Menno joined Watsi on May 25th, 2016. Six years ago, Menno joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Menno's most recent donation traveled 4,100 miles to support Lydiah, a 39-year-old vegetable vendor from Kenya, to fund leg surgery so she can walk again.
Menno has funded healthcare for 69 patients in 12 countries.
Menno has funded healthcare for 69 patients in 12 countries.
Lydiah is a 39-year-old woman, living with her husband and teenaged child in Kenya. While Lydiah works as a vegetable vendor - traditionally known as a mama mboga - her husband is employed as a clothing vendor. On her way to work in March 2021, Lydiah was hit by a motorcycle. She sustained a fracture of the right femur, necessitating three surgeries and multiple trips to the hospital. Despite the care that she has already received, an infection of the fracture has set in, and if Lydiah doesn't receive treatment soon, she risks losing her leg and becoming permanently disabled. Currently, Lydiah cannot walk, and is confined to a wheelchair. Lydiah is scheduled to undergo surgery for the infected fracture on May 24th, at the AIC Kijabe Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Lydiah's surgery, which will enable her to walk again. Lydiah says, “I haven’t been able to go to the market to sell my vegetables because of the fracture and multiple infections. I am afraid of losing my leg and being unable to walk. I am in constant pain and need support to get this treatment.”
Gatguon is an 8-week-old baby girl from a remote area of South Sudan. The civil war in South Sudan has made it difficult for many to access healthcare and treatment, including Gatguon's family. Gatguon was born with swelling in the back of her head. Upon referral to Old Fangak Clinic, the doctor diagnosed Gatguon with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Gatguon is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Gatguon urgently needs spina bifida repair surgery to correct the condition and reduce risk of infection. Unfortunately, this treatment is not available for her in South Sudan. Dr Jill Seaman and her team at Old Fangak Clinic facilitated Gatguon’s travel to Kenya – a long and difficult journey for a sick baby. Now, doctors at our medical partner's care center in Kenya will perform the surgery she needs. Gatguon’s parents have two kids. Her mother is a stay-at-home mom and her father is a vegetable farmer. They are hopeful that baby Gatguon will be treated and that they will continue taking care of her and loving her unconditionally. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Gatguon's family raise $1,151 to cover the cost of spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 20th and will hopefully spare Gatguon of further complications and allow her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Gatguon’s mother shared, “We hope that our child will be treated.”
Bo is an eighth grader who lives in the school dormitory during the school year. During his free time, he likes to play the guitar, cook, and garden. He recently had his arm is amputated to help treat his bone cancer condition, so he is no longer able to play guitar anymore. His parents and his siblings live on the Thai-Burma border. His brother and his mother are day labourers while his father is retired. In May 2021, Bo began to experience pain in the top of his left forearm, close to his shoulder. In June 2021, the top of his left forearm began to swell until it spread towards his shoulder. The swelling grew very large, encompassing his left shoulder and upper forearm. Bo was in a lot of pain and could not use his left arm. Doctors diagnosed him with bone cancer and amputated his left arm to help stop his cancer from spreading further. He has also undergone chemo treatment after his amputation and now his doctor wants to do an MRI to assess his prognosis and plan for any further treatment that may be needed to protect his health. An MRI is an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $814 to cover the cost of Bo's MRI and care, scheduled for March 11th. Bo said, "Since I finished my surgery and finished chemo injection, I am able to continue my studies without any pain. I hope that I will be able to continue my studies until I gradate from school."
Paul is 51-year-old, outgoing farmer from a small village in the highlands of Kenya. Paul survives on daily work in his neighbors' farms to gather for the needs of his family. He is married with two children, and together they live in a semi-permanent house. His family relies on him for their daily needs as Paul is the only family bread winner. Paul arrived to the hospital with a fracture on his left knee after a fall at his home. He now has a lot of pain, swelling, and inability to flex his left knee. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 22nd, Paul will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Once he heals, he'll be able to walk well with no difficulties and pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,145 to fund his procedure. Paul says, "I am really uncomfortable when my children need me and I cannot be there for them. Please help me so that I can heal and be able to raise them well."
Natinael is a sweet toddler who loves to play with toys. He loves birds especially looking at the doves where he lives with his mom. Natinael's mom shared that he is shy and always wants to be at her side. She is a single mom and has been raising Natinael on her own with help from her family. Natinael was born with birth condition called Bladder Extrophy, which means that his bladder is open to air and at great risk of infections and injury. He needs surgery to help heal his condition, but his mother is unable to afford the cost. She is very much worried and concerned by his health and wants to do whatever she can to make sure he grows up healthy. She shared, “At first I did not know about the gravity of his condition. Then when I went to the hospitals they said they can’t do the surgery and they referred me to another hospital. I was in so much distress. I thought ‘what is this disease that the doctors refer it to another hospital.’ One doctor explained the condition to me and that was my lowest time of my life. I couldn’t eat or drink or sleep. All I could do was cry. I asked God why this happened to me." Fortunately someone referred her to an organization that knew our medical partner's care center BKMCM Hospital where doctors can perform the surgery he needs. Natinael's mom says, "If he heals, I hope I will work hard and raise him well and give him good education. I did not go to school and that makes me to want to send Natinael to school more. I'd like to spend the rest of my life with him protecting him.”
Maureen is a cheerful 10-year-old student. She's the third born child in a family of four children. Both of her parents work on farms around their home. Earlier this year, Maureen fractured her right femur. She underwent surgery to treat the fracture and the injury healed well. However, on December 5th, Maureen fell and unfortunately fractured the same leg. She was admitted to the hospital where another surgery was recommended to help her heal fully. The fracture causes Maureen pain and she is unable to walk. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On December 23rd, Maureen will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help heal her fracture so that she can walk well again. Now, Maureen and her family need help raising $1,049 to fund her procedure and care. Maureen shared, "I hope to get better and go back to school. Please help me."
Sambath is a 42-year-old soldier who now lives in a rural province of Cambodia with his mother. In his free time Sambath enjoys reading books, watching TV, listening to music, and meeting with friends. One year ago Sambath began experiencing pain in both hips. Now he has difficulty walking. Sambath was evaluated by doctors and due to the osteonecrosis in his hips, where his bones break down due to lack of blood flow, a total hip replacement surgery is recommended to restore his mobility. Fortunately, Sambath learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Sambath of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for November 23rd, and Sambath needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Sambath says, "I really hope that the pain will go away and I can walk easily again."
Ryan is a very active and jovial 5-year-old boy. He's the only child in his family. His mother works at a local dry cleaner and his father is a matatu driver in their area. Ryan's family lives in a small rented house in a town within Nairobi, Kenya. His parents’ income is very limited and they are not able to afford the second surgery he needs, as they are also paying off his first surgery that was unsuccessful in fully treating his birth condition. Ryan was diagnosed with a condition called cryptorchidism. If left untreated, Ryan has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Ryan will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 14th. AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Ryan’s mother says, “It has been a tough time for us after we realized Ryan's first surgery was not successful, but we still trusted in God.”
Myint is a 57-year-old man who lives by himself in a village in Burma. His wife lives in Thailand, but since she lost her work due to COVID-19, she hasn't been able to send back money for basic things like she usually does. They are in a hard postion because she also cannot come back to Burma because she doesn’t feel safe because of civil war that has started. Myint is a day labourer who earns 3,000 kyat (approx. 3 USD) per day. His monthly income of 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) is not enough to cover his daily expenses nor pay for basic health care. Last month, Myint went out fishing and he caught a catfish. While he tried to hang the fish, the catfish fell onto his left instep. The catfish’s fin which is poisonous injured his left instep. He went to small clinic and got treatment. But his wound did not improve and instead he had swelling and it become infected. The village clinic doctor told him if the wound is not improve to go to see the specialist. Since he didn't have money, Myint went to visit a monk to seek the treatment. The monk gave him traditional medicine (an herb) for the wound. However, after using the traditional medicine for one month, his foot continued to worsen. Eventually, his friend recommended that he seek treatment at Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). At the hospital, the doctor examined his foot and saw that he had developed an ulcer. The doctor said that they would need to perform surgery on his ulcer to clean it properly and remove any damaged or necrotic tissue. When Myint told the doctor he had no money to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to our Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing further treatment. Currently, Myint’s left foot is swollen and the skin around his ulcer is discoloured. He cannot sleep well at night due to the pain. He also has difficulty sleeping due to worrying about his foot and his economic situation. He is worried that if his leg has to be amputated, he will not be able to earn money to support his family. He's trying to remain hopeful and told us, “In the future I would like to grow and sell mushrooms so that I can support my family financially.”
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."