Jonathan joined Watsi on April 25th, 2017. Four years ago, Jonathan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jonathan's most recent donation supported U Pyin, a 36-year-old monk from Burma, to fund heart surgery.
Jonathan has funded healthcare for 57 patients in 7 countries.
Jonathan has funded healthcare for 57 patients in 7 countries.
U Pyin is a 36-year-old monk who lives with three other monks, seven novice monks, and his two younger brothers, in a village in central Burma. His two younger brothers are not monks, but work at the monastery as helpers, assisting with cooking and cleaning. U Pyin has no income, but receives food and accommodation at the monastery. If he is ill, there are three local families that help to cover the costs of his basic health care expenses. In early May, U Pyin began experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, and headaches. One of his brothers brought him to a hospital, where tests revealed that one of the valves in his heart needs to be replaced. This is a particularly dangerous condition, as it can lead to a stroke, and U Pyin has already suffered a stroke, earlier in his life. U Pyin was given medication, an appointment to return in two months, and sent home. When U Pyin did not feel any better after taking the medication that he had been given, he and his brother decided that he should see a cardiologist in Yangon. The cardiologist confirmed U Pyin's diagnosis, and stressed the need for U Pyin to have surgery to replace the ailing mitral valve. As U Pyin was unable to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to an abbot for assistance. Fortunately, the abbot referred U Pyin to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, and now U Pyin is scheduled to have mitral valve replacement surgery on June 24th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of U Pyin's procedure and care, which will enable him to breathe well and to sleep comfortably again, things that he is unable to do right now. U Pyin will also be able to return to teaching the novice monks at the monastery, which he has been unable to do because he feels so unwell. U Pyin said: “After I recover, I want to teach novice monks again and I want to open a Buddhist school near Yangon.”
Mercy is a hard working 46-year-old mom who lives with her two grown children. Because she is long separated from her husband, Mercy has taken care of their children by herself, doing whatever work she can find to support her family. Currently, her daughter is unemployed, while her son works doing jobs for a small hotel in their village. In May, Mercy was injured by a neighbor after a disagreement. She sustained an open fracture of her tibia/fibula, resulting in pain and difficulty walking. Mercy requires surgery to heal the fracture, to prevent an infection of the bone in her leg, and to avert other complications which might cause her to lose the use of her leg. Fortunately Mercy went to Nazareth Hospital, where a surgeon reviewed her case, and advised her to have surgery. However, Mercy and her children cannot raise the required fee for her medical care. Surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On May 26th, Mercy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at Nazareth Hospital. After treatment, Mercy will be able to walk and to work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Mercy said: “I use my legs and my strength to work and make ends meet. My leg is very important for me. I am pleading for assistance so that I may have surgery and be well again so that I can resume my work to support my family.”
Stefano is a 5-year-old child from Tanzania. Stefano’s parents are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers. They are not able to afford their son’s treatment costs thus they are asking for help. When we first met Stefano he was having difficulty walking and it was challenging for him to do day-to-day tasks. He looked tired despite being carried on her mother’s back. Stefano has needed support from the hospital to get healthy enough for surgery and has been receiving care since last November. He now is healthy enough to undergo surgery for his leg condition. Stefano was diagnosed with windswept deformity. His legs bow so that the knees appear windswept. 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 has a difficult time walking and experiences pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Stefano. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Stefano's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Stefano’s mother shared in her language, “Mchugaji alituambia tunaweza kupata msaada wa matibabu kwa ajili yam toto wetu hapa.” Meaning: "The pastor told us our son could get treatment help from here."
Myo Myint is a 34-year-old woman who is married with two sons and a daughter. Myo Myint, her husband, and her oldest son work as day laborers, but since April 2020, they have had difficulty finding work due to COVID-19. She proudly shared that her younger son and daughter are both students. In her free time, Myo Myint likes to listen to the news on the radio and walk around to collect sticks and branches that she uses for her cooking. Myo Myint has been experiencing difficulty with her vision in her right eye. She can only read for a few minutes before her eye begins to hurt and her vision becomes doubled. She visited a local hospital, where the doctor determined she has a cataract in her right eye and recommended lens replacement surgery. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Myo Myint receive treatment. On March 1st, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Myo Myint's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund this procedure. Myo Myint shared, "I want to see clearly and find extra money to support my children to finish their education."
Ann is a 45-year-old woman from a remote area in Kiambu County of Kenya. She is married and they have four children. Ann takes care of their house and children without a source of income and her husband works as a driver. What he earns is just enough to cater to their family needs and children's education. Transportation is a great challenge where they live. To come to the hospital today, Ann left her house at 4 a.m. to make it to Nazareth Hospital by the morning time. Since the age of four, Ann started having on-and-off bouts of tonsillitis. Two of her children, as well as other family members, have already undergone tonsillectomy, but she has not yet managed to be healed. Over the past year, she has been repeatedly needing to go to the hospital and has had many injections. She has been experiencing neck pain, swollen and infected tonsils, headaches, and earaches. The ENT surgeon has advised her to have her tonsils removed. Ann’s husband has coverage under a national health insurance plan, but her surgery was not approved for support. Our Medical Partner African Mission Healthcare is now helping to raise $565 to cover her treatment. "Our insurance is currently having issues, but I can’t wait to have the tonsils removed. They have disrupted my normal life and the injections are too many and even more painful than the tonsils. I am pleading for support so that I can get over this problem, to regain my normal life, and take care of my family," said Ann.
Serah is a hard-working farmer and mother. Sadly, she has been widowed for over 30 years but is happy to have a loving family of seven children who are now adults that live with their own families. She has a small quarter-acre tea farm, but largely depends on her children for support in her older age. In December 2021, Serah found a painless lump that worried her. She visited a local health center where additional testing was recommended. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and a mastectomy, or a surgery to remove breast tissue, was recommended to rid her body of the cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Without treatment, the cancer could spread to other organs. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Serah receive treatment. On January 25th, she will undergo a mastectomy at AMH's care center. After treatment, Serah will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Now, AMH is requesting $1,110 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Serah shared, "all my life I have had the privilege of good health. We thank God. The news of cancer and surgery came as a surprise to me considering I am an old lady and fragile. I need this surgery to save my life from the jaws of this fatal disease."
Movin is a 14-year-old social and jovial boy. Movin likes playing football with his friends. His favorite subject in school is English; he aspires to be a doctor in the future to help those who need surgical care, mostly those with physical conditions. Movin is the 5th born in a family of seven children. His mother is a housewife while his father is a farmer. Their family lives in a two-roomed grass-thatched and mud traditional house in a village in Kenya. Movin was born with bilateral clubfoot deformity. This condition has affected his mobility, he gets tired easily, feels pain out of straining, falls whenever he plays football, and cannot put on shoes well. Movin needs surgery, however, his family is not in a financial position to finance the surgery and they are appealing for financial assistance. Fortunately, Movin traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Movin's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will continue with his education uninterrupted in pursuit of his dream of being a doctor. Movin says, “I would like my foot to be treated so that I can walk like my friends and continue with my education.”
Hermon is a sweet 4-year-old boy who loves people and being with others. His name means God’s gift. He loves playing video games and loves to be with his father and uncle. Hermon is adorable and playful, and is always smiling. His mom is raising him from home after leaving her business when he was born. His dad is a storekeeper in a government shop. His income is low to support the needs of their family. Sometimes mom tries to work as a broker carrying her child on her back and her family tries to offer financial support for their living too. Hermon was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Hermon has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Hermon will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on November 16th. AMHF is requesting $754 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His mom said “I hope he will get to attend school like any other child. I hope he will grow loving God and serving Him. ”
Emma has an entrepreneurial spirit and sells groundnuts, flour, and 'thobwa' (a flavorsome local beverage made from maize and millet) to earn a living. She is married to a primary school teacher and they have four children. All the children are independent except the last born who is in high school. Emma lives with her husband and a grandchild in Lilongwe in a house that belongs to her family. The house has no electricity but has piped water, which Emma is grateful to have. Emma works hard to lead a good life but has no medical insurance as she considers the insurance as being too expensive for her family to afford. Emma developed a goiter many years ago in 1993. This is a swelling on the neck resulting from enlargement of the thyroid gland. The goiter has since been growing in size and causing discomfort. She had been to different traditional healers and health facilities until 2008 when she was referred to KC Hospital for surgical review. The doctor at the hospital told her that the goiter would subside without any intervention if she would avoid getting angry. She was further advised to avoid emotional stress, shouting, and spending time in direct sunlight. However, the nature of her business which she also combines with farming compels her to spend hours in the sun and the swelling has continued growing over time. Emma currently has difficulties in breathing especially when sleeping, has a lot of discomforts, and also difficulty in swallowing food. She is not able to carry her grandchild on her back because it gives her a choking feeling. Her condition has affected her business because she cannot carry large quantities of ‘thobwa’ on her head to go and sell as she used to. Seeing Emma's condition, her relatives have been trying to seek help for her and a cousin recently learned that she might be able to get help at Partners in Hope Medical Center and told Emma about it. She did not hesitate to come and meet the surgeon here who after confirming the diagnosis of goiter recommended a thyroidectomy. This procedure is a surgical removal of the thyroid gland. It is expected that the swelling will go away with the operation and Emma will be able to resume activities that she is unable to do now. The surgery will also improve her appearance and increase her self-esteem. She is scheduled for this procedure on 26th October and is seeking financial assistance since her family is unable to meet the costs. “When people look at me they say, “amayi achotupa pakhosi aja” (woman with a swelling on the neck) and it really affects my self-esteem. I look forward to the removal of this goiter and looking normal again,” shared Emma.
Jane is a 35-year-old farmer, a single mother of two, and the 5th born child in a family of twelve. Due to the size of their family and how close-knit they are, Jane's mother commented, “all my daughters (6) have been married, gotten children, and then have come back home. I never even remember who is who and who follows the other." Jane was born with a disability and never able to attend school. Jane's mother helps to take care of her. Earlier this month, Jane was working and going through her daily activities when she slipped and fell, sustaining a fractured clavicle on her right side. Jane is in severe pain, and she is not able to go about her normal activities. Jane came to the hospital accompanied by her elderly mother and her niece, and Jane's mother shared her story with the hospital staff. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 16th, Jane will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). Following the procedure, Jane will not experience pain, the fracture will heal well and she will be able to work and take care of her children as normal. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Jane’s mother said, “I am desperate and Jane has been a great challenge to take care of even before she was sick. I kindly request help so that at least she can be well and assist herself where she can. I also wish she can be relieved of this pain.”
Taw is a 43-year-old teacher. She and her husband work at the same Bible school and their daughter is enrolled in that school's nursery program. In her free time, she enjoys singing and reading with her students. She enjoys growing organic vegetables at home, and growing her own vegetables helps reduce household expenses. On August 19th, Taw was walking home with part of a banana tree she had just cut down for her family's dinner. It was drizzling and the dirt road was slippery. She slipped and fell, breaking both bones in her left forearm. She experiences pain that worsens when she moves her arm. She is worried about being admitted to a hospital for surgery, because she has never been admitted to a hospital before. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Taw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for August 20th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Taw's arm heal properly. She will no longer be in pain and she will be able to go back to school and look after her daughter. Taw shared, "I hope this treatment will allow me to go back to work and take care of my daughter again."
Benjamin is a father of a four-year-old child who works as a motorbike (boda-boda) driver, earning about $3.70USD per day. His income is also inconsistent and depends on the availability of customers. He is the sole breadwinner for his family. Unfortunately, he has no active medical insurance coverage and has had to rely on relatives and friends to settle hospital bills. Benjamin is full of smiles but finds it difficult to sit up while sharing his story. He opts to talk while lying flat on his back. Benjamin is currently immobile, unable to sit and walk, as a result of a road traffic accident from the beginning of the month. When the 25-year-old hitched a ride on his friend's water truck, the vehicle lost control and he was thrown out the window. He immediately experienced severe back pain and lost consciousness. The accident left Benjamin with multiple fractures and wounds that will require several fracture repair and spine surgeries in order for him to sit, walk, and be able to continue with his normal routine roles again. After stays at various hospitals and numerous referrals, Benjamin arrived at our medical partner's care center, Kijabe Hospital, for care on July 17th. One of the obstacles to treatment he had faced at other hospitals was a long waiting list that meant a delay in much-needed care, but fortunately Kijabe is able to offer his needed care more urgently. At Kijabe Hospital, the doctors recommended a spinal fusion procedure for him to help regain his mobility. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,500 for Benjamin's critical surgery, scheduled to take place on July 26th. Benjamin shares, “I just sleep on my back and cannot even sit or walk. I cannot work and fend for my family. I need this surgery to get back to my Boda-boda job and raise my family."