Menno joined Watsi on May 25th, 2016. Five years ago, Menno joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Menno's most recent donation traveled 5,100 miles to support Saroh, a strong 17-year-old girl from Burma, to fund heart surgery.
Menno has funded healthcare for 60 patients in 11 countries.
Menno has funded healthcare for 60 patients in 11 countries.
Saroh is a 17-year-old girl who lives with her parents, two younger brothers and a younger sister in a village in Burma. Her sister and brothers attend school while Saroh has never gone to school due to her health. Saroh’s parents are farmers and they grow rice. Saroh was around five or six months old, when her mother noticed that when Saroh tried to roll over, her lips, toes and fingers would turn blue. Saroh's mother was unable to take Saroh to a clinic or hospital because they did not have enough money to do so. When Saroh was 5 years old she would often become tired when playing with her friends. Her lips, toes and fingers were also still blue. On a recommendation from a family friend, Saroh’s mother brought Saroh to a free clinic where she was referred to a hospital for further investigation. Following diagnostics exams, Saroh’s mother was told that Saroh was born with a heart condition. In order to get treatment Saroh would have to be transferred to a hospital that was very far. Without enough information or money to travel and pay for treatments, Saroh and her mother traveled back to their village. Saroh was then treated with traditional medicine which according to Saroh’s mother seemed to stabilize her condition. In the middle of 2019, Saroh started to experience back pain. She also felt more tired and had difficulty breathing. Her mother did not know what to do as they had no money to bring her to a hospital or a clinic. Saroh’s mother asked their friends if they knew of a way that Saroh could receive treatment. In May 2020, Saroh’s uncle told his friend about Saroh’s condition. That friend happened to be a former staff member of our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and told Saroh’s uncle about how BCMF could help. BCMF agreed to help Saroh access the treatment she needs, and is requesting $1500 to fund her cardiac surgery. Now staying at the patient house in Chiang Mai, Saroh is learning how to read and write with the help of BCMF staff who teaches here during her free time while waiting for her treatment. Saroh said, “If I feel better, I want to help my mother with household chores. In the future, I think I want to go to Bible school and become a missionary. I am very thankful to all the donors who are willing to help pay for the cost of my treatment.”
Lomoro is a 15-year-old teenager and the last born child in a family of six children. Lomoro has not had the chance to join school due to the size of his family and financial challenges. Lomoro and his siblings look after their father's cattle, which requires them to walk a long distance in search of pasture and water. Lomoro was diagnosed with genu valgus, or knock knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Lomoro is currently having difficulty walking and he can no longer go out grazing the cattle. He is forced to stay at home to rest. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Lomoro. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Lomoro's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Lomoro shared, "I am now seen as the weaker one in my family because I am exempted from most of the daily home activities due to my leg. I need help for my surgery. Thank you for your support."
Baby Nejat is a sweet six-month-old boy from Ethiopia. He has one brother, a father who works as a laborer, and a mother who is a homemaker raising their two children. Baby Nejat loves playing and spending time with his parents and brother. Baby Nejat was born with an abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage, and needs to undergo a series of procedures to correct his condition. Baby Nejat's surgery is scheduled to take place on June 24th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Baby Nejat's procedure and care. After his recovery, Baby Nejat will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing serious health complications in the future. His mom is optimistic, “After the operation, I believe my son will grow healthy. And I hope I will educate him and help him reach higher in life."
Ni is a 17-year-old student who lives with her two younger sisters, her younger brother, her aunt and her aunt's daughter in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Ni, her siblings and her aunt's children all go to school in the camp. Her aunt is a seamstress. In her free time, Ni likes to read about her school subjects in English and Thai. Since October 2019, Ni has been experiencing lower abdominal pain and she cannot sit for long periods of time because the pain worsens. When she presses the right side of her lower abdomen she can feel a small mass. She has been diagnosed with a bicornuate uterus with bilateral endometriotic cysts. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, or the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Ni's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk of further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Ni is scheduled to undergo treatment on May 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 will no longer be in constant pain. Ni shared, "I want to graduate from college and I want to find work to support my siblings. If I have a chance I would like to continue my education abroad."
Tin is a 38-year-old woman from Northern Thailand. She and her husband are agricultural day laborers, and they live in a hut on their employer’s land. They shared that, unfortunately, their earnings are not enough to cover their expenses or to pay for basic healthcare. Since early 2019, Tin has been experiencing dizziness, fatigue, insomnia and pain in her lower abdomen. She was diagnosed with a myoma and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Tin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications. Since September 2020, Tin has been unable to work due to her illness. Fortunately, Tin is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on March 23rd. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Tin will no longer experience lower abdominal pain, dizziness or fatigue. She will be able to work again as a day laborer after her treatment. Tin shared, “I am not afraid to undergo surgery because I believe that I will receive successful treatment. I used to pray every day that a donor would help me. Once I have recovered from surgery, I will go back to work so that we can repay our debts. In the future, I would like to stay healthy so that I can work, eat good food, wear beautiful clothes, and earn an income.”
April is a 32-year-old health worker from Thailand. She lives with her co-worker, her co-worker’s husband and their three daughters on the border of Burma and Thailand. In her free time, April loves to watch comedy movies and listen to music. In January 2020, April was diagnosed with bilateral endometriotic cysts. She received surgery to remove the cysts from her right ovary and had her left ovary removed. Post surgery, April has been experiencing pain in her lower abdomen during the first day of her period. She has been diagnosed with a right ovarian tumor. To remedy this, doctors recommend that she undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If her condition is left untreated, April's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, April is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on March 24th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer have to worry about the tumor returning or spreading. April shared, "I am scared to have surgery but I want to be healthy. I want to spend time with my family and I want to work happily.”
Halhadad is a 3-year-old boy from Tanzania. Halhadad is the last born child in a family of three children. His mother works hard to support and care for the three children by herself. She started a small business of selling doughnuts called “mandazi” and roasted cassava in order to be able to pay for rent and provide for her children. Halhadad was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, or knock knees. 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, Halhadad is unable to run, and it is painful for him to walk for a long distance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Halhadad. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Halhadad's mobility, enable to return to playing with his siblings, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Halhadad’s mother shared, “I would love to see my son walk without challenges, but the cost of treatment is too high for me to afford, kindly help my son.”
Lewis is a playful and social 11-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the sixth born in a family of eight children, and is brother to Jonah, another Watsi patient. When he's older, Jonah aspires to be in the special forces as a military officer in the future. His mother is a single parent and used to be a farmer, but currently stays at home to take care of her children. She recently underwent an amputation on her leg after suffering from diabetes. Lewis had clubfoot of both his feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Lewis traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons healed one foot with support from Watsi and now will perform his other clubfoot repair surgery on January 25th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Lewis's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk and play with his brother more easily. Rosaria, Lewis' mother shared, “We are grateful that Watsi is helping my two sons undergo surgery. We have seen a lot of impact on their feet. Previously, they used to complain of pain while walking and they like playing a lot. We plead for more support to ensure that their feet can be able to step on the ground and walk like other children. God bless you."
Khaing is a 27-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and a three-year-old son in a village in Tak Province. Originally from Karen State, Burma, they moved to their current home three years ago in search of better job opportunities. Her husband is a day laborer and she is homemaker. Ten years ago, Khaing started feeling like her nose was blocked and that she could not breathe well. She also had a runny nose and saw a small mass in her nostril while looking at her reflection in the mirror. At the time, Khaing did not go to see a doctor because she could not afford to pay for treatment, and she thought that she would feel better over time. However, four years ago she noticed that the mass had grown. Khaing went to her local hospital in Burma, where the doctor confirmed she had a mass in her nostril and gave her medication for a week. She did not go back to her follow-up appointment as she had run out of money. She then tried to treat herself with traditional medicine unsuccessfully as the mass continued to increase in size. In the beginning of May 2020, Khaing developed a severe headache and pain in her nose. The area around her nose also became swollen. She went to Mae Tao Clinic for treatment, where the medic found large masses in both of her nasal cavities. She was then taken to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. At MSH, she received an x-ray of her nose and the doctor told her that the masses were large and surrounded by a lot of pus. After a CT scan, the doctor diagnosed her with a nasal polyp and scheduled her for surgery on December 28th, 2020. Currently, the area around her nose is swollen and painful. Her nostrils feel itchy, her nose is blocked, and has to breathe through her mouth. She still has a headache, though since she received pain medication from the doctor at MSH, this has been less severe. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 28th, Khaing will undergo an endoscopic sinus surgery. Once recovered, she will be able to breathe normally again and her quality of life will significantly improve. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Khaing shared, "I really want to have surgery and feel better. I am not scared because I believe that the surgery will help me be free from headaches and breathe well again."
Peter is a 46-year-old man from Kiambu County in Kenya. He works mostly in construction sites as a manual laborer. Peter is the second born in a family of eight. He was hit by a motorbike while crossing the road on July 27th, 2020. He was taken to a nearby hospital where an x-ray confirmed he had sustained a fracture of his left femur. An ORIF surgery was recommended but he could not afford the cost of surgery. Peter had been on traction to help treat his fracture since his admission at a government hospital. A recent standoff between the county government and health workers led to a go-slow, which has prompted patients like Peter to seek treatment elsewhere since they cannot access care currently. Peter came to our medical partner's facility and saw the surgeon who again also recommended an ORIF procedure. Peter hopes that he finally has the life-changing surgery that will restore full functionality of his leg and enable him to go back to work. If not treated Peter’s fracture may fail to unite or mal-unite leading to loss of function of his left lower limb. He is not able to personally raise the amount required for surgery given that he is a casual laborer with minimal income. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 19th, Peter will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow him to walk with ease and reduce the instance of complications. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I have been in hospital and unable to provide for myself since the accident in July. I hope that the operation will enable me to walk again so that I can fend for myself once more,” Peter said.
Eliana is a young girl from Tanzania, and the the firstborn in a family of three children. She is a very friendly and talkative girl. Eliana was born healthy and growing up for her was normal until when she was two years old. Her parents noticed her left leg was swelling and she would limp when walking. They thought she had fallen and hurt herself, so they took her to a local dispensary where pain-relieving medication was prescribed. Eliana's parents are small-scale farmers who depend entirely on what they harvest for their daily living. They shared that seeking proper treatment for Eliana was not possible due to their financial challenges. Over the next two years, her condition has worsened causing both legs to be deformed and making her walking difficult. Eliana now struggles to stand and can’t walk more than four steps without complaining of pain or falling down. This has resulted in her crawling most of the time in order to move from one place to the other. Eliana has been scheduled to have both of her legs corrected but her parents cannot afford her treatment cost and they are asking for help. Eliana has been diagnosed with bilateral flourosis, with her legs swollen on the upper side of her knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Eliana. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 24th. Treatment will hopefully restore Eliana's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Eliana’s father said, “My daughter is struggling to stand and walking is now becoming close to impossible. Please help her get this treatment, we are unable to afford the treatment cost.’’
Joan is a one-year-old from Tanzania. Joan is a beautiful girl and the youngest child in a family of four children. Joan’s father works as a motorcycle driver commonly known as “bodaboda” driver while the mother does tailoring in their neighborhood. Joan 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, Joan has been experiencing fevers, vomiting and her head is increasing in size. Without treatment, Joan will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Joan that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 24 and will drain the excess fluid from Joan's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Joan will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Joan’s mother says, “We have struggled so much to make sure our daughter gets all her disabilities corrected, something that has left us with no savings of any kind and only debts. She needs another surgery as soon as possible and we have nowhere to get the money from, please help us.”