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Mao is a retired rice farmer. She is 72-years-old with three daughters, four sons, and many grandchildren. Since her husband passed away during the Khmer Rouge regime, she has lived with her oldest daughter who is a farmer. At home, Mao likes to listen to the monks pray on the radio and visit the community pagoda to cook for the monks. Three years ago, Mao developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurred vision and trouble seeing in bright or low lights. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, making it difficult to perform her desired activities. When Mao learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On May 4th, doctors will perform a small incision 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 $253 procedure. Says Mao: "I hope after surgery I can see well again. I want to recognize the faces of my relatives, go outside and take care of myself well."
Ruth is a two-year-old girl who lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, which is the capital of the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. She is her parent's first child. Ruth was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus, which causes blood to leak through a hole between two major blood vessels near her heart. The condition makes it difficult for Ruth's small heart to fully function. Fortunately, her condition is highly treatable with surgery. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, so our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged to take Ruth and her mother to the Dominican Republic, where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole near her heart. The treatment, scheduled for May 25th, will stop blood from leaking into her blood vessels and should allow her to live a full life ahead. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 toward the surgery cost. Her family is raising $1,500 to help cover the rest of her treatment and related care, including travel for Ruth and her mother. Her mother shared, "Our family is very hopeful that after the surgery, our daughter will have more energy and a better appetite."
Gertrude is a farmer and a mother of six children, two daughters and four sons. Her youngest children are in school while the eldest are now married. Gertrude's husband is also a farmer. For three years now, Gertrude has been experiencing pain and other symptoms. She has been diagnosed with premalignant cervical lesions. She was not able to seek treatment due to financial challenges, so has relied on pain medicine to help. However, with persistent pain, she came to Nyakibale Hospital and doctors have recommended surgery. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $219 to fund Gertrude's surgery. On April 5th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Gertrude will be able to finally resume her daily activities free of pain. Gertrude is hopeful to feel herself again soon and told us, “I hope to get back to normal health and continue with farming to sustain my family once all goes well after my surgery."
Yam is a 50-year-old vendor of traditional Khmer cakes. She has three daughters and five grandchildren. She lives with her youngest daughter who is a garment worker. When not cooking or selling cakes, she likes to play with her grandchildren and listen to the news on the radio. One year ago, Yam developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her photophobia, difficulty seeing in low or bright lights, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so is not able to go places on her own. When Yam learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled far across the country for eight hours seeking treatment. On May 3rd, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery, and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly again. Now, she needs help to fund this $253 procedure. "I hope after surgery I can see better. I want to be able to sell Khmer cakes to help support my daughter's family as I did before," says Yam.
Phea is a 64-year-old rice farmer. She is married and has two daughters, four sons, and 15 grandchildren. Phea lives with her husband who is also a farmer. She likes to listen to the news and the monks pray on the radio. One year ago, Phea developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her to have tearing and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking. She is not able to go places on her own. When Phea learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for seven and a half hours seeking treatment. On June 13th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Phea says, "I hope after surgery my eye can see better so I can easily go outside and plant rice well."
Pha is a 63-year-old retired rice farmer. She has three sons, four daughters, and nine grandchildren. Pha lives with her husband and she enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio. Three years ago, Pha developed a pterygium in her left eye, causing her irritation 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 anywhere outside. When Pha learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. Pha needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent a recurrence. The total cost of her procedure is $216. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for March 11th. Pha says, "I hope the irritation stops so I can go outside and care for myself and my grandchildren."
Nget is a 75-year-old mother of nine. She has three sons, six daughters, and now 20 grandchildren. Nget lives with her youngest daughter who is a garment worker. She shared that her husband passed away a long time ago. Nget likes to visit the pagoda to join ceremonies. Two years ago, Nget developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so is not able to go places on her own. When Nget learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On April 18th doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. CSC is helping Nget raise $253 to fund this procedure. Nget says, "I hope after surgery my vision will improve and I can travel to the pagoda by myself."
Sreyda is a 26-year-old grocery seller with five siblings. She currently lives with her parents and her sister. Sreyda enjoys watching movies and spending time chatting with her relatives. Three years ago, Sreyda had a severe ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. This has now caused Sreyda to experience hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. Sreyda traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 19th, Sreyda will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear where ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is helping Sreyda and her family raise $926 to cover her procedure, medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sreyda says, "I'm really hoping all of the ear discharge will stop and my hearing will improve."
Meet Mercy, a 7-year-old jovial and calm girl. Our medical partner met Mercy at Cure Hospital's satellite clinic in Matuu, Kenya when she arrived with her mother. Mercy is a second grade student who is very bright and likes to study. Her mother is a homemaker while her father works on a tea farm whenever he can get small jobs there. Mercy has clubfoot of both of her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Mercy's family was referred to our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Mercy's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk, play and run like other kids she knows. “As a mother, I will be so happy seeing my child walking like other children,” Mercy’s mother told us.
Ni lives with her mother & four siblings in Yangon, Burma. Her two younger sisters work in a clothing factory, while her mother and one brother are homemakers. Her other brother works as a driver assistant. Ni works in a factory that produces alcohol and in her free time, she enjoys watching television with her family. She also enjoys teaching English to their neighbor's children on the weekends. In July 2019, Ni started to experience chest pain and difficulty breathing. She went to a hospital in Yangon and was told she might have a problem with her kidney. When she did not feel any better after taking medication for a month, she went to another hospital in Yangon. She received multiple diagnostic tests and was told that her kidney is healthy but she has a heart condition. After receiving an echocardiogram, she was diagnosed with atrial septal defect (ASD). The doctor told her she would need heart surgery, but Ni told the doctor she could not afford to pay for it. Ni received medication and went back home. Unfortunately, she was unable to go back to the hospital for follow up because the hospital closed after the country's military coup. Due to the deteriorating security condition in their area, Ni’s family decided to go back to their village near Mandalay. Around her village, she could not find a pharmacy that sold her medication. When her family finally traveled back to Yangon she was feeling better and decided not to purchase more of the special medication she needed. Then in January, Ni felt like she could not breathe well, and experienced chest pain and rapid breathing again. She went to a hospital, where the doctor referred her to Pun Hlaing Hospital. After she undergoing more diagnostic tests, the doctor told her she would need to receive surgery costing 9,000,000 kyats (approx. $9,000 USD). When she told the doctor she could not afford to pay for it, the doctor gave her the phone number of a nurse who may be able to help. When Ni called the nurse, the nurse told her about our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) who is now helping Ni access treatment. On March 13th she will undergo cardiac surgery to close the Atrial Septal Defect. Currently, Ni has chest pain and difficulty breathing. Sometimes, she has rapid breathing at night. She cannot sleep well because she is always worried about her condition. Ni shared, "I am very scared to receive surgery but if I do not receive this treatment, I will not live a long life. I am so happy to receive treatment and I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors."
Zara is a bright and creative 3-year-old from Haiti. She lives with her parents and two older sisters, and she loves going to preschool. One of her favorite ways to spend her time is by exploring her creativity and doing arts and crafts projects. Zara was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which blood leaks through a hole between two major blood vessels next to her heart. This causes her to experience weakness and shortness of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. During the procedure, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole so blood can properly flow through her body. This will allow Zara to breath with ease. Zara's mother said, "Our family is very hopeful that after this surgery our daughter will become healthier and stronger."
Colleta is a 26-year-old woman who works at a small boutique in Nairobi. She is married and has two children, who are four-years-old and five-months-old. Colleta and her family currently live in the capital city, but they plan to relocate to Colleta’s hometown soon. Colletta and her family were involved in a serious car accident last month. Her parents and brother passed away, and her husband and two children were seriously injured and admitted to the ICU. Although her husband’s condition has stabilized, Colleta’s kids are in critical condition and under pediatric intensive care. Colletta sustained a fracture to her right pelvic bones. As a result, she experiences severe pain and cannot sit, turn her body, or feed herself. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Colletta receive treatment. On April 28th, she will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, that will allow her to sit and walk again. AMH is requesting $979 to fund this procedure. Colleta shared, “I am in pain and cannot even turn or sit. I am also sad that I lost my parents and my brother. My kids and husband are in critical care and still in ICU. I feel confused and heartbroken.”