Shivram joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Shivram became the 25th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,928 more people have become monthly donors! Shivram's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Angel, a funny and jovial eight-year-old from Kenya, to fund surgery that will enable him to walk.
Shivram has funded healthcare for 97 patients in 15 countries.
Angel is a funny and jovial boy. Like his brother, Gilbert, he has a condition known as Bilateral Genu Valgus, or knock knees, that makes it difficult for him to walk. Angel is the second youngest of four siblings and is in the first grade at a local primary school. His mother works part-time cleaning houses, washing clothes, and performing other household work she may find. Gibert’s father is a street pastor and also works as a street vendor. The family lives in a one-bedroom rental house in Nairobi and they shared with us that they feel life is hard because they do not have the resources to buy everything they need. Angel's condition began when he was just two years old. He experienced pain and could not walk long distances. Since then, his condition has worsened and he cannot run or play with his friends at school. In June of 2019, he and his brother underwent a Derotational Femoral Osteotom, a surgery that realigns their bones so that they can resume walking comfortably. The surgery was successful for both brothers and Angel has been walking well with his right leg. He now needs support for the surgery on his left knee. With both knees healed, Angel will be able to walk comfortably. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,282 to fund this procedure. Angel's mother shared, “I am pleading for more support for their second surgery. God bless you."
Ree is a 44-year-old man who lives with his wife, two sons, and his daughter in Mae Ra Ma Laung Refugee Camp in Thailand. Ree and his family used to live in a village in Hpa-pun Township in Karen State, Burma. However, due to conflict between armed groups in his area, they fled to the refugee camp in 2006. Every month Ree’s family receives 1,244 baht (approx. 42 USD) from The Border Consortium (TBC), an organization that provides support to refugees in camps. He also works as a caregiver for the elderly in the camp, for the organization Catholic Office for Emergency Relief and Refugees. He earns 1,100 baht (approx. 37 USD) each month for this. All of his children go to school in the camp while his wife works as a cook at one of the schools. On March 14, 2020, Ree slipped and fell on his right forearm while he was carrying a heavy load. When he got up, he was not able to move his right hand and he thought he had broken his forearm. Ree did not seek help at the camp’s medical centre and instead wrapped traditional herbal medicine onto his right forearm. As time passed, Ree could still not use his right arm and the pain in his arm did not go away. Eventually, on May 10th, he went to the camp’s hospital, run by Malteser International Thailand (MI). At the hospital, he was diagnosed with a fractured right forearm that had not healed properly. He was referred to the local Mae Sariang Hospital and received an x-ray on May 12th. The result indicated that he had fractured one of the two bones in his forearm. The doctor at the hospital then referred Ree to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further management and treatment. The following day, MI staff brought Ree to CMH. Once he met with the doctor, the doctor told him that he will need to receive surgery for his arm to heal properly. Currently, Ree is still in pain and his right arm is sore and not in use. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ree will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for May 21st and will cost $1,500. His arm will no longer be in pain and he hopes he will be able to go back to his old job helping the elderly in the refugee camp. While smiling he said, “I have been struggling to do tasks for the past month without using my right hand which is hard as I am right handed. I cannot wait to use my right arm again!”
Chantha is a 42-year-old market seller from Cambodia. He has two children, and enjoys watching television and reading about the news. Four years ago, Chantha developed a pterygium in his right eye, causing him irritation, blurry vision, and tearing. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside. When Chantha learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for one hour seeking treatment. Chantha needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The total cost of his procedure is $201. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for October 08. Chantha said, "I hope my eyes will be able to see clearly after surgery and I can return to my work at the market."
Nyo is a 50-year-old woman from Burma who lives with her husband, her son, and her daughter in a village in Shwe Bo Township. Nyo’s husband is a subsistence farmer while she is a homemaker. Her son sells bus tickets at the bus station in Taunggyi Town, Shan State and he sends some pocket money to his parents at home. Nyo’s husband sometimes work as a construction day laborer. Nyo was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of her 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, she is tired and cannot walk long distances. She also has chest pain and a poor appetite. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Nyo. The treatment is scheduled to take place on March 16th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Nyo said, “I am very upset that I have to suffer this kind of condition.”
Lomunyaki is a 3-month-old baby boy from Tanzania. He is the only child to his parents. Lomunyak's mother is staying at her parent’s home after giving birth to Lomunyak. Lomunyaki's father didn’t want to take his son to the hospital thus the mother was forced to ran away and go seek help from her parents. Her parents are livestock keepers with very little income but they were able to get some money and took Lomunyaki to a clinic. Lomunyaki was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Lomunyaki is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $966 to cover the cost of Lomunyaki's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 12th. This procedure will hopefully spare Lomunyaki from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthier trajectory. Lomunyaki’s mother says, “I was very shocked when I gave birth to Lomunyaki; he is my first born and him born with a disability made me feel very bad like there was something wrong with my womb. Please help my son get this treatment.”
Kyin is a farmer from Burma. She grows vegetable with her husband and her son on her husband’s relatives’ land for free. Their relatives own land that is available for half of the year after the rice is harvested. By selling the vegetables they grow, they earn a living. Kyin has been diagnosed with cataract and glaucoma in her right eye. She is sensitive to the light and her vision has deteriorated. She can only make out shapes and colors. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Kyin. On January 21st, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Kyin's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. "In the future after I recover, I would like to continue growing vegetables," said Kyin.
Colette is a young mother from Haiti. She lives with her husband and baby son in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Colette has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged due to a rheumatic fever she suffered a number of years ago, and it cannot adequately pump blood through her body. Colette will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On December 11th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove her damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing funds to pay for surgery. Colette's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Colette's family overseas. "I am very relieved I can have this surgery so that I know I will be alive to take care of my son," Colette shared.
Coldy is a baby from Haiti who lives with his mother and father in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Coldy has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Coldy will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On November 14th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in his heart using a patch. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5000 to pay for surgery. Coldy's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Coldy's family overseas. From Coldy's mother, "I am hopeful that after his surgery my son will start eating better and gaining weight!"
Aloyce is a student from Tanzania. He is nineteen years old young man and the last born child in a family of three children. Aloyce only had the chance to study up to class seven. Due to financial challenges, he couldn’t continue with his studies and fulfill his dream of becoming an engineer. He stayed home helping his parents in their small scale farming to make himself productive and support his parents. Eventually a relative came in and offered to take him to Dar es Salaam and teach him welding work so that he could be able to make a living for himself. Aloyce has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Aloyce has been experiencing seizures and fainting. Without treatment, Aloyce will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Aloyce that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 15th and will drain the excess fluid from Aloyce's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Aloyce will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Aloyce says, “People look at me differently now due to this condition please help me get this treatment so that I can be able to resume my training and normal life activities again.”
William is a six-month-old baby boy from Burma. He lives with his mother, who looks after him, and his maternal grandparents who are retired. His father works at a non-government organisation in Rakhine State and sends them money every month. Since March 2019, William has had an inguinal hernia. William has not started talking yet and is not able to complain. He might be in pain but his mother is not sure. Fortunately, on September 8th, he 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 William's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 08 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. William's mother said, “When I first noticed his hernia, I was shocked and very sad. I talked with several older people who suffered from hernia and they all said it’s uncomfortable and painful sometimes. I want him to have surgery soon so that he can grow up well like other children. I want him to be a good person someday, a person who is considerate and is willing to help others that are in need.”
Michael is a motorcycle taxi operator from Kenya. He is a hardworking and entrepreneurial man. In July, Micheal was involved in an accident with another motorbike. He was brought to the hospital, where it was confirmed that he had sustained a fracture of the left femur. He is not able to walk and is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 25, Michael will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $998 to fund this procedure. “I cannot afford the cost of surgery. I will be eternally grateful if you can find a way to help,” Michael says.
Mi is a 57-year-old teacher from Thailand. She lives with her family in Mae Sot. Her husband is a day laborer, two sons of her go to school, and her daughter is a seamstress in the factory. Mi has a fracture in her left hip bone. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Mi will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 12 and will cost $1,500. She will be able to walk and teach again. Her husband says, “I feel very sad to see my wife in pain."