Janne joined Watsi on March 20th, 2014. Six years ago, Janne became the 82nd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 6,411 more people have become monthly donors! Janne's most recent donation traveled 4,800 miles to support Ye, a father and carpenter from Thailand, to fund kidney stone treatment.
Janne has funded healthcare for 57 patients in 13 countries.
Ye lives with his wife and daughter on the Thai-Burma border. He used to work as a carpenter but had to stop working two years ago when his health deteriorated. His wife is a homemaker and his daughter works as a vendor selling mobile phones. Her monthly income of 10,000 baht (approx. 335 USD) is just enough to cover their family's daily needs. In the beginning of 2018, Ye started to experience swelling in his hands and feet, pain in his lower back, and difficulty passing urine. At first he thought that it was caused by overworking and would disappear over time. Six months later, when he still felt unwell, Ye finally decided to go see a doctor. He went to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) where the doctor conducted tests and concluded that he had high blood pressure. The doctor also sent him to another hospital for an ultrasound because at that time the ultrasound machine was broken at MSH. When Ye returned to MSH with his ultrasound results, the doctor diagnosed him with stones in both of his kidneys. He was told to drink lots of water and was provided with oral medication. When Ye returned for his follow-up appointment, he received another ultrasound and more oral medication. As his condition went on, he received a catheter in both of his kidneys while admitted at the hospital. Ye kept returning regularly for his follow-up appointments. Up until 2020, he had the catheter replaced a number of times and also asked the doctor twice if he could receive surgery. However, both times the doctor told him that he would have to wait because there were too many patients on the waiting list. Eventually in the beginning of 2020, Ye was scheduled to receive surgery. When he was admitted in the middle of March 2020, he first received treatment for a urinary tract infection before he received surgery to remove the stone from his right kidney. After surgery, Ye had difficulty breathing and was placed in the intensive care unit for four days. By the time he was discharged, he was left with a 127,000 baht (approx. 4,233 USD) hospital bill. Ye paid what he could by selling all their jewelry and using up their saving. However, most of his bill was paid by borrowing money from his relatives in Burma. Before he was discharged, the doctor told him that he will need to receive laser treatment to breakup the stone in his left kidney. However, if the procedure was not successful he would need surgery to remove the stone. His daughter was no longer able to pay for his laser treatment so a nurse at MSH told him to ask for help at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). When Ye went to the clinic and told the medic that they cannot afford to pay for his laser treatment, the medic referred him to Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing further treatment and we now are raising $1500 to support his care. “I am very depressed, and I feel stressed about my health condition. I have used up all my savings for my treatment. Now I have to rely on my daughter’s income and I feel really feel bad as she works hard," said Ye.
Winfred is a young teenage girl from Kenya. She is the first born in a family of three children and lives with her mother and aunt. Her mother sells groceries and her aunt is a cleaner in a local dispensary. Winfred was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction which has made her life very difficult. Winfred is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on July 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,393 to cover the total cost of Winfred's procedure and care. After her recovery, Winfred will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Winfred’s aunt shared, “I will be grateful to see that Winfred gets treated.”
Gilbert is a calm and polite boy. He is the second born in a family of four children and hails from Dagoretti in Nairobi county. He is in 3rd grade at a primary school in Nairobi and aspires to be a pilot. Gilbert was brought to our hospital by his mother because he was experiencing pain and could not walk long distances. He has had this condition since he was three years old and it has significantly impacted his ability to go to school. Gilbert's mother shared that, “I sometimes carry him to school as his knees knock against each other which hinders his movement. But when I have money, I will pay for a motorbike to take him and his brother to school.” His mother works part-time cleaning houses, washing clothes, and performing other household work she may be given. Gibert's father is a street pastor and works as a street vendor. The family lives in a one-bedroom rental house in Nairobi and they shared with us that they feel life is hard because they do not have the resources to buy everything they need. Gilbert was able to already have his right leg treated which is now healed. He now needs support for the surgery on his left knee. With both knees healed, Gilbert will be able to walk comfortably and continue with his studies.
Joshua is a two-month-old baby and the youngest in a family of three children from Tanzania. His parents are small-scale farmers; his father owns a few cattle and they also have a small farm where they plant food for home consumption. Joshua has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Joshua has been experiencing challenges since birth. Without treatment, Joshua will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,362 to cover the cost of surgery for Joshua that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 20th and will drain the excess fluid from Joshua's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Joshua will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Joshua's father shared, "Please help treat our baby, he needs to undergo a surgery which due to financial challenges, we are not able to afford. Please help us."
Khav is a 45-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He has two daughters, and when he is not helping his family around the house with the cooking and cleaning, he likes to exercise and feed the farm animals. In January 2020, Khav fell off of his motorcycle and suffered trauma to his left hip. He experiences chronic hip dislocation and has daily pain. He is unable to walk without support and has had to stop working. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On February 27th, Khav will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Treatment will allow him to walk without difficulty and return to work. "I hope that my hip no longer has any pain and I am able to return to work and help take care of my family again."
Ni Tar is a 36-year-old man from Burma who lives with his mother and his younger sister in Mingalar Township, Yangon Division. His younger sister is the primary breadwinner for the household. She works at solar factory in Yangon. Ni Tar has been unemployed for five years. In his free time, Ni Tar likes to read the Quran, especially when the weather is cool. Ni Tar was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of his mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Ni Tar exhibits similar symptoms as before. He has shortness of breath, weakness, chest pain, and a difficulty walking longer distances. He also has a chronic cough. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Ni Tar. The treatment is scheduled to take place on March 18th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. “I miss teaching the children at the Mosque,” said Ni Tar. “Sometimes, in the past I wanted to kill myself because I felt like I was useless. I wanted to help take care of my family, but now it is up to my younger sister. It makes me feel ashamed.”
Bernard is a driver from Kenya. Bernard is a father of 8 children from his two wives. He lives in a rental house and is the main breadwinner in the family. He does not have national insurance nor did he own the vehicle he drove when the road accident occurred. Bernard is a driver in the public transport system, commonly referred to as matatus. On 12th of February 2020, John was involved in a grisly road accident that left 22 people with various injuries. According to Bernard, the oncoming vehicle was overlapping at high speed at a place that is increasingly becoming a blackspot. Bernard and the other patients were brought to Watsi's medical partner care center and immediately started receiving treatment. Bernard had a nail implant on his left femur and a right foot closed reduction and percutaneous pinning that morning. He has been recovering and is planned for a second surgery to correct the acetabular open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). He is in chronic pain and is not able to move from his bed. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 19th, Bernard will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an ORIF. This treatment will help Bernard heal well and be able to walk and eventually work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,042 to fund this procedure. Bernard says, “I am appealing for help to have the surgery. My family is not able to raise the funds needed. I am however hopeful that soon I will be able to walk.”
Sidaneth is a 25-year-old receptionist from Cambodia. She has two sisters and brothers, and enjoys listening to music and hanging out with her friends. When she was young, Sidaneth had a serious ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in her ear to perforate. For this reason, Sidaneth experiences hearing loss, discharge, tinnitus, and vertigo. She often feels dizzy and cannot hear others clearly. Sidaneth traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. She previously received treatment for her other ear, but now needs follow up to complete the procedure on the other side. On January 7th, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $464 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. "I hope that surgery will clear up my ear infection and my hearing will improve," she shared.
Kyat is a 34-year-old female refugee from Thailand. She is a mother of three, and she loves to look after her son and play with him, while her daughters go to school. About 10 years ago, Kyat noticed a mass in her belly after her second child was born. She thought it was normal to have a mass after birth, and what she felt, she thought, was her uterus. As the mass does not cause her pain, Kyat thought the mass would disappear after some time. A little less than two years ago, Kyat became pregnant again. She then found out during her antenatal care session at the refugee camp hospital that the mass she had was still there. The doctor then told her she needs surgery, but only after she delivered her baby. Kyat has been experiencing discomfort in her abdomen. She has been diagnosed with uterine myoma. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Kyat's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Kyat is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on December 13th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Kyat said, “My children are still young, especially my son. I want to be healthy, with no mass inside my belly, so that I can support my children and live my life to the fullest.”
Ratt is a 33-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He has one daughter, and enjoys helping the family with the housework in his free time. In April 2018, Ratt suffered injuries from a traffic accident, resulting in an open fracture on his lower right leg. His right leg is swollen and the skin is open and not healing properly near the wound site. When Ratt learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On August 5, surgeons at CSC will perform flap revision to allow the skin around the fracture site to heal properly without risk of further exposure or infection. Now, he needs help to fund this $606 procedure. He says, "I hope that after surgery, I will be able to walk without any pain and my leg will heal."
Khin is a 39-year-old woman who lives with her family in Hpa-An Township, Karen State, Burma. Both her children are in preschool. She and her husband are subsistence farmers, growing rice during the rainy season on rented land. The rest of the year, her husband collects leaves used to make roofs, works as a daily labourer or collects branches to sell. Khin was born with a scar the size of an ant bite on her upper lip. Her parents thought that it would disappear or heal on its own but the scar developed into a growth and increased in size. Her parents passed away when she was young and after that she went to live with her brother’s family. By the time she was around 20 years old, the growth had become large and soft, covering the area between her upper lips and her nose. When the pain became unbearable in 2005, her uncle dropped her off at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand, a free clinic close to where her uncle used to work. At this point, the growth had become so large that dragged her upper lip down and extended into her nostrils. At MTC, she was seen by doctors and medics, before she was diagnosed with a hemangioma. At this point, the growth had worsened, and she was bleeding from her lips. In April 2006, Khin went to Chiang Mai Hospital and had the hemangioma removed surgically. The growth later has returned. Overtime, the hemangioma has increased in size and become hard. It has now expanded into Khin’s nostrils, especially her left nostril, which causes her to have difficulty breathing at times. She feels uncomfortable but is not in pain. Sometimes she also feels like she has a blood clot in her nostrils during her nosebleeds. Because the nosebleed can start at any time and can last anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, her life revolves around managing her nosebleeds. She is unable to work or sleep properly, and if she is about to have a nosebleed, she is unable to eat. The nosebleeds have also affected her ability to earn an income for her children and continues to impact her social life. “When I socialise, I do not feel comfortable and some people think I have a disease that I can infect them with,” said Khin. “So, I hope to get better after surgery, and I hope I will no longer have nosebleeds. I don’t want to bleed, and I want to socialise with my friends and family happily. [Right now] my friends won’t even touch me.”
Since birth, Sim has had a malformation of her spine, which she worries is slowly getting worse with time. Her scoliosis causes her pain in her legs, difficulty sleeping, and she is unable to sit for long periods of time. With surgery, Sim will be able to walk again with ease and will be able to sit and sleep comfortably. She will not have to worry that her condition will worsen, and she can return to her work. Sim enjoys watching television, listening to the news, and helping with the housework in her spare time.