Margaret joined Watsi on July 7th, 2017. Four years ago, Margaret joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Margaret's most recent donation supported Jasmin, an 11-year old from Bolivia, to fund cardiac surgery.
Margaret has funded healthcare for 76 patients in 13 countries.
Margaret has funded healthcare for 76 patients in 13 countries.
Jasmin is an 11 year-old girl from Bolivia who needs heart surgery. Jasmin lives with her father, a police officer, and her mother, a nurse. She has one older brother and one younger sister in La Paz. Jasmin likes to paint, draw in coloring books, and help her family with errands. Jasmin was born with Down syndrome, and also a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which a hole exists between two major blood vessels near the heart. Blood leaks through this hole, leaving Jasmin weak and short of breath. Our medical partner International Cardiac Alliance is requesting $1,500 to fund surgery to repair Jasmin's heart. During surgery, doctors will sew the hole closed so that blood can no longer pass through it. Once her heart is repaired, Jasmin will be able to breathe easier and have more energy and ability to make the most of everyday. Jasmin's mother shares: "we're so happy that the time has finally arrived for her surgery, our family has been waiting a long time for this moment."
53-year-old Aye lives with her husband, son and two daughters in a refugee camp in Thailand. Her husband is a teacher, and Aye is a homemaker. All of the children go to school. In her free time, Aye loves to plant different types of flowers around her home. One day in the middle of 2018, Aye's friend told her that her neck looked a bit swollen. Aye did not seek medical attention, as she wasn't experiencing any symptoms. Gradually, however, she began developing mood swings, anxiety, and fatigue. Although she was put on medications by the doctor, her symptoms worsened, and she was referred to Mae Sot General Hospital. At the hospital, she was diagnosed with a left thyroid mass and for the next three years, she returned to the hospital for multiple follow-up appointments. During her appointment on September 28th, the doctor told her that she will need surgery to remove her thyroid and cure her worsening condition. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is seeking $1,500 to fund Aye's thyroidectomy, which is scheduled for October 11th, at Mae Sot General Hospital. Aye is looking forward to her surgery, as she feels as if the mass is increasing in size, and is causing her to have fatigue and chest pain. Aye said: “Because of my condition, I feel sad and angry without reason. Afterwards, I feel bad for my family. I believe that after my surgery, I will have normal emotions again, and I will be able to help my family more.”
David is a 17-year-old from Kenya. He is the oldest child of six, and his parents work on their neighbors' farms to provide income for the family's basic needs. Their home was constructed by volunteers and their church. David's family shared that they do not have national health insurance coverage and are requesting assistance for David's medical care. A few months after David was born, he started experiencing fevers and an increasing head circumference. David's family brought him to different hospitals for treatment, but his symptoms did not improve. When David was three, he was referred to our medical partner's hospital, where he was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and underwent shunt insertion surgery. Hydrocephalus is a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Everything was stable following David's surgery until last month when David began experiencing signs of shunt failure. David's doctor recommends EVT/CPC surgery to address the shunt failure as soon as possible. On March 16th, David will undergo surgery to drain the excess fluid from his brain and reduce intracranial pressure. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $720 to cover the surgery cost. With proper treatment, David can continue to develop into a strong, healthy young man. David's father said: "I do not feel well when he is not in good health because it makes it hard for us to leave him with anyone for us to work and provide for the family."
Mu Yeh, a 23-year-old woman, resides in a refugee camp in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand, along with her parents, brother, sister-in-law, and sister. Her parents run a snack-selling business from their home, while her brother and sister-in-law are currently unemployed. Mu Yeh's sister attends school within the camp, and she herself is a homemaker. In her leisure time, Mu Yeh finds joy in weaving traditional Karen ethnic clothes and visiting her relatives in the refugee camp. Each month, they receive 1,303 baht (approximately 43 USD) on a cash card from an organization called The Border Consortium. Additionally, they raise pigs which they sell when in need of extra cash. Despite their modest monthly income, it barely covers their daily expenses. Fortunately, they receive essential healthcare from Malteser International (MI) Thailand, which is provided free of charge in the refugee camp. In October 2022, Mu Yeh noticed a mass in her left breast. Initially, she dismissed it as normal, but by May 2023, the mass had grown and began causing her pain. Currently, Mu Yeh experiences considerable pain and discomfort in her left breast due to the large mass. The pain radiates towards the left side of her torso, making it difficult for her to carry anything heavy with her left hand. Seeking medical attention, she visited the hospital in the refugee camp, where the doctor referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital for further evaluation and treatment. On July 4th, with the assistance of MI staff, Mu Yeh underwent an ultrasound of both breasts. The results revealed cysts in her right breast and confirmed the presence of a mass in her left breast. Subsequently, she underwent a biopsy. During her follow-up appointment on July 18th, the doctor diagnosed her with fibroadenoma in her left breast and fibrocystic changes in her right breast. The doctor recommended removing the benign mass from her left breast under general anesthesia. Her surgery was scheduled for August 2nd. However, unable to afford the procedure, MI staff referred her to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial assistance to access treatment. BCMF is now requesting $1500 to help fund the procedure Mu Yeh needs. Mu Yeh said, “In the future, I would like to become a medic. When there is training in the refugee camp, I will register because I would like to study medicine.”
17-year-old SreyNeth lives with her parents and her four-year-old sister in Kampong Speu province in Cambodia. Her parents are rice farmers, while SreyNeth is in grade nine, where she most enjoys studying math and physics. When she is older, she would like to become a math teacher. SreyNeth's parents noticed stiffness on the left side of her neck when she was a toddler. At a local clinic, she was diagnosed with torticollis, a twisting of the neck that causes the head to rotate and tilt at an odd angle. This likely occurred because of how she was positioned in the womb and is a result of injuries to her neck muscles. SreyNeth lives with limited motion of her neck and one of her shoulders are higher than the other. She experiences difficulty performing many daily tasks, and she is shy and embarrassed because of her condition. Fortunately, a relative told her about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, and she and her family traveled to seek their help. Doctors recommended a tenotomy, a cutting or removal of tendons, which should restore the range of motion in SreyNeth's neck. The procedure is scheduled for February 17th at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre, and SreyNeth and her family need help to fund the $572 procedure, which would enhance SreyNeth's quality of life. SreyNeth said: "After surgery, I hope that I can move my head freely."
James is a 13-year-old boy from Muranga County, Kenya. He is the second born in a family of three. James is in fifth grade, and he likes playing football and spending time with his friends. He aspires to become a pilot in the future. We met James at our main hospital, Kijabe, accompanied by a member of his church, Maina, who said “I know James as a hardworking and passionate boy in the church. I spotted him there doing presentations and performances and noticed that he had sustained a burn contracture on his neck which created a lot of discomfort because of the stiffness." James sustained burns when he was a child, which has caused him a lot of discomfort and prevents him from living a fully comfortable life. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping James receive treatment. On February 13th, surgeons at their care center will perform a single contracture release surgery on James; he will be able to move his neck more and be free from the stiffness. He will have a chance at a comfortable life. Now, he needs help to fund this $840 procedure. “Because of the challenges the family has, we are appealing for support to help this boy undergo surgery so he can be set free from neck stiffness and continue with his normal life,” Maina told us.
Maylin, who is 14 months old, lives with her parents and two older siblings in the mountains of central Bolivia. Her father is a truck driver, while her mother is a farmer and a homemaker. Maylin was born with Down syndrome and a cardiac 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 the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Maylin will need surgery to correct her cardiac defect. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to fund Maylin's surgery, which is scheduled to take place on May 16th at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría. This surgery will enable Maylin to lead a healthy and happy life. Maylin's mother said: "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping our daughter get better!"
Mech is a 15-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He lives at home on his family's rice farm with his parents and younger sister. He enjoys Cambodian beef soup and playing volleyball with his friends. Last September, Mech was helping one of his uncle's at a construction site when he got an electric burn on his hand and wrist. His uncle rushed him to the local hospital and they suggested he come to Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) for treatment. Mech is still in pain and unable to use his hand. When Mech learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On January 9th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to relive his pain and help him use his hand again. Now, he needs help to fund this $495 procedure. Mech shared, "I hope after the operation my hand and wrist can heal so I can work and play volleyball again."
Kea is a 56-year-old tuk-tuk, or pedicab, driver. He is from Prey Veng province and lives with his wife, who is a cleaner at a local hotel. He has two sons: one is a security guard and the other is in the army. At home, Kea likes to listen to the news on his phone. About six months ago, Kea developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him blurry vision and light sensitivity. It is hard for him to see the maps on his phone to take customers to where they need to go. When Kea learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three and half hours seeking treatment. On December 12th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and implant a new lens in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Kea said: "I hope after the operation, it will be easy for me to drive my tuk-tuk so I can earn more money to support my family."
Vichea is a 37-year-old soft drink seller from Cambodia. He is married and has two daughters and one son. When he is not working, Vichea enjoys playing with his small son and helping his wife at home. When he was six, Vichea had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. Because of this, Vichea experiences hearing loss, discharge, and pain. It is difficult for him to communicate with others, and the pain and discharge disrupts his sleep. The medications to alleviate his symptoms are expensive and have not treated the problem. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Vichea receive treatment. He traveled to CSC's care center where, on November 16th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During the procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Now, he needs help raising $926 to fund his procedure and care. Vichea shared, "I hope my hearing improves and my ear heals."
Myrcayela, a nine year old fifth grader, lives with her parents and five siblings in a suburb of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Myrcayela was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus. In the womb, a ductus arteriosus is a normal part of a baby's blood flow system. If it doesn't close shortly after birth, however, a hole remains between the two major blood vessels leading from the heart. This is what happened with Myrcayela, resulting in oxygen poor blood circulating through her body, leaving her weak and short of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of the surgery that will correct Myrcayela's condition. This life changing procedure, during which doctors will plug the hole with a device to prevent leakage, is scheduled to take place on February 1st, at Clinica Corominas. Myrcayela's mother said: "Our family will pray every day for all the people who are helping our daughter!"
Son is a 21-year-old mother of two. She and her husband have two sons - one is four years old and the other is one year old. Both she and her husband are construction workers. When not working outside on construction sites, she is a busy mother caring and cooking for her active children. Four months ago, on the way home from work, Son was in a motor vehicle collision. She injured her left shoulder and received a hard blow to the face, fracturing her left orbital bones. Her family took her to a government hospital to repair the bones surrounding her eye. The traumatic injury also damaged the muscle and nerve function of her shoulder, which was not repaired. This is a devastating injury for their young family, as it can cause a significant loss of function and ability to perform tasks of daily living. Son has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on her 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. She has pain and is unable to lift her left arm. She cannot work in construction or manage her household, which has also been very hard for her husband. Son traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. This is the only center in the whole country where this treatment is available. On October 17th, she will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, she hopes that her arm will be functional and she can work, do housework, and care for her children. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $709 to fund this procedure. She says: "After surgery, I hope I can use my left arm. This treatment will help me in the future to return to work."