Jeremy joined Watsi on December 9th, 2014. Eight years ago, Jeremy joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jeremy's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Kasotot, a cheerful 68-year-old woman from Kenya, to fund surgery to heal her burned foot so that she can walk without pain.
Jeremy has funded healthcare for 99 patients in 12 countries.
Jeremy has funded healthcare for 99 patients in 12 countries.
Kasotot is a cheerful 68-year-old woman from the arid region of Baringo County in Kenya. She is a widow and mother of seven children who are all grown. She lives with her youngest son and grandson. The main economic activity in the area is livestock herding of cattle, sheep, and goats. It is a challenging life, affected by insecurity, cattle rustling, and a lack of schools and other services. Most people barter with their neighboring communities for food and/or sell their animals in order to get money for food. Kasotot has no knowledge of medical insurance, and lives in a place full of hardships with no opportunity to do any saving. Kasotot suffers from epilepsy and last month she had a seizure that made her fall into the fire and burn her foot. She went to the closest hospital for treatment. Her wound condition worsened with time and when she went back to the hospital it was already infected. The facility was small, and was unable to provide the needed treatment, so she was referred to Kapsowar Hospital. Upon examination, she was admitted for urgent debridement, or deep cleaning of the wound. Kasotot is currently confined to a wheelchair, thus not able to work. Her wound is now clean after a successful wound debridement, but she requires a free tissue flap in order to reconstruct her burned foot and quicken her healing. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Kasotot receive treatment. On November 7th, surgeons will perform surgery so Kasotot will be able to walk, work and provide for herself so as to not overly burden her son and grandson. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,478 procedure. Kasotot says, “I have really burdened my son and grandson now that I cannot walk on my own. It really hurts when all they can do is look after me while I cannot help them as I did before. Kindly help me so that we can be together in order to bring food to our table and strive together to get our basic needs.”
U Tin is a 36-year-old man, living with his mother on the western coast of Burma. U Tin’s mother is retired and helps with household chores. U Tin works in a photo studio, printing photos and wedding invitations. Through this, his monthly income is just enough to pay for their basic living expenses. One year ago, U Tin started to experience pain in his lower left abdomen. Thinking that the pain would go away, U Tin relied on traditional medicine and pain medication. In February, the pain increased, but U Tin could not afford to seek treatment at a hospital. Instead, he purchased more pain medication from a pharmacy, which helped ease his discomfort somewhat. However in April, the pain became so severe that he could no longer work. He borrowed money from his friend, and went to a hospital. The doctor examined him, and diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia. When the doctor told him the surgery would cost 1,200,000 kyat (approx. $1,200 USD), U Tin told the doctor he could not afford to pay such a sum, and he returned home still feeling unwell. A few days later, U Tin told his neighbour about his problem, and she suggested that he seek treatment at Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where care is more affordable. He followed his neighbour’s advice, and went to MCLH, where the doctor confirmed his diagnosis and the need for surgery. When U Tin explained that he could not afford to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, for assistance in accessing the treatment he needs. Currently, U Tin is experiencing severe pain, and he cannot sit or stand for any length of time. Fortunately, he is now scheduled for surgery on May 24th, and Burma Children Medical Fund is requesting $807 to cover the cost of U Tin's hernia repair treatment. U Tin said: “I would like to recover. I am worried that I will not be able to work and take care of my mother. When I recover, I will go continue to work [at the shop] and pay back the money I borrowed from my friends.”
Vicheth is a 40-year-old man who works along side his wife as tailors. Together they have one daughter. Vicheth enjoys listening to music while he works and spending time at home with his family. About twenty years ago, Vicheth had a severe ear infection that caused the tympanic membrane, or the eardrum, in his right ear to perforate. As a result, Vicheth still experiences ear discharge and tinnitus. He has tried different medicines but none have alleviated his pain or symptoms. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Vicheth receive treatment. On May 4th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in his right ear, during which surgeons will close the perforation. CSC is requesting $487 to fund this procedure, which covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Vicheth's family was able to gather $100 to contribute to his medical care. Vicheth says, "I hope my ear heals quickly and I am able to hear well and not have any more discharge."
Rehiwilzahra is a sweet toddler from Haiti. She lives in Port-au-Prince with her mother, father, and three older siblings. Rehiwilzahra likes watching cartoons and playing with her older siblings. Rehiwilzahra has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This heart condition involves several related heart defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These defects prevent blood from circulating properly through the lungs leaving Rehiwilzahra weak and short of breath. The surgery Rehiwilzahra needs to heal is not available in Haiti, so she will need to fly to the Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery to close the hole in her heart with a patch and remove the blockage from her valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance is helping Rehiwilzahra's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This amount also supports passport obtainment and the social workers to accompany Rehiwilzahra's family overseas. Rehiwilzahra's mother shared, "We have been praying for a long time for a solution to our daughter's heart problem. We are very thankful to everyone who is helping her!"
Gladys is a strong, hardworking mother from Kenya who is raising her five children on her own. Her oldest child is 14 years old, while her youngest is only three. To support her family, she works as a casual laborer plucking tea. She currently lives in a single-room rental house, which costs Ksh.1200 (~10 USD) per month. Gladys shares that her income is inconsistent and not enough to cover her needed medical treatment. She also does not have active medical coverage and currently has a large accrued bill due to her recent hospital admission. Recently, Gladys was involved in a road traffic accident that caused several fractures. One of the fractures she sustained in this accident was of her left tibia. As a result of this injury, she is currently unable to walk. In order to properly heal her fracture, she must undergo an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) procedure. She also has facial fractures, which will require another ORIF later the same week. However, undergoing an ORIF for her fractured tibia is the current priority. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 8th, Gladys will undergo fracture repair surgery so she can walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Gladys says, “I cannot walk and my face is in pain. I am the only breadwinner of the family, and I cannot work if my leg is broken. All my five children depend on me for upkeep and survival. I need this treatment to get back on my feet.”
Chrismarlie is a 13-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three siblings in a city on the northern coast of Haiti. Her father is a school administrator, and her mother is a homemaker. Chrismarlie shared that she enjoys going to school and listening to music with her friends. Chrismarlie has a cardiac condition called pulmonic stenosis, which means one of her heart valves is too tight, making it difficult for blood to pass through and leading to heart failure. The surgery that she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately, Chrismarlie will be able to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 29th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which the surgeons will widen the heart valve so that blood can flow through it more easily. Chrismarlie's family is raising funds to cover the costs of her surgery prep, as our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is contributing funds to help cover the cost of surgery. The $1,500 will support her surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-ups and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Chrismarlie and her family overseas. Chrismarlie said, "I would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to fix my heart problem!"
Lucas is a teenage boy and the third born out of seven children born to his mother. He is currently in the fifth grade in primary school and shared that his best subjects are social studies, Mathematics and Swahili. He likes playing football with his friends, but he has difficulty playing freely. When Lucas was a baby, he fell into an open fireplace and his left leg was burned severely. Although he had surgery then, burns scars (contractures) developed on his leg at the knee joint. They cause tightening around the joint making it hard for him to walk. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Lucas receive treatment. On May 10th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him walk easily again. Now, he needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Lucas says, "I will be very happy if I get this treatment since I will be able to play football with my friends and also walk well."
Abdunasir is beautiful toddler from Ethiopia. He loves to play with his mom and dad. They shared that he is already smart and fast, and loves to run and play. Abdulnasir is the first child to his parents. Abdunasir's mom is a homemaker but sometimes she helps washing people’s clothes for income. His dad is a traditional farmer. Their home area has been drought-affected for many years and shared that they can’t sustain the family from their harvest. Their basic needs are supported by well-wishers and support from the government. Abdunasir was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of future complications. His mom is worried and concerned because of his condition. She said “I showed friends and family the case seeking explanation and help. Then I took him to many hospitals. Finally, I found out about BKMCM and brought him here.” Fortunately, Abdunasir is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on May 10th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His mom told us, “After the treatment I hope my boy will heal. I will feed other poor people if my child heals. And I will bless all those who support us.”
Blessings is a beautiful 5-month-old girl and the only child in her young family. Her mother hopes to return to finishing school once Blessings is stronger and healthier. Blessings’s grandmother has stopped working to help take care of her grandchild and their family relies on Blessings’s grandfather who is employed as a gardener. Blessings 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, Blessings has been experiencing increasing head circumference. Her mother gathered some funds with the help of Blessing’s grandmother and took her to a hospital. She was examined and the doctor requested a scan. At that moment their family did not have any money for the scan and they had to go home without knowing the way forward. While at home, they gathered more funds and went to another facility. Blessings was examined again and a scan was done. This center then referred their family to another facility in Nairobi for treatment. They shared that they went back home with the hopes of Blessings getting treated crushed as they could not afford the treatment that she needed. Thankfully, our medical partner's mobile clinic team visited the area where a relative referred them to their clinic. Blessings was examined and referred to BethanyKids Hospital, where she can finally undergo surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Blessings that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 6th and will drain the excess fluid from Blessings's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Blessings will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Blessings’s mother says, “I would like my child to be treated so that she is healthy and I can go back to school."
Sa is a 36-year-old woman who likes to sew clothes. She also enjoys doing household chores and making delicious curries. Her husband is a nightguard at a hospital. Since 2015, Sa started to experience pain in her back and her pelvic area. Since December, her pain has worsened which makes it hard for her to sleep. She shared that she is feeling increasingly worried and depressed since she first experienced the pain and realized that she was unwell. Watsi donors helped support a CT scan and doctors have now diagnosed her with bilateral ovarian cancer. To help treat her condition, her doctors advised Sa to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Sa's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Sa is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on February 25th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she is hopeful that she'll no longer be in pain and will have a better shot at recovering from cancer. Sa said, "I was very worried when I heard that I needed surgery and that it would cost a lot of money. I was worried that if the donors stopped helping me, where would I come up with enough money to pay for my surgery. I could not sleep last night, constantly worrying about my treatment cost. When I called BCMF's staff and they told me that donors could pay for my surgery, I felt so much better. Thank you everyone for helping me."
Jules is a beautiful fifth-grade girl from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, cousins, and her several siblings in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. She enjoys art, listening to music, and spending time with her friends. Jules was born with a congenital circulatory malformation that entails a hole in-between two major blood vessels near her heart. As a result, blood leaks through the hole without passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, which leaves her feeling sickly and weak. Jules needs surgery to treat her condition. To do this, doctors will use a catheter probe device to plug the hole, which will prevent blood from continuing to leak through it. Fortunately on February 15th, Jules will have surgery at our medical partner's care center, Clinica Corominas. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is asking for $1,500 to help fund Jules' surgery. A non-profit organization, Gift of Life International, has generously subsidized $5,000 to also help fund her treatment costs. After surgery, Jules will be able to go to school and play with her friends without feeling sick, tired, and uncomfortable. Jules' mother says, "Our family is very excited that Jules will have her heart fixed soon!"
James is a bright young student and his family shared that he has been through a lot surgically and medically. His teacher has been worried recently since he has been missing classes and when in school he keeps to himself and does not want to play or interact with other students. James successfully survived chemo treatment after he was diagnosed with a sacrococcygeal mass that was malignant, but still needs treatment for cryptorchidism - a condition in which the testicles remain undescended. If left untreated, James has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. James will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on January 6th. AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. James' mother shared, “Our kid fought through chemo successfully, we are happy about that. But his problems keep recurring, and it’s affecting his studies. He needs another surgery but he is strong. All shall be well.”