Priska joined Watsi on October 13th, 2016. Five years ago, Priska joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Priska's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Myo, a 22-year-old young man from Burma, to fund heart surgery.
Priska has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 11 countries.
Priska has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 11 countries.
Myo Htay is a 22-year-old who lives with his parents and younger brother in the border region of Burma. His parents work as day laborers at a gold mine, carrying dirt and debris. Myo used to work with his parents but stopped last November when his health deteriorated. Because the gold mine closes during the rainy season, his parents only have work for six months out of the year. The rest of the time they try to live off of their savings. Around six months ago, Myo started to feel tired when he worked. At first he thought he was tired from working too hard. When he continued to feel tired for over a month, he thought that he needed to see a doctor. However, because of their limited funds, he did not want his parents to spend what they had on a trip to a clinic or a hospital. Around the middle of April, his condition worsened. He had difficulty breathing, experienced chest pain, and also heart palpitations. His parents brought him to a nearby hospital where he was diagnosed with a heart disease. The doctor told them to bring him to Yangon for further treatment. After Myo's parents borrowed money, they went to Yangon and took him to two different hospitals. At the last hospital, Myo was admitted for five days as he was unwell at that time. He received a follow-up appointment for two weeks later, but was brought back on April 30th when he developed rapid breathing, heart palpitations, chest pain and oedema (swelling) in both his legs. Myo was readmitted to the hospital, and the doctor told Myo's parents that his surgery would cost 20,000,000 kyat (approx. $11,000 USD). When they told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for his surgery, a nurse gave them the phone number of an abbot in Yangon. After they called the abbot and told him what the doctor had said, the abbot referred Myo to our medical parter Burma Children Medical Fund for the assistance accessing the cardiac treatment he needs. Currently, Myo is on oxygen. If he does not receive oxygen, he has difficulty breathing as well as heart palpitations. He cannot walk for more than three minutes and if he does, he feels extremely tired. His whole family is worried about his condition. Fortunately, Myo's surgery has been scheduled for May 8th. He will have both valves of his heart replaced. His family needs $1,500 to help with the total cost of his surgery and care. Myo’s mother said, “I would give up everything to save my son’s life. I would sleep on the ground if we had no home to live in. I only wish to see my son getting better.”
Mao is a 22-year-old welder. He has two older sisters and enjoys fishing and playing football with his friends. When he was young, Mao had a severe ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or his ear drum, to perforate. Now, Mao experiences hearing loss, ear discharge, pain, and tinnitus. He shared that he can't communicate clearly with others. Mao traveled to our medical partner's care center hoping to receive treatment. On May 3rd, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $487 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Mao says, "I want to get healthy and be free of pain and discharge."
Margaret is a humble and quiet 13-year-old student, and the youngest child of three children in her family. She enjoys school, and reading in particular. Her mother works as a casual laborer at a flower farm in the area, and she is separated from Margaret's father. Margaret has clubfoot of both feet, a condition in which her feet are twisted out of shape. This causes her difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Margaret receive treatment. On April 11th, she will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, she will no longer use a wheelchair while in school, and she will be able to walk on her own. Now, Margaret and her family need help raising $1,286 to fund Margaret's procedure and care. Margaret's mother shared, "I will not be able to afford the estimated hospital bill despite my love for my daughter and my wish to see her walking on her feet. I request help for my daughter to undergo surgery and resume her normal life."
Guy is an 8-year-old student from Haiti. Her lives with his parents and younger brother and sister in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. He likes going to school and dressing up for church. Guy has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without properly circulating through his body, leaving him sickly and weak. Guy will fly to nearby Dominican Republic to receive treatment as the care he needs is not currently available in Haiti. On February 28th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is contributing $8000 to help pay for his surgery. Guy's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and his check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner who will accompany Guy's family overseas. His mom is relieved that his surgery is finally happening and shared: "I am looking forward to seeing my son gaining weight and strength after his surgery!"
Daw Khin is a 45-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her parents, who are retired and supported by Daw Khin's sister, who earns an income from renting out their land. Daw Khin used to work as a teacher before her condition made it difficult for her to continue teaching her students. Around June 2020, Daw Khin began to feel very tired and experienced heart palpitations. She shared that it felt like she could not breathe while teaching. Because these episodes happened infrequently, she did not seek treatment at the time; however, in December 2020, her condition worsened, and she went to a local hospital. After receiving an electrocardiogram, doctors determined she has an enlarged heart and an abnormal heartbeat and prescribed medication to help Daw Khin feel better. Since Daw Khin's symptoms continued, her sister brought her to a cardiologist in April 2021. Upon review, Daw Khin's condition was diagnosed as an atrial septal defect, a birth condition in which there is a hole in the wall that divides the upper chambers of the heart. The cardiologist informed her that she would need surgery, but the cost was too high for Daw Khin's family, so they returned home with medications. Daw Khin currently experiences headaches, difficulty sleeping, and fatigue and heart palpitations when talking or walking short distances. Fortunately, a friend visited Daw Khin in June and told her about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Daw Khin contacted BCMF and learned that BCMF will be able to help her finally heal. On February 6th, she will undergo an atrial septal defect (ASD) closure. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund her procedure. Daw Khin shared, "I would like to teach all my students again in the future. I like teaching students."
Mary is a quiet and hardworking farmer. Mary and her husband plant maize on their one-acre farm and have four children aged between 33 and 24 years old. Their family is having a hard time financially due to the high bills needed to cater for their grandmother's hospital bills and she undergoes chemotherapy for breast cancer. Her children do not have sustainable jobs and are unable to pay for the treatment that Mary now needs. One evening, while Mary was listening to the radio , she heard about a medical camp that was organized by our medical partner's Kapsowar Mission Hospital in their area. She decided to seek medical advice from the doctors. After being seen, the doctors diagnosed her with a multinodular goiter that needed to be removed surgically. Before Mary sought medical care, she resorted to herbal medicine as she could not afford to go to a hospital. Years later, her condition did not improve and her general well-being has not been getting any better. She's become weak and cannot perform her daily duties of farming and house chores. Mary is unable to raise money for her surgery and is seeking financial assistance to get the surgery and lead a normal and painless life. Mary has had a long journey with her condition. In 2008, Mary began to experience troubling symptoms, including a mass on the neck, rapid heartbeat, increased sensitivity to heat and sweating. She visited the nearest healthcare facility where there were no diagnoses made. They advised her to go to a better facility for further investigations. But still many years later she hasn't been able to undergo the treatment she needs to heal. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Mary receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on November 17th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money. Mary says, “I want this mass to be removed for two reasons; so that I can continue with my daily chores and also, for my community to learn from my experience that herbalists cannot cure and should seek medical care at a hospital.”
Sakada is a 29-year-old doctor. He's been married for one year and his first baby is due soon. In his free time Sakada enjoys playing football with his friends and colleagues. Two years ago, Sakada had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in his right ear to perforate. For this reason, Sakada experiences pain and discharge. He cannot communicate clearly with others, making his job at the hospital difficult. Sakada traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 1st, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $464 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sakada said, "I hope after the surgery my hearing will improve so I can work easily and be free of pain."
Joffrey is three years old and the only child of his young parents. He's a playful and curious boy who wants to know and understand everything around him. He is a big lover of football just like his father despite his legs being curved. His mother said she thinks he's too cheeky for his age. Joffrey has not started school yet but he keeps asking his mother to take him to school. Both Joffrey's parents are small-scale farmers who grow maize, groundnuts, rice, and vegetables. They get most of their food from what they grow on their farm. Joffrey was recently diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. His legs bow outward so that his knees do not 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 feels pain even after a short walk. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Joffrey. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Joffrey's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Joffrey’s father says: “My son’s legs are worsening as days go by and from how I see it he might not be able to walk or enjoy his play, especially football, if he does not have this needed surgery.”
Mary is an elderly woman and a farmer from the Rift Valley region in Kenya. She now lives alone after losing her husband a few years ago. Her 4 children have left the nest and live separately with their own families. She does small scale farming to meet her daily needs. Her social-economic status is low and therefore she is unable to meet the cost of surgery. On August 26th, she was a passenger on a motorcycle when the motorcycle got into an accident. She was rushed to the hospital for first aid and debridement of the open wound on her right foot. She is in pain and unable to walk. At Kapsowar hospital, she had an x-ray done and was diagnosed with a fracture. She needs a surgery, but is unable to raise the funds needed. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 30th, Mary will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help her walk again with ease. She will also be free from pain and the infections caused by the open wound will be cleared. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1016 to fund this procedure. Mary said, “My hope is to get treated early for fast recovery so that I can walk and work again.”
Phannarith is a 61-year-old mother of five. She has two daughters, three sons, and eight grandchildren. She retired from her government job ten years ago. Since her husband passed away a few years ago, Phannarith has been living with her mother and takes care of her blind brother. In her free time she likes to visit pagodas and listen to the radio. Five years ago, Phannarith developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurry vision, photophobia, and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Phannarith learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled there seeking treatment. On August 2nd, doctors will perform a cataract surgery and lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, CSC is requesting $229 to fund this procedure. Phannarith said, "I hope that I can see better after this surgery, so that I can keep taking care of my mother and brother well."
Naing is a 46-year-old-man who lives with his mother, wife, sister, son and two daughters in Karen State in the border area of Burma. Naing used to work in a teashop as a baker but stopped four years ago when his health deteriorated. His son is also unemployed, unable to find work ever since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in Burma more than a year ago. They all rely on Naing’s wife, who works as a vendor in the market, to get by. She earns about 150,000 kyat (approx. 150 USD) a month, which they shared is not enough to cover their household expenses. In 2014, Naing received surgery for a right inguinal hernia with the help of his employer. Then, four years ago in 2017, he noticed that he had a small lump on his left side. Over time, the small lump increased in size and shifted downwards, causing pain and discomfort that made it impossible for Naing to continue working at the teashop. Although Naing knew that he most likely is having another hernia, since he was experiencing the same symptoms as before, he did not have enough money to pay for surgery. Therefore, he tried to cope with the pain and discomfort without treatment. In June, Naing’s friend advised for him to go to Ananda Myitta Clinic, a charity clinic in his city to ask for help accessing treatment. Naing and his friend went to the clinic, where they talked to the founder. The founder then referred Naing to another organization called Health for All who help put him in touch with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance accessing surgery for his hernia. Naing said, “I would like to receive treatment for my hernia. If I’m cured, I can work again as a baker and our [household] income will increase. Now, only my wife works and we all depend on her.”
Wit is a four-year-old boy who lives with his parents in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Wit goes to junior kindergarten, while his parents own a small shop in the camp. In his free time, he enjoys drawing and coloring. He's also already really interested in fixing and building things. Since he was a year old, Wit has had an inguinal hernia. The hernia causes him pain in his scrotum and in his stomach. Due to the pain, he cannot run and play with his friends and he sometimes he misses school. To control the pain, he takes pain medication three times a day. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Wit to receive treatment. On June 1st, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once completed, the procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Wit's surgery. Wit's mother shared, "he tells me he wants to become a doctor [in the future], but he also says that he wants to become a mechanic or a builder. He will ask me to buy him tools and things to fix. He will try to fix his [father’s] motorcycle and bicycle.”