Mark joined Watsi on May 8th, 2014. Nine years ago, Mark joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mark's most recent donation traveled 4,500 miles to support Daw Than, a woman from Burma, to fund eye surgery so she can see again.
Mark has funded healthcare for 89 patients in 13 countries.
Mark has funded healthcare for 89 patients in 13 countries.
Daw Than is 54-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, daughter-in-law, grandson, daughter and her son-in-law. Her daughter-in-law looks after her son, while the rest of her family makes and sells different types of breakfast food from their home to earn a living. Their income is just enough for their daily expenses, but they haven't been able to save any money. Five years ago, the vision in Daw Than's left eye began to blur. In 2021 she underwent surgery to replace the lens in that eye but soon after the surgery, she developed blurred vision in her right eye. She went to the hospital last week to have her right eye checked. The doctor told her she needs to undergo lens replacement surgery on that eye. She told the doctor that their family had used all the money that had for her first surgery so she went home feeling uncertain about the future. Later on, Daw Than's neighbour told her to go to a monastery where the abbot might be able to help her access surgery. Daw Than followed the neighbour's advice and went to see the abbot. The abbot then referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing the surgery she needs. Daw Than's daughter said, "We do not have any money to pay for my mother's surgery. It is very helpful for us that the organisation and donors are hopefully willing to help pay for it."
Ko Myo lives with his mother in a village in Burma. He used to be a motorcycle taxi driver but stopped working two months ago when his health deteriorated. His mother and wife currently care for him, washing clothes and working in a clothing factory in Yangon, earning income to support their family. With the help of Watsi donors, Ko Myo underwent his second round of laser treatment in January 2020, at Mae Sot Hospital in Thailand, to breakup stones in his left kidney. He was scheduled to undergo a third round of laser treatment however, when the Thai-Burma border closed in March 2020 due to increasing COVID-19 cases, Ko Myo was not able to go back to the hospital. He felt better until the first week of December 2021 when he started experiencing a lot of pain in his waist when he sat for a long time. With the border still closed and without enough money to go to a hospital, Ko Myo sought advice. He then went with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, in Yangon to a clinic in January 2022 and was able to visit our partner's care center, Shin Par Ku Hospital. The doctor has told him he will need surgery on his left kidney to remove the stone and has scheduled him to have the procedure on February 6th. Currently, Ko Myo has little appetite and experiences pain in the left side of his back. He is eagerly awaiting surgery. He shared, "I pity my wife because she has to work hard and support me. Now, I am so happy that I will receive surgery soon," he said. "One day I want to open my own shop in the market and sew children's clothing."
Samrach is a 27-year-old clothing factory worker. He's is married with two small children. His daughter is six years old and just starting the first grade, and his son is nine months old. His wife is also a factory worker in their province. He likes to play with his children and listen to music. Ten months ago, on his way home from the factory, Samrach was in a motorcycle crash. He suffered fractures of the femur, clavicle, forearm, and multiple other injuries. He lost his left leg below the knee due to the trauma injury, and spent three months in a provincial hospital. A local taxi driver told him about the specialty care at our medical partner Children's Surgical Center (CSC). Doctors have diagnosed him with a brachial plexus injury on his left 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. He cannot lift his left shoulder, bend his elbow, or use his hand. He feels unwell and shared that he often feels very depressed that he cannot work or support his family. Samrach traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 6th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he hopes to regain the use of his arm so he can find work in the factory again. Our medical partner is requesting $696 to fund this life-changing procedure. Samrach said: "I hope this surgery will work for me, and I can start working again to have money to feed my children and make sure they go to school."
Jhonatan Mercado is a creative four-year-old from Venezuela. A year ago his family moved to Medellin in Colombia seeking for a better future for their kids. Jhonatan is an older brother in a family of two children, his little brother is one year old. Jhonatan he loves to play with his mom with Legos. He already loves soccer too. Jhonatan Mercado has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Jhonatan Mercado's family traveled to visit our Medical Partner Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 20th. Our medical partner, Clínica Noel, is requesting $1500 to fund Jhonatan Mercado's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk without pain or further complications. His mother said "We are really glad that finally we found help, we have been in different treatments since he was 6 months old but now we have a lot of faith in this procedure and in Doctor Miguel."
Arahufu is a two-year-old boy who loves football. He is the youngest child in a family of five children. Aruhufu's father works as a ‘manamba’, where his job is to call passengers onto a bus at the bus stop. When he manages to fill all the sits in the bus, he is then given some money. Arahufu was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, a condition in which his legs bow outward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has difficulty walking and running. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Arahufu. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 14th. Treatment will hopefully restore Arahufu's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Arahufu’s mother shared, “I can never find the money needed to cover my son’s treatment cost. I am struggling to even put food on the table. Please help him.”
Boaz is a small baby boy and the last born in a family of three children. Boaz’s father is a teacher and his mother is a housewife. Boaz was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition he was born with. If left untreated, Boaz has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, Boaz is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on September 6th. Boaz will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care so he can grow up healthy. Boaz’s mother says, “When we heard that we were not in a position to be covered with support for his surgery, we had no choice but to go back and gather some funds which would take a long time. We are grateful for your help.”
Kyarituha is a tailor from Uganda. Kyarituha attended school until reaching secondary school class three, but did not finish her education due to financial constraints at home. After leaving, she enrolled at a tailoring practice. Two years ago, Kyarituha stopped working as a tailor and became a homemaker when business stopped being profitable. Kyarituha's husband is a small scale farmer. Together with their 3 children, the family lives in a three-roomed house. Their two older children are in primary school, which requires school fees that the parents find difficult to supply. During her free time, Kyarituha still enjoys being able to repair clothes for her family and friends. Kyarituha is currently expecting her fourth child. She received full antenatal care at our medical partner's care center, Rushoroza Hospital. When she came to the hospital on July 19th with minor pain, she was reviewed and a caesarean section was recommended by her doctors due to a previous c-section and unfavorable fetus position. The procedure could save her from uterine rupture which puts her and her baby at risk. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is helping Kyarituha undergo a C-Section on July 20th. AMH is requesting support for this $207 procedure that will ensure the safety of both the mother and child. Kyarituha shares her future plans, “I pray for a successful surgery. I will resume tailoring as soon as I gather enough business capital but meanwhile, I plan to start farming to assist my husband in taking care of our family.”
Nurat is a three-week old baby from Tanzania. She is the first child of her young parents at a local hospital in Manyara. Nurat’s mother still lives at her parents’ home while her father lives at a rented house. Before Nurat's birth, her mother sold flowers and cooking pots to earn a living and her father has a small kiosk selling domestic items such as sugar, salt, bread. Nurat was born with spina bifida that puts her at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Nurat's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 23rd. This procedure will hopefully spare Nurat from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop into a healthy girl . Nuru’s mother hopes the best for her child, "Am still in shock and unsettled due to my daughter’s conditions. I was informed that both conditions could be corrected but we are not in a position to afford any of the treatment costs. Please help save my daughter I don’t know what to do."
Grace is a one-month-old baby girl and the youngest in a family of three children. Both of her parents are small scale farmers, mainly producing maize and vegetables for their food. Her father also seeks other work as a casual laborer, like working on other farms or fetching water to sell to other villages, to supplement the family's income. Grace was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Grace is at risk of lower limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nerve tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Grace's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 4th, and will hopefully help prevent some of the risks associated with her condition, allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Grace’s mother shared, "the cost of surgery is too high for us to afford, please help us."
Degenet is an eight-month-old baby boy from Ethiopia and the third child born to his parents. He is curious and loves juice, eggs, and playing with his mom. His father is a day worker and a student, while his mom is a homemaker. Degenet was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Degenet is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on May 4th. After his recovery, he will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Degenet's procedure and care. Degenet's mother shared, “I hope our baby gets as normal as other boys. I hope he will be educated and do good work in the future. And it is my hope he will serve God becoming a good Christian.”
Htoo is a 6-year-old boy from Thailand. He lives with his parents, brother and two sisters in a refugee camp on the border of Thailand and Burma. Htoo and his siblings were born in the refugee camp. Htoo’s mother is a homemaker, while Htoo’s older brother and sisters go to primary school and Htoo attends kindergarten. His father used to work as a day labourer, but has been unemployed since the pandemic began. Currently, they have no income and receive some financial support for their daily expenses. Luckily, Htoo's family receives free basic healthcare and education in the camp. In late October 2020, Htoo was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. If he stands up for a short period of time, or walks, the right side of his private area will swell. Around twice a week, Htoo shares with his parents that this area is hurting him and he feels uncomfortable. Fortunately, on April 8th, he will 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 Htoo's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 8th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Htoo's father shared, “Most of the time, my son is very active and playful. He will only rest when he complains about the pain.”
Phanith is a 31-year-old photography assistant from Cambodia. He currently lives with his father and his three siblings, and he is the second child in his family. His mother passed away ten years ago. Phanith has been unable to work since his injury. On November 3rd, 2020, Phanith was in a motor vehicle accident that caused injury and paralysis of his right arm. He was taken to a provincial hospital, then transferred due to the seriousness of his injuries. Phanith was released after a month but is still unable to move his right shoulder or lift his arm. He has 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. As a result, Phanith is unable to lift his hand or flex his elbow, and has no movement in his fingers. Although his arm has no movement, he has paresthesia (burning or prickly sensations) of the hand and forearm, which are often quite painful. Phanith traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 4th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use this hand again and be physically able to find work. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Phanith shared, "I hope after surgery, my right shoulder will return to full function as soon as possible."