Gina joined Watsi on September 19th, 2016. Six years ago, Gina joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Gina's most recent donation supported Nu, a devout 57-year-old mother and small-scale farmer from Thailand, to fund lens replacement surgery so she can see clearly again.
Gina has funded healthcare for 105 patients in 14 countries.
Gina has funded healthcare for 105 patients in 14 countries.
Nu is a 57-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and two sons in a refugee camp. Her sons go to school. She and her husband raise chickens and grow vegetables both for their own consumption and for sale. She has cataracts and her vision is blurry. She is often worried that she might slip and fall due to her poor vision, and she has to walk slowly and carefully. Sometimes, she will have a headache and a stiff neck. Since her vision has become blurry, she can no longer read, which she shared she especially likes to do to read the Bible or the lyrics for new hymns. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Nu. On September 15th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Nu's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. “When I go to church, I feel sad because I cannot participate, like reading passages from the Bible," she shared.
Sophea is a 17-year-old construction worker. He lives at home with his family and has four brothers and two sisters, and is the youngest child in his family. His parents are both farmers. He went to school until the 9th grade, but started to work to help support his family. In his free time, Sophea enjoys playing football, singing songs, meeting friends to drink coffee, fishing, and helping his mother with housework. In March 2022, he was driving a tuk-tuk when he badly burned his right ankle on the motor. He went to a local hospital for burn treatment, but in early April, the burn scar broke and he now has dead tissue on the back of his leg that is painful and makes it difficult for him to walk. He is unable to work or help around the house. When Sophea learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On April 22nd, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft procedure to to help him walk easily again and return to his job in construction. Now, Sophea needs help to fund this $487 procedure. Sophea hopes that his wound will finally be healed soon, and that he will be able to resume his daily work.
Tin is a 45-year-old man. Originally from Burma, he fled to Thailand over 20 years ago due to civil war. He currently lives with his wife, who works as a street vendor selling various snacks and vegetable, and one of his daughters, who is currently in school. His family also raises chickens, which they sell when they need cash. Tin previously worked as a farmer and a construction worker, but he has recently been unable to work due to his condition. In the future, he hopes to go back to work and help support his family. After an incident that occurred this past April that caused him to be hit in the left eye by a mango, Tin lost his vision in that eye and began to experience headaches, swelling, severe eye pain, and dizziness when attempting to stand. Tin eventually sought medical attention at a clinic. There, a medic checked his left eye, gave him a bottle of eye drops, and told him to seek treatment at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) since they could not treat him there. However, he did not go to MTC right away due to financial constraints. He instead hoped that his eye would recover over time with the help of eye drops. Although his pain was temporarily reduced, the bruising disappeared, and the swelling went down over time, he never regained his vision. The pain in his eye eventually returned, and he noticed that he had a white spot on his left pupil. As the white spot increased in size, his eye progressively became more painful and began to itch. He now experiences discharge and watering in his eye, as well as difficulty sleeping. At the beginning of this month, a small lump appeared near the white spot on his left pupil. The lump gradually increased in size until it bursted on August 13th. After the discharge and bleeding from the lump stopped, he asked his friend to take him to MTC right away. When he arrived at the clinic, he was told to come back on Monday since there were not any eye specialist medics working on the weekend. When Tin returned on Monday, a medic examined his left eye, and he was diagnosed with corneal perforation, a condition resulting from the cornea being penetrated and damaged. Tin was also told that his eye is infected. He now must undergo surgery at our medical partner's care center, Mae Sot General Hospital, to remove his left eye as quickly as possible before the infection spreads to his right eye. Fortunately, Tin was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for financial assistance accessing treatment. On August 17th, surgeons at our medical partner's care center will perform an enucleation to remove his left eye. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Tin's life-changing procedure. Tin shares, “I feel very depressed and worried about my eye. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I lost vision in both of my eyes. I want to receive surgery quickly to prevent my right eye from becoming infected. Without your help, I don’t think I would be able to receive further treatment. Therefore, I want to say thank you to the donors and the organization for agreeing to support my treatment costs.”
Tecla is a shy and hardworking woman in her early 40s. She was born alone in her home and she now stays with her mother. Tecla did not complete schooling after she developed partial hearing loss at an early age. She also experienced a painful accident when she was young after she burnt her right fingers leaving her disabled. Due to this, Tecla does not work and depends on her mum for all her needs. They live together in a semi-permanent house. Starting five years ago, Tecla has been experiencing abdominal swelling and other symptoms. She has been diagnosed with a large fibroid uterus and needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Surgical removal should be performed as soon as possible. Since Tecla does not have national health insurance, she is requesting help to pay for her treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $918 to fund Tecla's surgery. On April 5th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Tecla shared, "It has never been easy for me. My hope here is to get treated and be well and live a normal life.”
Neima is an adorable 16-month-old baby from Ethiopia. She loves to play and eat with her mother! She has an older sister who is eight years old. To support their family, her father works as a farmer and her mother manages their household. Neima 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. Her family has taken her to different hospitals seeking treatment, resulting in them using all of their savings. This left them unable to fund her needed treatments, so Neima went without a colostomy for one year. This led to her experiencing difficulty eating, only taking breast milk and liquids. She eventually developed bowel obstruction because of her condition, and an emergency colostomy was done. However, she now needs to undergo another procedure to eliminate her bowel dysfunction. Fortunately, Neima is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on August 1st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Neima's procedure and care. After her recovery, Neima will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Her mother shares, “For my child, I am so hopeful that she will completely heal, and I will celebrate her birthday with my whole family. I will educate her, and I have hope that she will be a teacher or a doctor.”
Pha is a 63-year-old retired rice farmer. She has three sons, four daughters, and nine grandchildren. Pha lives with her husband and she enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio. Three years ago, Pha developed a pterygium in her left eye, causing her irritation and tearing. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside. When Pha learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. Pha needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent a recurrence. The total cost of her procedure is $216. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for March 11th. Pha says, "I hope the irritation stops so I can go outside and care for myself and my grandchildren."
Meet Maripet, a 9 year-old-girl, living with her parents and two siblings. Her father is a farmer, while her mother stays home to look after the children. In August of last year, Maripet began experiencing persistent, severe headaches. Her parents brought her to a local hospital, where she was prescribed medication, and sent home. When her headaches didn't improve, her parents brought her to a second hospital, where she was given additional medication and sent home, once again. Her family tried traditional medicine, but nothing worked. When Maripet's headaches continued, her parents brought her back to the first hospital they had visited, and this time, brain scans were performed. Maripet's family was immediately referred to our BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, but without funds for her care they had to delay for visit for one month. During that time, Maripet lost her ability to walk and to move her head, and she also lost her eyesight for a few days. She is now in a wheelchair. When she arrived to BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, Maripet was examined and booked for immediate surgery to remove a brain tumor. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help make sure she can finally access the treatment she needs. They are seeking $1,500 to fund Maripet's surgery and medical care. Maripet’s mother says: “I’m very much worried about my daughter's condition. I just pray and hope that she will be fine.”
Daw Moo is a 58-year-old woman. She moved to Thailand from Burma and lives with her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. She helps with household chores and looking after her granddaughter. She has three other children that study in schools in Burma. In her free time, Daw Moo loves to meditate and pray for her children and her family. In late December, Daw Moo was diagnosed with a cataract in her left eye. She has blurry vision and it is difficult for her to do her daily activities, like cooking, cleaning and washing clothes. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Daw Moo receive treatment. On March 2nd, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Daw Moo's natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly and go about her daily activities. Now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. Daw Moo shared, "I feel uncomfortable seeing with only one eye. I will be very happy to do my daily chores after I have regained vision in my left eye. Thank you to the organizations who found donors for me. Without your help, I could never afford to pay for my surgery. My daughter also cannot pay for me as she has to support her younger siblings’ school fees."
Dorcas is a 3-year-old girl and the last-born in a family of four children. Her father is a casual laborer getting jobs whenever he can while her mother is a housewife. They work hard, but are having a difficult time making ends meet. Dorcas was diagnosed with genu valgus. Her legs bow inward so that 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, she has pain and difficulty in walking. Through Watsi funding, Dorcas had her first stage surgery which helped to correct her legs, but given how severely they were impacted, she has now been scheduled for a final surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Dorcas. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Dorcas's full mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Dorcas’s father says: “Thank you for helping my daughter have her first surgery, it helped correct her legs and now she needs one more surgery."
Sopheara is a 16-year-old student. He is in the ninth grade and has a younger sister in the eighth grade. Sopheara's father is a construction worker, and his mother works in a garment factory. Sopheara was in a car accident that fractured his left femur and tibia. After the accident, his family took him to a local hospital; upon review, the doctors referred him to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for specialized treatment. Currently, Sopheara is experiencing severe pain and difficulty walking. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), can help Sopheara heal. On February 15th, he will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will allow him to walk easily again upon recovery. CSC is requesting $465 to help fund this procedure, which is also subsidized by Sopheara's co-pay that his family was able to gather. Sopheara shared, "I hope I can heal and walk easily again so I can return to school."
Abity is an adorable 5-year-old boy who loves food and playing with friends. He spends his days playing football and loves to play with toys. He is a shy child in front of new people, and especially likes spending time with his sister and a brother. His mom is a daily laborer finding work whenever she can and his dad has been sick for some years resulting in him leaving his job in a government office. They shared that there are days that his mom gets outside work and there are days that she spends at home. All the children in their family are not able to go to school yet as a result of Abity's health and the financial constraint in the family. Abity's has an abnormally functioning segment of bowel. He has suffered with partial bowel obstruction & other severe symptoms. He now is waiting for a procedure called a coloanal pull through. His parents shared that because of the condition, they are also affected psychologically. Abity's mom hoped that we could help him to finally heal, she said: “His belly was too big before the colostomy and we were so scared and sad. When I was confused as to what I could do, people advised me to go to a charitable organization and the organization brought me here.”
Ko Ko is a three-year-old boy who lives with his parents and his siblings. His father and oldest brother are agricultural day labourers while his mother looks after him. Ko Ko enjoys playing with his toys and playing football with his brothers. He also enjoys watching movies on his mother's phone. When Ko Ko was one year old, his mother noticed a small white spot on his right pupil. She did not know what had caused the spot, but did not think it was serious. In December, Ko Ko’s mother asked him to give her a cup of water, but when he stood up he called out that he could not see where the water was, while trying to feel his way with his hands. Currently, Ko Ko is only able to recognize light. He needs his mother to guide him, and help him with tasks such as eating and showering Doctors want Ko Ko to undergo a CT scan. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Ko Ko's CT scan and care, scheduled for February 3rd. Ko Ko's mother said: "As a mother, I worry about him and I want to give him everything so that his vision can return, but I do not have money to pay for his treatment. Thank you so much for your kindness and for helping my son. May the goodness you have shown us return to you and may you be successful.”