Menno joined Watsi on May 25th, 2016. Seven 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 Benedister, a hardworking 45-year-old mother from Kenya, to fund ankle repair surgery so that she can walk.
Menno has funded healthcare for 79 patients in 12 countries.
Menno has funded healthcare for 79 patients in 12 countries.
Benedister is a 45-year-old single mother and small-scale farmer from Kenya. She plants maize and millet for her family's consumption and for sale. Benedister has seven children between 11 and 23 years old. When she is done with her farm work, Benedister always looks for casual jobs in order to earn extra wages. She is very hardworking, as she is her family’s sole breadwinner. One day, while walking around her compound, Benedister fell and injured her right lower limb. She was unable to walk, so she was carried by some of her relatives to the hospital. Her pain was so intense that she was given some pain medication, then sent for an x-ray. The x-ray revealed that she had a bimalleolar fracture with a joint dislocation, which means that in addition to a bone being broken, the ligaments on the inside of her ankle were injured as well. She was treated, and then her ankle was immobilized with a bulky jones splint. She is not able to walk on her own and is in a lot of pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 7th, Benedister will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Afterward, she will be able to walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Benedister says, “It’s really sad that I cannot walk without support. My children look up to me for all their needs and here I am now with a broken leg and cannot offer any help to them. Please help me get my bones fixed so that I will be able to work and live normally as before.”
Meet Dennis, a 12 year old boy living in Kenya with his parents and two younger siblings. When Dennis isn't in school - where math is his favorite subject - he enjoys playing with friends and reading books. Dennis' father works as a casual laborer, while his mother is a housewife. Dennis was healthy at birth, but at the age of two, his left foot started to bend inwards. His parents brought him to numerous hospitals, but his condition remained unresolved. This is very frustrating for Dennis, who has to walk on tiptoes, and is in pain when he walks. Doctors at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, diagnosed Dennis with a clubfoot. Now he is scheduled to undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AIC Cure International Hospital on January 16th. This procedure which will allow Dennis to wear shoes and to walk with ease. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,286 to fund Dennis' life changing procedure. “Our joy will be to see Dennis walking and playing like other children,” Dennis’s mother told us.
Festus is a cheerful boy who always has a friendly smile and a joyful, resilient spirit. The fifth born of six children, he is a third grader at a nearby primary school. His parents are small scale farmers who plant maize and beans for consumption and sale. Two of his siblings are in high school and the others are in primary school. His parents sell their farm produce in order to pay their school fees and manage their daily needs. Festus has had a long stay in hospital with an infected wound and multiple surgeries, two debridement surgeries and nerve repair after he sustained a deep cut in his left hand. He now needs a skin graft to cover the damaged area. The decision to perform the skin graft was recommended by his doctors because his wound has not healed after a long time. After undergoing three surgeries, Festus feels traumatized when he enters the operation theatre. His mother is worries that he might lose his hand if not treated. Their family has had to undergo counselling to promote resilience and assurance that everything will be okay, and that Festus will be able to use his hand again. After all this, the family is looking forward to the results of the surgery with excitement. His family is asking any well-wisher to support them in this time of need, as they need $1,089 to fund the skin graft. Festus's mother says, “It’s been a long journey for my son. For the last one week I haven’t slept well just thinking of his health. I hope he gets treated and will be well again.”
Felix is a playful 9-year-old, third grade student from Kajiado County, Kenya. His mother is a homemaker while his father works on construction sites. Felix likes playing football despite the limitations he has because of his foot, and he spends most of his time playing with his friends. Felix was born with clubfeet and at the age of 2 weeks, he underwent serial casting and later surgery on both feet at a government hospital near their home. The left foot corrected well, but the right foot recurred. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Having heard about AIC CURE Hospital through CURE's local partner Kajiado Childcare Center, Felix's family brought him to the hospital for review. Felix is currently in the hospital undergoing serial casting and will undergo surgery on November 9th to fix the clubfoot. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Felix's clubfoot repair. After treatment, Felix will be able to walk confidently, play football more easily with friends, and continue with his education without any impediment. “I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the donors for the support. May the almighty God continue to bless them and even reach out to more patients who are in need,” Felix's mother told us.
When U Eain was 10 years old, he became a monk. Now, at the age of 33, he lives with five other monks in a monastery in Yangon, Burma. As a monk, U Eain doesn't have an income. Instead, every morning, two of the novice monks from his monastery collect food donated by followers in Yangon. In addition, worshipers who visit the monastery donate vegetables, fruits and curries to eat. When the monks preach in other villages, they may receive small cash donations, and when U Eain's parents visit him every year, they provide U Eain with a small amount of money. In this way, the monks are able to cover their basic needs. In February, U Eain went to a town in Mon State to preach. During his second day there, he felt very tired and struggled to breathe, and ultimately, he had to stop preaching. He went to a local clinic, where he received two injections that helped him to feel better. The next day, he returned to his monastery in Yangon. Once he was home, he developed a fever and felt very tired, so he went to a nearby clinic. There, he received an electrocardiogram (ECG). After his results came back, the doctor told him that there were problems with his heart, and U Eain was referred to Yangon Government Hospital for an echocardiogram. On April 19th, U Eain had the echocardiogram, and then brought the results back to the nearby clinic. Due to numerous issues uncovered by the test, U Eain will need cardiac surgery to replace two valves in his heart. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is able to help U Eain access the care that he needs. On October 21st, doctors at Pun Hlaing Hospital will replace the two valves in U Eain's heart, relieving him of the chest pains, rapid heartbeat, fatigue and difficulty breathing that he suffers from now. With his limited income, U Eain needs your support to raise the $1,500 to cover the cost of the procedure. He is hopeful to feel himself again soon and looks forward to returning to preaching and teaching. U Eain said: “I am so happy to receive treatment. I would like to say thank you so much to all of the donors.”
Kay is 43-year-old woman and garment factory worker. She lives alone on the border of Thailand and Burma. Kay supports her parents in Burma by sending them money every month. In her free time, she enjoys reading books about Buddhism. In the middle of 2021, Kay began experiencing pain and abnormal bleeding. By September of 2022, the pain and symptoms had worsened. Kay has been diagnosed with myoma, or a noncancerous growth in the uterus. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, which would surgically remove her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Kay's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Kay is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on September 19th. 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 experience pain or abnormal bleeding. She will be able to go back to work, and to continue supporting her family. “When I recover fully, I will continue to work in the garment factory. I will save my money and I will pay back my debt. I will try to continue supporting my parents,” said Kay.
Pisey is a 44-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He and his wife, who is also a rice farmer, have one son and two daughters. During his free time, he enjoys listening to the news on the radio. One year ago, Pisey developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him to experience eye tearing, itchiness, light sensitivity, and blurry vision. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so he is not able to go places on his own. When Pisey learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. On August 2nd, doctors will perform cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help funding this $253 procedure. Pisey says, "I hope after surgery my eye can see better so I can return to the field and plant rice."
Shee is a bright and caring 12-year-old girl from Thailand who likes to play the piano, listen to music, and help her caregiver garden with her friends. She lives with 30 students, including her younger brother, in the dormitory of Has Thoo Lei Learning Centre. She is currently in fifth grade, and her brother is in third grade. Both her and her brother's dormitory fees, including food and accommodations, are funded by a Christian nonprofit organization called Compassion Thailand. Both of her parents currently live in Burma and work as subsistence farmers. Her father also works as a day laborer. Shee's parents support her and her brother with their school fees and pocket money. For the past two years, Shee has dealt with femoral hernias. As a result of her condition, she experiences pain in her right groin, as well as pain and discomfort when she sits for a long period of time. When she plays with her friends or is active, the bulge increases in size. Her condition has progressively worsened, and she has had to miss school frequently as a result. Fortunately, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Shee's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 22nd. Once completed, she will hopefully be able to live more comfortably. Shee says, “I want to become a nurse when I grow up one day and help people in my community who are sick and need my help.”
Jean Pierre is a 45-year-old father from Haiti who lives with his wife and daughter. To help support his family, he works at the local city hall. His daughter was a previous Watsi patient and received life-changing surgery with the help of amazing donors. When bringing his daughter in a few months ago for a post-op checkup, he mentioned that he has been experiencing the same symptoms as his daughter for many years. After further examination, doctors found that Jean Pierre has the same life-threatening condition as his daughter and has somehow survived to his age! He was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, a condition in which blood leaks through a hole between two large blood vessels near the heart. After years of feeling weak and experiencing poor health, Jean Pierre's heart condition will finally be treated. On July 14th, doctors will use a catheter to insert a device into the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is raising $1,500 to pay for Jean Pierre's life-saving procedure. Jean Pierre shares, "My family and I are very grateful that so many people are making it possible for me to have this surgery!"
Caleb is a sweet one-month-old baby boy. Immediately after his birth, the doctors noticed a small growth on his back, which they attempted to prick. This only made the growth increase in size, and to begin leaking fluid. Recognizing that they could not treat Caleb, the local doctors referred the family to our medical partner BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. A neighbor provided the family with the funds to travel to BethanyKids. Caleb was diagnosed with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect, in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without surgery, Caleb is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delay. As the family has very little income and no national health care insurance, they cannot cover the costs of Caleb's surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. Caleb is scheduled to undergo spina bifida closure surgery on June 16th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. Their family needs $1,151 to fund this life saving procedure, which, it is hoped, will spare Caleb from the risks associated with his condition, allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Caleb’s mother says: “I was very worried about my son’s condition but now I am happy that I know that he can be treated.”
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.”