Shivram joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven years ago, Shivram joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Shivram's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Jecinta, a humorous tween from Kenya, to fund corrective surgery for her legs to boost her self-confidence.
Shivram has funded healthcare for 110 patients in 15 countries.
Shivram has funded healthcare for 110 patients in 15 countries.
Meet Jecinta, a 12-year-old friendly, talkative, and funny girl. She is the youngest in her family of three children. Currently, Jecinta is a student in grade 5, and in school, she likes reading and playing with her friends even though her legs limits her ability to play as well as her peers. Jecinta's mother is a single mother who works temporary jobs on neighbor’s farms, clothes washing, and other available jobs. Jecinta was born healthy, but her mother noticed a sudden bowing of her legs when she was one. Jecinta's mother took her toddler to a nearby hospital where plaster was applied to her legs to prevent spreading of her condition. However, since then, it has continued to worsen and has been affecting Jecinta's mobility. At this point, she cannot stand upright and play with friends as she would like to. Fortunately, Jecinta is scheduled to undergo surgery on July 19th to correct her legs. This treatment will allow her to walk like other friends, play with them, and continue with her studies, all of which can improve her self-esteem. “I would wish for support for my child because I cannot be able to afford the hospital bills,”Jecinta’s mother asks.
Hsue is a 52-year-old man who lives with his four daughters, his son-in-law and two grandchildren in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Hsue and his son-in-law used to work as agricultural day laborers in a nearby Thai village, but stopped working after travel restrictions were put in place due to Covid-19. These restrictions made it difficult for them to leave the camp for work. Since then, only Hsue's oldest daughter works, while one of his daughters goes to school and the others look after household chores. Last month, the ophthalmologist at Mae Sot Hospital diagnosed Hsue with a cataract in his left eye. Currently, the vision in Hsue's left eye is blurry, and he can only perceive light. He develops a headache whenever he tries to focus on something. He has to rely on his right eye and he can only see things that are near him. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Hsue. On June 20th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Hsue's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Hsue said,“I feel very sad. I can’t see and I can't make out people's faces when they are not near.” He is hopeful that this surgery will help him to get his vision back.
Yorn is an 81-year-old retired farmer. He has three sons and three daughters. He also has several young grandchildren who visit him often. He lives with his wife and his youngest daughter, who is also a farmer. Since retiring, he spends most of his time taking care of his grandchildren, and traveling with his wife and daughter to local pagodas. Eight years ago, Yorn developed a cataract in his left eye, causing him blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and irritation. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Yorn learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled there with his daughter seeking treatment. On May 14th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Yorn shared, "I hope that after my surgery my daughter will not have to do so much work to help me. I hope I can take good care of my grandchildren, and take better care of myself. I want to go with my wife to travel to pagodas."
Lucas is a playful four-month-old baby boy and the youngest child in a family of five children from his mother. His parents are small scale farmers of maize and vegetables for their food and they also keep livestock for a living, which allows them to get milk. Given the remoteness of their village, they shared that life is very difficult; meeting basic needs and access to health services are big challenges. Lucas 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, Lucas traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Lucas's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when he grows up. Lucas’s father shared, "we have no means of raising money to afford our son’s treatment cost. We will be very grateful if you can help correct his feet."
Isack is 34-year-old from Tanzania and the youngest in a family of six children. One of his older brothers passed away last year due to COVID-19, leaving the family in a tough situation. Before his accident, Isack was working as a driver’s assistant in a truck with his brother, who was the driver. Working as a driver's assistant helped Isack make a living and he was able to support himself. In 2019, however, Isack was involved in an accident which left him with an open wound on his right leg. On the day of the accident, Isack was checking on the truck that was being serviced. As the mechanics were working, gas was unknowingly spilt on Isack's trousers. Afterwards, a match stick caught on Isack's right trouser leg starting a fire. Since then, Isack has not been able to work or support himself due to his leg injury. The wound is not healing, making walking very difficult. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Isack receive treatment. On March 19th, surgeons will perform a skin graft procedure to heal his wound and infection. Now, Isack needs help to fund this $747 procedure. Isack shared, "I am not able to work and support myself because of my leg. My family is currently struggling and they too cannot help due to lack of money. Please help me have my leg treated so that I can work."
Alamunyak is a 16-year-old boy from Tanzania. He is the first born child to his father and mother, and they have are six children together. Alamunyak's parents are small scale farmers and livestock keepers. Because he was the firstborn, Alamunyak was never able to join school because he was the one looking after his father's cattle. He is a hard working young man who walks long distances seeking green pasture for the cattle. Currently, Alamunyak is unable to walk well because his legs bow outwards as he walks. Alamunyak was diagnosed with a condition called genu varus on his right leg, or bow-leggedness. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he is in pain and cannot walk comfortably for a long distance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Alamunyak. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Alamunyak's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Alamunyak shared, “The first surgery I had helped correct my leg, and walking became a bit easier compared to before. If I am able to get this next surgery, I will be able to walk better and be able to go back home and help my parents and siblings without difficulty.”
Di is a 40-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her parents, her husband, her brother, and her two children in Mae La Refugee Camp in Tak Province. Di and her family work hard to make ends meet. Her family runs a small shop selling kitchen utensils. Di's husband is a religious teacher, and he does not earn regular income. Her brother is unemployed, and her parents are retired. Di helps with the family shop while her daughter goes to the community school that is led by volunteers. Her youngest son is too young to go to school. She shared that their family income is enough for family expenses, but they are not able to save any money. Around two years ago, Di was diagnosed with an umbilical hernia. Currently, she experiences pain under her chest and her abdominal around umbilical is swollen and pain. Di is not able to do any household chores because of her condition. The pain worsens after she has meals or constipation, and her stomach will feel as hard as a stone. Fortunately, on January 19th, Di will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Di's hernia repair surgery. Once completed, the procedure will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and be well enough to care for her family. Di shared, “Once I am better, I will try my best to take care of my family and my children's education. I want them to study in Thai school. They need to be educated, so I need to be healthy."
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.”
Leang Sim is a seven-year-old 1st grade student. She has one older brother who is 11 years old and in the 6th grade. Their father sells vegetables at the market and their mother is a vegetable farmer. When Leang Sim is not at school she likes to play with toys with her brother, read books, watch TV, and go outside with her parents. When Leang Sim was one, her mother first noticed she had a curved spine. Doctors have now diagnosed Leang Sim with thoracolumbar scoliosis. She arrived at Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) with a curved spine reporting difficulty walking, sleeping, and trouble breathing after strenuous activity. Surgeons at CSC will place an extending rod inside Leang Sim's back to help improve her condition now and as she grows, the rod will be extended to alleviate her scoliosis. Leang Sim's mother is hopeful for the surgery and said, "I hope my daughter can walk well after surgery."
Noel is a 3-year-old boy from Tanzania and the only child to his single mother. He is a happy, friendly, and cheerful boy. Noel's mom shared that his father left them when he was young and does not offer support, leaving her struggling to raise him all by herself. Last year, Noel fell over a pot of hot porridge which has left him with scars on his face. The skin around his face is now contracting and pulling the skin up impacting his mouth. Due to this, he can’t speak well and if this is not corrected the condition will continue to worsen. Noel's mother does not have a stable job; she seeks casual labor like house cleaning and washing clothes in order to get money to support herself and her baby. She is unable to afford her child's treatment cost thus she is asking for help and support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Noel receive treatment. On October 12th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery and he will be better able to talk properly after treatment. Now, their family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Noel’s mother says: “With no job, I am struggling to even feed my son well. I won’t be able to afford his surgery cost, please help us.”
Megan is a 3-month old baby girl from Tanzania, and the only child to her single mother. Megan was born with clubfoot and spina bifida, which contributed to her acquiring hydrocephalus. Megan’s father left their family when her mother was five months pregnant and they lost any contact with him. Megan's grandmother, who was also a single mom after her husband passed away at a young age, depends on selling second-hand clothes. Her income is very limited to be able to provide for her children and be able to afford school fees. Due to this, Megan's mother was not able to continue with her studies due to financial challenges and joined her mother in selling second hand clothes. Megan has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Megan has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Megan will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Megan that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 21st and will drain the excess fluid from Megan's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Megan will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Megan’s mother says, “I have no one to run to for help and support, all my relatives have told me they can no longer support us in any way and yet my daughter is suffering. Please help save my daughter.”
Nikai is a humble girl from Kenya. She is the second born in a family of four children. Her mother is a stay-at-home mom while the father is a herdsman. The family lives in a mud and grass thatched house. Nikai has clubfoot of her right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Nikai traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 18. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Nikai's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to wear shoes and walk easily. “I would like to see my daughter walk like other children. Any kind of support is highly appreciated,” Nikai's mother shared.