Gareth joined Watsi on March 20th, 2014. Five years ago, Gareth became the 910th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,081 more people have become monthly donors! Gareth's most recent donation traveled 7,400 miles to support Veasna, a 26-year-old construction worker from Cambodia, to fund surgery to repair his brachial plexus.
Gareth has funded healthcare for 75 patients in 12 countries.
Veasna is a 26-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He and his wife have been married for six years and have two young children. His wife is a factory worker. Since his children do not go to school yet, he takes them out to play everyday. In his free time he likes listening to music and helping his wife with housework. In March 2020, Veasna was in a motor accident in which he suffered an injury to his left shoulder. He went to a local hospital for treatment but they did not perform any surgery. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. Now he cannot move his left arm without pain and has numbness in his hand. Veasna traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 9th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, He will be able to easily move his arm, hand and fingers with no pain. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Veasna shared, "This shoulder pain is very bad, so I hope that the surgery stops all the bad feeling. I hope I can go back to work soon."
Daw Ei is a 48-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband, mother, two daughters, son, and daughter-in-law in Yangon. Her husband is a security guard, her mother is retired, and her daughter-in-law is a homemaker. Her eldest daughter works in a factory, her other daughter is a student, and her son works as a mason. Daw Ei used to work as a shop vender herself but had to stop three years ago due to her health problem. Daw Ei was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the 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, Daw Ei suffers from chest pains, feels tired and cannot walk long distances. Sometimes, she has no appetite. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Daw Ei. The treatment is scheduled to take place on June 14th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Daw Ei said, “I’m worried about my health problem. Also, I’ve spent all my money on [seeking] treatment and I had to borrow 300,000 kyat (approx. 300 USD) from my daughter’s friend. I want to be cured.”
Samnang is a 28-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He enjoys exercising and going for walks with his family around the village. In July of 2019, Samnang fell off his motorcycle. He suffered injuries to his arm and went into a coma for one day, receiving initial treatment at a nearby hospital. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He cannot move his arm or hands, and has pain in his shoulder and only a little feeling in his arm. He is unable to return to work. Samnang traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 9th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm again and return to work. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. "After my surgery, I hope that I will be able to move my wrist and elbow without any pain, and I will be able to return to work normally again," he shared.
Daliza is fourteen years old, and enjoys reading, cooking, and going for walks around the village with her family. She has one brother and two sisters. Her favorite subject in school is Khmer Literature, and she hopes to become a teacher when she gets older. Since Daliza was ten years old, she started to develop scoliosis, causing a curvature in her spine. She often feels uncomfortable while sitting in class and sleeping, and cannot walk well. Spinal surgery will help to correct the curvature in her spine, and ensure that, as Daliza gets older, her spine will remain straight. "My daughter's spine gets worse everyday. I hope that I will no longer worry about her condition and she will be comfortable and can return to school again." -Daliza's Mother
Tin is a 20-year-old from Burma. He lives in a nunnery with his mother and aunt, who are nuns, in a village in Katha Township. Tin became a monk 13 years ago when his father passed away. His mother then became a nun. Tin left monkhood two months ago, when he became very ill. He is now unable to work, and he is looked after by his mother. However, sometimes when he feels better, he teaches Buddhist theology to boys from a nearby monastery. As his mother is a nun, she has no income except for whatever she is given during weekly alms collections. Usually she receives dried food staples such as rice in addition to money. Currently, Tin feels tried if he has to walk for a while and if he has to use stairs. Tin was born with ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sick and short of breath. Tin is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on March 15th to correct the condition and improve his quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Tin's procedure and care. Tin said, “Sometimes I have chest pain and when I have them, I have difficulty breathing.”
Nosiligi is a child from Tanzania. She is the seventh born child in a family of eight children. She has not been able to start school yet due to her left hand that was deformed after a fire accident when she was two years old. Her mother is scared that if she goes to school with how her hand is now she will be discriminated and made fun of by other children. Nosiligi’s mother is a widow since her father passed away when she was two years old due to illness. This left the mother with no one to help her look after the children. Her husband had left them with a few cattle and through that they are able to get a little milk to sell to supplement their income and do small-scale farming. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Nosiligi receive treatment. On January 31st, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her use her hand and hopefully join school with no fear of discrimination. Now, she needs help to fund this $832 procedure. Nosiligi’s mother says, “Please help my daughter. She is having challenges performing her daily activities.”
Ann is a farmer who lives with her husband in the Eastern region of Kenya. Ann practices subsistence farming with her husband and their four children are all grown and tending to their own families. Ann has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $816 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Ann. After treatment, Ann will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. “I am afraid it will get worse if I am not treated. Please help me,” says Ann.
Mary Wambui, a widow, is a 79-year-old retired primary school teacher who depends on her pension to earn a living. She is suffering from hearing loss and requires bilateral hearing aids to improve her hearing. Her hearing challenges began two years ago when her hearing ability dwindled and she could no longer attend church or gatherings as she could barely hear. Mary lives on her own since her husband passed on six years ago. She has no children, thus has no one to depend on. Mary can barely afford the hearing aids with just her pension as she needs funding for the fitting to be completed as well. Mary gets an average of Kes. 5,000 per month but that can barely cater for her basic needs leave alone pay for the hearing aids she so badly needs. She appeals for financial assistance.
Dachena is a student from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and siblings in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. She likes going to school and singing in her church choir. Dachena has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged by a rheumatic fever she suffered in childhood, and can no longer adequately pump blood through her body. Dachena will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On October 29th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair her valve; if they are unable to do so, they will implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, The Mitral Foundation, is contributing $7500 to pay for surgery. Dachena's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Dachena's family overseas. Dachena said, "I hope that after surgery I will have more energy to do the things I enjoy!"
Nuriya is a cute child from Ethiopia. Nuriya's mother was in Saudi Arabia for four years doing domestic work and her employers did not pay her during this time. She asked for her salary several times but they refused to pay her. Finally she decided to go home and they send her home without her payment. Nuriya’s father was also immigrant in Saudi Arabia for eight years. He went to Saudi Arabia illegally by sea and was caught and deported back to Ethiopia several times but he kept using his savings to go back. Once Nuriya’s parents were back in Ethiopia, they decided to stay and start a family. Their families have decided to help them and accommodate them until they find work. Nuriya’s father has not found work and now he plans to buy oxen and start farming. Nuriya was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Nuriya is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on October 07. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nuriya's procedure and care. After his recovery, Nuriya will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Nuriya’s mother said “We can’t afford the medical bill. We are here through the support of another organization. We are living under the support of our relatives. Nuriya’s colostomy operation was done by the government. I believe the child will get better soon."
Thu is a 27-year-old man who lives in Dala Town, Yangon Division, Burma. He lives with his 25-year-old wife, who take care of their five-year-old daughter who goes to kindergarten. Thu works as a security guard in a tower in Yangon. His total income is just enough to cover all their general expenses, such as food and clothing, as well as pay for his daughter’s school fees. Five years ago, Thu started to experience chest pains while he ate lunch. He continued to suffer from chest pains but he worked through the pain until June 1, 2019, when he suddenly developed severe back pain. He was brought to Yangon General Hospital (YGH) and was admitted for 13 days. While he was admitted, he received a blood test, chest X-ray and an injection to help alleviate the pain. When doctor listened to his chest with a stethoscope, Thu was advised to receive an echocardiogram (echo). After he received the echo on June 16th, the result showed that he has aortic regurgitation, a heart condition caused by problems with the aortic valve. Currently, Thu is suffering from chest pains. He has had to temporarily stop working. Thu is looking forward to receiving surgery soon and getting back to work so that he can continue to support his family.
Syndie is a student from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three siblings on a small farm in the mountains of southern Haiti. She likes going to school and helping her parents around the farm. Syndie has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves in her heart was severely damaged due to a fever she suffered earlier in childhood, and cannot adequately pump blood through her body. Syndie will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 29, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will first attempt to repair the damaged valve, and if this is not possible they will implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Mitral Foundation, is contributing $6,000 to pay for surgery. Syndie's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Syndie's family overseas. She says, "I am looking forward to having more energy and better health after my surgery!"