Russell joined Watsi on September 9th, 2017. Three years ago, Russell became the 3140th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 2,909 more people have become monthly donors! Russell's most recent donation supported Chanthou, a toddler from Cambodia, to fund cataract surgery for both of her eyes.
Russell has funded healthcare for 36 patients in 8 countries.
Chanthou is a two-year-old child from Cambodia. She lives with her parents and her older brother. Her mother takes her everywhere, and she enjoys going for walks outside, listening to the radio, and playing with dolls. She is excited to start school someday. At birth, Chanthou developed a cataract in each eye, causing her blindness and irritation. When Chanthou's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, they traveled there by taxi seeking treatment. On August 7th, doctors will perform lensectomy and an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $425 procedure. Chanthou's mother said, "I have been so worried that my daughter will be blind for her whole life, so I am really happy to find this hospital that can help us with no cost. I think she will be so happy when she can see better."
Sammy is married and a young father of two children from South Sudan. He, his wife, and child live in a small servant quarter paying about $3 per month. His other child lives with the mother in Uganda. His wife operates a small eatery to supplement her husband’s income. In the first week of June, Sammy suffered a spinal fracture. While he was working, ten bags of sorghum fell on his back and fractured his spine. Sammy was taken to several hospitals in the country but was only given medications to manage the pain. Due to the lack of specialized medical facilities in the country, he had to seek care in Kenya. He was driven for an entire day lying on a stretcher since there are no flights due to COVID-19. Fortunately our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. Sammy is currently unable to ambulate, has constant pain and is fully dependent on nurses for any movement. If not treated, Sammy is at risk of total paralysis of his lower limbs. Now, Sammy need you to help fund this $1,500 surgery. He shared, “My desire is to regain my health and continue providing for my young family."
Sensokha is a 69-year-old retired public school teacher from Cambodia. Sensokha was married for 50 years and shared a son and daughter with her husband. Unfortunately, ten years ago her son was killed in a motorcycle robbery. In the past three months she also lost her daughter and husband to heart disease and hypertension, respectively. Now she lives alone and her neighbors help take care of her. Three months ago she was in a bicycle accident. Sensokha fell off while riding and fractured her right ankle. First she sought treatment from a local Khmer healer but their traditional methods were not effective. Later, from another clinic, she received a painkiller injection which made her feel better briefly but her condition did not improve. It is painful for her to walk and difficult to go about her life. When Sensokha learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On June 1st, surgeons at CSC will perform internal fixation of her ankle joint with a pin. Once the fracture heals after surgery she will be able to walk again without pain. Now, Sensokha needs help to fund this $518 procedure. Sensokha says, "I hope my ankle will be better so I can do more things on my own and not be in so much pain."
Kruy is a 40-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has two sons, two daughters, her husband is a fisherman. She likes to make food for her children and take care of their family's house. Fifteen years ago, Kruy had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Kruy experiences hearing loss, ringing, and ear discharge. She cannot hear clearly when she communicates with other people, and she cannot work outside the house independently. Kruy traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 7th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Kruy said, "I hope that after my operation, the infection will finally be gone, and I can feel what it is like to have clear hearing again."
Phyo is a two-year-old boy from Thailand. He lives with his parents and sisters and a brother in Fo Fai Village. His parents are originally from Bago Division in Burma and moved to Thailand in search of better job opportunities around 10 years ago. Both of his parents are agricultural day laborers. Phyo’s parents cannot afford to send him or his siblings to school and they are looked after by his six-year-old sister when his parents are working. Phyo was born a healthy baby boy at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). In June 2019, Phyo’s mother noticed that both of Phyo’s testicles were swollen. At first she thought that the swelling was caused by an insect bite and that the swelling would come down on its own. However, the swelling never reduced. Busy with work and since Phyo did no complain of any pain and looked otherwise healthy, his mother did not take him to a clinic or a hospital. In the beginning of November 2019, his mother realized that his testicles were increasing in size and he was uncomfortable. His mother decided to have this checked and brought him to MTC in early November. When they arrived at the clinic, the medic completed a physical examination and gave him antibiotics. The medic also told Phyo’s mother that they could not treat him further because the medic was not completely sure what his diagnosis was. They were told that Phyo would need to receive an x-ray at Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) so that they could diagnose him properly. Since his mother did not have enough money to pay for the x-ray and she had work she had to do at home, she brought Phyo back to their village. At home, Phyo took the antibiotics the medic had given him, which seemed to reduce the size of his testicles. However, on April 7th, 2020, Phyo’s mother noticed that his swelling was increasing in size again and that he could not pass urine nor stool; she became worried when she noted that he ate and drank a lot the whole day. The next day, his mother asked her pastor if they could take them back to MTC, as she did not have enough money to pay for transportation. Their pastor agreed to help them and drove them to the clinic. At MTC Phyo received a physical examination and the medic explained to Phyo’s mother that he might have a hernia. The medic diagnosed him with incarcerated inguinal hernia and told them that he would need to receive surgery at the nearby hospital. Phyo has an inguinal hernia and currently cannot pass urine nor stool. He cannot walk or stand for the past two days as his swelling is severe and uncomfortable. Fortunately, on April 8th, he 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 Phyo's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 8th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Phyo's mother said, “I feel very stressed and worried about my son. I can’t help him any further as I don’t have money. His father has also not come back since he went back to Burma [a month ago to take care of his sick parents]. I cannot work and I have no income as we have less work during this time of the year. Sometimes our neighbors have to give us a meal. Now I have a debt of 600 baht (approx. 20 USD) already from my neighbor, without interest.”
Toeur is the sixth of seven children in his family, including four brothers and three sisters. He likes to stay home and help around the house and cook, as well as watch television and listen to music. Toeur was born with a hump on his spine and, at the age of two, he fell down the stairs and has since had a curve in his spine. He has pain in his right knee and experiences paraparesis, where he has partial paralysis in his legs and requires crutches when he walks. He cannot do any heavy work and stays near his house most days. Spinal surgery will correct Toeur's spine position and relieve his symptoms. He will be able to walk comfortably again, and will be able to take on daily activities with greater ease. He shared, "My family worries about my pain a lot, and they hope that I will be able to work again and help provide for the family. I hope that my spine will be straight and will no longer have a curve, and I won't have anymore pain in my knee so I can return to work."
Asha is a student from Tanzania. She is the seventh born in a family of eight children. Asha's parents are small-scale farmers growing maize, beans and vegetables to support the family. Asha has clubfoot of her left foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. In 2010 she was able to have treatment through a team of visiting surgeon that helped corrected her foot and made walking easy and normal for her. Through the treatment she was able to wear shoes and walk like other children and also was able to study with ease. She is currently in form one though she has had to stop her studies and try seeking for treatment of her relapsed left foot which is now making walking hard and painful for her. The relapse has been there for three years now but as time goes by, it keeps worsening and walking is becoming more challenging. Fortunately, Asha traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 31st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Asha's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily again and go back to school. Asha says, “I would like to be able to walk without difficulty, please help me.”
Jane is a middle-aged woman who is undergoing serious pain in her spine and waist area. In August 2019, she complained of hip-area pain and had ointment applied. Over the weeks, the pain has become severe accompanied with numbness in both legs. She hardly sits down and has to be assisted to make every move. Pain medicines have not been helpful to her. She had an MRI and was diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) of the spine. She requires surgery to relieve her of the pain and regain her ability to walk. Jane used to be a peasant farmer while her husband is a driver. The mother of four children is not able to raise the full amount required for surgery. They have managed to raise $1,000 and the national insurance has committed to pay $1,300. The family is hoping to raise the remaining amount from Watsi supporters. Jane says, “I am in severe pain and my prayer is that soon I will be able to walk with ease.”
Faith, the only child in her family, was doing well all along until she turned three years. She started to have difficulty hearing and her mother had to shout for her to hear. Her mother at first thought Faith was just being naughty. As years progressed, Faith's hearing became limited. She was unable to go to school as she struggles to hear what the teacher says. Her mother tried to have her ears cleaned from a nearby dispensary. With the condition's persistence, she had tests run in a different hospital and was diagnosed with hearing loss. The cost of the hearing aids was high for Faith's mother. They were advised to seek care in Kijabe by a friend with hopes of subsidized charges. Faith’s mother cannot raise the funds needed and so appeals for help. Faith's mother does casual tasks such as laundry in the neighborhood and she was abandoned by her father before she was born. They are only able to aise 15,000 Kenyan Shillings which cannot fully cover the cost of the hearing aids. “If I get the hearing aids I will go to school again,” says Faith with a bright smile.
Seng is an 81-year-old vegetable seller from Cambodia. She has three children, eleven grandchildren, and enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio in her free time. One year ago, Seng developed a cataract in each eye, causing her vision loss. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Seng learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for one hour seeking treatment. On October 07, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $398 procedure. Seng said, "I hope that I will be able to see more clearly and can return to the pagoda and recognize my relatives's faces."
Zin is a 37-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband, son and two daughters in Myawaddy, Karen State. Her 17-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter go to school while her youngest daughter stays home as she is still very young. To make a living, Zin used to make different Burmese snacks and sell them at the nearby villages. But she recently stopped working due to her health condition. Sometimes, her husband works as a day labourer but Zin said she does not know how much he earns from that. Six months ago, Zin started to experience stomach-ache so she went to a clinic. The doctor there did not do any investigations, instead, just prescribed her oral medication. Although Zin felt better with the medications she received at the clinic, her symptom returned after two months and she went back to see the same doctor. The doctor again prescribed her medications, but they only relieved her symptoms for a short time. In early September, Zin felt like her stomach-ache has worsened. She had it more often and the medications that she received at the clinic did not help her anymore. On 12 September 2019, Zin had a severe stomach-ache and for the last time, she returned to see the same doctor. On this visit, the doctor performed an ultrasound and said that there are stones in her common bile duct (CBD), a duct that carries bile from the gallbladder and liver into the duodenum (upper part of the small intestine). Zin has been advised to undergo a biliary obstruction repair, a procedure to repair the blockage of the bile ducts, which carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder. If left untreated, Zin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Zin is scheduled to undergo her biliary obstruction repair on October 03. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Zin's procedure and care. Zin said, “I cannot do anything now. I want to get well soon and start working again. If not, my family will not have enough food”.
Owen is a child from Kenya. Owen is the first born in a family of 2. His father is a businessman while the mother is a housewife. The family live in a two roomed rental house in Machakos. Owen has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Owen traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 29. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Owen's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. “I am appealing for help, for my son to undergo surgery and walk like other children. Thank you so much and continue with the same spirit.” Owen’s father expressed.