Ville SaarinenUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Ville's Story

Ville joined Watsi on May 19th, 2014. Ten years ago, Ville joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ville's most recent donation traveled 5,600 miles to support Donnalyn, a 31-year-old factory worker from Philippines, to fund gallbladder removal surgery.

Impact

Ville has funded healthcare for 112 patients in 14 countries.

Patients funded by Ville

Oliver is a married mother of four children, all of whom are married with children except the last one who is still in school. She is a farmer together with her husband. Her second child, a daughter, has been there for her support throughout her illness. Oliver likes chatting with her daughter and enjoys eating nsima made from cassava maize flour served with fresh fish. Oliver was well until one year ago when she noted a small lump on her right breast that was not painful. She visited her nearest hospital where some pain medication was provided. She visited many other hospitals after noting that the growth was becoming bigger as time passed. At one of the hospitals, a diagnosis of suspected breast cancer was made before proceeding to Kamuzu Central Hospital for further assessments. At Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), different tests were done, and a diagnosis of invasive ductal carcinoma was made followed by four cycles of neoadjuvant therapy. Oliver was later scheduled for surgery on January 15th this year but unfortunately, she did not report back since she did not have the funds. On January 29th, Oliver went back to KCH where she was referred to our medical partner's care center Partners in Hope Medical Center (PIH) so that she can undergo surgery more urgently. Of late, Oliver has been experiencing needle pricking pains, and weakness affecting her farm work plus household chores as a mother. On January 30th, Oliver reported to PIH and met the surgeon who confirmed the need for a modified radical mastectomy. Modified radical mastectomy is the removal of the entire breast, including the nipple, areola, and skin plus most axillary lymph nodes. Oliver believes the surgical operation will help her get back home in a good condition and enable her to resume her farm work. Oliver said, “Kindly remove this breast for me to have my peace of mind after getting rid of these bad symptoms that I experience, I would rather be able to move on in my age.”

$381raised
$813to go

Nay is a 31-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his mother, two sisters, two brothers-in-law, two nephews, and two nieces in a village in Karen State along the Burma border. Nay works in Thailand as a day laborer, spending one week working in Mae Sot and then returning for two days to his village. Nay’s mother is retired and one of his sisters is a homemaker, taking care of her children. The other sister and two brothers-in-law are day laborers on a farm in Karen State. They also grow vegetables for family consumption. His nephews and one niece go to school. Their monthly income is enough for basic needs and they make an effort to pay for basic health care. In his free time, Nay enjoys helping in his community and fixing electronic items. In July 2023, Nay began to experience blurred vision in his right eye. He has intermittent pain and discharge. These symptoms have made it increasingly difficult for him to see clearly. Nay feels uncomfortable seeing only with his left eye and feels sad and depressed about his condition. Nay was diagnosed with retinal detachment, a condition in which the retina pulls away from the supportive tissue in the eye, resulting in vision loss. If left untreated, he could lose vision entirely in the right eye. Nay is scheduled to undergo surgery to reattach his retina on January 18th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of this procedure and care. After the surgery, Nay's vision will hopefully be restored, and he will resume his daily activities comfortably. Nay said “I was stuck and hopeless while the doctor was telling me that I would need a surgery. I don’t even know how to explain about my health problem to my family. I worry they will feel so sad and worry about me. I am unhappy and feel tired emotionally. After learning that I have donors who will help me paying for my treatment in Chiang Mai, I feel like my hope has returned and I'm wishing my vision would repair and I'll be able to continue my career in the future."

$1,020raised
$480to go

Nyakek is a beautiful three-month-old baby from Sudan. She was born at home, and her mother immediately noticed a large, open swelling on the lower part of her back. The midwives recommended that Nyakek be brought to a nearby missionary hospital, where she was diagnosed with spina bifida. This is a neural tube defect, where the spine and spinal cord don't fully form, leading to infection, lower limb paralysis, and developmental delays. A missionary doctor at the hospital immediately linked them to our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH), which was able to refer them to our partner hospital in Kenya. Plans were put together for how she would travel to Kenya for treatment. Where their comes from in Sudan, the area has very poor roads and it would not have been possible for them to travel to Juba to be airlifted to Kenya. Instead, the missionary doctor organized for them to board a helicopter that visits the area once a week to deliver supplies. They were taken to Juba where they boarded another flight to Kenya. Upon arrival at our partner's care center, Nyakek was examined and they have started planning for the urgent surgery she needs. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Nyakek's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 9th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. This procedure will hopefully spare Nyakek from the risks associated with her condition, allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Nyakek’s mother said: “When I saw the swelling, I was very stressed as I had not seen such a thing before. I immediately got worried about my daughter.”

$1,151raised
Fully funded

Mu Yeh, a 23-year-old woman, resides in a refugee camp in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand, along with her parents, brother, sister-in-law, and sister. Her parents run a snack-selling business from their home, while her brother and sister-in-law are currently unemployed. Mu Yeh's sister attends school within the camp, and she herself is a homemaker. In her leisure time, Mu Yeh finds joy in weaving traditional Karen ethnic clothes and visiting her relatives in the refugee camp. Each month, they receive 1,303 baht (approximately 43 USD) on a cash card from an organization called The Border Consortium. Additionally, they raise pigs which they sell when in need of extra cash. Despite their modest monthly income, it barely covers their daily expenses. Fortunately, they receive essential healthcare from Malteser International (MI) Thailand, which is provided free of charge in the refugee camp. In October 2022, Mu Yeh noticed a mass in her left breast. Initially, she dismissed it as normal, but by May 2023, the mass had grown and began causing her pain. Currently, Mu Yeh experiences considerable pain and discomfort in her left breast due to the large mass. The pain radiates towards the left side of her torso, making it difficult for her to carry anything heavy with her left hand. Seeking medical attention, she visited the hospital in the refugee camp, where the doctor referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital for further evaluation and treatment. On July 4th, with the assistance of MI staff, Mu Yeh underwent an ultrasound of both breasts. The results revealed cysts in her right breast and confirmed the presence of a mass in her left breast. Subsequently, she underwent a biopsy. During her follow-up appointment on July 18th, the doctor diagnosed her with fibroadenoma in her left breast and fibrocystic changes in her right breast. The doctor recommended removing the benign mass from her left breast under general anesthesia. Her surgery was scheduled for August 2nd. However, unable to afford the procedure, MI staff referred her to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial assistance to access treatment. BCMF is now requesting $1500 to help fund the procedure Mu Yeh needs. Mu Yeh said, “In the future, I would like to become a medic. When there is training in the refugee camp, I will register because I would like to study medicine.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded