Rickard joined Watsi on September 3rd, 2015. Five years ago, Rickard joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Rickard's most recent donation traveled 5,900 miles to support Sylvia, a 56-year-old caretaker from Philippines, to fund a thyroidectomy.
Rickard has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 11 countries.
Rickard has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 11 countries.
56 year old Sylvia lives with her sister in the Philippines. As she has no family of her own, she takes care of her sister's home to earn money for her personal expenses. Several years ago Sylvia began to experience troubling symptoms, including cough, itchiness and pain in the area around her throat. In June she was examined at our medical partner's care center Our Lady of Peace Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a multinodular, non-toxic goiter. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is able to help Sylvia receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on November 25th at Our Lady of Peace Hospital, when surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP needs your help to raise the remaining $935 to cover the cost of Sylvia's procedure and care. Sylvia said: "This operation is very important to me since it will help me go back to doing my usual chores properly. I'm very grateful to Watsi and its donors for helping me with my expenses for this life-changing surgery."
Dinah is a 3-year-old girl from Kenya. She is the second born in a family of three children. Her family hails from the interior part of North Pokot. Our medical partner met Dinah, accompanied by her grandmother, at a mobile community clinic in Kacheliba. The grandmother has nine children and is raising Dinah. She is a farmer and a herder and shared that she separated from her husband after he married several wives. Dinah was left by her parents, who are pastoralists and migrated to a different region. Because of the deformity, she could not walk for long distances. Dinah has clubfoot of right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Dinah and her grandmother visited our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 17th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Dinah's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will no longer be in pain and will be able to walk much more easily. “I am appealing for your support to help my grandchild undergo surgery so she can walk normally,” Dinah's Grandmother told us.
Ah resides in a village in Karen State, Burma alongside his eight-year-old son and elderly mother. Ah is a former carpenter who has been unable to work due to his deteriorating health. During his free time, he enjoys fishing. In 2018, Ah began experiencing severe chest pain and difficulty breathing at times. A medical evaluation, including an echocardiogram, revealed that he has multiple valve defects in his heart. The doctor wants to perform cardiac surgery to replace and repair his heart valves on September 12th. Due to financial difficulties, Ah sought treatment through Watsi's medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). BCMF is raising $1,500 to support his care. Currently, Ah still has occasional chest pain and difficulty breathing which intensifies with physical activity. He also has a poor appetite, weight loss, and difficulty sleeping at night. Ah said, "I am worried about my son because I am the only one who is taking care of him. Thank you for supporting my treatment. I will never forget you."
Sopheakdey is a 42 year old tuk-tuk driver, living with his wife and two children in Kandal province, Cambodia. Sopheakdey's wife works in a clothes factory, while Sopheakdey stays at home with their five year old daughter, since his condition prevents him from being able to work. For the past four years, Sopheakdey has been suffering from chronic back pain. While he has no history of trauma, it is difficult for him to bend, twist, or stoop down; any work or activity causes pain. His legs feel weak and clumsy, so he stays home. Because he cannot work, he worries about being able to feed his family. Fortunately, a relative told him about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. Surgeons have diagnosed him with spondylolysis, a weakness or stress fracture in one of the vertebrae, the small bones that make up the spinal column. This weakness can occur with no known injury. The most common cause in adults is degenerative arthritis. On August 3rd, surgeons at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre plan to do a posterolateral lumbar fusion, to stabilize his spine and decrease his pain. Now, Sopheakdey needs your help to defray the cost of the $1500 operation. The money he receives will cover surgery, medication, and post-operative care. Sopheakdey said: "I hope that my pain will be less after surgery, and I can go back to work to help my wife and children."
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.”
Dormaha is a four year old preschooler from Haiti. She lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, and likes dancing and watching cartoons. Dormaha suffers from a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. Blood leaks through a hole that exists between the two lower chambers of her heart, bypassing her lungs without obtaining the oxygen Dormaha requires. She needs surgery to prevent her from experiencing the weakness and shortness of breath that she currently lives with. The surgery that Dormaha needs is not currently available in Haiti, so she will be flying to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. Fortunately, on May 18th, she will undergo cardiac surgery at Hospital CEDIMAT, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole to close it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is contributing $8,000 to pay for the surgery. However, Dormaha's family also needs help to fund the costs of many other aspects of Dormaha's care. They are seeking $1,500 to pay for the lab tests, medicines, checkup and follow-up appointments, that are all part of Dormaha's critical treatment. This money will also go towards obtaining passports, and for the social workers from our medical partner, who will accompany Dormaha's family overseas during her care. Dormaha's mother said: "Our family has been hoping for this surgery ever since our daughter was a small baby, and we are very glad the chance has arrived!"
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."
Jayden is a preschooler from Haiti. Jayden lives with his parents, who are both schoolteachers, and older brother in a small city in the mountains of central Haiti. He likes to draw and is learning to read. Jayden has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect and ventricular septal defect. Two holes exist in his heart, one between the two upper chambers and another between the two lower chambers. Blood leaks through these holes, straining his heart and making it difficult for him to obtain oxygen. Because the surgery he needs is not available in Haiti, Jayden will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On April 28th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will use patches to close the holes in his heart so that blood can flow normally. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance is also contributing $9,000 to pay for surgery, but Jayden and his family still need help covering the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Jayden overseas. Jayden's mother shared, "Our family has been very frightened for our son's health so we were so happy to get the news that he could have this surgery!"
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."
Ohn, who is 52 years old, lives with her husband in a village in Tak Province in Thailand. While Ohn's husband no longer works because of pain in his lower legs, Ohn earns money as a day laborer on a local farm. In the middle of 2021, Ohn began experiencing lower left abdominal pain, and discomfort when she urinates or has a bowel movement. She has been diagnosed with myoma, a uterine fibroid, and has been advised to have a total hysterectomy. Left untreated, Ohn's symptoms will worsen, and she will be at risk for additional medical complications. Ohn's income barely covers her and her husband's daily living expenses. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of Ohn's procedure and care. Ohn is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on February 1st, at Mae Sot General Hospital, where both her uterus and cervix will be removed. After she has recovered, Ohn should be able to resume her life, free from pain. Ohn said: “I cannot sleep well because I am worried and feel depressed about my condition. When I learned that the organization [BCMF] would pay for the cost of my surgery, I felt very happy. I am very thankful to all donors and to BCMF for paying for my investigation and treatment. When I recover, I will try to work and save money, so I can pay back my debt."
David is a sharp and talkative seven-year-old boy from Kiambu county. David is quick to help answer some of the questions we asked: He has one sibling who he proudly shared is five years old. David's mother is separated from his father and is currently unemployed picking up odd jobs like washing clothes to provide for her children. David loves to play football and was playing with his friends on December 19th when he fell and sustained a fracture. David is experiencing pain and is unable to use his left hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On January 12th, David will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Thanks to this procedure, David will no longer be in pain and will be able to use the left hand for school and play. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping David's family raise $1,049 to fund this procedure. David's mother share, "I hope my son is treated and gets back to school and playing.”
Dennis is the first born in a family of four children. When he finished high school, he was reluctant to join college because of his condition. He currently is not able to work because he gets easily tired and cannot carry heavy loads. He joined college just recently but has been out of school for the past two months. Now that he is at home, he helps his mother who picks tea for a living. He does not have a health insurance coverage and cannot raise the required amount of money to cater for his hospital bill. In 2019 while he was sitting for his national school exams, Dennis experienced sharp pain in his esophagus. He took a glass of water, and the pain went away for a few weeks. The pain used to occur roughly two times in a month and a glass of water would help a lot. Late last year, the pain worsened. He was not in a position to swallow food. He went to a herbalist and was given some medication to use for some time. When the dose was over, the pain was still persistent, and he still could not swallow food normally. He was then referred to Kijabe Hospital by a friend where he was examined and given some medication to use. He didn't feel better and decided to go back to the herbalist for different medication but there was no change. Later he finally returned to Kijabe Hospital and scans and tests revealed that he has Achalasia. He is scheduled for a heller's myotomy which is a curative laparotomy surgery for his condition. Now he needs $1,074 to pay for the surgery. Dennis says, "I feel very sad. If I was healthy, I would be able to work well and be comfortable with myself.”