Jamie joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven years ago, Jamie joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jamie's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Erick, a football-loving 4-year-old from Tanzania, to fund leg surgery so he can grow up active and healthy.
Jamie has funded healthcare for 164 patients in 15 countries.
Jamie has funded healthcare for 164 patients in 15 countries.
Erick is a four year old boy, living with his parents and five siblings. He is a charming and playful fellow, who loves football. Erick was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, a condition which causes his legs to bow outward, making it difficult for him to walk, and causing him pain. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, has stepped up to help Erick access the corrective surgery he needs. They are requesting $880 to fund this procedure, which is scheduled to take place on June 7th at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, and which should restore Erick's mobility. After he heals, he will be able to engage in a variety of activities, and the risk of future complications will be greatly diminished. Erick’s father says: “We have hope that our son could have his legs corrected here.”
Kaliyan is a 27-year-old construction worker. He is an only child and his parents are divorced. He is currently living with his aunt. In his free time, he enjoys playing on his phone, playing football with his friends, and singing along to music. In May 2020, Kaliyan fell off of a motorbike and experienced paralysis of his right shoulder. He was offered physiotherapy at a government hospital, but his condition did not improve. He has since been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his 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. He has no movement in his right upper arm, and is unable to move his fingers or flex his wrist and elbow. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Kaliyan receive treatment. On February 28th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he hopes to regain use of his right arm so that he can work. Now, he needs help raising $696 to fund his procedure and care. Kaliyan shared, "I am hopeful that I can return to work to help my family. This injury has been very difficult for me because I can only stay home now and am not useful to anyone."
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."
Gebreegziabher is a brave, young, and fun boy who loves to hangout with his friends. He loves to play chase and other games with his friends and brothers. He has five siblings and shared with us that he loves goats! Gebreegziabher never went to school because of his condition. He is a shepherd and helps to keep the sheep and goats of his parents. Because of his condition, he has endured bullying, but he continues to be brave and his dad shared: “He is so strong despite his sickness. When others pick on him and speak bad things about him and things related to his disease he even gets in to fights.” Gebreegziabher's mom and dad counsel him and comfort him and help him to bring out self-confidence and strength. His dad and his mom are farmers and his mom takes care of all the household chores. Dad said: “Our area is dry. We work hard and farm but the harvest is poor with lack of rain. We purchase food because our harvest is not enough to support the family.” They also raise animals to support themselves. The community survives with the dry land and the scarcity of food by donations from the government and NGOs. But the past two years they couldn’t get the donation since they are in the war zone. For these reasons they can’t afford the medical bill for their son. Gebreegziabher was born with congenital anomaly called bladder extrophy. That is an abnormally where the bladder is open to air. Given the pain and risk of infection, he just ties clothes around the wound. His mom is very much worried and concerned because of his condition. She shared that she has excluded herself from the community for years in taking care of him and raises him and recalls that when growing up, he would sit faraway from others and boys in his age. They keep up hope for better days ahead and are a loving family who support each other the best they can. His Dad said: “He learned to exclude himself from others growing up. We are sad as a family because of his condition. The neighbor insults us, discriminate us and we feel so sad about this. We couldn’t tell what will happen to him. And we bring him to God always.”
Myo is 40-years-old and lives with his two sisters, two nephews, and two nieces in a village in Burma. He was a fisherman but stopped working when he started to experience problems on his left foot. As a result, his sisters support their household. One year ago, Myo noticed that his left big toe was itchy and swollen after he came home from fishing. Soon enough, it developed into an ulcer. Without enough money to go to a clinic or a hospital, he used traditional medicine and bought pain medicine to clean the infection. However, each time Myo would clean the ulcer, it would heal but returning a month later. Four months after he first developed the ulcer, the recurrent ulcer worsened until he could no longer walk without support from his sister. Eventually, he saved enough funds to visit a health clinic. When the ulcer still did not heal, he went to a second clinic and was referred to our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). At MCLH, the doctor tried to first clean and treat the infection. When that did not work, the doctor told him that they would have to amputate his left big toe and referred Myo to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing treatment. On January 13th, Myo will undergo treatment to amputate his left big toe so that his infection can finally be treated and not spread to other parts of his body. For the treatment, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help cover the costs. Hopefully, he will be able to return to fishing and other activities he previously enjoyed soon. Myo is hopeful that things will be better after surgery and shared, "When I recover, I will find work and support my sisters’ families.”
Sivutha is a 61-year-old egg seller with has five children (two sons and three daughters) and five grandchildren. All of his children are married except for his youngest daughter. Sivutha's wife is also a seller at their local market. In November, Sivutha fractured his right tibia in a motor vehicle accident. He received care at the government hospital but could not pay for follow-up treatment or medication. Now, his wound has split at the metal plate and is infected. As a result, Sivutha experiences pain and has difficulty walking. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), can help. On December 7th, Sivutha will undergo a fracture repair procedure. Surgeons will perform a debridement and implant antibiotic beads to speed up healing. This procedure will help him walk easily again and heal the infection. CSC is requesting $465 to fund Sivutha's surgery. Sivutha shared that he hopes his wound will heal and he will walk easily again.
Daw Khin is a 45-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her parents, who are retired and supported by Daw Khin's sister, who earns an income from renting out their land. Daw Khin used to work as a teacher before her condition made it difficult for her to continue teaching her students. Around June 2020, Daw Khin began to feel very tired and experienced heart palpitations. She shared that it felt like she could not breathe while teaching. Because these episodes happened infrequently, she did not seek treatment at the time; however, in December 2020, her condition worsened, and she went to a local hospital. After receiving an electrocardiogram, doctors determined she has an enlarged heart and an abnormal heartbeat and prescribed medication to help Daw Khin feel better. Since Daw Khin's symptoms continued, her sister brought her to a cardiologist in April 2021. Upon review, Daw Khin's condition was diagnosed as an atrial septal defect, a birth condition in which there is a hole in the wall that divides the upper chambers of the heart. The cardiologist informed her that she would need surgery, but the cost was too high for Daw Khin's family, so they returned home with medications. Daw Khin currently experiences headaches, difficulty sleeping, and fatigue and heart palpitations when talking or walking short distances. Fortunately, a friend visited Daw Khin in June and told her about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Daw Khin contacted BCMF and learned that BCMF will be able to help her finally heal. On February 6th, she will undergo an atrial septal defect (ASD) closure. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund her procedure. Daw Khin shared, "I would like to teach all my students again in the future. I like teaching students."
Rorng is an elderly rice and vegetable farmer. Rorng lives in Kampon Speu province in Cambodia. He and his wife have 5 children; 3 daughters and 2 sons. All of their children are now married. In his free time, Rorng likes to watch the news and Khmer boxing on TV. In October, Rorng was in a bicycle accident that caused a fracture in his left humerus. He received a Khmer traditional treatment but his hand has not improved. He is in chronic pain; it is swollen and difficult to use now. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On November 25th, Rorng will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will help him to use his hand again. Rorng says, "I hope that I can use my hand without pain. I want to return to farming."
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.”
Manh is a 37-year-old construction worker. He is married and lives with his wife, who also works in construction. Manh enjoys watching Khmer boxing and hopes to be more active again once his eye is better. Four years ago, Manh developed a pterygium in his right eye, causing him irritation, itchiness, and discomfort with his appearance. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, working, and going places outside. When Manh learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On November 8th, he will undergo a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The total cost of his procedure is $216, which will cover medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. Manh shared, "I hope after surgery my eye irritation stops so I can go to work easily and not worry about my eye anymore."
Sharlyn is a 6-year-old girl. She's the fifth and last born in her family. Her mother is a single parent who does farming to earn a living and provide for them. Together their family of 6 lives in a 3-roomed mud house in a village in rural Kenya. Sherlyn was born with a clubfoot on her right foot. She limps as she walks, feels pain because of straining, and cannot play with her friends while at school because of her condition. Fortunately, Sharlyn and mother 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 Sharlyn's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk well, wear shoes and play with her friends. However, the family is appealing for financial assistance as they cannot manage to raise the funds needed for the surgery. Sharlyn's mother says, “I'd love to see my daughter walking like other girls. Any help meant to help her walk well will be very much appreciated."
Sambath is a 68-year-old potter with two daughters, five sons, and 17 grandchildren. Sambath lives with her husband and their youngest daughter who is a farmer. Sambath used to make pots and sell them at the market, but now she stays at home due to her poor vision. She enjoys listening to Khmer and Indian dramas on TV. Three years ago, Sambath developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her sensitivity to light and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Sambath learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On August 31st, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Sambath shared, "I hope after surgery my eye can see clearly so I can go outside and recognize my family members. I want to help my daughter cook and be able to take care of my grandchildren."