Martin joined Watsi on November 5th, 2014. Six years ago, Martin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Martin's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Grayson, a young toddler from Kenya, to fund corrective surgery for his birth condition.
Martin has funded healthcare for 41 patients in 10 countries.
Martin has funded healthcare for 41 patients in 10 countries.
Grayson is the fourth born in a family of five children. His mother shared that their family is not well off financially, as his father works a matatu driver and the sole breadwinner. His mother is not able to go to work as she has to take care of Grayson and his younger brother. Grayson was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Grayson has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Grayson will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 17th. AMHF is requesting $569 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Grayson’s mother says, “As his mother, I can do anything to see my child is treated but I cannot go to work to help raise the funds for his surgery as I have to take care of him.”
Rexa is a 47-year-old mother from Malawi. She has four children, and her sister lives together with their family. Rexa has been selling second-hand clothes called kaunjika locally, but had to pause her business last December due to her health condition. Rexa’s husband is an electrician and is currently unemployed. Two of their children are in college, and they shared that their family is struggling to pay their school fees. Rexa also cares for her mom, who lives in the village. Last December, Rexa started having sharp pains in her abdomen radiating to the back and both legs. Her husband has taken her to many hospitals to figure out the cause of her pain, and it has cost their family a significant amount of money. After being evaluated for peptic ulcers, heart, liver, and kidney problems to no avail, she finally was diagnosed in April with uterine fibroids. Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman's uterus. These growths may become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding. If left untreated, fibroids can continue to grow, both in size and number, and could result in increased heavy bleeding or a fatal case of anemia. Rexa was referred to Partners in Hope Medical Center for further review and the gynecologist recommended that she undergo a hysterectomy, which will remove her uterus and cervix and hopefully cure her of this pain. However, she has no insurance and is unable to pay for the cost of her care due to her family's earnings. Rexa will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. She is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on May 28th, and African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,363 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After the surgery, Rexa is hopeful that she will stop having abdominal pains and can return to normal life, which can help her resume her business and support her family members again. Rexa's husband shared, “I am excited that finally there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. When my wife feels pain, I also feel pain and I fail to go and look for work to support the family. I strongly believe that this surgery will bring an end to our misery and sleepless nights. Now we will stop begging relatives for support with even transport money to the hospital, I am very grateful to the donors!”
Sen is a 73-year-old rice farmer who has four daughters and ten grandchildren. Sen lives with his wife and his youngest daughter. Nowadays, he no longer goes to the rice field because of his age and his poor vision. Instead, he stays at home to look after his grandchildren. In his spare time, Sen likes to listen to the monks preaching and news on the radio. One year ago, Sen developed a cataract in his left eye, causing him photophobia, blurry vision, and sometimes tearing. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Sen learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three and a half hours with his son-in-law seeking treatment. On February 16th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, Sen needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Sen shared, "I hope that after my surgery I can see clearly. I want to join ceremonies at the pagoda, and help my wife to care for our grandchildren."
Lucas is a playful four-month-old baby boy and the youngest child in a family of five children from his mother. His parents are small scale farmers of maize and vegetables for their food and they also keep livestock for a living, which allows them to get milk. Given the remoteness of their village, they shared that life is very difficult; meeting basic needs and access to health services are big challenges. Lucas 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, Lucas traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Lucas's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when he grows up. Lucas’s father shared, "we have no means of raising money to afford our son’s treatment cost. We will be very grateful if you can help correct his feet."
Htun is a 50-year-old man from Thailand. He lives with his wife, son, and two daughters in Thailand. Htun and his wife work as agricultural day laborers, but Htun had to stop working after he injured his eye. Currently, Htun can only perceive light with both of his eyes, but he cannot clearly see objects. Although he is not in pain, he needs someone to assist him when he walks or eats. He also cannot work nor do any household chores as a result of losing his vision. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Htun. On March 2nd, doctors will perform the lens replacement surgery, and they will remove Htun's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After his surgery, Htun will be able to see clearly and get back to all that he needs to do in the day. Htun said, “I am sad and depressed that I cannot see nor do anything. I feel sorry that my wife has had to accompany me everywhere and do every little thing for me such as helping me eat and go to the bathroom. I want to regain my vision quickly and I want to go back to work.”
Rebecca is a 1-year-old girl from Tanzania. She is the last born in a family of two children and has started to grow into a strong and beautiful girl. Both of her parents depend on small scale farming to support their family. Rebecca was initially brought to the hospital by her parents seeking treatment to help correct her spina bifida condition. Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord fail to form properly. This puts a child in danger of limb paralyses or death in case of a severe infection. At the time, Rebecca's parents could not afford the proposed surgery. Luckily, one of their friends advised them to seek help at our medical partner's care center, ALMC Plaster House. Through Watsi funding, Rebecca’s life was saved and she has been growing well since then. However, a few weeks ago, Rebecca's mother noticed her daughter's head was increasing in size at a very fast rate and she was complaining of headaches. Her parents had worked hard to save some money and got a health insurance card for their baby, so they decided to take her to the hospital to seek treatment. There, Rebecca was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. She needs to have an ETV surgery that will help relieve her of the pressure build-up, which would otherwise lead to brain damage. Unfortunately, their insurance has not matured enough to cover this kind of major surgery, so Rebecca's parents are appealing for financial support to help her. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Rebecca that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 25th and will drain the excess fluid from Rebecca's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Rebecca will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Rebecca’s mother shared, “My daughter’s head is increasing in size and it is making her sick. She needs surgery but the insurance we got for her cannot cover the cost. Please help once more if it is possible because we don’t know where to run to for help besides all of you.”
Collins is a young boy from the northeastern slopes of Mt Kenya in Meru County, Kenya. He is 5 years old and is the firstborn in a family of two children. His mother is a housewife, while his father is a mason. Collins was born with clubfoot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. Since birth, he has had serial casting treatment, but his condition has yet to improve. Both his mother and his sibling also have neglected clubfoot conditions. Collins has difficulty with walking and wearing shoes, and is unable to play with other kids. In January 2020, he was able to undergo a left posterior medial release (PMR) with Watsi support, and his foot has corrected well. As a result of the surgery, he is able to wear his left shoe and his walking has improved. However, his right foot is still deformed and requires surgery for him to be able to walk comfortably and confidently on both feet. Fortunately, Collins' family traveled back to our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on his right foot on January 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Collins's clubfoot repair. This surgery will be very impactful for Collins because he will be able to walk, play, and enjoy life like other children. His mother is grateful for the support for his first surgery, and again appeals for support for this procedure as their income level is not high enough to afford his needed care. Collins' mother shared, “I would like to thank CURE Hospital and AMH-Watsi who made possible my son’s first surgery. May the almighty God bless you. I continue to plead for support for the planned surgery on his right foot so that he can fully walk without any difficulty.”
Naomi is a 6-year-old girl from Tanzania and the youngest to her mother who has five children. Naomi's father is polygamous with three wives with a total of thirteen children in their family. Her parents have a few cattle which they depend on for daily living. Naomi is a playful girl and always wants to take part in daily home activities, but most of the time she can't due to her disability and how much she struggles using her hand. At the age of four months, Naomi was left by her mother sleeping as she went outside. She had left a fire burning close to the bed to keep their hut warm when Naomi rolled and fell into it. Her mother heard her cry and ran to her rescue. She sustained severe burns around her head and face, left hand, left foot, and around her stomach. Currently, she can’t use her left hand because it has contracted from the burn scar making it impossible for her to straighten and use it. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Naomi receive treatment. On December 1st, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. She will be able to straighten her hand and use it after she heals from surgery. Now, her family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Naomi’s mother shared: “My daughter is very hard working but her hand limits her a lot and I feel bad seeing her struggling to carry out her daily life activities. Please help treat her.”
Elias is a 10-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the third born in a family of four children. Elias is a third grade student at St Mary’s Catholic School and his favorite subject is Swahili. He likes to play with toys and is very innovative! His family hails from Kaptibor village and Elias' father is a cook at a school, while his mother is a housewife. Their family lives in a two-roomed rental house together with their children. Elias was born healthy without complications. However, when he was three years old, his father noticed he had developed an unusual walking style where the right foot bent inside. At the time, their family did not seek further care for his condition. Later on, Elias' father heard about our medical partner's care center, CURE Hospital, through a friend and learned about what we do. Upon the doctor's review, Elias has been scheduled to undergo surgery on November 2nd to correct the deformity on his right foot. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,224 to fund his procedure. Currently, Elias drags his foot and is not able to walk well, so the surgery will be very impactful for him. Once recovered, he will be able to walk well and comfortably. Elias' father, Samson, shared, “Any kind of support to help our boy walk comfortably will be highly appreciated.”
Tun is a 33-year-old man from Burma. He used to work as a day laborer at a construction site until he fell sick. During his free time, he enjoys playing billiards with his friends. Tun 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. Currently, Tun is experiencing tiredness, fast heartbeats, sharp chest pains, and he is unable to sleep well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Tun. The treatment is scheduled to take place on December 16th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Tun said, "I am very happy that I received this chance of getting treatment. It is impossible if I must fund my own treatment. Thank you very much for your support.”
John is a 46-year-old disabled father of three who needs to undergo a second-stage bone transport surgery. John shared his story with us: In early December 2015, he was attacked by an unknown assailant who robbed him and dragged him along the road causing a serious femur fracture on his left leg. Unconscious, he was rushed to Kenyatta National Hospital where he was admitted and underwent surgery receiving an implant. This marked the beginning of a series of surgeries associated with his fracture and he was later referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital for treatment and management of his condition. Although he has applied for funding through the national insurance scheme, it was not approved due to his previous treatments and he now needs financial support for a bone transport surgery. Previously, John was a matatu driver but quit after a serious accident. He lives in a single room house that a local church offered because of his condition and his children are currently living with his sister. John is ambulating on crutches and if not treated, he might be at risk of not being able to walk freely again. John said, “With my disability, I am unable to cater for my family and live normally. If I get the required treatment, I will be able to raise my 3 kids and live normally again.”
Lors is a 26-year-old rubber plantation worker from Cambodia. He has two daughters and enjoys playing soccer, listening to music, and helping around the house when he is not working. In July 2019, Lors was in a motorcycle accident and collided with a truck, injuring his left arm. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He experiences pain and has lost sensation in his shoulder and is unable to move his arm. Lors traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On December 11th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to regain sensation and move his arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $637 to fund this procedure. "I hope that my hand will be back to full function just like before, and then I can return to work again," Lors shared.