nick joined Watsi on March 30th, 2013. Six years ago, nick joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. nick's most recent donation supported Phyo Ko, a 33-year-old construction worker from Thailand, to fund leg surgery so he can return to working.
nick has funded healthcare for 36 patients in 12 countries.
nick has funded healthcare for 36 patients in 12 countries.
Phyo Ko is a 33-year-old man, living in Thailand with his wife and two young children. Originally from Burma, Phyo Ko and his family moved to Thailand in 2009, in search of better job opportunities. Phy Ko's wife stays home with the children, who are too young to go to school, while Phyo Ko works as a construction day laborer, earning under $12 a day. In early 2021, Phyo Ko and his friend were at work at a construction site, when scaffolding fell onto Phyo Ko's left hand and thigh. Initially, he used oil made from traditional medicine to ease the pain. However, a month after the accident, Phyo Ko noticed that there was a mass on his left leg, so he sought medical attention. The first doctor he visited could find nothing wrong, and sent Phyo Ko back home. His mass continued to grow in size, and the pain increased, making it impossible for Phyo Ko to continue working, so once again, he went to the hospital. This time, there were no doctors available to see him because of the pandemic. Finally, in April, Phyo Ko was able to receive a CT scan, thanks to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund and the Watis community. The CT scan revealed a hematoma, which requires surgical intervention. On June 16th, Phyo Ko will undergo surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, to have the mass removed from his thigh. After the procedure, Phyo Ko should be able to walk, stand and work without pain, something he is unable to do now. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of Phyo Ko's surgery. Phyo Ko said: "I would like to receive surgery soon so that the pain will go away. Before I received the CT scan, I was told that my leg could be be amputated because the mass on my leg is very big. However, after the CT scan, the doctor told me that they could remove the mass without amputation. I was so happy to hear this. I want to work and earn an income for my family after surgery."
Jane is a loving mother from the Philippines. She has an adorable 8-month-old baby boy. Jane works as as a municipal administrative aide, while her husband works as a contractual college teacher. However, even with their combined salaries, they still cannot afford to cover her medical treatment. In 2019, Jane began to experience troubling symptoms, including a painful, palpable mass on her neck. She was diagnosed with a nodular goiter, which is a solid or fluid-filled lump that forms within the thyroid. However, due to financial constraints, she opted to take the doctor’s prescribed medicine to alleviate the symptoms instead of having the surgery she needs. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Jane finally undergo treatment. She is scheduled for a thyroidectomy on May 3rd at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $1323, and she and her family need help raising money for this life-changing care. “Once this surgery is done, I won’t have to endure this pain. Thank you World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for this opportunity to be treated. Now, we don't have to worry about where to get the money for my treatment,” Jane shared with relief.
Esther is a sweet 2-year-old from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and several siblings and cousins in a neighbordhood of Port-au-Prince. Esther's parents are both market vendors. Esther was born with down syndrome and later diagnosed with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. This means there is a hole between the two lower chambers of Esther's heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. On April 20th, Esther will fly to Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery to close the hole in her heart using a patch. This surgery is not available in Haiti and her family has been waiting for her to be able to travel for this life-saving care. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for her surgery. Esther's family needs additional assistance covering $1,500 for labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This amount also supports passport obtainment and the social workers who will accompany Esther's family overseas. Esther's mother shared, "We are very hopeful that after the surgery, our daughter will have more appetite and less weakness."
Lani is a 61-year old widow who lives with her daughter in the Philippines. Her daughter works as part of a fast-food restaurant crew and is their sole source of income. Lani has been diagnosed with cholelithiasis, also known as gallstone disease. Because of her financial situation, even though she experienced shooting pains in her stomach, she saw a doctor only after a year, when the pain already extended to her back. Eventually, her condition got severe to the point that she could no longer stand up and walk due to her worsening symptoms. Now, if left untreated, her condition may lead to tissue damage, tears in the gallbladder, and infection that can spread to other parts of her body. Lani is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on March 5th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,253 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After her recovery, Lani will no longer experience severe pain in her abdomen or other complications in the future. She shared, "I have had this disease for a long time, but I have been putting up with the pain for far too long because I really cannot afford medical treatment," Lani added, "I am eternally grateful to the World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for being able to provide assistance to individuals like me who simply cannot afford the procedures."
Yousos is a 26-year-old rice farmer who is married with has a four-year-old son and an eight-month-old son. Yousos enjoys reading and playing chess. In May 2019, Yousos was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a right hip fracture. Yousos sought treatment at a local hospital and was diagnosed with avascular necrosis. Yousos was also seen by a Khmer traditional healer, but his hip pain has persisted. Now Yousos's hip pain is so great, he can no longer walk. Fortunately, a neighbor told Yousos about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Yousos of his pain and allow him to walk easily. CSC is helping Yousos raise the $1,087 to cover the cost of the procedure scheduled for February 16th. Yousos is now hopeful to be more active and feel well again. He shared, "I hope I can walk easily again without pain."
Myo is 40-years-old and lives with his two sisters, two nephews, and two nieces in a village in Burma. He was a fisherman but stopped working when he started to experience problems on his left foot. As a result, his sisters support their household. One year ago, Myo noticed that his left big toe was itchy and swollen after he came home from fishing. Soon enough, it developed into an ulcer. Without enough money to go to a clinic or a hospital, he used traditional medicine and bought pain medicine to clean the infection. However, each time Myo would clean the ulcer, it would heal but returning a month later. Four months after he first developed the ulcer, the recurrent ulcer worsened until he could no longer walk without support from his sister. Eventually, he saved enough funds to visit a health clinic. When the ulcer still did not heal, he went to a second clinic and was referred to our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). At MCLH, the doctor tried to first clean and treat the infection. When that did not work, the doctor told him that they would have to amputate his left big toe and referred Myo to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing treatment. On January 13th, Myo will undergo treatment to amputate his left big toe so that his infection can finally be treated and not spread to other parts of his body. For the treatment, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help cover the costs. Hopefully, he will be able to return to fishing and other activities he previously enjoyed soon. Myo is hopeful that things will be better after surgery and shared, "When I recover, I will find work and support my sisters’ families.”
Eldriyan is a 10-month-old baby boy from the Philippines. His father works as a coconut farmer, and his mother is a housewife. Eldriyan 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. When Eldriyan's family learned about our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, they traveled for nine hours to receive treatment. On December 10th, Eldriyan will undergo surgery to correct his condition. After his recovery, he will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Now, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to cover the total cost of Eldriyan's procedure and care. Eldriyan's mother shared, "thank you for the chance towards a better life for Eldriyan."
Hser is a 38-year-old woman who lives with her parents in a refugee camp in Tak Province, Thailand. She and her family fled there many years ago from Karen State in Burma because of civil war. Hser is now a high school teacher in the refugee camp, and she earns 1,000 baht (approx. 33 USD) per month. Hser used to teach groups of students at their home due to Covid restrictions that closed schools in July 2021, but all home teaching was also stopped in September 2021 when Covid cases increased in the refugee camp. Since then, Hser teaches students online, but many of her students cannot afford to pay for mobile data to study from their family’s mobile phones. Since late 2019, Hser has been experiencing pain in the right side of her abdomen every day, especially at night. She says that she has lost her appetite and has lost some weight because of this. She feels like the mass is gradually increasing in size and feels more comfortable lying down then sitting. She also feels tired when she walks. She has been diagnosed with an ovarian tumour, and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, which involves surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Hser's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Hser is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on November 9th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, this treatment will help Hser to live free from pain and she has hope that she'll be able to live her life happily with her parents in the future. Hser said, “I love being a teacher and when I have recovered, I will continue to teach. My parents worry about me a lot and they want me to receive surgery as soon as possible. They are stressed about my condition, but I do not want to feel stressed because stress cannot help me feel better. So even though I cannot eat a lot, I try to eat as much as I can to stay strong.”
Ezra is a very talkative and active boy. He would like to be a truck driver when he grows up. He's in grade five and the last born in a family of five children. A few years ago, his father fell into a deep hole he was digging and broke both of his legs. He has been recovering well but he is still unable to work. His mother, who is the sole breadwinner of the family does farming, ploughs farms, and does laundry for their neighbors to provide for the family. The family can not raise the required funds to cater for Ezra’s surgery. Ezra 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, Ezra is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $847 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Ezra’s mother says, “I was really worried that my son will not get treated but now at least I’m very hopeful that he will.”
Alex is a social seven-year-old boy and the oldest child in a family of three children. His parents rely on small scale farming for food and other basic needs. Alex has been diagnosed with left varus and right valgus on his legs. When Alex learned to walk, his parents noticed his condition and they thought it would subside as he got older. The larger bone, or tibia, in his left calf is misaligned with the larger bone in his thigh, or femur, while the bone at the knee joint of the right leg is angled out and away from the body's midline. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Alex experiences pain and difficulty in walking. He has not yet joined school, mainly because the only school in his family's village is far from home and he cannot walk all the way there due to his condition. When Alex and his parents visited his grandfather, he was deeply concerned by Alex's condition and brought him to the care center of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for treatment. Alex is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on September 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Alex's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Now, AMH, is requesting $880 to fund Alex's surgery. Alex’s grandfather shared, "I felt really bad seeing how my grandson‘s legs have been deformed. I know his parents are not financially stable and neither am I. I remember the team from your hospital that visited our village to educate us on treatable disability and the possibility of him getting treatment and I am hopeful that he will be well. Please help him."
Shallet is a humble and jovial three-year-old girl. She's the third child born in a family of four children and her parents are teachers. Shallet has hydrocephalus, spina bifida, and clubfoot of both feet. She has visited local hospitals since birth for treatments, and began casting for clubfoot when she was four weeks old. Her condition causes her difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Shallet traveled to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for treatment. At AMH's care center, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 18th and now, AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Shallet's clubfoot repair. Her parents shared that they hope that the treatment will be of great impact to Shallet because she will be able to wear shoes and walk with ease. Shallet's father shared, “we have high hopes for Shallet and it is our joy to see her excel in life and become an independent person like other girls in the society.”
Em is an 18-year-old student who just graduated from 12th grade. In the future, he hopes to be a businessman. He has three brothers and one sister, and he enjoys playing tennis, football, and listening to pop songs in his free time. Em has stiff knees due to poorly administered injections in his right and left quadriceps muscles when he was younger. It is difficult for him to walk because he cannot bend his legs. Fortunately, his neighbors recommended our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). On June 8th, surgeons at CSC will perform a contracture release surgery to release the muscle contractures and allow Em to walk easily. Now, his needs help to fund this $454 surgery. Em shared, "I hope I can walk properly after this operation so I can do my daily activities independently."