Harcharan joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Harcharan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Harcharan's most recent donation supported Sokhom, a working mother from Cambodia, for eye surgery to remove a pterygium and see clearly.
Harcharan has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 13 countries.
Harcharan has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 13 countries.
Sokhom is a 49-year-old farmer. She is married and has two sons and three daughters. Sokhom's children are all in school. At home Sokhom enjoys watching Thai dramas on TV. Five years ago, Sokhom developed a pterygium in her right eye, causing her irritation, itchiness, 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. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going places outside. When Sokhom learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours seeking treatment. Sokhom 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 her procedure is $216. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for August 24th. Sokhom said, "I hope after surgery my eye feels comfortable so I can go to work in the rice field with my husband again."
Barkot is a nine-month-old baby boy from Ethiopia who loves to play with his parents and with toys. He is his parents' first child. Barkot's father is a salesperson in an electronics shop. The family lives in a rented house, and other relatives help support the family's needs. Barkot underwent a colostomy, where a piece of the colon was diverted to an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may require closure. Barkot's colostomy will require closure in order to restore his bowel function and to prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,009 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Barkot. The surgery is scheduled to take place on September 14th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Barkot’s father shared, “Barkot’s mother is not working now. When Barkot finishes the surgery and when he can make a stool normally, we hope she will start working. We hope psychologically we will be stable just like before. We hope he can socialize now. We feared socializing with Barkot because of facing stigma and discrimination. We feared people might pick on him when he grows up and we hid him from others to protect him.”
Lightness is a hard-working student and the ninth born child in a family of ten children. Lightness loves to help her mother with home chores and looking after her nieces and nephews. Lightness is currently in technical college where she is studying to be an electrician. Lightness's parents are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers, and her mother also sells vegetables and mandazi, a type of fried bread. Three years ago, Lightness was at the fireplace helping her mother cook mandazi when she lost conscious and fell into the pot of hot oil. Her mother rescued her and rushed her to the hospital. The accident has left Lightness with contractures as a result of the burns around her neck. Contractures are a condition in which the muscles are shortened and hardened, and in Lightness's case they limit her neck movement. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is helping Lightness receive treatment. On August 5th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her move her neck freely. However, Lightness's family needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Lightness says, "I feel bad seeing myself in this condition, I try to cover my neck because I don’t like how people feel sorry for me. I will be happy and grateful if I can have my neck corrected."
Oudom is a 33-year-old man who works in a printing shop in Cambodia's capital city of Phnom Penh. He lives nearby with his retired parents. In his free time, Oudom enjoys playing chess and gardening. Five years ago, Oudom had an ear infection that caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in his left ear to perforate. Because of this, Oudom experiences tinnitus, ear discharge, and hearing loss. He cannot communicate clearly with others. Oudom traveled to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), to receive treatment. On July 5tg, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in his left ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Now, Oudom needs $464 to fund this procedure, which covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Oudom shared, "I hope the discharge will finally stop and my hearing can improve."
Grace is a one-month-old baby girl and the youngest in a family of three children. Both of her parents are small scale farmers, mainly producing maize and vegetables for their food. Her father also seeks other work as a casual laborer, like working on other farms or fetching water to sell to other villages, to supplement the family's income. Grace 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, Grace is at risk of lower limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nerve tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Grace's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 4th, and will hopefully help prevent some of the risks associated with her condition, allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Grace’s mother shared, "the cost of surgery is too high for us to afford, please help us."
Abigael is a 14-month-old baby girl and the youngest in her family of three children. Her mother does household work washing clothes and cleaning houses for their nearby homes. Her father separated from the family many years ago. Abigael was born with an amniotic band on her right foot, and a webspace on her left foot and right hand. If these deformities are not corrected, they will make it more difficult for her to walk and hold things using her right hand in future. Doctors recommend Abigael undergo surgery to help correct her condition. However, Abigael's family cannot afford the cost of her care. Fortunately, Abigael will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. She is scheduled to undergo her treatment on May 9th. African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,224 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. The surgery will be of great benefit to Abigael at this age because she will be able to heal more quickly and be able to walk like other children even sooner. Abigael's mother shared, “I am appealing for support for my daughter to undergo surgery so that she can live like other children.”
Bruce is an 8-year-old boy who lives with his mother and stepfather, and formerly was in his grandmother's care. Bruce’s mother sells baby clothes around the Mwiki area where they live in Kenya. His stepfather is a matatu (public service vehicle) driver who works in vehicles that operate around Thika Road. Bruce has one younger step-sibling. Bruce was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Bruce has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Bruce will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 24th. AMH is requesting $561 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Once recovered, he will grow up to be a healthy boy. Bruce’s mother shared, “I am happy to know that my child will get the help he needs through this program."
Ombeni is a playful and friendly three-year-old boy and the youngest of four children in his family. Ombeni's parents are small-scale farmers of maize and vegetables. Things have been challenging financially for the family, and Ombeni's father left home to make a living in Kenya selling belts and Maasai sandals. When Ombeni was two months old, his mother noticed that he had a small swollen area on his right hand. He experiences redness and swelling that is worrisome for their family. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $724 to fund surgery for Ombeni. On February 16th, surgeons will remove the mass. Ombeni’s mother shared, “I am worried that if this problem is not treated it might worsen. Please help my son because the cost of treatment is too high for us to afford.”
Myo is a 16-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents and four brothers in northern Rakhine State. Myo is a student in grade nine and his four brothers also go to school. However, they have been unable to study since the Covid-19 pandemic shut all schools. Myo’s parents are day laborers, and their family's combined income is just enough to cover their daily expenses since Myo and his brothers’ schooling is free. To survive with limited income, they forage for vegetables and fish. If they fall ill, they use traditional medicine, which is more affordable then going to a clinic or a hospital. Myo was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, which is 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, Myo cannot walk long distances or climb stairs because of his tiredness. Sometimes, he cannot breathe very well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Myo. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 7th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Myo shared, “I am worried about my health and I feel sorry for my parents. Because of my health problems, my father had to work more days to earn more money. Also, my mother cannot work because she accompanies me and has to take care of me. I hope my school will reopen soon so that I can go back to school. One day I hope that I can become a teacher. I want to teach because there are not enough teachers in my village.”
James is a very playful and jovial boy. He loves to play with his friends and, his grandmother shared, they would play with anything because toys are hard to come by. One day James and his friends found a calabash and chose to play with it. While they were playing, one of them took the calabash and threw it to James. The calabash hit James at his right hip and he fell down. He struggled to stand up and immediately started limping and crying out of pain. He was rushed home to his grandmother where she took him to a nearby facility. James was given some pain medication and then sent home. His grandmother shared that a few days down the line his situation was not getting any better and he could not walk. James's grandmother sourced some funds and brought him to Kijabe Hospital for examination. Upon review, the doctor requested scans to develop a treatment plan, but due to lack of money to pay for the scan, his grandmother decided to go back home and look for money. While at home, it was took her a long time to raise the required amount for the scans. One day their church pastor visited to check on how they are adapting to life after the death of James’s mother. During the visit, he noticed that James was barely moving. He was concerned and asked his grandmother what was wrong. James's grandmother explained what happened and the current situation they are in. The pastor brought James back to Kijabe Hospital for the scans. When the doctor reviewed the scans, they immediately admitted James as an emergency case and a surgery was done helping to save his leg. During a regular clinic follow-up yesterday, his doctor noticed that the wound was oozing and was concerned about an infection. An x-ray was done and showed that his leg again needs emergency surgery to treat his condition. James is the youngest of four children. His father separated with his mother, and left James and his siblings to his mother. A few years later, James's mother died and his grandmother has taken full responsibility of the four children. To earn a living, his grandmother does laundry and ploughs farms for their neighbors. She does not have another source of income. James's first surgery was supported by Friends of Kijabe Hospital, but his grandmother is appealing for financial help for the surgery that is now needed for James. James’ grandmother shared, “At home after the first surgery, I was very happy to see James slowly trying to play with his friends again. Those were happy moments that I never thought James would experience again. I am requesting for financial help to put back a smile on his face."
Musa is a two year-old boy from Tanzania, and he is the youngest in a family of four children. He is an active boy who loves playing, and his mother says he always wants to go out and play with other kids who are older than him. In May 2019, while Musa was out playing with other children in the morning around the kitchen, he accidentally stepped into the fire and burned his left foot. This accident left Musa with a deformed left foot. After healing, his toes have contracted, which makes walking painful and difficult because his toes are attached to the bottom of his foot. Now, Musa will need to undergo a surgery to remove his small toes and treat the contracture on his big toe on his left foot. Unfortunately, this procedure is costly for Musa and his family. Musa’s parents are small scale farmers who depend entirely on what they harvest for their daily living. They were only able to afford a few dressings during Musa's initial treatment, and the rest of the treatment was done at home through the use of local herbal medication. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Musa receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo his surgery on December 8th at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,088, and Musa and his family need help raising funds.
Chanthou is a 34-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He is married and has one son and one daughter, who are both in primary school. Chanthou's wife is a factory worker. In his free time, Chanthou enjoys looking after his children, watching TV, and listening to the radio. Ten years ago, Chanthou had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Chanthou experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, ear discharge, and headache. This makes it difficult for him to communicate with others. Chanthou traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On October 14th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Chanthou said, "I hope this surgery makes the ear discharge stop and my hearing will improve."