AJ joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Eight years ago, AJ joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. AJ's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Joan, a farmer from Uganda, to fund thyroid surgery so she can breath and sleep easily again.
AJ has funded healthcare for 117 patients in 13 countries.
AJ has funded healthcare for 117 patients in 13 countries.
Joan is a farmer and a mother from Rukungiri district in southwest Uganda. She is married and is a mother of six, with two sons, both studying in school, and four daughters, all of whom are married and small-scale farmers. She managed to complete seventh grade in primary school but never proceeded due to a lack of money for school fees. Joan and her husband do farming and grow food crops for home consumption, but often sell off the surplus to generate an income for their family. Five years ago, Joan began to experience troubling symptoms, including a lot of pain; she can’t turn her head sideways; she feels congested with difficulty breathing; she gets fatigued easily and has shortness of breath whenever she lies down to sleep. She first went to Kisiizi hospital, where she was diagnosed and was asked to first pay for her surgery, which she couldn’t raise, but when she was oriented about a surgical support program, she decided to come to see if she could be supported. She was diagnosed with a goiter and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Joan receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on March 29th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $252, and she and her family need help raising money. Joan says, "I am really in deep pain, but I hope to get healed once I receive this surgery."
Chhon is a 51-year-old fisherman. He is married and has two sons, two daughters, and three grandchildren. His wife helps take care of their grandchildren. He enjoys Thai boxing matches. One year ago, Chhon developed a cataract in his left eye, causing him photophobia and blurry vision. For most of his adult life, he has fished the rivers near his home but has had to stop because, due to his declining vision, he cannot manage his boat or nets in the bright sun. He and his wife have to be supported by their children, and he shared that he's feeling depressed that he can no longer sell fish to support their living. When Chhon learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On March 9th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery, and an intraocular lens implant in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. "I hope after surgery I can go back to fishing again to support my living," Chhon shared.
Sa is a 36-year-old woman who likes to sew clothes. She also enjoys doing household chores and making delicious curries. Her husband is a nightguard at a hospital. Since 2015, Sa started to experience pain in her back and her pelvic area. Since December, her pain has worsened which makes it hard for her to sleep. She shared that she is feeling increasingly worried and depressed since she first experienced the pain and realized that she was unwell. Watsi donors helped support a CT scan and doctors have now diagnosed her with bilateral ovarian cancer. To help treat her condition, her doctors advised Sa to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Sa's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Sa is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on February 25th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she is hopeful that she'll no longer be in pain and will have a better shot at recovering from cancer. Sa said, "I was very worried when I heard that I needed surgery and that it would cost a lot of money. I was worried that if the donors stopped helping me, where would I come up with enough money to pay for my surgery. I could not sleep last night, constantly worrying about my treatment cost. When I called BCMF's staff and they told me that donors could pay for my surgery, I felt so much better. Thank you everyone for helping me."
Tol is a 51-year-old rice farmer with one son, one daughter, and five grandchildren. Tol lives with her eldest daughter who also works as a farmer. In her free time, she enjoys watching the news on television and listening to the monks pray on the radio. Two years ago, Tol developed a cataract in her left eye causing her blurry vision, sensitivity to light, and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces. She is also worried about falling when walking, so she is not able to go places on her own. When Tol learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled far across her country for eight and a half hours seeking treatment. On February 9th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Tol shared, "I hope I can see well again so I can return to planting rice and crops and playing with my grandchildren."
Lek is a 68-year-old who is married with three sons, three daughters, and many grandchildren. She lives with her husband and one of their sons, and they are vegetable farmers in Kampot Province in rural Cambodia. When she is not cooking, cleaning, or selling vegetables at the local market, Lek finds it calming to listen to the local monks pray on the radio. Two years ago, the retina of Lek's left eye detached, causing her deteriorating vision. She noticed a change in her eye, but could not afford to see anyone to help fix it. When Lek learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and half hours seeking treatment. On January 12th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $648 procedure. "I hope after surgery my eye will get better. I can look after my grandchildren, cook for them, and walk them to school," shared Lek.
Deborah is a nine-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her parents, several siblings, and her grandparents. She enjoys singing and listening to music in her free time. Deborah has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, where a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. Blood leaks through this hole without properly circulating through her body, leaving her feeling sick and weak. To receive treatment, Deborah will fly to Dominican Republic. On March 2nd, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in her heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is also contributing $8,000 to pay for her surgery. Deborah's family needs help raising money to fund the costs of her surgery prep. The $1,500 prep bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner who will accompany Deborah's family overseas for her surgery. Deborah's father shared, "our family has been praying for years for this surgery to happen, and would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping!"
Audrey is a three-year-old toddler from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three older siblings in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, and has fun playing dress up and going to church with her family. Audrey has Down Syndrome and a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. This entails a hole in the wall of her heart that separates the two lower chambers. Audrey is traveling to receive treatment at our medical partner's care center, Hospital CEDIMAT, in the Dominican Republic. On February 22nd, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will sew a patch over the hole in her heart. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is also contributing $5,000 to help pay for her surgery. Audrey's family needs help funding her pre and post operation costs. The $1,500 bill will cover her labs, medications, checkups, and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment for the social workers from Haiti Cardiac Alliance who will accompany Audrey's family as they travel overseas where she can finally access the surgery she needs. Audrey's mother says, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to heal our daughter."
Srey Nath is a bright young student who loves to read books and wants to be a teacher when she grows up. She has two older brothers and lives with her parents who are rainy day rice farmers. They also grow vegetables and keep cows and chickens to feed their family and make extra money at the local market. Over the past several years, Srey Nath's back has curved which limits her movement and lung expansion. She has trouble standing up straight or walking, and is easily winded when she is active due to difficulty expanding her lungs. She shared that she feels embarrassed with her friends and very shy about how her back looks. She loves school but doesn't want to attend now because of the abnormal curvature of her spine, and the chronic pain it causes. Srey Nath's neighbors told her family to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre for a diagnosis and treatment. Surgeons have diagnosed her with scoliosis of the thoracic spine. She needs expanding rods in her back to straighten her spine as she grows to avoid any further medical problems. Srey Nath and her parents traveled two and a half hours to seek treatment and need help raising $1,500 for this specialty surgery. Srey Nath's mother said: "My daughter needs this surgery to grow normally and become a teacher. I hope we can raise the money so she can fulfill her dream someday."
Pary is a 30-year-old food seller. She has seven siblings, who are all married, and lives at home with her parents. Her mother works as a food seller as well, while her father works as a farmer. Pary's favorite hobbies are reading books, searching to learn new things on Google, and being active and getting exercise. Since she was young, Pary has had a mass on her lower right jaw. She had a biopsy, underwent surgery at a local hospital, and saw a specialist surgeon. However, she still feels unwell and experiences discomfort and low self-esteem as a result of the condition. When Pary learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled there seeking treatment. On December 1st, she will undergo a mandible reconstruction to remove the mass on her lower jaw. CSC is requesting $657 to fund Pary's procedure. Pary shared that she hopes her right mandible will get better and her self-esteem will improve as a result of her surgery.
Brian is a 20-year-old small-scale farmer. His parents work as farmers and he has five siblings, some of whom are still in school. He's started working as a small-scale farming to help make ends meet. Six years ago, Brian developed a small painless swelling on his right wrist. Whenever he works for long periods of time, he is unable to use his wrist. He is worried about his condition and how it will impact him if it continues to worsen. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Brian to receive treatment. After examination at AMH's care center, surgery is recommended. On October 16th, surgeons will remove the mass. Now, Brian needs help to raise $145 to fund this procedure. Brian shared, "I hope that the surgery will help remove the cyst and allow me to use my hand with ease from now on."
Elizabeth a charming and very happy 4-year-old girl. She's the only born child to her mother who passed away after giving birth to Elizabeth. She was then taken in by her grandmother who has raised her since she was quite young. Elizabeth has not started school yet but her grandmother hopes to enroll her next year for school. Elizabeth has been diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. Her legs bow 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 feels pain after walking for a while and it is keeping her from being as active as she'd like to be. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Elizabeth. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Elizabeth's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Elizabeth’s grandmother says: “She plays and does most children's activities despite her legs being curved. But it hurts me to see her fall down every time she tries to run and how she walks with a gait. If I had enough money I would have tried to seek treatment for her.”
Kidus is a cute baby boy who loves to walk. His dad enjoys walking with him and holding his hand, and Kidus loves it when his mom carries him on her back. He also loves to watch cartoons. Kidus's dad and mom love each other so much and have a happy life together. Kidus's father is a tailor. His income is very limited and barely enough to sustain the family through the month, but love fills their home, and their lives, with happiness. When Kidus was born his parents learned that he had bladder exstrophy, a rare condition where children are born with an open bladder. His parents faced a challenge that they did not expect in their life, but they are facing it with courage. Kidus needs surgery to perform a procedure to divert his urination to the anal opening & make a pouch bladder from the bowel. He will undergo this surgery on September 28th with our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) and his family needs $1,500 for the procedure. Kidus's dad said, “For thirteen days after his birth we worked hard to get him treatment but no one in the health centres could help us. Some health workers gave us hope and some health workers did not give us any hope." He is hopeful for after surgery, “After he gets his surgery and recovers I want to tell him the truth about his condition and what we went through as a result of it when he grows up. Also, I want to tell him how he got the treatment, about the people who helped him, how God helped him and gave him this healthy life. I will tell him this so he grows up grateful and he lives to support and help others. I want him to be good and caring and God-fearing. I want him to be there for others. I believe kindness is contagious.”