Bruce joined Watsi on July 25th, 2014. Eight years ago, Bruce joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Bruce's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Austin, a seven-year-old boy from Kenya, to fund his acquisition of hearing aids.
Bruce has funded healthcare for 105 patients in 11 countries.
Bruce has funded healthcare for 105 patients in 11 countries.
Austin is seven years old and a pupil in pre-primary two in Kenya. His father sells household items in Mwiki, while his mother is a homemaker. Austin also has one sibling. Austin has suffered from developmental delays in his growth and ability to speak. He also suffers from a heart condition, for which he is receiving treatment. Additionally, Austin has been diagnosed with significant hearing loss in both of his ears. As a result, his father reports that Austin performs poorly in school and has difficulty pronouncing words. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, wants to help Austin procure hearing aids. After being evaluated, Austin will receive his hearing aids- which will cost $1,171- on March 21st, at AIC Kijabe Hospital. Austin and his family need your help to raise the necessary funds. Austin's father says: “Austin is struggling to study in school. He is unable to pronounce words and do sums in class.”
Nine-year-old Thiri is a first-grader, living with her mother and two brothers in Burma. Her mother sells vegetables in a local shop, while Thiri and her brothers attend school. While playing with her friends in front of her house in early January 2023, Thiri tripped, and fell into a pile of rice sacks, injuring her left eye in the process. Immediately, she realized that she could not see out of her left eye. Over time, her eye injury became more painful, red, and sensitive to light. Eventually, when her eye did not heal, her mother brought her to Mae Sot Hospital, where she was diagnosed with traumatic glaucoma. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Thiri. On February 1st, doctors at Mae Sot General Hospital will remove the natural lenses from both of her eyes, and replace them with intraocular lens implants. Once she has recovered. Thiri will regain her ability to see clearly. Now she needs your help to fund this critical procedure. Thiri's mother said: "I want her to receive surgery and recover soon so that she [Thiri] can go back to school and I can go back to work. I want her to be rich in the future, not like me, and own her own shop, because she likes to cook."
Lwin is a 37-year-old wife and mother who lives with her husband and son on the Thai-Burma border. Lwin and her husband work as day labourers in a temple as a cook and gardener. In her free time, Lwin likes to garden and enjoys growing vegetables to eat and to donate to the temple. Lwin also likes to watch Thai movies. One night in March 2021, Lwin had a rapid heartbeat and felt dizzy. Lwin could not sleep that night so her husband brought her to a clinic the next day. The doctor referred her to Mae Sot Hospital in an ambulance, where she underwent diagnostic tests, but never received a diagnosis. Lwin was given medication to stabilize her condition. During her follow-up appointment in June 2022, Lwin received an echocardiogram and was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis. The doctor then referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital for further treatment. Currently, Lwin suffers from shortness of breath and heart palpitations. Lwin reports her arms and legs feeling heavy and trouble sleeping. Lwin has little appetite and she has to sleep propped up on pillows. On January 13th, Lwin with receive surgery to improve her condition. Our medical partners, Burma Children Medical Fund, are helping Lwin raise $1,500 to cover the cost of this life altering surgery. Lwin shared, "I will never forget the donors who will help pay for my treatment cost. When I recover fully, I want to learn how to sew so that I can open a shop from my home and work as a seamstress."
Oun is a 64-year-old homemaker. She is married and has three sons and one daughter. Her family lives in Kampong Som with their youngest son who is disabled. Her husband is a motor taxi driver. At home, Oun does the cooking and cleaning, and cares for her son. Four years ago, Oun had a severe ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Oun experiences infection, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), hearing loss and ear discharge. It is difficult for her to sleep well due to tinnitus and frequent ear discharge. Oun traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On December 16th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $926 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. She shared: "I hope after surgery my ear will get better and stop having the pus and infection, reduce the ringing sound, and improve my hearing."
Kasotot is a cheerful 68-year-old woman from the arid region of Baringo County in Kenya. She is a widow and mother of seven children who are all grown. She lives with her youngest son and grandson. The main economic activity in the area is livestock herding of cattle, sheep, and goats. It is a challenging life, affected by insecurity, cattle rustling, and a lack of schools and other services. Most people barter with their neighboring communities for food and/or sell their animals in order to get money for food. Kasotot has no knowledge of medical insurance, and lives in a place full of hardships with no opportunity to do any saving. Kasotot suffers from epilepsy and last month she had a seizure that made her fall into the fire and burn her foot. She went to the closest hospital for treatment. Her wound condition worsened with time and when she went back to the hospital it was already infected. The facility was small, and was unable to provide the needed treatment, so she was referred to Kapsowar Hospital. Upon examination, she was admitted for urgent debridement, or deep cleaning of the wound. Kasotot is currently confined to a wheelchair, thus not able to work. Her wound is now clean after a successful wound debridement, but she requires a free tissue flap in order to reconstruct her burned foot and quicken her healing. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Kasotot receive treatment. On November 7th, surgeons will perform surgery so Kasotot will be able to walk, work and provide for herself so as to not overly burden her son and grandson. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,478 procedure. Kasotot says, “I have really burdened my son and grandson now that I cannot walk on my own. It really hurts when all they can do is look after me while I cannot help them as I did before. Kindly help me so that we can be together in order to bring food to our table and strive together to get our basic needs.”
Ma Win is an 18-year-old girl who lives with her parents, sister and brother-in-law in Yangon, Burma. Ma Win’s sister works at a clothing factory, while her brother-in-law works as a day laborer. Her parents are homemakers. Before Ma Win's current illness, she also worked at a factory. When Ma Win was four years old, she experienced a bout of high fever, and was brought to the local clinic. She received an injection, and the doctor informed her parents that she was born with a heart problem. However, she was too young at the time for corrective surgery. Instead, she was sent home with medication, and appeared to be doing well until this past year. In April, Ma Win began experiencing chest pains, high fever and difficulty breathing. She went to a clinic, and received an x-ray and an echocardiogram. After the doctor checked her results, she was diagnosed with an opening between two major blood vessels leading from the heart. The doctor told her and her family that she would need to have surgery. When Ma Win explained to the doctor that her family could not afford to pay for the surgery, she was referred to the abbot of a local monastery, who provided the family with information about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Now Ma Win is scheduled for cardiac surgery on October 23rd at Pun Hlaing Hospital. After she has recovered, she should no longer experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, and she won't have to worry any longer about her condition. She will also be able to return to work, which will help ease her family's financial burdens. Now she needs your help to raise $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure. Ma Win said: “I am scared to receive surgery, but my mother tries to encourage me. However, I am very happy that I will be able to receive treatment with your help. I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors.”
Naima is a smiley and playful baby girl from Ethiopia. She loves to breastfeed and play with her seven older siblings and her mother. Her dad is a retired driver and the community elder, and her mother stays home to care for the children. Because Naima's father has no source of income, their older children support them financially. Naima was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Naima developed bowel obstruction because of her condition and an emergency colostomy was done. She has had multiple issues with her colostomy care and associated complications. As a result, she cannot make stool in a typical way. Her parents have been very troubled because of her condition and are asking for support. Naima is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on September 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Naima's procedure and care. After her recovery, Naima will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Naima's father says, “I hope my child will get the treatment and heal. Once she finishes her treatment, I hope she will be relieved from her pain and suffering and lead a healthy life.”
Josephine is a 70-year-old mother of eight children who lives with her husband in Kenya. Although she and her husband both do some small-scale farming in her community, they depend on their children to support them. However, Josephine has recently been unable farm due to her current medical condition. Since January, Josephine has been experiencing troubling symptoms, including uncontrolled bleeding. She visited a nearby health facility in her hometown to be evaluated and was referred to a hospital for additional tests. There, she received a CT scan and a biopsy, which revealed that she has uterine cancer. Her doctor recommends that she undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the uterus, to help remove the cancer from her body and hopefully stop its spread. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is requesting $1,260 to fund Josephine's surgery. Josephine has gathered funds to help with a copay, but the full cost of the specialist procedure is out of reach. On August 25th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMHF's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital. After this procedure, she should be able to resume her life free from discomfort and bleeding. Josephine says, “Struggling with cancer at my age is scary. I can’t believe it! I hope the surgery will help to get rid of the disease.”
Thidar is a 30-year-old woman who lives with her son, husband, parents in-law, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law in Burma. She, her husband, and her mother-in-law grow rice, beans, and sesame on their farm. During her free time, Thidar enjoys growing flowers and vegetables around her house. Ten years ago, after Thidar gave birth to her son, she began to experience troubling symptoms. These included chest pains and a rapid heartbeat. When visiting a clinic, medics determined that she has a heart condition. To help her condition and alleviate her symptoms, Thidar took medication regularly. However, she ran out of oral medication at the start of this year. This was a problem because medics at her local clinic were protesting against the February 2021 coup, so the clinic was closed. She also could not go to a different clinic because the military had many checkpoints around the nearest town at the time, and she was too scared to pass them. Months later, after experiencing exhaustion, a rapid heartbeat, painful and swollen joints, and a loss in appetite, Thidar was able to seek medical care and receive medication. Following the advice of a medic at the clinic, she eventually visited a hospital. There, she received an X-rays scan and an echocardiogram, which determined that Thidar has a heart disease requiring surgery. Due to financial constraints, she and her husband could not fund the needed procedure and had to return home with Thidar still experiencing the same troubling symptoms as before. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Thidar finally receive treatment. On July 22nd, surgeons will perform double valve replacement cardiac surgery. This procedure will hopefully alleviate her symptoms and allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. Now, Thidar and her family need help funding this $1,500 procedure. Thidar says, “I feel very sad and I want to cry because I have no money to pay for my surgery cost. My mother and husband had to borrow money with interest [to pay for some of my medical fees]. I am also worried that I cannot work and support my son. Now, I am very happy that my surgery cost will be supported. I am thankful to all the donors and the organization.”
Nimo is a 3 year old girl, living with her grandmother in Ethiopia. When she was just a few months old, Nimo's parents gave her to her grandmother, as with four other children already at home and Nimo's medical condition, they were unable to take care of Nimo. Nimo's grandmother, who has a small business, was already supporting four other people, so she shared that it is hard for them to survive from day to day. Nimo was born with a congenital malformation, that led to a blockage in her intestines. At first, when Nimo began to show signs of this condition, her family didn't have the funds to take her to the hospital. By the time someone provided funds so that Nimo could get to the hospital, she was weak and underweight from malnourishment. An emergency colostomy was performed, and over time, Nimo gained strength, and is now able to run and play with her friends. However, she still has multiple issues that require medical attention and additional surgery to help her fully heal. Nimo is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on July 5th, at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nimo's procedure and care. After her recovery, Nimo will no longer experience bowel dysfunction, or be at risk of developing related health complications in the future. Nimo's grandmother says: “When she heals, I will go to my home and celebrate with my family. ”
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.”
La is a 36-year-old mother of three children. She is married and her husband works as a construction worker. To help support her family, she sells soft drinks and coffee from her home. The couple has one son and two daughters, who are all in public school. In her free time, La enjoys walking her children to and from school, cooking, and, after a long day, watching television. Five years ago, La injured her left knee and she has experienced intermittent pain since the injury. Unfortunately, in December 2021, she was involved in a motorbike accident where she re-injured the same knee. After an x-ray, she was diagnosed with an aneurysmal bone cyst, or a benign, blood-filled lesion in the bone that often expands or grows. She experiences severe pain and now has difficulty walking. To treat her condition, surgeons plan to remove the cyst from her left knee and help to heal the joint. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping La receive treatment. On April 9th, surgeons will perform a procedure to relieve La of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Now, she needs help raising $273 to fund her procedure and care. La shared, "I am thankful that I will be able to return to work and care for my children after this surgery."