Anand joined Watsi on December 10th, 2014. Six years ago, Anand became the 726th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,699 more people have become monthly donors! Anand's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Florian, a hardworking young man from Tanzania, to fund hydrocephalus treatment.
Anand has funded healthcare for 67 patients in 13 countries.
Florian is a 20-year-old farmer from Tanzania. He is sixth born in a family of nine children. He is a very hard working young man and helps his mother working in the family farms. He also helps his mother to look after his young brothers and sisters and assist with putting them through school. Florian was not fortunate to proceed with the school after graduating from his primary school education since his father passed away shortly after and he was forced to join his two brothers in helping their mother. Florian’s father passed away five years ago and his mother is a subsistence farmer. Florian has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Florian has been experiencing severe headaches and dizziness. Without treatment, Florian will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Florian that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 9th and will drain the excess fluid from Florian's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Florian will hopefully continue to develop into a strong, healthy young man. Florian says, “Please help me get this treatment, my family is not able to pay for my needed surgery. Please help me so that I may get well.”
Khin is a 25-year-old man from Thailand. He lives with his wife and his friend in Mae Pa Village in the north of the country. Khin and his wife moved from Burma searching for better job opportunities. His wife works in a factory as a seamstress. Khin used to work as a day laborer but since his accident he has not been able to work. His friend works as an agricultural day laborer but he does not share his income with Khin and his wife. In his free time, Khin loved to play caneball with his friends and listen to music. Khin currently has a colostomy and shared that he does not like having one. He feels embarrassed and he avoids his friends. He worries what his friends will think so he always stays at home since he received the colostomy. Aside from his symptoms, he feels sad that he cannot work and that he has to depend on his wife’s income. Furthermore, because of the COVID-19, the factory his wife works at has reduced their hours of operation. Khin underwent a colostomy, in which the end of the colon was 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 reversal. In Khin's case, his colostomy requires reversal in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of a reverse colostomy for Khin. The surgery is scheduled to take place on August 10th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Khin said, “I feel sad that I cannot work and have to depend on my wife’s income. When I was admitted at the hospital my wife had to accompany me which also reduced the salary she received.”
Naw Aye is a 4-year-old primary school student from Thailand. She lives with her family in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. In 2003, her parents fled to the camp due to the unstable situations between the local armed group and the government army near their village in Burma. Their family receives 2,169 baht (approx. 72 USD) as part of their camp food support from an organization called The Border Consortium. Despite receiving food support as well as free basic health care and education in the camp, Naw Aye’s father has had to earn additional income to cover their expanses. Therefore, he has opened a small shop in front of their home, through which he earns 1,000 baht (approx. 33 USD) in a month. On 29 June 2020, Naw Aye was playing outside when she fell down and landed on her left elbow. Immediately after Naw Aye’s father took her to the camp's clinic. The doctor examined Naw Aye and suspected she had broken her elbow but would need to receive an x-ray to confirm the diagnosis. She received an x-ray that confirmed the fracture and was referred to our partner Burma Children Medical Fund in order to access treatment. Currently, Naw Aye's left arm is in pain and she cannot bend it or lift anything. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Naw Aye will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 10th and will cost $1,500. After she receives surgery, she will be no longer be in pain and she will be able to use her left arm again. Once she returns home she will be able to continue her studies. Naw Aye's father shared, "Naw Aye loves to play outside. She also likes to color and draw when she comes home from school. When she gets bored of playing outside with her friends and drawing, she likes to watch cartoon clips."
Sambo is a 39-year-old rice farmer. She has five children, three of whom are in primary school. Her husband passed away after a traffic accident three years ago. She spends most of her time looking after her children and doing housework, but when she has free time she likes to watch TV. On June 4th, she fell out of a tree from a height of about three meters and suffered trauma to her spine. Her family took her to a local government hospital where they determined she has a compression fracture. Now, Sambo cannot stand or walk, and is experiencing severe back pain. She has also lost some muscle and bladder control. She has come to Watsi's Medical Partner CSC for treatment. The doctors at CSC will perform a decompression surgery in order to restore her nerve function. Once Sambo fully recovers from the procedure, doctors hope she will be able to walk easily again. She will also regain muscle strength and control, and will no longer experience severe back pain. Sambo said, "Since this accident, I am so worried about my children, and that they will not have me to take care of them. I hope I can walk again quickly after this surgery, so I can do everything I need to do for them."
Meet Sharon, a 5-year-old girl from Kenya. She is the second born in a family of four children. Sharon was brought to Medical Partner's clinic by her grandmother. Her mother has stayed at home and according to Sharon’s grandmother, she is mentally impaired. Both Sharon's mother and grandmother do not work and only depend on farm products and well-wishers. Their family hails from Makengi village in Embu county. Sharon has a burn scar deformity that she sustained at home when paraffin poured on her and unfortunately, she caught fire, severely burning her feet. She healed with contractures on her hands and feet as well. She currently cannot walk or hold things on her hand and she is in great pain at the moment. Surgery will be of great impact to her as she will be able to stand, walk, and hold things. Her family is not able to raise the estimated cost of surgery and thus requested for support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Sharon receive treatment. On May 20th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to better allow her to use her hands easily. Now, she needs help to fund this $799 procedure. “We cannot be able to raise the estimated cost of surgery and if there are any means that you can support us, we will be grateful.” Sharon’s grandmother told us.
Phyo is a two-year-old boy from Thailand. He lives with his parents and sisters and a brother in Fo Fai Village. His parents are originally from Bago Division in Burma and moved to Thailand in search of better job opportunities around 10 years ago. Both of his parents are agricultural day laborers. Phyo’s parents cannot afford to send him or his siblings to school and they are looked after by his six-year-old sister when his parents are working. Phyo was born a healthy baby boy at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). In June 2019, Phyo’s mother noticed that both of Phyo’s testicles were swollen. At first she thought that the swelling was caused by an insect bite and that the swelling would come down on its own. However, the swelling never reduced. Busy with work and since Phyo did no complain of any pain and looked otherwise healthy, his mother did not take him to a clinic or a hospital. In the beginning of November 2019, his mother realized that his testicles were increasing in size and he was uncomfortable. His mother decided to have this checked and brought him to MTC in early November. When they arrived at the clinic, the medic completed a physical examination and gave him antibiotics. The medic also told Phyo’s mother that they could not treat him further because the medic was not completely sure what his diagnosis was. They were told that Phyo would need to receive an x-ray at Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) so that they could diagnose him properly. Since his mother did not have enough money to pay for the x-ray and she had work she had to do at home, she brought Phyo back to their village. At home, Phyo took the antibiotics the medic had given him, which seemed to reduce the size of his testicles. However, on April 7th, 2020, Phyo’s mother noticed that his swelling was increasing in size again and that he could not pass urine nor stool; she became worried when she noted that he ate and drank a lot the whole day. The next day, his mother asked her pastor if they could take them back to MTC, as she did not have enough money to pay for transportation. Their pastor agreed to help them and drove them to the clinic. At MTC Phyo received a physical examination and the medic explained to Phyo’s mother that he might have a hernia. The medic diagnosed him with incarcerated inguinal hernia and told them that he would need to receive surgery at the nearby hospital. Phyo has an inguinal hernia and currently cannot pass urine nor stool. He cannot walk or stand for the past two days as his swelling is severe and uncomfortable. Fortunately, on April 8th, he 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 Phyo's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 8th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Phyo's mother said, “I feel very stressed and worried about my son. I can’t help him any further as I don’t have money. His father has also not come back since he went back to Burma [a month ago to take care of his sick parents]. I cannot work and I have no income as we have less work during this time of the year. Sometimes our neighbors have to give us a meal. Now I have a debt of 600 baht (approx. 20 USD) already from my neighbor, without interest.”
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.
Aung is a 34-year-old man from Burma who lives with his wife, son, and daughter. Both he and his wife work as government officers. In his free time he likes to read books. Aung 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, Aung feels tired, has chest pains, and has difficulty breathing. However, he can eat and sleep well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Aung. The treatment is scheduled to take place on January 27th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. “I want to go back to work [as a] healthy [person] and support my family,” said Aung.
Chheng is a 50-year-old clothes seller from Cambodia. She enjoys cooking for her family, including one son and one daughter, and likes to watch television in her free time. For the last ten years, Chheng has suffered from swelling and pain in her left knee. She was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in her left knee and cannot stand for a long period of time, and now has difficulty walking comfortably. Fortunately, Chheng learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total knee replacement to relieve Chheng of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for January 6th, and Chheng needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. I hope that I will no longer be in any pain, and I will be able to walk well again and return to my work," Chheng said.
Soe is a 49-year-old man from Burma. He and his wife got separated about six years ago and he has been living alone since. Soe does not have a regular job, but sometimes he drives a shared-taxi to make a living. About two weeks ago, Soe's left eye started to get irritated and the itchiness did not go away for a few days so with the advice from neighbors and friends, he soaked some betel leaves in water with salt and used the liquid as eye drops. As soon as he dropped the liquid in, he sensed a burning sensation in his left eye. In hope to get cured, he used the homemade eye drops for two days. After two days, his eye became worse and the pain even radiated to his head. He could no longer open left eye due to the pain. Soe had no money to go to the hospital, but with the help from his neighbors and friends, Soe arrived at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) on December 3rd, 2019. The medics at MTC explained that his left eye has totally been damaged and that the only option now is to remove his eye. Soe feels sad and frustrated most of the time now and he keeps blaming himself for not being careful. He feels that his neglect now has caused him an eye.
Leah is a housewife from Kenya. She is married with three children. Leah is a housewife but sometimes she does casual work at neighbor’s farms or washing clothes for them. The husband is a casual laborer at construction sites but their income is not much. One year ago, Leah has been experiencing heavy abdominal bleeding. She has been diagnosed with uterine fibroids. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $718 to fund Leah's surgery. On October 09, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Leah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. “I have suffered a lot with this bleeding and it is making it hard to serve my family and to join other friends. Kindly support me so that I can be well again to take care of my family,” said Leah.
Zin is a 37-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband, son and two daughters in Myawaddy, Karen State. Her 17-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter go to school while her youngest daughter stays home as she is still very young. To make a living, Zin used to make different Burmese snacks and sell them at the nearby villages. But she recently stopped working due to her health condition. Sometimes, her husband works as a day labourer but Zin said she does not know how much he earns from that. Six months ago, Zin started to experience stomach-ache so she went to a clinic. The doctor there did not do any investigations, instead, just prescribed her oral medication. Although Zin felt better with the medications she received at the clinic, her symptom returned after two months and she went back to see the same doctor. The doctor again prescribed her medications, but they only relieved her symptoms for a short time. In early September, Zin felt like her stomach-ache has worsened. She had it more often and the medications that she received at the clinic did not help her anymore. On 12 September 2019, Zin had a severe stomach-ache and for the last time, she returned to see the same doctor. On this visit, the doctor performed an ultrasound and said that there are stones in her common bile duct (CBD), a duct that carries bile from the gallbladder and liver into the duodenum (upper part of the small intestine). Zin has been advised to undergo a biliary obstruction repair, a procedure to repair the blockage of the bile ducts, which carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder. If left untreated, Zin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Zin is scheduled to undergo her biliary obstruction repair on October 03. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Zin's procedure and care. Zin said, “I cannot do anything now. I want to get well soon and start working again. If not, my family will not have enough food”.