Kristjan joined Watsi on April 23rd, 2018. Five years ago, Kristjan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Kristjan's most recent donation supported Cho, a 23-year-old refugee from Thailand, to fund a Caesarean section to safely welcome her baby.
Kristjan has funded healthcare for 110 patients in 10 countries.
Kristjan has funded healthcare for 110 patients in 10 countries.
Cho is a 23-year-old woman from Thailand, living with her husband, son and her husband’s cousin in a refugee camp, in Mae Hong Son Province. Her husband works as a medic at the hospital in the refugee camp, and her husband’s cousin goes to school. Cho is a homemaker, and looks after her son. In her free time, Cho loves to play with her son, while on Saturdays, she likes to attend church. Cho is currently expecting her second child. At a recent antenatal visit, Cho's doctors told her that she would need to give birth via Caesarean section, due to complications she experienced when giving birth to her son. A C-section offers the best opportunity for a safe and healthy outcome for both Cho and her new baby. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Cho access the care that she needs. On September 8th, Cho will undergo a Caesarean section at Mae Sariang Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to fund this procedure and ensure a safe delivery. “I want to work as a teacher in the future again, when my children are old enough to go to school,” Cho said.
Siem is a 68-year-old retired rice farmer from Kandal province in Cambodia. She is married but has no children and lives with her husband, a vegetable farmer. She helps him sell their produce at the local market, and at home, she enjoys listening to the monks praying on the radio when she has free time. A year ago, Siem developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision, photophobia and frequent hearing. 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 Siem learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On December 1st, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and place 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. Siem says, "I hope I can see things clearly again so I can travel easily on my own and help my husband with our vegetables."
Phorn is a 42-year-old vegetable vendor. She is married with three sons, three daughters, and two grandchildren. She lives with her husband who is also a vegetable vendor and onion farmer. At home, she helps to care for her grandchildren and watches the news on her phone. Five years ago, Phorn developed a pterygium in her left eye, causing her itchiness, tearing, and blurry vision. 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 Phorn learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours seeking treatment. Phorn 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. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for October 13th. She shared, "I hope after surgery my eye stops tearing and burning. I want to do housework, not be ashamed of my eye, and go back to selling vegetables."
Nhel is a 54-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He is married and has one son and two daughters. Nhel lives with his wife and their youngest daughter. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his friends and caring for his grandchild. This past July, Nhel was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a fracture of his left humerus. He visited a private clinic after the accident, but he unfortunately could not receive treatment due to financial constraints. It is currently difficult for him to use his left arm, and he is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On September 1st, Nhel will undergo fracture repair surgery, which will heal the fracture and allow him to regain use of his left arm. Now, he needs help to fund this $483 procedure. Nhel says, "I hope my pain will stop and I can use my left arm again."
Meet Theara, a 17-year-old from Cambodia. She has six sisters and one brother, and her parents work as farmers. Theara works with her parents on their farm but is searching for a different job to help better support her family. At home, she enjoys cooking chicken and rice and watching stories on her phone. Two months ago, Theara developed a chalazion in her right eye, which is an inflamed cyst in the tear gland. As a result, she experiences irritation, itchiness, blurred vision, and is insecure about how her eye looks. Theara traveled for four hours to seek treatment from our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). On December 30th, surgeons at CSC will remove the cyst through a chalazion excision procedure. After recovery, Theara's symptoms will improve. She needs help raising $210 to fund this procedure. Theara shared: "I hope my eye will feel well after surgery and I can look for a job."
Monicah is a widow and a mother of six children, who lives in Kenya. Her husband died in 1999, and she has struggled to bring up all their children on her own. Monicah had a small business of buying and selling chicken. She developed ulcers and was being treated for her condition. About one year ago the pain became so severe that she could not live alone. So she decided to visit and live with her sister who is older than her but is strong and healthy. Since then, her sister has been taking care of her. Before visiting Nazareth hospital, Monicah had gone to different hospitals without getting much relief for her pain. At Nazareth, a scan confirmed that she had gallstones (cholelithiasis). She was advised to have laparotomy to treat the condition. Monicah is in much pain, and she cannot fund her treatment. Once she has the laparotomy, she will be able to live on her own and better support her children. She needs $788 to cover her surgery. Monicah says, “I am just there bothering my sister. I am unable to take care for my children, yet they need my support. I beg for help so that at least this pain will go away, and I may resume my usual life. I shall thank God for his intervention and pray for it."
Vanna is a 38-year-old former construction worker from Cambodia. He is married and has a five-year-old son who has just started public school. His wife works in a local lamp factory. He enjoys reading the news, fishing, and playing football with friends In July of 2021, Vanna was in a motor vehicle accident in which he suffered loss of consciousness, trauma/paralysis to his right shoulder, and a fractured humerus. He had a fracture repair of his humerus done, and spent over a month in hospital. But he has also been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. Vanna has no movement of his right shoulder due to trapezius nerve damage and cannot bend his elbow or move his fingers. He is unable to work to support his young family and is in chronic pain. Vanna traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. This is the only center in the whole country where this treatment is available. On September 29th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he hopes to use his shoulder and arm again to find a job in construction. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $709 to fund this procedure. Vanna said: "After surgery, I hope my right shoulder will have movement, I have no pain, and can work for my family again."
Saw Kyaw is a 25-year-old man living in Thailand. He currently lives with his older sister, younger sister, mother and her niece. He moved from Burma to Thailand for job opportunities three years ago. He was working in a shop and was able to support two younger siblings who are studying in Karen State in Burma. Around the end of July, he was playing football with friends when he slipped trying to kick the ball. His lower right leg was very painful, but he was still able to bear weight lightly on that leg. At the time, Saw Kyaw didn’t have health insurance, so he went to a clinic instead of the hospital. There they examined his leg, gave him some medication for the pain and advised him to go to the hospital for an X-ray if the pain persisted. Saw Kyaw rested for two days and then went back to work. That day at work, Saw Kyaw was carrying a heavy load when he slipped again. This time, the pain was severe, and he was unable to stand on his right leg. He went to a hospital in Bangkok where they X-rayed his lower right leg and told him that the tibia was fractured. The doctor recommended surgery where they would use a metal rod to connect the bones and set them in the correct position to heal. Saw Kyaw was told that the surgery would cost between 40,000 to 50,000 baht (approx. 1,330- 1,660 USD). He told them that he did not have insurance and was unable to afford the surgery, so they gave him pain medication and bandaged up his leg. He returned to the hospital three times and each time the doctor recommended surgery, but Kyaw was unable to figure out how he could get that kind of money. His employer was not helpful and refused to assist with the cost of the surgery. Since Saw Kyaw didn’t have the money, he decided to just rest and see whether the bones would heal on their own. Saw Kyaw recalled that he had fractured his femur when he was young, and he had used a traditional medicated oil to help heal the injury. He hoped that he could use this on his new fracture. But now he cannot walk properly and cannot work since his accident. He is stressed about his condition and his future. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Saw Kyaw will finally undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for December 7th and will cost $1,500. He will able to go back to work after surgery Saw Kyaw said, “I would like to go back to Bangkok and find work again so I can go back to helping my family; my siblings who are studying in Burma, and also my mother who is getting older. I also want to save some money for my future. I will not work at the same place though as they have not been kind or caring since I had the accident.”
Pov is a 66-year-old loving grandmother from Cambodia. She has two sons, five daughters, and twenty-two grandchildren. She retired from her work as a rice farmer and lives with her youngest daughter, who is a garment worker. In her free time, Pov enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio, visiting the local pagoda, and cooking for her grandchildren. A year ago, Pov developed a cataract in her left eye that causes her blurry vision. She cannot see well in low or bright light and is afraid to go outside by herself. She also has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking. As a result, she cannot go places independently. When Pov learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for an hour seeking treatment. On September 29th, doctors will perform cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. CSC is requesting $253 to fund her procedure. Pov shared, "I hope I can I go outside by myself and see faces well again. I want to help my daughter take care of my grandchildren."
Lekitony is a kind 13-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the youngest in a family of nine children. He and his family are from a Maasai community in a remote village where people mainly practice livestock keeping to support themselves. He is very hardworking and helps his parents look after the cattle in search of pasture and water. Lekitony was diagnosed with right genu valgum, meaning his right leg is bowed inward, causing his knees to touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, often stemming from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has a difficult time walking and experiences pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Lekitony. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 15th. Treatment will hopefully restore Lekitony's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Lekitony shares, “When I run, my knees knock and I fall. Also, most of the time my knees hurt.”
Nobert is a one-month-old baby. His parents work in agriculture. They noticed that their newborn child's feet are twisted inward and downward. This worried the parents, for they have never come across a child born with such a disability. Nobert's parents shared that they spent a whole week in a dilemma, not knowing what to do. As they were about to go to a small local hospital nearby, they met with a friendly neighbour who helped to educate them on the problem and informed them of a health centre that can provide the proper treatment to their newborn child. Nobert has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Nobert's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 13th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Nobert's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when he grows up. Nobert's mother says, “I was worried that my son will grow up with his feet in this condition, but now I hope his feet will be normal after treatment."
Srey is a 49-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She is married and has one daughter, two sons, and seven grandchildren. She lives with her husband, who is also a farmer. In the evening, she likes to listen to the news on the radio. Five years ago, Srey developed a pterygium in her left eye, causing her to experience eye redness and blurry vision. 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 describes her condition as a film covering her eye, making it difficult to see any small details clearly. This makes it difficult for her to recognize faces, work, and go anywhere outside. When Srey learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. Srey 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. This covers supplies, treatment, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for August 15th. Srey shares, "I hope that after surgery my eye can see better. I hope to plant our rice crops well so we can earn money to support our family."