Gretchen joined Watsi on September 27th, 2013. 5 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Gretchen's most recent donation supported Chhong, a two-year-old boy from Cambodia, to fund chalazion eye treatment helping him to see clearly.
Gretchen has funded healthcare for 53 patients in 10 countries.
Gretchen has funded healthcare for 53 patients in 10 countries.
Chhong is a smart two-year-old boy with one brother. Chhong enjoys playing with his toy car, and his father works as a security guard. Two months ago, Chhong developed a chalazion, or an inflamed cyst in his tear gland, in both eyes causing him irritation, swelling, and tearing. It is difficult for him to see clearly. Chhong traveled across the country for five hours with his mother to seek treatment from our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. On June 7th, surgeons will remove the cyst through a chalazion excision procedure. After recovery, Chhong's symptoms should improve. Now, his family needs help raising $187 to fund this procedure. Chhong's mother shared, "I hope my son can get well soon so he can play with his brother and I don't need to worry so much about his eyes anymore."
Dara is a 55-year-old engineer. He's married and lives with his wife who works in the home. Dara used to work from morning until night, but now his deteriorating vision prevents him from working as much. Currently, he works half days and spends his free time listening to the news on the radio and spending time at his neighbor's house. Five years ago, Dara developed a cataract in his left eye, causing him sensitivity to light, blurry vision, and itchiness. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Dara learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled there with a friend seeking treatment. On April 28th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Dara shared, "I hope after surgery I can regain my independence and return to working full time as an engineer."
Vanneth is a 9-year-old, third-grade student from Cambodia. He goes to school every day, likes Khmer literature, and wants to be a policeman when he grows up. Six years ago, he was burned by fire on his left foot. After the accident, his family took him to a health center for wound repair. He has since developed a left foot burn scar contracture, which makes it difficult for him to wear his left shoe due to the tightening of the skin around the burn. On February 18th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him bend his toes and walk normally again. Now, he needs help to fund this $477 procedure. Vanneth shared, "I hope that my foot will look normal and that I will be able to walk correctly again."
Florence an 11-year-old girl from Kenya, and she is the firstborn in a family of three children. Florence was born with cerebral palsy, which is a condition that affects her muscles, primarily her legs. In addition, Florence also has clubfoot, and as a result she is not able to independently walk from one place to another by herself, so she currently uses a wheelchair to get around. The team from our Medical Partner's Care Center AIC Cure International Hospital met Florence at one of their mobile clinics near her home village. Florence needs to undergo triple arthrodesis surgery, which will relieve pain in her foot and provide her with more stability. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Florence to receive treatment and needs help raising $1,224 for her surgery. Florence's mother is excited that after the surgery, Florence will "be able to walk and continue with her life like other children." She added, “We are appealing to people of goodwill to help our daughter undergo surgery."
Scholastica is a 6-month-old baby girl from Tanzania. She is the last born in a family of six children. Scholastica was born a healthy child but, at four months of age, her mother noticed her head was growing very fast and she was not able to support it. They could not afford the cost of seeking care at the regional hospital at the time. Scholastica's parents are small scale farmers and work hard to make ends meet with their income. Eventually, they were able to get some money from relatives and took her back to the regional hospital. There, Scholastica was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Without treatment, Scholastica will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Unfortunately, she was not able to get an appointment at the regional hospital for a long time. As time went on, Scholastica's condition grew worse. Her head increased in size and her eyes began rolling down. Though they were concerned, her parents could not raise money to seek an alternative hospital for care. Eventually, their friend referred them to our medical partner's care center, ALMC Plaster House. Their friends and neighbours supported them with bus fare for the two-day journey to the hospital. Now, she is scheduled for an ETV surgery to treat her condition, and the family appeals for financial support for this procedure. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of ETV surgery for Scholastica that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 25th and will drain the excess fluid from Scholastica's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. It will also reduce the likelihood of severe fevers, vomiting, and potential brain damage. With proper treatment, Scholastica will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Scholastica’s mother shared, "We travelled for two days because we were told there is hope for my daughter to get help. Please help save her.”
Beata is a nun and a college student from Uganda. Beata likes very much singing along in fellowship and reading novels during her free time. She shared with us that she comes from a poor family that cannot fund the surgery that she needs. For the last 10 years, Beata has been experiencing chronic pelvic pain associated with menorrhagia. She has been diagnosed with multiple uterine fibroids. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $228 to fund Beata's surgery. On September 7th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Beata will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and her quality of life will improve. Beata says, “I am in severe pain, something that has affected my life. I hope to return to school once the government lifts the COVID-19 ban on secondary schools in the country.”
Roy is a child from Kenya. His grandmother prunes coffee plants at a coffee plantation and his father is a casual laborer. Due to family issues, his mother left him and his older sibling with their father who later left them under their grandmother’s care. Roy was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Roy is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on August 4th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $700 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Roy’s grandmother shared, “I would like to see my grandchild in good health.”
Lewis is an eighth-grader from Kenya and the only child of a single mother who works as a bar maid. From the time he was born, he has been cared for by his grandmother who is older and is not working. His uncle will sometimes assist them with food, though he is also a casual driver and has his own family to care for too. Lewis was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Lewis has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Lewis will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 2nd. AMHF is requesting $459 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “I brought my nephew because he has no one else to turn to. I hope he can get help so that he grow up like normal boys,” said Lewis's uncle.
Goodluck is a six-year-old boy from Tanzania. He is the last born child in a family of three children and is currently in class two. Goodluck is a very active and playful boy who loves playing football with friends. His mother is a livestock keeper and she is able to sell the milk she gets from her two cows and through this she is able to support her family. His father is in Kenya working as guard. Goodluck was born a healthy baby without any problem, but at the age of two months his parents noticed he had a small swelling on the upper side of his left eye. His parents thought it would disappear with time but to date, the swelling has not disappeared and it keeps increasing in size. If not treated, the mass will continue increasing in size and cause facial deformity, pain, and discomfort. Goodluck traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On February 14th, surgeons will remove the mass. Now, Goodluck needs help to raise $689 to fund this procedure. Goodluck’s mother says, “The mass keeps growing. We are worried, please help treat our son.”
Nwe is a 36-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her family in Thingangkuun Township in Yangon Division. Nwe works as a seamstress at home while her husband works in a factory. In her free time, Nwe likes to play with her nephew who lives close by and also loves to watch movies at home. Nwe was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Nwe experiences tiredness especially when she walks for longer periods of time. If she feels tired, she also experiences heart palpitations. Sometimes, she also suffers from dizziness. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Nwe. The treatment is scheduled to take place on March 24th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Nwe shared, “I feel stressed about my condition. I am afraid to have surgery but there is no other option. I hope that after I have fully recovered from my surgery, I will be able to work as seamstress again.” Nwe’s husband is also worried for her and he has had to take time off from work to accompany her to all her appointments. He said, “I get paid daily for my work and if I do not work regularly then I have less income. Before, we were able to save some money from our work but since my wife was diagnosed with a heart problem and started to see the doctor for tests and medications, we can no longer save any money.”
Witness is a student from Tanzania who is the first born child in a family of four children. She is smart, intelligent, and very hard working girl. Witness has completed her form four education and is currently waiting for her results to be able to join form five and six. She wishes to be a laboratory technician when she completes her studies and be able to support her parents and siblings. Witness’ father used to work as foreman at a construction site but after the project matured he has not been able to get any other job thus he is now forced to seek any casual day jobs to be able to support his family. The mother sells vegetables and the little income she gets she helps her husband to support her family. Witness was diagnosed with right genu varus. Her leg is bowed so that her knees cannot 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, she has difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Witness. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 24th. Treatment will hopefully restore Witness's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Witness says, “My secondary education has been really challenging for me due to my leg’s condition. If you can help correct my leg I would be able to continue with my further studies with ease without all this challenges I am going through.”
Naw Htee is a 30-year-old woman from Thailand. In 2006, Naw Htee and her family fled from Karen State, Burma to Thailand because there were conflicts between the armed groups and the country's military in their village. She now lives in a refugee camp with her family. In 2010, Naw Htee felt a severe toothache while she and her parents were visiting her village in Burma. She went to the nearest local clinic, where she had her molar teeth extracted. After the procedure, Naw Htee was in extreme pain; she could not even open her mouth as she used to. She was told that pain after tooth extraction is normal and that the pain will be diminished if she takes painkillers. Naw Htee tolerated the pain and hoped for the pain to be gone. Since then, Naw Htee could barely open her mouth. Naw Htee was too afraid to tell about her condition to anyone. She carried this burden for almost 9 years, until she decided to seek help. She then visited the clinic in the refugee camp. After trying oral medication and since her condition remained the same, she was referred to Mae Sariang General Hospital (MSGH) in July 2019. There, she received an x-ray, and the doctor diagnosed her with Ankylosis of the Temporamandibular joint [TMJ], stiffness of a joint due to abnormal adhesion and rigidity of the bones of the joint of jaw. She was then referred on to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) as MSGH does not have capacity to treat her condition. Once at CMH, the doctor told Naw Htee that she needs to undergo a special x-ray prior to receiving treatment. Doctors want Naw Htee to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $469 to cover the cost of Naw Htee's CT scan and care, scheduled for February 5th. Naw Htee mentioned, “I wanted to be a healthy, strong and supportive mother, even without the support of their father.”