Ville joined Watsi on May 19th, 2014. Six years ago, Ville became the 187th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 6,239 more people have become monthly donors! Ville's most recent donation traveled 4,800 miles to support Khin, a young man from Thailand, to fund a colostomy closure surgery.
Ville has funded healthcare for 76 patients in 12 countries.
Khin is a 25-year-old man from Thailand. He lives with his wife and his friend in Mae Pa Village in the north of the country. Khin and his wife moved from Burma searching for better job opportunities. His wife works in a factory as a seamstress. Khin used to work as a day laborer but since his accident he has not been able to work. His friend works as an agricultural day laborer but he does not share his income with Khin and his wife. In his free time, Khin loved to play caneball with his friends and listen to music. Khin currently has a colostomy and shared that he does not like having one. He feels embarrassed and he avoids his friends. He worries what his friends will think so he always stays at home since he received the colostomy. Aside from his symptoms, he feels sad that he cannot work and that he has to depend on his wife’s income. Furthermore, because of the COVID-19, the factory his wife works at has reduced their hours of operation. Khin underwent a colostomy, in which the end of the colon was 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 reversal. In Khin's case, his colostomy requires reversal in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of a reverse colostomy for Khin. The surgery is scheduled to take place on August 10th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Khin said, “I feel sad that I cannot work and have to depend on my wife’s income. When I was admitted at the hospital my wife had to accompany me which also reduced the salary she received.”
Veronica is a 12-month-old girl from Kenya. Veronica’s mother was a stay at home mother but now prepares and sells mandazi (pastries) while her father who used to farm now is a laborer in construction sites in order to make ends meet. Being the third born in a family of five, Veronica’s parents are not able to raise enough to pay for her treatment. Veronica underwent a colostomy, in which the end of the 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 Veronica'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 $650 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Veronica. The surgery is scheduled to take place on July 13th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. Veronica’s mother says, “Being Veronica’s last surgery, I’m looking forward to see her well.”
Gilbert is a calm and polite boy. He is the second born in a family of four children and hails from Dagoretti in Nairobi county. He is in 3rd grade at a primary school in Nairobi and aspires to be a pilot. Gilbert was brought to our hospital by his mother because he was experiencing pain and could not walk long distances. He has had this condition since he was three years old and it has significantly impacted his ability to go to school. Gilbert's mother shared that, “I sometimes carry him to school as his knees knock against each other which hinders his movement. But when I have money, I will pay for a motorbike to take him and his brother to school.” His mother works part-time cleaning houses, washing clothes, and performing other household work she may be given. Gibert's father is a street pastor and works as a street vendor. The family lives in a one-bedroom rental house in Nairobi and they shared with us that they feel life is hard because they do not have the resources to buy everything they need. Gilbert was able to already have his right leg treated which is now healed. He now needs support for the surgery on his left knee. With both knees healed, Gilbert will be able to walk comfortably and continue with his studies.
Dane is the youngest child of her family, and her parents are rice farmers. Since she cannot spend much time outside, she enjoys painting, watching movies on TV, and listening to the stories her brothers read to her from their books. When she was born, Dane had scoliosis that is causing her spine to curve, affecting her ability to walk normally. Though she does not feel pain, she has difficulty moving around the house by herself, and she requires extra care from her family, who must also spend a lot of time working on their farm. Her mother is also worried about her confidence and independence as she gets older. After getting a recommendation from a neighbor, Dane's parents brought her directly to Watsi's Partner Children's Surgical Centre to get treatment. Doctors will perform spinal surgery to correct the curve of Dane's spine, allowing it to develop normally. After recovery, she will have increased mobility and normal posture. Her mother said, "I worried about my daughter's spine since she was born, but I know that when she gets surgery, her back will be stronger and she will be more confident."
Phary is a 26-year-old clothing factory worker from Cambodia. She has two older sisters and an older brother. When she is not working at the factory, she likes to cook, listen to music, and help around the house. Three months ago, Phary was in an accident and her motorcycle collided with another car. She received multiple injuries, including a fracture to her right leg. She experiences swelling as well as pain when she moves and walks. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On March 9th, Phary will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Surgery will fixate internal hardware to secure the fracture, allowing her bone to heal in alignment. "I hope that this surgery will fix my leg, and that I no longer have any pain and can walk well again," Phary said.
Yory is a 25-year-old chef from Cambodia. She enjoys looking after and spending time with her son and daughter in her free time. Ten years ago, Yory had an ear infection. This infection caused the ear drum in her right ear to perforate. Yory experiences irritation, pain, discharge, itchiness, hearing loss, and tinnitus. It is difficult for her to hear others and she has trouble communicating effectively with her family members. Yory traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. She will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $423 to fund this procedure. and cover medications, supplies, and inpatient care. She shared, "I hope that after my surgery, my condition will improve and I will no longer have any ear infections."
Vivian was born with congenital hearing loss that was only noted when she was 3 years old. She also suffers from delayed milestones that affect her growth process compared to other children of her age. Vivian had an audiometry test done at Watsi Partner Kijabe Hospital in December 2019 and doctors recommend hearing aids. Vivian is not able to perceive low volume sounds and this concerns her parents. She is the firstborn child with one other sibling who is four years her junior. Her family lives in a two-roomed house at the capital’s outskirts. Her father works as a mechanic in an industrial area while the mother is a mobile money agent. The family’s income is quite little to raise the total amount required for hearing fittings. They appeal for financial assistance. Vivian’s father says, “My hope is that Vivian will get hearing aids and be able to talk with ease like any other child.”
Adere is a nice thirteen year old boy who loves to go to school and study. He is in grade six and loves music. He spends his free time listening to country music and also loves to dance with his friends. His parents are farmers of teff and maize. But their harvest from their farm is very limited because of the hot and dry landscape. The population in the area is mostly supported by the government and NGOs for food and other basic needs. His parents have 12 children. Three of them are dependently living and the rest of the children are supported by their parents. Adere was born with congenital anomaly called Bladder Exstrophy. The child’s bladder is open to the air and not within the body. He leaks urine directly to his abdomen. As a result, he has bladder exposed to dirt which can cause infections and injury. Adere suffers from pain from irritation of the bladder, infection, and a bad smell from the continuous urinary leakage for the past years. In his classroom, he sits far from other students in the back alone. He mostly prefers to be alone, psychologically affected by the bad smell. His parents are always very worried and concerned because of his condition. They took him to a clinic in their area when he was a child, and the clinic told them this has to be treated in referral hospital. Their village is very rural that they couldn’t get to a hospital and the parents couldn’t bring him to the capital. Adere's brother said, “I believe he will have a normal life, free from any smell and psychological concerns.”
Ma Ni is a 30-year-old woman from Burma. In her free time, she likes to pray to Buddha. She and her husband work as government officers. Together they earn 414,000 kyat (approx. $414 USD) per month, which is not enough for any safety net after they pay their bills for utilities and other household expenses. One day in July 2019, Ma Ni stood up from her desk at work and had pain in her hip joints. She had to push her hand against her hips to help her walk. She did not think there was anything seriously wrong so she did not seek medical attention. However, two weeks after this incident, when she was going to work, she slipped and fell in front of her house. Right away her hips started to hurt and two weeks later, the pain gradually became severe. Her condition worsened day by day, although she visited several hospitals and had taken medications. Currently, Ma Ni has a lot of pain in her hips. She cannot walk for more than two minutes or the pain becomes unbearable. She does not feel comfortable when she lays down and has problems sleeping from the pain. She also needs help going to the bathroom and taking a shower. Fortunately, Ma Ni learned about Watsi's medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). At BCMF's care center, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Ma Ni of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for December 17th, and Ma Ni needs help raising $1,500 to pay for this procedure. Ma Ni said, "I had to send my son to my mother’s place in Mawlamyine and my husband also had to ask for leave. [When fully recovered] I want to take back my son from my mother and send him to school. I will support him in whatever he wants to become when he grows up.”
Ann is a farmer who lives with her husband in the Eastern region of Kenya. Ann practices subsistence farming with her husband and their four children are all grown and tending to their own families. Ann 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 Ann. After treatment, Ann will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. “I am afraid it will get worse if I am not treated. Please help me,” says Ann.
Kyi is a 58-year-old woman from Burma. She lives alone and used to sell clothing in her village. However, she stopped working since her symptoms worsened, over a year ago. She now has no income but is able to pay her daily expenses with money she has saved. Kyi was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Kyi feels tired when she walks and has a rapid heartbeat. She has also started to experience chest pain and shortness of breath. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Kyi. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 4th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Kyi said, “I felt very sad when I was told that the surgery will cost a lot because I do not have enough money to pay for my own heart surgery. I used up a lot of my money to go to a hospital which did not diagnose me. I felt less burdened when I met Pinlon Hospital’s staff and she told me that an organization [BCMF] will support my surgery’s cost.”
Da is a mother of four from Thailand. She is a homemaker, looking after household chores and her two children who are still in school. During her free time, she likes to spend time with her children and reads religious texts to them. Da was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Da currently suffers from chest pain, pain in the middle of her back and extreme tiredness. When the doctor diagnosed her, she became upset and is worried as her children are still very young. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Da. The treatment is scheduled to take place on October 13 and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Da said, “Although I tried to forget about my condition, it's always on my mind and I feel very irritated. I want to be healthy again and help my husband with his work. I also want to see my children grow up and send them all to a Thai school.”