Network of partners help fund medical treatment for 2 youth


Living on a little island in the middle of the Pacific where there is no specialty doctor to attend to your life-threatening condition can bring anyone to a point of defeat and hopelessness. Especially if there are budget cuts for off-island medical referral cases. Especially if your family has zero health insurance, and minimum wage is painfully at $1.75 an hour. Defeat. Hopelessness. Such was Juntwo’s case not so long ago.
For more than 10 years, Juntwo struggled with a debilitating kidney condition. With each passing year, it became more difficult for Juntwo to function normally due to the increasing, painful attacks. Eventually her condition got so severe that she was unable to attend school and she became very weak. In late 2016, the hospital diagnosed Juntwo and recommended off-island medical referral because there is no urologist in Pohnpei who can provide the life-saving surgery she needed. MAHI International learned of Juntwo’s situation and wanted to help. She became MAHI International’s first medical referral to the U.S.

Then there is Precious. Like other young children at 6 years of age, she is spirited and full of life. However, she was born with a cleft lip/palate that was disabling. Because of this condition, Precious constantly suffered from sinus/ear infections and found it increasingly difficult to perform the daily functions of life like eating and speaking. It was her prayer to get “a new face.” Through our partners at St. Helena Hospital, Dr. Steven Herber performed reconstructive plastic surgery on Precious’ face last month. Today, Precious is recovering very quickly and will be returning home to Pohnpei this week.
Because of cases like Juntwo and Precious, MAHI International, an NGO committed to provide medical assistance and development in the FSM, has launched a new program which focuses on uninsured, pediatric patients in need of medical referral for specialty treatment. Since the budget cuts for off-island medical referral, many individuals who require referral treatment have been sent home without a solution or any hope. MAHI International is committed to assist these qualifying children in need of specialty health care.
How it works:
MAHI International works closely with the Pohnpei State Hospital and its physicians to find qualifying patients for referral. Once we have established the need, MAHI International’s network of healthcare partners in the U.S. will review pre-screened patients for potential treatment. If we find a patient and hospital match, MAHI International will begin coordinating the logistics needed; this includes flights, housing, food, and transportation for both the patient and a caregiver. We look for any and all possible ways to sponsor each case; sometimes it is covered by the sponsoring hospital, MAHI International, the patient and family, local community members and leaders, and individuals and organizations from the U.S. Once all the details have been confirmed, the patient will be sent off-island for treatment.
MAHI International has been developing a network of healthcare partners from across the U.S. including New Jersey, Colorado, Florida, California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii. Our goal is two-fold: 1) to bring specialty clinics to the FSM through medical outreach teams, and 2) to provide a medical referral program for cases that are either too urgent or complex to have procedures done in the FSM.
Today, both Juntwo and Precious have the opportunity of a new life. They are both healthy and healing well, all thanks to their supportive family, and a compassionate and generous network of partners.