Hong joined Watsi on August 8th, 2013. Eight years ago, Hong joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Hong's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Htee, a one-year-old boy from Burma, to fund surgery to heal his severe liver condition.
Hong has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 12 countries.
Hong has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 12 countries.
Htee is a one-year-old toddler who lives with his parents and his grandfather in Burma. His mother is a homemaker and his father and grandfather grow betel nuts, bananas, durian, chili and sesame on their own land. The income they earn from selling their crops is not enough to cover their daily expenses and pay for basic health care. Earlier this year, Htee had a fever and runny nose. He received treatment at a local clinic but his fever did not subside. A few days later, his skin and eyes turned yellow and he developed blue spots all over his body. He was brought to a hospital in Burma, where the doctor told Htee's parents that he has a problem with his liver and would need surgery at another treatment center. Unable to pay for travel and treatment, his parents brought him home. One day, a neighbor's referral led them to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. BCMF is now seeking $1,500 to help fund a hepatoportoenterostomy, which will allow for bile drainage and relieve Htee's worrying symptoms. “I am happy to hear the organization (BCMF) will help support my son’s treatment. Thank you to the donors," said Htee's father.
Sai Laung, who is 18 years old, lives with her parents and her younger sister in Shan State in Burma. Sai Laung used to be an agriculture day laborer, but she stopped working in July 2022 due to her illness. In her free time, Sai Laung likes to read Buddhist books and study English online. During the first week of July 2022, Sai Laung began to feel very tired and she developed a fever. At first, she thought it was because she was working a lot, but when she had difficulty breathing a few days later, her mother brought her to the hospital. She was told she might have a congenital heart condition, and the doctor recommended that she have an echocardiogram to confirm the diagnosis. Sai Laung had an echocardiogram at another hospital, confirming that she has a ventricular septal defect, or a hole in her heart. The doctor advised her to go to the Pun Hlaing Hospital in Yangon to see a cardiologist, which Sai Laung did towards the end of November 2022. During that visit, the doctor also diagnosed her with aortic valve regurgitation, and told her that she needs surgery. Currently, Sai Laung has difficulty breathing and is only able to walk short distances before experiencing fatigue. Performing ordinary household chores like cooking or cleaning is exhausting for her. Her lips turn blue, and she has sharp chest pain, fever, and difficulty sleeping. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, has stepped in to assist Sai Laung access the care that she needs. On March 7th, she will undergo surgery to repair her heart at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Now Sai Laung and her family need your help to raise the $1,500 to fund this life-saving procedure. “I have felt so sad since I was diagnosed with this [heart disease]. I need surgery and we have no money. I look at my parents and I pity them because they work so hard to help me get treatment. I want to recover quickly and go back to work so I can help my parents with the extra income. When I learned that there are donors who will help pay for my treatment cost, I felt so happy," said Sai Luang.
Tumaini is an 11-month-old girl, daughter to small-scale subsistence farmers, and sister to eight siblings. She is active and attached to her mother. Her mother enjoys playing with her as she laughs and smiles when spoken to in their native language. Tumaini has clubfoot on both feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Tumaini and her family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 24th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Tumaini's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Tumaini’s mother says, “I was worried when I saw my daughter’s leg. I am hopeful when I heard there is treatment for the condition my child has.”
Htwe is a 12-year-old student who lives with his uncle's family in Thailand. His parents are day laborers in Bangkok, who send his uncle money every month to support him. In his free time, Htwe enjoys playing football with his friends. Two years ago, Htwe's right eyelid became swollen and red. By July 2021, the swelling had worsened and he felt a small mass in his right eyelid. He also developed double vision. He visited several clinics and was given oral medications and eye drops, but he never felt better. Currently, Htwe has redness and swelling in his right eyelid, and sometimes his eye will water. He also has blurry vision and feels uncomfortable with the mass pressing on his eyelid. Due to his blurry vision, he finds it hard to study and do his homework. Eventually, his aunt took Htwe to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH), where he was diagnosed with a cyst in his right eyelid. The doctor told him that he will need to have surgery to remove the cyst. Thanks to our partner's care center, Htwe will have the cyst surgically removed on May 11th. Now his family needs your help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Htwe said, “I want to be a football player when I grow up.” (His family hopes he'll become a medic himself one day and can help others in need!)
Emmanuel, who is 19 years old, is the third born in a family of five children. He lives in Kansau village in Kenya. While Emmanuel was healthy at birth, when he was four or five years old, he began to experience convulsions. His parents brought him to Kenyatta National Hospital, where he was diagnosed with hemiplegic CP, a condition where the brain has been impacted and results in the paralysis of one side of the body. In addition, Emmanuel has clubfoot of his left foot, which makes it difficult for him to wear shoes and to walk easily. Fortunately, Emmanuel traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Emmanuel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk more easily, and to resume his vocational studies classes at Machakos School, which he so enjoys. Emmanuel said: “I would love to see my foot corrected so that I can continue with my studies and start my business in the future.”
Samuel is a 21-year-old talkative young man. He is the second born in a family of five children. His father passed away when he was four years old, so his mother had to raise him and his siblings by herself. She does jobs on tea farms to provide for the family. When Samuel was two years old, his abdomen started to swell, which was very painful for him. His mother took him to the hospital and he was given some medication and sent back home. The medication did not work as expected. He was then taken to a different hospital for examination. He was given more medication and after some time he seemed to be better. The stomachache did not go away completely, however. Samuel and his mother shared that over the years, he has had stomachaches and gotten used to taking pain medication. In 2017 when Samuel was in high school, the pain worsened and his abdomen started to swell again. He had to leave school as a result. His mother took him to a hospital in Meru where he was admitted for three months. While in the hospital, scans and a biopsy were done to determine what the problem was. He was given a colostomy, where the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall, in order to pass stool. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Samuel's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. At that time, his doctors did not manage to treat him and referred him to BethanyKids Hospital in 2018. On arrival, he was examined and admitted, as he was not in good condition. After more scans and tests, he was ultimately diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease. Since then, Samuel has undergone several surgeries with the aim of trying to better his condition. The first surgery failed, but the second was successful. He is now scheduled to undergo his last surgery to close the colostomy so that he can pass stool on his own again and live a more active life. Earlier in his treatment, Samuel's parents had enrolled in the national health insurance program (NHIF), which helped them pay for most of his hospital bills. BethanyKids also chipped in on occasion to help with some of the bills. Unfortunately, for his last surgery, NHIF has rejected the request since he is beyond the age to be covered by his mother’s insurance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping him to undergo treatment and needs $1,084 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Samuel. The surgery is scheduled to take place on November 11th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Samuel’s Mother says, “For years now, I have been very worried about my son, but God has seen us through.”
Meet Katweensly, a 16 year old student, living with her mother and siblings in a small town in Haiti, near the border with the Dominican Republic. Katweensly, who is a junior in high school, particularly enjoys her math and science classes. As a young child, Katweensly suffered a bout of rheumatic fever, which damaged one of the four valves in her heart. As a result, her heart cannot pump blood efficiently through her body, leaving her feeling weak and short of breath. Thanks to the help of our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, Katweensly is scheduled to travel to the Dominican Republic for surgery, which is scheduled for November 10th, at Hospital CEDIMAT. There, doctors will first try to repair the damaged valve. If they are unable to do this, they will implant an artificial valve. Another organization, Mitral Foundation, is helping supporting the cost of the surgery, but Katweensly's family needs an additional $1,500 to pay for lab tests, medicines, and follow up appointments that are a part of her overall treatment. In addition, support will help cover the travel costs and ensure a social worker from Haiti Cardiac Alliance can support the family during treatment in the Dominican Republic. Katweensly said: "I am feeling very happy to finally have the chance to have my heart repaired after waiting for so long."
Vanna is a 38-year-old former construction worker from Cambodia. He is married and has a five-year-old son who has just started public school. His wife works in a local lamp factory. He enjoys reading the news, fishing, and playing football with friends In July of 2021, Vanna was in a motor vehicle accident in which he suffered loss of consciousness, trauma/paralysis to his right shoulder, and a fractured humerus. He had a fracture repair of his humerus done, and spent over a month in hospital. But he has also been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. Vanna has no movement of his right shoulder due to trapezius nerve damage and cannot bend his elbow or move his fingers. He is unable to work to support his young family and is in chronic pain. Vanna traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. This is the only center in the whole country where this treatment is available. On September 29th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he hopes to use his shoulder and arm again to find a job in construction. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $709 to fund this procedure. Vanna said: "After surgery, I hope my right shoulder will have movement, I have no pain, and can work for my family again."
Dibora is a smiley and playful 13-month-old baby girl from Ethiopia. Her father is a farmer and her mother is a housewife. She has three older siblings and loves to eat and to play with her family. Dibora was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. Due to her condition, she developed a bowel obstruction and an emergency colostomy procedure was performed. She has had a number of complications due to this procedure, and requires an additional procedure to correct her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Dibora receive treatment. On September 8th, she will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. After her recovery, Dibora will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Now, she and her family need help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. Dibora's mother shared, "Once Dibora has recovered and is healed of this condition, I want to take care of her and her siblings well."
Josias is a three-year-old boy from Haiti. He lives with his parents and older brother. He is a happy and playful toddler who loves to smile and play! Josias 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, Josias has been experiencing developmental delays. He cannot walk or talk yet. Without treatment, Josias will continue experiencing severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Josias at Hospital Bernard Mevs to 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 July 20th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Josias's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Josias will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Josias's family has shared that they hope this surgery will allow him to be more independent.
Chrismarlie is a 13-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three siblings in a city on the northern coast of Haiti. Her father is a school administrator, and her mother is a homemaker. Chrismarlie shared that she enjoys going to school and listening to music with her friends. Chrismarlie has a cardiac condition called pulmonic stenosis, which means one of her heart valves is too tight, making it difficult for blood to pass through and leading to heart failure. The surgery that she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately, Chrismarlie will be able to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 29th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which the surgeons will widen the heart valve so that blood can flow through it more easily. Chrismarlie's family is raising funds to cover the costs of her surgery prep, as our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is contributing funds to help cover the cost of surgery. The $1,500 will support her surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-ups and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Chrismarlie and her family overseas. Chrismarlie said, "I would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to fix my heart problem!"
Melodie is an 11-month-old baby from Haiti. She lives in Port-au-Prince with her mother, father, and two older sisters. Her father is a school principal, and her mother is a homemaker. Melodie has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. There is a hole between the two lower chambers of Melodie's heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Melodie also has Down Syndrome. Since the care she needs is not available in Haiti, Melodie will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On April 18th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in Melodie's heart using a patch. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for the surgery. Melodie's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Melodie's family overseas. Melodie's mother shared: "Our family has been very scared about whether our daughter will have surgery in time. We are very happy to know that the date is almost here!"