Jico joined Watsi on December 19th, 2015. Five years ago, Jico joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jico's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Slai, a 41 year old security guard from Thailand, to fund sinus surgery.
Jico has funded healthcare for 67 patients in 11 countries.
Jico has funded healthcare for 67 patients in 11 countries.
Meet Slai, a 41-year-old man who lives alone, and works as a security guard at night. In June 2020, when Slai was living in Burma, he started to sneeze frequently, and he also developed a constantly runny nose. Additionally, his nose became swollen, and his right nostril became blocked, making it difficult for Slai to breathe through his nose. At the local hospital, he was diagnosed with nasal polyps, and was given medication to treat his condition. However, when he moved to Thailand in January 2022, his symptoms returned, and doctors recommended surgery so he can breathe well again. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, can help Slai access the treatment that he needs. On January 11th, Slai will undergo surgery to remove the polyps at Mae Sot General Hospital. Slai is looking to you to help raise the $1,500 to cover the cost of this procedure, which will allow him to breathe freely again. Slai said: "After completing my treatment, I want to be legally employed as a worker in Thailand. Driving is my profession, so I want to work as a driver, but I would be happy with any work opportunity.”
Mary is an eight-year-old girl. She is a talkative and playful young girl. She is the last born in a family of seven children and the family is not well off financially. Both of her parents do casual jobs like ploughing people's farms for a living and such jobs are not easy to find where they live. Sometimes the church members chip in to help them where they can. When Mary was one year old, she was involved in an accident where she sustained burns to her head, some parts of her face and neck. She was rushed to the hospital and was admitted for better care. While in the hospital, a surgery was done on her head where she had sustained more burns. She was then discharged and booked for wound dressing clinics. The wounds were healing well as per the doctors’ plan. Her parents managed to take her for the clinics for a few months but later stopped because of finances. While at home, the wound got infected but due to lack of funds, she was not taken to hospital at that time. Time went by and the infection spread to most parts of the head. When she was three years old, the family met up with a local pastor who started helping them. He started financing Mary’s hospital visits with the help of some church members where he ministered. The wound was dressed again but the recovery process was very slow. In mid this year, the pastor brought them to Kijabe Hospital, she was examined, and the wound was dressed properly. Since then, the wound has been healing as expected. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Mary receive treatment. On December 9th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help the remaining wound to heal properly. Now, Mary's family needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Mary’s father says, "Since the accident, we have been struggling a lot to make her get the required treatment but have failed to some extent. Coming to Kijabe, our hopes have been boosted greatly with the improvement she has experienced, and we hope that she will go through with the surgery and be well again.”
Kaung is a 16-year-old student from Thailand. He lives with his parents, two aunts and his brother on the border of Thailand and Burma. His parents are retired, while his brother and his aunts work in a factory. Kaung is in grade 10. In his free time he likes to play cane ball and football. On November 25th, Kaung was playing cane ball during gym class. While jumping to kick the ball in the air, he slipped and fell on his left arm, breaking both bones in his forearm. Currently, he cannot hold anything with his left hand and is in a lot of pain. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Kaung will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for November 25th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help his arm heal properly and allow him to use his left arm again. "I feel very sad and I am also worried that I will never be able to use my left arm," said Kaung. "I also feel bad for not listening to my mother because she doesn't allow me to play football as she is always worried that I will hurt myself. And now I have. Thank you to the donors for supporting my treatment. Without their help I could never receive treatment."
Josephina is a young woman from Tanzania. She is the last-born child in a family of seven children, and lives with most of her siblings and both parents. Her parents are small-scale farmers who depend on agriculture to meet their basic needs. Though times have been hard, they are trying to manage. Josephina is hard-working and enjoys helping her mother with home chores like cooking, cleaning dishes, and washing clothes. She completed her primary school education, but unfortunately, she has not been able to continue with further studies because of financial challenges. In 2011, as she was helping her mother in the kitchen, her dress caught fire, burning her around the thighs. She was taken to the hospital where she received treatment for the open wounds. All the wounds healed, leaving her pain free for some time. She has now developed contractures and has pain and discomfort. Josephina came to our health center seeking treatment, but her parents cannot afford to pay for it. They appeal for support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Josephina receive treatment. On October 19th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her be pain free and live a comfortable life. Now, her family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Josephina’s mother says, “My child has had to endure pain for a while because we did not know that her condition can be treated. We hope that she won’t have any pain after this.”
Samuel is a 38 year old casual laborer and single father of one son, who is six years old. As Samuel's income is modest, both he and his son live with Samuel's parents in Malawi. Samuel enjoyed good health until April 2022. He was visiting relatives at a distance from his home, when he developed a cough and lost his voice. He was treated for his cough, but in June, he noticed a small, painful swelling on the right side of his neck. Although he went to a local hospital, nothing was done, and the swelling continued to grow, causing Samuel more pain, difficulty swallowing, and occasional breathlessness. After visiting numerous hospitals, Samuel finally went to Partners in Hope Medical Center, where tests revealed the existence of a goiter on his thyroid gland. As the goiter was fast growing, the surgeons informed Samuel that he would need to have a thyroidectomy, to remove all or part of the thyroid gland. Thanks to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Samuel is scheduled to have surgery on October 4th, at Partners in Hope Medical Center. After the procedure, Samuel will be able to return to his work, and to caring for his child, which he has been unable to do since falling ill. Samuel and his family are seeking $1,015 to help fund Samuel's care. “I wish to get better and look after my child,” said Samuel while looking worried.
Naw Ta is a 54-year-old woman who lives with her retired husband in a refugee camp in Thailand. Originally from Burma, she and her husband fled to Thailand in 2010 due to conflict in their area. She now works selling snacks and sweets from her home. Naw Ta has developed cataracts in both eyes, causing her to experience blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about tripping on stones or the uneven road when walking. Because of this, she is not able to go places on her own. She also cannot sew clothing anymore or see the rice grains clearly when cooking. Fortunately, doctors will perform a lens replacement on September 1st. During this procedure, surgeons at our medical partner's care center, Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, will remove Naw Ta's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Ta's surgery. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly again and return to doing her daily tasks without difficulty. Naw Ta shares, “I will be happy when I can see clearly again. I am grateful for having the chance to receive eye surgery.”
Sai lives with his parents and sister in a village in Karen State in the border region of Burma where there is currently a lot of violence and instability. His sister is a teacher, while both he and his parents run a shop from their home, selling various items such as snacks, drinks, dry goods, and cement. In his free time, he loves to play cane ball with his friends. In early November 2021, Sai received treatment for COVID-19. While getting treatment, doctors also discovered that he was born with a hole in his heart, and he was diagnosed with atrial septal defect. A doctor in Yangon confirmed his diagnosis and told him that he needs surgery. He recommended he go to Thailand as the only other option was to receive surgery at a military hospital in Burma, which have been impacted in the recent humanitarian crisis. Sai's aunt suggested he seek treatment at a clinic in Thailand and he was referred to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial support to make his care possible. Now, Sai is raising $1,500 for his Atrial Septal Defect Closure procedure, which is scheduled for July 12th. Sai said, “I would like to receive surgery as soon as possible so that I can help my parents like before. Now, my father has to do all the hard and heavy work, which is not good for him as he is getting old.”
Nedjee is a 17-month-old baby girl from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and three siblings in a neighborhood outside of the capital city, Port-au-Prince. Nedjee has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. The surgery that Nedjee needs for her birth condition is not available within her country. Fortunately, Nedjee will be able to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 25th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Nedjee's family is requesting assistance to cover the costs of Nedjee's surgery prep, as our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is contributing the funds needed to cover the cost of surgery. HCA is requesting $1,500 to cover the surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Nedjee and her family overseas. Nedjee's mother shared, "Our family is all praying that this surgery will go well and that our daughter's heart will be stronger afterward."
Htun is a four year old boy living with 12 other children and a pastor and his wife who are helping to raise them in Tak Province, Thailand. Htun enjoys riding bicycles, watching cartoons, and playing with action figures. Towards the beginning of April, Htun began experiencing discomfort while walking and when he was sitting down. According to his guardian, whenever Htun begins to feel pain, he will point to where the pain is coming from and cry. Htun has been diagnosed with an inguinal hernia, which will need to be treated with surgery. Fortunately, he was brought to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, and he is now scheduled for hernia repair surgery on May 31st, at Mae Sot General Hospital. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Htun's hernia repair surgery, after which Htun will be able to live a full and healthy life ahead. "I want to support him as if he were my own child, and I want him to feel like we are his family," shared the pastor.
Moses is a seven-year-old boy. His father shared that he is jovial and active, just as most of the kids his age, however, he is not doing well in school because he has had reduced hearing in both ears. Moses has been diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss. He requires bilateral amplification, and is scheduled for treatment and fittings of hearing aids in both ears to help him pick up voices and be able to study well. The income from his father's work as a tout in the transport industry is inconsistent and, therefore, not sufficient to cover the scheduled procedure. His mother recently traveled to the UAE to work as a domestic worker, but they are not able to gather the funds needed for his care. His family is requesting financial help them pay the $1,171 cost for his treatment and care. Moses' father shared, “Our kid is eager to go to school. He always accompanies his sibling to school although he is not examined yet. If he gets the hearing aids, they will help him study well."
Ikram is a charming and friendly 3-year-old boy. He's the youngest in a family of four children. Ikram’s mother works as “mamantilie”, which is a phrase used for women cooking street foods. His father is a casual laborer who seeks daily jobs like working at construction sites. Ikram was diagnosed with genu valgus. His legs bow 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 has a difficult time walking and playing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Ikram. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 17th. Treatment will hopefully restore Ikram's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Ikram’s mother shared with us how happy she will be to see her son able to walk like other children.
Misael is a smiley nine-month-old baby boy from Venezuela. His family moved to Medellín in Colombia after he was born, where his father works in construction and his mother is caring for Misael and dedicated to giving him all of her love. His smile is contagious and his energy is endless! Misael has clubfoot on his left foot. Clubfoot is a congenital musculoskeletal condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Misael and his family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel, where they can offer him the life-changing treatment he needs. Fortunately, on March 14th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery to correct his foot. Our medical partner is raising $1,422 to help fund Misael's surgery. After treatment, he will be able to walk and wear shoes as he grows up and eventually run around and play with his friends! His mother said, "Thank you so much for everything you are doing, being in Medellín and finding you has been a blessing."