Spencer ChangMONTHLY DONOR
Spencer's Story

Spencer joined Watsi on January 2nd, 2021. Two years ago, Spencer joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Spencer's most recent donation supported Su, a 10-year-old girl from Thailand, to fund hip replacement surgery to allow her to walk without pain.

Impact

Spencer has funded healthcare for 25 patients in 7 countries.

All patients funded by Spencer

Su is 10-year-old girl who lives in Thailand. Both of her parents work for a community based organization helping others in their area. In her free time, Su likes to draw pictures and play with her friends. Su was born with clubfeet and a dislocated hip. She received corrective surgery in Chiang Mai with the help of our medical partner BCMF after she was born. During her last visit to the hospital when she was young, the doctor told her mother that they only had to return to the hospital when she outgrew her clubfeet correction shoes. However, her parents could never bring her back. In additional to financial constraints, their legal documents expired, and later when they had legal documents, they could not go to Chiang Mai due to covid-19 travel restrictions. In June 2022, Su started to experience pain in her right foot whenever she walked more than 10 minutes. She also experienced pain in her right hip for the first time when she walked. The doctor at Mae Sot Hospital diagnosed her with a dislocated hip and referred her to the larger hospital Chiang Mai for further treatment. In October an MRI was performed for Su and it was determined that she may need two surgeries: one for hrt hip and another for her clubfeet condition. The first surgery is for a hip replacement and the doctor scheduled her for surgery on November 25th so she can be out of pain as quickly as possible. Her family needs $1500 for her hip replacement surgery. Su's father said, "I am hopeful for my daughter to receive surgery soon. After surgery, I hope that she will be able to walk like other children and she will not be shy when she grows up. Now, when she goes to school, some of her friends tease her that she cannot walk properly like other children."

58%funded
$872raised
$628to go

Mu is a 34-year-old wife and mother, living in Thailand. Mu lives with her husband, son, and two daughters in Mae Sot, Tak Province. Their family moved from Yangon, Burma to Thailand 14 years ago, in search of better job opportunities. Today, Mu is a homemaker, her son is a student, while her two daughters are still too young to study. Her husband is a dockworker in Mae Sot. Because their income is insufficient to cover their daily expenses, they sometimes have to borrow money from a neighbor. About two years ago, Mu developed a femoral hernia. Because of the hernia, Mu experiences severe pain in her left groin area, and she also has a lump that has been increasing in size, and which hangs down when she walks. Mu is very stressed about her condition, and because of chronic discomfort, she has been unable to keep up with her daily tasks. Fortunately, with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Mu is scheduled for hernia repair surgery on October 27th, at Mae Sot General Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of Mu's surgery and care, which should enable Mu to return to a life without the hardship she experiences now. Mu said: “I feel like I have to hold myself so this will not fall down when I walk, which makes me feel very uncomfortable. I want to receive surgery soon so that I can work to earn more money in the future. Now, my baby—our youngest daughter—is older so I will find a job after I have fully recovered from surgery.”

63%funded
$950raised
$550to go

Titus is a hardworking 24-year-old from Kenya. He is the only child to his single mother, who sells tea and porridge at the market. Due to their financial situation, Titus was compelled to drop out of high school and do casual labor jobs to support his mother. Together with his mother, they live in his uncles’ home who is a small-scale farmer. Titus also helps his uncle with farm work. A month ago, Titus fell at work and his hand was cut by a sharp object. Titus went to a nearby facility where his wound was sutured because the fracture was open, and a splint was applied in order to stabilize the fracture. Now he cannot work using his hand and therefore he depends entirely on his mother. When he realized that there was no improvement of his injury, Titus visited a nearby facility where he was referred to our medical partner's care center Kapsowar Hospital. On physical examination, the surgeon told him that he required an urgent surgery in order to repair his tendon and fix his fracture which had taken time to heal. Titus has no medical insurance and is worried about how he can pay for the care he needs. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 27th, Titus will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Titus will be able to go back to his work and continue to earn a living. He will be able to assist his mother. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $941 to fund this procedure. Titus says, “I get my income through working with my hands. Now that I cannot use them, I feel so bad. I don’t want to burden my mother who is also struggling. Kindly help me.”

54%funded
$514raised
$427to go

Irine is a hardworking 76-year-old grandmother and widow from Kenya. She lives in a semi-permanent house and works as a small-scale farmer, growing food to feed herself. She receives other basic necessities from her children. Irine's home is located in an area with many hills, which become very slippery when it rains. One rainy day, Irine was doing her daily duties when she unfortunately slipped and fell. As she fell on the side of her hip, the load she was carrying also fell on top of her. She could not get up or move due to her right lower limb being in pain. Since she was home alone, she had to shout for help, and a neighbor eventually came to her rescue. A family member later took her to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with a fracture of her right femur. Irene currently experiences pain and is unable to use her leg. Although she was previously among the beneficiaries who received health insurance paid for by the government, the government eventually stopped providing payment. This meant Irine had to pay for her own monthly bill, a cost she could not provide. Due to financial constraints and not having insurance, Irine cannot fund her needed treatment. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 2nd, Irine will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After the surgery, she will hopefully be able to walk and care for herself again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,247 to fund this procedure. Irine says, "I know how my children struggle to earn a living. Kindly help me so that I may not be a burden to them.”

58%funded
$725raised
$522to go

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.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

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.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

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