Galen joined Watsi on February 19th, 2015. Nine years ago, Galen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Galen's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Collins, a 12-year-old boy from Kenya, to fund surgery to correct his spinal scoliosis.
Galen has funded healthcare for 106 patients in 13 countries.
Galen has funded healthcare for 106 patients in 13 countries.
Meet Collins, a 12-year-old calm boy, the second born in a family of 3 children and a student at a special school. Their family hails from Shamata village in Nyandarua county. His mother is a single mother and is a small farmer. She shared how devastated she was upon receiving the news of her son's spine deformity. In her mind, she thought that her child could not survive until she was referred to a specialist, who explained the condition and how it could be corrected. Collins was born with a condition known as severe scoliosis, a spine deformity and a sideway curvature of the spine. This condition has greatly affected his mobility. He cannot bend and gets tired quickly while walking. Apart from the spine deformity, he is also mentally impaired, which has delayed his education. He is scheduled to undergo surgery to help heal his spine. The treatment will be impactful to him because he will be able to walk upright and continue with his education uninterrupted. "I am kindly requesting you to support my son, who is undergoing surgery and we are unable to pay for it. Your help will be highly appreciated as you help me put a smile on my son's face. Thank you so much for considering my request," shared Collin's mother.
Jaziel is a 13-month old toddler from Ethiopia who loves to play and laugh with his parents. He is an only child, and his mother works in their home, while his father is a driver for a construction site company. They live in a rented one-bedroom house on the outskirts of town. Jaziel was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of cancer and infertility. His mother said, "When the doctor told us about his condition, we were sad and disturbed. I didn't even fully understand the condition. I thought it was something else. I understood the condition after the doctor at Cure Ethiopia explained it to me; I felt a bit relieved, but it was a hard year." Fortunately, Jaziel is now scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Jaziel's mother said, “After the surgery, we hope he will be normal and be able to go to the bathroom as normal as other children.”
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."
Mu Yeh, a 23-year-old woman, resides in a refugee camp in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand, along with her parents, brother, sister-in-law, and sister. Her parents run a snack-selling business from their home, while her brother and sister-in-law are currently unemployed. Mu Yeh's sister attends school within the camp, and she herself is a homemaker. In her leisure time, Mu Yeh finds joy in weaving traditional Karen ethnic clothes and visiting her relatives in the refugee camp. Each month, they receive 1,303 baht (approximately 43 USD) on a cash card from an organization called The Border Consortium. Additionally, they raise pigs which they sell when in need of extra cash. Despite their modest monthly income, it barely covers their daily expenses. Fortunately, they receive essential healthcare from Malteser International (MI) Thailand, which is provided free of charge in the refugee camp. In October 2022, Mu Yeh noticed a mass in her left breast. Initially, she dismissed it as normal, but by May 2023, the mass had grown and began causing her pain. Currently, Mu Yeh experiences considerable pain and discomfort in her left breast due to the large mass. The pain radiates towards the left side of her torso, making it difficult for her to carry anything heavy with her left hand. Seeking medical attention, she visited the hospital in the refugee camp, where the doctor referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital for further evaluation and treatment. On July 4th, with the assistance of MI staff, Mu Yeh underwent an ultrasound of both breasts. The results revealed cysts in her right breast and confirmed the presence of a mass in her left breast. Subsequently, she underwent a biopsy. During her follow-up appointment on July 18th, the doctor diagnosed her with fibroadenoma in her left breast and fibrocystic changes in her right breast. The doctor recommended removing the benign mass from her left breast under general anesthesia. Her surgery was scheduled for August 2nd. However, unable to afford the procedure, MI staff referred her to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial assistance to access treatment. BCMF is now requesting $1500 to help fund the procedure Mu Yeh needs. Mu Yeh said, “In the future, I would like to become a medic. When there is training in the refugee camp, I will register because I would like to study medicine.”
Dennis is a hardworking tricycle driver from the Philippines. He lives with his wife, Marecar, and their three-year-old child. Despite his hard work and dedication, Dennis's income is just enough for his family's basic needs but not for his needed surgical treatment. In October 2022, Dennis began to experience troubling symptoms, including pain and bleeding in a sensitive area. He sought medical consultation and was advised to undergo a colonoscopy. He was prescribed medicines to relieve the pain, but unfortunately, it has continued. He was then forced to have another medical checkup and was diagnosed with bleeding internal hemorrhoids, which gives him discomfort and pain, and hinders him from working to support his family. He needs surgery to prevent his symptoms from getting worse. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Dennis receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo a hemorrhoidectomy on June 20th at WSFP's care center. The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation is supporting a portion of the cost of his treatment, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,285 to cover the cost of Dennis's procedure and care. Dennis shared, "I am very thankful to Watsi, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, and those helping us get this surgery done. It is such a big help for me and my family."
Aung is a 34 year old office clerk who lives on his own in Yangon, Burma. In November 2019, Aung started to tire easily. At first he thought it was due to working too much, but when he started to feel tired after walking short distances, he became concerned. He told his employer about his symptoms, and they suggested that he might have a heart condition. Aung then went to a heart specialist, where he was diagnosed with atrial septal defect, which is a hole in the upper chambers of his heart. Because he could not afford to pay for treatment, Aung traveled to Mae Tao Clinic in Mae Sot, Thailand, where he was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Now they are seeking $1,500 for the operation that Aung needs to close the hole in his heart. Surgery is scheduled for May 20th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Until he has this procedure, Aung will continue having shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and chest pain - worsening with time. "In the future, I hope I can find a higher paying job so that I can help support my mother and my younger sisters who live in another city," said Aung as he dreamed about his future when he feels well again.
Rose is a 62-year-old widow with two fully grown children. She lost her husband four years ago. Rose owns a small business where she sells sand and also performs garden maintenance for a small fee. Rose gets support from both children, who are married with children themselves now. She lives with her second-born child in a three-bedroom house without water and electricity. Rose likes doing house chores and enjoys eating nsima, a culinary tradition of Malawi, made from maize flour with vegetables. In 2014, Rose started experiencing pain when she swallowed. She visited the hospital near her home, where she was treated. The treatment worked for awhile until December of last year when her daughter noticed that Rose's neck was swollen on the right side. In March, Rose noticed that the swelling was getting larger and also causing consistent pain. Rose decided it was time to visit Kamuzu Central Hospital in Malawi where a scan revealed her mass had grown substantially and was stemming from the right thyroid lobe. Her doctor diagnosed her with a goiter and determined that surgery would be needed. Due to her financial challenges, Rose could not afford the surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. Rose met with a surgeon who confirmed her diagnosis and the need for surgical intervention called a thyroidectomy, which removes part or all of the thyroid gland. Rose believes the surgery will help her to get better and prevent her symptoms from impacting her day to day life, and allow her to focus on how good her life is. She was able to contribute $10 toward her care and is grateful to all to help her raise the $1,015 needed. Rose said, “Thank you donors for supporting me, I want to live my normal life.”
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."
Douby is a 17 year old student, living with his Godmother and her family in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Douby enjoys going to school, and aspires to attain a PhD in agronomy, and to become a professor. As a result of rheumatic fever that he suffered as a child, Douby has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral and tricuspid regurgitation. Two of his four heart valves were severely damaged by the rheumatic fever, and his heart cannot adequately pump blood through his body, leaving him sick and short of breath. The care Douby needs is not available in Haiti so he urgently will fly to the United States to receive treatment on February 28th at Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital. He will undergo emergency cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair both damaged valves; if the valves cannot be repaired, they will be removed, and artificial valves will be implanted in their place. While another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000.00 to help pay for Douby's surgery, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs for the surgery prep and transport support, including lab tests; medicines, and follow up appointments. The money will alsosupport the passport and travel expenses for the social workers that will accompany Douby and his family to the U.S. Douby was able to share: "I am looking forward to being stronger and healthier once my heart can be repaired!"
Khine is a 17-year-old girl from Burma. She lives with her mother, her older sister, and her uncle's family. She works as a domestic worker. Three months ago, she started to feel dizzy and have headaches. She had a CT scan at Mae Sot Hospital, which indicated she might have a brain tumor. Shine experiences headaches, dizziness, and sometimes vomits. She has also had seizures multiple times and weakness in her limbs. She has little appetite and has lost weight. Gradually, she is losing her ability to speak. Khine sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo surgery to remove the tumor on February 3rd. She is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Her uncle said, "Although I am a man, I have cried for my niece. I even thought about selling one of my organs (for money), one of my kidneys perhaps, because we cannot afford to treat her. Thank you to all the donors for helping my niece. After she is treated, I want her to have a happy family, with a husband and children. I cannot wait to see my niece happy."
Maxwell is a charming, five year old boy from Kenya. He and his three older siblings live with their single mother, who works as a laundry aide and also as a small scale farmer. Maxwell was born with clubfoot, for which he has received treatment with casting and orthotics since birth. However, due to financial challenges, he was unable to undergo serial casting and other necessary procedures, which has left him with pain when walking for long distances. Fortunately, Maxwell's family now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 16th. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,286 to fund Maxwell's clubfoot repair. After treatment, Maxwell will be able to walk comfortably, without discomfort or pain. Maxwell's mother said: "I am requesting support from the donors to help my son undergo surgery so that he can have a normal life."
Dennis is the first born in a family of four children. When he finished high school, he was reluctant to join college because of his condition. He currently is not able to work because he gets easily tired and cannot carry heavy loads. He joined college just recently but has been out of school for the past two months. Now that he is at home, he helps his mother who picks tea for a living. He does not have a health insurance coverage and cannot raise the required amount of money to cater for his hospital bill. In 2019 while he was sitting for his national school exams, Dennis experienced sharp pain in his esophagus. He took a glass of water, and the pain went away for a few weeks. The pain used to occur roughly two times in a month and a glass of water would help a lot. Late last year, the pain worsened. He was not in a position to swallow food. He went to a herbalist and was given some medication to use for some time. When the dose was over, the pain was still persistent, and he still could not swallow food normally. He was then referred to Kijabe Hospital by a friend where he was examined and given some medication to use. He didn't feel better and decided to go back to the herbalist for different medication but there was no change. Later he finally returned to Kijabe Hospital and scans and tests revealed that he has Achalasia. He is scheduled for a heller's myotomy which is a curative laparotomy surgery for his condition. Now he needs $1,074 to pay for the surgery. Dennis says, "I feel very sad. If I was healthy, I would be able to work well and be comfortable with myself.”