Margaret joined Watsi on January 13th, 2017. Three years ago, Margaret became the 3179th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 3,279 more people have become monthly donors! Margaret's most recent donation supported Ezekiel, a baby from Tanzania, to fund a secondary hydrocephalus surgery.
Margaret has funded healthcare for 38 patients in 7 countries.
Ezekiel is a 7-month-old baby from Tanzania. His parents are both subsistence farmers and they keep a few goats. They depend on their small harvests to meet their day-to-day basic needs. Ezekiel was born at a hospital, a healthy happy baby, but when Ezekiel reached one month old he started crying most nights, was taken to a local near by hospital and was immediately referred to a regional referral hospital where this stayed for three weeks on antibiotics and seizure control medications. Their family was then referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center ALMC for further neurological consultation. At ALMC they were told that Ezekiel has a brain abscess that needs draining immediately, but Ezekiel’s parents could not afford surgery. They had already sold their land as they were being moved from hospital to hospital and on medication and tests done to diagnose him. Watsi's partner ALMC-The Plaster House paid for Ezekiel’s first emergency surgery and he healed well and was discharged home. A few weeks later Ezekiel started crying a lot, vomiting and experiencing seizures. Ezekiel’s mother rushed him to a near by local dispensary where they were told he needed to be seen by specialist doctors for further investigations. She brought him back to ALMC and he was diagnosed with acquired hydrocephalus, which is a result of inflammation of the ventricles in the brain secondary to the infection he had. This caused him to have obstructive hydrocephalus. Through Watsi donors support, he was able to have hydrocephalus surgery of ETV, which helped save him from having headaches, vomiting, and seizures that could have resulted in death. His earlier treatment relieved the built up pressure on Ezekiel’s brain and prevented further brain damage. But now the ETV surgery need to be supplemented. He was rushed to hospital and has been schedule to have a VPS shunt insertion. Ezekiel has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Without treatment, Ezekiel will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for Ezekiel that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 26th and will drain the excess fluid from Ezekiel's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Ezekiel will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Ezekiel’s mother says, “All I wish is to see my son well and not going through all this suffering and pain he is going through. Please help my son.”
Naomi is a single mother of three, all of which are still in school. Naomi earns a living through casual jobs, like washing clothes for her neighbors. In 2018, she started experiencing pain on the right side of her abdomen. She was diagnosed with gallstones and her surgeon has shared that she needs a laparotomy. Unfortunately, she could not afford the surgery until a neighbor, who is one of our supportive staff, told her about the Watsi program. If not treated Naomi will continue to experience pain and may develop an infection or inflammation. Fortunately our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. Now, they are asking for your help to fund this $788 surgery. “When I did not have this condition I was able to provide for my children, but now I have difficulties so I plead for help. I hope to get well so that I can take care of my family,” shared Naomi.
Thoeun is a 37-year-old monk from Cambodia. He is the oldest of eight siblings who are all married and live elsewhere. He normally lives with other monks, but his parents are taking care of him while he is injured. He reads books every day, prays and does house work. Two months ago, Thoeun fell from a hammock, resulting in a compression of his spine. He soon began to feel weakness and numbness in his legs. Now he cannot stand or walk, and occasionally feels acute pain in his lower back. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), can help. Doctors will perform a laminectomy, a surgical procedure that removes a portion of the vertebral bone called the lamina in order to relieve pressure on his spine. Once he has recovered from the procedure, his nerves will function normally and he will be able to walk. Our medical partner is now asking for $1,500 to help cover the cost of his surgery. Thoeun shared, "I hope that I can soon return to my duties as a monk. I can't stay with my parents and make them take care of me anymore. When I get better I want to thank them and take care of them in return."
Bernice is a two and a half year old and the firstborn to her mother, who is raising Bernice on her own. Bernice’s mother is the fifth born in a large family of seven siblings. Bernice’s mother completed Form Four schooling two years ago, however, she was not able to continue with her studies due to financial pressures. However, since she had performed well, a well-wisher supported her to join a nursing college in Nakuru. She lives with her mother (Bernice's grandmother) who is chronically sick from a spinal injury. During the school holiday’s Bernice’s mother does clothes washing for people, in order to support her baby. Bernice was born with a congenital umbilical hernia. Her mother assumed that it would to heal, but the condition progressed. She was taken to a general hospital, where she was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center. During our interview, Bernice's mother said that she has been looking for funds to bring her baby for the treatment, however, it has been very difficult. Bernice’s mother shared, "I wish I can get help for my baby."
Phearuos is a 23-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. She is the youngest child of seven siblings. Her patients are rice farmers. Phearuos likes singing and spending time with her family and friends. Fifteen years ago, Phearuos had a serious 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, Phearuos experiences ear pain, discharge with a foul smell, and headaches. She has difficulty communicating with others. Despite trying for a long time, Phearuos has had difficultly finding a better job because of her hearing and ear discharge problems. Phearuos traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 28th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Her mom said, "I am happy for her to have this surgery because I worry every day about the headaches and pain and how it could affect her brain. With the hearing problem it is difficult to talk to her as well." "I hope that the surgery will go well and my ear discharge and headaches will go away. I look forward to being able to communicate with people better when my hearing improves," Phearuos said.
Arabella is a 15-month-old baby from Kenya. Arabella’s mom is a stay-at-home mom and does a bit of farming at home. Her father is a caterer in a nearby school. Arabella underwent a colostomy, in which the end of her colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Arabella's case, her colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $619 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Arabella. The surgery is scheduled to take place on March 19th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. “Please help us. I look forward to see my daughter well,” says Arabella’s mother.
Sokchea is a 30-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He has two sisters and one brother. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer and listening to music. Seven years ago, Sokchea 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, Sokchea experiences discharge, infection, itchiness, and tinnitus. Sokchea finds it difficult to listen to others and cannot communicate easily. Sokchea traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On February 25th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. "I hope that after the operation, the infection and discharge will stop, and I will be able to hear more clearly again," he shared.
Ko Myo Zaw is a 41-year-old man who lives with his wife in Burma. He and his wife used to work as a seamster and sew children’s clothing. However, Ko Myo stopped working more than a year ago because of his poor health and he now relies on his wife’s income. On the 18th of June 2018, Ko Myo developed pain in his left waist after sitting for a long time. He then had to stand up every two hours to reduce the pain. This continued for a few more months, until he was no longer able to work. A year after he first experienced these symptoms, he went to Myawaddy Hospital to see a doctor. He received an x-ray and ultrasound which revealed he has a kidney stone in his left kidney. The doctor gave him medication to breakup the stone and Ko Myo took the medication for one year. The medication reduced the pain during the first month, but returned a month after that. By the 29th of May 2019, he could no longer take the pain and went to see the doctor at Myawaddy Hospital. The doctor then gave him stronger medications to reduce the pain and break up the stone. At the suggestion of a neighbor, he decided to seek treatment at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) across the border in Thailand, which he was told provides charitable health care. On 5th of October 2019, he arrived at MTC. The next day, he was brought to the local hospital where he received an ultrasound and an appointment to undergo laser treatment to breakup the kidney stone. He took out a loan to pay for the first round of treatment on November 24th, 2019. When he returned to the clinic in January to undergo a follow-up ultrasound, he was told they also found stones in his right kidney. Unable to pay for further treatment, Ko Myo was referred to Watsi Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance in accessing further treatment. Ko Myo's next appointment to undergo a second round of laser treatment will be on Jaunary 28th. He will complete treatment for the kidney stone in his left kidney, before he receives treatment for the stones in his other kidney. Currently, Ko Myo still has pain in his waist. Sometimes he feels tired and the area around his left waist feels hot. "Once I recover I would like to go back to work and pay back my loan," said Ko Myo.
Sarah is a calm teenager and in class six from Kenya. She is an aspiring lawyer and firstborn of two children. She lives with her mother and younger sister in a two-room house in the Rift valley region of Kenya. Her father left them years back due to the increasing family demands. Sarah was diagnosed with spina bifida at birth and was treated. The site is however prone to infection and if not treated, result in severe pain. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Sarah receive treatment. On October 30th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to this will eliminate the risk of infection. Now, Sarah needs help to fund this $1,129 procedure. “I would like to be a lawyer when I grow up,” says Sarah.
Brian is 16 years old and the second born in a family of four children in Kenya. His mother used to look after the cerebral palsy children at the cerebral palsy society of Kenya but is currently at home while his father is a hawker in Nairobi. Brian was born without any complications but at the age of one he suffered from malaria and while on treatment the doctors confirmed he had cerebral palsy. He can neither walk nor sit upright. His mother often takes him to a therapy session 3 times a week to avoid stiffness of his hand and leg. “Last week Brian started crying uncontrollably. I noticed a swelling on his hip and we immediately took him to Mama Lucy Kibaki hospitals. An x-ray was taken and showed a fracture on his femur, so we were referred to CURE hospital for specialized care,” Brian’s mother told us. Currently Brian is in pain and discomfort as he cannot stretch his foot further. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo hip repair surgery. This treatment will be good as it will stabilize and heal the broken bone as well as re-align the bone. It will enhance his mobility once he heals and reduce his pain. Brian's father shared, “I am kindly requesting for support; my joy would be to see my son without pain and walking like other children. God bless you."
Patrick is a young student from Kenya. Patrick is the 2nd born in a family of 3 children. He is a class 1 pupil and he likes reading, drawing and playing with other kids at school and at home. The father is a farmer while the mother is a housewife. Patrick has clubfoot of his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Patrick traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Patrick's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. “We are kindly appealing for help of the 2nd surgery. Any kind of assistance will be appreciated." said Patrick’s father.
She lives with her parents in Karen State, Burma. She now works at Kyaw Hta Rural Clinic, 45 minutes away by motorbike from her village and earns 70,000 Kyat (approx. 70 USD) per month. Her parents are farmers and their total income is 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month. Their income is just enough for their daily needs. Around eight years ago, Cherry developed pain in the right side of her abdomen. She went to the clinic near her village. At the clinic, the medic thought that she was suffering from normal stomachaches. Since the clinic did not have the necessary equipment to run diagnostic tests, the medic treated her for the pain. She received pain killers and when the pain was worse, a stronger does of pain killers through an injection. In May 2019, she was completing her training with Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), when the pain in her abdomen became worse. She received an ultrasound and painkillers at the clinic, before she was diagnosed with a renal stone in her right kidney. MTC then referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation and treatment. At the hospital, she received an X-ray, ultrasound and a blood test, as well as oral medication for the pain. After checking her results, the doctor confirmed her diagnosis and told her that she needs to receive laser treatment two to three times, to break up the stone in her kidney. She received her first round of laser treatment on 7 August 2019. To pay for that, she had to borrow money from her supervisor and her neighbor. She was scheduled to undergo a second round of treatment on 18 September 2019, but she could no longer afford to pay. Luckily, MTC referred her to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing further treatment. Currently, Cherry still has pain in the right side of her abdomen. She is interested in the field of medicine and enjoys learning new things related to this field in her free time.