Marco joined Watsi on July 23rd, 2016. Six years ago, Marco joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Marco's most recent donation supported Josiah, a middle-aged hardworking man from Kenya, to fund a hernia operation.
Marco has funded healthcare for 91 patients in 11 countries.
Marco has funded healthcare for 91 patients in 11 countries.
Josiah is a laborer who gets work whenever he can at local construction sites. He also works as an artisan in the jua kali sector (informal economy). His wife also works as a casual laborer, washing clothes for a living. They live in their ancestral home in the outskirts of the capital city of Nairobi. Josiah has pain and swelling that has lasted for a week now, and is preventing him from working. When the pain medication prescribed for him didn't work, an ultrasound and CT scan revealed a right inguinal-scrotal hernia and surgery is needed to heal. Fortunately, on May 18th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $684 to fund Josiah's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Josiah says, “This condition is embarrassing and I have not been able to talk to about it. But it is worsening and affecting my lifestyle. I have no choice but to seek help. Sadly, I am also unable to afford the cost of the treatment.”
Myo Htay is a 22-year-old who lives with his parents and younger brother in the border region of Burma. His parents work as day laborers at a gold mine, carrying dirt and debris. Myo used to work with his parents but stopped last November when his health deteriorated. Because the gold mine closes during the rainy season, his parents only have work for six months out of the year. The rest of the time they try to live off of their savings. Around six months ago, Myo started to feel tired when he worked. At first he thought he was tired from working too hard. When he continued to feel tired for over a month, he thought that he needed to see a doctor. However, because of their limited funds, he did not want his parents to spend what they had on a trip to a clinic or a hospital. Around the middle of April, his condition worsened. He had difficulty breathing, experienced chest pain, and also heart palpitations. His parents brought him to a nearby hospital where he was diagnosed with a heart disease. The doctor told them to bring him to Yangon for further treatment. After Myo's parents borrowed money, they went to Yangon and took him to two different hospitals. At the last hospital, Myo was admitted for five days as he was unwell at that time. He received a follow-up appointment for two weeks later, but was brought back on April 30th when he developed rapid breathing, heart palpitations, chest pain and oedema (swelling) in both his legs. Myo was readmitted to the hospital, and the doctor told Myo's parents that his surgery would cost 20,000,000 kyat (approx. $11,000 USD). When they told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for his surgery, a nurse gave them the phone number of an abbot in Yangon. After they called the abbot and told him what the doctor had said, the abbot referred Myo to our medical parter Burma Children Medical Fund for the assistance accessing the cardiac treatment he needs. Currently, Myo is on oxygen. If he does not receive oxygen, he has difficulty breathing as well as heart palpitations. He cannot walk for more than three minutes and if he does, he feels extremely tired. His whole family is worried about his condition. Fortunately, Myo's surgery has been scheduled for May 8th. He will have both valves of his heart replaced. His family needs $1,500 to help with the total cost of his surgery and care. Myo’s mother said, “I would give up everything to save my son’s life. I would sleep on the ground if we had no home to live in. I only wish to see my son getting better.”
Mab is a 34-year-old electrician. He has two children, with his oldest son is seven years old and his newborn daughter at two months old. In Mab's free time, he enjoys playing volleyball with his friends. Last December, Mab was in a motorcycle accident that caused a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is the nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in a loss of function and sensation. After the accident, Mab's family took him to a local hospital for treatment; however, his left arm is still immobile, and he has shoulder pain. The doctors referred him to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for review, where they determined his shoulder is partially dislocated, and he has no elbow or wrist flexion. CSC is the only treatment center in the country that can help Mab receive the treatment he needs. On April 5th, he will undergo brachial plexus repair surgery that will allow him to use his hand again. CSC is requesting $696 for the cost of this surgery. Mab was able to gather $100 to contribute to his care, as well. Mab says, "I hope my arm will regain strength, and I can return to work."
Karen is a hardworking and independent woman. She is the second-born in a family of four children. To make a living, Karen sells clothes in a neighborhood of the capital city of Nairobi in Kenya. In February, Karen was removing a gas cylinder from a shelf when it fell on her hand. She visited a local clinic where pain medication was prescribed, but she did not experience relief. After an x-ray, she was diagnosed with a closed fracture on her left hand and surgery was recommended. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Karen receive treatment. On March 2nd, she will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After the procedure, she will be able to work normally with no pain. Now, AMH is requesting $1,049 to fund her procedure and care. Karen shared, "I always liked to be an independent lady. This is disturbing since I am not able to work. I request help and will be very grateful so that I can be okay again and continue with my work."
Julius is a 44-year-old man with two children. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Julius used to buy old clothes to sell, but the business was so greatly affected by the pandemic that he has had to search for other work to survive. He now takes on labor jobs at construction sites. Julius was in a hit-and-run accident where a driver lost control of the vehicle and hit him while walking along the side path. Julius was thrown over the car and sustained an open fracture on his left leg. As a result, he is experiencing pain and is at risk of developing an infection or malunion, which occurs when a fractured bone heals in an abnormal position. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Julius heal. On February 7th, he will undergo a fracture repair procedure known as an open reduction and internal fixation. After surgery, Julius will no longer be in pain, and he will be able to walk and work again. AMH is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Julius shared, “I depend on my legs because, for construction work, you have to climb. However, I thank God I am alive. I kindly request help so that my leg can get well. I can then go back to my hustles and sustain myself."
Samrach is a 27-year-old clothing factory worker. He's is married with two small children. His daughter is six years old and just starting the first grade, and his son is nine months old. His wife is also a factory worker in their province. He likes to play with his children and listen to music. Ten months ago, on his way home from the factory, Samrach was in a motorcycle crash. He suffered fractures of the femur, clavicle, forearm, and multiple other injuries. He lost his left leg below the knee due to the trauma injury, and spent three months in a provincial hospital. A local taxi driver told him about the specialty care at our medical partner Children's Surgical Center (CSC). Doctors have diagnosed him with a brachial plexus injury on his left 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 cannot lift his left shoulder, bend his elbow, or use his hand. He feels unwell and shared that he often feels very depressed that he cannot work or support his family. Samrach traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 6th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he hopes to regain the use of his arm so he can find work in the factory again. Our medical partner is requesting $696 to fund this life-changing procedure. Samrach said: "I hope this surgery will work for me, and I can start working again to have money to feed my children and make sure they go to school."
Movin is a 14-year-old social and jovial boy. Movin likes playing football with his friends. His favorite subject in school is English; he aspires to be a doctor in the future to help those who need surgical care, mostly those with physical conditions. Movin is the 5th born in a family of seven children. His mother is a housewife while his father is a farmer. Their family lives in a two-roomed grass-thatched and mud traditional house in a village in Kenya. Movin was born with bilateral clubfoot deformity. This condition has affected his mobility, he gets tired easily, feels pain out of straining, falls whenever he plays football, and cannot put on shoes well. Movin needs surgery, however, his family is not in a financial position to finance the surgery and they are appealing for financial assistance. Fortunately, Movin traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Movin's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will continue with his education uninterrupted in pursuit of his dream of being a doctor. Movin says, “I would like my foot to be treated so that I can walk like my friends and continue with my education.”
Jhonatan Mercado is a creative four-year-old from Venezuela. A year ago his family moved to Medellin in Colombia seeking for a better future for their kids. Jhonatan is an older brother in a family of two children, his little brother is one year old. Jhonatan he loves to play with his mom with Legos. He already loves soccer too. Jhonatan Mercado 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, Jhonatan Mercado's family traveled to visit our Medical Partner Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 20th. Our medical partner, Clínica Noel, is requesting $1500 to fund Jhonatan Mercado's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk without pain or further complications. His mother said "We are really glad that finally we found help, we have been in different treatments since he was 6 months old but now we have a lot of faith in this procedure and in Doctor Miguel."
Selinah is a 31-year-old nun from Uganda. She serves as a nun under Our Lady of Fatima Rushoroza and is currently posted to the formation house of the Missionaries of Africa. She does not receive salary for her services apart from a small allowance for personal use. She is the fifth born in a family of 10 and her parents are small-scale farmers. For three years, Selinah has been experiencing lower abdominal pains. She was treated for a bacterial infection with no change in symptoms. She has also had several medications from different medical centers. None of them helped, and in the last year her condition has worsened. She can no longer stand comfortably for long because she has pains extending to her lower body. Selinah has challenges getting out of bed due to this pain. Selinah has been diagnosed with leiomyoma and endometrial hyperplasia. If not treated, she is at a risk of endometrial carcinoma and other severe complications like anaemia. Selinah has sought financial support from her congregation, but shared that they are unable to meet the surgery cost because of the number of congregants affected by COVID-19. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $319 to fund Selinah's surgery. On September 4th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Selinah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Sister Selinah says, “My condition has generally affected my duties and life as a nun. Given treatment, I will be able to do all my day to day duties and be able to develop my congregation. I will continue serving the Lord by helping others where I can.”
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."