Aly joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven years ago, Aly joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Aly's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Poeun, a loving grandfather from Cambodia, to fund ear surgery so he can communicate more easily.
Aly has funded healthcare for 87 patients in 13 countries.
Aly has funded healthcare for 87 patients in 13 countries.
Poeun is a 70-year-old grandfather with two daughters, five sons, and six grandchildren. He takes care of his grandchildren when his children go to work. Eight years ago, Poeun developed a severe ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membranes, or the ear drums, in both of his ears to perforate. As a result, Poeun experiences hearing loss, pain, and discharge, and it is difficult for him to communicate clearly with others. Poeun traveled to Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre, the care center of our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, to seek treatment. On June 7th, he will undergo a procedure on both ears, during which doctors will close the perforations. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $914 to fund this procedure, and to cover Poeun's medications, supplies and inpatient care. Poeun says: "I hope after surgery my hearing improves and the pain stops."
Ko Kyaw lives with his wife and two daughters in the border region of Tak Province in Thailand. He is a homemaker while his wife works as a day laborer. He plans to send his older daughter to a Thai school in the new school year, but his younger daughter is still too young to go to school. In early 2021, Kyaw was still living in his village in Myawaddy Township in Burma but it has been a very challenging time for his community ever since the military coup. He and his wife were injured in an emergency involving the local soldiers who came to their area. Luckily other villagers came to their rescue and Kyaw was treated for fractures on both his upper and lower leg, where a metal rod was inserted to help him heal. Now the bone in his thigh is misshapen and doctors have diagnosed osteomyelitis (infected bone). His doctor told him that in order to heal, he would need to have the metal rods replaced in both his upper and lower leg. Currently, Kyaw’s left leg is in a lot of pain. He can only bend his leg slightly and needs to use crutches to get around. With his leg in pain, Ko Kyaw spends most of his time helping out with household chores he can do and teaching his oldest daughter how to read and write in Burmese. He feels frustrated that since his leg was broken, he cannot support his family. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund is helping to pay the cost of his treatment and is raising $1500 to cover his surgery, which will take place on May 10th. “I feel upset that I cannot support my family as the head of the house,” he said. “We only have my wife’s income. We do not have our own house to live in. I want to say a lot of things but I cannot express what I want to say. I never thought that I would lose my house, my possessions and that my leg would be in pain.”
Gebreegziabher is a brave, young, and fun boy who loves to hangout with his friends. He loves to play chase and other games with his friends and brothers. He has five siblings and shared with us that he loves goats! Gebreegziabher never went to school because of his condition. He is a shepherd and helps to keep the sheep and goats of his parents. Because of his condition, he has endured bullying, but he continues to be brave and his dad shared: “He is so strong despite his sickness. When others pick on him and speak bad things about him and things related to his disease he even gets in to fights.” Gebreegziabher's mom and dad counsel him and comfort him and help him to bring out self-confidence and strength. His dad and his mom are farmers and his mom takes care of all the household chores. Dad said: “Our area is dry. We work hard and farm but the harvest is poor with lack of rain. We purchase food because our harvest is not enough to support the family.” They also raise animals to support themselves. The community survives with the dry land and the scarcity of food by donations from the government and NGOs. But the past two years they couldn’t get the donation since they are in the war zone. For these reasons they can’t afford the medical bill for their son. Gebreegziabher was born with congenital anomaly called bladder extrophy. That is an abnormally where the bladder is open to air. Given the pain and risk of infection, he just ties clothes around the wound. His mom is very much worried and concerned because of his condition. She shared that she has excluded herself from the community for years in taking care of him and raises him and recalls that when growing up, he would sit faraway from others and boys in his age. They keep up hope for better days ahead and are a loving family who support each other the best they can. His Dad said: “He learned to exclude himself from others growing up. We are sad as a family because of his condition. The neighbor insults us, discriminate us and we feel so sad about this. We couldn’t tell what will happen to him. And we bring him to God always.”
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."
Yan is a 63-year-old grandmother. She is married, and she and her husband have two sons, two daughters, and six grandchildren. Yan lives with her husband and their oldest daughter. Her daughter makes a living selling groceries to the local villagers. When she is not looking after her grandchildren, Yan likes to watch the news on television. About two years ago, Yan developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision. She sees shadows instead of faces and is afraid to walk outside because she might fall. When Yan learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled there hoping for treatment. On December 10th, doctors will perform phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Yan shared, "I hope I will see better after my surgery. I want to do more around our house and cook for my grandchildren."
Jules is a beautiful fifth-grade girl from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, cousins, and her several siblings in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. She enjoys art, listening to music, and spending time with her friends. Jules was born with a congenital circulatory malformation that entails a hole in-between two major blood vessels near her heart. As a result, blood leaks through the hole without passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, which leaves her feeling sickly and weak. Jules needs surgery to treat her condition. To do this, doctors will use a catheter probe device to plug the hole, which will prevent blood from continuing to leak through it. Fortunately on February 15th, Jules will have surgery at our medical partner's care center, Clinica Corominas. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is asking for $1,500 to help fund Jules' surgery. A non-profit organization, Gift of Life International, has generously subsidized $5,000 to also help fund her treatment costs. After surgery, Jules will be able to go to school and play with her friends without feeling sick, tired, and uncomfortable. Jules' mother says, "Our family is very excited that Jules will have her heart fixed soon!"
Damaris is a farmer and a mother of five children. All of her children have finished school and work as casual laborers. Damaris and her husband have a small farm where they plant and sell vegetables to supplement their income. The family shared that they need assistance raising the required funds to cover Damaris’s surgery. For three months, Damaris has been experiencing excessive bleeding. She visited local hospitals for review and was eventually referred to a hospital of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Doctors diagnosed her condition as endometrial hyperplasia. In order to finally heal, Damaris will need to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. On January 7th, Damaris will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH’s care center. Once recovered, she will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. AMH is requesting $1260 to fund Damaris’s surgery. Damaris shared, “I would like to go back to my normal routine of working and providing for the family.”
Sharlyn is a 6-year-old girl. She's the fifth and last born in her family. Her mother is a single parent who does farming to earn a living and provide for them. Together their family of 6 lives in a 3-roomed mud house in a village in rural Kenya. Sherlyn was born with a clubfoot on her right foot. She limps as she walks, feels pain because of straining, and cannot play with her friends while at school because of her condition. Fortunately, Sharlyn and mother traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Sharlyn's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk well, wear shoes and play with her friends. However, the family is appealing for financial assistance as they cannot manage to raise the funds needed for the surgery. Sharlyn's mother says, “I'd love to see my daughter walking like other girls. Any help meant to help her walk well will be very much appreciated."
Moe lives with his two uncles, one aunt, two nephews and a niece in a village in Mont State in Burma. Moe's two uncles are retired, his niece looks after his youngest nephew who is a baby, and he had to stop working two years ago after he had a stroke. His aunt and his older nephew are shop vendors, earning 150,000 kyat (approx. 150 USD) together in a month. In his free time, Moe likes to read magazines. Two months ago, Moe noticed that he had a blister on his right big toe. Three days after he first noticed the blister, it ruptured. Over time, the area around the blister turned red and swollen, before developing pus and becoming itchy. He went to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) after a nurse at the village clinic advised him to go there to get help. At MCLH, the doctor examined his toe and performed surgery to clean and remove necrotic tissue. Moe returned to that hospital several times, however, his toe never healed. He has diabetes and it is especially difficult for his body to heal from an injury like this. His doctor at MCLH has now determined that he needs to have his toe amputated. By this point, Moe has run out of money and can no longer pay for his treatment. Moe cannot walk long distances and he cannot sleep well due to pain that worsens at night. He hopes that with this treatment, he can finally feel well again. "I don't have any money to pay for my surgery and I feel sad about this. I worry about my toe getting worse and I feel sorry that my aunt [and nephew] have to work hard to support our family. But I feel so happy to receive support from you," said Moe.
Sa lives with her husband, daughter, and two granddaughters in Burma. She is a homemaker, and her daughter and husband are day laborers. However, due to constantly changing regulations regarding the number of people who can gather, they have difficulty finding work. Sa's granddaughters are students, though their schools are currently closed. Their family shared that they were only able to earn 100,000 kyat (approx. $100 USD) last month, which is not enough to cover their daily needs. A few years ago, Sa was diagnosed with diabetes. This September, she had an injury on her right toe. Her toe became itchy and infected, so she visited a local clinic twice. After her symptoms did not subside, she visited a private clinic, where the doctor diagnosed her with an ulcer and told her she would need to undergo surgery to clean and remove the necrotic tissue. On September 24th, she underwent this procedure. A few days later, the toe continued to worsen, and a second surgery is now required to amputate Sa's right toe and keep her infection from worsening. To help with the cost, Sa was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund the costs of this surgery. Sa is currently experiencing swelling and pain in her foot, especially when the weather is cool during the night and morning. As a result, Sa cannot do her daily household chores. She shared, "Even though I cannot meet my donors, I want to thank them. If you [BCMF and donors] had not helped me during this difficult time, I do not know who else I could have turned to for help."
Hai lives in Kandal province in southern Cambodia. He is married and has a son who is one year old. Hai's wife was a factory worker, but she stopped when their child was born. Hai enjoys playing football and listening to music in his free time. Hai was involved in a motor accident in October 2020 and experienced trauma to his back and lower limbs. After the accident, Hai went to a government hospital where he received X-rays and medications and was then sent home. Hai still feels poorly, continues to feel pain in his back, and has difficulty walking. He remains in a wheelchair and cannot work. Surgeons plan to use posterior instrumentation to stabilize his spine. A posterior instrumented fusion involves the placement of screws and rods in the spine. This procedure will provide realignment and stabilization of the spine allowing fusion to occur. Hai is seeking $1,500 to fund his surgery, as he is unable to pay for this treatment on his own. Hai shared, "I hope that I will walk again and can get my job back to support my family."
Samson is a 26-year-old minibus conductor. He shared with us that he was orphaned in 2008 and currently lives with a relative in a rented two room house. He has relied on his older sister to help with his medical bills, but unfortunately, his sister lost her job due to the pandemic. Two months ago, Samson was struck by a motorcycle on his way home. He fractured his left tibia and was seen at a hospital in Nairobi where his leg was casted. However, after removing the cast, re-examining his leg and doing an x-ray, surgery was recommended as he had not healed. Samson currently moves around with crutches due to difficulty walking and he continues to experience leg pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On August 10th, Samson will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help his fractures fully heal and allow him to walk comfortably again. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Samson shared, "I am struggling to walk and my leg is so painful. I cannot work in this condition and unless I get the treatment I'm worried I might end up crippled.”