Karijn joined Watsi on December 13th, 2014. Five years ago, Karijn became the 737th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,303 more people have become monthly donors! Karijn's most recent donation traveled 5,900 miles to support Oudam, a third grade student from Cambodia, to fund surgery on his achilles tendon.
Karijn has funded healthcare for 68 patients in 13 countries.
Oudam is a 10-year-old student. He is in the third grade at school, and loves to study writing. He lives with his parents and his younger sister. Since his parents separated a few months ago, his mother has been working hard at a factory to support her children. Oudam helps to take care of his sister. They learn and play together. Since he was young, Oudam has suffered from muscle spasms in his legs, causing him to put all of his weight on his toes. This has affected his ability to move his legs normally, and he has difficulty walking, running, riding a bike, or wearing shoes. His mother often has to take him to school on her bike. Luckily, his neighbor told him about Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). He traveled nine hours with his mother to receive treatment. Doctors will perform an achilles tendon lengthening procedure. This will allow him to distribute weight across his whole foot, giving him greater balance and ease of walking. After a physiotherapy program, Oudan will be able to walk normally. Oudan's mother shared, "I am happy we have the opportunity for this procedure and I hope that my son will be able to walk and run after he is better."
Kyaw is a 23-year-old young man from Burma. He lives with his mother, younger brother, and sister in Mawlamyine City. He and his mother own a small plot of land where they plant different fruit trees, such as mango, rambutan, durian, lime and others. They sell the fruit at the market and in total make around 200,000 kyat (approx. 200 USD) per month. His younger sister is in her final year as a university student, while his younger brother is in grade nine. Kyaw used to work as a day laborer sometimes when he was well, but now his symptoms prevent him from working. In his free time, he loves to read newspapers and listen to music at home. Kyaw was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him feeling sick and short of breath. Kyaw is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on June 14th to correct his condition and improve her quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Kyaw's procedure and care. Kyaw's mother said, “My son is a good man and he always works hard for the family. When he gets sick, he hides it because he is worried that I would feel stressed about him. He does not go out much and enjoy himself. He always helps me in the garden.”
We met with eleven-year-old Ian in the hospital ward as he was admitted for a skin traction after he fell from a tree and broke his left hand. His mother sat beside him helplessly while she watched her only son in pain. It took me time for his mother to talk as she was feeling very disturbed and stressed because of her son's condition. She was trying to help him sit up but he couldn’t because of his fractured hand. Ian was brought to the hospital accompanied by his parents. They walked for hours to get the nearest health facility where he was referred to our hospital for surgical review. On arrival, he had an x-ray done which showed that Ian had fractured his left supracondylar. Ian is the third born child in a family of five. He is the eldest son of Christine and Isaac. They are a humble family who is struggling financially and often lack food for their children. Ian's father is a farmer and his mother is a housewife. They live in a two-roomed mud house in upcountry of Kenya. Ian's father, who is a maize farmer says that his farming is not doing well due to poor rains in the area and he has not been getting good yields in recent years. Medical examination shows that Ian needs urgent surgical intervention for his hand, but his family is unable to raise money for their son’s surgery apart from $30 that they collected from friends and family. His family is requesting our prayers and financial support for Ian’s treatment enable him use his hand. Christine, Ian’s mother says, “It is painful to see my son cry in pain. I hope he will receive treatment soon. All I want is to see him happy.”
Khav is a 45-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He has two daughters, and when he is not helping his family around the house with the cooking and cleaning, he likes to exercise and feed the farm animals. In January 2020, Khav fell off of his motorcycle and suffered trauma to his left hip. He experiences chronic hip dislocation and has daily pain. He is unable to walk without support and has had to stop working. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On February 27th, Khav will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Treatment will allow him to walk without difficulty and return to work. "I hope that my hip no longer has any pain and I am able to return to work and help take care of my family again."
Sopheak is a 45-year-old grocery seller from Cambodia. She has three children, two sons and one daughter. She likes to listen to the radio, watch television, and look after her children. When she was young, Sopheak had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Sopheak experiences ear discharge, tinnitus, and ear pain. She finds difficulty in hearing clearly, and she has trouble communicating with her family members and her customers. Sopheak traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 11th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care.
Ian is a class one pupil who is struggling with his hearing. He relies on lip-reading to communicate and though shy, he is learning sign language in school. When he was three years old, his mother noted his struggle with talking and hearing. She was advised to wait until he was five years old but unfortunately, at five, Ian could only say a few words. His mom delayed enrolling him in a special school due to financial struggle. Ian was referred to our facility whereupon review, he had hearing aids recommended. With the aids, his hearing will improve along with his social performance. Ian comes from a humble background. His mother used to sell charcoal to make ends meet but with a poor business environment, she has resorted to laundry labor where she makes about $2 daily. To get to our facility, she got a loan for bus fare. Ian’s father committed suicide in 2014, making life frustrating for his mother. Ian’s mother appeal for help. Ian’s mother says, “My prayer is to have Ian grow as a normal child. Please help him.”
David is a construction worker from Kenya. He is a widowed father of two children. He worked on construction sites to be able to support his children. Around August this year, David was headed home when a speeding vehicle hit him from the back and sped off. Some good Samaritans picked him up and brought him to Kijabe hospital where he was found to have a left leg double fracture. He is not able to walk and is restricted to a wheelchair. David is also in pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 29th, David will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Treatment will enable David to walk again and work so that he can provide for his children. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,451 to fund this procedure. “I kindly request for financial help to get independent once again,” says David.
Jane, a self-employed woman, was unfortunate to fall in a latrine in July 2018, severely breaking her leg. Upon the accident, she was rushed to Nakuru Hospital, where she was admitted and had surgery in which a metal plate was inserted. She went for clinics in the same hospital after being discharged, but the leg was not improving at all. Her uncle came to her rescue in June 2019 and brought her to Kijabe Hospital. Jane was admitted, had the metals on her leg replaced with lighter ones, and was discharged. She has been coming for clinics to monitor her leg. An x-ray was done and it was decided that another surgery was needed. Due to lack of funds, Jane went home helpless. Being a divorced woman and self-employed (selling second-hand clothes), Jane is the breadwinner of her family of five children. With her mobility being hindered by her broken leg, she cannot do as much as she would have if she’d be on both feet. This surgery will definitely improve Jane’s and her children’s quality of life.
Guerdina is a student from Haiti. She lives in a small village in the mountains of central Haiti with her parents and 4 siblings. She likes going to school and would like to become a teacher. Guerdina has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged by a rheumatic fever she suffered in childhood, and can no longer adequately pump blood through her body. Guerdina will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On October 29, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair her valve; if they are unable to do so, they will implant an artificial replacement.. Another organization, The Mitral Foundation, is contributing $7500 to pay for surgery. Guerdina's 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 Guerdina's family overseas. "I am hopeful that after my surgery I will feel healthy and normal," said Guerdina.
Richard is a farmer from Kenya. Father of six Richard is a small scale farmer. He plants maize and beans in his farm. Richard doesn’t have a good house to live in. He stays in a two room house roofed with grass. None of his children completed school due to low income in the family. The family has gone through a hard-time that they even lack food some of the days. Two months ago, Richard was involved in a road traffic accident and sustained a complex femur fracture on his left leg. Richard was brought to our hospital where he underwent a successful intramedullary nail femur surgery on 8/08/2019. He was discharged where he has been recovering at home. On his first surgical review, the surgeon realized that Richard is unable to get full extension of the femur. On further examination he realized that Richard had shortened femur and suggested that he needs revision surgery to fix his this condition for previous surgery done that was not successful. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 07, Richard will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. Richard says, “I am really worried about the fate of my leg. I thought it was getting well. I have nothing to offer for my second surgery. Help me raise funds to make it possible and a success."
Lameck is a child from Tanzania. Lameck is a fifth born child in a family of five children, he is a shy little boy and likes to keep to himself. His parents are subsistence farmers who earn very little and can barely support their family. Lameck has clubfoot of both his feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Lameck traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 10th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Lameck's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily with no pain and difficulty. Lameck’s father says, “Please help my son get the treatment he needs so he may be able to walk without difficulty.”
Brian is a student from Tanzania. He is the youngest in a family of four children. He joined kindergarten last year. For four years, Brian has been experiencing difficulty swallowing and regular fevers. Frequent illness causes him to miss school. Brian was recently diagnosed with enlarged tonsils, which, if not treated, will cause his symptoms to persist and possibly intensify over time. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $633 to fund a tonsillectomy for Brian, which is scheduled to take place on August 9. Surgeons will remove his tonsils, hopefully relieving Brian of his symptoms and helping him live more comfortably. Brian’s mother says, “This problem has made my son suffer a lot and made him miss a lot of class please help my son we have no means means of affording the cost.”