Chris joined Watsi on June 25th, 2013. Eight years ago, Chris joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Chris' most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Leah, a joyful mom of three from Kenya, to fund a complete thyroidectomy.
Chris has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 13 countries.
Chris has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 13 countries.
Meet Leah, a joyful 43-year-old woman from Kenya. She is married with three children. Leah and her husband work casual labor jobs to provide for their family. She has been experiencing worrisome thyroid symptoms for four years. She visited our medical partner’s care center previously for a thyroidectomy. Following the procedure, a pathology test showed signs of a hurthle cell carcinoma, a malignant tumor on the thyroid gland. The surgeons advised that Leah undergo a complete thyroidectomy to prevent any other issues from arising. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Leah receive the treatment she needs to finally heal. On February 27th, she will undergo a full thyroidectomy at AMH’s care center. AMH is requesting $936 to fund this procedure, and Leah and her family are requesting assistance with the cost of her care. Leah shared: “I underwent my first procedure successfully, and I thank God that I know early that the tumor is malignant. Kindly help me undergo my second procedure so that I may be able to live without problems in the future.”
Saw Tha is an 11-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents, a younger brother, and a younger sister in a village in Karen State. His father is a Karen soldier and his mother is a homemaker. Their family does not have a stable income, but sometimes his father will work as a day laborer when he has free time. Saw Tha's family also raises chickens for their own consumption and his mother plants vegetables around their house. During his free time, Saw Tha likes to play football with his friends. On February 3rd, 2023, Saw Tha climbed a plum mango tree to pluck the fruit. He suddenly fell down from the tree and broke his left femur bone. Currently, he cannot walk as he is in severe pain and his left leg is swollen. Despite taking painkillers, he cannot sleep as the pain worsens through the night. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Saw Tha will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 4th and this treatment will help Saw Tha to be free from pain and walk again. Saw Tha and his family need help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure. Saw Tha's mother said, "I do not know where to look for help for my son. I just know that I am [worried] for him. I am very thankful to the kind donors and organization [BCMF] for helping my son."
Myo is a 14-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents in a village in Karen State. His mother is a homemaker who is currently eight months pregnant. His father is a subsistence farmer, but he also works as a day laborer to earn money. Myo is in grade six and he enjoys playing football in his free time. Two years ago, Myo developed a pain in his arm which he noticed while playing football with his friends. Right away he was in a lot of pain, but his arm did not look broken. At first, the pain lessened, but gradually the pain worsened and his upper left forearm became swollen. Myo could also feel a mass under the swollen area of his left forearm. Myo and his father went to Chiang Mai Hospital, where he received a MRI and other tests, as well as a biopsy which confirmed that the tumor in his forearm was cancer. Now he needs surgery to remove the tumor, and he will need a chemo after surgery. The enlarged mass in Myo's left forearm has not increased in size, and only causes him pain when he lifts something heavy or when he does any physical activity with that arm such as washing his clothes or cleaning. Although he can take a shower by himself, using only his right arm makes it challenging. When he plays with his friends, he needs to protect his left forearm to prevent getting hurt. Myo's family sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on December 8th, and his family needs help funding the $1,500 cost to cover his procedure and care. He said, “I feel sorry for my mother and I pity her that she has to stay alone with the new baby. I also feel sad that I cannot go to school this year. I want to recover quickly and go back to see my brother and mother.”
Rotha is a 50-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He is married with three daughters and one son. His wife works in a local clothes factory. In his free time, he helps his wife with housework and enjoys fishing with his friends. In 2018, Rotha was in a traffic accident and suffered an open fracture of his left tibia and a closed fracture of his left femur. He had surgery at a local hospital, with bone grafts and nails, but his tibia remained infected. After several surgeries and debridements, his infection has resolved, but his bone remains exposed from all the procedures. He cannot walk and is in great pain. When Rotha learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On November 21st, surgeons at CSC will perform reverse soleus muscle flap of the left tibia to close the open wound and help him walk again without pain. Now, he needs help to fund this $673 procedure. Rotha shared: "I hope my left leg will finally heal, I will have no infection, and can return home to work for my family again."
Janeth is a two-year-old girl and the youngest in a family of two children. Her father is a small-scale farmer, while her mother has a few cattle whose milk she sells to buy food and other commodities. They also harvest and sell some of their crops to earn money. They are living in a harsh environment, but they try to manage on a day-to-day basis. Janeth was involved in an accident last year where she sustained severe burns. Her mother had made porridge for breakfast. She took the pot off the fire and placed it at a corner to cool down so that she could feed Janeth. As she went out to clean the plates Janeth took a cup and tried to take porridge by herself from the pot. She dipped her hand in the pot of hot porridge and while pulling her hand out, some of the porridge spilled on her left foot. Her mother ran inside when she heard Janeth crying, but she had already been badly burned. Her mother gave her first aid and rushed her to the nearest clinic where she got treatment that helped with the open wounds. The wounds have healed, but left her with scars that make her left-hand fingers hard to use, and the toe on her left food was disfigured. A relative who saw Janeth advised her mother to seek treatment at our medical partner's care center ALMC (The Plaster House). Janeth was diagnosed with burn scar contracture on her left hand and left foot. Her hand needs a release surgery with skin grafting because her fingers are webbed, and the fifth toe of her left foot needs to be amputated because it causes pain when she tries to wear shoes. Her mother cannot afford the $1,088 cost of treatment and is asking for help. Janeth’s mother says, "I had to convince my husband to let me come and seek treatment for our daughter. I am not at peace every time I think of her.”
Meet Hour! He lives in Cambodia with his parents, who both work as farmers. His 26-year-old brother works as a seller at a local market. Hour completed school up to 6th grade, but he no longer attends. He enjoys spending time listening to music, playing games, and meeting friends. When he was a toddler, Hour was diagnosed with hemophilia, a medical condition that severely reduces the ability of blood to clot. This causes him to bleed heavily from even slight injuries. Four months ago, Hour began experiencing pain in his hips. He was diagnosed with bilateral hip necrosis, a painful condition that occurs when the blood supply to the head of the femur, or thighbone, is disrupted. Because bone cells need a steady supply of blood to stay healthy, his condition can ultimately lead to the destruction of his hip joint. Hour is currently unable to walk without support, has anemia, and is in chronic pain. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping him receive treatment. On August 10th, he will undergo a joint replacement, called an uncemented hip arthroplasty. CSC is requesting $1,500 to fund Hour's treatment and care. Hour shares, "I am thankful that I have a chance to have a new hip. This treatment will help me be able to work to help my family in the future."
Devid is an active 18-year-old from Cambodia who is in 12th grade. He lives with both his mother, who works as a tailor, and his grandmother in Cambodia. During his free time, he enjoys learning more about fitness via the internet, as well as exercising with friends. He shares that his best subject in school is Khmer literature, and he aspires to become a teacher in the future. At the end of 2019, Devid was in a motorcycle accident that caused injuries to his right arm. Although he had his wounds treated after the accident, both his right shoulder and elbow currently have no movement, and he has no wrist flexion or extension. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center can help. They will perform a functional free muscle transfer gracilis of his right arm so he can regain movement. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $991 to fund Devid's repair surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to restore mobility and continue his daily activities with less difficulty. Devid says, "I am grateful that I can return to school and regain my strength after this surgery."
Win is a 34-year-old mother of two from Thailand. She works as an agricultural day laborer to support her two children who live with her relative. Last month, Win was walking down the stairs in front of her home when she suddenly slipped and fell. This fall caused a fracture of her lower right leg, preventing her from both standing up and straightening her right leg. She first tried to treat herself with traditional medicine, but when she saw no improvement, she sought medical attention at a clinic. Win's lower right leg is currently swollen and in a lot of pain. She cannot straighten it nor put any weight on it. Because of the pain, she is experiencing difficulty sleeping and a loss of appetite. To get around, she is using a wheelchair provided by the clinic. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Win will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The treatment is scheduled for August 5th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help her walk again and return to work to support her children. She said, “I felt very happy when I learned that an organization will support the cost of my surgery. I am very thankful to all the donors and the organization for their support."
Paul is a 9-year-old student and is the firstborn in a family of three. Paul's mother had him while in high school and had to drop out of school and decided to get married. Currently, Paul is in the third grade and his best subject is science. He dreams of becoming a pilot when he completes his studies. Paul has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Paul traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 21st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Paul's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to stand and walk easily and wear closed shoes. Paul can also go on to complete his studies and achieve his dream of being a pilot. Paul’s mother says, “Please help my son. We have traveled a long way to see if my son can have his feet treated.”
Francis is a 17-year-old student who tries to live each day to its fullest as best he can. He lives together with his siblings, parents, and grandparents in their ancestral home. Francis's mom works at a local tea farm, while his father takes on labor jobs to help provide for the family. Francis was born with spina bifida, which is a spinal condition that occurs when the neural tube does not close all the way. Francis is part of the BethanyKids Hospital program and uses a Clean Intermittent Catheterization (C.I.C) to help regulate his bladder. A few months ago, Francis noticed a wound near the catheter site that made it difficult for him to use the C.I.C. A nurse referred him to the hospital for review and doctors there diagnosed the condition as a urethral fistula. The medical team determined that Francis will need to undergo surgery to heal. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Francis receive treatment. On May 18th, he will undergo urethroplasty surgery. AMH is requesting $834 to fund his procedure and related care. Francis hopes to feel better soon and says, “It has been a struggle for me to perform C.I.C because of this wound."
Said is a talkative, friendly and playful 4-year-old boy who loves to play football and to watch movies. Said's family consists of three other siblings, his mother, who is a housewife, and his father, who is a day laborer getting work whenever he can. Because of a medical condition, Said's legs bow outward and his knees don't touch, which caused difficulty walking. Our medical partner African Mission Healthcare is requesting $880 to fund a procedure that will take place on April 22nd to restore Said's mobility. This treatment will enable him to participate in a variety of activities as he grows and also decrease his risk for future complications. Said’s mother says, “The economy is not good and finding work is getting hard. The little money I get goes to food. If you can help my son have this treatment, I would be very grateful.”
Ni lives with her mother & four siblings in Yangon, Burma. Her two younger sisters work in a clothing factory, while her mother and one brother are homemakers. Her other brother works as a driver assistant. Ni works in a factory that produces alcohol and in her free time, she enjoys watching television with her family. She also enjoys teaching English to their neighbor's children on the weekends. In July 2019, Ni started to experience chest pain and difficulty breathing. She went to a hospital in Yangon and was told she might have a problem with her kidney. When she did not feel any better after taking medication for a month, she went to another hospital in Yangon. She received multiple diagnostic tests and was told that her kidney is healthy but she has a heart condition. After receiving an echocardiogram, she was diagnosed with atrial septal defect (ASD). The doctor told her she would need heart surgery, but Ni told the doctor she could not afford to pay for it. Ni received medication and went back home. Unfortunately, she was unable to go back to the hospital for follow up because the hospital closed after the country's military coup. Due to the deteriorating security condition in their area, Ni’s family decided to go back to their village near Mandalay. Around her village, she could not find a pharmacy that sold her medication. When her family finally traveled back to Yangon she was feeling better and decided not to purchase more of the special medication she needed. Then in January, Ni felt like she could not breathe well, and experienced chest pain and rapid breathing again. She went to a hospital, where the doctor referred her to Pun Hlaing Hospital. After she undergoing more diagnostic tests, the doctor told her she would need to receive surgery costing 9,000,000 kyats (approx. $9,000 USD). When she told the doctor she could not afford to pay for it, the doctor gave her the phone number of a nurse who may be able to help. When Ni called the nurse, the nurse told her about our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) who is now helping Ni access treatment. On March 13th she will undergo cardiac surgery to close the Atrial Septal Defect. Currently, Ni has chest pain and difficulty breathing. Sometimes, she has rapid breathing at night. She cannot sleep well because she is always worried about her condition. Ni shared, "I am very scared to receive surgery but if I do not receive this treatment, I will not live a long life. I am so happy to receive treatment and I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors."