UNIVERSAL FUND MEMBERCo-founder of Stacks
United States • shea.io • Born on May 19th
Ryan joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Eight years ago, Ryan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ryan's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Joemer, a hard-working 39-year-old street food vendor from Philippines, to fund surgery to remove his gallbladder.
Ryan has funded healthcare for 148 patients in 14 countries.
Ryan has funded healthcare for 148 patients in 14 countries.
Joemer is a hard-working street vendor from Philippines. He is the breadwinner in the family. He earns money by cooking and selling local delicacies and his earning of $4 daily is just enough to bring food to the table. In January 2020, Joemer began to experience troubling symptoms. He sought medical consultation and was told to undergo an ultrasound. The test showed that he has a 1.2cm gallstone. Due to the financial crisis, he decided to delay his treatment and opted to take pain relievers instead. His pain intensifies forcing him to be checked again by a surgeon. Joemer has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, his symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Joemer is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on March 7th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,128 to cover the cost of Joemer's surgery and care. Joemer shared, "I'm truly grateful to WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for being one of your beneficiaries. Your hearts are so kind for helping out people like me who are sick but not capable of paying for our needed surgery."
Milka is a 48-year-old woman. She is the mother of three children, between 6 and 26 years. She works harvesting tea at a tea plantation, while her husband gets jobs working at construction sites. Their income is not enough to pay for life-saving surgery, and they do not have medical coverage. Milka woke up one morning at the beginning of February this past year and discovered a lump in her right breast. It was painless at first, but later became painful. She went to a clinic in her local area, but was referred to a bigger facility that offers cancer care. She came to Kijabe Hospital this month where she had an ultrasound, mammogram, and a core biopsy that revealed cancer. Milka has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. Doctors recommend a mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing, or spreading. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Milka. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 8th. After treatment, Milka will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Milka says, "I might be scared that I am losing my breast, but I know it is important to stop the cancer.”
Berlando is a 4-month-old baby boy from Haiti. He is the only child of a single young mother. Berlando 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, Berlando has been experiencing Increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Berlando will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Berlando at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on January 26th. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from Berlando's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Berlando will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. His mother is looking forward to him being able to go to school and play with other children as he grows older.
Meet Sokhorn, a recently married 27 year old man, living with his wife in Cambodia. Sokhorn works at a factory that produces automobile and motorcycle plates, and when he has free time, he enjoys swimming, running, and keeping up with current events. In August 2022, when he was on his motorcycle delivering food, Sokhorn was in a collision with a car. He fractured his left tibia, and was operated on at a local hospital. An external fixation device to keep the bones in place was used, and Sokhorn was sent home to heal. Because he lacked the money to do so, Sokhorn never followed up with the doctors who treated him. He now finds that he has no range of motion in his ankle; has lost all sensation in the area where the surgery was performed, and he is unable to walk. He feels so unwell overall, that he no longer goes to work, leaving his wife as their sole support. Fortunately, a neighbor introduced Sokhorn to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, where he was diagnosed with a chronic infection of his wound, and osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone. Sokhorn needs debridement of the wound and reconstructive surgery, in order to save his leg and to heal completely. Thanks to Children's Surgical Centre, Sokhorn is scheduled for this life changing procedure on October 6th, at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre. Now he needs your help to fund the $991 required to cover the costs of his surgery and care. Sokhorn said: "I hope the doctors will fix my leg so I have no more infections. I want to find work so I can support my wife and have a good life with her."
Heng is a 75-year-old grandmother from Cambodia. She is married and has three sons, one daughter, and seven grandchildren. She and her husband live with their daughter and son-in-law, who is a car mechanic. Two years ago, Heng developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her to experience eye tearing, itchiness, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so she is not able to go places on her own. When Heng learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On September 1st, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Heng shares that she hopes to see everything clearly again and that she will be able to join ceremonies at the pagoda.
Nancy is a bright and social 12-year-old student from Tanzania. She is the youngest in a family of three children. Her and her siblings are being raised by their grandparents with the help of amazing well-wishers, since their grandparents are older and appreciate the extra help. Nancy currently attends primary school, and her favorite subjects include Swahili, mathematics, and social studies! She is very friendly and loves to play netball with her schoolmates. However, playing is becoming increasingly difficult due to her condition. Nancy has clubfoot of the left foot. Clubfoot is a condition where the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Nancy and her family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Nancy's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Her grandmother says, "Nancy and her siblings have been in my care since they were babies. We struggle to raise them. That's why well-wishers help. Unfortunately, they can’t help her with her treatment. Please help us."
Queen is an adorable 4-month-old baby from Tanzania. Her mother is a sole proprietor who has recently started a new small business, while her father works as a security guard. Queen has an older sibling. While their current income is limited, her mother is confident that her new business provide for their family's basic needs. Queen has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Queen's parents took her to a nearby hospital, but they lacked the needed specialized medical staff. Concerned about waiting a long time for a consultation, Queen's father visited another hospital but experienced the same issue. Queen's father then visited the hospital of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), where the doctors were able to diagnose the condition and recommended surgery. On November 18th, Queen will undergo clubfoot repair surgery that will allow her to learn to stand and walk as she grows. AMH is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Queen's father shared: "We have been traveling far and wide in pursuit of a cure for our daughter. We're determined to see her feet get back to normal. We appeal for your financial support to help our daughter receive treatment."
Rong is an elderly retired rice farmer who has developed a cataract in his left eye. He is a widower and has two daughters, three sons, and twenty grandchildren. He used to farm rice on the family plot, but as he has grown older, he spends time at home and lives with his oldest daughter who is a farmer. He likes to play with his grandchildren and listen to the monks pray on the radio. When Rong learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. On June 7th, 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 $253 procedure. "I would like to go outside by myself and see all the faces of my grandchildren well," shared Rong as he talked with us about his future.
Ma Win is an 18-year-old girl who lives with her parents, sister and brother-in-law in Yangon, Burma. Ma Win’s sister works at a clothing factory, while her brother-in-law works as a day laborer. Her parents are homemakers. Before Ma Win's current illness, she also worked at a factory. When Ma Win was four years old, she experienced a bout of high fever, and was brought to the local clinic. She received an injection, and the doctor informed her parents that she was born with a heart problem. However, she was too young at the time for corrective surgery. Instead, she was sent home with medication, and appeared to be doing well until this past year. In April, Ma Win began experiencing chest pains, high fever and difficulty breathing. She went to a clinic, and received an x-ray and an echocardiogram. After the doctor checked her results, she was diagnosed with an opening between two major blood vessels leading from the heart. The doctor told her and her family that she would need to have surgery. When Ma Win explained to the doctor that her family could not afford to pay for the surgery, she was referred to the abbot of a local monastery, who provided the family with information about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Now Ma Win is scheduled for cardiac surgery on October 23rd at Pun Hlaing Hospital. After she has recovered, she should no longer experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, and she won't have to worry any longer about her condition. She will also be able to return to work, which will help ease her family's financial burdens. Now she needs your help to raise $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure. Ma Win said: “I am scared to receive surgery, but my mother tries to encourage me. However, I am very happy that I will be able to receive treatment with your help. I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors.”
Agrath is a beautiful seven-month-old baby girl. She is a healthy and happy little girl raised by a single mother and her grandmother. Agrath was born with bilateral clubfoot, a congenital musculoskeletal malformation that causes the foot to twist of our shape, ultimately impairing the ability to walk. She was scheduled for corrective casting once she was given her diagnosis, but it was too expensive for their family to cover. Understanding the financial challenges the family was facing, and the potential dangers associated with discontinuing treatment, the doctors referred Agrath's family to the Plaster House to seek help. Fortunately, on May 13th Agrath will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Agrath's clubfoot repair. After treatment, her legs will be corrected and she will be able to grow up walking, running, and playing like other kids. Agrath’s grandmother says, “I am a widow and my granddaughter’s father is nowhere to be seen. We have no means of affording the surgery costs. Please help us.”
Naima is a smiley and playful baby girl from Ethiopia. She loves to breastfeed and play with her seven older siblings and her mother. Her dad is a retired driver and the community elder, and her mother stays home to care for the children. Because Naima's father has no source of income, their older children support them financially. Naima was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Naima developed bowel obstruction because of her condition and an emergency colostomy was done. She has had multiple issues with her colostomy care and associated complications. As a result, she cannot make stool in a typical way. Her parents have been very troubled because of her condition and are asking for support. Naima is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on September 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Naima's procedure and care. After her recovery, Naima will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Naima's father says, “I hope my child will get the treatment and heal. Once she finishes her treatment, I hope she will be relieved from her pain and suffering and lead a healthy life.”
Colleta is a 26-year-old woman who works at a small boutique in Nairobi. She is married and has two children, who are four-years-old and five-months-old. Colleta and her family currently live in the capital city, but they plan to relocate to Colleta’s hometown soon. Colletta and her family were involved in a serious car accident last month. Her parents and brother passed away, and her husband and two children were seriously injured and admitted to the ICU. Although her husband’s condition has stabilized, Colleta’s kids are in critical condition and under pediatric intensive care. Colletta sustained a fracture to her right pelvic bones. As a result, she experiences severe pain and cannot sit, turn her body, or feed herself. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Colletta receive treatment. On April 28th, she will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, that will allow her to sit and walk again. AMH is requesting $979 to fund this procedure. Colleta shared, “I am in pain and cannot even turn or sit. I am also sad that I lost my parents and my brother. My kids and husband are in critical care and still in ICU. I feel confused and heartbroken.”