Mark joined Watsi on December 4th, 2022. Six months ago, Mark joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mark's most recent donation supported Ko Thaw, a 27-year-old factory worker from Burma, to fund mitral valve replacement surgery.
Mark has funded healthcare for 7 patients in 5 countries.
Mark has funded healthcare for 7 patients in 5 countries.
Ko Thaw, who is 27 years old, lives with his extended family in Burma. In early June 2022, Ko Thaw- who was working in a factory in Malaysia- developed a headache. Later that day, he also experienced chest pain, a racing heart, and an episode of vomiting. His employer brought him to the hospital, and after some testing, Ko Thaw was informed there was a problem with his aortic valve. He was given medications and a follow-up appointment. In January 2023, Ko Thaw's health deteriorated, and he was brought back to the hospital. An echocardiogram showed aortic valve regurgitation, and Ko Thaw was told that he would need surgery. His employer wouldn't pay for the surgery, and as Ko Thaw couldn't afford to pay for this on his own, he tried to manage his condition with medication. But when the medications stopped working, Ko Thaw decided to move back to Burma. Ko Thaw was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. With their help, he is now scheduled to undergo mitral valve replacement surgery on May 14th at Pun Hlaing Hospital. For Ko Thaw, who currently experiences chest pain, insomnia, muscle stiffness, and headaches with fever, this surgery can't happen soon enough. Now he is seeking your help to raise $1,500 to cover the cost of his treatment. "I hope I can find suitable work soon after my surgery. I would like to say thank you so much. You all do incredible work for poor people who need assistance," said Ko Thaw.
Lolutori is a 7-year-old boy from Tanzania. He and his two siblings live with their parents, who are nomads. For the past two years, the family has been going through a difficult time due to a severe drought, which has made water and food scarce. The family has had to move frequently in search of better pastures for their animals. Lolutori has been diagnosed with genu valgus, or bow legs. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, due to the consumption of contaminated drinking water. Because of this condition, Lolutori experiences difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Lolutori. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 17th at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. Treatment should restore Lolutori's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Lolutori’s father says: “With our living condition, him not being able to walk properly makes it hard for the family. We hope he will be able to walk properly like his siblings.”
Joemer is a hard-working street vendor from Philippines. He is the breadwinner in the family. He earns money by cooking and selling local delicacies and his earning of $4 daily is just enough to bring food to the table. In January 2020, Joemer began to experience troubling symptoms. He sought medical consultation and was told to undergo an ultrasound. The test showed that he has a 1.2cm gallstone. Due to the financial crisis, he decided to delay his treatment and opted to take pain relievers instead. His pain intensifies forcing him to be checked again by a surgeon. Joemer has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, his symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Joemer is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on March 7th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,128 to cover the cost of Joemer's surgery and care. Joemer shared, "I'm truly grateful to WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for being one of your beneficiaries. Your hearts are so kind for helping out people like me who are sick but not capable of paying for our needed surgery."
Anthony, who is 14 years old, lives with his parents and seven siblings in Kenya. His parents make charcoal to earn a living for the family, but their situation has been made more difficult by the inter-communal war in their area, which has forced the family to move on several occasions in order to find safety. Anthony was diagnosed with anorectal malformations at birth. He had surgery to correct the blockage and did well for a few months, but the blockage recurred. He could not pass stool as he had done before, but his parents could not afford to take him back to the hospital. His stomach started to increase in size and has grown over the years. Over time he completely lost the ability to move his bowels and stopped going to school. Late last year the county government social worker heard of Anthony's situation and contacted the family. She was able to finance their transport to the hospital for Anthony to be examined. As a result of the examination, it was determined that Anthony required surgery urgently. Anthony is now scheduled for a colostomy on February 15th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,152 to cover the costs of this life-saving procedure. Anthony’s Aunt said: “It pains us that Anthony has to go through this. We really hope that he will be treated and go back to school.”
Chit Htun is a 21-year-old man from Burma who lives with his mother, two sisters and a brother. His mother is a homemaker, while Chit Htun and his siblings are students. They are supported financially by two aunties and Chit Htun's former teacher. Chit Htun was born with spina bifida as well as hydrocephalus. When Chit Htun was just over a month old, he had a shunt inserted in his brain to control hydrocephalus. In October 202, Chit Htun fell down the stairs in his home and hit his head during the fall. Since that time, he has been experiencing headaches and dizziness with occasional loss of consciousness. Chit Htun's mother brought him to a hospital in Yangon, where he received a CT scans showing that the original shunt was in place. A second shunt was inserted to help with the loss of consciousness, but the headaches and dizziness continued to be a problem. In October 2022, Chit Htun had a seizure, accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Chit Htun's mother brought him to Mae Sot Hospital, where he received a CT scan on November 28th, 2022 with the help of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). The doctor diagnosed Chit Htun with severe chronic hydrocephalus and suspected shunt malfunction. BCMF is now fundraising $1,500 to help cover the cost of surgery to replace Chit Htun's current shunt. Chit Htun's mother shared, "My son and I have been in Mae Sot for the past two months and we are homesick already. I hope that he will receive surgery soon and recover from his symptoms."
Francklin is a loving husband and father from Haiti. He lives with his wife and two children in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He works as a security guard for a private security company. Francklin has a cardiac condition called severe mitral stenosis which resulted from a rheumatic fever that he suffered when he was young. Blood cannot pass through a valve in his heart properly, leaving him weak and short of breath. The cardiac surgery that Francklin's condition requires is not available in Haiti, so he needs to fly to the United States to receive treatment. On November 18th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair the damaged valve; if they are unable, they will need to implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, the Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000 to pay for his surgery. Francklin's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep, travel, and follow-up care while he heals. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Francklin overseas. Francklin says, "My family and I will pray for God's blessings on everyone who is helping us."
Saw Myo is a 14-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his grandparents, parents, two sisters and a brother in a village in Karen State in eastern Burma. His grandparents are retired, and his father is a farmer who grows paddy and rubber trees on their own land. Saw Myo’s mother is a homemaker, while his two sisters and his brother go to school. The family income is just enough to cover their daily expenses. They cannot afford to pay for basic healthcare. Saw Myo used to go to school but stopped attending since his condition worsened in 2021. Saw Myo has had a lump at his lower spinal cord since he was nine years old, when he was hit by a slingshot in that area. He was given a medicinal ointment by a traditional healer which appeared to stop the lump from growing and helped with the stiffness temporarily. When Saw Myo was 12 years old, he fell off of his bicycle. He did not have any cuts or bruises but felt stiffness along his spinal cord. Afterwards, the lump appeared to be growing in size again. He was seen at a local clinic and then at a clinic in Hpa-An in January 2021, where he had an X-ray. The doctor suspected a spinal cord problem, so they encouraged Saw Myo and his mother to follow up with a computerized tomography (CT) scan at the Yangon Orthopedic Hospital in Yangon. Due to Covid-19, Saw Myo was unable to get in for a CT scan. Saw Myo’s parents did not want to give up, so they went to the Asia Royal Hospital, also in Yangon. Again, they were told that Saw Myo’s condition could not be treated locally. Finally, they returned to their home without receiving treatment. Saw Myo’s mother then contacted a medic who works at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot, Thailand, who is originally from their village. The medic told her to bring Saw Myo to the clinic as soon as possible. They spent the next few months trying to raise money, borrowing from family and neighbours. Doctors recommended Saw Myo to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. After analyzing the MRI, the doctors recommended Saw Myo undergo surgery to remove the tumor on his back. The tumor is cancerous, and Saw Myo will need to undergo chemotherapy after his surgery. Currently, Saw Myo is suffering a lot. He has to be careful when sitting because his whole back along his spinal cord is painful if he does not sit down slowly, and he can only sit for short periods of time before his back begins to ache. The lump is not painful to touch, but when he lays down on his right side, he has to support the lump with a pillow, making it difficult for him to sleep. He also has backpain if he has to walk for more than 15 minutes. Saw Myo sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on November 24th and his family needs $1,500 to cover the cost of his procedure and care. Saw Myo said, "I enjoy going to school and my favourite subject is mathematics. I hope that I will be able to go to school after my treatment. I would also like to raise chickens and cows to help my family in the future."