Teresa joined Watsi on August 20th, 2016. Eleven months ago, Teresa joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Teresa's most recent donation supported Ar, a hardworking day-laborer from Thailand, to fund surgery to repair his broken arm.
Teresa has funded healthcare for 17 patients in 6 countries.
Teresa has funded healthcare for 17 patients in 6 countries.
Ar is a 28-year-old man who lives with his wife, three sons, and two daughters in a refugee camp. Originally from Burma, his family fled to Thailand 20 years ago due to civil war. His children attend school, except for his youngest daughter, who is not yet old enough. His wife is a homemaker and Ar works as a day laborer when work is available. Ar's family shared that, in addition to his day laborer pay, they receive a monthly cash card from The Border Consortium to purchase food in the refugee camp. Overall, the family's total monthly income is just enough to cover their basic needs. On September 2nd, Ar climbed a tamarind tree to pick tamarinds fruit. When the branch he was standing on suddenly broke, he fell and landed on his right arm and experienced pain in his back. He visited the camp hospital that day, and the medic initially determined that his arm was not broken. Due to recent positive COVID-19 cases in the refugee camp, Ar could not be immediately referred to the local hospital for further testing and was kept for observation at the camp hospital. When the pain in Ar's back and arm did not subside the next day, the medic referred Ar to the local hospital. After receiving a negative COVID-19 test, Ar was finally able to visit the hospital on September 6th, where he received an X-ray for his arm and a blood test for a second COVID-19 test. The X-ray revealed that his upper right arm is broken. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ar will undergo surgery on September 8th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will enable Ar to continue working in the future. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Ar shared, "I am scared to receive surgery. But I was told that I will not be able to work using my right arm if I do not receive surgery, so I gave my consent to the doctor. I hope that I will be able to work again after I receive treatment."
Kelvin is a bright second grade student and the last born in a family of five. His mother told us that Kelvin likes playing football, reading, and running together with his friends. Kelvin's mother is now a single mom after she separated from her husband many years ago after he engaged in drugs and frequent drinking. “He could not provide for the family anymore...” Kelvin's mother told us. Currently, Kelvin's mother has a small makeshift hotel, known as a Kibanda, where she sells tea, porridge, and mandazi (doughnuts) which is just enough to sustain her children and pay for their house rent. Kelvin has a hemiplegic cerebral palsy condition. When Kelvin was one year old, his mother noticed a bending of the left foot, and as he continued to grow his left foot worsened. Recently, while Kelvin was passing by the market in the village, a lady spotted him and inquired about where he lived. She later called Kelvin's mother and advised her to visit CURE hospital. At the hospital, Kelvin was scheduled to undergo surgery. Fortunately, Kelvin traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Kelvin's treatment. After treatment, he will be able to walk well and play with friends. He will also be able to continue with his studies uninterrupted. Kelvin's mother said, “I am seeking support because I cannot pay the hospital bill, if I can be helped, I will be grateful to see my son walking normally.”
Stuwart is a playful and friendly boy and the only child so far in his family. He is currently in the first grade and he loves counting numbers and drawing. Stuwart’s father works as a bodaboda taxi driver to be able to support and care for his family. They shared that his income is not much but it helps them make ends meet. Stuwart was diagnosed with genu valgus. His legs bow inward so that his knees touch and rub against each other when he walks. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he is having a hard time walking and is experiencing pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Stuwart. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 15th. Treatment will hopefully restore Stuwart's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Stuwart’s mother says "We've tried to seek treatment for our son but all our efforts have not been successful despite trying to get national insurance. We are either to pay with what we don't have or wait for one year. Please help."
David is a small scale farmer from Nazareth, Kenya. He is married, with six children. David does not work as much as he used to but does farming on his small piece of land. However he hasn't been able to do this since his fall. David was referred to our medical partner's care center, Nazareth Hospital, by his neighbor, who is one of the support staff there. The staff reported that David had fallen and broken his leg, to which the doctor advised an ORIF repair surgery to heal his leg. David says that bad luck is following him. In 2018, he had also fallen and sustained a closed fracture on his femur. On May 21st of this year, he fell again and sustained a closed fracture tibia on the same leg. David is experiencing pain and is unable to use his right leg. If not treated, he may develop malunion or healing with deformity. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 17th, David will undergo a fracture repair procedure (ORIF), so that David can be relieved of the pain, walk with ease, and farm. Now, AMH is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “If my neighbor did not help me come to Nazareth and access this help, I don’t know what would have happened to my leg. My family still depends on me so I humbly request for help, to see myself walking again. I will appreciate,” said David.
Mengleang is a 22-year-old farmer who lives at home with his parents and his younger brother, who is 17 years old. His father is the village chief in their community and Mengleang often helps him with his duties. In addition to working in rice fields, Mengleang also takes care of many cows. When he is not working, he loves to play volleyball and listen to music. In April 2021, Mengleang was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a fracture in his left tibia. After the accident, his family took him to a traditional healer, who affixed a splint. He was able to walk with crutches, but now the area around the fracture has become swollen and painful. It is difficult for him to walk and he is in pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On May 17th, Mengleang will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will heal the fracture and help him walk easily. Mengleang shared, "I want to be able to work again with my full strength and even get back to playing sports with my friends."
Jeremiah is a 26-year-old construction worker and a married father a two-year-old. His wife works at a local tea plantation, while he works at a construction site. On May 8th, Jeremiah was involved in a traffic accident on the highway. He had visited a local market and was on a motorbike on his way home. As they were turning a corner, they collided head-on with a car. He suffered fractures in his tibia and femur. He is not able to stand or walk without support, and he is in severe pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On May 13th, Jeremiah will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Jeremiah shared, “the accident was sudden and caught me off guard. I do not have enough savings considering we almost live from hand to mouth. This surgery is important to me to walk again.”
Myo is a 16-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents and four brothers in northern Rakhine State. Myo is a student in grade nine and his four brothers also go to school. However, they have been unable to study since the Covid-19 pandemic shut all schools. Myo’s parents are day laborers, and their family's combined income is just enough to cover their daily expenses since Myo and his brothers’ schooling is free. To survive with limited income, they forage for vegetables and fish. If they fall ill, they use traditional medicine, which is more affordable then going to a clinic or a hospital. Myo was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, which is 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, Myo cannot walk long distances or climb stairs because of his tiredness. Sometimes, he cannot breathe very well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Myo. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 7th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Myo shared, “I am worried about my health and I feel sorry for my parents. Because of my health problems, my father had to work more days to earn more money. Also, my mother cannot work because she accompanies me and has to take care of me. I hope my school will reopen soon so that I can go back to school. One day I hope that I can become a teacher. I want to teach because there are not enough teachers in my village.”
Sary is a 49-year-old security guard who has proudly been married for 32 years. Together they have three sons and two daughters. Sary lives with his wife, who is a farmer, and their children. He does not have a lot of free time, but when he does he shared that he enjoys being with his children and listening to the radio. In June of 2020, Sary was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of his right shoulder. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right 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. Sary is unable to lift his arm and he can't work. Sary traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 16th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Sary was hopeful about his treatment and shared, "I hope I can be back to work as soon as possible."
Shamsi is a beautiful, friendly and cheerful 3-year-old girl from Tanzania. She is the youngest in their family of five children. Shamsi’s father is self-employed and sells home materials like nets, pillows, and bedsheets. Her mother is a homemaker and stays at home to care for their children. Shamsi was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, or bow-leggedness. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Her legs bow outward when she walks, so she is not able to walk comfortably for long periods of time. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Shamsi. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Shamsi's mobility, allow her to play normally with her siblings, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Shamsi’s father shared, “We have tried medications and different food containing high calcium, but her legs are not getting any better. The only way to correct her legs is through surgery, but the cost of treatment is something we cannot afford.”
Naw Ree is a 49-year-old woman from Thailand. Naw Ree has lived by herself in a refugee camp in northern Thailand since 2009. As a camp resident, Naw Ree receives 243 baht (approx. $8 USD) each month from an organization that supports refugee camp residents. She also works as a maternal and child health worker, receiving 900 baht (approx. $30 USD) per month. Naw Ree raises chickens and grows vegetables. Despite receiving free health care services in the camp, Naw Ree is struggling to make ends meet. On December 16th, 2020, Naw Ree went to see a woman who had recently given birth, to remind her about vaccinating her baby on time. After sitting and talking to the woman in her home, Naw Ree stood up to leave but felt light headed and fell. She put out her left hand to stop her fall, and hurt her left arm. She went to the hospital in the camp, run by Malteser International [MI] Thailand, and received pain medication and her arm was put into a sling. The next day, she was referred to Mae Seriang General Hospital for further treatment. At the hospital she received x-rays and the doctor told her that she had fractured one of the bones in her left forearm. She was then referred to Chiang Mai Hospital for further treatment, but her transfer was delayed for over two weeks due to an outbreak in COVID-19 cases in northern Thailand. Since Naw Ree lives by herself, she has to cook, wash her clothes, and feed her chickens without anyone's help, a difficult feat with her broken arm. Currently, she is in pain but has no fever. She can only fall asleep if she takes pain medication. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Naw Ree will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for January 6th and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Naw Ree will no longer be in pain. She will be able to go back to work as a health worker and she will be able to complete her household chores without pain or discomfort. Naw Ree shared, "My greatest wish is that I recover and that I may be able to use my left arm again."
Salmani is a six-month-old baby from Tanzania and the second born in his family. His parents live in Arusha where they are both subsistence farmers. Salmani was born healthy, but at the age of three months, Salmani’s mother observed that his head size looked abnormal. His neck was not as strong as a 3-month-old, and she felt his other body parts were somewhat weak. As a result of his condition, Salmani has been experiencing an increasing head circumference and inability to sit on his own. His mother took him to Mount Meru Hospital and they referred their family to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center ALMC Hospital for treatment. She decided she had to wait to go because they could not afford to proceed with Salmani's treatment, doctor’s visits, or the tests required. Later on, they heard about Watsi's ALMC-The Plaster House program and how children with disabilities are able to be supported. Salmani's parents wish to see him be able to sit, walk one day, and also to see his head size return back to normal. Salmani has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Without treatment, Salmani will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Salmani that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 14th and will drain the excess fluid from Salmani's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Salmani will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Salmani’s mother shared, “Please help my son get this treatment so that we can save his life and he can be able to play like other children.”
Song Heu is a 28-year-old man from Cambodia. He has three older sisters and to support their family, Song Heu's mother sells vegetables in the market and his father is a tuk tuk driver. In his free time, Song Heu enjoys exercising, listening to music, playing games on his phone, meeting with friends to discuss problems, and doing house work. Last month, Song Heu was attacked by someone trying to steal his motorbike. The thief cut Song Heu's left arm and neck with a knife, causing paralysis. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left arm 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, Song Heu has a scar on his left neck and has no control of his left shoulder, elbow, or hand. He cannot lift his arm at all and therefore is unable to work. Fortunately, Song Heu traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 17th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, Song Heu will regain use of his left arm. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Song Heu shared, "I hope I can use my arm again with full function so I can resume my normal life activities."