Mitch joined Watsi on November 1st, 2015. Five years ago, Mitch joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mitch's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Makara, a father from Cambodia, to fund a brachial plexus repair surgery so he can use his arm.
Mitch has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 12 countries.
Mitch has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 12 countries.
Makara shared, "I hope this surgery can help me return to work in the future so I can support my family. My life will change if I can use my arm again." Makara is a 31-year-old man who has been married for four years and has a three-year-old daughter. Makara's wife works in a garment factory near their home in the province. In April 2021, Makara was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of his left arm. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left 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 lift his arm and he cannot work. Makara traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On June 21st, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm normally again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure.
Wit is a four-year-old boy who lives with his parents in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Wit goes to junior kindergarten, while his parents own a small shop in the camp. In his free time, he enjoys drawing and coloring. He's also already really interested in fixing and building things. Since he was a year old, Wit has had an inguinal hernia. The hernia causes him pain in his scrotum and in his stomach. Due to the pain, he cannot run and play with his friends and he sometimes he misses school. To control the pain, he takes pain medication three times a day. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Wit to receive treatment. On June 1st, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once completed, the procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Wit's surgery. Wit's mother shared, "he tells me he wants to become a doctor [in the future], but he also says that he wants to become a mechanic or a builder. He will ask me to buy him tools and things to fix. He will try to fix his [father’s] motorcycle and bicycle.”
Alex is a three-year-old boy and the youngest of two children in his family. Alex's mother works at home taking care of their family. His father used to work as a mechanic, but unfortunately had a stroke and is currently bedridden at home. When Alex was two years old, his mother noticed that his gait was becoming abnormal. He began tiptoeing while walking and experienced difficulty with his balance. He was taken to a hospital in Nairobi where his family was told that his condition would improve as he grows. Instead, his condition has deteriorated. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Alex to receive life-changing treatment. On May 9th, Alex is scheduled to undergo bilateral achilles tendon lengthening surgery at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $1,224 to fund Alex's surgery. Alex's mother shared, “I am appealing to the people of goodwill to assist me so that my son can undergo surgery and walk normally like other children.”
Natalia is an eight-year-old girl. She's in grade three and is the oldest in a family of two children. Natalia is very clever in school and she likes to play with her friends. Natalia's parents work as hawkers selling small items to make a living for their family. For about four years, Natalia has had on and off tonsillitis and a common cold. This has affected her happiness and relationships with her friends. She has visited many facilities for treatment and while the swelling in her tonsils subsides, it ultimately comes back. Natalia visited our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), accompanied by her grandmother who works at the care center. Now, AMH is requesting $565 to fund an adenotonsillectomy for Natalia, which is scheduled for March 26th. If left untreated, Natalia could be at risk of complications like chronic tonsillitis, middle ear infection, peritonsillar abscess, and rheumatic fever. Natalia's grandmother shared, “Natalia is my first grandchild and I love her very much. I hope Watsi can support us so that she can get well and continue with her normal life, and also be ready to go back to school when it reopens.”
Htun is a 50-year-old man from Thailand. He lives with his wife, son, and two daughters in Thailand. Htun and his wife work as agricultural day laborers, but Htun had to stop working after he injured his eye. Currently, Htun can only perceive light with both of his eyes, but he cannot clearly see objects. Although he is not in pain, he needs someone to assist him when he walks or eats. He also cannot work nor do any household chores as a result of losing his vision. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Htun. On March 2nd, doctors will perform the lens replacement surgery, and they will remove Htun's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After his surgery, Htun will be able to see clearly and get back to all that he needs to do in the day. Htun said, “I am sad and depressed that I cannot see nor do anything. I feel sorry that my wife has had to accompany me everywhere and do every little thing for me such as helping me eat and go to the bathroom. I want to regain my vision quickly and I want to go back to work.”
Than is a 42-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, three daughters, three sons, son-in-law and granddaughter. Than and her family moved from Burma to Thailand ten years ago in search of better job opportunities. Her husband, her oldest daughter, one son, and her son-in-law work as day labourers on their employer’s farm, growing and harvesting tapioca, corn, and cabbage. Her two other sons go to school, while her youngest daughter and her granddaughter are too young to go to school. Than and her second oldest daughter are homemakers. On November 7th, 2020, Than discovered that she had an incisional hernia. Currently, Than experiences abdominal pain throughout the week and has to take pain medication to decrease her pain. She feels uncomfortable when she sits, and when she is in pain, she has to walk or lie down for the pain to ease. Fortunately, on January 28th, she 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 Than's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 28th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and go about her daily activities normally. Than shared, “I was so happy when I learned that I was to go to Mae Tao Clinic [and later Mae Sot Hospital] for treatment. My children are also happy that I will receive treatment with help from donors.”
San is a 23-year-old fisherman from Cambodia. San has been married for two years and has a son who is one. His wife is a farmer. In his free time, San enjoys meeting friends, doing house work, taking care of his son, and taking his wife to their local market. San had an accident with a machine on a fishing boat that caused a fracture of his right arm and damaged the nerves. 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 lift his arm and he cannot work. San traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On December 21st, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. San said, "I hope after surgery I get back full arm function and can work again."
Jackline is a 13-year-old girl from Kenya and the fifth born in a family of six children. Her father works as a farmer, while her mother is a housewife. In school, Jackline is a humble and hardworking Class 8 student. She aspires to be a doctor in the future so that she can be of help to her village, where the community feels they are marginalized and lack facilities like hospitals and schools. Jackline was born with a condition known as bilateral genu valgum, or knock knees. This condition has severely affected her mobility. She cannot walk for a long distance or play with her friends, and this has greatly affected her self-esteem. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center can help. On December 1st, Jackline is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on her left leg, and then will subsequently undergo surgery on her right leg. The surgery will be of great impact because, once recovered, she will be able to walk well without pain and discomfort. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,224 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Jackline shared, "I will be very happy if my legs are corrected and I can walk to school like my friends." Hellen, Jackline's mother, added, “We are appealing for help from well-wishers so that our daughter can walk normally.”
Mercy is a 49-year-old single mother of two children from Kenya who makes a living as a street vendor. Mercy has been experiencing heavy bleeding and lower abdominal pains for the past three years. 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 $791 to fund Mercy's surgery. On July 3, she will undergo surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Mercy will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. “I have no one to help me yet this problem is affecting my social life and my ability to work. I am asking for Watsi's help so that I can be well and be able to live a normal life," shared Mercy.
Elias is a young student from Kenya and is a happy young boy. He is the second-born child in a family of three children. He is currently in 4th grade and aspires to be an engineer in the future. Elias was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Elias has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. However, treatment is costly for Elias's family. Both of his parents are labourers who depend on manual jobs to feed their family. His mother washes clothes, and his father works in construction sites. They both lack a stable income since the jobs and payments depend on the availability of work. There are times when they go without work for several days. Elias will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo an orchidopexy, which is a corrective surgery, on November 12th. AMHF is requesting $754 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Elias shared, “I want to study hard and become an engineer when I grow up. For now, the doctors told me that I needed to get treatment to help me grow into a healthy man."
Meet Britney, a 14-year-old girl from a village in Meru County. Britney likes socializing and playing handball. She aspires to become a doctor in future to help patients who are going through tough times in the hospital. Britney is the second born in a family of three children. Her father is a small businessman while her mother is a farmer. While playing with a few other girls, Britney slipped in the field and injured her left foot. She has been to different hospitals for x-rays and seeking treatment, but her condition has been worsening. It affects her mobility and is causing her to feel pain anytime she walks. Britney cannot stand for long and doing household duties is also a challenge for her now. Surgery will be of great impact as she will be able to walk without any challenge and the pain which she has been feeling whenever she walks, will be alleviated. “I want my foot to be corrected so that I can walk well like other girls,” Britney told us.
Celab is a trader from Uganda who came to our facility with complaints of back swelling that has gradually become painful. For the past nine years, he has felt painful pricks on his back. He is not able to lift heavy loads on his back. Celab has tried traditional medications but been unsuccessful. Celab was diagnosed with lipoma and an excision is recommended for better health and quality of life. Celab is a father of five children who are students. He trades in bananas while his wife is a peasant farmer. Due to the school fees requirement, his income is often insufficient. He requires the surgery to excise the lipoma and continue providing for his children. Celab traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 7th, surgeons will remove the mass. Now, Celab needs help to raise $187 to fund this procedure. Celab says, “I pray that I get well after surgery so that I can continue hustling for my family.”