Omobolaji joined Watsi on May 20th, 2013. Four years ago, Omobolaji became the 1502nd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,425 more people have become monthly donors! Omobolaji's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Bernice, a 2-year-old from Kenya, to fund congenital umbilical hernia surgery.
Omobolaji has funded healthcare for 75 patients in 12 countries.
Bernice is a two and a half year old and the firstborn to her mother, who is raising Bernice on her own. Bernice’s mother is the fifth born in a large family of seven siblings. Bernice’s mother completed Form Four schooling two years ago, however, she was not able to continue with her studies due to financial pressures. However, since she had performed well, a well-wisher supported her to join a nursing college in Nakuru. She lives with her mother (Bernice's grandmother) who is chronically sick from a spinal injury. During the school holiday’s Bernice’s mother does clothes washing for people, in order to support her baby. Bernice was born with a congenital umbilical hernia. Her mother assumed that it would to heal, but the condition progressed. She was taken to a general hospital, where she was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center. During our interview, Bernice's mother said that she has been looking for funds to bring her baby for the treatment, however, it has been very difficult. Bernice’s mother shared, "I wish I can get help for my baby."
Chea is a 57-year-old food seller from Cambodia. He has three children, and enjoys chatting with his friends and watching Khmer boxing on television. One year ago, Chea developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him blurry vision. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Chea learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On November 6th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $211 procedure. Chea said, "I hope that I will be able to see clearly again so I can go outside on my own and cook food again"
Trufehna is a farmer from Kenya with two children aged 25 and 13 respectively. She takes care of two cows for her daily upkeep. Trufehna lost her dear husband in the year 2007 after a short illness. After her husband's death, their farm was taken by his relatives hence she had to return to her parents. Since nine years ago, Trufehna began to experience troubling symptoms, including sore throat, pain and a neck selling. She was diagnosed with an euthyroid goiter. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Trufehna receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on March 9th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $641, and she and her family need help raising money. Trufehna says, “Help me get treated so that I can carry on with life and support my daughters. I believe that this condition cannot shatter my hope and I will be back to my normal life.”
Bernard is a driver from Kenya. Bernard is a father of 8 children from his two wives. He lives in a rental house and is the main breadwinner in the family. He does not have national insurance nor did he own the vehicle he drove when the road accident occurred. Bernard is a driver in the public transport system, commonly referred to as matatus. On 12th of February 2020, John was involved in a grisly road accident that left 22 people with various injuries. According to Bernard, the oncoming vehicle was overlapping at high speed at a place that is increasingly becoming a blackspot. Bernard and the other patients were brought to Watsi's medical partner care center and immediately started receiving treatment. Bernard had a nail implant on his left femur and a right foot closed reduction and percutaneous pinning that morning. He has been recovering and is planned for a second surgery to correct the acetabular open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). He is in chronic pain and is not able to move from his bed. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 19th, Bernard will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an ORIF. This treatment will help Bernard heal well and be able to walk and eventually work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,042 to fund this procedure. Bernard says, “I am appealing for help to have the surgery. My family is not able to raise the funds needed. I am however hopeful that soon I will be able to walk.”
Meet Brian: a four year old boy, he second and last born in his family. Brian recently graduated from pre-school and is to join middle-class this year which he is extremely happy about. His mother told us that he likes carpentry work. “Whenever Brian sees a hammer and nails, he will utilize them to the maximum," his mother told us. The family hails from Maji Mazuri village, Eldama Ravine town in Nakuru county. His mother is a housewife while the father is a farmer. Brian was born with a condition known as genu valgus on his right side. His mother thought he was suffering from rickets and went to a nearby hospital where they were referred to Watsi partner CURE hospital for specialized care. Brian is unable to walk well; his right foot knocks the left and thus hinders his mobility. Surgery will be of great help to him as it will help him walk and he will be able to continue with his studies without any difficulty. The family has applied to the National Health Insurance Fund for funding several times, but all were rejected. “I am kindly seeking for support to help my child undergo surgery,” Brian’s mother told us.
Wine is a 23-year-old man from Burma. Wine’s family are subsistence farmers and they mainly grow rice and sunflowers. Since Wine’s health deteriorated, he can no longer work on the farm and now looks after two cows. In his free time, he likes to hang out with his friends. In 2016, Wine started to experience a rapid heartbeat and fatigue. As his heart rate continued to be fast, he went to see a medic in his village. The medic told him to go to the hospital instead so he visited a general hospital near his hometown. At the hospital, he received an echocardiogram and the result revealed that Wine's heart valves are not good. The doctor told him that he needs to have surgery and that it would cost six million kyat (approx. 6,000 USD). The doctor then asked his family to come back after they have enough money for the surgery and prescribed him monthly oral medication. Since then, Wine also tried to treat himself with traditional medicine. When that did not work, he relied on oral medication to stabilize his condition. However, his symptoms frequently return. At the moment, Wine cannot do strenuous work such as lift heavy things, and he has back pain. Wine said, “I am very upset that I had to stop working on the farm and that I cannot support my family anymore. I want to be healthy and recover as soon as possible. When I recover fully, I will find a good job to pay back my debt and I will help my community as much as I can.”
Morris is a shy 20-year-old motorcycle (bodaboda) rider from Kenya. Morris was involved in a motorcycle accident in October 2019 sustaining a closed left tibia fracture. He had a cast applied with the hope that the fracture would heal. Unfortunately, it did not heal. Having visited different hospitals, Morris was brought to our facility by his mother. Upon review, the surgeon recommended an ORIF to fix the fracture. If not treated, Morris will be at risk of infections on the fracture or healing with a malunion. Morris completed his high school education but could not proceed to college. His single mother sustains her four children from their small retail shop in the village. The family is not able to raise the funds needed for surgery and appeals for help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 14th, Morris will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. the surgery will allow Morris heal well and resume his duties of providing for himself. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $998 to fund this procedure. “I have gone through a lot of pain and still told the leg is not healing. I plead for support so that I can be able to use my leg again and go back to my job and not depend on my mother,” said Morris.
Myar is a 34-year-old from Pin Lounge Township, Shan State, Burma. She lives with her husband and four children who are all students. Myar and her husband work as farmers and grown rice, corn and onion depending on the season. In July 2018, Myar moved to Singapore and worked as a domestic worker. After one month of working in Singapore, Myar started to get frequent headaches and felt tired. A few days later, she wanted to go to a clinic but Myar’s employer told her not to go because the treatment cost is very expensive there. However, she feels pain in her chest and couldn’t work anymore. Myar’s sister who stays in Mae Sot asked her to come to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot. On July 25th 2019, Myar arrived to Mae Sot Clinic and was referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for an echocardiogram. The echo result shows that Myar's heart has a hole and the doctor told her that she would need to undergo surgery. Currently, Myar feels uncomfortable while sleeping because of her chest pain. She sometimes has high fever and she also has difficulty breathing. She is tired very easily. Myar said, “When I am fully recovered, I will work hard with my husband and pay back my debt. I will also support my children so that they can receive an education.”
On August 13th, after classes, Michale was playing with his friend at school. While fooling around, Michale’s friend poked him in the right eye. Right away, Michale’s eye began to hurt and his eye became watery. Eventually, he could no longer open his right eye. When he told a teacher about this, the teacher called his mother. His mother then took him back home before bringing him to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand, on 15th August 2019. Unfortunately, that day was a full moon Buddhist holiday in Thailand. Therefor he had to wait till the next day to have his eye examined by a medic. After checking his eye the following day, the medic gave him an ointment for his eye and painkillers. On August 20th, he was referred to Mae So Hospital for further assessment. At the hospital, the ophthalmologist checked his eye, diagnosed him corneal perforation and informed him that he will likely have to remove his right eye and referred him to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further treatment. After he came back from the hospital, Michale told the MTC medic about what the doctor had said and how he could not afford to seek further treatment in Chiang Mai. Therefore, the MTC medic referred him to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing further treatment. Michale says, “I would like to become an engineer, so I would like to study engineering when I graduate from high school.”
Chan is a mother of five from Thailand. She is a homemaker while her husband works as a daily laborer. For the past three months, Chan has been experiencing pain and discomfort in her abdomen and back. She has been diagnosed with ovarian cyst. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Chan's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Chan is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on August 6. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain and discomfort. Chan says, “I am always thinking and worrying about my condition. I hope I will get better one day.”
Keziah is a farmer from Kenya. For one year, Keziah has been experiencing irregular bleeding, back pain and continuous fatigue. She has been diagnosed with cervical cancer. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $756 to fund Keziah's surgery. On July 9, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Keziah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Keziah says, “My hope and prayer is to have treatment and reduce chances of cancer spread. I wish to age gracefully."
Keshia is a girl from Haiti. She was born with a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which involves several related defects including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These defects deprive her body of oxygen, leaving her sickly and weak. She will require an open-heart surgery to repair this condition. Keshia lives with her parents and older brother in a city on the north coast of Haiti; she goes to preschool and likes watching cartoons. Keshia will fly to India to receive treatment. On August 6, she will undergo cardiac surgery. Another organization, Rotary International, is contributing $8,000 to pay for surgery. Her family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany her family overseas.