Cecelia joined Watsi on December 3rd, 2015. Three years ago, Cecelia joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Cecelia's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Naw Aye, a 28-year-old refugee from Thailand, to fund a caesarean section so she can welcome a healthy new baby.
Cecelia has funded healthcare for 56 patients in 10 countries.
Cecelia has funded healthcare for 56 patients in 10 countries.
Naw Aye is a 28-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, sister-in-law, brother, two nephews, and two nieces in a refugee camp in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. Originally from across the Burmese border in a conflict-area called Karen State, she fled to the refugee camp with her family in February 2023 due to airstrikes on her village. Her husband and her brother are unemployed, while her son, nieces, and nephews go to school. She and her sister-in-law are homemakers. During her free time, she loves to play with her son and enjoys planting vegetables in her small garden. She is currently expecting her second child. Her doctors recommended that she deliver via cesarean section because In January 2020, when Naw Aye was pregnant with her first child, her water broke prematurely which put her baby's life at risk. She was brought to a hospital in Burma, where she gave birth to her son through a caesarean section (C-section). In February, after they had fled to the refugee camp, Naw Aye became pregnant. She went to the hospital in the refugee camp regularly for antenatal care. She was told during one of her visits that although her pregnancy was going well, she would need to give birth through a C-section to ensure the safety of both mother and child. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, will help ensure a safe C-section on November 3rd. This procedure costs $1500, and Naw Aye needs your support. “I want to sell sacks or Mohinga (Burmese soup) for extra income soon. But I don’t have enough cash to start doing that, and I am pregnant. I hope I can do that after I give birth,” Naw Aye said.
Saw resides in a refugee camp along the Thai-Burma Border with his wife, two daughters, and son-in-law. His wife is a homemaker, and Saw stopped working as a day laborer due to his worsening health. He is proud of his family: One of his daughters is a student, the other is a pharmacist, and his son-in-law is a medic at the camp's hospital. He likes to forage for vegetables in his free time. Saw has been diagnosed with a right irreducible inguinal hernia and is scheduled to undergo hernia repair surgery in October. This surgery is essential to relieve his pain and discomfort and improve his overall quality of life. Saw said, “I want this discomfort and pain to disappear. I cannot do anything because of the pain. I hope that after surgery, I will be able to have a normal life again and will no longer be in any discomfort.”
Luana is the only child of her mother and father. Her mother is a college student hoping to become a doctor, and her father is a market vendor. They live in the Amazon basin of northeastern Bolivia. Luana was born with a condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Luana also has Down syndrome. Our partner International Cardiac Alliance is requesting $1,500 to fund cardiac surgery which will help her to grow up healthy and active. Luana's mother shares, "We are so grateful that the hospital selected our daughter to have surgery, and we are praying everything will go well!"
Sai is a 26-year-old veteran from Burma. He lives at a dormitory for people with disabilities in the Internally Displaced Person (IDP) Camp in Shan State, Burma. He has been unemployed since his injury. In his free time, Sai likes to exercise and garden. However, he is currently unable to do these activities because of his health. In 2019, Sai was shot in his right upper thigh. Following the event, he underwent an X-ray examination which confirmed a fractured hip. A doctor immobilized his right thigh and hip by applying a cast. Nevertheless, he has been grappling with persistent discomfort in his right leg and hip. On July 11th, with the assistance of Watsi, he underwent a CT scan of his hip, revealing a malunion of the hip fracture. Sai's right hip and leg continue to be a source of pain for him, despite his regular use of pain-relief medications. Due to the pain, he cannot stand or walk on his right leg without the support of crutches, and his sleep is often disturbed at night as the pain intensifies during colder weather and nighttime hours. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Sai will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for August 10th and will cost $1,500. The procedure will help him walk easily again without crutches and resolve pain. Sai said; "I feel very happy to receive treatment in an advanced hospital with your help BCMF, Watsi, and my donors. I cannot wait to walk with my leg and become healthy again. Thank you very much."
27-year-old Naw Lah lives with her husband, their two year old daughter, and other members of their extended family from Burma in a refugee camp across the Thai border. Naw Lah has a small mohinga shop, where she sells the traditional Burmese fish based soup. Her husband is a leader of their church meeting group. Naw Lah is currently expecting her second child. Because she delivered her first child via a Caesarean section - and because she is currently suffering from pre-eclampsia - a dangerous elevation of her blood pressure - her doctors recommend that she deliver via a C-section to ensure the safety of both mother and child. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Naw Lah undergo a C-section on May 17th, at Mae Sariang Hospital. This procedure will cost $1,500, and Naw Lah needs your support to raise this money. Naw Lah said: “Thank you BCMF and donors for helping me. I would love to relocate to another country for a better future for my babies. We are waiting for the chance to go.”
Therry, who is 15 years old, lives in a small town in the mountains of central Haiti, with his parents and three younger siblings. His mother is a nurse, while his father is a schoolteacher. Therry aspires to be a doctor when he grows up. Therry was born with a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This is a rare condition, caused by a combination of four, distinct heart defects, that are present at birth. When he was a baby, Terry was brought to the United States to have open heart surgery that saved his life; however, one of the valves in his heart remained damaged, and it can no longer adequately pump blood through his lungs and body. World Pediatric Project will be covering the $8,000 cost of the surgery that Therry needs. This will involve the insertion and expansion of an artificial valve inside of Therry's existing valve, so that it can take over the function of Therry's own valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is requesting $1,500 to fund Therry's pre-surgical tests, transportation to the U.S. for Therry and a family member, and post operative check ups to ensure he is healing. Surgery is scheduled for May 23rd with the incredible heart team at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Therry's mother said: "Our family would like to say that we are extremely grateful to everyone for helping Therry return to good health."
Douby is a 17 year old student, living with his Godmother and her family in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Douby enjoys going to school, and aspires to attain a PhD in agronomy, and to become a professor. As a result of rheumatic fever that he suffered as a child, Douby has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral and tricuspid regurgitation. Two of his four heart valves were severely damaged by the rheumatic fever, and his heart cannot adequately pump blood through his body, leaving him sick and short of breath. The care Douby needs is not available in Haiti so he urgently will fly to the United States to receive treatment on February 28th at Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital. He will undergo emergency cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair both damaged valves; if the valves cannot be repaired, they will be removed, and artificial valves will be implanted in their place. While another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000.00 to help pay for Douby's surgery, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs for the surgery prep and transport support, including lab tests; medicines, and follow up appointments. The money will alsosupport the passport and travel expenses for the social workers that will accompany Douby and his family to the U.S. Douby was able to share: "I am looking forward to being stronger and healthier once my heart can be repaired!"
Denis is a 22-year-old motorbike driver - the third born in a family of six. His parents separated and now he lives with his mother. He shared that he dropped out of school in grade seven because his parents were not in a position to provide for all of them. His other siblings have been adopted by family members. Denis is single and is hoping to marry when he has a stable income. Currently, he is employed riding a motorbike as a taxi and his daily income is not always guaranteed. Denis needs to undergo surgery so that he can continue doing his normal activities and also reach his desired life of having a stable income and a family. When Denis visiting our medical partner's hospital, he was walking with a crutch and could not put any weight on his left leg. He had an x-ray film that showed a complete fracture of his left femur. His condition causes him pain and he is unable to continue with his work. Denis' family is not in a position to pay the medical fees, and his treatment will be a big financial burden to them. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 13, Denis will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Denis needs to undergo surgery so that he can continue doing his normal activities and also reach his desired life of having a stable income and a family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Denis says, "It has been hard to carry out my normal duties. I really look forward to getting well so that I can fully depend on myself as before.”
Chaw is a 14-month-old girl from Burma. She lives with her parents, brother, and three sisters. Everyone in her family, except her youngest sister who goes to school, works on the farm, growing rice, betel nut and lime. They also have a small rubber plantation. Sometimes, Chaw's father and brother also work as day laborers. Two days after she was born, Chaw's mother noticed a lump at the base of her spine. The lump gradually increased in size, and when she was brought to a hospital in Thailand, the doctor suspected that the lump was caused by spina bifida. Doctors want Chaw to undergo a MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $814 to cover the cost of Chaw's MRI and care, which is scheduled for February 7th. Chaw's mother said, "After I noticed that her lump was increasing in size, I felt very worried that her condition is caused by cancer. I am really thankful to all of the donors and BCMF staff. May this organization continue to help more patients in the future."
Joemer is a hard-working street vendor from Philippines. He is the breadwinner in the family. He earns money by cooking and selling local delicacies and his earning of $4 daily is just enough to bring food to the table. In January 2020, Joemer began to experience troubling symptoms. He sought medical consultation and was told to undergo an ultrasound. The test showed that he has a 1.2cm gallstone. Due to the financial crisis, he decided to delay his treatment and opted to take pain relievers instead. His pain intensifies forcing him to be checked again by a surgeon. Joemer has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, his symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Joemer is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on March 7th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,128 to cover the cost of Joemer's surgery and care. Joemer shared, "I'm truly grateful to WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for being one of your beneficiaries. Your hearts are so kind for helping out people like me who are sick but not capable of paying for our needed surgery."
Valentina is a beautiful 2-year-old girl from Bolivia. She lives in La Paz with her parents, who are a teacher and a homemaker respectively, and two older siblings. Valentina was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. As a result blood leaks through this hole, leaving her weak and short of breath. Our medical partner HCA is helping Valentina access life-saving cardiac treatment so she can grow up healthy. During surgery, doctors will use a patch to close the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Her family is raising $1,500 to support her surgery and care. Valentina's mother shared: "Our family is very thankful that Valentina can have this opportunity for her heart to be healed."
Chit Htun is a 21-year-old man from Burma who lives with his mother, two sisters and a brother. His mother is a homemaker, while Chit Htun and his siblings are students. They are supported financially by two aunties and Chit Htun's former teacher. Chit Htun was born with spina bifida as well as hydrocephalus. When Chit Htun was just over a month old, he had a shunt inserted in his brain to control hydrocephalus. In October 202, Chit Htun fell down the stairs in his home and hit his head during the fall. Since that time, he has been experiencing headaches and dizziness with occasional loss of consciousness. Chit Htun's mother brought him to a hospital in Yangon, where he received a CT scans showing that the original shunt was in place. A second shunt was inserted to help with the loss of consciousness, but the headaches and dizziness continued to be a problem. In October 2022, Chit Htun had a seizure, accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Chit Htun's mother brought him to Mae Sot Hospital, where he received a CT scan on November 28th, 2022 with the help of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). The doctor diagnosed Chit Htun with severe chronic hydrocephalus and suspected shunt malfunction. BCMF is now fundraising $1,500 to help cover the cost of surgery to replace Chit Htun's current shunt. Chit Htun's mother shared, "My son and I have been in Mae Sot for the past two months and we are homesick already. I hope that he will receive surgery soon and recover from his symptoms."