Austin joined Watsi on June 21st, 2014. Seven years ago, Austin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Austin's most recent donation supported Elizabeth, a 6-year-old girl from Kenya, to fund surgery to heal her fractured arm.
Austin has funded healthcare for 93 patients in 12 countries.
Austin has funded healthcare for 93 patients in 12 countries.
Elizabeth is a child from Kenya. Elizabeth is the youngest in a family of three children. Her parents separated a few weeks after she was born, and they returned to their ancestral home to stay with their grandparents. They are now living in Gataka town, where they have rented a single-roomed house. To earn a living, her mother sells watermelons to provide for them. Elizabeth injured herself while playing, waiting for her friends to go home after school. She was not in pain at the moment and went home. When she got home, the pain intensified suddenly, and her mother had to rush her to a nearby hospital. She was in excruciating pain and could not use her right hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 13th, Elizabeth will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. She will heal properly and continue with schooling. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Elizabeth’s grandmother says, “After all we have been through, it is very painful to see Elizabeth having an injured arm. We really want her to be treated and be well.”
Nay is a 31-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his mother, two sisters, two brothers-in-law, two nephews, and two nieces in a village in Karen State along the Burma border. Nay works in Thailand as a day laborer, spending one week working in Mae Sot and then returning for two days to his village. Nay’s mother is retired and one of his sisters is a homemaker, taking care of her children. The other sister and two brothers-in-law are day laborers on a farm in Karen State. They also grow vegetables for family consumption. His nephews and one niece go to school. Their monthly income is enough for basic needs and they make an effort to pay for basic health care. In his free time, Nay enjoys helping in his community and fixing electronic items. In July 2023, Nay began to experience blurred vision in his right eye. He has intermittent pain and discharge. These symptoms have made it increasingly difficult for him to see clearly. Nay feels uncomfortable seeing only with his left eye and feels sad and depressed about his condition. Nay was diagnosed with retinal detachment, a condition in which the retina pulls away from the supportive tissue in the eye, resulting in vision loss. If left untreated, he could lose vision entirely in the right eye. Nay is scheduled to undergo surgery to reattach his retina on January 18th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of this procedure and care. After the surgery, Nay's vision will hopefully be restored, and he will resume his daily activities comfortably. Nay said “I was stuck and hopeless while the doctor was telling me that I would need a surgery. I don’t even know how to explain about my health problem to my family. I worry they will feel so sad and worry about me. I am unhappy and feel tired emotionally. After learning that I have donors who will help me paying for my treatment in Chiang Mai, I feel like my hope has returned and I'm wishing my vision would repair and I'll be able to continue my career in the future."
Than is a loving grandmother from Thailand who lives with her son and grandson. In her free time, she enjoys watching YouTube videos on her phone. Five years ago, Than began experiencing pain when frequently passing urine, accompanied by lower abdominal pain. She has been diagnosed with kidney stones, which are hard deposits of minerals that form in the kidneys and are often very painful to pass. She has been advised to undergo surgery to remove her kidney stones. If left untreated, Than's symptoms will continue to worsen and will put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is requesting $1,500 to fund Than's kidney stone removal surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 8th. Than shared, "I felt hopeless that I couldn't afford the operation, considering our prolonged lack of income. Now, I have had the chance to receive surgery with the help of BCMF. I am deeply grateful. My sincere wish is for the operation to go well, and I look forward to resuming my chores after the surgery."
Gay is a fifteen-year-old resident of Burma, who lives in a village in a conflict area called Karen State with his parents and two older sisters. Gay's parents and one of his sisters work in subsistence farming and his other sister is still in school. Due to financial constraints, Gay tends to the family's cows instead of attending school. During his leisure time, he enjoys fishing and gathering vegetables. On the morning of November 13, Gay was in an accident while riding on his friend's tractor. He was seated next to the driver and fell off when the tractor hit a bump while descending a slope. The trailer being towed behind the tractor ran over his right thigh, resulting in a severe femur fracture. Currently, Gay experiences considerable pain and is unable to move his right leg. He requires assistance from his father for basic activities like using the bathroom. Fortunately, Gay was able to make it to Mae Sot General Hospital, a care center of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Thanks to the support of BCMF, Gay is slated to undergo surgery on November 14th, to reset his fractured bones, allowing them to properly heal. BCMF is requesting $1500 to help fund this procedure. This surgical intervention holds the promise of enabling Gay to walk again without enduring pain. Expressing his gratitude, Gay's father shared, "When I heard that my son needs an expensive surgery, I felt hopeless. I did not know what to do and I felt so sad to see him in pain. When I learned from the doctor that donors will help pay for my son's treatment, I felt so happy that words cannot express how I felt. Thank you so much with all my heart for helping my son."
Saw resides in a refugee camp along the Thai-Burma Border with his wife, two daughters, and son-in-law. His wife is a homemaker, and Saw stopped working as a day laborer due to his worsening health. He is proud of his family: One of his daughters is a student, the other is a pharmacist, and his son-in-law is a medic at the camp's hospital. He likes to forage for vegetables in his free time. Saw has been diagnosed with a right irreducible inguinal hernia and is scheduled to undergo hernia repair surgery in October. This surgery is essential to relieve his pain and discomfort and improve his overall quality of life. Saw said, “I want this discomfort and pain to disappear. I cannot do anything because of the pain. I hope that after surgery, I will be able to have a normal life again and will no longer be in any discomfort.”
Saw Htoo is an 11-year-old boy from Burma who lives with his parents, 4 brothers and a sister in a refugee camp, in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. His parents fled to the camp from Karen State, Burma, due to the civil war in 2010. Saw Htoo is in grade 4 and his favorite subject is English. His father used to work as a day laborer before travel restrictions were imposed on camp residents after the outbreak of covid-19. Since then, both of Saw Htoo’s parents are homemakers. Although they receive a small monthly cash card to purchase food in the camp, as well as free basic health care and education, they struggle to make ends meet. For the past 5 years, Saw Htoo has been brought frequently to the hospital in the camp due to having urine in his blood. He has also experienced pain while going to the bathroom, developed a fever and pain in his bladder area. He received an ultrasound, an x-ray of his kidney, ureter and bladder (KUB) and an intravenous pyelogram (IVP) and was diagnosed with a renal stone in his right renal pelvis. At a follow-up appointment in August 2023, he received another IVP which indicated that the stone was increasing in size and doctors recommended Saw Htoo have surgery to remove the stone. Saw Htoo has been experiencing pain in his back, and he often needs to take leave from school because of the pain. Fortunately, our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) can help. Saw Htoo is scheduled for surgery on September 8th, and BCMF is asking for help to raise $1,500 to fund the procedure. Saw Htoo said, “I want to become a football player [in the future] because I love to play football.”
Sai is a 26-year-old veteran from Burma. He lives at a dormitory for people with disabilities in the Internally Displaced Person (IDP) Camp in Shan State, Burma. He has been unemployed since his injury. In his free time, Sai likes to exercise and garden. However, he is currently unable to do these activities because of his health. In 2019, Sai was shot in his right upper thigh. Following the event, he underwent an X-ray examination which confirmed a fractured hip. A doctor immobilized his right thigh and hip by applying a cast. Nevertheless, he has been grappling with persistent discomfort in his right leg and hip. On July 11th, with the assistance of Watsi, he underwent a CT scan of his hip, revealing a malunion of the hip fracture. Sai's right hip and leg continue to be a source of pain for him, despite his regular use of pain-relief medications. Due to the pain, he cannot stand or walk on his right leg without the support of crutches, and his sleep is often disturbed at night as the pain intensifies during colder weather and nighttime hours. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Sai will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for August 10th and will cost $1,500. The procedure will help him walk easily again without crutches and resolve pain. Sai said; "I feel very happy to receive treatment in an advanced hospital with your help BCMF, Watsi, and my donors. I cannot wait to walk with my leg and become healthy again. Thank you very much."
Keyler, who is nine years old, lives in Bolivia and is in need of heart surgery. His mother passed away when he was only four years old, and since then, he has been raised by his grandmother. He accompanies her every day as she goes about selling sodas and cleaning houses, in order to make a living, and as a result, grandmother and grandson have become inseparable. Keyler was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs and obtaining oxygen, leaving Keyler weak and short of breath. He also has Down syndrome. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to fund the surgery that Keyler needs to correct his heart condition. The procedure, which is scheduled for May 18th, at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría, will enable Keyler to live a happier and more comfortable life. Keyler's grandmother said: "I am so happy that Keyler can have this surgery, so he will be healthy and strong."
Ashley is a 1-year-old baby girl that lives in Santa Cruz, a city in eastern Bolivia, with her mother. Ashley's mother is still in high school and does not have an income at the moment, so Ashley and her mother live with Ashley's parents. Ashley was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect (VSD). As a child with VSD, Ashley was born with a hole in the heart wall, called the septum, that separates the left and right lower chambers, called the ventricles. The hole allows blood to be pumped into the lungs, making the heart work harder than normal. Over time, this extra strain on the heart may lead to congestive heart failure. Ashley's current symptoms include feeling weak and constantly short of breath. Fortunately, Ashley's family was able to meet with our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) at their care center, the Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría. A surgeon was able to diagnose Ashley's condition and scheduled her for surgery on May 31st to fix the hole in her heart. HCA is requesting $1,500 to help fund this procedure. Ashley's mother commented, "Our family is very happy to know we can have this opportunity to heal my daughter's heart!"
Ly is a 48-year-old rice farmer living with her two sons and two daughters in Kandal province in Cambodia. Ly was widowed six years ago and, ever since their father's death, the oldest two children work as motorcycle and bicycle repairmen to help their mother provide for the family. One year ago, Ly suffered from an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. As a result, Ly experiences ear discharge, tinnitus, and hearing loss. Despite using ear drops, Ly has not seen any improvement in her condition, and now she has also developed polyps. It is difficult for her to hear or communicate with others. Ly traveled to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, hoping to be treated. On May 9th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy on her right ear at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $926 to fund this procedure and all of the necessary medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Ly said: "After surgery, I will be able to hear and the ear discharge will stop."
Ma Tin is a 41-year-old mother from Burma. She lives with her husband and three sons in Karen State - an area with conflict and lots of uncertainty and insecurity for the people who live there. Her husband is a day laborer and her three sons are students. Ma Tin is a homemaker but she also sells vegetables sometimes to earn extra money. Her husband's income is usually enough to cover their basic needs, but they sometimes rely on financial support of their adult children. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her children. She is currently expecting a baby and her doctors recommend that she deliver via a caesarean section because she started to leak amniotic fluid at 32 weeks. On April 3rd, she experienced pain and the doctor scheduled her to undergo an emergency c-section to ensure the safety of both mother and child. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Ma Tin undergo a C-Section on April 4th at Taw Win Thu Kha Hospital. This procedure will cost $1328, and Ma Tin needs your support. Ma Tin said, "When I learned that I would need a c-section, I lost hope. I thought about giving birth at home and if I were lucky, I would be able to give birth like before [without complications]. If not, I would die. Now that I was told that there would be donors to help pay for my c-section, I felt so happy. You are a miracle that appeared in my life to help me when I needed it with the cost of my surgery. Thank you so much to all the staff and donors who are willing to help me."
Hser is a 30-year-old midwife from Burma. She lives with her husband and eight other colleagues in the staff housing of the clinic she works at. Hser is a midwife, and her husband is a medic. In her free time, she enjoys going fishing with her husband and friends, weaving Karen clothes, and visiting the villagers nearby. Around June 2020, Hser felt she had a mass. Thinking it was not serious, she did not go to a hospital for treatment until April 2022. At the hospital, a doctor gave her medication for three months, but the mass did not decrease in size. Currently, Hser's experiences uncomfortable symptoms from the mass. Hser sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on March 8th. Hser needs help raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Hser said, "I am married, but I don’t plan to have children yet because my husband and I are both busy working as health workers for our community. So, I am very worried that I won't be able to have children anymore because of my condition. However, I have a loving and kind husband who understands me in every way, and he told me not to worry and feel sad. We cannot help but stay strong, helping and encouraging each other."