Rusty joined Watsi on April 17th, 2017. Three years ago, Rusty became the 2784th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 3,169 more people have become monthly donors! Rusty's most recent donation supported Daw Ei, a woman from Burma, to fund cardiac surgery.
Rusty has funded healthcare for 40 patients in 9 countries.
Daw Ei is a 48-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband, mother, two daughters, son, and daughter-in-law in Yangon. Her husband is a security guard, her mother is retired, and her daughter-in-law is a homemaker. Her eldest daughter works in a factory, her other daughter is a student, and her son works as a mason. Daw Ei used to work as a shop vender herself but had to stop three years ago due to her health problem. Daw Ei 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, Daw Ei suffers from chest pains, feels tired and cannot walk long distances. Sometimes, she has no appetite. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Daw Ei. The treatment is scheduled to take place on June 14th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Daw Ei said, “I’m worried about my health problem. Also, I’ve spent all my money on [seeking] treatment and I had to borrow 300,000 kyat (approx. 300 USD) from my daughter’s friend. I want to be cured.”
Neak is an 8-year-old third grade student from Cambodia. Neak lives with his parents with one older sister. Recently, Neak has been studying online while schools are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. He enjoys Khmer literature and math, and wants to be a solider when he grows up. Neak likes to eat beef hot dogs, salty and sour crab salad, and chicken soup. One month ago, Neak had a serious 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, Neak experiences hearing loss, foul smell, and ear discharge. It is difficult for him to hear his friends speaking. Neak traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 13th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. His father said, "We already brought him for treatment at an ear care organization in another province, but he still cannot hear out of his ear. I hope that my son will get to hear better after this surgery, then he can learn in school very well."
Nwe is a 36-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her family in Thingangkuun Township in Yangon Division. Nwe works as a seamstress at home while her husband works in a factory. In her free time, Nwe likes to play with her nephew who lives close by and also loves to watch movies at home. Nwe 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, Nwe experiences tiredness especially when she walks for longer periods of time. If she feels tired, she also experiences heart palpitations. Sometimes, she also suffers from dizziness. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Nwe. The treatment is scheduled to take place on March 24th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Nwe shared, “I feel stressed about my condition. I am afraid to have surgery but there is no other option. I hope that after I have fully recovered from my surgery, I will be able to work as seamstress again.” Nwe’s husband is also worried for her and he has had to take time off from work to accompany her to all her appointments. He said, “I get paid daily for my work and if I do not work regularly then I have less income. Before, we were able to save some money from our work but since my wife was diagnosed with a heart problem and started to see the doctor for tests and medications, we can no longer save any money.”
Lomunyaki is a 3-month-old baby boy from Tanzania. He is the only child to his parents. Lomunyak's mother is staying at her parent’s home after giving birth to Lomunyak. Lomunyaki's father didn’t want to take his son to the hospital thus the mother was forced to ran away and go seek help from her parents. Her parents are livestock keepers with very little income but they were able to get some money and took Lomunyaki to a clinic. Lomunyaki was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Lomunyaki is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $966 to cover the cost of Lomunyaki's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 12th. This procedure will hopefully spare Lomunyaki from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthier trajectory. Lomunyaki’s mother says, “I was very shocked when I gave birth to Lomunyaki; he is my first born and him born with a disability made me feel very bad like there was something wrong with my womb. Please help my son get this treatment.”
Marvalie is a preschooler from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three siblings in a rural area of southwest Haiti; her parents are farmers. She has not yet started school due to her illness. Marvalie has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Marvalie will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On March 6th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which Surgeons will close the hole in her heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage from her valve. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for surgery. Marvalie's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Marvalie's family overseas. Her mother said, "Our family has been praying for a cure since our daughter was a small baby, we are very happy to know our prayers are being answered!"
Grace is a 3-year-old from Tanzania, and the first born child in a family of two with a single mother. Grace and her sibling are being raised by their grandmother after their mother asked their grandmother to help her look after the children so that she can be able to find a job and be able to support the children. Ever since she left Grace and her sibling, she rarely visits the children and sends money once in awhile. Her grandmother has no source of income other than small-scale farming. Grace's grandfather has been bed ridden for almost a year now. Grace was diagnosed with windswept deformity, which causes her legs to be curved. 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 has a difficult time walking and playing with her sibling. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Grace. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Grace's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Grace’s grandmother says, “My granddaughter’s legs are getting worse as days go by but I don’t have the money to seek her treatment. Please help her.”
Mealea has two younger brothers, and she enjoys cooking, watching television, listening to music, and helping with the housework. She helps her family sell gasoline in front of her house, but her hand often feels swollen and painful. Mealea was born with a tumor on her left hand, which was later removed. However, she now suffers from contractures on four of her fingers. This limits her ability to work and go about her daily activities. Surgery will help to release the contractures from her fingers and decrease any swelling, allowing her to move and flex her hand and fingers. She shared, "I hope that after my surgery, I will no longer have any pain in my hand. I hope my hand will no longer be swollen so I can return to my work and use my hands normally."
Roth has a two-year-old son, and enjoys reading books and taking care of his family and household in his free time. Since Roth was born, he had a curvature in his spine, making it difficult for him to walk and sleep comfortably. He was diagnosed with scoliosis and the curvature of his spine is nearly 80 degrees. Roth will undergo spinal surgery, where implants will be inserted along his spine to help correct the deformity and prevent the curve from developing in the future. He shared, "I hope that I will be able to recover from my surgery and ... I will be able to walk again without any difficulty."
Tun is a 33-year-old man from Burma. He used to work as a day laborer at a construction site until he fell sick. During his free time, he enjoys playing billiards with his friends. Tun 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, Tun is experiencing tiredness, fast heartbeats, sharp chest pains, and he is unable to sleep well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Tun. The treatment is scheduled to take place on December 16th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Tun said, "I am very happy that I received this chance of getting treatment. It is impossible if I must fund my own treatment. Thank you very much for your support.”
Genet is a playful cute baby from Ethiopia. He is the only child to his mother, a finance officer at an insurance company in the capital. Genet has hypospadias, a congenital malformation where the urinary opening is not in the usual place. This challenges the young child from peeing while standing like any other boy. If not treated, Genet will continue experiencing difficulties urinating, suffer social discrimination and reproductive challenges when he grows up. He was reviewed in our facility and surgery to correct the defect recommended. Genet's mother is a single mom with limited income to meet all the demands of city life including basic needs and that of healthcare. She was shocked to learn about the required surgery and afraid as she is not able to meet the cost of treatment. She appeals for financial assistance. Fortunately, Genet is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,231 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Genet's mother says, "I am here with a hope that he gets the surgery."
Mee is a 53-years-old woman who lives with her husband and two daughters who are studying in grade nine and six at a local high school. Mee’s husband is a carpenter and she is a homemaker. Their income is not enough to cover their expenses. About ten years ago, Mee had joint pain and swollen knees. She went to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) where she received blood test and vital signs. The results showed Mee has hypertension as well as arthritis. She also found out that she has a goiter related problem. She received one month worth of medication for all three conditions. Since then, Mee went back to MTC every month for follow-up appointment and to received medication. After three years of taking medication, Mee was told that she does not need to take medication for goiter anymore. Up until now, Mee has been going back to the same clinic for regular medication for her goiter. Meanwhile, Mee feels like her goiter has grown bigger. One day, she happened to meet a health worker in her village who told her to go and seek treatment at MTC. So Mee, along with her friend, went to MTC. From there, she was told to go to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. Mee then went to MSH the following day and she received blood tests and an ultrasound. With the results, the doctor confirmed Mee has a goiter. He said Mee needs to undergo surgery because oral medication or injection would not decrease the size of her goiter. Currently, Mee cannot sleep well but she can eat well. Sometimes, when she carries heavy things, she feels pain in her neck.
Mbondo is a nursery school pupil and likes reading and drawing. He also likes playing with other children and sometimes he says that his friends imitate him as he walks. Mbondo hails from Tulimani village in Makueni County. He is an orphan and lives with his grandparents. His mother passed 3 years ago as a result of an accident along Makutano junction Machakos road while his father passed 2 years later after a long illness. Mbondo was born with a condition known as knock knees, the grandmother did not notice the condition at an early stage until recently when he noticed the knees knocking each other and he was limping as he walks. Mbondo's grandparents who are taking care of him are farmers and mostly depend on their children for daily bread cannot afford to pay even a quarter of the estimated bill and thus requested for support.