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Phikhirona is a shy 8-year-old student in grade one. Her family consists of her father, formerly employed near Children's Surgical Centre crafting prosthetic limbs, and her two elder sisters. One, aged 13, is currently in grade 5, while the other, aged 11, is navigating grade 4. Unfortunately, her mother succumbed to breast cancer several years ago, so her older sisters watch after her. In her first year of attending school, she has interest in Khmer subjects. Back at home, her cooking skills are being developed by her older sisters, who are teaching her how to prepare her favorite dish - fried pork with vegetables. Phikhirona was born with polydactyly of both hands and feet. This means that she has an extra digit on the side of both hands and polysyndactyly of her feet. On each foot, she has an extra toe that is connected, via fusing or webbing, to an adjacent toe. She faces difficulty wearing conventional shoes due to the presence of extra toes and fingers, and unfortunately, she endures teasing from other children as a result. Fortunately, on January 29th, surgeons will perform a polydactyly repair procedure to remove the extra digits of her hands. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $299 to fund this procedure. After surgery, she will feel more comfortable about her appearance, and she won't be ashamed of how her feet look. Her father shared: "I hope that the surgery will not cause any infection and the extra fingers will not grow back."
Federesi is a subsistence farmer from Uganda. She is married and a mother of four living children. Federesi lost both her parents, while her husband has lost his father. She is the second last born in a family of thirteen children, but unfortunately, five of her siblings passed on. She studied up to primary six while her husband reached primary five. They all do small-scale farming to support their family. For five years, Federesi has been experiencing excessive bleeding, lower abdominal pain and backache. She has been diagnosed with endometrial hyperplasia and endometrial carcinoma. She visited various health centres and was told her pain was due to fallopian tubes. Each time she visited the health centre, she was given medicine, but she did not get relief. On 18th October, she visited Good Samaritan Medical Center, where she was told that her condition needed surgery, but she was unable to pay for it. Her son, who works at Rwibaale Health Center, advised her to come to Rwibaale Hospital for help. Due to pain, she is unable to dig and walk long distances. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $253 to fund Federesi's surgery. On November 25TH, she will undergo gynecological surgery at Rwibaale Health Center. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully alleviate her symptoms. Federesi said,"I hope to get rid of pain and resume my duties of farming after surgery.’’
Sophy is from Takeo province in Cambodia. She and her husband work as rice farmers and have two sons, three daughters, and five grandchildren. Due to her deteriorating vision, Sophy has not been able to work as much and has been spending more time at home caring for her grandchildren. In her free time, she likes going to the pagoda to pray and cook for her family. Around two years ago, Sophy developed a pterygium in her left eye, causing her to experience itchiness and watery eyes. 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. As a result, she has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going outside. When Sophy learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for two hours seeking treatment. Sophy 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 $225, which covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for September 4th. Sophy said, "I want my eye to stop hurting because I want to go back to work and be able to take care of my family."
36-year-old Brenda lives with her family in Uganda. She had hoped to become a nurse, but due to financial constraints, her parents were unable to afford the schooling she would have needed. Today Brenda is engaged in farming - primarily for home consumption - although she sells any surplus she produces to generate income for her family. Brenda is currently pregnant with twins. Except for the malaria that she contracted in her first trimester, Brenda's pregnancy has been healthy. However, doctors have determined that one of the twins is in a breech position, and in order to ensure the safety of both Brenda and her babies, they are recommending that Brenda deliver via a Caesarean section. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Brenda undergo a C-section on December 28th, at Karoli Lwanga Hospital, Nyakibale. This procedure will cost $252, and Brenda needs your support. Brenda says: “I expect the best of my delivery and I am hoping to be given a chance to deliver under your support.”
Rebecca is a young woman from Haiti. She lives with her parents and younger sister in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince; she graduated from a local college with a business degree but has been unable to work for the past ten years because of her heart condition. She enjoys cooking and listening to Haitian music. Rebecca has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of Rebecca's heart was severely damaged due to an infection she suffered as a teenager; her heart could not adequately pump blood through her body, leaving her weak and short of breath. The surgery that she needs is not available anywhere in Haiti. Rebecca need to fly to the United States to receive treatment. She will undergo cardiac surgery, and doctors will remove Rebecca's damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, will contribute $26,000 to pay for surgery. Rebecca's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and follow-up care. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, checkups, and follow-up appointments. Rebecca shared with us: "Once I am fully healthy, I would like to return to Haiti and adopt a child to start my own family."
Savoeun resides in Kampong Cham province with her two children, a son and a daughter, who help her with the farm and household chores. As a widow, she has been the sole provider for her family since her husband's passing several years ago. Together, they work long hours in the fields to cultivate enough rice to feed themselves and for sale at the market for additional necessities. In the evening, Savoeun likes to keep her house clean or listen to the radio. On December 20th, Savoeun slipped in the bathroom, and immediately felt great pain, but could not afford to visit a clinic. She endured weeks of persistent pain and navigated life from a wheelchair, when a villager suggested she should visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, for a consultation. She and her daughter traveled for six and a half hours where surgeons diagnosed her with a fracture of the neck of her left femur. Femoral neck fractures are among the most common fractures in the elderly population, with a high mortality risk. Her doctors have planned a hip reconstruction procedure, where the femoral head and neck are replaced with a reconstruction prosthesis called a hip hemiarthroplasty. Now Savoeun and her family need help with the cost of the $544 procedure. The surgery will repair her fracture and allow her to walk again. Savoeun's daughter shared: "We hope my mother can walk again and be without pain after her surgery."
Su is a 44-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, a gardener, and her son, a shop worker while Su is a homemaker. Their combined income is enough to cover basic expenses, and if they have any money extra, they send it to Su’s parents in Burma. Su noticed back pain in the beginning in August 2023 which affected her moving and sleeping but thought it nothing serious. As the pain gradually worsened, she came down with a fever in September and sought treatment at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). At MTC she underwent an ultrasound, finding a mass on her right ovary, she was subsequently referred to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH). Su visited MSH a total of four times over the following months and in December at her visit to MSH she was told by doctors that she would have to go for a Computed Tomography (CT) scan to confirm her diagnosis. Doctors want Su to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Su's CT scan and care, scheduled for February 1st. Su said, "When I recover from my treatments, I hope to begin working with my husband in the flower garden.”
Sokhon is a 49 year-old soup seller. She moved from a rural province to the capital Phnom Penh around 20 years ago, when she first got married. Her husband is a rickshaw driver, and together they have three daughters. One daughter is recently married, and the other two are in their final years of high school. Sokhon sells soup from a street cart. In her free time, she enjoys sleeping and watching Cambodian sitcoms. Around two years ago, Sokhon 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, Sokhon experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, and persisitent ear discharge. It is difficult for her to hear and she experiences constant discomfort. Sokhon traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On September 14th she will undergo left ear surgery. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $926 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. She shared, "I hope I can go back to work and speak clearly with my customers, friends, and family."
53-year-old Aye lives with her husband, son and two daughters in a refugee camp in Thailand. Her husband is a teacher, and Aye is a homemaker. All of the children go to school. In her free time, Aye loves to plant different types of flowers around her home. One day in the middle of 2018, Aye's friend told her that her neck looked a bit swollen. Aye did not seek medical attention, as she wasn't experiencing any symptoms. Gradually, however, she began developing mood swings, anxiety, and fatigue. Although she was put on medications by the doctor, her symptoms worsened, and she was referred to Mae Sot General Hospital. At the hospital, she was diagnosed with a left thyroid mass and for the next three years, she returned to the hospital for multiple follow-up appointments. During her appointment on September 28th, the doctor told her that she will need surgery to remove her thyroid and cure her worsening condition. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is seeking $1,500 to fund Aye's thyroidectomy, which is scheduled for October 11th, at Mae Sot General Hospital. Aye is looking forward to her surgery, as she feels as if the mass is increasing in size, and is causing her to have fatigue and chest pain. Aye said: “Because of my condition, I feel sad and angry without reason. Afterwards, I feel bad for my family. I believe that after my surgery, I will have normal emotions again, and I will be able to help my family more.”
Htet is a 38-year-old mother of four from Burma. She works as a street vendor, selling vegetables while her husband is currently unemployed. Her eldest daughter works as a money changer. Her other children attend school. During her free time, Htet enjoys visiting with her neighbors. Since November 2022, Htet has been experiencing frequent abdominal pain that has progressively worsened over time. She has been diagnosed with a gallstone. Unfortunately, medications only help relieve her pain temporarily. Htet has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, Htet's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Htet is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on September 19. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Htet's procedure and care. Htet said: "It is impossible for me to pay for the surgery. I was so delighted when I met you and knew that you would help me get surgery. I would like to say thank you so much for your great support."
Patience is a 24-year-old woman from Uganda. She is married with two children, both of whom are studying in school. Despite her passion for nursing, Patience couldn't pursue a career in nursing due to a lack of school fees. She supports her family by running a small business selling second-hand clothes and engaging in farming. Her husband works in the bodaboda (motorcycle taxi) business. Patience recently sought medical attention due to pain on the right side of her body, as she is experiencing backaches, especially when lifting any objects. These symptoms have persisted for eight months, but financial constraints prevented her from seeking medical help earlier. After an examination, the doctor diagnosed Patience with a right adnexal cyst and recommended cystectomy treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Patience receive the care she needs. On December 14th, she will undergo a cystectomy at AMH's care center. AMH is requesting $220 to fund this procedure. Patience shared, “I hope to have an improved life and better health once I am given a chance to be operated under your support.”
Somary is a 15-year-old girl with five members in her family. She has two younger sisters, a nine-year-old in third grade and a two-year-old. Her parents are rice farmers in Kampong Cham province. In school, she likes science and would like to be a teacher when she is older. At home, she loves to read books. Several years ago, Somary developed a large tumor in her right thigh. She visited several hospitals and received different diagnoses. The most recent biopsy revealed a diagnosis of liposarcoma, a rare type of cancer that develops in fatty tissue. Liposarcoma is a malignant tumor, which means the cancer can spread to other areas, including vital organs. Somaly has pain and is very worried about what may happen to her. Another children's hospital recommended amputation, but her parents chose to have the tumor removed to save her leg and were referred to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Center. With ongoing medical treatment, doctors hope to prevent her tumor from growing back after a large excision. Somary and her family need help raising $726 to fund her procedure and care, including surgery, medications, post-op care, and rehabilitation. Somary said: "I hope that the tumor will be removed and also stop my pain. I don't want to lose my leg and would like to go back to school again."