Robert joined Watsi on June 30th, 2016. Four years ago, Robert became the 2366th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,106 more people have become monthly donors! Robert's most recent donation traveled 6,200 miles to support Rithy, a kindergartner from Cambodia, to fund a mastoidectomy to restore his hearing.
Robert has funded healthcare for 50 patients in 9 countries.
Rithy is a 5-year-old student from Cambodia. He began kindergarten this year, and is excited to join Grade One next year. He has three siblings. Rithy's mother sells fruit at a local market, and his father is a tuk tuk driver. He and his older sister love to paint pictures together, and he is currently learning writing. Three years ago, Rithy had a serious 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, Rithy experiences hearing loss, ear discharge, and fever. It is difficult for him to hear what the teachers say at school, and he is often absent from class due to his ear discharge and fever. Rithy traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 6th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right 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 medications, supplies, and inpatient care. His parents said, "This problem has been bad for his hearing in both ears, so we worry about his ability to go to school in the future. We hope that after surgery, he can start his first full year at school with all his hearing."
Joseph is a two-month-old baby boy from Tanzania. He is the last born of his mother who has eight children. His father is polygamous with two wives, Joseph's mother being the first wife. The second wife has five children making a family of fourteen children. Four children in the family have been able to join school but the rest have not had a chance to attend yet. Joseph's older siblings who do not go to school help their parents to look after their cattle of five cows and five goats. Both parents depend on small-scale farming of maize, beans, and vegetable for their food and they are able to sell a goat once in a while to be able to get money to buy other commodities. Joseph 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, Joseph 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, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Joseph's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 10th and will hopefully spare Joseph from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Joseph’s mother shared, “The money needed to pay our son’s surgery cost is too high for us to afford, kindly help us.”
Edwin is a fifteen year old boy from Kenya. He was brought by his mother to a medical camp organized by our partner hospital, Cure International. He is in the eighth grade and very bright. His mother is a housewife while the father is a mason. Edwin was born with a condition known as hemiplegia, a weakness that results from damage to the part of the brain that controls muscle movements. This damage may occur before, during or shortly after birth. Therefore, the entire left side of his body is weak and he cannot see with his left eye. He is currently not able to walk and he keeps falling. The condition is worsening and lowering his self-esteem which is affecting his schoolwork. He is an aspiring engineer but is worried that the condition will hinder him from achieving his goals. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. They are now requesting your help to fund this $1,224 surgery that will repair a congenital foot deformity. “My prayer is for my son to receive help, undergo the surgery, and continue with his life like other children. I would love to see him healthy and able to pursue his dream. I would greatly appreciate any kind of help,” Edwin’s mother shared.
Suzana is a kindergartener from Tanzania. She is five years old and the only child to her single mother. She was born a healthy child and has been developing well until earlier this year in March. Her mother started noting her dragging her right leg when walking and lacking strength mostly on the right side of her body. Previously she could run and play freely. She would walk to her kindergarten school with her friends with ease. However, she started having difficulties in all these activities, which made her mom worried. Suzana’s mother is a single mother working as a cleaner at a local university to make a living. Her husband left them when Suzana was just two years old. Her mom shared that it has not been easy for her to support Suzana on her own and things are now even harder given Suzana’s condition. It took Suzana’s mother a few months to be able to save some money and take Suzana to Arusha district hospital where she was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner ALMC hospital for a diagnosis. At ALMC hospital, Suzana was diagnosed with hydrocephalus which has caused a tumor in her head. She needs to have surgery to help drain the fluids accumulating and thereafter have the tumor excised if possible. Her mother is unable to afford the treatment cost and she is asking for help and support. Suzana has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Suzana has been experiencing general weakness on her right side of the body and dragging her legs. Without treatment, Suzana will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $802 to cover the cost of surgery for Suzana that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 17th and will drain the excess fluid from Suzana's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Suzana will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Suzana's mother shared, “I would love to see my daughter walk well again, resume school and be able to get back to normal. The cost of the surgery is something I can’t afford. Please find a place in your hearts and help my daughter."
12-year-old Joy Nyagathu is in the hospital. Joy came accompanied by her father. She is a polite girl and likes playing with other friends at school. She shared that reading storybooks is her favorite hobby. Joy is the oldest in a family of 3 children and a seventh grader at Ol Donyo Sabuk Academy. Her family hails from Mountain View, near Thika Town in Kiambu County, Kenya. Joy was born with clubfoot which was corrected when she was an infant. She has lived well until last year when the parents noticed an unusual curve on her back developing. Her father heard about Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center CURE Hospital and came for a consultation. Joy was diagnosed with congenital scoliosis and was scheduled to undergo an instrumented spine fusion surgery. Currently, Joy experiences a lot of pain and discomfort while at school. She sometimes needs to skip her studies as a result of pain. Surgery will be of great help to her as she will be able to continue with her studies and her life without any difficulty. Joy's father is a businessman as a greengrocer, while her mother is a housewife. The surgery is expensive for their family and they cannot raise the amount needed. “I would like to be assisted because I am not able to raise the funds on my own. My desire is to see my daughter walking and pursuing her studies like other girls without any hardship. God bless Watsi for what they are doing,” Joy’s father expressed with gratitude.
Chit is a 39-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her daughter, mother-in-law, and her sister-in-law’s three children. Her husband has recently left the village to work in Bangkok so he could increase his income, especially since her condition has worsened. Since she became ill, she feels bored because she is unable to work. Around five months ago, Chit started to feel unwell with a stiff neck, headaches, and pain in her right eye. Soon after, she noticed that the black part of her right eye started to move inward toward the middle of her face, becoming crossed eyed. As soon as she noticed a change in her right eye, she went to a hospital to see a doctor about her condition. At the hospital, she underwent a CT scan of her head which showed normal findings. Therefore, the doctor just gave her an injection and oral medications. A week later, she decided to go see a local medic in her village because she felt like the medications were not helping. The medic looked at her medical test results, assessed her and said she might have a neurological condition. The medic gave her oral medication and another injection. She took the medication she received from the medic, and her symptoms subsided gradually. Chit's symptoms disappeared completely about 20 days ago, but this only lasted around 10 days because she noticed that the black part of her right eye had started to become white and the rest of her eye, normally white, started to turn red. She bought eye drops at a local medication stall, but they did not help. A few days later, she learned about Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), a charitable clinic, from one of her nephews. On January 11th, Chit visited MTC regarding her condition, and a medic explained that unfortunately her eye was not functional anymore and that it needed to be removed due to a severe infection. The medic also explained that if her right eye was not removed, the infection could spread to her left eye and cause the same problem. MTC then brought Chit to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) and the doctor there confirmed that her eye needs to be removed as soon as possible. Chit said, "It's upsetting to know that I need to have one of my eyes removed. But then, I feel that since the eye is bad, there is no sense in keeping it. In the future, if possible, I want to get a prosthetic eye."
Ni Tar is a 36-year-old man from Burma who lives with his mother and his younger sister in Mingalar Township, Yangon Division. His younger sister is the primary breadwinner for the household. She works at solar factory in Yangon. Ni Tar has been unemployed for five years. In his free time, Ni Tar likes to read the Quran, especially when the weather is cool. Ni Tar was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of his 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, Ni Tar exhibits similar symptoms as before. He has shortness of breath, weakness, chest pain, and a difficulty walking longer distances. He also has a chronic cough. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Ni Tar. The treatment is scheduled to take place on March 18th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. “I miss teaching the children at the Mosque,” said Ni Tar. “Sometimes, in the past I wanted to kill myself because I felt like I was useless. I wanted to help take care of my family, but now it is up to my younger sister. It makes me feel ashamed.”
Bernard is a driver from Kenya. Bernard is a father of 8 children from his two wives. He lives in a rental house and is the main breadwinner in the family. He does not have national insurance nor did he own the vehicle he drove when the road accident occurred. Bernard is a driver in the public transport system, commonly referred to as matatus. On 12th of February 2020, John was involved in a grisly road accident that left 22 people with various injuries. According to Bernard, the oncoming vehicle was overlapping at high speed at a place that is increasingly becoming a blackspot. Bernard and the other patients were brought to Watsi's medical partner care center and immediately started receiving treatment. Bernard had a nail implant on his left femur and a right foot closed reduction and percutaneous pinning that morning. He has been recovering and is planned for a second surgery to correct the acetabular open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). He is in chronic pain and is not able to move from his bed. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 19th, Bernard will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an ORIF. This treatment will help Bernard heal well and be able to walk and eventually work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,042 to fund this procedure. Bernard says, “I am appealing for help to have the surgery. My family is not able to raise the funds needed. I am however hopeful that soon I will be able to walk.”
Magdaline is a farmer from Kenya and a talkative mother of seven. Magadline hails from Kisoko Village, a stony and hilly area in Elgeyo marakwet with low socioeconomic status and the main occupation for the people living around the village is raising goats and planting millet. Magdaline’s husband is deaf and hasn’t found a job. He spends his days helping his wife in the farm or help take care of goats they have at home. On 6th December, Magdaline had just left her house to attend a ceremony when she slightly fell on a hard surface sustaining injury on the left femur. She is not able to work since she can not walk and this is affecting the family because she is the main breadwinner. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 11th, Magdaline will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her walk again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. Magdaline says, “I want to receive treatment, get healed, and continue supporting my family.”
Guerdina is a student from Haiti. She lives in a small village in the mountains of central Haiti with her parents and 4 siblings. She likes going to school and would like to become a teacher. Guerdina has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged by a rheumatic fever she suffered in childhood, and can no longer adequately pump blood through her body. Guerdina will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On October 29, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair her valve; if they are unable to do so, they will implant an artificial replacement.. Another organization, The Mitral Foundation, is contributing $7500 to pay for surgery. Guerdina's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Guerdina's family overseas. "I am hopeful that after my surgery I will feel healthy and normal," said Guerdina.
Khin is a 39-year-old woman who lives with her family in Hpa-An Township, Karen State, Burma. Both her children are in preschool. She and her husband are subsistence farmers, growing rice during the rainy season on rented land. The rest of the year, her husband collects leaves used to make roofs, works as a daily labourer or collects branches to sell. Khin was born with a scar the size of an ant bite on her upper lip. Her parents thought that it would disappear or heal on its own but the scar developed into a growth and increased in size. Her parents passed away when she was young and after that she went to live with her brother’s family. By the time she was around 20 years old, the growth had become large and soft, covering the area between her upper lips and her nose. When the pain became unbearable in 2005, her uncle dropped her off at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand, a free clinic close to where her uncle used to work. At this point, the growth had become so large that dragged her upper lip down and extended into her nostrils. At MTC, she was seen by doctors and medics, before she was diagnosed with a hemangioma. At this point, the growth had worsened, and she was bleeding from her lips. In April 2006, Khin went to Chiang Mai Hospital and had the hemangioma removed surgically. The growth later has returned. Overtime, the hemangioma has increased in size and become hard. It has now expanded into Khin’s nostrils, especially her left nostril, which causes her to have difficulty breathing at times. She feels uncomfortable but is not in pain. Sometimes she also feels like she has a blood clot in her nostrils during her nosebleeds. Because the nosebleed can start at any time and can last anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, her life revolves around managing her nosebleeds. She is unable to work or sleep properly, and if she is about to have a nosebleed, she is unable to eat. The nosebleeds have also affected her ability to earn an income for her children and continues to impact her social life. “When I socialise, I do not feel comfortable and some people think I have a disease that I can infect them with,” said Khin. “So, I hope to get better after surgery, and I hope I will no longer have nosebleeds. I don’t want to bleed, and I want to socialise with my friends and family happily. [Right now] my friends won’t even touch me.”
Since birth, Sim has had a malformation of her spine, which she worries is slowly getting worse with time. Her scoliosis causes her pain in her legs, difficulty sleeping, and she is unable to sit for long periods of time. With surgery, Sim will be able to walk again with ease and will be able to sit and sleep comfortably. She will not have to worry that her condition will worsen, and she can return to her work. Sim enjoys watching television, listening to the news, and helping with the housework in her spare time.