UNIVERSAL FUND MEMBEREdirne
Irmak joined Watsi on November 7th, 2015. Seven years ago, Irmak joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Irmak's most recent donation traveled 5,500 miles to support Jerry, a 57-year-old man from Philippines, to remove a mass in his neck.
Irmak has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 12 countries.
Irmak has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 12 countries.
In 2018, Jerry noticed a palpable mass under his jaw that kept increasing in size. Although he sought medical attention, Jerry and his family were unable to support his continued need for medications and checkups. Over time, the mass kept growing, causing swelling in his neck. Due to his condition, Jerry was unable to receive job orders and support his family. This has affected his self-esteem and confidence in socializing with other people. Fortunately, a few months ago Jerry was referred by his friend to our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines. Doctors assessed Jerry and diagnosed him with a submandibular gland tumor. This condition usually presents as a painless neck mass but may progress into cancer if not treated immediately. World Surgical Foundation Philippines is helping Jerry access the care he needs and is asking for your help to fund his $1,479 procedure on March 11th. Jerry shared, "I’ve been praying to the Lord to heal my condition. Gladly, he sent you as an answer to my prayers. I may not be able to return the favor, but I’ll continuously pray that the Lord bless you more. Thank you so much, WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for helping me!”
Michael is a beautiful baby who likes playing with blocks and waving his arms in time to music. Michael has a cardiac condition called tricuspid atresia: he was born without one of the four valves that is normally present in the heart. As a result, blood cannot flow through his lungs and body normally, leaving him sick and short of breath. On March 1st, Michael will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will perform a technique called a Glenn procedure to create a conduit to allow blood to bypass the missing valve and more easily circulate through Michael's body. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 to pay for surgery, but Michael's family is still in need of $1,500 and have turned to the Watsi community for support. Michael's mother says: "It has been very frightening to see my son have such difficulty breathing, and I am so glad we can finally find a way to help him."
Karim is a 10-year-old boy living in La Paz. He is in the fourth grade and really likes his math and science classes. Karim was born with a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. During surgery, doctors will sew the hole closed and remove the blockage from his valve so that blood can flow more normally. Karim's family needs $1500 to pay for his surgery. Karim's mother shared: "Our family will be praying for everyone who is helping Karim to get his surgery!"
Darika is 11 years old, and lives in Phnom Penh City, Cambodia with her parents and her two younger brothers. She attends grade seven in public school, and her favorite subject is Khmer literature. When she grows up, she would like to be a doctor. At home, she enjoys writing stories and reading books to her brothers. Darika has genou valgum or knock knees. It is a knee misalignment that turns her knees inward. Additionally, her left leg is shorter than her right leg. This causes her to limp, and if she walks for too long, her legs become painful. She shared that she feels embarrassed by how her legs look, and doesn't want other children to make fun of her. Darika needs to under go a procedure using metal plates to realign her legs, while lengthening the bones in her left leg. With the aid of our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, Darika is now scheduled for surgery at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre, on December 12th. Darika and her family need your help to pay for this procedure, which will cost $469. The surgery, and physical therapy afterwards, will enable Darika to walk without pain. Darika's mother said: "I hope my daughter's legs will be straight, and she will be able to be like other children, and not be in pain anymore."
Dieunese is a mother of two from Haiti. She lives in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince where she cares for her two young children along with her husband who is a taxi driver. Dieunese has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral stenosis which makes it extremely difficult for her heart to pump blood through her body, leaving her weak and short of breath. Dieunese requires surgery, but it is not available in her country. To access care, she will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On November 17th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair her heart valve; if they are unable to, they will remove it and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, the Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000 to pay for this surgery. Dieunese's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Dieunese overseas. Dieunese says, "I am hopeful that having this surgery will allow me to be alive and healthy for my children!"
Kwan is a 17-year-old boy who enjoys watching TV and learning Mandarin online during his free time. Although he is originally from Burma, he lives with his parents, two brothers, and both of his grandmothers in a village in Thailand. They moved to Thailand about five years ago in search of safer living conditions. Both of Kwan’s grandmothers are retired, and his father is unable to work due to being ill. His mother and older brother support their family by working as day laborers. Kwan and his younger brother both attend a local migrant school, where Kwan is a 10th grade student. In September of 2017, Kwan broke his left forearm while playing basketball with his friends. He was referred to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial assistance accessing treatment, and he underwent surgery to insert a steel rod into his left forearm at their medical care center, Mae Sot Hospital (MSH). Following surgery, doctors told Kwan that the steel rod would need to be removed a year after surgery. However, he was not scheduled for an appointment to remove the rod, and he was not told why it needed to be removed. Initially, this did not seem like an issue since Kwan regained movement in his fingers, was able to move his arm more comfortably, and was able to help his mother with household chores. Since he was not in pain and his family did not have enough money to pay for the procedure, Kwan was not brought back to MSH to have the rod removed. However, he began working as an agricultural day laborer in 2020 when his studies were moved online due to the outbreak of COVID-19. He began to experience pain in the area where the rod was located when carrying anything even slightly heavy. Due to financial constraints and a fear of being arrested for traveling to the clinic without documentation because of an increase in main road checkpoints, Kwan kept his pain a secret. However, he eventually sought medical attention at MSH after the pain progressed. There, a doctor confirmed that his arm had healed well and the rod needed to be removed. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund is helping Kwan receive treatment. On July 27th, doctors will perform rod removal surgery. This procedure will cost $1,500, and Kwan and his family need your support. He mentions that after he recovers from surgery, he wants to find work as a day laborer. He wants to help his family earn more money so his mother no longer has to do hard labor. His mother says, “I don’t know what to say, but in our heart, we are so thankful to the donors for helping Kwan with his first, as well as this second, surgery. We will never forget this help for the rest of our lives.”
Hser is an 11-year-old student from Thailand who is in sixth grade. He lives with his parents and three brothers, all of whom attend school, in a refugee camp. His father is on the school committee at the camp, and his mother occasionally works as an agricultural day laborer outside of the refugee camp. Hser enjoys going to school, attending church, and praying. In his free time, he also likes playing games on his parents’ phone. This past June, Hser slipped on the mud under his house and landed on his left arm and shoulder. Although he initially felt fine, he developed pain and swelling in his left arm and shoulder a week later. He was diagnosed with a dislocated left shoulder and a fractured upper arm. However, after visiting another hospital, his doctor suspected he might have osteomyelitis, or inflammation of the bone, in his left upper arm. Doctors want Hser to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $814 to cover the cost of Hser's MRI and care, which is scheduled for August 4th. Hser shares, “I would like to become a pastor when I grow up.”
Lhory, a 30-year-old woman from the Philippines, experienced severe right-side abdominal pain starting in January. She went to the closest hospital and was advised to undergo a whole abdominal ultrasound. The test showed that she has gallstones that need to be surgically removed. With her husband’s limited income as an Air Conditioner Technician, they’re unable to cover the cost of her treatment. Fortunately, she was able to reach out to our medical partner, the World Surgical Foundation Philippines. Lhory is now scheduled on May 3rd to undergo surgery to treat her condition. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,253 to cover the total cost of Lhory’s procedure and care. After her recovery, Lhory will no longer experience severe abdominal pain or be at risk of developing severe health complications in the future. “My current condition hinders me from doing my usual day-to-day chores. My condition makes it hard for me to bend, sit or lift objects," Lhory shared. "We don’t have the capacity to finance my surgery. So, I’d like to thank the World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for helping me. I hope that after this surgery, I can fully take care of my family again,” says Lhory.
Kaitikeii is a seven-month-old baby boy, living with his parents and three siblings in Kenya. His father herds cattle to provide for the family, while his mother stays at home to care for Kaitikeii and his siblings. Two months after Kaitikeii was born, his parents noticed that his head was increasing in size, and his eyes looked smaller. They brought him to BethanyKids Hospital for examination, where he was diagnosed with hydrocephalus. Without care, he will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of Kaitikeii's surgery, which is now scheduled for May 19th. With proper care, Kaitikeii should develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Kaitikeii’s father says: “I do not want my baby to feel neglected while he’s growing up.”
Joseph is a friendly and playful six-year-old boy and the eldest in a family of four children. Joseph is currently in kindergarten, and he loves counting numbers. In his free time, he enjoys playing football. Joseph's parents raise livestock to make a living. When Joseph was three years old, he burned his left hand in a fire. Now, he has limited use of his left hand, because his fingers have contracted and he is unable to move them freely. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Joseph receive treatment. On March 2nd, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him regain use of his hand. Now, he and his family need help raising $874 to fund his procedure and care. Joseph’s father shared, "it has been a bad season for livestock keepers and I am not able to afford the cost."
Goodluck is a three-year-old boy and is the youngest of two children in his family. Both of his parents work as small scale farmers. He loves playing with toy cars and having fun with his friends. Goodluck was diagnosed with genu varus, a condition caused by an accumulation of fluoride in the bones. This condition is often comes from contaminated drinking water. He experiences pain and exhaustion after short distance walks. Fortunately, has the opportunity to receive treatment through our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). After his procedure on February 4th, Goodluck will begin regaining his mobility and allow him to play and be active with his friends again. This treatment will also greatly reduce his risk of future complications. AMH is requesting $880 for Goodluck's knee procedure. Goodluck’s mother shared: “It was through one of your employees who saw how much my son was struggling to walk and advised me to try seeking treatment help here.”
Phy is a widower and has nine children and five grandchildren. Four of his children are married and the other five are still single. His wife passed away a long time ago due to an unknown illness, so he lives with his first son. In his free time, Phy enjoys drinking tea and talking with his friends. Phy was in a motor vehicle crash a month ago, where he fell and injured his left shoulder. After the accident, he went to a nearby hospital for medical treatment but his left shoulder is still in pain. He cannot use his arm and cannot work. Now he has traveled two hours to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for a diagnosis and treatment. At CSC, he was diagnosed with a left shoulder dislocation and now needs $412 for surgery to heal his left shoulder. He hopes after surgery, his left shoulder will have no pain, no more infection, and that he will be able to work with his hand again.