Stephanie joined Watsi on January 29th, 2015. Seven years ago, Stephanie joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Stephanie's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support U Pyin, a 36-year-old monk from Burma, to fund heart surgery.
Stephanie has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 11 countries.
Stephanie has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 11 countries.
U Pyin is a 36-year-old monk who lives with three other monks, seven novice monks, and his two younger brothers, in a village in central Burma. His two younger brothers are not monks, but work at the monastery as helpers, assisting with cooking and cleaning. U Pyin has no income, but receives food and accommodation at the monastery. If he is ill, there are three local families that help to cover the costs of his basic health care expenses. In early May, U Pyin began experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, and headaches. One of his brothers brought him to a hospital, where tests revealed that one of the valves in his heart needs to be replaced. This is a particularly dangerous condition, as it can lead to a stroke, and U Pyin has already suffered a stroke, earlier in his life. U Pyin was given medication, an appointment to return in two months, and sent home. When U Pyin did not feel any better after taking the medication that he had been given, he and his brother decided that he should see a cardiologist in Yangon. The cardiologist confirmed U Pyin's diagnosis, and stressed the need for U Pyin to have surgery to replace the ailing mitral valve. As U Pyin was unable to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to an abbot for assistance. Fortunately, the abbot referred U Pyin to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, and now U Pyin is scheduled to have mitral valve replacement surgery on June 24th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of U Pyin's procedure and care, which will enable him to breathe well and to sleep comfortably again, things that he is unable to do right now. U Pyin will also be able to return to teaching the novice monks at the monastery, which he has been unable to do because he feels so unwell. U Pyin said: “After I recover, I want to teach novice monks again and I want to open a Buddhist school near Yangon.”
Lydiah is a 39-year-old woman, living with her husband and teenaged child in Kenya. While Lydiah works as a vegetable vendor - traditionally known as a mama mboga - her husband is employed as a clothing vendor. On her way to work in March 2021, Lydiah was hit by a motorcycle. She sustained a fracture of the right femur, necessitating three surgeries and multiple trips to the hospital. Despite the care that she has already received, an infection of the fracture has set in, and if Lydiah doesn't receive treatment soon, she risks losing her leg and becoming permanently disabled. Currently, Lydiah cannot walk, and is confined to a wheelchair. Lydiah is scheduled to undergo surgery for the infected fracture on May 24th, at the AIC Kijabe Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Lydiah's surgery, which will enable her to walk again. Lydiah says, “I haven’t been able to go to the market to sell my vegetables because of the fracture and multiple infections. I am afraid of losing my leg and being unable to walk. I am in constant pain and need support to get this treatment.”
Emmanuel is a 7-year-old student who is in class two. His favorite school activity is counting numbers, and he also loves to play football. Emmanuel is the oldest child in his family of three kids, and his father works as a driver to help provide for their needs. Emmanuel has clubfoot in both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Currently, Emmanuel is having trouble walking and has pain after a long day. Fortunately, Emmanuel's family was able to travel to the care center at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for his treatment. On April 22nd, Emmanual will undergo clubfoot repair surgery so that he can walk easily and no longer experience pain. AMH is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Emmanuel’s mother shared, “Life has become very tough, my husband cannot afford to take him back to the hospital to have his feet correct. Please help.”
Daniel is a smart sixteen-year-old boy. He is the eldest in a family of three children and has been living with his aunt ever since he was a little boy. He joined the primary school at the age of nine and he passed his class 7 exams with flying colors. It is now getting difficult for him to walk to school due to a condition that started when he was in class six. He dreams of becoming an orthopedic doctor in the future. Daniel's aunt works as a security guard in a hospital in Arusha and her husband is a driver. They have four children of their own and they are also looking after Daniel. Daniel was diagnosed with genu valgus. His legs bow so that his knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. He used to enjoy playing soccer, but now he can no longer run as well as he used to. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Daniel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 17th. Treatment will hopefully restore Daniel's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Daniel shared, “There were lots of things I enjoyed doing like playing football and being able to walk and run easily, but due to my legs bending it is hard now.”
San is a 38-year-old woman who lives with her daughter and two sons in a village near Mae Sot, Thailand. San’s two sons work as agricultural day labourers on a farm. San’s daughter is a second grade student. San stopped working on the farm about four months ago when she first developed problems with her vision. The money that her two sons earn is not enough to cover their household expenses and pay for her daughter’s school fees since she stopped working. They have had to borrow money to pay for basics like food. San has cataract and glaucoma. Currently, San has lost most of her vision in her right eye. Her right eye is painful and always waters. If she tries to focus her vision to make out someone’s face, her eyes will hurt, and she develops a headache. In her free time, San like to clean her house and plant vegetables. She said, “I hope that I will get better soon so that I can go back to work and pay back my debts. I want to support my daughter so that she can become an educated person. I want to live happily with my family for the rest of my life.” Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for San. On February 22nd, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove San's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. San said, “I am so upset that my condition worsens every day. I cannot sleep well because I am worried about what will happen if I do not get better. I am upset that I cannot work and my two sons have to work and support me. I feel so sad for my two sons.’’
Twel Tar is a two-year-old girl who lives with her parents in northern Thailand. Their family is originally from across the border in Burma, but moved to Thailand for a better job opportunities. Her parents are both factory workers. Twel Tar was recently diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which has caused fluid to build up in her brain. Without immediate surgery to alleviate the intracranial pressure that the excess fluid is causing, she is at risk of developing severe, potentially fatal medical complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for Twel Tar, which will drain the fluid that has accumulated in her brain. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 30th, and, once completed, will greatly improve Twel Tar's quality of life. “When my daughter recovers from surgery, I want to send her to school like other children. I want her to become an educated woman,” shared Twel Tar’s mother as she hoped for a better future for her daughter.
Zin is a 15-year-old boy who lives with his parents and two younger sisters in Tak Province in Thailand. He and his sisters are all students. His father is an agriculture day laborer and his mother is a homemaker. In his free time, Zin likes to play football with his friends. He also helps his father with his work when he has time to earn pocket money. Early morning on December 28th, Zin and his friend rode out on his friend's motorcycle to the field to help Zin's father. While driving on the dirt road, Zin's friend suddenly lost control and their motorcycle slide off the road. Zin, who was sitting behind his friend, hit his leg against a metal post beside the road andthey both fell off the motorcycle. Currently, Zin is experiencing a lot of pain in his left thigh and hip. He cannot move his leg, walk, nor go to the bathroom by himself. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Zin will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The emergency procedure is scheduled for December 28th and will cost $1,500. This treatment will help Zin heal, regain mobility in his left leg, and live pain free. He will be able to take care of himself again without requiring help from others. Zin's mother said, "I was very worried when I learned that I would need to deposit a large amount of money so that my son could receive surgery. We do not even have enough money to buy enough food to last us until the end of the month. I really needed your help and I was extremely happy when I saw your staff and was told that donors could help pay for my son's treatment! Thank you in advance to all the donors and the organization for helping my son!"
Klo is a 33-year-old man who lives with his wife in a village on the border of Thailand and Burma. He and is his wife are subsistence farmers, growing rice on rented land. Sometimes they work as day laborers when they can find extra work. However, due to a number of COVID cases around their area, they cannot find work right now. Late afternoon on 20 November 2021, Klo climbed a tree to pick cat tongue fruit, a type of local vegetable. Suddenly, the branch he was holding onto broke, and he fell out of the tree breaking both his wrists. Currently, both of Klo's wrists hurt badly. He cannot move his hands nor lift his arms up. He feels a bit better when he takes pain medication. He cannot dress himself and someone has to feed him and help him when he goes to the bathroom. He's worried that he cannot work on his farm since the accident. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Klo will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for November 26th and will cost $1,500. After surgery, he will be able to work on his farm again and he will no longer need someone to help him do everything such as eat and dress himself. Klo said, "I feel stressful that I cannot work during this time when I have to harvest. My wife has to work by herself and now also has to look after me. When I learned the large amount my treatment would cost, I felt hopeless. But when I learned from BCMF that donors would help me, I felt so happy and relieved! Thank you so much to all of the donors!"
Lazaro is a 7-month-old baby and the first child of his parents. Lazaro's parents are small-scale farmers who grow maize, beans, and vegetables for their income. His father also seeks out labor work to create extra income for the family's expenses. Lazaro was born with clubfoot in both of his feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape and causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Lazaro's mother experienced this same condition growing up and received treatment through Watsi's medical partner in 2019. As a result, she has first-hand experience regarding the challenges of living with this condition and shared that, before treatment, she experienced discrimination and difficulty walking and carrying out daily activities. However, after her surgery, her self-esteem improved, and she could engage in everyday activities. Lazaro's family traveled to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. On October 26th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery, which will enable Lazaro to walk easily. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $890 to fund this procedure. Lazaro's mother says, "I was sad that he was also born with clubfoot just like me, but I had hope that if I traveled here, you would help correct his feet. Please help."
Hai lives in Kandal province in southern Cambodia. He is married and has a son who is one year old. Hai's wife was a factory worker, but she stopped when their child was born. Hai enjoys playing football and listening to music in his free time. Hai was involved in a motor accident in October 2020 and experienced trauma to his back and lower limbs. After the accident, Hai went to a government hospital where he received X-rays and medications and was then sent home. Hai still feels poorly, continues to feel pain in his back, and has difficulty walking. He remains in a wheelchair and cannot work. Surgeons plan to use posterior instrumentation to stabilize his spine. A posterior instrumented fusion involves the placement of screws and rods in the spine. This procedure will provide realignment and stabilization of the spine allowing fusion to occur. Hai is seeking $1,500 to fund his surgery, as he is unable to pay for this treatment on his own. Hai shared, "I hope that I will walk again and can get my job back to support my family."
Florence is a 38-year-old house helper from Uganda and a single mother to two children, ages eight and nine years old. She works as a house helper and their family lives in a one-room house. For eight years, since her pregnancy with her youngest child, Florence has had a mass in her pelvic area. She experiences chronic pelvic pain and bloating and was diagnosed with multiple myomas and an ovarian cyst. Her medical team recommended a total abdominal hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus, to treat her condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,260 to fund Florence's surgery. On August 16th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Florence will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Florence shared, “I am overwhelmed with both sickness and family responsibility. I have been having this stomach upset for so long I am even worried. I need this treatment to be able to raise my young family."
Korn lives with her sister and works as a rice farmer. She enjoys cooking and planting vegetables. In January 2021, Korn was knocked to the ground by a cow. She spent a month going to a Khmer traditional healer where natural medicine was given to her, but the fracture on her right wrist and the dislocation of her right elbow did not heal. A friend in her village recommended for Korn to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). She was able to visit the hospital and now surgeons want to perform an open reduction procedure on her right elbow to heal her injuries. Our medical partner CSC is requesting $412 for the surgery to allow Korn to use her right arm again. Korn said, "I hope I can bend my elbow like normal again."