Jana joined Watsi on September 22nd, 2016. One year ago, Jana joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jana's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Thuwaibatu, a playful and talkative three-year-old girl from Tanzania, to fund corrective surgery so she can walk again.
Jana has funded healthcare for 50 patients in 11 countries.
Jana has funded healthcare for 50 patients in 11 countries.
Thuwaibatu is a three-year-old girl and the second-born child in a family of three children. Thuwaibatu is a friendly, playful and talkative girl. Thuwaibatu was diagnosed with genu varus, where her legs bow outwards and her knees do not touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she has difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Thuwaibatu. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 2nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Thuwaibatu's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Thuwaibatu’s mother says "Her legs worsen each day, you can see how she walks and how big the curve is. Please help my daughter, we cannot afford the treatment cost.”
Heang is a 57-year-old vegetable seller. She has three sons, six daughters, and 12 grandchildren. Heang lives with her grandchildren and her husband, who is a farmer. She likes to listen to the news, listen to monks pray on the radio, and play with her grandchildren. Three years ago, Heang developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her photophobia, blurry vision, and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Heang learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On July 21st, doctors will perform a cataract surgery and lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, Heang will be able to see clearly. Now, CSC is requesting $229 to fund this procedure. Heang shares, "I hope I can see clearly after surgery so I can go to the market and sell vegetables again to support my family."
Gladys is a 47-year-old hardworking woman and a mother to three children. Gladys is separated from her husband and now lives with two of her children in a small rented room. In January, Gladys began experiencing troubling symptoms including neck swelling, headaches, and difficulty swallowing. She was diagnosed with an enlarged thyroid and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Gladys receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on June 9th at AMH's care center, where surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. Now, she needs help to fund this $657 procedure. Gladys shared, "if this condition is treated, I can continue with my work. I am requesting help so that I can be treated and be okay to take care of my children."
Eh is a 16-year-old boy who lives with his parents and cousin in the refugee camp in Mae Hong Son Province in Thailand. His family receives 1,180 baht (approx. 39 USD) every month on a food card from the organization The Border Consortium. This amount is not enough to cover their daily needs despite receiving free basic health care and education in the camp. To help make ends meet, Eh’s father works as a security guard in the camp too, earning 800 baht (approx. 27 USD) in a month. In addition to this, Eh’s mother and cousin work as day labourers whenever they find work. Eh also works with them during his summer vacations. In May, Eh climbed up a ladder to lay down and rest in a bamboo hut on stilts. While trying to sit down, one of the bamboo sticks rolled out from under him and Eh fell through the floor of the hut. Putting out his left arm subconsciously to break his fall, Eh ended up landing on that arm. Currently, Eh's arm is in a sling and he is taking pain medication to control the pain. If he moves his left arm or tries to lift his arm, he feels a lot of pain. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Eh will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for May 28th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Eh be able to use his arm again and he will no longer be in pain after surgery. Eh shared, “I want to become a literature teacher as it is my favorite subject. After surgery, I hope that I can go back to school with my arm healed."
Claire is an eight-month-old baby girl and the youngest of three children in her family. Claire’s mother is a farmer and her father is a preacher at gospel churches in Kenya. Claire was born with clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. As she grows, this causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Claire to receive treatment. Claire traveled to visit AMH's center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 9th. Now, AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Claire's surgery. After treatment, she will be able to walk like other children without any difficulty. Claire's mother shared, “I would request support for my daughter to undergo surgery so that she can walk like other children."
Stephanie is a seven-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her aunt, uncle, and three cousins in a rural area in far southwestern Haiti. She enjoys going to school and church. Stephanie has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects, including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Stephanie will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On April 9th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in Stephanie's heart with a patch and remove the blockage from her valve. Another organization, Akron Children's Hospital, is contributing $17,000 to pay for surgery. Stephanie'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 Stephanie's family overseas. Stephanie's aunt shared, "we have been waiting a very long time for this surgery and are relieved it can finally happen!"
In late January, the Muinde family from Kenya was blessed with their firstborn child, a daughter they named Emmaculate. Emmaculate's mother works in a mobile money shop and Emmaculate's father has a small electronics shop. They live in a small rented house in Nakuru, and are able to use their income to cover most of their family's basic needs. They learned that Emmaculate was born with a rare form of craniosynostosis, which meant that her eyes were not fully formed and her pupil was not visible in both of her eyes. A few days after her birth, Emmaculate was reviewed at her local clinic, and the doctor referred Emmaculate to a nearby facility for further examination. Ultimately, Emmaculate was seen by the doctors at our Medical Partner Care Center BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital (BKKH). On March 1st, Emmaculate will undergo a craniotomy in order to release the pressure in her brain. However, Emmaculate’s parents are not able to cover the amount needed for her surgery. Emmaculate’s father says, “When I was told about my child’s condition and the treatment required, my heart sank as we could not afford any of this treatment. As a family, we are requesting financial help.”
Vumilia is a 2-year-old girl from Tanzania. She has a beautiful smile and is very charming. Vumilia is the third born in a family of four children. Her parents come from the northern part of Tanzania known as Serengeti, which is close to the Serengeti National Park. Most of the people living in this region depend on small-scale farming for a living. Vumilia's parents grow mostly maize, sorghum, and vegetables, selling part of their harvest to make a humble income to support the family. Vumilia was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, or bowleggedness. Her legs bow inward so that her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Vumilia has a difficult time walking and often feels pain after walking for a while. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Vumilia. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Vumilia's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Vumilia’s mother shared, “My daughter is struggling so much that she can no longer play well with her siblings and is forced to sit by herself most times which saddens me as her mother. Please help correct her legs."
Jayden is 2-year-old baby boy from Kiambu County, Kenya. He is the second born in a family of two children. His mother is a housewife, while his father does casual work as a mason. Jayden was born with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. When he was a few months old, his mother noticed that she could not feel his testes, but ultimately the family did not bring him in to a doctor. Recently, his grandmother also noticed this, which led to Jayden being brought to the hospital. There, doctors ordered a scan that showed bilateral undescended testicles, and they recommend Jayden has an orchidopexy surgery to correct the condition. If left untreated, Jayden has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. However, this procedure is costly for Jayden and his family. Jayden's father earns just enough income to support his family's basic needs. He is not able to afford Jayden's surgery, and appeals for financial support. Jayden will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on January 5th. AMHF is requesting $483 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Jayden's mother shared, “Although we don’t go to church, I pray to God that our son may have this support and get successful treatment so that he may have a normal future like other boys.”
Gabriel is a 46-year-old refugee from South Sudan. He is a father of six children aged between 2-19 years old. Currently, Gabriel and his family are staying in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya fleeing civil conflict in their home country. In June 2020, Gabriel had an accident and broke his arm. He underwent surgery in his hometown of Juba in the same month and was discharged home from the hospital. However, his left arm started developing further complications, and he was forced to seek treatment in Kenya after his family left Sudan. Gabriel has chronic osteomyelitis of the left humerus and infected hardware in his arm. Gabriel has undergone 3 surgeries, including humeral debridement, hardware removal, and bone cementing. Doctors recommend another urgent sequestrectomy surgery on his left humerus to remove the infected hardware. If left untreated, he risks impediment of blood circulation within the bone leading to bone death and even amputation. Unfortunately, this procedure is costly for Gabriel and his family. He does not currently have a job, nor any medical coverage. Due to the support of well-wishers, friends, and family, Gabriel has been able to raise some money for his earlier medical and surgical concerns. However, he was forced to postpone his surgery due to lack of funds. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Gabriel receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo a sequestrectomy on December 2nd at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,500, and he appeals for financial help to fund the cost of his care. Gabriel shared, “I am in so much pain and there have been so many surgeries for me. I need assistance on this one.”
Debora is a three-weeks-old beautiful baby girl and the firstborn child to her young parents. Both parents are small-scale farmers and depend fully on what they harvest for their daily living. Debora 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, Debora 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 Debora's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 2nd. This procedure will hopefully spare Debora from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Debora’s mother shared with us, “Please help my daughter I am scared. I would love to see my daughter grow up into a big girl but this condition is putting her life at risk.”
Naw Mar is a 35-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, two daughters and two sons in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Four years ago, Naw Mar started to suffer from pain in the right side of her abdomen. At first, she thought the pain would disappear after she rested. When it did not, she went to the hospital in the camp run by Malteser International Thailand (MI). She received medications which helped for a bit. Two years later, the pain became severe and the right side of her abdomen also became swollen. After more medication and follow-up appointments, she was eventually admitted to Mae Sariang Hospital and received an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that she had multiple gallstones, and she was given more medication. However, the medication did not help her much. In early June 2020, the pain in Naw Mar’s right abdomen increased. After she went to the camp’s hospital, the doctor referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital again, where the doctor told her that she would need to have surgery to remove the gallstones. Since Mae Sariang Hospital doctors could not perform this surgery, she was again referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital. However, the high cost of surgery proved difficult, so she was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance with accessing treatment. Currently, Naw Mar has constant pain in her right abdomen that is only manageable through pain medication. Her right abdomen is also swollen, and she suffers from back pain as well. When the pain in her abdomen is excruciating, she develops a headache and high blood pressure. Naw Mar is a homemaker, while her two daughters and her youngest son go to school. Her oldest son helps her with household chores. Her husband works as an agricultural day laborer, but has been unable to find work for the past month. While their family does receive a cash card each month for food support, it is not enough to cover their daily expenses and they struggle to make ends meet despite receiving free health care and education in the refugee camp. Their family is appealing for financial support. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Mar's surgery. On October 25th, she will undergo a cholecystectomy at our medical partner’s care center. Once recovered, Naw Mar will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and her quality of life will improve. Naw Mar shared, "After I receive treatment, I want to work for an organisation [NGO] in the camp so that we [my family] can have an income. Right now, I have no pocket money and I cannot borrow money from any one because we have no way of paying them back. I appreciate any support you can provide.”