Robert joined Watsi on June 30th, 2016. Five years ago, Robert joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Robert's most recent donation traveled 6,200 miles to support Vicheka, a future teacher from Cambodia, to fund life-changing spinal surgery.
Robert has funded healthcare for 69 patients in 10 countries.
Robert has funded healthcare for 69 patients in 10 countries.
Vicheka is the eldest of two children in her family and loves her younger sister who is three years old. Their family lives in Preah Vihear near the Thai border of Cambodia. Her father is a soldier and her mother is a potato farmer. At school, she is fond of math and Khmer literature and would like to be a teacher when she is older. She likes reading books, painting, playing with her little sister, and taking walks with her parents. When Vicheka was five, she was diagnosed with scoliosis of the spine—a sideways curvature of the spine that most often is diagnosed in adolescents. She has uneven shoulders, a bump in her lower back, difficulty standing up straight, and shortness of breath. It has become difficult for her to breathe, she tires easily, and she is having difficulty walking. This can be very difficult for young girls, they are often hidden at home because other children make fun of the way they look. A neighbor told her parents about our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre, so they traveled over 10 hours for a diagnosis and surgery. Surgeons plan to put in expanding rods along her spine. The expanding rods will allow her to grow and keep her spine from curving further, which could cause her more health problems if left untreated. Their family needs $1,500 for the surgery, which will cover medications, implants, and post-operative care. Vicheka said, "I hope the doctors can fix my spine so I can play with my friends and my back will be straight. I want to continue in school but it is hard for me to keep up, and I miss school."
Robinah is a 35-year-old woman and a mother of one child. Her son is eight years old and in the first grade in primary school in their hometown. She used to run a small market selling fruits and vegetables, but she closed it last year. She and her son live with her elderly mother in a two-room rental house. In March of 2020, Robinah noticed a small, painless lump in her breast. About a year later, the lump began to grow and Robinah visited a government hospital for further evaluation. She had a left breast biopsy and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. Her doctors have recommended that she undergo a mastectomy, or a surgery to remove breast tissue, to remove the cancer and prevent it from metastasizing. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Robinah receive treatment. On December 17th, she will have a mastectomy at AMH's care center. After surgery, Robinah will hopefully return to her life cancer-free. Now, she needs help raising $1,110 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Robinah shared, "no, I can’t lose my breast. I am so young, and it is my source of pride as a woman. But I need to fight this cancer. It is heartbreaking but I am strong because I know it is necessary to have the surgery."
Joy is the first born child in her family. She is two weeks old. Their young family is feeling privileged and happy to welcome their firstborn baby, however, they are saddened by the fact that their baby needs medical care for her foot. Her condition has caused Joy’s parents a lot of worry about their daughter’s future. Joy’s mother is a housewife who completed secondary school and never was able to proceed to college due to a lack of funds. Joy's father just completed college and hasn’t been employed yet. The family doesn’t have a house of their own and still lives with their parents. When Joy was six days old, she was brought to the hospital by her mother with concerns of umbilical code sepsis. She was admitted to receive IV antibiotics and general medical management. While receiving medication in the ward, she developed wounds on her leg due to several attempts of cannulation. Over time her condition worsened and her wounds became septic. After several efforts to clean her wounds, it was noticed that her foot was not healing. After a long consultation with the medical team, the possibility of amputation was suggested to avoid further affecting her entire leg. Joy is in need and her family's inability to pay for the surgery has made them live with constant anxiety and worry about her future. Their family is appealing for financial assistance. Joy’s mother says, “I feel sorry about my child. It is painful for her to undergo this while she is just a few days old. Despite this, I will work hard to make her happy as she grows up."
Sreng is a 45-year-old mechanic. He has one daughter who is a young student. Sreng's wife works in a garment factory. Right now, Sreng cannot work due to his poor vision. He enjoys being able to listening to the news on the radio. Due to a traffic accident one year ago, the retina of Sreng's left eye detached, causing him vision loss and pain. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Sreng learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On October 13th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure on his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, Sreng needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Sreng says, "I hope I can see clearly so I can return to my job to support my daughter's schooling."
Ar is a 28-year-old man who lives with his wife, three sons, and two daughters in a refugee camp. Originally from Burma, his family fled to Thailand 20 years ago due to civil war. His children attend school, except for his youngest daughter, who is not yet old enough. His wife is a homemaker and Ar works as a day laborer when work is available. Ar's family shared that, in addition to his day laborer pay, they receive a monthly cash card from The Border Consortium to purchase food in the refugee camp. Overall, the family's total monthly income is just enough to cover their basic needs. On September 2nd, Ar climbed a tamarind tree to pick tamarinds fruit. When the branch he was standing on suddenly broke, he fell and landed on his right arm and experienced pain in his back. He visited the camp hospital that day, and the medic initially determined that his arm was not broken. Due to recent positive COVID-19 cases in the refugee camp, Ar could not be immediately referred to the local hospital for further testing and was kept for observation at the camp hospital. When the pain in Ar's back and arm did not subside the next day, the medic referred Ar to the local hospital. After receiving a negative COVID-19 test, Ar was finally able to visit the hospital on September 6th, where he received an X-ray for his arm and a blood test for a second COVID-19 test. The X-ray revealed that his upper right arm is broken. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ar will undergo surgery on September 8th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will enable Ar to continue working in the future. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Ar shared, "I am scared to receive surgery. But I was told that I will not be able to work using my right arm if I do not receive surgery, so I gave my consent to the doctor. I hope that I will be able to work again after I receive treatment."
Florence is a 38-year-old house helper from Uganda and a single mother to two children, ages eight and nine years old. She works as a house helper and their family lives in a one-room house. For eight years, since her pregnancy with her youngest child, Florence has had a mass in her pelvic area. She experiences chronic pelvic pain and bloating and was diagnosed with multiple myomas and an ovarian cyst. Her medical team recommended a total abdominal hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus, to treat her condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,260 to fund Florence's surgery. On August 16th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Florence will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Florence shared, “I am overwhelmed with both sickness and family responsibility. I have been having this stomach upset for so long I am even worried. I need this treatment to be able to raise my young family."
Maria Jose is a cute and intelligent baby from Colombia. She lives with her single mother, Sandra, and her godmother and aunt. Sandra only has good wishes for her daughter, and works really hard to see her baby happy. Maria Jose has clubfoot on both feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This will cause difficulty walking and even wearing shoes in the future. Fortunately, Maria Jose's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 31th. Our partner is requesting $1,500 to fund Maria Jose's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to crawl, walk and run with ease. Sandra shares her hopes for Maria Jose's development, "I really wish to see her grow as a normal child, and enjoy every step of her life. After the surgery I deeply want to see her crawl, walk, run, and play with other kids."
Prince is a three-year-old boy from Kenya and the fifth born in a family of six children. Prince's mother works as a vendor and separated from Prince's father after he was born. Prince has an abnormal gait and limps when he walks. His mother shared that he has had the condition since birth and feels it may have started when, unfortunately, the doctor dropped Prince during her Caesarian delivery. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Prince receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo a proximal fibular osteotomy on June 14th at AMH's care center. After surgery, his gait will improve and he will be able to walk to school and continue with his studies. Now, their family needs help raising $1,224 to fund the procedure. Prince's mother shared, “I am appealing for help from well-wishers, I would like to see my son walking well like other children and continuing with life normally."
Srey Pov is a 22-year-old factory worker from Cambodia. She has two brothers and two sisters. Srey Pov has been married for three years and her husband is a tractor driver. Together, they have one son. In March, Srey Pov was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of her left arm. She has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury. 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. She is unable to lift her left arm and she cannot work. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Center (CSC), is helping Srey Pov receive treatment. She traveled to CSC's care center where, on June 14th, she will undergo brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, she will be able to use her arm again. Now, she needs help to fund this $696 procedure. Srey Pov shared, "I hope I can use my arm again so I can return to work at the garment factory and do my housework."
Sonoeun is a two-month-old baby boy and the first child born to his parents. His father is a construction worker and his mother works in a factory. Sonoeun 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, Sonoeun traveled with his parents to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). There, surgeons will perform an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure on May 17th. Now, CSC is requesting $385 to fund Sonoeun's clubfoot repair. After treatment, his feet will develop normally and he will be able to walk more easily as he gets older. Sonoeun's father shared, "I want to see my child run and play sports when he is older, but now I hope he heals from the surgery well."
Sandra is a 14-year-old 7th grade student. He lives near the capital city of Phnom Penh with his parents and his older brother, who is in 8th grade. Sandra's parents sell rice near their home. In school his best subjects are physics and math. Sandra enjoys playing sports and reading books. In the future, he wants to be a police officer. When playing volleyball, Sandra sustained a closed fracture of his right distal tibia and fibula. Now it is difficult for him to walk and he is in pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On May 11th, Sandra will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will help him walk easily again. His family hopes he can walk easily again and be free of pain.
Naw Kwee Moo is a 54-year-old woman from the Karen region in Burma, who lives with her husband and their family in a refugee camp. Of her children, three daughters and three sons still live in the refugee camp along with them near the Thai-Burma border. Naw Kwee is a homemaker and her husband is currently too ill to work. Five of their children go to school in the camp, four other children have moved away, and her second oldest son graduated from a post-secondary program in May 2020. He worked as an agricultural day laborer at a nearby Thai village until mid-December 2020. Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, he was no longer allowed to leave the camp. Naw Kwe’s household receives a monthly cash card to purchase basic rations. Although they receive free education and basic health care in the camp, they shared how hard it is to make ends meet. Starting four years ago, Naw Kwee often went to the camp’s hospital run by Malteser International (MI) Thailand to receive treatment for urinary tract infections (UTI). Most of the time, she would feel better after taking medication, but she was no longer able to work as an agricultural day laborer because of her pain. Over the next few years, she was diagnosed with chronic UTI. “I think my condition was caused from consuming dirty water,” she said. “When I worked as a day laborer, we had no access to clean water.” Naw Kwee received antibiotics through an intravenous (IV) line at the camp’s hospital. When her condition did not improve, a doctor at the camp’s hospital referred her again to Mae Sariang Hospital in March 2020. There she received a urine test and an x-ray of her kidneys, ureters and bladder. She was finally diagnosed with a right kidney stone. After multiple visits, the doctor at Mae Sariang Hospital referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further treatment. However, Naw Kwee could not travel to CMH for a while due to travel restrictions after the outbreak of Covid-19. Finally, last June medical staff from her camp were able to bring Naw Kwee to Chiang Mai. During her appointment, the doctor scheduled her to undergo an intravenous pyelogram on July 16th, 2020. After she received a diagnostic test, she returned to CMH for her follow-up appointment on November 19th, 2020. During her appointment, she received more tests and it was at her next appointment Naw Kwee was told she needed to undergo multiple rounds of laser treatment to break up the stone in her kidney. She received her first round of laser treatment on February 11th, 2021. Two days later, she developed a fever and could only pass a bit of urine. She also started to experience severe back pain and other troubling symptoms. MI staff took her back to the hospital where she received an ultrasound. The nurse shared with her that after her laser treatment, the stones had broken up and many of them where now stuck in her ureter, creating a blockage. She now needs emergency surgery to remove the stones. Our Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to support her surgery and finally relieve her of her painful condition.