B

Brendan Schlagel

MONTHLY DONOR

United States   •   Born on March 31

Brendan's Story

Brendan joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Brendan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Brendan's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support U Win, a 54-year-old man from Burma, to fund atrial septal defect cardiac surgery.

Impact

Brendan has funded healthcare for 89 patients in 12 countries.

All patients funded by Brendan

U Win

U Win is a 54-year-old man who lives with his wife and youngest son in the Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. He has three sons and three daughters, with five of his children already married and working. His 17-year-old son left school because they were unable to pay school fees, and worked as a day laborer until COVID-19 happened. U Win used to work as a day laborer as well, but stopped working around two years ago due to his health condition. His family survives on 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) each month that U Win's three other daughters and another son send them, enough to cover their basic expenses. In January 2012, U Win felt tired, had a headache, suffered from heart palpitations, and a rapid heartbeat. He went to a clinic where the doctor listened to his heart with a stethoscope and checked his blood pressure. U Win was told that he has high blood pressure and that he would need to take oral medication for a long time. He received an injection, oral medication, and another appointment for more medication. After he took the medication, he felt better and he went back to work. However, U Win continued to experience worsening symptoms over the next few years, returning to clinics and receiving the same treatment. He was told at one point to visit a cardiologist, but did not do so until later on. In August 2020, during another clinic visit in Yangon, the doctor diagnosed U Win with an atrial septal defect, and said that he would need to receive surgery to repair this hole in his heart. If not treated, the condition could weaken his heart further and cause lung problems later on. He was unable to receive surgery in November due to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases, and was also told the procedure would cost about 3,000,000 kyat (approx. 3,000 USD). Luckily, U Win’s wife remembered that there is a charity group in Yangon that might be able to help. The group told him about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, to look for assistance with accessing the treatment he needed. U Win currently experiences chest pain and back pain, has no appetite, and cannot sleep well at night. He appeals for financial support for his cost of care. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 20th, U Win will undergo an atrial septal defect closure procedure. Once recovered, his quality of life will significantly improve and he will be able to return to work. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. U Win shared, “I want to get better soon so that I can work for my family again. I am worried about my family’s future because we cannot find work in the village. My son also cannot go to Yangon to find another job because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.”

81% funded

81%funded
$1,216raised
$284to go
Htay

Htay is a 45-year-old woman who lives with her husband and three daughters in Thae Phyu Village in Burma. Htay and her husband run a small shop selling betel nut and general groceries beside their home, however she has been unable to work due to her heart condition for the past year. Htay’s oldest daughter used to work at a factory in Yangon, but moved back home last year when Htay became too ill to wok. She now helps out at Htay’s shop while also helping with household chores. Htay’s other two daughters are students; one is in grade 10 and the other is in grade four. After she gave birth to her last daughter, Htay began to experience frequent pain in her chest and headaches. Whenever she would lay down, she also felt like she could not breathe well. She then went to Htantabin General Hospital in Yangon where she received an electrocardiogram (ecg). Later, the doctor told her that she has arthritis and Ischemic heart disease, a condition where an organ does not receive enough blood and oxygen. She was given medication and returned home. Htay said, “This medication seemed to help my condition and I continued to buy it from the pharmacy.” In February 2020, Htay’s condition deteriorated again; she felt like she could not breathe and that she was exhausted all the time. Htay and her husband went to Thiri Sandar Hospital in Yangon where she received x-rays and an echo. After checking her results, the doctor told her that she has a large hole in her heart and that she would need to have it closed surgically. Currently, Htay has difficulty breathing, mostly at night, and she feels tired especially when she uses the upstairs. She also has a rapid heartbeat. Htay told us, “I am worried about my condition and I am very sad whenever I think about it. But now I am happy to have found someone to help support my treatment. Once I have fully recovered, I will build a new shop [made of bamboo] because my old shop is starting to fall apart. I will also go back to working with my husband and I will support my children so that they can become educated people.”

100% funded

$1,500raised
Fully funded
Cha

Cha is a 20-year-old young man from Burma. He lives with his father, older sister, brother-in-law, and three nieces in Hpapun Township of Karen State. Cha is a student and his oldest niece goes to school while the other two are still too young to attend. His father and brother-in-law are subsistence farmers while his sister is a homemaker. In his spare time, Cha loves to play cane ball and football with his friends. He also likes to help his family with farming during school holidays. Cha goes to the nearest high school to his village, located four to five hours away by motorbike in the village of Day Bu Noh. During the school year he lives in a dormitory and he does not have to pay for school and dormitory fees. On May 6th, Cha was getting ready to move back home for the summer holidays. He borrowed his friend’s motorbike and started the trip back to his village. Not long after he left Day Bu Noh Village, his motorcycle slipped on the uneven dirt road and he fell from the motorcycle. The next thing Cha remembered was waking up at a clinic in Day Bu Noh Village with his friend beside him. When he asked his friend what had happened, his friend told him that some of the villagers had found him unconscious on the side of the road and brought him to the clinic. The medic at the clinic examined Cha and told him that his lower jaw was fractured but they could not treat him at the clinic. The medic gave him injections and oral medications to help control the pain. Cha’s friend, who works for the district’s office in the Day Bu Noh village, told his superiors about Cha’s situation and that Cha did not know how he could receive treatment at another clinic in Mae Sot, Thailand where another friend works. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Thailand had shut its borders to neighboring countries. His friend’s superiors were able to arrange for Cha to be brought to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), accompanied by Cha’s friend. Cha was discharged from the clinic in Day Bu Noh Village on May 15th and started to make their way to MTC. After they crossed over into Thailand on a boat, Chan and his friend arrived at MTC on May 16th. At the clinic, the medic examined Cha before telling him that he will have to go to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for an x-ray. He also received some oral pain medication from the medic and, on May 20th, Cha received an x-ray at MSH. The x-ray showed that Cha had fractured his lower jaw in two locations, the left side and in the middle, as well as that the fracture was now infected. He was told that he will need to receive injections to treat the infection and that he will need surgery to help his jaw heal properly. Currently, Cha’s jaw is swollen and painful. He cannot eat solid food and is only able to eat boiled rice and drink liquid food. One of his teeth hurts and he cannot open his mouth wide. He is not able to speak properly, and his lower jaw is extremely painful, especially on the left side. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Cha will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for May 29th and will cost $1,500. The surgery will help Cha to be free from the pain and he will be able to talk properly again. “I feel sad that I cannot help my family during this summer holiday,” Cha said. In the future, Cha said that he plans to continue his studies next year at Mu Traw Junior College in Day Bu Noh Village. He is also interested in working with his friend at the district office in the branch that looks after the environment, forest, and wild animals.

100% funded

$1,500raised
Fully funded