Mateo joined Watsi on November 22nd, 2016. Five years ago, Mateo joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mateo's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Teresiah, a 55-year-old businesswoman from Kenya, to fund a thyroidectomy.
Mateo has funded healthcare for 59 patients in 11 countries.
Mateo has funded healthcare for 59 patients in 11 countries.
Teresiah is a 55-year-old small businesswoman. She is a married mother to six children, who are all adults. The family lives in a three-room home and Teresiah sells secondhand clothing to earn a living. She and her husband also farm crops for home consumption on their acre of land. In January 2021, Teresiah began to experience troubling symptoms, including a neck mass that has slowly grown and is slightly painful. The condition has caused a change in her voice and she experiences difficulty swallowing. She has been diagnosed with bilateral enlarged gland and a multinodular goiter. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Teresiah receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on October 18th at AMH's care center, where surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $949 and she and her family need help raising money. Teresia shared, "lately, I get pains frequently and have difficulties in swallowing. I was supposed to come back for treatment but I didn’t even have transport money to bring me to the hospital. The doctors say I need surgery to help me get well."
Kea is a 47-year-old construction worker. He's married and has two children, including a nine-year-old son in fourth grade and a 13-year-old daughter in eighth grade. Both of his children study hard in their school and his wife works as a seller at a local market. In March 2021, Kea fell about two meters from a roof during work and dislocated his ankle. After the accident, he tried a Khmer traditional treatment, but it did not help him heal. He experiences pain while walking and he is unable to work. Kea takes pain medication to ease his symptoms, but he needs additional treatment. When Kea learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On September 8th, surgeons at CSC will perform an ankle fusion with screws and plates so that he is no longer in pain and can use his ankle again. Now, Kea needs help to fund this $518 procedure. Kea shared, "I hope that I can stop taking pain medication and return to work."
Paw is a 24-year-old woman from Thailand. Originally from Burma, Paw, her husband, their three daughters and her parents fled in March 2021 after the Burmese military shot rockets into their village. In Thailand, as refugees, they cannot work, and have temporarily moved in with Paw's brother and his family. They receive rice from her brother's neighbors, while her brother's family provides them with vegetables and curries. In July 2021, Paw's parents and her two older daughters went back to their village when they felt it was safe to do so. Meanwhile, her husband and her three-month-old baby have stayed with her while she receives treatment in Chiang Mai. Two years ago, Paw noticed a mass on the right side of her neck. Her neighbor suggested she apply a natural remedy, but unfortunately, the mass remained and grew over time. In September 2019, she visited a local hospital in Thailand with her husband, but the surgery recommended was too expensive. She experiences pain near the site of the mass, and the mass is still growing. Paw sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). She is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on August 16th, and now she needs to raise $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Paw shared, “I felt embarrassed and very upset when I first noticed that I had this problem. I will feel a lot better after my surgery because I have needed to receive it since I first went to see the doctor in 2019. In the future I want to look after my children and send them to school.”
Korn lives with her sister and works as a rice farmer. She enjoys cooking and planting vegetables. In January 2021, Korn was knocked to the ground by a cow. She spent a month going to a Khmer traditional healer where natural medicine was given to her, but the fracture on her right wrist and the dislocation of her right elbow did not heal. A friend in her village recommended for Korn to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). She was able to visit the hospital and now surgeons want to perform an open reduction procedure on her right elbow to heal her injuries. Our medical partner CSC is requesting $412 for the surgery to allow Korn to use her right arm again. Korn said, "I hope I can bend my elbow like normal again."
Mao is a 51-year-old rice farmer with one son, one daughter, and one grandchild. Mao lives with his wife who is a grocery seller. At home he enjoys listening to the news and Chinese dramas on TV. Two years ago, the retina of Mao's left eye detached, causing him blurry vision, pain, and tearing. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Mao learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled therewith his son seeking treatment. On June 9th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Mao shared, "I hope after surgery I can see better so I can plant rice and also sell piglets from my motorbike to earn money for my family."
Elizabeth is 8 years old and the last born in a family of eight children. Elizabeth is a friendly girl and currently in elementary school. She loves coloring and singing at school. Her parents are small scale farmers and livestock keepers. Elizabeth was involved in a fire accident in late 2017. She and her siblings had been left at home by their mother as she went out to go fetch water. With no grown-up at home, they took a matchbox and went out to start a fire so that they could play cooking games. In the process, Elizabeth's clothing caught on fire, and neighbors rescued her. She sustained severe burns that have since healed, so she has large skin contractures around her groin, elbow and axilla. She is not able to move her arm freely. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Elizabeth receive treatment. On March 4th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery so she will able to use her hand and move it freely. Now, she needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Elizabeth’s father shared, “My daughter needs surgery to help correct her hand, but the cost is not something we can afford. Kindly help our daughter.”
Shoh is a 47-year-old man who lives with his wife, two sons, daughter-in-law and two daughters in Nu Poe Refugee Camp in Thailand. In the camp, Shoh and his oldest son are teachers who teach about the Quran for other refugees. They each earn 1,200 baht (approx. 40 USD) per month. His wife is often sick, and his eldest daughter has to look after her at home. His daughter-in-law is a homemaker while his youngest daughter and son are students. Shoh’s household receives 1,110 baht (approx. 37 USD) every month on a cash card to purchase rations in the camp. Their monthly household income is just enough to cover their daily expenses as they also receive free basic health care and education in the camp. Since February 2020, Shoh has had umbilical hearnia. Currently, Shoh’s abdomen pain is not severe but his hernia is still increasing in size. He feels uncomfortable when he walks because of his swollen abdomen. He cannot sleep well and is increasingly worried about his diagnosis. The pain in his abdomen increases when he feels cold, especially at night. Fortunately, on March 9th, 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 Shoh's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 9th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Shoh said, “I do not want to stop being a teacher. I love teaching the Quran to young children. Also, if I do not teach, I do not earn an income and my family does not have enough income to cover our household expenses.”
Yeabsera is a six-year-old boy from Ethiopia and an only child. Yeabsera loves to watch TV and play with his friends. His mom is a housewife and is unable to work because she has health problems. His dad works in a government office and farms part-time. Yeabsera was born with hypospadias, a condition that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility in the future. Fortunately, Yeabsera is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on April 1st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Yeabsera's mom shared, “I look forward to Yeabsera getting a good education. I was sick and I saw how doctors helped me. And I am looking for doctors to help my child. I want him to become a doctor and help a lot of others.”
Phorn is a 40-year-old construction worker with three children: two sons and one daughter. They all are now in school. Phorn is not working now but his wife is a factory worker. His parents live with his family and he supports them. For over two years, he has had pain in both hips. He feels his left side is much worse than the right. He describes his current health as generally very poor because he is in such pain. When he has pain, he has traditionally been able to buy pain medication from the pharmacy, but it has lately become unbearable. Doctors diagnosed his condition as avascular necrosis (death of bone tissue due to lack of blood circulation) of both hips. Fortunately, Phorn learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Phorn of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for February 9th, and Phorn needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. He hopes after surgery, his left hip will not have pain, he can walk without help, and go back to work as before.
Vumilia is a 2-year-old girl from Tanzania. She has a beautiful smile and is very charming. Vumilia is the third born in a family of four children. Her parents come from the northern part of Tanzania known as Serengeti, which is close to the Serengeti National Park. Most of the people living in this region depend on small-scale farming for a living. Vumilia's parents grow mostly maize, sorghum, and vegetables, selling part of their harvest to make a humble income to support the family. Vumilia was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, or bowleggedness. Her legs bow inward so that her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Vumilia has a difficult time walking and often feels pain after walking for a while. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Vumilia. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Vumilia's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Vumilia’s mother shared, “My daughter is struggling so much that she can no longer play well with her siblings and is forced to sit by herself most times which saddens me as her mother. Please help correct her legs."
Jedidah was feeling very unwell while she met with our local Watsi representative. She is a 52-year-old woman from Machakos County in Kenya. Married with five children, she is a farmer along with her husband. Since 2018, Jedidah has had upper abdominal pains, a constant feeling fullness and heartburn, plus bitter saliva and regurgitation. Her symptoms make it hard for Jedidah to eat. She has visited many hospitals, but without help. They recently decided to come to Nazareth Hospital where our partner doctor ordered for an oesophagal-gastro-duodenoscopy, which finally showed that Jedidah has a hiatus hernia. The surgeon advised a laparotomy is needed to cure her condition, but Jedidah's family is not able to meet the cost. If not treated, Jedidah may have hernia strangulation, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or future lung problems as her stomach contents are moved up to the oesophagus. Jedidah said quietly, “This condition has made it difficult for me to work in our small farm, to interact with friends and even take care of my children. I plead for help and God will bless you.”
Joshua is a student from Uganda. He is a third born in a family of six children. He is currently in seventh grade, and he hopes to graduate and continue with school. Joshua’s parents are both subsistence farmers. Joshua was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, or a condition known as "knock-knees." His legs bow inward, causing his knees to touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, it is difficult for Joshua to walk for long distances because he experiences pain as his knees continue knocking each other. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Joshua. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 13th. Treatment will hopefully restore Joshua's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Joshua says “My legs are limiting me so much from walking, working, and playing football. I appreciate any help you can provide me.”