Lea joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven years ago, Lea joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Lea's most recent donation supported Myo, a 22-year-old young man from Burma, to fund heart surgery.
Lea has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 13 countries.
Lea has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 13 countries.
Myo Htay is a 22-year-old who lives with his parents and younger brother in the border region of Burma. His parents work as day laborers at a gold mine, carrying dirt and debris. Myo used to work with his parents but stopped last November when his health deteriorated. Because the gold mine closes during the rainy season, his parents only have work for six months out of the year. The rest of the time they try to live off of their savings. Around six months ago, Myo started to feel tired when he worked. At first he thought he was tired from working too hard. When he continued to feel tired for over a month, he thought that he needed to see a doctor. However, because of their limited funds, he did not want his parents to spend what they had on a trip to a clinic or a hospital. Around the middle of April, his condition worsened. He had difficulty breathing, experienced chest pain, and also heart palpitations. His parents brought him to a nearby hospital where he was diagnosed with a heart disease. The doctor told them to bring him to Yangon for further treatment. After Myo's parents borrowed money, they went to Yangon and took him to two different hospitals. At the last hospital, Myo was admitted for five days as he was unwell at that time. He received a follow-up appointment for two weeks later, but was brought back on April 30th when he developed rapid breathing, heart palpitations, chest pain and oedema (swelling) in both his legs. Myo was readmitted to the hospital, and the doctor told Myo's parents that his surgery would cost 20,000,000 kyat (approx. $11,000 USD). When they told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for his surgery, a nurse gave them the phone number of an abbot in Yangon. After they called the abbot and told him what the doctor had said, the abbot referred Myo to our medical parter Burma Children Medical Fund for the assistance accessing the cardiac treatment he needs. Currently, Myo is on oxygen. If he does not receive oxygen, he has difficulty breathing as well as heart palpitations. He cannot walk for more than three minutes and if he does, he feels extremely tired. His whole family is worried about his condition. Fortunately, Myo's surgery has been scheduled for May 8th. He will have both valves of his heart replaced. His family needs $1,500 to help with the total cost of his surgery and care. Myo’s mother said, “I would give up everything to save my son’s life. I would sleep on the ground if we had no home to live in. I only wish to see my son getting better.”
Naw En is a 31-year-old woman who lives with her husband, two sons and parents in a village in Karen State near the border of Burma and Thailand. Her husband and parents are subsistence farmers. Naw En is a village health worker, and her two sons are primary school students in the village. Although she earns around 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month to support her family, she does whatever she can to only charge the villagers she treats for medications provided. Those who cannot afford to pay for the cost of medications are provided medication free of charge. Her family also raises chickens and pigs for their family to eat. The income Naw En earns is just enough to cover their daily expenses, but they have to borrow money to pay for anything else, like basic health care. Naw En learned she was pregnant last August 2021. She went to register her pregnancy at nearby Hlaingbwe Hospital, but the doctor told her to go to Hpa-An General Hospital when she told them that she had high blood pressure and previously needed a c-section delivery. When she went to Hpa-An General Hospital, a nurse told her to go to Taw Win Thu Ka Hospital because they were understaffed due to the coup and humanitarian crisis in their area. Finally, she then registered her pregnancy at Taw Win Thu Ka Hospital last November and received an ultrasound, blood test and urine test. The doctor gave her monthly follow-up appointments to check her high blood pressure and to check that her baby is in the right position. In January, Naw En learned that she will have a girl. “I was very happy to hear this as I already have two sons,” she said. Her doctor has now told her that she will need another c-section to ensure a safe delivery and unable to come up with the money needed, Naw En called her friend who works in Mae Sot to ask for help. Her friend told her about our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and that she may be able to find assistance in accessing her treatment. Currently, Naw En is taking medication for high blood pressure and feels tired when she walks. She can feel her baby kicking. When her blood pressure is high, she feels dizzy. She feels stressed each time she has to travel to the hospital, as it is located four hours from her home and cost 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) just for the round-trip transportation. She is also worried about the cost of her c-section and that they would have to borrow money if they cannot find donors. In the future, she will continue to work as a village health worker. In her free times, she loves to spend time with her two sons and play with them. Naw En said, “I was happy when BCMF staff told me that donors will help pay for my c-section. Thank you so much to the donors for reliving me of my worries.” She also added, “I am very happy and excited to have a baby girl!”
Nor Moo is a 40-year-old woman who lives with her husband in Chiang Mai Province in Thailand. She used to be a day labourer but since her condition has started, she stopped working because of the often pain. She is now a homemaker and takes care of household chores like cooking, washing clothes, and doing cleaning at her apartment. A few months ago, she started feeling unwell and thought she might be pregnant. However, she did not go to the hospital as she does not have money for testing. She experienced pain in her right lower abdominal and later she felt something a bump. When her pain worsened, she talked with her friend asking for her help. Her friend referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Children Medical Fund who is now helping Nor Moo receive treatment. Doctors have recommended a surgery to remove a growth and her fallopian tube on the right side. She is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Nor Moo's husband said, "I feel sorry that I cannot help my wife. Thank you to all the donors and organization for supporting my wife's treatment cost. We are very grateful."
Irene is a beautiful baby girl and the only child in her family. Irene's mother is young and was still in school when she was born, so they are living with her grandmother. Her grandmother sells charcoal to earn a living and it is hard for them to make ends meet each month. Irene has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. When Irene was one month old, her mother noticed that her head was increasing in size. She took her to a nearby facility for examination, and was then referred to another facility who admitted her for a few days; however despite medication, her condition did not change. Irene was discharged and sent home, but a few days later she developed a fever so her mother took her back to the previous facility. After another examination, Irene was finally referred to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Hospital. Irene’s mother did not have the funds to cover their transport to BethanyKids, but with help from medical staff they were able to make it to the hospital with a social workers accompaniment. On arrival, Irene was booked for a shunt insertion surgery to help treat her condition. Without treatment, Irene will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of Irene's surgery to treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 9th, during which surgeons will drain the excess fluid from Irene's brain to reduce the pressure inside her head. This will greatly improve her quality of life, and allow her to develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Irene’s mother says, “It is a difficult moment for us for the past few months and we did not know if she will be treated as we do not have funds for the surgery.”
Monicah a hardworking mother of six. Some of her children have finished school while the others are still studying. Monicah's husband, who was the sole breadwinner of the family, was the assistant chief of the area where they are living, but he passed away a few years ago. Monicah shared that upon her husband’s death, she had to get out of her comfort zone and figure out how to provide for their family. After a long time of doing some casual jobs where she could find them, she got a job as a house help but her earnings are limited. Her family does not have a National Health Insurance coverage and is not able to raise the funds needed for Monicah’s surgery. In July 2021, Monicah went to the hospital for her regular clinic appointment and heard that there was a free cervical cancer screening centre there. Monicah has been experiencing lower abdominal pain so after the clinic, she went to be screened. The results were not as she expected. She has been diagnosed with cervical cancer. The doctor has scheduled her for total abdominal hysterectomy surgery but she is afraid the cost is too much for her to meet. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1260 to fund Monicah's surgery. On January 7th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Monicah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and hopes to live a life cancer-free. Monicah says, "I did not know that I was sick and since then things have happened so fast. I do not know where the money for my surgery will come from but I know that God will make a way.”
Sarah is a 5-year-old girl from Haiti. She is typically a healthy and active girl and is very loved by her family. Sarah has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Sarah has been experiencing severe headaches. Sarah had a shunt placed when she was an infant for treatment and it allowed her to develop normally. The recent headaches alerted the doctors that the shunt stopped working and needed to be replaced. Without treatment, Sarah will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Sarah at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on December 7th. This critical treatment will replace the shunt and drain the excess fluid from Sarah's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Sarah will hopefully continue to develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Their family is grateful that Sarah will be able to continue to have a happy life after the shunt is replaced.
Dortensley is a 14-month-old baby from Haiti who is loved and cared for by his mother. Dortensley has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases pressure within the skull. As a result of his condition, Dortensley's head grew beyond his expected development and he experiences seizures. Without treatment, Dortensley will experience severe physical and developmental delays. On November 9th, Dortensley will undergo surgery at the care center of our medical partner, Project Medishare. Surgeons will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Dortensley's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. Upon recovery, Dortensley should develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Project Medishare is currently the only site in the country to offer this critical care and is requesting $957 to help fund Dortensley's procedure. Dortensley's mother shared that she could not afford surgery for her child, but is now feeling hopeful. She said: "There is a God after all. God bless everyone that is helping my child."
Immaculate is 32-year-old homemaker and a mother of one child, who is three years old. Her husband graduated from the university recently with a degree in engineering, but is unfortunately struggling to find a job. One year ago, Immaculate began to experience troubling symptoms including neck swelling, breathing problems, darkening skin, and weight loss. She visited a national hospital in the capital city of Uganda where several tests were performed, along with a scan of her neck, and she was eventually diagnosed with multinodular goiter. Unfortunately, she had difficulty scheduling the surgery because the hospital was overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. She was prescribed medication, but requires surgery to treat her condition and to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Immaculate receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on August 10th at AMH's care center, where surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. Now, she and her family need help to fund this $333 procedure. Immaculate shared, “I pray for a successful surgery to reduce the condition's effects. I hope to return to school given my husband’s support but in my current condition, it may be difficult for me.”
Ar is a 28-year-old man who lives with his wife, three sons, and two daughters in a refugee camp. Originally from Burma, his family fled to Thailand 20 years ago due to civil war. His children attend school, except for his youngest daughter, who is not yet old enough. His wife is a homemaker and Ar works as a day laborer when work is available. Ar's family shared that, in addition to his day laborer pay, they receive a monthly cash card from The Border Consortium to purchase food in the refugee camp. Overall, the family's total monthly income is just enough to cover their basic needs. On September 2nd, Ar climbed a tamarind tree to pick tamarinds fruit. When the branch he was standing on suddenly broke, he fell and landed on his right arm and experienced pain in his back. He visited the camp hospital that day, and the medic initially determined that his arm was not broken. Due to recent positive COVID-19 cases in the refugee camp, Ar could not be immediately referred to the local hospital for further testing and was kept for observation at the camp hospital. When the pain in Ar's back and arm did not subside the next day, the medic referred Ar to the local hospital. After receiving a negative COVID-19 test, Ar was finally able to visit the hospital on September 6th, where he received an X-ray for his arm and a blood test for a second COVID-19 test. The X-ray revealed that his upper right arm is broken. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ar will undergo surgery on September 8th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will enable Ar to continue working in the future. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Ar shared, "I am scared to receive surgery. But I was told that I will not be able to work using my right arm if I do not receive surgery, so I gave my consent to the doctor. I hope that I will be able to work again after I receive treatment."
Musa is a beautiful, 5-month-old baby boy with a twin sister named Neema. His parents are small-scale farmers whose maize and vegetable crops, alongside their few goats, provide food and milk for their families. Musa is experiencing clubfoot in both of his feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. As a result, he has difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Musa's mother traveled to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for her son's treatment. On August 10th, surgeons will perform a clubfoot repair surgery that will allow Musa to walk easily. AMH is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Musa’s mother says, "I was in shock when I realized my baby had a disability. We are a bit calmer to know his feet can be corrected but the cost is too high for us to afford. We don’t want him to grow up being disabled, please help our son."
Htoo is a 12-year-old girl who lives with her parents, two older sisters, an older brother and a younger brother in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Htoo’s father works as a construction worker while Htoo's mother is a homemaker and looks after Htoo's younger brother who is too young to go to school. Htoo and her older siblings study in the camp. Every month, the family receives oil, rice and charcoal rations, but they shared that the rations are unfortunately not enough to cover their daily needs. They also receive free basic health care and education in the refugee camp. In her free time, Htoo likes to play with her friends and help her mother clean. Htoo was born with a small mass in a sensitive area. At the time, Htoo's mother was told not to worry about the mass. However, beginning in 2016, Htoo noticed the mass increasing in size and she could no longer pass urine comfortably. A medic at the camp's hospital examined the mass and determined that it is benign and recommends it is surgically treated for Htoo's comfort and peace of mind. Htoo is receiving treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and she is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 6th. Now, their family is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Htoo shared, “in the future, I want to finish my schooling and become a teacher in the camp. I want to teach Karen [language].”
Joana is a 50-year-old primary school teacher from Malawi. She teaches a class of more than 80 children. She shared that she loves teaching because it makes her feel young and energetic. Joana is also a mother of two children of her own, ages 29 and 27. In March 2021, Joana visited a local clinic for a routine check-up and was diagnosed with a uterine mass. A total abdominal hysterectomy, or a procedure where both the uterus and cervix are removed, was recommended as treatment. If her condition is not treated, Joana is at risk of becoming severely anemic. After the surgery, it is expected that Joana will no longer experience the uncomfortable symptoms associated with her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Joana to receive treatment. On June 5th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a hysterectomy. Now, Joana needs help to fund this $1,363 procedure. Joana shared, “I will soon be a grandmother and I want to be in good health so I can play with my grandchildren the way I play with learners at school. I appreciate your support to have this uterine mass removed."