Joyce joined Watsi on March 10th, 2015. Eight years ago, Joyce joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Joyce's most recent donation traveled 5,600 miles to support Roly, a 2 year old boy from Bolivia, to fund life-saving heart surgery.
Joyce has funded healthcare for 93 patients in 15 countries.
Joyce has funded healthcare for 93 patients in 15 countries.
Roly, who is two years old, is a happy and loving child, who lives with his family in a small town, which is a nine hour drive from La Paz, Bolivia. Roly's parents are farmers. Roly was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus. Because of this condition, blood leaks through a hole that connects two major blood vessels next to the heart, leaving Roly sick and short of breath. He needs surgery in order to be able to live a full and healthy life. Fortunately our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is helping Roly access the care that he needs. On March 1st, surgeons at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uria will operate on Roly, sewing the hole in his heart closed, so that blood can no longer leak through it. Now Roly and his family need your help to raise the $1,500 necessary to fund this life saving procedure. His mother is hopeful that he will be better soon and said, "We are hoping that our son will have a better appetite and gain more weight after his surgery is finished."
Peter is a young boy from Kenya. He is the only child in his family and a 1st-grade student in primary school. His mother says that he likes to draw and play with his peers while at home and at school. The family comes from Gathaiti village, Gatundu in Kiambu County. Peter's mother is a housewife, and his father is a boda boda (motorcycle for hire) driver who works in the village. Peter has clubfoot on his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Peter traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 27th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Peter's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. Peter's mother said, “I seek support to help my son undergo surgery and walk like other children and improve his self-esteem while in school and at home.”
Karim is a 10-year-old boy living in La Paz. He is in the fourth grade and really likes his math and science classes. Karim was born with a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. During surgery, doctors will sew the hole closed and remove the blockage from his valve so that blood can flow more normally. Karim's family needs $1500 to pay for his surgery. Karim's mother shared: "Our family will be praying for everyone who is helping Karim to get his surgery!"
Saw Kyaw is a 25-year-old man living in Thailand. He currently lives with his older sister, younger sister, mother and her niece. He moved from Burma to Thailand for job opportunities three years ago. He was working in a shop and was able to support two younger siblings who are studying in Karen State in Burma. Around the end of July, he was playing football with friends when he slipped trying to kick the ball. His lower right leg was very painful, but he was still able to bear weight lightly on that leg. At the time, Saw Kyaw didn’t have health insurance, so he went to a clinic instead of the hospital. There they examined his leg, gave him some medication for the pain and advised him to go to the hospital for an X-ray if the pain persisted. Saw Kyaw rested for two days and then went back to work. That day at work, Saw Kyaw was carrying a heavy load when he slipped again. This time, the pain was severe, and he was unable to stand on his right leg. He went to a hospital in Bangkok where they X-rayed his lower right leg and told him that the tibia was fractured. The doctor recommended surgery where they would use a metal rod to connect the bones and set them in the correct position to heal. Saw Kyaw was told that the surgery would cost between 40,000 to 50,000 baht (approx. 1,330- 1,660 USD). He told them that he did not have insurance and was unable to afford the surgery, so they gave him pain medication and bandaged up his leg. He returned to the hospital three times and each time the doctor recommended surgery, but Kyaw was unable to figure out how he could get that kind of money. His employer was not helpful and refused to assist with the cost of the surgery. Since Saw Kyaw didn’t have the money, he decided to just rest and see whether the bones would heal on their own. Saw Kyaw recalled that he had fractured his femur when he was young, and he had used a traditional medicated oil to help heal the injury. He hoped that he could use this on his new fracture. But now he cannot walk properly and cannot work since his accident. He is stressed about his condition and his future. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Saw Kyaw will finally undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for December 7th and will cost $1,500. He will able to go back to work after surgery Saw Kyaw said, “I would like to go back to Bangkok and find work again so I can go back to helping my family; my siblings who are studying in Burma, and also my mother who is getting older. I also want to save some money for my future. I will not work at the same place though as they have not been kind or caring since I had the accident.”
Nicholas is a 17-year-old high school student, who aspires to become a professional driver. He is the youngest of eight children, and lives with his family in Kenya. When he was young, Nicholas was hit by a bicycle. He was treated for his injuries, and sent home. Now, as a teenager, Nicholas finds his left knee bowing inwards, and knocking against his right leg, making it difficult for him to walk. Nicholas' parents brought him to a local, mobile clinic to be evaluated. As a result of the evaluation, and with the support of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Nicholas is scheduled for corrective surgery on November 14th, at AIC Cure International Hospital. After he has recovered, Nicholas should be able to walk comfortably again. Now his family needs your help to fund this procedure, which will cost $1,224. “I would be happy to see my leg straightened so that I can walk normally like my friends,” Nicholas shared with us.
Myo is 13-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents in a village in Karen State. His mother is a homemaker and she is currently eight months pregnant. His father is a subsistence farmer but he also works as a day laborer to earn money. Myo is in grade six and he enjoys playing football in his free time. Two years ago, Myo was playing football with his friends. While playing, his friend tried to kick the ball but accidentally kicked him in his left forearm. Right away he was in a lot of pain, but his arm did not look broken. At first, the pain lessened, but gradually the pain worsened and his upper left forearm became swollen. Myo could also feel a mass under the swollen area of his left forearm. After he and his father were brought to Chiang Mai Hospital, the doctor thought he might have cancer in his left forearm. Doctors want Myo to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $814 to cover the cost of Myo's MRI and care, scheduled for October 5th. "I have not been able to work nor save money since I need to accompany my son [Myo] while he gets treatment," said Myo's father. "So I want to say thank you to all the donors who have agreed to help my child.”
Saw Wah is a 14-year-old grade six student from Burma. Saw Wah lives with his parents and five younger brothers in a village in Hpapun Township in Karen State where there is a lot of unrest currently. Saw Wah's father works as a day labourer when there is no work on the farm. Saw Wah's youngest brother is too young to enroll in school while his four other brothers stopped going to school this last year. Saw Wah shared, “They do not want to attend school because fighting happens very often in this area. We have to run and hide in the jungle where we study and they do not like to study in the jungle.” Saw Wah’s family also raises chickens and two goats for their own consumption. They also often go fishing and forage for vegetables in the jungle. Even though his family does not have a regular income, they can gather enough food. Saw Wah's family receives free basic healthcare at a free clinic near their village. Around 2018 or 2019, Saw Wah developed a runny nose with yellowish nasal discharge. At first, he thought that this was normal, and it would go away on its own. Towards the end of April 2022, Saw Wah nose became blocked, and he could no longer breath through his nose. He finally told his parents about his symptoms and his father took him to the free clinic at Ei Tu Hta Internally Displaced Camp. At the clinic, the medic checked Saw Wah's nostrils and told them that there is mass blocking the nasal passage in both of his nostrils. The medic also recommended Saw Wah go to a larger hospital for further investigation. At this time, Saw Wah has to breathe through his mouth which causes him discomfort. He has lost his sense of taste and smell, and has a hard time sleeping. Due to these symptoms, Saw Wah has had to stop his studies while he receives treatment. Saw Wah worries that it will take a while, and he will not be able to study this year. Fortunately, Saw Wah sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Now he is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on September 6th. BCMF is fundraising $1,500 to cover the cost of Saw Wah's procedure and care. Saw Wah shared, "I am excited to receive surgery and I hope that I will be able to breath through my nose after surgery."
James is a beautiful newborn baby from Tanzania. He is the youngest in a family of three children. To support their family, his father practices small-scale farming, and his mother is a homemaker. His parents share that their income is only enough to meet their day-to-day needs. James has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, meaning both of James's legs are twisted downward and inward. Without treatment, he will grow up and have difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Fortunately, James's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 9th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund James's clubfoot repair. This procedure will allow him to grow in good health and walk with ease when he grows up. James's mother says, "It has been rough for the past two weeks, moving with my baby from one health centre to another without any success. I am glad that he will get the treatment required."
Adonai is a one-month-old baby boy and the last-born child in a family of five children. Adonai's parents are small-scale farmers of maize, vegetables, beans, and a bit of tobacco. Through farming, they can get their food while the tobacco is usually sold to get money to pay for daily necessities. Adonai was diagnosed at birth with a congenital disability of the left clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape causing difficulty in walking and wearing shoes. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 5th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is raising $935 to fund Adonai's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when he grows up. Adonai’s father shared, “Things are really tough, and money has become hard to get. I depend on farming which has been very poor this season. Please help treat my son.”
Haisam is an adorable 2-year-old and the youngest in his family of two kids. Haisam’s father sells charcoal, while his mother sells tea at a local marketplace. They shared that they work hard to provide and care for their children with this income. Haisam was born with bilateral clubfoot, a condition in which his foot is twisted out of shape. As a result, he experiences difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Haisam began treatment at the district hospital when he was two weeks old. However, only his left foot fully healed, and his right foot still needs further casting and treatment. Fortunately, Haisam and his family could travel to our medical partner’s care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 7th. Our medical partner is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. After treatment, Haisam will be able to walk well and be active as he grows up. Haisam’s mother says, “As years go by, life keeps getting tough, and I don’t see us saving enough to cover his treatment.”
Myo Htay is a 22-year-old who lives with his parents and younger brother in the border region of Burma. His parents work as day laborers at a gold mine, carrying dirt and debris. Myo used to work with his parents but stopped last November when his health deteriorated. Because the gold mine closes during the rainy season, his parents only have work for six months out of the year. The rest of the time they try to live off of their savings. Around six months ago, Myo started to feel tired when he worked. At first he thought he was tired from working too hard. When he continued to feel tired for over a month, he thought that he needed to see a doctor. However, because of their limited funds, he did not want his parents to spend what they had on a trip to a clinic or a hospital. Around the middle of April, his condition worsened. He had difficulty breathing, experienced chest pain, and also heart palpitations. His parents brought him to a nearby hospital where he was diagnosed with a heart disease. The doctor told them to bring him to Yangon for further treatment. After Myo's parents borrowed money, they went to Yangon and took him to two different hospitals. At the last hospital, Myo was admitted for five days as he was unwell at that time. He received a follow-up appointment for two weeks later, but was brought back on April 30th when he developed rapid breathing, heart palpitations, chest pain and oedema (swelling) in both his legs. Myo was readmitted to the hospital, and the doctor told Myo's parents that his surgery would cost 20,000,000 kyat (approx. $11,000 USD). When they told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for his surgery, a nurse gave them the phone number of an abbot in Yangon. After they called the abbot and told him what the doctor had said, the abbot referred Myo to our medical parter Burma Children Medical Fund for the assistance accessing the cardiac treatment he needs. Currently, Myo is on oxygen. If he does not receive oxygen, he has difficulty breathing as well as heart palpitations. He cannot walk for more than three minutes and if he does, he feels extremely tired. His whole family is worried about his condition. Fortunately, Myo's surgery has been scheduled for May 8th. He will have both valves of his heart replaced. His family needs $1,500 to help with the total cost of his surgery and care. Myo’s mother said, “I would give up everything to save my son’s life. I would sleep on the ground if we had no home to live in. I only wish to see my son getting better.”
Cristina is a 53-year-old woman from the Philippines. She works hard doing laundry to support her family and is the sole breadwinner of her household. In 2014, Cristina began to experience troubling symptoms, including a mass growing on her neck, followed by hoarseness in her voice and difficulty in swallowing. She was diagnosed with an inflamed mass in her neck and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Cristina receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo surgery on February 22nd at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Her treatment will cost $1,323, and she and her family need help to raise money for this life-changing care. "We are very thankful to WSFP and WATSI for this surgery. Our mom will be able to continue with her life without difficulty speaking and swallowing her food," Cristina's daughter shared.