Steve joined Watsi on August 8th, 2013. Eight years ago, Steve joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Steve's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Yi, a 67-year-old woman from Burma, to fund a lens replacement procedure so she can regain her vision.
Steve has funded healthcare for 128 patients in 14 countries.
Steve has funded healthcare for 128 patients in 14 countries.
Yi is a 67-year-old woman from Bruma who lives in a monastery with 40 other monks, nuns, and villagers. Although she does not have an income, all of her basic needs are met by the monastery. Yi enjoys spending most of her time reading religious books. Over 15 years ago, Yi's vision in her right eye became blurred, but she did not seek treatment because she thought it was simply something that was destined to occur due to her aging process. However, she eventually sought medical care at a hospital with the support of donors because her vision progressively worsened. There, she was diagnosed with a cataract and was scheduled to undergo repair surgery. On the day she was supposed to receive treatment, her son unfortunately passed away, so she did not return to the hospital for the procedure. Over the next couple of years, Yi began to also experience blurred vision in her left eye. The vision in both of her eyes deteriorated to the point where she could no longer recognize people. Fortunately, she was able to undergo cataract surgery of her left eye two months ago with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Now, she is scheduled to undergo cataract surgery on August 10th. During this procedure, surgeons will perform a lens replacement on her right eye. BCMF is requesting $769 to cover the total cost of Yi's procedure and care. Yi shares, "As long as I am alive, I want to see and I do not want to depend on others to help me. I felt so happy when I learned that donors will pay for the cost of my surgery. Thank you so much to all the donors.”
Stephen is a young man from Kenya. He is the firstborn in a family of 3 children. Their family has relied on their mother to provide for them as his father passed away when he was young boy. His mother does deliveries for different shop owners around their town. Stephen had to drop out from college do to inability to pay his school fees, and he now helps around the house and helps his mother with the deliveries, which is the how the family makes ends meet. Stephen has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Stephen has been experiencing severe headaches since this past July. He visited a hospital where a CT scan was done that revealed that he had a cyst that was obstructing the normal flow of fluid in and out of the head. An urgent surgery was recommended to remove the cyst, but he did not undergo it due to not having the funds for the procedure. A shunt insertion surgery has been recommended along with a craniotomy that will be performed later to remove the cyst. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Stephen that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 23rd and will drain the excess fluid from Stephen's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Stephen will hopefully continue to develop into a strong, healthy man. Stephen says, “I really want to be treated so that I can help my mom provide for us.”
Nana is an adorable 18-month-old baby. Her father works as a farmer, and her mother works selling food. Nana is the only child in her family. She enjoys playing with toys, and her favorite meal is fried noodles with fresh milk! Ten months ago, Nana's left-hand fingers were severely burned from a pan of boiling oil. Her mother took her to a local clinic for medications, but her fingers did not heal. She has since developed scar contracture on three of her fingers. This means the scar from the accident is pulling together and tightening the skin surrounding it, leaving Nana unable to hold objects. In order to help her condition, she will need to undergo a contracture release surgery, as well as a skin graft surgery to repair the scar tissues. When Nana and her family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), they traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On July 4th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help Nana use her fingers again. Now, she needs help to fund this $495 procedure. Her mother expressed, "I hope after this surgery my daughter can use her hand like other children."
Meet Ann, a very bright, friendly, and cheerful 14-year-old girl who lives with her mother in Kenya. She is currently in class six and aspires to be a surgeon after completing her studies. One of her favorite activities is reading. Her mother is a single parent who works selling samosas, a fried or baked pastry, in their hometown. Ann was born with a bow-legged impairment. She began therapy at the age of two, but she had to stop attending her sessions due to financial constraints. As a result, her condition has worsened. She shares that this has affected her mobility, studies, and self-esteem. A year ago, Ann underwent a successful multiple osteotomy surgery, which cut and reshaped her leg bones, with the help of amazing Watsi supporters. Now, she requires a second procedure to fully treat her condition in both of her legs. Ann is scheduled to undergo an angular deformity correction procedure on August 29th at our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,224 to fund this surgery. This procedure will allow Ann to walk easily, engage with her friends more comfortably, and continue on with her studies. Ann's mother says, "I wish to thank the donors for their great support towards my daughter's treatment. We were desperately looking for funds for her surgery. May the almighty God bless you. After her treatment, Ann will be able to walk comfortably."
Mary is a small businesswoman from Uganda who runs a retail shop with her husband. When she was younger, Mary had to leave school after secondary school year two due to limited financial support. She got married in 2020 and she and her husband work hard to make enough to meet their daily needs. During her free time, Mary enjoys listening to music on her radio as she runs their small shop. Mary is currently expecting her first child, and doctors recommend that she deliver via a caesarean section (C-Section) because of previous complications. This way, doctors can ensure the safety of both mother and child. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Mary raise $214 to undergo a C-Section on May 23rd. Mary shared, “I really hope for a positive outcome. I will continue to run my family’s retail shop after I am well again.”
Aye is a 47-year-old mother, living with her daughter in Thailand. Up until four months ago, Aye worked as a day laborer on a farm. Because she has had to stop working, Aye's daughter left school, and now works as a nanny to help support her mother. Aye's siblings have also stepped up to support their sister. Five years ago, Aye began to experience pain on the left side of her body. She also developed a fever and vomiting, lost her appetite, and found it difficult to sleep. In addition, she experienced night sweats and a stiff neck. Aye was treated by a local health worker, and for a while, she felt better. However, in June 2021, her symptoms worsened, and she went to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), where she was told to go to the hospital. Due to a lack of funds, Aye could not go to the hospital, and was treated at a local clinic, instead. In April 2022, Aye's symptoms returned, and she went back to Mae Tao Clinic, where she was diagnosed with stones in her left kidney. This time she did go the hospital, where she was told that she would need to have surgery, to remove the stones from her kidney. Thanks to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Aye is scheduled for surgery to remove the kidney stones on October 3rd, at Mae Sot General Hospital. After she has recovered, Aye should be able to return to her work and to enjoying her life, free from all of her uncomfortable symptoms. Aye and her family need your help to cover the $1,500 needed to pay for her surgery. Aye said: "I am happy that I will be able to receive surgery through donors. Thank you so much for saving my life.”
Randy is a 49-year-old from the Philippines. He has developed a large mass on his left shoulder. Because of this mass, Randy has been unable to secure full time employment. In order to support the needs of his family, Randy works part time in the neighborhood where he lives. Because of his inability to afford and access care, Randy had to delay treatment for a couple of years, and the mass increased in size. Fortunately, Randy found his way to our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, and he is now scheduled for surgery on May 3rd at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. World Surgical Foundation Philippines is requesting $1,196 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care, which will remove the mass and enable Randy to return to full time employment. “Randy is so eager to be treated so he can work and provide for his family,” his sister said. “We are very grateful to World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for helping people like us. Thank you for your generous hearts," she added.
Patrick is a 16-year-old student from Tanzania who is the secondborn in a family of three children. To support him and his two siblings, his parents work as subsistence farmers. When Patrick was only nine months old and learning how to walk, he accidentally fell into a fire pit, resulting in burns to his right hand and underarm. As a result of the incident, he eventually developed scarring and burn contractures, which limit his ability to use his right hand. Last year, Patrick received burn scar contracture release surgery on both his underarm and his right elbow. Fortunately, this treatment has improved his range of motion. However, he now has an open wound on his right elbow that is taking longer to heal and requires a skin graft to ensure smooth and quick healing. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Patrick receive treatment. On August 29th, surgeons will perform a skin graft procedure to heal his chronic wound and prevent an infection from developing. Now, Patrick and his family need help to fund this $747 procedure. Patrick's mother says, "I hope my son gets treatment because his arm has limited him for a while now."
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."
Saw Eh is a two-year-old boy who lives with his mother and older sister in a refugee camp in Thailand. Both he and his older sister go to nursery school. His mother weaves and sells traditional Karen clothing to earn extra money in addition to the small amount they receive every month on a cash card. When Saw Eh was two months old, he began crying a lot and his mother noticed swelling in a sensitive area. He received medication at the hospital in the refugee camp, which helped alleviate his discomfort and crying. However, Saw Eh began experiencing pain in the same sensitive area this past June. This pain often causes him to miss school, as well as to cry frequently again. His mother shares that when he cries, she must hold him, meaning she no longer has time to weave clothes. During the short moments when the pain lessens after taking painkillers, Saw Eh loves playing with his friends and his sister. When his family brought him to the hospital, a medic told them that they would have to wait for a doctor to visit the refugee camp. When Saw Eh was finally seen by a doctor in late July, he and his family were referred to our medical partner's care center, Mae Sariang Hospital, for treatment. He was diagnosed with hydrocele in his left scrotum and a left inguinal hernia. Due to his severe condition, the doctor admitted him and scheduled his surgery to take place that same night, August 4th. However, Saw Eh's mother shares that she cannot pay for her son's needed treatment due to financial constraints. Fortunately, she was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for financial assistance accessing treatment. On August 4th, surgeons will perform hernia repair surgery to treat Saw Eh's hernia and help alleviate his symptoms. BCMF is requesting $1,486 to fund his surgery and care. Saw Eh’s mother shares, “I feel so sad when I see my son in pain. I love to see him playing with his sister, but if he is in pain, he will cry a lot.”
Elka is a 13-month-old baby who lives in Haiti with her parents. Both of her parents are hardworking vendors in their local market. Elka was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, meaning blood leaks through a hole between two blood vessels located near her heart. This leaves her feeling weak and short of breath. Since the required treatment is not available in Haiti, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Elka travel to the Dominican Republic where she will be able to access the care she needs. On July 28th, she will undergo a procedure where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole so blood can flow without issue through her body. Elka's family is looking to raise $1,500 to fund her necessary care, treatment, and travel. Elka also has a cleft lip and palate, so once her heart condition is treated, a team of doctors will soon be able to perform another surgery to repair this condition and help her have a healthier future and a full life ahead. Her mother says, "I am looking forward to my daughter growing up as a normal healthy child!"
Guerdina is a 15-year-old girl who lives in the mountains of central Haiti with her parents and four siblings. When she was 10 years old, Guerdina suffered from rheumatic fever. Her illness severely damaged one of the valves of her heart, making it unable to adequately pump blood through her body. In 2019, she underwent a surgery to repair her damaged heart valve. That procedure helped for several years, but her repaired valve is becoming less functional and now needs to be replaced with an artificial valve. After surgery, Guerdina's heart should be able to pump more normally and her doctors share that she should be able to lead a full and active life. Because the surgery she needs in not available in Haiti, Guerdina must travel overseas to receive surgery. On June 2nd, she will undergo heart surgery with the Cardiac team at the Cleveland Clinic, where surgeons will replace her mitral valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) is helping Guerdina's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medication, and follow-up appointments. This will also support her family to obtain passports and the HCA social workers who will accompany Guerdina's family during their travels. Guerdina shared, "my entire family and I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been helping me!"