Ryan joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Five years ago, Ryan became the 330th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,631 more people have become monthly donors! Ryan's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Joyce, a future doctor from Kenya, to fund surgery that will correct the curve in her spine.
Ryan has funded healthcare for 101 patients in 13 countries.
Joyce is the oldest of three siblings and likes helping her mother do household chores at home. She also has a green thumb and enjoys helping her father on his farm. She is in seventh grade and her favorite subject is English. Joyce dreams of being a future doctor. In June of 2019, Joyce's family noticed an unusual curving of her spine. Currently, Joyce has trouble balancing while she walks and has experienced lower self-esteem. Surgery will correct the curve in her spine, improve her confidence, and enable her to continue her education and achieve her aspiration of becoming a doctor. Joyce's family has raised funds for half of the cost of her surgery with the help of friends and well-wishers. They are asking for Watsi's support to cover the remaining cost of their daughter's surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining cost of her surgery and care. “My joy would be to get treated so that I can continue with my studies without needing to hide my back,” Joyce shared. Her parents also expressed, “We are pleading for support so that our daughter can undergo surgery and continue with her normal life like other children.”
Patrick is a motorbike taxi operator from Kenya. He is the firstborn child in a family of 6 children. He lives with his grandmother as his mother’s rented space is too small for the entire family. He did not proceed with higher education due to financial challenges. His mother separated with his father so she is raising their family and Patrick used to rely on his motorcycle business to make ends meet. A week ago, Patrick was involved in a motorcycle accident suffering facial bruises and a right femur fracture. He is in pain and unable to stand on his own. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 26th, Patrick will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal and walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Patrick says, “Thank you for assisting me. I am hopeful that soon my leg will be fixed.”
Robert is a casual laborer from Kenya. Robert works as a construction site worker in the capital while his wife takes up jobs such as laundry services. The father of two lives in a two-roomed house, paying $31 per month. They share bathroom amenities in a pro-poor home of the city. Robert walked to our facility in the late hours of 22 April 2020, with complaints of Achilles tendon injury. A week ago, he was bathing in their shared bathroom when he slid and his right foot got stuck by the toilet bowl sustaining the injury. Without treatment, Robert might not be able to walk with ease again and risks further wound infections. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Robert receive treatment. On April 23rd, surgeons will treat his Achillies injury and perform a debridement and skin graft procedure. Following treatment, he will be able to walk so he can return home and care for his family. Now, Robert needs help to fund this $1,129 procedure. Robert says, “Thank you for expressing a wish to support me. I did not have money for the motel lodge last night and do not have any money for the planned surgery. God bless you.”
Moe is a 31-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and four-year-old son in Mae La Refugee Camp (MLRC) in Tha Song Yang District of Tak Province. She has lived there for 20 years after her parents moved from Bilin Township, Bago Division in Burma because of the civil war. Moe is a homemaker who does all the household chores while her husband is a farmer who works on rented land outside of the camp, where he plants corn and beans. To make some extra income, Moe also sells snacks from home. Their combined income is enough to cover basic family expenses. As for healthcare, they receive free basic care in the camp provided by International Rescue Committee (IRC). A few months ago, Moe started to feel a mass in her lower abdomen while she was lying down after eating dinner. She thought it was strange and told her neighbor about it the next day. Her neighbor told her that this was normal for someone gaining weight, which she suggested Moe was. Upon hearing this, she did not seek treatment, agreeing with her neighbor’s conclusion. However, she soon felt that the mass was increasing in size, which did not seem normal. On February 13th, 2020, she decided it was time to go to the clinic in the camp for further investigation. The medic at the camp examined to her and told her that she likely had a cyst in her lower abdomen, but they could not diagnose her further. The medic informed the doctor at the camp and the doctor discussed the situation with IRC staff, who then referred Moe to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. She was referred to MSH on February 17th for an ultrasound. Upon going to MSH, doctors performed an ultrasound and told her that she has a mass in her uterus. Since the mass was already large, however, the ultrasound did not show a clear result whether the mass was outside or inside her uterus. For this reason, the doctor recommended a computed tomography (CT) scan on February 25th. Moe returned home and came back to MSH for the CT scan according to the appointment date. On the day of the scan, she also received a blood test and urine test before being informed that she would have to come back on February 27th to get the results. When she returned, the doctor explained to her that there is a large tumor in her right ovary and that she needs surgery to remove it, followed by a tissue biopsy to confirm whether the growth is cancerous. Currently, Moe has a burning pain in her lower right abdomen. Sometimes the pain gets worse, which makes it difficult for her sleep or eat well. For this reason, she said that she lost her appetite and weight. When she eats, she feels discomfort as her stomach becomes tight and full, even she eats very little. She feels like the mass is gradually getting bigger and she feels more comfortable lying down instead of sitting or walking. Moe sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on March 24th and is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Moe said, “Both my husband and I became worried when we heard that there was mass in my uterus. We worry that my whole uterus might need to be removed and we will no longer be able to have more children. Now, the doctor told me that only the tumor will be removed and that I most likely will be able to have children in the future. Me and my husband want to have one or two more children, so we were very happy when we heard that my uterus would not to be removed.”
Sandar is is a 48-year-old pastor from Burma. She lives with her husband, daughter, and seven children who she is sheltering. In her free time, Sandar likes to prepare for her sermons, read the Bible, and pray for others in need. Since 2017, Sandar has been experiencing high blood pressure and heavy abnormal vaginal bleeding. She has been diagnosed with pelvic mass and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Sandar's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Sandar is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on February 24th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience abnormal bleeding or discomfort. "I worry about the children I shelter," said Sandar. "Currently, I have to buy a lot of sanitary pads and my daughter borrowed 500,000 kyat (approx. 500 USD) from her boss to support me, which she will pay back in installments.”
Tra is a 20-year-old rubber tree farmer from Cambodia. He is the youngest of four siblings, and enjoys playing soccer, listening to music, and watching television. Six months ago, Tra was in a traffic accident and fractured his lower left leg. After initial treatment at a nearby hospital, Tra's bone is now exposed, and he is unable to walk without support and is in constant pain. When Tra learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for four hours seeking treatment. On January 9th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin flap and debridement procedure, as well as an external frame to help his wounds to heal properly and allow him to walk comfortably again. Now, he needs help to fund this $657 procedure. "I hope that my injuries will be able to heal and that I will no longer be in pain and can walk again," he shared.
On May 28th 2019, Min was playing tag with his friend in front of his house, when he decided to climb up a tree. Unfortunately, the tree was slippery due to the rainy season, and Min slipped and fell out of the tree. At first, he was able to stand on his right leg, but he was not able to walk. When Min’s mother heard the news, she immediately came to see him. In the morning, his mother and grandmother rented a car and brought him to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). The staff at MTC then sent him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for an X-ray, which indicated that his left femur was broken. After they received the results of his X-ray, MTC referred Min to Watsi partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for help in accessing the treatment he needed. On May 31st, Min underwent surgery to place a metal rod into his leg. He was discharged from the hospital on June 5th. Within the past two months, Min returned to MSH for three follow-up visits. At his most recent follow-up, he was told his prognosis was good, and he was scheduled for surgery to remove the metal rod on January 2nd, 2020. “I feel normal again,” he said. “I’m no longer in pain. I can walk, sit, and take a shower by myself again. Before, I couldn’t do anything. I could only lay on my back and watch as people around me had to do everything. After my second surgery I want to work with my older brother in the factory.”
Tun is a 61-year-old man from Burma. He works as a day labourer at a parking lot and supports his family. He loves listening to music when he has free time. About 18 years ago, Tun's right foot was injured in a road accident. He just self-treated the wound because he could not afford to go to any clinics or hospitals. Although the wound did not cause him any pain or any other problems, it never was healed properly. About 3 months ago, Tun started to experience intermittent pain, especially at night. The pain worsened over time until he could no longer hide it and screamed whenever the pain struck. When his neighbors and co-workers found out about it, they advised him to go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). Once at the hospital, the doctor examined him and said that his leg is in a bad condition. The doctor also explained that, with the failed joint and non-healing ulcer, the best treatment for him is to have a below-knee amputation. Tun said, "I can’t work daily because of my ulcer. That's why I have no money to seek treatment. My children are not able to work as they are still young. I‘m not happy. I am in debt and it's increasing daily."
Khu is a 22-month-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents, grandmother and an older sister in Ei Tu Hta Internally Displaced Camp in Hpa-pun Township, Karen State. Since birth, Khu has had an inguinal hernia. When he turned one and a half years old, he started to learn to speak. Since then, whenever he cried, he touched his scrotum and said that it was painful. His parents were very sad to see Khu in pain but they could not do anything for him. Fortunately, on October 10, 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 Khu's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 10 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Khu's mother said, “When Khu is in pain, he would ask me to carry him on my back. If I do not do it, he would cry a lot. I feel very sorry that I cannot help him”. Khu loves playing with his older sister and friends when he is not in pain. His father said, “I want to see him playing happily."
Tina is a 59-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her family in a village in Myawaddy Township, Karen State. She stopped working five months ago because of her poor health and now, she looks after the household chores and takes care of her grandchildren. Both of her grandchildren go to school while her daughter works as a health worker in their village. Both Tina’s son and her son-in-law work as agricultural day labourers on different farms. In January 2019, Tina began to experience that her right eye started to hurt. These symptoms have made it increasingly difficult for she to see clearly. Tina was diagnosed with retinal detachment, a condition in which the retina pulls away from the supportive tissue in the eye, resulting in vision loss. If left untreated, she could lose vision completely. Tina is scheduled to undergo surgery to reattach her retina on September 20. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After his surgery, Tina's vision will hopefully be restored, and she will resume her daily activities comfortably. She is not able to sleep well because she worries about her condition. “When I have free time, I weave bags for my grandchildren,” said Tina. “I hope that I will feel better soon so that I can go back to work and pay back my debt.”
Vireakneat is a four-year-old boy from Cambodia. He likes to play toys with his friends, watch television, and go for walks with his family. He received a poorly administered injection in his upper leg, causing a flexion contracture of his left thigh. He is unable to full extend his leg and experiences difficulty walking. When Vireakneat learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On July 15, surgeons at CSC will perform a quadricepsplasty procedure of his left leg to help him walk without difficulty. Now, Vireakneat needs help to fund this $413 procedure. His mother says, "I hope that after surgery, I will no longer have to worry about my son and he will be able to walk and run normally."
Christian is a baby from Kenya. He was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Christian is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 2. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $700 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “I do not have another source of income. Please help me,” says Christine’s mother.