Rebecca joined Watsi on April 16th, 2013. Eleven months ago, Rebecca became the 5468th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 990 more people have become monthly donors! Rebecca's most recent donation supported Naw Dah, a refugee from Thailand, to fund kidney stone treatment.
Rebecca has funded healthcare for 13 patients in 7 countries.
Naw Dah lives with her four daughters and three sons in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. Five of her children attend school in the camp while Naw Dah looks after her two youngest children at home. Her husband, who lives most of the year at his worksite, is a gardener and farmer in a nearby Thai village. He earns 1,000 baht (approx. $33.50 USD) in a month. Every month, Naw Dah’s family receives 1,538 baht (approx. $51.30 USD) as part of their camp food support from an organisation called The Border Consortium. Despite receiving basic health care services and not having to pay for her children’s education, Naw Dah is struggling to make ends meet to feed her large family. In 2016, Naw Dah started experiencing pain and difficulty passing urine. She frequently sought treatment at the camp’s hospital, run by Malteser International Thailand (MI). From time to time, Naw Dah would be admitted to receive treatment for a reoccurring urinary tract infection (UTI). On March 27th, 2020, Naw Dah gave birth to her youngest daughter. While still admitted, on April 1st, she came down with another UTI. She was in extreme pain and had a high fever. That same day, the camp doctor referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital for additional review and treatment. Naw Dah arrived at that hospital later that day and received x-rays and an ultrasound of her abdomen. When her results came in, they indicated that she has an oval shaped opaque stone in the area where her right ureter connects to her urinary bladder. The doctor then referred her to the bigger local hospital for further treatment. Knowing she could not afford to pay for treatment, she was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner BCMF for financial assistance accessing treatment. After she was seen by the doctor at Chiang Mai Hospital, she was given antibiotics to treat her infection. On August 8th, 2020, she was admitted at CMH. Two days later she underwent a procedure called percutaneous nephrostomy to drain the urine in her kidney through the insertion of a catheter into her right kidney. Before she was discharged on August 11th, 2020, she received another appointment to be readmitted on September 14th, 2020. During that admission, the doctor scheduled her to undergo a surgical procedure to remove the stone from her ureter and she needs support raising funds for this critical treatment. In the future, Naw Dah would like to go back to work. “I want to work in the [camp’s] hospital because I used to be a nurse there in the past,” said Naw Dah.
Bu is a 53-year-old man who lives with his wife, two sons and two daughters in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. He and his family fled there from Karen State, Burma, due to conflict in their area. Every month, Bu's household received 1,514 baht (approx. 50 USD) as part of their camp rations. Bu's oldest son works on farms outside of the camp as a seasonal day laborer. He makes 1,100 baht (approx. 37 USD) per month. The rest of Bu's three children are students, and his wife is a homemaker. Despite receiving free primary health care services and schooling in the camp, Bu's family is struggling to make ends meet every month. Bu started to suffer from back pain and fever in 2015. He also experienced slight discomfort and a burning sensation while urinating. When he went to the camp's clinic, run by Malteser International (MI), he received oral medications. For a few months, his symptoms and pain disappeared, but later on, they returned. Whenever the pain would worsen, Bu would receive more medication from the camp's clinic. On 2 July 2020, when Bu's symptoms worsened, he went back to the clinic to received more medication. Noting that he kept returning to the clinic with severe symptoms, Bu was referred to Mae Sariang Hospital for further treatment. At the hospital, he received a blood and urine test, as well as a kidney, ureter, and bladder (KUB) x-ray. The doctor informed him that he has a stone in his left kidney. The doctor then referred him to Suandok Hospital in Chiang Mai for further treatment. On 29 July 2020, Bu saw the doctor at Chiang Mai Hospital. The doctor told him that he needed to undergo an intravenous pyelogram (IVP), a type of diagnostic test that uses an injection of contrast material to evaluate the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. Once he underwent the IVP, the doctor diagnosed him with a type of kidney stone called a staghorn stone. Bu was then scheduled to receive surgery to remove the kidney stone on 16 August 2020. Unable to pay for his treatment, MI referred Bu to Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing surgery. Currently, Bu experiences back pain and a burning sensation while urinating. He sometimes experiences headaches and cannot breathe well because of the severe pain. In his free time, his favorite thing to do is to help with household chores and grow vegetables for his family. Now, Burma Children Medical Fund needs your help in funding the cost of Bu's $1,500 surgery. Bu shared, “I still experience back pain and a burning sensation while urinating. Sometimes due to the pain, I have a headache and I have difficulty breathing. But I am very excited that I will be free from this prolonged pain after surgery."
Oudam is a 10-year-old student. He is in the third grade at school, and loves to study writing. He lives with his parents and his younger sister. Since his parents separated a few months ago, his mother has been working hard at a factory to support her children. Oudam helps to take care of his sister. They learn and play together. Since he was young, Oudam has suffered from muscle spasms in his legs, causing him to put all of his weight on his toes. This has affected his ability to move his legs normally, and he has difficulty walking, running, riding a bike, or wearing shoes. His mother often has to take him to school on her bike. Luckily, his neighbor told him about Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). He traveled nine hours with his mother to receive treatment. Doctors will perform an achilles tendon lengthening procedure. This will allow him to distribute weight across his whole foot, giving him greater balance and ease of walking. After a physiotherapy program, Oudan will be able to walk normally. Oudan's mother shared, "I am happy we have the opportunity for this procedure and I hope that my son will be able to walk and run after he is better."
Wai is a 14-year-old student from Thailand. He temporarily lives with his grandparents and great grandmother in Huay Ka Lote Village in Thailand, but Wai usually lives with his parents across the border in Burma. He came to visit his grandparents during his school break in mid-March 2020 after completing seventh grade, however, he was unable to return to his parents and home when Thailand closed it borders due to COVID-19. His parents are subsistence farmers and they also raise a few chickens, pigs, and goats to sustain their livelihood. When they need money to buy clothes or pay for healthcare, they sell some of their livestock. Meanwhile, his grandparents look after a landowner’s garden and land for 2,000 baht (approx. 67 USD) per month. The income that Wai’s grandparents earn from the landowner is just enough for their daily expenses. Wai is diagnosed with cataract and currently he has lost most of the vision in his right eye and is only able to see light. His right eye also looks red. Aside from that, he has no other symptoms and his eye does not hurt. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Wai. On June 16th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Wai's natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. “I want to become a farmer when I grow up and follow in my parent’s footsteps, but I also want to become a nurse if I receive a chance to do so. I overheard my parents say that they don’t have enough money to continue supporting my studies once I graduate from grade eight, so I’m not so sure whether I’ll be able to continue my studies after next year,” said Wai.
Josphina is an elderly woman from Kenya. She is a 68-year-old joyful grandmother who was admitted to the hospital three weeks ago with a proximal tibia fracture after she was involved in a road traffic accident. Sokome was crossing the road when she was run over by a speeding motorcycle. She fractured her right leg and suffered serious wounds on her leg. She was rushed to a government hospital where a cast was applied and was admitted for daily cleaning and dressing. Sokome kept complaining of pain on her limb until she was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner's hospital and diagnosed with a grade 3 open tibia fracture after an x-ray examination. Doctors treated her with debridement and external fixation. She has progressed well, with good healing with the exception of a 2x2cm non-healing wound with soft tissue loss and exposed bone. She requires a flap to cover the wound and allow healing, and post-surgery rehabilitation when she is discharged home. Sokome is a mother of three and grandmother to twelve. She is a maize and millet farmer in a rural village. She is a widow after her husband died two months ago after suffering a longtime illness and now lives with her son in a two-roomed house with an iron sheet as its roof. Sokome requires financial support for a successful surgery. Before coming to the hospital, her family had spent much of their money treating her. They have done their best for the hospital bill for her first surgery until this time when they can’t afford another surgery for Sokome. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Josphina receive treatment. On May 15th, surgeons at their care center will perform a skin grafting and wound cover so she will be out of risk of further complications. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,169 procedure. Josphina says, “I am worried about my health and the obstacles I might face; would I be able to walk again, would I face social problems or financial challenges? My only hope is to walk again.”
Toeur is the sixth of seven children in his family, including four brothers and three sisters. He likes to stay home and help around the house and cook, as well as watch television and listen to music. Toeur was born with a hump on his spine and, at the age of two, he fell down the stairs and has since had a curve in his spine. He has pain in his right knee and experiences paraparesis, where he has partial paralysis in his legs and requires crutches when he walks. He cannot do any heavy work and stays near his house most days. Spinal surgery will correct Toeur's spine position and relieve his symptoms. He will be able to walk comfortably again, and will be able to take on daily activities with greater ease. He shared, "My family worries about my pain a lot, and they hope that I will be able to work again and help provide for the family. I hope that my spine will be straight and will no longer have a curve, and I won't have anymore pain in my knee so I can return to work."
Meskafera is a baby boy from Ethiopia. He already loves to play and laugh with his mom and is exclusively fed breast milk. Meskafera has three older brothers and two older sisters. His mom is a house wife. His dad is a farmer who plants sweet potatoes in their garden to feed his children, with limited income. Meskafera was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Meskafera is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on March 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Meskafera's procedure and care. After his recovery, Meskafera will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Meskafera's mom said, “It is my hope that my baby will get treated and be like other people. I will raise him well and educate him. ”
Joseph is a bodaboda taxi operator from Kenya. Joseph relies on his motorcycle to make a living. To supplement their limited income, his wife sells charcoal in a small makeshift kiosk. As a father of one, he is worried of not being able to meet his family’s needs. Joseph was involved in a road accident on 31st January 2020 in his hometown, few kilometers from Watsi Medical Partner Kijabe Hospital. The accident left him with multiple fractures on his face and lacerations. He cannot eat and is in constant pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 6th, Joseph will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. He will be able to chew his food again and no longer suffer pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,451 to fund this procedure. Joseph says, “My hope is to recover quickly and resume my fatherly duties of provision.”
Naw Lel is a one and a half year old girl from Burma. She is from a population that is ethnically Karen. She lives with her parents and her grandmother, who are subsistence farmers.The family does not have a regular income, but Naw Lel’s father and grandmother sometimes make homemade noodles and traditional beverages and sell them to bring in an income for the family. When Naw Lel was five months old, her mother noticed that a small lump appeared in the upper left side of her daughter’s groin. Naw Lel had femoral hernia. Naw Lel can neither play actively nor run, because if she does so, the lump in her groin will appear, causing her pain. She also cannot eat and sleep well. Sometimes, she vomits and catches a fever at night. Whenever she cries, she would touch her groin. Her parents are very sad to see her in pain, but they could not do anything for her. Fortunately, on January 16th, she 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 Naw Lel's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 16th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Naw Lel’s mother said, “I want her to grow up healthy and I want her to become a teacher.”
Shwe Win is a 39-year-old man who lives with wife, two daughters, and two sons in Yangon, Burma. Shwe Win used to work as a civil engineer but is currently unemployed. His wife is a teacher and all of his children go to school. Their monthly household income is enough to pay for their expenses and basic health care, but they have to use their savings to pay for all the children’s school fees. In the beginning of 2018, Shwe Win developed severe pain in his waist and back. He went to a local hospital to see a doctor, who ordered an ultrasound, x-rays, a blood test and a urine test. After checking his results, the doctor told him that he has a stone in his left kidney. He was given an injection, and the doctor told him that he would need to be admitted at a hospital to have the stone broken up surgically. Afterwards, Shwe Win would be in pain anytime he lifted anything heavy or sat for longer than 30 minutes. Whenever the pain became unbearable, he would take painkillers. In June 2019, he decided to join a rehabilitation program run by Christian Youth. When he finished the program, he developed severe pain again. This time, neither the painkillers nor the injection worked. He was referred again to the hospital. There he was admitted for five days because he was in so much pain that he vomited and had difficulty breathing. While admitted, he received an ultrasound and was told that he now had stones in both of his kidneys. He would need to have treatment to break up the stones. "I feel thankful that I was able to meet Burma Children Medical Fund. If I hadn’t come here, I wouldn’t have pursued treatment because I don’t want to be a burden on my siblings nor my wife anymore,” shared Shwe Win.
Jean is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and brothers in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He is in the eight grade, and before becoming sick he enjoyed playing soccer regularly. Jean has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral and aortic regurgitation. Two of the four valves of his heart were severely damaged by a rheumatic fever he suffered in childhood, and can no longer adequately pump blood through his body. Jean will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On October 28th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair his two damaged valves; if they are unable to do so, they will implant artificial replacements. Another organization, The Mitral Foundation, is contributing $7500 to pay for surgery. Jean'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 Jean's family overseas. Jean said, "I am very excited to have this chance to get my heart fixed!"
Nith is a 24-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has one son, and enjoys gardening and making Khmer desserts for her family. When she was eight years old, Nith had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in her left ear to perforate. For this reason, Nith experiences hearing loss, discharge, tinnitus, and itchiness. Her ears are constantly infected and irritated, and she cannot hear others or communicate well. Nith traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On September 3rd, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her left ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $423 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. "I hope that my wife will be able to hear clearly, and that myself and her parents will not worry about hearing loss or her condition anymore." Nith's Husband