ying joined Watsi on June 21st, 2015. Two years ago, ying joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. ying's most recent donation supported Taraja, a five-year-old girl from Tanzania, to fund clubfoot surgery so that she can walk and start school.
ying has funded healthcare for 26 patients in 7 countries.
ying has funded healthcare for 26 patients in 7 countries.
Taraja is a charming five-year-old girl from Southwestern Tanzania and the oldest child in her family. Taraja has not started school yet, but her parents hope that once her condition is treated, she can enroll in kindergarten. Taraja’s parents grow maize, vegetables, and sorghum for a living. They get most of their food from their farm and her father also takes casual laboring jobs, like working on other peoples’ farms and carrying luggage, to supplement the family's income. Taraja has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Taraja receive treatment. On October 8th, Taraja will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Taraja's procedure and care. Taraja’s mother shared, "it was very strange to see our daughter’s feet in this position. We tried to find treatment for her but we were advised to go to a big hospital, something we couldn’t afford to do. Please help us if it’s possible."
Taw is a 43-year-old teacher who lives with her family in the refugee camp. Taw and her husband work at the same school and their daughter is also enrolled there in the nursery program. In her free time, Taw enjoys singing and reading with her students. Taw also loves to grow vegetables around her house, and she is very proud that the vegetables she grows are organic. Growing her own vegetables also helps to reduce her household expenses. Last month, Taw was walking home with a branch from a banana tree she had just cut down to cook for dinner. That afternoon it was drizzling and the dirt road was slippery. Taw slipped and fell onto her left arm, breaking both bones in her left forearm. With the help of Watsi donors, she underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into her forearm at the end of August at Chiang Mai Hospital. A few days after her surgery, Taw's wound got an infection and the doctor had to perform another surgery to remove the rod from her arm. Once the infection cleared up with the help of antibiotics, the doctor scheduled another surgery to have the rod reinserted into Taw's arm to finally help her heal. Taw’s left arm is still in pain. She is in pain whenever she sits down, and the pain increases when she moves her arm. If she lies down and puts her left arm on a pillow, she feels better. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Taw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for September 7th and will cost $1,500. After the procedure, Taw will no longer be in pain and she will be able to go back home and see her family. She will be able to teach again and garden like before. Taw said, "I really miss my family and my daughter. I hope that I will receive proper treatment and be able to go back home again soon."
Rhophence is struggling to speak when we meet her. She cannot pronounce words clearly or eat regularly due to a mandibular mass. She was diagnosed with Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia, which is also causing her teeth to loosen on the affected area. She is scheduled for a 10-hour surgery at our Medical Partner's Care Center Kijabe Hospital. Her chronic mandibular swelling started back in October 2020 as a small swelling and has gradually increased in size, so Rhophence was forced to visit the hospital. She was treated for pain in their local health centre and discharged home. But, the swelling worsened and Rhophence opted to visit Kijabe in May 2021. Several tests revealed the Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia diagnosis and surgery was recommended. She does not have the funds for the various procedures to relieve her pain. She is a single mother of four children aged between 30 and 18 years. She comes from a remote village along the Kenyan coast. She is currently jobless with no source of income and stays with her younger brother who she depends on for survival. The surgery is estimated to cost about $4,500. She has active national health insurance coverage that has only approved $2,000. She is unable to raise the remaining amount. She fundraised money for travel fare to come to Kijabe and she is now being hosted in the local centre by a relative. Rhophence shared, "This swelling is so painful. My mouth is deformed and I cannot even speak clearly. It’s sadly starting to give a bad odour making people close to me uncomfortable. This is affecting my life. I need these surgeries to normalize my life.”
Brian was born one month ago at our medical partner's care center, Kijabe Hospital. He is the first baby for his young family. Brian's father works in a newly opened bakery while his mother makes and sells pots to earn a living. His father lives in Kariobangi and mother stays with her mother in-law in an area called Bomet. Immediately after his birth, Brian was examined by the doctor and found that he was not able to pass stool. The doctor consulted with the pediatric surgery team and diagnosed him with anorectal malformations. Brian was referred to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids, immediately and was admitted in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for close monitoring. Later, Brian had a colostomy to enable him pass stool with funding from the Watsi community. He has healed well and is now scheduled for his next treatment, a PSARP surgery, to allow for stool passage. Brian’s father shares his appreciation for Watsi's support during his son's first surgery, and says: “We are thankful to God for he answered our prayers through the Watsi program. We are still requesting for more financial help for the second surgery.”
Hsue is a 52-year-old man who lives with his four daughters, his son-in-law and two grandchildren in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Hsue and his son-in-law used to work as agricultural day laborers in a nearby Thai village, but stopped working after travel restrictions were put in place due to Covid-19. These restrictions made it difficult for them to leave the camp for work. Since then, only Hsue's oldest daughter works, while one of his daughters goes to school and the others look after household chores. Last month, the ophthalmologist at Mae Sot Hospital diagnosed Hsue with a cataract in his left eye. Currently, the vision in Hsue's left eye is blurry, and he can only perceive light. He develops a headache whenever he tries to focus on something. He has to rely on his right eye and he can only see things that are near him. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Hsue. On June 20th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Hsue's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Hsue said,“I feel very sad. I can’t see and I can't make out people's faces when they are not near.” He is hopeful that this surgery will help him to get his vision back.
William is a hardworking motorbike taxi driver from Kenya. He earns $2.50 daily and lives in a one-room house in Naivasha, costing about $24 a month. His parents are elderly and live nearby on a quarter of an acre piece of land. William suffered femur and distal tibia fractures and is unable to walk and cannot work. Currently, the hospital has admitted him to the respiratory ward since he developed difficulties in breathing. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 20th, William will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. These surgeries will enable the bones to heal and he will be able to walk again normally. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. William says, “I don’t have anyone to depend on, I survive on my own through this motorbike taxi business. But with these fractures, I cannot walk or work at all. I need the surgery to normalize my life and be independent again.”
Abdela is a 23-month-old boy from Ethiopia. He is a strong boy who loves to tease, run, and play with others. He is an only child, and his mother lost her husband in a car accident when she was eight months pregnant. Abdela's mother was a housewife and when her husband passed, his friend bought her a Tuk Tuk. She stays at home and she raises Abdela with the income she gets from the Tuk Tuk. The family lives in a rented house. Abdela was born with hypospadias, a condition that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Abdela is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on April 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His mom shared, “after the treatment, I hope my boy will heal. I am sure he will be smart and reach a big position. His mind is very quick and he is smart.”
Deborah works as a helper at a house and for a family in Kenya. Her husband passed away 11 years ago and she has been raising their three children on her own. Her children are now adults and, although they are supportive, they don’t yet have stable jobs. One year ago, Deborah began experiencing severe lower abdominal pain. She was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. She needs to have a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $794 to fund Deborah's surgery. On March 18th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Deborah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Deborah shared, “I am in so much pain and the discomfort has made me unable to work. My savings cannot cover the required cost of surgery.”
Yohana is a baby boy from Tanzania. Yohana is the only child to his parents who are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers. Yohana was out playing while his father was attending to the cattle, collecting cow dung from their cattle shed and burning it to keep the compound clean. His mother was cleaning dishes. Both parents were focused on their chores while Yohana went over to where the cow dung was burning. Unfortunately, he fell into it, sustaining burns on his hands and legs. Burn scar contractures have developed, tightening the skin around his burn. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Yohana receive treatment. On February 16th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery so he will be able to use his fingers freely. Now, their family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Yohana’s father shared, “my son’s hands have been deformed. We would love for him to have both of his hands corrected, but the cost is too high for us to afford. Please help us.”
Saidi is a 23-year-old from Tanzania who was born with spina bifida. He was able to have his spina bifida corrected when he was younger, which saved his life and allowed him to grow up to a strong young man. Saidi was able to go to school until class seven but was not able to continue with his education due to his parents' financial challenges. Saidi’s parents are small-scale farmers and have six children, of which Saidi is the third born child. Saidi used to join his parents in farming, but he had to stop and seek treatment because his legs and feet are bowed, which makes standing and walking very challenging. In 2014, Saidi came to our medical partner's care center to seek treatment because he had limb external rotation, which was causing him difficulty with walking and carrying out daily life activities. Through funding support, he was able to have his feet and legs corrected, and was able to resume normal life once more. Since then, over the last few years Saidi’s left foot has developed a serious infection that has struggled to heal. The infection would repeatedly start to heal but would return within five to six months, which makes it difficult for him to work and make a life for himself. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 19th, Saidi will undergo a left leg amputation below the knee to save him from the pain and suffering he is going through as doctors noted his foot can no longer be saved. Through this surgery, Saidi will eventually be able to use a prosthetic leg which will enable him to walk with ease and return to his daily life activities. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,088 to fund this procedure. Saidi shared, “Please help me as this foot has taken me through so much suffering and pain. I would like to be able to work and make a living for myself, but due to this infection I haven't been able to do that. Kindly help me.”
U Win is a 54-year-old man who lives with his wife and youngest son in the Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. He has three sons and three daughters, with five of his children already married and working. His 17-year-old son left school because they were unable to pay school fees, and worked as a day laborer until COVID-19 happened. U Win used to work as a day laborer as well, but stopped working around two years ago due to his health condition. His family survives on 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) each month that U Win's three other daughters and another son send them, enough to cover their basic expenses. In January 2012, U Win felt tired, had a headache, suffered from heart palpitations, and a rapid heartbeat. He went to a clinic where the doctor listened to his heart with a stethoscope and checked his blood pressure. U Win was told that he has high blood pressure and that he would need to take oral medication for a long time. He received an injection, oral medication, and another appointment for more medication. After he took the medication, he felt better and he went back to work. However, U Win continued to experience worsening symptoms over the next few years, returning to clinics and receiving the same treatment. He was told at one point to visit a cardiologist, but did not do so until later on. In August 2020, during another clinic visit in Yangon, the doctor diagnosed U Win with an atrial septal defect, and said that he would need to receive surgery to repair this hole in his heart. If not treated, the condition could weaken his heart further and cause lung problems later on. He was unable to receive surgery in November due to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases, and was also told the procedure would cost about 3,000,000 kyat (approx. 3,000 USD). Luckily, U Win’s wife remembered that there is a charity group in Yangon that might be able to help. The group told him about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, to look for assistance with accessing the treatment he needed. U Win currently experiences chest pain and back pain, has no appetite, and cannot sleep well at night. He appeals for financial support for his cost of care. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 20th, U Win will undergo an atrial septal defect closure procedure. Once recovered, his quality of life will significantly improve and he will be able to return to work. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. U Win shared, “I want to get better soon so that I can work for my family again. I am worried about my family’s future because we cannot find work in the village. My son also cannot go to Yangon to find another job because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.”
Leang Sim is a seven-year-old 1st grade student. She has one older brother who is 11 years old and in the 6th grade. Their father sells vegetables at the market and their mother is a vegetable farmer. When Leang Sim is not at school she likes to play with toys with her brother, read books, watch TV, and go outside with her parents. When Leang Sim was one, her mother first noticed she had a curved spine. Doctors have now diagnosed Leang Sim with thoracolumbar scoliosis. She arrived at Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) with a curved spine reporting difficulty walking, sleeping, and trouble breathing after strenuous activity. Surgeons at CSC will place an extending rod inside Leang Sim's back to help improve her condition now and as she grows, the rod will be extended to alleviate her scoliosis. Leang Sim's mother is hopeful for the surgery and said, "I hope my daughter can walk well after surgery."