Stefan joined Watsi on May 10th, 2013. Six years ago, Stefan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Stefan's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Nan, a 41-year-old homemaker and mother of two from Burma, to fund urgent brain surgery.
Stefan has funded healthcare for 83 patients in 14 countries.
Stefan has funded healthcare for 83 patients in 14 countries.
Nan is a 41-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband and two children. She is a homemaker and her husband is a day laborer. They also have a small garden where they grow betel nut and trees and raise cows, goats and chickens. She loves to take care of her garden during her free times. Nan was referred to BCMF to treat her severe heart condition (ASD) at Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH). After she arrived at our medical partners "BCMF-B.K. Kee Patient House" on the evening of March 2nd, she felt weak and tired. She also felt dizzy, had a headache and difficulty breathing. During the night, she suffered a seizure and fell semi-conscious. BCMF staff rushed her to the emergency room at CMH. Nan underwent a CT scan of her head and was diagnosed with intracranial hemorrhage. The doctor then planned to perform surgery on her immediately. She had a seizure and is semi-conscious. Nan is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on March 3rd. Her family is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Nan’s husband said, "I am hoping for a good outcome. I hope she can get through this. Thank you for helping us. I do not know what to do right now. I am praying for her.”
Sam Neang is a 50-year-old Tuk Tuk driver, who lives with his wife and three children in Cambodia. His wife is a homemaker, caring for their children, who are still in school. After he finishes work for the day, Sam Neang likes playing cards with his friends and spending time with his family. In 2008, a large stone fell on Sam Neang's back. Despite the medications he takes, Sam Neang lives in constant pain and would like to find a way to permanently ease his suffering Sam Neang learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, and sought their help. On February 1st, surgeons at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre will perform an L5-S1 fusion procedure, which will secure Sam Neang's spine, improve his mobility, and decrease his level of pain. Now, Sam Neang needs your help to fund this $1,035 procedure. Sam Neang says: "I don't want to be in pain anymore."
Bela is an 18-month-old girl from the Philippines, who loves listening to nursery rhymes and playing with her musical toys. She lives with her older sibling, her father, who is a businessman, and her mother, who is a homemaker. Bela was born with an anorectal malformation, which is a congenital condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate her bowel dysfunction and help her grow up healthy. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Bela access the treatment that she needs. She is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on January 14th, at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being paid for by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is looking to you to help raise $1,211 to cover the remaining cost of Bela's procedure and care. After her recovery, Bela will no longer need a colostomy, experience bowel dysfunction, or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Bela's mother said: "As a parent, I hoped she'd have a normal life, and be free from using a colostomy bag. To be honest, a huge part of our budget goes to her colostomy supplies. So this free surgery is really a big help to our family. To WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines, thank you very much! We wouldn't know how to get her treated without your support."
Mary is an eight-year-old girl. She is a talkative and playful young girl. She is the last born in a family of seven children and the family is not well off financially. Both of her parents do casual jobs like ploughing people's farms for a living and such jobs are not easy to find where they live. Sometimes the church members chip in to help them where they can. When Mary was one year old, she was involved in an accident where she sustained burns to her head, some parts of her face and neck. She was rushed to the hospital and was admitted for better care. While in the hospital, a surgery was done on her head where she had sustained more burns. She was then discharged and booked for wound dressing clinics. The wounds were healing well as per the doctors’ plan. Her parents managed to take her for the clinics for a few months but later stopped because of finances. While at home, the wound got infected but due to lack of funds, she was not taken to hospital at that time. Time went by and the infection spread to most parts of the head. When she was three years old, the family met up with a local pastor who started helping them. He started financing Mary’s hospital visits with the help of some church members where he ministered. The wound was dressed again but the recovery process was very slow. In mid this year, the pastor brought them to Kijabe Hospital, she was examined, and the wound was dressed properly. Since then, the wound has been healing as expected. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Mary receive treatment. On December 9th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help the remaining wound to heal properly. Now, Mary's family needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Mary’s father says, "Since the accident, we have been struggling a lot to make her get the required treatment but have failed to some extent. Coming to Kijabe, our hopes have been boosted greatly with the improvement she has experienced, and we hope that she will go through with the surgery and be well again.”
Milka is a 48-year-old woman. She is the mother of three children, between 6 and 26 years. She works harvesting tea at a tea plantation, while her husband gets jobs working at construction sites. Their income is not enough to pay for life-saving surgery, and they do not have medical coverage. Milka woke up one morning at the beginning of February this past year and discovered a lump in her right breast. It was painless at first, but later became painful. She went to a clinic in her local area, but was referred to a bigger facility that offers cancer care. She came to Kijabe Hospital this month where she had an ultrasound, mammogram, and a core biopsy that revealed cancer. Milka has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. Doctors recommend a mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing, or spreading. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Milka. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 8th. After treatment, Milka will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Milka says, "I might be scared that I am losing my breast, but I know it is important to stop the cancer.”
Hsa is an 18-year-old living with his parents, three brothers and a sister, in Burma. Two of his siblings are still in school, while the remainder of his family work as subsistence farmers. Hsa, however, is currently unemployed, and enjoys playing various sports with his friends. Hsa has cataracts in both of his eyes, making it difficult for him to see clearly. Thanks to assistance from our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Hsa is scheduled for cataract surgery on October 11th, at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. During the surgery, doctors will replace Hsa's own lenses with intraocular implants, enabling Hsa to live a more independent life. Now, Hsa needs your help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Hsa said: "I wish to see again so that I can look after myself. Then my family will no longer need to assist me with everything."
Meet Venesa, a beautiful two year old girl. She was born at home with a swelling at the lower part of her back, and with legs that were not straight like other babies their family knew. The day after she was born, Venesa's parents took her to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with spina bifida and clubfoot. The family was advised to wait until Venesa turned nine months old, before having her undergo the surgery that she needs. Although surgery was deemed urgent, when Venesa was finally old enough, her parents couldn't afford to pay for it. Then, about a year ago, Venesa was diagnosed with hydrocephalus. Venesa's mom shared that shortly after this last diagnosis, Venesa's father abandoned the family and is not involved in helping support them any more. Venesa's mother used to work at a salon, but after Venesa's birth, she has been unable to work. They are now living with Venesa's grandmother, who does what she can to help. Without surgery for her spina bifida, Venesa risks paralysis of her lower limbs, infection of the exposed nerve tissue, and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Venesa's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 14th, at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. This procedure will hopefully spare Venesa from the risks associated with her condition, allowing her to experience a strong and healthy life. Venesa’s mother says: “Since she was born, I have no peace knowing that I can’t afford her treatment.”
Naw Ywa is a 29-year-old woman who lives with her husband, sister-in-law, and three nieces in a refugee camp in Thailand. Naw Ywa is a homemaker, and she weaves and sells traditional Karen clothing in her spare time. Her husband also works as a homemaker and cares for his sister, who has a mobility impairment. Naw Ywa's three nieces all currently attend school in the refugee camp. This past March, Naw Ywa began to experience severe pain in her left pelvic area. This pain was accompanied by fatigue, dizziness, and trouble breathing. Although she did seek medical attention at the hospital in the refugee camp, she was only given painkillers, which temporarily alleviated her symptoms. After a few months of repeatedly being readmitted to the hospital without fully treating her condition, a doctor referred Naw Ywa to our medical partner's care center, Mae Sariang Hospital (MSH). On July 6th, she was brought to MSH and received an ultrasound. Her doctor diagnosed her with adenomyosis, a condition that occurs when the tissue that typically lines the uterus grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. She was also diagnosed with a five cm large myoma, which is a tumor that develops in or around the uterus. Her doctor has advised that she undergo a hysterectomy to remove her uterus and alleviate her symptoms. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Ywa’s total abdominal hysterectomy. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 17th. Once completed, she will hopefully be able to live more comfortably and confidently. Naw Ywa shares, “Me and my husband want to have children, but we agreed with the doctor’s plan. I do not want to experience this pain anymore, and my husband also does not want to see me in pain.”
Jackson is a loving 4-year-old child. His father is a small-scale farmer who grows mainly food crops for his family to eat. His income is very limited because he must work on other people's farms in addition to growing his own crops. Jackson was diagnosed with windswept deformity. He learned to stand and walk at the age of one year. He was walking and playing without any challenges. But after a few months, his parents noticed his left leg was slightly bent inwards at the knee. Over a few months, his left leg became worse making him walk with a limp. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Jackson has pain when he walks even for a short distance, making him not want to walk at all in fear of the pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Jackson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 8th. Treatment will hopefully restore Jackson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Jackson’s mother says, “At the dispensary, they told us to feed him with foods containing calcium, but it never helped him. He was suffering but I could not afford to take him to a bigger hospital.”
Poeun is a 70-year-old grandfather with two daughters, five sons, and six grandchildren. He takes care of his grandchildren when his children go to work. Eight years ago, Poeun developed a severe ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membranes, or the ear drums, in both of his ears to perforate. As a result, Poeun experiences hearing loss, pain, and discharge, and it is difficult for him to communicate clearly with others. Poeun traveled to Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre, the care center of our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, to seek treatment. On June 7th, he will undergo a procedure on both ears, during which doctors will close the perforations. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $914 to fund this procedure, and to cover Poeun's medications, supplies and inpatient care. Poeun says: "I hope after surgery my hearing improves and the pain stops."
Naw Mu is a 44-year-old mother of two children from Burma. She lives with her daughter and son. Her daughter goes to school, while her son stays home with her. Naw Mu used to work as a day laborer, but stopped working last year when her health began to decline. Since then, her sister, who works as a pastor, has supported the family. In the summer of 2018, Naw Mu was tying sheafs of freshly harvested paddy when she experienced a sudden shooting pain in her abdomen and chest, along with other uncomfortable symptoms. From then on, she experienced abdominal pain whenever she worked hard or lifted something heavy. For the next four years, Naw Mu visited many clinics and hospitals, and was finally diagnosed with an umbilical hernia and high blood pressure. She experiences dizziness, nausea, and abdominal and joint pain. She also has little appetite, and has difficulty sleeping or sitting for long periods of time. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Naw Mu access treatment. On April 8th, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at BCMF's care center. Now, she needs help raising $991 to fund her procedure and care. After recovery, hopefully her symptoms will subside and she can live comfortably. Naw Mu shared, "I was so happy when I heard that I have donors who could assist with the cost of my surgery! I really want to say thank you to the donors and everyone who helped me search for a donor."
U Chit is a 42-year-old husband and father from Burma. He lives with his in-laws, wife and son. His father-in-law works as a day laborer, while his wife and his mother-in-law are homemakers. U Chit used to work with his father-in-law, and also as a motorcycle taxi driver for extra income. However, he stopped working in January when his health worsened. When schools reopen, his son will begin kindergarten. A little over a year ago, U Chit began experiencing dizziness, fatigue, tightness in his chest and difficulty breathing when he exerted himself. A month later, he visited a local clinic where he was diagnosed with high blood pressure. However, in December 2021, U Chit lost a lot of weight and experienced night sweats in addition to his other symptoms. He was diagnosed with aortic valve regurgitation, mitral valve regurgitation and tricuspid valve regurgitation, and was placed on a waiting list to receive surgery. Because his condition is severe, the doctor recommended that he undergo surgery as soon as possible. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping U Chit access treatment. On April 8th, he will undergo mitral valve replacement surgery at BCMF's care center. After recovery, his symptoms should improve. Now, he needs help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. U Chit shared, "I gave up and I was ready to die before. There are a lot of heart patients waiting to receiving surgery. Since I heard that I could have surgery with the help of donors, I feel like there is hope that I will survive. I have to look after my family because my son is still young. I will always remember everything the donors did for me."