Stephen joined Watsi on April 14th, 2013. Nine years ago, Stephen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Stephen's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Saw Eh, a young refugee from Thailand, to fund hernia repair surgery so he can return to school pain free.
Stephen has funded healthcare for 272 patients in 17 countries.
Stephen has funded healthcare for 272 patients in 17 countries.
Saw Eh is a three-year-old boy who lives with his parents and younger brother in a refugee camp in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. His father works in the refugee camp as a water supply staff and he occasionally works as a day labourer. Saw Eh’s mother is a homemaker. Saw Eh used to go to preschool but stopped in March 2023 due to his condition. Saw Eh’s parents noticed a concerning swelling last March so his mother took him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. Over the next couple of months, Saw Eh returned for two follow-up appointments. In September, Saw Eh’s condition became more swollen and painful. The size and pain increased especially while he plays. When his father brought him back to the hospital in the refugee camp, the doctor referred him to Mae Sariang Hospital for further treatment. There, doctors confirmed his diagnosis and scheduled Saw Eh's surgery for October 5th. His parents are concerned that he had to stop going to school due to his condition and he cannot play or run around with his friends. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund is requesting $1,486 to fund hernia repair surgery. This will hopefully allow Saw Eh to play and live more comfortably. Saw Eh's father shared: "I am worried about my son's condition, and I am concerned about his pain and discomfort."
Ustine is a business lady and a mother of three children who are all currently studying. Ustine completed her senior four education but could not pursue further studies due to a lack of school fees. She operates a small business in town, but her earnings are limited due to the low capital investment. Her husband works as a teacher, and they live in a two-room rental house in Farmers Rukungiri town. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family. She is currently expecting a baby and her doctors recommend that she deliver via a caesarean section because of her high-risk pregnancy. This way, doctors can ensure the safety of both mother and child. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Ustine undergo a C-Section on July 4th. This procedure will cost $252, and Ustine needs your support. Ustine says, “I really hope for successful delivery once am given your support to undergo this surgery I need."
Ester is a 56-year-old woman from Uganda. She is married with five children, all in school. Together with her husband, she engages in small-scale farming for survival. Ester humbly requests donors to support her tumor removal surgery, enabling her to lead a better quality of life and continue providing for her family. She has been experiencing swelling around the neck posteriorly for ten years, which has significantly impacted her quality of life. This condition prevents her from turning her neck or carrying anything on her head. She has endured this problem for so long, causing her discomfort and disfigurement. Due to her condition, she avoids wearing clothes that don't cover her neck, fearing ridicule. The inability to afford surgical treatment has been stressful for her. Without proper treatment, her quality of life will continue to deteriorate, and the swelling may progress severely. Ester has never received hospital treatment and has relied on pain relievers from health centers, which did not alleviate her condition. As her mass worsened, she decided to seek help at Nyakibale Hospital, where she learned about successful treatments from others. On November 7th, she is scheduled for surgery to finally remove the mass on her neck. Now, Ester needs help to raise $137 to fund this procedure. Ester says, "I will surely be grateful and praise the Living God to free myself from this condition. I thank the donors for their support, as I cannot afford it. I look forward to farming once I am well."
Su said, "I gave up after I learned the surgery would cost more than we could ever pay. I thought about taking medications to control my symptoms until my time came to go. But now I feel less stressed. Thank you so much for releasing us from our financial problem. I am looking forward to returning to work once I recover." Su lives with her husband, who works as a baker. She stopped working as a factory worker in August due to her deteriorating health and is currently unemployed. Back in 2016, Su began experiencing occasional tiredness, which worsened with physical activity. She also has difficulty sleeping, irregular heartbeat, and loss of appetite. Subsequent investigations, including an ECHO and ECG, revealed she needs a heart surgery called mitral valve replacement. After the surgery, she will no longer experience tiredness, irregular heartbeat, or difficulty sleeping.
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.”
Juliet, who is 39 years old, is a small-scale farmer and mother of six living in Uganda. Her husband owns and runs a small bar. The family lives in a three-room mud house. Since 2014, Juliet has been experiencing troubling symptoms, including persistent headaches, airway obstruction, and a sense of heaviness in her shoulders. She uses painkillers for her headaches, but they continue to impact her ability to work as she has difficulty turning her head. She also struggles to breathe. Juliet was diagnosed with a non-toxic goiter, and she needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Juliet receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on April 15th at Rushoroza Hospital, where surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $333, and Juliet and her family need your help to raise the necessary funds. Juliet says: “I pray for a successful surgery. I want to look normal again and be able to live a comfortable and pain-free life once again. I will continue with farming after recovery.”
29-year-old Salam is a construction worker from Cambodia. He is unmarried and lives with his parents, one brother, and one sister in Prey Veng province. His parents are retired, thus he is responsible for most of the financial support for the family. When he's not working, he likes to play football with his friends. In April 2021, a construction column rolled onto Salam's leg at work, fracturing several bones in his right leg. After the accident, he went to a government hospital, where he had an operation on his ankle and tibia. An external fixation was performed to keep the fractured bones stabilized and in alignment. Now that all of his fractures have healed, Salam would like to have the hardware removed from his leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On March 17th, Salam will undergo a hardware removal procedure at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre, which will cost $304. This procedure will allow him to heal completely and return to his life as it was before his accident. Salam needs your help to raise the money to cover the costs of his care. Salam shared: "After surgery, I hope the wound heals quickly and I can find work again to support my family."
Nang is a 40-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband and son in a camp for people who are internally displaced due to conflict in her country. Her husband is a day laborer, while she looks after their son at home. A few years ago, Nang accidentally cut off her left index and middle finger while chopping wood. Unable to afford a hospital or clinic, she wrapped her injury in a cloth and tried to treat herself with traditional medicine. Over time, the wound became infected, and the infection spread up her hand. She later had her arm amputated below her left elbow at the IDP camp clinic. However, the wound never healed fully and became re-infected. Doctors want Nang to undergo an MRI, a scan which will hopefully help doctors fully diagnose her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $814 to cover the cost of Nang's MRI and care, scheduled for March 6th. She said, “I feel sad about my condition. I am looking forward to getting treatment or surgery at the Hospital. I would like to thank the organization BCMF as I am happy to have the opportunity to receive treatment for my wound."
Chhai Ya is a friendly 6-year-old boy from Cambodia. He and his parents and older brother live in Kandal province; his parents are both construction workers. In school, he likes to hear stories from Khmer literature, and at home, he likes to play with his brother or jump rope. His favorite meal is ice cream. Chhai Ya's right foot was burned in a fire at home when he was nine months old. After the burn healed, the skin on his foot retracted and bent his toes. The joints have become partially dislocated, and it is painful, as well as very difficult for him to walk or run normally. Chhai Ya and his family traveled one and half hours to our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) to seek treatment. On February 21st, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him walk easily and keep up with his friends. His family has contributed $75 to the cost of the surgery, but needs help raising an additional $495 to fully fund his procedure and care. His mother said, "I hope Chhai Ya's foot will look better than before and he can walk and run like other children."
Farhio is a 47-year-old mother and widow from Somalia. She lost her husband two years ago. She is now the sole breadwinner to her family of four children, aged between 8 and 16. Farhio works as a street vendor selling tea by the roadside. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago and underwent chemotherapy, a mastectomy, and radiation. She thought that the cancer had subsided, but, unfortunately, it returned. She went to a hospital in her home country of Somalia where doctors recommended she undergo surgery. She preferred to come to Kijabe Hospital after relatives who live in Nairobi referred her there. Farhio has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Farhio. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 3rd. After treatment, Farhio will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Farhio says, “I thought this disease had gone. Sadly, it came back. I need to treat it before it spreads.”
Manith is a 19-year-old with two brothers, two sisters, and his parents are rice farmers. He recently got a job feeding and looking after ducks. In his free time, he enjoys playing volleyball and going out with his friends. In 2020, Manith was in a motorbike accident and fractured his right clavicle and patella. He went to an emergency hospital and he had a sling fixed for the clavicle fracture and a tension bend wire for his patella. Now, it is time to remove the fracture hardware from his knee so he can fully heal and be out of risk for infection. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On January 11th, Manith will undergo a hardware removal procedure, which will cost $304. This procedure will help him walk easily again. He shared, "After I have surgery, I want to walk easily again and do my new job well."
Pinit is a 24-year-old soldier from Cambodia. He lives with his parents, his grandparents, and two younger brothers in Kampong Speu province. When not working, he likes to play football and go fishing. Pinit fractured his left clavicle a little over a year ago when playing football with his friends. He had an open reduction internal fixation at a government hospital in Pnom Penh. His fracture has healed, but he still feels a chronic ache in his shoulder and neck. He is not able to perform some of the required activities for soldiers. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On December 13th, Pinit will undergo a hardware removal procedure, which will cost $304. The chronic ache will disappear along with his risk of infection and he can return to full activity in his day-to-day life. Pinit shared: "I would like to get back to my full strength, and I hope taking out the metal will help me to get strong again."