Christopher joined Watsi on December 24th, 2014. Six years ago, Christopher joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Christopher's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Thuon, a father from Cambodia, to fund cataract surgery so he can see clearly again and return to supporting his family.
Christopher has funded healthcare for 79 patients in 11 countries.
Christopher has funded healthcare for 79 patients in 11 countries.
Thuon is a 43-year-old garment worker who enjoys listening to the news on the radio. He is married and has one daughter, who is currently attending school. His wife works as a cleaner in a restaurant to support their family. Due to his failing vision, Thuon has been unable to work for the past few years. Three years ago, Thuon developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him to experience light sensitivity and blurry vision. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so he is not able to go places on his own. When Thuon learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On August 11th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Thuon says, "I hope after surgery my eye can see better and I can go back to work to support my family."
Sineth is an active 19-month-old toddler. He has an older brother and older sister and enjoys playing with toys and singing along with videos of children's songs. His favorite activity is taking naps on his mother's lap. His parents are rice farmers in Kampong Speu Province in southern Cambodia. Sineth was born with congenital stenosing tenosynovitis - also known as trigger finger - in both of his thumbs. It is a condition in which the finger gets stuck in a bent position. The tendons - tough bands of tissue that connect muscles and bones in the thumb - have an abnormal flexion. Sineth is not able to grasp objects and it is painful when his mother tries to straighten his thumbs. Fortunately, a villager told his parents that our partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can fix Sineth's fingers, so they traveled two and half hours for diagnosis and treatment. Now, his parents need help to pay the $572 cost of surgery. This includes surgical costs, medications, and post-operative care. Sineth's mother said: "I hope that the doctors can fix my baby's fingers so he can hold things, and will grow up to have normal hands."
Davin is a 10-year-old 3rd grade student. He has three older brothers and one older sister. Davin's parents are rice and lemongrass root farmers. Davin told us how much he enjoys playing football. Two years ago, Davin 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. Now, Davin experiences ear pain, discharge, hearing loss, and tinnitus. He has difficulty hearing his teacher or classmates and is often absent from school due to his ear pain. Fortunately, on June 1st, Davin will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left 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. Davin's parents say, "I hope his hearing improves and he can enjoy school again."
Malachi is a 5-year-old preschooler and the only son of a single mum. Their family hails from Nakuru County in Kenya. His mother is currently sick, and his family is being taken care of by his grandmother. Malachi's grandmother does small jobs, such as farming, washing, and weeding in their neighbor’s farms. She does this on a day-to-day basis in order to support the family. Malachi suffers from a condition known as lower limb deficiency. This hinders him from walking straight and squatting, which also impacts his self-esteem. Fortunately, Malachi was able to travel to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform surgery on May 9th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Malachi's treatment, which will help him to be able to walk, engage in school, and play. His family also hopes this will boost his self-esteem. “I want to become a doctor so that I help other sick people and my mum,” Malachi says.
Primer is a father of three from Haiti. He lives in a small village in southwestern Haiti with his wife and three children; he is a farmer and sells produce in the local market. Primer has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of his heart is severely damaged as the result of a rheumatic infection he suffered a number of years ago, and cannot adequately pump blood through his heart and body. The surgery that Primer needs is not available anywhere in the country so he will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On September 13th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove the damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $9000 to pay for surgery. Primer'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 covers travel expenses for the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Primer's family overseas, as well as the cost of obtaining Prince's passport. Prince says: "I am very grateful to be having this surgery so I can take care of my family and see my children grow up."
Shwe is a 24-year-old woman who lives with her family in Burma and enjoys listening to Burmese pop music! Shwe previously worked in a factory, but she had to stop working last December when her health began to deteriorate. Her brother and stepfather both work as agricultural day laborers, and her sister-in-law and mother are both homemakers. The rest of her siblings are all waiting for schools to reopen so they can return to their studies. The schools were closed in February of 2021 following the Mayanmar military coup. About a year and a half ago, Shwe began to experience pain in her chest, as well as fatigue. She initially did not think that her symptoms were serious, but this changed after she fainted at work a few months later. After receiving an echocardiogram, she was diagnosed with mitral valve, aortic valve, and tricuspid valve regurgitation, which are all cardiac conditions that occur when the specified valve does not close properly. As a result, she experiences difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, a lack of appetite, and trouble sleeping. She also feels very tired when walking longer distances. Shwe now needs cardiac surgery to help alleviate her symptoms and allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. However, once the doctor told her and her family the cost of surgery, they left the hospital because they could not pay for Shwe's needed procedure. Fortunately, they happened to meet a taxi driver who kindly told them about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). BCMF is now helping Shwe undergo cardiac surgery on August 12th at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Shwe and her family need your support to fund this $1,500 procedure. Shwe says, “When I recover fully, I will go back to work and work hard. I will save my money and support my family.”
Hiram, an eleven year old boy, lives in Mombasa county in Kenya. He is the lastborn in a family of three and has two sisters. He is raised by a single mother who sells fish for their daily living. Hiram is in grade five and was born with club feet, which he lived with until this year. He had never been to any hospital for help until they heard about CURE hospital's mobile clinic in Mombasa. Fortunately, Hiram was able to undergo treatment for his right foot last September and the surgery was successful. Hiram is so happy to have undergone the first surgery on his right foot and is optimistic that even his left foot will be corrected well now too. Hiram is scheduled to undergo surgery for his left foot at our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital on July 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Hiram's clubfoot repair. The treatment will be of great impact to him because he will finally be able to put on both shoes, walk confidently, play football (which he is very excited for) and continue with his studies uninterrupted. “I am grateful to the donors for providing support to pay for my right foot which has healed well. I am looking forward to walking, playing with my friends, and continuing with school,” Hiram told us.
Thu Zar is a 21-year-old woman who lives with her parents, three sisters, and three nieces in Mae Sot near the Thailand-Burma border. Her family moved from Shan State in Burma to Thailand in 2008 in search of better opportunities. She used to work at a logistics company until two weeks ago when she quit due to her condition. Her parents run a small shop from their home, and her oldest sister is a cleaner at a restaurant. One of her other sister’s is unemployed and her third sister as well as her three nieces all go to school. In 2015, Thu Zar felt a small mobile mass in her chest. She did not feel any pain at the time and forgot about the mass. In 2019, she attended a workshop about reproductive health at her school, run by Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). During the workshop she remembered the mass and later when she was alone, she checked to see if it was still there. She felt the mass and thought that it had increased in size, but she did not experience any pain. The next day, she told the workshop trainer about the mass. The trainer told her to go to MTC for treatment. However, Thu Zar decided she did not want to take time off from school to go to the clinic, since she thought the mass was not causing her any pain or discomfort. Now, Thu Zar's condition has worsened and causes her great pain. She can only sleep on her back, because if she sleeps in any other position she experiences immense pain. Thu Zar sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 9th to heal her condition. She is raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Thu Zar is very worried about her health and told us, "I feel very sad and depressed with this condition."
Myo Htay is a 22-year-old who lives with his parents and younger brother in the border region of Burma. His parents work as day laborers at a gold mine, carrying dirt and debris. Myo used to work with his parents but stopped last November when his health deteriorated. Because the gold mine closes during the rainy season, his parents only have work for six months out of the year. The rest of the time they try to live off of their savings. Around six months ago, Myo started to feel tired when he worked. At first he thought he was tired from working too hard. When he continued to feel tired for over a month, he thought that he needed to see a doctor. However, because of their limited funds, he did not want his parents to spend what they had on a trip to a clinic or a hospital. Around the middle of April, his condition worsened. He had difficulty breathing, experienced chest pain, and also heart palpitations. His parents brought him to a nearby hospital where he was diagnosed with a heart disease. The doctor told them to bring him to Yangon for further treatment. After Myo's parents borrowed money, they went to Yangon and took him to two different hospitals. At the last hospital, Myo was admitted for five days as he was unwell at that time. He received a follow-up appointment for two weeks later, but was brought back on April 30th when he developed rapid breathing, heart palpitations, chest pain and oedema (swelling) in both his legs. Myo was readmitted to the hospital, and the doctor told Myo's parents that his surgery would cost 20,000,000 kyat (approx. $11,000 USD). When they told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for his surgery, a nurse gave them the phone number of an abbot in Yangon. After they called the abbot and told him what the doctor had said, the abbot referred Myo to our medical parter Burma Children Medical Fund for the assistance accessing the cardiac treatment he needs. Currently, Myo is on oxygen. If he does not receive oxygen, he has difficulty breathing as well as heart palpitations. He cannot walk for more than three minutes and if he does, he feels extremely tired. His whole family is worried about his condition. Fortunately, Myo's surgery has been scheduled for May 8th. He will have both valves of his heart replaced. His family needs $1,500 to help with the total cost of his surgery and care. Myo’s mother said, “I would give up everything to save my son’s life. I would sleep on the ground if we had no home to live in. I only wish to see my son getting better.”
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."
Thein is a 56-year-old man who lives with his family in a refugee camp. Two of his daughters and his son-in-law work as seasonal workers outside of the camp, while Thein and his wife look after their three grandchildren, send them to school, and care for the household chores. In January, Thein was diagnosed with a cataract in his right eye and an early cataract in his left eye. Currently, he cannot see with his right eye, as his vision is blurry, and the vision in his left eye is also beginning to blur. As a result, Thein cannot walk easily and relies on a bamboo staff to help stabilize him as he tries to avoid tripping on any objects in his path. He shared that he feels discomforted and like he is living in darkness. Fortunately, Thein was able to visit our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), and they can help him heal. On March 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Thein shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will help my family plant and water vegetables around the house. It can save us money from buying the vegetables. I can help send my grandchildren to school and pick them up in the evening. I will also be able to visit my friend.”
Irene is a beautiful baby girl and the only child in her family. Irene's mother is young and was still in school when she was born, so they are living with her grandmother. Her grandmother sells charcoal to earn a living and it is hard for them to make ends meet each month. Irene has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. When Irene was one month old, her mother noticed that her head was increasing in size. She took her to a nearby facility for examination, and was then referred to another facility who admitted her for a few days; however despite medication, her condition did not change. Irene was discharged and sent home, but a few days later she developed a fever so her mother took her back to the previous facility. After another examination, Irene was finally referred to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Hospital. Irene’s mother did not have the funds to cover their transport to BethanyKids, but with help from medical staff they were able to make it to the hospital with a social workers accompaniment. On arrival, Irene was booked for a shunt insertion surgery to help treat her condition. Without treatment, Irene will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of Irene's surgery to treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 9th, during which surgeons will drain the excess fluid from Irene's brain to reduce the pressure inside her head. This will greatly improve her quality of life, and allow her to develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Irene’s mother says, “It is a difficult moment for us for the past few months and we did not know if she will be treated as we do not have funds for the surgery.”