Ronald joined Watsi on November 25th, 2014. Eleven months ago, Ronald joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ronald's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Hassan, a hardworking 37-year-old from Kenya, to fund fracture repair surgery so he can walk without difficulty.
Ronald has funded healthcare for 57 patients in 10 countries.
Ronald has funded healthcare for 57 patients in 10 countries.
Hassan is a hardworking 37-year-old from Kenya who works as a casual laborer. He lives in a single-room rental house that costs about $10 per month. On July 25th, Hassan was working as a night guard when he was attacked by unknown people. During the attack, his left leg was hit with a sharp object. He was eventually taken to a nearby health facility for emergency treatment, where he received stitches and was discharged with pain medication. However, his condition did not improve, and he was still unable to walk. Community health workers in the area took Hassan to a nearby hospital, where an X-ray revealed a transverse patella fracture with some displacement. A doctor at our medical partner's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital, recommends that he undergo fracture repair surgery. Hassan shares that income from casual labor jobs in Kenya is inconsistent and is not enough to pay for the proposed procedure. He also does not have medical insurance and would need to pay for the surgery in cash. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 26th, Hassan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Hassan says, “I am struggling to walk as a result of the fracture. I am unable to get any manual work to earn a living because I cannot use my legs. Surviving without a job is an issue. I need this surgery to be able to work.”
Kwan is a 17-year-old boy who enjoys watching TV and learning Mandarin online during his free time. Although he is originally from Burma, he lives with his parents, two brothers, and both of his grandmothers in a village in Thailand. They moved to Thailand about five years ago in search of safer living conditions. Both of Kwan’s grandmothers are retired, and his father is unable to work due to being ill. His mother and older brother support their family by working as day laborers. Kwan and his younger brother both attend a local migrant school, where Kwan is a 10th grade student. In September of 2017, Kwan broke his left forearm while playing basketball with his friends. He was referred to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial assistance accessing treatment, and he underwent surgery to insert a steel rod into his left forearm at their medical care center, Mae Sot Hospital (MSH). Following surgery, doctors told Kwan that the steel rod would need to be removed a year after surgery. However, he was not scheduled for an appointment to remove the rod, and he was not told why it needed to be removed. Initially, this did not seem like an issue since Kwan regained movement in his fingers, was able to move his arm more comfortably, and was able to help his mother with household chores. Since he was not in pain and his family did not have enough money to pay for the procedure, Kwan was not brought back to MSH to have the rod removed. However, he began working as an agricultural day laborer in 2020 when his studies were moved online due to the outbreak of COVID-19. He began to experience pain in the area where the rod was located when carrying anything even slightly heavy. Due to financial constraints and a fear of being arrested for traveling to the clinic without documentation because of an increase in main road checkpoints, Kwan kept his pain a secret. However, he eventually sought medical attention at MSH after the pain progressed. There, a doctor confirmed that his arm had healed well and the rod needed to be removed. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund is helping Kwan receive treatment. On July 27th, doctors will perform rod removal surgery. This procedure will cost $1,500, and Kwan and his family need your support. He mentions that after he recovers from surgery, he wants to find work as a day laborer. He wants to help his family earn more money so his mother no longer has to do hard labor. His mother says, “I don’t know what to say, but in our heart, we are so thankful to the donors for helping Kwan with his first, as well as this second, surgery. We will never forget this help for the rest of our lives.”
Yeng is a 59-year-old rice farmer who is married and has one son, one daughter, and five grandchildren. Yeng lives with her husband who is also a farmer. Yeng enjoys listening to the news on the radio. Five years ago, Yeng developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her photophobia, tearing, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so is not able to go places on her own. When Yeng learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. On May 3rd, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Yeng says, "I hope after surgery my vision can improve so I can return to planting rice and recognize people well."
Misgana is a 15-month-old girl from Ethiopia. She is a happy and friendly baby. She has one older sister she loves to play with, and she also loves playing with her dolls. Her mom makes injera (a traditional Ethiopian food) for a living. She brings her two daughters along with her to work because she has no one to look after them while she is away. Misgana's dad is a farmer and they live in a rented house. Misgana 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. Misgana underwent emergency colostomy surgery at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM) and now needs to have her next stage of treatment to fully heal. Her mom shared how difficult this has been on their family psychologically and that they cannot afford Misgana's medical bill. Fortunately, Misgana is now scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on July 7th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Misgana's procedure and care. After her recovery, Misgana will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing related health complications in the future. Her mom says “I hope my child will heal and grow. I want her to learn about God. And I wish she will get a good education and become a teacher.”
Meshack is a six-year-old boy, living with his mother and one sibling, in a one-roomed grass thatched house in a village in Kenya. Recently, Meshack completed his preschool studies and now he is in grade one. According to his mother, Meshack is very helpful, and always assists her around the farm and in doing household chores. Meshack's mother is a single parent and a farmer, who works hard to provide for her family. Meshack was born with a condition known as hemiplegic CP, which means that one side of his body is weak. His right foot is affected, making walking challenging. Additionally, Meshack was born with clubfoot of his left foot, which adds to his difficulty walking, and limits his ability to wear shoes. Meshack has already undergone some preliminary, preparatory procedures on his left foot during mobile clinic visits near his village and the next step is for him to have clubfoot repair surgery at our medical partner's hospital. Meshack and his mother have now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 27th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Meshack's surgery, which will enable him to walk, to play with his friends, and to continue his education. “I would love to see my son walking like other children, and I will be relieved of the burden of carrying him to school,” Meshack's mother told us.
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."
Darensky is a 10-year-old student from Haiti. He lives with his mother and grandparents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He is in the third grade and likes building things and making crafts. Darensky has a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus and tracheal ring. Two holes exists between two major blood vessels near his heart; blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs, leaving him weak and oxygen-deprived. The treatment that Darensky needs is not available in Haiti, so he will fly to United States to undergo surgery. Many years ago he had one hole closed so this is the second surgery he needs, and his family has been waiting for this moment for a long time. Fortunately, on March 10th, Darensky will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the remaining hole that leaks blood between his two main blood vessels at the same time. During the surgery, he will also have a muscular blockage removed from his trachea that affects his ability to breathe. Another organization, Akron Children's Hospital, is contributing $12,000 to help pay for surgery. Darensky's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Darensky's family overseas. HIs mother told us: "I am very happy to know that after this surgery my son will finally be able to run and play normally!"
Pai is a 63-year-old woman who lives alone in a refugee camp in the border region of Thailand and Burma. She receives 350 baht (approx. $12 USD) each month on a cash card from The Border Consortium, to purchase food in the refugee camp. This support is just enough to cover her daily needs, since she sometimes shares meals with her sister. In June 2019, Pai first notice that the vision in both of her eyes was blurry. By late 2021, she could no longer see with her left eye. She then went to the hospital in the refugee camp, run by the International Rescue Committee (IRC). A medic checked her eyes, gave her some eyedrops, and told her that they would refer her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further follow up. IRC staff brought Pai to the hospital in January where the doctor completed a vision test and also checked her eyes with specialized equipment. The doctor diagnosed her with cataracts and shared that she would need surgery to be able to see clearly again. Currently, Pai can only see objects near to her with her right eye and even then, she cannot see objects clearly. She can only perceive light with her left eye. When she walks, she has to do so slowly to avoid stubbing her toes on stones and other objects. At night, she now needs someone to assist her to get around at all. She also has difficulty cleaning her house and doing other household chores like washing her clothes or cooking. She shared that when she tries to cook on her own, she will sometimes mixed up the ingredients now. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Pai. On February 22nd, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Pai's natural lens and replace this with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Pai said, “I do not want to depend on my sister as she has to look after her family too. However, now I have to depend on her for many things and I feel sad about this.” Pai is thankful to the donors who can help pay for her treatment cost. She is very happy that there will be a donor for her. She said, “I hope that I can see again, and I really want to see the donors and everyone at BCMF’s organisation who was willing to help me. Thank you so much for your kind support.”
Natinael is a sweet toddler who loves to play with toys. He loves birds especially looking at the doves where he lives with his mom. Natinael's mom shared that he is shy and always wants to be at her side. She is a single mom and has been raising Natinael on her own with help from her family. Natinael was born with birth condition called Bladder Extrophy, which means that his bladder is open to air and at great risk of infections and injury. He needs surgery to help heal his condition, but his mother is unable to afford the cost. She is very much worried and concerned by his health and wants to do whatever she can to make sure he grows up healthy. She shared, “At first I did not know about the gravity of his condition. Then when I went to the hospitals they said they can’t do the surgery and they referred me to another hospital. I was in so much distress. I thought ‘what is this disease that the doctors refer it to another hospital.’ One doctor explained the condition to me and that was my lowest time of my life. I couldn’t eat or drink or sleep. All I could do was cry. I asked God why this happened to me." Fortunately someone referred her to an organization that knew our medical partner's care center BKMCM Hospital where doctors can perform the surgery he needs. Natinael's mom says, "If he heals, I hope I will work hard and raise him well and give him good education. I did not go to school and that makes me to want to send Natinael to school more. I'd like to spend the rest of my life with him protecting him.”
Haikaeli is a 3-month-old baby and the last born child in a family of four children. Her parents are both small-scale farmers who depend entirely on what they harvest for their living. With the rains delayed in their region of Tanzania, food is becoming scarce and making life difficult. Haikaeli has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Haikaeli has been experiencing her head increasing in size significantly and as days go by her health keeps deteriorating. Without treatment, Haikaeli will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for Haikaeli that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 14th and will drain the excess fluid from Haikaeli's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Haikaeli will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Haikaeli’s mother says “My daughter worsens as days go by, she cannot eat well anymore. Please help her.”
Hong is a 15-year-old student and the oldest of four children. His father is a construction worker, while his mother is a homemaker. Hong's favorite subjects in school are Khmer and English. When he grows up, he would like to be a physician. When he is not studying, he likes to play football, play games on his phone, and listen to music. Since he was born, Hong has experienced intermittent ear discharge with fever, swelling, and pain in his right ear. He had surgery in 2018 at a local hospital, but unfortunately he continues to have recurrent infections. Oral medications have not helped, and his condition makes it difficult for him to attend school. He has been diagnosed with preauricular sinus, which is a small hole or cyst in front of the ear above the ear canal. This hole marks a sinus tract under the skin that frequently becomes a pus-filled abscess. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Hong to receive treatment. His family traveled to CSC’s care center and on September 14th, surgeons will repair the sinus. Now, his family needs help to raise $296 to fund this procedure. Hong’s parents shared that they hope the infection will finally go away and their son will be free of pain and return to school.
Pheak is a 33-year-old construction worker. He is married and has two daughters who are in elementary school. His wife stays at home to take care of them. When Pheak is not working he enjoys watching boxing matches, listening to the news, and telling stories to his daughters. Five years ago, the retina of Pheak's right eye detached, causing him blurred vision and irritation. He has had limited work opportunities due to this condition as well. When Pheak learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On November 9th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Pheak said, "I am hopeful that when my vision is better I can work more and support my family well."