Jico joined Watsi on December 19th, 2015. Three years ago, Jico joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jico's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Pendo, a 20-year-old mom-of-two from Tanzania, to fund a burn contracture release surgery.
Jico has funded healthcare for 41 patients in 10 countries.
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.
Joan is a one-year-old from Tanzania. Joan is a beautiful girl and the youngest child in a family of four children. Joan’s father works as a motorcycle driver commonly known as “bodaboda” driver while the mother does tailoring in their neighborhood. Joan has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Joan has been experiencing fevers, vomiting and her head is increasing in size. Without treatment, Joan will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Joan that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 24 and will drain the excess fluid from Joan's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Joan will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Joan’s mother says, “We have struggled so much to make sure our daughter gets all her disabilities corrected, something that has left us with no savings of any kind and only debts. She needs another surgery as soon as possible and we have nowhere to get the money from, please help us.”
Patrick is a motorbike taxi operator from Kenya. He is the firstborn child in a family of 6 children. He lives with his grandmother as his mother’s rented space is too small for the entire family. He did not proceed with higher education due to financial challenges. His mother separated with his father so she is raising their family and Patrick used to rely on his motorcycle business to make ends meet. A week ago, Patrick was involved in a motorcycle accident suffering facial bruises and a right femur fracture. He is in pain and unable to stand on his own. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 26th, Patrick will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal and walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Patrick says, “Thank you for assisting me. I am hopeful that soon my leg will be fixed.”
Char is a 28-year-old man who lives with his grandmother, wife, and daughter in a town in Tak Province, Thailand. Char moved to Thailand with this grandparents when he was eight years old, after his mother passed away. Char’s grandfather passed away eight years ago and now his grandmother is retired. Char used to sell fruits in the market but stopped working last year because of his condition. Char’s wife works as domestic worker and earns 4,500 baht (approx. $150) per month. His daughter is a student. Their monthly income is just enough to cover their daily expenses but they cannot save money or pay for basic health care. In April of 2019 Char was driving his motorcycle to work when suddenly a car driving on the wrong side of the road hit his motorcycle head on. He was flung from his motorcycle and knocked unconscious. The crowed who witnessed his accident called an ambulance, that brought him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH). Soon after Char was brought to MSH, he received surgery to insert a metal rod into his right lower leg, as the doctor found that both his bones in that leg were fractured. During his follow-up appointment, he received an x-ray and was told that he would need to receive a bone graft. However, since Char has been unable to work since his accident, he had used up his savings to pay for his initial treatment and hospitalization. Unable to afford the surgery, Char refused treatment and returned home. Unfortunately, he recently fell through the wooden stairs in his home, causing the rod in his leg to bend. His doctors have shared that he needs surgery to replace the rod in his leg. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help. The surgery costs $1,500 and now, they are asking for your help to fund this life-changing surgery. Char shared, "I feel too uncomfortable to sleep [at night] and sometimes, I cry because of the pain. I want to get better soon so that I can help my family [financially].”
Mary is a young student from Kenya and the third born in her family of four children. She comes from a humble background, where her parents are small-scale farmers relying on subsistence farming to make ends meet. Their income is split between school fees for Mary’s elder siblings and feeding the family. Two days ago, Mary fell from a tree while attempting to harvest some fruits, landing on her hand. She sustained a closed left humerus fracture that was painful. She had first aid in a local hospital but due to the COVID-19 police curfew, they could not take her to a better-equipped facility for imaging. Mary had an x-ray the following day revealing the humerus fracture. She is in a lot of pain and cannot move or use her hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 21st, Mary will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her hand heal correctly and he will no longer be in pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $704 to fund this procedure. Mary’s mother says, “My daughter is in pain and we are not able to raise the funds needed. Please help us.”
Charles is 65-year-old farmer from Kapsaret Village in rural Kenya. He is a widower with ten children, all adults with their own rural families. Charles was brought to our hospital by his brother. He had sustained motorbike accident in early March when going home and fracture his right elbow. He was taken to hospital and given pain medications. The brother decided to bring him here for better treatment. An x-ray showed he had a closed fracture on the right elbow. If not operated Charles will continue to experience pain and the fracture may complicate further leading to malunion. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 5th, Charles will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The procedure will help him to regain normal function of his arm. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $998 to fund this procedure. “My family is not able to meet this cost and so I kindly request for support, so that my hand can be well and I can continue with my farming to sustain myself and support my children,” shared Charles.
Chansok is a 25-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He has been married for six years and has one son. Chansok likes to listen to music. Five months ago, he was in a motor accident that caused paralysis of his shoulder, elbow, and wrist. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right 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 has no flexion of his wrist or fingers. Chansok can't go to work. Chansok traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 25th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his wrist and fingers again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. "I hope that I can use my arms again and go to work to support my family. Now, my wife must work to support us and it is difficult for me to not work. When I get better I will return to working so I can support my family," he said.
Abigael is a three-year-old girl from Kenya. Her mother is a 20-year-old student due to complete her high school education. Her grandmother and uncle are the sole breadwinners of the family. From bi-monthly payments of selling milk, her grandmother makes $15 which mostly pays fees for her children. This leaves her grandmother with little income to take care of any other family needs. Abigael is a playful young girl. When she was two years old, in 2018, Abigael was playing with her friends and she ran into the kitchen, falling into boiling water. She dipped her left hand into the water and had spillover on her gluteal region. She is now not able to move her fingers. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Abigael receive treatment. On February 19th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery so she will be able to move her fingers easily. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,176 procedure. Abigael’s grandmother says, “My prayer is to see my grandchild utilizing her hand with ease.”
Sokny is a 21-year-old accountant from Cambodia. She has three older siblings, and enjoys listening to music and reading books in her spare time. Two years ago, Sokny had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in her left ear to perforate. For this reason, Sokny experiences discharge, hearing loss, itchiness, and tinnitus. She is unable to concentrate at work and cannot hear others and struggles to communicate properly. Sokny traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On October 07, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her left ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $423 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sokny said, "I hope that surgery will improve my hearing and the infection will heal."
Witness is a student from Tanzania who is the first born child in a family of four children. She is smart, intelligent, and very hard working girl. Witness has completed her form four education and is currently waiting for her results to be able to join form five and six. She wishes to be a laboratory technician when she completes her studies and be able to support her parents and siblings. Witness’ father used to work as foreman at a construction site but after the project matured he has not been able to get any other job thus he is now forced to seek any casual day jobs to be able to support his family. The mother sells vegetables and the little income she gets she helps her husband to support her family. Witness was diagnosed with right genu varus. Her leg is bowed so that her knees cannot 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, she has difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Witness. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 24th. Treatment will hopefully restore Witness's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Witness says, “My secondary education has been really challenging for me due to my leg’s condition. If you can help correct my leg I would be able to continue with my further studies with ease without all this challenges I am going through.”