Mark joined Watsi on May 3rd, 2016. Five years ago, Mark joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mark's most recent donation supported Ma Ei, a 37-year-old working mom from Burma, to fund a hysterectomy surgery.
Mark has funded healthcare for 392 patients in 12 countries.
Mark has funded healthcare for 392 patients in 12 countries.
Ma Ei is a 37-year-old woman who lives with and financially supports her parents and son in a village in Burma. Over the last year, Ma El has suffered from a debilitating uterine mass, which causes her severe pain and weakness. She was given medications for six months to try to help, but she did not feel any better. In January, Ma Ei went to Karen Baptist Convention (KBC) Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a myoma. Doctors shared that to heal she would need surgery to remove her uterus. She is now raising $1,207 to fund her surgery and care, which is scheduled for May 18th. Ma Ei says, “I am worried that I cannot support and care for my family. When I recover from surgery, I will go back to work in the garment factory. I need to support my parents and pay for my son’s education."
Meet Purity! She's a five-year playful girl who hails from Kachibora in western Kenya. Four days ago Purity sustained a severe injury to her left arm after she fell on the ground while playing with friends in school. She was brought to the hospital by her mother. Doctors did an x-ray and found a fracture to her left supracondylar. She was in severe pain and just wanted to be with in her mother's arms. With a fear of large hospital bills, her family left but the social workers from the hospital followed up with them and requested they come back so that Purity can receive treatment. Purity is the last born child in a family of three. She's in Kindergarten and already enjoying school a lot. Her mother earns wages from laundry and farm labour in their village while her father works as an electrician. Purity and her family live in a rented two-roomed iron sheet built house. Purity's mother shared with us, “She is in pain and crying a lot. It’s really hard as a parent. My prayer and hope are to see her well again. I need to get back to my normal duties in order to support my family.”
Ruth is an elderly woman from Uganda. Ruth shared that she and her husband were unable to have children of their own, but her husband has a son who has been a blessing to her, as he helps care for her as much as he can. Ruth’s husband now stays home, as his farming work has become too difficult in his old age. Since December, Ruth has been experiencing abdominal pain, gastrointestinal difficulties, and other worrisome symptoms. As a result, she cannot do strenuous work, especially lifting heavy loads. Upon review, doctors determined that she needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. If left untreated, there is a risk her symptoms will worsen significantly. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Ruth receive treatment. On March 7th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH’s care center. Upon recovery, Ruth will resume her daily activities free of pain. AMH is requesting $319 to fund Ruth’s surgery. Ruth shared, “I am worried about my current condition; I no longer sleep comfortably. I feel miserable most of the time. I hope to get well through surgery and be able to resume my day-to-day duties for further sustainability of my family.”
Sr. Olivia is a nun who also works as a pharmacist and donates all of her earnings to her congregation. Her mother is a small-scale farmer and her father passed away in 2017. Sr. Olivia is the eldest of six children, but her siblings are not consistently employed, leaving her as their mother's sole caretaker. For two years, Sr. Olivia has been experiencing severe lower abdominal pain, severe bleeding, backache, two consecutive monthly periods, headaches and dizziness. She has been diagnosed with Multiple Leiomyoma and needs a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $319 to fund Sr. Olivia's surgery. On March 4th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Sr. Olivia will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Sr. Olivia says, "I hope to regain my health through surgery; I pray to get pain relief in order to be able to continue with my day-to-day duties as a nun and pharmacist."
Rehiwilzahra is a sweet toddler from Haiti. She lives in Port-au-Prince with her mother, father, and three older siblings. Rehiwilzahra likes watching cartoons and playing with her older siblings. Rehiwilzahra has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This heart condition involves several related heart defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These defects prevent blood from circulating properly through the lungs leaving Rehiwilzahra weak and short of breath. The surgery Rehiwilzahra needs to heal is not available in Haiti, so she will need to fly to the Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery to close the hole in her heart with a patch and remove the blockage from her valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance is helping Rehiwilzahra's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This amount also supports passport obtainment and the social workers to accompany Rehiwilzahra's family overseas. Rehiwilzahra's mother shared, "We have been praying for a long time for a solution to our daughter's heart problem. We are very thankful to everyone who is helping her!"
Jackson is a fifteen-year-old student and the last-born child to his mother. He has a large family, as is common in the Maasai community where he lives. Jackson is a very hard-working boy both at home and at school. He is social and self-driven. He shared that most boys his age don’t like school or don’t get the chance to attend school, but not Jackson! His favorite subjects are Physics, Swahili, and History. He wishes to be a teacher in the future to help educate his community. Jackson is a big football fan, but he had to stop playing because his legs started hurting and it has gotten difficult for him to walk. Jackson was diagnosed with Bilateral Genu Varus, where both of his legs are curving outwards. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he experiences pain and difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Jackson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Jackson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Jackson says, "My legs have made walking very difficult due to the pain. I would like to walk to school without difficulty and enjoy playing sports and helping my parents."
Esbon is a three-day-old baby and the fourth born in a family of four. His parents are both farmers, and also do casual jobs in order to sustain their lives and those of their children. Esbon's mother hopes that he gets well soon so they may go back home to be with her other children. Esbon was born with the umbilical cord tied around the calf muscle of his left lower limb, sustaining a wound around it that was deep. He was also born with a congenital condition of the feet, with missing digits in both lower limbs and the left upper limb. His mom is worried that he feels a lot of pain. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Esbon receive treatment. On March 10th, surgeons at their care center will perform a surgery to release the amniotic construction band with a skin graft. Now, their family needs help to fund this $1,478 procedure. Esbon's mother shared, "Kindly help my son so that he can be relieved from pain and be able to live normally in the future."
Jackson is an elderly man who works as a farmer. He has six children, all of whom are married and self-employed. Jackson shared that he lost his wife years ago, so he takes care of all the home and farm by himself. This has gotten harder to do since about three years ago when Jackson developed a hydrocele, which is a swelling in a sensitive area. As a result, he experiences discomfort, cannot travel long distances and must stay home, which means he cannot tend to the farm. Doctors recommended that Jackson undergo surgery to prevent his symptoms from worsening. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Jackson receive treatment. On February 15th, he will undergo hydrocele repair surgery at AMH’s care center. Upon recovery, Jackson will be able to live more comfortably and confidently. AMH is requesting $146 to fund this procedure. Jackson says, “I can’t imagine how I will be treated. I hope, after treatment, I will have enough energy to enable me to resume my farming and take care of my day to day needs.”
Geoffrey is a retired teacher who lives from a modest government pension he received upon retirement. Geoffrey's wife is also a retired teacher and they now both do small scale farming. Geoffrey has seven children and loves reading the newspaper. Geoffrey was diagnosed at a local district hospital with a left inguinal hernia. The hernia causes Geoffrey pain that prevents him from doing strenuous work. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is seeking $170 to fund Geoffrey's hernia repair surgery at Rushoroza Hospital on February 10th. Once completed, this procedure will allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Geoffrey says, “My condition is currently worrying and anything could happen if not treated on time. I hope to continue with my usual duties around the house and be able to continue taking good care of my home once given treatment.”
Darius is a 24-year-old from Uganda. He shared that he completed school up to the fifth grade before having to leave and pursue work. His father passed away 16 years ago, and his mother works as a farmer to help support their family too. Darius has been experiencing swelling above his eye since birth. While it was initially painless, he began to develop intense pain about six months ago, making it impossible for him to see. If left untreated, the swelling may increase, and he could permanently lose his eyesight. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Darius receive treatment. On February 15th, surgeons will remove the mass so he can finally heal. AMH is requesting $188 to help fund this procedure. Darius shared, "I kindly request that you consider me for surgery support as I find it hard to work, and I am almost losing my sight. I hope to resume my work as usual when treated."
Doreen and her husband live in a single-roomed rental house in Southwestern Uganda. They have hopes of building their own home when they become financially stable. Doreen is the first born in a family of five children and both of her parents are farmers. Doreen works at a nearby primary school as a teacher, while her husband is also a teacher. During the lockdown as a result of COVID, it’s Doreen who was taking care of their family as her husband lost his job. She been receiving antenatal care at a local health center and given her high-risk pregnancy, the doctor hopes to schedule her for a c-section. This will help ensure her own health and her new baby's. Doreen told us, "I understand that it’s quite good to save and prepare for delivery, but this time around, I was completely affected financially. With your support, I know I can regain my financial strength through teaching, especially since schools are now open."
Irene is a beautiful baby girl and the only child in her family. Irene's mother is young and was still in school when she was born, so they are living with her grandmother. Her grandmother sells charcoal to earn a living and it is hard for them to make ends meet each month. Irene has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. When Irene was one month old, her mother noticed that her head was increasing in size. She took her to a nearby facility for examination, and was then referred to another facility who admitted her for a few days; however despite medication, her condition did not change. Irene was discharged and sent home, but a few days later she developed a fever so her mother took her back to the previous facility. After another examination, Irene was finally referred to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Hospital. Irene’s mother did not have the funds to cover their transport to BethanyKids, but with help from medical staff they were able to make it to the hospital with a social workers accompaniment. On arrival, Irene was booked for a shunt insertion surgery to help treat her condition. Without treatment, Irene will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of Irene's surgery to treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 9th, during which surgeons will drain the excess fluid from Irene's brain to reduce the pressure inside her head. This will greatly improve her quality of life, and allow her to develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Irene’s mother says, “It is a difficult moment for us for the past few months and we did not know if she will be treated as we do not have funds for the surgery.”