Carolyn joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. 1,771 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Carolyn's most recent donation traveled 7,200 miles to support Mo, a refugee and student from Thailand, to fund brain surgery to remove a tumor.
Carolyn has funded healthcare for 109 patients in 12 countries.
Carolyn has funded healthcare for 109 patients in 12 countries.
Mo is a 22-year-old student from Thailand. He lives along with his father in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. While living in the camp, Mo finished high school and is now completing post-high school education. Their household receives 480 baht (approx. $16 USD) each month as part of their food support from an organization called The Border Consortium. However, this amount is not enough to cover their daily needs. Therefore, Mo's father works as a seasonal agricultural day laborer in a nearby village. He is able to earn an extra 350 baht (approx. $12 USD) in a month but this amount is still not enough and they shared that they struggle to make ends meet despite having free basic health care and education in the camp. In early September, Mo started to feel dizzy frequently, especially whenever he stood up. At first, he thought he would feel better after he rested and slept. However, he was unable to sleep well for about a week and was suffering from insomnia. After a medic examined him he was referred to the local hospital for treatment. The doctor at the local hospital referred him to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) to see a neurologist. After he returned to the camp, Mo rapidly started to lose his vision in both of his eyes. An NGO called Malteser International Thailand (MI) was able to arrange Moses’ travel documents, he was brought to CMH on October 5th, 2020. The next day, he received a CT scan which showed that he has a mass in his brain and a build-up of cerebrospinal fluid in his brain due to the mass. Because of the severity of his condition, the doctor scheduled him to receive surgery right away on October 9th. The mass will be removed and sent for biopsy. He will also undergo a procedure to receive a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt to drain the excess fluid from his brain. Currently, Mo has a headache, and he is not able to move his eyes from side to side. He needs his father to accompany him wherever he goes because he can no longer see far. He spends most of his time lying down in bed and needs to be pushed in a wheelchair to get around due to his new vision problems. Mo sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo a brain mass removal surgery on October 9th. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “Life suddenly become darker without me knowing why," said Mo. "It is extremely difficult for me to even go to the toilet [by myself]. I cry while I lay in bed for many hours. I really miss seeing colors."
Pamela is wheeled into the consultation room wincing in pain. She briefly smiles but gets back to a serious face. Pamela is a widow whose husband passed away in 1993. After his passing, family conflicts forced her to move from their home village in Migori and settle in a crowded, more run-down neighborhood near Eastleigh. She used to work as a tailor but, after she needed a wheelchair in 2011, she has been unable to work. Pamela lives in a single room tin-roofed house and the local church helps to support her rent. She doesn’t have an ID so it has been hard for her to access local services such as medical support. Pamela told us that she has been relying on well-wishers and their local church for survival and her closest relatives live in Migori and rarely are able to offer her support. Pamela arrived to the hospital with bladder calculus with recurrent UTI that requires an urgent cystolithotomy, a curative laparotomy procedure, to aid relieve her stomach pains that have been recurrent for many years now. According to her neighbors who brought her to the facility, she had been in severe pain the whole night, and the medicine that she received from a nearby dispensary were not helping her. Pamela has been through a lot medically and socially. In late 2011, she suffered from TB of her spine and underwent spinal surgery. She has been using a wheelchair since then. In mid-2017, her stomach pains started and in November 2019, she underwent several tests and was booked for surgery at a hospital. She didn’t have funds so she went back home and continued managing her pains with pain medication. Upon hearing about Watsi's Medical Partner Kijabe Hospital, she came hoping for treatment. On November 7th this year, she was reviewed by the doctors and several tests were done which revealed her condition and need for surgery. She was discharged home and booked for a follow up appointment and possible surgery next week (November 23rd) but because of the pains, she was rushed back to the hospital. Pamela shared with us, “This is my only option to get rid of the pains. I have tried several medications but they are not working. I really need assistance to get this surgery. “
Leang Sim is a seven-year-old 1st grade student. She has one older brother who is 11 years old and in the 6th grade. Their father sells vegetables at the market and their mother is a vegetable farmer. When Leang Sim is not at school she likes to play with toys with her brother, read books, watch TV, and go outside with her parents. When Leang Sim was one, her mother first noticed she had a curved spine. Doctors have now diagnosed Leang Sim with thoracolumbar scoliosis. She arrived at Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) with a curved spine reporting difficulty walking, sleeping, and trouble breathing after strenuous activity. Surgeons at CSC will place an extending rod inside Leang Sim's back to help improve her condition now and as she grows, the rod will be extended to alleviate her scoliosis. Leang Sim's mother is hopeful for the surgery and said, "I hope my daughter can walk well after surgery."
Glorianne is a young student from Kenya. Glorianne is a brilliant and social girl, we met her at our clinic in Embu. She asked so many questions to the doctor and wanted to know how her condition could be corrected. She is the first born in a family of two and a class six pupil. Her mother told us that she likes reading and English is her favorite subject. The family hails from Kiambere village in Embu County. Her mother is a single parent and she works as a secretary at local secondary school. Glorianne has clubfoot of her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Glorianne traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 18. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Glorianne's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily and wear shoes without discomfort. “I am requesting your help so that my daughter can properly stand and walk like other girls,” shared Risper, Glorianne’s mother..
Tukamushaba is a 21 year old student pursuing a certificate in nursery teaching. She has six siblings; some drive motorcycle taxis, others practice small-scale farming or do vehicle repairs, and one still in school. Her parents practice small-scale farming to earn a living and cannot afford this cost for the surgery of their daughter thus their family is seeking support. Tukamushaba came to the hospital with lower abdominal pain, which she has had for five years along with associated left iliac fossa pain and other symptoms. This affects her standards of living as she has discomfort and thinks she could have been cursed, which our medical partner assured her is not true and only a myth. If not treated she may have the mass rupturing leading to threatening emergency. Tukamushaba had previously never been taken to the hospital for treatment for her condition as the parents could not make it to pay the bills. But having been notified about a surgery program at Nyakibale, she came and was diagnosed with a very large left tubovarian mass. Doctors recommend she undergo a cystectomy treatment as guided by the abdominal ultrasound scan. We expect to greatly improve her wellbeing for good health and quality life. Tukamushaba told us: “I surely cannot wait to be relieved of this condition as it has really discomforted me with pain. I look forward that after the coronavirus lockdown and surgery, then I may go back to school to finalize my course.”
SreyNeng is a 13-year-old girl in 7th grade. Her best subject in school is math. SreyNeng has one brother and one sister. Her mother is a farmer and her father is a truck driver. She enjoys reading books, doing her school work, playing with toys with her siblings, and watching TV. SreyNeng's favorite thing to eat and drink is chicken fried rice and coke. SreyNeng has congenital torticollis, a condition that makes muscles of the neck contract and the head to twist to one side. It is difficult for her to rotate her neck. Surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre will perform a tenotomy to release the tendon on the right side of her neck. This procedure will correct her condition and she will be able to move her neck with full range of motion for the first time.
Nimusiima is a 30 year old single mother to three children, all of whom are still in school. She separated with her husband because of her health condition leaving her with no support for her three children. She earns a living from selling second-hand clothes along the roadside but since she earns limited profit from the business, she at times does small-scale farming growing food crops to feed her children. When she separated with her husband, she had to rent a two-roomed house which she shares with her three daughters and rent is paid from the profits she earns after her sales. Nimusiima came in to the hospital presenting with an unrepaired delivery episiotomy that she has had for the last two years. She has discomfort and incontinence. It has greatly affected her quality of life and her marriage. Nimusiima had never been to any hospital for treatment for her condition due to limited finances but having heard over a radio health talk show about the hospital's program and the surgical operation it supports, she decided to come and check if she could also be helped. Having reached here, she visited the gynaecologist who examined her recommended an anterior colporrhaphy and perinerraphy treatment to restore her quality of health. Nimusiima shared: “I hope to get a better quality of life after my surgery and be free from this condition. I hope to resume working for the betterment of my children's future.”
Kesande is a 29-year-old woman from Uganda from a family of small scale farmers. She was born in a family of five siblings including two boys, one a health worker and anther one is a mobile trader. All the three daughters are married and are small scale farmers as well. Kesande dropped out of school at senior three due to lack of school fees since her older brother was joining university and her parents couldn’t afford paying for them all at once. She earns a living through operating a small hotel while her husband works in a stone quarry and she can’t afford the costs of her needed surgery. Kesande presented at our care center with a severe vaginal opening, which she has experienced for almost three years now. She often feels stool incontinence and on examination, it was indicated that she has a poorly healed 3rd degree perianal tear. This has made her feel uncomfortable and to have a poor quality of life. If not treated, symptoms may persist. Kesande had never been in any hospital for treatment of her condition but having heard of our program at Nyakibale hospital, she decided to come for any possibility of support. A coloporraphy is recommended as treatment for the betterment of her health.
Byamugisha is a small scale farmer from Uganda. He was once married but separated ten years ago due to overgrowth of keloids, which she was not pleased with. They have one child together who is in school studying, but being supported by relatives as Byamugisha is not working. Byamugisha is not settled in his mind and he feels helpless because he is laughed at by everyone in public places and as a result, he now avoids going out. Byamugisha traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 2nd, surgeons will remove the mass. Now, Byamugisha needs help to raise $187 to fund this procedure. Byamugisha says, “I don’t know how much I will praise the Lord once I am relieved of this condition.”
Zipporah is a young girl aged eight and a half years from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. She is the last born in a family of four children. Her mother is a single mother who does casual work as a waitress in a small hotel near their home. Zipporah has been a very jolly and active child, until about one month ago when she reported to her mother that she was having abdominal pains and her abdomen was swelling. The condition was making it difficult for Zipporah to play with other children. She was even brought to our office in a wheelchair as she feels pain when standing. She came to our partner, Nazareth Hospital, and an ultrasound scan was done which showed a well-defined liver mass. The family was sent for a CT scan and it also showed a cystic liver mass. The surgeon recommends a laparotomy, but her mother was not in a position to meet the bill for this surgery. If not treated Zipporah will continue to experience pain.
Moe is a 31-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and four-year-old son in Mae La Refugee Camp (MLRC) in Tha Song Yang District of Tak Province. She has lived there for 20 years after her parents moved from Bilin Township, Bago Division in Burma because of the civil war. Moe is a homemaker who does all the household chores while her husband is a farmer who works on rented land outside of the camp, where he plants corn and beans. To make some extra income, Moe also sells snacks from home. Their combined income is enough to cover basic family expenses. As for healthcare, they receive free basic care in the camp provided by International Rescue Committee (IRC). A few months ago, Moe started to feel a mass in her lower abdomen while she was lying down after eating dinner. She thought it was strange and told her neighbor about it the next day. Her neighbor told her that this was normal for someone gaining weight, which she suggested Moe was. Upon hearing this, she did not seek treatment, agreeing with her neighbor’s conclusion. However, she soon felt that the mass was increasing in size, which did not seem normal. On February 13th, 2020, she decided it was time to go to the clinic in the camp for further investigation. The medic at the camp examined to her and told her that she likely had a cyst in her lower abdomen, but they could not diagnose her further. The medic informed the doctor at the camp and the doctor discussed the situation with IRC staff, who then referred Moe to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. She was referred to MSH on February 17th for an ultrasound. Upon going to MSH, doctors performed an ultrasound and told her that she has a mass in her uterus. Since the mass was already large, however, the ultrasound did not show a clear result whether the mass was outside or inside her uterus. For this reason, the doctor recommended a computed tomography (CT) scan on February 25th. Moe returned home and came back to MSH for the CT scan according to the appointment date. On the day of the scan, she also received a blood test and urine test before being informed that she would have to come back on February 27th to get the results. When she returned, the doctor explained to her that there is a large tumor in her right ovary and that she needs surgery to remove it, followed by a tissue biopsy to confirm whether the growth is cancerous. Currently, Moe has a burning pain in her lower right abdomen. Sometimes the pain gets worse, which makes it difficult for her sleep or eat well. For this reason, she said that she lost her appetite and weight. When she eats, she feels discomfort as her stomach becomes tight and full, even she eats very little. She feels like the mass is gradually getting bigger and she feels more comfortable lying down instead of sitting or walking. Moe sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on March 24th and is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Moe said, “Both my husband and I became worried when we heard that there was mass in my uterus. We worry that my whole uterus might need to be removed and we will no longer be able to have more children. Now, the doctor told me that only the tumor will be removed and that I most likely will be able to have children in the future. Me and my husband want to have one or two more children, so we were very happy when we heard that my uterus would not to be removed.”
Naw Htee is a 30-year-old woman from Thailand. In 2006, Naw Htee and her family fled from Karen State, Burma to Thailand because there were conflicts between the armed groups and the country's military in their village. She now lives in a refugee camp with her family. In 2010, Naw Htee felt a severe toothache while she and her parents were visiting her village in Burma. She went to the nearest local clinic, where she had her molar teeth extracted. After the procedure, Naw Htee was in extreme pain; she could not even open her mouth as she used to. She was told that pain after tooth extraction is normal and that the pain will be diminished if she takes painkillers. Naw Htee tolerated the pain and hoped for the pain to be gone. Since then, Naw Htee could barely open her mouth. Naw Htee was too afraid to tell about her condition to anyone. She carried this burden for almost 9 years, until she decided to seek help. She then visited the clinic in the refugee camp. After trying oral medication and since her condition remained the same, she was referred to Mae Sariang General Hospital (MSGH) in July 2019. There, she received an x-ray, and the doctor diagnosed her with Ankylosis of the Temporamandibular joint [TMJ], stiffness of a joint due to abnormal adhesion and rigidity of the bones of the joint of jaw. She was then referred on to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) as MSGH does not have capacity to treat her condition. Once at CMH, the doctor told Naw Htee that she needs to undergo a special x-ray prior to receiving treatment. Doctors want Naw Htee to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $469 to cover the cost of Naw Htee's CT scan and care, scheduled for February 5th. Naw Htee mentioned, “I wanted to be a healthy, strong and supportive mother, even without the support of their father.”