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Gyi is an agricultural day labourer from Thailand. He lives with his wife, who also works as a day labourer. However, both Gyi and his wife struggle to find work and often have to borrow money to make ends meet. On January 12, 2021, Gyi started to experience difficulty urinating. His abdomen became distended, and he felt uncomfortable as if he had severe gas. For the next two days, Gyi was able to pass urine without difficulty, but he started developing pain on the right side of his abdomen. Four days later, he was unable to pass neither urine nor stool. Gyi and his wife went to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), where a medic assessed him and thought he might be suffering from partial obstruction of his bowel. Doctors want Gyi 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 his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Gyi's CT scan and care, scheduled for January 20th. In the future, Gyi shared, "I want to continue working in the fields. Also, I would like to move back to Burma one day."
Myo is a 38-year-old from Thailand. He lives with his mother, sister, and a nephew in Mae Ku Village in the northern Tak Province. He moved from Burma to Mae Sot in 2008 search of better job opportunities. He and his sister work as agriculture day laborers while his mother looks after his nephew at home. In his free time, Myo loves to listen to music. Around two weeks ago, Myo developed a stomachache after he had dinner. He thought that it was because he had skipped lunch and ate too much during dinner. His mother bought him oral medication from the pharmacy and after he took it, he felt better. The next day, his stomachache returned in the evening. He took more of the same medication which helped to decrease the pain. Myo decided to rest two days at home and not go to work, in the hopes that he would feel better. Nevertheless, three days later he felt worse. He developed a sharp pain in his lower abdomen which made it hard for him to sit down or eat. When he tried to eat, the pain increased and his stomach became bloated. When Myo arrived at Mae Tao Clinic, the medic completed an ultrasound of his abdomen as well as a blood and a urine test. The medic told him that he has fluid build-up in his stomach. The medic inserted a tube through his nose and into his stomach to drain the build-up of fluid. He also received an intravenous (IV) line because he cannot eat anything since he arrived at MTC. If he tries to eat, the pain in his stomach increases. A few days after the tube was inserted through his nose, his stomach became less bloated. When the medic did another ultrasound of his abdomen a few days later he was admitted to the hospital, the medic found a small mass or cyst close to his navel. The medic told him he would have to go to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation and on the 18th of January 2021, Myo went to MSH with an MTC staff. At MSH, the nurse looked at his ultrasound result before scheduling him for a computerized tomography (CT) scan to confirm his diagnosis on 21st of January 2021. Doctors want Myo 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 his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Myo's CT scan and care, scheduled for January 21st. Myo's sister said, “Since my brother got sick, he cannot work, and I also cannot work because I have to accompany him. We do not have an income when we do not work and now, we are in debt.” Myo added, “I want to recover and work so that I can pay back our debt.”
Met is 62-years-old and lives on a farm with her sister and mother. She no longer harvests due to her age, so she stays home to take care of the young children who are not yet in school. She likes to listen to the monks who chant and preach on the radio. Six months ago, Met developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her difficulty with vision at night, sensitivity to light and blurred vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Met learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours with her sister seeking treatment. On January 21st, 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. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. "I hope after surgery I can see well and see my family. I will be able do things outside on my own and help to support my family," she told us.
Isaya is a 16-year-old teenager from Tanzania. He is the firstborn child in a family of three children. Isaya never had the chance to join school due to his parent’s financial challenges. Despite not going to school, Isaya has been a very hardworking young man who helps his father look after the cattle. Isaya was born healthy and his growth has been normal, until last year when he noticed his right leg was bending inwards. He says the bend was very slight but over time it has increased significantly. Isaya has been walking over a long distance in search of green pasture for his father's cattle. However, due to his leg, Isaya can no longer go out with the cattle. Isaya was diagnosed with right genu valgus, or bowleggedness. His leg is bowed inward so that his knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he is in pain and discomfort after walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Isaya. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Isaya's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Isaya shared, “I am unable to carry out my daily chores because of my leg. Please help me get this treatment so that I can return home and help my parents.”
Jue is a 25-year-old woman who lives with her family in a village in Hmawbi Township, Yangon Division, Burma. Her parents are housekeepers, and her youngest brother is a first-year university student who has been seeking work. Jue used to run a beauty salon, but had to stop working four months ago when her health deteriorated. In her free time, Jue likes to watch the news and videos relating to her work at the beauty salon. She also likes to read books and wants to write a book of her own someday. In August 2020, Jue felt pains in her stomach and chest. She would also experience difficulty breathing sometimes, and she would feel tired when she walked for a longer period of time. Jue went to the clinic in her village, where she received oral medication, but she did not feel better after taking it. She returned to the clinic several times over the course of two months, but her condition continued to worsen – the chest pain, difficulty breathing and feeling of fatigue happened more often. Jue decided to go to another clinic in North Okkala Township in Yangon in November 2020. At the clinic, the doctor listened to her heart with a stethoscope, and informed her that she has a congenital heart condition. The doctor recommended she receive a blood test, an echocardiogram (echo) and an electrocardiogram (ecg) at a hospital. After visiting a hospital to receive those tests, the doctor there told her that she was born with a hole in her heart and that she might need to receive surgery at the general hospital. However, the cost of surgery was too high. Luckily, Jue crossed paths with another former patient and was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) to seek assistance with accessing treatment. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 24th, U Win will undergo an atrial septal defect closure procedure. Once recovered, her quality of life will significantly improve and she will be able to return to working at her beauty salon. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Jue shared, “I want to get better as quickly as possible and go back to work. I’m worried about my younger brother. He doesn’t have a job, and he needs to graduate from university. I’m also worried about Covid-19 because nobody has a job right now.”
Kyarikora is a 52-year-old farmer from Uganda. She is married and a mother to seven children; one son and six daughters. Her son is a motorbike taxi driver; her two eldest daughters are married and small scale farmers; while her other four children are still in school. Kyarikora and her husband both earn a living from small scale farming. For the last year, Kyarikora has been experiencing persistent pain, backache, and other troubling symptoms. She has been diagnosed with premalignant cervical lesion. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $219 to fund Kyarikora's surgery. On January 26th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Kyarikora will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Kyarikora shared, “I have been living a miserable life because of this condition, and I haven’t been able to go for treatment because my income is small. I hope to regain my strength after surgery.”
Godfrey is a 49-year-old manual labourer from Kenya. He currently lives alone since separating with his wife. Godfrey has one daughter who lives with his mother. He works hard in order to support his family. Though Godfrey completed secondary school, he did not attend college, so he started working casual jobs. He mostly works at construction sites. On January 12th, as Godfrey was working, he fell from the first floor of a building under construction and badly injured his right leg. He has sustained a fracture, it is difficult for him to walk, and he is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 28th, Godfrey will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Godfrey shared, “I am so desperate and just don’t know where to go for help. If not for my friend, I would have just stayed in the house with my sick leg. I plead for help so that I can be well to go back to my work to support myself and my daughter."
Isaack is a 16-year-old student in Grade 7 hailing from Elgeyo Marakwet County in Kenya. On January 1st, 2021, Isaack sustained a severe injury to his right lower limb after he was involved in a motorbike accident on his way to church. He has a distal femur fracture, and is in great pain and cannot walk. Isaack’s mother is appealing to anyone reading her son's story to help her raise money for a successful surgery for Isaack. Since her son's accident, she has not been able to find stable employment and appeals for financial support. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 25th, Isaack will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal well and walk well again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Isaack shared, “My hope is to get treated so that I can return back to school as soon as possible.”
Than is a 42-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, three daughters, three sons, son-in-law and granddaughter. Than and her family moved from Burma to Thailand ten years ago in search of better job opportunities. Her husband, her oldest daughter, one son, and her son-in-law work as day labourers on their employer’s farm, growing and harvesting tapioca, corn, and cabbage. Her two other sons go to school, while her youngest daughter and her granddaughter are too young to go to school. Than and her second oldest daughter are homemakers. On November 7th, 2020, Than discovered that she had an incisional hernia. Currently, Than experiences abdominal pain throughout the week and has to take pain medication to decrease her pain. She feels uncomfortable when she sits, and when she is in pain, she has to walk or lie down for the pain to ease. Fortunately, on January 28th, 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 Than's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 28th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and go about her daily activities normally. Than shared, “I was so happy when I learned that I was to go to Mae Tao Clinic [and later Mae Sot Hospital] for treatment. My children are also happy that I will receive treatment with help from donors.”
Samuel is a 59-year-old small-scale farmer from Kenya. He owns a 1/8-acre piece of land in Kikuyu, his home village. Samuel's children are all grown, but do not have stable jobs. His wife is also a farmer and has no source of income. They live together in a three-room house. Last February, Samuel started experience blurry vision without pain. The condition progressed gradually to a point he could not see clearly. Samuel visited a local hospital in Kikuyu, where doctors discovered cataracts in both eyes. Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes opaque. The doctors recommended he visit a facility that could support the surgery he needed to treat his cataracts, and Samuel came to Watsi's Medical Partner Kijabe Hospital. Currently, due to his limited vision, Samuel cannot walk independently without stumbling. Samuel's wife helps to guide him around. He appeals for financial support for the care that he needs. Fortunately, Samuel is scheduled to undergo cataract surgery at our medical partner's care center on February 4th. Surgeons will remove and replace the blurred lens. After recovery, Samuel will be able to see clearly again. Now, he needs help to fund this $231 procedure. Samuel shared, “I can’t afford to lose sight in both eyes. I am struggling to adjust because I always need someone to guide me around. I need this surgery to be able to see again.”
Hiek is a mother of four with two sons, two daughters, and now many grandchildren. She sells roast beef sticks from a mobile cart, but now she cannot go outside to sell due to her vision problems. She lives with her older son who is a motor-taxi driver. Her husband passed away ten years ago due to hypertension. She likes to visit her neighborhood pagoda and help to care for her grandchildren. One year ago, Hiek developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her cloudy vision, sensitivity to light and glare. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Hiek learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she and her son traveled there seeking treatment. On February 1st, doctors will perform a small incision 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 $229 procedure. "After surgery I hope I can see well, I will be able to take care of myself, and help my son to look after my grandchildren. I look forward to visiting my pagoda and having more independence," Hiek said.
Sovannara is a 68-year-old retired soldier. He has six sons, one daughter, and fourteen grandchildren. He now lives with his youngest daughter and family. His daughter is a cook at a local restaurant. To earn extra money for the family, Sovannara became a motor taxi driver. He likes to watch Khmer boxing and the news on the TV. His life has become more difficult since three years ago when Sovannara developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him photophobia, blurred vision, and a need for brighter light to read or watch TV. When Sovannara learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two hours with his wife seeking treatment. On February 1st, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Sovannara told us: "During my young age I used my power to support my country, and at this old age I need my eyes to see well and support my family."