UNIVERSAL FUND MEMBERFounders. Designers. Lovers of advancing Edu, Tech and Med
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Catherine joined Watsi on June 18th, 2015. Eight 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 Ly, a 48-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia, to fund a mastoidectomy.
Catherine has funded healthcare for 90 patients in 13 countries.
Catherine has funded healthcare for 90 patients in 13 countries.
Ly is a 48-year-old rice farmer living with her two sons and two daughters in Kandal province in Cambodia. Ly was widowed six years ago and, ever since their father's death, the oldest two children work as motorcycle and bicycle repairmen to help their mother provide for the family. One year ago, Ly suffered from an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. As a result, Ly experiences ear discharge, tinnitus, and hearing loss. Despite using ear drops, Ly has not seen any improvement in her condition, and now she has also developed polyps. It is difficult for her to hear or communicate with others. Ly traveled to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, hoping to be treated. On May 9th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy on her right ear at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $926 to fund this procedure and all of the necessary medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Ly said: "After surgery, I will be able to hear and the ear discharge will stop."
Win is a 50-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his extended family in a village in Karen State, which is an area under conflict and violence. He and his wife have four children, and three grandchildren. Win, his wife, two sons and one of his sons-in-law are farmers, while his two daughters are homemakers. Win lost vision in his right eye in the middle of 2022. Two months after this occurred, the vision in his left eye blurred, until he could only perceive light. He was diagnosed with glaucoma in his left eye, and as a result of his impaired sight, he had to stop working. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of eye surgery for Win. On April 3rd, doctors at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital will operate and, after recovery, Win will be able to see clearly again. Now, he needs your help to fund this $1,500 procedure. “I feel stressed and worried about my life," Win said. "I want to go back to work after my surgery.”
Mervi is an adventurous toddler from Venezuela who has recently moved with his parents to Colombia to seek better opportunities. Due to lack of work authorization, his mother stays home with her family while his father has informal employment in construction. Mervi has three siblings, but his little sister is his favorite. She is almost one year old and he loves playing with her and sharing their toys. Mervi has clubfoot in his right foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Mervi's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel, where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on Mervi on April 30th. Clínica Noel is requesting $1,422 to fund this procedure. After treatment, Mervi will be able to wear shoes and walk normally without pain. His father said: "I would really appreciate if you could help me with this operation for my kid, I'm working to find someone else that can help me pay at least a part of the treatment but I would really appreciate you helping me pay the surgery."
Hout is a loving mom and grandmother. She has one son, two daughters, and twenty grandchildren. She lives with her youngest daughter, who works in construction. At home, Hout cooks for the family and likes to listen to monks pray on the radio. She also enjoys visiting the pagoda with her family. About three years ago, Hout developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision. As a result, she has difficulty at night with her vision and often sees halos around lights. She also cannot see objects clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking. Consequently, she cannot go places on her own. When Hout learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for an hour seeking treatment. On September 29th, doctors will perform cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. CSC is requesting $253 to fund this procedure. Hout said, "After surgery, I hope I can see better and help my daughter take care of my grandchildren and can go out by myself well."
Shee is a bright and caring 12-year-old girl from Thailand who likes to play the piano, listen to music, and help her caregiver garden with her friends. She lives with 30 students, including her younger brother, in the dormitory of Has Thoo Lei Learning Centre. She is currently in fifth grade, and her brother is in third grade. Both her and her brother's dormitory fees, including food and accommodations, are funded by a Christian nonprofit organization called Compassion Thailand. Both of her parents currently live in Burma and work as subsistence farmers. Her father also works as a day laborer. Shee's parents support her and her brother with their school fees and pocket money. For the past two years, Shee has dealt with femoral hernias. As a result of her condition, she experiences pain in her right groin, as well as pain and discomfort when she sits for a long period of time. When she plays with her friends or is active, the bulge increases in size. Her condition has progressively worsened, and she has had to miss school frequently as a result. Fortunately, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Shee's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 22nd. Once completed, she will hopefully be able to live more comfortably. Shee says, “I want to become a nurse when I grow up one day and help people in my community who are sick and need my help.”
William is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. He is a married man with twelve children. Some of his oldest children are married while others are still in school. William and his family live in a semi-permanent house. He has been a long-term potato farmer who has been growing them mainly for sale. His family has worked on their farm and it has contributed a lot to their income. Through the limited income William makes, he has been able to provide for his children's basic needs. William has medical insurance that he has been using throughout all his visits for inpatient and outpatient services for his medical procedures. In May 2019, when William was walking along the road, he was hit by a motorbike and he fell down, thus injuring his lower limb. Immediately, he was taken to a facility where he was admitted and surgery was done. All was well up to last year when he started feeling unwell and decided to visit our partner's hospital. He presented with a lot of pain, he had a wound that was discharging pus, and his affected limb was swollen. An x-ray was recommended and it found that he had a non-union on his fractured bone and he had to be admitted for hardware removal, as it was already infected. He went to the operating theater for infected hardware removal and antibiotic nailing was done in order to treat his infection. Since the nail was not stable, a patella tendon-bearing cast was applied in order to immobilize his non-united fracture. He has been in and out of the hospital for frequent check-ups, change of dressing, and casts. The wound has not improved and at some time after the antibiotic nailing, he went to the operating room for debridement and vacuum-assisted closure of the wound to help in healing and daily dressing change has been done in a health facility near his home. He also suffered eye problems in between and can barely see at the moment. On Monday when he came for review, his wound was not well and had a foul smell. His hardware needs to be removed, the non-union has to be taken down and a procedure will be done for stability. He was prepared for admission, but then it was realized that he had exhausted his inpatient insurance limit. In order to save his leg, it is vital to perform the surgery immediately. William has no alternative way of paying for his procedure, which is very complex. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 7th, William will undergo a fracture repair procedure that will help William to be able to walk normally and continue with farming to provide for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $679 to fund this medical care. William says, "Spending most of the time in the hospital has been quite challenging. I cannot work or supervise my work as I did before because of my fractured limb. I am really looking forward to getting better in order to stabilize my family again. Please help me."
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."