Ken Sobel
Ken's Story

Ken joined Watsi on August 12th, 2017. 6 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Ken's most recent donation supported April, a health worker from Thailand, to fund a hysterectomy.

Impact

Ken has funded healthcare for 46 patients in 8 countries.

All patients funded by Ken

Shoh is a 47-year-old man who lives with his wife, two sons, daughter-in-law and two daughters in Nu Poe Refugee Camp in Thailand. In the camp, Shoh and his oldest son are teachers who teach about the Quran for other refugees. They each earn 1,200 baht (approx. 40 USD) per month. His wife is often sick, and his eldest daughter has to look after her at home. His daughter-in-law is a homemaker while his youngest daughter and son are students. Shoh’s household receives 1,110 baht (approx. 37 USD) every month on a cash card to purchase rations in the camp. Their monthly household income is just enough to cover their daily expenses as they also receive free basic health care and education in the camp. Since February 2020, Shoh has had umbilical hearnia. Currently, Shoh’s abdomen pain is not severe but his hernia is still increasing in size. He feels uncomfortable when he walks because of his swollen abdomen. He cannot sleep well and is increasingly worried about his diagnosis. The pain in his abdomen increases when he feels cold, especially at night. Fortunately, on March 9th, he 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 Shoh's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 9th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Shoh said, “I do not want to stop being a teacher. I love teaching the Quran to young children. Also, if I do not teach, I do not earn an income and my family does not have enough income to cover our household expenses.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Naw Kwee Moo is a 54-year-old woman who lives with her husband, three daughters and three sons in Mae Ra Ma Luang Refugee Camp in Thailand. She and her family fled to the camp in 2006 from Burma. Today, Naw Kwe is a homemaker and her husband is too ill to work. Five of their children go to school in the camp, four other children have moved away, and she proudly shared that her second oldest son graduated from a post-secondary program in May 2020. Naw Kwe’s family receives 2,030 baht (approx. 68 USD) in a month on a cash card to purchase rations for basic food needs. Although they receive free education and primary health care in the camp, Naw Kwee’s family struggles to make ends meet each month. Four years ago, Naw Kwee started going to the camp’s hospital run by Malteser International (MI) Thailand to receive treatment for urinary tract infections (UTI). Most of the time, she would feel better after taking medication, but she was no longer able to work as an agricultural day labourer. Over the next few years, when she increasingly sought treatment for UTIs, she was diagnosed with chronic UTI. When her condition did not improve after taking antibiotics, a doctor at the camp’s hospital referred her to another hospital in March 2020, where she was diagnosed with a right kidney stone. In June 2020, after a delay due to COVID-19, Naw Kwee was able to get to Chiang Mai Hospital for further treatment. There, doctors confirmed her earlier diagnosis, in addition to hydronephrosis, a condition where the kidney swells due to a build-up of urine. Currently, Naw Kwee takes pain medication whenever she experiences pain or discomfort in the right side of her back from her kidney stone. The pain will usually only last for a day before it disappears, but she feels weak. Sometimes she also has cloudy urine and a mild fever. Her appetite has decreased, but she tries to eat as much as she can. Naw Kwee will need to undergo multiple rounds of laser treatment to break up the stone in her kidney. Her first round of shockwave lithotripsy will be on February 11th. Naw Kwee will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, who requests $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will be free of pain and will be able to resume weaving and sewing, which she enjoyed doing before having this condition. Naw Kwee shared, “I’m desperately trying to stop the pain in my back from returning. Because of the pain, I can’t even do household chores properly. I can’t sleep well and sometimes I have difficulty breathing. Once I recover, I’ll no longer feel stressed because of this pain. I’ll be able to enjoy my days even though I have some problems related to aging.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Josphat is a baby boy from Kenya. Josphat was born with an anorectal malformation, which caused him to not be able to pass stool at all. Eager to see their third-born child treated, his parents immediately came to Kijabe Hospital. The physicians reviewed him and recommended him to first go through a colostomy, which is a procedure where the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. Though they were not able to source funds for the surgery initially, a member of parliament ended up funding the entire procedure. Next, for the second surgery, a PSARP was performed with the support of Watsi donors. Josphat has successfully recovered from this surgery and is now scheduled for his third and final surgery. This surgery entails closure of the colostomy, enabling Josphat to pass stool normally and preventing future complications. Josphat’s father is a gardener in different people’s homes, and his mother is not working because she provides care for Josphat as he recovers. With no other source of income, Josphat’s parents are not able to raise extra money to pay for his surgery and are requesting financial help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $650 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Josphat. The surgery is scheduled to take place on October 19th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Josphat’s mother shared with gratitude, “Having received help from this program before, I am again requesting for your financial support for my son and his health.”

$650raised
Fully funded

Maxwell is a young boy from Kenya. A few months after his birth during a bath, Maxwell’s mother noticed that one of his testes had not descended. A few days later she took him to the hospital for the doctor’s review. After an examination, the doctor told Maxwell’s mother that his condition is normal and that it will resolve with time. More than two years later she went back to the same facility for a doctor’s examination for Maxwell. The physician immediately referred them to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center BethanyKids Hospital for treatment. Upon arrival, Maxwell was reviewed and scans were done. The doctor advised them to wait for two more years to see if there would be any change on its own. During clinic review after two more years, the doctor advised testicular surgery. Three years ago, Maxwell’s mother separated from his father due to family disagreements. The separation left her to take care of their two children. And, earlier this year, Maxwell’s mother lost her job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She used to be a private school teacher and now she takes on casual jobs she can find to sustain her family. She has currently enrolled in the ‘kazi mtaani program’ where she works eleven days a month and the other days she does laundry work for her neighbors. The upcoming surgery for her son is a very steep mountain for her to climb as she cannot raise the funds. Maxwell’s mother is appealing for financial help. Maxwell was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Maxwell has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Maxwell will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 8th. AMHF is requesting $561 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Maxwell’s mother says, “With the current situation I am in as a single parent, it is difficult for me to even sustain my family. I am requesting for any financial help that can be offered to us.”

$561raised
Fully funded

Looking jovial, 26-year-old Emma walks into the office wearing a broad smile. However, behind the joy and smile are recurring stomach pains that give her sleepless nights. Emma was diagnosed with symptomatic cholelithiasis - a gall bladder disorder that requires laparoscopic cholecystectomy analgesia surgery. If left untreated, cholelithiasis can lead to serious complications such as tissue damage, tears in the gallbladder, and infection that could spread spreads to other parts of her body. In Mid-April 2020, Emma started experiencing recurring pains burning in nature. She tried managing the pains using over the counter pain killers but the pain kept recurring. About a week later she was forced to visit a health centre in her home town Kayole for medical checkup. Emma was treated for suspected ulcers at the facility and was discharged with anti-acids. The pains seemed under control for over a month but they recurred in July. She went back to the same facility where a scan, x-ray, and further tests were recommended. Results indicated that she had cholelithiasis and she required urgent surgery. Doctors from the facility recommended she go to Kijabe Hospital for treatment. Emma is a single mother of one. She shared that she is raising her 6-month-old baby on her own after the father of the child left them and declined responsibility. She works as a shop attendant about 10km from her home and earns a total of $100 monthly income as her salary. To enable her to fend for the family, she has a house helper who takes care of her little child while she out looking for their daily bread. She pays the house help $35 a month. The three live in a single room rental which costs $50 a month. The remaining less than $20 is not enough to buy food and basic needs and still cover the cost of surgery. Emma is the oldest in a family of three. Her siblings are unemployed and live with their mother in the village. They depend on produce from their ¼ acre farm for survival. Emma’s employer and few close relatives contributed a small amount for the surgery but she still needs $616 in financial support to fund the treatment. Emma shared, “I need this surgery to get better and take care of my small family. I am the father and the mother to my little kid and my siblings depend on me. The small salary I get I barely make enough for our family and we basically live from hand to mouth. I have to spend all the income I make.”

$616raised
Fully funded