tapani joined Watsi on March 18th, 2014. Six years ago, tapani joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. tapani's most recent donation traveled 4,300 miles to support Hilowie, a sixth grader from Kenya, to fund burn treatment so she can use her arm.
tapani has funded healthcare for 71 patients in 10 countries.
tapani has funded healthcare for 71 patients in 10 countries.
Hilowie is a social 13-year-old girl, and she is the fourth born in a family of five children. Hilowie is a sixth grade student and likes to read storybooks. Her favorite subjects are English and Kiswahili. Her mother is a businesswoman who has a small shop which she operates in the village, and her father passed away 12 years ago when Hilowie was very young. Hilowie suffered burns when she was only four months old in a house fire. She sustained joint injuries known as contractures on her left hand, and until today the contractures have never improved. Currently, she cannot raise her hand or work at home, and this has greatly affected her studies. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Hilowie receive treatment. On June 28th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery so Hilowie will be able to use her hand, help around the house, and concentrate on her studies. Now, her family needs help to fund this $840 procedure. “I would love my hand to be straightened so that I can continue with my studies and as well help my mother at home,” Hilowie told us.
Phalla is a 29-year-old construction worker, who is married and has two daughters. His nine-year-old daughter is in 3rd grade and his six-year-old daughter just started school. Phalla's wife works as a farmer. On April 29th, 2021, Phalla was in a motorcycle accident that injured and dislocated his right elbow. He is in pain and unable to move or use his right arm. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help him. On June 2nd, Phalla will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will restore mobility to his arm so that he can use it normally again. Phalla shared, "I'm hoping I can use my arm better so I can return to work as soon as possible."
Naw Kwee Moo is a 54-year-old woman from the Karen region in Burma, who lives with her husband and their family in a refugee camp. Of her children, three daughters and three sons still live in the refugee camp along with them near the Thai-Burma border. Naw Kwee is a homemaker and her husband is currently too ill to work. Five of their children go to school in the camp, four other children have moved away, and her second oldest son graduated from a post-secondary program in May 2020. He worked as an agricultural day laborer at a nearby Thai village until mid-December 2020. Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, he was no longer allowed to leave the camp. Naw Kwe’s household receives a monthly cash card to purchase basic rations. Although they receive free education and basic health care in the camp, they shared how hard it is to make ends meet. Starting four years ago, Naw Kwee often went to the camp’s hospital run by Malteser International (MI) Thailand to receive treatment for urinary tract infections (UTI). Most of the time, she would feel better after taking medication, but she was no longer able to work as an agricultural day laborer because of her pain. Over the next few years, she was diagnosed with chronic UTI. “I think my condition was caused from consuming dirty water,” she said. “When I worked as a day laborer, we had no access to clean water.” Naw Kwee received antibiotics through an intravenous (IV) line at the camp’s hospital. When her condition did not improve, a doctor at the camp’s hospital referred her again to Mae Sariang Hospital in March 2020. There she received a urine test and an x-ray of her kidneys, ureters and bladder. She was finally diagnosed with a right kidney stone. After multiple visits, the doctor at Mae Sariang Hospital referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further treatment. However, Naw Kwee could not travel to CMH for a while due to travel restrictions after the outbreak of Covid-19. Finally, last June medical staff from her camp were able to bring Naw Kwee to Chiang Mai. During her appointment, the doctor scheduled her to undergo an intravenous pyelogram on July 16th, 2020. After she received a diagnostic test, she returned to CMH for her follow-up appointment on November 19th, 2020. During her appointment, she received more tests and it was at her next appointment Naw Kwee was told she needed to undergo multiple rounds of laser treatment to break up the stone in her kidney. She received her first round of laser treatment on February 11th, 2021. Two days later, she developed a fever and could only pass a bit of urine. She also started to experience severe back pain and other troubling symptoms. MI staff took her back to the hospital where she received an ultrasound. The nurse shared with her that after her laser treatment, the stones had broken up and many of them where now stuck in her ureter, creating a blockage. She now needs emergency surgery to remove the stones. Our Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to support her surgery and finally relieve her of her painful condition.
Stephanie is a seven-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her aunt, uncle, and three cousins in a rural area in far southwestern Haiti. She enjoys going to school and church. Stephanie has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects, including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Stephanie will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On April 9th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in Stephanie's heart with a patch and remove the blockage from her valve. Another organization, Akron Children's Hospital, is contributing $17,000 to pay for surgery. Stephanie'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 Stephanie's family overseas. Stephanie's aunt shared, "we have been waiting a very long time for this surgery and are relieved it can finally happen!"
Abiudi is a 1-year-old baby boy. He is a charming baby and the last born in a family of five children. Abiudi's family lives in an important agricultural area in the central part of Tanzania, and his parents are small scale farmers of maize, vegetables, and sunflowers They depend entirely on what they harvest from their farm for their daily living and supporting their family. Abiudi has a mass that has developed on his left mandible. The mass first appeared when he was six months old as a small swelling, and has been growing since then. His parents sought treatment for him at a local hospital, and doctors determined the mass needs to be removed. He currently experiences a lot of pain and discomfort. Abiudi traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 4th, surgeons will remove the mass, and once recovered he will continue to grow up as a happy, healthy boy. Now, Abiudi's family needs help to raise $724 to fund this procedure. Abiudi’s mother shared, “We have struggled a lot trying to seek treatment for our son, but without success. Kindly help treat our son as he is suffering.”
Isaya is a 16-year-old teenager from Tanzania. He is the firstborn child in a family of three children. Isaya never had the chance to join school due to his parent’s financial challenges. Despite not going to school, Isaya has been a very hardworking young man who helps his father look after the cattle. Isaya was born healthy and his growth has been normal, until last year when he noticed his right leg was bending inwards. He says the bend was very slight but over time it has increased significantly. Isaya has been walking over a long distance in search of green pasture for his father's cattle. However, due to his leg, Isaya can no longer go out with the cattle. Isaya was diagnosed with right genu valgus, or bowleggedness. His leg is bowed 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 in pain and discomfort after walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Isaya. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Isaya's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Isaya shared, “I am unable to carry out my daily chores because of my leg. Please help me get this treatment so that I can return home and help my parents.”
Jayden is 2-year-old baby boy from Kiambu County, Kenya. He is the second born in a family of two children. His mother is a housewife, while his father does casual work as a mason. Jayden was born with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. When he was a few months old, his mother noticed that she could not feel his testes, but ultimately the family did not bring him in to a doctor. Recently, his grandmother also noticed this, which led to Jayden being brought to the hospital. There, doctors ordered a scan that showed bilateral undescended testicles, and they recommend Jayden has an orchidopexy surgery to correct the condition. If left untreated, Jayden has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. However, this procedure is costly for Jayden and his family. Jayden's father earns just enough income to support his family's basic needs. He is not able to afford Jayden's surgery, and appeals for financial support. Jayden will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on January 5th. AMHF is requesting $483 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Jayden's mother shared, “Although we don’t go to church, I pray to God that our son may have this support and get successful treatment so that he may have a normal future like other boys.”
Naomi is a 6-year-old girl from Tanzania and the youngest to her mother who has five children. Naomi's father is polygamous with three wives with a total of thirteen children in their family. Her parents have a few cattle which they depend on for daily living. Naomi is a playful girl and always wants to take part in daily home activities, but most of the time she can't due to her disability and how much she struggles using her hand. At the age of four months, Naomi was left by her mother sleeping as she went outside. She had left a fire burning close to the bed to keep their hut warm when Naomi rolled and fell into it. Her mother heard her cry and ran to her rescue. She sustained severe burns around her head and face, left hand, left foot, and around her stomach. Currently, she can’t use her left hand because it has contracted from the burn scar making it impossible for her to straighten and use it. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Naomi receive treatment. On December 1st, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. She will be able to straighten her hand and use it after she heals from surgery. Now, her family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Naomi’s mother shared: “My daughter is very hard working but her hand limits her a lot and I feel bad seeing her struggling to carry out her daily life activities. Please help treat her.”
Eustase is a 40-year-old man from Kenya. He is married and has three children aged 16, 10, and 5 years of age. All of his children are currently in school. Eustase was involved in a tragic road accident while on a boda-boda (motocycle taxi) drive. Rushing to pick up a client, Eustase was sandwiched between a lorry and a matatu (public service van) on a highway a few kilometres from his home town. The driver was trying to pass Eustase when the lorry hit him. He sustained serious injuries that rendered him unconscious. Well-wishers rushed him to a nearby hospital for first aid and review and later to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital. After several tests and an x-ray, he was diagnosed with a right tibia fracture. Doctors recommended a series of surgeries by both orthopaedic and plastic surgery teams. So far, Eustase has gone through three surgeries. Unless he undergoes the complete series of surgeries scheduled, he is at risk of not being able to walk or work. Eustase has already undergone right femur IM nailing and tibia ex-fix; debridement of his wounds and skin grafting; and 1st stage bone transport surgeries in an attempt to normalize his life. Currently, he is able to walk with crutches, and has been under close review by the plastic and orthopaedic teams. Next, Eustase is scheduled to undergo a second stage bone transport to enable his bones to heal normally and allow him to gain strength to walk. However, these procedures are very costly for Eustase and his family. He runs a boda-boda business to make a living and feed his family, but his daily wage is low and he does not have enough to pay for the surgeries. Their family depends on this sole source of income for survival. He has not been able to work since his motorbike was destroyed during the accident. Eustase has been relying on his national health insurance medical coverage, but has depleted his funding allocation and is therefore unable to get additional help. His friends and relatives have helped supplement his rising medical costs. Eustase requests for assistance to meet the cost of his planned surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund Eustase's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to regain his ability to walk and significantly improve his quality of life. Eustace shared, “This procedure will help me be able to get back to normal and even walk again. My family depends on me, and with this fracture, I am not able to work or even take care of them.“
Kham is a 14-year-old student from Burma. She lives with her father, paternal grandparents, four paternal uncles, an aunt-in-law, and a cousin in Kachin State. Kham is in the ninth grade and her cousin also goes to school. Her grandmother is a seamstress. Her grandfather is retired, and her father is unemployed and looks after her. All of her uncles are mechanics in an automobile repair shop, but they do not share their income with the rest of the family. During her free time, she helps her cousin with his homework, and she loves teaching. Kham was born with ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her sick and short of breath. Kham is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on August 9th to correct her condition and improve her quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Kham's procedure and care. “I would like to become a teacher because I feel happy teaching children that I know,” Kham shared with us.
Ezekiel is a 7-month-old baby from Tanzania. His parents are both subsistence farmers and they keep a few goats. They depend on their small harvests to meet their day-to-day basic needs. Ezekiel was born at a hospital, a healthy happy baby, but when Ezekiel reached one month old he started crying most nights, was taken to a local near by hospital and was immediately referred to a regional referral hospital where this stayed for three weeks on antibiotics and seizure control medications. Their family was then referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center ALMC for further neurological consultation. At ALMC they were told that Ezekiel has a brain abscess that needs draining immediately, but Ezekiel’s parents could not afford surgery. They had already sold their land as they were being moved from hospital to hospital and on medication and tests done to diagnose him. Watsi's partner ALMC-The Plaster House paid for Ezekiel’s first emergency surgery and he healed well and was discharged home. A few weeks later Ezekiel started crying a lot, vomiting and experiencing seizures. Ezekiel’s mother rushed him to a near by local dispensary where they were told he needed to be seen by specialist doctors for further investigations. She brought him back to ALMC and he was diagnosed with acquired hydrocephalus, which is a result of inflammation of the ventricles in the brain secondary to the infection he had. This caused him to have obstructive hydrocephalus. Through Watsi donors support, he was able to have hydrocephalus surgery of ETV, which helped save him from having headaches, vomiting, and seizures that could have resulted in death. His earlier treatment relieved the built up pressure on Ezekiel’s brain and prevented further brain damage. But now the ETV surgery need to be supplemented. He was rushed to hospital and has been schedule to have a VPS shunt insertion. Ezekiel has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Without treatment, Ezekiel will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for Ezekiel that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 26th and will drain the excess fluid from Ezekiel's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Ezekiel will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Ezekiel’s mother says, “All I wish is to see my son well and not going through all this suffering and pain he is going through. Please help my son.”
Tin is a 20-year-old from Burma. He lives in a nunnery with his mother and aunt, who are nuns, in a village in Katha Township. Tin became a monk 13 years ago when his father passed away. His mother then became a nun. Tin left monkhood two months ago, when he became very ill. He is now unable to work, and he is looked after by his mother. However, sometimes when he feels better, he teaches Buddhist theology to boys from a nearby monastery. As his mother is a nun, she has no income except for whatever she is given during weekly alms collections. Usually she receives dried food staples such as rice in addition to money. Currently, Tin feels tried if he has to walk for a while and if he has to use stairs. Tin was born with ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sick and short of breath. Tin is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on March 15th to correct the condition and improve his quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Tin's procedure and care. Tin said, “Sometimes I have chest pain and when I have them, I have difficulty breathing.”