Greg joined Watsi on February 23rd, 2014. Seven years ago, Greg joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Greg's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Neila, a beautiful three-year-old from Tanzania, to fund leg surgery so she can grow up walking and healthy.
Greg has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 12 countries.
Greg has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 12 countries.
Neila is a beautiful, smiley, and charming three-year-old girl. She is the second born child in a family of two children. Her family shared that she is a very friendly and loving little girl. Neila was diagnosed with genu varus, where her 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, she cannot walk easily. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Neila. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 11th. Treatment will hopefully restore Neila's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Neila’s mother says, “I am struggling to make ends meet I won't be able to afford the treatment cost. Thank you for your help."
Myat lives with his elderly mother. He stopped working two years ago after a stroke left the right side of his body weak. He is now unemployed and relies on his mother’s support. His mother is a street vendor, selling foraged vegetables and plants as well as sticky rice that she makes. The income she earns is not enough for their daily needs. They survive thanks to the generosity of their neighbors, who support them with food and allow them to live on their land in a hut rent-free. Starting three years ago, Myat has experienced pain in his lower right abdomen whenever lifting something heavy and now the pain is more regular. At the beginning of December, the pain in his lower right abdomen increased and became constant. His neighbor lent him 50,000 kyat (approx. $50 USD) and told him to seek treatment at Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). Myat traveled to the hospital and was admitted right away. A doctor completed a physical examination, diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia, and told him that he would need surgery. When Myat told the doctor that he cannot afford to pay for it, the doctor referred him to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing treatment. “When I recover, I want to sell traditional medicine again,” Myat shared with a renewed sense of hope that he might be able to finally have surgery.
Taw is a 30-year-old woman who lives with her family in a refugee camp in Thailand. Originally from Burma, Taw fled to the refugee camp with her father in 2008 due to a civil war in her village. She used to work as a midwife in the hospital in the refugee camp but became a homemaker after getting married in 2017. Her father is unemployed, while her niece, nephew, and son go to school. Her husband worked as a day laborer outside the refugee camp. However, since COVID-19 cases were detected in the camp and there was an increase in cases in Thailand, schools were closed, and her husband can no longer leave the camp for work. The family shared that they rely on support from a local organization called the Border Consortium, which is not enough for their daily needs, so they must stretch the income until the end of each month. In her free time, Taw loves to play with her son and cook her favorite foods. Taw is expecting her second child soon. Due to her first delivery via Cesarean section and complications during birth, Taw’s doctors recommended that she deliver by a Cesarean section to ensure her and the baby’s safety. On November 15th, Taw will undergo a Cesarean section at our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). BMCF is requesting $1500 to fund this procedure. Taw shared, “I have one son now, so I would like to have a girl this time. After I have weaned my baby, I want to work as a midwife again at the hospital.”
Yee is a 48-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, her daughter and a granddaughter in northern Tak Province. Yee's husband works in a rose farm and she is a homemaker as well as a caretaker of her granddaughter at home. Their family income is enough for their daily expenses and they are able to pay for basic healthcare but not for major treatment like Yee now needs. Currently, Yee feels that the right side of her head is achy and she experiences on-and-off pain around her right eye. When Yee feels the pain, she takes a pain medication, but she is worried because she cannot see anything with her right eye. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Yee. On October 12th, doctors will perform a lens replacement surgery, during which they will remove Yee's natural lenses and replace them with intraocular lens implants. After recovery, Yee will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. “When I recover from surgery, I want to raise chickens and pigs for my family to eat and sell some too. I will also be able to plant vegetables for my family to eat and sell some of those,” said Yee.
Sitha is a 40-year-old car mechanic. He's been married for four years and lives in the city with his wife. In addition to repairing cars, Sitha works in a garment factory. In his free time, he enjoys playing football, listening to music, and fishing. Two years ago, Sitha was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of his left shoulder. He has been diagnosed 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 is unable to lift his left arm and he hasn't been able to work. Sitha traveled to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) to receive treatment. On September 9th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his left arm again. Now, CSC is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Sitha shared, "I really hope I can regain full function of my left arm and be independent again."
Teltila is a lively five-month-old girl from Ethiopia and a sibling to an older brother and sister. She is sociable, loves to play with her mom, and enjoys it when her mom talks to her. Her dad is physically impaired and unable to move around easily. He sells candies and some sweets on the street for a living and her mom is a housewife raising their three kids. His income is not enough to maintain the family but fortunately, they are supported by a foundation in their town that works with people with impairments. Teltila was born with a birth condition called anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage causing pain and complications. She developed bowel obstruction because of her condition and an emergency colostomy, one of the series of procedures needed to eliminate the condition, was done for her at our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM). She has had multiple issues with her colostomy care and associated complications and as a result, she continues to feel significant discomfort. According to her mother, Teltila had her first surgery when she was 45-days-old and unfortunately, the second surgery was delayed due to finances. The money they saved could only cover doctor reviews and some level of surgical fees. After getting an appointment, her bag was stolen with all the money and documents at a bus stop. Teltila's mother was devastated and did not know what to do. She heard of a charitable organization that supports the poor and went there to share her story. Teltila is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on August 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Teltila's procedure and care. After her recovery, she will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Teltila's mother says, "I am now so thankful. I lost all I had and I just received it back through you all. I hope my daughter will be treated."
Venance is a five year old boy and the second born child in a family of four children. Venance is a friendly boy who is currently in kindergarten. Venance and his siblings are being raised by their mother, who does small scale farming where she gets most of the food her children need. She also seeks day laboring jobs like working on other peoples farms or laundry to help make ends meet. Venance was diagnosed with Bilateral Genu Valgus, a condition that causes bones to bend. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Venance now has pain after a long day of play and walks to and from school. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Venance. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Venance's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Venance mother says, "Please help my son."
Stephanie is a five-year-old student from Nairobi, Kenya who enjoys singing and dancing. She is the older sibling in her family, and her mother takes care of their family and home while her father is a small businessman. Stephanie has clubfoot on her left foot, causing her foot to be twisted out of shape and resulting in difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Stephanie traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Stephanie's procedure. The treatment will allow Stephanie to walk, wear shoes, and continue with her studies. Her mother, Maureen, told us, “I am humbly requesting help from well-wishers to help my daughter walk like other children."
Navin is an eight-year-old third grade student with one older sister. Navin lives in the province where his parents are farmers. When he is not in school, Navin enjoys playing football, playing with his toy car, and asking his father questions (sound familiar to any parents out there?) Two years ago, Navin had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Navin experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. It is difficult for him to hear at school. His parents took him to a local NGO that told them Navin needed to have surgery. They recommended his family come to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). Navin and his family traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 12th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers his medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Navin's parents hope his hearing can improve so he can communicate well again in school and at home.
Lomnyak is a 5-year-old boy and the fourth born child in a family of five children. Lomnyaki and his siblings live with their mother, as their father left and doesn't offer support. His mother does not currently work as she is taking care of their family and she shared how challenging it was as they do not have livestock nor a place to farm. They are doing their best to get through a challenging living situation. Lomnyak 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, Lomnyak is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Lomnyak's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 19th. This procedure will hopefully spare Lomnyak from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Lomnyak’s mother shared, "I didn’t know that this condition was life-threatening but I suspected it to be the cause of my son not being able to stand nor walk. Please help him get this surgery."
Ko is a 37-year-old father of five who lives with his wife, three daughters and two sons in a refugee camp in Thailand. His family receives a cash card every month from an organization, but this is not enough to cover their expenses. Therefore, he also works as an agricultural day laborer in a nearby Thai village. In his free time, Ko enjoys playing cane ball and spending time with his friends. On December 11, 2020, Ko slipped and fell onto rocks outside of the camp. When he tried to get up, Ko could tell that his leg was broken. He went to the hospital in the refugee camp run by Malteser International (MI). He was eventually referred to a hospital where he underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into his leg on December 25, 2020. When he went back to the hospital for his follow-up appointment on February 3, 2021, the doctor observed that the surgical wound was infected and he underwent surgery to clean his wound. When the wound still did not heal, the doctor referred him to another hospital, where the doctor told him he would need an additional surgery to remove necrotic tissue and replace the rod in his leg. Currently, Ko is experiencing a lot of pain. It is difficult for him to walk and he is worried about his family in the camp. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ko will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and finally heal. This procedure will allow Ko to walk and his leg to heal properly. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. Ko shared, “I really want to work to support my family as soon as possible. I cannot imagine what life would be like for my family if my leg never heals.”
Sanchez is a 3-year-old boy from Haiti. He is an only child who lives with his mother and father in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He likes drawing pictures and playing with toy cars. Sanchez has a heart condition called ventricular septal defect, which means that there is a hole between the two lower chambers of his heart. He will fly to the United States to receive life-saving treatment. On February 17th, Sanchez will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will close the hole in his heart by sewing a patch over it. Another organization, HeartGift Foundation, is contributing $17,000 to pay for the surgery. Sanchez's family also needs help funding the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Sanchez's family overseas. Sanchez's mother shared, "our family has been praying for years that our child would be able to have this surgery. We are nervous but very glad it is happening!"