Ron joined Watsi on January 3rd, 2014. Eight years ago, Ron joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ron's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Thorn, a hard-working middle-aged mother from Cambodia, to fund surgery for a fractured right leg.
Ron has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 13 countries.
Ron has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 13 countries.
Thorn is a 46-year-old mother who lives with her husband and her three children. Her oldest daughter is 22 and studies at a university, her second daughter is 18 and is in secondary school, and her youngest daughter is three and does not yet attend school. She and her husband are both rice farmers in Takeo province. Her free time is taken up by cooking for her family and cleaning the house. A month ago, on the way back from the market, she was in a motorbike collision and fractured her right tibial plateau. This is an injury in which she broke her bone and injured the cartilage that covers the top end of the bottom part of her knee. She went to a local hospital where they took and X-ray but did not treat her because she had no money to pay. She is in constant pain and cannot walk. She cannot care for her children, and cannot help her husband in the rice field Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On December 14th, Thorn will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $483. This procedure will help her walk again without pain. Thorn said: "I hope after the operation I can ride my motorbike again, have no more pain, and can take care of my family."
Rotha is a 50-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He is married with three daughters and one son. His wife works in a local clothes factory. In his free time, he helps his wife with housework and enjoys fishing with his friends. In 2018, Rotha was in a traffic accident and suffered an open fracture of his left tibia and a closed fracture of his left femur. He had surgery at a local hospital, with bone grafts and nails, but his tibia remained infected. After several surgeries and debridements, his infection has resolved, but his bone remains exposed from all the procedures. He cannot walk and is in great pain. When Rotha learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On November 21st, surgeons at CSC will perform reverse soleus muscle flap of the left tibia to close the open wound and help him walk again without pain. Now, he needs help to fund this $673 procedure. Rotha shared: "I hope my left leg will finally heal, I will have no infection, and can return home to work for my family again."
Simon is an 11-month-old baby and the second born in his family. He also has a twin sister. They all came together to our medical partner because the mother couldn’t leave Simon’s twin at home. Their family lives in a remote area in the western part of Tanzania. They are from a community that mainly depends on small-scale subsistence agriculture, depending on the rainy season as their major source of agriculture. They have had a good rice harvest that enables them to provide food for their family. And then they sell the little harvest surplus they have, to afford other basic needs. Simon has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, they visited our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery to heal his condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Simon's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to wear shoes and walk easily. Simon’s mother says, “I wish my son to be free from this disability so that he will be able to play with his twin sister as they grow old.”
Pisey is a 25-year-old clothing vendor from Cambodia. She has three siblings and is the last child in family. Her parent sell clothes at their local market to support their family. Pisey had an infection on her right hand back in March. She has had two debridement procedures at another clinic, but it has not fully healed. Her scars have healed in such a way that it is difficult for her to use her finger, as the skin around her index finger had healed to be very tight. Now, she is seeking more help so that she'll be able to use her finger and hand once again. When Pisey learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled there hoping for treatment. On October 20th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her to use her finger easily again. Now, she needs help to fund this $487 procedure. She said, "I hope after surgery my right finger is healed. I want no more infection, no pain, and to get back to working."
Try is a 75-year-old retired rice farmer. She has four sons, five daughters, and 14 grandchildren. Since her husband passed away many years ago, Try has lived with her eldest daughter who also works as a rice farmer. Try likes to play with her grandchildren, and to listen to monks praying on the radio. One year ago, Try developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her tearing, light sensitivity, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so is not able to go places on her own. On September 12th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery, and place an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Try shared, "I hope my eye can see well enough that I can help my daughter do housework, and take care of my grandchildren."
John is an adorable 1-month-old infant from Haiti. He lives with his parents and older sister John 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, John has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, John will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of John's surgery at Hospital Bernard Mevs, which will treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 11th. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from John's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, John will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. His family share that they are happy to have this early intervention to prevent brain damage from the hydrocephalus.
Purity is an adorable seven-month-old baby who was born with spina bifida. She is the youngest of two children in her family. Her parents previously relied on casual labor to support their family, meaning they would pick up work wherever and whenever it was available. However, with jobs currently being so hard to find, they now do small-scale farming to provide for their family. Since she was born, Purity has had a swelling on her lower back. A few days after birth, her parents took her to a nearby facility, where she was examined three times without receiving any help. During the fourth visit, she was referred to another facility in the bigger city of Nakuru. There, she was diagnosed with spina bifida, a condition caused by the spine not properly closing around the spinal cord. After receiving a diagnosis, Purity was referred to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital (BKKH), for treatment. Last week, Purity's family was finally able to gather enough money to bring her to BKKH for an evaluation. However, due to financial constraints, her family is unable to fund the procedure needed to help her condition. Without treatment, Purity is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is able to help. Purity is scheduled to undergo spina bifida closure surgery on July 7th. Now, AMH is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Purity's spinal surgery. This procedure will hopefully spare Purity from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Purity’s mother says, “I’m not happy to see my child with this condition. I would really like her to be treated and have a normal life.”
U Tin is a 36-year-old man, living with his mother on the western coast of Burma. U Tin’s mother is retired and helps with household chores. U Tin works in a photo studio, printing photos and wedding invitations. Through this, his monthly income is just enough to pay for their basic living expenses. One year ago, U Tin started to experience pain in his lower left abdomen. Thinking that the pain would go away, U Tin relied on traditional medicine and pain medication. In February, the pain increased, but U Tin could not afford to seek treatment at a hospital. Instead, he purchased more pain medication from a pharmacy, which helped ease his discomfort somewhat. However in April, the pain became so severe that he could no longer work. He borrowed money from his friend, and went to a hospital. The doctor examined him, and diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia. When the doctor told him the surgery would cost 1,200,000 kyat (approx. $1,200 USD), U Tin told the doctor he could not afford to pay such a sum, and he returned home still feeling unwell. A few days later, U Tin told his neighbour about his problem, and she suggested that he seek treatment at Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where care is more affordable. He followed his neighbour’s advice, and went to MCLH, where the doctor confirmed his diagnosis and the need for surgery. When U Tin explained that he could not afford to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, for assistance in accessing the treatment he needs. Currently, U Tin is experiencing severe pain, and he cannot sit or stand for any length of time. Fortunately, he is now scheduled for surgery on May 24th, and Burma Children Medical Fund is requesting $807 to cover the cost of U Tin's hernia repair treatment. U Tin said: “I would like to recover. I am worried that I will not be able to work and take care of my mother. When I recover, I will go continue to work [at the shop] and pay back the money I borrowed from my friends.”
Vicheth is a 40-year-old man who works along side his wife as tailors. Together they have one daughter. Vicheth enjoys listening to music while he works and spending time at home with his family. About twenty years ago, Vicheth had a severe ear infection that caused the tympanic membrane, or the eardrum, in his right ear to perforate. As a result, Vicheth still experiences ear discharge and tinnitus. He has tried different medicines but none have alleviated his pain or symptoms. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Vicheth receive treatment. On May 4th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in his right ear, during which surgeons will close the perforation. CSC is requesting $487 to fund this procedure, which covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Vicheth's family was able to gather $100 to contribute to his medical care. Vicheth says, "I hope my ear heals quickly and I am able to hear well and not have any more discharge."
Rehiwilzahra is a sweet toddler from Haiti. She lives in Port-au-Prince with her mother, father, and three older siblings. Rehiwilzahra likes watching cartoons and playing with her older siblings. Rehiwilzahra has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This heart condition involves several related heart defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These defects prevent blood from circulating properly through the lungs leaving Rehiwilzahra weak and short of breath. The surgery Rehiwilzahra needs to heal is not available in Haiti, so she will need to fly to the Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery to close the hole in her heart with a patch and remove the blockage from her valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance is helping Rehiwilzahra's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This amount also supports passport obtainment and the social workers to accompany Rehiwilzahra's family overseas. Rehiwilzahra's mother shared, "We have been praying for a long time for a solution to our daughter's heart problem. We are very thankful to everyone who is helping her!"
Gladys is a strong, hardworking mother from Kenya who is raising her five children on her own. Her oldest child is 14 years old, while her youngest is only three. To support her family, she works as a casual laborer plucking tea. She currently lives in a single-room rental house, which costs Ksh.1200 (~10 USD) per month. Gladys shares that her income is inconsistent and not enough to cover her needed medical treatment. She also does not have active medical coverage and currently has a large accrued bill due to her recent hospital admission. Recently, Gladys was involved in a road traffic accident that caused several fractures. One of the fractures she sustained in this accident was of her left tibia. As a result of this injury, she is currently unable to walk. In order to properly heal her fracture, she must undergo an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) procedure. She also has facial fractures, which will require another ORIF later the same week. However, undergoing an ORIF for her fractured tibia is the current priority. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 8th, Gladys will undergo fracture repair surgery so she can walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Gladys says, “I cannot walk and my face is in pain. I am the only breadwinner of the family, and I cannot work if my leg is broken. All my five children depend on me for upkeep and survival. I need this treatment to get back on my feet.”
Simon is a 20-year-old who, since he was a little boy, he has worked selling goods at a nearby open market. He has no stable source of income and is currently unable to work due to his medical condition. His single mother is unable to support him. Fortunately, his friend is allowing him to stay in their single room close to the city market. Two years ago, Simon began experiencing pain in his left knee, causing him to limp as he walked. His pain eventually spread to his hip. He now cannot walk without a walking stick and has an infected hip and knee, which are limiting his mobility. After receiving a CT scan, Simon was diagnosed with septic arthritis, which is inflammation of a joint caused by an infection, and sequelae of the hip. In hopes to help his condition, Simon visited visited Kenyatta National Hospital. He has since been on medical follow-up for septic arthritis at the facility without any surgical intervention. He eventually had to stop attending the follow-up clinics due to a lack of financial resources. Fortunately, a friend told Simon about our medical partner's care center, and he traveled there to receive treatment. Now, Simon is scheduled to undergo a treatment on July 8th. This will hopefully finally help heal his condition and relieve his pain. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to fund his treatment. Simon shares, “I can barely move my leg without support from this walking stick. My hip is painful and my knee is just unbearable. I cannot work in my condition and therefore am struggling to survive.”