Victoria joined Watsi on June 19th, 2014. Seven years ago, Victoria joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Victoria's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Poe, a hardworking 43-year-old father from Thailand, to fund mitral valve replacement for his heart.
Victoria has funded healthcare for 80 patients in 12 countries.
Victoria has funded healthcare for 80 patients in 12 countries.
Poe is a 43-year-old man who lives alone in Bangkok and works as a construction contractor. He supports his wife and son in Burma, but has been unable to work for the past four months since his health deteriorated. Currently, he is getting by on money his friends have given him. Poe was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, he has edema (swelling) in both of his legs. If he walks short distances, he feels tired, experiences shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. He cannot sleep if he lays down and has to sleep in a sitting position. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Poe. The treatment is scheduled to take place on May 6th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. "After I recover from surgery, I will go back to work. I will save the money to pay back my debts. After that I will save money to support my son and wife. I want my son to go to school, and I want him to become an educated man," said Poe.
Thou is a 69-year-old widow. She has one son who makes furniture in a local woodshop. Her husband passed away a long time ago, and until recently, she supported herself as a fruit seller in her neighborhood. At home, she likes to listen to movies on TV. One year ago, Thou developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her 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 Thou learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled there seeking treatment. On February 28th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. "I hope after surgery I can see well and be more independent," shared Thou.
Sopheap is a 67-year-old retired chef. Sadly, her husband passed away several years ago. Nowadays, Sopheap works in a small restaurant cleaning dishes to make a living. In her free time, she likes to watch television and listen to the monks pray on the radio. Sopheap hasn't been able to do as much the past couple years as she developed a cataract in her right eye. Now she has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces. She is also worried about falling when walking, so she is not able to do as much on her own. When Sopheap learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled there hoping for treatment. On February 9th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Sopheap shared, "I hope I can see clearly again after surgery. I would like to be able to take better care of myself when my vision improves."
Nan Hla is a 65-year-old nun. She lives alone, as she is the only nun in her monastery of monks in Karen State in Burma. Nan Hla shared that she meditates daily, and the community supports her with meals. Her son, who also lives in Burma, can sometimes provide Nan Hla with extra money to buy additional snacks. On February 20th, Nan Hla began to experience severe stomach pains. She visited a local hospital the next day, where she received an ultrasound and x-ray, but her test results were not clear. As a result, she was referred to another hospital for a CT scan a few days later. The CT scan indicated she has common bile duct stones. Currently, Nan Hla is experiencing heartburn, jaundice, and a poor appetite, as she feels nauseous after she eats any solid food. Doctors have advised her to undergo a cholecystectomy, which is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, Nan Hla's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Nan Hla receive treatment. On March 1st, she will undergo a cholecystectomy. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nan Hla's procedure and care. Nan Hla shared, "I have never experienced these kinds of symptoms before. This is a very bad experience to go through. I pray that all the donors will be healthy. May all your work be successful."
Lek is a 68-year-old who is married with three sons, three daughters, and many grandchildren. She lives with her husband and one of their sons, and they are vegetable farmers in Kampot Province in rural Cambodia. When she is not cooking, cleaning, or selling vegetables at the local market, Lek finds it calming to listen to the local monks pray on the radio. Two years ago, the retina of Lek's left eye detached, causing her deteriorating vision. She noticed a change in her eye, but could not afford to see anyone to help fix it. When Lek learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and half hours seeking treatment. On January 12th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $648 procedure. "I hope after surgery my eye will get better. I can look after my grandchildren, cook for them, and walk them to school," shared Lek.
Barnaba is four-year-old boy and the second-oldest of four children. His father plans to enroll him in school next year, when he turns five. Both his parents depend on small-scale farming for a living, growing maize and vegetables for their family. Due to financial challenges, they are not able to afford medical treatment for Barnaba. In 2021, Barnaba was out playing with his sibling and friends when he fell, and his right hand went into hot ashes. His parents rushed him to the hospital where he had the burns dressed. His wounds healed but he was left hand has been permanently impacted, which limits his motor function and affects daily life. The doctors at the local hospital advised his parents to seek treatment at a bigger hospital to have his hand surgically corrected. Fortunately, our medical partner at African Mission Healthcare shared Barnaba's story and are helping him get the care he needs. Now his family is seeking financial assistance to fund the $1,088 procedure. Barnaba’s father says, “He now needs this treatment most because next year he is going to start school. He will struggle a lot if his fingers are not corrected.”
Daw Khin is a 45-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her parents, who are retired and supported by Daw Khin's sister, who earns an income from renting out their land. Daw Khin used to work as a teacher before her condition made it difficult for her to continue teaching her students. Around June 2020, Daw Khin began to feel very tired and experienced heart palpitations. She shared that it felt like she could not breathe while teaching. Because these episodes happened infrequently, she did not seek treatment at the time; however, in December 2020, her condition worsened, and she went to a local hospital. After receiving an electrocardiogram, doctors determined she has an enlarged heart and an abnormal heartbeat and prescribed medication to help Daw Khin feel better. Since Daw Khin's symptoms continued, her sister brought her to a cardiologist in April 2021. Upon review, Daw Khin's condition was diagnosed as an atrial septal defect, a birth condition in which there is a hole in the wall that divides the upper chambers of the heart. The cardiologist informed her that she would need surgery, but the cost was too high for Daw Khin's family, so they returned home with medications. Daw Khin currently experiences headaches, difficulty sleeping, and fatigue and heart palpitations when talking or walking short distances. Fortunately, a friend visited Daw Khin in June and told her about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Daw Khin contacted BCMF and learned that BCMF will be able to help her finally heal. On February 6th, she will undergo an atrial septal defect (ASD) closure. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund her procedure. Daw Khin shared, "I would like to teach all my students again in the future. I like teaching students."
Srey Nath is a bright young student who loves to read books and wants to be a teacher when she grows up. She has two older brothers and lives with her parents who are rainy day rice farmers. They also grow vegetables and keep cows and chickens to feed their family and make extra money at the local market. Over the past several years, Srey Nath's back has curved which limits her movement and lung expansion. She has trouble standing up straight or walking, and is easily winded when she is active due to difficulty expanding her lungs. She shared that she feels embarrassed with her friends and very shy about how her back looks. She loves school but doesn't want to attend now because of the abnormal curvature of her spine, and the chronic pain it causes. Srey Nath's neighbors told her family to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre for a diagnosis and treatment. Surgeons have diagnosed her with scoliosis of the thoracic spine. She needs expanding rods in her back to straighten her spine as she grows to avoid any further medical problems. Srey Nath and her parents traveled two and a half hours to seek treatment and need help raising $1,500 for this specialty surgery. Srey Nath's mother said: "My daughter needs this surgery to grow normally and become a teacher. I hope we can raise the money so she can fulfill her dream someday."
Pary is a 30-year-old food seller. She has seven siblings, who are all married, and lives at home with her parents. Her mother works as a food seller as well, while her father works as a farmer. Pary's favorite hobbies are reading books, searching to learn new things on Google, and being active and getting exercise. Since she was young, Pary has had a mass on her lower right jaw. She had a biopsy, underwent surgery at a local hospital, and saw a specialist surgeon. However, she still feels unwell and experiences discomfort and low self-esteem as a result of the condition. When Pary learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled there seeking treatment. On December 1st, she will undergo a mandible reconstruction to remove the mass on her lower jaw. CSC is requesting $657 to fund Pary's procedure. Pary shared that she hopes her right mandible will get better and her self-esteem will improve as a result of her surgery.
Bonface is a 27-year-old who works as a stone-mason to earn a living and raise his family. The income from this venture is inconsistent and therefore negligible to pay for major healthcare costs, including surgery. Bonface has been unable to work since he was in an accident earlier this year when he was coming home from work. He has a wife and a two-year-old son who both depend on him. Bonface's wife recently took a job as a shopkeeper in their hometown in Kirinyaga since he was unable to work. They live in a one-room house provided by a relative. Bonface walks with a severe limp and has a cast on his right leg. He was involved in a road traffic accident las January that resulted in a right open midshaft tibial fracture and has since visited different health facilities to help him walk and use his legs well. This fracture necessitated several surgeries including ex-fix, sequestrectomy, and 1st stage bone transport. He is currently scheduled for second bone transport and his family needs help to pay for the surgery. Bonface shared, "Accidents are terrible; they throw you off balance in life. I am now unable to walk and have not been able to work since the incident. My family relies on me and hopefully, after this treatment, I will be able to take care of them.”
Joffrey is three years old and the only child of his young parents. He's a playful and curious boy who wants to know and understand everything around him. He is a big lover of football just like his father despite his legs being curved. His mother said she thinks he's too cheeky for his age. Joffrey has not started school yet but he keeps asking his mother to take him to school. Both Joffrey's parents are small-scale farmers who grow maize, groundnuts, rice, and vegetables. They get most of their food from what they grow on their farm. Joffrey was recently diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. His legs bow outward so that his knees do not touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he feels pain even after a short walk. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Joffrey. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Joffrey's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Joffrey’s father says: “My son’s legs are worsening as days go by and from how I see it he might not be able to walk or enjoy his play, especially football, if he does not have this needed surgery.”
Duncan is a 28 year old man who is currently single and unable to work due to his condition. Duncan experienced trauma in early 2010 after a road traffic accident that caused spine injury and hearing loss. At the time of the accident, Duncan had a loss of consciousness, memory loss, and was even paraplegic at one point. He also had tinnitus in his right ear but with earlier support from Watsi donors, he got a hearing aid fitted and can now communicate well. Duncan now walks on a crutch, however, his pain worsens with movement, and radiates to his lower limbs. Because of his condition, Duncan has been in and out of hospitals. He is supposed to visit the hospital regularly. For convenience, he currently lives with his relatives nearby in Nairobi. His parents are elderly farmers in his ancestral home in Kisii in rural Kenya. Duncan is currently struggling to walk. An MRI exam identified canal stenosis and bone degeneration, so doctors have recommended surgery. He is scheduled for L4/5, L5/S1 Decompression, and Spine Fusion to avert chances of being immobile for the rest of his life. The hospital is requesting $1,500 to perform his surgery and his health insurance coverage will not cover this care. He currently relies on well-wishers to pay for his medical bills. Duncan told us, “I cannot walk well without support. I am also in pain and very uncomfortable. I hope to get better soon.”