A joined Watsi on July 1st, 2015. Six years ago, A joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. A's most recent donation supported Sophanha, a curious six-month-old baby from Cambodia, to fund arm surgery so he can grow up healthy.
A has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 11 countries.
A has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 11 countries.
Sophanha is a six-month-old baby who has an older brother and sister. His father and 20-year-old brother operate a coffee stand outside a factory, and his sister is a 17-year-old high school student. His mother stays home to take care of Sophanha right now. When he was born, Sophanha was diagnosed with Erb's palsy on his left arm and hand. This leads to weakness, loss of function and sensation so that the young boy is unable to lift his arm or use his hand. Sophanha traveled with his family to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 29th, he will undergo surgery that will help him be able to use his hand in the future as he grows up. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Sophanha's mother shares, "I am glad my baby can get this surgery, and I hope he can use his arm soon and grow strong."
Meet Nahashion: a playful, four-year-old boy in kindergarten. Nahashion is the only child in his family. His mother gave birth to Nahashion when she was very young, so she had to drop out of school to take care of her baby. His father is a maize farmer, but he also does odd-jobs like working on other peoples’ farms to supplement his maize farm. Both parents did not finish primary education (eight years), which poses difficulty when trying to find better paying jobs. The young family lives in a rental house in a small town. After giving birth to Nahashion, his mother was told by a doctor that her child had hypospadias, a disease causing urinary dysfunction. She was very worried about it because it was the first time she heard about such a case. Without treatment, Nahashion will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility when he grows up. A few months afterwards, she started searching for treatment and could not find a specialist in the many hospitals she visited. Finally, Nahashion traveled with his parent's many miles from their hometown to arrive at Kapsowar Hospital, where he was seen by a visiting surgeon. They had heard about the specialist after hearing an advertisement on the radio of the urology clinic that is taking place at Kapsowar. Fortunately, now Nahashion is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 24th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $631 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Nahashion’s mother is optimistic and strong. She says, “I am really not sure what is going to happen, but I am confident that my child will be able to proceed well after the surgery.”
Rexa is a 47-year-old mother from Malawi. She has four children, and her sister lives together with their family. Rexa has been selling second-hand clothes called kaunjika locally, but had to pause her business last December due to her health condition. Rexa’s husband is an electrician and is currently unemployed. Two of their children are in college, and they shared that their family is struggling to pay their school fees. Rexa also cares for her mom, who lives in the village. Last December, Rexa started having sharp pains in her abdomen radiating to the back and both legs. Her husband has taken her to many hospitals to figure out the cause of her pain, and it has cost their family a significant amount of money. After being evaluated for peptic ulcers, heart, liver, and kidney problems to no avail, she finally was diagnosed in April with uterine fibroids. Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman's uterus. These growths may become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding. If left untreated, fibroids can continue to grow, both in size and number, and could result in increased heavy bleeding or a fatal case of anemia. Rexa was referred to Partners in Hope Medical Center for further review and the gynecologist recommended that she undergo a hysterectomy, which will remove her uterus and cervix and hopefully cure her of this pain. However, she has no insurance and is unable to pay for the cost of her care due to her family's earnings. Rexa will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. She is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on May 28th, and African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,363 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After the surgery, Rexa is hopeful that she will stop having abdominal pains and can return to normal life, which can help her resume her business and support her family members again. Rexa's husband shared, “I am excited that finally there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. When my wife feels pain, I also feel pain and I fail to go and look for work to support the family. I strongly believe that this surgery will bring an end to our misery and sleepless nights. Now we will stop begging relatives for support with even transport money to the hospital, I am very grateful to the donors!”
Sut is a 30-year-old who lives with his family in a refugee camp. His mother is a shop vendor who sells snacks in front of their home. Sut and his brother-in-law used to work as agriculture day laborers, but can no longer leave the camp to find work since the camp is on lockdown after the outbreak of COVID-19. Since then, Sut has been helping out with household chores and looks after his nephew. The income they receive from selling snacks in addition to the food card they receive from a support organization is just enough to cover their daily needs. He and his family receive free basic health care in the camp. Since April 2020, Sut has had an inguinal hernia. This hernia causes him pain in the right side of his groin and he feels a burning sensation when he urinates. If he walks for a longer period of time, he will experience pain in the right side of his groin. Occasionally, when the pain worsens, he is not able to help out with household chores. Fortunately, on April 29th, Sut 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 Sut's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 29th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Sut shared, "Sometimes I experience such severe pain that I cannot bear it anymore. I cannot do anything and I cannot help my family with anything due to my condition. My wife left me because of my condition and I do not have anyone that can help me. When I learned that a donor could help pay for my surgery, I felt like they had saved me from death."
Bridon is a 2-year-old boy from Meru County in Kenya. After he was born, his parents noticed a potential health issue and consulted a doctor. Bridon was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Bridon has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Bridon is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on April 1st with assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). AMHF is requesting $569 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Bridon’s mother shared, “Neither my husband nor myself are financially able to raise enough money for Bridon’s surgery. Currently, we barely make enough for our family but I am very hopeful that Bridon will be treated.”
Htun is a 50-year-old man from Thailand. He lives with his wife, son, and two daughters in Thailand. Htun and his wife work as agricultural day laborers, but Htun had to stop working after he injured his eye. Currently, Htun can only perceive light with both of his eyes, but he cannot clearly see objects. Although he is not in pain, he needs someone to assist him when he walks or eats. He also cannot work nor do any household chores as a result of losing his vision. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Htun. On March 2nd, doctors will perform the lens replacement surgery, and they will remove Htun's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After his surgery, Htun will be able to see clearly and get back to all that he needs to do in the day. Htun said, “I am sad and depressed that I cannot see nor do anything. I feel sorry that my wife has had to accompany me everywhere and do every little thing for me such as helping me eat and go to the bathroom. I want to regain my vision quickly and I want to go back to work.”
Scholastica is a 6-month-old baby girl from Tanzania. She is the last born in a family of six children. Scholastica was born a healthy child but, at four months of age, her mother noticed her head was growing very fast and she was not able to support it. They could not afford the cost of seeking care at the regional hospital at the time. Scholastica's parents are small scale farmers and work hard to make ends meet with their income. Eventually, they were able to get some money from relatives and took her back to the regional hospital. There, Scholastica was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Without treatment, Scholastica will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Unfortunately, she was not able to get an appointment at the regional hospital for a long time. As time went on, Scholastica's condition grew worse. Her head increased in size and her eyes began rolling down. Though they were concerned, her parents could not raise money to seek an alternative hospital for care. Eventually, their friend referred them to our medical partner's care center, ALMC Plaster House. Their friends and neighbours supported them with bus fare for the two-day journey to the hospital. Now, she is scheduled for an ETV surgery to treat her condition, and the family appeals for financial support for this procedure. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of ETV surgery for Scholastica that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 25th and will drain the excess fluid from Scholastica's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. It will also reduce the likelihood of severe fevers, vomiting, and potential brain damage. With proper treatment, Scholastica will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Scholastica’s mother shared, "We travelled for two days because we were told there is hope for my daughter to get help. Please help save her.”
Pun Theary is a 59-year-old mother of four, with three sons, one daughter, and four grandchildren. Pun Theary sells fruit and her husband is a tailor. In her free time she enjoys watching Khmer movies on TV. Her days have become more challenging since one year ago. The retina of Pun Theary's left eye detached, causing her blurry vision, photophobia and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing friends, and going places on her own. When Pun Theary learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled by motorcycle with her husband seeking treatment. On December 24th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in her left eye. After her recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Pun Theary shared with us, "For my business I need to have good vision. I want to see well again so I can sell my fruit and take good care of my children."
Sopheak is a 38-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He has one son and two daughters, and has been married to his wife for the last 22 years. In his free time, his favorite activities include looking after his children, doing the housework, feeding his chickens, and cooking. Last year, Sopheak was in a motorcycle collision and fractured his left leg. He experiences pain, swelling, and is unable to walk or stand without support. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On March 4th, Sopheak will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Surgery will allow Sopheak to walk independently again and return to his activities with little difficulty. "My family is worried because they are no longer able to afford treatments. I hope that after my surgery, I will no longer have any pain or swelling, and will be able to walk on my own again. My wife is looking forward to getting back to her normal activities without having to look after me everyday," he said.
Leang is a 51-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio. Six months ago, Leang developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her vision loss. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Leang learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On December 23rd, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $211 procedure. "I hope that I will be able to see more clearly so I can return to planting rice and be able to go anywhere I want to outside on my own again," Leang shared.
Su is 14-year-old girl from Thailand. She lives with her parents in a village in Take Province, Thailand. After Su completed grade five she was unable to continue her schooling since there are no middle or high schools in their area and her parents could not afford to send her to school in nearby Burma. Today she and her parents are agricultural day laborers, each earning 150 baht (approx. 5 USD) per day. In the past, they used to have enough work but for the past four months they are not able to work as much as they would like to. Due to COVID-19 restrictions on the number of people who can gather, employers are only able to hire five to seven workers in a day. To ensure that everyone has a chance to work in their community, all the day laborers take turns working in a week. Around April or May 2020, Su noticed that she was not feeling well. When she explained how she felt to her mother, she was reassured that this was normal. However, around September 15th, Su started to suffer from terrible lower back and abdominal pain. When she went to Mae Tao Clinic she received an ultrasound which indicated a mass in her uterus. She was then referred to Mae Sot Hospital where she received another ultrasound and physical examination. The doctor then confirmed there was a growing mass in her uterus. The doctor told her they will be able to remove the mass with surgery. Su sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on October 1st and is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once she recovers, Su hopes to help her parents out financially. “I will go back to work with my mother and I will save money,” she said. “I will build my parents a new house on our land in Burma. I will also learn to sew and do that [becoming a seamstress] for the rest of my life in my own shop."
John is a 46-year-old disabled father of three who needs to undergo a second-stage bone transport surgery. John shared his story with us: In early December 2015, he was attacked by an unknown assailant who robbed him and dragged him along the road causing a serious femur fracture on his left leg. Unconscious, he was rushed to Kenyatta National Hospital where he was admitted and underwent surgery receiving an implant. This marked the beginning of a series of surgeries associated with his fracture and he was later referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital for treatment and management of his condition. Although he has applied for funding through the national insurance scheme, it was not approved due to his previous treatments and he now needs financial support for a bone transport surgery. Previously, John was a matatu driver but quit after a serious accident. He lives in a single room house that a local church offered because of his condition and his children are currently living with his sister. John is ambulating on crutches and if not treated, he might be at risk of not being able to walk freely again. John said, “With my disability, I am unable to cater for my family and live normally. If I get the required treatment, I will be able to raise my 3 kids and live normally again.”