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 8,700 miles to support Maureen, a charming and friendly three-year-old from Tanzania, to fund leg surgery so she can increase her mobility and grow in good health.
Catherine has funded healthcare for 80 patients in 12 countries.
Catherine has funded healthcare for 80 patients in 12 countries.
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."
Ray is a 2-year-old boy who lives with his four brothers and parents in a refugee camp. His siblings go to school and his mother weaves traditional Karen skirts for sale at their home. Unfortunately, his father has been unable to leave the refugee camp to search for work since August 2021, due to local COVID-19 restrictions. When Ray was eight months old, his mother noticed a worrying swelling. She brought him to the hospital in the refugee camp, where a medic examined Ray and advised his mother to come back if it increased in size. In July 2021, his parents brought him back to the hospital for a medical examination and he was referred to Mae Sariang Hospital for further treatment. With the help of the organization Malteser International (MI) staff, Ray and his mother were brought to the hospital, where a doctor examined Ray and diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia. Ray has little appetite and cries frequently, and the pain he feels often causes him to wake up during sleep. After completing a physical examination, the doctor scheduled him to be admitted to the hospital on January 12th so he can receive hernia repair surgery the following day. As Ray’s family cannot afford to pay for surgery, MI staff referred him to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, for assistance accessing treatment. This procedure will cost $1,486, and Ray and his family need help raising money. Ray's mother shared, “I will send Ray to school when he is older and I want him to become a doctor because I want my son to help the community and other families."
Mu is a 17-year-old boy who lives with his sister in Mae Sot, Thailand. Before that, he lived with his parents, one older sister, two younger brothers and one younger sister in a refugee camp. His sister works at a non-governmental organisation helping others in need. Around mid-August, Mu woke up one morning with pain in his left knee. At first he thought that the pain would go away on its own and that it was nothing serious. However, when the pain remained a few days later, he told his sister about it. His sister bought him a type of Burmese pain reliever balm to apply on his knee. He applied the balm for a week, but he did not feel any better. When he and his sister noticed that his left knee had become slightly swollen his sister called their father. Mu’s father told them that it could be an ulcer and suggested that they go to a hospital or buy him pain medication to reduce swelling. His sister bought the medication their father had suggested at a pharmacy, and Mu took it for a week. However, he did not feel better, and the swelling did not decrease. Mu was able to have an MRI at Chiang Mai Hospital and now the doctor recommends he undergo surgery to remove a tumor on his left knee. Mu sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund and is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on December 17th. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care which will enable him to get off of using crutches and back to feeling well again. Mu said, "After I heard from the doctor that my leg does not need to be amputated, I feel so happy."
Mary is a quiet and hardworking farmer. Mary and her husband plant maize on their one-acre farm and have four children aged between 33 and 24 years old. Their family is having a hard time financially due to the high bills needed to cater for their grandmother's hospital bills and she undergoes chemotherapy for breast cancer. Her children do not have sustainable jobs and are unable to pay for the treatment that Mary now needs. One evening, while Mary was listening to the radio , she heard about a medical camp that was organized by our medical partner's Kapsowar Mission Hospital in their area. She decided to seek medical advice from the doctors. After being seen, the doctors diagnosed her with a multinodular goiter that needed to be removed surgically. Before Mary sought medical care, she resorted to herbal medicine as she could not afford to go to a hospital. Years later, her condition did not improve and her general well-being has not been getting any better. She's become weak and cannot perform her daily duties of farming and house chores. Mary is unable to raise money for her surgery and is seeking financial assistance to get the surgery and lead a normal and painless life. Mary has had a long journey with her condition. In 2008, Mary began to experience troubling symptoms, including a mass on the neck, rapid heartbeat, increased sensitivity to heat and sweating. She visited the nearest healthcare facility where there were no diagnoses made. They advised her to go to a better facility for further investigations. But still many years later she hasn't been able to undergo the treatment she needs to heal. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Mary receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on November 17th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money. Mary says, “I want this mass to be removed for two reasons; so that I can continue with my daily chores and also, for my community to learn from my experience that herbalists cannot cure and should seek medical care at a hospital.”
Mary is a jovial 52-year-old community health volunteer. Sadly, her husband has passed away and she cares for their five children on her own. Mary is one of the Community Health Volunteers at a local care center, which allows her to make a small living and meet her family's needs. For two years, Mary has been experiencing lower abdominal pain, a feeling of fullness and an enlargement of her abdomen. In September, the pain became more severe and she visited a local hospital for examination. She has been diagnosed with multiple fibroids and needs to undergo a hysterectomy, or a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Mary to receive treatment. On October 8th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Mary will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Now, she needs help raising $755 to fund her procedure and care. Mary shared, "I have no one to turn to for help. I would appreciate any support for this operation so that I can overcome this problem and get back to my work and also continue to care for my children."
Susan is a 59-year-old homemaker who together with her husband have five children. Unfortunately, her husband had a stroke and Susan is unemployed, so their family depends greatly on their land. For two months, Susan has been experiencing heavy bleeding. She has been diagnosed with uterine cancer, and she needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $755 to fund Susan's surgery. On September 15th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Susan will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Susan shared, "I am very scared because the doctor said I have cancer, but I trust in God and hope to see my tomorrow. Please plead for help on my behalf so that my life can be saved and I can continue caring for my family."
Rhophence is struggling to speak when we meet her. She cannot pronounce words clearly or eat regularly due to a mandibular mass. She was diagnosed with Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia, which is also causing her teeth to loosen on the affected area. She is scheduled for a 10-hour surgery at our Medical Partner's Care Center Kijabe Hospital. Her chronic mandibular swelling started back in October 2020 as a small swelling and has gradually increased in size, so Rhophence was forced to visit the hospital. She was treated for pain in their local health centre and discharged home. But, the swelling worsened and Rhophence opted to visit Kijabe in May 2021. Several tests revealed the Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia diagnosis and surgery was recommended. She does not have the funds for the various procedures to relieve her pain. She is a single mother of four children aged between 30 and 18 years. She comes from a remote village along the Kenyan coast. She is currently jobless with no source of income and stays with her younger brother who she depends on for survival. The surgery is estimated to cost about $4,500. She has active national health insurance coverage that has only approved $2,000. She is unable to raise the remaining amount. She fundraised money for travel fare to come to Kijabe and she is now being hosted in the local centre by a relative. Rhophence shared, "This swelling is so painful. My mouth is deformed and I cannot even speak clearly. It’s sadly starting to give a bad odour making people close to me uncomfortable. This is affecting my life. I need these surgeries to normalize my life.”