Marco joined Watsi on July 23rd, 2016. Six years ago, Marco joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Marco's most recent donation supported Khin, a 65-year-old woman from Thailand, to fund cataract surgery.
Marco has funded healthcare for 100 patients in 11 countries.
Marco has funded healthcare for 100 patients in 11 countries.
Khin is a 65-year-old woman who lives with her daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren in Tak Province, Thailand. Three years ago Khin, who is retired, moved to Thailand from Burma in order to live with her daughter. Currently, the vision in Khin’s right eye is blurred as a result of a cataract. Khin finds it difficult to help with household chores, as she has to rely on her left eye alone. She finds that if she tries to focus on something, she develops a headache. She worries she might lose the vision in her left eye. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Khin. On February 23rd, doctors at Mae Sot General Hospital will perform cataract surgery, implanting an intraocular lens in Khin's eye, restoring her vision. Khin said: “I feel like I am losing an eye since I cannot see with my right eye. I am also worried about losing vision in my other eye. I am afraid to undergo surgery, but I want my vision back so that I can see people’s faces again. I feel sorry for my children, and I pity them since they need to help me with everything. I felt really happy when I learned that a donor will support my treatment cost.”
Nine-year-old Thiri is a first-grader, living with her mother and two brothers in Burma. Her mother sells vegetables in a local shop, while Thiri and her brothers attend school. While playing with her friends in front of her house in early January 2023, Thiri tripped, and fell into a pile of rice sacks, injuring her left eye in the process. Immediately, she realized that she could not see out of her left eye. Over time, her eye injury became more painful, red, and sensitive to light. Eventually, when her eye did not heal, her mother brought her to Mae Sot Hospital, where she was diagnosed with traumatic glaucoma. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Thiri. On February 1st, doctors at Mae Sot General Hospital will remove the natural lenses from both of her eyes, and replace them with intraocular lens implants. Once she has recovered. Thiri will regain her ability to see clearly. Now she needs your help to fund this critical procedure. Thiri's mother said: "I want her to receive surgery and recover soon so that she [Thiri] can go back to school and I can go back to work. I want her to be rich in the future, not like me, and own her own shop, because she likes to cook."
Anthonie is a student from Haiti. He lives with his aunt and uncle and their family in a small town in northern Haiti. He enjoys going to school and church. Anthonie has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between two chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These prevent blood from flowing normally through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. The care Anthonie needs is not available in Haiti so he needs to travel for surgery. He will fly to the Cayman Islands and on January 9th will undergo cardiac surgery. During surgery, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole to close it, and remove the muscular blockage in his heart. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is also contributing $16,000 to pay for his treatment. Anthonie's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep, travel, and follow-up care. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also pays for obtaining his passport, and for the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Anthonie's family overseas. Anthonie's aunt says, "Anthonie has been very sick for a long time, we are all praying that this is the miracle that will make him better!"
Emmanuel is a 17-year-old student from Haiti who hopes to become a doctor. He lives with his aunt and uncle in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince so that he can more easily attend school, as his parents live in the countryside. Emmanuel has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation, which means one of his heart valves was severely damaged from an infection he experienced in early childhood. In 2017, Emmanuel underwent heart surgery to repair his existing valve. This surgery stabilized his heart for several years, but the valve remains unable to pump blood adequately throughout his body. Emmanuel needs to undergo a second surgery to replace the valve with a prosthetic heart valve. Emmanuel will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment, as this surgery is unavailable in Haiti. On November 10th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove the damaged heart valve and implant a replacement valve. An organization called Mitral Foundation is contributing $8,000 to pay for help pay for surgery. Emmanuel's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Emmanuel's family overseas. Emmanuel shared, "I am looking forward to growing stronger and having much more energy after my surgery!"
Meet Katweensly, a 16 year old student, living with her mother and siblings in a small town in Haiti, near the border with the Dominican Republic. Katweensly, who is a junior in high school, particularly enjoys her math and science classes. As a young child, Katweensly suffered a bout of rheumatic fever, which damaged one of the four valves in her heart. As a result, her heart cannot pump blood efficiently through her body, leaving her feeling weak and short of breath. Thanks to the help of our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, Katweensly is scheduled to travel to the Dominican Republic for surgery, which is scheduled for November 10th, at Hospital CEDIMAT. There, doctors will first try to repair the damaged valve. If they are unable to do this, they will implant an artificial valve. Another organization, Mitral Foundation, is helping supporting the cost of the surgery, but Katweensly's family needs an additional $1,500 to pay for lab tests, medicines, and follow up appointments that are a part of her overall treatment. In addition, support will help cover the travel costs and ensure a social worker from Haiti Cardiac Alliance can support the family during treatment in the Dominican Republic. Katweensly said: "I am feeling very happy to finally have the chance to have my heart repaired after waiting for so long."
Exavier is an adorable 5-month-old baby from Haiti who 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, Exavier's head circumference has increased. Without treatment, he will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Exavier at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available, and the procedure is scheduled to take place on August 26th. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from his brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Exavier will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Exavier's family shares that they hope the surgery with allow him to grow, attend school, and play with the other children.
Jonathan is a courageous fire officer from the Philippines. He lives with and helps support his siblings and elderly mother. He works to provide their family's sole income. Last month, Jonathan began to experience pain and other troubling symptoms that caused him to seek medical attention. He was diagnosed with mixed hemorrhoids, or a combination of internal and external hemorrhoids. This condition causes the veins of the lower rectum to become swollen. He requires surgery to prevent his symptoms from getting worse. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Jonathan receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo a hemorrhoidectomy on August 20th at WSFP's care center. During this procedure, surgeons will remove his hemorrhoids. A portion of the cost of his treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,137 to cover the cost of Jonathan's procedure and care. Jonathan shares, "This disease hinders me from doing my job. I'm the only one who works in our family. If I can't work, I won't be able to provide for our needs, so this surgery is a big help for me. To Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines, thank you so much for your kind hearts. May you not get tired of helping the needy."
Faustin is an adorable one-month-old baby from Tanzania who is the third child in her family. To support their family, her father is a small-scale subsistence farmer, and her mother is a homemaker. Her parents share that the income they earn is enough to sustain their basic needs. Since Faustine was born, her mother has been to several hospitals seeking medical care for her condition. Faustin was born with clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. Her left foot is twisted inward, making it difficult for her to straighten it. If not treated, she will experience difficulty walking and wearing shoes when she grows up. Fortunately, Faustin's family traveled to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, to seek medical treatment. On August 9th, surgeons there will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Faustin's clubfoot repair, which will allow her to grow up in good health. Faustine's mother says, "I feel so blessed knowing that my daughter will get treatment and grow up to have a normal life."
Chrismarlie is a 13-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three siblings in a city on the northern coast of Haiti. Her father is a school administrator, and her mother is a homemaker. Chrismarlie shared that she enjoys going to school and listening to music with her friends. Chrismarlie has a cardiac condition called pulmonic stenosis, which means one of her heart valves is too tight, making it difficult for blood to pass through and leading to heart failure. The surgery that she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately, Chrismarlie will be able to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 29th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which the surgeons will widen the heart valve so that blood can flow through it more easily. Chrismarlie's family is raising funds to cover the costs of her surgery prep, as our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is contributing funds to help cover the cost of surgery. The $1,500 will support her surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-ups and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Chrismarlie and her family overseas. Chrismarlie said, "I would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to fix my heart problem!"
Josiah is a laborer who gets work whenever he can at local construction sites. He also works as an artisan in the jua kali sector (informal economy). His wife also works as a casual laborer, washing clothes for a living. They live in their ancestral home in the outskirts of the capital city of Nairobi. Josiah has pain and swelling that has lasted for a week now, and is preventing him from working. When the pain medication prescribed for him didn't work, an ultrasound and CT scan revealed a right inguinal-scrotal hernia and surgery is needed to heal. Fortunately, on May 18th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $684 to fund Josiah's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Josiah says, “This condition is embarrassing and I have not been able to talk to about it. But it is worsening and affecting my lifestyle. I have no choice but to seek help. Sadly, I am also unable to afford the cost of the treatment.”
Myo Htay is a 22-year-old who lives with his parents and younger brother in the border region of Burma. His parents work as day laborers at a gold mine, carrying dirt and debris. Myo used to work with his parents but stopped last November when his health deteriorated. Because the gold mine closes during the rainy season, his parents only have work for six months out of the year. The rest of the time they try to live off of their savings. Around six months ago, Myo started to feel tired when he worked. At first he thought he was tired from working too hard. When he continued to feel tired for over a month, he thought that he needed to see a doctor. However, because of their limited funds, he did not want his parents to spend what they had on a trip to a clinic or a hospital. Around the middle of April, his condition worsened. He had difficulty breathing, experienced chest pain, and also heart palpitations. His parents brought him to a nearby hospital where he was diagnosed with a heart disease. The doctor told them to bring him to Yangon for further treatment. After Myo's parents borrowed money, they went to Yangon and took him to two different hospitals. At the last hospital, Myo was admitted for five days as he was unwell at that time. He received a follow-up appointment for two weeks later, but was brought back on April 30th when he developed rapid breathing, heart palpitations, chest pain and oedema (swelling) in both his legs. Myo was readmitted to the hospital, and the doctor told Myo's parents that his surgery would cost 20,000,000 kyat (approx. $11,000 USD). When they told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for his surgery, a nurse gave them the phone number of an abbot in Yangon. After they called the abbot and told him what the doctor had said, the abbot referred Myo to our medical parter Burma Children Medical Fund for the assistance accessing the cardiac treatment he needs. Currently, Myo is on oxygen. If he does not receive oxygen, he has difficulty breathing as well as heart palpitations. He cannot walk for more than three minutes and if he does, he feels extremely tired. His whole family is worried about his condition. Fortunately, Myo's surgery has been scheduled for May 8th. He will have both valves of his heart replaced. His family needs $1,500 to help with the total cost of his surgery and care. Myo’s mother said, “I would give up everything to save my son’s life. I would sleep on the ground if we had no home to live in. I only wish to see my son getting better.”
Mab is a 34-year-old electrician. He has two children, with his oldest son is seven years old and his newborn daughter at two months old. In Mab's free time, he enjoys playing volleyball with his friends. Last December, Mab was in a motorcycle accident that caused a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is the nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in a loss of function and sensation. After the accident, Mab's family took him to a local hospital for treatment; however, his left arm is still immobile, and he has shoulder pain. The doctors referred him to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for review, where they determined his shoulder is partially dislocated, and he has no elbow or wrist flexion. CSC is the only treatment center in the country that can help Mab receive the treatment he needs. On April 5th, he will undergo brachial plexus repair surgery that will allow him to use his hand again. CSC is requesting $696 for the cost of this surgery. Mab was able to gather $100 to contribute to his care, as well. Mab says, "I hope my arm will regain strength, and I can return to work."