Laurie joined Watsi on September 2nd, 2013. Eight years ago, Laurie joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Laurie's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Kyaw, a father and farmer from Burma, to fund fracture repair surgery.
Laurie has funded healthcare for 107 patients in 13 countries.
Laurie has funded healthcare for 107 patients in 13 countries.
Kyaw is a 25-year-old father from Burma. He used to work as a farmer and a day laborer, but he had to stop working seven months ago due to his accident. Kyaw's family grows paddy for their consumption and raises chickens and pigs. During his free time, Kyaw enjoys exercising. In April 2023, Kyaw fell from a tree while collecting honey, resulting in a fracture in his right femur. Since then, he has experienced significant pain and swelling in his right leg, making it difficult for him to walk. Currently, Kyaw relies on crutches to get around. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Kyaw will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for November 15th and will cost $1,500. The surgery is essential for Kyaw's recovery, as it will alleviate his pain and help him walk comfortably again. Kyaw said, "I was shocked and disappointed after knowing that the surgery would cost more than 40,000 baht (approx. 1,335 USD). I want to get the surgery and recover, but I have no idea who will support me and where I can get that much money. If I recover, I will work and support my family. Now that I learned that BMCF will help me get surgery, I feel so happy and excited."
Xavena is a young woman from Haiti. She lives with her older sister and her sister's family in a small farming village in central Haiti. She previously worked tailoring clothes but has been unable to work in recent years due to her cardiac illness. Xavena has a heart condition called severe rheumatic aortic regurgitation. One of the four valves in her heart was severely damaged by an infection she suffered earlier in her life. The cardiac surgery Xavena needs is not available in her country so she will need to fly to the United States to receive treatment. On October 18, Xavena will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will surgically remove her damaged heart valve and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing $25,000 to pay for surgery. Xavena's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and follow-up medical care. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, checkups, and follow-up appointments. Xavena shaed: "I am hopeful that after this surgery I will have the energy and strength to return to work and pursue my goals in life."
Ah resides in a village in Karen State, Burma alongside his eight-year-old son and elderly mother. Ah is a former carpenter who has been unable to work due to his deteriorating health. During his free time, he enjoys fishing. In 2018, Ah began experiencing severe chest pain and difficulty breathing at times. A medical evaluation, including an echocardiogram, revealed that he has multiple valve defects in his heart. The doctor wants to perform cardiac surgery to replace and repair his heart valves on September 12th. Due to financial difficulties, Ah sought treatment through Watsi's medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). BCMF is raising $1,500 to support his care. Currently, Ah still has occasional chest pain and difficulty breathing which intensifies with physical activity. He also has a poor appetite, weight loss, and difficulty sleeping at night. Ah said, "I am worried about my son because I am the only one who is taking care of him. Thank you for supporting my treatment. I will never forget you."
Sary is a 34-year-old man who was born and raised in the capital city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. His mom has always worked as a cleaner, and his dad is a vegetable farmer. Sary currently lives with his younger brother but hasn't been able to work in years due to his deteriorating condition. He enjoys watching Cambodian comedy shows on television and spending time with his brother. From the age of 12, Sary and his parents noticed his spine was curved. By the age of 20, he lost some function in his right hand. He did not seek treatment due to fear of the costs. Since that time, the condition has worsened. He experiences back pain, ankle pain, and weakness in his right leg and arm. He needs a scoliosis corrective surgery to improve his function and decrease pain. He has presented to our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) to seek intervention for his disability. Surgeons plan to do a spinal fusion with implants on August 3rd. Sary was able to contribute $100 to the cost of the surgery and needs help with the remaining $1,500, which will cover the costs of radiology, medications, surgery, and post-op physiotherapy care. Sary shared, "I hope I can walk better, not have pain, and help my brother at home."
Dukens is a two-year-old boy from Haiti who has hydrocephalus. He lives with his parents and older brother. Dukens's condition causes excess cerebrospinal fluid to accumulate in his brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Dukens has been experiencing seizures, which can lead to physical and developmental delays if untreated. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Dukens at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available, and the procedure is scheduled to take place on May 30th. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from Dukens's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and significantly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Dukens will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. His family hopes for a successful surgery to stop the seizures and allow him to live a long, healthy life.
Regina is a 42-year-old mother of four from Burma. She is a hardworking homemaker. During her free time, she enjoys walking around the neighborhood. Regina has been diagnosed with a gallbladder condition, resulting back and abdominal pain, yellowing of her skin, and other worrisome symptoms. The medications the doctors have provided her have not worked. If left untreated, Regina's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. She has therefore been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Regina is scheduled to undergo her cholecystectomy on May 22nd. BCMF is requesting $1,487 to cover the total cost of Regina's procedure and care. Regina said “I am glad to receive help from BCMF for my operation. I am also very thankful to you for helping patients who can't afford surgery. I hope my operation goes well.”
Sayuni, who is 4 years old, lives with her mother and two siblings in Tanzania. Sayuni's mother sells local bites like buns and Vitumbua- coconut rice pancakes- by the roadside to try and make ends meet. Sayuni was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, which causes her legs to bow outward at the knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, stemming from the consumption of contaminated drinking water. As a result of her condition, Sayuni has a difficult time walking and playing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Sayuni. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 17th, at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. Treatment should restore Sayuni's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Sayuni’s mother says: “I have hope that my daughter will be able to walk better after the treatment.”
Phwe is a 29-year-old mother of three from Burma. She is a homemaker, who also helps her husband on the farm. In 2017, Phwe started to feel pain in her right lower jaw due to an incoming wisdom tooth. As a result, her jaw became inflamed and red. Eventually, a tumor started to grow in her right lower jaw. She underwent an operation in 2022 at Chiang Mai Hospital to remove the tumor and an infected part of her jaw. This procedure was followed by the insertion of a steel plate to stabilize the bone. Now, Phwe suffers from pain in her jaw again and also experiences facial asymmetry due to the placement of the steel plate. As her fracture has fully healed, Phwe would like to have the steel rod removed from her jaw. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, can help. On May 3rd, Phwe will undergo surgery to remove the rod at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. She needs your support to fund this $1,500 procedure. Phwe said: "I feel sad for me and my family because we are now fleeing from the civil war [in Burma]. I want to have the operation soon so that I can go back to be with my family. I want to make a full recovery soon because my treatment has now taken almost a year."
Meet Zipporah, who is almost three years old. She has four siblings and lives with them and her parents in Nairobi County in Kenya. Zipporah was healthy at birth. However, when she was about one year old, her mother noticed a swelling in her right thigh, which appeared to affect her mobility. Subsequently, Zipporah was diagnosed with Coxa vara, a deformity of the hip, which causes a shortening of the leg. As a result of her condition, Zipporah limps and experiences pain in her hip. With the help of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Zipporah is now scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her deformity on February 27th, at AIC Cure International Hospital. This procedure, which will cost $1,224, will prevent further deterioration of her condition. Zipporah and her parents need help to fund the costs of this life-changing surgery. “We would like to request support from well-wishers to help my daughter undergo surgery so that she can resume walking well like other children and enroll in school.” Zipporah’s mother told us.
Neang is a 67-year-old widow. She lives in Kandal province with her nephew after her husband passed away 7 years ago from hypertension. Some of her favorite activities include joining ceremonies at her local pagoda and cooking for her nephew's children. About one year ago, Neang developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurry vision, irritation, tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so is not able to go places on her own. When Neang learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On January 4th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Neang said: "I hope my vision improves and I can get around easily by myself. I want to be able to help care for my nephew's children and walk to the pagoda by myself."
Antonela, who is just two months old, lives in La Paz, Bolivia, with her parents and two older siblings. Antonela's parents both work as market vendors. Antonela was born with two heart defects: a hole between the two lower chambers of her heart, and a leak between two of the major vessels next to her heart. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, can help Antonela access the care that she needs. As she is too small and fragile to repair both conditions at the same time, surgeons at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría will first close the leak next to her heart on April 5th, allowing her to become stronger and more stable. Approximately one month later, Antonela will undergo a second heart surgery to close the hole inside her heart. She and her family need your support to raise the $1,500 for this critical procedure. Antonela's mother said: "Our family is all praying that after this surgery our daughter will be healthier and will start growing and gaining weight."
Hatsumi is a 19-month-old baby who lives with her parents and five older siblings. Her mother sells flowers in the market and her father takes care of her and her brothers and sisters at home. Hatsumi was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, where a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart, causing blood leakage. This often leaves her weak and short of breath. Hatsumi and her family traveled to our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, to seek treatment. On March 8th, Hatsumi will undergo a surgical procedure where doctors will sew a patch over the hole to prevent blood from leaking through. Now, Hatsumi's family needs help raising $1,500 to fund the procedure. Hatsumi's mother said, "Our family is praying that our daughter will be able to breathe more easily once her surgery is over!"