Brooke joined Watsi on August 21st, 2014. Three years ago, Brooke became the 2879th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 2,913 more people have become monthly donors! Brooke's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Ian, an 11-year-old boy from Kenya, to fund hand fracture repair.
Brooke has funded healthcare for 36 patients in 9 countries.
We met with eleven-year-old Ian in the hospital ward as he was admitted for a skin traction after he fell from a tree and broke his left hand. His mother sat beside him helplessly while she watched her only son in pain. It took me time for his mother to talk as she was feeling very disturbed and stressed because of her son's condition. She was trying to help him sit up but he couldn’t because of his fractured hand. Ian was brought to the hospital accompanied by his parents. They walked for hours to get the nearest health facility where he was referred to our hospital for surgical review. On arrival, he had an x-ray done which showed that Ian had fractured his left supracondylar. Ian is the third born child in a family of five. He is the eldest son of Christine and Isaac. They are a humble family who is struggling financially and often lack food for their children. Ian's father is a farmer and his mother is a housewife. They live in a two-roomed mud house in upcountry of Kenya. Ian's father, who is a maize farmer says that his farming is not doing well due to poor rains in the area and he has not been getting good yields in recent years. Medical examination shows that Ian needs urgent surgical intervention for his hand, but his family is unable to raise money for their son’s surgery apart from $30 that they collected from friends and family. His family is requesting our prayers and financial support for Ian’s treatment enable him use his hand. Christine, Ian’s mother says, “It is painful to see my son cry in pain. I hope he will receive treatment soon. All I want is to see him happy.”
Su is a 43-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband and four-year-old son in Shwe Pyi Thar Township in Burma. Her husband works as a day laborer at a construction site while she does all the household chores. Su was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of her mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. In 2010, Su started to experience severe coughing so she went to see a doctor at Tun Foundation Clinic in Yangon. The doctor noticed that she has abnormal breathing and told her that she has a heart problem and she would not be able to have baby. The doctor also provided her with three days’ worth of medication and suggested she go to Yangon General Hospital (YGH) to meet with a cardiologist. The next day, she went to YGH and she received an echocardiogram and x-ray. Following this, the doctor told her that she would need surgery right away. She was told that the surgery would cost around five million kyat (approx. 5,000 USD) but she could not afford to pay such a large sum. When she told the doctor this, she received medication to stabilize her heart condition and was provided with a follow-up appointment. In 2015, she started to feel tired whenever she walked for more than 10 minutes or if she used the stairs. She went back to Tun Foundation Clinic where she received medications to stabilize her condition. Currently, she cannot sleep or eat well. She also suffers from fatigue and rapid breathing. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Su. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 27th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Su said, “I worry a lot that I will have a stroke if I do not take my medication daily. But it is had for my husband to come up with money [for my medication]. I want to live long with my family. When I talked to Watsi's partner BCMF, I felt like I had been released from the worry of paying for my surgery. Thank you so much!”
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.”
Met is a 32-year-old garment factory worker from Cambodia. He has two sons, and enjoys exercising, watching boxing on television, and helping around the house in his spare time. In August 2019, Met was driving his motorcycle and lost control, falling off of his motorcycle and injuring his shoulder. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He is unable to move his arm and often experiences pain and a loss of sensation. Met traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On December 24th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm again and can return to his activities without difficulty. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $637 to fund this procedure. "I hope that I will be able to get the function back in my hand and move my shoulder. I hope that I will be able to flex my elbow and wrist and can return to work," he shared.
Thaw is a 44-year-old woman from Burma. She lives in Hpa-An, Karen State with her friends. She is a Christian missionary. Thaw has a mass in her uterus. She has been diagnosed with a myoma. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Thaw's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Thaw is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on July 1. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After surgery, Thaw will be able to return home and continue her work as a missionary.
Lucito is a boy from Haiti. He was born with a cardiac condition called double outlet right ventricle, in which the aorta connects to the wrong chamber of the heart, causing the heart to pump oxygen-depleted blood to his body. He will require an open-heart surgery to correct this condition. Lucito lives in a small city in western Haiti with his parents and four siblings. He has not yet started school because of his cardiac problems, but is studying at home with his mother. Lucito will fly to India to receive treatment. On August 7, he will undergo cardiac surgery. Another organization, Rotary International, is contributing $8,000 to pay for surgery. His family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany his family overseas.
Elise is a hard-working mother of five from Malawi. She lives with her husband and works hard to care for the home, doing all of the daily cooking and washing for her family. Since December of last year, Elise has been experiencing pain radiating from the abdomen to the heart and the back. She has been diagnosed with a hydatidiform mole which did not respond to initial medical treatment. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, World Altering Medicine, is requesting $650 to fund Elise's surgery. On May 2, she will undergo gynecological surgery at Nkhoma Hospital, our medical partner's care center. The requested money pays for supplies, medications, and seven nights of hospital stay.
Ar Kar is a 14-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents, two brothers and sister in Htee Poe T’ Ray Village, Hlaingbwe Township, Karen State. In his free times, Ar Kar loves to play football with his friends. Currently, Ar Kar’s eyes are sensitive to light, and bright lights hurt his eyes. He cannot see far, and he sometimes has a headache. Doctors want Ar Kar to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Ar Kar's CT scan and care, scheduled for April 24. Ar Kar’s mother said, “I cannot work because I have to accompany him to the hospital and the clinic. I worry that he will not see like others if his condition does not improve. I want his eyes to be normal like other children.”
Michael is a teenager from Kenya. He has five siblings. He hopes to become a teacher in the future. Michael was born with the hearing loss and has not been able to access medical care. He was brought by a neighbor to our medical partner's facility after learning about thei audiology services. Upon testing, he had hearing aids recommended. Now, he is scheduled to receive hearing aids on March 5. His family needs help raising $929. Michael says, “My prayer is to complete school and become a teacher. I am hopeful that the hearing aids will help me improve on my studies."
Zar is 23-year-old woman from Burma. She works as a seamstress at a shop. Zar was born with an abnormal growth located between her eyes. In early 2019, Zar noticed that her mass has become bigger that it almost covers her nose. Moreover, it destructs her right eyesight. Doctors want Zar to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $469 to cover the cost of Zar's CT scan and care, scheduled for February 27.
Ma Kyin is a 35-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband and two daughters in May Pala village, Kyain Seikgyi township, Karen State. She and her husband provide for the family by farming rice fields near their home. For about three years, Ma Kyin has been experiencing discomfort and pain in her abdomen. She has been diagnosed with a uterine mass. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Ma Kyin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Ma Kyin is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on January 29. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will be no longer be in pain and she will be able to help her husband with farming again. Ma Kyin said, “I was nervous about surgery at first, but I know that I must get the surgery for my children so I can continue working to provide for my daughters. I want them to attend school and complete their education."
Van is a rice farmer from Cambodia. She one daughter, two sons, and six grandchildren. She likes to spend time at home. A year ago, Van developed a cataract in each eye, causing her blurry vision, itchiness, tearing, and clouded lenses. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Van learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On December 6, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $398 procedure. Her daughter says, "I hope my mom's surgery is a success so she isn't in pain and can see clearly."