Charles joined Watsi on August 8th, 2013. Five years ago, Charles joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Charles' most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Monicah, a widowed mom-of-six from Kenya, to fund treatment for cervical cancer.
Charles has funded healthcare for 103 patients in 10 countries.
Charles has funded healthcare for 103 patients in 10 countries.
Monicah a hardworking mother of six. Some of her children have finished school while the others are still studying. Monicah's husband, who was the sole breadwinner of the family, was the assistant chief of the area where they are living, but he passed away a few years ago. Monicah shared that upon her husband’s death, she had to get out of her comfort zone and figure out how to provide for their family. After a long time of doing some casual jobs where she could find them, she got a job as a house help but her earnings are limited. Her family does not have a National Health Insurance coverage and is not able to raise the funds needed for Monicah’s surgery. In July 2021, Monicah went to the hospital for her regular clinic appointment and heard that there was a free cervical cancer screening centre there. Monicah has been experiencing lower abdominal pain so after the clinic, she went to be screened. The results were not as she expected. She has been diagnosed with cervical cancer. The doctor has scheduled her for total abdominal hysterectomy surgery but she is afraid the cost is too much for her to meet. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1260 to fund Monicah's surgery. On January 7th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Monicah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and hopes to live a life cancer-free. Monicah says, "I did not know that I was sick and since then things have happened so fast. I do not know where the money for my surgery will come from but I know that God will make a way.”
Sharlyn is a 6-year-old girl. She's the fifth and last born in her family. Her mother is a single parent who does farming to earn a living and provide for them. Together their family of 6 lives in a 3-roomed mud house in a village in rural Kenya. Sherlyn was born with a clubfoot on her right foot. She limps as she walks, feels pain because of straining, and cannot play with her friends while at school because of her condition. Fortunately, Sharlyn and mother traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Sharlyn's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk well, wear shoes and play with her friends. However, the family is appealing for financial assistance as they cannot manage to raise the funds needed for the surgery. Sharlyn's mother says, “I'd love to see my daughter walking like other girls. Any help meant to help her walk well will be very much appreciated."
Bonface is a commercial motorcycle driver. He lives in one of the biggest informal settlements of Nairobi Kenya with a relatively inconsistent income. He earns a daily commission depending on the availability of customers. Bonface lives in a single-room rental house that costs Ksh. 3000.00 ($30) per month. He is also hosting and taking care of his younger sister, who lives with him. His parents are elderly and stay in their ancestral home. They also depend on him for upkeep. He relies on national insurance medical coverage but has depleted his surgery allocation and, therefore, is in financial distress. Bonface was involved in a road traffic accident in early July 2021 and sustained a fracture tibia fibula. Although he underwent a surgery at a government facility in Nairobi, the wound developed an infection. This has delayed the healing of his wound and Bonface is experiencing pain in his right lower leg. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Bonface receive treatment. On November 8th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure. The surgery will help to manage the infection and avoid risk of imputation which would affect his work. Now, Bonface needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Bonface says, “This leg is so painful and I am scared if not treated it can be cut. But doctors have given me hope of healing if I undergo this surgery.”
Nakry is a 72-year-old grandmother to twelve. Nakry lives with her eldest daughter who runs a laundry business at home. In her free time she enjoys watching the news and listening to the monks pray. Two years ago, Nakry developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurry vision, photophobia, and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Nakry learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled there seeking treatment. On August 24th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and implant an intraocular lens in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Nakry said, "I hope I can see clearly again so I can take care of my grandchildren well and visit the pagoda by myself."
Ar is a 28-year-old man who lives with his wife, three sons, and two daughters in a refugee camp. Originally from Burma, his family fled to Thailand 20 years ago due to civil war. His children attend school, except for his youngest daughter, who is not yet old enough. His wife is a homemaker and Ar works as a day laborer when work is available. Ar's family shared that, in addition to his day laborer pay, they receive a monthly cash card from The Border Consortium to purchase food in the refugee camp. Overall, the family's total monthly income is just enough to cover their basic needs. On September 2nd, Ar climbed a tamarind tree to pick tamarinds fruit. When the branch he was standing on suddenly broke, he fell and landed on his right arm and experienced pain in his back. He visited the camp hospital that day, and the medic initially determined that his arm was not broken. Due to recent positive COVID-19 cases in the refugee camp, Ar could not be immediately referred to the local hospital for further testing and was kept for observation at the camp hospital. When the pain in Ar's back and arm did not subside the next day, the medic referred Ar to the local hospital. After receiving a negative COVID-19 test, Ar was finally able to visit the hospital on September 6th, where he received an X-ray for his arm and a blood test for a second COVID-19 test. The X-ray revealed that his upper right arm is broken. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ar will undergo surgery on September 8th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will enable Ar to continue working in the future. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Ar shared, "I am scared to receive surgery. But I was told that I will not be able to work using my right arm if I do not receive surgery, so I gave my consent to the doctor. I hope that I will be able to work again after I receive treatment."
Grace is a beautiful, charming, and smiley 15-month-old baby. Grace's parents are small scale farmers and have one other child. They grow and sell maize and vegetables. Grace's mother sells fresh vegetables to her surrounding neighbors to make a living while, her father works at a carwash to support their family. Grace has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Grace has been experiencing vomiting and high fevers. Without treatment, Grace will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Grace that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 9th and will drain the excess fluid from Grace's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Grace should grow and develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Grace’s mother says, "Our baby is usually very active and playful but as days go by, her condition worsens, causing her weakness, vomiting and high fevers. Please help us."
Jesca is a hardworking, friendly, and sociable girl who loves music and singing in the choir at church. She's an 18-year-old teenager, born as the third child in a family of nine. Jesca was only able to study until seventh grade because she was experiencing mobility issues due to clubfoot, making going to school particularly challenging. Jesca's father tried to encourage his daughter to continue with school by discussing with her the the importance of education. However, Jesca was too concerned about going to secondary school, which is located even further away and thereby posing an even bigger challenge for her. Jesca has clubfoot on her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Jesca has now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform a clubfoot repair surgery on June 29th, and requests support of $935 for her treatment costs. After treatment, Jesca will be able to walk normally and is hopeful for a better life ahead. Jesca describes her previous decisions about school with regret but turns an optimistic outlook for her future: "If it wasn’t for my foot I would have probably continued with school and maybe today I would be in a better position. I am now working but my foot is still limiting my work. Please help me have my foot corrected."
Yin is a 62-year-old woman who lives with her husband, daughter, son in-law, and granddaughter in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. She is a homemaker, and she loves cooking and cleaning around her house. In her free time, Yin loves to play with her granddaughter. Her husband is retried, and her son in-law is unemployed. Yin’s family receives 800 baht (approx. 27 USD) on a cash card every month to purchase rations. This income is just enough for their daily needs, but they cannot afford to pay other costs like healthcare. Currently, Yin has limited vision and can only make out if it is dark or light outside with her right eye. The vision in Yin’s left eye is starting to blur, and she cannot see far with her left eye. She is worried that she will lose vision in both of her eyes. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Yin. On June 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Yin's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Yin shared, "Before my vision started to blur, I used to make and sell mohinga [a type of Burmese noodles]. With the money that I earned from selling mohinga, I was able to buy vegetables for my family. However, when the vision in my right eye vision became blurred, I could no longer make mohinga anymore. I hope that my vision will be restored after I complete my treatment.”
Brandon is a one-week-old baby and has one older sibling. Brandon's parents are small scale farmers of maize and vegetables, and his father also has a motorbike that he uses to carry passengers to make a living to be able to support his family. Brandon 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, Brandon 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, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Brandon's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. This procedure will hopefully spare Brandon from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Brandon’s mother says, "Please help treat our baby, we don’t have anywhere to ask for help and we cannot afford the cost."
Sinath is 37 years old man and about a year ago, Sinath had a tumor removed from his right knee. His knee continued to bother him, and he was unable to walk and felt poorly. More recently, Sinath fell off his motorbike and reinjured the same knee, which became more swollen and feels more painful at night. He is not able to walk without support. Doctors conducted a biopsy, which showed he has chondrosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that develops in cartilage cells. Doctors have recommended that the best course of action for him is an amputation above his left knee and then he can begin to have his mobility back and be more independent. Sinath will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo an amputation surgery on February 2nd. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $446 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Once fully recovered, he will be free of pain and will slowly learn to walk again. Sinath shared, "I hope that my right knee will have no pain nor wound infection after my surgery, and that I will heal quickly."
Ku is an 11-year-old student from Thailand. Ku lives with his mother, four brothers and a sister in a refugee camp. All of his siblings also go to school, except for his oldest brother, who used to work with their mother as agricultural day labourers. However, since the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020, they have not been able to leave the camp easily to find work. Ku's father works as a day labourer outside of the camp, but has also been unable to find consistent work due to the pandemic. Ku's family receives some financial support from an external organisation, but it is not enough to cover their expenses, and they shared that they often borrow rice or money from their neighbors. In March 2021, Ku and his friends were playing tag that led him to have a bad fall. Ku had taken off his sandals and left them at the top of a hill. When he ran up the rocky hill to fetch his sandals, he slipped and stuck out his left hand to break his fall, breaking his wrist. Currently, Ku’s left hand and forearm are very painful. He cannot bend his wrist and can only move his fingers slightly. Before his accident, Ku was able to prepare his own meals and set up his mosquito net at night. But now, he needs someone to help him do these tasks. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ku will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for March 10th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Ku use his left hand again and live pain-free. He will be able to cook his own meals again and set up his mosquito net by himself. Now, he and his family need help raising money for this procedure. Ku's mother shared, "After he receives treatment, I want Ku to continue his studies until he graduates and becomes a medic."
Naw Kwee Moo is a 54-year-old woman who lives with her husband, three daughters and three sons in Mae Ra Ma Luang Refugee Camp in Thailand. She and her family fled to the camp in 2006 from Burma. Today, Naw Kwe is a homemaker and her husband is too ill to work. Five of their children go to school in the camp, four other children have moved away, and she proudly shared that her second oldest son graduated from a post-secondary program in May 2020. Naw Kwe’s family receives 2,030 baht (approx. 68 USD) in a month on a cash card to purchase rations for basic food needs. Although they receive free education and primary health care in the camp, Naw Kwee’s family struggles to make ends meet each month. Four years ago, Naw Kwee started going to the camp’s hospital run by Malteser International (MI) Thailand to receive treatment for urinary tract infections (UTI). Most of the time, she would feel better after taking medication, but she was no longer able to work as an agricultural day labourer. Over the next few years, when she increasingly sought treatment for UTIs, she was diagnosed with chronic UTI. When her condition did not improve after taking antibiotics, a doctor at the camp’s hospital referred her to another hospital in March 2020, where she was diagnosed with a right kidney stone. In June 2020, after a delay due to COVID-19, Naw Kwee was able to get to Chiang Mai Hospital for further treatment. There, doctors confirmed her earlier diagnosis, in addition to hydronephrosis, a condition where the kidney swells due to a build-up of urine. Currently, Naw Kwee takes pain medication whenever she experiences pain or discomfort in the right side of her back from her kidney stone. The pain will usually only last for a day before it disappears, but she feels weak. Sometimes she also has cloudy urine and a mild fever. Her appetite has decreased, but she tries to eat as much as she can. Naw Kwee will need to undergo multiple rounds of laser treatment to break up the stone in her kidney. Her first round of shockwave lithotripsy will be on February 11th. Naw Kwee will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, who requests $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will be free of pain and will be able to resume weaving and sewing, which she enjoyed doing before having this condition. Naw Kwee shared, “I’m desperately trying to stop the pain in my back from returning. Because of the pain, I can’t even do household chores properly. I can’t sleep well and sometimes I have difficulty breathing. Once I recover, I’ll no longer feel stressed because of this pain. I’ll be able to enjoy my days even though I have some problems related to aging.”