David joined Watsi on June 30th, 2015. Six years ago, David joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. David's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Shedrack, a teenager from Tanzania, to fund corrective surgery on his legs.
David has funded healthcare for 65 patients in 10 countries.
David has funded healthcare for 65 patients in 10 countries.
Shedrack is a 17-year-old teenager and the fourth born child in a family of seven. He had to drop out of school last year, but hopes to learn masonry at a local technical school so that he can work and make a living for himself. He is currently helping in looking after his family's cattle. His parents are small scale farmers, and his father also works as a night guard. His father shared that he can't yet afford to send Shedrack to the technical school. Shedrack was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus. His legs bow inward at the knees. 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 had difficulty walking for four years now. His father says the problem started with a slight curve but over the years the curve has increased in size. Shedrack's aunt learned about Plaster House - a special site that provides a home to patients undergoing treatment at our medical partner's care center in Arusha, Tanzania. She informed Shedrack's father who brought him there seeking treatment. Unable to raise the funds needed for surgery, their family is asking for support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Shedrack. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 6th. Treatment will hopefully restore Shedrack's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Shedrack says, “My legs hurt at the knees and carrying out daily life activities is now a big challenge.”
BB Martine is a 10-month-old baby from Haiti. He is his parent's only child. They shared how much he likes to smile and the joy this brings to them. BB Martine has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, BB Martine has been experiencing an increasing head circumference, which is very worrisome for their family. Without treatment, BB Martine will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for BB Martine at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on April 13th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from BB Martine's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, BB Martine will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. BB Martine's family is hopeful that with treatment, their son will have a chance at a healthy childhood.
Daw lives with her two sons who work as day labourers getting work where they can. While her sons work, her daughter comes over to do their household chores. The income her sons earn is not enough to cover their daily expenses and sometimes they have to borrow money from their neighbor. Around 15 years ago, Tin was diagnosed with high blood pressure and diabetes. In early January, she noticed that she had developed ulcers on her left soles. She could not even remember injuring her left foot, but she went to a clinic twice to have her foot treated. Unfortunately, her condition worsened and by the end of February, she also developed ulcers an on her right big toe. In March, she was brought to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where she was admitted. She underwent wound debridement surgery on her left foot. A few days later, the doctor told her they would need to do an amputate her right foot so that her infection did not spread further. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Tin and her family raise the financial support for her treatment. Currently, Tin is experiencing a lot of pain in both her left foot and her right big toe. At night, she has a fever and cannot sleep. She cannot walk and needs her son to help her go to the bathroom and take a shower. “Since I learned that donors could help pay for my surgery, I feel very happy,” she said. “I want to say thank you to the donors.”
Pascalina is a beautiful five-year-old girl. She's is the second-born in a family of three children, and is always notably friendly to those around her. Both of Pascalina's parents are small scale farmers, while her father also seeks out casual laboring jobs to further help earn a living. Pascalina was born as a healthy child, however when she reached one and a half her parents became concerned. At that age they had expected her to be able to stand up and walk, yet she could not. Pascalina was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus. This is a condition typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Pascalina couldn't stand or walk, as her legs were too weak. Her parents tried seeking treatment for her and used medication, but nothing seemed to help. By the time Pascalina had turned three, despite her feeble ability to stand and walk for a short distances at a time, her parents began to notice that her legs were bent inward forming knocking knees. Last year they visited a local hospital in their village seeking treatment, however were then advised to go to a referral hospital that her parents could not afford. A year later, having not received any treatment, Pascalina’s legs had become so impacted that she was unable to walk or stand without crying due to the pain she felt. A local priest advised her parents to seek care at The Plaster House, in Arusha, Tanzania. There, through internal funding, Pascalina was able to have surgery on both legs to help correct them. However, given the severity of her condition, the first surgery was not enough to fully correct her legs. As a result, she needs another surgery to complete her treatment and her parents are asking for help to fund her care. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 for corrective surgery for Pascalina. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 11th. With treatment, Pascalina's mobility will hopefully be restored, which will allow her to walk without pain, and play with her siblings and friends like normal. Her risk of having future complications will decrease as well. Pascalina's mother says, "We could not afford treatment for a long time, but since the first surgery, she has improved. We wish to see her continue improving and be like any other normal child."
Jane is farmer and a mother of two children. Jane has a small grocery store where she sells vegetables to earn a living. Her husband works in construction sites to help provide for their family. For her husband, work is hard to come by and if he gets a job, he does not earn much. To facilitate for the many hospital visits and scans that she has needed recently, Jane and her husband had to sell the two cows and chickens they had kept. Jane first noticed her belly was increasing in size about six moths ago. She hasn't been able to eat and has been diagnosed with an ovarian cyst. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,260 to fund Jane's surgery. On January 14th, she'll undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Jane will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Jane says, "i’m very happy that I will be treated but I’m feeling sad that I do not have the funds for the surgery.”
Mu is a 17-year-old boy who lives with his sister in Mae Sot, Thailand. Before that, he lived with his parents, one older sister, two younger brothers and one younger sister in a refugee camp. His sister works at a non-governmental organisation helping others in need. Around mid-August, Mu woke up one morning with pain in his left knee. At first he thought that the pain would go away on its own and that it was nothing serious. However, when the pain remained a few days later, he told his sister about it. His sister bought him a type of Burmese pain reliever balm to apply on his knee. He applied the balm for a week, but he did not feel any better. When he and his sister noticed that his left knee had become slightly swollen his sister called their father. Mu’s father told them that it could be an ulcer and suggested that they go to a hospital or buy him pain medication to reduce swelling. His sister bought the medication their father had suggested at a pharmacy, and Mu took it for a week. However, he did not feel better, and the swelling did not decrease. Mu was able to have an MRI at Chiang Mai Hospital and now the doctor recommends he undergo surgery to remove a tumor on his left knee. Mu sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund and is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on December 17th. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care which will enable him to get off of using crutches and back to feeling well again. Mu said, "After I heard from the doctor that my leg does not need to be amputated, I feel so happy."
Zaw lives with his mother, two sisters, two nephews, and two nieces in Mon State in Burma. His mother is retired, and his youngest niece and nephew go to school. His niece works as a betel nut cutter with his two sisters, while his nephew works as a day laborer. Zaw cannot work right now due to the pain in his foot. In his free time, he enjoys praying to Buddha and watching movies, which also helps him feel better. Around the end of September, Zaw developed pain in his left foot. A few weeks later, three of his toes turned black. Eventually, all of his toes, and his forefoot turned black too. When he went to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) a couple weeks ago, he was diagnosed with gangrene and was admitted to the hospital straight away. At first the doctor tried to treat him with oral medication, injections and physiotherapy exercises to increase the blood supply in his left foot. When this did not work, Zaw was told that the best option is to amputate his foot. Unable to pay for surgery, the doctor referred him to our partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing further treatment. Currently, Zaw is in a lot of pain. His left forefoot is black and swollen. As the pain is worse at night, he cannot sleep properly. He also has difficulty sleeping because he is worried about his foot and their financial situation. "Once I have recovered from surgery and I have received a prosthetic foot, I want to support my family and become a taxi driver," he said. "Thank you so much to the donors for supporting me. Every day I pray for them."
Mony is a 12-year-old student who is in 8th grade. She has three sisters and her parents work as grocery sellers. In her free time, Mony likes to read books. This has become more difficult for her because about two years ago, the retina of Mony's right eye detached. When Mony's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, they traveled there hoping for treatment. On October 14th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly again. Now, her family needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Mony shared, "I hope I can see well again. I want to do well in school and improve my reading and writing."
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.
Amani is a beautiful eight-month-old baby boy and the last born child in a family of four children. Amani's parents are small scale farmers who grow maize, bean, potatoes and vegetables which they mainly use for their own food. The father also works as a night guard to be able to get money to support his family. Amani has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Amani has been experiencing fevers and an impact on his eyes. Without treatment, Amani will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Amani that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 14th and will drain the excess fluid from Amani's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Amani will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Amani’s mother says, "It’s not been easy for us ever since we had our baby due to his health issues, he needs treatment but we cannot afford the cost. Help us if you can.”
Than is a 44-year-old man who lives with his wife and three children in Mon State, Burma. He works hard as a day laborer and his wife sells vegetables around their neighborhood to support their family. His oldest child goes to school, while his other two children are still too young. In the future, Than hopes he can open a small shop. In mid-April 2021, Than was cutting wood with an ax to make charcoal for cooking. While cutting wood, his ax accidentally hit his left foot. He went to the nearest clinic, where the nurse stitched up his wound. After this, his wound was not painful. However, two weeks later, his left foot started to have pain and when he checked his foot, he saw pus around the area he had received stitches. Currently, the area around the injury on Than's left foot has turned black. He experiences severe pain, especially at night when the pain prevents him from sleeping. At the hospital, the doctors found that he had low blood supply, an ulcer, and cellulitis in the injured foot. In order to heal, Than must undergo wound debridement, a procedure which will clean the wound and remove the most damaged tissue to create opportunities for new skin to grow. His procedure is scheduled for May 11th, 2021 and his family needs $694 to fund his treatment. Than said, "I want the doctor to perform surgery on my foot as quickly as possible because I cannot handle the pain anymore."
Ko is a 37-year-old father of five who lives with his wife, three daughters and two sons in a refugee camp in Thailand. His family receives a cash card every month from an organization, but this is not enough to cover their expenses. Therefore, he also works as an agricultural day laborer in a nearby Thai village. In his free time, Ko enjoys playing cane ball and spending time with his friends. On December 11, 2020, Ko slipped and fell onto rocks outside of the camp. When he tried to get up, Ko could tell that his leg was broken. He went to the hospital in the refugee camp run by Malteser International (MI). He was eventually referred to a hospital where he underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into his leg on December 25, 2020. When he went back to the hospital for his follow-up appointment on February 3, 2021, the doctor observed that the surgical wound was infected and he underwent surgery to clean his wound. When the wound still did not heal, the doctor referred him to another hospital, where the doctor told him he would need an additional surgery to remove necrotic tissue and replace the rod in his leg. Currently, Ko is experiencing a lot of pain. It is difficult for him to walk and he is worried about his family in the camp. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ko will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and finally heal. This procedure will allow Ko to walk and his leg to heal properly. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. Ko shared, “I really want to work to support my family as soon as possible. I cannot imagine what life would be like for my family if my leg never heals.”