Garry joined Watsi on January 25th, 2014. Nine years ago, Garry joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Garry's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Eh Sha, an 8-year-old student and refugee from Thailand, to fund surgery to alleviate her chronic tonsilitis.
Garry has funded healthcare for 111 patients in 11 countries.
Garry has funded healthcare for 111 patients in 11 countries.
Eh Sha is an 8-year-old living in a refugee camp in Thailand with her parents and other relatives. Eh Sha's mother is a midwife and her father is a medic at the camp hospital. Eh Sha is a primary school student. During her free time, she enjoys drawing, singing, and learning to play piano. When she was four, Eh Sha had a high fever and a sore throat. Although the fever subsided, her tonsils remained inflamed, causing her to experience occasional bouts of tonsillitis every three or four months. On September 17th, Eh began experiencing fever and sore throat. The doctor at Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) diagnosed her with chronic bilateral tonsilitis and tonsil enlargement. The doctor wants to perform a tonsillectomy, a procedure to remove her tonsils, and scheduled the surgery for October 30th. Currently, Eh Sha has a sore throat and difficulty swallowing, accompanied by fever and joint pain. The surgery will help relieve her pain and discomfort. Eh Sha's mother has big dreams for her future, saying, "I want her to become a healthcare worker who can not only take care of her own health but that of her family and others too."
Sobel is an unemployed 21-year-old who lives in Phnom Penh province with six other members of his family - his father and five siblings who all live together at home. His father is retired. Before his injury, Sobel had an engineering job and enjoyed playing volleyball with friends. In July 2023, on his way home from work, Sobel's motorcycle skidded on the rain-soaked surface, sending him crashing onto the pavement. He lost consciousness for several hours. His sister took him to a local hospital with a skull fracture, broken collarbone, and broken upper arm. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. 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. Sobel is unable to lift his shoulder or hand, consequently stripping away his ability to work. The thought of navigating life with only one arm is hard for him to imagine. Sobel traveled to Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre to receive treatment. This is the only center in the whole country where this treatment is available. On January 2nd, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he hopes to restore function in his arm and hand and find a job to help his family. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $709 to fund this procedure. Sobel said: "I want to work like before and hope the surgeons can help me."
Ko Tin is a 34-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his parents and his younger brother in a village in Yangon Division, Burma. He used to be a driver before his condition got worse but now he has stopped. Currently, Ko Tin is living with his parents who are farmers and support him. The whole family’s income is just enough for their basic expenses and basic health care. Ko Tin has a wife who went to Thailand for work about four months ago but he has lost contact with her. When he has the energy and free time, Ko Tin likes playing football with friends. Ko Tin was diagnosed with a heart condition that requires replacement 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. In mid October, Ko Tin experienced fever, cough, body pain, difficult breathing, and severe fatigue when he walks a short distance. After he visited the cardiologist in Yangon Hospital, he was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation and doctor recommend that he should receive surgery. Currently, Ko Tin feels tired, coughs often, and is experiencing difficult breathing. Sometimes, he feels pain from his legs and his arms, and he cannot sleep well at night. He will feel extremely fatigued with shortness of breath when he lays down on the floor. He also cannot walk long distances. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Ko Tin. The treatment is scheduled to take place at Pun Hlaing Hospital on December 3rd and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Ko Tin said, “I would like to recover as soon as possible. My parents are worried about me, and they have difficulty earning enough money to pay for my treatment. I hope my wife to return, and I would like to live as a happy family.”
Sarin is a 53-year-old single woman who lives in Phnom Penh province and is the primary caregiver for her elderly parents. She has five living siblings (sadly, two of her siblings died young) who help to support her and her parents. Most of her day is taken up with caring for her parents, cooking, and cleaning. In the evenings, Sarin likes to practice dhamma - a form of Buddhist meditation - as well as listen to the village monks pray on the local radio station. For many years, Sarin had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. If untreated, a cholesteatoma can cause erosion of the three small bones located in the middle ear, resulting in nerve deterioration, imbalance, vertigo, and deafness. It can also affect and erode, through the enzymes it produces, the thin bone structure that isolates the top of the ear from the brain, risking further infection with serious complications. Sarin's cholesteatoma has caused her many problems. She suffers ear discharge, headaches, and a gradual loss of hearing. It is difficult for her to communicate with her family and other villagers, and she is embarrassed that she cannot hear well. She visited several hospitals seeking care but could not afford to pay for surgery. One of the hospitals suggested she visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). Sarin traveled to CSC and, after examination, learned that she will be able to receive treatment. On October 17, the ENT surgeons at CSC will remove the cholesteatoma by performing a mastoidectomy procedure in her left ear. CSC is requesting $926 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sarin said: "I hopeful that this operation will improve my hearing and prevent a brain infection."
John is a 34-year-old man who gets work whenever he can to excavate stones for buildings. He is single and and his parents are elderly, so he is the main support in his family. Almost 2 months ago, John was hit by a sharp digging tool at a stone quarry. This marked the beginning of his predicaments. He treated the wound with herbal medication, but it worsened the wound. His leg was extensively swollen a day after the accident. This forced him to go to a facility in his local area where he was advised to go to a bigger hospital with surgical services for a possible amputation. John was admitted to the hospital and has been undergoing treatment for sepsis and anemia; the wound is well-managed and needs further treatment, but, thankfully, no amputation. He has not been able to walk since the accident occurred. Fortunately, our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping John receive treatment. On August 11th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help him walk easily again and lead a life without disability. John and AMH need help raising $1,185 to fully fund this procedure and John's care. John is worried for his future and shared, “Losing a leg is not a smiling issue. I was told I might lose my leg unless I get treatment.”
Eh is a 58-year-old father of two from Burma. Eh became unemployed following a motorbike accident that left his leg weakened. He now relies on his wife, who sells betel nuts and noodles for support. During his free time, Eh enjoys weaving bamboo baskets. Eh has been diagnosed with multiple large gallstones. He has enduring intense right-sided abdominal pain, accompanied by back pain and a diminished appetite. Due to the pain, he also faces trouble sleeping at night. Eh has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, Eh's symptoms will continue to worsen and put him at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Eh is scheduled to undergo his cholecystectomy on September 4th. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Eh's procedure and care. Eh said, "I stopped working for a year, and I have no income, so I am stressed about my treatment. However, when I learned that BCMF would help me access treatment, I felt very happy. I want to express my gratitude and say thank you to the donors and BCMF for supporting my treatment."
Kaung is a 2-year-old baby boy who lives in Burma with his grandmother, uncle, aunt, and five-month-old cousin. His grandmother is retired, his uncle is a motorbike taxi driver and his aunt is a homemaker. Kaung was born with a condition called Congenital Hydrocephalus. Congenital Hydrocephalus is caused by a brain malformation or birth condition that causes excessive cerebrospinal fluid to accumulate in brain cavities. Cerebrospinal fluid is a clear, colorless liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, protecting them from injury. It carries nutrients to the brain and spinal cord and takes away waste. In a healthy person, the amount of this fluid produced by the brain is absorbed by the body. In hydrocephalus, the fluid fails to drain and accumulates, leading to pressure on the brain. Kaung's symptoms include intensifying nasal congestion and coughing with mucus. Additionally, his head is gradually increasing in size as the fluid continues to put pressure on his brain. The condition is most often treated by inserting a shunt. The shunt diverts excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the brain to another part of the body where the fluid can be reabsorbed. Kaung's family visited a doctor when he was born to address the issue. At the time, the doctor advised the family to seek further treatment. However, Kaung was never brought to a hospital or clinic due to the financial difficulties of the family. Fortunately, Kaung was able to meet with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). With the help of BCMF and Watsi, Kaung received a CT scan at Mae Sot General Hospital. The doctor was able to diagnose his condition and scheduled Kaung to undergo surgery immediately. Kaung is scheduled for surgery on May 26th. Kaung's aunt said, "My nephew becomes cuter by the day, and he is always smiling. I tried to save money to treat him, but I could not. But now, we are so happy to have met you all at BCMF. We are happy to know that Kaung will have the opportunity to get treated because of your support.”
Wilson is a charming 2-year-old toddler from Kenya. He was born with bilateral clubfoot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. Without treatment, Wilson can experience difficulty walking or wearing shoes. When Wilson was born, the hospital referred Wilson's family to our medical partner's care center. He started casting treatment when he was a month old but did not respond to treatment. On July 10th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery that will allow Wilson to walk easily as he grows. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,286 to fund this surgery. Wilson's father shared, "Any support to help my son walk with his feet is highly appreciated."
Ly is a 48-year-old rice farmer living with her two sons and two daughters in Kandal province in Cambodia. Ly was widowed six years ago and, ever since their father's death, the oldest two children work as motorcycle and bicycle repairmen to help their mother provide for the family. One year ago, Ly suffered from an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. As a result, Ly experiences ear discharge, tinnitus, and hearing loss. Despite using ear drops, Ly has not seen any improvement in her condition, and now she has also developed polyps. It is difficult for her to hear or communicate with others. Ly traveled to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, hoping to be treated. On May 9th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy on her right ear at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $926 to fund this procedure and all of the necessary medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Ly said: "After surgery, I will be able to hear and the ear discharge will stop."
Sokkea is a 42-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He lives with his wife and two young daughters in Phnom Penh. Sokkea's wife sells drinks from a cooler at his construction site to supplement their income. In his free time, Sokkea and his family go to the nearby Mekong River to play and go fishing. Five years ago, Sokkea developed an ear infection, which caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. Now, Sokkea experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge, making it difficult for him to hear. Additionally, Sokkea is losing income because he must visit many clinics and pharmacies for medications that aren't working. Fortunately, Sokkea could travel to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 3rd, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $926 to fund this procedure, which covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sokkea contributed $100 to his care. When asked about his hopes for the future, Sokkea shared that he wants to get better so he can improve his work and family life.
Nant is a 47-year-old woman from Burma who lives with her husband and three sons. Her husband is a pastor, she is a homemaker, and her three sons are students. Nant has gallstones and common bile duct stones, which cause loss of appetite and poor sleep. She also feels weak and cannot walk as much as she could before. Nant has received medication and injections, which have helped to lessen the pain in her back and abdomen and decrease jaundice. However, only surgery can help her recover. Nant has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, Nant'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), Nant is scheduled to undergo her cholecystectomy on March 6th. BCMF is requesting $1,487 to cover the total cost of Nant's procedure and care. Nant said, “I have been praying for this miracle. I am very thankful to [BCMF] for their kindness in supporting me and my family. Now, I will pray for my surgery to be a successful one. I am looking forward to a full recovery from this condition because I want to continue serving God together with my husband and children.”
Emmanuel is a 39-year-old father of two from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He lives with his wife and children and works in sales at an electronics store. He has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. There is a hole between the two upper chambers of his heart, which causes blood to leak out without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Because the care he needs is not available in Haiti, Emmanuel will fly to the United States to undergo cardiac surgery on February 27th. Doctors will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital is contributing $10,000 to help pay for this surgery. His family now needs $1,500 to help fund costs of the surgery preparations, including labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments, and travel expenses. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance will accompany Emmanuel overseas and ensure he safely undergoes treatment. Emmanuel says, "I am excited for this surgery so that I can focus on taking care of my family without worrying about my health."