Marco joined Watsi on July 23rd, 2016. Five years ago, Marco joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Marco's most recent donation supported Isaack, an energetic young man from Kenya, for fracture repair surgery.
Marco has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 10 countries.
Marco has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 10 countries.
Isaack is an energetic 21-year-old from Kiambu County in Kenya. He is the fourth born in a family of seven. His mother works as a housewife and his father works as a small businessman and lives in western Kenya. Isaack works on construction sites and enjoys playing football during his free time. Last Sunday, Isaack was playing football with his friends when he bumped into a fellow player and fell. Instantly they knew his injury was serious because his tibial shaft assumed a C-like shape and begun to swell. Isaack was brought to Nazareth Hospital. The fracture was stabilized with a splint. Isaack was instructed to go home and await for potential surgery while the swelling went down. Upon review by the surgeon, an implant is recommended to ensure he heals. When Isaack was informed of the money required for surgery he asked the surgeon if there was any other treatment option because he had no way to raise the funds necessary and his family was not in a position to contribute to his bill. The surgeon explained that the nature of the fracture requires surgery for proper healing and referred him to the Watsi-AMH program. If not treated the fracture on Isaack’s left leg may heal with a deformity leading to reduced functionality of his left lower limb, thus affecting his mobility, which is an important for allowing him to work and earn money to support himself and his family. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner AMH can help. On September 2nd, Isaack will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. If treated, the fracture on Isaack’s left leg will heal without any deformity and allow him to walk with ease. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Isaack remarked, “I look forward to the day I will be able to play on the football field again and go to work with ease so that I can fend for myself as I am used to.”
Lightness is a hard-working student and the ninth born child in a family of ten children. Lightness loves to help her mother with home chores and looking after her nieces and nephews. Lightness is currently in technical college where she is studying to be an electrician. Lightness's parents are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers, and her mother also sells vegetables and mandazi, a type of fried bread. Three years ago, Lightness was at the fireplace helping her mother cook mandazi when she lost conscious and fell into the pot of hot oil. Her mother rescued her and rushed her to the hospital. The accident has left Lightness with contractures as a result of the burns around her neck. Contractures are a condition in which the muscles are shortened and hardened, and in Lightness's case they limit her neck movement. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is helping Lightness receive treatment. On August 5th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her move her neck freely. However, Lightness's family needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Lightness says, "I feel bad seeing myself in this condition, I try to cover my neck because I don’t like how people feel sorry for me. I will be happy and grateful if I can have my neck corrected."
Erick is a seven-month-old baby boy and the youngest child in a family of two children. His mother does laundry work to help provide for the family, while his father is a veterinarian in the area. His business was doing well before the COVID-19 pandemic, but unfortunately, they had to stop paying for health insurance when they became financially strained due to the pandemic. Erick was born with an anorectal malformation, or a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He is scheduled to have corrective surgery on July 5th and now our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,393 to cover the total cost of Erick's procedure and care. After his recovery, Erick will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing severe health complications in the future. Erick’s father shared, “during this hard time of the pandemic, we are not able to raise any money for Erick’s surgery. Please help us."
Alvis is a two-month-old baby boy from Kenya and the youngest child in a family of five children. His father is a taxi driver in their home area, but unfortunately, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, he rarely gets customers. His mother has not been able to get work, but sells produce on their small farm to supplement their family’s earnings. Alvis was born with hypospadias, a congenital condition that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Alvis is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 4th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $735 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Alvis's mother shared, “it is very difficult for us to raise the funds required for Alvis’ surgery. Any financial help is highly appreciated.”
Ko is a 37-year-old father of five who lives with his wife, three daughters and two sons in a refugee camp in Thailand. His family receives a cash card every month from an organization, but this is not enough to cover their expenses. Therefore, he also works as an agricultural day laborer in a nearby Thai village. In his free time, Ko enjoys playing cane ball and spending time with his friends. On December 11, 2020, Ko slipped and fell onto rocks outside of the camp. When he tried to get up, Ko could tell that his leg was broken. He went to the hospital in the refugee camp run by Malteser International (MI). He was eventually referred to a hospital where he underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into his leg on December 25, 2020. When he went back to the hospital for his follow-up appointment on February 3, 2021, the doctor observed that the surgical wound was infected and he underwent surgery to clean his wound. When the wound still did not heal, the doctor referred him to another hospital, where the doctor told him he would need an additional surgery to remove necrotic tissue and replace the rod in his leg. Currently, Ko is experiencing a lot of pain. It is difficult for him to walk and he is worried about his family in the camp. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ko will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and finally heal. This procedure will allow Ko to walk and his leg to heal properly. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. Ko shared, “I really want to work to support my family as soon as possible. I cannot imagine what life would be like for my family if my leg never heals.”
Tola is a 16-year-old boy from Cambodia. He has one younger brother and one younger sister. His father works as a driver, and his siblings are still in school. In his free time, Tola enjoys playing football and volleyball, singing, listening to music, and meeting up with his friends. After finishing Grade 9, Tola stopped going to school and began working repairing cars in a private garage. One week ago, Tola was in an accident and damaged his left ankle. His relative, who had been to Children's Surgical Centre before, recommended him to visit the center for treatment. Tola presented with pain and swelling on his left ankle, and difficulty with walking. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is helping Tola receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo a closed reduction procedure on March 9th at our medical partner's care center, which will help to reduce his pain and allow him to walk with ease again. This procedure will cost $412, and he and his family need help raising money. Tola shared, "I hope I can walk again as soon as possible after my surgery."
Daw Mya is a 59-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her daughter, granddaughter, son, daughter-in-law, and grandson in Yangon, Burma. Daw Mya is currently too ill to work, but her daughter works as a seamstress in a factory. Her granddaughter goes to school, her son is a taxi driver, her daughter-in-law looks after their son at home. Her daughter and her son both help look after Daw Mya and try to support her as best they can. Daw Mya was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Daw Mya feels tired and experiences heart palpitations with chest pain. She has no appetite and cannot sleep well at night, and both of her legs are swollen. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Daw Mya. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 21st and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Daw Mya said, “I want to get better soon so that I can help my family. I want to help them because my daughter-in-law is always looking after me and her child [my grandson], so she cannot work. If I can look after the household chores and take care of the family, they can go to work and earn more income for our family. I cannot go anywhere because of my condition. They always take care of me and they spend too much of their money on me.”
Myo is a 16-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents and four brothers in northern Rakhine State. Myo is a student in grade nine and his four brothers also go to school. However, they have been unable to study since the Covid-19 pandemic shut all schools. Myo’s parents are day laborers, and their family's combined income is just enough to cover their daily expenses since Myo and his brothers’ schooling is free. To survive with limited income, they forage for vegetables and fish. If they fall ill, they use traditional medicine, which is more affordable then going to a clinic or a hospital. Myo was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, which is the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Myo cannot walk long distances or climb stairs because of his tiredness. Sometimes, he cannot breathe very well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Myo. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 7th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Myo shared, “I am worried about my health and I feel sorry for my parents. Because of my health problems, my father had to work more days to earn more money. Also, my mother cannot work because she accompanies me and has to take care of me. I hope my school will reopen soon so that I can go back to school. One day I hope that I can become a teacher. I want to teach because there are not enough teachers in my village.”
Paulo is a happy 7-year-old child from Kitui County in Kenya. He is the fourth born in a family of five children. Paulo’s father is a casual labourer who does welding in Rwaka, while his mother is a housewife in their rural home in Kitui. Paulo had an accident and fell from an avocado tree while he was playing. He was taken to a government health facility but did not receive any service as the health workers were on strike. Paulo’s father then took him to a private hospital in Kiambu, where doctors conducted an x-ray revealing a fracture of his left femur. Paulo is not able to walk and is in constant pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help make sure Paulo has the surgery he needs. On January 7th, Paulo will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Paulo's father shared, “I had my reservations about Paulo having surgery, but I have had time to think about it, leading to my decision for him to have the surgery. I look forward to him being able to play and walk properly again.”
Aiden is a four-year-old boy from Kenya. He is a playful kindergartener who hails from Kanam Keener Village in Turkana County. On November 13th, Aiden sustained a severe injury to his right upper limb after he fell on a hard ground while playing with his friends. His aunt brought him to the hospital after she heard his cries outside. Aiden was reviewed by our partner doctors, who conducted an X-Ray revealing a fracture to his right supracondylar or upper arm bone. Because he was in pain and could not move his hand, doctors applied skin traction to stabilize his fracture and realign the normal position of the bone. Aiden will need an Open Reduction and External Fixation (OREF) procedure to fully treat his injury. Unfortunately, this procedure is costly for Aiden and his family. Aiden is the second born child in a family of three. His mother is a single mother who earns wages from laundry labor. Because she lacks a stable job, she is struggling financially, exacerbated especially by the COVID pandemic. She decided to take Aiden to stay with his aunt because it was difficult for her to support three children by herself. Aiden and his family are appealing for financial help. On November 16th, Aiden will undergo an OREF procedure at our medical partner's care center, which will cost $801. Once recovered, he will be able to move his hand again and carry out daily life activities as normal. Aiden's mother shared, “He has so much pain. I hope he gets treated and feels better and will be well again”.
Meet Diana: a 17-year-old bright, social, and jovial girl at our partner's clinic in Voi, Kenya. Diana is the second born in a family of three children. Their family hails from Sofia village in Taita Taveta county and her single mother is a small business lady. Diana was born healthy, however, when she was seven months old, her mother noticed her condition when she started crawling. She could not stand or walk, and her left part of the body was weak. It is then that Diana's mom learned that she has a condition known as Hemiplegic CP, causing paralysis of one side of the body. Diana's left hand is greatly affected and she cannot hold things or engage in household duties like washing clothes and dishes. Her desire is to have her hand straight and functional so that she can be independent and do her own things at home and in her future. Diana's mother is unable to raise the estimated cost of $1,224 and has requested for support for her daughter's surgery. “I would like to request for support so that my hand can function well and I can help my mother at home. If my hand functioned normally, I will be happy,” Diana told us.
Mo is a 22-year-old student from Thailand. He lives along with his father in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. While living in the camp, Mo finished high school and is now completing post-high school education. Their household receives 480 baht (approx. $16 USD) each month as part of their food support from an organization called The Border Consortium. However, this amount is not enough to cover their daily needs. Therefore, Mo's father works as a seasonal agricultural day laborer in a nearby village. He is able to earn an extra 350 baht (approx. $12 USD) in a month but this amount is still not enough and they shared that they struggle to make ends meet despite having free basic health care and education in the camp. In early September, Mo started to feel dizzy frequently, especially whenever he stood up. At first, he thought he would feel better after he rested and slept. However, he was unable to sleep well for about a week and was suffering from insomnia. After a medic examined him he was referred to the local hospital for treatment. The doctor at the local hospital referred him to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) to see a neurologist. After he returned to the camp, Mo rapidly started to lose his vision in both of his eyes. An NGO called Malteser International Thailand (MI) was able to arrange Moses’ travel documents, he was brought to CMH on October 5th, 2020. The next day, he received a CT scan which showed that he has a mass in his brain and a build-up of cerebrospinal fluid in his brain due to the mass. Because of the severity of his condition, the doctor scheduled him to receive surgery right away on October 9th. The mass will be removed and sent for biopsy. He will also undergo a procedure to receive a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt to drain the excess fluid from his brain. Currently, Mo has a headache, and he is not able to move his eyes from side to side. He needs his father to accompany him wherever he goes because he can no longer see far. He spends most of his time lying down in bed and needs to be pushed in a wheelchair to get around due to his new vision problems. Mo sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo a brain mass removal surgery on October 9th. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “Life suddenly become darker without me knowing why," said Mo. "It is extremely difficult for me to even go to the toilet [by myself]. I cry while I lay in bed for many hours. I really miss seeing colors."