Stefan joined Watsi on December 17th, 2014. One year ago, Stefan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Stefan's most recent donation supported Khu, a 65-year-old missionary from Burma, to fund a cholecystectomy.
Stefan has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 7 countries.
Stefan has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 7 countries.
Khu is a 65-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her nephew in a village in Karen State. Khu is a missionary while her nephew raises pigs and chickens for their own consumption. In her free time, she likes to read the Bible and pray. She also enjoys talking about her religious beliefs with her community. Khu has gallstones. She feels bloated and she cannot eat a lot of food. If she tries to eat more, she vomits. She experiences a burning sensation and pain in her abdomen and on the right side of her back. Her back pain intensifies when she sits for long periods of time and walks long distances. Khu has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, Khu's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Khu is scheduled to undergo her cholecystectomy on April 19th. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Khu's procedure and care. "Thank you so much BCMF organization for supporting my treatment’s cost. I want to recover and become more active in my missionary work,” said Khu.
Seint, who is 34 years old, lives with her parents and her aunt in Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. Her parents and her aunt make and sell mats from their home. When Seint was 13-years old, she noticed she started to easily tire, experienced heart palpitations, and had barely enough energy to play with her friends. Her mother took her to a nearby clinic, where the doctor examined her and told them that she had congenital heart disease. The doctor gave Seint medication, which she used together with traditional medicine. Both helped her to feel better. In November 2022, Seint felt extremely tired and experienced heart palpitations while she was completing physical exercises with her students. She also had difficulty breathing, and her vision became blurred. Her mother took her to a clinic, where she received medications which helped her to feel better. A few days later, however, she started to experience pain in her back whenever she felt tired. She also started to have difficulty breathing again, and had heart palpitations. Her mother brought her to a hospital in Yangon, where she received an echocardiogram that allowed the doctor to diagnose her with atrial septal defect. After additional testing, the doctor scheduled her to undergo urgent heart surgery at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is seeking $1,500 to fund Seint's surgery, which will allow her to regain her health, and to live symptom free. Seint said: "I would like to recover as soon as possible. In the future, I will continue to work as a teacher. I love teaching students and wearing our school uniform proudly."
Pwey is a 72-year-old man from Thailand. He lives alone in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. He raises chickens and receives some financial help from his daughter who also lives in the camp. He has cataracts and his vision is blurred. His eyes are also sensitive to light and from his right eye, he can only make out shapes. He can still see with his left eye but he is unable to cook and walk without assistance. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Pwey. On February 22nd, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Pwey's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Pwey needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. He said, “I like living alone. Even though my daughter asks me to move in with her, I don’t want to. Since I live alone, I want my vision to improve so that I can cook and do everything on my own. Most importantly, so that I can walk faster without worrying about slipping or tripping on something.”
Maly is a 54-year-old mother of three. Maly works as a rice farmer. She has one daughter, two sons, and seven beautiful grandchildren. Maly's husband passed away several years ago, so she lives alone. Maly's children work as farmers and help to support her living. Maly likes to spend her time watching movies, listening to the news, and playing with her grandchildren. One year ago, Maly developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her photophobia, tearing, and blurry vision. 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 Maly learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On September 6th, 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. Now, CSC is helping Maly raise $253 to fund this procedure. Maly shared, "I hope after surgery my vision can improve so I can help my children more and take care of my grandchildren."
Manith is a playful and creative 7-year-old student from Cambodia. He lives with his parents and is the only child in his family. His mother works as a garment worker, and his father works as a taxi driver for a private company. Some of Manith's favorite activities include painting, playing with toys, watching cartoons, and playing with his friends. At home, he loves to eat soup and yogurts! Manith was born with a condition that caused two of his toes on his right foot to be fused together. Although he can walk, run, and play with ease, it is difficult for him to wear shoes. Fortunately, Manith is scheduled to undergo surgery to heal his condition on August 2nd at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $299 to fund this procedure. Manith's father says, "I hope his foot will heal well and feel good after the surgery."
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."
Yan is an elderly rice farmer, living with his wife and daughter in rural Cambodia. He also has two sons, another daughter, and nine grandchildren. Yan enjoys listening to monks pray on the radio. Two years ago, Yan developed a cataract in his right eye, which causes blurry vision, sensitivity to light, and tearing. When Yan learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three and a half hours to seek treatment. On May 16th, doctors at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre will perform cataract surgery, and they will also implant an intraocular lens in his right eye. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $253 to fund Yan's treatment, which will enable Yan to see clearly, once again. Yan told us: "After surgery I hope I can see people clearly, visit the pagoda by myself, and take better care of my wife."
Jane is a loving mother from the Philippines. She has an adorable 8-month-old baby boy. Jane works as as a municipal administrative aide, while her husband works as a contractual college teacher. However, even with their combined salaries, they still cannot afford to cover her medical treatment. In 2019, Jane began to experience troubling symptoms, including a painful, palpable mass on her neck. She was diagnosed with a nodular goiter, which is a solid or fluid-filled lump that forms within the thyroid. However, due to financial constraints, she opted to take the doctor’s prescribed medicine to alleviate the symptoms instead of having the surgery she needs. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Jane finally undergo treatment. She is scheduled for a thyroidectomy on May 3rd at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $1323, and she and her family need help raising money for this life-changing care. “Once this surgery is done, I won’t have to endure this pain. Thank you World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for this opportunity to be treated. Now, we don't have to worry about where to get the money for my treatment,” Jane shared with relief.
Khin is a 40-year-old woman who enjoys growing flowers and vegetables in her free time. She lives with her husband, son, and four daughters in Burma. She is a homemaker and takes care of her youngest daughter while her husband sells snacks in front of their home. Her son works in a teashop and her three oldest daughters currently attend primary school. Khin shares that she hopes to run a fruit shop to further support her family once she recovers. When Khin was 22 years old, she developed an ulcer on her right heel that made it difficult to put weight on her foot and walk. Fortunately, she received multiple skin grafts and the ulcer eventually healed. However, the ulcer returned in 2019, and despite receiving the same treatment as before, she was only able to walk with a limp after surgery. Last April, Khin began experiencing severe pain on her right heel once again. She eventually sought medical attention and was told by her doctor that she has cancer in her right lower leg. Her doctor advised that she have her leg amputated below her knee, but due to financial constraints, she could not proceed with the surgery and returned home. After three months, the pain continued to worsen and Khin visited our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), to request painkillers. After examining her leg, the doctor at MCLH told her that she would have to have her lower right leg amputated to prevent the spread of the cancer. Just as before, Khin refused the amputation. The doctor then referred her to the oncology department of Mawlamyine General Hospital and recommended that she receive a biopsy to confirm her diagnosis and need for surgery. The biopsy revealed that she has skin cancer. Khin decided that she wanted to proceed with the amputation despite being unable to fund the cost. The doctor admitted her that same day and fortunately referred her to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for financial assistance accessing treatment. On September 1st, surgeons at MCLH's care center will perform a leg amputation. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Khin's life-changing procedure. Khin shares, “I just came to MCLH for painkillers, and I did not know that the doctor would help me through donors. When I heard that I could have surgery with the help of donors, I felt so happy and my stress was relieved. My family also encouraged me to have the amputation so I can live a longer life with my children. I would like to say thank you to the donors for giving me a chance to live longer with my children.”
Alejandro is a tech-savvy 11-year-old boy from western Bolivia who just finished fifth grade. He loves everything related to computers and video games. He lives with his parents, who are both schoolteachers, and his two younger brothers. Alejandro was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him feeling weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Alejandro is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 27th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through his body and improving his quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Alejandro's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Alejandro and his family can travel to receive his life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Alejandro shares, "I am excited to be allowed to play soccer once I have recovered from my surgery!"
Zara is a bright and creative 3-year-old from Haiti. She lives with her parents and two older sisters, and she loves going to preschool. One of her favorite ways to spend her time is by exploring her creativity and doing arts and crafts projects. Zara was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which blood leaks through a hole between two major blood vessels next to her heart. This causes her to experience weakness and shortness of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. During the procedure, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole so blood can properly flow through her body. This will allow Zara to breath with ease. Zara's mother said, "Our family is very hopeful that after this surgery our daughter will become healthier and stronger."
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!"