Van joined Watsi on April 9th, 2015. Six years ago, Van joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Van's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Nan, peaceful grandfather from Cambodia, for vision-restoring cataract surgery.
Van has funded healthcare for 79 patients in 10 countries.
Van has funded healthcare for 79 patients in 10 countries.
Nan is a 66-year-old rice farmer with two daughters, five sons, and 13 grandchildren. Nan lives with his wife who is a grocery seller and their daughter who is a farmer. These days, Nan can not go to the rice field because of his poor vision. He likes to listen to the news on the radio and watch boxing on TV. Three years ago, Nan developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him photophobia and blurry vision. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Nan learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On August 10th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Nan said, "I hope after surgery I can see well again. I want to visit the pagoda, plant vegetables around my house, and help my wife sell groceries."
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.”
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."
Godwin is a two-year-old baby boy and the first born child in a family of two children. Godwin's parents are small scale farmers of maize and vegetables, which is what their family relies on mainly for food. Earlier this year Godwin's father traveled to Kenya to try making a living by selling Maasai sandals, belts and beads. He is able to send back some money once in a while. In the past three weeks, Godwin's mother noticed that Godwin has not been himself. He's having pain and cries a lot. Godwin has been diagnosed with inguinal hernia, a condition in which soft tissue bulges through a weak point in the abdominal muscles. Fortunately, on July 4th, Godwin is scheduled to undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $566 to fund Godwin's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will allow him to live more comfortably. Godwin’s mother shares, "My baby is usually in pain when the area swells up. Please help him get this treatment for we are not able to afford the cost."
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.”
Titus is a shy 12-year-old boy and the oldest of three siblings. His mother is a single mother who works in the laundry business. His mother's work has unfortunately been affected by the pandemic, so recently Titus has been staying with his aunt as she is able to provide the family with some extra support. On Wednesday, April 14th, Titus sustained a severe injury to his left fingers after a machete fell while he was fetching firewood from the forest with his friends. His aunt brought him to the hospital where he received an X-ray, which revealed a fracture. A cast was placed to stabilize the fracture and realign the normal position of the bone as he waits for surgery. Titus requires help so that he can undergo surgery. His family is asking anyone reading his son’s story to support her raise the amount needed for his treatment. Titus's aunt said, “Titus is in a lot of pain, I hope he gets treated and feels better and is well again.”
Salim is an 18-year-old student and the oldest in a family of two children, with a younger sister who is seven years old. His mother hawks mandazi (fried dough) for a living and sometimes sells cosmetics to supplement the family's income. Their family lives together in a single room. Salim has profound hearing loss in his right ear and severe sensorineural hearing loss in his left ear. When he was two years old, Salim's mother discovered that he was unable to speak well and that he had a small wound on his right ear. Salim has visited several healthcare facilities through the years for treatment and speech therapy, but he still has difficulty hearing and communicating. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Salim to get a hearing aid for his left ear. He is scheduled to receive his treatment and be fitted for the hearing aid on March 23rd. Now, his family needs help raising $748 to fund the cost of this care and device. Salim's mother shared, “his hearing condition and speech problem are affecting his studies, and he is always sad and secluded. He is suspicious and scared of making friends. He needs this hearing aid to hear his teachers in school.”
Mary is an eight-year-old student from Kenya. She is a quiet and humble girl and the second born in a family of three. Mary's father is separated and she lives with her grandmother. Her grandmother is a farmer, while her father is currently unemployed. Mary has clubfoot of her right foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Mary traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Mary's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Mary's grandmother shared, "it is my joy and desire to see my namesake granddaughter walking without any difficulty. Any help will be highly appreciated."
Baby of Stumai is a 27-day-old old baby boy from Tanzania. He is the last born child in a family of three children. His father sells fruits by the roadside in order to support his family, while his mother takes care of their home. Baby of Stumai 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, Baby of Stumai 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 Foundation, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Baby of Stumai's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 3rd. This procedure will hopefully spare Baby of Stumai from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Baby of Stumai's mother shared, “We have been informed that our son needs surgery to correct his condition, which is putting his life at risk but we can’t afford the cost. Please help us.”
Philemon is a 22-year-old motorcycle driver and a student from Kenya. He studies economics at Kabianga University and works as a motorcycle driver during his holidays so that he can raise school fees and upkeep money when he returns to college. In his family of eight children, Philemon is the second eldest. His parents are farmers in the village who grow maize, but their income is limited to support the entire family. Philemon is motivated to work hard so that he can support his siblings and build a better house for his parents when he is done with schooling. On November 29th, 2020, Philemon was in a motorcycle accident at the local market. His motorcycle's brakes malfunctioned, and he fell on the luggage he was carrying. Philemon came to the hospital with pain on his tibia fibular and left ankle joint. Currently, he cannot walk on his own and is in great pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 7th, Philemon will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal and walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Philemon shared, “I want to get treated so that I can resume school, and be able to complete school on time and be able to support my siblings.”
Thomas is a 45-year-old laborer from Uganda who came to Kenya in search of a livelihood. He is the oldest child in a family of 5 children. His mother passed in 2005, and his father left the family, which forced him to come to Kenya to search for a job. Thomas has four children aged between 4 and 17 years of age. They currently live with their mother. In November, Thomas suffered right tibia and humerus fractures after being knocked by a hit and run vehicle. While crossing the road along the Nakuru-Nairobi highway, he was hit by a vehicle that took off immediately. Left unconscious, he could not remember subsequent events, but he was rushed to the hospital and admitted. As a result of the accident, Thomas cannot move nor use his hand and leg, and is in constant pain. He cannot move on his own and needs a wheelchair to move around. For the last three weeks, Thomas has been bedridden, and has had no visitors because none of his family can be reached. Doctors recommended a humerus ORIF surgery to correct the fracture. Though he was scheduled for surgery, it was cancelled because he was unable to raise money. Thomas normally works as a casual laborer, loading and off-loading building stones, at a construction site along the highway. His daily income is about $USD3 a day and generally inconsistent, depending on the availability of work. Thomas is still financially supporting his children, and he does not have medical insurance coverage. He appeals for financial help for his cost of care. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 8th, Thomas will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow him to walk with ease and also use his hand with ease. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund his life-changing procedure. Thomas shared, “I am unable to move nor use my arm since the accident. Doctors recommended this surgery but I have not been able to get it because I don’t have money. I have been unable to contact my family or friends back at home, and I am all alone with no one to turn to.”
Aaron is a five-year-old boy, the 3rd and last born child in his family. Aaron is talkative and likes playing with other children. His father is a farmer while his mother is a housewife and also a farmer. They live in a one-roomed traditional grass-thatched house in Kenya. Aaron has a condition called clubfoot on his right foot, which causes his foot to be twisted out of shape. This condition causes difficulty with walking and even with wearing shoes. Fortunately, Aaron traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital, to seek care. On November 15th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on Aaron. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund his clubfoot repair procedure. After treatment, Aaron will be able to walk easily and wear shoes normally and comfortably. Josphat, Aaron's father, shared, “I am humbly requesting for help to enable my son to undergo surgery. We would love to see him walk like other children.”