John joined Watsi on March 2nd, 2015. Seven years ago, John joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. John's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Abegaelle, a 5-year-old from Haiti, to fund her surgery prep and travel for cardiac surgery.
John has funded healthcare for 101 patients in 11 countries.
John has funded healthcare for 101 patients in 11 countries.
Abegaelle is a five-year-old girl from Haiti. She lives in the capital city of Port-au-Prince with her parents and older brother. Some of her favorite activities include going to preschool and attending church with her family. Abegaelle was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through, leaving her weak and short of breath. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Abegaelle receive treatment. She will travel to the Dominican Republic to undergo surgery on July 26th, during which surgeons will insert a catheter to plug the hole in her heart and restore a healthy blood flow. Abegaelle's family is raising $1,500 to cover the costs of her surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Abegaelle and her family overseas. Abegaelle's mother shared, "Our family is all very thankful that Abegaelle will have this chance to have her heart fixed!"
Samath is a 37-year-old monk. His parents are farmers and he has four siblings, all of whom are married. He lives at the pagoda in his province in Cambodia and spends time meditating and reading books about the teachings of Buddha. He loves helping to pass the teachings down to younger monks who spend time at his pagoda. Two years ago, Samath was in an accident and injured his nose. Samath developed nasal polyps, which are noncancerous growths in the lining of the nasal passage. Now he experiences frequent headaches and pain. Because he has difficulty breathing, he often gets lightheaded. He has visited many other medical clinics but his symptoms have not improved. It is difficult for him to breathe and sleep. When he does not sleep well, it is hard for him to meditate and do his work the following day. When Samath learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On March 8th, doctors will perform a nasal polypectomy to remove the polyps. After recovery, he will be able to breathe more easily and now he needs help to fund this $291 procedure. "I hope it will be easier to breathe and meditate after this surgery," he told us.
Pwe is a 56-year-old woman who lives with her husband, her older brother, her daughter and her grandson in a refugee camp in Tak Province, Thailand. Since they came to the refugee camp, Pwe teaches at one of the primary schools and she earns 1,060 baht (approx. 35 USD) per month. She has a resourceful family: Her daughter teaches piano on a keyboard, and she earns around 2,000 baht (approx. 67 USD) per month. Her older brother is a carpenter who earns income when someone commissions a piece of furniture. When he does have work, he will earn around 150 baht (approx. 5 USD) per day. Pwe's grandson is a nursery school student in the refugee camp. Her son-in-law went back to Burma to visit his parents in 2019. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, he has been unable to come back to the refugee camp since then. All together, they work hard to make finances meet their day to day needs. The doctors at our medical partner's care center, Mae Sot General Hospital (MSGH), have diagnosed Pwe with a cataract in her left eye. Currently, Pwe cannot see people’s faces and she can only perceive light out of her left eye. With her right eye, she can see things that are near, but nothing that's far away. She received a pair of eyeglasses from the doctor at MSGH after her first visit, which helps her see better with her right eye but if she does not wear the eyeglasses, she cannot read or teach her students. Fortunately, on February 23rd, doctors will perform a lens replacement surgery, during which they will remove Pwe's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly again and go back to teaching her students without difficulty. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to help fund Pwe's treatment. She said, “Since the vision in my left eye worsened, I feel uncomfortable reading and teaching. Sometimes, I ask my daughter, who also graduated from high school in the refugee camp, to teach in my place as I cannot read or prepare my lesson plans.”
Erna is a 41-year-old woman and small business owner from the Philippines. She makes a small income from her grilled skewers and juice selling business, along with her husband's work as a company driver. Having had a family history of myoma, a type of tumor that can occur in the uterus, Erna frequently checked herself as a precaution. Unfortunately, in January 2022, she found a mass which was causing minor pain. Erna sought medical consultation and found out that she has myoma. This condition needs to be treated surgically. Erna cannot afford to cover her treatment on her own. Fortunately, a rural health worker helped her reach out to our medical partner, the World Surgical Foundation Philippines. On April 29th, Erna will undergo a hysterectomy to manage her condition and prevent further risk. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,485 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once she recovers, she will no longer have a hypogastric mass or be at risk of developing severe health complications in the future. “We were anxious when we found out about my condition. It’s also especially hard for us to think where to find the money to finance my surgery," Erna shared. "The support coming from World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi will be a big help for me and my family. Thank you so much for helping people like me," she added.
Vanna is a 22-year-old driver. He has a brother and sister, and his mother works as a rice farmer. In his free time, Vanna enjoys listening to music, watching TV, playing games on his phone, and helping his mother with the housework. In October, Vanna was in a car accident that fractured his right femur and wounded his right foot. After the accident, he went to a government hospital, where he underwent surgery to address the fracture. However, Vanna is still experiencing a skin defect and swelling on his right heel. He was referred to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for treatment, as he is experiencing pain and difficulty walking. When Vanna learned about CSC, he traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On February 8th, surgeons will perform a skin graft procedure to heal his wound and allow him to walk again. CSC is requesting $474 to fund his procedure. Vanna shared, "This treatment will help me return to work and help my family. My life will change because I will be able to use my right foot without pain again."
Merk is a 67-year-old retired rice and potato farmer. She has three children and 15 grandchildren. Sadly, her husband died many years ago, so she lives with one of her granddaughters, helping to care for the other children. She likes to go visit her relatives and friends in her free time. One year ago, Merk developed a cataract in her left eye. She is fearful of walking by herself due to her poor vision, and she also sees halos around lights. When Merk learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled a long distance for seven and a half hours on rural roads seeking treatment. On January 10th, doctors will perform small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Merk shared, "I hope doctors can make my vision better so I can help my granddaughter in the house with cooking and I can be more independent."
Phy is a widower and has nine children and five grandchildren. Four of his children are married and the other five are still single. His wife passed away a long time ago due to an unknown illness, so he lives with his first son. In his free time, Phy enjoys drinking tea and talking with his friends. Phy was in a motor vehicle crash a month ago, where he fell and injured his left shoulder. After the accident, he went to a nearby hospital for medical treatment but his left shoulder is still in pain. He cannot use his arm and cannot work. Now he has traveled two hours to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for a diagnosis and treatment. At CSC, he was diagnosed with a left shoulder dislocation and now needs $412 for surgery to heal his left shoulder. He hopes after surgery, his left shoulder will have no pain, no more infection, and that he will be able to work with his hand again.
Marimar is from Samar, an island approximately 530 km away from the capital city of Manila. She's been diagnosed with cholelithiasis, also known as gallstone disease. She saw several doctors in her province after experiencing shooting pains in her stomach whenever she walked. Eventually, her condition has gotten severe to the point that she had to stop working due to her worsening symptoms. Due to the lack of equipment and specialists in their province, she has needed to travel to Manila to get the surgery she needs to heal. If left untreated, her condition may lead to tissue damage, tears in the gallbladder, and infection that can spread to other parts of her body. Luckily, her brother who works in construction in Manila is able to host her to stay with him until she undergoes surgery and afterward as she heals. Her surgery is scheduled for February 1st and our medical partner World Surgical Foundation Philippines is raising $1,253 to fund her procedure and care. After recovering, Marimar will be able to work again to support her family in Samar. Looking forward to a better future, Marimar shared, "after the surgery, I hope to be able to live and work again without the excruciating pain."
Vin is a 34-year-old driver from Cambodia. He lives in the capital city with his wife and two sons. Vin's wife is a factory worker. Two years ago, Vin had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in his right ear to perforate. Vin now experiences pain, ear discharge, and tinnitus. He cannot communicate clearly with others. Vin visited our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 23rd, 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. Vin says, "I hope my hearing will improve and all the ear discharge will finally stop."
Jane is a strong 34-year-old woman from Zambezi in Kiambu County. She is married with 3 children. Jane began having abdominal pains and vomiting about four years ago. She visited various hospitals and was treated for ulcers but her symptoms persisted. At one point she was told she had an issue with her liver and was sent to a specialist. Jane had extensive lab tests done and several scans which showed she has cholelithiasis or gallstones. These are hardened deposits of digestive fluid that form in the gallbladder. She came to Nazareth Hospital and consulted the surgeon who recommended laparotomy to finally remove the gallstones. Jane’s husband, who runs a small shop to fend for his family, has registered with the national health insurance program but their coverage has not yet been approved. On seeing his wife’s worsening pain and discomfort he decided he couldn’t wait any longer and came to the hospital to find out about the estimated cost of surgery so that he can organize a community fundraiser (Harambee). The family members are not able to raise the money required on their own and need support. Jane says, “I hope to be treated and get relieved of these symptoms so that my family can stop being in a constant state of worry and uncertainty.”
Phat is a 50-year-old laborer. He is married and has two sons, two daughters, and one grandson. Phat lives with his wife and their children. At home he likes to watch Khmer boxing on TV. One year ago, the retina of Phat's left eye detached, causing him partial blindness and tearing. When Phat learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On October 26th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Phat says, "I will feel happy when my eye heals because I can return to working and helping my wife on the rice field."
Naomi is an energetic but shy 4-year-old She is the fifth born in a family of six children. Naomi's parents do farm work growing some maize, beans, and cassava for food. When the harvest is good they sell the extra for an income. Her mother also sells some vegetables in the market. What they earn is not enough to cover the cost of treatment that their daughter needs. Naomi was diagnosed with genu valgus, where her legs bow inwards. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, She cannot walk easily and without pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Naomi. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 3rd. Treatment will hopefully restore Naomi's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Naomi’s mother says, “I would really like for my daughter to walk without having pain. Please help us be able to get her this surgery.”