Scott joined Watsi on November 25th, 2014. Six years ago, Scott joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Scott's most recent donation traveled 4,100 miles to support U Pyin, a 36-year-old monk from Burma, to fund heart surgery.
Scott has funded healthcare for 132 patients in 12 countries.
Scott has funded healthcare for 132 patients in 12 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.”
Daw Nwe is a 61-year-old woman from Thailand. Originally from Mon State, Burma, she moved in with her sister’s family in Thailand in January 2022, when her vision worsened and she did not have anyone to take care of her at home. In her free time, she enjoys watching videos about Buddhism, reading books about Buddhism and praying. She has cataracts and she can can only perceive darkness and light with her left eye. The vision in her right eye is slightly better as she can still see a bit, but her vision is blurry and she needs help from her family for daily personal activities. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Daw Nwe. On April 25th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Daw Nwe's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Daw Nwe said, “I am very happy when I think about how my vision will be restored. I am thankful to all the donors and the organisation [BCMF] for helping me receive eye surgery.”
James is is a 43-year-old man who is married with two children. James and his wife are casual laborers taking any job available, which means their income is limited and inconsistent. James was brought in on a stretcher by his wife and brother. His wife shared that they have had a very difficult life recently. James has been bedridden following a fall and broken leg as they could not afford the cost of his treatment. Fortunately a neighbor intervened and now he is seeking help. Our medical partner's team will perform a fracture repair to heal his leg and they also plan to follow up to assess if he has weakened bones. If not treated James may never be able to walk again and his leg may heal with deformity. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is raising $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I have been at home at the mercy of God. At least my neighbor directed us to Nazareth Hospital. I hope I can get help so that hopefully I can walk again,” said James quietly.
Choranai is a 14-year-old student in tenth grade. She has two siblings, a nine-year-old brother, and a seventeen-year-old sister who is at the university. Her mother works at a local NGO. Her parents have been divorced for seven years and Choranai lives with her mother. When not doing homework, she plays with her brother, watches TV, and listens to music. She also enjoys swimming and helping with housework. She shared that her favorite meal is fried vegetables and milk. Two weeks ago, she developed a problem in her arm so her mother took her to Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, where her skin was debrided twice to help her heal. Doctors at the local hospital suggested she visit our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) for further diagnosis and treatment. Surgeons at CSC diagnosed her with radial nerve palsy and need to do a radial nerve repair and rotational flap and skin graft to repair the paralysis in her arm and hand. On February 24th, she'll undergo surgery and after recovery, she will be able to feel and use her hand again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Choranai and her mom are hopeful that the numbness and paresthesia will disappear and she can use her hand again.
Precious is a one-month-old baby girl and the youngest child in a family of two children. Her mother is single and works washing clothes for a living. Precious has an older sibling who is 10 years old. Precious has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Precious has experienced progressive head enlargement since her birth. If left untreated, her condition could lead to developmental and physical delays. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Precious receive treatment. On January 26th, she will undergo surgery to drain the excess fluid from Precious's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. After treatment, Precious will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Now, AMH is requesting $720 to cover the cost of Precious's procedure and care. Precious's mother shared, "I hope Precious gets help. Alone, I am unable to help pay for the treatment she needs."
Maureen is a cheerful 10-year-old student. She's the third born child in a family of four children. Both of her parents work on farms around their home. Earlier this year, Maureen fractured her right femur. She underwent surgery to treat the fracture and the injury healed well. However, on December 5th, Maureen fell and unfortunately fractured the same leg. She was admitted to the hospital where another surgery was recommended to help her heal fully. The fracture causes Maureen pain and she is unable to walk. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On December 23rd, Maureen will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help heal her fracture so that she can walk well again. Now, Maureen and her family need help raising $1,049 to fund her procedure and care. Maureen shared, "I hope to get better and go back to school. Please help me."
Marian is a seven-year-old student and the youngest child of three children in her family. Her mother is a housewife, while her father is a small-scale farmer. Marian has clubfoot of the right foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Marian tiptoes when she walks, has difficulty walking for long distances, and often falls. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Marian receive treatment. On November 22nd, she will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, she will be able to walk well, run, and play with her peers in school. Now, AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Marian's procedure and care. Marian's mother shared, "I would love to see my daughter walking like other girls, and any support to make her surgery possible will be highly appreciated by our family."
Emily is a kind 26-year-old woman who recently got engaged to her childhood friend. She is the fourth born in a family of 7 and lives with both of her parents. One day in 2008, Emily started to experience severe abdominal pains. The pains kept increasing and she could not pass stool. On the third day, her parents rushed her the hospital where a diagnosis of bowel obstruction was made. She was taken to the operating room and had an ileostomy done as a temporary treatment for the bowel obstruction. An ileostomy is an opening in the abdominal wall that is made during surgery, part of the small intestines are diverted through an opening in the abdomen called a stoma. A special bag is placed over the stoma to collect fecal matter that are unable to pass through the colon out of the body. An ileostomy is reversible since it is only made to provide a temporary passage for the release of stools out of the body while allowing healing of the operated part of the intestines/ bowels. Emily was scheduled for ileostomy reversal in July 2008 and the parents took her back to the hospital where she was admitted. She was later discharged home and the surgery rescheduled since the there were many patients in the waiting list. She has since had more than 7 admissions for the procedure but each time she is discharged and the surgery rescheduled. They kept going to the hospital and in 2011 they gave up since they were not getting help and had already spent a lot on transport and meals. Emily eventually dropped out of school due to discrimination and the stigma associated with the condition. She now uses cheap thin plastic papers as stoma bags as the family cannot afford to buy the all the bags due to financial constraints. She has grown to live with this condition. Despite all that has been in her way, Emily is still very hard working and earns a living from washing clothes at people's homes. This enables her to buy the plastic bags for the stoma. Often, she runs out of money to buy the bags and is forced to stay indoors. Recently, one of their neighbors had a thyroidectomy done at Partners in Hope Hospital under a special program and urged her parents to bring her for assessment. The surgeon reviewed her and indicated that the condition can still be corrected through laparotomy where an ileostomy reversal will be done. This surgery will greatly improve Emily’s life, restore her dignity as a human being and remove the emotional pain and torture that Emily has lived with the past 13 years. Her parents are seeking financial support to help their daughter undergo the surgery. “I remember that when I was young, I used to use the bathroom normally in the pit latrine. I pray that one day I will be able to use the toilet again. I hope that when I get married I will be like all other women and will not have to embarrass my husband with this condition," shared Emily with a shy smile on her face.
Nin is a 27-year-old rainy day farmer from Cambodia. He has 3 older sibling. Nin shared that he enjoys playing volleyball, football, fishing, and plays chess with his friends. In July 2021, Nin was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a mandible injury and paralysis of his shoulder. After the accident, he had his mandible fixed at a local government hospital. He was also diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right 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. Nin still has no shoulder abduction, no elbow or wrist flexion, and has no sensation at the level of his forearm. Nin needs nerve reconstruction surgery to repair the injured nerves. Nin traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On September 6th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm and hand again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Nin hopes that he can use his hand again as soon as possible.
Rhophence is struggling to speak when we meet her. She cannot pronounce words clearly or eat regularly due to a mandibular mass. She was diagnosed with Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia, which is also causing her teeth to loosen on the affected area. She is scheduled for a 10-hour surgery at our Medical Partner's Care Center Kijabe Hospital. Her chronic mandibular swelling started back in October 2020 as a small swelling and has gradually increased in size, so Rhophence was forced to visit the hospital. She was treated for pain in their local health centre and discharged home. But, the swelling worsened and Rhophence opted to visit Kijabe in May 2021. Several tests revealed the Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia diagnosis and surgery was recommended. She does not have the funds for the various procedures to relieve her pain. She is a single mother of four children aged between 30 and 18 years. She comes from a remote village along the Kenyan coast. She is currently jobless with no source of income and stays with her younger brother who she depends on for survival. The surgery is estimated to cost about $4,500. She has active national health insurance coverage that has only approved $2,000. She is unable to raise the remaining amount. She fundraised money for travel fare to come to Kijabe and she is now being hosted in the local centre by a relative. Rhophence shared, "This swelling is so painful. My mouth is deformed and I cannot even speak clearly. It’s sadly starting to give a bad odour making people close to me uncomfortable. This is affecting my life. I need these surgeries to normalize my life.”
Benjamin is a father of a four-year-old child who works as a motorbike (boda-boda) driver, earning about $3.70USD per day. His income is also inconsistent and depends on the availability of customers. He is the sole breadwinner for his family. Unfortunately, he has no active medical insurance coverage and has had to rely on relatives and friends to settle hospital bills. Benjamin is full of smiles but finds it difficult to sit up while sharing his story. He opts to talk while lying flat on his back. Benjamin is currently immobile, unable to sit and walk, as a result of a road traffic accident from the beginning of the month. When the 25-year-old hitched a ride on his friend's water truck, the vehicle lost control and he was thrown out the window. He immediately experienced severe back pain and lost consciousness. The accident left Benjamin with multiple fractures and wounds that will require several fracture repair and spine surgeries in order for him to sit, walk, and be able to continue with his normal routine roles again. After stays at various hospitals and numerous referrals, Benjamin arrived at our medical partner's care center, Kijabe Hospital, for care on July 17th. One of the obstacles to treatment he had faced at other hospitals was a long waiting list that meant a delay in much-needed care, but fortunately Kijabe is able to offer his needed care more urgently. At Kijabe Hospital, the doctors recommended a spinal fusion procedure for him to help regain his mobility. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,500 for Benjamin's critical surgery, scheduled to take place on July 26th. Benjamin shares, “I just sleep on my back and cannot even sit or walk. I cannot work and fend for my family. I need this surgery to get back to my Boda-boda job and raise my family."