Karen SternMONTHLY DONOR
Karen's Story

Karen joined Watsi on September 25th, 2016. Five years ago, Karen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Karen's most recent donation supported Thidar, a hardworking mother from Burma, to undergo surgery to treat an infection.

Impact

Karen has funded healthcare for 61 patients in 11 countries.

All patients funded by Karen

Saroh is a 17-year-old girl who lives with her parents, two younger brothers and a younger sister in a village in Burma. Her sister and brothers attend school while Saroh has never gone to school due to her health. Saroh’s parents are farmers and they grow rice. Saroh was around five or six months old, when her mother noticed that when Saroh tried to roll over, her lips, toes and fingers would turn blue. Saroh's mother was unable to take Saroh to a clinic or hospital because they did not have enough money to do so. When Saroh was 5 years old she would often become tired when playing with her friends. Her lips, toes and fingers were also still blue. On a recommendation from a family friend, Saroh’s mother brought Saroh to a free clinic where she was referred to a hospital for further investigation. Following diagnostics exams, Saroh’s mother was told that Saroh was born with a heart condition. In order to get treatment Saroh would have to be transferred to a hospital that was very far. Without enough information or money to travel and pay for treatments, Saroh and her mother traveled back to their village. Saroh was then treated with traditional medicine which according to Saroh’s mother seemed to stabilize her condition. In the middle of 2019, Saroh started to experience back pain. She also felt more tired and had difficulty breathing. Her mother did not know what to do as they had no money to bring her to a hospital or a clinic. Saroh’s mother asked their friends if they knew of a way that Saroh could receive treatment. In May 2020, Saroh’s uncle told his friend about Saroh’s condition. That friend happened to be a former staff member of our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and told Saroh’s uncle about how BCMF could help. BCMF agreed to help Saroh access the treatment she needs, and is requesting $1500 to fund her cardiac surgery. Now staying at the patient house in Chiang Mai, Saroh is learning how to read and write with the help of BCMF staff who teaches here during her free time while waiting for her treatment. Saroh said, “If I feel better, I want to help my mother with household chores. In the future, I think I want to go to Bible school and become a missionary. I am very thankful to all the donors who are willing to help pay for the cost of my treatment.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Veronica is a cheerful, married 29-year-old mother of two children. Veronica shared that she left school in primary school, because her parents could not afford her school fees. Her husband earns a living through helping people lift heavy luggage at a local bus station, and he also does a variety of other jobs when he has the opportunity. Veronica enjoys spending time with her two children, ages two and four; they give her joy and fulfillment as a mother. Her family lives in a one-bedroom rented house. In 2009, Veronica developed a swelling on her neck. She ignored it, thinking it would soon go away, but in 2014, the swelling grew. In 2015, she was diagnosed with a goiter, or enlarged thyroid, and surgery was recommended. As the goiter continues to grow, she has experienced coughing, difficulty breathing and difficulty swallowing. She can no longer sing in church or carry heavy things on her head, and she shared that she can no longer eat hard foods like msima, a Malawian staple. Veronica also told us that the condition has changed her appearance and has impacted her self-esteem. Veronica has visited the government hospital more than 15 times since her diagnosis, but her surgery was always rescheduled. Two weeks ago, she went to a different hospital and was referred to our medical partner's care center, where a surgeon recommended a thyroidectomy. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Veronica receive treatment. On May 25th, Veronica will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $1,015 to fund her procedure. The surgery is expected to improve her life and heal her symptoms. With a hopeful smile, Veronica shared, “I am overwhelmed with this opportunity to be sponsored for this operation. After the operation, I hope to live normally and care for my children properly. I believe I should be able to eat hard msima [the Malawi staple food] or raw cassava and potatoes which I now miss greatly. I look forward to sleeping without struggles after this surgery, much appreciation!”

$1,015raised
Fully funded

Jonah is a 9-year-old student from Kenya. He is a jovial and high-spirited boy. Jonah is the seventh born in a family of eight children. Under the sponsorship of a well-wisher, he is a second grade student at Mwiteria Vision Academy. Jonah's family hails from Iteria Village in Meru County. His mother is a single parent who used to be a farmer, but now stays at home to take care of her children. She recently underwent an amputation on her leg after suffering from diabetes. Jonah has clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even with wearing shoes. His mother, sister, and elder brother brought him to AIC Hospital's mobile clinic in Meru to seek treatment. Watsi donors supported surgery for his left foot and now his family has returned to help heal is right foot as well. Jonah will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. Fortunately, he is scheduled to under go a clubfoot repair surgery on January 25th. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,286 to fund Jonah's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk and play easily again. Rosaria, Jonah's mother shared, “We are grateful for helping my two sons undergo surgery. We have seen a lot of impact on their feet. Previously, they used to complain of pain while walking and they like playing a lot. We plead for more support to ensure that their feet can be able to step on the ground and walk like other children. God bless you."

$1,286raised
Fully funded

Brian is a nine-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the only child in his family. Brian was born with bilateral clubfoot, which due to lack of resources, ended up being neglected. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. In May 2020, with support from Watsi donors, Brian had a successful postmedial release on his right foot. He now requires surgery to correct his left foot as well so that he can walk easily and with better balance. His family is not able to raise funds needed for the cost of his care. Brian's father is a carpenter and his mother is a farmer. Their combined income is not enough to meet the required cost of surgery. Brian's father is grateful for the support they received for his first surgery. Now, the family once again appeals for help.  Fortunately, Brian traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. Surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Brian's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily again. Brian's father shared, “I lack words to express my sincere gratitude to God, CURE and Watsi for the great support they have rendered to us, indeed you have been of great help to us. We were in despair because of our son, but you have restored hope to our family. We are witnessing to people of what you have done to us. Be blessed."

$1,286raised
Fully funded

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.

$1,286raised
Fully funded