Howard joined Watsi on November 29th, 2017. Five years ago, Howard joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Howard's most recent donation supported Rosemary, a future scientist from Bolivia, to fund life-saving heart surgery.
Howard has funded healthcare for 66 patients in 9 countries.
Howard has funded healthcare for 66 patients in 9 countries.
14-year-old Rosemary lives with her parents in a mining town high in the mountains of central Bolivia. Her father is a farmer, and her mother is a homemaker. Rosemary is in the ninth grade and especially enjoys studying chemistry; she hopes to become a scientist one day. Rosemary was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, in which a large hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. Blood leaks through this hole without circulating properly through her body, leaving her weak and short of breath. Fortunately, our medical partner, International Cardiac Alliance, can help. On November 8th, Rosemary will undergo heart surgery at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría, during which doctors will sew a patch over the hole, so that blood can no longer leak through it. Once she has recovered, Rosemary should be able to live the life of a healthy 14-year-old. Now her family needs your help to raise $1,500 for her procedure. Rosemary said: "I am very excited to go back to my school and my friends after surgery with a normal heart."
Naw Bay is a 36-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and five children in a refugee camp in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. Originally from Karenni State, Burma, she and her family fled to the refugee camp in 2011 due to armed conflict in their area. Naw Bay is a homemaker, while her husband is a laboratory staff at the hospital in the refugee camp. All of her children go to school in the refugee camp. During her free time, Naw Bay enjoys foraging for bamboo shoots near the refugee camp. In 2018, Naw Bay gave birth to twin boys. She gave birth to her first son at the hospital in the refugee camp but had difficulty delivering her second son and had to undergo an emergency C-section at Mae Sariang Hospital. Afterwards, she had postpartum hemorrhage and anemia. In January 2023, Naw Bay became pregnant again and has been receiving regular antenatal care at the hospital in the refugee camp. Doctor told her she would need to have a C-section again so that doctors can ensure the safety of both mother and child. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Naw Bay undergo a C-Section on October 4th. This procedure will cost $1500, and Naw Bay and her family need your support. Naw Bay hopes for a better life for her and her family in the future. She said, “I would love to relocate to another country so that my children can have a better future."
Ah resides in a village in Karen State, Burma alongside his eight-year-old son and elderly mother. Ah is a former carpenter who has been unable to work due to his deteriorating health. During his free time, he enjoys fishing. In 2018, Ah began experiencing severe chest pain and difficulty breathing at times. A medical evaluation, including an echocardiogram, revealed that he has multiple valve defects in his heart. The doctor wants to perform cardiac surgery to replace and repair his heart valves on September 12th. Due to financial difficulties, Ah sought treatment through Watsi's medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). BCMF is raising $1,500 to support his care. Currently, Ah still has occasional chest pain and difficulty breathing which intensifies with physical activity. He also has a poor appetite, weight loss, and difficulty sleeping at night. Ah said, "I am worried about my son because I am the only one who is taking care of him. Thank you for supporting my treatment. I will never forget you."
Lay is a 29-year-old mother from Thailand. She lives with her husband, son, uncle, aunt and two cousins in a refugee camp. Originally from Karen State, Burma, they fled to the refugee camp in March 2023 due to airstrikes in their village. Lay is a homemaker; her husband, uncle and aunt are unemployed, while her son is in preschool. One of her cousins is a teacher, while the other one is a student. During her free time, Lay enjoys weaving Karen shirts and bags for her family, as well as occasionally to sell. She also enjoys raising chickens and pigs and foraging vegetables in the forest. Lay is currently expecting her second child. Her doctors recommend that she deliver via a caesarean section (C-section) because she gave birth previously through a C-section. This way, doctors can ensure the safety of both mother and child. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Lay undergo a C-section scheduled on August 11th. This procedure will cost $1,500, and Lay and BCMF are asking for your support to fund the surgery. Lay shared, "I want to stay in the refugee camp. If I have the opportunity to do so, I would love to be resettled in another country.”
Juan, an 11-month-old boy from Bolivia, lives with his mother and five older siblings in a neighborhood in the mountains above La Paz. Juan was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which 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 making it difficult for him to gain weight. To address Juan's condition, congenital heart surgery is the only viable treatment option. Skilled doctors at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría will perform the surgery by closing the hole in his heart using a patch. However, due to Juan's low weight, the surgeons have determined that it is unsafe to proceed with the procedure. As a result, he will be hospitalized for several weeks before the surgery to receive proper nutritional support, enabling him to gain weight and prepare for the operation. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is actively seeking your generous support to raise $1,500 to support Juan's cardiac care. Your contribution will play a vital role in enabling Juan to receive the life-changing congenital heart surgery he urgently requires. By partnering with Haiti Cardiac Alliance and making a financial contribution, you can make a significant difference in Juan's life and overall well-being. Juan's mother shared, "I am very hopeful that after this surgery, my son will gain appetite and start growing and gaining weight more normally!"
Meet 42-year-old Khin who lives with her husband in Thailand. Both Khin and her husband work in a wool factory. In March 2023, Khin felt overwhelmingly tired. She received an injection at a local clinic, but she didn't feel any better. A few days later she became dizzy, and fainted. Subsequently, she developed back pain and gastrointestinal issues. She has now been diagnosed with a myoma - or uterine fibroid - and advised to have her uterus and cervix surgically removed, to prevent future health complications. Khin is scheduled to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy on May 25th, at Mae Sot General Hospital. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once she has recovered, Khin's overall health should improve, and she will be free of the pain that currently lives with. Khin said: “When I first heard that I would need surgery, I felt stressed because I have no money. But when I learned that I have a donor, I felt relieved. In the future, I will continue to work in the factory.”
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."
Aung, who is 25 years old, lives with his mother, brother and two sisters in Burma. His mother is retired, and his brother is a security guard. One of his sisters works at a bicycle factory, while the other one works for a local company. Aung is currently unemployed because of his poor health. In October 2022, Aung fell ill and developed a persistent cough. He went to a charity hospital, where he was told that he had a heart infection. After he was treated with injected antibiotics, the doctor told him that he needed an echocardiogram, because he might have a heart condition due to the infection. After the echo was completed, he was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation, and he was referred to a cardiologist in Yangon. Aung went to see the cardiologist, who told him that he would need surgery, which he could not afford. On December 25, 2022, both of Aung's legs and his arms became swollen, and he was unable to sleep. He went to a private hospital, where it was determined that he would need surgery as soon as possible. Currently, Aung feels extremely fatigued, experiences chest pains, and has difficulty breathing. Sometimes, his legs and his arms become swollen, and he cannot sleep well at night. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 for the mitral valve replacement surgery that Aung needs. The procedure is currently scheduled to take place on April 2nd, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. "In the future, I want to work as a taxi driver, because I believe that I could easily earn money doing this [in the city]," said Aung.
Nan is a 41-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband and two children. She is a homemaker and her husband is a day laborer. They also have a small garden where they grow betel nut and trees and raise cows, goats and chickens. She loves to take care of her garden during her free times. Nan was referred to BCMF to treat her severe heart condition (ASD) at Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH). After she arrived at our medical partners "BCMF-B.K. Kee Patient House" on the evening of March 2nd, she felt weak and tired. She also felt dizzy, had a headache and difficulty breathing. During the night, she suffered a seizure and fell semi-conscious. BCMF staff rushed her to the emergency room at CMH. Nan underwent a CT scan of her head and was diagnosed with intracranial hemorrhage. The doctor then planned to perform surgery on her immediately. She had a seizure and is semi-conscious. Nan is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on March 3rd. Her family is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Nan’s husband said, "I am hoping for a good outcome. I hope she can get through this. Thank you for helping us. I do not know what to do right now. I am praying for her.”
Valentina is a beautiful 2-year-old girl from Bolivia. She lives in La Paz with her parents, who are a teacher and a homemaker respectively, and two older siblings. Valentina was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. As a result blood leaks through this hole, leaving her weak and short of breath. Our medical partner HCA is helping Valentina access life-saving cardiac treatment so she can grow up healthy. During surgery, doctors will use a patch to close the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Her family is raising $1,500 to support her surgery and care. Valentina's mother shared: "Our family is very thankful that Valentina can have this opportunity for her heart to be healed."
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.”
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.”