MaryChris joined Watsi on November 6th, 2016. Three years ago, MaryChris joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. MaryChris' most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Yusra, a toddler from Tanzania, to fund corrective surgery so she can learn to walk.
MaryChris has funded healthcare for 46 patients in 7 countries.
MaryChris has funded healthcare for 46 patients in 7 countries.
Yusra is a toddler and loving big sister from Tanzania. After her father left, her family has been living at Yusra's grandparents' house. Yusra's single mother supports her family through selling vegetables and fruits at a local market. Yusra was diagnosed with genu valgus, which results in knock knees that make learning to walk a big challenge. Because of the angle that her legs are bent, Yusra has been learning to walk for four months but with limited success. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Yusra. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 29th. Treatment will hopefully restore Yusra's mobility, allow her to fully participate activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Yusra’s mother shares, "My baby is struggling a lot to walk due to her legs bending. I have been informed they can be corrected through surgery but we are not able to afford the treatment cost. Kindly help us."
Rachael is a 21-year-old mother with two young children, who are 4 years old and 9 months. Rachael is a homemaker and also does farming in their small piece of land. Her husband has not been able to find other work, so her family has limited income. Rachael’s medical condition started in January 2020, when she was pregnant. She started experiencing pain in the right upper chest region, which sometimes became severe. Rachael has visited many health facilities without seeing much improvement. Eventually, after one of her scans, she was diagnosed with cholelithiasis, also known as gallstones. Upon being examined at Nazareth Hospital, the doctor recommended she undergo a laparotomy. If this condition is not treated, Rachael may have complications like obstruction of the gall bladder, inflammation, obstruction of the bile duct or she may have gall bladder cancer. However, Rachael cannot afford to pay for the surgery and appeals for financial support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Rachael receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a laparotomy to remove her gallstones on May 27th at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $788, and she and her family need help raising money. Racheal shared, "I have small babies and this condition is making it hard for me to care for them. I kindly ask for assistance so that soon I can be able to give all my time to them.”
Tambwe is a 17-year-old and the oldest in his family of five children. Since childhood, Tambwe has had a right inguinal hernia. Over the years, without treatment, his condition became a lot more severe. Eventually, Tambwe stopped attending school in Form Two because the pain made him unable to concentrate on his studies. Unable to study or work jobs to earn money, Tambwe is unable to afford the cost of his care and appeals for financial support. Fortunately, on May 3rd, Tambwe will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $566 to fund Tambwe's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Tabwe shared, "I wish to have this condition treated so that I could at least be able to work and make a living for myself. I appreciate any support you can provide."
Weyneshet is a 15-month-old baby girl from Ethiopia who is active and playful. She loves to play with her mom and other children, and she loves eating and breastfeeding. Her mom is a single parent, and they live with the support of family members. Weyneshet was born with an anorectal malformation, a condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Weyneshet is scheduled to undergo her first surgery to correct her condition on April 8th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After her recovery, Weyneshet will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Weyneshet's mother shared, “after receiving treatment, I will educate her by working hard in any job I get.”
U Win is a 54-year-old man who lives with his wife and youngest son in the Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. He has three sons and three daughters, with five of his children already married and working. His 17-year-old son left school because they were unable to pay school fees, and worked as a day laborer until COVID-19 happened. U Win used to work as a day laborer as well, but stopped working around two years ago due to his health condition. His family survives on 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) each month that U Win's three other daughters and another son send them, enough to cover their basic expenses. In January 2012, U Win felt tired, had a headache, suffered from heart palpitations, and a rapid heartbeat. He went to a clinic where the doctor listened to his heart with a stethoscope and checked his blood pressure. U Win was told that he has high blood pressure and that he would need to take oral medication for a long time. He received an injection, oral medication, and another appointment for more medication. After he took the medication, he felt better and he went back to work. However, U Win continued to experience worsening symptoms over the next few years, returning to clinics and receiving the same treatment. He was told at one point to visit a cardiologist, but did not do so until later on. In August 2020, during another clinic visit in Yangon, the doctor diagnosed U Win with an atrial septal defect, and said that he would need to receive surgery to repair this hole in his heart. If not treated, the condition could weaken his heart further and cause lung problems later on. He was unable to receive surgery in November due to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases, and was also told the procedure would cost about 3,000,000 kyat (approx. 3,000 USD). Luckily, U Win’s wife remembered that there is a charity group in Yangon that might be able to help. The group told him about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, to look for assistance with accessing the treatment he needed. U Win currently experiences chest pain and back pain, has no appetite, and cannot sleep well at night. He appeals for financial support for his cost of care. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 20th, U Win will undergo an atrial septal defect closure procedure. Once recovered, his quality of life will significantly improve and he will be able to return to work. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. U Win shared, “I want to get better soon so that I can work for my family again. I am worried about my family’s future because we cannot find work in the village. My son also cannot go to Yangon to find another job because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.”
Rebecca is a 1-year-old girl from Tanzania. She is the last born in a family of two children and has started to grow into a strong and beautiful girl. Both of her parents depend on small scale farming to support their family. Rebecca was initially brought to the hospital by her parents seeking treatment to help correct her spina bifida condition. Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord fail to form properly. This puts a child in danger of limb paralyses or death in case of a severe infection. At the time, Rebecca's parents could not afford the proposed surgery. Luckily, one of their friends advised them to seek help at our medical partner's care center, ALMC Plaster House. Through Watsi funding, Rebecca’s life was saved and she has been growing well since then. However, a few weeks ago, Rebecca's mother noticed her daughter's head was increasing in size at a very fast rate and she was complaining of headaches. Her parents had worked hard to save some money and got a health insurance card for their baby, so they decided to take her to the hospital to seek treatment. There, Rebecca was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. She needs to have an ETV surgery that will help relieve her of the pressure build-up, which would otherwise lead to brain damage. Unfortunately, their insurance has not matured enough to cover this kind of major surgery, so Rebecca's parents are appealing for financial support to help her. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Rebecca that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 25th and will drain the excess fluid from Rebecca's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Rebecca will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Rebecca’s mother shared, “My daughter’s head is increasing in size and it is making her sick. She needs surgery but the insurance we got for her cannot cover the cost. Please help once more if it is possible because we don’t know where to run to for help besides all of you.”
Yean is a 74-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. Yean has two daughters, one son, and 10 grandchildren. She lives with her husband and her daughter. Yean enjoys visiting the pagoda in her village and reading the Buddhist text. Seven years ago, Yean developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurred vision, tearing, irritation, mild pain, and photophobia. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Yean learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two and a half hours with her daughter seeking treatment. On September 28th, doctors will perform phacoemulsification and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Yean said, "I hope I can see everything clearly, read easily, and get around well on my own." Her daughter added, "I hope after surgery my mother can see everything clearly again so I won't have to worry about her becoming blind anymore."
Yusuph is a young boy from Tanzania. He is three years old and the last born child in a family of six children. Yusuph is very playful and already very social with his friends. Currently, Yusuph experiences pain when he walks for a long-distance or after a long day of play. He was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, also known as bowleggedness. The condition causes his legs to bow inward so that his knees touch. Genu varus is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Yusuph. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 5th. Treatment will hopefully restore Yusuph's mobility, decrease his risk of future complications, and improve his quality of life. Yusuph’s mother shared, "Please help my son. He is struggling a lot and the cost of treatment is too high for us to afford."
Kunthea is a 49 year-old woman who is married with one son and three daughters. She works in construction. Kunthea has been diabetic for many years. Last month she cut her foot on a sharp stone and ever since her blood sugar was so high that she could not control the bleeding. She experiences pain, swelling, and redness on her left foot. The wound has become infected and she cannot walk. A chopart amputation of her left foot will remove the infected area and allow her to walk again and not be in pain. Kunthea says, “I hope that I will get better and be able to walk after surgery. I want to be able to work and cook in my free time." “I hope that the doctor will help us with a treatment and I hope my wife will get better soon and not be in pain,” Kunthea’s husband said.
Chea is a 57-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has three sons, two daughters, and eight grandchildren. She enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio in her free time. Five years ago, Chea developed a pterygium in both eyes, causing her irritation, burning, photophobia, and blurry vision. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside. When Chea learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. Chea needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The total cost of her procedure is $216. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for January 6th. "I hope that the tearing and burning will stop, and I will be able to recognize things and return to my work," Chea said.
Andry is a small child from Kenya. Andry's father sells secondhand hoodies in Kikuyu town to provide for his young family of three members. To supplement their daily earnings, Andry's mother also sells secondhand dress tops. The family tends to rely on family members to help boost them financially and meet basic needs. Since one year ago, Andry has had a hydrocele. This swelling is causing him pain and discomfort. Fortunately, on October 5th, he will undergo repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $444 to fund Andry's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Andry's mother says, “We will be grateful to see our son receive the required treatment and feeling all better.”
Israel is a baby boy from Tanzania and the last-born in a family of two children. His mother delivered him at home with the help of midwives and soon noticed her son's left foot was not straight. She was scared to tell her husband or her parents-in-law as she was scared they might accuse her of bringing disability into their family. It took her almost two months to be able to summon up the courage and inform her husband about their son's condition. Her husband was understanding and they decide to seek a doctor's advice at a local hospital near their village. They were informed that the condition was treatable but they would have to be referred to the district hospital. They inquired on the cost of the treatment but the cost turned out to be too expensive for them to afford. Thus they were forced to return home hoping they would be able to raise the money one day and have their son's foot corrected. Both parents depend on small-scale farming for their living, which they shared is barely enough to meet their basic needs. They heard about the Plaster House from a relative and decide to try seeking help. The medical team shared that Israel has clubfoot of his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Israel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, when he grows up, he will be able to walk easily. Israel’s mother says, “I am scared my son would be discriminated if he does not have this condition corrected. Please help us.”