Jonathan joined Watsi on December 1st, 2013. Seven years ago, Jonathan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jonathan's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Win, a 40-year-old man from Thailand, to fund sight-restoring cataract surgery.
Jonathan has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 12 countries.
Jonathan has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 12 countries.
Win is a 40-year-old man. He lives with his mother and step-father in Tak Province in Thailand. He used to work in a restaurant until his vision deteriorated and he could no longer work. His mother and his step-father are agricultural day labourers. The income they earn is not enough for their family and sometimes they make and sell charcoal to earn extra money. Win has cataracts in both his eyes but the doctor plans to do surgery on his right eye first. The vision in both his eyes are so poor that he can only perceive light. His mother has to help look after him, washing and feeding him since he cannot see well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Win. On November 9th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Win's natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. "I was so happy when I heard that I will be able to see again," he said. "I want to work once I can see again, so that I can repay our loan. I want to look after my mother and step-father in the future, and one day I want to become a [Buddhist] monk."
Naw Blut lives with her husband, toddler son, and parents in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. She is a homemaker, her parents are retired, and her husband works at the Water and Sanitation Department in the refugee camp. Their family's monthly income of 2,694 baht ($89.80 USD) is just enough to cover their daily needs as they currently have to buy formula milk for Naw Blut's toddler. Naw Blut has been receiving a antenatal care at the clinic at the refugee camp. Earlier this month, Naw Blut went for her follow-up appointment and since she was 37 weeks pregnant and had previously had an emergency C-section, she was told she would need to see a specialist about her delivery. The next day, staff from the organization that helps run the camp (Malteser International (MI) Thailand), brought her to Mae Sariang Hospital. After she met the doctor, the doctor said she could not give birth vaginally because of the status of her pregnancy and her last delivery. The team has scheduled her to undergo a c-section to safely delivery her baby. As Naw Blut cannot afford to pay for the procedure, MI staff referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for financial support.
Nehemia is a nine-year-old child from Tanzania and the fourth born in a family of five children. She is currently in kindergarten and she loves singing the vowels. Nehemia's parents keep livestock for a living and sell the milk. Once in a while, they also sell a goat to make additional money. Nehemia has clubfoot of her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Nehemia traveled to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), to receive treatment. On September 14th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Nehemia's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Nehemia’s father shared, "every day when she gets home from school she complains of pain and you can easily see she is trying not to put pressure on the foot due to fear of pain. Please help my daughter."
Fred is a motorbike delivery man from Kenya. He is the last born in a family of five. Fred recently got a job in Nairobi making deliveries using a motorbike. He has only been working for two months at his job. On average, he can make $4 a day. The single young man lives in an apartment costing $30 a month. He does not have active medical insurance coverage do to the cost. His parents are small-scale farmers who grow food crops for home-use on their half an acre piece of land in Kisii. Fred's parents rely on him for upkeep and income since not all his siblings have jobs. To save money, he had travelled to his ancestral home in Kisii (about 500 km from Nairobi) to visit his elderly parents using his work motorbike. He was involved in an accident along Maai Maihiu road while going back to Nairobi. A personal car was on the wrong side of the narrow road and unfortunately hit him. He was rushed to Kijabe Hospital as an emergency case and admitted right away. X-rays revealed that he has a midshaft fracture femur, distal fibular fracture, ulna styloid fracture, Scaphoid fracture, and fracture of his finger.. The Orthopedic team has recommended right femur and right distal tibia fracture repair surgery. He is currently unable to walk or use his right leg and arm. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 25th, Fred will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. He will be able to walk again and use his arm again Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Fred says, “I am young and have a life to lead, I cannot lose my leg. I recently started working with high hopes for my future and supporting my elderly parents. I also promised my brother to pay for his college fees. Sadly, I now cannot walk or use my legs”.
David is a nine-year-old boy who lives with his three sisters and one brother. His mother sells Khmer noodles at the market and his father works in construction. He shared that math and physics are his best subjects in school. When not in school, David enjoys playing with toys, playing football, watching TV, and reading books. Recently, David fell down the stairs and injured his left hip. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), diagnosed him with avascular necrosis at the hip, which means loss of blood supply to the bone. This condition causes David to have difficulty and pain when walking. Luckily, surgeons with perform a left hip bone osteotomy to relieve his pain and help prevent further damage. CSC is requesting $425 to fund this procedure. When asked about what the surgery means to him, David shared with us that he hopes to walk easily again and without pain.
James is former motorbike taxi driver from Kenya. He's married and is the father of two children 13 and 6 years old. James' wife is works part-time on a rice farm in their hometown. The family currently lives in a rental house paid for by their local church pastor. In November 2017, James was in a motorbike accident. Due to the accident, he lost his job, and he shared that his life became one revolving around experiencing pain and constant hospital visits. He underwent surgery on his broken leg in a nearby health facility in his hometown. Following the procedure he had a challenging recovery due to infections, causing him sleepless nights and visits to different healthcare facilities. James was finally referred to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital where he underwent several treatments in May. James returned home but later came back to the hospital with a wounded leg that was in bad shape with an exposed bone. The doctors originally admitted James for repair surgery, but determined he needed a below-knee amputation which took place in mid-June. James still experiences a lot of pain, so the surgeon recommend he undergo another round of intense debridement in the amputated area to remove his damaged tissue and help him to finally heal. James has national health insurance, which supported his two major surgeries, but his coverage has been depleted and will not support the care he needs now. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping James receive treatment. On June 25th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to prevent the spread of infection and speed up his recovery. Now, James needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. James wishes to be free from pain, “I, unfortunately, lost my leg due to a sudden amputation, and I am still in shock. I will never be able to use both legs again. I am still in a lot of pain and the wound needs another procedure for me to be well. I need to get out of the hospital and figure out how to take care of my family with my current condition.”
Saray is a 16-year-old student who with his mother and his five older siblings. His father passed away a few years ago. His mother and older brothers work as farmers. When he is not at school, Saray likes to help with household chores or go for walks with one of his brothers. About five years ago, Saray 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, Saray experiences pain, hearing loss, tinnitus and ear discharge. It is difficult for Saray to hear his family members, listen to the teacher at school, and in the past few months he has had to take time away from school. Saray traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 25th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear 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. Saray said, "I hope that this ear pain will be gone after surgery. I want to hear well at school and also listen to music on the radio when I am at home."
Ngoitumet is a 6-year-old boy and the last born in a family of three children. Despite his legs condition and his difficulty with walking, Ngoitumet is a friendly and jovial boy. If not for his health condition, he would be running around enjoying his playtime and be more involved in daily home activities. Ngoitmet’s father is elderly with no source of income. He was not able to bring Ngoitumet to the hospital and had to be helped by a neighbor. Ngoitumet's family depends on livestock keeping and the milk they get from their cattle to make ends meet. Ngoitumet was diagnosed with "windswept" knees, a condition that started when he was two years old when his father noticed his left leg was slightly curving outward. His father couldn’t take him to the hospital for treatment due to financial challenges, so his left leg kept worsening, and the right leg also began curving inward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Due to his condition, Ngoitumet has not had a chance to join school yet. He is no longer able to take part in daily home activities, like grazing their father’s cattle. Ngoitumet undergoes a lot of pain when he walks over a long distance. Through their church and the outreach program at Plaster House, Ngoitumet's family was referred to seek treatment. He has been scheduled for surgery to help correct both of his legs. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Ngoitumet. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 20th. Treatment will hopefully restore Ngoitumet's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Ngoitumet’s neighbour shared, "Please help this boy as he is having a hard time standing and walking and his parents do not have money to seek treatment for him."
Say is a four-year-old boy who lives with his mother, brother, sister, and grandfather in a refugee camp on the border of Thailand. His father returned to Burma to visit his village last year. When Thailand closed its borders because of the COVID-19 outbreak, his father could not come back to the camp. Say's grandfather is an assistant pastor in the camp and he receives his income through donations when he visits his church members for home prayers. Say goes to nursery school while both of his siblings go to primary school. His mother does all the household chores. Every month, their household receives some funding to purchase rations in the camp, which is just enough for their basic needs. They receive free healthcare and education in the camp, but specialized procedures like the care that Say needs are often not possible. In early February 2021, Say developed an inguinal hernia on his right side, which has resulted in swelling and pain. His mother has noticed that since he developed the hernia, his appetite has decreased, as eating more can sometimes cause additional discomfort. Fortunately, on March 25th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Say's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 25th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Say's mother said, "When I heard that my son needs surgery, I became so worried because he is the youngest in our family." She is eager for the surgery to be complete and for Say to have healed.
Halhadad is a 3-year-old boy from Tanzania. Halhadad is the last born child in a family of three children. His mother works hard to support and care for the three children by herself. She started a small business of selling doughnuts called “mandazi” and roasted cassava in order to be able to pay for rent and provide for her children. Halhadad was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, or knock knees. His legs bow inward 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. As a result, Halhadad is unable to run, and it is painful for him to walk for a long distance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Halhadad. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Halhadad's mobility, enable to return to playing with his siblings, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Halhadad’s mother shared, “I would love to see my son walk without challenges, but the cost of treatment is too high for me to afford, kindly help my son.”
Arinaitwe is a farmer from Uganda. Arinaitwe is a married father of eight children with two boys who are all still studying and six girls, one is married, and the rest are still in school. Arinaitwe earns a living from agriculture where he has a banana and coffee plantation and rears cows on a small scale but mostly for home consumption and sells off the surplus. He operates the farm together with his wife. Arinaitwe presented with a swelling on the left foot for two years. He has pain when he tries to wear shoes and walks with difficulty. Arinaitwe traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On August 18, surgeons will remove the mass. Now, Arinaitwe needs help to raise $187 to fund this procedure. Atuheire says, "I expect a successful surgery and hope that my health will be restored after surgery to continue with farming."
Kemirembe is a 49-year-old mother of five and shared that her husband died in 1998. He left her with a grass thatched house, and through hard work, she managed to construct a three-room semi-permanent house to shelter her children. Her house though, was washed away by floods early last month due to constant rains in the country. She is currently struggling in putting up a temporally one because she wasn’t financially prepared for the disaster. Her firstborn is 30 years old and joined a technical institution immediately after completing primary school class seven, the second born is 27 years old and dropped out of school from secondary school class two, her third born is 25 years old and got married after primary school class seven. Her fourth is 23 years old and is in secondary school class four while her last born is 22 years and dropped out of school from primary school class seven. Most of her children are casual laborers and can only offer minimal support to her. At Rushoroza Hospital, she presented with a history of lower abdominal pain plus menorrhagia. If not treated through a total abdominal hysterectomy, she could have chronic pelvic pain that will stop her from doing her daily activities, severe anemia secondary to menorrhagia leading to possible heart failure. Kemirembe is a small-scale farmer who grows a variety of crops for survival. Her husband used to own and raise livestock such as cows and goats. He had many of them, she told us. Kemirembe managed to pay school fees for her children by selling the cows and goats and now is left with no animals. Kemirembe shared, “I had lost hope. May my prayers be answered. I look forward to putting more effort to farming in order to be able to take good care of myself in a few years when I grow older.”