Jessica joined Watsi on August 1st, 2016. Four years ago, Jessica became the 2082nd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,343 more people have become monthly donors! Jessica's most recent donation supported Esther, a sixth grader from Kenya, to fund knee surgery.
Jessica has funded healthcare for 50 patients in 10 countries.
Meet Esther, a 13-year-old girl, from a village in Kenya who is in need of treatment for genu varus, a knee condition that impacts her ability to walk. Her aunt told us that Esther likes reading and is very active at home. She helps her mother in doing household chores. Esther came to the hospital with her aunt, her grandmother, and a friend from the village. They told us that her mother could not make it to the hospital since she has a young child and she also has a disability on her feet. Esther is the oldest in a family of two children, with her family hailing from a village in Machakos County. Her mother is a housewife while her father is a farmer. They shared that their family lives in a two-roomed mud-house. Esther was born a healthy child, however at the age of one years old, her family noticed un unusual bowing of her legs. She could also feel pain. Since then her condition has continued to worsen. Currently, Esther is a sixth grade student. She often feels pain while walking, she cannot walk far or carry heavy loads. Her self esteem has also been very low which has affected her studies as well. Surgery will be of great impact to her because she will be able to walk, continue with her education, help her mother, and most of it all her self esteem will improve meaning she will be able to interact with other children comfortably. “If there is any kind of help to help our girl, we will gladly appreciate it,” Esther’s aunt told us.
Sopheak is a 38-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He has one son and two daughters, and has been married to his wife for the last 22 years. In his free time, his favorite activities include looking after his children, doing the housework, feeding his chickens, and cooking. Last year, Sopheak was in a motorcycle collision and fractured his left leg. He experiences pain, swelling, and is unable to walk or stand without support. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On March 4th, Sopheak will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Surgery will allow Sopheak to walk independently again and return to his activities with little difficulty. "My family is worried because they are no longer able to afford treatments. I hope that after my surgery, I will no longer have any pain or swelling, and will be able to walk on my own again. My wife is looking forward to getting back to her normal activities without having to look after me everyday," he said.
Eliphas is the fifth born in a family of seven children. He is in the third grade but has had to repeat grade levels due to the financial instability of the family. His older three siblings already had to drop out of school because they could not pay the fees and lacked food. Eliphas' father died in 2013, so his mother is a widow and has difficulty making ends meet. His mother works as a casual laborer, washing clothes in the neighborhood and sometimes farming for other people. She and her children live in a mud house on a small piece of land. Eliphas fell and sustained a left femur fracture. If Eliphas does not get the required treatment, he may develop an infection or lose the function of his leg. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is asking for your help to fund the cost of his treatment. Eliphas and his family need $1,130 to fund this mobility-restoring surgery. Eliphas' mother shared, “If my son gets help, I shall be very happy and appreciative."
Pheanith is a 19-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. Phearith and his wife have been married for two years and they have one young son. Everyday Phearith and his family go for a walk in the evening. He also likes playing football, listening to music on his phone. Two years ago, Pheanith injured the big toe on his left foot when a heavy object fell on it. He received treatment at a local hospital, but his wound did not heal. He received a second round of treatment at a local hospital two months later, but it was once again botched. The wound has become infected, and the infection is spreading through his foot. It is difficult for him to walk, and he experiences pain throughout his leg. He cannot currently work. When Pheanith learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for four hours seeking treatment. On May 12th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft procedure to to heal his chronic wound, and help him to walk more easily again. Now, Pheanith needs help to fund this $474 procedure. Phearith said, "I want so much to finally heal this wound and walk again. My family cannot do well if I cannot work and make money, so I am excited for the surgery."
Charles is 65-year-old farmer from Kapsaret Village in rural Kenya. He is a widower with ten children, all adults with their own rural families. Charles was brought to our hospital by his brother. He had sustained motorbike accident in early March when going home and fracture his right elbow. He was taken to hospital and given pain medications. The brother decided to bring him here for better treatment. An x-ray showed he had a closed fracture on the right elbow. If not operated Charles will continue to experience pain and the fracture may complicate further leading to malunion. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 5th, Charles will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The procedure will help him to regain normal function of his arm. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $998 to fund this procedure. “My family is not able to meet this cost and so I kindly request for support, so that my hand can be well and I can continue with my farming to sustain myself and support my children,” shared Charles.
Faraja is a two-year-old girl and the last born child in a family of two children in Tanzania. Faraja’s father works as a night guard and during the day he tries to seek casual laboring jobs like working on other people’s farms with his wife in order to supplement the little income he is able to get from his night guard job. Faraja has clubfoot of her right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Faraja traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Faraja's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk without difficulty. Faraja’s mother says, “Please help treat my daughter. We are not able to afford her treatment due to financial challenges.”
Philomena was diagnosed with ARM at birth. With this condition, the little one was found to lack an anal opening and instead was passing stool through her vagina. A few hours after birth, Philomena, one in a set of twins, was noted to have a distended abdomen. The doctor quickly checked on the baby and discovered she lacked an anal opening. To keep Philomena from getting a fistula, the doctors put in a colostomy at three days. Philomena’s parents paid for this through some family savings they had. When they left for home, Philomena’s twin sister developed a persistent cough which was later found to be a hole in the heart. "I have never felt this drained ever in my life. Since I gave birth I am always in hospitals with either one of my two babies,” says Philomena’s mother. Due to lack of finances, Philomena’s parents shared their plight with their church members and one of them advised that they visit Watsi Partner Care Center BethanyKids Hospital. At BethanyKids a surgery to create an anal opening has been recommended. If not treated, Philomena will not lead a normal life and will be forced to use a colostomy for life. The surgery is a cost Philomena’s parents cannot bear. Philomena’s father is a carpenter while her mother closed her grocery store to tend to the children. Together they have five children with three currently in school. With very limited income and having exhausted their savings, Philomena’s parents are not able to raise the funds needed. They had defaulted on paying the national health insurance premiums as they could not keep up, but they’ve been advised to try to maintain this coverage in the future given their family's health needs. “Please help us. It is quite a stressful time for us but we believe we will come from it as victors,” says Philomena’s mother.
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."
Khun is a 17-year-old from Cambodia. He enjoys listening to music, exercising, and he hopes to become a businessman when he gets older. Since 2015, Khun has experienced debilitating pain in both of his hips caused by osteoarthritis. He has to walk with crutches and dropped out of school because he was unable to sit in class for long periods of time. Fortunately, Khun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Khun of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for November 5th, and Khun needs help raising $1,025 to pay for this procedure. Khun's mother said, "I hope that after surgery, my son will be able to sit and walk without any difficulties, and I won't have to worry about his condition anymore."
Rebecca is a two-week-old baby girl from Tanzania who was born with spina bifida. She was delivered in a local hospital and referred to the district hospital for better management. Rebecca 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, Rebecca has been experiencing a swell on her back. Without treatment, Rebecca will experience severe physical and developmental delays. She had surgery recommended but her family was not able to raise the money needed. Rebecca's parents were referred to our facility by a friend where she was enrolled in the program for surgical funding. Rebecca's parents are peasant farmers. Their reliance on small scale farming limits their ability to raise sufficient funds for her treatment. They appeal for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Rebecca that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure will drain the excess fluid from Rebecca's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Rebecca will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Rebecca’s mother says, “our daughter needs this surgery but the cost if very high for us to afford please help us.”
Samwel is a child from Tanzania. He is the last born in a family of four children. He quite boy and shy in public. His father works a posho-mill shop (a local maize-mill) as the operator. He earns barely enough to support his family. Samwel’s mother is a stay home mother. Samwel was diagnosed with genu valgus. His legs bow inward so that his knees touch. 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 is unable to walk. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Samwel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 3rd. Treatment will hopefully restore Samwel's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Samwel’s mother says, “Please help my son get this treatment so that he may walk without difficulty or pain. “
She lives with her parents in Karen State, Burma. She now works at Kyaw Hta Rural Clinic, 45 minutes away by motorbike from her village and earns 70,000 Kyat (approx. 70 USD) per month. Her parents are farmers and their total income is 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month. Their income is just enough for their daily needs. Around eight years ago, Cherry developed pain in the right side of her abdomen. She went to the clinic near her village. At the clinic, the medic thought that she was suffering from normal stomachaches. Since the clinic did not have the necessary equipment to run diagnostic tests, the medic treated her for the pain. She received pain killers and when the pain was worse, a stronger does of pain killers through an injection. In May 2019, she was completing her training with Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), when the pain in her abdomen became worse. She received an ultrasound and painkillers at the clinic, before she was diagnosed with a renal stone in her right kidney. MTC then referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation and treatment. At the hospital, she received an X-ray, ultrasound and a blood test, as well as oral medication for the pain. After checking her results, the doctor confirmed her diagnosis and told her that she needs to receive laser treatment two to three times, to break up the stone in her kidney. She received her first round of laser treatment on 7 August 2019. To pay for that, she had to borrow money from her supervisor and her neighbor. She was scheduled to undergo a second round of treatment on 18 September 2019, but she could no longer afford to pay. Luckily, MTC referred her to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing further treatment. Currently, Cherry still has pain in the right side of her abdomen. She is interested in the field of medicine and enjoys learning new things related to this field in her free time.