Gina joined Watsi on September 19th, 2016. Five years ago, Gina joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Gina's most recent donation supported Leakhen, a curious and playful student from Cambodia, for spinal surgery for her birth condition.
Gina has funded healthcare for 81 patients in 12 countries.
Gina has funded healthcare for 81 patients in 12 countries.
Leakhen is a bright and hardworking 12-year-old girl. She and her brother live with their parents, who are rainy day farmers, in Takeo province in Cambodia. Leakhen enjoys playing with her brother, reading books, and doing homework. When she grows up, Leakhen would like to be a teacher. Leakhen was born with congenital scoliosis. Congenital scoliosis is the presence of an abnormal curvature of the spine. The curvature causes the spinal column to bend left or right. Leakhen is not able to stand up straight or expand her lungs, which causes her frequent fatigue and chronic pain. Because of the stress that scoliosis places on the vital organs of adolescents and their ability to grow, active treatment is required. If not corrected, she could experience progressive weakness, numbness, or a loss of coordination. Leakhen is embarrassed to go places because of her condition. She has had two previous surgical procedures, and surgeons have determined that she needs a revision of her spinal rod to help her heal. Leakhen and her family traveled to our medical partner’s care center to receive treatment. On September 17th, she will undergo a revision of her spinal rod. During this procedure, surgeons will implant and expand a rod to allow her to continue to grow normally. Our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. This support will help her feel confident and be active like other children her age. Leakhen said, "I hope that my spine will look better and I can play with other children."
Sokun is a 57-year-old driver and is married with three daughters and four grandchildren. Sokun works as a driver for the Ministry of Health and, in his free time, he enjoys listening to the radio. Two months ago, Sokun developed a chalazion in his left eye, causing him pain, itchiness, and irritation. A chalazion is an inflamed cyst in a patient's tear gland. It is difficult for him to see clearly and drive safely. Sokun traveled for two and a half hours with his wife to seek treatment from our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. On June 2nd, surgeons will remove the cyst through a chalazion excision procedure. After recovery, Sokun's symptoms should improve and he can continue working. He needs help raising $187 to fund this procedure. Sokun shared, "I hope my eye swelling goes away and I can see well again so I can return to work without worries."
Bo is a 16-year-old student. He's in eighth grade and lives in the school dormitory in the Tak Province during the school year. His parents and his siblings live on the Thai-Burma border. His brother and his mother are day labourers while his father is retired. During his free time, he likes to play the guitar, cook, and garden. In May 2021, Bo began to experience pain in the top of his left arm, close to his shoulder. In June 2021, the top of his left arm began to swell until it spread towards his shoulder. The swelling is now very large, encompassing his left shoulder and upper arm. Bo is in a lot of pain and cannot use his left arm. He cannot lift it, nor carry anything due to the pain and the swelling. Bo sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Bo is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on August 18th. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. "I want to become a policeman one day but I do not know if this will be possible," said Bo.
Seng Hout is a 44-year-old farmer who has been married for 15 years and has one son and one daughter. Seng Hout shared that his son is 10 years old and in 5th grade, and his daughter just turned one year old. When Seng Hout is not farming, he also works in construction building houses. In his free time, he enjoys listening to the radio and drinking with his friends. On April 18th, Seng Hout fell hard from a mango tree and fractured his right ankle. He takes pain medication to ease the symptoms but he still experiences pain and stiffness in the area. It is difficult for him to walk and work normally. When Seng Hout learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for six hours from his province seeking treatment. On May 19th, surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre will perform an ankle fusion procedure to relocate and secure the joint. Now, Seng Hout needs help to fund this $518 procedure. Seng Hout shared, "I hope I can walk without pain and return to my work as soon as possible."
Dylan is a little baby from Colombia who is the firstborn of his family. Dylan's father is 20 years old and works at a furniture factory while his 18-year-old mother is at home with her newborn. Dylan enjoys listening to music. With his beautiful eyes, he already attracts the affection of all around him. Dylan was born with clubfoot on both feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This will cause difficulty walking and even wearing shoes in the future. Dylan's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 26th. Clínica Noel is requesting $1,500 to fund Dylan's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to crawl, walk, and run as he grows up. His mother shares,"I would love to see him run and play as a normal kid." His father tells us of his grand hopes for young Dylan's future, "I would love to see him playing soccer and to celebrate with him when he becomes a champion."
Sok Lim is a 35-year-old traditional Khmer food seller who works in the market along with her mother. She has two brothers: her older brother is a farmer, and her younger brother is a car mechanic. Their father died of illness many years ago. In October 2020, Sok Lim was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of her right arm. She has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on her 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. Currently, she is unable to lift her arm and cannot work. Sok Lim traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 27th, she will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, Sok Lim will be able to use her arm normally and easily again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Sok Lim shared, "I am thankful that this surgery will help me return home and get back to helping my mother at the market. My life will be changed if I can use my right arm and hand again."
Yin is a 62-year-old woman who lives with her husband, daughter, son in-law, and granddaughter in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. She is a homemaker, and she loves cooking and cleaning around her house. In her free time, Yin loves to play with her granddaughter. Her husband is retried, and her son in-law is unemployed. Yin’s family receives 800 baht (approx. 27 USD) on a cash card every month to purchase rations. This income is just enough for their daily needs, but they cannot afford to pay other costs like healthcare. Currently, Yin has limited vision and can only make out if it is dark or light outside with her right eye. The vision in Yin’s left eye is starting to blur, and she cannot see far with her left eye. She is worried that she will lose vision in both of her eyes. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Yin. On June 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Yin's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Yin shared, "Before my vision started to blur, I used to make and sell mohinga [a type of Burmese noodles]. With the money that I earned from selling mohinga, I was able to buy vegetables for my family. However, when the vision in my right eye vision became blurred, I could no longer make mohinga anymore. I hope that my vision will be restored after I complete my treatment.”
Ku is an 11-year-old student from Thailand. Ku lives with his mother, four brothers and a sister in a refugee camp. All of his siblings also go to school, except for his oldest brother, who used to work with their mother as agricultural day labourers. However, since the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020, they have not been able to leave the camp easily to find work. Ku's father works as a day labourer outside of the camp, but has also been unable to find consistent work due to the pandemic. Ku's family receives some financial support from an external organisation, but it is not enough to cover their expenses, and they shared that they often borrow rice or money from their neighbors. In March 2021, Ku and his friends were playing tag that led him to have a bad fall. Ku had taken off his sandals and left them at the top of a hill. When he ran up the rocky hill to fetch his sandals, he slipped and stuck out his left hand to break his fall, breaking his wrist. Currently, Ku’s left hand and forearm are very painful. He cannot bend his wrist and can only move his fingers slightly. Before his accident, Ku was able to prepare his own meals and set up his mosquito net at night. But now, he needs someone to help him do these tasks. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ku will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for March 10th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Ku use his left hand again and live pain-free. He will be able to cook his own meals again and set up his mosquito net by himself. Now, he and his family need help raising money for this procedure. Ku's mother shared, "After he receives treatment, I want Ku to continue his studies until he graduates and becomes a medic."
Sorann is a 28-year-old sugar seller who lives in a rural province with his family. Sorann has one older brother and four older sisters. Last year Sorann got married, and his wife is five months pregnant. He travels around his village by motorcycle to sell sugar. In his free time Sorann enjoys playing football, listening to the radio, and watching Khmer boxing on TV. In January, Sorann was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of his left arm. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left 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. He is unable to lift his hand and he cannot work. Sorann traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 12th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his left arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Sorann said, "I hope surgery goes well so I can get back to using my hand as soon as possible."
Phorn is a 40-year-old construction worker with three children: two sons and one daughter. They all are now in school. Phorn is not working now but his wife is a factory worker. His parents live with his family and he supports them. For over two years, he has had pain in both hips. He feels his left side is much worse than the right. He describes his current health as generally very poor because he is in such pain. When he has pain, he has traditionally been able to buy pain medication from the pharmacy, but it has lately become unbearable. Doctors diagnosed his condition as avascular necrosis (death of bone tissue due to lack of blood circulation) of both hips. Fortunately, Phorn learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Phorn of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for February 9th, and Phorn needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. He hopes after surgery, his left hip will not have pain, he can walk without help, and go back to work as before.
Adiel was brought in to the hospital carried by his mother. He's a 19-month-old baby from Kiambu County in Kenya and is the second of two children. His family has a small farm and his mother also has a college degree in beauty therapy. Usually, Adiel is a jolly child, but his mother said that he has frequent tonsil swelling which affects his happiness and can make feeding difficult, especially when he also develops a high fever. Adiel’s condition started about six months ago. His parents have been taking him to the hospital but the condition keeps on recurring. The ENT surgeon at the hospital has advised that Adiel must undergo a tonsillectomy to fix this condition. If not treated, the condition will lead to complications like disrupted breathing during sleep, otitis media (middle ear infection), and peritonsillar abscess. His parents are eager for Adiel to receive the surgery so that he can heal soon. Adiel's mother said, “It is disheartening to see our baby struggling at this age. We are kindly requesting help so that once treated he can be able to be sleeping well and grow up without problems."
Than is a 42-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, three daughters, three sons, son-in-law and granddaughter. Than and her family moved from Burma to Thailand ten years ago in search of better job opportunities. Her husband, her oldest daughter, one son, and her son-in-law work as day labourers on their employer’s farm, growing and harvesting tapioca, corn, and cabbage. Her two other sons go to school, while her youngest daughter and her granddaughter are too young to go to school. Than and her second oldest daughter are homemakers. On November 7th, 2020, Than discovered that she had an incisional hernia. Currently, Than experiences abdominal pain throughout the week and has to take pain medication to decrease her pain. She feels uncomfortable when she sits, and when she is in pain, she has to walk or lie down for the pain to ease. Fortunately, on January 28th, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Than's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 28th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and go about her daily activities normally. Than shared, “I was so happy when I learned that I was to go to Mae Tao Clinic [and later Mae Sot Hospital] for treatment. My children are also happy that I will receive treatment with help from donors.”