Lea joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Lea joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Lea's most recent donation supported Htoo, a 12-year-old girl from Thailand, to fund mass removal surgery.
Lea has funded healthcare for 67 patients in 13 countries.
Lea has funded healthcare for 67 patients in 13 countries.
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."
Brandon is a one-week-old baby and has one older sibling. Brandon's parents are small scale farmers of maize and vegetables, and his father also has a motorbike that he uses to carry passengers to make a living to be able to support his family. Brandon 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, Brandon is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Brandon's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. This procedure will hopefully spare Brandon from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Brandon’s mother says, "Please help treat our baby, we don’t have anywhere to ask for help and we cannot afford the cost."
Ra Sa is a 67-year-old woman who lives with her nephew in Mae La Refugee Camp in Thailand. Ra Sa is a homemaker and her nephew is a student. Ra Sa’s daughter, who also lives in the camp with her husband, supports Ra Sa with food and visits several times a week. Ra Sa’s daughter works as a domestic worker in the camp, and her son-in-law works as a porter unloading supplies from delivery trucks, but the support they are able to provide for Ra Sa does not always cover her expenses. In her free time, Ra Sa likes to teach children at the local mosque. However, since a hernia appeared last year, she has not been able to teach in the same way. Once she has recovered, she wants to live happily with her nephew and to continue teaching. Since the 7th of March 2020, Ra Sa has had an umbilical hernia. She experiences a lot of pain in her lower abdomen and has three lumps that are increasing in size every day. She can no longer sit for more than 10 minutes before she is in pain, feeling more comfortable when she lies down. Sometimes she cannot breathe well and is having other troubling symptoms. Fortunately, on March 5th, she 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 Ra Sa's hernia repair surgery, which will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably again. Ra Sa said, “I prayed every day that I would get a donor to cover the cost of my surgery and I feel like my prayers have been answered. I am so happy! I would like to say thank you so much to all of the donors. I will never forget what you have done for me and I hope that you will continue to help more patients in the future.”
Charity is a 28-year-old woman from Kenya. She is the eldest in her family and is now married and has a newborn baby who is two months old. Her husband works as a clerk at a local dairy factory, where he earns enough to feed their family. Charity was working at the same factory, but was laid off from her job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She is not currently working and spends her time at home taking care of her child. Since August 2020, when Charity was pregnant, she started experiencing pain in her upper abdomen that radiated to the back. Charity had visited several different health centers but showed no improvement, and later decided to come to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Nazareth Hospital. She underwent a scan, which showed that she has a large gallstone. The doctor recommended that she undergo a cholecystectomy. Without treatment, Charity's condition may become more complicated and cause her gall bladder inflammation, or a blocked bile duct or pancreatic duct. However, Charity is unable to meet the cost of her care and appeals for financial support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. is helping Charity receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on March 9th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove the gallbladder due to the gallstone causing pain and possibly infection. This procedure will cost $788, and she and her family need help raising money. Charity shared, "The pain is too much at times and I feel some relief when I vomit. I am hoping to get support so that I can be well and be at peace to nurse my baby."
Naw Kwee Moo is a 54-year-old woman who lives with her husband, three daughters and three sons in Mae Ra Ma Luang Refugee Camp in Thailand. She and her family fled to the camp in 2006 from Burma. Today, Naw Kwe is a homemaker and her husband is too ill to work. Five of their children go to school in the camp, four other children have moved away, and she proudly shared that her second oldest son graduated from a post-secondary program in May 2020. Naw Kwe’s family receives 2,030 baht (approx. 68 USD) in a month on a cash card to purchase rations for basic food needs. Although they receive free education and primary health care in the camp, Naw Kwee’s family struggles to make ends meet each month. Four years ago, Naw Kwee started going to the camp’s hospital run by Malteser International (MI) Thailand to receive treatment for urinary tract infections (UTI). Most of the time, she would feel better after taking medication, but she was no longer able to work as an agricultural day labourer. Over the next few years, when she increasingly sought treatment for UTIs, she was diagnosed with chronic UTI. When her condition did not improve after taking antibiotics, a doctor at the camp’s hospital referred her to another hospital in March 2020, where she was diagnosed with a right kidney stone. In June 2020, after a delay due to COVID-19, Naw Kwee was able to get to Chiang Mai Hospital for further treatment. There, doctors confirmed her earlier diagnosis, in addition to hydronephrosis, a condition where the kidney swells due to a build-up of urine. Currently, Naw Kwee takes pain medication whenever she experiences pain or discomfort in the right side of her back from her kidney stone. The pain will usually only last for a day before it disappears, but she feels weak. Sometimes she also has cloudy urine and a mild fever. Her appetite has decreased, but she tries to eat as much as she can. Naw Kwee will need to undergo multiple rounds of laser treatment to break up the stone in her kidney. Her first round of shockwave lithotripsy will be on February 11th. Naw Kwee will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, who requests $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will be free of pain and will be able to resume weaving and sewing, which she enjoyed doing before having this condition. Naw Kwee shared, “I’m desperately trying to stop the pain in my back from returning. Because of the pain, I can’t even do household chores properly. I can’t sleep well and sometimes I have difficulty breathing. Once I recover, I’ll no longer feel stressed because of this pain. I’ll be able to enjoy my days even though I have some problems related to aging.”
Thea is a 39-year-old gendarmerie (military policeman) from Cambodia. He has been proudly married for 7 years and has 3 daughters. Thea's first two children are in school. In his free time, he likes to exercise, play football, listen to music and news, read books, and take care of his children. Five years ago, Thea had a severe fall and subsequently developed right hip pain. He was diagnosed with avascular necrosis of the hip, a painful condition that occurs when the blood supply to the head of the femur (thighbone) is disrupted. Because bone cells need a steady supply of blood to stay healthy, it can ultimately lead to destruction of the hip joint and severe arthritis. After his accident, he was given pain medication, but the medication only helped for a short time. He continues to have chronic pain and needs to have his condition treated. Fortunately, Thea learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Thea of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for January 6th, and Thea needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Thea shared, "I hope that after my operation, I will be able to walk without pain and can do my job easily again."
Jane is a 65-year-old farmer from Kenya. She lives in a 3 room house that is built on their ancestral home in South Kinangop. Her husband passed on in 2004. Together, they had 4 children, all of whom are now adults. Jane does small scale farming mainly for home use, and does not have a source of income. Currently, none of her children have stable employment, and are unable to financially support Jane for the care that she needs. Jane has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $857 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Jane. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 9th. After treatment, Jane will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Jane shared, "I thought the itching on my breast was just normal but I was wrong. It has turned out to be cancer which I know can cause death if not controlled. Doctors say I need this surgery to help stop its spread, but I know I cannot afford it."
Peresia is a seven-month-old baby girl from Tanzania. She is the first born child to her young parents. Peresia's parents have a small business together selling sardines, called "dagaa" locally. They work hard, but they have little income and barely enough to get by. Peresia 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, Peresia has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, she will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for Peresia that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 6th and will drain the excess fluid from her brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Peresia will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Peresia’s mother shared, “Our daughter is getting worse every day and we cannot afford her treatment as it is too expensive. Please help save our daughter.”
Alexander is a brave-looking 13-year-old boy from Kiambu County in central Kenya. He is the firstborn in a family of two and in class seven. His mother is single and a casual laborer working in neighbours’ farms. Alexander is very social and likes to play a lot, but in the last three weeks, the mother noticed he was avoiding to play and was not walking in a normal way. When she asked him he could not understand so she brought him to hospital. An ultrasound was done and it showed undescended right testis and inguinal hernia with mild hydrocele. When the surgeon advised for an orchidopexy surgery, Alexander's mother was in tears because she knew that it is very hard to get money for this important surgery. She used to have some national health insurance coverage but has been unable to pay the monthly fee for it. Her hopes were elevated after the surgeon asked her to visit our local Watsi rep's office for possible support. Alexander was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Alexander has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Alexander will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 12th. AMHF is requesting $483 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “I am worried about my son, he is not able to play with friends and this is making him worried. I kindly request Watsi for support so that he can be treated and get well to continue with his life, and be ready for schools when they re-open,” shared Alexanders’ mother.
Thomas is an 11-month-old baby boy from Tanzania. He is the last born in a family of five children. Thomas was born through an emergency cesarean section, which his parents were not expecting. They had to sell some of their harvest which they had saved for home use to be able to pay the bill. Thomas' parents are small-scale farmers who depend entirely on what they harvest for their living. Thomas has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Thomas traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 8th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Thomas's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when the time comes. Thomas’s mother says, “We have been left with no money to be able to afford our son’s treatment cost, kindly help us.”
Gladness is a two-month-old baby girl from Tanzania and the last born in a family of two children. Both parents depend on small-scale farming for a living and their income is very limited. Gladness has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Gladness traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Gladness's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. Gladness’ mother shared: “Please help us, our daughter needs this treatment but the cost is too high for us to afford.”