Ron joined Watsi on January 3rd, 2014. Seven years ago, Ron joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ron's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Shedrack, a teenager from Tanzania, to fund corrective surgery on his legs.
Ron has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 13 countries.
Ron has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 13 countries.
Shedrack is a 17-year-old teenager and the fourth born child in a family of seven. He had to drop out of school last year, but hopes to learn masonry at a local technical school so that he can work and make a living for himself. He is currently helping in looking after his family's cattle. His parents are small scale farmers, and his father also works as a night guard. His father shared that he can't yet afford to send Shedrack to the technical school. Shedrack was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus. His legs bow inward at the knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has had difficulty walking for four years now. His father says the problem started with a slight curve but over the years the curve has increased in size. Shedrack's aunt learned about Plaster House - a special site that provides a home to patients undergoing treatment at our medical partner's care center in Arusha, Tanzania. She informed Shedrack's father who brought him there seeking treatment. Unable to raise the funds needed for surgery, their family is asking for support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Shedrack. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 6th. Treatment will hopefully restore Shedrack's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Shedrack says, “My legs hurt at the knees and carrying out daily life activities is now a big challenge.”
Myo Htay is a 22-year-old who lives with his parents and younger brother in the border region of Burma. His parents work as day laborers at a gold mine, carrying dirt and debris. Myo used to work with his parents but stopped last November when his health deteriorated. Because the gold mine closes during the rainy season, his parents only have work for six months out of the year. The rest of the time they try to live off of their savings. Around six months ago, Myo started to feel tired when he worked. At first he thought he was tired from working too hard. When he continued to feel tired for over a month, he thought that he needed to see a doctor. However, because of their limited funds, he did not want his parents to spend what they had on a trip to a clinic or a hospital. Around the middle of April, his condition worsened. He had difficulty breathing, experienced chest pain, and also heart palpitations. His parents brought him to a nearby hospital where he was diagnosed with a heart disease. The doctor told them to bring him to Yangon for further treatment. After Myo's parents borrowed money, they went to Yangon and took him to two different hospitals. At the last hospital, Myo was admitted for five days as he was unwell at that time. He received a follow-up appointment for two weeks later, but was brought back on April 30th when he developed rapid breathing, heart palpitations, chest pain and oedema (swelling) in both his legs. Myo was readmitted to the hospital, and the doctor told Myo's parents that his surgery would cost 20,000,000 kyat (approx. $11,000 USD). When they told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for his surgery, a nurse gave them the phone number of an abbot in Yangon. After they called the abbot and told him what the doctor had said, the abbot referred Myo to our medical parter Burma Children Medical Fund for the assistance accessing the cardiac treatment he needs. Currently, Myo is on oxygen. If he does not receive oxygen, he has difficulty breathing as well as heart palpitations. He cannot walk for more than three minutes and if he does, he feels extremely tired. His whole family is worried about his condition. Fortunately, Myo's surgery has been scheduled for May 8th. He will have both valves of his heart replaced. His family needs $1,500 to help with the total cost of his surgery and care. Myo’s mother said, “I would give up everything to save my son’s life. I would sleep on the ground if we had no home to live in. I only wish to see my son getting better.”
Xyrie is an adorable 18-month-old girl from the Philippines. She loves to watch educational videos and is learning the alphabet. Her mother, who works as a public school teacher, is the sole breadwinner of their family. With her mother's income, Xyrie's family has tried hard to access care for her medical needs. Xyrie was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Xyrie is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on April 6th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to cover the total cost of Xyrie's procedure and care. After her recovery, Xyrie will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. “It will be so much more convenient for Xyrie to move without the colostomy bag, and we don’t have to buy her colostomy supplies anymore. I also won’t have to worry that she’ll be bullied when she grows up,” Neriza, her mother shared. “The help provided by WSFP and Watsi are really of big help to our family,” added Neriza.
Kaliyan is a 27-year-old construction worker. He is an only child and his parents are divorced. He is currently living with his aunt. In his free time, he enjoys playing on his phone, playing football with his friends, and singing along to music. In May 2020, Kaliyan fell off of a motorbike and experienced paralysis of his right shoulder. He was offered physiotherapy at a government hospital, but his condition did not improve. He has since 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 has no movement in his right upper arm, and is unable to move his fingers or flex his wrist and elbow. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Kaliyan receive treatment. On February 28th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he hopes to regain use of his right arm so that he can work. Now, he needs help raising $696 to fund his procedure and care. Kaliyan shared, "I am hopeful that I can return to work to help my family. This injury has been very difficult for me because I can only stay home now and am not useful to anyone."
Melany is a joyful six-year-old girl from Colombia. She lives with her great-grandmother as he mother left when she was two years old. Melany loves to play with her "nana", and laughs a lot. Melany was born with Cerebral Palsy, and her great grandmother has been incredibly supportive in her treatment through the years, ensuring that she has the best possible prognosis. Due to her condition, Melany experiences recurrent hip dislocation and requires corrective surgery to help her walk. Fortunately, our medical partner, Clínica Noel, is helping Melany receive treatment. On February 14th, she will undergo corrective surgery, and, now, she and her family need help raising $1,362 to fund her procedure and care. Melany's great-grandmother shared, "my biggest motivation is seeing her walk by herself, or at least depend a little less on me. I'm afraid to die and leave her alone in a world where she only has me and her uncle."
Dom is a 43-year-old woman who married with three daughters and one grandchild. Dom used to be a pottery maker but has been unable to work due to the pain she is experiencing. Dom makes pottery in her province of Cambodai, called Kampong Chhnang, which is known for its beautiful ceramics that are sold all over the country. Dom has been experiencing acute pain in her right hip for several weeks. The cause is unknown but, as a result of the pain, she is unable to walk and must use a wheelchair. Dom shared that she feels unwell, cannot sleep, and has lost her appetite. She visited her local hospital, where doctors diagnosed her condition as a fracture of the femoral neck and referred her to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for treatment. Fortunately, on January 5th, surgeons as CSC will perform a total hip replacement to relieve Dom of her pain and allow her to walk easily. CSC is requesting $1,087 to pay for Dom's procedure. Dom shared, "I hope the doctors will discover why I cannot walk and fix it. I want to be able to walk again, have no pain, and take care of my family."
Sarah is a 5-year-old girl from Haiti. She is typically a healthy and active girl and is very loved by her family. Sarah has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Sarah has been experiencing severe headaches. Sarah had a shunt placed when she was an infant for treatment and it allowed her to develop normally. The recent headaches alerted the doctors that the shunt stopped working and needed to be replaced. Without treatment, Sarah will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Sarah at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on December 7th. This critical treatment will replace the shunt and drain the excess fluid from Sarah's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Sarah will hopefully continue to develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Their family is grateful that Sarah will be able to continue to have a happy life after the shunt is replaced.
Win is a 40-year-old man. He lives with his mother and step-father in Tak Province in Thailand. He used to work in a restaurant until his vision deteriorated and he could no longer work. His mother and his step-father are agricultural day labourers. The income they earn is not enough for their family and sometimes they make and sell charcoal to earn extra money. Win has cataracts in both his eyes but the doctor plans to do surgery on his right eye first. The vision in both his eyes are so poor that he can only perceive light. His mother has to help look after him, washing and feeding him since he cannot see well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Win. On November 9th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Win's natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. "I was so happy when I heard that I will be able to see again," he said. "I want to work once I can see again, so that I can repay our loan. I want to look after my mother and step-father in the future, and one day I want to become a [Buddhist] monk."
Lakati is a 12-year-old boy and the fifth born out of six children. Lakati comes from a big extended family. Lakati got a chance to go to school but since he finished his primary school education he has been helping look after his father's cattle. His parents are nomadic pastoralists who settle in very remote regions, so getting to a hospital is not easy. They depend mainly on milk and meat from their cattle and once in a while, they are able to sell the cattle. Lakati was diagnosed with right genu valgus. His right knee bows inward so that his knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Lakati experiences pain when walking for a long distance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Lakati. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 8th. Treatment will hopefully restore Lakati's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Lakati says “We have to walk long distances each day in search of pasture for our father’s cattle and as days go by it keeps being hard for me because of my right leg which hurts badly especially in the evening when we return home.”
Chenda is a three-year-old girl, who lives with her parents and her two-year-old sister. Chenda's father works in construction. When Chenda was one year old her mother noticed she had difficulty walking and her gait has remained abnormal for the last two years. Her neighbors told her to come to our Medical Partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) where an x-ray shows dysplasia of her left hip. To repair this dysplasia, surgeons will perform an open reduction and pelvis osteotomy on the left side. She will be able to walk normally once she recovers and grow up as a healthy girl. Chenda's mother said, "I hope my daughter will get well soon and she will be able to walk easily and well after her surgery."
Robert is a 37-year-old matatu taxi driver with two children. Recently, Robert was involved in a traffic accident where he sustained multiple fractures in his legs. He has difficulty walking and can no longer work as a driver. Fortunately, with the support of Watsi donors he was able to have his first surgery and now surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), are able to help with his final repair. On August 5th, Robert will undergo a second fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will allow Robert to walk with more ease. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. "I am hopeful I will be able to walk again. I am halfway there. I know with this surgery, I will be able to use my legs and get back to working again,” shared Robert.
Nuriya is 2-year-old toddler from Ethiopia who loves his mom and dad very much and always wants to be with them. Nuriya enjoys chatting and playing with his parents. Now he also has a three-month-old baby sister. His parents are working hard to raise them both. They shared that they went through a lot as a previous immigrant in Saudi Arabia and their family now decided to stay in their home country to raise a family and support it from their homeland. Nuriya's grandparents gave his parents a small piece of land that they are now farming. However, the fruit that they farm is only enough to maintain the daily needs of the family. Nuriya was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Nuriya is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Nuriya was also born with another birth condition that Watsi donors supported for treatment and his family is tremendously grateful for support. Nuriya's mother is inspired by the care he is receiving, “I hope he will be a doctor in the future. Just as the doctor who treated him and changed his health in the past, I want him to grow and treat so many kids with sickness and disability.”