Ron joined Watsi on January 3rd, 2014. Five years ago, Ron became the 1336th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,114 more people have become monthly donors! Ron's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Johnson, a baby boy from Tanzania, to fund spina bifida treatment.
Ron has funded healthcare for 64 patients in 12 countries.
Johnson is an 8-month baby boy from Tanzania. Johnson, the last born child in a family of four, and already is a very active and friendly little boy. Johnson's parents are both subsistence farmers. Johnson was born in a local hospital where his parents were informed that his spine was not fully formed, thus resulting in a condition known as spinal bifida. Because Johnson's condition was not severe, they were informed that he wouldn’t need treatment and that it would close on its own. As their family continued to attend clinics they were told to wait till Johnson gets to five months old for him to have any kind of treatment. At five months they took him to hospital for the treatment but the cost was too high for them to afford and they had to return home. As time went by, Johnson's mother saw that his condition could end up complicated if he didn’t get treatment soon and end up greatly affecting Johnson later in life. She decided to seek treatment. She went to Mt Meru and was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center ALMC for more help. Johnson was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Johnson is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Johnson's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 7th. This procedure will hopefully spare Johnson from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Johnson’s mother says, “We are concerned if our son does not get his spine corrected, it might affect his ability to walk. Please help my son.”
Kham is a 14-year-old student from Burma. She lives with her father, paternal grandparents, four paternal uncles, an aunt-in-law, and a cousin in Kachin State. Kham is in the ninth grade and her cousin also goes to school. Her grandmother is a seamstress. Her grandfather is retired, and her father is unemployed and looks after her. All of her uncles are mechanics in an automobile repair shop, but they do not share their income with the rest of the family. During her free time, she helps her cousin with his homework, and she loves teaching. Kham was born with ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her sick and short of breath. Kham is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on August 9th to correct her condition and improve her quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Kham's procedure and care. “I would like to become a teacher because I feel happy teaching children that I know,” Kham shared with us.
Nay Kaw is an 11-year-old student from Burma. He lives with his parents, two older brothers and two younger sisters. He is currently in first grade since he left monkhood last year. His father is a farmer and his mother is a homemaker who looks after his youngest sister at home, the other sister is also a student like Nay Kaw. Nay Kaw, along with his two brothers, help with household chores and in his free time, he likes to play cane ball and hunt. Since birth, Nay Kaw has a had a mass on his right wrist. When he turned three years old, the mass increased in size but was still not painful. But by the time he was ten years old, the mass increased in size again, and became swollen and painful. His mother took him to a traditional healer but the medicine he received did not help. Fortunately our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, can help. He is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on July 9th. This surgery will relieve him of his pain and discomfort. He needs your help to cover the $1,500 cost of his procedure and care. Nay Kaw shared, “I would like to be a teacher because I would like to teach children like my friends who are not able to go to school to study.”
Allan is a child from Tanzania. His mother is a single mother who works at a local restaurant as a cook in order to support her baby. Allan 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, Allan is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,086 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Allan's mother says, "Please help my son get this treatment so that he can be able to grow up into a normal man.”
Everheart is a primary school student from central Kenya. His hearing has always been low since he was young. His family thought it was his tonsils that had problems and, after he received a tonsillectomy when he was 4 years old, they thought he would recover. Unfortunately, he did not improve as expected. The family has been going from one hospital to another seeking assistance before a friend recommended they visit Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital. When he came to Kijabe, Everheart had an ABR test done, and hearing aids were recommended. He struggles to hear in class but hopes that hearing aids will improve his hearing and learning. Everheart is the youngest child in his family. He had two siblings, but unfortunately, he lost his eldest brother. He lives with his sister’s family since he lost his mother and his father has neglected them. His sister is a general worker in a tea plantation with limited income to meet the cost of treatment as well as their family's basic needs. Everheart’s sister says, “Please help my brother with the aids. I am confident that they will assist him greatly.”
Phyo is a two-year-old boy from Thailand. He lives with his parents and sisters and a brother in Fo Fai Village. His parents are originally from Bago Division in Burma and moved to Thailand in search of better job opportunities around 10 years ago. Both of his parents are agricultural day laborers. Phyo’s parents cannot afford to send him or his siblings to school and they are looked after by his six-year-old sister when his parents are working. Phyo was born a healthy baby boy at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). In June 2019, Phyo’s mother noticed that both of Phyo’s testicles were swollen. At first she thought that the swelling was caused by an insect bite and that the swelling would come down on its own. However, the swelling never reduced. Busy with work and since Phyo did no complain of any pain and looked otherwise healthy, his mother did not take him to a clinic or a hospital. In the beginning of November 2019, his mother realized that his testicles were increasing in size and he was uncomfortable. His mother decided to have this checked and brought him to MTC in early November. When they arrived at the clinic, the medic completed a physical examination and gave him antibiotics. The medic also told Phyo’s mother that they could not treat him further because the medic was not completely sure what his diagnosis was. They were told that Phyo would need to receive an x-ray at Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) so that they could diagnose him properly. Since his mother did not have enough money to pay for the x-ray and she had work she had to do at home, she brought Phyo back to their village. At home, Phyo took the antibiotics the medic had given him, which seemed to reduce the size of his testicles. However, on April 7th, 2020, Phyo’s mother noticed that his swelling was increasing in size again and that he could not pass urine nor stool; she became worried when she noted that he ate and drank a lot the whole day. The next day, his mother asked her pastor if they could take them back to MTC, as she did not have enough money to pay for transportation. Their pastor agreed to help them and drove them to the clinic. At MTC Phyo received a physical examination and the medic explained to Phyo’s mother that he might have a hernia. The medic diagnosed him with incarcerated inguinal hernia and told them that he would need to receive surgery at the nearby hospital. Phyo has an inguinal hernia and currently cannot pass urine nor stool. He cannot walk or stand for the past two days as his swelling is severe and uncomfortable. Fortunately, on April 8th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Phyo's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 8th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Phyo's mother said, “I feel very stressed and worried about my son. I can’t help him any further as I don’t have money. His father has also not come back since he went back to Burma [a month ago to take care of his sick parents]. I cannot work and I have no income as we have less work during this time of the year. Sometimes our neighbors have to give us a meal. Now I have a debt of 600 baht (approx. 20 USD) already from my neighbor, without interest.”
Jane is a farmer from Kenya who was well until Friday night, February 28th, when she fell on a hard ground while carrying a bunch of firewood. She visited a nearby health centre but was referred to our facility for specialized treatment secondary to severe pain and inability to stretch her hand. Upon review, x-ray imaging indicated a radial head fracture and a radial head excision with Open Reduction Internal Fixation (ORIF) recommended by doctors. The surgery will allow her to stretch/flex her hand and continue with her normal life duties. Jane is a peasant farmer in the upcountry, planting millet and sorghum on her farm located along the valley. The mother of 8 and a grandmother to several children, she has always worked hard to meet her children's needs. Despite her hard work, Jane faces a lot of social challenges at home. Since her husband was murdered four years ago by unknown persons, Jane developed depression that led to partial psychosis. Due to this condition, Jane is unable to attend to her home duties like before. She no longer does farming like she used to do, now she is left in the hands of her daughter who takes care of her needs. Jane's family is able to raise $98 only. She is requesting the rest of the funds to undergo ORIF. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 6th, Jane will undergo a fracture repair procedure. The surgery will reduce further complications and allow Jane be able to utilize her hand with ease. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $771 to fund this procedure. “I hope that I will get well soon. I am missing my home,” says Jane with sweet laughter.
John is a 3 year old child from Kenya. The family of two children lives in a single-rental house in Mlolongo-Nairobi. His mother sells omena (small silvery sardine-like fish that affords the same nutritious advantages) while his father is employed casually as a welder. He earns an average income of $2 a day. John was born with Hypospadias and Anorectal Malformation (he could not pass stool on his own). By September 2017, he had gone through the three stages of the anal rectal malformation correction surgeries and he made a full recovery. This was made possible through funding by Watsi supporters. Around August 2018, John had the first stage hypospadias repair and this was funded by the national health insurance fund. A second stage hypospadias repair is now required, but his family does not have the means for paying. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, John is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on January 27th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $700 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “It is embarrassing to seek help from the same people. Please find a way to help us once again,” says John’s mother.
Joseph is a young boy from Tanzania. He is the fifth born child in a family of 7 children and also comes from a polygamous family and has 10 siblings inclusive of his step-siblings. His parents are small scale farmers in Northern Tanzania. His father often traverses into Kenya to sell Masai herbal medicine to supplement income and meet the daily demands of his big family. When Joseph was two years old, he slipped by boiling tea in his mother's hut. He suffered burns on his right hand and right side of his head. He spent several months in the hospital recuperating from the burns. Unfortunately, he healed with contractures on his right hand that has limited his ability to use his right hand. Joseph had surgery in October to release his wrist and now he needs to have another surgery to have his fingers released. Joseph is struggling to write in his class one studies due to contractures on his right hand. He has to learn how to write with his left hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Joseph receive treatment. On January 7th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to he will be able to use his hand and even move his fingers independently. Now, he needs help to fund this $832 procedure. Joseph says, “I like how my hand looks now, and I am able to use my hand to carry things. I hope that if I get another surgery it will look more okay.”
Medrick is a child from Tanzania. He is the first born child in a family of three children. Medrick is a hard working boy who loves school. The daily walks to and from school are becoming harder every day from exhaustion due to the positioning of his feet. Medrick’s parents depend on small scale farming of maize and cassavas for their living. Medrick 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, Medrick traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on November 19. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Medrick's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Medrick’s father says, “We tried to treat our son but we ran out of money. Now there is a chance for him to have his feet corrected but we can’t afford the cost please help.”
Judith is a middle-aged woman with lower back pain problem that has persisted for over 8 years. Judith has tried managing the condition with injections, medical pills and physiotherapy sessions. The interventions have not been fruitful as she recently started using a walking stick to attain balance. Judith was referred to our facility by a neighbour and upon MRI imaging, she had spinal fusion surgery recommended. If not treated, the pain will persist which might weaken her walking gait further. Judith is a mother of three children and used to work on their farm for subsistence farming but has since stopped. Her husband is employed as a timber yard operator. The family is not able to raise the total funds needed for her surgery and they appeal for financial assistance.
Zin is a 37-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband, son and two daughters in Myawaddy, Karen State. Her 17-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter go to school while her youngest daughter stays home as she is still very young. To make a living, Zin used to make different Burmese snacks and sell them at the nearby villages. But she recently stopped working due to her health condition. Sometimes, her husband works as a day labourer but Zin said she does not know how much he earns from that. Six months ago, Zin started to experience stomach-ache so she went to a clinic. The doctor there did not do any investigations, instead, just prescribed her oral medication. Although Zin felt better with the medications she received at the clinic, her symptom returned after two months and she went back to see the same doctor. The doctor again prescribed her medications, but they only relieved her symptoms for a short time. In early September, Zin felt like her stomach-ache has worsened. She had it more often and the medications that she received at the clinic did not help her anymore. On 12 September 2019, Zin had a severe stomach-ache and for the last time, she returned to see the same doctor. On this visit, the doctor performed an ultrasound and said that there are stones in her common bile duct (CBD), a duct that carries bile from the gallbladder and liver into the duodenum (upper part of the small intestine). Zin has been advised to undergo a biliary obstruction repair, a procedure to repair the blockage of the bile ducts, which carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder. If left untreated, Zin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Zin is scheduled to undergo her biliary obstruction repair on October 03. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Zin's procedure and care. Zin said, “I cannot do anything now. I want to get well soon and start working again. If not, my family will not have enough food”.