Nancy's Story

Nancy joined Watsi on July 17th, 2015. Seven years ago, Nancy joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Nancy's most recent donation supported Samuel, a 21-year-old from Kenya, to fund surgery to close a colostomy and live a more independent life.

Impact

Nancy has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 11 countries.

All patients funded by Nancy

Samuel is a 21-year-old talkative young man. He is the second born in a family of five children. His father passed away when he was four years old, so his mother had to raise him and his siblings by herself. She does jobs on tea farms to provide for the family. When Samuel was two years old, his abdomen started to swell, which was very painful for him. His mother took him to the hospital and he was given some medication and sent back home. The medication did not work as expected. He was then taken to a different hospital for examination. He was given more medication and after some time he seemed to be better. The stomachache did not go away completely, however. Samuel and his mother shared that over the years, he has had stomachaches and gotten used to taking pain medication. In 2017 when Samuel was in high school, the pain worsened and his abdomen started to swell again. He had to leave school as a result. His mother took him to a hospital in Meru where he was admitted for three months. While in the hospital, scans and a biopsy were done to determine what the problem was. He was given a colostomy, where the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall, in order to pass stool. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Samuel's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. At that time, his doctors did not manage to treat him and referred him to BethanyKids Hospital in 2018. On arrival, he was examined and admitted, as he was not in good condition. After more scans and tests, he was ultimately diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease. Since then, Samuel has undergone several surgeries with the aim of trying to better his condition. The first surgery failed, but the second was successful. He is now scheduled to undergo his last surgery to close the colostomy so that he can pass stool on his own again and live a more active life. Earlier in his treatment, Samuel's parents had enrolled in the national health insurance program (NHIF), which helped them pay for most of his hospital bills. BethanyKids also chipped in on occasion to help with some of the bills. Unfortunately, for his last surgery, NHIF has rejected the request since he is beyond the age to be covered by his mother’s insurance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping him to undergo treatment and needs $1,084 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Samuel. The surgery is scheduled to take place on November 11th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Samuel’s Mother says, “For years now, I have been very worried about my son, but God has seen us through.”

31%funded
$346raised
$737to go

Meet Venesa, a beautiful two year old girl. She was born at home with a swelling at the lower part of her back, and with legs that were not straight like other babies their family knew. The day after she was born, Venesa's parents took her to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with spina bifida and clubfoot. The family was advised to wait until Venesa turned nine months old, before having her undergo the surgery that she needs. Although surgery was deemed urgent, when Venesa was finally old enough, her parents couldn't afford to pay for it. Then, about a year ago, Venesa was diagnosed with hydrocephalus. Venesa's mom shared that shortly after this last diagnosis, Venesa's father abandoned the family and is not involved in helping support them any more. Venesa's mother used to work at a salon, but after Venesa's birth, she has been unable to work. They are now living with Venesa's grandmother, who does what she can to help. Without surgery for her spina bifida, Venesa risks paralysis of her lower limbs, infection of the exposed nerve tissue, and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Venesa's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 14th, at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. This procedure will hopefully spare Venesa from the risks associated with her condition, allowing her to experience a strong and healthy life. Venesa’s mother says: “Since she was born, I have no peace knowing that I can’t afford her treatment.”

56%funded
$652raised
$499to go

Naw En is a 31-year-old woman who lives with her husband, two sons and parents in a village in Karen State near the border of Burma and Thailand. Her husband and parents are subsistence farmers. Naw En is a village health worker, and her two sons are primary school students in the village. Although she earns around 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month to support her family, she does whatever she can to only charge the villagers she treats for medications provided. Those who cannot afford to pay for the cost of medications are provided medication free of charge. Her family also raises chickens and pigs for their family to eat. The income Naw En earns is just enough to cover their daily expenses, but they have to borrow money to pay for anything else, like basic health care. Naw En learned she was pregnant last August 2021. She went to register her pregnancy at nearby Hlaingbwe Hospital, but the doctor told her to go to Hpa-An General Hospital when she told them that she had high blood pressure and previously needed a c-section delivery. When she went to Hpa-An General Hospital, a nurse told her to go to Taw Win Thu Ka Hospital because they were understaffed due to the coup and humanitarian crisis in their area. Finally, she then registered her pregnancy at Taw Win Thu Ka Hospital last November and received an ultrasound, blood test and urine test. The doctor gave her monthly follow-up appointments to check her high blood pressure and to check that her baby is in the right position. In January, Naw En learned that she will have a girl. “I was very happy to hear this as I already have two sons,” she said. Her doctor has now told her that she will need another c-section to ensure a safe delivery and unable to come up with the money needed, Naw En called her friend who works in Mae Sot to ask for help. Her friend told her about our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and that she may be able to find assistance in accessing her treatment. Currently, Naw En is taking medication for high blood pressure and feels tired when she walks. She can feel her baby kicking. When her blood pressure is high, she feels dizzy. She feels stressed each time she has to travel to the hospital, as it is located four hours from her home and cost 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) just for the round-trip transportation. She is also worried about the cost of her c-section and that they would have to borrow money if they cannot find donors. In the future, she will continue to work as a village health worker. In her free times, she loves to spend time with her two sons and play with them. Naw En said, “I was happy when BCMF staff told me that donors will help pay for my c-section. Thank you so much to the donors for reliving me of my worries.” She also added, “I am very happy and excited to have a baby girl!”

$1,328raised
Fully funded

Phyu is a 17-year-old who lives with her parents, husband, and two brothers on the Thai-Burma border. Her father and husband work as day labourers, while her mother looks after her two younger brothers. Phyu used to help on small jobs too, but stopped six months ago when she first felt unwell. Beginning last October, Phyu felt tired, experienced chest tightness, and oedema in both her legs. A few days later, she went to a clinic and was told that she has a problem with her heart. She received medication and a follow-up appointment for the following week. Although she took the medication regularly, she did not feel any better. When she went back to the clinic, it was closed due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in their area. While she waited for the clinic to reopen, the swelling in her legs worsened and she also had difficulty breathing. Eventually, her employer drove her to Phop Phra Hospital, where she was admitted and given oxygen. The doctor at the hospital referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) the next day where she received a number of diagnostic tests. The doctor told her that she has a heart condition and diagnosed her with aortic valve regurgitation. The medical team shared that she needed to undergo surgery and told her to travel to Chiang Mai where they can provide the care she needs. Worried about how her family would afford the surgery, once Phyu arrived at the clinic, a medic referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing the treatment she needs. Currently, Phyu feels tired if she walks far or when she has to do anything strenuous such as carrying water or cleaning her house. If she sleeps on her back, she has difficulty breathing. Although she still has oedema in her legs, the swelling has gone down since she started taking medication from MSH. “When I recover from surgery, I want to work to help increase my family’s income so that we can pay back our debt. I also want to support my brother who is attending a teacher training college in Burma. He is a second-year student now," said Phyu with new hope for her future.

$1,500raised
Fully funded