplasty. During the procedure, the damaged bone and cartilage will be removed and replaced with prosthetic components. Now, Pan and his family need help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. Pan shared, "I hope my right hip will have no pain after surgery, and I can walk and work for my family again."
U Nyan is a 62-year-old man who lives with his wife in Mon State, Burma. He used to work as a tricycle taxi driver as well as a day labourer but since he had stroke around three months ago, he stopped working. His wife also had a stroke and cannot work. They have a daughter who works across the border in Bangkok, and she sends them some money every three or four months. However, the amount that her daughter sends is not enough for U Nyan and his wife for their daily expenses and they shared that, occasionally, their neighbor also gives them food. Recently, U Nyan noticed a small lump on his left elbow, which rapidly became enlarged and painful. Currently, U Nyan is in a lot of pain and cannot sleep. After seeking treatment at various clinics and hospitals, U Nyan was finally referred to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) where he was diagnosed with an abscess around his left elbow joint and scheduled for surgery on May 9th. When he told the doctor that he could not afford to pay for his surgery, the doctor referred him to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for financial assistance accessing surgery. He has already borrowed about $350 so far to help with his diagnosis and treatment, and people in his community have pitched in to support him financially. Our medical partner is helping him raise $760 for his surgery. “After surgery I want to go home and look after my wife. I want to listen to sermons, meditate and do good deeds,” shared U Nyan.
Hla is a 43-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, daughter and son in a village in Thailand. They fled from across the border in Burma seven months ago because of fighting in their area. She used to be an agriculture day labourer but stopped working a month ago since her condition is worsened. Her husband is also an agriculture day labourer and her son is a student. Two years ago, Hla felt a small mass in her breast. The mass was not painful so she need not seek treatment. A few months ago, the mass started to increase in size and became painful. Currently, Hla still feels pain and feels stressed about her condition and also worries if her condition can be treatable or not. Fortunately, Hla sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on September 11th. She needs $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Hla said, "I am very happy that I will be able to receive surgery soon. I hope that I will be able to work again after my surgery."
Srors is a student and the only child in her family. Her parents are divorced and since childhood she has been living with an NGO in Kandal Province. She enjoys reading books, exercising, watching TV, swimming, and listening to music. She is completing 12th grade in public school and her best subject is math. Srors was burned all over the body by an oil lamp when she was three years old. After the accident her family took her to a hospital in Phnom Penh for one year of treatment. When she was 17, she was operated on again for related skin contractures. Now, she has come to our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) because of unhealed tissue on her left knee. It is difficult for her to walk, and she is in pain. On April 5th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft procedure to to help her walk easily again. Now, Srors needs help to fund this $474 procedure. Srors says, "I hope I can heal quickly and return to school."
Maureen is a charming and friendly three-year-old from Tanzania. She is the firstborn child of her parents, who are both small-scale farmers. They depend on the food they harvest to feed their family, and they earn money by selling the vegetables. Maureen was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, a condition that causes her legs to bow inward, making her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Maureen has a difficult time walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Maureen. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 15th. Undergoing this treatment will hopefully restore her mobility, allowing her to participate in a variety of activities. It will also greatly decrease the risk of future complications. Maureen’s mother says, “My daughter’s walking has been of concern for a long time. Please help her.”
Morn is a 53-year-old recycled material collector. She is married, and has two daughters and two sons. In her free time, she helps to take care of her grandchildren. Many years ago Morn had an ear infection. This infection caused both of her ear drums to perforate. As a result, Morn experiences pain, hearing loss, and ear discharge. She also has difficulty communicating clearly with others. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is helping Morn to receive treatment. On June 8th, surgeons at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre will close the perforations in Morn's ear drums. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $914 to fund the procedure, and to pay for medications, supplies and inpatient care. Morn says: "I hope after surgery the ear discharge will end, and my hearing finally improves."
Ruth is a two-year-old girl who lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, which is the capital of the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. She is her parent's first child. Ruth was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus, which causes blood to leak through a hole between two major blood vessels near her heart. The condition makes it difficult for Ruth's small heart to fully function. Fortunately, her condition is highly treatable with surgery. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, so our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged to take Ruth and her mother to the Dominican Republic, where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole near her heart. The treatment, scheduled for May 25th, will stop blood from leaking into her blood vessels and should allow her to live a full life ahead. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 toward the surgery cost. Her family is raising $1,500 to help cover the rest of her treatment and related care, including travel for Ruth and her mother. Her mother shared, "Our family is very hopeful that after the surgery, our daughter will have more energy and a better appetite."
BB Martine is a 10-month-old baby from Haiti. He is his parent's only child. They shared how much he likes to smile and the joy this brings to them. BB Martine has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, BB Martine has been experiencing an increasing head circumference, which is very worrisome for their family. Without treatment, BB Martine will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for BB Martine at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on April 13th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from BB Martine's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, BB Martine will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. BB Martine's family is hopeful that with treatment, their son will have a chance at a healthy childhood.
Daw lives with her two sons who work as day labourers getting work where they can. While her sons work, her daughter comes over to do their household chores. The income her sons earn is not enough to cover their daily expenses and sometimes they have to borrow money from their neighbor. Around 15 years ago, Tin was diagnosed with high blood pressure and diabetes. In early January, she noticed that she had developed ulcers on her left soles. She could not even remember injuring her left foot, but she went to a clinic twice to have her foot treated. Unfortunately, her condition worsened and by the end of February, she also developed ulcers an on her right big toe. In March, she was brought to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where she was admitted. She underwent wound debridement surgery on her left foot. A few days later, the doctor told her they would need to do an amputate her right foot so that her infection did not spread further. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Tin and her family raise the financial support for her treatment. Currently, Tin is experiencing a lot of pain in both her left foot and her right big toe. At night, she has a fever and cannot sleep. She cannot walk and needs her son to help her go to the bathroom and take a shower. “Since I learned that donors could help pay for my surgery, I feel very happy,” she said. “I want to say thank you to the donors.”
Ko Myo lives with his mother in a village in Burma. He used to be a motorcycle taxi driver but stopped working two months ago when his health deteriorated. His mother and wife currently care for him, washing clothes and working in a clothing factory in Yangon, earning income to support their family. With the help of Watsi donors, Ko Myo underwent his second round of laser treatment in January 2020, at Mae Sot Hospital in Thailand, to breakup stones in his left kidney. He was scheduled to undergo a third round of laser treatment however, when the Thai-Burma border closed in March 2020 due to increasing COVID-19 cases, Ko Myo was not able to go back to the hospital. He felt better until the first week of December 2021 when he started experiencing a lot of pain in his waist when he sat for a long time. With the border still closed and without enough money to go to a hospital, Ko Myo sought advice. He then went with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, in Yangon to a clinic in January 2022 and was able to visit our partner's care center, Shin Par Ku Hospital. The doctor has told him he will need surgery on his left kidney to remove the stone and has scheduled him to have the procedure on February 6th. Currently, Ko Myo has little appetite and experiences pain in the left side of his back. He is eagerly awaiting surgery. He shared, "I pity my wife because she has to work hard and support me. Now, I am so happy that I will receive surgery soon," he said. "One day I want to open my own shop in the market and sew children's clothing."
Ray is a 2-year-old boy who lives with his four brothers and parents in a refugee camp. His siblings go to school and his mother weaves traditional Karen skirts for sale at their home. Unfortunately, his father has been unable to leave the refugee camp to search for work since August 2021, due to local COVID-19 restrictions. When Ray was eight months old, his mother noticed a worrying swelling. She brought him to the hospital in the refugee camp, where a medic examined Ray and advised his mother to come back if it increased in size. In July 2021, his parents brought him back to the hospital for a medical examination and he was referred to Mae Sariang Hospital for further treatment. With the help of the organization Malteser International (MI) staff, Ray and his mother were brought to the hospital, where a doctor examined Ray and diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia. Ray has little appetite and cries frequently, and the pain he feels often causes him to wake up during sleep. After completing a physical examination, the doctor scheduled him to be admitted to the hospital on January 12th so he can receive hernia repair surgery the following day. As Ray’s family cannot afford to pay for surgery, MI staff referred him to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, for assistance accessing treatment. This procedure will cost $1,486, and Ray and his family need help raising money. Ray's mother shared, “I will send Ray to school when he is older and I want him to become a doctor because I want my son to help the community and other families."
Mu is a 17-year-old boy who lives with his sister in Mae Sot, Thailand. Before that, he lived with his parents, one older sister, two younger brothers and one younger sister in a refugee camp. His sister works at a non-governmental organisation helping others in need. Around mid-August, Mu woke up one morning with pain in his left knee. At first he thought that the pain would go away on its own and that it was nothing serious. However, when the pain remained a few days later, he told his sister about it. His sister bought him a type of Burmese pain reliever balm to apply on his knee. He applied the balm for a week, but he did not feel any better. When he and his sister noticed that his left knee had become slightly swollen his sister called their father. Mu’s father told them that it could be an ulcer and suggested that they go to a hospital or buy him pain medication to reduce swelling. His sister bought the medication their father had suggested at a pharmacy, and Mu took it for a week. However, he did not feel better, and the swelling did not decrease. Mu was able to have an MRI at Chiang Mai Hospital and now the doctor recommends he undergo surgery to remove a tumor on his left knee. Mu sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund and is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on December 17th. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care which will enable him to get off of using crutches and back to feeling well again. Mu said, "After I heard from the doctor that my leg does not need to be amputated, I feel so happy."