Menno joined Watsi on May 25th, 2016. Four years ago, Menno became the 1929th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 3,863 more people have become monthly donors! Menno's most recent donation traveled 4,100 miles to support Rosemary, a homemaker from Kenya, to fund a thyroidectomy.
Menno has funded healthcare for 44 patients in 11 countries.
Rosemary is a housewife from Kenya. She is married with nine children. Her husband does not currently work, while she is a housewife and only sells vegetables to the neighbors. Their children could not get the needed education and so some are casual employees while others are struggling at home with the parents. Twenty years ago, Rosemary began to experience troubling symptoms, including persistent headaches and pain. She was diagnosed with a goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Rosemary receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on February 10th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $625, and she and her family need help raising money. “I was having pain but didn’t know what to do because of lack of money. I thank my neighbor who guided me here and hope you can help me to get surgery, so that I can continue to care for my family,” said Rosemary.
Soe is a father of three children from Thailand. He and his family relocated to a refugee camp in 2007 due to conflict between armed groups around their village. Although his family receives a small ration at the camp, it is not enough, so Soe does gardening and farming at a nearby Thai village to bring extra income for his family. Whenever Soe has free time, he loves to play cane ball or helps his wife with their household chores. On January 11th, when Soe was coming home from work with his friend on his friend's motorbike, the brakes failed when they were going downhill. The accident caused a fracture in the small bone located in front of his right knee joint. He is in pain and it is difficult for him to walk without using crutches. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Soe will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 20th and will cost $1,500. After this treatment, Soe will be able walk again without any assistant devices. This will also allow him to get back to work so he can provide for his family. Soe said, “I am desperate to be able walk again and work for my children. I cannot imagine how life would turn out if I could not walk anymore.”
Mebruka is a cute baby girl from Ethiopia who loves people and to play with others. She loves eating spaghetti. She has one older sister and she loves to play with her. Her mom is a house wife and her dad is a daily laborer. They live in a rented house and the dad’s income is very much limited for the expenses of the family. Mebruka was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Mebruka is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on November 5th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Mebruka's procedure and care. After her recovery, Mebruka will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Her mother said, “It is my hope that my baby will heal and that makes me happy even now.”
About six months ago, Thidar started to feel very tired and could not sleep well due to difficulty breathing. After multiple tests and blood tranfusions, Thidar was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis, mitral valve regurgitation, aortic valve stenosis, and aortic valve regurgitation. Seeing that both of her heart valves need to be replaced surgically, the doctor told her, “You have a heart problem and you must undergo surgery as soon as possible.” When Thidar told him that she cannot afford to pay for surgery, the doctor told her about a monk who lives just outside of Yangon and who might be able to help her. She was given his phone number and when she called the monk, he referred her to Watsi partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing the treatment she needs. Currently, Thidar feels very tired and has no energy to walk long distances. She cannot sleep well, and she has no appetite. She said, “In the future, I will stay in my village and look out for my family. I would like to send my children to school until they graduate.”
Regina comes from central Kenya, where she lives together with her grandmother. She is an orphan, having lost her mother nine years ago. She suffered TB of the spine in 2007 but due to lack of finances, she could not access medical care. She has a congenital club foot and is planned to undergo surgery in our facility. Regina is usually mocked by other children who imitate her limping. She sat her final primary school examinations and hopes to join high school and excel. Regina's grandmother is a peasant, relying on small scale farming to make ends meet. With all the demands of raising Regina and her elder sibling, their grandmother is financially limited. The family appeals for help. Fortunately, Reginah traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on November 13th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Reginah's clubfoot repair. After treatment, Regina will be able to walk easily and with little limping. “My desire is to walk like my friends and continue with my studies” Regina expressed.
Kakada is sixteen years old and enjoys reading books, playing soccer, and listening to music. Since the age of five, Kakada started showing signs of a curve in his spine. Over time, the curve has worsened, and now the spine deformity causes difficulty breathing, sleeping, walking, and an overall uncomfortable life. Surgery will help to straighten out and realign his spine, allowing him to breath without difficulty and create a less straining posture while he walks, eliminating discomfort. Kakada's favorite subject in school is Khmer literature, and he hopes to become a doctor when he grows up. "I hope that after surgery, I will not have to worry about my son's spine getting any worse and I will be happy that he can return to his normal activities again." -Kakada's Mother
Tina is a 59-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her family in a village in Myawaddy Township, Karen State. She stopped working five months ago because of her poor health and now, she looks after the household chores and takes care of her grandchildren. Both of her grandchildren go to school while her daughter works as a health worker in their village. Both Tina’s son and her son-in-law work as agricultural day labourers on different farms. In January 2019, Tina began to experience that her right eye started to hurt. These symptoms have made it increasingly difficult for she to see clearly. Tina was diagnosed with retinal detachment, a condition in which the retina pulls away from the supportive tissue in the eye, resulting in vision loss. If left untreated, she could lose vision completely. Tina is scheduled to undergo surgery to reattach her retina on September 20. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After his surgery, Tina's vision will hopefully be restored, and she will resume her daily activities comfortably. She is not able to sleep well because she worries about her condition. “When I have free time, I weave bags for my grandchildren,” said Tina. “I hope that I will feel better soon so that I can go back to work and pay back my debt.”
Gideon is a young boy from Kenya. For some time, Gideon has had an inguinal hernia. This hernia causes him pain and discomfort. Fortunately, on August 7, he will undergo repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $423 to fund Gideon's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. “Kindly assist my son get treatment,” says Gideon’s mother.
Dorcas is a child from Tanzania. She has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Dorcas traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 5. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Dorcas's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Dorcas’s mother says, "I am hoping my daughter can be able to get her legs treated and be able to walk like other normal children and be able to help me when she is all grown up."
Keshia is a girl from Haiti. She was born with a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which involves several related defects including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These defects deprive her body of oxygen, leaving her sickly and weak. She will require an open-heart surgery to repair this condition. Keshia lives with her parents and older brother in a city on the north coast of Haiti; she goes to preschool and likes watching cartoons. Keshia will fly to India to receive treatment. On August 6, she will undergo cardiac surgery. Another organization, Rotary International, is contributing $8,000 to pay for surgery. Her 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 her family overseas.
Wi is a young monk from Burma. He lives in a temple with his uncle. Wi was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Wi often gets sick. When he coughs, he feels very tired and sometimes he faints. He cannot walk long distances, and he has a small appetite. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Wi. The treatment is scheduled to take place on May 28 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Wi says, “When I grow up, I want to become a traditional drummer and I would like to become a monk. If I become a monk, I will try to study the Buddhist scriptures and graduate from university.”
Sopheaktra is a car repairman from Cambodia. He grew up in Kampong Cham province and is the oldest of four siblings. Four years ago, Sopheaktra had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Sopheaktra experiences tinnitus, discharge, itchiness, and hearing loss. He finds it difficult to go about his normal work, and constantly suffers from ear discharge and hearing loss. Sopheaktra traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 25, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $842 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. He says, "After my surgery, I hope that I will no longer have any ear discharge and my hearing will improve."