Mitch joined Watsi on November 1st, 2015. Six years ago, Mitch joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mitch's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Cho, a homemaker from Burma, to treat a severe infection and restore her mobility.
Mitch has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 12 countries.
Mitch has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 12 countries.
Cho is a 50-year-old woman who lives with her husband and their three children in Burma. Cho is a homemaker, and her three children are students. However, their school is currently closed due to the ongoing political and humanitarian crisis in the country. Her husband used to work as a day labourer in Mawlamyine City but stopped working a few months ago because he was afraid of the military arresting him. To support his family, he goes fishing everyday near their village. From selling any surplus fish, he is able to earn about 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month. This income is not enough to cover their daily needs or pay for basic health care, but they are working hard to get by. A few months ago, Cho noticed that she had a blister on her left heel. A few days later it burst and became an ulcer. Although she wanted to see a doctor, most of the public clinics and hospitals were closed, and she also could not afford to pay for treatment at them. In early September 2021, she went to a pharmacy nearby to buy medication for her diabetes but they could only provide her with painkillers and cleaning solution for the wound. At home, Cho cleaned the ulcer, but it continued to worsen. One day, her neighbour told her to go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where she could receive affordable and good services. Cho borrowed money and went to MCLH. She was admitted on September 28th 2021, and the doctor examined her left heel and saw that her heel was swollen and that the ulcer had pus in it. The doctor then scheduled her to undergo surgery on September 30th 2021 to clean the ulcer and remove any necrotic tissue so she can heal. Our care center is requesting $694 to fund of Cho's wound debridement surgery, including her hospital stay and all other medical costs. Currently, Cho is in a lot of pain. When the temperature is cooler, especially at night, the pain worsens. If she does not take pain medication, she cannot sleep at night. Cho said, "When I heard donors may support my surgery, I felt very happy. Even though we have not met you in person, I want to thank you so much for helping me. I just want to live a healthy and happy life with my family.”
Salome is a jovial but very timid student. Her mother does most of the talking as she lovingly clings to her. Currently a fourth-grade student, and she aspires to be a teacher in the future. Salome is the second born in a family of four. Her older sibling is 17 years old, and the youngest is 8 years of age. Her father is a casual laborer who transports meat to butcheries around the Kagwe area in Kenya. Her mother is also a casual laborer and tends to farms for a living. They live in their ancestral home on a quarter an acre farm. Since birth, Salome has had an umbilical hernia. If not treated, the hernia could result in intestinal tissue damage and/or death. Fortunately, on August 26th, she will undergo repair surgery at our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $585 to fund Salome's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and to continue her studies. Salome’s mother says, “My baby has had this condition since birth. We have not been able to take her to a hospital because we are financially struggling. I hope her condition does not threaten her life.”
Richard is an 11-year-old student and the oldest child in a family of four children. His parents are farmers and when they have a productive harvest, they are able to sell some of their produce. When he was born, Richard was diagnosed 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, Richard is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 29th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $735 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Richard’s father shared, “as a parent, I would really be happy and grateful when Richard is treated.”
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.