Matt joined Watsi on January 10th, 2017. Four years ago, Matt joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Matt's most recent donation supported Alex, a seven-year-old boy from Tanzania, to fund corrective surgery so he can walk more easily and go to school.
Matt has funded healthcare for 60 patients in 11 countries.
Matt has funded healthcare for 60 patients in 11 countries.
Alex is a social seven-year-old boy and the oldest child in a family of three children. His parents rely on small scale farming for food and other basic needs. Alex has been diagnosed with left varus and right valgus on his legs. When Alex learned to walk, his parents noticed his condition and they thought it would subside as he got older. The larger bone, or tibia, in his left calf is misaligned with the larger bone in his thigh, or femur, while the bone at the knee joint of the right leg is angled out and away from the body's midline. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Alex experiences pain and difficulty in walking. He has not yet joined school, mainly because the only school in his family's village is far from home and he cannot walk all the way there due to his condition. When Alex and his parents visited his grandfather, he was deeply concerned by Alex's condition and brought him to the care center of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for treatment. Alex is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on September 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Alex's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Now, AMH, is requesting $880 to fund Alex's surgery. Alex’s grandfather shared, "I felt really bad seeing how my grandson‘s legs have been deformed. I know his parents are not financially stable and neither am I. I remember the team from your hospital that visited our village to educate us on treatable disability and the possibility of him getting treatment and I am hopeful that he will be well. Please help him."
Samson is a 26-year-old minibus conductor. He shared with us that he was orphaned in 2008 and currently lives with a relative in a rented two room house. He has relied on his older sister to help with his medical bills, but unfortunately, his sister lost her job due to the pandemic. Two months ago, Samson was struck by a motorcycle on his way home. He fractured his left tibia and was seen at a hospital in Nairobi where his leg was casted. However, after removing the cast, re-examining his leg and doing an x-ray, surgery was recommended as he had not healed. Samson currently moves around with crutches due to difficulty walking and he continues to experience leg pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On August 10th, Samson will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help his fractures fully heal and allow him to walk comfortably again. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Samson shared, "I am struggling to walk and my leg is so painful. I cannot work in this condition and unless I get the treatment I'm worried I might end up crippled.”
Gift is curious, charming, and social two-year-old boy. He's the second born child in a family of three children. Both of his parents are small scale farmers who grow maize, beans, and vegetables for their food. They also go out to seek other work, such as helping on other farms, to earn an income. Gift has clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Gift receive treatment. On July 13th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Gift's procedure. After treatment, Gift will be able to walk and wear shoes. Gift’s mother shared, "I know my son will be very happy to be able to wear shoes and walk in a normal way. Please help him have this treatment."
Lah is a 50-year-old woman from Thailand who lives with her husband and her daughter in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Lah is a homemaker, and her daughter is a middle school student. Her husband cannot work since he was in an accident six years ago. Her neighbor pays for her daughter’s school fees and in return, Lah shares vegetables that she grows with her neighbors. Her family receives about $35 per month on a cash card, but this income is not enough to cover their daily needs. In her free time, Lah loves praying at home and she enjoys going to church every Sunday. Starting from 2018, Lah has been experiencing dizziness, back pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, and lower abdomen pain every day. If she sits for a longer period of time, she has difficulty standing up due to the back pain. Lah cannot walk longer distances because of the pain in her lower abdomen and back. Lah has been diagnosed with myoma uteri, and is advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy. If left untreated, Lah's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Lah is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on June 16th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once she is fully recovered, Lah will no longer experience pain in her back and abdomen and will be able to sit and walk without difficulty. Lah said, “I am so happy that my condition is treatable. I will be able to live with my family for a longer time. Now that I know donors may help pay for my treatment, I would like to thank them in advance for helping me. I want to live long, and look after my daughter and my husband. I prayed and God has answered my prayers, so I am very thankful to God and your organization who helped find donors for me.”
Navin is an eight-year-old third grade student with one older sister. Navin lives in the province where his parents are farmers. When he is not in school, Navin enjoys playing football, playing with his toy car, and asking his father questions (sound familiar to any parents out there?) Two years ago, Navin had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Navin experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. It is difficult for him to hear at school. His parents took him to a local NGO that told them Navin needed to have surgery. They recommended his family come to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). Navin and his family traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 12th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers his medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Navin's parents hope his hearing can improve so he can communicate well again in school and at home.
Lomnyak is a 5-year-old boy and the fourth born child in a family of five children. Lomnyaki and his siblings live with their mother, as their father left and doesn't offer support. His mother does not currently work as she is taking care of their family and she shared how challenging it was as they do not have livestock nor a place to farm. They are doing their best to get through a challenging living situation. Lomnyak was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Lomnyak is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Lomnyak's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 19th. This procedure will hopefully spare Lomnyak from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Lomnyak’s mother shared, "I didn’t know that this condition was life-threatening but I suspected it to be the cause of my son not being able to stand nor walk. Please help him get this surgery."
Thorn is a 70-year-old woman and now retired as a laborer. She has five siblings and lives with her niece who is a farmer. Thorn enjoys listening to the monks praying on the radio and at the pagoda when she is able to go. One year ago, Thorn developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her photophobia, itchiness, tearing, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing, recognizing neighbors, and being independent. When Thorn learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours with her niece seeking treatment. On January 5th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Thorn said, "I hope after surgery I can see well so I can help my niece plant crops to earn money and be able to spend more time caring for my family."
Beteitse is a teacher from Uganda. He is married and is a father to four daughters. Upon graduating college, he became a third grade teacher. Following in his footsteps, three of his daughters are primary school teachers, and the fourth one is still studying and is in senior four. Since two years ago, Beteitse has had an umbilical hernia. The hernia causes him weakness and pain and prevents him from working and supporting his family. Unfortunately, this procedure is very costly for Beteitse and his family. His only source of income is from his job of teaching in a primary school. He also does some farming, because the money he earns from teaching alone is not enough to support his family. His wife is also a small scale farmer and has little income. They are appealing for financial help. Fortunately, on November 3rd, Beteitse will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $230 to fund Beteitse's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Beteitsa shared, “I hope for a new life and health after my surgery to continue with teaching after I have completely recovered.”
Thav is a 71-year-old retired rice farmer from Cambodia. She has two sons, two daughters, and seven grandchildren who live with her and work on the farm. Her husband recently became a monk. In her free time she likes to visit him and the other monks at the pagoda, bringing food and drinks. Six years ago, Thav developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurry vision, tearing, and irritation. These symptoms have recently worsened. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Thav learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours by taxi seeking treatment. On August 3rd, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Thav shared, "I want to be able to take care of myself and go where I want to go. I hope this surgery helps me to see where I am going and what I am doing."
Salmani is a six-month-old baby from Tanzania and the second born in his family. His parents live in Arusha where they are both subsistence farmers. Salmani was born healthy, but at the age of three months, Salmani’s mother observed that his head size looked abnormal. His neck was not as strong as a 3-month-old, and she felt his other body parts were somewhat weak. As a result of his condition, Salmani has been experiencing an increasing head circumference and inability to sit on his own. His mother took him to Mount Meru Hospital and they referred their family to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center ALMC Hospital for treatment. She decided she had to wait to go because they could not afford to proceed with Salmani's treatment, doctor’s visits, or the tests required. Later on, they heard about Watsi's ALMC-The Plaster House program and how children with disabilities are able to be supported. Salmani's parents wish to see him be able to sit, walk one day, and also to see his head size return back to normal. Salmani has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Without treatment, Salmani will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Salmani that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 14th and will drain the excess fluid from Salmani's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Salmani will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Salmani’s mother shared, “Please help my son get this treatment so that we can save his life and he can be able to play like other children.”
Sophea is a 27-year-old phone seller from Cambodia. She is a single mother to one son. To earn an income for their family, she sells mobile phones at the market. In her free time she enjoys being with her son and playing on Facebook on her phone. Seven years ago, Sophea developed a pterygium in her right eye, causing her irritation, tearing, and feeling uncomfortable going outside. 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 Sophea learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. Sophea 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 April 30th. "I hope that my irritation will go away and I will be able to see everything better with no tearing. I can go outside with my little one and continue selling phones at the market." shared Sophea.
Jane is a 70-year-old kiosk owner from Kenya. She is a former civil servant who was released from government duty in 2000. Since then, she has since been running a small kiosk that sells vegetables and other groceries. In March 2019, Jane suffered a fracture on her left distal femur with intraarticular extension, meaning the break crossed into the surface of a joint. To remedy this, she underwent surgery with a locking plate. However, the fracture has not healed properly, which threatens her mobility. Doctors are now recommending a another fracture repair surgery to prevent future complications of her condition, including inability to walk. However, this procedure is costly for Jane. The profit she earns from her small business is not enough to cover her basic needs, let alone her medical bills. Jane has been relying on a small government pension to get by. She separated from her husband over 30 years ago and has since been raising her only son alone. Her son is an adult, but lacks a stable job and works as a casual laborer to make ends meet. Thus, Jane is appealing for financial help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 11th, Jane will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After recovering, she will no longer have difficulties in walking or be in constant pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Jane shared, “I need this surgery to get back on my feet. I am the one taking care of my grandkids since my son has no job. This procedure will help me be able to go get vegetables from the market so that I can sell and continue my business.”