J

Juan Pablo Sarmiento

MONTHLY DONOR

United States

Juan's Story

Juan joined Watsi on May 13th, 2014. Five years ago, Juan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Juan's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Paulo, a joyful 7-year-old boy from Kenya, to fund a fracture repair procedure on his left leg.

Impact

Juan has funded healthcare for 57 patients in 11 countries.

All patients funded by Juan

Ivan

Ivan is a three-year-old boy from Tanzania. He loves playing with his friends, and doesn’t like staying indoors - sometimes, his mother has to force him to rest when he wants to play. Ivan is unable to use his right hand after being involved in a fire accident earlier this year in April. Ivan was outside playing with his friends, and his mother had put a pot of beans cooking on the stove. When it started raining, Ivan came back running into the house and slipped on the wet floor. His right hand went into the pot, burning him badly. Ivan's family took him to the hospital right away for treatment. It took time for his wounds to heal but eventually, they did. However, the burns healed with contractures, which make him unable to straighten his fingers and limit movement around his wrist. Ivan has been scheduled to have surgery, but his parents are unable to afford the treatment cost. Both of his parents have a small business of making and selling local soap, and they also make a living by selling fish. Their income is small, and they do not earn enough for Ivan's cost of care. They appeal for financial support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Ivan receive treatment. On December 11th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to allow Ivan to use his hand with ease. Once healed, he will be able to use his hand to care for himself, and learn to write when he starts school. Now, he needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Ivan’s mother shared, “Please help my son to get this treatment so that he can be able to write when he starts school. I am not able to afford his needed treatment, please help us."

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$874raised
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Alice

Alice is a 47-year-old woman from Kenya. Sheis a single mother of 2 children, and her children live with their grandmother in their home village. Alice was an active and healthy woman who was able to use her legs normally. However, in early November 2017, she was involved in a road traffic accident that rendered her immobile. Alice was rushed to the hospital to undergo treatment and surgery. Although she was discharged, her troubles with the leg continued, and she developed more pain and complications. After returning to the same facility for treatment and not showing signs of improvement, Alice visited Kijabe Hospital. There, she has since undergone several other surgeries, including post-open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) repair and debridement after the skin overlying the fracture site was compromised and infected. Alice's doctors have scheduled her for a sequestrectomy procedure and IM nail removal on November 12th. The sequestrectomy will remove any fragment of dead bone or other tissue that has separated from healthy tissue in her wound. Ultimately, they aim to prevent further infection of the hardware in her leg. Alice is currently ambulating in crutches and, if not treated, she might not be able to walk or properly use her leg in the future. Unfortunately, this procedure is costly for Alice and her family. Alice owns a small green grocery in Mukaa Town where she sells vegetables and tomatoes. Her total monthly profit is barely able to cover her basic needs, rent, and kids' needs; let alone pay for her necessary surgeries. She has depended on the National Hospital Insurance Fund and support from friends to help cover her several medical and surgical trips to different facilities. Alice is appealing for financial help so she can get the care she needs. Alice shared, "My problems never seem to come to an end after the accident. I have been through a lot of surgeries, and I still need more to be able to walk again. Thank you for your support."

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$1,500raised
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Kupha

Kupha is a 45-year-old woman from Kenya and has six children. In 2014, Kupha started experiencing some pain in her upper jaw. After some time, her jaw started to swell and the pain worsened. Both cold and hot food triggered pain that would last day and night. She went to a nearby facility in Kwale County to seek care, and was given some pain medication that worked for a while. She later returned for a surgery to remove the swollen tissue. Though she recovered well, the following year, Kupha started experiencing pain and swelling again. Upon returning to the same facility for a checkup, the doctor told her that no further treatment could be done. A few years later, Kupha heard about Kijabe Hospital and came for an examination in January 2020. The doctors diagnosed her with a benign maxillary mass and scheduled her for an excision surgery. During the surgery, they will put in a plate and screws to hold together her maxillar. However, Kupha and her family are not able to raise funds needed for the surgery. After the death of her husband a few years ago, Kupha has been struggling to provide for her six children. Her firstborn son is the main breadwinner of the family and also attends college, partially sponsored by the county government of Kwale. He does some casual jobs when he is not in class to feed the family, and also facilitates his mother's hospital visits. Kupha was able to raise some money for her treatment, but she does not have enough financial support and appeals for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Kupha's surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 15th and will be a ten hour long surgery. Hopefully, this treatment will alleviate her of further severe pain and swelling. Kupha shared, “With the pain that I have endured over the years, it has made it difficult for me to look for work and provide for my family. I will be happy when I receive the required treatment for my condition.”

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$1,500raised
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Rhoda

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.”

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$1,224raised
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Zin Oo

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.”

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$1,500raised
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Poe

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.

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$1,500raised
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Mai

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!”

100% funded

$1,500raised
Fully funded