United States • instagram.com/ninajyang • Born on December 19th
Nina joined Watsi on March 13th, 2013. Eight years ago, Nina joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Nina's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Rajai, a 13-year-old student from Tanzania, to fund hand surgery.
Nina has funded healthcare for 102 patients in 13 countries.
Nina has funded healthcare for 102 patients in 13 countries.
Rajai is a 13-year-old student from Tanzania. He loves science classes and enjoys playing football and racing track at school. At home, his parents and two older siblings are farmers who rely on the crop yield to support the family. When Rajai was 8 years old, he stumbled while playing with his siblings and fell, injuring his left arm. Although his parents rushed him to the hospital, the skin and fingers on his left hand were damaged. As a result, he isn't able to use his arm in most of his day-to-day activities. At school, he feels self-conscious when new people are shocked upon seeing his injury. Rajai would also like to help more around the farm at home, but feels that his hand limits him. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Rajai with treatment. On March 9th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him use his hand freely again. Now, he needs help to fund this $832 procedure. Rajai says, “I am hopeful that this treatment will increase my confidence around new people.”
Seint, who is 34 years old, lives with her parents and her aunt in Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. Her parents and her aunt make and sell mats from their home. When Seint was 13-years old, she noticed she started to easily tire, experienced heart palpitations, and had barely enough energy to play with her friends. Her mother took her to a nearby clinic, where the doctor examined her and told them that she had congenital heart disease. The doctor gave Seint medication, which she used together with traditional medicine. Both helped her to feel better. In November 2022, Seint felt extremely tired and experienced heart palpitations while she was completing physical exercises with her students. She also had difficulty breathing, and her vision became blurred. Her mother took her to a clinic, where she received medications which helped her to feel better. A few days later, however, she started to experience pain in her back whenever she felt tired. She also started to have difficulty breathing again, and had heart palpitations. Her mother brought her to a hospital in Yangon, where she received an echocardiogram that allowed the doctor to diagnose her with atrial septal defect. After additional testing, the doctor scheduled her to undergo urgent heart surgery at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is seeking $1,500 to fund Seint's surgery, which will allow her to regain her health, and to live symptom free. Seint said: "I would like to recover as soon as possible. In the future, I will continue to work as a teacher. I love teaching students and wearing our school uniform proudly."
David is a 24-year-old male from Kenya. He is the last born in a family of four children raised by his mother. He works at a timber workshop near his home. In June 2020, David was involved in an accident where he was hit from the side by a motorbike. He was taken to the nearest public hospital and received emergency care. An x-ray revealed that he had an open right tibia fracture that needed surgery. Following his initial surgery, he has since had several additional surgeries due to the severity of the injury. In October 2022, he was referred to the care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital, run by our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for specialized review and care. His doctors quickly realized that he still walks with a limp, and his ankle is stiff with bloody discharge from the incision site. His doctors determined that a deeper examination was needed, and he ended up having a hardware removal surgery. However, the region where the fracture occurred is still severely infected, and he risks losing his right leg due to the infection. The doctors have recommended an additional procedure to remedy the remaining issues and clean the infection. Fortunately, AMH has scheduled David for a second-stage bone transport in hopes of avoiding amputation and helping him walk again. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund the procedure and provide for David's post-operative care. David says, “I feel exhausted and worried. I am unable to walk despite having several surgeries. I hope this surgery [helps] to save my leg.”
Ciara is a 10-month-old infant from Haiti. Her family enjoys playing with her and watching her smile. Ciara has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain, and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Ciara has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Ciara will have severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Ciara that will treat her hydrocephalus at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on February 2nd. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from Ciara's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Ciara will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. The family is looking forward to having their baby girl grow up healthy and happy.
Thea is married and has a 19-year-old son and an 18-year-old daughter. Both of his children are in school. He and his wife have a small grocery store in front of their house where they sell drinks and snacks. In his free time, he enjoys watching TV and listening to the news on the radio. For the past four years, Thea has had increasing tingling and numbness in both of his hands. He has intermittent pain and difficulty grasping items. Both hands are affected, but his right hand is significantly worse. It has become so debilitating that he cannot work in the store, and much of the responsibility has fallen to his wife and children. A neighbor recommended that Thea visit our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre, where specialty surgeons diagnosed him with carpal tunnel syndrome. This occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. He needs a carpal tunnel release - an incision in the palm of his hand over the carpal tunnel ligament and a cut through the ligament to relieve pressure on the median nerve. Now, Thea needs help with the cost of the $572 procedure. The cost covers the operation, hospital stay, medications, and post-op physiotherapy. Thea says, "I feel bad that my hands are weak and I have pain. I hope the operation will help to fix my hand so I can run our grocery store and support my family."
Isaiah is a young husband and father of one. He lives with his family in a single-room rented house in Gachie. Isaiah is the sole breadwinner of the family. He shared that he had hopes of opening a small business for his wife too. Since his accident, Isaiah is unable to work because he uses a motorbike to do his deliveries. The income he earned from the deliveries was very limited and he works hard to support his family. Two weeks ago, Isaiah slipped and fell off a staircase. He landed with his left hand and felt a sharp pain. He went to a nearby hospital, where some scans were done, and he was told that he needed a metal plate put in his hand. He is not able to work and is in severe pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 30th, Isaiah will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After healing, he will be able to work again and to provide for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Isaiah says, "It pains me that now I cannot work and provide for my family.”
James is a beautiful newborn baby from Tanzania. He is the youngest in a family of three children. To support their family, his father practices small-scale farming, and his mother is a homemaker. His parents share that their income is only enough to meet their day-to-day needs. James has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, meaning both of James's legs are twisted downward and inward. Without treatment, he will grow up and have difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Fortunately, James's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 9th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund James's clubfoot repair. This procedure will allow him to grow in good health and walk with ease when he grows up. James's mother says, "It has been rough for the past two weeks, moving with my baby from one health centre to another without any success. I am glad that he will get the treatment required."
Shee is a bright and caring 12-year-old girl from Thailand who likes to play the piano, listen to music, and help her caregiver garden with her friends. She lives with 30 students, including her younger brother, in the dormitory of Has Thoo Lei Learning Centre. She is currently in fifth grade, and her brother is in third grade. Both her and her brother's dormitory fees, including food and accommodations, are funded by a Christian nonprofit organization called Compassion Thailand. Both of her parents currently live in Burma and work as subsistence farmers. Her father also works as a day laborer. Shee's parents support her and her brother with their school fees and pocket money. For the past two years, Shee has dealt with femoral hernias. As a result of her condition, she experiences pain in her right groin, as well as pain and discomfort when she sits for a long period of time. When she plays with her friends or is active, the bulge increases in size. Her condition has progressively worsened, and she has had to miss school frequently as a result. Fortunately, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Shee's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 22nd. Once completed, she will hopefully be able to live more comfortably. Shee says, “I want to become a nurse when I grow up one day and help people in my community who are sick and need my help.”
Henrico is a kind 3-year-old boy, who lives with his parents in a small fishing village in western Haiti. He was born with a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which involves several related defects including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. As a result of these defects, his heart cannot adequately provide oxygen to his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. As the care he needs is not available in Haiti, Henrico will fly to Italy to receive treatment and, on September 27th, he will be able to undergo the life-saving cardiac surgery he needs. Henrico's family needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany his family overseas. His family hopes he will have a bright future and plans to start him in preschool as soon as he has recovered from his heart surgery. Henrico's mother shared, "Our family is praying for everyone who is making it possible for our son to have this surgery!"
Saw Eh is a two-year-old boy who lives with his mother and older sister in a refugee camp in Thailand. Both he and his older sister go to nursery school. His mother weaves and sells traditional Karen clothing to earn extra money in addition to the small amount they receive every month on a cash card. When Saw Eh was two months old, he began crying a lot and his mother noticed swelling in a sensitive area. He received medication at the hospital in the refugee camp, which helped alleviate his discomfort and crying. However, Saw Eh began experiencing pain in the same sensitive area this past June. This pain often causes him to miss school, as well as to cry frequently again. His mother shares that when he cries, she must hold him, meaning she no longer has time to weave clothes. During the short moments when the pain lessens after taking painkillers, Saw Eh loves playing with his friends and his sister. When his family brought him to the hospital, a medic told them that they would have to wait for a doctor to visit the refugee camp. When Saw Eh was finally seen by a doctor in late July, he and his family were referred to our medical partner's care center, Mae Sariang Hospital, for treatment. He was diagnosed with hydrocele in his left scrotum and a left inguinal hernia. Due to his severe condition, the doctor admitted him and scheduled his surgery to take place that same night, August 4th. However, Saw Eh's mother shares that she cannot pay for her son's needed treatment due to financial constraints. Fortunately, she was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for financial assistance accessing treatment. On August 4th, surgeons will perform hernia repair surgery to treat Saw Eh's hernia and help alleviate his symptoms. BCMF is requesting $1,486 to fund his surgery and care. Saw Eh’s mother shares, “I feel so sad when I see my son in pain. I love to see him playing with his sister, but if he is in pain, he will cry a lot.”
Yoon is a bright and loving 12-year-old girl. She lives with her mother and uncle in Karen State of Burma near the border with Thailand. She was a student in grade three but stopped studying in August 2020 when she was no longer able to walk. Yoon enjoys painting pictures and reading books. In the future, she wants to go back to school and continue her studies. She helps out her mother with household chores. Her uncle is unemployed whereas her mother is an agricultural day labourer. One day at home, Yoon fell down when she tried to stand up to go to the bathroom. Her feet felt painful and were pointing downwards. After that, she did not try to stand up again and would move around her house on her knees. Her mother would have to carry her to the bathroom. Due to their financial situation, her mother was not able to seek treatment despite being very worried for her daughter. Over time, Yoon noticed that her feet were increasingly pointing downwards and were stiff. Her legs would feel painful and were also stiff. Sometimes, she could not stretch out her legs due to feelings of tightness and pain. Her mom shared that she would cry whenever her legs pained, and she would have to wait until the pain lessened by itself. Additionally, her hands began to weaken until she could not hold food with her hands. At the same time, her speech became slurred and her voice became hoarse. On June 17, Yoon arrived at our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), and was admitted that same day. She received a physical examination and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and tightness of Achilles tendon in both of her legs. The doctor recommended she receive surgery on both of her feet, which would help her walk again, and scheduled the procedure for June 21st. When Yoon’s mother told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for surgery, the doctor referred Yoon to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing further treatment. Our medical partner, BCMF, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure for Yoon. This procedure will elongate her Achilles tendon, allowing increased motion at the ankle joint. Without treatment, Yoon's condition will continue to cause her discomfort and will further limit her movement. Her mother said, “I cried almost every night when I saw my daughter in this condition. She always cried and complained about her feet. She always asked me to bring her to the hospital to get treatment. Whenever she asked me, I felt very sad and I would cry in secret. I want her to get treatment, but I cannot afford to pay for it. Due to COVID-19 and the current fighting in Burma, I cannot make enough money or save it. Often, I would only eat fishpaste and rice, but give her meat so that she can have something nutritious. When I heard that she has donors who will help her receive treatment, I felt very happy and thankful to BCMF for this kindness. I never thought she would receive such an opportunity. It makes me so happy that I do not know how to express it in words.”
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!"