Vlad joined Watsi on April 24th, 2016. Four years ago, Vlad became the 1894th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,599 more people have become monthly donors! Vlad's most recent donation supported Max, an 8-year-old from Kenya, to fund surgery for his broken arm.
Vlad has funded healthcare for 54 patients in 9 countries.
Max is a young boy from a rural village in Kenya and the only son in his family. He recently lost his dear mother who passed on after a long battle with diabetes and heart complications. Their family is currently servicing debts accrued from his mother’s several visits to different facilities as they were forced to deposit their grandfather's title deed to be able to bury Max's mother. His father is a driver who used to work for a private lorry owner. However, he lost his job because of his continued absence from work to take care of Max’s mother during her numerous hospital admissions. On August 20th, Max broke his arm while scaling an 8ft. ladder on their farm in the Kiambu region. Unfortunately, he tripped and came down tumbling, causing him to break his arm. He is in pain and cannot use his left hand at all now. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 23rd, Max will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal well and he will be able to use his hand with no pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Max’s father shared, “If my son doesn’t get this surgery, he might not be able to use his arm again. He is young with a full life ahead of him.”
Zakayo is a one-year-old baby from Tanzania. He is the last born child in a family of three children. He is playful, smiley, and a very friendly boy. His parents are small-scale farmers of maize, bean, and vegetable. They depend entirely on what they harvest for their survival and supporting their children. Zakayo 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, Zakayo traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, and receive care. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 18th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Zakayo's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. Zakayo’s mother says, “Please help correct my son’s foot so that he is able to walk like his siblings and lead a normal life. The cost is too high for us to afford it.”
Emmanuel is a child from Tanzania. Emmanuel is the last born child in a family of four children. His parents are small-scale farmers and depend entirely on what they harvest for their living. Emmanuel was diagnosed with genu varus. His legs are 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 walks with pain and discomfort. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Emmanuel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 23rd. Treatment will hopefully restore Emmanuel's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Emmanuel says, “Our son has been through a lot of suffering. His mates are playing and running around but he can’t. Please help our son have this treatment so that he can walk like other children his age.”
Win is a 46-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife and two sons in a village in Karen State. His elder daughter is a health worker where she works at a clinic in a rural village. His two youngest sons are students. Both he and his wife are a subsidence farmers. In his free time, he sometimes helps his community with building bridges or roads as much as he can. In January 2020, Win began experiencing painful urination and other troubling symptoms. Sometimes he also feels stomach pain in his right side. Watsi donors have helped to fund a CT scan and doctors have now been able to diagnose his kidney stones, which are hard deposits of minerals that form in the kidneys and are often very painful to pass. He has been advised to undergo surgery to remove his kidney stones. If left untreated, Win's symptoms will continue to worsen and will put him at risk for further health complications in the future. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Win's kidney stone removal surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 17th. Win said, "I am very excited to receive surgery soon and I cannot wait to recover from my condition."
Thi is a 31-year-old woman who lives with her husband, father-in-law, nephew and daughter in Shwepythar Town in the Yangon Division of Burma. Thi is a homemaker while her husband is an electrician. Thi’s nephew and her daughter are students. In mid-February 2019, Thi developed a fever, a cough, and difficulty breathing. She went to the nearest clinic where she received an injection and oral medication to treat her fever and cough. When she took the medication she felt better, but the next day, she had difficulty breathing, felt tired, had a sharp pain in her chest, and a rapid heartbeat. She then went to a hospital in Yangon, where she received another injection, oral medication, and an x-ray. After the doctor diagnosed her with asthma, she also received a nebulizer for her asthma. Once the doctor checking her had the x-ray results, the doctor told her that her heart is enlarged and referred her to another hospital for further investigation. There she received an echocardiogram (echo) and another x-ray. After her results came in, the doctor told her that her heart valves are not working well and that she might have to replace two of the valves in her heart. She was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis, mitral valve regurgitation, aortic valve stenosis, and aortic valve regurgitation. The doctor also told her that the surgery would cost 2.5 million kyat (approx. 2,500 USD). Thi could not afford to pay such a large amount and when she told the doctor this, the doctor provided her with oral medication every month. She did not feel better after she took the medication. Last month, Thi’s husband was setting up the electricity in his friend’s house when he met a cardiologist. The doctor had come to look after his friend’s sister, who has a heart condition. Thi’s husband had told his friend about Thi’s heart condition and his friend introduced him to the cardiologist. After he told the doctor about Thi’s condition, the doctor told him to bring her in to his office with her medical records. After they came into his office and doctor reviewed her medical records, he referred her to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Pinlon Hospital to finally receive the treatment she needs. Currently, Thi feels tired, has difficulty breathing and cannot walk long distances. Aside from her symptoms, she is very stressed and upset about her financial situation. In her free time, Thi likes to do housework and bring her daughter to and from school. In the future, when she is fully recovered, she would like to work as a seamstress and save money for her family. Thi said, “I think too much about my condition and worry about the treatment’s cost. So, I cannot sleep at night and I have a small appetite.” Thi’s husband said, “I have to accompany her whenever my wife visits the hospital. My daughter and I have had to stop working and attending school whenever she is sick. I feel bad for my wife because she cries every night since she found out that she needs to receive surgery.” Thi added, “I am very afraid to die and to lose my family as my daughter is still young.”
Chan is a 36-year-old woman who lives with her husband and father-in-law in Shwepyithar Town, Yangon Division. Chan’s husband works as a day labourer on a construction site, while Chan is a seamstress who works from home. In 2010, Chan started to feel tired, had a rapid heartbeat and developed joint pain. She went to the clinic in Thaton, where she lived at that time, and received an an echocardiogram (echo) and x-ray. The doctor also told her that, if her heart became too enlarged, she would not be able to control her condition with oral medication and she would not be able to have a baby. She then received oral medication for a week which made her feel better for a while. In September 2019, when she went back for her follow-up appointment, she received another echo. Following this, the doctor explained to her that her condition could no longer be stabilized with medication. As he knew that Chan could not afford to pay for her surgery, he referred her to Pinlon Hospital. On 17th September 2019, she met the staff at Pin Long Hospital and who then referred her to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Currently, Chan suffers from chest pain, has difficulty breathing, has a rapid heartbeat and has lost weight. In her free times Chan likes to sew, cook and do housework. “When I’m fully recovered, I will continue to work as a seamstress, save money and live happily with family,” said Chan. “Once I have enough money, my husband and I have decided to adopt one child. And I want to do charity work and help poor people as much as I can.”
Arabella is a 15-month-old baby from Kenya. Arabella’s mom is a stay-at-home mom and does a bit of farming at home. Her father is a caterer in a nearby school. Arabella underwent a colostomy, in which the end of her colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Arabella's case, her colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $619 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Arabella. The surgery is scheduled to take place on March 19th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. “Please help us. I look forward to see my daughter well,” says Arabella’s mother.
Joseph is a bodaboda taxi operator from Kenya. Joseph relies on his motorcycle to make a living. To supplement their limited income, his wife sells charcoal in a small makeshift kiosk. As a father of one, he is worried of not being able to meet his family’s needs. Joseph was involved in a road accident on 31st January 2020 in his hometown, few kilometers from Watsi Medical Partner Kijabe Hospital. The accident left him with multiple fractures on his face and lacerations. He cannot eat and is in constant pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 6th, Joseph will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. He will be able to chew his food again and no longer suffer pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,451 to fund this procedure. Joseph says, “My hope is to recover quickly and resume my fatherly duties of provision.”
Tabitha is a business lady from Kenya. She is a single mother of three children. Tabitha sells camel soup in the capital to make a living for herself and her three children. Two of her children are in school, which demands school fees. From her small business, she makes about $5 daily, which she saves to meet the her family's needs. Tabitha has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $816 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Tabitha. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 20. After treatment, Tabitha will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Tabitha says, “I wish to be treated and be free from the stressful experience I am in.”
Wine is a 23-year-old man from Burma. Wine’s family are subsistence farmers and they mainly grow rice and sunflowers. Since Wine’s health deteriorated, he can no longer work on the farm and now looks after two cows. In his free time, he likes to hang out with his friends. In 2016, Wine started to experience a rapid heartbeat and fatigue. As his heart rate continued to be fast, he went to see a medic in his village. The medic told him to go to the hospital instead so he visited a general hospital near his hometown. At the hospital, he received an echocardiogram and the result revealed that Wine's heart valves are not good. The doctor told him that he needs to have surgery and that it would cost six million kyat (approx. 6,000 USD). The doctor then asked his family to come back after they have enough money for the surgery and prescribed him monthly oral medication. Since then, Wine also tried to treat himself with traditional medicine. When that did not work, he relied on oral medication to stabilize his condition. However, his symptoms frequently return. At the moment, Wine cannot do strenuous work such as lift heavy things, and he has back pain. Wine said, “I am very upset that I had to stop working on the farm and that I cannot support my family anymore. I want to be healthy and recover as soon as possible. When I recover fully, I will find a good job to pay back my debt and I will help my community as much as I can.”
Khin is a 39-year-old woman who lives with her family in Hpa-An Township, Karen State, Burma. Both her children are in preschool. She and her husband are subsistence farmers, growing rice during the rainy season on rented land. The rest of the year, her husband collects leaves used to make roofs, works as a daily labourer or collects branches to sell. Khin was born with a scar the size of an ant bite on her upper lip. Her parents thought that it would disappear or heal on its own but the scar developed into a growth and increased in size. Her parents passed away when she was young and after that she went to live with her brother’s family. By the time she was around 20 years old, the growth had become large and soft, covering the area between her upper lips and her nose. When the pain became unbearable in 2005, her uncle dropped her off at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand, a free clinic close to where her uncle used to work. At this point, the growth had become so large that dragged her upper lip down and extended into her nostrils. At MTC, she was seen by doctors and medics, before she was diagnosed with a hemangioma. At this point, the growth had worsened, and she was bleeding from her lips. In April 2006, Khin went to Chiang Mai Hospital and had the hemangioma removed surgically. The growth later has returned. Overtime, the hemangioma has increased in size and become hard. It has now expanded into Khin’s nostrils, especially her left nostril, which causes her to have difficulty breathing at times. She feels uncomfortable but is not in pain. Sometimes she also feels like she has a blood clot in her nostrils during her nosebleeds. Because the nosebleed can start at any time and can last anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, her life revolves around managing her nosebleeds. She is unable to work or sleep properly, and if she is about to have a nosebleed, she is unable to eat. The nosebleeds have also affected her ability to earn an income for her children and continues to impact her social life. “When I socialise, I do not feel comfortable and some people think I have a disease that I can infect them with,” said Khin. “So, I hope to get better after surgery, and I hope I will no longer have nosebleeds. I don’t want to bleed, and I want to socialise with my friends and family happily. [Right now] my friends won’t even touch me.”
Grace is a stay at home mother from Kenya. The mother of six children lives with her husband who suffers dementia and she has to be there to take care of him. Their children are all grown. Grace and her husband depend on their son who repairs radios in the neighborhood and has a steady income. Grace has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $816 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Grace. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 23rd. After treatment, Grace will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. “Please help me get treated before it sends me to an early grave,” says Grace.