UNIVERSAL FUND MEMBERBelgian living in Thailand. CTO at DeeMoney
Thailand • Born on November 2nd
Robin joined Watsi on September 15th, 2014. Four years ago, Robin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Robin's most recent donation traveled 350 miles to support Sreang, a 69 year old retired rice farmer from Cambodia, to fund eye surgery.
Robin has funded healthcare for 53 patients in 11 countries.
Robin has funded healthcare for 53 patients in 11 countries.
Sreang is a widowed, 69-year-old retired rice farmer. She is from Kandal province, and has two sons, two daughters, and twelve grandchildren. Sreang's husband passed away forty years ago and since then, she has worked hard to look after her family as a single mom. Currently, she lives with her youngest daughter, who sells vegetables in front of her home. In 2002, Sreang developed a pterygium in her left eye, which causes her blurry vision, itchiness, and tearing. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage, and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. Sreang's visual impairments make it difficult for her to go about her life safely and independently. Sreang learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, and sought their help. Thanks to CSC, on January 5th, Sreang will undergo a surgical procedure at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the surface of her cornea, to be replaced with a conjunctival graft to prevent a recurrence. The total cost of her procedure - including medications, supplies and inpatient care - is $225, and Sreang is looking to you to help cover these costs. Sreang said: "I hope I will see again, and my eye will feel better."
Mary is an eight-year-old girl. She is a talkative and playful young girl. She is the last born in a family of seven children and the family is not well off financially. Both of her parents do casual jobs like ploughing people's farms for a living and such jobs are not easy to find where they live. Sometimes the church members chip in to help them where they can. When Mary was one year old, she was involved in an accident where she sustained burns to her head, some parts of her face and neck. She was rushed to the hospital and was admitted for better care. While in the hospital, a surgery was done on her head where she had sustained more burns. She was then discharged and booked for wound dressing clinics. The wounds were healing well as per the doctors’ plan. Her parents managed to take her for the clinics for a few months but later stopped because of finances. While at home, the wound got infected but due to lack of funds, she was not taken to hospital at that time. Time went by and the infection spread to most parts of the head. When she was three years old, the family met up with a local pastor who started helping them. He started financing Mary’s hospital visits with the help of some church members where he ministered. The wound was dressed again but the recovery process was very slow. In mid this year, the pastor brought them to Kijabe Hospital, she was examined, and the wound was dressed properly. Since then, the wound has been healing as expected. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Mary receive treatment. On December 9th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help the remaining wound to heal properly. Now, Mary's family needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Mary’s father says, "Since the accident, we have been struggling a lot to make her get the required treatment but have failed to some extent. Coming to Kijabe, our hopes have been boosted greatly with the improvement she has experienced, and we hope that she will go through with the surgery and be well again.”
Maribeth is a caring mother from the Philippines. She's a full-time mom to her three children, while her husband works as a grinder. In May 2022, Maribeth began to experience troubling symptoms, including fatigue, trembling hands, and masses on her neck that were growing in size. These symptoms prevent her from being able to take care of her children and do her daily chores. Maribeth sought a medical checkup, where doctors told her to undergo a neck ultrasound and biopsy. Her results indicated that she is experiencing a multiple colloid adenomatous goiter. This condition occurs when tumor formation occurs, caused by an overgrowth of thyroid tissue cells. Maribeth needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Maribeth receive treatment. On November 11th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy at WSFP's hospital. During this procedure, surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation is supporting a portion of the cost of her treatment, and WSFP is raising $890 to cover the remaining cost of Maribeth's procedure and care. Maribeth says, "This free surgery is a big help for me because we don't have enough money to pay for my bills. To all the hospital staff who are helping me, to WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines, thank you! May God bless you, and may you help more people in need."
34-year-old Beatrice lives with her husband and four children in Malawi. Beatrice uses the income from the saloon that she owns to take care of the needs of her children. Her husband, who is a businessman, uses his income to take care of their home, a three-bedroom house that has neither running water nor electricity. In 2020, some of Beatrice's friends noticed a swelling in her neck. Beatrice- who was pregnant at the time- went to the hospital to be evaluated. She was told that the swelling might be related to her pregnancy and that she should come back after giving birth if the swelling hadn't subsided. The swelling continued to grow; ultimately, Beatrice was diagnosed with a goiter- a swelling of the thyroid gland- and told that she would need to have her thyroid surgically removed. Beatrice's surgery continued to be postponed, but her symptoms of breathlessness and coughing- which often kept her from going to work- continued to worsen. Finally, her sister suggested that she visit Partners in Hope Medical Center, where doctors scheduled her for surgery on January 31st. As Beatrice is unable to cover the costs of her treatment, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,015 to fund Beatrice's thyroidectomy. Beatrice believes the removal of her thyroid will help her to return to her home in Blantyre, and to rejoin her family in good health. She believes her children are the reason why she lives, and she knows that she has to be healthy in order to continue supporting them. Beatrice said: “I am looking forward to getting back to normal.”
Hla is a 43-year-old woman, living with her husband, son and daughter in a village in Thailand. Seven months ago, Hla and her family were forced to flee Karen State, Burma, because of the fighting that was taking place there. Both Hla and her husband worked as agricultural day laborers, but due to Hla's health, only her husband is working now. Two years ago, Hla felt a small mass in her left breast. The mass wasn't painful, so she decided not to seek treatment. A few months ago, the mass started to increase in size, and it became painful. In addition, puss has developed at the site of the mass. Doctors want Hla to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles, are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. It is hoped that this scan will help doctors diagnose her condition, and enable them to formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Hla's CT scan and care, scheduled for September 5th, at Mae Sot General Hospital. Hla said: "I feel so sad that I cannot work since my condition worsened. I have to depend on my husband's income, which is hardly enough for this month. Thank you to all the donors who are willing to help pay for my expensive scan."
Paw is 52-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, two daughters and son-in-law in a refugee camp. She and her husband are homemakers, while her eldest daughter and son-in-law are teachers. Her youngest daughter is a student. She has cataracts and she has blurred vision in both of her eyes. Because of her poor vision, she has difficulty walking around the refugee camp and she has had to stop weaving and selling traditional Karen clothes from her home-region of Burma. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Paw. On December 29th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Paw's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. "I hope that my treatment will be successful. I want to be able to see well. I want to continue weaving clothes in the future, and I want to live with my family for the rest of my life,” she said.
Seu is a 59-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She is married and has one daughter, two sons, and two grandchildren. She lives with her youngest son and her husband, who is a farmer. During her free time, Seu enjoys listening to the news and to monks pray on the radio. One year ago, Seu developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her to experience eye tearing, itchiness, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so she is not able to go places on her own. When Seu learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for five hours seeking treatment. On July 18th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Seu says, "After surgery, I hope my eye will feel comfortable enough that I can go outside and help my daughter care for her children."
Morn is a 53-year-old recycled material collector. She is married, and has two daughters and two sons. In her free time, she helps to take care of her grandchildren. Many years ago Morn had an ear infection. This infection caused both of her ear drums to perforate. As a result, Morn experiences pain, hearing loss, and ear discharge. She also has difficulty communicating clearly with others. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is helping Morn to receive treatment. On June 8th, surgeons at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre will close the perforations in Morn's ear drums. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $914 to fund the procedure, and to pay for medications, supplies and inpatient care. Morn says: "I hope after surgery the ear discharge will end, and my hearing finally improves."
Novensi is a 49-year-old small-scale farmer, living with her two children in a two roomed mud house. She separated from her husband 10 years ago, and sustains her family through her farming. While her older child attends school, she shared with us that mental health issues have prevented her younger daughter from starting school. For the past six months, Novensi has been suffering from severe lower abdominal and back pains, as well as other troubling symptoms. Her condition is worsening, preventing her from farming, because she feels pain from movements and when she walks long distances. Novensi has been diagnosed by her medical team with uterine fibroids. While surgery was recommended a while ago, Novensi could not afford to pay for the surgery. Fortunately, she turned to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. Now, she is scheduled for a hysterectomy at Rushroza Hospital on May 13th, and African Mission Healthcare is seeking $319 to fund her procedure and care. Once she has recovered, Novensi should be able to resume her farming - and all of her other daily activities - free from pain. Novensi says: “I wish to have treatment so that I can get well and continue with farming. I hope to start a sorghum drink business which I am unable to do now because it involves bending and lifting, which I cannot do.”
Loucken is a 16-year-old student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and three siblings in a neighborhood outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Loucken enjoys making art, listening to music, and going to school and church. Loucken has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. As a result, blood leaks through this hole, leaving him feeling weak and unable to be active. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), can help Loucken receive treatment. Treatment is not available in Haiti, but on May 11th, he will fly to the Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch. HCA is covering the cost of Loucken's surgery, so Loucken's family is requesting assistance to help fund the $1,500 surgery preparation and travel costs. This cost includes all labs, medication, appointments, passports, and the help of a social worker from HCA who will accompany Loucken's family as they travel internationally. Loucken shared, "After the surgery, I hope that I will be able to start playing soccer with my friends."
Thaung is a 31-year-old man who is married with one daughter. His wife and him work together as agricultural day laborers. Thaung's monthly income is just enough to meet their daily needs. He shared that he had to borrow money for food from his neighbor when he was out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the military coup in Burma, and he is working to pay them back. In October 2021, Thaung noticed a small ulcer and went to see a retired army doctor who lives in his village. He received some medication, and his ulcer healed. However, a few months later, the growth returned. Thuang and his family were able to fundraise through their church to visit a local hospital. Upon review, he was diagnosed with cancer and the doctor informed him that he would need to undergo surgery. Currently, Thaung is in pain and has difficulty working and sleeping. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Thaung receive treatment. On April 11th, he is scheduled to undergo surgery. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Thaung shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will work hard to pay back my debt to the neighbors we borrowed money from. I want to live with my family for a long time, and I want to support my family as much as I can.”
Cristian is a sweet three-year-old boy from Bolivia who has Down syndrome. He lives in a small city in the mountains of central Bolivia with his parents and three siblings. To support their family, his parents operate a small market stall. Some of Cristian's favorite activities include clapping along to music and watching cartoons. Cristian was born with an atrial septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole instead of flowing properly through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Cristian is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 29th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, healing his condition and improving his quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Cristian's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Cristian and his family can travel to receive his life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Cristian's mother says, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping our son to become healthy!"