Bruce joined Watsi on July 25th, 2014. Five years ago, Bruce became the 269th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,523 more people have become monthly donors! Bruce's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Mya Mya, a 40-year-old woman from Burma, to fund cardiac surgery.
Bruce has funded healthcare for 69 patients in 11 countries.
Mya Mya is a 40-year-old-woman who lives and work with her elder sister for a herbal medicine production workshop in Sanchaung Township, Yangon Division in Burma. They are originally from Bago Division and moved a few years ago. Since Mya Mya was 18 years old she has felt bronchial asthma and suffered from difficulty breathing. Sometimes she feels severely tired. She went to a health worker at her village and the health worker told her to go and see heart specialist in Yangon. However, at that time she did not have money to go to Yangon, so she did not go. She has only used herbal medicine for treating difficulty breathing since she was 18-year-old, which did help her feel better. For the last four months at night she has severe difficulty breathing, so she woke her sister up and asked her sister to send her to a private clinic called Yaung Chi Oo in Yangon. After the doctor's examination, she was told her that she needs to go and see heart specialist doctor. Then the doctor gave her an injection and some oral medication. Then, she went to Thiri Sandar Private Hospital on January 31, 2020 where she received an echocardiogram. The doctor told her that she has heart disease and she needs surgery. On February 5, Mya Mya went to Kan Thar Yar Hospital (KTYH) as suggested by the doctor at Thiri Sandar Hospital. The doctor at KTYH performed another echo before diagnosing her with large ventricular septal defect (VSD). The doctor at KTYH also told her that she needs surgery. Unfortunately, Mya Mya and her family cannot afford to pay for the surgery. After talking to the nurses and doctor about her problem, the nurses who know Watsi Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) refered her to BCMF. Mya May needs to stop working because of her tiredness. She is worried about her parents because if she cannot work. She shared, "If I recover from my disease, I need to work for my parents, to support them.”
Soe is a father of three children from Thailand. He and his family relocated to a refugee camp in 2007 due to conflict between armed groups around their village. Although his family receives a small ration at the camp, it is not enough, so Soe does gardening and farming at a nearby Thai village to bring extra income for his family. Whenever Soe has free time, he loves to play cane ball or helps his wife with their household chores. On January 11th, when Soe was coming home from work with his friend on his friend's motorbike, the brakes failed when they were going downhill. The accident caused a fracture in the small bone located in front of his right knee joint. He is in pain and it is difficult for him to walk without using crutches. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Soe will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 20th and will cost $1,500. After this treatment, Soe will be able walk again without any assistant devices. This will also allow him to get back to work so he can provide for his family. Soe said, “I am desperate to be able walk again and work for my children. I cannot imagine how life would turn out if I could not walk anymore.”
Meet Brian: a four year old boy, he second and last born in his family. Brian recently graduated from pre-school and is to join middle-class this year which he is extremely happy about. His mother told us that he likes carpentry work. “Whenever Brian sees a hammer and nails, he will utilize them to the maximum," his mother told us. The family hails from Maji Mazuri village, Eldama Ravine town in Nakuru county. His mother is a housewife while the father is a farmer. Brian was born with a condition known as genu valgus on his right side. His mother thought he was suffering from rickets and went to a nearby hospital where they were referred to Watsi partner CURE hospital for specialized care. Brian is unable to walk well; his right foot knocks the left and thus hinders his mobility. Surgery will be of great help to him as it will help him walk and he will be able to continue with his studies without any difficulty. The family has applied to the National Health Insurance Fund for funding several times, but all were rejected. “I am kindly seeking for support to help my child undergo surgery,” Brian’s mother told us.
About six months ago, Thidar started to feel very tired and could not sleep well due to difficulty breathing. After multiple tests and blood tranfusions, Thidar was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis, mitral valve regurgitation, aortic valve stenosis, and aortic valve regurgitation. Seeing that both of her heart valves need to be replaced surgically, the doctor told her, “You have a heart problem and you must undergo surgery as soon as possible.” When Thidar told him that she cannot afford to pay for surgery, the doctor told her about a monk who lives just outside of Yangon and who might be able to help her. She was given his phone number and when she called the monk, he referred her to Watsi partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing the treatment she needs. Currently, Thidar feels very tired and has no energy to walk long distances. She cannot sleep well, and she has no appetite. She said, “In the future, I will stay in my village and look out for my family. I would like to send my children to school until they graduate.”
Meet Nicodemus a 14 year-old boy. He is social and likes inventing new things. Nicodemus is the 4th born in a family of 5 children. He is class 8 candidate at Daystar Primary School in Athi River. The family hails from Athi River in Machakos County. His mother is a vendor and widowed. She sells porridge and chapatis in the construction sites. His mother noticed a sudden change in his walking style last year. Nicodemus also complained of his knees knocking each other a situation which was giving him a rough time to walk and play with her friends at school. He currently feels pain as he walks as the left knee knock the right. He is currently using crutches to walk and his condition is worsening. “I would love to walk like other people, I am not comfortable with walking using crutches and I would like to achieve my passion of becoming an engineer. Any kind of support will be highly appreciated.” Nicodemus informed us.
Leah is a housewife from Kenya. She is married with three children. Leah is a housewife but sometimes she does casual work at neighbor’s farms or washing clothes for them. The husband is a casual laborer at construction sites but their income is not much. One year ago, Leah has been experiencing heavy abdominal bleeding. She has been diagnosed with uterine fibroids. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $718 to fund Leah's surgery. On October 09, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Leah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. “I have suffered a lot with this bleeding and it is making it hard to serve my family and to join other friends. Kindly support me so that I can be well again to take care of my family,” said Leah.
She lives with her parents in Karen State, Burma. She now works at Kyaw Hta Rural Clinic, 45 minutes away by motorbike from her village and earns 70,000 Kyat (approx. 70 USD) per month. Her parents are farmers and their total income is 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month. Their income is just enough for their daily needs. Around eight years ago, Cherry developed pain in the right side of her abdomen. She went to the clinic near her village. At the clinic, the medic thought that she was suffering from normal stomachaches. Since the clinic did not have the necessary equipment to run diagnostic tests, the medic treated her for the pain. She received pain killers and when the pain was worse, a stronger does of pain killers through an injection. In May 2019, she was completing her training with Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), when the pain in her abdomen became worse. She received an ultrasound and painkillers at the clinic, before she was diagnosed with a renal stone in her right kidney. MTC then referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation and treatment. At the hospital, she received an X-ray, ultrasound and a blood test, as well as oral medication for the pain. After checking her results, the doctor confirmed her diagnosis and told her that she needs to receive laser treatment two to three times, to break up the stone in her kidney. She received her first round of laser treatment on 7 August 2019. To pay for that, she had to borrow money from her supervisor and her neighbor. She was scheduled to undergo a second round of treatment on 18 September 2019, but she could no longer afford to pay. Luckily, MTC referred her to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing further treatment. Currently, Cherry still has pain in the right side of her abdomen. She is interested in the field of medicine and enjoys learning new things related to this field in her free time.
Toem is a 55-year-old taxi driver from Cambodia. He has five children and enjoys watching boxing and soccer on television. One year ago, Toem had an 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, Toem experiences hearing loss, pain, tinnitus, ear discharge, headaches, and vertigo. He has a difficult time communicating and understanding others. Toem traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 8, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $842 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. He says, "I hope that after my surgery my hearing and will improve and all my other symptoms will go away."
Ngwe is a 72-year-old retired widow from Burma. She lives with her daughter, her son-in-law, and her two grandsons. Ngwe has an abdominal mass that causes her discomfort. Ngwe sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on July 5. She is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care.
Isaya is an infant from Tanzania. He is the youngest child in a family of six children. Isaya has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Isaya has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Isaya will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Isaya that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 24 and will drain the excess fluid from Isaya's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Isaya will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy.
Richardson is a baby from Haiti. He lives with his parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince; his father is a security guard and his mother stays at home with him. Richardson has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. His diagnosis involves several related conditions, including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. On May 24, he will undergo cardiac surgery at St. Damien Hospital, our medical partner's care center. During surgery, surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage from his valve. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $12,000 to pay for surgery. Richardson's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 requested by our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, covers cardiac exams and medications. His mother says, "We are hopeful that after the surgery our son will gain weight and be more active."
Sopheaktra is a car repairman from Cambodia. He grew up in Kampong Cham province and is the oldest of four siblings. Four years ago, Sopheaktra had an 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, Sopheaktra experiences tinnitus, discharge, itchiness, and hearing loss. He finds it difficult to go about his normal work, and constantly suffers from ear discharge and hearing loss. Sopheaktra traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 25, 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 $842 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. He says, "After my surgery, I hope that I will no longer have any ear discharge and my hearing will improve."