Matthew joined Watsi on September 19th, 2016. Five years ago, Matthew joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Matthew's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Thein, a 45-year-old man from Burma, to fund a wound debridement to save his foot.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 60 patients in 13 countries.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 60 patients in 13 countries.
Thein is a 45-year-old man from who lives with his mother and two younger brothers in Burma. He and his brothers are day laborers, but unfortunately, Thein had to stop working after a foot injury. In his free time, he likes to help by cleaning their house. In August 2021, Thein was cleaning a fish pond when he injured his right foot. At home, his foot became itchy and when he woke up the next day, he saw a small blister and some swelling. He visited two different clinics, but the oral medications and the injections he received did not help. At the third clinic he went to, a doctor applied an ointment to his foot which was turning black and becoming more itchy. The doctor told him they would have to amputate his foot if the ointment did not work. Luckily, a neighbor referred Thein to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), just in time. On September 14th, doctors at BCMF's care center will perform a wound debridement procedure to treat the infection in his foot. Now, Thein needs help raising $694 to fund his procedure. Thein shared, "my mother is worried about me because if my right foot is amputated, I will not be able to take care of her in the future. When I recover, I will try to work and support my family."
Elsa is a 9-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He loves to play football with his dad and other kids. He is the first born in a family of three. His father is a daily laborer and his mother takes care of their house and family. Elsa and his family live in a rented house. Their family shared with us that Elsa does not go to school because his father hides him from the community for fear of gossip and stigma due to his birth condition. His parents are highly affected psychologically as a result of his affliction. His father is planning to send him to school in September after his surgery and recovery. Elsa was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Elsa had his first stage of hypospadias repair surgery in January and is now planned for a second stage surgery. He will be healthy and active after this treatment. Elsa is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on August 31st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His father said, “I hope my child goes to school after the treatment. I hope he will mingle and play with other children and that will make him happy, break his isolation, and resolve the tension in his mind. If God wills he will be a doctor.”
Hul is a 21-year-old motorcycle mechanic. He has two brothers and one sister. Hul's parents work as farmers. In March, Hul fell hard and damaged his left shoulder. 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 has no shoulder abduction or elbow flexion, and can not move his fingers. He is unable to work. Hul traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 14th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his left arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Hul said, "I hope I can regain use of my left arm and hand so I can work again to support myself."
Mao is a 51-year-old rice farmer with one son, one daughter, and one grandchild. Mao lives with his wife who is a grocery seller. At home he enjoys listening to the news and Chinese dramas on TV. Two years ago, the retina of Mao's left eye detached, causing him blurry vision, pain, and tearing. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Mao learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled therewith his son seeking treatment. On June 9th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Mao shared, "I hope after surgery I can see better so I can plant rice and also sell piglets from my motorbike to earn money for my family."
Tin is a 56-year-old woman who lives with her husband, daughter, son in-law and granddaughter in Burma. Her husband and son in-law are day laborers, but because of the coup d'état and COVID-19, they are having difficulty finding work. Four years ago, Tin was diagnosed with diabetes and due to financial difficulties, she was not always able to buy medication. In April, Tin noticed that both of her hands were swollen and slightly achy while doing household chores. She applied traditional medicine, but her right hand did not heal. Over time, the pain and swelling increased, her right hand became red, and she developed a high fever. She visited a local clinic where the nurse told her she would need surgery and suggested she seek treatment at a local hospital. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Tin receive treatment. At our BCMF's care center, the doctor found an ulcer on Tin's right hand and diagnosed her with cellulitis. Surgery was recommended as soon as possible, as this type of ulcer can spread quickly. On May 11th, Tin will undergo a wound debridement procedure at BCMF's care center and now, she needs help to fund this $694 procedure. Tin shared, "during these difficult times, my family does not have enough money and we cannot afford to pay for my treatment. I would like to receive surgery as soon as possible so that I can go back to doing the household chores."
Maly is a 40-year-old farmer who is married and has one son and two daughters. Besides farming, she also sells beer. In her spare time, Maly enjoys cooking at home and listening to the radio. Two years ago, Maly developed left thumb pain that made it very difficult for her to hold onto things. She used to take pain killers to help her feel better, but her thumb never improved. In the last six months, the pain has worsened and her range of motion has decreased. Maly has been diagnosed with a a severe case of stenosing tenosynovitis, or trigger finger, which requires surgical treatment. She currently experiences stiffness, swelling, and pain in her finger. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 1st, Maly will undergo a tendon release procedure so that she can regain use of her left hand. Once recovered, she will be able to pick up and hold things normally again. Now, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $541 to fund this procedure. Maly shared, "I look forward to being free of this pain and using my hand again."
Paw is a 21-year-old who lives with her parents, a brother, three sisters, a daughter and a niece in a refugee camp. Her father used to be an agricultural day laborer, but had to stop working due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Her sisters go to school and her brother is unemployed. Paw looks after her daughter and niece, who are too young to go to school, while her mother looks after the household chores. In her free time, Paw likes to play with her daughter and visit her friends. On March 9th, Paw left the camp alone to collect firewood. While climbing a hill, she slipped, falling onto her right shin. She was in so much pain that she could not stand up. She got herself to a nearby road where a motorcyclist drove her back to the camp. At home, Paw was treated by a traditional healer, and a couple of days later, a second traditional healer told her family that Paw had fractured her leg. Paw's father made a bamboo brace for her leg, and carried her to the hospital in the camp run by International Rescue Committee (IRC). Knowing that she would need surgery, IRC staff referred her to Burma Children Medical Fund to receive treatment at a local hospital. Currently, Paw experiences a lot of pain when moving her right leg. She cannot stand up by herself and she cannot sleep at night when the pain is severe. Since she injured her leg, she feels more tired and she has lost her appetite. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Paw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will help her walk and live pain-free. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. Paw shared, "once recovered, I will take care of my parents. I will work and save money for my daughter, so that I can make sure that she has food and clothes."
Naw Kwee Moo is a 54-year-old woman who lives with her husband, three daughters and three sons in Mae Ra Ma Luang Refugee Camp in Thailand. She and her family fled to the camp in 2006 from Burma. Today, Naw Kwe is a homemaker and her husband is too ill to work. Five of their children go to school in the camp, four other children have moved away, and she proudly shared that her second oldest son graduated from a post-secondary program in May 2020. Naw Kwe’s family receives 2,030 baht (approx. 68 USD) in a month on a cash card to purchase rations for basic food needs. Although they receive free education and primary health care in the camp, Naw Kwee’s family struggles to make ends meet each month. Four years ago, Naw Kwee started going to the camp’s hospital run by Malteser International (MI) Thailand to receive treatment for urinary tract infections (UTI). Most of the time, she would feel better after taking medication, but she was no longer able to work as an agricultural day labourer. Over the next few years, when she increasingly sought treatment for UTIs, she was diagnosed with chronic UTI. When her condition did not improve after taking antibiotics, a doctor at the camp’s hospital referred her to another hospital in March 2020, where she was diagnosed with a right kidney stone. In June 2020, after a delay due to COVID-19, Naw Kwee was able to get to Chiang Mai Hospital for further treatment. There, doctors confirmed her earlier diagnosis, in addition to hydronephrosis, a condition where the kidney swells due to a build-up of urine. Currently, Naw Kwee takes pain medication whenever she experiences pain or discomfort in the right side of her back from her kidney stone. The pain will usually only last for a day before it disappears, but she feels weak. Sometimes she also has cloudy urine and a mild fever. Her appetite has decreased, but she tries to eat as much as she can. Naw Kwee will need to undergo multiple rounds of laser treatment to break up the stone in her kidney. Her first round of shockwave lithotripsy will be on February 11th. Naw Kwee will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, who requests $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will be free of pain and will be able to resume weaving and sewing, which she enjoyed doing before having this condition. Naw Kwee shared, “I’m desperately trying to stop the pain in my back from returning. Because of the pain, I can’t even do household chores properly. I can’t sleep well and sometimes I have difficulty breathing. Once I recover, I’ll no longer feel stressed because of this pain. I’ll be able to enjoy my days even though I have some problems related to aging.”
Sherline is a 7-year-old playful girl from Kenya. Last Friday, Shirlene arrived at the hospital with pain in her right leg and head after being hit by a tree branch. Sherline had gone to fetch firewood with her friends when the accident happened. She was rushed to the hospital by samaritans and on arrival, an x-ray was done which confirmed a right femur fracture. Because she was unable to use her leg and was in pain, Sherline was put on traction to reduce pain, avoid irritation, and help put tension on the displaced bone. Sherline was born and raised in a village in Elgeyo Marakwet County. She was the firstborn child of a single mother. In 2015, during the Marakwet and Pokot clashes in their region, her mother was eloped and taken away to an unknown location. Since then Sherline has not seen her mum and, currently, she stays with her elderly grandmother. Shirlene's grandmother is a farmer of millet for their family's consumption. They live in a two-roomed grass-thatched house. Sherline is going through a tough experience with intense pain, trauma, and discomfort. She needs urgent help to fix her condition. Their family is facing financial hardship and is asking anyone reading Sherline's story to help her raise the fee for her surgery. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 16th, Sherline will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will reduce the pain, initiate her healing, and help her to walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Shirleen's guardian shared, "It's paining me to see her cry in pain, I want her to receive treatment and be able to walk again."
Alice is a 47-year-old woman from Kenya. Sheis a single mother of 2 children, and her children live with their grandmother in their home village. Alice was an active and healthy woman who was able to use her legs normally. However, in early November 2017, she was involved in a road traffic accident that rendered her immobile. Alice was rushed to the hospital to undergo treatment and surgery. Although she was discharged, her troubles with the leg continued, and she developed more pain and complications. After returning to the same facility for treatment and not showing signs of improvement, Alice visited Kijabe Hospital. There, she has since undergone several other surgeries, including post-open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) repair and debridement after the skin overlying the fracture site was compromised and infected. Alice's doctors have scheduled her for a sequestrectomy procedure and IM nail removal on November 12th. The sequestrectomy will remove any fragment of dead bone or other tissue that has separated from healthy tissue in her wound. Ultimately, they aim to prevent further infection of the hardware in her leg. Alice is currently ambulating in crutches and, if not treated, she might not be able to walk or properly use her leg in the future. Unfortunately, this procedure is costly for Alice and her family. Alice owns a small green grocery in Mukaa Town where she sells vegetables and tomatoes. Her total monthly profit is barely able to cover her basic needs, rent, and kids' needs; let alone pay for her necessary surgeries. She has depended on the National Hospital Insurance Fund and support from friends to help cover her several medical and surgical trips to different facilities. Alice is appealing for financial help so she can get the care she needs. Alice shared, "My problems never seem to come to an end after the accident. I have been through a lot of surgeries, and I still need more to be able to walk again. Thank you for your support."
Tabitha is a middle-aged woman from Kenya and a very jovial lady. She is a single mother with two children. In December 2019, Tabitha started feeling some swollen tissue in her breast. A few days later, she went to a nearby hospital to seek care. In the facility, a scan was done and she was given some medication. As time went by, the tissue in her breast continued to grow and worried Tabitha greatly. She returned to the facility to seek further treatment, but beyond a biopsy test and another scan, the facility told her they could not offer her additional treatment. When a family member paid her a visit, Tabitha shared her story and was referred to Kijabe Hospital. Upon arrival, she was examined and diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctors recommended a mastectomy to remove the lump in her breast. Without treatment, the cancer may metastasize to other organs. Tabitha has struggled financially to raise both of her children. To earn a living, she makes and repairs fishing nets and hooks and later sells them. One of her children has joined her in this business, and the other one does casual jobs to earn a living. Tabitha is not able to raise or source funds to pay for this surgery and appeals for financial help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $857 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Tabitha. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 15th. After treatment, Tabitha will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Tabitha says, “Having heard from the doctor that the swollen tissue might be cancerous, I am very much worried about my health. On the other hand, I am happy that the tissue can be removed. I am hopeful that I will receive treatment very soon despite having no money for the surgery.”
Joseph is a 9-year-old boy from Kenya. Joseph’s father is employed casually as a public transport driver while his mother is a full-time mom. Joseph is the third born of four children. Joseph was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Joseph has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Joseph will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on December 13th. AMHF is requesting $535 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “I want to be a driver just like dad when I grow up,” says Joseph.