Catherine joined Watsi on June 18th, 2015. Seven years ago, Catherine joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Catherine's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Shee, a bright and caring 12-year-old from Thailand, to fund hernia repair surgery so she can focus on her studies free of pain and discomfort.
Catherine has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 12 countries.
Catherine has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 12 countries.
Shee is a bright and caring 12-year-old girl from Thailand who likes to play the piano, listen to music, and help her caregiver garden with her friends. She lives with 30 students, including her younger brother, in the dormitory of Has Thoo Lei Learning Centre. She is currently in fifth grade, and her brother is in third grade. Both her and her brother's dormitory fees, including food and accommodations, are funded by a Christian nonprofit organization called Compassion Thailand. Both of her parents currently live in Burma and work as subsistence farmers. Her father also works as a day laborer. Shee's parents support her and her brother with their school fees and pocket money. For the past two years, Shee has dealt with femoral hernias. As a result of her condition, she experiences pain in her right groin, as well as pain and discomfort when she sits for a long period of time. When she plays with her friends or is active, the bulge increases in size. Her condition has progressively worsened, and she has had to miss school frequently as a result. Fortunately, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Shee's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 22nd. Once completed, she will hopefully be able to live more comfortably. Shee says, “I want to become a nurse when I grow up one day and help people in my community who are sick and need my help.”
William is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. He is a married man with twelve children. Some of his oldest children are married while others are still in school. William and his family live in a semi-permanent house. He has been a long-term potato farmer who has been growing them mainly for sale. His family has worked on their farm and it has contributed a lot to their income. Through the limited income William makes, he has been able to provide for his children's basic needs. William has medical insurance that he has been using throughout all his visits for inpatient and outpatient services for his medical procedures. In May 2019, when William was walking along the road, he was hit by a motorbike and he fell down, thus injuring his lower limb. Immediately, he was taken to a facility where he was admitted and surgery was done. All was well up to last year when he started feeling unwell and decided to visit our partner's hospital. He presented with a lot of pain, he had a wound that was discharging pus, and his affected limb was swollen. An x-ray was recommended and it found that he had a non-union on his fractured bone and he had to be admitted for hardware removal, as it was already infected. He went to the operating theater for infected hardware removal and antibiotic nailing was done in order to treat his infection. Since the nail was not stable, a patella tendon-bearing cast was applied in order to immobilize his non-united fracture. He has been in and out of the hospital for frequent check-ups, change of dressing, and casts. The wound has not improved and at some time after the antibiotic nailing, he went to the operating room for debridement and vacuum-assisted closure of the wound to help in healing and daily dressing change has been done in a health facility near his home. He also suffered eye problems in between and can barely see at the moment. On Monday when he came for review, his wound was not well and had a foul smell. His hardware needs to be removed, the non-union has to be taken down and an ORIF procedure will be done for stability. He was prepared for admission, but then it was realized that he had exhausted his inpatient insurance limit. In order to save his leg, it is vital to perform the surgery immediately. William has no alternative way of paying for his procedure, which is very complex. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 7th, William will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. When treated, William will be able to walk normally and he will continue with farming to provide for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1145 to fund this medical care. William says, "Spending most of the time in the hospital has been quite challenging. I cannot work or supervise my work as I did before because of my fractured limb. I am really looking forward to getting better in order to stabilize my family again. Please help me."
Pan is a 60-year-old husband and father from Cambodia. His wife is a farmer who grows rainy day rice. The couple has a son, who is a construction worker, and a daughter in the seventh grade. In his free time, he enjoys listening to the news on the radio or watching television. For several years, Pan has experienced hip pain from osteonecrosis, where blood flow to a bone is interrupted. He has had surgery on both hips in the past, but still experiences chronic pain. He is unable to help his wife on the farm and stays inside because he cannot walk without assistance. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), are helping Pan receive treatment. He traveled two and a half hours to CSC's care center, where, on November 14th, surgeons plan to perform a right hip arthroplasty. During the procedure, the damaged bone and cartilage will be removed and replaced with prosthetic components. Now, Pan and his family need help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. Pan shared, "I hope my right hip will have no pain after surgery, and I can walk and work for my family again."
U Nyan is a 62-year-old man who lives with his wife in Mon State, Burma. He used to work as a tricycle taxi driver as well as a day labourer but since he had stroke around three months ago, he stopped working. His wife also had a stroke and cannot work. They have a daughter who works across the border in Bangkok, and she sends them some money every three or four months. However, the amount that her daughter sends is not enough for U Nyan and his wife for their daily expenses and they shared that, occasionally, their neighbor also gives them food. Recently, U Nyan noticed a small lump on his left elbow, which rapidly became enlarged and painful. Currently, U Nyan is in a lot of pain and cannot sleep. After seeking treatment at various clinics and hospitals, U Nyan was finally referred to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) where he was diagnosed with an abscess around his left elbow joint and scheduled for surgery on May 9th. When he told the doctor that he could not afford to pay for his surgery, the doctor referred him to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for financial assistance accessing surgery. He has already borrowed about $350 so far to help with his diagnosis and treatment, and people in his community have pitched in to support him financially. Our medical partner is helping him raise $760 for his surgery. “After surgery I want to go home and look after my wife. I want to listen to sermons, meditate and do good deeds,” shared U Nyan.
Hla is a 43-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, daughter and son in a village in Thailand. They fled from across the border in Burma seven months ago because of fighting in their area. She used to be an agriculture day labourer but stopped working a month ago since her condition is worsened. Her husband is also an agriculture day labourer and her son is a student. Two years ago, Hla felt a small mass in her breast. The mass was not painful so she need not seek treatment. A few months ago, the mass started to increase in size and became painful. Currently, Hla still feels pain and feels stressed about her condition and also worries if her condition can be treatable or not. Fortunately, Hla sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on September 11th. She needs $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Hla said, "I am very happy that I will be able to receive surgery soon. I hope that I will be able to work again after my surgery."
Srors is a student and the only child in her family. Her parents are divorced and since childhood she has been living with an NGO in Kandal Province. She enjoys reading books, exercising, watching TV, swimming, and listening to music. She is completing 12th grade in public school and her best subject is math. Srors was burned all over the body by an oil lamp when she was three years old. After the accident her family took her to a hospital in Phnom Penh for one year of treatment. When she was 17, she was operated on again for related skin contractures. Now, she has come to our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) because of unhealed tissue on her left knee. It is difficult for her to walk, and she is in pain. On April 5th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft procedure to to help her walk easily again. Now, Srors needs help to fund this $474 procedure. Srors says, "I hope I can heal quickly and return to school."
Maureen is a charming and friendly three-year-old from Tanzania. She is the firstborn child of her parents, who are both small-scale farmers. They depend on the food they harvest to feed their family, and they earn money by selling the vegetables. Maureen was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, a condition that causes her legs to bow inward, making her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Maureen has a difficult time walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Maureen. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 15th. Undergoing this treatment will hopefully restore her mobility, allowing her to participate in a variety of activities. It will also greatly decrease the risk of future complications. Maureen’s mother says, “My daughter’s walking has been of concern for a long time. Please help her.”
Morn is a 53-year-old recycled material collector. She is married, and has two daughters and two sons. In her free time, she helps to take care of her grandchildren. Many years ago Morn had an ear infection. This infection caused both of her ear drums to perforate. As a result, Morn experiences pain, hearing loss, and ear discharge. She also has difficulty communicating clearly with others. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is helping Morn to receive treatment. On June 8th, surgeons at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre will close the perforations in Morn's ear drums. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $914 to fund the procedure, and to pay for medications, supplies and inpatient care. Morn says: "I hope after surgery the ear discharge will end, and my hearing finally improves."
Ruth is a two-year-old girl who lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, which is the capital of the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. She is her parent's first child. Ruth was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus, which causes blood to leak through a hole between two major blood vessels near her heart. The condition makes it difficult for Ruth's small heart to fully function. Fortunately, her condition is highly treatable with surgery. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, so our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged to take Ruth and her mother to the Dominican Republic, where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole near her heart. The treatment, scheduled for May 25th, will stop blood from leaking into her blood vessels and should allow her to live a full life ahead. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 toward the surgery cost. Her family is raising $1,500 to help cover the rest of her treatment and related care, including travel for Ruth and her mother. Her mother shared, "Our family is very hopeful that after the surgery, our daughter will have more energy and a better appetite."
BB Martine is a 10-month-old baby from Haiti. He is his parent's only child. They shared how much he likes to smile and the joy this brings to them. BB Martine has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, BB Martine has been experiencing an increasing head circumference, which is very worrisome for their family. Without treatment, BB Martine will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for BB Martine at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on April 13th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from BB Martine's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, BB Martine will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. BB Martine's family is hopeful that with treatment, their son will have a chance at a healthy childhood.
Daw lives with her two sons who work as day labourers getting work where they can. While her sons work, her daughter comes over to do their household chores. The income her sons earn is not enough to cover their daily expenses and sometimes they have to borrow money from their neighbor. Around 15 years ago, Tin was diagnosed with high blood pressure and diabetes. In early January, she noticed that she had developed ulcers on her left soles. She could not even remember injuring her left foot, but she went to a clinic twice to have her foot treated. Unfortunately, her condition worsened and by the end of February, she also developed ulcers an on her right big toe. In March, she was brought to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where she was admitted. She underwent wound debridement surgery on her left foot. A few days later, the doctor told her they would need to do an amputate her right foot so that her infection did not spread further. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Tin and her family raise the financial support for her treatment. Currently, Tin is experiencing a lot of pain in both her left foot and her right big toe. At night, she has a fever and cannot sleep. She cannot walk and needs her son to help her go to the bathroom and take a shower. “Since I learned that donors could help pay for my surgery, I feel very happy,” she said. “I want to say thank you to the donors.”
Ko Myo lives with his mother in a village in Burma. He used to be a motorcycle taxi driver but stopped working two months ago when his health deteriorated. His mother and wife currently care for him, washing clothes and working in a clothing factory in Yangon, earning income to support their family. With the help of Watsi donors, Ko Myo underwent his second round of laser treatment in January 2020, at Mae Sot Hospital in Thailand, to breakup stones in his left kidney. He was scheduled to undergo a third round of laser treatment however, when the Thai-Burma border closed in March 2020 due to increasing COVID-19 cases, Ko Myo was not able to go back to the hospital. He felt better until the first week of December 2021 when he started experiencing a lot of pain in his waist when he sat for a long time. With the border still closed and without enough money to go to a hospital, Ko Myo sought advice. He then went with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, in Yangon to a clinic in January 2022 and was able to visit our partner's care center, Shin Par Ku Hospital. The doctor has told him he will need surgery on his left kidney to remove the stone and has scheduled him to have the procedure on February 6th. Currently, Ko Myo has little appetite and experiences pain in the left side of his back. He is eagerly awaiting surgery. He shared, "I pity my wife because she has to work hard and support me. Now, I am so happy that I will receive surgery soon," he said. "One day I want to open my own shop in the market and sew children's clothing."