Dónal joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven years ago, Dónal joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Dónal's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Kalar, a 53-year-old woman from Burma, to fund gallbladder removal surgery.
Dónal has funded healthcare for 90 patients in 12 countries.
Dónal has funded healthcare for 90 patients in 12 countries.
Kalar is a 53-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her mother and daughter in Htantabin Township, Yangon Division village. Kalar used to sell vegetables, but she stopped in October because her condition was worsening. Kalar's mother is a homemaker. Kalar's daughter left school three years ago because she couldn't afford the school fees. Currently, she is working in a restaurant. Their monthly income is not enough for their daily expenses, and they have to borrow money from their friends to make ends meet and pay for basic medical costs. In 2017, Kalar's upper abdomen was in pain, and she went to a hospital in the village. There, she received an ultrasound, and the doctor told her that she had a small stone in her gall bladder and she would need medication to reduce the stone. She felt much better after taking the medication, and she didn't go to any clinic or hospital after that. In October 2023, Kalar's symptoms returned, and she visited the hospital in the town where she received the ultrasound. At the hospital, the doctor confirmed that Kalar had a large gallstone and would require surgery to heal. She could not afford to pay for the surgery, so she received medication and returned home. Her condition gradually got worse. Kalar has not been eating or sleeping well and is in pain. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Kalar will be able to undergo gallbladder removal surgery on November 18th. BCMF requests $1,487 to cover Kalar's procedure and care costs. Kalar said, "I was upset because I couldn't work and support my mother and daughter. Now, I am so happy! I want to say thank you to all of the donors for supporting my surgery."
Emelita is a loving grandmother from the Philippines. Emelita has five children and is currently living with one of them. When she was younger, she worked hard as a laundrywoman to make ends meet for her family. Now that she is physically weaker due to her age, she takes care of her grandchildren and helps her daughter with the household chores. Three years ago, Emelita began to experience troubling symptoms, including severe stomach pain, upper back pain, fatigue, and rapid exhaustion. Whenever she feels her symptoms, she cannot perform her day-to-day tasks. She also knows that her daughter and grandchildren worry about her condition and are affected whenever she is in pain. After seeking treatment, Emelita has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Emelita is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on October 14th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,128 to cover the cost of Emelita's surgery and care. Emelita says, "I am very grateful for this surgery opportunity because it will help me and my family. I feel like I have been a burden to them, especially when my symptoms act up. This surgery will enable me to regain my ability to do my day-to-day tasks and household activities to help my family."
Mar is a 56-year-old woman who lives with her family in a refugee camp located on the Thai-Burma border. They sell vegetables to earn income. During her free time, Mar enjoys reading religious books. Since late August, Mar has had an incisional hernia at the side of her previous caesarean section scar. The scar bulged from her abdomen, and was accompanied by significant pain and vomiting. This hernia causes pain and discomfort in her abdomen which worsens with physical activity. It hinders her ability to work to support her family. Fortunately, she will be able to undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Mar's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 21 and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Mar said, “I just want to return to a normal life, free from worries brought on by this condition. After surgery, I will be able to work more and contribute more money to my family's income. Thank you.”
Meshack is a six-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the first born in a family of two and is currently in primary school. Meshack's father works as a casual laborer while his mother stays home to take care of Meshack and his sibling. Meshack was born with bilateral genu varus, a condition where his legs bow outward at the knees. It's difficult for him to walk, and he cannot run or play football with his friends. Due to his family's financial constraints, Meshack has never been to any hospital for review. When his family heard about Cure Mobile clinic near their home, they brought Meshack for a consultation. After their visit, Meshack was scheduled for a procedure to correct his genu varus. However, his family needs support funding his treatment Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On August 16th, Meshack will undergo Bilateral PTO and Medial Plateau Elevation at AMH's care center. After treatment, it will be easier for Meshack to walk and play with his friends. Meshack's father said, “As his father, I would love to see my son walking normally and upright like other children and continuing with his education without interruption.”
Pendo, a baby girl, resides in the Ngorongoro region of Tanzania. Her family follows the Maasai tradition and sustains themselves primarily through subsistence farming and livestock rearing. Pendo was born with clubfoot, a congenital condition that causes her foot to be twisted inward and downward, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Unfortunately, due to limited medical facilities and awareness in her village, the condition went unnoticed by doctors at birth. Pendo's mother noticed her bent leg a few days later. Despite the concern of the village grandmothers, her father initially believed it was part of God's plan and resisted any intervention. However, during an outreach program conducted by our medical team in her village, Pendo's mother learned about the treatment options available for her daughter. Realizing the potential for improved quality of life for Pendo, she sought medical assistance and brought her to our partner's center. Fortunately, Pendo is now being seen by our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, requests $935 to fund Pendo's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she'll be able to walk easily as she grows and live a full life ahead. Pendo's mother says, "Thank you for the chance to receive the treatment for my daughter. I hope her future will be good."
Saw Ywa, who is an eight year old fourth grader, lives with his parents, his two sisters, and a brother, in Mae Ra Ma Luang Refugee Camp in Thailand. His mother helps at home, while his father works for an organization in the refugee camp. Saw Ywa loves to go to school, and to play football. When Saw Ywa was two months old, his mother noticed a concerning swelling. His parents brought him to the clinic in the refugee camp, where they were told to bring Saw Ywa back when he was five years old, and at an appropriate age for surgery they were told. Over time, Saw Ywa’s parents noticed that the swelling was increasing in size. He would also experience pain sometimes. is parents brought him back to the clinic, and after another examination, Saw Ywa was diagnosed with an irreducible inguinal hernia, which would require surgery. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is seeking $1,486 to fund the hernia repair surgery that Saw Ywa needs. The procedure is currently scheduled for May 18th, at Mae Sariang Hospital. After he has recovered, Saw Ywa should no longer suffer from the pain that he lives with now. He should also be able to walk comfortably, and to be free of the embarrassment he feels by the visible bulge in a sensitive area. Saw Ywa’s father said: “He loves to play football with his friends. But sometimes, he feels ashamed to play because his friends will make fun of him. I hope after surgery he will be free from discomfort and shame.”
Marissa, who is 48 years old, is a hardworking vegetable vendor from the Philippines. In 2022, Marissa began to experience troubling symptoms, including excruciating abdominal pain, which have made it difficult for her to continue with her daily activities. After several months of enduring the pain, Marissa finally consulted a doctor, who diagnosed her with chronic calculous cholecystitis- an inflamed gallbladder complicated by gallstones- which needs to be treated surgically. Unfortunately, even with financial help from her sons, Marissa could not afford the cost of the surgery. As a result, she deferred her treatment, hoping that her condition would improve over time. However, the pain has persisted, making it increasingly difficult for her to continue working and providing for her family. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Marissa is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on April 18th, at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, but Marissa and her family still need help raising the remaining $1,128 to cover the cost of Marissa's surgery and care, which will prevent her condition from deteriorating. Marissa shared: "We are incredibly grateful to World Surgical Foundation Philippines and WATSI for the support they are providing. Without their help, I may have continued to suffer in silence."
Zerubabel is a 17-month-old, energetic baby boy from Ethiopia. He is the only child of his mother. He already loves to run and play football with other children. Bread is his favorite food. Both of his parents currently have no income. His father used to work at Mekele University at the student's café, but lost touch with their family after the war broke out. Zerubabel's mother has no income and has moved to Addis Ababa where she stays with relatives. Zerubabel was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of cancer and infertility. A year ago, Zerubabel's mother noticed his condition but was unable to take him to the hospital sooner. The neighbor of her relatives told her about our medical parter at BKMCM and she came to the hospital with hope. The doctors have recommended surgery to treat Zerubabel, his mother is appealing for financial assistance. Fortunately, Zerubabel is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on April 4th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Zerubabel's mother said, “I look forward to seeing him completely healthy. I want to see him grow up. I hope he will be a professional football player. ”
15-year-old Min, whose parents passed away five years ago, lives with his uncle and his cousins in a village on the border of Burma and Thailand. He helps his uncle with his work as a farmer. On March 19, 2023, Min accidentally hit a stopped tractor-trailer with his motorcycle while driving at night. He was unable to move due to his pain, but people who were nearby brought him to the hospital. Currently, Min continues to live in pain and is unable to move his legs. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Min will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones, and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for March 19th at Mae Sot General Hospital and will cost $1,500. Now Min and his family need your help to raise the money for Min's surgery, which will enable him to walk again. Min said: "I feel sorry for the accident. I want to thank you [BCMF and the donor] for helping me get treatment. I hope for full recovery. After I get treated, I will try to help my uncle who has been raising me and taking care of me all the time.”
Queen is a sweet 11-month-old from Tanzania. She is the youngest child in her family of eight children. Queen is very curious and charming; when she was at our medical partner’s care center, she could not stop playing with the other children. Her family is from a remote part of Western Tanzania, and her parents farm maize and beans. Queen’s mother shared that the recent weather changes made it hard for them to cultivate maize, and they are now dependent on their cultivation of beans. The low harvest also means there are not enough surplus crops to sell and earn money to support the family’s basic needs. Queen has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Queen’s family was able to travel to our medical partner’s care center for assistance. On February 7th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery that will allow Queen to walk easily and wear shoes as she grows up. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Queen’s mother says: “I am worried that my daughter will be so limited when she grows up. I hope she gets the treatment for her condition.”
Luz is a sweet baby from Bolivia, where she lives with her parents and two older brothers in a small mountain village. Her parents work as farmers to support their family. Luz, in addition to being diagnosed with Down Syndrome, was born with a ventricular septal defect, a heart condition where a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through the hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance who is expanding their work in Bolivia, is helping Luz receive treatment. On January 19th, Luz will undergo surgery where doctors will sew a patch over the hole, allowing for blood to flow completely through her heart and reach her lungs, obtaining oxygen and, ultimately, allowing her to grow as a healthy baby girl. Luz's family needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. From Luz's mother: "Our family is all praying that after the surgery our daughter will be stronger and healthier."
Festus is a cheerful boy who always has a friendly smile and a joyful, resilient spirit. The fifth born of six children, he is a third grader at a nearby primary school. His parents are small scale farmers who plant maize and beans for consumption and sale. Two of his siblings are in high school and the others are in primary school. His parents sell their farm produce in order to pay their school fees and manage their daily needs. Festus has had a long stay in hospital with an infected wound and multiple surgeries, two debridement surgeries and nerve repair after he sustained a deep cut in his left hand. He now needs a skin graft to cover the damaged area. The decision to perform the skin graft was recommended by his doctors because his wound has not healed after a long time. After undergoing three surgeries, Festus feels traumatized when he enters the operation theatre. His mother is worries that he might lose his hand if not treated. Their family has had to undergo counselling to promote resilience and assurance that everything will be okay, and that Festus will be able to use his hand again. After all this, the family is looking forward to the results of the surgery with excitement. His family is asking any well-wisher to support them in this time of need, as they need $1,089 to fund the skin graft. Festus's mother says, “It’s been a long journey for my son. For the last one week I haven’t slept well just thinking of his health. I hope he gets treated and will be well again.”