Spencer ChangMONTHLY DONOR
Spencer's Story

Spencer joined Watsi on January 2nd, 2021. One year ago, Spencer joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Spencer's most recent donation supported Khu, a 42-year old Burmese refugee from Thailand, to fund surgery to reset fractured bones so he can use his arm again.

Impact

Spencer has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 6 countries.

All patients funded by Spencer

Khu is a 42-year-old who lives with his three sisters and two nieces in a refugee camp. In February, he had to flee across the border from Karen State in Burma due to fighting around his village. His two younger sisters are students, while his other sister is currently working as an agricultural day laborer since Khu cannot work since his accident. He looks after his two nieces who are too young to go to school. In March, Khu was working on a local farm and was struck on the right forearm by a tire chain from an exploding tractor tire he was filling. After unsuccessfully trying for two months to heal his arm with blessed oil and turmeric paste, he sought medical help and was referred to Mae Sot hospital, where it was determined that he needs surgery for a broken forearm bone. Currently, Khu cannot lift up his right arm and cannot grab any objects with his right hand. He cannot move his right arm because of the pain. He has taken pain medicine since his accident to control the pain and he is not able to work. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Khu will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for June 1st and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help him regain use of his right arm so that he can go back to work and earn a living to support himself and his family. Khu said, “Everyone told me that I am very lucky that only my arm was injured. I feel very sad that I cannot work and that I have to depend on my sister’s income. She has to work hard since my accident. I hope I will get better soon so that I can find work again.”

65%funded
$979raised
$521to go

Dar is a 21-day-old baby girl who lives with her parents and her brother in a village in the border area of Karen State in Burma. Dar was born at home with the help of a traditional birth attendant. Two days after she was born, Dar's mother noticed a problem when Dar was passing stool. She told Dar’s father to call a medic from the clinic to their home. The medic realized that Dar was born with a anorectal condition and shared with Dar’s mother that baby Dar would urgently need surgery to receive a colostomy. Dar’s parents are subsistence farmers who grow rice and raise chickens. They also forage for vegetables in the jungle and go fishing when they want to eat fish. To purchase staples that they cannot produce such as salt and oil, Dar’s father works as an agricultural day labourer during the rainy season. However, since the rainy season has not yet begun, they currently have no income. However, their daily needs are fulfilled from living off the land. If they are sick and need to seek treatment, they go to the free clinic in their village run by Burma Medical Association (BMA). Fortunately our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund is helping Dar's family access the medical care she needs. They need help raising $1,500 to fund the treatment she needs. “We had to borrow money so far for Dar’s treatment and my husband cannot work,” said Dar’s mother. “I want to send my baby to school until she graduates so that she can become educated. I want this for her future because I only went to school until grade four. After she completes her studies, she can become whatever she wants one day.”

67%funded
$1,015raised
$485to go

Daw Aye is a 49-year-old woman who lives with her three sons, daughter-in-law, and a grandson in Burma. Two of her sons works as carpenters, while one works in a factory. Her daughter-in-law is a homemaker and her grandson is too young to go to school. Daw Aye was working as a vegetable seller, but recently stopped due to her injury. In February, Daw Aye and her grandson walked to her sister’s village for a visit. When her grandson tripped along the way, Daw Aye tried to catch him and fell herself. She injured her right knee, right elbow, hit her head and lost consciousness. Her elbow remained swollen and painful, and she sought treatment from a traditional healer. The healer suggested stretching exercises, but unfortunately, her condition did not improve. She visited a hospital where an x-ray and physical exam indicated a closed fracture of her elbow. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Daw Aye access the treatment she needs to heal. On March 26th, she will undergo internal fixation surgery at BCMF's care center. Hopefully, the procedure will help her regain use of her right arm and alleviate her pain. Now, she needs help raising $885 to fund her procedure and care. Daw Aye shared, "when the doctor told me about the cost of the surgery, I started to cry because I do not want to burden my children. My children are very kind to me and they are all good. When they heard that the surgery will be expensive, they told me that my only option was to pawn the house to come up with money to pay for the surgery. When the monk told me not to worry about the cost and that donors may be able to help pay for it, my children told me they would kneel down in front of the donors [in respect] if they ever had the chance to meet them in person."

$885raised
Fully funded

Velonica is a 43-year-old woman and a mother of three living children. She shared that she lost a set of twins just a few days after birth some 15 years ago but still holds fond memories of her lovely tiny twins. Her children are aged between 25 and 8 years old and they are all in school. The oldest daughter is at a teachers' training college and the youngest in 4th grade in primary school. Velonica lives with her children and husband in Dowa about 40 kilometers away from the city of Lilongwe in Malawi. She and her husband are subsistent farmers, although they usually don’t have enough food for the year and they seek support from her husband’s relatives that live in the same village. In 2013, Velonica developed a swelling on her neck. She visited different hospitals and finally was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where a diagnosis of goiter was made. A partial thyroidectomy was done at the facility in 2014. However, in 2019 her neck swelling resurfaced again. She started feeling pain, having sleepless nights, difficulties in swallowing, feeling neck tightness, and headaches. She reported again to Kamuzu Central Hospital and a rescan was recommended but unfortunately, it was not done at the time. While seeking alternatives, Velonica came to Partners in Hope Medical Center. She was seen by a surgeon who, after laboratory tests and a scan, concluded that her goiter has recurred. He recommended surgery to remove the enlarged thyroid gland in a procedure called a total thyroidectomy. Velonica is currently unable to help her husband on the farm and has challenges in performing daily duties. She is unable to lift water on her head or to carry other heavy loads. Velonica feels the condition is interfering with her life and is looking forward to living her normal life again soon. Velonica said, “I live at my husband’s village among my in-laws and it has been about 2 years now of failing to do the things that every woman does, this is threatening my marriage and makes me feel bad. I hope this operation will bring an end to all this and I will be able to do my household chores again.”

$1,015raised
Fully funded

Cho is a 50-year-old woman who lives with her husband and their three children in Burma. Cho is a homemaker, and her three children are students. However, their school is currently closed due to the ongoing political and humanitarian crisis in the country. Her husband used to work as a day labourer in Mawlamyine City but stopped working a few months ago because he was afraid of the military arresting him. To support his family, he goes fishing everyday near their village. From selling any surplus fish, he is able to earn about 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month. This income is not enough to cover their daily needs or pay for basic health care, but they are working hard to get by. A few months ago, Cho noticed that she had a blister on her left heel. A few days later it burst and became an ulcer. Although she wanted to see a doctor, most of the public clinics and hospitals were closed, and she also could not afford to pay for treatment at them. In early September 2021, she went to a pharmacy nearby to buy medication for her diabetes but they could only provide her with painkillers and cleaning solution for the wound. At home, Cho cleaned the ulcer, but it continued to worsen. One day, her neighbour told her to go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where she could receive affordable and good services. Cho borrowed money and went to MCLH. She was admitted on September 28th 2021, and the doctor examined her left heel and saw that her heel was swollen and that the ulcer had pus in it. The doctor then scheduled her to undergo surgery on September 30th 2021 to clean the ulcer and remove any necrotic tissue so she can heal. Our care center is requesting $694 to fund of Cho's wound debridement surgery, including her hospital stay and all other medical costs. Currently, Cho is in a lot of pain. When the temperature is cooler, especially at night, the pain worsens. If she does not take pain medication, she cannot sleep at night. Cho said, "When I heard donors may support my surgery, I felt very happy. Even though we have not met you in person, I want to thank you so much for helping me. I just want to live a healthy and happy life with my family.”

$694raised
Fully funded

Naw Eh is a 11-year-old girl who lives with her mother, five brother and two sisters in a refugee camp. She and her siblings study in the refugee camp while her mother weaves traditional indigenous Karen shirts to earn extra income for their household. In her free time, Naw Eh loves to play with her younger brother at home. Sometimes, she will play with her friends close to her house. She wants to be an English teacher at a primary school in the future. In late July 2021, Naw Eh went out to buy some snacks from a shop. On the way to the shop, she slipped and fell on the muddy road. When she fell she hurt her left leg. Since she was able to walk slowly, the medic in the camp did not think her leg was broken and only gave her pain medication. On 19 August 2021, Naw Eh lost her grip when she was sitting down in a chair and fell down. This time she could not stand up or walk. After a doctor at Mae Sariang Hospital diagnosed her with a fractured femur, she was referred to Chiang Mai Hospital for further treatment. At that hospital, the doctor told Naw Eh's brother that they want to do an MRI of her leg to check if she has any underlying conditions that caused her to break her femur so easily. With support from Watsi, the MRI was possible and now the surgeon has determined that surgery is required to help her leg heal properly. Currently, Naw Eh suffers from pain in her left leg and she cannot move or put weight on that leg. If she moves her leg, the pain increases. Her brother needs to help her use the bedpan as she cannot walk to the toilet. He also needs to help her get dressed. She is taking pain medication to help her sleep at night. She is worried that if her condition is not treated properly, she will never be able to walk again. She misses going to school and wants to continue her studies in grade four once her school reopens. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Naw Eh will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for September 2nd and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Naw Eh will no longer experience pain in her leg and she will be able to get herself dress and be able to walk to the toilet. Naw Eh said, "I am worried that if I do not receive surgery and receive proper treatment, I will not be able to walk again."

$1,500raised
Fully funded