Tammie joined Watsi on March 28th, 2018. Three years ago, Tammie joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Tammie's most recent donation supported Benjamin, a cheerful motorbike driver from Kenya, to fund a mobility-restoring spinal fusion surgery.
Tammie has funded healthcare for 42 patients in 8 countries.
Tammie has funded healthcare for 42 patients in 8 countries.
Benjamin is a father of a four-year-old child who works as a motorbike (boda-boda) driver, earning about $3.70USD per day. His income is also inconsistent and depends on the availability of customers. He is the sole breadwinner for his family. Unfortunately, he has no active medical insurance coverage and has had to rely on relatives and friends to settle hospital bills. Benjamin is full of smiles but finds it difficult to sit up while sharing his story. He opts to talk while lying flat on his back. Benjamin is currently immobile, unable to sit and walk, as a result of a road traffic accident from the beginning of the month. When the 25-year-old hitched a ride on his friend's water truck, the vehicle lost control and he was thrown out the window. He immediately experienced severe back pain and lost consciousness. The accident left Benjamin with multiple fractures and wounds that will require several fracture repair and spine surgeries in order for him to sit, walk, and be able to continue with his normal routine roles again. After stays at various hospitals and numerous referrals, Benjamin arrived at our medical partner's care center, Kijabe Hospital, for care on July 17th. One of the obstacles to treatment he had faced at other hospitals was a long waiting list that meant a delay in much-needed care, but fortunately Kijabe is able to offer his needed care more urgently. At Kijabe Hospital, the doctors recommended a spinal fusion procedure for him to help regain his mobility. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,500 for Benjamin's critical surgery, scheduled to take place on July 26th. Benjamin shares, “I just sleep on my back and cannot even sit or walk. I cannot work and fend for my family. I need this surgery to get back to my Boda-boda job and raise my family."
Baby Nejat is a sweet six-month-old boy from Ethiopia. He has one brother, a father who works as a laborer, and a mother who is a homemaker raising their two children. Baby Nejat loves playing and spending time with his parents and brother. Baby Nejat was born with an abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage, and needs to undergo a series of procedures to correct his condition. Baby Nejat's surgery is scheduled to take place on June 24th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Baby Nejat's procedure and care. After his recovery, Baby Nejat will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing serious health complications in the future. His mom is optimistic, “After the operation, I believe my son will grow healthy. And I hope I will educate him and help him reach higher in life."
Hamza is a 4-year-old boy from Ethiopia and the sixth child of his parents. He loves to play football. He joined school but had to stop going as a result of his condition. Hamza's father died a year and a half ago and his mom runs a small business selling charcoal in their village. His three older siblings do small business as shoe shiners and daily workers. Hamza's mom shared that most of the time, their family eats twice a day because their income can't afford three meals a day. Hamza has been diagnosed with an abdominal mass called Neurofibomatosis. This causes swelling and a change of the shape of the abdomen. It also causes abdominal discomfort, pain, and bloating. Doctors have done a CT scan and identified a mass is on the wall of his abdomen that needs to be removed. His mother shared: “Hamza wants to learn and I want him also to go to school. I hope after the treatment he'll be as healthy as others and go to school.”
Melvin is a 3-year-old boy and the third and last born child in his family. His father is a security guard at local gas station and makes a humble income. To supplement his earnings, Melvin’s mother does laundry and farming for their neighbors. Occasionally, she's able to sell some farm produce she gets from their small farm. When Melvin was born, he was not able to breastfeed. After some referrals and unsuccessful treatments, Melvin went to the national hospital and was diagnosed with Hirschprung disease, a birth condition affecting his digestive system. He had several surgeries to correct the condition, which were fortunately covered by his family's National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) coverage at the time. One of the surgeries Melvin underwent was a colostomy, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Melvin's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. However, to undergo the colostomy closure at the national hospital, he and his mother had to take COVID-19 tests, which were too expensive for their family. Fortunately, a family friend referred them next to our Medical Partner's Care Center BethanyKids Hospital, where doctors conducted tests and scheduled Melvin for the colostomy closure. Melvin's family normally has NHIF coverage, but they have depleted their yearly surgical allocation so this procedure is not supported. Melvin’s parents appeal for financial support for their son. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $650 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Melvin. The surgery is scheduled to take place on April 27th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Melvin’s mother shared, “We have been through a lot with Melvin and stopping now is not an option for us. We would like Melvin to live a healthy life just as our other children but our financial state has been a big hindrance for us.”
Tin is a 38-year-old woman from Northern Thailand. She and her husband are agricultural day laborers, and they live in a hut on their employer’s land. They shared that, unfortunately, their earnings are not enough to cover their expenses or to pay for basic healthcare. Since early 2019, Tin has been experiencing dizziness, fatigue, insomnia and pain in her lower abdomen. She was diagnosed with a myoma and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Tin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications. Since September 2020, Tin has been unable to work due to her illness. Fortunately, Tin is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on March 23rd. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Tin will no longer experience lower abdominal pain, dizziness or fatigue. She will be able to work again as a day laborer after her treatment. Tin shared, “I am not afraid to undergo surgery because I believe that I will receive successful treatment. I used to pray every day that a donor would help me. Once I have recovered from surgery, I will go back to work so that we can repay our debts. In the future, I would like to stay healthy so that I can work, eat good food, wear beautiful clothes, and earn an income.”
Doto is a 10-year-old boy who is a very social and cheerful child. Doto has a twin brother by the name of Kurwa. His parents are small scale farmers who grow maize and vegetables to make a living. Doto's father also seeks day labouring jobs to supplement his income and provide for their family. Doto was diagnosed with left genu varus, or bow-leggedness. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he cannot walk to school comfortably or for long periods of time. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Doto. His treatment is scheduled to begin on February 11th. Treatment will hopefully restore Doto's mobility, return to walking and playing normally, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Doto’s father shared, “I would love my son to lead a normal life like his twin without his leg being a challenge. Please help correct his leg.”
Nshemereirwe is a mother of 9, and shared with us that she lost her first born at 14 years. Her youngest is now 20 years old and in primary school class seven, even at that age she shared. Her third born is the only one who reached the highest class, secondary school class four and is currently a casual laborer in their village. Nshemereirwe gets only a little support from her children and relatives. She is a small-scale farmer along with her husband. They own a three-room semi-permanent house for shelter. During her free time, she enjoys visiting her relatives. About 20 years ago, Nshemereirwe began to experience troubling symptoms, including shortness of breath and high blood pressure. She was diagnosed with a goitre and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Nshemereirwe receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on September 3rd at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $293, and Nshemereirwe and her family need your support. Nshemereirwe told us, “I pray that I may be considered for treatment. After treatment, I believe I will be able to comfortably continue with farming and be able to sustain and take good care of my family as before, through hard work.”
Shanel is a 9-year-old girl from western Kenya. She is a talkative girl in class two who loves reading and playing with her friends. Shanel is having challenges because of her congenital condition called genu varum, where her legs curve outwards by the knees. This causes her pain and limits her mobility. Shanel has never been treated due to lack of funds to pay for her treatment. She was brought to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Cure International Hospital, where doctors recommended she undergo a right distal femoral and tibial osteotomy procedure. Since Shanel's treatment has been delayed, she cannot have both legs corrected at the same time. Once her right leg has fully recovered, she will be reviewed for treatment of her left leg. Shanel's family is still struggling to meet the cost of her care. Shanel's mother is a waiter at a local hotel in their village. She earns limited income that is only sufficient to pay rent for their one-roomed house and meet the daily needs of her three children. Shanel and her family appeal for help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 11th, Shanel will undergo an angular deformity correction procedure on her leg. Once recovered, she will be able to walk and move normally again, and return to playing with her friends. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,224 to fund this procedure. Shanel's mother shared, "I am humbly requesting for support from well-wishers so that my daughter can walk well like other children."
Vy is a 32-year-old farmer who raises animals in Cambodia. Vy has one sister and one brother. Their father passed away years ago. She lives with her family and they work together to raise animals. Vy was born with meningoencephalocele (MEC), a rare defect which causes spinal fluid to protrude from the front of the skull. In her case, the mass formed at the bridge of her nose. Years ago she had the complex MEC correction procedure to remove the mass and repair the hole in her skull to prevent future fluid leaking. The surgery was successful at treating the MEC but some tissue scarring remains on her nose. Vy still experiences occasional pain and tearing from the condition. She also finds it difficult to secure employment outside her home due to the stigma associated with her facial scarring. When Vy learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On June 5th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft procedure to cover up the scar tissue around Vy's nose, allowing her to skin to heal normally. Now, Vy needs help to fund this $474 procedure. Vy said, "I hope that after the surgery, I will not have that big scar on my nose, and I can be happy and confident showing my face to the people in my village."
Tumuheirwe is a 60-year-old single mother to four children. One child is a bodaboda cyclist, one a mechanic, and another one is a tailor. Her youngest daughter is still in school. She earns a living through small scale farming whereby she mostly grows fruits like mangos, avocados, and guavas which she sells in the market for to support her family and school fees for her daughter. Tumuheirwe presented with menopause syndrome associated with a palpable mass per vaginal conjunction with persistent abdominal pain for the last six years. Her condition has made her have a poor quality of life over the years and if not treated, the discomfort and symptoms she feels may persist. Tumuheirwe had never been to any hospital for medical treatment but having heard of our program at Nyakibale Hospital, she decided to come for support. She was diagnosed with cystocele whereby anterior colprorrhaphy treatment was recommended. Tumuhairwe says, “I hope that after my surgery, I will be healed from my condition and continue with my activities in order to support my family.”
Mary is a businesswoman from Kenya. She is married and is a mother of three adult children. Two months ago, while relaxing at home, Mary felt a lump in her breast with a burning sensation. She ignored it at first, but it gradually became painful. Worried, she visited Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital in mid-September for medical attention and care. After review, doctors ordered a CT scan and a core biopsy, which confirmed her worst fear - that she had breast cancer. The biopsy test found an infiltrating ductal carcinoma, but luckily she had no metastasis yet. Doctors recommend she undergo a mastectomy procedure as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the deadly cancerous cells. Although she is struggling to come to terms with the shocking news, Mary's main worry now is the high, unaffordable cost of the surgery. She runs a small kiosk that generates little profit each day. Her husband is a small-scale farmer who owns one cow. The family relies on the proceeds from their eatery and milk sales to survive. Sadly, they had to sell their only cow to raise money for Mary’s treatment. However, the money from the sale is barely enough to cover the cost of mastectomy surgery. Her kids do not have stable jobs, and Mary says they are struggling. She has no national health insurance or any medical coverage, and is thus appealing for financial help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $857 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Mary. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 23rd. After treatment, Mary will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Mary shared, “I am shocked that I was diagnosed with this deadly cancer. But I am more worried that I am unable to afford the only procedure that can stop the spread of the disease. I wasn’t prepared for a procedure of this magnitude. I appreciate any support you can provide.”
Erick is a 15-year-old student from Tanzania and the third born in a family of five children. He is a smart, kind, and friendly boy who is currently at school of people with learning disabilities. Erick was born with spina bifida which has resulted in him not being able to stand or walk and this is because the condition was never corrected. His parents didn't know what to do or where to go to seek treatment for their son due to financial challenges. They have no stable source of income other than seeking casual laboring jobs were they are able to get money to buy basics and little commodities. Erick 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, Erick 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 Foundation, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Erick's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 28th. This procedure will hopefully spare Erick from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Erick shared hopefully, “If I have my back corrected and heal, I will go back to school and work hard to be the best tailor so that I can work by myself and help my family.”