Irina joined Watsi on March 10th, 2015. Five years ago, Irina became the 993rd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,008 more people have become monthly donors! Irina's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Naw Aye, 4-year-old artist from Thailand, to fund surgery that will repair her fractured left elbow.
Irina has funded healthcare for 45 patients in 12 countries.
Naw Aye is a 4-year-old primary school student from Thailand. She lives with her family in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. In 2003, her parents fled to the camp due to the unstable situations between the local armed group and the government army near their village in Burma. Their family receives 2,169 baht (approx. 72 USD) as part of their camp food support from an organization called The Border Consortium. Despite receiving food support as well as free basic health care and education in the camp, Naw Aye’s father has had to earn additional income to cover their expanses. Therefore, he has opened a small shop in front of their home, through which he earns 1,000 baht (approx. 33 USD) in a month. On 29 June 2020, Naw Aye was playing outside when she fell down and landed on her left elbow. Immediately after Naw Aye’s father took her to the camp's clinic. The doctor examined Naw Aye and suspected she had broken her elbow but would need to receive an x-ray to confirm the diagnosis. She received an x-ray that confirmed the fracture and was referred to our partner Burma Children Medical Fund in order to access treatment. Currently, Naw Aye's left arm is in pain and she cannot bend it or lift anything. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Naw Aye will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 10th and will cost $1,500. After she receives surgery, she will be no longer be in pain and she will be able to use her left arm again. Once she returns home she will be able to continue her studies. Naw Aye's father shared, "Naw Aye loves to play outside. She also likes to color and draw when she comes home from school. When she gets bored of playing outside with her friends and drawing, she likes to watch cartoon clips."
Sambo is a 39-year-old rice farmer. She has five children, three of whom are in primary school. Her husband passed away after a traffic accident three years ago. She spends most of her time looking after her children and doing housework, but when she has free time she likes to watch TV. On June 4th, she fell out of a tree from a height of about three meters and suffered trauma to her spine. Her family took her to a local government hospital where they determined she has a compression fracture. Now, Sambo cannot stand or walk, and is experiencing severe back pain. She has also lost some muscle and bladder control. She has come to Watsi's Medical Partner CSC for treatment. The doctors at CSC will perform a decompression surgery in order to restore her nerve function. Once Sambo fully recovers from the procedure, doctors hope she will be able to walk easily again. She will also regain muscle strength and control, and will no longer experience severe back pain. Sambo said, "Since this accident, I am so worried about my children, and that they will not have me to take care of them. I hope I can walk again quickly after this surgery, so I can do everything I need to do for them."
Stephen is a young student from Kenya. His father is employed casually at a construction site while his mother hawks fruits to supplement the family’s income. Stephen is in class three and aspires to be a pilot one day. Stephen was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Stephen has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Stephen will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 5th. AMHF is requesting $535 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “I want to a pilot when I grow up,” says Stephen.
Phyo is a two-year-old boy from Thailand. He lives with his parents and sisters and a brother in Fo Fai Village. His parents are originally from Bago Division in Burma and moved to Thailand in search of better job opportunities around 10 years ago. Both of his parents are agricultural day laborers. Phyo’s parents cannot afford to send him or his siblings to school and they are looked after by his six-year-old sister when his parents are working. Phyo was born a healthy baby boy at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). In June 2019, Phyo’s mother noticed that both of Phyo’s testicles were swollen. At first she thought that the swelling was caused by an insect bite and that the swelling would come down on its own. However, the swelling never reduced. Busy with work and since Phyo did no complain of any pain and looked otherwise healthy, his mother did not take him to a clinic or a hospital. In the beginning of November 2019, his mother realized that his testicles were increasing in size and he was uncomfortable. His mother decided to have this checked and brought him to MTC in early November. When they arrived at the clinic, the medic completed a physical examination and gave him antibiotics. The medic also told Phyo’s mother that they could not treat him further because the medic was not completely sure what his diagnosis was. They were told that Phyo would need to receive an x-ray at Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) so that they could diagnose him properly. Since his mother did not have enough money to pay for the x-ray and she had work she had to do at home, she brought Phyo back to their village. At home, Phyo took the antibiotics the medic had given him, which seemed to reduce the size of his testicles. However, on April 7th, 2020, Phyo’s mother noticed that his swelling was increasing in size again and that he could not pass urine nor stool; she became worried when she noted that he ate and drank a lot the whole day. The next day, his mother asked her pastor if they could take them back to MTC, as she did not have enough money to pay for transportation. Their pastor agreed to help them and drove them to the clinic. At MTC Phyo received a physical examination and the medic explained to Phyo’s mother that he might have a hernia. The medic diagnosed him with incarcerated inguinal hernia and told them that he would need to receive surgery at the nearby hospital. Phyo has an inguinal hernia and currently cannot pass urine nor stool. He cannot walk or stand for the past two days as his swelling is severe and uncomfortable. Fortunately, on April 8th, 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 Phyo's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 8th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Phyo's mother said, “I feel very stressed and worried about my son. I can’t help him any further as I don’t have money. His father has also not come back since he went back to Burma [a month ago to take care of his sick parents]. I cannot work and I have no income as we have less work during this time of the year. Sometimes our neighbors have to give us a meal. Now I have a debt of 600 baht (approx. 20 USD) already from my neighbor, without interest.”
Monica is a first grader at Mapema primary school in Kenya. She is the oldest in a family of 2 children. Her family hails from Kimahuri village in Nyeri County. Her mother is a single parent and she washes clothes and does garden work for the neighbors to support her family. Monica 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, Monica traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Monica's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. “My joy would be to see Monica undergoing for surgery. The little I get is not enough even to cater for my bills at home. I would kindly request for support,” Monica’s mother told us.
Kyaw Myat is a five-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his family in a village in Sagaing Division. Kyaw Myat’s father is a subsistence farmer and sometimes he also works as a day laborer on other villagers’ farms. His mother is a homemaker and takes care of Kyaw Myat’s brother at home. When he was two, Kyaw Myat started to walk. But the following year, his limbs became weak and he could no longer walk properly. Kyaw Myat’s head had also gradually increased in size and he could not control his urine. He was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and Arnold-Chiari syndrome and received treatment for it in 2019. He now needs to undergo further monitoring and a check-up to make sure he is progressing well in his treatment. Doctors want Kyaw Myat to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will hopefully help doctors monitor his condition and adjust his treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $968 to cover the cost of Kyaw Myat's MRI and care, scheduled for January 28th. "If everything is ok with my son, I won't need to worry as much about his future," said Kyaw Myat's father. "I will feel relieved."
Savin is a 31-year-old rice and vegetable farmer from Cambodia. She has two daughters, and in her free time she enjoys doing the housework and preparing meals for her family. Seven years ago, Savin 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, Savin experiences hearing loss, ear drainage, headache, and tinnitus. She is unable to hear other clearly and has a difficult time communicating with her family. Savin traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 18, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $842 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Savin said, "I hope that after surgery, I will no longer have any ear infections and the discharge will stop so I can hear clearly again."
Soe is a 49-year-old man from Burma. He and his wife got separated about six years ago and he has been living alone since. Soe does not have a regular job, but sometimes he drives a shared-taxi to make a living. About two weeks ago, Soe's left eye started to get irritated and the itchiness did not go away for a few days so with the advice from neighbors and friends, he soaked some betel leaves in water with salt and used the liquid as eye drops. As soon as he dropped the liquid in, he sensed a burning sensation in his left eye. In hope to get cured, he used the homemade eye drops for two days. After two days, his eye became worse and the pain even radiated to his head. He could no longer open left eye due to the pain. Soe had no money to go to the hospital, but with the help from his neighbors and friends, Soe arrived at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) on December 3rd, 2019. The medics at MTC explained that his left eye has totally been damaged and that the only option now is to remove his eye. Soe feels sad and frustrated most of the time now and he keeps blaming himself for not being careful. He feels that his neglect now has caused him an eye.
Due is a 26-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his family in Hlaingbwe Township, Karen State. Due is a farmer while his wife looks after their four-month-old son. In 2018, Due noticed a lump by the size of the tip of a thumb on his right breast. He did not seek treatment until the lump slowly increased in size. He then went to a hospital in Hpa-An in early January 2019. At the hospital, he received an x-ray and was told that he would need surgery to remove the mass. Because he had no money to pay for the surgery, he just went home. With the help of a medic near his area, he was connected with BCMF who sent him to Mae Sot Hospital for a CT scan. The result confirmed the mass and the need to remove it. Currently, there is redness and swelling at his breast mass. It is also itchy and painful sometimes. Due sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. he is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on September 23. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Due said, “I look ugly with my breast mass. It is itchy and painful sometimes. The symptoms of my breast mass put me in stress. I want it to go away from me as soon as possible”.
Ben is a toddler from Haiti. He lives with his mother and father in the mountains south of Port-au-Prince; his parents are both farmers. Ben has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Ben will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On September 24th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will perform open-heart surgery to close the hole with a patch.. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for surgery. Ben's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Ben's family overseas. His mother said, "We are excited for this surgery so our son can gain weight and have energy."
Judith is a middle-aged woman with lower back pain problem that has persisted for over 8 years. Judith has tried managing the condition with injections, medical pills and physiotherapy sessions. The interventions have not been fruitful as she recently started using a walking stick to attain balance. Judith was referred to our facility by a neighbour and upon MRI imaging, she had spinal fusion surgery recommended. If not treated, the pain will persist which might weaken her walking gait further. Judith is a mother of three children and used to work on their farm for subsistence farming but has since stopped. Her husband is employed as a timber yard operator. The family is not able to raise the total funds needed for her surgery and they appeal for financial assistance.
Khefa is a baby from Tanzania. Khefa has clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Khefa traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 6. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Khefa's clubfoot repair. Khefa’s mother says, “With the little income we have we will never be able to afford our son’s treatment cost, please help us.”