Grace joined Watsi on November 12th, 2015. Eight years ago, Grace joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Grace's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Kyu, a high school teacher from Burma, to fund heart surgery.
Grace has funded healthcare for 91 patients in 13 countries.
Grace has funded healthcare for 91 patients in 13 countries.
Kyu is a 43-year-old teacher from Burma. She lives with her mother, husband, and two sons in Yangon Division, Burma. Kyu’s mother is retired, and her two sons are students. Kyu’s husband works as a motorcycle taxi driver. Kyu is a high school teacher who conducts classes from her home. Their combined monthly income is sufficient to cover their basic living expenses but they are not able to save money. When they have health issues, they rely on a nearby clinic for medical attention. In her free time, she enjoys reading books and she'd like to be able to continue teaching her students at home once she feels better. Kyu was born with an atrial septal defect (ASD), a condition in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of the heart. Sometimes ASDs may close on their own during development, but sometimes this condition requires surgery to repair the hole and prevent long-term damage to the heart and lungs. Kyu is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on February 4th to correct the atrial septal defect and improve her quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to support the cost of Kyu's procedure and care. Kyu said “Since my heart condition worsened, I couldn’t teach my students due to my fatigue. Now I felt very happy when I learned that the BCMF organisation would support my surgery. Without the help of these donors, I couldn’t afford the treatment. I would like to be thankful to all donors and BCMF for supporting my surgery.”
Mai is a 46-year-old mother from Thailand. She resides with her husband, and son in a refugee camp along the Thai-Burma border. She works as a seamstress, her husband sells snacks and her son is a tutor. Mai has been unwell since 2015 and doctors advise her to undergo a hysterectomy. If left untreated, Mai's pain and symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Mai said, "I felt very happy when I found out that Watsi would support my treatment. Thank you so much for your assistance. It means a lot to me and my family.”
Han Thar is a 45-year-old single mother from Thailand. Han Thar lives with her two sons and a daughter. As she is a homemaker, her family's sole income comes from her eldest son, who works as a day laborer. Her other children are attending school. Han Thar enjoys spending quality time with her family. Since 2020, Han Thar has been experiencing significant back pain and abdominal discomfort when sitting and lying down. She has been diagnosed with leiomyoma uterus. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Han Thar's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Han Thar is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on December 7th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, requests $1,500 to cover her procedure and care costs. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain and discomfort. Han Thar said, "When I heard that I could receive surgery with the help of Watsi and the donors, my children and I were overjoyed. There are no words to express how the Burma Children Medical Fund is helping me. I promise I will do my best to take care of myself after my surgery."
Nyakek is a beautiful three-month-old baby from Sudan. She was born at home, and her mother immediately noticed a large, open swelling on the lower part of her back. The midwives recommended that Nyakek be brought to a nearby missionary hospital, where she was diagnosed with spina bifida. This is a neural tube defect, where the spine and spinal cord don't fully form, leading to infection, lower limb paralysis, and developmental delays. A missionary doctor at the hospital immediately linked them to our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH), which was able to refer them to our partner hospital in Kenya. Plans were put together for how she would travel to Kenya for treatment. Where their comes from in Sudan, the area has very poor roads and it would not have been possible for them to travel to Juba to be airlifted to Kenya. Instead, the missionary doctor organized for them to board a helicopter that visits the area once a week to deliver supplies. They were taken to Juba where they boarded another flight to Kenya. Upon arrival at our partner's care center, Nyakek was examined and they have started planning for the urgent surgery she needs. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Nyakek's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 9th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. This procedure will hopefully spare Nyakek from the risks associated with her condition, allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Nyakek’s mother said: “When I saw the swelling, I was very stressed as I had not seen such a thing before. I immediately got worried about my daughter.”
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."
Kenan, who is two months old, lives in the mountains near La Paz, Bolivia. His father is a gardener, while his mother sells fruit door to door. Kenan was born with two holes in and near his heart: one between the heart's two lower chambers, and the other between two major blood vessels next to his heart. Blood leaks through these holes, making it difficult for him to breathe and to gain weight. As a result, Kenan has been hospitalized on oxygen and nutritional support since he was born. He also has Down syndrome. On August 4th, doctors at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría will sew the holes closed so that blood can no longer leak through them. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of Kenan's surgery and care. Kenan's mother said: "Our family is praying that once Kenan's heart is fixed, he will finally be able to come home from the hospital!"
Anastasia is a 12-month-old baby girl from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three older siblings in a small village in eastern Haiti where her parents are both farmers. Anastasia has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, meaning that a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Anastasia also has Down syndrome. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) is helping Anastasia which is especially challenging as the treatment she needs is not available within Haiti. On August 2nd, she will fly to the Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole with a patch so that blood can no longer leak through it. HCA is subsidizing $8,000 of the cost of transportation and treatment, and Anastasia's family is asking for $1,500 to help to fund the costs of surgery prep, labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It will support passport obtainment and the social workers from HCA who will accompany Anastasia's family overseas. Anastasia's mother shared, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to fix our daughter's heart."
Ya is a 41-year-old woman from Burma. She currently lives with her father who is retired, her brother who is a student, and her son who works on the family rice farm with her. Their farming sustains their family, as they have no other source of income. They also forage for plants and vegetables from the forest. In her free time, Ya enjoys weaving traditional Karen (her ethnic community) bags. As a result of COVID-19 and the February 2021 coup, it is no longer feasible for Ya’s family to have traditional jobs. Her family faces extreme instability due to ongoing fighting in their area. Often, they must escape to nearby forests to avoid the conflict. They spend around a week at a time displaced in the forests. After the fighting has moved, they return to their village. Recently they had to sell their two cows to support themselves. In September 2020, Ya began experiencing back pain, and it was uncomfortable for her to walk and do regular activities because she cannot put pressure on her abdomen. She was diagnosed with myoma, or uterine fibroids. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Ya's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Ya is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on July 10th with the help of our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), who is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Ya will no longer be in pain and will be able to walk without discomfort and work on the farm with her son. Ya said, “I want to get the surgery and recover quickly so I can go back to my family and help with the farm.” She is not sure what the future will hold as the fighting in her village is still happening, but she said, “I just want to be happy and stay with my family for the rest of my life.”
Sephora, a 4-year-old girl with Down syndrome from Haiti, loves listening to music and drawing with crayons. She lives with her parents and three older siblings in a neighborhood in Port-au-Prince. Sephora has a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus. Because of this condition, a hole exists between two blood vessels near her heart. Blood leaks through this hole, leaving her weak and short of breath. Sephora needs to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive cardiac treatment on May 29th. First, the doctors will perform tests to determine if the hole near her heart can be safely closed or whether it is better to manage the condition with medication. If the tests show a good result, the surgeons will close the hole using a device attached to the end of a catheter. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $6,000 to pay for Sephora's surgery. Sephora's family also needs help with her $1,500 surgery prep costs. This cost covers all her labs, medicines, check-ups, and follow-up appointments. It also covers the cost of passports and social workers accompanying Sephora's family overseas. Sephora's mother said, "I am very happy to know that my daughter finally has the chance to have her heart fixed!"
Four-year-old Brighton is a pre-primary pupil from Kenya. His father works as a casual laborer while his mother is a homemaker, who takes care of their three children. The family is currently living in a temporary, makeshift shelter after they were displaced from their permanent home by flooding of the nearby Lake Baringo. On November 19, 2022, Brighton tripped over a piece of wood and fell onto an open flame in the cooking area of the family's shelter. He sustained burns to his forehead and both of his hands. As a result of his injuries, Brighton is in pain and has been unable to attend school. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Brighton to access treatment. On April 26th, surgeons at AIC Kijabe Hospital will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to prevent his wounds from becoming infected. The procedure will also help Brighton in regaining the ability to use his hands again and return to school. Now, Brighton and his family need your help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Brighton's father said: “This kid is so silent. He did not even scream when he got burnt. He has not been able to go to school due to the wounds he sustained. He needs this treatment to stop infection in the wounds. ”
Kyi is a 57-year-old woman, living with her husband in Burma. They shared that together they do not have children and they love to dedicate their time to helping others in their community. Kyi's husband volunteers with the Karen Forestry Department, helps with household chores, and grows rice and vegetables, while also raising chickens for them to eat. Kyi works in a medical clinic helping patients and is training in emergency obstetric care in Thailand. Kyi experiences back and abdominal pain, fatigue and weakness, and other symptoms. Doctors determined that Kyi suffers from gallstones; she has been advised to have her gallbladder removed to heal her symptoms and prevent further complications with her health in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Kyi is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on April 7th, at Mae Sot General Hospital. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Kyi's procedure and care. Kyi is determined to have a big impact in her community and shared: "I want to be healthy so that I can devote my mind, body, and work to fully serving my people until my last breath.”
Daniel is a 10-year-old student from Ethiopia. He is in second grade and loves school. His favorite subject is English. He also loves playing football and games with friends, eating fruits and eggs with injera. He is the fifth child in the family with four older brothers. Both parents are daily laborers on a farm and get income by sharing the profit during harvest with the landowner. They use the income to feed the family and also sell some of the produce to buy other goods for the house. During the rainy season, they engage in other labor work such as chopping wood, gardening and delivery of different goods. Even though their family income is sufficient to support the basic needs of their family, it is a challenge to afford Daniel's surgery. Daniel was born with hypospadias, a congenital disease that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms. Earlier he had two surgeries with Bethany Kids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM). For the third surgery, he had to wait for four years. The wait made him drop out of school and has affected his mental wellbeing. Fortunately, Daniel is now scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 28th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Daniel's dad said “I will be happy if my son completely heals and becomes free from shame. I am eager to send him back to school.”