Richard joined Watsi on April 15th, 2013. Five years ago, Richard joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Richard's most recent donation supported Naw Mu, an elderly refugee from Thailand, to fund cataract surgery.
Richard has funded healthcare for 60 patients in 10 countries.
Richard has funded healthcare for 60 patients in 10 countries.
Naw Mu is an elderly woman who lives in a refugee camp with her husband, daughter and grandson due to tensions between armed groups in their village. Naw Mu’s husband sells snacks at the school campus to earn some income. Prior to her eye condition, Naw Mu was a shop vendor, but she is no longer working A few years ago, Naw Mu started to notice blurry vision in both her eyes. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), conducted an eye screening in the refugee camp and their staff diagnosed her with cataracts in both eyes. Currently, Naw Mu’s left eye can perceive only light and her right eye can only see at close distances. BMCF is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for her on March 6th. During this procedure, doctors will remove Naw Mu's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Naw Mu said, “I don’t worry about the operation because it would make me better. I would love to see properly after the operation.”
Queen is a sweet 11-month-old from Tanzania. She is the youngest child in her family of eight children. Queen is very curious and charming; when she was at our medical partner’s care center, she could not stop playing with the other children. Her family is from a remote part of Western Tanzania, and her parents farm maize and beans. Queen’s mother shared that the recent weather changes made it hard for them to cultivate maize, and they are now dependent on their cultivation of beans. The low harvest also means there are not enough surplus crops to sell and earn money to support the family’s basic needs. Queen has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Queen’s family was able to travel to our medical partner’s care center for assistance. On February 7th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery that will allow Queen to walk easily and wear shoes as she grows up. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Queen’s mother says: “I am worried that my daughter will be so limited when she grows up. I hope she gets the treatment for her condition.”
Gareth, who is four years old, lives with his parents and three siblings in central Bolivia. His parents are shopkeepers and have so much love for their family. Gareth was born with ventricular septal defect, a heart condition that creates a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood, which should circulate through his lungs to obtain oxygen, simply leaks out through the hole, leaving Gareth weak and short of breath. In addition to his heart condition, Gareth was born with Down syndrome. Doctors at our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, are scheduled to operate on Gareth on January 19th, at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uria. During the procedure, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in Gareth's heart, so that his blood will flow normally. Gareth's family needs your help to fund the $1,500 to cover the costs of his care. Gareth's mother said: "Our family is very grateful to everyone who is making it possible for Gareth to have this surgery."
John is a young student from Haiti who lives with his mother and two older brothers in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He already loves going to kindergarten and enjoys playing with puzzles. John has a cardiac condition called double outlet right ventricle meaning the major arteries connect to the heart in an abnormal location making it difficult for blood to properly flow through his body. Unfortunately the treatment John needs to heal is not available anywhere in Haiti. So, John is flying to the Cayman Islands to receive cardiac surgery. On May 25th, surgeons will detach the arteries from John's heart and reconnect them in their anatomically correct locations. Have a Heart Cayman is contributing $17,000 to pay for this surgery. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, needs $1,500 to help John's family cover labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from Haiti Cardiac Alliance who will accompany John's family overseas. John's mother shared, "Our family all looks forward to our son having a more normal life after this surgery!"
Rehiwilzahra is a sweet toddler from Haiti. She lives in Port-au-Prince with her mother, father, and three older siblings. Rehiwilzahra likes watching cartoons and playing with her older siblings. Rehiwilzahra has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This heart condition involves several related heart defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These defects prevent blood from circulating properly through the lungs leaving Rehiwilzahra weak and short of breath. The surgery Rehiwilzahra needs to heal is not available in Haiti, so she will need to fly to the Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery to close the hole in her heart with a patch and remove the blockage from her valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance is helping Rehiwilzahra's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This amount also supports passport obtainment and the social workers to accompany Rehiwilzahra's family overseas. Rehiwilzahra's mother shared, "We have been praying for a long time for a solution to our daughter's heart problem. We are very thankful to everyone who is helping her!"
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.”
Srey Ne is a 32-year-old woman who is married with two young daughters, aged 5 and 7-years-old. Srey Ne works in a factory, while her husband works in construction. She shared that she enjoys swimming and cooking for her family in her free time. For six months, Srey Ne has been experiencing knee pain. She managed the condition with medication at first, but in December, the pain became so severe that she went to a government hospital. Doctors diagnosed her condition as osteoporosis, but Srey Ne was unable to afford the recommended treatment. When she learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled to there for review. Doctors at CSC conducted a biopsy and histology and determined she has a giant cell tumor on her left knee that is growing. Currently, Srey Ne experiences pain and discomfort. Fortunately, surgeons at CSC can help Srey Ne finally heal. On February 18th, she will undergo excision and fibular flap surgery to remove the tumor and heal the wound. CSC is requesting $657 to fund this procedure, which is also subsidized by Srey Ne's co-pay that she was able to gather. Srey Ne says, "This treatment will help me return to work so I can support my family. I am looking forward to being free of pain and walking easily."
Rose is a farmer and a single mother of two. She does small-scale farming, which mostly gives her and her family food to eat, leaving a little for them to sell. They live in a village where most work on farms and depend on seasonal farm products like mangoes to earn a living. Her family lives in a grass-thatched house. Rose came to the hospital after having fallen while walking. She sustained an injury to her left upper arm with an open wound, pain, bleeding, and inability to use the arm. After the doctor's assessment with help of an X-Ray, Rose was diagnosed with an open left distal humerus fracture and surgery was recommended. She is in pain and cannot use her left hand to perform any activities. Rose is currently totally dependent on her elderly mother. Their family is unable to pay for her surgery due to their socio-economic status as they depend on seasonal farm products to raise a basic level of income. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 11th, Rose will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will relieve her of the pain and restore the functionality of the hand. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $941 to fund this procedure. Rose says, “I am in pain, I have nothing to pay for the surgery. My hope is to receive treatment and be able to use my hand again.”
Nembris is a charming and curious 16-month-old baby. She's the only child in her family. Nembris’s parents work as subsistence farmers and shared that they need assistance with the cost of Nembris’s treatment. Nembris has clubfoot of her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, her family traveled to the care center at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). On December 7th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery, which will allow Nembris to walk easily upon recovery. AMHF is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Nembris’s mother shared, “I would be very glad if my daughter can walk without difficulty and if her leg will look normal like other kids. I lost hope...Please help us.”
Hser is a 38-year-old woman who lives with her parents in a refugee camp in Tak Province, Thailand. She and her family fled there many years ago from Karen State in Burma because of civil war. Hser is now a high school teacher in the refugee camp, and she earns 1,000 baht (approx. 33 USD) per month. Hser used to teach groups of students at their home due to Covid restrictions that closed schools in July 2021, but all home teaching was also stopped in September 2021 when Covid cases increased in the refugee camp. Since then, Hser teaches students online, but many of her students cannot afford to pay for mobile data to study from their family’s mobile phones. Since late 2019, Hser has been experiencing pain in the right side of her abdomen every day, especially at night. She says that she has lost her appetite and has lost some weight because of this. She feels like the mass is gradually increasing in size and feels more comfortable lying down then sitting. She also feels tired when she walks. She has been diagnosed with an ovarian tumour, and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, which involves surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Hser's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Hser is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on November 9th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, this treatment will help Hser to live free from pain and she has hope that she'll be able to live her life happily with her parents in the future. Hser said, “I love being a teacher and when I have recovered, I will continue to teach. My parents worry about me a lot and they want me to receive surgery as soon as possible. They are stressed about my condition, but I do not want to feel stressed because stress cannot help me feel better. So even though I cannot eat a lot, I try to eat as much as I can to stay strong.”
Sopheak is married and has a nine-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter. His wife is a primary school teacher and his son is in 3rd grade. Sopheak works as a rice farmer and also sells chickens to earn extra income. In his free time, he likes to play volleyball. One month ago, Sopheak was in a car accident and injured his right shoulder. Initially, he received traditional Khmer medicine treatments. Since he was still experiencing pain, he traveled three hours to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), where doctors diagnosed him with a right shoulder dislocation. On October 13th, surgeons at CSC will perform a surgery to treat his shoulder dislocation and allow him to regain use of his right arm. CSC is requesting $412 to help fund this procedure so he can get back to his full life. Sopheak shared, "I hope my shoulder heals well after surgery so I can return to the rice field."
Eh Eh is a 24-year-old woman who lives with husband, daughter, sister and parents in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. She got married three years ago and her husband works at the pharmacy in the refugee camp. He is able to earn 900 baht (approx. $30 USD) per month to support their livelihoods. Her parents are retired, and her sister is in school in grade 11. Eh Eh works for the Camp Information Team and earns 1,000 baht (approx. $30.33 USD) per month. Their household also receives 1,662 baht ($55.40 USD) per month on a cash card from an organisation called The Border Consortium. Eh Eh became pregnant soon after her wedding in 2018. When she went into labour, she was unable to give birth due to her daughter being too big to fit through her pelvis. Malteser International (MI) staff, who run the hospital in the refugee camp, rushed her to Mae Sariang Hospital, where the surgeon performed an emergency C-section to deliver Eh Eh's daughter. On 28 December 2020, Eh Eh found out she was pregnant again. Due to her previous complications during labour, MI staff referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital for further care while she wis in her 39th week. Knowing that she will need to undergo another C-section, and that she cannot afford to pay for it, Eh Eh was referred to our medical partner, the Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing the treatment she needs for a safe delivery for her and her new baby. Currently, although Eh Eh feels fine physically, she has mixed emotions about the surgery. She is worried and scared about undergoing the operation but she is excited to meet her baby. She shared: “I can cope with the worry because I have experienced this before, and because my husband will take care of me,” she said. “I just really hope that my operation will go well, and that baby will be safe."