Emily joined Watsi on December 27th, 2021. One year ago, Emily joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Emily's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Zephania, a 34 year old maize and potato farmer from Kenya, to fund leg surgery so he can walk and work again.
Emily has funded healthcare for 13 patients in 5 countries.
Emily has funded healthcare for 13 patients in 5 countries.
Meet Zephania, a jovial, 34 year old farmer, living in the highlands of Kenya with his wife and three children. Zephania has a small piece of land, on which he plants maize and potatoes, mainly for his family's consumption. He dropped out of high school early because his family could not afford to cover the necessary fees. He has been a casual laborer working on people's farms, clearing bushes and carrying loads, in order to earn a living. His wife is not working currently, as she is expecting a child. Zephania was involved in an accident while riding his motorbike. When he arrived at the hospital, he was unable to stand or to walk, and he complained of a lot of pain in his left leg. Upon examination, it was revealed that his leg had been shortened, and there was also some swelling of the limb. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. On January 10th, Zephania will undergo a fracture repair procedure at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. As a result of this surgery, called an open reduction and internal fixation, Zephania will no longer be in pain; his leg will heal, and he will be able to return to work and to provide for his family. Now, African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Zephania says: "My family depends on me for their daily needs, so it is really difficult for them. I don’t want to see them struggle when I am living.”
Sue is a 25-year-old woman living with her husband, mother and child in a camp for internally displaced people and refugees in Thailand. Both Sue and her husband are unemployed, and the family depends upon the rations that they receive from the organizations that support the camp. Five months ago Sue noticed that her abdomen was swelling. At first she thought that she might be pregnant, but other symptoms started to emerge. She was able to receive an ultrasound at the hospital, which showed that there is a large tumor growing on her ovary. As the tumor may prove to be cancerous, the doctors told Sue that she would need to have both of her ovaries and her uterus surgically removed. Sue sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, and she is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on December 23rd at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. Her family is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Sue said: "I wish my condition will get better so that I can spend more time with my daughter and mother, and my husband in the future." Her husband also shared: "I feel pity on my wife when I see she is in pain and cannot sleep. I am stressed about her condition, but now I feel released of worry when I heard that she is going to receive surgery soon. Thank you to Burma Children Medical Fund and all the donors for helping my wife."
Saw Myo is a 14-year-old from Burma. He lives with his grandparents, parents, two sisters, and brother. His grandparents are retired. His father farms paddy and rubber trees on their land, while his mother is a homemaker. Saw Myo and his siblings are all in school, but Saw Myo recently had to stop attending due to a medical condition. Saw Myo has had a lump on his lower spinal cord since he was nine years old due to an injury from a slingshot. He received medicinal ointment from a traditional healer that helped with the stiffness and prevented further growth. However, Saw Myo fell off his bicycle a few years later, and the lump grew in size. His family took him to several clinics, and an X-ray indicated a potential spinal cord problem. The doctors recommended a computerized tomography (CT) scan, but due to COVID-19 policies, Saw Myo could not receive the scan. His parents continued to try and help Saw Myo receive treatment but learned that his condition could not be treated locally. Saw Myo's mother then contacted a neighbor who worked as a medic at a clinic in Burma and began raising money for his care. The doctors want Saw Myo to undergo an MRI, which is an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Saw Myo receive this treatment. On November 15th, he will undergo an MRI. BCMF requests $814 to cover the cost of Saw Myo's MRI procedure and care. Saw Myo's mother said: “We have been so worried since we saw the mass increasing in size. It was tiring to seek treatment in Burma, and we now have borrowed a lot of money without Saw Myo having received treatment."
When U Eain was 10 years old, he became a monk. Now, at the age of 33, he lives with five other monks in a monastery in Yangon, Burma. As a monk, U Eain doesn't have an income. Instead, every morning, two of the novice monks from his monastery collect food donated by followers in Yangon. In addition, worshipers who visit the monastery donate vegetables, fruits and curries to eat. When the monks preach in other villages, they may receive small cash donations, and when U Eain's parents visit him every year, they provide U Eain with a small amount of money. In this way, the monks are able to cover their basic needs. In February, U Eain went to a town in Mon State to preach. During his second day there, he felt very tired and struggled to breathe, and ultimately, he had to stop preaching. He went to a local clinic, where he received two injections that helped him to feel better. The next day, he returned to his monastery in Yangon. Once he was home, he developed a fever and felt very tired, so he went to a nearby clinic. There, he received an electrocardiogram (ECG). After his results came back, the doctor told him that there were problems with his heart, and U Eain was referred to Yangon Government Hospital for an echocardiogram. On April 19th, U Eain had the echocardiogram, and then brought the results back to the nearby clinic. Due to numerous issues uncovered by the test, U Eain will need cardiac surgery to replace two valves in his heart. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is able to help U Eain access the care that he needs. On October 21st, doctors at Pun Hlaing Hospital will replace the two valves in U Eain's heart, relieving him of the chest pains, rapid heartbeat, fatigue and difficulty breathing that he suffers from now. With his limited income, U Eain needs your support to raise the $1,500 to cover the cost of the procedure. He is hopeful to feel himself again soon and looks forward to returning to preaching and teaching. U Eain said: “I am so happy to receive treatment. I would like to say thank you so much to all of the donors.”
Kay is 43-year-old woman and garment factory worker. She lives alone on the border of Thailand and Burma. Kay supports her parents in Burma by sending them money every month. In her free time, she enjoys reading books about Buddhism. In the middle of 2021, Kay began experiencing pain and abnormal bleeding. By September of 2022, the pain and symptoms had worsened. Kay has been diagnosed with myoma, or a noncancerous growth in the uterus. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, which would surgically remove her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Kay's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Kay is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on September 19th. 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 experience pain or abnormal bleeding. She will be able to go back to work, and to continue supporting her family. “When I recover fully, I will continue to work in the garment factory. I will save my money and I will pay back my debt. I will try to continue supporting my parents,” said Kay.
Erick is a first grade student from Tanzania who dreams of becoming a truck driver like his father. He lives with his mother, who works in a coal mine, and his siblings. His father works in a different city, but he still helps support their family. Erick enjoys playing soccer with his friends at school and helping with house chores once he is home. Erick has clubfoot of his left foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. In Erick's case, his left foot is twisted both downwards and inwards. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. His parents share that they are determined to see their child receive his needed treatment and get better. Fortunately, Erick and his family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Erick's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to run, walk for long distances, and carry things with ease. He will also be able to play soccer and help with house chores without difficulty. Erick's mother says, "My son has been through a lot. We are happy that he is going to get better after the surgery."
Chit is a 40-year-old woman from Burma. This past April, she and her husband have moved in with her sister and two nephews in Mae Sot, a border city in Thailand, while she receives treatment. Prior to the move, Chit would sell various fruits from their home in the village, but she had to close her shop once they moved. Her husband has been unable to work due to his disability. They are now supported by Chit's sister, who works as a waitress at a restaurant. In her free time, Chit enjoys gardening and growing various fruit trees, such as avocado, lime, banana, and pomegranate. In the future, she wants to grow and sell fruit tree saplings because she greatly enjoys growing fruit trees! Since August of last year, Chit has been experiencing slight lower abdominal pains. She especially experiences tightness on the right side of her abdomen in the morning right after she wakes up. She has been diagnosed with a uterine fibroid, a noncancerous growth of the uterus. Doctors have advised her to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Chit's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Chit is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on July 26th. 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 experience pain and will be able to return home and work again. Chit shares, “I had to leave my house, and I always have to take care of my husband. But I also have to take care of myself because I am ill. Sometimes, I feel sad and tired of my life. I know surgery will help me...”
Yoon is a bright and loving 12-year-old girl. She lives with her mother and uncle in Karen State of Burma near the border with Thailand. She was a student in grade three but stopped studying in August 2020 when she was no longer able to walk. Yoon enjoys painting pictures and reading books. In the future, she wants to go back to school and continue her studies. She helps out her mother with household chores. Her uncle is unemployed whereas her mother is an agricultural day labourer. One day at home, Yoon fell down when she tried to stand up to go to the bathroom. Her feet felt painful and were pointing downwards. After that, she did not try to stand up again and would move around her house on her knees. Her mother would have to carry her to the bathroom. Due to their financial situation, her mother was not able to seek treatment despite being very worried for her daughter. Over time, Yoon noticed that her feet were increasingly pointing downwards and were stiff. Her legs would feel painful and were also stiff. Sometimes, she could not stretch out her legs due to feelings of tightness and pain. Her mom shared that she would cry whenever her legs pained, and she would have to wait until the pain lessened by itself. Additionally, her hands began to weaken until she could not hold food with her hands. At the same time, her speech became slurred and her voice became hoarse. On June 17, Yoon arrived at our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), and was admitted that same day. She received a physical examination and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and tightness of Achilles tendon in both of her legs. The doctor recommended she receive surgery on both of her feet, which would help her walk again, and scheduled the procedure for June 21st. When Yoon’s mother told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for surgery, the doctor referred Yoon to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing further treatment. Our medical partner, BCMF, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure for Yoon. This procedure will elongate her Achilles tendon, allowing increased motion at the ankle joint. Without treatment, Yoon's condition will continue to cause her discomfort and will further limit her movement. Her mother said, “I cried almost every night when I saw my daughter in this condition. She always cried and complained about her feet. She always asked me to bring her to the hospital to get treatment. Whenever she asked me, I felt very sad and I would cry in secret. I want her to get treatment, but I cannot afford to pay for it. Due to COVID-19 and the current fighting in Burma, I cannot make enough money or save it. Often, I would only eat fishpaste and rice, but give her meat so that she can have something nutritious. When I heard that she has donors who will help her receive treatment, I felt very happy and thankful to BCMF for this kindness. I never thought she would receive such an opportunity. It makes me so happy that I do not know how to express it in words.”
Meshack is a six-year-old boy, living with his mother and one sibling, in a one-roomed grass thatched house in a village in Kenya. Recently, Meshack completed his preschool studies and now he is in grade one. According to his mother, Meshack is very helpful, and always assists her around the farm and in doing household chores. Meshack's mother is a single parent and a farmer, who works hard to provide for her family. Meshack was born with a condition known as hemiplegic CP, which means that one side of his body is weak. His right foot is affected, making walking challenging. Additionally, Meshack was born with clubfoot of his left foot, which adds to his difficulty walking, and limits his ability to wear shoes. Meshack has already undergone some preliminary, preparatory procedures on his left foot during mobile clinic visits near his village and the next step is for him to have clubfoot repair surgery at our medical partner's hospital. Meshack and his mother have now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 27th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Meshack's surgery, which will enable him to walk, to play with his friends, and to continue his education. “I would love to see my son walking like other children, and I will be relieved of the burden of carrying him to school,” Meshack's mother told us.
Abity is an adorable 5-year-old boy who loves food and playing with friends. He spends his days playing football and loves to play with toys. He is a shy child in front of new people, and especially likes spending time with his sister and a brother. His mom is a daily laborer finding work whenever she can and his dad has been sick for some years resulting in him leaving his job in a government office. They shared that there are days that his mom gets outside work and there are days that she spends at home. All the children in their family are not able to go to school yet as a result of Abity's health and the financial constraint in the family. Abity's has an abnormally functioning segment of bowel. He has suffered with partial bowel obstruction & other severe symptoms. He now is waiting for a procedure called a coloanal pull through. His parents shared that because of the condition, they are also affected psychologically. Abity's mom hoped that we could help him to finally heal, she said: “His belly was too big before the colostomy and we were so scared and sad. When I was confused as to what I could do, people advised me to go to a charitable organization and the organization brought me here.”
Saumu is a three-year-old girl from Tanzania. Saumu is the second born child in a family of three children. She has a twin brother by the name of Ramadhani. They love playing together though Saumu's mother shared that Saumu has a hard time keeping up with her brother due to her health condition. Both of Saumu's parents are small-scale farmers who get their daily food from what they harvest. Her father also seeks day jobs which helps to get a little additional money to support his family. Saumu has been diagnosed with Genu Varus, where her legs are bowed outward so that her knees do not touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she cannot walk well. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Saumu. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 15th. Treatment will hopefully restore Saumu's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Saumus’s mother says, “Please help my daughter she is struggling to walk.”
San is a 38-year-old woman who lives with her daughter and two sons in a village near Mae Sot, Thailand. San’s two sons work as agricultural day labourers on a farm. San’s daughter is a second grade student. San stopped working on the farm about four months ago when she first developed problems with her vision. The money that her two sons earn is not enough to cover their household expenses and pay for her daughter’s school fees since she stopped working. They have had to borrow money to pay for basics like food. San has cataract and glaucoma. Currently, San has lost most of her vision in her right eye. Her right eye is painful and always waters. If she tries to focus her vision to make out someone’s face, her eyes will hurt, and she develops a headache. In her free time, San like to clean her house and plant vegetables. She said, “I hope that I will get better soon so that I can go back to work and pay back my debts. I want to support my daughter so that she can become an educated person. I want to live happily with my family for the rest of my life.” Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for San. On February 22nd, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove San's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. San said, “I am so upset that my condition worsens every day. I cannot sleep well because I am worried about what will happen if I do not get better. I am upset that I cannot work and my two sons have to work and support me. I feel so sad for my two sons.’’