Richard joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven years ago, Richard joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Richard's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Maripet, a 9-year-old girl from Kenya, to fund brain surgery.
Richard has funded healthcare for 108 patients in 13 countries.
Richard has funded healthcare for 108 patients in 13 countries.
Meet Maripet, a 9 year-old-girl, living with her parents and two siblings. Her father is a farmer, while her mother stays home to look after the children. In August of last year, Maripet began experiencing persistent, severe headaches. Her parents brought her to a local hospital, where she was prescribed medication, and sent home. When her headaches didn't improve, her parents brought her to a second hospital, where she was given additional medication and sent home, once again. Her family tried traditional medicine, but nothing worked. When Maripet's headaches continued, her parents brought her back to the first hospital they had visited, and this time, brain scans were performed. Maripet's family was immediately referred to our BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, but without funds for her care they had to delay for visit for one month. During that time, Maripet lost her ability to walk and to move her head, and she also lost her eyesight for a few days. She is now in a wheelchair. When she arrived to BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, Maripet was examined and booked for immediate surgery to remove a brain tumor. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help make sure she can finally access the treatment she needs. They are seeking $1,500 to fund Maripet's surgery and medical care. Maripet’s mother says: “I’m very much worried about my daughter's condition. I just pray and hope that she will be fine.”
John is a 12-year-old student living in a small village in northern Haiti. John lives with his parents, three brothers, and one sister, and before he fell ill, he loved to play soccer and to go to school. John has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation, which means that one of his heart valves can no longer pump blood through his body. This condition is due to an infection John suffered earlier in childhood, and it has rendered him weak and left him in late-stage heart failure. The care John needs is not available in Haiti, so John will need to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On May 9th, he'll finally undergo the cardiac surgery he needs, during which surgeons will remove the severely damaged valve and implant a mechanical valve in its place. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $15,000 to pay for the surgery. However, John's family also needs help to fund all the pre and postoperative costs. The $1,500 they are seeking will cover laboratory tests, medicines, checkups and follow-up appointments. It will also help John to obtain a passport, and cover the costs of the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany John's family overseas for his treatment. John shared: "I am looking forward to being strong and healthy again once my heart is fixed."
Joan is a 36-year-old woman and a mother of three teenage children. Joan used to help tend a farm, but the work availability was inconsistent and could not support her family's needs. Her fracture makes it impossible for her to work at this time, and she is currently staying with her mother. Joan's husband works on a construction site. In January, Joan slipped while doing chores outside her home and broke her hand. She was rushed to a local hospital, where she was given a cast for six weeks, followed by an arm sling. Since her pain never subsided, she visited Kijabe Hospital for further review. The doctors noticed a deformity at the fracture site and conducted an X-ray, which revealed a fracture in her upper arm. They determined that Joan will need to undergo surgery to heal. Currently, Joan cannot use her left arm, and it's affecting her family's livelihood. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Joan receive treatment. On April 13th, she will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, that will allow her to use her arm again. AMH is requesting $1,500 to help fund this procedure. Joan shared, "I have been in prolonged pain for a lengthy period of time. My hand is broken, and I can no longer use my hand to work. This surgery will help me get back to my work and raise my family."
Glory lives with her grandmother in the village to attend school, while her four younger siblings live with her parents in the city. She is currently in form four and would like to be newscaster when she completes her studies. Last December, Glory developed an infection on her right hand. This affected her studies to some extent, but she was determined to go to school to complete her final year. However, the wound has now contracted as it healed, making her unable to straighten her fingers. This injury has made it difficult to hold a pen well enough to write, but she has continued her studies as best as she can. Glory's family learned that she needs surgery to heal her condition and to be able to fully use her hand in the future. Her father could not afford the cost of the surgery out of his wages earned in his construction job. But, when he heard about the visiting plastic surgery team over the radio, he decided to seek help. Now, African Mission Healthcare is seeking support to fund her surgery, which will allow her better mobility in her hand. Glory says, “It was hard for me to accept that my finger would need to be amputated but the surgeons have assured me that it will help me use my other fingers better making carrying out daily activities easier than now. Especially in my studies.”
Agnes is food vendor in the capital city of Nairobi, Kenya. She shared that she usually earns about $5 a day. Agnes is a widow and lives with her two children who are now grown. Together they live in a one-room house costing about $40 per month. Her medical coverage is not active because she has not been able to pay the monthly premiums with her earnings. Agnes has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been recommended to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Agnes. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 11th. After treatment, Agnes will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Agnes says, “The news about cancer is still shocking. I have hopes the disease will be stopped from spreading.“
Iqram is a five-year-old girl and the last-born child in her family. She is a charming and social girl who is currently in class two. Iqram’s mother and father are no longer live together after divorcing and her mother is now back at her parent’s home looking after her two children. She sells vegetables to be able to make a living for their family. Doctors have diagnosed Iqram with bilateral genu varus, her legs bow outward. 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 cannot walk well. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Iqram. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 11th. Treatment will hopefully restore Iqram's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Iqram’s mother says “I will be grateful if you can help my daughter have her legs corrected. I cannot afford the treatment cost.”
Agrey is a 10-day old baby boy and the first child of his young parents. Agrey's parents have been happy to welcome their firstborn. His mother takes care of their home and Agrey's father works as a truck driver at a local sand quarry. His income is not much, but helps them make ends meet. Agrey was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Agrey is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Agrey's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 14th. This procedure will hopefully spare Agrey from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Agrey’s mother says “The cost for my son’s surgery is too expensive for my husband to afford and our son needs this surgery, kindly help us.”
Denis is a 64-year-old small scale farmer and a father of three children. He lives with his wife in a three-room home. Their family relies on farming for their daily food and sells the surplus to meet their other needs. Denis proudly shared that he has educated all of his children, and they are all married and now have their own responsibilities. Three years ago, Denis developed a small mass under his left chest. The mass has been growing over time, and while testing confirmed that it is not cancerous, he needs to have the mass removed to reduce future risk. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Denis to receive treatment. A surgeon at AMH's care center performed an exam and recommended that he undergo surgery. On September 21st, surgeons will remove the mass. Now, Denis needs help to raise $145 to fund this procedure. Denis shared, "I pray and hope to look normal again after the surgery. I am worried but I can't afford it. I will continue with farming to be able to take good care of myself and my family."
Azariyas is a curious and active toddler from Ethiopia who loves to play with his parents. He is an only child, and he loves running and playing football. His father is a day laborer, who also farms a small piece of land. His mother is a housewife, and was a student before she gave birth. Azariyas was born with hypospadias, a birth condition that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility and other complications. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Azariyas receive treatment. On November 4th, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Azariyas's father shared with a hopeful smile, "After the treatment, I hope our boy will heal and start to stand and pee. One day I hope he will reach a place in life that I couldn’t."
Pel is a young mother who lives with her husband, mother-in-law, and three sons in a refugee camp. She and her mother-in-law work at home and her husband is a nurse at the hospital in their refugee camp. Before her vision worsened, she used to weave traditional Karen bags like ones for her sons to use as school bags once they are old enough to attend. Now, Pel is no longer able to see faces and can only make out shapes. When she walks, she will often hit her toes against stones in her path, and when she moves around in her home, she will often hit her head on the door frame. She now needs someone to help guide her when she walks. Pel's mother-in-law moved in after she gave birth to her six-month-old son, since Pel could no longer see her baby's face at that point. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Pel. On October 14th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Pel's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, Pel needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. She said, “I really want to see my baby’s face and I am excited to see him after my surgery. Thank you so much to the donors who will help me receive treatment. I know my family could never afford to pay for my treatment.”
Winfred is a humble and shy 18-year-old girl. She is the second born in a family of three children. Her mother is single and works as a farmer. About eight years ago, when Winfred was 10 years old, she developed a change in her legs so that the bow and began experiencing pain when walking long distances. Since then, her condition has worsened. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Winfred receive treatment. On September 16th, she will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. After surgery, she will be able to walk much more easily and will no longer experience pain when walking long distances. She will be able to continue with her life like her peers. Now, her family needs help raising $1,224 to fund her procedure. Winfred shared, "I would love to walk well like other girls and continue with my normal life."
Furahini is a five-year-old student from Tanzania and the oldest child in a family of three children. Furahini is hardworking, friendly, and social; she is currently in kindergarten and loves coloring in her free time. "Furahini" is a Swahili word that means "be happy". Her grandmother suggested the name to her parents because even though they were worried about her birth condition, they were thankful for their firstborn child. Furahini has clubfoot of right foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. The condition causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Furahini to receive treatment. She traveled to visit AMH's care center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 10th. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Furahini's procedure. After treatment, she will able to walk easily and wear shoes. Her grandmother shared, "my granddaughter is struggling to walk thus she was sent to stay with me so that she does not have to walk long distances to school. If she is able to have her foot corrected she will go back to her family and enjoy living with her parents and siblings."