Jacob joined Watsi on July 11th, 2015. Seven years ago, Jacob joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jacob's most recent donation supported Ko, a spirited 23-year-old young man from Thailand, to fund surgery to remove metal rods from his infected leg.
Jacob has funded healthcare for 94 patients in 12 countries.
Jacob has funded healthcare for 94 patients in 12 countries.
Ko Kyaw lives with his wife and two daughters in the border region of Tak Province in Thailand. He is a homemaker while his wife works as a day laborer. He plans to send his older daughter to a Thai school in the new school year, but his younger daughter is still too young to go to school. In early 2021, Kyaw was still living in his village in Myawaddy Township in Burma but it has been a very challenging time for his community ever since the military coup. He and his wife were injured in an emergency involving the local soldiers who came to their area. Luckily other villagers came to their rescue and Kyaw was treated for fractures on both his upper and lower leg, where a metal rod was inserted to help him heal. Now the bone in his thigh is misshapen and doctors have diagnosed osteomyelitis (infected bone). His doctor told him that in order to heal, he would need to have the metal rods replaced in both his upper and lower leg. Currently, Kyaw’s left leg is in a lot of pain. He can only bend his leg slightly and needs to use crutches to get around. With his leg in pain, Ko Kyaw spends most of his time helping out with household chores he can do and teaching his oldest daughter how to read and write in Burmese. He feels frustrated that since his leg was broken, he cannot support his family. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund is helping to pay the cost of his treatment and is raising $1500 to cover his surgery, which will take place on May 10th. “I feel upset that I cannot support my family as the head of the house,” he said. “We only have my wife’s income. We do not have our own house to live in. I want to say a lot of things but I cannot express what I want to say. I never thought that I would lose my house, my possessions and that my leg would be in pain.”
Chin is a 51-year-old rice farmer with two sons and one grandchild. Chin's elder son is a farmer and her younger son is a student. Chin likes to listen to the news on the radio. Three years ago, Chin developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her photophobia and blurry vision. As a result, Chin is very worried about falling when walking and has not been able to go places on her own. When Chin learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for three and a half hours hoping to undergo treatment. On February 14th, doctors will perform cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in Chin's right eye. CSC is helping Chin raise $229 to fund this procedure so she will be able to see clearly. Chin shared, "I hope after surgery my eye can see clearly. I want to be able to plant rice well and help my son to take care of my grandchild."
Rebecca is a very talkative and friendly woman. In September 2020, she noticed that her belly had started to increase in size and she thought she was pregnant. During one of the clinic visits, the doctor wanted to listen to the baby’s heartbeat but found there was nothing to listen to so they sent her for an ultrasound. The results revealed an ovarian cyst and her doctor advised her to seek for urgent review in a different facility. At the time, Rebecca did not have money to go for checkup. Her belly grew bigger as time went by and in August, her brother offered her help to support some of her hospital visits. She started visiting different hospitals but could afford them. Her brother recommended she try visiting Kijabe Hospital and upon arrival, she was examined and later was scheduled for surgery. Rebecca was employed as a tailor, but lost her job due to her health last April. Since loosing her job, she works doing casual jobs, like laundry work and cleaning houses and shops for people. In her new line of work, it is still hard to make ends meet and she shared that she now relies on her friends for connections to put food on the table. Learning that she might be able to have financial support for her surgery, Rebecca has new hope for the future. She said, "I’m very happy that at least there is some hope that I can get treated.”
Lani is a 61-year old widow who lives with her daughter in the Philippines. Her daughter works as part of a fast-food restaurant crew and is their sole source of income. Lani has been diagnosed with cholelithiasis, also known as gallstone disease. Because of her financial situation, even though she experienced shooting pains in her stomach, she saw a doctor only after a year, when the pain already extended to her back. Eventually, her condition got severe to the point that she could no longer stand up and walk due to her worsening symptoms. Now, if left untreated, her condition may lead to tissue damage, tears in the gallbladder, and infection that can spread to other parts of her body. Lani is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on March 5th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,253 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After her recovery, Lani will no longer experience severe pain in her abdomen or other complications in the future. She shared, "I have had this disease for a long time, but I have been putting up with the pain for far too long because I really cannot afford medical treatment," Lani added, "I am eternally grateful to the World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for being able to provide assistance to individuals like me who simply cannot afford the procedures."
Raymond is a three-year-old toddler from Kajiado County in Kenya. He is the youngest child in his family with one older sibling. His mother is the sole provider of his family, and works in a beauty salon. Together they live in a one-room house in the village. Raymond was born with a birth condition on his right foot called clubfoot. Clubfoot is a musculoskeletal condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. As a result, Raymond has difficulty walking and wearing a shoe on his right foot. He has had appointments at Makindu Medical Centre, but his condition has yet to improve. Our medical partner met Raymond at their outreach clinic and he was scheduled to undergo serial casting to help improve his range of motion. Raymond now needs surgery to fix his malformation. However, his mother is unable to raise the estimated cost and has requested support from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. Fortunately, Raymond's family has now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform a clubfoot repair surgery on March 3rd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Raymond's surgery. After treatment, he will be able to grow up without being worried about his ability to walk. Raymond’s mother says, "I would request medical support for my son to be able to walk without any difficulty."
Damaris is a farmer and a mother of five children. All of her children have finished school and work as casual laborers. Damaris and her husband have a small farm where they plant and sell vegetables to supplement their income. The family shared that they need assistance raising the required funds to cover Damaris’s surgery. For three months, Damaris has been experiencing excessive bleeding. She visited local hospitals for review and was eventually referred to a hospital of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Doctors diagnosed her condition as endometrial hyperplasia. In order to finally heal, Damaris will need to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. On January 7th, Damaris will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH’s care center. Once recovered, she will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. AMH is requesting $1260 to fund Damaris’s surgery. Damaris shared, “I would like to go back to my normal routine of working and providing for the family.”
Clarkson is a 9-year-old jovial and social boy. He's the fourth and last born in his family. Together his family lives in a two-roomed mud house in a village in rural Kenya. Clarkson was accompanied to our clinic by his mother. His mother shared that at the age of 2, Clarkson suffered from malaria and went to get an injection. The injection is assumed to have been the cause of his condition. Now he walks with discomfort and cannot play with friends. His mother shared that his friends make fun of how he walks which causes him to have lower self-esteem. Clarkson's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Clarkson's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk like other friends, be in less pain, and even play football (which he is excited for!). His family is not financially able to fund the surgery and is appealing for financial assistance. Clarkson says, “I would love my feet to be corrected so I can walk confidently.”
Hser is a 38-year-old woman who lives with her parents in a refugee camp in Tak Province, Thailand. She and her family fled there many years ago from Karen State in Burma because of civil war. Hser is now a high school teacher in the refugee camp, and she earns 1,000 baht (approx. 33 USD) per month. Hser used to teach groups of students at their home due to Covid restrictions that closed schools in July 2021, but all home teaching was also stopped in September 2021 when Covid cases increased in the refugee camp. Since then, Hser teaches students online, but many of her students cannot afford to pay for mobile data to study from their family’s mobile phones. Since late 2019, Hser has been experiencing pain in the right side of her abdomen every day, especially at night. She says that she has lost her appetite and has lost some weight because of this. She feels like the mass is gradually increasing in size and feels more comfortable lying down then sitting. She also feels tired when she walks. She has been diagnosed with an ovarian tumour, and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, which involves surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Hser's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Hser is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on November 9th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, this treatment will help Hser to live free from pain and she has hope that she'll be able to live her life happily with her parents in the future. Hser said, “I love being a teacher and when I have recovered, I will continue to teach. My parents worry about me a lot and they want me to receive surgery as soon as possible. They are stressed about my condition, but I do not want to feel stressed because stress cannot help me feel better. So even though I cannot eat a lot, I try to eat as much as I can to stay strong.”
Sa lives with her husband, daughter, and two granddaughters in Burma. She is a homemaker, and her daughter and husband are day laborers. However, due to constantly changing regulations regarding the number of people who can gather, they have difficulty finding work. Sa's granddaughters are students, though their schools are currently closed. Their family shared that they were only able to earn 100,000 kyat (approx. $100 USD) last month, which is not enough to cover their daily needs. A few years ago, Sa was diagnosed with diabetes. This September, she had an injury on her right toe. Her toe became itchy and infected, so she visited a local clinic twice. After her symptoms did not subside, she visited a private clinic, where the doctor diagnosed her with an ulcer and told her she would need to undergo surgery to clean and remove the necrotic tissue. On September 24th, she underwent this procedure. A few days later, the toe continued to worsen, and a second surgery is now required to amputate Sa's right toe and keep her infection from worsening. To help with the cost, Sa was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund the costs of this surgery. Sa is currently experiencing swelling and pain in her foot, especially when the weather is cool during the night and morning. As a result, Sa cannot do her daily household chores. She shared, "Even though I cannot meet my donors, I want to thank them. If you [BCMF and donors] had not helped me during this difficult time, I do not know who else I could have turned to for help."
Ashford is a jovial, 46-year-old farmer from the western part of Kenya. He enjoys playing music on his nyatiti (an eight-stringed plucked bowl yoke lute). Apart from farming, Ashford played the nyatiti to earn a living until he had an accident in December 2020. Ashford was in an accident in Nairobi, where he had moved to earn his living and sustained bilateral tibia fractures on his legs. This has caused Ashford pain and difficulty in walking, and he is now unable to earn a living as he cannot play the nyatiti without his mobility. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH) can help. On September 7th, Ashford will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). The treatment will accelerate his healing process and enable him to walk again. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Ashford says, “I used to walk far and wide to entertain people while playing the nyatiti but now I am immobile and homeless. I rely on the church for survival and care. I need this surgery to be able to walk again.”
Noemi is a cheerful three-year-old girl from Venezuela. Her family moved to Colombia two years ago, and she will start school soon. Noemi loves playing with dolls and painting. Noemi has clubfoot of both feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Noemi's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 28th. Now, Clínica Noel, is requesting $1,500 to fund Noemi's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk more easily and wear shoes. Her mother shared, "it breaks my heart when she tells me she wants to walk and I see that she is not able to... she is starting school soon and I would love to see her walk and play with her new friends."
Sambon is a 65-year-old proud grandfather. He has been married for 40 years and has two sons, two daughters, and seven grandchildren. Sambon's wife is a cook at a small organization in Phnom Penh. Sambon is retired now, but used to be a government worker building roads. On May 9th, Sambon was burned by hot water on both legs. His family took him to an NGO hospital where the wounds were dressed and treated. Then, they referred him to Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) for further evaluation and treatment. It is difficult for him to bend his legs and he is in pain. On May 17th, surgeons at CSC will perform a debridement procedure to remove the dead skin and apply a skin graft so can regain use of his legs. Now, he needs help to fund this $787 procedure. Sambon shared, "I am so thankful that I can return home soon after I am healed."