Terri joined Watsi on December 17th, 2015. Five years ago, Terri joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Terri's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Shem, a future artist and designer from Kenya, to fund hernia repair so that he can regain his confidence.
Terri has funded healthcare for 72 patients in 12 countries.
Terri has funded healthcare for 72 patients in 12 countries.
Shem is a high school graduate from Kenya who hopes to pursue arts and design in college. He currently lives with his mother in Nairobi. He is the older sibling, and his younger sibling is still in high school. Shem's father left the family when Shem was young, and Shem is not working currently, so their mother supports the whole family through washing clothes and working other temporary jobs. About a year ago, Shem started experiencing pain and swelling and was diagnosed with a left inguinal hernia. Fortunately, he will finally undergo hernia repair surgery on July 2nd at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $425 to fund Shem's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live with more comfort and confidence. Shem shared his current challenges and hopes for the future, "I want to pursue arts and design but I am facing several challenges including this constant stomach pains. I am forced to be on my own most of the time, which is affecting how I interact with other people. My hopes are up since the doctors recommended surgery as a remedy for my pains.”
Joana is a 50-year-old primary school teacher from Malawi. She teaches a class of more than 80 children. She shared that she loves teaching because it makes her feel young and energetic. Joana is also a mother of two children of her own, ages 29 and 27. In March 2021, Joana visited a local clinic for a routine check-up and was diagnosed with a uterine mass. A total abdominal hysterectomy, or a procedure where both the uterus and cervix are removed, was recommended as treatment. If her condition is not treated, Joana is at risk of becoming severely anemic. After the surgery, it is expected that Joana will no longer experience the uncomfortable symptoms associated with her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Joana to receive treatment. On June 5th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a hysterectomy. Now, Joana needs help to fund this $1,363 procedure. Joana shared, “I will soon be a grandmother and I want to be in good health so I can play with my grandchildren the way I play with learners at school. I appreciate your support to have this uterine mass removed."
Subira is a forty-one-year-old mother of six children. Subira and the husband are small scale farmers who grow mainly food crops which they use for their food and sell the surplus to buy other basic commodities for their family. Subira was born with a small swelling on her back but her parents were never able to seek treatment of any kind for her since it didn't look like it was something serious. Over the years, the swelling has been increasing in size gradually and it’s now causing her pain and discomfort. In addition to these new challenges, the swelling is also discharging fluids, causing her to panic. Her condition is affecting her ability to walk and care for her family. Subira has spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Subira is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of other complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Subira's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. This procedure will hopefully spare Subira from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to flourish along a healthier trajectory. Subira says, "I am really scared about the condition, I have children to look after but in my current state I am not fit enough to care for them, please help me get this surgery."
Biruk is a young boy from Ethiopia who loves to eat spaghetti and macaroni. He also enjoys doing arts and crafts, and loves to play hide and seek with his friends in his neighborhood. Biruk is the second child in his family, and he has one older sister. His dad is a teacher in primary school and his mom is a housewife. Biruk lives together with his parents and sister in a rented house. Biruk was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment and surgery, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility as he grows older. Fortunately, Biruk is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,231 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Biruk shared with us, “I want to heal well and go to school and become a pilot.”
Shoh is a 47-year-old man who lives with his wife, two sons, daughter-in-law and two daughters in Nu Poe Refugee Camp in Thailand. In the camp, Shoh and his oldest son are teachers who teach about the Quran for other refugees. They each earn 1,200 baht (approx. 40 USD) per month. His wife is often sick, and his eldest daughter has to look after her at home. His daughter-in-law is a homemaker while his youngest daughter and son are students. Shoh’s household receives 1,110 baht (approx. 37 USD) every month on a cash card to purchase rations in the camp. Their monthly household income is just enough to cover their daily expenses as they also receive free basic health care and education in the camp. Since February 2020, Shoh has had umbilical hearnia. Currently, Shoh’s abdomen pain is not severe but his hernia is still increasing in size. He feels uncomfortable when he walks because of his swollen abdomen. He cannot sleep well and is increasingly worried about his diagnosis. The pain in his abdomen increases when he feels cold, especially at night. Fortunately, on March 9th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Shoh's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 9th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Shoh said, “I do not want to stop being a teacher. I love teaching the Quran to young children. Also, if I do not teach, I do not earn an income and my family does not have enough income to cover our household expenses.”
Su is a 16-year-old girl from Burma. She has three siblings. Su’s mother is a home maker, and her older brother works as a day labourer. Su and her youngest sister are students and this year Su is in grade seven. Her family's combined monthly income is around 200,000 kyat (approx. 200 USD) per month, which is just enough for their daily expenses, but not enough to pay for basic healthcare. When she has free time, Su loves to play football with her friends at school and she likes to be the goalkeeper. She also loves to read books and watch movies. Su plans to continue her studies as soon as she finishes her treatment. Su 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, Su still feels tired, but not as much as before she started taking her medication. When she feels more tired, her breath quickens. Su has stopped attending school since she got sick. Although she wants to go back to school, her mother worries for her as her school is a little far and she normally walks there. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Su. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 12nd and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Su's mother shared, “Su really wants to go to school but I worry that the long walking distance from our house to her school will make her tired and worsen her condition. So, I asked her to stay home for a while until she can get treated.”
Marline is a 7-year-old boy from Kenya. He is a cheerful boy and a Grade 2 student at Jayden Academy. Marline wants to be an engineer when he grows up. Marline's mother says that he loves to dismantle and assemble electronics in the house, and is well on his way to his career dreams. Additionally, Marline has a condition called spina bifida. Earlier in April 2020, Marline was playing with his friends when his mother noticed a small pimple-like wound on his right foot. It was small at first, but slowly started to grow bigger in size. His mother rushed him to a nearby health centre in their hometown, where he has been undergoing dressing in the facility but they have not seen much improvement. Since Marline has been coming to Kijabe Hospital for his spina bifida clinic, he opted to seek review in the hospital and get this wound checked. He was reviewed a week ago by the plastic and pediatric surgical teams, who recommended that he undergoes debridement, excision of calcaneal ulcer, and flap cover surgery to clean and heal his infected wound. Currently, Marline is in pain and at risk for further infection. If left unattended, the wound may result in severe infection and possible amputation. Unfortunately, these procedures are costly for Marline's family. His mother is a single mother raising two kids on her own. Their family lives in a bedsitter house in Ruai, at the outskirts of Nairobi. Marline's father left the family and his responsibility. Marline's mother is the sole breadwinner of the family and she has a small grocery kiosk. The total profit from the venture is very small, and her close relatives are not able to assist with financial support. Their family appeals for help. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Marline receive treatment. On January 6th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help heal the wound and prevent possible complications. Now, Marline's family needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Marline's mother says, “This wound is worsening by the day. If left unattended, doctors say that he might lose his leg. This would be hurting all of us. Kindly help us as we really don’t have a way out."
Jane is a 65-year-old farmer from Kenya. She lives in a 3 room house that is built on their ancestral home in South Kinangop. Her husband passed on in 2004. Together, they had 4 children, all of whom are now adults. Jane does small scale farming mainly for home use, and does not have a source of income. Currently, none of her children have stable employment, and are unable to financially support Jane for the care that she needs. Jane 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 suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $857 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Jane. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 9th. After treatment, Jane will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Jane shared, "I thought the itching on my breast was just normal but I was wrong. It has turned out to be cancer which I know can cause death if not controlled. Doctors say I need this surgery to help stop its spread, but I know I cannot afford it."
Alexander is a brave-looking 13-year-old boy from Kiambu County in central Kenya. He is the firstborn in a family of two and in class seven. His mother is single and a casual laborer working in neighbours’ farms. Alexander is very social and likes to play a lot, but in the last three weeks, the mother noticed he was avoiding to play and was not walking in a normal way. When she asked him he could not understand so she brought him to hospital. An ultrasound was done and it showed undescended right testis and inguinal hernia with mild hydrocele. When the surgeon advised for an orchidopexy surgery, Alexander's mother was in tears because she knew that it is very hard to get money for this important surgery. She used to have some national health insurance coverage but has been unable to pay the monthly fee for it. Her hopes were elevated after the surgeon asked her to visit our local Watsi rep's office for possible support. Alexander was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Alexander has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Alexander will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 12th. AMHF is requesting $483 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “I am worried about my son, he is not able to play with friends and this is making him worried. I kindly request Watsi for support so that he can be treated and get well to continue with his life, and be ready for schools when they re-open,” shared Alexanders’ mother.
Bernice is an 8-month-old baby from Tanzania. She is a beautiful and cheerful baby, and the last born in a family of two children. Bernice’s mother shared that she is currently having a hard time raising her children because of misunderstandings with her husband. Bernice was born with bilateral clubfoot, something the father was not happy about. The father now does not treat the rest of the family well and he does not support them in any way. Bernice's mother and her children have moved into their living room where they sleep and do everything since the father locks the bedroom and does not want any of them going in there. This has left Bernice’s mother feeling very depressed and struggling to support her children. Bernice 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. Bernice’s mother works at a local school as a teacher and uses her salary to support her children. She is not able to afford Bernice’s treatment cost. Fortunately, Bernice traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 9th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Bernice's clubfoot repair. After treatment, Bernice will be able to walk easily. Bernice’s mother says, “I am going through a very difficult time and seeing my daughter being disabled is hurting me even more. Please help my daughter so that she can have a normal walking style when she grows up.”
Simon is a 3-month old baby boy from Tanzania and the only child to his parents. He was born healthy but when he was two months old he started having fevers and vomiting. His parents tried to seek treatment for him but the medication he was using only helped reduce the fevers. Soon his parents noticed his head was increasing in size and his general health became very poor due to the regular vomiting. His parents depend on small-scale farming for a living and their income is not always enough to get them by. Due to financial challenges, Simon's parents could not afford to take him to a referral hospital in time, hence his condition worsened. Through ALMC Hospital's outreach program, they learned about Simon's condition and the need for him to get treatment. Simon has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus which is putting him in danger of brain damage due to the pressure building up in his head, causing him not to be able to feed well and regular fevers. His parents cannot afford the treatment cost and are asking for help. Simon has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Simon has been experiencing increasing head circumference, fevers and vomiting. Without treatment, Simon will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Simon that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 7th and will drain the excess fluid from Simon's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Simon will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Simon’s mother says, “My son’s head keeps increasing in size and his general health deteriorates as days go by, we are unable to afford the treatment cost. Please help us.”
Amani is five-month-old boy from Tanzania who is already very active. Amani is the only child to his young parents who are very happy to have a new member in their family. Both parents depend on small-scale farming for a living. Amani has clubfoot of both her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Amani traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Amani's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to wear shoes and walk easily. Amani’s mother told us, “We wouldn’t want to see our baby grow up with disability which can be treated but the cost is expensive for us please help us.”