Lesley joined Watsi on September 13th, 2013. Six years ago, Lesley joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Lesley's most recent donation traveled 5,800 miles to support Pel, a bag weaver and refugee from Thailand, to fund sight-restoring lens replacement surgery.
Lesley has funded healthcare for 92 patients in 12 countries.
Lesley has funded healthcare for 92 patients in 12 countries.
Pel is a young mother who lives with her husband, mother-in-law, and three sons in a refugee camp. She and her mother-in-law work at home and her husband is a nurse at the hospital in their refugee camp. Before her vision worsened, she used to weave traditional Karen bags like ones for her sons to use as school bags once they are old enough to attend. Now, Pel is no longer able to see faces and can only make out shapes. When she walks, she will often hit her toes against stones in her path, and when she moves around in her home, she will often hit her head on the door frame. She now needs someone to help guide her when she walks. Pel's mother-in-law moved in after she gave birth to her six-month-old son, since Pel could no longer see her baby's face at that point. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Pel. On October 14th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Pel's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, Pel needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. She said, “I really want to see my baby’s face and I am excited to see him after my surgery. Thank you so much to the donors who will help me receive treatment. I know my family could never afford to pay for my treatment.”
Alex is a social seven-year-old boy and the oldest child in a family of three children. His parents rely on small scale farming for food and other basic needs. Alex has been diagnosed with left varus and right valgus on his legs. When Alex learned to walk, his parents noticed his condition and they thought it would subside as he got older. The larger bone, or tibia, in his left calf is misaligned with the larger bone in his thigh, or femur, while the bone at the knee joint of the right leg is angled out and away from the body's midline. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Alex experiences pain and difficulty in walking. He has not yet joined school, mainly because the only school in his family's village is far from home and he cannot walk all the way there due to his condition. When Alex and his parents visited his grandfather, he was deeply concerned by Alex's condition and brought him to the care center of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for treatment. Alex is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on September 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Alex's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Now, AMH, is requesting $880 to fund Alex's surgery. Alex’s grandfather shared, "I felt really bad seeing how my grandson‘s legs have been deformed. I know his parents are not financially stable and neither am I. I remember the team from your hospital that visited our village to educate us on treatable disability and the possibility of him getting treatment and I am hopeful that he will be well. Please help him."
Furahini is a five-year-old student from Tanzania and the oldest child in a family of three children. Furahini is hardworking, friendly, and social; she is currently in kindergarten and loves coloring in her free time. "Furahini" is a Swahili word that means "be happy". Her grandmother suggested the name to her parents because even though they were worried about her birth condition, they were thankful for their firstborn child. Furahini has clubfoot of right foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. The condition causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Furahini to receive treatment. She traveled to visit AMH's care center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 10th. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Furahini's procedure. After treatment, she will able to walk easily and wear shoes. Her grandmother shared, "my granddaughter is struggling to walk thus she was sent to stay with me so that she does not have to walk long distances to school. If she is able to have her foot corrected she will go back to her family and enjoy living with her parents and siblings."
Gift is curious, charming, and social two-year-old boy. He's the second born child in a family of three children. Both of his parents are small scale farmers who grow maize, beans, and vegetables for their food. They also go out to seek other work, such as helping on other farms, to earn an income. Gift 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, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Gift receive treatment. On July 13th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Gift's procedure. After treatment, Gift will be able to walk and wear shoes. Gift’s mother shared, "I know my son will be very happy to be able to wear shoes and walk in a normal way. Please help him have this treatment."
Prince is a three-year-old boy from Kenya and the fifth born in a family of six children. Prince's mother works as a vendor and separated from Prince's father after he was born. Prince has an abnormal gait and limps when he walks. His mother shared that he has had the condition since birth and feels it may have started when, unfortunately, the doctor dropped Prince during her Caesarian delivery. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Prince receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo a proximal fibular osteotomy on June 14th at AMH's care center. After surgery, his gait will improve and he will be able to walk to school and continue with his studies. Now, their family needs help raising $1,224 to fund the procedure. Prince's mother shared, “I am appealing for help from well-wishers, I would like to see my son walking well like other children and continuing with life normally."
Nim is a retired rice farmer, who along with her husband has nine children, and many grandchildren. She has been retired for a while, so she has taken time to travel to many famous pagodas around the country, and she always loves to spend time helping to raise her grandchildren. She also loves reading religious books and listening to monks on the radio. Two months ago, Nim fell and fractured her hip. Since the fall, she has experienced severe pain and is unable to walk. She was referred to a local hospital for treatment where she received an x-ray, but was sent to another hospital afterwards and was unable to afford treatment there. Fortunately, Nim learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). At CSC, surgeons will perform a total hip replacement to relieve Nim of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for May 14th, and Nim needs help raising $1,087 to fund this procedure. Nim shared, "I hope that I can walk again easily soon. There are still many things I want to do. I want to travel and play with my grandchildren, and visit my children."
Josephine is a widow and mother who has three children, now grown up themselves and who work as casual laborers. Recently, Josephine's daughter brought her to our medical partner and explained that her mother has difficulties in communicating and hearing. She could not explain how she slipped or fell, but has severe leg pain, including feeling like it has detached, and she had not been able to walk for over a week. An X-ray showed she has a closed fracture of the left femur. Additionally, on checking her blood level, she had hemoglobin (Hb) of 7mg/dl, which is a sign of anemia. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. The surgeon first advised admission for treatment to correct the anemia. Next, on April 15th, an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) procedure has been scheduled to repair her fracture. This procedure will help Josephine be able to walk again and resume her normal activities. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. If not treated, Josephine will not be able to use her left leg and the fracture may have malunion or heal with permanent deformity. Josephine was mostly quiet as her daughter shared her story, but she added, “Please help me and God will bless you.”
Ko is a 37-year-old father of five who lives with his wife, three daughters and two sons in a refugee camp in Thailand. His family receives a cash card every month from an organization, but this is not enough to cover their expenses. Therefore, he also works as an agricultural day laborer in a nearby Thai village. In his free time, Ko enjoys playing cane ball and spending time with his friends. On December 11, 2020, Ko slipped and fell onto rocks outside of the camp. When he tried to get up, Ko could tell that his leg was broken. He went to the hospital in the refugee camp run by Malteser International (MI). He was eventually referred to a hospital where he underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into his leg on December 25, 2020. When he went back to the hospital for his follow-up appointment on February 3, 2021, the doctor observed that the surgical wound was infected and he underwent surgery to clean his wound. When the wound still did not heal, the doctor referred him to another hospital, where the doctor told him he would need an additional surgery to remove necrotic tissue and replace the rod in his leg. Currently, Ko is experiencing a lot of pain. It is difficult for him to walk and he is worried about his family in the camp. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ko will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and finally heal. This procedure will allow Ko to walk and his leg to heal properly. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. Ko shared, “I really want to work to support my family as soon as possible. I cannot imagine what life would be like for my family if my leg never heals.”
Naw Kwee Moo is a 54-year-old woman from the Karen region in Burma, who lives with her husband and their family in a refugee camp. Of her children, three daughters and three sons still live in the refugee camp along with them near the Thai-Burma border. Naw Kwee is a homemaker and her husband is currently too ill to work. Five of their children go to school in the camp, four other children have moved away, and her second oldest son graduated from a post-secondary program in May 2020. He worked as an agricultural day laborer at a nearby Thai village until mid-December 2020. Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, he was no longer allowed to leave the camp. Naw Kwe’s household receives a monthly cash card to purchase basic rations. Although they receive free education and basic health care in the camp, they shared how hard it is to make ends meet. Starting four years ago, Naw Kwee often went to the camp’s hospital run by Malteser International (MI) Thailand to receive treatment for urinary tract infections (UTI). Most of the time, she would feel better after taking medication, but she was no longer able to work as an agricultural day laborer because of her pain. Over the next few years, she was diagnosed with chronic UTI. “I think my condition was caused from consuming dirty water,” she said. “When I worked as a day laborer, we had no access to clean water.” Naw Kwee received antibiotics through an intravenous (IV) line at the camp’s hospital. When her condition did not improve, a doctor at the camp’s hospital referred her again to Mae Sariang Hospital in March 2020. There she received a urine test and an x-ray of her kidneys, ureters and bladder. She was finally diagnosed with a right kidney stone. After multiple visits, the doctor at Mae Sariang Hospital referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further treatment. However, Naw Kwee could not travel to CMH for a while due to travel restrictions after the outbreak of Covid-19. Finally, last June medical staff from her camp were able to bring Naw Kwee to Chiang Mai. During her appointment, the doctor scheduled her to undergo an intravenous pyelogram on July 16th, 2020. After she received a diagnostic test, she returned to CMH for her follow-up appointment on November 19th, 2020. During her appointment, she received more tests and it was at her next appointment Naw Kwee was told she needed to undergo multiple rounds of laser treatment to break up the stone in her kidney. She received her first round of laser treatment on February 11th, 2021. Two days later, she developed a fever and could only pass a bit of urine. She also started to experience severe back pain and other troubling symptoms. MI staff took her back to the hospital where she received an ultrasound. The nurse shared with her that after her laser treatment, the stones had broken up and many of them where now stuck in her ureter, creating a blockage. She now needs emergency surgery to remove the stones. Our Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to support her surgery and finally relieve her of her painful condition.
Dany is 29-years-old. She is married and her husband is a farmer. Together they have one son. When Dany's not caring for her very active child, she likes to go through Facebook and watch TV. For the past ten years, she has had consistent right ear discharge and pain. When she was a child, she had surgery for an abscess near her right ear. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Dany experiences hearing loss and ear discharge. It is difficult for her to hear or communicate with others. Dany traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 14th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right 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. "I really hope that after the operation my ear will be better, the hearing will be normal, the ear discharge and pain will all be gone," Dany said.
Salmani is a six-month-old baby from Tanzania and the second born in his family. His parents live in Arusha where they are both subsistence farmers. Salmani was born healthy, but at the age of three months, Salmani’s mother observed that his head size looked abnormal. His neck was not as strong as a 3-month-old, and she felt his other body parts were somewhat weak. As a result of his condition, Salmani has been experiencing an increasing head circumference and inability to sit on his own. His mother took him to Mount Meru Hospital and they referred their family to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center ALMC Hospital for treatment. She decided she had to wait to go because they could not afford to proceed with Salmani's treatment, doctor’s visits, or the tests required. Later on, they heard about Watsi's ALMC-The Plaster House program and how children with disabilities are able to be supported. Salmani's parents wish to see him be able to sit, walk one day, and also to see his head size return back to normal. Salmani has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Without treatment, Salmani will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Salmani that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 14th and will drain the excess fluid from Salmani's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Salmani will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Salmani’s mother shared, “Please help my son get this treatment so that we can save his life and he can be able to play like other children.”
Vireak is an 18-year-old student. He is the elder brother to two younger sisters. Both of Vireak's parents work in construction. In his free time, Vireak enjoys reading books, exercising, listening to music, and helping his family with cooking and taking care of his younger sisters. Vireak has been diagnosed with lumbar scoliosis. He has a curved spine causing back pain and has difficulty walking and sitting. On November 12th, surgeons at the Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) will perform an orthopedic repair surgery on Vireak to alleviate his scoliosis pain. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to fund his spinal surgery. Once recovered, his quality of life will significantly improve and he will be able to return to life as normal. Vireak shared, "I hope after my surgery my back gets better and I can have a straight spine and be free of discomfort."