Brendan joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Brendan became the 459th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 6,034 more people have become monthly donors! Brendan's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Htay, a 45-year-old woman from Burma, to fund cardiac surgery.
Brendan has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 12 countries.
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.”
Chan is a 44-year-old fish seller. He and his wife have two children who are both in high school. His wife is a seasonal farm worker and also helps him with his business. He takes his kids to go fishing in his free time, and likes to watch soccer on TV. Last year, Chan developed a non-cancerous growth on his left foot, and had it removed at a local hospital. He thought the surgery went well, but a few days later he started to feel pain in his ankle. He has since developed foot drop, a nerve condition. Now he cannot move his foot without pain, and has experienced muscle atrophy. Now, Chan has come to Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), where doctors have diagnosed him with foot drop. Doctors will perform a tibial tendon transfer procedure in order to restore nerve function to the front part of his left foot, allowing him to walk easily again.
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.
Phearith is ten-year-old student from Cambodia. He lives with his family in Kampongcham province. His mother is a farmer and he has three older siblings. His father passed away when he was two years old. He told us he enjoys reading books at school and eating chicken soup, and during free time, he likes to play with his sister. Five years ago, Phearith had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. Phearith now experiences itchiness and pus discharge in his ear, and the condition is not responsive to medicine. His family has had to pay for ear drop treatments that have not healed Phearith's ear. Phearith traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On June 4th, 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 medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Phearith said, "I hope that I can have good ears again because I want to be a policeman and I need good hearing."
Khai is a 28-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia with a nine-year-old daughter. He likes to watch the news and boxing on the radio, and play games with his daughter. Khai was in a head-on collision and fractured his left elbow and forearm. He still experiences pain in his arm, and he is unable to work. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On March 17th, Khai will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Treatment will heal his current infection, and relieve him of his pain. He will be able to use his arm again and can return to work easily. "I hope that my arm will get better after my operation and I won't have any pain or infection and can work again," he said.
Magdalena is a 4-month-old baby girl from Tanzania. She is the last born child in a family of three children. Her parents are small-scale farmers selling vegetables for a living. Magdalena has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Magdalena traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 21st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Magdalena's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when she grows up. Michael’s mother says, “We are unable to afford her treatment cost due to financial challenges please help our daughter.”
Marvalie is a preschooler from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three siblings in a rural area of southwest Haiti; her parents are farmers. She has not yet started school due to her illness. Marvalie has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Marvalie will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On March 6th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which Surgeons will close the hole in her heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage from her valve. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for surgery. Marvalie's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Marvalie's family overseas. Her mother said, "Our family has been praying for a cure since our daughter was a small baby, we are very happy to know our prayers are being answered!"
Aung is a 34-year-old man from Burma who lives with his wife, son, and daughter. Both he and his wife work as government officers. In his free time he likes to read books. Aung was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Aung feels tired, has chest pains, and has difficulty breathing. However, he can eat and sleep well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Aung. The treatment is scheduled to take place on January 27th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. “I want to go back to work [as a] healthy [person] and support my family,” said Aung.
Years back, Samuel noticed that over time, his hearing dwindled. It all began with him tuning on high TV/ Radio volume and speaking very loudly. He recently decided to visit Kijabe hospital for a review. After his tests were completed, the doctors confirmed loss of hearing and recommended he be fitted for hearing aids. The cost to acquire them was however too high for Samuel to afford. The former public transport driver was forced to quit his job as he could not manage. He currently doesn’t attend church. Samuel and his wife tend to their small farm to sustain their needs. They live in their two-room rental house in a suburb in Nairobi. Their two children are grown and living off on their own. They are not able to raise the funds needed and thus appealing for help. “I will be more than happy to get my life back. I would lie to attend church and family gatherings comfortably,” says Samuel.
Modesta is a beautiful and playful 5-year-old girl from Tanzania who struggles to walk due to genu varum, a condition where the legs curve outward at the knees. She falls often when she tries to run. The curving has increased as she has grown. Her parents did not think its a treatable condition, but during an outreach program, her father learnt of the treatment option and hopes to have Modesta treated. With successful surgery, Modesta will be able to walk with ease and less pain. She will also walk to school easily when she joins. Modesta's parents are peasant farmers relying on maize, sorghum and vegetable plantations to meet their daily needs. They have limited income to pay for the cost of surgery. Modesta lives with her parents and 8 siblings. The family appeals for financial assistance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Modesta. Treatment will hopefully restore Modesta's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Modesta’s father says, “The treatment cost is too expensive for us to afford please help.”
Said is an infant from Tanzania. Said is a handsome and cheerful infant. He has been in the hospital for some time being treated off bilateral club foot. He was diagnosed with the condition upon birth and treatment commenced a few weeks later. However, the mother and grandmother could not keep up with the cost of casting and manipulation. They were referred to ALMC where manipulation and casting were recommended. If not treated, Said will be at risk of permanent disability. Said's grandmother is the only provider in the family through subsistence farming. She further has the responsibility of caring for her other children. She is afraid that treatment for her grandson might be halted due to their finances. Fortunately, Said traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 11. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Said's clubfoot repair. After treatment, Said will be able to walk with ease and free from permanent disability. Said’s mother says, “I don’t want my son to grow up disabled but we are unable to afford the treatment cost, please help.”
Iqram is a young boy from Tanzania. Iqram is a two-year-old boy, the only child to his parents, who struggles to stretch his right hand due to a burn scar contractures. The playful boy was playing with his friends when he went back to his mother's house and by accident, fell on hot milk sustaining burns on his right side, especially his right hand. He spent a month in the hospital where the wounds were nursed and successfully healed. However, his right elbow skin healed with contractures. The contractures restrain Iqram's ability to fully stretch and use his hand. The family has not been able to raise funds for a contracture release surgery, but their hope for help remains. Iqram's father is a casual labourer at a factory and his mother a housewife. Their income is little to meet the treatment cost. They hope to have Iqram's hand released and be able to use it with ease especially when he joins the school. Iqram's aunt referred them to our facility when she learnt of an outreach program and upon review, he had contracture release recommended. Iqram's parents appeal for financial assistance Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Iqram receive treatment. On September 27th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to The surgery will allow Iqram to fully stretch his hand, restoring ability to utilize it. Now, he needs help to fund this $832 procedure. Iqram’s mother says, “My son’s life will be very challenging if he not able to have his hand corrected please help him."