Jico joined Watsi on December 19th, 2015. Four years ago, Jico joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jico's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Vorn, a 56-year-old farmer from Cambodia, to fund shoulder surgery so he can use his arm again.
Jico has funded healthcare for 50 patients in 10 countries.
Jico has funded healthcare for 50 patients in 10 countries.
Vorn is a 56-year-old hardworking man. He and his wife are seasonal farmers. They have four sons who have all moved away and started families, but they still visit often. Vorn and his wife also have six grandchildren. When he is not working, he loves to visit his sons, see his grandchildren, go to restaurants with his friends and watch boxing matches on TV. Seven months ago, Vorn fell down a set of stairs and dislocated his right shoulder. He left the injury untreated for several months, and now his shoulder has become swollen, painful, and difficult to move. He traveled to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), where, on August 27th, doctors will perform a closed reduction to repair his shoulder. Once he has recovered, the swelling will go down and he will regain full mobility in his shoulder. He will be able to return to work comfortably. Now, he needs help raising $412 to fund the procedure. Vorn shared, "I hope that I can get back to my job and work without any pain, and help my family around the house. I also want to be able to pick my grandchildren up with out any problem."
Lucy is a 31-year-old preschool teacher and a mother of two children. Her husband is a boda boda taxi driver who earns about two dollars a day, and the family lives together in their ancestral home. In June 2021, Lucy sustained a vertebral fracture and was admitted to the hospital for observation and spinal decompression. She underwent spine surgery and was discharged back home. At a follow-up appointment, doctors noticed that she was having difficulties breathing and walking, and that her surgical wound was infected. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Lucy receive treatment for the infection. On July 28th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help her heal and prevent sepsis. Now, Lucy needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Lucy shared, “I am unable to walk and even stopped working due to my condition. I need the surgery to be able to recover and get back to normal.”
Onesmus is a playful student who is almost five years old. Onesmus is one of three children. He was born with hypospadias along with his brother. His father works as a public transit driver to provide for the family while his mother earns wages from a grocery business to support their family's earnings. The family lives in a two-roomed iron-built rental house. Onesmus was born with a congenital abnormality called hypospadias that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility in the future. Fortunately, Onesmus is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $631 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Onesmus' mother says, “My biggest prayer is to see him well.”
Rexa is a 47-year-old mother from Malawi. She has four children, and her sister lives together with their family. Rexa has been selling second-hand clothes called kaunjika locally, but had to pause her business last December due to her health condition. Rexa’s husband is an electrician and is currently unemployed. Two of their children are in college, and they shared that their family is struggling to pay their school fees. Rexa also cares for her mom, who lives in the village. Last December, Rexa started having sharp pains in her abdomen radiating to the back and both legs. Her husband has taken her to many hospitals to figure out the cause of her pain, and it has cost their family a significant amount of money. After being evaluated for peptic ulcers, heart, liver, and kidney problems to no avail, she finally was diagnosed in April with uterine fibroids. Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman's uterus. These growths may become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding. If left untreated, fibroids can continue to grow, both in size and number, and could result in increased heavy bleeding or a fatal case of anemia. Rexa was referred to Partners in Hope Medical Center for further review and the gynecologist recommended that she undergo a hysterectomy, which will remove her uterus and cervix and hopefully cure her of this pain. However, she has no insurance and is unable to pay for the cost of her care due to her family's earnings. Rexa will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. She is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on May 28th, and African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,363 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After the surgery, Rexa is hopeful that she will stop having abdominal pains and can return to normal life, which can help her resume her business and support her family members again. Rexa's husband shared, “I am excited that finally there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. When my wife feels pain, I also feel pain and I fail to go and look for work to support the family. I strongly believe that this surgery will bring an end to our misery and sleepless nights. Now we will stop begging relatives for support with even transport money to the hospital, I am very grateful to the donors!”
John is a 16-year-old and a bright seventh grade student. He is the youngest of two children and lives with his grandmother. He's also found a mentor in his church pastor who offers guidance and counseling. His family relies on their local church for food and living expenses. John was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping John to receive treatment. John is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on April 30th at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $735 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. John’s grandmother shared, “My grandson has had a traumatizing childhood which left him with poor self-esteem. Finding out about this condition made the situation worse, and his low self-esteem is more visible. I am hopeful that through getting this surgery, his self-esteem will improve and slowly but surely my grandson will be happy again.”
Rickshadez is a young student and the third of four children. He's a very active and clever boy. His parents sell clothes in Nairobi to earn a living. They live in a small house on the same property where they work. In the middle of last year, Rickshadez began to experience swelling on one side of his lower abdominal area, and his father brought him to the doctor. Rickshadez was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Rickshadez has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. This condition can be healed through corrective surgery, which will help prevent these potential complications. Rickshadez will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 25th. AMHF is requesting $561 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Rickshadez’s mother says, “We are not blessed enough to raise the required amount for Rickshadez’s surgery.” With some financial help, Rickshadez can undergo this surgery to heal the swelling and protect against future risks.
Htun is a 50-year-old man from Thailand. He lives with his wife, son, and two daughters in Thailand. Htun and his wife work as agricultural day laborers, but Htun had to stop working after he injured his eye. Currently, Htun can only perceive light with both of his eyes, but he cannot clearly see objects. Although he is not in pain, he needs someone to assist him when he walks or eats. He also cannot work nor do any household chores as a result of losing his vision. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Htun. On March 2nd, doctors will perform the lens replacement surgery, and they will remove Htun's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After his surgery, Htun will be able to see clearly and get back to all that he needs to do in the day. Htun said, “I am sad and depressed that I cannot see nor do anything. I feel sorry that my wife has had to accompany me everywhere and do every little thing for me such as helping me eat and go to the bathroom. I want to regain my vision quickly and I want to go back to work.”
Paul is a 52-year-old hardworking man from Kenya. He mainly works in building sites in his home village Magumu, earning a daily wage of $4 when he is able to find work. Paul's income is inconsistent because it depends on the availability of work. His wife is also a laborer who washes clothes to earn a bit more to and support the family. Paul and his wife have six children and live together in a three-room house in their ancestral home. Their kids are aged between 12 and 26 years old. On January 9th, Paul was hit by a motorbike along the Magumu highway. He sustained many injuries, including on his maxillomandibular. Paul is not able to eat and is in a lot of pain. He needs multiple surgeries to repair his fractures, but he cannot afford the cost of his care. Paul's and his wife's earnings are limited, and he already sold his cattle to raise some funds for his surgeries, but it is not nearly enough. Paul is appealing for financial support. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 28th, Paul will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal and eat comfortably again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Paul shared, “I am not able to eat well and I am always in pain. I need help with the surgery so as to be able to get well and fend for my family, who depend on me."
Jedidah was feeling very unwell while she met with our local Watsi representative. She is a 52-year-old woman from Machakos County in Kenya. Married with five children, she is a farmer along with her husband. Since 2018, Jedidah has had upper abdominal pains, a constant feeling fullness and heartburn, plus bitter saliva and regurgitation. Her symptoms make it hard for Jedidah to eat. She has visited many hospitals, but without help. They recently decided to come to Nazareth Hospital where our partner doctor ordered for an oesophagal-gastro-duodenoscopy, which finally showed that Jedidah has a hiatus hernia. The surgeon advised a laparotomy is needed to cure her condition, but Jedidah's family is not able to meet the cost. If not treated, Jedidah may have hernia strangulation, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or future lung problems as her stomach contents are moved up to the oesophagus. Jedidah said quietly, “This condition has made it difficult for me to work in our small farm, to interact with friends and even take care of my children. I plead for help and God will bless you.”
Pendo is a 20-year-old mother from Tanzania. She has two young children aged two and a half years and one and a half years old. Pendo herself comes from a family of four children. About a year ago, Pendo had an unfortunate accident. She had boiled water to give her two small children warm baths. As she was bathing her baby close to the fire, she had an epileptic attack and fell down, unconscious. As she fell, her right hand went into the fire and was burnt badly. Her firstborn child ran out crying for help to their neighbors, and Pendo was rushed to the hospital to have her burns cleaned. Now, her hand is deformed by the burns and she is no longer able to fully care for her children. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Pendo receive treatment. On December 1st, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery on her hand. Once recovered, she will be able to use her hand again and care for her children. Now, she needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Pendo shared, “I would love to support and care for my children but due to my hand’s condition, I am unable to do so. Kindly help me.”
Naw Mar is a 35-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, two daughters and two sons in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Four years ago, Naw Mar started to suffer from pain in the right side of her abdomen. At first, she thought the pain would disappear after she rested. When it did not, she went to the hospital in the camp run by Malteser International Thailand (MI). She received medications which helped for a bit. Two years later, the pain became severe and the right side of her abdomen also became swollen. After more medication and follow-up appointments, she was eventually admitted to Mae Sariang Hospital and received an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that she had multiple gallstones, and she was given more medication. However, the medication did not help her much. In early June 2020, the pain in Naw Mar’s right abdomen increased. After she went to the camp’s hospital, the doctor referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital again, where the doctor told her that she would need to have surgery to remove the gallstones. Since Mae Sariang Hospital doctors could not perform this surgery, she was again referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital. However, the high cost of surgery proved difficult, so she was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance with accessing treatment. Currently, Naw Mar has constant pain in her right abdomen that is only manageable through pain medication. Her right abdomen is also swollen, and she suffers from back pain as well. When the pain in her abdomen is excruciating, she develops a headache and high blood pressure. Naw Mar is a homemaker, while her two daughters and her youngest son go to school. Her oldest son helps her with household chores. Her husband works as an agricultural day laborer, but has been unable to find work for the past month. While their family does receive a cash card each month for food support, it is not enough to cover their daily expenses and they struggle to make ends meet despite receiving free health care and education in the refugee camp. Their family is appealing for financial support. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Mar's surgery. On October 25th, she will undergo a cholecystectomy at our medical partner’s care center. Once recovered, Naw Mar will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and her quality of life will improve. Naw Mar shared, "After I receive treatment, I want to work for an organisation [NGO] in the camp so that we [my family] can have an income. Right now, I have no pocket money and I cannot borrow money from any one because we have no way of paying them back. I appreciate any support you can provide.”
Meet Britney, a 14-year-old girl from a village in Meru County. Britney likes socializing and playing handball. She aspires to become a doctor in future to help patients who are going through tough times in the hospital. Britney is the second born in a family of three children. Her father is a small businessman while her mother is a farmer. While playing with a few other girls, Britney slipped in the field and injured her left foot. She has been to different hospitals for x-rays and seeking treatment, but her condition has been worsening. It affects her mobility and is causing her to feel pain anytime she walks. Britney cannot stand for long and doing household duties is also a challenge for her now. Surgery will be of great impact as she will be able to walk without any challenge and the pain which she has been feeling whenever she walks, will be alleviated. “I want my foot to be corrected so that I can walk well like other girls,” Britney told us.