Patricia joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Three years ago, Patricia joined the Universal Fund and became the 637th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 2,474 more people have joined! Patricia's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Ngin, a grandmother from Cambodia, to fund eye surgery.
Patricia has funded healthcare for 35 patients in 11 countries.
Ngin is a 60-year-old woman who is a mother of four sons and four daughters and a grandmother of ten grandchildren. She is from Cambodia. In her free time, she likes to listen to monks pray on the radio. About a year ago, Ngin developed cataracts in both of her eyes. Her condition causes her blurred vision, tearing, and pain. It is difficult for her to see things clearly and recognize faces. Ngin is worried about going blind. Surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), will perform a cataract surgery in both eyes. This procedure will allow Ngin to see clearly again. The surgery is scheduled for March 23, and CSC is requesting $292 to fund the treatment.
Ruth is less than a month old. She is the first child in her family and lives with her grandparents and parents in Guatemala’s rural coastal region. Ruth’s mother cannot produce breastmilk, so Ruth is small and malnourished. She often cries from hunger, and her mother uses the only substance she can afford—warm sugar water—to soothe her. This limited diet is insufficient and has dangerous implications for Ruth’s health. When Ruth’s mother took her daughter to the local health center for a checkup, she found out that Ruth weighed less than when she was born. She was also told that Ruth was at risk of malnutrition. Lactation failure can lead to starvation and dehydration. It can also provoke electrolyte imbalances that cause seizures. Brain development occurring during this delicate time is compromised, and Ruth is at risk of long-term damage. To stabilize her condition, she was given a preliminary supply of formula. This will last until our medical partner's nutritionist can create a nutrition plan and begin treatment. Lactation failure, while dangerous, is easy to treat. By supplying Ruth with formula, she will receive the calories she needs to grow and thrive. Ruth’s mother will be taught how to provide a nutritious, inexpensive diet for her daughter. She will also learn to check for signs of malnutrition and other illness. Ruth’s immune system will strengthen, and she will grow up to be a healthy, energetic baby. Unfortunately Ruth’s family does not have the resources to purchase the expensive formula that Ruth needs. Her father’s job as an agricultural day laborer is the family’s only source of income. They need help to fund this intervention. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, is requesting $1,162 to fund Ruth’s treatment. Ruth’s mother says, “I am worried because my daughter is losing weight and she could get sick. I want to thank you for the help that you are giving to my daughter. I wish to see her grow well, so that when she is older she can become a nurse.”
Lorenz is a four-year-old boy from the Philippines. He loves to play with his friends. His father, Francisco, works at the fish pond as a laborer. Lorenz has been diagnosed with moderately acute malnutrition. Malnutrition threatens his growth and development and could even be fatal if not addressed. Fortunately, he will begin $184 malnutrition treatment on February 20. Lorenz will be treated by International Care Ministries (ICM), a Watsi medical partner. One out of five children under five in ICM communities is either severely or moderately malnourished. Worldwide, poor nutrition is associated with nearly half of all deaths in young children. In remote communities and urban slums of the Philippines, the lack of clean water and unclean environments add risk to potentially fatal childhood diseases. ICM’s home-based feeding program provides nutrient-enriched food packs to ensure malnourished children get additional food to regain normal weight and achieve optimum physical and mental development. After identifying a child as malnourished, staff and community volunteers make weekly visits to monitor this child’s progress. To help sustain the health of the child, ICM’s professional staff educate the mother, guardian, or other family members about proper nutrition, sanitation, hygiene, and organic vegetable gardening. Lorenz's mother, Loreta, hopes that he will recover from malnutrition and that he will grow to be healthy and strong.
“I am looking forward to being able to work again to provide for the needs of my family,” shares Rodolfo, a 48-year-old man from the Philippines. Rodolfo is a loving father of five children. He works hard as a field laborer to provide for his large family, but the income that he earns is barely enough to sustain their basic needs. This challenging situation has become even more stressful recently, as Rodolfo has experienced an increased severity in a long-term medical condition. For over twenty years, Rodolfo has had a hernia in his right groin area. At first, he didn't mind the lump because it was small. As the years have gone on, the mass has continued to grow, and has begun to cause greater and greater discomfort. These days, lifting heavy objects and even standing for long periods can prove painful for Rodolfo—meaning that sometimes he cannot work at all. Hernias in the inguinal region can also pose life-threatening risks, such as strangulation, wherein the herniated intestinal matter becomes cut off from blood supply. Although Rodolfo wanted to have this condition treated earlier, he could not afford to do so. Fortunately, we can now help make medical care available to him. For a fundraising total of $1,098, we can pay for Rodolfo's hernia repair surgery on April 5. This sum will also cover his lab tests and roundtrip travel to the hospital. “Thank you so much in advance for the help you will be giving me,” Rodolfo says.
Nehemias is a seven-month-old baby from Guatemala's rural highlands. He is just transitioning from formula to solid foods, and so far he loves to eat refried beans and watermelon. Nehemias’s father is a day laborer who harvests tomatoes and blackberries. His mother takes care of the family’s household and weaves traditional Mayan textiles. Nehemias has malnutrition, a dangerous condition that results from consuming too little protein, calories, and nutrients. He is underweight and small for his age. In the short term, malnutrition means Nehemias has little energy to grow and that his immune system is weak. He may also face malnutrition’s long-term consequences, such as increased risk of chronic diseases, low IQ, and higher likelihood of dropping out of school. While malnutrition can have devastating effects, it is also very treatable. Growth monitoring, micronutrients, and food supplementation will help Nehemias recover. He will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children his age, and his immune system will grow stronger with the increased caloric intake. Community health workers will teach his mother about creating a nutrient-rich diet with limited resources. Nehemias's family cannot afford treatment. Our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq, is requesting $492. He is scheduled to begin treatment on March 13. Nehemias’s mother says, “I am thankful to the institution and the people who care for each of our families without knowing us so that our children can get better.”
Govinda is a 59-year-old man who lives with his wife and children. His family is entirely dependent on agriculture. While his wife looks after the cattle, he tends to the farm with his son. This income keeps the family fed for only four months of the entire year. Govinda has had a painful hernia for ten years. His hernia has made it very difficult for him to walk. Recently, unable to tolerate the pain any longer, he traveled to our medical partner's care center, Bayalpata Hospital. He is scheduled for hernia repair surgery on February 7. Our medical partner, Possible, is requesting $451 to fund this procedure. After treatment, Govinda will be able to walk and tend to his farm without any pain.
Ilsi is a three-year-old girl from Guatemala. Her family cannot afford to give her a nutritious diet, so she is not gaining weight or growing as she should. She has been diagnosed with acute malnutrition. She has little energy to grow, and her immune system is weak and vulnerable to illness. She is also at risk of chronic disease and delayed development. Fortunately, Ilsi began malnutrition treatment on December 19, 2016. Ilsi lives with her five-year-old sister, mother, and extended family in an adobe house. She loves to play dolls with her older sister. Ilsi's father passed away last year, so her mother supports the family by washing clothes. She needs help to fund this $512 treatment. While malnutrition can have devastating effects, it is also very treatable. Growth monitoring, micronutrients, and food supplementation will help Ilsi recover. She will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children her age, and her immune system will grow stronger. Community health workers will teach her mother about creating a nutrient-rich diet from limited resources. Treatment will give Ilsi a chance to grow healthy and strong. "Sometimes I don't know what to do for her because I don't have the resources to give her what she needs so she can get better and grow well," says Ilsi's mother. "I want my daughter to grow and study so she can graduate and become a teacher."
Meas is 19 years old and in the twelfth grade. He has three brothers and one sister. He likes to play football and badminton and listen to pop songs. In September, Meas sustained a laceration in his left wrist. He injured his flexor digitorum profundus, a muscle in the forearm that flexes the fingers. Meas is unable to use his hand, and he is in pain. When Meas learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled for five hours to seek treatment. On December 2, surgeons at CSC performed a tendon repair procedure on his left wrist. After recovery, he should be able to use his hand again. CSC is requesting $450 to fund his healthcare. "I hope to have a normal hand again without any pain," he says.
Agaton is a 62-year-old corn and sugar cane farmer from the Central Region of Malawi. Agaton enjoys an active lifestyle of bicycling, working the maize mill, spending time with his sister and brother-in-law, and chatting with village friends. He came to our medical partner's hospital, Nkhoma District Hospital, due to an onset of urinary pain symptoms. Agaton was diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition involving prostate enlargement. Without treatment, Agaton's quality of life would decline, and he would be unable to support his family. Fortunately, on October 20, 2016, Agaton received surgery to treat this condition. Now, Agaton's family needs help to pay the $726 cost of the surgery. Agaton is "thankful to Watsi for helping with treatment."
Chentha is a 59-year-old woman who lives in Cambodia with her husband and their three sons, four daughters, and 17 grandchildren. When not working as a rice and corn farmer, she enjoys visiting the pagoda to listen to the monks pray. One year ago, Chentha started having blurred vision, itchiness, tearing, and photophobia. She also became unable to do her work or travel alone safely. Chentha and her sister traveled for four hours to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). She was found with a cataract in each eye, and was recommended surgical treatment. Chentha's doctors told her she was in need of a phacoemulsification and an intraocular lens implant in each eye, which will replace her internal lenses and restore her vision to full clarity. In total, the procedure, supplies, drugs, and three days of inpatient care will cost $292. Chentha's family needs financial assistance to complete payment. Chentha will have her vision cleared after full recovery from her surgery, and will be able to resume her work.
Kyaw Thet is a 14-year-old boy living in Burma. He is part of a large household, which includes two older sisters, four nephews, two nieces, and his parents. He also has three brothers who live separately with their families and four sisters and one brother living in Bangkok. Kyaw Thet’s family earns money by growing and selling rice. They also keep ten cows and two pigs for food or to sell if they need extra money. Kyaw Thet was referred to our medical partner with a diagnosis of bladder trauma. The trauma occurred as a result of a motorbike accident. Kyaw Thet also suffered a broken leg, external wounds on his legs and the back of his head, and internal injuries. Kyaw Thet already had one surgery to address this condition and feels much better now, but needs another surgery - a urethrotomy - for his urethra stricture (the abnormal narrowing of the urethra, which carries urine out of the body). Currently Kyaw Thet does not feel pain during urination but he feels uncomfortable. The urethrotomy should relieve this discomfort and allow Kyaw Thet to return to a normal day to day life. He will be able to continue enjoying school and pursuing his dream of becoming a teacher.
Meet Musa, a cute, four-year-old boy from a loving family in Tanzania. He is a happy and active boy, who loves to talk and ask many questions. At home, he enjoys playing with cars and playing balls with his little brother. Musa was a healthy boy growing normally until the age of five months. After a bout of pneumonia, Musa began to have a growth on his head that was slowly increasing. When Musa’s parents failed to take their son for treatment, his acquired hydrocephalus grew and continues to grow to this day. Without surgical intervention, the swelling will place extreme pressure on his brain, resulting in vomiting, dizziness, blindness, and cognitive impairment. Because his mother works as a small-time farmer and his father is an evangelist, they are unable to provide financial means for Musa's medical treatment. $775 will cover costs for a shunt to be surgically inserted. This shunt will redirect the buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in Musa's skull and prevent further brain damage which can cause blindness. With rehabilitation and medicine, Musa will be healthy and strong again. Musa's mother shares, "It hurts to hear my son asking to be taken to school and for me to be unable to do so. I hope he will gain the ability to walk, so that he can walk to school like the other children."