United States • Born on February 6th
Works at Carbon Direct
Jeff joined Watsi on November 27th, 2020. Two years ago, Jeff joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jeff's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Ashin Mala, a 30-year-old monk from Burma, to fund eye surgery.
Jeff has funded healthcare for 31 patients in 11 countries.
Jeff has funded healthcare for 31 patients in 11 countries.
Ashin Mala is a 30-year-old monk from Burma. He became a monk a year ago and currently lives in a monastery in Karen State. He receives two meals a day and cash donations from worshippers. In October 2022, he visited the house of a member of the ethnic armed group in the village. At the home, a child was playing with a pistol and accidentally shot the gun, hitting a wall. Unfortunately, a part of the bullet ricocheted off the wall and hit Mala in his left eye. Immediately, Ashin Mala was brought to a hospital, where an X-ray showed that bullet shards were lodged under his left eye. The doctor removed most of the bullet shards and closed the gunshot wound. Though time has since passed, he still feels pain in his left eye and has lost vision in that eye. He has also developed itchiness and a burning sensation in that eye. Eventually, he was brought to Mae Sot Hospital in Thailand, where, with the help of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and Watsi donors, he underwent a CT scan. The results showed multiple foreign bodies in his left eye, most likely shards left from the bullet, and indicated that his left eyeball was most likely ruptured. He was then referred to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH), where an ophthalmologist told him they would have to remove his left eyeball. He was then admitted for surgery at CMH on February 22nd. Mala needs help raising $1500 to fund this procedure that will relieve him of his pain. Ashin Mala said, "I believe my pain will disappear after the operation. I want to get rid of the pain. Afterward, I will work hard to attend Dhamma University. I want to become a preacher. I will preach about Dharma [the teachings of Buddha] around my country.”
Meet Andy, a playful two year old boy, living in Kiambu county in Kenya. Andy likes to play, and while on his daily routine, he fell, and injured his right arm. He was taken to a nearby hospital, and was given antibiotics. Later, he was referred to a different hospital for further investigation. The X-rays that were done showed that Andy sustained a fracture of his right arm, and requires surgery urgently. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,224 to fund Andy's surgery, which will enable him to use his arm and hand again. The fracture repair procedure is scheduled to take place on January 19th at AIC Cure International Hospital. “I am appealing for support from well-wishers to help my son undergo surgery and continue with his normal life,” Andy's mother told us.
Paw is 52-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, two daughters and son-in-law in a refugee camp. She and her husband are homemakers, while her eldest daughter and son-in-law are teachers. Her youngest daughter is a student. She has cataracts and she has blurred vision in both of her eyes. Because of her poor vision, she has difficulty walking around the refugee camp and she has had to stop weaving and selling traditional Karen clothes from her home-region of Burma. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Paw. On December 29th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Paw'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. "I hope that my treatment will be successful. I want to be able to see well. I want to continue weaving clothes in the future, and I want to live with my family for the rest of my life,” she said.
Khleng has a vegetable farm in Kampot province. He has one son but shared that he is recently divorced from his wife, so currently lives alone. He enjoys reading books, watching TV, and listening to the radio. In 2008, Khleng was in a traffic accident and lost three of his toes on his left foot due to traumatic amputation. Then in 2015, the same foot was crushed in an accident, with a subsequent chronic infection of his foot. He has not been able to get rid of the infection. His foot has an open wound with persistent discharge, he feels poorly, and he cannot walk or manage his farm. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre can help, and Khleng needs assistance with the $479 cost of a below-the-knee amputation for his untreatable infection. This will cover his surgery, hospitalization, medication, and rehabilitation. Khleng shared: "After my wound has healed, I hope to get a prosthesis for my left foot to walk and I can work normally again. I want to make sure my son goes to school and I can support him."
Kaptuya is a widow and a happy mother of three sons and a daughter from the semi-arid area of Baringo County in Kenya. Her husband passed away some years back after a short illness. Kaptuya and her children live in a semi-permanent three room house on her late husband's piece of land in an area well known for insecurity and cattle rustling. During the rainy season, they plant maize and millet that sometimes yields enough for both her school-aged children, and for her to sell. Currently, the area is faced with drought and famine, so they depend on relief food from the government and from well-wishers due to the lack of rain experienced this year. Six months ago, Kaptuya applied for a job as a housekeeper at a nearby health center. She was happy knowing that she would earn some money, and that the facility would pay for her medical coverage, but unfortunately that did not happen. The salary was also inconsistent and, thus, unreliable. In 2013, when Kaptuya was expecting her last born, she developed a growth at her neck which gradually increased in size. Kaptuya began to experience troubling symptoms, including neck swelling, which is most visible on the right side. She currently experiences shortness of breath, especially at night, and she sleeps with difficulty. She also has a fast heart rate, and easily gets tired, which affects her daily duties. She was diagnosed with non-toxic goiter, or an irregular growth of the thyroid. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Kaptuya receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on November 22nd. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money. Kaptuya says, “I am the only hope for my dear children. I live because of them, and my well-being keeps them going. I would like to get well so that I may continue working in order to support them to pursue their dreams. Please assist me.”
Janeth is a two-year-old girl and the youngest in a family of two children. Her father is a small-scale farmer, while her mother has a few cattle whose milk she sells to buy food and other commodities. They also harvest and sell some of their crops to earn money. They are living in a harsh environment, but they try to manage on a day-to-day basis. Janeth was involved in an accident last year where she sustained severe burns. Her mother had made porridge for breakfast. She took the pot off the fire and placed it at a corner to cool down so that she could feed Janeth. As she went out to clean the plates Janeth took a cup and tried to take porridge by herself from the pot. She dipped her hand in the pot of hot porridge and while pulling her hand out, some of the porridge spilled on her left foot. Her mother ran inside when she heard Janeth crying, but she had already been badly burned. Her mother gave her first aid and rushed her to the nearest clinic where she got treatment that helped with the open wounds. The wounds have healed, but left her with scars that make her left-hand fingers hard to use, and the toe on her left food was disfigured. A relative who saw Janeth advised her mother to seek treatment at our medical partner's care center ALMC (The Plaster House). Janeth was diagnosed with burn scar contracture on her left hand and left foot. Her hand needs a release surgery with skin grafting because her fingers are webbed, and the fifth toe of her left foot needs to be amputated because it causes pain when she tries to wear shoes. Her mother cannot afford the $1,088 cost of treatment and is asking for help. Janeth’s mother says, "I had to convince my husband to let me come and seek treatment for our daughter. I am not at peace every time I think of her.”
Heng is a 61-year-old vegetable seller, who has one daughter, four sons and four grandchildren. Her husband passed away many years ago. Heng lives with her eldest son, who is also a vegetable seller, and enjoys watching movies and the news on TV. Two years ago, Heng developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her partial blindness. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so she is not able to go places independently. When Heng learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two and a half hours to seek treatment. On May 12th, doctors will perform cataract surgery, and implant an intraocular lens in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Heng shared: "I hope after surgery my eye can see clearly so I can return to selling vegetables without so much difficulty."
Bariki is six-year-old boy and the only child of her single mother. He's a charming, friendly, and social kid. Bariki is now old enough to start school because most of his age mates joined class one this year. Bariki couldn’t join the school because he was born with a disability of the legs making walking for him impossible. He was born with a right clubfoot and the left had a congenital deformity of the knee. Currently he has to pull himself around to be able to move from one place to another. Bariki’s mother depends on small-scale farming to be able to feed her child. She lives and farms on her parents’ land. Last year through our medical partner's outreach program they got to know Bariki and the need for him to have treatment to help him have a chance to walk. He went through treatment of manipulation and casting to correct his clubfoot, and this was successful. He has been to an orthopedic clinic trying to see whether his knee joint could be corrected to help him straighten his leg and stand but his knee cannot be released. To help Bariki have a chance to walk with ease he needs amputation above the knee so that when he is healed, he can use a prosthetic leg that will help him walk. Bariki’s mother shared, “I will be so happy if my son can be treated and be able to stand and walk instead of him crawling.”
Samuel is a nine-year-old student who lives with his parents and three siblings in Haiti's capital city, Port-au-Prince. He is currently in third grade and enjoys studying history and science. Samuel has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which is a combination of four different congenital heart defects, including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Fortunately, Samuel is scheduled to travel to the United States where he will undergo cardiac surgery on September 14th at Akron Children's Hospital. During the procedure, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart and remove the blockage from his valve. A portion of the cost of Samuel's treatment is being supported by Akron Children's Hospital. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is raising the remaining $1,500 to cover the costs of his surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA’s social workers to accompany Samuel and his family overseas. Samuel's mother says, "I have been very worried about my son's health for many years. I am looking forward to being able to stop worrying so much after this surgery!"
Chit is a 40-year-old woman from Burma. This past April, she and her husband have moved in with her sister and two nephews in Mae Sot, a border city in Thailand, while she receives treatment. Prior to the move, Chit would sell various fruits from their home in the village, but she had to close her shop once they moved. Her husband has been unable to work due to his disability. They are now supported by Chit's sister, who works as a waitress at a restaurant. In her free time, Chit enjoys gardening and growing various fruit trees, such as avocado, lime, banana, and pomegranate. In the future, she wants to grow and sell fruit tree saplings because she greatly enjoys growing fruit trees! Since August of last year, Chit has been experiencing slight lower abdominal pains. She especially experiences tightness on the right side of her abdomen in the morning right after she wakes up. She has been diagnosed with a uterine fibroid, a noncancerous growth of the uterus. Doctors have advised her to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Chit's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Chit is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on July 26th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain and will be able to return home and work again. Chit shares, “I had to leave my house, and I always have to take care of my husband. But I also have to take care of myself because I am ill. Sometimes, I feel sad and tired of my life. I know surgery will help me...”
Caleb is a sweet one-month-old baby boy. Immediately after his birth, the doctors noticed a small growth on his back, which they attempted to prick. This only made the growth increase in size, and to begin leaking fluid. Recognizing that they could not treat Caleb, the local doctors referred the family to our medical partner BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. A neighbor provided the family with the funds to travel to BethanyKids. Caleb was diagnosed with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect, in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without surgery, Caleb is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delay. As the family has very little income and no national health care insurance, they cannot cover the costs of Caleb's surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. Caleb is scheduled to undergo spina bifida closure surgery on June 16th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. Their family needs $1,151 to fund this life saving procedure, which, it is hoped, will spare Caleb from the risks associated with his condition, allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Caleb’s mother says: “I was very worried about my son’s condition but now I am happy that I know that he can be treated.”
Woldegibreal is a 10-year-old boy, living with his parents and two younger siblings in Ethiopia. He is an intelligent and loving boy, who helps his parents around the house, and with looking after his two siblings. He also loves music and playing football. Woldegibreal was born with a congenital abnormality, which leaves his bladder exposed to the open air, and leaking urine directly into his abdomen. Because of this, Woldegibreal is prone to infections and injury to his bladder, and suffers from constant pain and discomfort. There is a surgical procedure which can correct Woldegibreal's condition. However, even though his parents work hard on the land that they have, they are unable to sustain their family, due to the poor harvests which result from the hot and dry area where they live. They survive with support from others and are unable to cover the costs of Woldegibreal's surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of the life-changing procedure for Woldegibreal, scheduled to take place at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre on May 24th. This procedure will enable Woldegibreal to heal, and to enjoy a full and healthy life. His father shared: “If he gets the surgery we will faint in happiness. We will bless all who helped him. We will send him to school. And we will lead our life with thanksgiving and gratitude.”