nick joined Watsi on March 30th, 2013. Seven years ago, nick joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. nick's most recent donation supported Lwin, a 37-year-old woman from Thailand, to fund heart surgery.
nick has funded healthcare for 43 patients in 12 countries.
nick has funded healthcare for 43 patients in 12 countries.
Lwin is a 37-year-old wife and mother who lives with her husband and son on the Thai-Burma border. Lwin and her husband work as day labourers in a temple as a cook and gardener. In her free time, Lwin likes to garden and enjoys growing vegetables to eat and to donate to the temple. Lwin also likes to watch Thai movies. One night in March 2021, Lwin had a rapid heartbeat and felt dizzy. Lwin could not sleep that night so her husband brought her to a clinic the next day. The doctor referred her to Mae Sot Hospital in an ambulance, where she underwent diagnostic tests, but never received a diagnosis. Lwin was given medication to stabilize her condition. During her follow-up appointment in June 2022, Lwin received an echocardiogram and was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis. The doctor then referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital for further treatment. Currently, Lwin suffers from shortness of breath and heart palpitations. Lwin reports her arms and legs feeling heavy and trouble sleeping. Lwin has little appetite and she has to sleep propped up on pillows. On January 13th, Lwin with receive surgery to improve her condition. Our medical partners, Burma Children Medical Fund, are helping Lwin raise $1,500 to cover the cost of this life altering surgery. Lwin shared, "I will never forget the donors who will help pay for my treatment cost. When I recover fully, I want to learn how to sew so that I can open a shop from my home and work as a seamstress."
Mary is an eight-year-old girl. She is a talkative and playful young girl. She is the last born in a family of seven children and the family is not well off financially. Both of her parents do casual jobs like ploughing people's farms for a living and such jobs are not easy to find where they live. Sometimes the church members chip in to help them where they can. When Mary was one year old, she was involved in an accident where she sustained burns to her head, some parts of her face and neck. She was rushed to the hospital and was admitted for better care. While in the hospital, a surgery was done on her head where she had sustained more burns. She was then discharged and booked for wound dressing clinics. The wounds were healing well as per the doctors’ plan. Her parents managed to take her for the clinics for a few months but later stopped because of finances. While at home, the wound got infected but due to lack of funds, she was not taken to hospital at that time. Time went by and the infection spread to most parts of the head. When she was three years old, the family met up with a local pastor who started helping them. He started financing Mary’s hospital visits with the help of some church members where he ministered. The wound was dressed again but the recovery process was very slow. In mid this year, the pastor brought them to Kijabe Hospital, she was examined, and the wound was dressed properly. Since then, the wound has been healing as expected. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Mary receive treatment. On December 9th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help the remaining wound to heal properly. Now, Mary's family needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Mary’s father says, "Since the accident, we have been struggling a lot to make her get the required treatment but have failed to some extent. Coming to Kijabe, our hopes have been boosted greatly with the improvement she has experienced, and we hope that she will go through with the surgery and be well again.”
Maribeth is a caring mother from the Philippines. She's a full-time mom to her three children, while her husband works as a grinder. In May 2022, Maribeth began to experience troubling symptoms, including fatigue, trembling hands, and masses on her neck that were growing in size. These symptoms prevent her from being able to take care of her children and do her daily chores. Maribeth sought a medical checkup, where doctors told her to undergo a neck ultrasound and biopsy. Her results indicated that she is experiencing a multiple colloid adenomatous goiter. This condition occurs when tumor formation occurs, caused by an overgrowth of thyroid tissue cells. Maribeth needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Maribeth receive treatment. On November 11th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy at WSFP's hospital. During this procedure, surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation is supporting a portion of the cost of her treatment, and WSFP is raising $890 to cover the remaining cost of Maribeth's procedure and care. Maribeth says, "This free surgery is a big help for me because we don't have enough money to pay for my bills. To all the hospital staff who are helping me, to WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines, thank you! May God bless you, and may you help more people in need."
Nicholaus is a young boy from a family of five living in Tanzania. His parents are local farmers who practice subsistence farming. They try to provide for the family, but it has been hard for them to provide the basic needs. They sometimes live on one meal a day, and shared that buying clothes for their children is difficult. When Nicholaus was two years old, he fell into a pit of hot ashes, burning his right hand. The parents applied honey on the wound and left it to heal. They got rid of the open wound, but it left the boy with a burn scar contracture on his right hand. They live in a remote area where it is hard to access social services like medical care. The contractures tighten the area around the burn, and it is now hard for him to move the hand especially around the wrist and part of the fingers. Nicholaus' parents have tried seeking professional medical opinion for their son before, but have not been able to afford the recommended treatment. When they heard about Friends of the Plaster House (ALMC), they were hopeful, and travelled over 600 km to seek assistance for their son. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Nicholaus receive treatment. On October 12th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him move his hand easily. Now, he needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Nicholaus’s mother says “We left home with hope that when he comes back, his hand will be okay."
Perlisa is a 34-year-old, full-time mother of two sons and one daughter, living in the Philippines. Her partner is a construction worker, with only limited earnings to support the family. In 2020, Perlisa began to experience a broad constellation of symptoms, ranging from weight loss and extreme fatigue, to chest pain and shortness of breath, a bloated stomach and back pain. After undergoing an ultrasound, it was determined that Perlisa had a gallstone which needed to be surgically removed. Because of a lack of funds, Perlisa delayed her surgery, missed appointments with her doctors, and relied on medications to ease her symptoms. Ultimately, Perlisa found her way to our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, and they will be able help Perlisa access the care that she needs. On September 10th, Perlisa will undergo surgery to have her gallbladder removed at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Without this procedure, Perlisa's symptoms could worsen, and she would be at risk for more health complications in the future. While a portion of the cost of Perlisa's procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, World Surgical Foundation Philippines is looking to raise the remaining $826 needed to cover the costs of Perlisa's surgery and care. "Ive been praying for so long to be treated for my illness. We're financially incapable to pay for my medical bills. This surgery is an answered prayer." Perlisa shared. "I'm eternally grateful to WATSI, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, and all the doctors who helped me. May the Lord continue to bless you so that you may be able to help more people," she added.
Hadija is a 14-year-old fourth grade student from Tanzania who started school late due to her condition. Her father works as a small-scale farmer, and he provides for their family's basic needs through farming. When she was five years old, Hadija had intense malaria, which was managed. Over time, her parents eventually noticed that her leg was twisted slightly inward and that she had trouble walking. However, her parents could not take her to a health center due to financial constraints. They instead massaged her foot daily, but this unfortunately did not help, and her leg progressively worsened. A few years after joining school, a teacher noticed her leg and directed her parents to a hospital for care. Hadija was diagnosed with clubfoot of her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Hadija and her parents traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Hadija's surgery. After treatment, she will be able to continue with her studies and walk without straining. Her mother says, "We had given up on treatment, but we now have hope that Hadija is going to get better."
Josias is a three-year-old boy from Haiti. He lives with his parents and older brother. He is a happy and playful toddler who loves to smile and play! Josias has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Josias has been experiencing developmental delays. He cannot walk or talk yet. Without treatment, Josias will continue experiencing severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Josias at Hospital Bernard Mevs to treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 20th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Josias's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Josias will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Josias's family has shared that they hope this surgery will allow him to be more independent.
Phyo Ko is a 33-year-old man, living in Thailand with his wife and two young children. Originally from Burma, Phyo Ko and his family moved to Thailand in 2009, in search of better job opportunities. Phy Ko's wife stays home with the children, who are too young to go to school, while Phyo Ko works as a construction day laborer, earning under $12 a day. In early 2021, Phyo Ko and his friend were at work at a construction site, when scaffolding fell onto Phyo Ko's left hand and thigh. Initially, he used oil made from traditional medicine to ease the pain. However, a month after the accident, Phyo Ko noticed that there was a mass on his left leg, so he sought medical attention. The first doctor he visited could find nothing wrong, and sent Phyo Ko back home. His mass continued to grow in size, and the pain increased, making it impossible for Phyo Ko to continue working, so once again, he went to the hospital. This time, there were no doctors available to see him because of the pandemic. Finally, in April, Phyo Ko was able to receive a CT scan, thanks to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund and the Watis community. The CT scan revealed a hematoma, which requires surgical intervention. On June 16th, Phyo Ko will undergo surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, to have the mass removed from his thigh. After the procedure, Phyo Ko should be able to walk, stand and work without pain, something he is unable to do now. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of Phyo Ko's surgery. Phyo Ko said: "I would like to receive surgery soon so that the pain will go away. Before I received the CT scan, I was told that my leg could be be amputated because the mass on my leg is very big. However, after the CT scan, the doctor told me that they could remove the mass without amputation. I was so happy to hear this. I want to work and earn an income for my family after surgery."
Jane is a loving mother from the Philippines. She has an adorable 8-month-old baby boy. Jane works as as a municipal administrative aide, while her husband works as a contractual college teacher. However, even with their combined salaries, they still cannot afford to cover her medical treatment. In 2019, Jane began to experience troubling symptoms, including a painful, palpable mass on her neck. She was diagnosed with a nodular goiter, which is a solid or fluid-filled lump that forms within the thyroid. However, due to financial constraints, she opted to take the doctor’s prescribed medicine to alleviate the symptoms instead of having the surgery she needs. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Jane finally undergo treatment. She is scheduled for a thyroidectomy on May 3rd at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $1323, and she and her family need help raising money for this life-changing care. “Once this surgery is done, I won’t have to endure this pain. Thank you World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for this opportunity to be treated. Now, we don't have to worry about where to get the money for my treatment,” Jane shared with relief.
Esther is a sweet 2-year-old from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and several siblings and cousins in a neighbordhood of Port-au-Prince. Esther's parents are both market vendors. Esther was born with down syndrome and later diagnosed with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. This means there is a hole between the two lower chambers of Esther's heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. On April 20th, Esther will fly to Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery to close the hole in her heart using a patch. This surgery is not available in Haiti and her family has been waiting for her to be able to travel for this life-saving care. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for her surgery. Esther's family needs additional assistance covering $1,500 for labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This amount also supports passport obtainment and the social workers who will accompany Esther's family overseas. Esther's mother shared, "We are very hopeful that after the surgery, our daughter will have more appetite and less weakness."
Lani is a 61-year old widow who lives with her daughter in the Philippines. Her daughter works as part of a fast-food restaurant crew and is their sole source of income. Lani has been diagnosed with cholelithiasis, also known as gallstone disease. Because of her financial situation, even though she experienced shooting pains in her stomach, she saw a doctor only after a year, when the pain already extended to her back. Eventually, her condition got severe to the point that she could no longer stand up and walk due to her worsening symptoms. Now, if left untreated, her condition may lead to tissue damage, tears in the gallbladder, and infection that can spread to other parts of her body. Lani is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on March 5th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,253 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After her recovery, Lani will no longer experience severe pain in her abdomen or other complications in the future. She shared, "I have had this disease for a long time, but I have been putting up with the pain for far too long because I really cannot afford medical treatment," Lani added, "I am eternally grateful to the World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for being able to provide assistance to individuals like me who simply cannot afford the procedures."
Yousos is a 26-year-old rice farmer who is married with has a four-year-old son and an eight-month-old son. Yousos enjoys reading and playing chess. In May 2019, Yousos was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a right hip fracture. Yousos sought treatment at a local hospital and was diagnosed with avascular necrosis. Yousos was also seen by a Khmer traditional healer, but his hip pain has persisted. Now Yousos's hip pain is so great, he can no longer walk. Fortunately, a neighbor told Yousos about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Yousos of his pain and allow him to walk easily. CSC is helping Yousos raise the $1,087 to cover the cost of the procedure scheduled for February 16th. Yousos is now hopeful to be more active and feel well again. He shared, "I hope I can walk easily again without pain."