Christine has funded healthcare for 52 patients in 9 countries.
Ruth is a 15-year-old from Kenya who has special needs. She is a student at Limuru Cheshire Home (a center for girls with physical/mental disabilities) and was admitted to the institute in 2019. She was born into a family of two, being the firstborn followed by a brother who lives with her aunt. Her mother, who was a single mom, died when Ruth and her brother were young. This led to the two being separated and since Ruth is more vulnerable, she was left under the care of their grandmother. Together they live in a two-roomed house and they depend on the local community for upkeep. Life has become more difficult now that Ruth's grandmother cannot move around even for firewood since she has to ensure Ruth’s safety. Ruth has clubfoot that makes her walking extremely difficult. Last year she was brought to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center CURE Hospital, where she was recommended for surgery. Since her grandmother cannot afford the treatment, her surgery has not yet taken place. The surgery would highly enhance Ruth's mobility as well as improve her self-esteem and ability to socialize with her peers. Fortunately, surgeons at our partner hospital will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Ruth's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. “I will appreciate any kind of support give to make my granddaughter walk comfortably,” Ruth’s grandmother told us.
Khaing is a 35-year-old woman from Thailand. Her husband is a day laborer while she is a homemaker who looks after their two-year-old daughter at home. Khaing's husband earns 5,000 baht (approx. 166 USD) per month as there is less work, they shared, since the outbreak of COVID-19. In her free time, Khaing likes to make Burmese fish noodle soup called moh hin khar. In the middle of June 2020, Khaing started to vomit each time after eating. She also experienced chest pain and discomfort in her stomach after eating and drinking. A few days after she first felt unwell, she went to a private clinic near her home. She received pain medication and one injection, and she was told she was suffering from an inflammation in her stomach. Khaing felt better after taking the medicine but by the end of July, Khaing actually felt worse. She started to experienced back and lower abdominal pain and constipation. Her abdomen also increased in size and she started to lose weight. Khaing's neighbor told her she was pregnant and Khaing believed her. Around 15 days after her new symptoms began, Khaing purchased a pregnancy test from a shop which showed she was not pregnant. Khaing thought someone might have cursed her so she then went to a fortune teller to ask for help. When the fortune teller told her she was not cursed, Khaing started to believe that she might be really be ill. She went to Mae Tao Clinic on August 20th, 2020. At the clinic, she received diagnostic tests which showed that both of her kidneys are swollen, a condition called hydronehrosis. She was then taken to Mae Sot Hospital on August 25th for further investigation and is now scheduled to return for treatment. While waiting for her appointment, Khaing's condition worsened. Her stomach is still increasing in size, she can no longer eat or sleep properly and she feels very uncomfortable. The pain in her lower abdomen had also worsened. When she called and talked to the medic, she was told to come back to the hospital sooner. At the hospital she received a blood test, and she was told she would need a CT scan so that the doctor could properly diagnose and treat her. Unable to pay for the CT scan, the MTC medic later referred Khaing to Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund. Currently, Khaing cannot walk because she feels like her stomach is very heavy. She feels uncomfortable when she lays down and she cannot sleep well. She is still experiencing lower abdominal and back pain. Whenever she eats or drinks, she vomits. She also noticed that since the end of July she has to urinate frequently, but she is only able to pass a small amount each time. Doctors want Khaing to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Khaing's CT scan and care, now scheduled for September 14th. Khaing said, “I feel stressed and angry. I also don't want to talk to other people and I'm growing inpatient with my daughter. Also I'm feeling worried that I will die early [at a young age]. I don’t want to die because my daughter is still very young.”
Zin Oo is a 36-year-old man who lives with his mother, younger sister, and his seven-year-old son in Mawlamyine, Burma. He is an assistant truck driver and he earns 4,000 kyat (approx. 4 USD) per day. Since the outbreak of CVOID-19, there is less work and he is only able to earn 64,000 kyat (approx. 64 USD) in a month. Zin Oo's son goes to primary school and his wife passed away last year. His mother goes house to house to see if anyone would hire her to wash their clothes. His younger sister lost her job at the factory after the outbreak of COVID-19 in Yangon. Since April, she looks after the household chores and she also works as a day laborer when she can find work. Zin Oo’s combined household income of 124,000 kyat (approx. 150 USD) in a month is just enough for their daily expenses and they cannot afford to pay the costs of basic healthcare. On August 3rd, Zin Oo was cutting firewood with an axe. While cutting the logs, his aim was off and he hit his fingers on his right hand against the log. His fingers became swollen and red after the accident, especially his small and index fingers. Without enough money to go to the hospital, Zin Oo bought traditional medicine and applied it to his fingers. He felt like his middle and ring fingers healed but his small and index fingers became more swollen and painful. Eventually when he noticed pus on his fingers, he told his friend about his problem and his friend suggested he go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where treatment often cost less than other hospitals. At MLCH, the doctor completed a detailed assessment of his right hand and diagnosed him with cellulitis, a serious bacterial skin infection. The doctor told him that because of poor blood supply, he would need to amputate his small finger and probably his index finger as well. When Zin Oo told the doctor that he does not have any money to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing treatment. Currently, the fingers on Zin Oo’s right hand are red, swollen, and warm to the touch. His fingers hurt a lot, especially his small and index finger. He cannot sleep at night without taking pain medication. He is not able to eat food with his right hand and he feels uncomfortable eating with his left hand since he is right-handed. Aside from this, Zin Oo feels stressed about his condition. He cannot work and his mother has to help look after him since he was admitted at the hospital. His mother then has no income while he receives treatment. They are worried that they will not have enough money for food and for Zin Oo’s treatment. In the future, Zin Oo wants to work as a truck driver to earn money for his family. Once he has fully recovered, he will accept any work he can find as he looks for a job as a truck driver. Zin Oo’s younger sister shared with us, “Now, I have to take care of my nephew while my mother accompanies my brother [Zin Oo] at the hospital. I cannot work and our family is worried about money. We owe our neighbor 50,000 kyat [approx. 50 USD] and we have to pay it back with 20% interest.”
Sean is a 64-year-old farmer who makes a living selling her crops locally. Her husband died four years ago from heart disease, but she has nine children in the area. She lives with one of her daughters, and together they help take care of her nine grandchildren. In her free time she loves to visit the local pagodas and take part in celebrations and ceremonies. 2 years ago, Sean started to experience back pain. She was able to work despite this pain, but the condition got worse over time. She was able to obtain painkillers which helped her continue to function. However, she recently has felt her pain increasing again. She experiences too much pain to be able to walk or stand for longer than a few minutes, and has difficulty sleeping. Luckily, Sean has come to Children's Surgical Centre, for help and doctors will be able to perform a laminectomy to relieve pressure on the nerves in her spinal cord. She will feel immediate pain relief and will have a much easier time doing all of her daily activities. She will also be able to return to her work and take care of her grandchildren.
Blessed is a 7-year-old boy from Kenya. Blessed’s parents are both casual laborers and his mother stopped working so that she could take care of Blessed. His father is not able to raise enough as his work is not reliable. Blessed underwent an earlier colostomy procedure, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may need closure. In Blessed's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $681 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Blessed. The surgery is scheduled to take place on June 12th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Blessed’s mother says, “I just can’t wait to see Blessed treated and playing like other kids.”
George is a 35-year-old truck driver from central Kenya. A week ago, he fell from the second floor of his rented flat while trying to fix an antenna. He fractured his mandible, right humerus and neck of the right femur. He had first aid in a nearby general hospital but beyond that, he was not given any other assistance. His family opted to bring him to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital where he had x-ray imaging done and surgery recommended. He is in pain and unable to eat anything but hopes to get well soon. George is a father of two children, with his last born 4 months old. He used to work as a truck driver but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been out of work. His wife is not in any employment making George the sole breadwinner of the family. He does not have any medical insurance yet he would be required to pay a deposit for his surgery. George appeals for financial assistance. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 15th, George will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow him to walk again easily, reduce the chances of further complications, and be free from pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. George says, “My hope is to be able to walk again and with less pain.”
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.”
Grace is a 3-year-old from Tanzania, and the first born child in a family of two with a single mother. Grace and her sibling are being raised by their grandmother after their mother asked their grandmother to help her look after the children so that she can be able to find a job and be able to support the children. Ever since she left Grace and her sibling, she rarely visits the children and sends money once in awhile. Her grandmother has no source of income other than small-scale farming. Grace's grandfather has been bed ridden for almost a year now. Grace was diagnosed with windswept deformity, which causes her legs to be curved. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she has a difficult time walking and playing with her sibling. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Grace. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Grace's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Grace’s grandmother says, “My granddaughter’s legs are getting worse as days go by but I don’t have the money to seek her treatment. Please help her.”
Solomon is a young boy from Kenya who four months ago was diagnosed with a right undescended testis. This is a condition where testis are not in a scrotal sac as expected in a baby boy soon after birth. Solomon arrived at the hospital today in the company of his mother and grandmother. His mother walks in with a limp and a crutch for support. Solomon is quick to grab a seat for his mother, something that depicts how respectful he is. While giving him a bath recently, Solomon’s mother noticed a slight swell on his groin which was painful. Solomon confessed that it had been there for some time but really never bothered him. Solomon’s mother took him to the nearest hospital where he was diagnosed and surgery recommended. Solomon was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. The cost of surgery was however way too high for them to cover. Recently, a friend advised that they visit Watsi Partner BethanyKids Kijabe where they could better access financial assistance. The diagnosis has been confirmed and surgery is advised. If not treated, Solomon is at a risk of suffering fertility issues, testicular cancer and/ or inguinal hernia. Solomon is the firstborn of three children and lives with his parents and siblings in a one-room house in Central Kenya. While Kenya has a national health insurance system, his parents have passed difficulties that have led to them to defaulting on NHIF premiums for quite some time--a situation that is common in Kenya. However, the hospital team counseled them on its importance and they promised to try and keep up with the payments. The little savings the family had were exhausted in getting treatment for Solomon’s mother who was involved in an accident sometimes back. Solomon’s father, the sole breadwinner, practices subsistence farming and at times takes up casual farming jobs to sustain his family’s needs. They are therefore appealing for help towards Solomon’s surgical care. Solomon will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on January 30th. AMHF is requesting $535 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “I want to be a teacher when I grow up,” says Solomon.
Shadrack is a three year old boy from Tanzania and the second-born child in a family of three children. He is a friendly and playful boy who is happy and smiling most of the time. Shadrack was born with deformed legs, the right leg had been affected at the foot missing all the toes and is bent inward while the left was missing the lower part from below his knee. This condition has made it difficult and painful for Shadrack to walk, he mostly moves using his knees which has caused him to have wounds most of the time. Shadrack received surgery in November 2019 so he will be able to use prosthetics on the amputated leg to walk. He now needs treatment for his right leg and club foot. This treatment will enable Shadrack to walk better using both his legs and he will not be subjected to stigma as he is growing up. Shadrack’s mother heard about our Watsi partner from an outreach team that visited their village and Shadrack’s mother brought him for help. Shadrack’s mother is a small scale farmer who strives to provide for Shadrack and his siblings on her own since her husband abandoned her after the birth of their last born. She is not able to afford Shadrack’s surgery, she needs help. Fortunately, Shadrack traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 3rd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Shadrack's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk more easily. Shadrack’s mother says, “Please help my son so that he is able to walk without difficulty.”
Amri is an elderly man who operates a small shop to earn a living. In the 80s, he was injured at a football match on his left knee. He was treated and able to walk with ease three months later. However, as years progressed, the knee became painful making it hard for him to walk. Over the years, the pain has been persistent. He has tried different ointments which relieves pain temporarily. He came to our facility and upon review, he had surgery recommended. He managed to get medical insurance. Unfortunately, the card does not cover the full cost of surgery. With successful surgery, Amri will be able to walk with ease. Amri relies on his small business to meet daily needs. His children have assisted him to get medical coverage but are not able to raise the remaining funds. He appeals for help. Fortunately, Amri learned about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). At AMHF's care center, surgeons can perform a total knee replacement to relieve Amri of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for December 10th, and Amri needs help raising $822 to pay for this procedure. Amri says, “I am unable to come up with all the surgery cost. Please help me so that I can have my knee corrected and walk again.”
Dennis is a very shy and quiet boy from Kenya. Dennis was born with anal rectal malformation, where he lacked an anal opening. This caused trouble to his parents as he could not pass stool for an entire week when he was born. He had a colostomy created and was required to proceed with subsequent surgeries of the anal opening and colostomy closure. However, for the last 17 years, he has survived with the colostomy. His parents were not able to raise the funds needed for his surgeries. His area chief recently forced Dennis's parents to bring him to Bethany Kids Kijabe after much suffering. At Bethany Kids Kijabe, he was diagnosed and surgery recommended. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. However, the family is still struggling financially. Dennis is the firstborn child in his family. Due to his condition, he has never been to school, being passed by all his 6 siblings who are schooling. Dennis is quite shy and prefers to be alone due to his condition. Successful surgery will allow Dennis to resume a relatively normal life like any other child and perhaps start schooling. His father is a security guard while his mother sells vegetables in their village.The family appeals for help. Dennis is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on October 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,327 to cover the total cost of Dennis's procedure and care. “If only I knew, I would have come here early. I feel like I have wasted his life,” says Dennis's father with regret.