Cassandra joined Watsi on May 9th, 2015. 11 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Cassandra's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Sarim, a vegetable seller from Cambodia, to fund vision-restoring cataract surgery.
Cassandra has funded healthcare for 20 patients in 8 countries.
Cassandra has funded healthcare for 20 patients in 8 countries.
Sarim is a 72-year-old vegetable seller who is married and has two sons, one daughter, and sixteen grandchildren. She likes to go to the pagoda to listen to monks pray. She also enjoys watching the news, comedy shows, and Thai dramas on TV. One year ago, Sarim developed a cataract in each eye, causing her blurred vision and burning. It became difficult for her to see things clearly, work, and go anywhere on her own. When Sarim learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for three hours to seek treatment. On January 3, doctors performed a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, Sarim will be able to see clearly again. Now, she needs help to fund this $292 procedure. "I hope to see everything more clearly," says Sarim, "so that I can work easily. I want to go to the pagoda or anywhere else by myself without needing to disturb others to take me."
Santos is a ten-month-old boy from Guatemala. His parents have trouble affording foods rich in calories, protein, and nutrients. He has been diagnosed with acute malnutrition. This means he has little energy to grow, and his immune system is weak and vulnerable to illness. He is also at risk of chronic disease and delayed development. Fortunately, Santos began malnutrition treatment on November 24, 2016. Santos lives with his family in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof. His mother says that he is always playing with his toy car. He also loves to eat oranges. His father works as a day laborer on a bean plantation, but he cannot afford to pay for this $512 treatment. While malnutrition can have devastating effects, it is also very treatable. Growth monitoring, micronutrients, and food supplementation will help Santos recover. He will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children his age, and his immune system will grow stronger. Community health workers will teach his mother about creating a nutrient-rich diet from limited resources. Treatment will give Santos a chance to grow healthy and strong. "I am so appreciative that my son can receive this help," says his mother. "It is going to be a big benefit for him, so he can grow a little more."
Meet Yang, a 76-year-old woman from Cambodia. “Yang is married with five sons, three daughters, and 15 grandchildren. She enjoys visiting the pagoda and listening to monks pray," shares our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). Three years ago, Yang developed mature cataracts in each eye. A cataract occurs when a thin, cloudy layer forms over the eye’s lens. "This causes her blurred vision, discharge, tearing, and fear of bright lights. It is hard for her to see clearly, do work, or go anywhere outside," CSC explains. "I hope my eyes can see everything clearly again,” shares Yang, “Then, I can work at home and go anywhere outside." After learning about CSC, Yang and her granddaughter travelled three hours to visit their clinic. They learned that a simple surgical procedure may restore Yang's sight. With $292, Yang will undergo cataract surgery, during which her old lenses will be removed and replaced with sheer artificial implants, allowing her to see again immediately after her operation.
Herdson is a farmer from a village in Malawi's Central Region. He has 13 children and four grandchildren, and supports his family primarily through farming. For the past five months, Herdson has been in pain resulting from an enlarged prostate. This condition is benign and can be completely treated surgically, though he has been unable to access treatment until now. $726 will fund the prostate resection surgery he needs to get healthy. Herdson and his family are excited for his surgery, and happy for his return home. He is looking forward to being pain free.
Ana is a three-month-old baby girl from Guatemala. Her mother cannot produce sufficient breast milk for her child, and cannot afford formula as a substitute. She thought that her daughter looked normal, and did not realize how underweight her daughter was. As a result, Ana is failing to meet normal growth markers and is far below the average height and the average weight for her age—she is still the size of a newborn. At such a young age, malnutrition is dangerous. Ana is the youngest of 5 kids, and lives with her siblings and parents in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof and dirt floor. Her mother works at home, cooking and cleaning, and her father works as a day laborer, only receiving an income on days when there is work. They have a small plot of land where they cultivate a few crops, but can never make enough money to fully support the family. Even if they spent every cent of their income, they would not be able to afford this life-saving treatment. Lactation failure, while dangerous, is easy to treat. By supplying the baby with formula and the mother with health education, Ana will receive the calories she needs to grow and thrive. One-on-one education with Ana’s mother will prepare her for when Ana needs to start eating solid food, as well as help her watch for further signs of malnutrition and other illness. Ana’s immune system will strengthen and she will grow up to be a healthy and energetic baby. Ana's mother says, “Now that I know that this situation is worrisome, I want my daughter to grow well and have good development so she can study and learn many good things.”
Meet Lucy, a 46-year-old woman from Kenya. Lucy is a mother of four children and a grandmother of four more. Since separating with her husband in 2005, she has taken up the role of breadwinner in her family. Lucy washes clothes along with two of her daughters to earn a living. She was unable to continue educating these two daughters. Her other two children are in primary school. Lucy lives in a municipally provided house where she struggles to live a comfortable life with the burden of rent and education costs. In August 2013, Lucy began to experience headaches and swollen feet. She was diagnosed with artery blockage and was given medication in addition to attending clinics between 2013 and 2015. In April 2016, she fell unconscious and was brought to Watsi's medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. There, Lucy was diagnosed with fibroids, or abnormal growths in the uterus and cervix. Lucy was hospitalized for nine days and accumulated a bill that was paid through a ‘harambee’ (fundraising). Her father, who used to follow up on her treatment, was killed in May 2016, leaving Lucy struggling. Lucy continues to combat pain and swelling in her legs, as well as fatigue and migraines. She requires an $800 total abdominal hysterectomy-- a surgical removal of the uterus and cervix. Lucy's family and friends have contributed $104 towards the procedure, but she still cannot access medical care due to her financial constraints. "I want to be well to continue providing for my family and live a healthy life," Lucy says. Let's help her get the medical attention she needs.
Tah is a ten-year old boy who lives with his parents and three siblings in Burma. Tah’s family has lived in Burma for their whole lives, living on a small farm where they grow food for their own consumption. His father, U Kyaw Poe, is the only member of the family who earns an income and works as works as an agricultural day labourer. Of his three siblings, Tah is the only one who attends school. He is currently enrolled in third grade, and enjoys his studies very much. His siblings do not attend school, but rather help their mother with farm work and occasionally accompany their father to his job as an agricultural day labourer. On May 18th, Tah was riding in the back of a vehicle transporting a large water jug through his village when the vehicle hit a bump and Tah tumbled out onto the road. The heavy jug of water that had been in the back of the truck also fell out, landing on top of him. He sustained a serious shoulder injury as a result of the incident, and when the pain did not subside in a matter of days his father decided to travel to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) to seek medical treatment. Tah and his father had to walk a few hours out of their village in order to catch a car that would take them to Mae Sot. The journey by car then took between 3 and 4 hours, When they arrived at MTC, clinic staff performed an x-ray of Tah’s shoulder, which revealed that it had been broken in two places. The trauma unit at MTC then referred Tah to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) in order to receive support for the reparative surgery he will need. Currently, Tah is unable to move his injured arm whatsoever. He is in severe pain at all times, and has had to miss school in order to travel to MTC for treatment. Before his accident, Tah loved to play soccer with his friends and brothers, but he can no longer enjoy this pastime due to his injury. His father wants him to be able to return to school and get a good education so that he can have a career more fulfilling than working as physical labourer. "I want to feel better and return to school without pain," Tah said.
Catherine is a 24-year-old woman from Kenya. "Her mother separated from her father and thus has been raising Catherine and her siblings alone," reports our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). "Catherine dropped out of school after completing eight classes due to lack of school fees. She works as a house help to earn a living." "Catherine has been having hearing problems since she was a little girl of age five. She was not able to access hearing aids due to lack of funds," continues AMHF. "Catherine has difficulty communicating. She is not able to perceive sound well and often requires one to shout or repeat conversations. This affects her daily interactions with people. When Catherine came to the hospital for treatment, hearing aids were recommended, but Catherine is not able to meet the full cost." With $712, Catherine can receive the hearing aids necessary to improve her hearing capability. "If not assisted with the hearing aids, Catherine will have poor sound perception and will continue having poor communication and social interactions," explains AMHF. Catherine shares, “My wish is to get the hearing aids and be able to establish my own tailoring shop." Let's help make it possible!
Sheilla is a previous Watsi patient who successfully underwent a shunt insertion to treat acquired hydrocephalus in December 2015. In April 2016, Sheilla presented with a mass swelling on the lower backbone area, diagnosed as spina bifida. Sheilla is at a risk of infection, development of tethered cord that can lead to either scolisis and/or kyphosis and loss of muscle function on her lower limbs if not treated. Sheilla seems restless as her mother tries hard to make her feel comfortable. She cannot do most of the things her peers can, and she can only sit with something supporting her head. Late last year, after Sheilla successfully underwent a shunt insertion, she has been doing fairly well. Sheilla’s mother is still single and living with her parents, their financial situation is yet to change and they are hopeful that Watsi will assist Sheilla undergo this other surgery. Spina bifida repair for Sheilla will help prevent risk of infections, developing tethered cord and paralysis on her legs. “I want my daughter to grow up knowing that we tried all means to ensure that she gets well. Any help accorded towards her treatment will be highly appreciated,” Sheilla’s mother said.
Charles is a 24-year-old former student living with his mother and father in Kenya. Charles graduated from college with a degree in Information Technology in 2014. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, tells us that in June 2014, Charles’s parents were burglarized by armed robbers. Charles attempted to intervene, and both he and his mother were fired upon and seriously injured. Charles’s mother took a bullet to her hand, and has lost the ability to use it. Charles sustained a fracture in his left lower leg that has developed into a nonunion. He currently walks with crutches, and has a significant amount of pain and numbness in his left leg. His father is employed as a driver, and his mother used to sell vegetables. His older sibling is unemployed, and does little support the family. Charles has found that his injury has been preventing him from securing a job that pays enough to afford treatment. He has been reduced to a dependent of his parents. His parents have been attempting to save for treatment as well, but their household income has seen a large deficit since his mother is injured as well. His family has decided that the priority treatment should be for Charles’s nonunion fracture so that he work a higher-paid job and support the family. “I would like to get well,” Charles shares, “and be able to walk on my so I can support my mum’s treatment, too.” A nonunion fracture is a serious complication that develops if a fracture moves too much to stall or halt normal healing. In most cases, if a fracture has not been treated after six months, then orthopedic surgical intervention is necessary. Charles needs an open reduction internal fixation procedure to repair his leg. The procedure includes the insertion of steel rods, screws, or plates to keep the fracture stable during healing. After his cast is removed, Charles will undergo physical therapy to regain his strength. Charles’s family is in need of financial assistance. $1,410 will cover the cost of treatment he needs, in addition to his family's contribution of $210. Without treatment, Charles is exposed to risks of infection that may result in amputation. His leg deteriorates further the longer he is untreated. After his treatment, Charles’s pain will eventually be resolved, and he will be able to walk and work again. Let's help make it happen!
Sophon is a 48-year-old man living in Cambodia. He lives with his wife, daughter, and two sons, and he works as a policeman. Before his hearing began to deteriorate, he enjoyed listening to programs on the radio. Sophon has hearing loss in his right ear due to a cholesteatoma he developed many years ago. Sophon’s condition started with recurring discharge from his ear, and since then it has been odorous and painful. "I get pain every day and my hearing is lost in that ear, which makes me unhappy,” Sophon shares. “I can't work anymore." A cholesteatoma refers to an expanding growth in the middle ear, which can eventually lead to damage in the bones of the ear. These growths are often infected, and can cause chronic drainage. Sophon needs mastoidectomy surgery to remove the cholesteatoma and remove either the posterior ear canal wall or the ossicles, depending upon the findings in surgery. For $809, Sophon can receive this life-changing surgery he needs. Funding also covers one day of post-operative care and three follow-up visits. After the surgery, he is expected to regain some hearing and no longer have drainage. “I hope after the operation the pain goes away,” Sophon adds.
Meet Kilai, a 17-year-old boy living in Tanzania. Kilai has been working as a shepherd since he was a young boy, but his right knee started to progressively bow inwards when he was five years old, which has limited his ability to work. Kilai has a condition called genu valgus, also known as "knock knees." Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), explains that this condition “has completely changed his gait and ability to be as active as he used to.” Left untreated, Kilai will most likely develop osteoarthritis at a young age. Although Kilai’s mother does beadwork and his father is a livestock keeper, they are not able to afford the cost of corrective surgery. For $940, Kilai will receive surgery and physiotherapy to correct his gait. After surgery, "Kilai will have a straight leg, the ability to walk without knocking his knees and reduced risk of developing osteoarthritis at a young age," AMHF says. “Herding cattle is what I do best. I will be happy to regain my ability to walk properly and walk a long distance without feeling pain,” Kilai shares.