Matthew joined Watsi on October 15th, 2014. Seven years ago, Matthew joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Matthew's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Gift, a two-year-old boy from Tanzania, to fund life-changing clubfoot surgery.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 12 countries.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 12 countries.
Gift is curious, charming, and social two-year-old boy. He's the second born child in a family of three children. Both of his parents are small scale farmers who grow maize, beans, and vegetables for their food. They also go out to seek other work, such as helping on other farms, to earn an income. Gift has clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Gift receive treatment. On July 13th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Gift's procedure. After treatment, Gift will be able to walk and wear shoes. Gift’s mother shared, "I know my son will be very happy to be able to wear shoes and walk in a normal way. Please help him have this treatment."
Stephanie is a five-year-old student from Nairobi, Kenya who enjoys singing and dancing. She is the older sibling in her family, and her mother takes care of their family and home while her father is a small businessman. Stephanie has clubfoot on her left foot, causing her foot to be twisted out of shape and resulting in difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Stephanie traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Stephanie's procedure. The treatment will allow Stephanie to walk, wear shoes, and continue with her studies. Her mother, Maureen, told us, “I am humbly requesting help from well-wishers to help my daughter walk like other children."
Navin is an eight-year-old third grade student with one older sister. Navin lives in the province where his parents are farmers. When he is not in school, Navin enjoys playing football, playing with his toy car, and asking his father questions (sound familiar to any parents out there?) Two years ago, Navin had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Navin experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. It is difficult for him to hear at school. His parents took him to a local NGO that told them Navin needed to have surgery. They recommended his family come to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). Navin and his family traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 12th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers his medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Navin's parents hope his hearing can improve so he can communicate well again in school and at home.
Josephine is a widow and mother who has three children, now grown up themselves and who work as casual laborers. Recently, Josephine's daughter brought her to our medical partner and explained that her mother has difficulties in communicating and hearing. She could not explain how she slipped or fell, but has severe leg pain, including feeling like it has detached, and she had not been able to walk for over a week. An X-ray showed she has a closed fracture of the left femur. Additionally, on checking her blood level, she had hemoglobin (Hb) of 7mg/dl, which is a sign of anemia. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. The surgeon first advised admission for treatment to correct the anemia. Next, on April 15th, an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) procedure has been scheduled to repair her fracture. This procedure will help Josephine be able to walk again and resume her normal activities. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. If not treated, Josephine will not be able to use her left leg and the fracture may have malunion or heal with permanent deformity. Josephine was mostly quiet as her daughter shared her story, but she added, “Please help me and God will bless you.”
Htoo is a five-year-old boy from who lives with his parents and four siblings in a refugee camp in Thailand. His mother is a homemaker and his father used to work as a day laborer in a nearby Thai village, but has been unable to leave the camp for work since COVID-19 broke out in Thailand. Htoo will start Kindergarten this year. Their family's monthly stipend is not enough to cover their daily needs. Recently, Htoo climbed a guava tree to pick some fruit. He slipped, fell, and landed on his left arm. Htoo injured his elbow in the fall and his father immediately rushed him to the camp hospital run by Malteser International (MI). After receiving first aid, the medic referred him to another hospital, where he was diagnosed with a broken elbow and referred for treatment. Knowing that Htoo needed surgery, MI staff referred him to our Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for financial assistance to access surgery. Currently, Htoo is in pain and cannot bend his left arm. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Htoo will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Htoo regain use of his left arm so that he can complete daily tasks. Htoo's father is hopeful he'll be feeling well soon. He shared that right now, "Htoo does not want to go to school or study. He loves to play football."
Naw Kwee Moo is a 54-year-old woman from the Karen region in Burma, who lives with her husband and their family in a refugee camp. Of her children, three daughters and three sons still live in the refugee camp along with them near the Thai-Burma border. Naw Kwee is a homemaker and her husband is currently too ill to work. Five of their children go to school in the camp, four other children have moved away, and her second oldest son graduated from a post-secondary program in May 2020. He worked as an agricultural day laborer at a nearby Thai village until mid-December 2020. Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, he was no longer allowed to leave the camp. Naw Kwe’s household receives a monthly cash card to purchase basic rations. Although they receive free education and basic health care in the camp, they shared how hard it is to make ends meet. Starting four years ago, Naw Kwee often went to the camp’s hospital run by Malteser International (MI) Thailand to receive treatment for urinary tract infections (UTI). Most of the time, she would feel better after taking medication, but she was no longer able to work as an agricultural day laborer because of her pain. Over the next few years, she was diagnosed with chronic UTI. “I think my condition was caused from consuming dirty water,” she said. “When I worked as a day laborer, we had no access to clean water.” Naw Kwee received antibiotics through an intravenous (IV) line at the camp’s hospital. When her condition did not improve, a doctor at the camp’s hospital referred her again to Mae Sariang Hospital in March 2020. There she received a urine test and an x-ray of her kidneys, ureters and bladder. She was finally diagnosed with a right kidney stone. After multiple visits, the doctor at Mae Sariang Hospital referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further treatment. However, Naw Kwee could not travel to CMH for a while due to travel restrictions after the outbreak of Covid-19. Finally, last June medical staff from her camp were able to bring Naw Kwee to Chiang Mai. During her appointment, the doctor scheduled her to undergo an intravenous pyelogram on July 16th, 2020. After she received a diagnostic test, she returned to CMH for her follow-up appointment on November 19th, 2020. During her appointment, she received more tests and it was at her next appointment Naw Kwee was told she needed to undergo multiple rounds of laser treatment to break up the stone in her kidney. She received her first round of laser treatment on February 11th, 2021. Two days later, she developed a fever and could only pass a bit of urine. She also started to experience severe back pain and other troubling symptoms. MI staff took her back to the hospital where she received an ultrasound. The nurse shared with her that after her laser treatment, the stones had broken up and many of them where now stuck in her ureter, creating a blockage. She now needs emergency surgery to remove the stones. Our Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to support her surgery and finally relieve her of her painful condition.
Dany is 29-years-old. She is married and her husband is a farmer. Together they have one son. When Dany's not caring for her very active child, she likes to go through Facebook and watch TV. For the past ten years, she has had consistent right ear discharge and pain. When she was a child, she had surgery for an abscess near her right ear. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Dany experiences hearing loss and ear discharge. It is difficult for her to hear or communicate with others. Dany traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 14th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. "I really hope that after the operation my ear will be better, the hearing will be normal, the ear discharge and pain will all be gone," Dany said.
Salmani is a six-month-old baby from Tanzania and the second born in his family. His parents live in Arusha where they are both subsistence farmers. Salmani was born healthy, but at the age of three months, Salmani’s mother observed that his head size looked abnormal. His neck was not as strong as a 3-month-old, and she felt his other body parts were somewhat weak. As a result of his condition, Salmani has been experiencing an increasing head circumference and inability to sit on his own. His mother took him to Mount Meru Hospital and they referred their family to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center ALMC Hospital for treatment. She decided she had to wait to go because they could not afford to proceed with Salmani's treatment, doctor’s visits, or the tests required. Later on, they heard about Watsi's ALMC-The Plaster House program and how children with disabilities are able to be supported. Salmani's parents wish to see him be able to sit, walk one day, and also to see his head size return back to normal. Salmani has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Without treatment, Salmani 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 Salmani that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 14th and will drain the excess fluid from Salmani's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Salmani will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Salmani’s mother shared, “Please help my son get this treatment so that we can save his life and he can be able to play like other children.”
Vireak is an 18-year-old student. He is the elder brother to two younger sisters. Both of Vireak's parents work in construction. In his free time, Vireak enjoys reading books, exercising, listening to music, and helping his family with cooking and taking care of his younger sisters. Vireak has been diagnosed with lumbar scoliosis. He has a curved spine causing back pain and has difficulty walking and sitting. On November 12th, surgeons at the Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) will perform an orthopedic repair surgery on Vireak to alleviate his scoliosis pain. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to fund his spinal surgery. Once recovered, his quality of life will significantly improve and he will be able to return to life as normal. Vireak shared, "I hope after my surgery my back gets better and I can have a straight spine and be free of discomfort."
Mo is 22-year-old student from Thailand. Mo lives with his father in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. In the camp, Mo finished high school and is now completing his post-high school education. Their household receives 480 baht (approx. $16 USD) each month as part of their food support from an organization called The Border Consortium. However, this amount is not enough to cover their daily needs. Mo's father also works as a seasonal agricultural day laborer in a nearby village to earn an extra 350 baht (approx. $12 USD) each month. However this amount is still not enough and they struggle to make ends meet despite having free basic health care and education in their camp. Mo was recently diagnosed with a mass in his brain and hydrocephalus, which has caused fluid to build up in his brain. Watsi supporters are helping to fund his brain mass removal surgery, but without immediate surgery to treat his hydrocephalus and alleviate the intracranial pressure that the excess fluid is causing, he is at risk of developing severe, potentially fatal medical complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for Mo, which will drain the fluid that has accumulated in his brain. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 9th, and, once completed, will greatly improve Mo's quality of life. "I dream of becoming a great medic after I finish my post-high school education, but for now I am in the care of the [hospital’s] medical team," said Mo.
Keo is a 59-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has six children, seven grandchildren, and enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio in her spare time. Five months ago, Keo developed a cataract in each eye, causing her blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Keo learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for one and a half hours seeking treatment. On January 6th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $425 procedure. "I hope that I will be able to go outside again and be able to recognize objects, as well as help take care of my grandchildren," she said.
Susana is a 62-year-old farmer from Kenya. She is a talkative and happy grandmother who lives in along the Kerio Valley. Susana is a mother of four and is a subsistence farmer in the upcountry. She plants millet and sorghum in her small farm along the valley to meet her daily needs. She lives in a mud house with her husband. She shared that her four children did not finish school due to lack of money and are in the village doing casual jobs like working in hotels, while her two daughters are married. Susana was well until the Sunday, August 9th when she accidentally fell and injured her left hip. She is currently in pain and unable to walk. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 13th, Susana will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her walk again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Susana shared, “I want to get back on my feet and resume my normal duties of farming and taking care of my husband."