Ashley joined Watsi on May 23rd, 2014. Seven years ago, Ashley joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ashley's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Phwe, a 29-year-old homemaker from Burma, to fund a rod removal.
Ashley has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 13 countries.
Ashley has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 13 countries.
Phwe is a 29-year-old mother of three from Burma. She is a homemaker, who also helps her husband on the farm. In 2017, Phwe started to feel pain in her right lower jaw due to an incoming wisdom tooth. As a result, her jaw became inflamed and red. Eventually, a tumor started to grow in her right lower jaw. She underwent an operation in 2022 at Chiang Mai Hospital to remove the tumor and an infected part of her jaw. This procedure was followed by the insertion of a steel plate to stabilize the bone. Now, Phwe suffers from pain in her jaw again and also experiences facial asymmetry due to the placement of the steel plate. As her fracture has fully healed, Phwe would like to have the steel rod removed from her jaw. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, can help. On May 3rd, Phwe will undergo surgery to remove the rod at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. She needs your support to fund this $1,500 procedure. Phwe said: "I feel sad for me and my family because we are now fleeing from the civil war [in Burma]. I want to have the operation soon so that I can go back to be with my family. I want to make a full recovery soon because my treatment has now taken almost a year."
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!"
Meet Ku, a 21-year-old from Thailand. He lives with his parents, four younger brothers, and one younger sister. Two of his brothers are in school, while his parents and other siblings practice subsistence farming. Ku works as a day laborer, providing the sole income for his household. In his free time, Ku enjoys gardening, growing vegetables, and looking after his family's two cows. In March, Ku was in a driving accident that caused his motorcycle to fall onto his left leg, fracturing his left thigh. He was brought to a clinic before being referred to the local hospital. After an x-ray confirmed his diagnosis, he was referred to our medical partner's hospital for further treatment. Currently, Ku is experiencing a lot of pain and cannot move or lift his left leg, sit up, or leave the hospital bed. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ku will undergo surgery on March 13th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. This procedure will help him walk again and live pain-free. He will also be able to go back to work and will no longer require a caregiver. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Ku's surgery. Ku shared, "I feel so upset. I never thought I would become like this [bed-bound]. I want to get surgery soon so that I can recover and go back to work. If I'm not working, my family could have a problem. I had to borrow money from my friend [to pay for basic expenses while getting treatment]. I want to go back to work and pay back my debt."
Jul is a homemaker from Thailand. She lives with her husband, toddler son, and sister-in-law. Her husband is also a homemaker, and her sister-in-law is a student. During her free time, she enjoys looking after her son and doing household chores. She is currently expecting her second child. Her doctors recommend that she deliver via a Caesarean section because she previously gave birth through an emergency C-section. Delivering via C-section ensures the safety of both the mother and the child. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Jul undergo a C-Section on January 30th. This procedure will cost $1500, and Jul and her family need your support. “I want to have a girl this time because I already have a son,” Jul said.
Meet Slai, a 41-year-old man who lives alone, and works as a security guard at night. In June 2020, when Slai was living in Burma, he started to sneeze frequently, and he also developed a constantly runny nose. Additionally, his nose became swollen, and his right nostril became blocked, making it difficult for Slai to breathe through his nose. At the local hospital, he was diagnosed with nasal polyps, and was given medication to treat his condition. However, when he moved to Thailand in January 2022, his symptoms returned, and doctors recommended surgery so he can breathe well again. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, can help Slai access the treatment that he needs. On January 11th, Slai will undergo surgery to remove the polyps at Mae Sot General Hospital. Slai is looking to you to help raise the $1,500 to cover the cost of this procedure, which will allow him to breathe freely again. Slai said: "After completing my treatment, I want to be legally employed as a worker in Thailand. Driving is my profession, so I want to work as a driver, but I would be happy with any work opportunity.”
Gebre is a ten-year-old boy who lives with his family in Ethiopia. He loves playing football with his friends, and eating injera (a traditional Ethiopian food.) Gebre's father is a farmer, but as he is currently unwell, he can no longer work and maintain his family financially. Instead, Gebre’s two older brothers support the family. One brother works as a teacher, while the other brother manages the family farm. However, the area of Ethiopia where the family lives is significantly affected by war and poor climate, and their whole community currently needs support the government and from local NGOs for survival and basic needs. Gebre was born with an anorectal malformation, which is a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. In November 2022, Gebre had a colostomy, to prepare him for the additional procedures he will need to resolve his condition. Gebre is now scheduled to undergo surgery on December 6th, at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Gebre's procedure and care. After his recovery, Gebre will no longer experience bowel dysfunction, or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Gebre's brother says: “I hope my brother gets as normal as other boys. I hope he will be educated and have a bright future.”
Jaebets is a 13-year-old, eighth grade student from Haiti, who aspires to study medicine when he is older. He lives with his parents and two sisters in Port-au-Prince. Jaebets has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, which means that a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is paying for the cardiac surgery that Jaebets needs to correct the defect. However, Jaebets' family also needs to be able to cover the $1,500 that it will cost for pre-surgical preparation, laboratory tests, medicines and follow-up appointments. The money is also needed to pay for the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Jaebets and his family when they travel to the Cayman Islands for Jaebets' surgery, which is scheduled for November 17th. Jaebets said: "I am excited to have this surgery so that I can focus on school instead of on my heart."
John is an adorable 1-month-old infant from Haiti. He lives with his parents and older sister John has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, John has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, John will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of John's surgery at Hospital Bernard Mevs, which will treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 11th. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from John's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, John will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. His family share that they are happy to have this early intervention to prevent brain damage from the hydrocephalus.
Saw Wah is a 14-year-old grade six student from Burma. Saw Wah lives with his parents and five younger brothers in a village in Hpapun Township in Karen State where there is a lot of unrest currently. Saw Wah's father works as a day labourer when there is no work on the farm. Saw Wah's youngest brother is too young to enroll in school while his four other brothers stopped going to school this last year. Saw Wah shared, “They do not want to attend school because fighting happens very often in this area. We have to run and hide in the jungle where we study and they do not like to study in the jungle.” Saw Wah’s family also raises chickens and two goats for their own consumption. They also often go fishing and forage for vegetables in the jungle. Even though his family does not have a regular income, they can gather enough food. Saw Wah's family receives free basic healthcare at a free clinic near their village. Around 2018 or 2019, Saw Wah developed a runny nose with yellowish nasal discharge. At first, he thought that this was normal, and it would go away on its own. Towards the end of April 2022, Saw Wah nose became blocked, and he could no longer breath through his nose. He finally told his parents about his symptoms and his father took him to the free clinic at Ei Tu Hta Internally Displaced Camp. At the clinic, the medic checked Saw Wah's nostrils and told them that there is mass blocking the nasal passage in both of his nostrils. The medic also recommended Saw Wah go to a larger hospital for further investigation. At this time, Saw Wah has to breathe through his mouth which causes him discomfort. He has lost his sense of taste and smell, and has a hard time sleeping. Due to these symptoms, Saw Wah has had to stop his studies while he receives treatment. Saw Wah worries that it will take a while, and he will not be able to study this year. Fortunately, Saw Wah sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Now he is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on September 6th. BCMF is fundraising $1,500 to cover the cost of Saw Wah's procedure and care. Saw Wah shared, "I am excited to receive surgery and I hope that I will be able to breath through my nose after surgery."
Meet Hour! He lives in Cambodia with his parents, who both work as farmers. His 26-year-old brother works as a seller at a local market. Hour completed school up to 6th grade, but he no longer attends. He enjoys spending time listening to music, playing games, and meeting friends. When he was a toddler, Hour was diagnosed with hemophilia, a medical condition that severely reduces the ability of blood to clot. This causes him to bleed heavily from even slight injuries. Four months ago, Hour began experiencing pain in his hips. He was diagnosed with bilateral hip necrosis, a painful condition that occurs when the blood supply to the head of the femur, or thighbone, is disrupted. Because bone cells need a steady supply of blood to stay healthy, his condition can ultimately lead to the destruction of his hip joint. Hour is currently unable to walk without support, has anemia, and is in chronic pain. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping him receive treatment. On August 10th, he will undergo a joint replacement, called an uncemented hip arthroplasty. CSC is requesting $1,500 to fund Hour's treatment and care. Hour shares, "I am thankful that I have a chance to have a new hip. This treatment will help me be able to work to help my family in the future."
Ivy is a hardworking 24-year-old mom from the Philippines. Her husband works as a construction worker, and she shared that his income is only enough to sustain their basic needs. For the past five years, Ivy has been monitoring a birthmark on her face, which she noticed is growing in size. However, despite her desire to consult a physician, her financial constraints have prevented her from doing so. Over time, she began experiencing troubling symptoms, such as pain, uncontrollable itchiness, and bleeding from the lesion. Fortunately, Ivy found her way to our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP). They are helping Ivy receive treatment. On July 16th, she will undergo surgery at WSFP’s care center. This procedure will remove her lesion and alleviate her symptoms, allowing her to return to supporting her family free of discomfort. Now, she needs help raising $1,196 to fund her procedure and care. Ivy shares, "Everywhere I go, I feel like people always notice my lesion, and it has started to affect my self-confidence. With Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines helping me get this surgery, I know I can regain my confidence. I am really thankful to them, and I hope they help more people like me."
Thu Zar is a 21-year-old woman who lives with her parents, three sisters, and three nieces in Mae Sot near the Thailand-Burma border. Her family moved from Shan State in Burma to Thailand in 2008 in search of better opportunities. She used to work at a logistics company until two weeks ago when she quit due to her condition. Her parents run a small shop from their home, and her oldest sister is a cleaner at a restaurant. One of her other sister’s is unemployed and her third sister as well as her three nieces all go to school. In 2015, Thu Zar felt a small mobile mass in her chest. She did not feel any pain at the time and forgot about the mass. In 2019, she attended a workshop about reproductive health at her school, run by Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). During the workshop she remembered the mass and later when she was alone, she checked to see if it was still there. She felt the mass and thought that it had increased in size, but she did not experience any pain. The next day, she told the workshop trainer about the mass. The trainer told her to go to MTC for treatment. However, Thu Zar decided she did not want to take time off from school to go to the clinic, since she thought the mass was not causing her any pain or discomfort. Now, Thu Zar's condition has worsened and causes her great pain. She can only sleep on her back, because if she sleeps in any other position she experiences immense pain. Thu Zar sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 9th to heal her condition. She is raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Thu Zar is very worried about her health and told us, "I feel very sad and depressed with this condition."