Paul joined Watsi on February 15th, 2015. Four years ago, Paul joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Paul's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Seint, a 34 year old teacher from Burma, to fund heart surgery.
Paul has funded healthcare for 55 patients in 11 countries.
Paul has funded healthcare for 55 patients in 11 countries.
Seint, who is 34 years old, lives with her parents and her aunt in Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. Her parents and her aunt make and sell mats from their home. When Seint was 13-years old, she noticed she started to easily tire, experienced heart palpitations, and had barely enough energy to play with her friends. Her mother took her to a nearby clinic, where the doctor examined her and told them that she had congenital heart disease. The doctor gave Seint medication, which she used together with traditional medicine. Both helped her to feel better. In November 2022, Seint felt extremely tired and experienced heart palpitations while she was completing physical exercises with her students. She also had difficulty breathing, and her vision became blurred. Her mother took her to a clinic, where she received medications which helped her to feel better. A few days later, however, she started to experience pain in her back whenever she felt tired. She also started to have difficulty breathing again, and had heart palpitations. Her mother brought her to a hospital in Yangon, where she received an echocardiogram that allowed the doctor to diagnose her with atrial septal defect. After additional testing, the doctor scheduled her to undergo urgent heart surgery at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is seeking $1,500 to fund Seint's surgery, which will allow her to regain her health, and to live symptom free. Seint said: "I would like to recover as soon as possible. In the future, I will continue to work as a teacher. I love teaching students and wearing our school uniform proudly."
Marion is a 6-year-old student from the highlands of Elgeyo Marakwet county in Kenya. She is the second born in a family of three girls and currently attending preschool near her family home. Her parents are small-scale potato farmers. One day Marion's mother went to the river to fetch water. While she was gone, her children were sitting near an open fireplace at home making breakfast. Unfortunately, Marion's dress caught fire on the open flame, and as a result, she sustained severe burns on her back, abdomen and thighs. It has been difficult for her to walk, and the wounds are causing extreme discomfort. She especially needs a third surgery to treat the severity of her burns contractures. Despite Marion's parents having medical insurance, due to previous surgeries that she has had to treat the injuries, the insurance (a monthly subscription) has run its course and is no longer an option. Her parents do not have the funds to pay for Marion's surgery and need support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Marion receive treatment. On January 25th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery that will allow her to walk with greater ease and resume her normal life at home and school. Now, she and her family are requesting $1,478 to help fund this procedure. Marion's mother says, “I am really looking forward to seeing my daughter live and walk in a normal way. I worked hard to pay for insurance coverage, but unfortunately, it cannot fund the upcoming procedure. I am disappointed, but I will not lose hope. Kindly help her.”
Itzael lives in the mountains above La Paz, Bolivia with her parents, who are farmers, and her older brother. She was born with Down's syndrome and a cardiac condition called atrioventricular septal defect, in which a large hole exists in the center of the heart, causing blood to leak between all four chambers. This condition leaves her sick, short of breath, and unable to gain weight as her body needs to grow. Fortunately for Itzael, surgeons at our partner hospital will perform heart surgery to fix her condition. During the surgery, doctors will close the hole using a patch so that blood can flow normally through her heart. Her family needs to raise $1,500 for her surgery. Itzael's mother says: "Our family is very happy and thankful to have this chance to help our daughter."
Lynemandy is a 28 year old woman from Haiti, who is studying for a business degree at a local university. She lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Lynemandy has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation, which is a result of a bout of rheumatic fever that she suffered as a child. One of the four valves in her heart was severely damaged as a result of this illness, and in 2018, Lynemandy underwent surgery to repair the damaged valve. The valve functioned well for four years, but now it needs to be replaced so she can live healthy in the future. The care she needs is unfortunately not available within Haiti, so Lynemandy will need to travel to undergo cardiac surgery in the United States on November 17th. Her surgery, during which a new valve will be implanted, is being funded by Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital. Now Lynemandy and her family need to raise $1,500 to cover the costs of pre and post operative treatment, and for the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Lynemandy when she travels to the United States. Lynemandy said: "I am very grateful to everyone who is working so hard to keep me alive and healthy."
Meet Sokhorn, a recently married 27 year old man, living with his wife in Cambodia. Sokhorn works at a factory that produces automobile and motorcycle plates, and when he has free time, he enjoys swimming, running, and keeping up with current events. In August 2022, when he was on his motorcycle delivering food, Sokhorn was in a collision with a car. He fractured his left tibia, and was operated on at a local hospital. An external fixation device to keep the bones in place was used, and Sokhorn was sent home to heal. Because he lacked the money to do so, Sokhorn never followed up with the doctors who treated him. He now finds that he has no range of motion in his ankle; has lost all sensation in the area where the surgery was performed, and he is unable to walk. He feels so unwell overall, that he no longer goes to work, leaving his wife as their sole support. Fortunately, a neighbor introduced Sokhorn to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, where he was diagnosed with a chronic infection of his wound, and osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone. Sokhorn needs debridement of the wound and reconstructive surgery, in order to save his leg and to heal completely. Thanks to Children's Surgical Centre, Sokhorn is scheduled for this life changing procedure on October 6th, at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre. Now he needs your help to fund the $991 required to cover the costs of his surgery and care. Sokhorn said: "I hope the doctors will fix my leg so I have no more infections. I want to find work so I can support my wife and have a good life with her."
Alma is a 46-year-old woman, living with her sister and daughter in the Philippines. Their basic needs are sustained by her sister’s small business. In 2020, Alma developed a sore on the inside of her right cheek. The sore kept increasing in size, until her face became highly swollen. Because her family had insufficient financial resources, Alma was unable to seek help for her condition. Fortunately, Alma was referred to our partner care facility, the Our Lady of Peace Hospital. There, she was assessed, and diagnosed with a Buccal Mass. This condition begins when the cells that make up the inner cheek have abnormal growth, and form lesions or tumors. Alma needs to undergo surgery to remove the mass. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Alma to access the care that she needs. She is scheduled to undergo an excision of the mass on September 10th, at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. World Surgical Foundation Philippines is asking for your help to fund this procedure, for which they need $1,452. Alma shared: “I’ve lost my confidence since the lump is very visible on my face. This surgery is the answer to my prayers. Thank you so much WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for helping me!”
Gedion is a happy and talkative 16-year-old from Kenya who is currently a student in standard eight. He is the thirdborn in a family of six. Since their mother left them a few years ago, he and his siblings live with their father in their rural home on a small piece of land. Gedion's father works as a casual laborer and burns charcoal for sale to provide for their family's basic needs, as well as to pay for the children's school fees. His family also plants maize and beans on their small piece of land to feed themselves. During holidays and on the weekends, Gedion and his siblings usually work on other people's farms to provide additional income. He shares that life for his family has been very difficult, but they have been working hard in order to fight poverty together. This past Saturday, Gedion was brought into our medical partner's care center, AIC Kapsowar Hospital, via an ambulance from a facility near his home after being involved in a road traffic accident. While Gedion was on his way home from a nearby shopping center, a tractor passed by. He hopped onto it in order to reach home faster since he was still far from home and it was already beginning to become dark. There were some people already on the tractor, so they continued with their journey together. While they were on their way, the tractor lost control and fell down. The people riding were all rushed to a nearby facility. While those with minor injuries were able to be treated at the local facility, three of the riders, including Gedion, had to be referred to our medical partner's care center. During the accident, he sustained a fracture of his right femur and is currently experiencing a lot of pain. He is also unable to use his leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 12th, Gedion will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which is called an open reduction and internal fixation. After treatment, he will be able to use his leg again, attend school, and help out at home. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Gedion shares, "This state has really pulled me down. I don’t know what to do. Kindly help me so that I may be able to pursue my dreams and change the state of my family.”
Hebron is an adorable two-year-old baby boy. He is a charming boy who loves to play with his older sister. Hebron’s father is a teacher at a local college while Hebron's mother is a housewife. Despite working hard, it is difficult for Hebron’s father to make ends meet for their family. Hebron has been diagnosed with genu valgus, where 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, he has difficulty walking and this worries his parents since his sister suffers the same condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Hebron. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 8th. Treatment will hopefully restore Hebron's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Hebron’s mother says, “Please help me, my children's legs are being deformed and we are worried."
Poeun is a 70-year-old grandfather with two daughters, five sons, and six grandchildren. He takes care of his grandchildren when his children go to work. Eight years ago, Poeun developed a severe ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membranes, or the ear drums, in both of his ears to perforate. As a result, Poeun experiences hearing loss, pain, and discharge, and it is difficult for him to communicate clearly with others. Poeun traveled to Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre, the care center of our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, to seek treatment. On June 7th, he will undergo a procedure on both ears, during which doctors will close the perforations. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $914 to fund this procedure, and to cover Poeun's medications, supplies and inpatient care. Poeun says: "I hope after surgery my hearing improves and the pain stops."
Happiness is a 15-year-old girl who lives with her widowed mother - a small scale farmer - and six siblings. She is in class six at school. Happiness has many academic strengths, and she is always among the top ten students in her class, where her best subjects are Swahili, mathematics, social studies and history. She hopes to learn English someday, and she would like to be a teacher when she completes her studies. Her father used to sell cattle for a living, but he passed away when she was six years old. Happiness was diagnosed with right genu varus, which causes her right leg to bow outward at the knee. This condition is often caused by contaminated drinking water. Initially, both of her legs were affected, but before her father died, he was able to find treatment for Happiness' left leg. Her right leg is now severely impacted, making walking painful. And, because she is self-conscious of her leg, Happiness always wears long dresses to keep it covered. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Happiness. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. Treatment should restore Happiness's mobility, alleviate her discomfort, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Happiness says “Walking is hard and painful for me. I would like to have normal legs so that I can walk well."
Gebreegziabher is a brave, young, and fun boy who loves to hangout with his friends. He loves to play chase and other games with his friends and brothers. He has five siblings and shared with us that he loves goats! Gebreegziabher never went to school because of his condition. He is a shepherd and helps to keep the sheep and goats of his parents. Because of his condition, he has endured bullying, but he continues to be brave and his dad shared: “He is so strong despite his sickness. When others pick on him and speak bad things about him and things related to his disease he even gets in to fights.” Gebreegziabher's mom and dad counsel him and comfort him and help him to bring out self-confidence and strength. His dad and his mom are farmers and his mom takes care of all the household chores. Dad said: “Our area is dry. We work hard and farm but the harvest is poor with lack of rain. We purchase food because our harvest is not enough to support the family.” They also raise animals to support themselves. The community survives with the dry land and the scarcity of food by donations from the government and NGOs. But the past two years they couldn’t get the donation since they are in the war zone. For these reasons they can’t afford the medical bill for their son. Gebreegziabher was born with congenital anomaly called bladder extrophy. That is an abnormally where the bladder is open to air. Given the pain and risk of infection, he just ties clothes around the wound. His mom is very much worried and concerned because of his condition. She shared that she has excluded herself from the community for years in taking care of him and raises him and recalls that when growing up, he would sit faraway from others and boys in his age. They keep up hope for better days ahead and are a loving family who support each other the best they can. His Dad said: “He learned to exclude himself from others growing up. We are sad as a family because of his condition. The neighbor insults us, discriminate us and we feel so sad about this. We couldn’t tell what will happen to him. And we bring him to God always.”
Thein is a 56-year-old man who lives with his family in a refugee camp. Two of his daughters and his son-in-law work as seasonal workers outside of the camp, while Thein and his wife look after their three grandchildren, send them to school, and care for the household chores. In January, Thein was diagnosed with a cataract in his right eye and an early cataract in his left eye. Currently, he cannot see with his right eye, as his vision is blurry, and the vision in his left eye is also beginning to blur. As a result, Thein cannot walk easily and relies on a bamboo staff to help stabilize him as he tries to avoid tripping on any objects in his path. He shared that he feels discomforted and like he is living in darkness. Fortunately, Thein was able to visit our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), and they can help him heal. On March 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Thein shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will help my family plant and water vegetables around the house. It can save us money from buying the vegetables. I can help send my grandchildren to school and pick them up in the evening. I will also be able to visit my friend.”