Katrina joined Watsi on April 22nd, 2016. Six years ago, Katrina joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Katrina's most recent donation supported Adrian, a 8-year-old boy from Bolivia, to fund cardiac surgery so that he can breathe well and grow strong.
Katrina has funded healthcare for 97 patients in 12 countries.
Katrina has funded healthcare for 97 patients in 12 countries.
Adrian is an 8-year-old boy from Bolivia. He lives in a neighborhood in the mountains above La Paz with his parents and three siblings; he is in the fourth grade in school. Adrian was born with a cardiac condition called pulmonary valvar and subvalvar stenosis, in which the area in and around one of his valves is too small to allow blood to flow through it properly. As a result, blood backs up into his heart, leaving him weak and short of breath. During surgery, doctors will use a balloon to stretch the valve open so that blood can pass through it more freely. His family is raising funds to support his treatment with our medical partner HCA. Adrian's mother says: "Our family is very excited to know that our son can finally have a normal heart!"
Saw Kyaw is a 25-year-old man living in Thailand. He currently lives with his older sister, younger sister, mother and her niece. He moved from Burma to Thailand for job opportunities three years ago. He was working in a shop and was able to support two younger siblings who are studying in Karen State in Burma. Around the end of July, he was playing football with friends when he slipped trying to kick the ball. His lower right leg was very painful, but he was still able to bear weight lightly on that leg. At the time, Saw Kyaw didn’t have health insurance, so he went to a clinic instead of the hospital. There they examined his leg, gave him some medication for the pain and advised him to go to the hospital for an X-ray if the pain persisted. Saw Kyaw rested for two days and then went back to work. That day at work, Saw Kyaw was carrying a heavy load when he slipped again. This time, the pain was severe, and he was unable to stand on his right leg. He went to a hospital in Bangkok where they X-rayed his lower right leg and told him that the tibia was fractured. The doctor recommended surgery where they would use a metal rod to connect the bones and set them in the correct position to heal. Saw Kyaw was told that the surgery would cost between 40,000 to 50,000 baht (approx. 1,330- 1,660 USD). He told them that he did not have insurance and was unable to afford the surgery, so they gave him pain medication and bandaged up his leg. He returned to the hospital three times and each time the doctor recommended surgery, but Kyaw was unable to figure out how he could get that kind of money. His employer was not helpful and refused to assist with the cost of the surgery. Since Saw Kyaw didn’t have the money, he decided to just rest and see whether the bones would heal on their own. Saw Kyaw recalled that he had fractured his femur when he was young, and he had used a traditional medicated oil to help heal the injury. He hoped that he could use this on his new fracture. But now he cannot walk properly and cannot work since his accident. He is stressed about his condition and his future. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Saw Kyaw will finally undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for December 7th and will cost $1,500. He will able to go back to work after surgery Saw Kyaw said, “I would like to go back to Bangkok and find work again so I can go back to helping my family; my siblings who are studying in Burma, and also my mother who is getting older. I also want to save some money for my future. I will not work at the same place though as they have not been kind or caring since I had the accident.”
A couple from Tanzania visited our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), with their adorable newborn baby boy. Their two-day-old baby was born with clubfoot of both feet, which is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This condition can cause difficulty walking or wearing shoes. The couple is concerned that their son may have difficulty walking in the future as he grows, and they are seeking assistance with surgery. The baby's father works full-time at a timber factory and shared that his income only covers their basic needs. They are overjoyed with their new son and are hopeful he'll receive the care he needs. Fortunately, AMH can help! On November 4th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery that will allow the baby to walk easily and wear shoes as he grows up. AMH is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Rebecca, the baby's mother, shared, “I am glad to know that my baby’s condition is treatable.”
Aung is a six-year-old student from Thailand. He lives with his parents and brother. His mother works at a factory, his father is a homemaker, and his brother goes to school. In his free time, Aung likes to play with his toys and watch cartoon movies on the television. Aung has cataract in his right eye. As a result, he can only see light with that eye, and his eye is very sensitive and irritated. Fortunately, on November 15th, Aung will undergo lens replacement surgery, during which surgeons will remove Aung's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to this surgery for Aung. Aung's mother shared: “We do not have money to treat him ourselves. My son is so lucky to be treated through the help of donors."
Hsa is an 18-year-old living with his parents, three brothers and a sister, in Burma. Two of his siblings are still in school, while the remainder of his family work as subsistence farmers. Hsa, however, is currently unemployed, and enjoys playing various sports with his friends. Hsa has cataracts in both of his eyes, making it difficult for him to see clearly. Thanks to assistance from our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Hsa is scheduled for cataract surgery on October 11th, at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. During the surgery, doctors will replace Hsa's own lenses with intraocular implants, enabling Hsa to live a more independent life. Now, Hsa needs your help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Hsa said: "I wish to see again so that I can look after myself. Then my family will no longer need to assist me with everything."
Safia is a bright student - she is an orphan who is still mourning the loss of her mother who passed on in February 2022. Her father died a few years ago, and she lives with her relatives in Moyale. She has not been able to attend her classes since she started feeling unwell. She is the last born in a family of five children. She does not have medical coverage and is unable to raise the required amount for the surgery. She first experienced a small itch on her leg at the beginning of April 2022. She later experienced swelling in that area, and she did not have any feeling on the infected leg. Over time, the situation worsened and developed pus. She now has a chronic wound on her left leg that requires debridement and skin grafting. Safia was referred to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital by friends after her condition did not improve. She visited the facility and underwent a sequestrectomy on the 8th of September and now needs a debridement and skin graft procedure. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Safia receive treatment. On September 14th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure so she can walk without straining and be able to attend school and continue with her studies. Now, Safia needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Safia's aunt says, “She has been away from school for almost five months now. Her condition keeps getting worse that she is unable to walk. We even have to carry her to the bathroom. She needs this surgery, or she will lose her leg.“
Roeuk is a 34-year-old farmer who is married and has two daughters. His 10-year-old daughter is in the fifth grade and his younger daughter is five years old. Roeuk's wife is also a farmer. Last month, Roeuk fell from the 3rd story and fractured his right humerus, left tibia, and left mandibular. After the accident he received treatment for the humerus fracture at another hospital. He arrived at Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) with pain from the left mandibular fracture. It is difficult for him to drink and eat food. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On April 6th, Roeuk will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This will heal his fracture and relieve his pain. Roeuk is hopeful that after surgery he will be out of pain and be able to eat and drink more easily again so he can get healthy.
Thein is a 42-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband, son, daughter, mother-in-law and step-granddaughter in Palu Village, Myawaddy Township, Karen State, Burma. Thein’s husband is still recovering from an illness and is also looking after her as her caregiver. Her mother-in-law has impaired vision and is looked after by her children. Her two children stopped going to school in 2020, when schools closed due to COVID-19. After the coup in February 2021, their school never reopened. Thein works as a day laborer and as a farmer, but she has not been able to plant anything this year. In December 2021, she and her family had to flee their village for a month due to armed clashes in their village. After they were able to return, Thein was too scared to go to her farmland since she had been told that the area around the village is full of landmines. It has been a very difficult time for their family as Thein’s house was also destroyed during the armed clashes in their village. They are currently living with Thein’s mother-in-law, whose house partially survived the recent violence and destruction. Thein's family currently lives off of donations that Palu villagers receive as internally displaced peoples (IDPs), and the rice they harvested last year before they had to flee. Since July 2021, Thein has been experiencing backpain when she sits or lays down. She feels better when she is standing or walking. After she eats, she feels bloated and uncomfortable. She has been diagnosed with large abdominal endometriosis. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Thein's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Thein is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on July 20th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered she will no longer be in pain and will be able to sit and lie down comfortably. Despite the hard moment they are in, Thein tries to stay hopeful about rebuilding her life: “When I recover fully, I want to go back to work so that I can earn money. I want to rebuild my house and live there with my family.”
Ally is a sweet, outgoing 3-year-old and the youngest in his family of three children. Ally’s mom shared that she is raising the children on her own and recently moved home so that Ally’s grandparents could help her care for him and his siblings. Ally’s grandparents are small-scale farmers, and his grandmother sells vegetables at the market. Ally was diagnosed with bilateral varus, a condition that causes the legs to turn inward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Ally experiences pain when standing and after a long day of play. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Ally receive treatment. On June 10th, he will undergo surgery to restore his mobility, allow him to participate in various activities, and significantly decrease his risk of future complications. AMH is requesting $880 to fund this procedure. Ally’s mother says, “With no job, there is no way I am going to get all the money needed. My parents are already doing so much to help and support my children and me.”
Agrey is a five-month-old baby boy, and the first child born to his parents. Agrey was born with spina bifida and bilateral clubfoot. Agrey's father, who is a truck driver at a local sand quarry, was able to find enough money to take Agrey to a referral hospital for assessment of his spina bifida. But their family could not afford to pay for the surgery necessary to correct this condition, which put Agrey at risk of losing the ability to use his lower limbs, and endangering his life in the event of a serious infection. They were referred to the Plaster House for help, and through Watsi funding, Agrey had his spina bifida corrected. Agrey's bilateral clubfoot also means that both of his feet are twisted out of shape, which would make it difficult for Agrey to walk when he gets older. Fortunately, Agrey's family brought him to Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, our care partner's health center. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 13th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund this procedure and his care. After treatment, Agrey's feet will be straightened and he will be able to wear shoes and to walk easily as he grows up. Agrey’s mother says: “My son has had his first surgery of his back and it was successful. He now needs to start treatment for his feet. Thank you for your help.”
Meet Mercy, a 7-year-old jovial and calm girl. Our medical partner met Mercy at Cure Hospital's satellite clinic in Matuu, Kenya when she arrived with her mother. Mercy is a second grade student who is very bright and likes to study. Her mother is a homemaker while her father works on a tea farm whenever he can get small jobs there. Mercy has clubfoot of both of her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Mercy's family was referred to our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Mercy's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk, play and run like other kids she knows. “As a mother, I will be so happy seeing my child walking like other children,” Mercy’s mother told us.
Daw lives with her two sons who work as day labourers getting work where they can. While her sons work, her daughter comes over to do their household chores. The income her sons earn is not enough to cover their daily expenses and sometimes they have to borrow money from their neighbor. Around 15 years ago, Tin was diagnosed with high blood pressure and diabetes. In early January, she noticed that she had developed ulcers on her left soles. She could not even remember injuring her left foot, but she went to a clinic twice to have her foot treated. Unfortunately, her condition worsened and by the end of February, she also developed ulcers an on her right big toe. In March, she was brought to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where she was admitted. She underwent wound debridement surgery on her left foot. A few days later, the doctor told her they would need to do an amputate her right foot so that her infection did not spread further. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Tin and her family raise the financial support for her treatment. Currently, Tin is experiencing a lot of pain in both her left foot and her right big toe. At night, she has a fever and cannot sleep. She cannot walk and needs her son to help her go to the bathroom and take a shower. “Since I learned that donors could help pay for my surgery, I feel very happy,” she said. “I want to say thank you to the donors.”