Matthew joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Matthew joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Matthew's most recent donation supported Sai Laung, an 18-year-old laborer from Burma, to fund heart surgery.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 13 countries.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 13 countries.
Sai Laung, who is 18 years old, lives with her parents and her younger sister in Shan State in Burma. Sai Laung used to be an agriculture day laborer, but she stopped working in July 2022 due to her illness. In her free time, Sai Laung likes to read Buddhist books and study English online. During the first week of July 2022, Sai Laung began to feel very tired and she developed a fever. At first, she thought it was because she was working a lot, but when she had difficulty breathing a few days later, her mother brought her to the hospital. She was told she might have a congenital heart condition, and the doctor recommended that she have an echocardiogram to confirm the diagnosis. Sai Laung had an echocardiogram at another hospital, confirming that she has a ventricular septal defect, or a hole in her heart. The doctor advised her to go to the Pun Hlaing Hospital in Yangon to see a cardiologist, which Sai Laung did towards the end of November 2022. During that visit, the doctor also diagnosed her with aortic valve regurgitation, and told her that she needs surgery. Currently, Sai Laung has difficulty breathing and is only able to walk short distances before experiencing fatigue. Performing ordinary household chores like cooking or cleaning is exhausting for her. Her lips turn blue, and she has sharp chest pain, fever, and difficulty sleeping. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, has stepped in to assist Sai Laung access the care that she needs. On March 7th, she will undergo surgery to repair her heart at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Now Sai Laung and her family need your help to raise the $1,500 to fund this life-saving procedure. “I have felt so sad since I was diagnosed with this [heart disease]. I need surgery and we have no money. I look at my parents and I pity them because they work so hard to help me get treatment. I want to recover quickly and go back to work so I can help my parents with the extra income. When I learned that there are donors who will help pay for my treatment cost, I felt so happy," said Sai Luang.
Jocelyn is a loving mother of four from Philippines. She works as a bookkeeper, and her husband works as a part-time sidecar driver while also looking after their children. Despite their hard work, their combined income is just enough for the family's daily needs. Three years ago, Jocelyn began to experience troubling symptoms, including episodes of epigastric pain. Worried about their finances, she chose to defer her checkup. Unfortunately, the symptoms worsened as she began to experience difficulty of breathing, and persistent vomiting. She was brought to the nearest hospital to be given emergency care. The doctor told her to have an abdominal ultrasound. The test showed that she was suffering from gallstones, which can no longer be treated with medicines. Jocelyn has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put him at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Jocelyn is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on February 17th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,128 to cover the cost of Jocelyn's surgery and care. Jocelyn shared, "I'd like to thank WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for sponsoring my surgery. May you continue helping people who are financially incapable of paying for their surgeries. You are an answered prayer!"
Luz is a sweet baby from Bolivia, where she lives with her parents and two older brothers in a small mountain village. Her parents work as farmers to support their family. Luz, in addition to being diagnosed with Down Syndrome, was born with a ventricular septal defect, a heart condition where a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through the hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance who is expanding their work in Bolivia, is helping Luz receive treatment. On January 19th, Luz will undergo surgery where doctors will sew a patch over the hole, allowing for blood to flow completely through her heart and reach her lungs, obtaining oxygen and, ultimately, allowing her to grow as a healthy baby girl. Luz's family needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. From Luz's mother: "Our family is all praying that after the surgery our daughter will be stronger and healthier."
Hannah is a 70-year-old mother of seven children. She is a widow who lost her husband ten years ago. She is a small-scale tea farmer and relies on her children for upkeep and survival. For eight months, Hannah has been experiencing abnormal bleeding and pelvic pain. She has been diagnosed with endometrial cancer. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Although supportive, her children are unable to raise the funds required for her procedure. She had one cow that she sold to pay for a biopsy, treatment and fare to the facility. However, she is requesting financial support for her surgery cost. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping raise $1260 to fund Hannah's surgery. On December 16th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Hannah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Hannah says, "I am old now and fragile. This cancer has depleted my financial resources and affected my health. I need the surgery to avoid the spread of the cancer.”
Dieunese is a mother of two from Haiti. She lives in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince where she cares for her two young children along with her husband who is a taxi driver. Dieunese has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral stenosis which makes it extremely difficult for her heart to pump blood through her body, leaving her weak and short of breath. Dieunese requires surgery, but it is not available in her country. To access care, she will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On November 17th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair her heart valve; if they are unable to, they will remove it and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, the Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000 to pay for this surgery. Dieunese's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Dieunese overseas. Dieunese says, "I am hopeful that having this surgery will allow me to be alive and healthy for my children!"
John is a 38 year old father of two, living in Kenya. He is separated from his wife, and works as a taxi driver. For ten years, John has experienced difficulty swallowing food and liquid. He tried to treat his condition with traditional medicines, but that has been unsuccessful. When his condition worsened and he found himself losing weight, John decided to meet with doctors from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. He was diagnosed with Achalasia, which is usually the result of damage to the esophagus. In order to prevent his condition from progressing, John will require surgery. Thanks to the assistance of our medical partner, John will undergo a curative laparotomy on October 17th, at AIC Kijabe Hospital, which should restore his ability to swallow, and return him to good health. John is requesting your support to fund this procedure, which will cost $1,074. John says: “My neck is paining, and I am unable to swallow solid foods. I have seriously lost a lot of weight. I need this treatment to be able to eat and be well again.”
Rin is a 43-year-old mother of one. She is a construction worker and divorced from her husband. She has one son who lives with her. In her free time, she likes to listen to Khmer songs and do things around the house. Earlier this month, she was working on a roof near a high-voltage wire and suffered multiple electrical burns on her hands, feet, and head. She was taken to a referral hospital, but only received minimal dressing for her burns. The tissue damage is extensive, and she is in pain and unable to use her hands. When Rin learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On September 15th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft surgery to to help regenerate the damaged skin. Now, she needs help to fund this $805 procedure. Rin is hopeful that after surgery her hands will be better and she will be able to work again.
Devid is an active 18-year-old from Cambodia who is in 12th grade. He lives with both his mother, who works as a tailor, and his grandmother in Cambodia. During his free time, he enjoys learning more about fitness via the internet, as well as exercising with friends. He shares that his best subject in school is Khmer literature, and he aspires to become a teacher in the future. At the end of 2019, Devid was in a motorcycle accident that caused injuries to his right arm. Although he had his wounds treated after the accident, both his right shoulder and elbow currently have no movement, and he has no wrist flexion or extension. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center can help. They will perform a functional free muscle transfer gracilis of his right arm so he can regain movement. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $991 to fund Devid's repair surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to restore mobility and continue his daily activities with less difficulty. Devid says, "I am grateful that I can return to school and regain my strength after this surgery."
Evangeline is a hardworking mother of two from the Philippines. She and her husband work as graphic artists; however, they were highly impacted by the pandemic, resulting in them being switched from full-time workers to part-time ones. This affected their ability to save up for Evangeline's needed treatment. In 2016, Evangeline began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, and difficulty sleeping. When she was finally able to seek medical care, an ultrasound showed a large mass located on her throat. She was diagnosed with colloid adenomatous goiter, a benign, noncancerous enlargement of thyroid tissue. She now needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Evangeline receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on July 16th at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $890 to cover the cost of Evangeline's procedure and care. Evangeline shares, "Our income is just enough to provide for our basic needs. This free operation will be a big help to us. I've been praying that my pain will go away, and God answered my prayer through Watsi and World Surgical Foundation. Thank you so much for your help."
Kasaine is an 8-year-old boy, living with his family in a mud and grass thatched house in Southern Kenya. Kasaine's father is a farmer and a herder, while his mother stays home to take care of their family. Kasaine was born with a condition known as Rt hemiplegic CP, which means that his right side is weak, affecting his mobility, and the use of his hand. He tiptoes when he walks, and is able to walk only short distances. Kasaine also has clubfoot of his right foot, which causes his foot to be twisted, making it even more difficult for him to walk or to wear shoes. Fortunately, Kasaine's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Kasaine's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he'll be able to walk much more easily, play with friends, and continue with his education. “My prayer is to see my son walking normally like other children.” Kasaine's mother told us.
Elinipa is a beautiful two-year-old girl. She is an incredibly friendly child who loves to play with her five older siblings. At birth, she was a healthy child. It wasn't until she was learning to walk however, that her mother noticed that her legs were slightly curved, yet even so they did not seek treatment assuming it was a minor problem that she would outgrow. Elinipa has now been diagnosed with bilateral valgus, which is a condition caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result of her condition, Elinipa's legs bow inward to the point that her knees touch. This makes walking persistently more difficult as she continues to grow. Through our medical partner's outreach program her parents learned that their daughter needs surgery to correct her legs. Elinipa's parents are small scale famers who depend entirely on what they harvest to make a living. As a result, their income is not enough to afford to take Elinipa to the hospital to treat her condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Elinipa. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 13th at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. With this treatment Elinipa's mobility will hopefully be restored, thus allowing her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing her risk of future complications. Elinipa’s father says, “I am worried with how her legs continue to bend inward. Please help us.”
Juvens is a sweet 2-year-old boy from Haiti. Juvens is his parent's first child. His parents have been happy to see Juvens starting to play, but his condition makes it difficult for him to control his head and his body. Juvens has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain increasing intracranial pressure. Without treatment, Juvens will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Juvens at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on April 19th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Juvens's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Juvens will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Juvens's family is hopeful that the surgery will allow him to be able to walk and talk and be able to play as he grows.