Joel joined Watsi on December 10th, 2014. Five years ago, Joel became the 729th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,098 more people have become monthly donors! Joel's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Poe, a five-year-old from Burma, to fund his spleen removal for thalassemia.
Joel has funded healthcare for 54 patients in 10 countries.
Poe is a five-year old boy who lives with his family in Shwe Koke Ko village of Karen State in Burma. In his free time, Poe likes to play with his friends and toys. He also likes to eat sweets. Poe does not go to school because of his condition. Poe's mother and father are divorced, and both are remarried. His father lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand and he contributes to Poe’s financial wellbeing by giving the household 5000 baht (approx. $167 USD) per month. His mother does not provide the family with any extra income. Poe stays with his grandmother and great grandmother from his father's side. His grandmother works as a cleaner. The rest of the family does not currently have work. When Poe was eight months old, he got a severe fever and his family took him to the Wang Pha clinic near Mae Sot, Thailand, which is the same place where he was born. He was admitted at the clinic for three days, but his condition did not improve. Doctors at the clinic told his family to take him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. The family immediately took him to MSH and he was admitted for one week. At MSH, he received a blood test and was diagnosed with Thalassemia, a blood disorder. He received a blood transfusion and after the transfusion, Poe felt better, but only temporarily. His family went back for three follow-up appointments to MSH, where he had blood transfusions each time. When he was one year and five months old, the family could not afford going to MSH any longer, so they took Poe to Myawaddy Hospital. He received another blood transfusion and an IV line. He was admitted for three days at the hospital. Although he felt better after getting discharged in Myawaddy, since his condition is chronic, he needs regular blood transfusions to stay healthy. It became increasingly difficult for the family to pay for Poe’s care, however, they decided to come to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) for further help in 2016. Since then, he has received many blood transfusions at MTC, sometimes monthly and sometimes bi-monthly. With these treatments, he is able to survive. However, his condition also affects his spleen, the organ that filters blood. To prevent further problems, medics at MTC told his family that doctors need to remove Poe's spleen. Since it cannot be done at MTC, he needs to go back to MSH to undergo the operation. Currently, Poe has frequent bloody noses, coughs up blood, and has blood in his stool. He feels better after having a transfusion, but it wears off in the weeks following the procedure. When its nearing time for another transfusion, he feels weak and tired. When asked what he wants to do when he grows up, Poe was adamant that he wanted to be a medic. “I want to help people,” he said. “When he sees people that are sick, he always tells me he feels sorry for them,” added his great grandmother.
Asha is a student from Tanzania. She is the seventh born in a family of eight children. Asha's parents are small-scale farmers growing maize, beans and vegetables to support the family. Asha has clubfoot of her left foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. In 2010 she was able to have treatment through a team of visiting surgeon that helped corrected her foot and made walking easy and normal for her. Through the treatment she was able to wear shoes and walk like other children and also was able to study with ease. She is currently in form one though she has had to stop her studies and try seeking for treatment of her relapsed left foot which is now making walking hard and painful for her. The relapse has been there for three years now but as time goes by, it keeps worsening and walking is becoming more challenging. Fortunately, Asha traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 31st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Asha's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily again and go back to school. Asha says, “I would like to be able to walk without difficulty, please help me.”
Samnang is a 28-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He enjoys exercising and going for walks with his family around the village. In July of 2019, Samnang fell off his motorcycle. He suffered injuries to his arm and went into a coma for one day, receiving initial treatment at a nearby hospital. 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 cannot move his arm or hands, and has pain in his shoulder and only a little feeling in his arm. He is unable to return to work. Samnang traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 9th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm again and return to work. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. "After my surgery, I hope that I will be able to move my wrist and elbow without any pain, and I will be able to return to work normally again," he shared.
Soe is a 49-year-old man from Burma. He and his wife got separated about six years ago and he has been living alone since. Soe does not have a regular job, but sometimes he drives a shared-taxi to make a living. About two weeks ago, Soe's left eye started to get irritated and the itchiness did not go away for a few days so with the advice from neighbors and friends, he soaked some betel leaves in water with salt and used the liquid as eye drops. As soon as he dropped the liquid in, he sensed a burning sensation in his left eye. In hope to get cured, he used the homemade eye drops for two days. After two days, his eye became worse and the pain even radiated to his head. He could no longer open left eye due to the pain. Soe had no money to go to the hospital, but with the help from his neighbors and friends, Soe arrived at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) on December 3rd, 2019. The medics at MTC explained that his left eye has totally been damaged and that the only option now is to remove his eye. Soe feels sad and frustrated most of the time now and he keeps blaming himself for not being careful. He feels that his neglect now has caused him an eye.
John is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and three siblings in a coastal city in northwest Haiti. He is about to start the second grade. John has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These defects prevent his body from getting the oxygen it needs. John will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On September 12, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which Surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage from his valve.. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $15000.0 to pay for surgery. John's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany John's family overseas. From John's father: "We are hopeful that our son will be able to live more normally once his surgery is over."
Susan is a housewife from Kenya. She is a mother of six children who are grown up with their own families. But since she could not give them a good education they are also struggling to sustain their families. Susan does not work she is a house wife and the husband is a small scale farmer. Susan has been alright until 26th July 2019 when she slipped and fell. She was taken to hospital and an x-ray done showed she had closed fracture right radius/ulna bones. It is difficult for her to use her hand and she is in chronic pain Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 03, Susan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her work again Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $998 to fund this procedure. “I love my wife and she has been very helpful to me and the family. I hate to see how she is suffering and kindly ask for help” said Susan’s husband.
Kyin is a 69-year-old retired teacher who lives with her 31-year-old son and 39-year-old daughter-in-law in Yangon, Burma. As a retired teacher since 2010, Kyin receives 140,000 kyat (approx. 140 USD) per month as part of her pension. She now volunteers as a teacher at a monastic school. Both her son and daughter-in-law work for a company. Kyin has another son who was paralysed in a workplace accident. He used to live with Kyin, but when her health deteriorated and she could no longer care for him, he was moved to a social care centre in Yangon. One day, in March 2016, Kyin was teaching at the monastic school, when suddenly she fainted. A medical emergency team then attended to her. When she felt better, a doctor told her that she might have a heart condition and advised her to see a heart specialist. One month after the incident, she went to a cardiologist at North Okkalapa General Hospital. There, she received an X-ray and an echocardiogram (echo). After checking her results, the doctor told her that she has a heart problem and that she can die if she does not receive appropriate treatment. The doctor prescribed her medication for her heart and told her that she will need to receive surgery if her health deteriorates. Six months ago, when Kyin received another echo and the doctor told her that she needs to receive surgery right away. However, her family could not afford to pay for her surgery. Therefore, the doctor said that he would help find them an organization that could help with paying for her surgery and medication. Currently, Kyin is unable to sleep well at night on her back and she needs to sleep propped up. She often feels tired and has shortness of breath.
Khefa is a baby from Tanzania. Khefa has clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Khefa traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 6. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Khefa's clubfoot repair. Khefa’s mother says, “With the little income we have we will never be able to afford our son’s treatment cost, please help us.”
Sany is a 42-year-old moto taxi driver from Cambodia. He has two daughters, and likes to grow plants and clean the house in his free time. When he was nineteen years old, Sany had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in his right ear to perforate. For this reason, Sany experiences ear discharge, tinnitus, itchiness, and hearing loss. He as a difficult time communicating with and understanding others. Sany traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 7, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $423 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. He says, "I hope that after my surgery, my ear infection and discharge will stop and I will be able to hear again."
Dany is a 29-year-old mother from Cambodia. In her free time, she likes to play with her son and follow updates on Facebook. Seven years ago, Dany had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Dany experiences ear discharge, hearing loss, itchiness, and headaches. It is often difficult for Dany to hear, and she has a difficult time understanding and communicating with others. Dany traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 13, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $842 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. She says, "I hope that after my surgery, I will be able to hear clearly again and my ear will heal."
Allan is a child from Kenya. He has one sister. His father earns a living selling flowers. In early December, Allan fell off of his bicycle. He sustained a closed fracture of the radius and ulna of his left hand. He is currently in pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 11, Allan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $998 to fund this procedure. “Kindly assist him to get treatment,” Allan’s father says.
Kheng is a rice farmer from Cambodia. She has four sons and three daughters. She likes to spend time at home and cook in her free time. Four years ago, she was in a motor vehicle accident and developed hip pain on her right side. She cannot walk and was diagnosed with avascular necrosis, which is death of bone tissue due to lack of blood supply. Fortunately, Kheng learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Kheng of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for November 9, and Kheng needs help raising $1,025 to pay for this procedure. She says, "After surgery, I hope I can walk and return to work to support my family."