Hef joined Watsi on June 5th, 2021. One year ago, Hef joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Hef's most recent donation supported Regina, a middle-aged farmer from Kenya, to fund a mastectomy to fight her breast cancer.
Hef has funded healthcare for 18 patients in 6 countries.
Hef has funded healthcare for 18 patients in 6 countries.
Regina is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. She rears cattle on a rented piece of land. She has two cows from which she gets milk for sale. Her husband is unemployed, and the income Regina earns is not sufficient to cater to all the family's needs. Regina first experienced a painful lump in her right breast in early August when she was taking a shower. She immediately went to a local health facility for a check-up and was later referred to a local government hospital in Olkalau town, situated several kilometers from her home. She has since had several tests including a mammogram and a CT scan. The result revealed the presence of cancerous cells. She opted to visit Kijabe Hospitals’s breast clinic after a referral by a friend. After a review, doctors recommended a partial mastectomy and she needs financial assistance to go through the surgery. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. The mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, aims to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Regina. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 2nd. After treatment, Regina will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Regina says, “This is shocking, but I know God will give me strength to overcome the cancer.”
Tin is a 45-year-old man. Originally from Burma, he fled to Thailand over 20 years ago due to civil war. He currently lives with his wife, who works as a street vendor selling various snacks and vegetable, and one of his daughters, who is currently in school. His family also raises chickens, which they sell when they need cash. Tin previously worked as a farmer and a construction worker, but he has recently been unable to work due to his condition. In the future, he hopes to go back to work and help support his family. After an incident that occurred this past April that caused him to be hit in the left eye by a mango, Tin lost his vision in that eye and began to experience headaches, swelling, severe eye pain, and dizziness when attempting to stand. Tin eventually sought medical attention at a clinic. There, a medic checked his left eye, gave him a bottle of eye drops, and told him to seek treatment at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) since they could not treat him there. However, he did not go to MTC right away due to financial constraints. He instead hoped that his eye would recover over time with the help of eye drops. Although his pain was temporarily reduced, the bruising disappeared, and the swelling went down over time, he never regained his vision. The pain in his eye eventually returned, and he noticed that he had a white spot on his left pupil. As the white spot increased in size, his eye progressively became more painful and began to itch. He now experiences discharge and watering in his eye, as well as difficulty sleeping. At the beginning of this month, a small lump appeared near the white spot on his left pupil. The lump gradually increased in size until it bursted on August 13th. After the discharge and bleeding from the lump stopped, he asked his friend to take him to MTC right away. When he arrived at the clinic, he was told to come back on Monday since there were not any eye specialist medics working on the weekend. When Tin returned on Monday, a medic examined his left eye, and he was diagnosed with corneal perforation, a condition resulting from the cornea being penetrated and damaged. Tin was also told that his eye is infected. He now must undergo surgery at our medical partner's care center, Mae Sot General Hospital, to remove his left eye as quickly as possible before the infection spreads to his right eye. Fortunately, Tin was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for financial assistance accessing treatment. On August 17th, surgeons at our medical partner's care center will perform an enucleation to remove his left eye. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Tin's life-changing procedure. Tin shares, “I feel very depressed and worried about my eye. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I lost vision in both of my eyes. I want to receive surgery quickly to prevent my right eye from becoming infected. Without your help, I don’t think I would be able to receive further treatment. Therefore, I want to say thank you to the donors and the organization for agreeing to support my treatment costs.”
Joseph is a bright six-year-old student from Kenya. He is the oldest in a family of two children. Both of his parents work as small-scale farmers to support their family. Joseph has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Joseph traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Joseph's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk without difficulty and wear shoes again. Joseph mother says, “I have a very bright son. Everything else about him is fine except his feet. I hope he becomes a holistic, confident young man in the future, and I will definitely offer him my all to ensure that is achieved.”
Tracey is a sweet and adorable newborn baby from Kenya who was born just over a week ago at a local government hospital. She is the youngest in a family of three children. To support their family, her parents both do casual labor for their neighbors. Tracey was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube condition in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Tracey is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and developmental delays. Her parents share that they do not have insurance and are unable to pay for their daughter's needed treatment due to financial constraints. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Tracey's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 8th. This procedure will hopefully spare Tracey from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Tracey’s mother says, “When I got more informed about her condition, I felt bad. I just want her to be treated and be well.”
Yoon is a bright and loving 12-year-old girl. She lives with her mother and uncle in Karen State of Burma near the border with Thailand. She was a student in grade three but stopped studying in August 2020 when she was no longer able to walk. Yoon enjoys painting pictures and reading books. In the future, she wants to go back to school and continue her studies. She helps out her mother with household chores. Her uncle is unemployed whereas her mother is an agricultural day labourer. One day at home, Yoon fell down when she tried to stand up to go to the bathroom. Her feet felt painful and were pointing downwards. After that, she did not try to stand up again and would move around her house on her knees. Her mother would have to carry her to the bathroom. Due to their financial situation, her mother was not able to seek treatment despite being very worried for her daughter. Over time, Yoon noticed that her feet were increasingly pointing downwards and were stiff. Her legs would feel painful and were also stiff. Sometimes, she could not stretch out her legs due to feelings of tightness and pain. Her mom shared that she would cry whenever her legs pained, and she would have to wait until the pain lessened by itself. Additionally, her hands began to weaken until she could not hold food with her hands. At the same time, her speech became slurred and her voice became hoarse. On June 17, Yoon arrived at our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), and was admitted that same day. She received a physical examination and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and tightness of Achilles tendon in both of her legs. The doctor recommended she receive surgery on both of her feet, which would help her walk again, and scheduled the procedure for June 21st. When Yoon’s mother told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for surgery, the doctor referred Yoon to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing further treatment. Our medical partner, BCMF, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure for Yoon. This procedure will elongate her Achilles tendon, allowing increased motion at the ankle joint. Without treatment, Yoon's condition will continue to cause her discomfort and will further limit her movement. Her mother said, “I cried almost every night when I saw my daughter in this condition. She always cried and complained about her feet. She always asked me to bring her to the hospital to get treatment. Whenever she asked me, I felt very sad and I would cry in secret. I want her to get treatment, but I cannot afford to pay for it. Due to COVID-19 and the current fighting in Burma, I cannot make enough money or save it. Often, I would only eat fishpaste and rice, but give her meat so that she can have something nutritious. When I heard that she has donors who will help her receive treatment, I felt very happy and thankful to BCMF for this kindness. I never thought she would receive such an opportunity. It makes me so happy that I do not know how to express it in words.”
Meshack is a six-year-old boy, living with his mother and one sibling, in a one-roomed grass thatched house in a village in Kenya. Recently, Meshack completed his preschool studies and now he is in grade one. According to his mother, Meshack is very helpful, and always assists her around the farm and in doing household chores. Meshack's mother is a single parent and a farmer, who works hard to provide for her family. Meshack was born with a condition known as hemiplegic CP, which means that one side of his body is weak. His right foot is affected, making walking challenging. Additionally, Meshack was born with clubfoot of his left foot, which adds to his difficulty walking, and limits his ability to wear shoes. Meshack has already undergone some preliminary, preparatory procedures on his left foot during mobile clinic visits near his village and the next step is for him to have clubfoot repair surgery at our medical partner's hospital. Meshack and his mother have now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 27th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Meshack's surgery, which will enable him to walk, to play with his friends, and to continue his education. “I would love to see my son walking like other children, and I will be relieved of the burden of carrying him to school,” Meshack's mother told us.
Kai is an adorable baby boy from the Philippines who loves to listen to nursery rhymes. Kai's mother is a stay-at-home mom, while his father works as a construction worker. Kai's father's income helps to meet their day-to-day basic needs. Kai was born with a birth condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo surgery to help him heal on May 4th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to help cover the total cost of Kai's procedure and care. After his recovery, Kai will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing severe health complications in the future. Kai's mother shared, "This surgery is a big help for our family. The bigger portion of my husband's income goes to Kai's colostomy supplies. Now, we do not have to worry about it anymore. Thank you so much, World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for helping us."
Sudes is an adorable baby boy who loves to smile and play with his mother and his older brother. Sudes is a happy child, especially when he is taking a bath. Sudes is the youngest child with one brother five years older. Sude and his brother are being raised by their single mother with limited support from his father. He works as a security guard in a government building, occasionally sending financial support to Sudes's mother. Sudes was born with a congenital malformation that causes an abnormally functioning segment of the bowel. Sudes requires corrective surgery so that he can grow to be a healthy boy. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare is helping Sudes's mother raise $1,500 to fund this life altering surgery. Sudes's mother shared, "When I knew about his condition, I was so surprised and confused. I was scared and worried. Whenever I think about it I cry and cry.”
Liam is a playful four-year-old boy and the only child in his family. Liam and his young, single mother both live with Liam's grandmother, and depend on her farm for food. Liam was born with a condition known as quad cop, which is a subset of cerebral palsy that affects all four of his limbs (both arms/hands and legs). In addition, Liam has clubfoot on both of his feet. Clubfoot is a congenital musculoskeletal condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes him to have a great deal of difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Fortunately, on March 15th, Liam will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Liam's treatment. After treatment, Liam will be able to place his entire foot on the ground when he walks, compared to now where he can only walk on his tiptoes which makes it hard for him to get around freely and independently. In the future his mother hopes he will be able to run, play, and join school like other children. Liam's mother says, "We would like to request support because we have nothing in our pockets to facilitate the surgery he needs."
Steph lives with his parents and younger brother in a village in Burma. Steph's father works at a nursing home, where his brother also volunteers. Steph is a driver, and his mother is a homemaker. In his free time, Steph likes to grow vegetables and help to repair cars for others in his village. In July 2021, Steph felt pain in the right side of his abdomen, which he was able to treat with medicine from a local pharmacy. Last month, however, his pain returned while he was delivering supplies. He shared with us that he was unable to safely drive home due to nearby military conflict, and was trapped away from home and in pain for two weeks. When Steph finally made it to the hospital, he learned he needed surgery to remove several gallbladder stones. The stones interfere with Steph's breathing and cause severe abdominal pain. He also has jaundice and difficulty sleeping. Fortunately, his doctor was able to schedule a cholecystectomy to remove the stones on February 3rg. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is requesting $1,487 to fund his surgery. Once recovered, Steph will be pain-free and able to return to work and enjoying time with his family. Steph shared,"I prayed every day that I would get a donor to cover the cost of my surgery, and I feel like my prayers have been answered. I am so happy! I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors. I will never forget what you have done for me, and I hope that one day I can help and volunteer to drive [BCMF] staff in Burma.”
Edwin is a young boy from Tanzania and the youngest in his family of three children. He is a friendly and playful boy. Edwin’s parents are small-scale farmers who mainly grow food crops like maize, potatoes, and vegetables. Edwin was diagnosed with genu varus, where his legs bow outward at the knee. 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 has difficulty walking and running with his agemates. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Edwin. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 4th. Treatment will hopefully restore Edwin's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Edwin’s mother says “We don't like seeing his legs this way and the struggle he has in walking. It is because of financial challenges that we haven’t been able to seek treatment for him.”
Mary is a farmer and the single mother of three children who are now grown. She lives in her parents’ home in Central Kenya. Mary farms on a small piece of land given to her by her parents, growing food crops for home use. She has no source of income and relies on her kids for upkeep and support. However, all her children do not have stable jobs. Her parents are elderly and don’t work either, so she is worried about how to fund the care she needs. Mary first started experiencing pain in her stomach at the beginning of October. Mary's pain has gradually increased and her stomach began swelling making her uncomfortable. She went to a health facility in Central Kenya for a check-up and review. She has been diagnosed with cancer of the ovaries. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. AMH is requesting $1,260 to fund Mary's surgery. On November 24th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Mary will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Mary says, "I feel uncomfortable with a swollen stomach and I am in pain. I know this surgery will go a long way to help heal the issue and make me well again.”