Jeff joined Watsi on January 4th, 2019. One year ago, Jeff became the 5236th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 755 more people have become monthly donors! Jeff's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Philomena, a baby girl from Kenya, to fund a colostomy closure surgery.
Jeff has funded healthcare for 16 patients in 6 countries.
Philomena is a baby girl from Kenya. Philomena’s father is a carpenter and her mother, who used to operate a grocery store, is now a homemaker. Together they have five children, three of which are in school. The family has a small income and they have exhausted their savings helping pay for Philomena’s twin sister's heart problems. Philomena underwent a colostomy, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Philomena's case, her colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $681 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Philomena. The surgery is scheduled to take place on July 3rd and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. Philomena’s mother shared, “I will be very grateful for any financial help offered.”
Neang is a 4-year-old child from Cambodia. She is the youngest child in a family of five. Her father is a farmer, while her mother sells goods at the local market. Neang has not yet started school, but when she is at home, she likes to paint pictures in watercolor and play with her brother. When she was two years old, Neang had a serious ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Neang experiences hearing loss, severe ear pain, and a persistent discharge from both ears. Her infections have been recurring and resistant to medicine. Her hearing loss has prevented her from communicating effectively with others, and the pain causes her distress. Neang's mother has had to spend more time caring for her, resulting in a loss of income for the family. Neang traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On June 2nd, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Her father said, "I am sad when I think about the pain she feels in both her ears, and I want her to be able to talk normally and clearly with us, and do the things she likes as a child."
Charles is 65-year-old farmer from Kapsaret Village in rural Kenya. He is a widower with ten children, all adults with their own rural families. Charles was brought to our hospital by his brother. He had sustained motorbike accident in early March when going home and fracture his right elbow. He was taken to hospital and given pain medications. The brother decided to bring him here for better treatment. An x-ray showed he had a closed fracture on the right elbow. If not operated Charles will continue to experience pain and the fracture may complicate further leading to malunion. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 5th, Charles will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The procedure will help him to regain normal function of his arm. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $998 to fund this procedure. “My family is not able to meet this cost and so I kindly request for support, so that my hand can be well and I can continue with my farming to sustain myself and support my children,” shared Charles.
Marvens lives in a rural area in northwestern Haiti with his aunt and uncle and their family. He has not yet started school due to his cardiac illness. He has a condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Marvens will fly to Jamaica to receive treatment. On March 4th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will close the hole in his heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage. Another organization, Chain of Hope UK, is contributing $6,000 to help pay for surgery. Marvens'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 Marvens's family overseas. His uncle said, "We are hopeful that after this surgery Marvens will become stronger and gain weight so that he can be enrolled in school."
Rathana is a fourteen-year-old boy who enjoys studying math, and hopes to work in international technology when he grows up. He has one younger sister, and his favorite activities include reading books, exercising with his mother, spending time with his friends, and watching movies. Rathana was born with congenital scoliosis, and is unable to walk for long periods of time, has difficulty breathing, and cannot sleep well. For the past two months, Rathana has been in a halo gravity traction to assist in lengthening his spine prior to his surgery. Surgery will place a growing rod in his spine to straighten out Rathana's spine and achieve maximum correction of his spinal curvature. He will be able to walk, sleep, and breathe easily again. He looks forward to returning to his studies and reuniting with his friends. His mother shared, "I hope that my son's operation will go well and he will be able to do things independently again, and I will no longer have to worry about him and can return to my work."
Pyae Pyae is 14-year-old girl from Burma. She lives with her parents, two sisters and four brothers in a village in Burma. Her father is a subsistence farmer, her mother is a homemaker and Pyae Pyae goes to school. She is currently in grade nine. Pyae Pyae 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, Pyae Pyae is taking medication which stops her from having difficulty breathing and feeling tired. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Pyae Pyae. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 12th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. "When I grow up I would like to become a nurse," said Pyae Pyae. "I would like to take care of others like me who suffer from a heart disease."
Kyi is a 58-year-old woman from Burma. She lives alone and used to sell clothing in her village. However, she stopped working since her symptoms worsened, over a year ago. She now has no income but is able to pay her daily expenses with money she has saved. Kyi 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, Kyi feels tired when she walks and has a rapid heartbeat. She has also started to experience chest pain and shortness of breath. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Kyi. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 4th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Kyi said, “I felt very sad when I was told that the surgery will cost a lot because I do not have enough money to pay for my own heart surgery. I used up a lot of my money to go to a hospital which did not diagnose me. I felt less burdened when I met Pinlon Hospital’s staff and she told me that an organization [BCMF] will support my surgery’s cost.”
Medrick is a child from Tanzania. He is the first born child in a family of three children. Medrick is a hard working boy who loves school. The daily walks to and from school are becoming harder every day from exhaustion due to the positioning of his feet. Medrick’s parents depend on small scale farming of maize and cassavas for their living. Medrick has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Medrick traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on November 19. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Medrick's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Medrick’s father says, “We tried to treat our son but we ran out of money. Now there is a chance for him to have his feet corrected but we can’t afford the cost please help.”
Myar is a 34-year-old from Pin Lounge Township, Shan State, Burma. She lives with her husband and four children who are all students. Myar and her husband work as farmers and grown rice, corn and onion depending on the season. In July 2018, Myar moved to Singapore and worked as a domestic worker. After one month of working in Singapore, Myar started to get frequent headaches and felt tired. A few days later, she wanted to go to a clinic but Myar’s employer told her not to go because the treatment cost is very expensive there. However, she feels pain in her chest and couldn’t work anymore. Myar’s sister who stays in Mae Sot asked her to come to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot. On July 25th 2019, Myar arrived to Mae Sot Clinic and was referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for an echocardiogram. The echo result shows that Myar's heart has a hole and the doctor told her that she would need to undergo surgery. Currently, Myar feels uncomfortable while sleeping because of her chest pain. She sometimes has high fever and she also has difficulty breathing. She is tired very easily. Myar said, “When I am fully recovered, I will work hard with my husband and pay back my debt. I will also support my children so that they can receive an education.”
Mary walks into my office with the top of her cardigan covering her chin. She sits on the chair opposite me with one hand clasping the top of her black cardigan to veil the swell running from her jawline to her neck. The lower lip protrudes with a peeping swelling attached in so that her upper lip cannot touch the lower one. This has been Mary’s life for over 6 months. Late last year, Mary developed a small swelling on her jaw. It was not painful and therefore she did not think of it as serious. As time passed, the swell grew in size. Mary who could eat just about anything now has restrictions on what she can eat. There is pain when she bends and this has also obstructed her working. Mary is married with two children. She was a subsistence farmer before the condition restricted her activities. Mary and her husband depend on one of their daughter who sells second-hand clothes. Besides helping her parents, she has four children under her care. Mary says, “Please help me because I can barely eat."
Farkia is a baby from Tanzania. Farkia is a second born child in a family of two children, her mother says she is a happy and very active baby. Farkia’s father works as a casual labor looking for day jobs and her mother is a stay home mother. Farkia has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Farkia has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Farkia will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Farkia that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 2nd and will drain the excess fluid from Farkia's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Farkia will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Farkia’s mother says, “I got so worried once I heard that I could not deliver normal, I knew then that something is wrong. I know that my child needs this surgery but I cannot afford to give her that, please help me be able to save my daughter’s life."
Woodmylens is a preschooler from Haiti. He lives with his mother and father on a farm in the mountains of central Haiti; he likes playing with toy cars and listening to music. Woodmylens has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves in his heart was severely damaged due to a fever he suffered earlier in childhood, and cannot adequately pump blood through his body. Woodmylens will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 29, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will first attempt to repair the damaged valve; if this is not possible, they will implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Mitral Foundation, is contributing $6,000 to pay for surgery. Woodmylens'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 Woodmylens's family overseas. His mother says, "We are looking forward to this surgery so that our son can start school as a healthy boy."