Dijana ObralicUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Dijana's Story

Dijana joined Watsi on May 11th, 2017. Seven years ago, Dijana joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Dijana's most recent donation supported Kyu, a high school teacher from Burma, to fund heart surgery.

Impact

Dijana has funded healthcare for 87 patients in 11 countries.

Patients funded by Dijana

Kyu is a 43-year-old teacher from Burma. She lives with her mother, husband, and two sons in Yangon Division, Burma. Kyu’s mother is retired, and her two sons are students. Kyu’s husband works as a motorcycle taxi driver. Kyu is a high school teacher who conducts classes from her home. Their combined monthly income is sufficient to cover their basic living expenses but they are not able to save money. When they have health issues, they rely on a nearby clinic for medical attention. In her free time, she enjoys reading books and she'd like to be able to continue teaching her students at home once she feels better. Kyu was born with an atrial septal defect (ASD), a condition in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of the heart. Sometimes ASDs may close on their own during development, but sometimes this condition requires surgery to repair the hole and prevent long-term damage to the heart and lungs. Kyu is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on February 4th to correct the atrial septal defect and improve her quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to support the cost of Kyu's procedure and care. Kyu said “Since my heart condition worsened, I couldn’t teach my students due to my fatigue. Now I felt very happy when I learned that the BCMF organisation would support my surgery. Without the help of these donors, I couldn’t afford the treatment. I would like to be thankful to all donors and BCMF for supporting my surgery.”

$640raised
$860to go

Shashi is a 15-year-old student and the second-born child in a family of five children. His parents are farmers who depend on small-scale agriculture for sustenance and to generate some income to cover their daily expenses. Shashi was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, a condition characterized by bilateral knocking of the knees that is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones. He first experienced this condition when he was 5 years old. Despite trying various traditional treatment methods, they were all unsuccessful. Due to the fear of being unable to afford the medical expenses, they did not initially seek help from a hospital. As a result, as Shashi grew older, his condition continued to deteriorate. What initially began as a slight bowing of his legs progressively worsened over time, causing immense concern for his parents. It became increasingly challenging for him to walk and engage in activities that required long distances of walking. He was forced to stop attending school because of its distance from home and the lack of transportation options available in his area. His condition has made it difficult for him to connect with his peers. Fortunately, our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) can help. Shashi is scheduled for corrective surgery on August 1st, and AMH is requesting $880 to fund the procedure. Treatment will hopefully restore Shashi's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Shashi says, “It is painful living like this. My legs hurt when I walk. I can’t play and socialize with my friends. I hope the treatment I get will make my life better.”

$880raised
Fully funded

Ya is a 41-year-old woman from Burma. She currently lives with her father who is retired, her brother who is a student, and her son who works on the family rice farm with her. Their farming sustains their family, as they have no other source of income. They also forage for plants and vegetables from the forest. In her free time, Ya enjoys weaving traditional Karen (her ethnic community) bags. As a result of COVID-19 and the February 2021 coup, it is no longer feasible for Ya’s family to have traditional jobs. Her family faces extreme instability due to ongoing fighting in their area. Often, they must escape to nearby forests to avoid the conflict. They spend around a week at a time displaced in the forests. After the fighting has moved, they return to their village. Recently they had to sell their two cows to support themselves. In September 2020, Ya began experiencing back pain, and it was uncomfortable for her to walk and do regular activities because she cannot put pressure on her abdomen. She was diagnosed with myoma, or uterine fibroids. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Ya's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Ya is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on July 10th with the help of our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), who is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Ya will no longer be in pain and will be able to walk without discomfort and work on the farm with her son. Ya said, “I want to get the surgery and recover quickly so I can go back to my family and help with the farm.” She is not sure what the future will hold as the fighting in her village is still happening, but she said, “I just want to be happy and stay with my family for the rest of my life.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Melesh is a playful and smiley four year old girl who lives with her mother, two brothers and one sister in Ethiopia. She is the youngest of the four children, and loves going to school. Melesh's older siblings have finished high school, but did not proceed to university, and are currently unemployed. Her mother - who is divorced from Melesh's father - makes and sells traditional beverages for a living. Her mom shared that their family does not receive any support from the father. Melesh was born with a rare, congenital anomaly, called bladder exstrophy. As a result of this condition, the abdominal wall doesn't fully form as the bladder is developing, leaving the pubic bones separated, and the bladder exposed to the outside surface of the skin. Urine leaks directly into Melesh's abdomen, so that she suffers from infections and other symptoms. In fact, Melesh has stopped going to school because the other children insult her because of her condition. Melesh's mother is worried, as Melesh has isolated herself to avoid being stigmatized by the community. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,500 to fund the Mainz Pouch procedure which if successful, should enable Melesh to pass urine normally. Surgery is scheduled for May 16th at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre, and should allow Melesh to resume the life of a happy and healthy four year old. Melesh's mother said: “I will educate her once she gets the surgery and heals. I will work on keeping her clean. I hope she will be content and healthy."

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Marion is a 6-year-old student from the highlands of Elgeyo Marakwet county in Kenya. She is the second born in a family of three girls and currently attending preschool near her family home. Her parents are small-scale potato farmers. One day Marion's mother went to the river to fetch water. While she was gone, her children were sitting near an open fireplace at home making breakfast. Unfortunately, Marion's dress caught fire on the open flame, and as a result, she sustained severe burns on her back, abdomen and thighs. It has been difficult for her to walk, and the wounds are causing extreme discomfort. She especially needs a third surgery to treat the severity of her burns contractures. Despite Marion's parents having medical insurance, due to previous surgeries that she has had to treat the injuries, the insurance (a monthly subscription) has run its course and is no longer an option. Her parents do not have the funds to pay for Marion's surgery and need support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Marion receive treatment. On January 25th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery that will allow her to walk with greater ease and resume her normal life at home and school. Now, she and her family are requesting $1,478 to help fund this procedure. Marion's mother says, “I am really looking forward to seeing my daughter live and walk in a normal way. I worked hard to pay for insurance coverage, but unfortunately, it cannot fund the upcoming procedure. I am disappointed, but I will not lose hope. Kindly help her.”

$1,478raised
Fully funded