Juan joined Watsi on May 13th, 2014. Four years ago, Juan became the 1840th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,632 more people have become monthly donors! Juan's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Rhoda, a girl from Kenya, to fund mobility-restoring leg surgery.
Juan has funded healthcare for 53 patients in 11 countries.
Rhoda was born at her home in 2012 and the next day she was taken to the clinic for vaccinations. The doctor examined her, and she was found to be healthy. She had all her required vaccines at the right time until she was five years. Rhoda has been healthy, and her family shares that she rarely got sick, only the common cold which did not require her to see the doctor. Rhoda started her schooling when she turned five and really enjoys being at school. Equally, she likes the company of her teachers and her agemates during class time and playtime. At the age of six her parents realized that Rhoda was always left behind to and from school. Her friends reported to the parents that Rhoda often falls and that’s why they usually leave her behind. The parents observed Rhoda and realized that one of her legs was not okay. Rhoda twists her leg when she moves. Her ankle continued to worsen until Rhoda couldn’t move far before she fell. She is an active and restless girl, but her twisting ankle keeps bringing her down. The problem has stressed her and affected her socialization with other children and friends. Often, she cries when she falls especially when she notices that people are observing and talking about her shorter leg. It is even saddening to hear other children give her bad names because of her limping. Her parents took her to various hospitals without success. Some health officers thought it was polio and thus there was nothing they could do. The family had difficulties accessing specialists due to their income. Rhoda's father is unemployed and her mother who is the only breadwinner who just got a teaching job. After hert mother got the job and got a National Health Insurance (NHIF) card they took Rhoda to Kikuyu Hospital. However, the NHIF card could not cover the cost for treating her there. It was after the unsuccessful attempt to seek medical care at other facilities that they heard about Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Cure International Hospital. They visited, as they said, trusting God that their lovely daughter will receive treatment and grow up happily just as other children. Rhoda's family shared, “Any help to enable Rhoda to receive treatment will be greatly appreciated.”
Zin Oo is a 36-year-old man who lives with his mother, younger sister, and his seven-year-old son in Mawlamyine, Burma. He is an assistant truck driver and he earns 4,000 kyat (approx. 4 USD) per day. Since the outbreak of CVOID-19, there is less work and he is only able to earn 64,000 kyat (approx. 64 USD) in a month. Zin Oo's son goes to primary school and his wife passed away last year. His mother goes house to house to see if anyone would hire her to wash their clothes. His younger sister lost her job at the factory after the outbreak of COVID-19 in Yangon. Since April, she looks after the household chores and she also works as a day laborer when she can find work. Zin Oo’s combined household income of 124,000 kyat (approx. 150 USD) in a month is just enough for their daily expenses and they cannot afford to pay the costs of basic healthcare. On August 3rd, Zin Oo was cutting firewood with an axe. While cutting the logs, his aim was off and he hit his fingers on his right hand against the log. His fingers became swollen and red after the accident, especially his small and index fingers. Without enough money to go to the hospital, Zin Oo bought traditional medicine and applied it to his fingers. He felt like his middle and ring fingers healed but his small and index fingers became more swollen and painful. Eventually when he noticed pus on his fingers, he told his friend about his problem and his friend suggested he go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where treatment often cost less than other hospitals. At MLCH, the doctor completed a detailed assessment of his right hand and diagnosed him with cellulitis, a serious bacterial skin infection. The doctor told him that because of poor blood supply, he would need to amputate his small finger and probably his index finger as well. When Zin Oo told the doctor that he does not have any money to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing treatment. Currently, the fingers on Zin Oo’s right hand are red, swollen, and warm to the touch. His fingers hurt a lot, especially his small and index finger. He cannot sleep at night without taking pain medication. He is not able to eat food with his right hand and he feels uncomfortable eating with his left hand since he is right-handed. Aside from this, Zin Oo feels stressed about his condition. He cannot work and his mother has to help look after him since he was admitted at the hospital. His mother then has no income while he receives treatment. They are worried that they will not have enough money for food and for Zin Oo’s treatment. In the future, Zin Oo wants to work as a truck driver to earn money for his family. Once he has fully recovered, he will accept any work he can find as he looks for a job as a truck driver. Zin Oo’s younger sister shared with us, “Now, I have to take care of my nephew while my mother accompanies my brother [Zin Oo] at the hospital. I cannot work and our family is worried about money. We owe our neighbor 50,000 kyat [approx. 50 USD] and we have to pay it back with 20% interest.”
Susan is married and a mother of two who are still in school. Currently, she sells food to neighbors and drivers. Susan shared that the last five years have been very challenging because her husband has been serving jail time for something which he did not do. He was released in January of 2020 and was not able to find work before the COVID-19 lockdown. Over the last two years, Susan has been experiencing pain and fullness in her abdomen. At times the pain gets severe and causes vomiting. She has been diagnosed with gallstones. Her doctor adviser her that she needs a cholecystectomy. If Susan is not treated she will continue to experience pain, her vomiting may get worse, and she may also experience gall bladder inflammation. Fortunately our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. They are requesting $788 to help fund the cost of this surgery. Susan shared, “My husband is currently recovering from his time in jail and so I have no one to turn to. I pray that I may get help so that I am able to support my family and help my husband find a job. Then, we can support each other. I would appreciate Watsi's support."
Esther is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. She used to work in her small village farm for subsistence and her husband worked as a chef in a city restaurant. However, with the closure of businesses currently due to COVID, they have limited finances. Two years ago, Esther has been experiencing lower abdominal pain, back pain and fatigue. She has been diagnosed with a swollen abdominopelvic mass. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $832 to fund Esther's surgery. On June 12th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Esther will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Esther shared hopefully, “My desire is to be treated and regain back my strength.”
Jalen is a lively 6-month-old baby who was born with an anorectal malformation. Over the last six months, he has had three surgeries for his condition and now a PSARP surgery is needed as a final stage. The surgery will allow Jalen to be able to pass stool normally. Jalen’s past three surgeries were funded by the national health insurance system (NHIF), but he has now exhausted the maximum surgical package the insurance offers. His parents are not able to meet the cost of surgery. Jalen’s father is a peasant farmer while his mom a housewife. She recently completed college and is yet to secure a job. Jalen has a 7-year-old sibling and their family lives together in a rented house. Their reliance on seasonal farming limits their income level, leaving too little to meet the cost of surgery. Jalen’s mother says, “My hope is to see Jalen recovering and leading a normal life like any other child.”
Kruy is a 40-year-old rice and vegetable farmer from Cambodia. She has two sons and two daughters, and enjoys doing the housework and watching movies. Twenty years ago, Kruy had a serious ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in her left ear to perforate. For this reason, Kruy experiences discharge, tinnitus, and itchiness. She cannot hear clearly and has a difficult time communicating well with others. Kruy traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On February 24th, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her left ear. 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 after surgery, my wife's ear infection will stop and she will no longer have any ear discharge and her hearing will improve." -Kruy's Husband
Poe is a five-year old boy who lives with his family in Shwe Koke Ko village of Karen State in Burma. In his free time, Poe likes to play with his friends and toys. He also likes to eat sweets. Poe does not go to school because of his condition. Poe's mother and father are divorced, and both are remarried. His father lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand and he contributes to Poe’s financial wellbeing by giving the household 5000 baht (approx. $167 USD) per month. His mother does not provide the family with any extra income. Poe stays with his grandmother and great grandmother from his father's side. His grandmother works as a cleaner. The rest of the family does not currently have work. When Poe was eight months old, he got a severe fever and his family took him to the Wang Pha clinic near Mae Sot, Thailand, which is the same place where he was born. He was admitted at the clinic for three days, but his condition did not improve. Doctors at the clinic told his family to take him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. The family immediately took him to MSH and he was admitted for one week. At MSH, he received a blood test and was diagnosed with Thalassemia, a blood disorder. He received a blood transfusion and after the transfusion, Poe felt better, but only temporarily. His family went back for three follow-up appointments to MSH, where he had blood transfusions each time. When he was one year and five months old, the family could not afford going to MSH any longer, so they took Poe to Myawaddy Hospital. He received another blood transfusion and an IV line. He was admitted for three days at the hospital. Although he felt better after getting discharged in Myawaddy, since his condition is chronic, he needs regular blood transfusions to stay healthy. It became increasingly difficult for the family to pay for Poe’s care, however, they decided to come to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) for further help in 2016. Since then, he has received many blood transfusions at MTC, sometimes monthly and sometimes bi-monthly. With these treatments, he is able to survive. However, his condition also affects his spleen, the organ that filters blood. To prevent further problems, medics at MTC told his family that doctors need to remove Poe's spleen. Since it cannot be done at MTC, he needs to go back to MSH to undergo the operation. Currently, Poe has frequent bloody noses, coughs up blood, and has blood in his stool. He feels better after having a transfusion, but it wears off in the weeks following the procedure. When its nearing time for another transfusion, he feels weak and tired. When asked what he wants to do when he grows up, Poe was adamant that he wanted to be a medic. “I want to help people,” he said. “When he sees people that are sick, he always tells me he feels sorry for them,” added his great grandmother.
Mai is a 23-year-old woman from Burma. Lway lives with her parents and two sisters in Northern Shan State. Since she was three years old, Mai has suffered from an enlarged thyroid but her parents were able afford to take her to a clinic only when Mai was in grade seven. By then, the lump on Mai's throat has become noticeable. At the clinic, the doctor examined her neck and prescribed her medication. After a month, although Mai felt like her neck was still in the same size as before, the doctor told her that her goiter had been cured. Three years later, Mai's neck started to grow bigger. Having no money in hand, her parents did not take her any clinics although there was a tightness in her throat and it was uncomfortable for Mai to move her neck to the side. In 2018, Mai was selected to attend a training in Mae Sot. After her training, she was put in for an internship at Mae Tao Clinc (MTC). Through an advice from one of her trainers, Mai went to Mae Sot Hospital, where the doctor examined her and prescribe her medications. After three months of taking the medications, the doctor finally told her that she needed a surgery. Mai looks forward to receiving surgery soon. She plans to go back to her native town and work as an assistant health worker, after she has completed her treatment. Mai said, “When I told my parents that BCMF would provide support for my surgery, they’re very happy. They have been worried for me for a long time already. I would like to say a big thank you to BCMF for supporting my surgery. I’m very excited to be freed from this condition. I have suffered from this goiter for a long time!”
Aimidiwe is a three month old baby girl from Tanzania and the second-born child in a family of two children. She was born at a local hospital with a cleft palate and was referred to Watsi Medical Partner ALMC hospital to seek treatment. She was admitted to the hospital since she couldn’t feed well and was having regular seizures. Her family was advised to return for regular check-ups and observation but the parents couldn’t afford the transport money and the consultation fee since they had used up all their saving for the period she had been admitted, thus they hadn't returned. A few weeks later, she started vomiting and her head was increasing in size so her family had to find money and take Aimidiwe back to ALMC hospital. Her father is a shop attendant with a meager income and they had to borrow money to take Aimidiwe back to the hospital. At the hospital Aimidiwe needed to have CT scan done but the parents couldn’t afford it thus when they were referred to our funding and support program. Aimidiwe has now been diagnosed with cleft palate and hydrocephalus, and she will need to have the hydrocephalus condition corrected first to save her from the pain and danger of brain damage. Thereafter, doctors will correct her cleft palate condition. Her parents are asking for help and support since they can’t afford the treatment cost. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Aimidiwe that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 13th and will drain the excess fluid from Aimidiwe's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Aimidiwe will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Ahimidiwe’s mother says, “Our daughter needs two very important surgeries none of which we can afford, kindly help us.”
Meet Sefania, a class four pupil who loves playing football. He is confident to be as good as Ronaldo in football. Unfortunately, his feet limit him from being the best player! He has bilateral clubfoot, a condition that affects the positioning of his feet. This makes it hard for him to walk or run. Despite the condition, Sefania enjoys playing football with his friends. He was reviewed in our facility and surgery to correct the deformity recommended. However, his parents are not able to raise the funds needed for the surgery. With the right surgery. Sefania will be able to walk with ease and less fatigue. He will enjoy playing football with his friends. Sefania is the second born in a family of three children. His parents are small scale farmers, relying on subsistence output to meet their daily needs. They are not able to provide for their family and save some more for their child's surgery. They appeal for help. Fortunately, Sefania traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 09. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Sefania's clubfoot repair. After treatment, He will be able to walk easily. Sefania says, “I would be so happy if I could walk like my friends and not have to struggle to have them help me.”
So is a 40-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his family in Myawaddy Township, Karen State. He is a carpenter while his wife is a homemaker. His mother is retired, and his son goes to school. In his free time, So loves to read the newspaper and magazines, as well as going to the pagoda. In mid-2016, So felt lightheaded one day while working. His friend rushed him to the nearest clinic where the doctor completed a physical examination. He was told that his lightheartedness was caused by the hot weather and he was told to drink more water. The following day, So felt lightheaded and developed a headache. He went to the clinic near his house, where he received an injection and oral medication. This time the doctor told him that his symptoms were due to hypertension and told him to come back to the clinic if he did not feel better. So underwent MRI on 14th of September 2019. The result of MRI shows that there is extraaxial mass with rim calcification along right frontal convexity. The doctor told So that he requires surgery to remove the mass. Presently, So still experiences frequent headaches and bouts of dizziness. He cannot sleep well, and he has trouble focusing. So sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. he is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on October 24th. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. So said, "I am ready for surgery. I believe that I will be healthy after that. Now, after taking medications from the hospital, I feel like I have less headache and less dizziness."
Susan is a housewife from Kenya. She is a mother of six children who are grown up with their own families. But since she could not give them a good education they are also struggling to sustain their families. Susan does not work she is a house wife and the husband is a small scale farmer. Susan has been alright until 26th July 2019 when she slipped and fell. She was taken to hospital and an x-ray done showed she had closed fracture right radius/ulna bones. It is difficult for her to use her hand and she is in chronic pain Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 03, Susan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her work again Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $998 to fund this procedure. “I love my wife and she has been very helpful to me and the family. I hate to see how she is suffering and kindly ask for help” said Susan’s husband.