Isaya is a sweet toddler who is now 3-years-old and comes from a large family. Isaya’s family are nomadic pastoralists and depend on livestock, keeping cows, sheep, and goats. Isaya was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, a condition in which her legs bend so that her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Isaya has difficulty walking or running like other children. On December 10th, Isaya will undergo corrective surgery at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Treatment will restore Isaya’s mobility, allowing her to participate in various activities and significantly decrease her risk of future complications. AMH is requesting $880 to fund her surgery. Isaya’s pastor shared, “Please help her, as her parents can never afford the treatment cost by themselves.”
Khine lives with her parents, daughter, and brother in a town near Yangon, Burma. Her daughter is a homemaker and looks after her parents, while her brother works in a sewing factory. Khine used to work as a street vendor but stopped in August when she was no longer able to see well enough to work. Around 2018, Khine's left eye became itchy and painful. Unable to afford treatment at a clinic or hospital, she used traditional medicine after her friend recommended a traditional medicine clinic for eye ailments. In October 2021, the pain and itchiness in her left eye increased and the vision in he right eye was blurry. She went to a hospital in Yangon, where the doctor diagnosed her with cataracts in both her eyes. Although she was referred to another hospital where eye surgery is affordable, the waiting list was very long and she was told it could take up to a year for her to be scheduled for surgery. With the help of our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), she underwent cataract surgery on her left eye in October. She is scheduled to undergo cataract surgery on her right eye at BCMF's care center KBC Hospital on December 14th and needs support to fund her treatment. Currently, the vision in Khine's right eye is so blurry that she can only see shapes. Since her first surgery, the vision in her left eye is very clear and she is feeling a renewed sense of hope for her future. Khine shared, “I would like to work as a vendor again when I can see well after surgery.”
Mu is a 17-year-old boy and refugee living in Thailand. Around mid-August 2021, he woke up one morning with pain in his left knee. At first he thought that the pain wound go away on its own and that it was nothing serious. However, when the pain remained a few days later, he told his sister. She bought him a type of Burmese pain reliever balm to apply on his knee. He applied the balm for a week, but he did not feel any better. When he and his sister noticed that his left knee had become slightly swollen his sister called their father. Mu’s father told them that it could an infection and suggested that they go to a hospital or buy him pain medication to reduce swelling. His sister bought the medication their father suggested at a pharmacy, and Mu took it for a week. However, he did not feel better, and the swelling did not decrease. Now, Mu’s left knee is painful especially at night and whenever he moves his left leg. He needs to take pain medicine at least twice a day to be able to sleep or make him feel a bit better. The swelling continues to slowly increase every day. Because of the pain, Mu has a poor appetite and has lost weight. Since early November, he has to use crutches to get around and easily tires when he walks even short distances. Mu and his family are worried that he might need to amputate his leg. Apart from this, his sister has had ask for leave from her work to take Mu to the hospital, and his brother who studies outside of the refugee camp has had to temporarily stop his studies while he accompanies him to Chiang Mai. Doctors want Mu to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $814 to cover the cost of Mu's MRI and care, scheduled for December 1st. Mu's sister said, “I feel so sad to see him in pain every day and I don’t know how to help him. When I heard that he will be brought to Chiang Mai and that BCMF has agreed to help with his surgery, I don’t know how to express how extremely happy I felt.”
Mithona is a 27-year-old translator from Cambodia. He lives in Kampot province along with his wife and two sons. Mithona works as a Mandarin/English/Khmer translator and his wife works for an online company. In his spare time, he shared that he likes to play volleyball and listen to Chinese pop songs. Three months ago, Mithona was in a moto crash that fractured his left humerus. His fracture was repaired at a government hospital, but the surgery resulted in a nerve injury that left him with paralysis of his left hand. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He has no feeling in his hand and cannot grasp anything with his fingers. Mithona traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 26th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he hopes to use his hand again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure.
Leonida is jovial and speaks in her native language as she sits with the local Watsi rep to share her story. Her daughter acts as a translator as she narrates her story. Leonida was recently diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. She needs a mastectomy surgery and later chemo to get rid of the cancerous cells. In October 2020, Leonida started feeling a painless lump on her left breast. It was not alarming at the time, and she never took it seriously. After several months, the lump grew in size and started developing pain. She visited a local clinic in their hometown in Siaya, Western Kenya. She was being treated with pain medication and ointments. Later, in October this year, she opted to visit her daughter in the city of Nairobi and seek further medical attention. She went to a facility where they had a biopsy and CT scan which revealed cancer. She was referred for surgery. She opted to come to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital for surgery. Leonida is a mother of five who are all adults. Although supportive, her children do not have stable jobs to fund for the surgery. Her government mandated national health insurance medical cover is not active and takes many months to become available. Her surgery is urgent and cannot wait for the coverage to come in, if at all. She is a small-scale farmer without a source of income and relies on her kids for food and medical expenses. She shared that she lost her husband in 2004, so making ends meet can be difficult. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Leonida. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 22nd. After treatment, Leonida will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Leonida says, "I am old now and weak. This cancer is threatening my life and therefore need this treatment to fight it.”
Rossana is a 68-year-old married woman who is currently in her second marriage. Her first husband died in 1996 and she remarried in 1997. She had five children from her first marriage and has two additional children with her current husband. Two of her children from her first husband have died and one of her remaining children is currently pregnant. She stays in a three-bedroom house with 7 people. Her husband is a truck driver and she rents out a plot of land for farming to help support the family, otherwise, she calls herself a housewife and is happily married. Financially, things have become increasingly difficult since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the family is struggling to make ends meet. Rossana started noticing a small swelling on her neck about 3 years ago and originally traveled to South Africa for medication. There, she had an ultrasound and was given medication but it did not help. She came back to Malawi and was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), the largest public hospital in Lilongwe. From KCH she was referred to another mission hospital for laboratory tests since the local lab had run out of supplies. After the lab tests, she was told that the swelling was a goiter and that she would need surgery. A goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. Although goiters are usually painless, a large goiter can cause a cough and irritation, and may also cause difficulty in swallowing and breathing. She initially delayed having the surgery because her cousin told her she might die and she was afraid. However, Rossana has had ongoing issues with choking that made it difficult to eat. She normally would enjoy eating rice and chicken but no longer enjoys her food because of the extent of the choking. She also is not enjoying her Islamic religious traditions like singing because of the choking sensation in her throat. Rossana is afraid that if she is not operated on, she may choke and die. She has sought care at Partners in Hope (PIH) for the removal of her thyroid so that the quality of her life will improve. She also feels insecure about the appearance of the goiter on her neck. After consulting with the PIH surgeon, a date was set for the removal of the thyroid to help improve Rossana’s quality of life. She is now seeking $1,015 so that she can have the surgery. Rossana says, “I want to be able to sing and enjoy my food again.”
Kakrona is a 22-year-old air conditioner repairman. He's the middle child in his family, with a brother who is 29 and in the military and a sister who is 16 and in the 9th grade. Kakrona's parents are farmers. In December 2019 Kakrona was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of his left shoulder and arm. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He is unable to lift his arm and he has not been able to work much since his accident. Kakrona finally traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 1st, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Kakrona says, "I hope after surgery my left shoulder heals and I can work well again."
Stanley is a student and the firstborn in a family of two. His parents are small-scale farmers who grow food crops for a living. They practice farming on a small piece of ancestral land where they also reside. His father occasionally can find extra jobs to help make ends meet. Stanley was born with Bilateral Cleft Lip and Palate, which is an opening in the roof of his mouth and his lip. Due to this, Stanley has always had difficulty eating and talking. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Stanley receive treatment. On October 27th, surgeons will perform a procedure to heal his cleft palate so he will be able to eat and talk well. Now, Stanley's family needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Stanley father says, "My son is young and is struggling to catch up in school. He has been in and out of hospitals seeking help. I hope he gets the assistance so that he can grow into a successful young man.”
Thidar is a 47-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband, son and daughter in Mon State. Thidar is a homemaker while her daughter goes to school. Since schools closed due to the recent coup and COVID-19, she now looks after her daughter and does the household chores. Thidar’s husband is too ill to work, and their son is a day laborer. One month ago, Thidar noticed that the back and inner part of her left calf was red and swollen. When she went to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) to have her calf checked, she was admitted and diagnosed with cellulitis. She was given daily injections of antibiotics and when she was discharged, the doctor gave her oral medication and told her to come back if her condition worsened. At first, Thidar felt better, but three weeks later, her left calf became swollen and painful. She also developed a blister on her inner calf and at the back of her calf. Although she wanted to go back to the hospital, her family did not have any money. Ten days after her symptoms returned, her son sold his motorcycle and brought her back to MCLH. The doctor examined her and saw that her blisters had now turned into ulcers. She underwent surgery to clean the ulcers and remove any necrotic tissues. After the surgery, a nurse cleaned and dressed her left calf every day. A few days later, the doctor checked her left calf and saw that her calf was not healing well. The doctor told Thidar she would need to undergo another surgery to clean and remove necrotic tissue. When Thidar told the doctor she had no money left to pay for another surgery, the doctor referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing further treatment. Currently, Thidar’s left calf is in pain and swollen. She cannot do household chores and she is worried about their debt, as they have had to borrow money for her treatment, and they already owe money they borrowed to buy a house. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Thidar receive treatment. On October 22nd, surgeons will perform a debridement to help Thidar to be free from pain and able to resume her regular work. Now, Thidar's family needs help to fund this $694 procedure. Thidar said, “When I recover, I will raise pigs to earn money and pay back our debts. I will also have money for our everyday needs this way.”
Charles is a stonemason and a loving father of 5 children. He works at construction sites around where he lives, but his income is inconsistent since the job is not permanent. He lives in a single-room house in Kayole slums that costs about $300. In early 2020, Charles was involved in an accident in his place of work. A gate hit him on the left leg and he was also hit by a sharp object on the right leg. This caused wounds, which slowly developed into small blisters, then ruptured upon itching, then gradually advanced to become massive ulcers on both limbs. It is now difficult for him to walk, and he is in pain. If not treated, Charles is also likely to suffer sepsis. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Charles receive treatment. On October 13th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to heal his chronic wound. Now, Charles needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Charles says, “I am in so much pain. I risk losing both legs if not treated. I am afraid if I am amputated, I might not be able to work and fend for my family. This is both scary and confusing.”
Dieulinda is a 2-month old baby girl with one older sibling. Her mother shared that the first 2 months of her life she was growing as their other child did but then they began to notice swelling in her head. At first they thought that it must be an injury and took her to the hospital to be evaluated. A CT scan showed she had developed hydrocephaly, which is a fluid build up in the brain, and her parents were devastated. After learning that there was a surgery that could help her, their family was relieved and hopeful for her future. Her parents told us, "The surgeon gave us hope and we are feeling much better after knowing our baby can have surgery."
Muntaha is a beautiful nine-month-old baby girl from Ethiopia. She has one older sister and she loves to play with her mom. Her dad has graduated from school and is currently unemployed but looking for work. Her family is semi-nomadic and they raise livestock for a living. Muntaha was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Muntaha receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on October 5th and AMH is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Muntaha's procedure and care. After her recovery, she will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Muntaha's mother shared, "we will be thankful if she gets the surgery. And we will be so happy. We're still worried that she might not get the necessary treatment because of our financial status."