Dusty joined Watsi on December 22nd, 2014. 64 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Dusty's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Di Par, a 14-year-old boy from Burma, for life-saving heart surgery.
Dusty has funded healthcare for 3 patients in 3 countries.
Di Par is a 14-year-old boy who lives with his mother and three brothers in Burma. He enjoys playing marbles, snapping rubber bands with his younger brothers, listening to music, and visiting with his friends. Di Par enjoys school, but he is only in grade five since his health condition makes it difficult for him to keep up with his classes. Di Par did not present with symptoms until he was five years old. He was easily tired, especially after playing, but his mother did not think it was out of the ordinary and did not seek medical attention for him. When Di Par was 10 years old, the symptoms worsened as he began having difficulty breathing in addition to the fatigue. His mother took him to the clinic where they listened to his heart and detected abnormal heart sounds. He was prescribed medication that seemed to improve his condition, so his mother did not seek further evaluation. In March of 2016, Di Par appeared to go into shock and lost consciousness, and he was brought to the hospital. Although a definitive diagnosis was not made, the physicians thought Di Par might have meningitis and treated him medically. While he was in the hospital, he received a battery of exams: blood tests, urinalysis, CT scan, and X-rays. He also received an echocardiogram, which provided the diagnosis of congestive heart disease — severe tricuspid regurgitation with severe pulmonary stenosis. Di Par was in the hospital for 12 days, and family members helped his mother and brothers pay the hospital costs. Since his hospitalization, Di Par has been experiencing palpitations, fatigue, and difficulty breathing. He is at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in the children’s inpatient department. He is also cyanotic with a bluish tinge to his lips and fingers. After evaluation by the medics at MTC, he was referred to Burma Children Medical Fund for surgical consideration. Di Par and his family have lived in their current village for three months; they moved there to be closer to his mother’s sister and to improve chances for employment. Di Par's father passed away several years ago, so the family's financial support comes from his mother, who sells vegetables and flowers in the market, and his older brother, who works as a day laborer. Despite their hard work, the money they earn does not cover daily expenses, savings, or health care costs. His mother has to borrow money at 10 percent interest to meet those costs and is currently in debt. Di Par’s mother is very concerned about him, as he is falling further and further behind with his studies and, more importantly, his condition is becoming more severe. His mother and older brother alternate caring for Di Par, and his younger brothers help with family chores. This arrangement has not yet affected their work schedules, but Di Par's condition will only complicate the family's needs as further care is needed. For $1,500, Di Par will undergo surgery to replace the damaged heart valve and restore proper blood flow through his heart and lungs. Funding also covers the cost of 12 pre- and post-operative consultations, transportation to and from the hospital, and nine days of hospital care after surgery. Di Par's mother looks forward to a successful operation for her son. "My son enjoys teaching his brothers," she shares, "so when he grows up, he may become a teacher in the village."
Musoki is a 70-year-old farmer who lives with his wife in Uganda. He came to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), seeking treatment for a left inguinal hernia. AMHF tells us, “In the year 2013, Musoki got a swelling in his left inguinal region, which becomes more painful when he coughs. The swelling kept increasing with time.” An inguinal hernia is a protrusion of the intestines through a weak point in the abdominal muscles. The protrusion presents as a painful bulge in the groin, and the pain increases with coughing, bending at the waist, or lifting heavy objects. AMHF reports, “Musoki has not been able to go to his gardens because most of them are on the hill, which he cannot climb because of the pain.” AMHF continues, “Musoki went to hospital, but he could not afford to pay for the required surgery. If not treated, there will be risk of strangulated hernia, which is a surgical emergency and can be fatal.” For $220, Musoki can undergo hernia repair, in which a surgeon pushes the protruding tissue back into the abdomen, and sews together the weakened muscle with a synthetic mesh. Over time, muscle tissue grows into and around the mesh to strengthen the area. Funding also covers the cost of 14 days of hospital care, including laboratory testing and medication. “After surgery,” says AMHF, “We expect a complete recovery with no more risk of strangulated hernia. Musoki will have improved quality of life, and he may now work in his fields.” Musoki shares, “Despite my old age, I would still be working in my gardens if it I didn’t have the hernia.”
"I would like to be like other children." says Grace, a nine-year-old Kenyan student who lives with her mother and two siblings in the outskirts of Nairobi. Grace has a brain tumor that has been causing persistent seizures, severe headaches, and affecting her walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, reports, "Grace suffers from increased intracranial pressure, which may lead to brain damage and loss of sight if surgery is not done. The surgery will save Grace's life and she will be able to continue with her education." Grace adds, "I hope I'll get well soon, so that I can study without interruption." Watsi community, let's work together to raise the $1260 needed for a craniotomy to remove the seizure and headache-inducing tumor, and help Grace get back to school!