George joined Watsi on July 13th, 2015. Five years ago, George joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. George's most recent donation traveled 8,100 miles to support Baraka, a teenager and loving big brother from Tanzania, to fund surgery so he can walk again.
George has funded healthcare for 15 patients in 5 countries.
George has funded healthcare for 15 patients in 5 countries.
Baraka is a teenager and the oldest in his family of four. He currently studies in class six. Bakara's mother practices small-scale farming of maize, sorghum, and millet to provide food for the family. Baraka and his mother both experience epilepsy, and Bakara had a seizure that led to an accident. He suffered severe burns to his right leg and is unable to straighten his leg at the knee due to the burn contractures. Bakara can only walk with the use of a walking stick. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Baraka receive treatment. On June 7th, surgeons will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him walk easily. AMH is requesting $874 to help fund this procedure. Baraka says, “I would be so happy if I can have a chance to walk normally.”
Ko Kyaw lives with his wife and two daughters in the border region of Tak Province in Thailand. He is a homemaker while his wife works as a day laborer. He plans to send his older daughter to a Thai school in the new school year, but his younger daughter is still too young to go to school. In early 2021, Kyaw was still living in his village in Myawaddy Township in Burma but it has been a very challenging time for his community ever since the military coup. He and his wife were injured in an emergency involving the local soldiers who came to their area. Luckily other villagers came to their rescue and Kyaw was treated for fractures on both his upper and lower leg, where a metal rod was inserted to help him heal. Now the bone in his thigh is misshapen and doctors have diagnosed osteomyelitis (infected bone). His doctor told him that in order to heal, he would need to have the metal rods replaced in both his upper and lower leg. Currently, Kyaw’s left leg is in a lot of pain. He can only bend his leg slightly and needs to use crutches to get around. With his leg in pain, Ko Kyaw spends most of his time helping out with household chores he can do and teaching his oldest daughter how to read and write in Burmese. He feels frustrated that since his leg was broken, he cannot support his family. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund is helping to pay the cost of his treatment and is raising $1500 to cover his surgery, which will take place on May 10th. “I feel upset that I cannot support my family as the head of the house,” he said. “We only have my wife’s income. We do not have our own house to live in. I want to say a lot of things but I cannot express what I want to say. I never thought that I would lose my house, my possessions and that my leg would be in pain.”
Naw En is a 31-year-old woman who lives with her husband, two sons and parents in a village in Karen State near the border of Burma and Thailand. Her husband and parents are subsistence farmers. Naw En is a village health worker, and her two sons are primary school students in the village. Although she earns around 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month to support her family, she does whatever she can to only charge the villagers she treats for medications provided. Those who cannot afford to pay for the cost of medications are provided medication free of charge. Her family also raises chickens and pigs for their family to eat. The income Naw En earns is just enough to cover their daily expenses, but they have to borrow money to pay for anything else, like basic health care. Naw En learned she was pregnant last August 2021. She went to register her pregnancy at nearby Hlaingbwe Hospital, but the doctor told her to go to Hpa-An General Hospital when she told them that she had high blood pressure and previously needed a c-section delivery. When she went to Hpa-An General Hospital, a nurse told her to go to Taw Win Thu Ka Hospital because they were understaffed due to the coup and humanitarian crisis in their area. Finally, she then registered her pregnancy at Taw Win Thu Ka Hospital last November and received an ultrasound, blood test and urine test. The doctor gave her monthly follow-up appointments to check her high blood pressure and to check that her baby is in the right position. In January, Naw En learned that she will have a girl. “I was very happy to hear this as I already have two sons,” she said. Her doctor has now told her that she will need another c-section to ensure a safe delivery and unable to come up with the money needed, Naw En called her friend who works in Mae Sot to ask for help. Her friend told her about our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and that she may be able to find assistance in accessing her treatment. Currently, Naw En is taking medication for high blood pressure and feels tired when she walks. She can feel her baby kicking. When her blood pressure is high, she feels dizzy. She feels stressed each time she has to travel to the hospital, as it is located four hours from her home and cost 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) just for the round-trip transportation. She is also worried about the cost of her c-section and that they would have to borrow money if they cannot find donors. In the future, she will continue to work as a village health worker. In her free times, she loves to spend time with her two sons and play with them. Naw En said, “I was happy when BCMF staff told me that donors will help pay for my c-section. Thank you so much to the donors for reliving me of my worries.” She also added, “I am very happy and excited to have a baby girl!”
Thein is a 56-year-old man who lives with his family in a refugee camp. Two of his daughters and his son-in-law work as seasonal workers outside of the camp, while Thein and his wife look after their three grandchildren, send them to school, and care for the household chores. In January, Thein was diagnosed with a cataract in his right eye and an early cataract in his left eye. Currently, he cannot see with his right eye, as his vision is blurry, and the vision in his left eye is also beginning to blur. As a result, Thein cannot walk easily and relies on a bamboo staff to help stabilize him as he tries to avoid tripping on any objects in his path. He shared that he feels discomforted and like he is living in darkness. Fortunately, Thein was able to visit our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), and they can help him heal. On March 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Thein shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will help my family plant and water vegetables around the house. It can save us money from buying the vegetables. I can help send my grandchildren to school and pick them up in the evening. I will also be able to visit my friend.”
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!"
Florence is a loving mother of seven. She and her husband work as small-scale farmers and live in a grass-thatched home with their family. Her husband also takes on masonry work to help earn more income. Over a decade ago, Florence began to experience troubling symptoms, including a swelling on her neck. After she gave birth to her last-born child, she visited a local health center where doctors determined she was experiencing a pregnancy-related condition that would heal soon. However, Florence’s symptoms never improved, and the swelling increased over time. When Florence learned about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), and their successful thyroid removal treatments, she visited AMH care center for review. Doctors diagnosed her condition as a multinodular goiter, which is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. Florence will need surgery to address her symptoms and ensure she can finally heal. Fortunately, Florence will undergo a thyroidectomy on January 10th at AMH’s care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $936 to fund Florence’s procedure. Florence shared, “I would like to have my strength back again. My children need my efforts as a mother.”
Cornelius is a 15-year-old student and a social and friendly boy. He's the last born in a family of four children. Cornelius's mother is a widow and does farming on her small piece of land to earn a living and provide for the family. Cornelius has a condition on his right foot that inhibits his movements, makes wearing shoes hard, and causes pain while walking. Fortunately, Cornelius traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform surgery on December 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Cornelius's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk well, wear shoes and play with his friends and continue with his studies uninterrupted. However, his family is not financially able to fund the surgery and is appealing for financial assistance. Cornelius said, "I feel pain when I'm walking. I hope the surgery makes it less painful for me to be able to put on shoes and to walk well without straining anymore."
Nancy is a single lady who currently lives with her sister after she losing her job as a cashier during COVID. She lost both her parents a few years ago and has been mostly raised by relatives. Nancy was involved in a road accident two weeks ago and sustained multiple injuries and fractures. She is feeling very grateful to have seen another day after the road accident left three people dead. She is in pain and is not able to use her hands or her legs. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 10th, Nancy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. She be able to heal completely and use her limbs again after therapy. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Nancy says, "I am grateful to be alive today. I almost lost my life but God is great. Although I fractured my leg and hands, I got another chance in life. Luckily, these surgeries will help me get back on my feet and use my hands.”
Yasir is a two-year-old baby boy and the only child in his family. His mother is a homemaker and his father works as a taxi driver to earn money for their family. They have been having a hard time financially and haven't been able to take Yasir to any hospital for treatment before now. As a result, they usually use pain-relieving medication from the pharmacy to help him feel better. Yasir has now been diagnosed with a bilateral genu varus. His legs bow outward so that they do not 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 has a hard time walking and playing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Yasir. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 7th and will help restore Yasir's mobility. In addition, it will allow him to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Yasir’s mother says, “We are struggling financially that’s why we have not been able to seek treatment for our son. Please help us so that he can have his legs corrected because he is having difficulty walking.”
Evans works hard as a motorcycle taxi driver. He's the second-born in a family of five and had to drop out of school in grade 8 after his parents were unable to pay his secondary school fees. He opted to take a “Boda boda” (motorcycle taxi) job so that he could support his siblings and his children. Evans has two children that he works hard to provide for and he hopes to get married in the future. Now, he worries about not walking again. He is a hardworking and industrious man who makes ends meet for his young children. Two days ago, Evans sustained a traumatic right femur and tibia fracture after he was involved in a road traffic accident. He was rushed to the hospital for x-rays. Because he had an open wound on his femur, Evans was taken to the operating room for emergency washout surgery. A cast was placed and he was admitted to the surgical ward as doctors plan for his care. Evans is unable to walk or lift his right leg due to the fractures. He is worried that he'll continue lying in the hospital bed in a lot of pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH) can help. On September 7th, Evans will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). Evans will heal and be able to work. He'll be able to fend for himself and help out his family and children. AMH is requesting $1247 to fund this procedure. Being single and without a proper job, Evans has very little to help him undergo this surgery. He has come out to ask well-wishers to help him raise money for his surgery so that he can walk again and continue supporting his family. Evans says, “If I could be walking now, I could be out there looking for a job and supporting my family. I have faith that I will walk again."
Samson is a 26-year-old minibus conductor. He shared with us that he was orphaned in 2008 and currently lives with a relative in a rented two room house. He has relied on his older sister to help with his medical bills, but unfortunately, his sister lost her job due to the pandemic. Two months ago, Samson was struck by a motorcycle on his way home. He fractured his left tibia and was seen at a hospital in Nairobi where his leg was casted. However, after removing the cast, re-examining his leg and doing an x-ray, surgery was recommended as he had not healed. Samson currently moves around with crutches due to difficulty walking and he continues to experience leg pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On August 10th, Samson will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help his fractures fully heal and allow him to walk comfortably again. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Samson shared, "I am struggling to walk and my leg is so painful. I cannot work in this condition and unless I get the treatment I'm worried I might end up crippled.”
Robson is a friendly and calm baby. He is the youngest sibling of the family, and they all live in an urban settlement in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. Robson's mother takes care of their family and home while his father used to be a cook, but was laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While his mother was outside washing clothes, Robson was in his grandmother’s grass-thatched house in their village. Suddenly, a mattress caught fire, causing burns on Robson's face and fingers. The burns led to contractures on the fingers, so that Robson is unable to hold things and use his fingers well. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is helping Robson receive treatment. On July 17th, surgeons from the care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. Now, AMH is requesting $840 to help fund this procedure. “I hope and pray that with the assistance accorded to my son, he will be able to hold things and start crawling with support as he learns to walk,” Robson’s mother told us.