Michael joined Watsi on September 27th, 2014. 3 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Michael's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Fedrick, a 16-year-old boy from Tanzania, for surgery to correct his knock knees.
Fedrick is a polite sixteen-year-old boy from Tanzania. He is the sixth born in a family of eleven children, but ever since he was a little boy he has been living with his grandparents. Fedrick’s grandparents are elderly, and can no longer manage the cattle herd that is their livelihood. So, for some time now, Fedrick has missed out on school so that he can help them. Apart from herding cattle, Fedrick also enjoys playing soccer with other children. Fedrick has become very good at herding cattle, but recently he has developed a physical problem that makes it hard for him to do this work. His right limb has begun to bow inwards, and is now bent to a point where it is difficult for him to walk without knocking his knees. This condition has reduced Federick’s efficiency in cattle herding, and he sometimes feel pain in his right knee. Fedrick needs corrective surgery to restore his normal gait and ability to better perform various activities. However, coming up with enough money for Fedrick’s treatment has been a challenge for his family. His parents, who are small-scale farmers, can already barely meet the basic daily needs of their eleven children and of Fedrick’s grandparents, whom they also support. That’s where we come in. $940 will cover the cost of the surgery that Fedrick needs to restore the bones of his right leg back to a normal position. This funding will also pay for Fedrick to receive two weeks of physical therapy and a three-month stay at Plaster House, a recovery center for children who have undergone major surgery. After these treatments, Fedrick will be able to walk again comfortably. Someday, Fedrick says, he would like to be an organic farmer. We can help him pursue this dream by ensuring that he can walk without pain.
Meet Jennie, a one-month-old baby girl from Haiti. Jennie was born with hydrocephalus—a buildup of fluid within the brain. According to our medical partner, Project Medishare (PM), “A couple days after Jennie was born she started vomiting after taking the breast. She cries a lot and her head is soft and a little bit swollen. Her mother decided to take Jennie to the hospital, but it was not equipped and referred them to our facilities, where they performed a CT scan and determined that surgical intervention was required.” If left untreated, Jennie could experience brain damage, physical and mental delays, pain, dizziness, or even death. “Jennie is the third kid in her family and her mother is the only one fighting to raise the kids. Jennie's father doesn't have a job; he hardly supports Jennie’s mother, and he cannot take care of the family. Jennie’s mother is a babysitter and she used to do laundry to make some additional money to help her kids," PM shares. With $1,260 in funding, Jennie will undergo a procedure called a hydrocephalus shunt placement, in which the excess fluid will be drained from her brain cavities and a shunt will be placed to keep fluid from building up. PM reports that Jennie has very high chances of making a full recovery. PM shares, “After the surgery she will be able to live a healthy life.”
Meet Tapesh, a 16-year-old boy from Nepal. When not cutting wood to support his family, Tapesh can be found studying or reading Nepali stories and poems. He lives with his mother and his three older brothers, and his father works in India to help support the family. "Tapesh was swinging on the branch of a tree when the branch snapped and he fell on the ground," our medical partner, Possible, shares. "He has been in constant pain since then." “We will have to take loans on interest if we are to fix my brother’s hand without any donations,” Tapesh’s brother tells Possible. If left untreated, Tapesh’s fracture could heal unaligned, leading to lifelong wrist pain and limited mobility around the joint. $224 will cover the cost to fix Tapesh's left hand, including x-rays, the operation, and all costs of the hospital stay. With this operation and about a month of healing and physical therapy, Tapesh’s bones will have aligned correctly and he can return to his daily life.
Meet Anslot, a 12-month-old boy from Haiti who was born with hydrocephalus. “After Anslot was born his mother noticed that he cried a lot during the night," our medical partner, Project Medishare (PM), explains, "so she took him to the hospital where he spent 20 days receiving care. Three months later Anslot’s head became much bigger and so he went back to the hospital where his mother was referred to our hospital.” PM continues, “Anslot is facing symptoms such as fever, seizure, and sometimes flu. He also cannot sit up or carry his head.” If Anslot does not receive treatment, his symptoms will worsen and he will be at risk for brain damage, decreased physical and mental capabilities, and even death. However, paying for care is very difficult for Anslot’s family. “Anslot is one of four children," PM says, "and lives in the countryside with his three sisters and mother. His father lives in the city doing random jobs to support his family, but they are poor and cannot pay for the surgery to save Anslot’s life.” Anslot’s mother adds, “His sickness causes a lot of problems because I cannot sleep at all during the night and I have to move and hold him.” With $1,260 in funding, Anslot will receive a hydrocephalus shunt placement. During this procedure, the excess fluid will be drained from Anslot’s head and, as the surgery’s name suggests, a shunt will be placed in the area to prevent future cerebrospinal fluid buildup. According to PM, “Treatment will have a very positive impact on Anslot's life; after the surgical intervention the other issues caused by the hydrocephalus will be eliminated Anslot will have access to a safer and healthier life.”
James, a seven-year-old boy from Kenya, is the youngest of five siblings and loves football. His mother is a farmer and his father works on construction sites to support their family. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), shares that James was born with a small anal opening and had a colostomy done right after he was born. Recently he had a pull-through procedure to reposition his anus and minimize damage to surrounding structures. However, he needs one final surgery to ensure he heals properly. Currently James undergoes anal dilation to prevent scar tissue from closing the newly created anus. His final surgery will be a colostomy closure, and the treatment cost is $1260. AMHF tells us: "He suffers stomach upsets. James is at risk of suffering constipation and bowel perforation because of inability to pass stool normally. Due to the nature of his condition, James has not been enrolled in a learning institution." "James is a brilliant child. I can’t wait to see him attend school. He is my joy and I hope he gets treated," James' mother exclaims.
"Fadix is from a war zone in Somalia. Her mother is unwell and cannot afford transport to get Fadix to the hospital," explains our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. One of Fadix's relatives brought her in to the hospital after noticing she was unable to pass stool normally. Fadix is a smiling newborn living in Ethiopia. She was born with an anorectal malformation. After she was born, she immediately underwent surgery to get a colostomy, an artificial passage to make it easier for her to eliminate waste. The colostomy is now blocked and she needs surgery in order to pass stool healthily. "It’s hard for us to get medical treatment for Fadix where we live. If Fadix does not get help here, we are afraid that she will die,” her relatives say. Fadix's family does not have the money they need to cover her medical bills and are eager for her to get better. With $1500, Fadix will receive an anorectoplasty. This operation will surgically create a new passage through which Fadix will pass stool. This operation will eliminate her need for a colostomy and ensure that she can eliminate waste from her body and grow into a healthy young child.
A shy but imaginative young girl, Nit likes, “playing made up games with her friends,” says our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC). The seven-year-old from Cambodia is in first grade and likes math. Nit has a condition known as strabismus. This prevents her eyes from staying aligned, causing them to occasionally cross. Due to the misalignment, strabismus often makes the brain work harder, leading to eye strain and headaches. It can also affect overall vision. Given her condition, Nit has become very shy with other children her age, particularly while at school. Additionally, strabismus can cause patients to tire easily, which may pose issues with schooling. Nit’s mother tells CSC, “her daughter’s studying is affected by her eye.” With $290, Nit will receive strabismus surgery and realign her eyes. This is an effective and long term solution to Nit’s condition, allowing her eyes to function normally throughout her life. To support her recovery, Nit will remain in the hospital for three days after her surgery, giving her immediate access to any medical care she may need. After treatment, “Nit won’t have a cross eye,” CSC says. With surgery, Nit’s mother hopes that Nit will no longer “be shy with her friends.” Importantly—without strain on her eyes—Nit can also continue with her schooling more comfortably.
Eight-month-old Vivian lives with her mother and father in Kenya. “Vivian was born without an anal opening,” explains our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). “She passes stool through a colostomy opening on the upper section of her abdomen and then into a collection bag.” “Vivian is at risk of infection because of occasional leakages that occur and cause general irritation and scaring on her skin,” AMHF adds. “If not treated, she will never be able to pass stool normally.” Vivian’s mother stays at home to care for her, while her father works as a cleaner at a shop close to their home, The money that her father earns does not cover basic needs for the family and his orphaned siblings, whom he also supports. Given the family’s financial situation, they are unable to pay for Vivian’s medical care. With $1,260 in funding, Vivian can undergo an anorectoplasty to create a new anal opening and correct the anorectal malformation. The surgery, says AMHF, will “allow Vivian to pass stool normally.” “I hope my child will pass stool normally soon,” says Vivian’s father. “Thank you for helping us.”
Meet Win, a 10-month-old baby boy from Burma. Win has hydrocephalus—a buildup of fluid within his brain cavities. Our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP), explains, “Win’s mother says that he was a healthy baby and that she didn’t notice any abnormalities with the size of his head when he was born. However, Win suffered two falls. His mother said that after the first fall she noticed swelling near a bump on the left side of his head. After the second fall his mother said that his head got bigger and bigger, and she and his father took Win to hospital.” Unfortunately the first hospital was unable to treat him, and Win’s family could not afford to take him to a second hospital. According to BBP, “Win's mother and father work as day laborers. Win's mother stopped working when Win was born and her husband’s income is insufficient to cover the costs of their daily expenses.” If Win doesn’t receive treatment, the cerebrospinal fluid buildup in his brain could be very harmful, possibly even fatal. As Win grows and develops throughout his childhood, this condition could pose serious health complications, including vision loss and limited physical mobility. With $1,485 in funding, Win will receive a ventriculoperitoneal shunt, which BBP explains, “will ensure that the pressure is relieved from Win's skull and is hoped to increase his functionality as he grows up.” Win’s mother shares, “I hope that my child will be cured and that he will be healthy in the future.”
Meet Zacharia, an eight-year-boy from Kenya whose favorite subject in school is social studies. Zacharia came to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), with hypospadias. "Zacharia’s urethral opening is abnormally placed on the ventral side [underside] of his penis, and as a result, he has an irregular stream," explains AMHF. "Passing urine for him is a challenge and leads to teasing by his brother and friends." AMHF adds, "Zacharia is likely to experience urinary tract infections and impotence if not treated." Treatment for hypospadias is surgery. The surgeon takes tissue grafts from the foreskin or from the inside of the mouth to extend the length of the urethra so that it opens at the tip of the penis. Zacharia’s father is retired and receives a monthly pension, but it is not enough to pay for surgery for Zacharia, in addition to the family’s household needs and education expenses for the children. $655 will cover the cost of surgery for Zacharia, as well as 10 days of hospital care. "If treated," says AMHF, "Zacharia will be able to pass urine normally and the risk of urinary tract infections will also reduce." "I don’t want my brother to laugh at me anymore," says Zacharia. "I hope I will be treated."
Meet Yi, a 58-year-old woman from Cambodia. Our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC), tells us, “Yi is married with a daughter and two grandchildren, and she spends her days doing housework and watching Thai dramas on TV.” For a decade now, Yi has been living with cataracts in both of her eyes. This is a condition that can develop with age as the lens inside the eye becomes cloudy, and as it worsens it can lead to blindness. CSC says that Yi’s cataracts, “Really blur her vision and she finds it hard to do any work at home, difficult to go outside alone, and she thinks she will soon go blind.” Yi’s vision can be restored with cataract surgery. This procedure costs $225 and will remove the cloudy lenses in both of her eyes and replace them with a clear implant. CSC tells us that with this surgery, “Yi will have clear vision.” CSC continues, “After surgery Yi mainly wants to be able to do things independently and be able to go outside without any problems.” Yi’s goal is attainable with this surgery – let’s make it happen!
Meet Sucely, a one-year-old girl from Guatemala. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), describes Sucely as an “active and well-tempered child,” who laughs frequently and enjoys playing with dolls. Sucely lives on a compound-style property with her extended family. “Her aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandmother all participate and contribute to the general well-being of family and spend lots of quality time together,” says WK. Recently, Sucely’s parents have been extremely worried about their youngest daughter, who hasn’t been growing like her two older brothers did. After examining Sucely, WK diagnosed her with acute malnutrition. Sucely does not consume enough food, and she is unable to retain nutrients due to parasitic disease and bacterial infection. If left untreated, Sucely’s malnutrition could lead to extreme dehydration, a compromised immune system, and death. According to Sucely’s mother, “We have a lot of family and so our resources are spread very thin.” Sucely’s father is a part-time carpenter, but he does not make enough to cover the costs of her treatment. For $535, we can help Sucely get the life-saving help she needs. “This treatment will supply Sucely with growth monitoring, micronutrient and food supplementation, and medication for her to recoup some of the weight and height she has lost and increase her overall caloric intake,” says WK. Moreover, her parents will receive “intensive nutrition education, thus building their confidence and ability to care for Sucely throughout her childhood.” Sucely’s mother shares, “Thank you so much for finding us. I am worried because our other two children were not like this. We are excited to learn.” Let’s help give Sucely the opportunity to develop normally and live a healthy, happy life!