Kenny joined Watsi on July 7th, 2015. Eight years ago, Kenny joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Kenny's most recent donation traveled 6,200 miles to support Mavin, a first grade student from Cambodia, to fund ear surgery.
Kenny has funded healthcare for 109 patients in 13 countries.
Kenny has funded healthcare for 109 patients in 13 countries.
Mavin is a seven-year-old first grader. His family currently lives in Tbong Khmum province, where both of his parents work in the rubber industry. He also has a two-year-old younger brother. At school, Mavin enjoys studying Khmer subjects, painting, and playing with toy cars. He wants to become a soldier when he grows up. About four years ago, Mavin had a severe ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. His mother took him to the local pediatric hospital, and they suggested Mavin needed a specialty surgeon. He has trouble communicating with others, is embarrassed about the ear discharge, and often misses school. Mavin's family has now traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 4th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $914 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Mavin's mother said: "I hope my son gets better and has no more infections, and will do well in school."
Sophanna is a 36-year-old garment factory worker. She lives in Kampot province with her husband and two children. Due to a chronic medical condition, her husband has not been able to work the past couple of years. Because of this, Sophanna and her 16-year-old daughter are the breadwinners in their family. When not at work, Sophanna enjoys spending time with her kids and cooking. Ten years ago, Sophanna had an 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, Sophanna experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. It is difficult for her to hear at work and at home Sophanna traveled to our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) to receive treatment. On June 27th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear, where ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Her family is able to contribute $100 to the surgery, and she needs only $926 to fully fund the procedure. Sophanna shared that she wants to stop feeling unwell and improve her hearing so that she can enjoy her time at home with her family.
Khin is a 49-year-old refugee living with her father, her daughter and her younger sister in a refugee camp, in Tak Province along the Thail-Burma border. Her family fled from Karen State, Burma to Thailand in 2017 because of the conflict in their area. Khin’s father is retired and her daughter is a student. Khin’s sister looks after their retired father at home. Khin Mar is a day labourer in the camp. However, the job is not available every day. Every month her family receives 1,200 baht (approx. 40 USD) on a cash card from the organization The Border Consortium. This amount combined with her monthly salary is enough to cover their daily needs. They receive free basic health care provided by the International Rescue Committee in the camp but surgical care is not available there. In the middle of 2023, Khin noticed pain in her lower abdomen. Still, she did not go to the hospital or clinic as she thought the process was normal for women who are getting older and close to menopause. However, in the beginning of November, she noticed that the pain worsened and now the pain is constant. She visited the hospital in the camp, where the medic gave her some medication and she returned home. The pain did not resolve and continued. On 13 November, she returned to the hospital in the camp where she met with the doctor and the doctor performed an ultrasound for her and told her that there is a mass in her uterus. The doctor told her that they will refer her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) where she received another ultrasound, and the doctor diagnosed her with uterine myoma - a benign tumour in the uterus and also told her that she needs surgery to remove the mass as well as her whole uterus. Khin has been experiencing lower abdominal pain and back pain almost every day now. She cannot sleep as she worries that if she receives surgery, she will not be able to work and will not have income. At the same time, she also feels hard to perform her job well as she feels that her back pain makes it worse for her when she washes clothes. If left untreated, Khin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Khin is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy which will heal her condition on December 4th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. After surgery, she will no longer in pain and she will be able to continue her job comfortably like before. Khin said, “if I do not work, I worry that I will not have enough income for my family and also when I heard that I need surgery, I worry about the surgery cost. When I heard that there will be a donor for me, my father and I are very happy as we know we cannot afford to pay for this expensive surgery.”
Htwe is a 61-year-old man living with his wife, brother-in-law, sister-in-law and niece, in a refugee camp in Thailand. His wife and his brother-in-law are day laborers, while his sister-in-law is a homemaker. His niece is a student. Htwe is currently unemployed. Since 2021, Htwe has lived with an incarcerated inguinal hernia. This hernia causes him discomfort when he walks and pain. It is because of his condition that Htwe has been unable to work. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Htwe's hernia repair surgery, which is scheduled for October 12th at Mae Sot General Hospital. Once he has recovered, Htwe's symptoms should finally be resolved, allowing him to return to work, and to a more comfortable life. Htwe said: "I want to recover so that I can find work to make money for my family. Now we have a hard time trying to make ends meet, as we do not have a regular income. I am the only one that eats without work. Thank you to all the kind people who are supporting my costs."
Sothany is a 23-year-old woman who lives with her mother and father in the Prey Veng province of Cambodia, where her parents are rice farmers. She has four brothers and four sisters. When Sothany was younger, her parents noticed that her spine was not straight; however, they could not afford proper healthcare for her. As she has grown up, she has had more noticeable changes, including uneven hips and shoulders, prominent ribs, and a shift of her waist and torso to the side. For the past few years, Sothany's disability has increasingly affected her breathing as her rib cage presses against the lungs, making it more difficult to breathe. Sothany is very self-conscious about her spinal deformity and limited mobility. As a result, she quit her job in a clothes factory and stays home with her mother. She makes homemade videos to sell lotions and creams on social media. Her parents first heard about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), in early 2020. However, they were unable to travel due to COVID pandemic travel restrictions. Today, Sothany's symptoms have greatly increased including muscle imbalance, pain, and difficulty breathing. Sothany and her parents traveled for two and a half hours to our medical partner to seek intervention for her disability. Sothany will undergo a posterior spinal fusion with implants at CSC's care center on August 1st. Sothany is contributing $100 to pay for her care, and CSC is requesting the remaining $1500 to fund the procedure. This will cover radiology, medications, surgery, and post-op physiotherapy care. Sothany said, "After surgery, I hope my spine will be straight. I want to walk with my friends and not have hard breathing, work to support myself, and not be ashamed of my back."
Wayen is an 8-month-old baby from Haiti. He lives with his mother, grandmother, and two older siblings in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. His mother works as a market vendor. Wayen has a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, which means that a hole exists between two major blood vessels near his heart. Blood leaks through this hole, leaving him weak and short of breath. The surgery he needs is not available in Haiti, so Wayen will travel to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On September 13th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will insert a catheter into the hole and expand a device to plug it, so that blood can no longer leak through it. Gift of Life International is contributing $3,000 towards the cost of the surgery, and Wayen's family needs help with the remaining $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. This money will also support passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner International Cardiac Alliance who will accompany Wayen's family overseas. Wayen's mother shared, "I will be praying for everyone who is helping my son to become healthy."
Zin is a 17-year-old student who lives with her parents and older brother. She is in eighth grade but stopped her schooling six months ago due to her deteriorating health. Her father is a carpenter, and her mother is a homemaker. Her older brother works at a furniture factory. Zin enjoys dancing in her free time. In June 2022, Zin started to experience persistent coughing. She also occasionally felt tired, which worsened when she laid down. Due to this symptom, she had difficulty sleeping at night. She received medications at a clinic, but they only helped her temporarily. In April 2023, both of Zin's legs became swollen, so they sought medical care. The cardiologist performed an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, and chest X-ray, and diagnosed Zin with mitral valve regurgitation and tricuspid valve regurgitation due to rheumatic heart disease. This means that the valves of her heart are not properly closing. On July 21st, doctors with our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) will perform heart surgery on Zin, replacing her mitral and tricuspid valves. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund the procedure. Her father shared, “I am thankful I got in contact with you. It is a blessing to receive help from you. I wish you the best. I am also happy for my daughter because she is so lucky to receive such support. It is impossible for us to pay for her treatment without your help.”
Juan, an 11-month-old boy from Bolivia, lives with his mother and five older siblings in a neighborhood in the mountains above La Paz. Juan was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and making it difficult for him to gain weight. To address Juan's condition, congenital heart surgery is the only viable treatment option. Skilled doctors at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría will perform the surgery by closing the hole in his heart using a patch. However, due to Juan's low weight, the surgeons have determined that it is unsafe to proceed with the procedure. As a result, he will be hospitalized for several weeks before the surgery to receive proper nutritional support, enabling him to gain weight and prepare for the operation. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is actively seeking your generous support to raise $1,500 to support Juan's cardiac care. Your contribution will play a vital role in enabling Juan to receive the life-changing congenital heart surgery he urgently requires. By partnering with Haiti Cardiac Alliance and making a financial contribution, you can make a significant difference in Juan's life and overall well-being. Juan's mother shared, "I am very hopeful that after this surgery, my son will gain appetite and start growing and gaining weight more normally!"
Natasha Joy is a jovial six-year-old only girl living in Kenya. She is a grade 2 student and has several hobbies that she shared with us, including singing, praying, and cooking. Natasha was a healthy child at birth. However, when she turned three, her grandmother noticed that she had an unusual gait when she walked. She hoped that the condition would simply correct itself. Unfortunately, Natasha's situation has deteriorated, greatly affecting her mobility. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is seeking $1,224 to fund a surgery called an open reduction femur shortening osteotomy, which is scheduled for April 18th, at AIC Cure International Hospital. This treatment will greatly improve Natasha's mobility and allow her to play with other children and continue with her education. “I will be grateful to see my grandchild walking normally like other children with your support,” Natasha’s grandmother told us.
Laurecia is a 19-year-old tailor living in Tanzania. When she was about two years old, her parents noticed her legs bowing outwards. They did not seek treatment, however, due to financial challenges. Laurecia, who is a very determined young woman, was able to complete her Form 4 studies and pursue her passion for tailoring, enrolling in a vocational school where she could hone her skills. Laurecia was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, a condition typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, stemming from the consumption of contaminated drinking water. As a result of her condition, Laurecia has a difficult time walking and doing the work of a tailor. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Laurecia. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 17th, at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. Treatment will restore Laurecia's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Laurecia says: “I have lived with this condition for too long. I’m hopeful for the future now that I am about to start treatment.”
Allan is an eight-year-old boy from Kenya who lives with his sibling and mother. One day while playing at school, Allen fell and fractured his leg. Since the accident, he has not been able to put weight on his leg and has been using crutches. Allan and his mother were initially unable to seek medical attention for his injury due to a lack of funds. With the help of his relatives, who fundraised in order to help him seek medical care, Allan was connected with our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. Doctors there diagnosed Allan with an infection in his fractured left leg that requires immediate treatment. After the tibia sequestrectomy surgery, Allan will be able to use his leg comfortably once again and return to school. Allan and his family need support raising funds for the $1,500 surgery, which will take place on March 10th. Allan's mother says, "Allan stayed at home after the accident due to lack of funds. His leg has picked an infection. He is at risk of losing his leg if not treated. He needs this surgery to walk.”
Michael is a beautiful baby who likes playing with blocks and waving his arms in time to music. Michael has a cardiac condition called tricuspid atresia: he was born without one of the four valves that is normally present in the heart. As a result, blood cannot flow through his lungs and body normally, leaving him sick and short of breath. On March 1st, Michael will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will perform a technique called a Glenn procedure to create a conduit to allow blood to bypass the missing valve and more easily circulate through Michael's body. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 to pay for surgery, but Michael's family is still in need of $1,500 and have turned to the Watsi community for support. Michael's mother says: "It has been very frightening to see my son have such difficulty breathing, and I am so glad we can finally find a way to help him."