David joined Watsi on September 28th, 2015. Six years ago, David joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. David's most recent donation traveled 4,500 miles to support Benjamin, a cheerful motorbike driver from Kenya, to fund a mobility-restoring spinal fusion surgery.
David has funded healthcare for 71 patients in 12 countries.
David has funded healthcare for 71 patients in 12 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."
Hilowie is a social 13-year-old girl, and she is the fourth born in a family of five children. Hilowie is a sixth grade student and likes to read storybooks. Her favorite subjects are English and Kiswahili. Her mother is a businesswoman who has a small shop which she operates in the village, and her father passed away 12 years ago when Hilowie was very young. Hilowie suffered burns when she was only four months old in a house fire. She sustained joint injuries known as contractures on her left hand, and until today the contractures have never improved. Currently, she cannot raise her hand or work at home, and this has greatly affected her studies. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Hilowie receive treatment. On June 28th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery so Hilowie will be able to use her hand, help around the house, and concentrate on her studies. Now, her family needs help to fund this $840 procedure. “I would love my hand to be straightened so that I can continue with my studies and as well help my mother at home,” Hilowie told us.
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.”
Sok Lim is a 35-year-old traditional Khmer food seller who works in the market along with her mother. She has two brothers: her older brother is a farmer, and her younger brother is a car mechanic. Their father died of illness many years ago. In October 2020, Sok Lim was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of her right arm. She has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on her right side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. Currently, she is unable to lift her arm and cannot work. Sok Lim traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 27th, she will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, Sok Lim will be able to use her arm normally and easily again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Sok Lim shared, "I am thankful that this surgery will help me return home and get back to helping my mother at the market. My life will be changed if I can use my right arm and hand again."
Alex is a 20-year-old high school student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and younger brother in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. When he's healthy, he enjoys dancing and playing drums in church. Before his most recent illness, he was in his final year of high school. Alex has a cardiac condition called mitral regurgitation. When Alex was a child, he became infected with rheumatic fever which severely damaged one of his heart valves so that it could no longer pump blood through his body. Four years ago, surgeons in the Cayman Islands repaired Alex's existing heart valve in order to avoid replacing it with an artificial valve. This repaired valve worked well for three years, but then began to have difficulty pumping blood as well. Doctors now need to implant an artificial valve to replace the valve that is no longer working well. Alex will fly to the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On April 7th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove Alex's damaged valve and implant a mechanical replacement valve. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman Islands, is contributing $20,000 to pay for surgery. Alex'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 Alex's family overseas. Alex shared, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can get back to attending school and going to church."
Yohannes is a 13-month-old toddler from Ethiopia who loves eating noodles and playing with his mom and with other children. Yohannes’ only family is his mother, who lives in Addis Ababa. She used to work as a domestic worker, but after experiencing labor abuse she is temporarily staying at a charity organization. Yohannes was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Yohannes is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Yohannes' mother is excited for him to undergo the surgery, saying “I pray for my child to grow healthy and become somebody.”
Rebecca is a 1-year-old girl from Tanzania. She is the last born in a family of two children and has started to grow into a strong and beautiful girl. Both of her parents depend on small scale farming to support their family. Rebecca was initially brought to the hospital by her parents seeking treatment to help correct her spina bifida condition. Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord fail to form properly. This puts a child in danger of limb paralyses or death in case of a severe infection. At the time, Rebecca's parents could not afford the proposed surgery. Luckily, one of their friends advised them to seek help at our medical partner's care center, ALMC Plaster House. Through Watsi funding, Rebecca’s life was saved and she has been growing well since then. However, a few weeks ago, Rebecca's mother noticed her daughter's head was increasing in size at a very fast rate and she was complaining of headaches. Her parents had worked hard to save some money and got a health insurance card for their baby, so they decided to take her to the hospital to seek treatment. There, Rebecca was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. She needs to have an ETV surgery that will help relieve her of the pressure build-up, which would otherwise lead to brain damage. Unfortunately, their insurance has not matured enough to cover this kind of major surgery, so Rebecca's parents are appealing for financial support to help her. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Rebecca that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 25th and will drain the excess fluid from Rebecca's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Rebecca will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Rebecca’s mother shared, “My daughter’s head is increasing in size and it is making her sick. She needs surgery but the insurance we got for her cannot cover the cost. Please help once more if it is possible because we don’t know where to run to for help besides all of you.”
San is a 23-year-old fisherman from Cambodia. San has been married for two years and has a son who is one. His wife is a farmer. In his free time, San enjoys meeting friends, doing house work, taking care of his son, and taking his wife to their local market. San had an accident with a machine on a fishing boat that caused a fracture of his right arm and damaged the nerves. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He is unable to lift his arm and he cannot work. San traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On December 21st, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. San said, "I hope after surgery I get back full arm function and can work again."
Mary is a 46-year-old woman from Kenya. She is a housewife and a farmer, and is a mother of four children. Despite having lost sight in her left eye, Mary has been taking care of her children and her family's small piece of land. Her husband works as a street vendor to support the family's financial needs. On November 23rd, Mary slipped and fell, bending her left knee directly onto a stone. An X-ray confirmed that she sustained a closed fracture of her patella. This injury makes it difficult for her to walk, and she is in chronic pain. Fortunately, Mary's husband was able to bring her to the hospital and now surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 26th, Mary will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Mary's husband shared while holding back tears, "Without support, my wife will never walk again and it will be hard for her take care of our children. Please help her so that at least she can walk again and continue supporting our family.”
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.”
Sor is a 56-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. Sor has two sons, one daughter, and one grandchild. She lives with her husband who is also a rice farmer. She shared that she enjoys listening to the news on the radio and monks praying on the radio or at the pagoda in her village. Two weeks ago, the retina of Sor's left eye detached, causing her blurred vision and flashes of bright light in her eye. She now has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Sor learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours with her sister seeking treatment. On September 24th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Sor said, "I hope my eye surgery is successful so I can return to my planting and housework and don't have to worry about losing vision in my eye."
Dah Khu is a young woman who lives with her husband, parents, three brothers, sister-in-law and her nephew in Mae La Refugee Camp (MLRC) in Thailand. Except for her husband, Dah Khu’s family is unemployed and depends on monthly rations distributed by international organizations. Dah Khu’s husband is a daily laborer who works when he receives permission to leave the camp. He earns 1,000 baht (approx. 33.3 USD) per month. This, combined with the rations they receive is not sufficient to cover all their household expenses and sometimes, they have to borrow rice from their neighbor. When she was four years old, a doctor from Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) diagnosed Dah Khu with two types of congenital heart diseases called pulmonary atresia, where one of the valves in his heart did not form properly, and ventricular septal defect, where she has a hole in her heart. The doctor told her mother that an artery in Dah Khu’s heart is narrow and that she needed surgery. Until now, Dah Khu has been unable to undergo surgery and frequently feels tired, experiences heart palpitations, has a headache and no appetite, and is unable to sleep. She also cannot walk long distances because if she does, she suffers from chest pains. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, can help. They need your help to fund this $1,500 surgery. This surgery will enable Dah Khu to have a better quality of life. Dah Khu said, “If I become healthy, I want to help my parents and open a small shop to sell food.”