Brigitte joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven years ago, Brigitte joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Brigitte's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Patrick, a 31-year-old hardworking man from Kenya, to fund fracture repair surgery so that he can walk easily again.
Brigitte has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 11 countries.
Brigitte has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 11 countries.
Patrick is a 31-year-old laborer and the fourth born child in a family of eight children. He grew up with his mother and siblings, and sadly, his father passed away when he and his siblings were young. He is married and he and his wife have three children, including two children in public primary school and another who is not yet school aged. He makes a living by digging and weeding on farms. His wife works as a casual laborer, but currently stays at home with their youngest child. The family has a small piece of land where they grow maize, beans, and potatoes for the family's consumption. Recently, Patrick was hit by a motorbike. He injured his right foot in the accident and was taken to a local clinic where an x-ray was taken and a cast was applied. However, over the next few days, his leg became swollen and he was in pain, so he visited a hospital for further evaluation. He was diagnosed with a complex distal tibia fracture and requires surgery. He is currently using crutches because walking is difficult. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On December 23rd, Patrick will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help the fracture in his leg to heal properly. After his foot heals, he will be able to return to work. Now, he needs help raising $1,079 to fund his procedure and care. Patrick shared, "I kindly ask for treatment so that I can go back to my daily activities for I'm the breadwinner for my family."
Sambath is a 42-year-old soldier who now lives in a rural province of Cambodia with his mother. In his free time Sambath enjoys reading books, watching TV, listening to music, and meeting with friends. One year ago Sambath began experiencing pain in both hips. Now he has difficulty walking. Sambath was evaluated by doctors and due to the osteonecrosis in his hips, where his bones break down due to lack of blood flow, a total hip replacement surgery is recommended to restore his mobility. Fortunately, Sambath learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Sambath of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for November 23rd, and Sambath needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Sambath says, "I really hope that the pain will go away and I can walk easily again."
Ezra is a very talkative and active boy. He would like to be a truck driver when he grows up. He's in grade five and the last born in a family of five children. A few years ago, his father fell into a deep hole he was digging and broke both of his legs. He has been recovering well but he is still unable to work. His mother, who is the sole breadwinner of the family does farming, ploughs farms, and does laundry for their neighbors to provide for the family. The family can not raise the required funds to cater for Ezra’s surgery. Ezra 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, Ezra is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $847 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Ezra’s mother says, “I was really worried that my son will not get treated but now at least I’m very hopeful that he will.”
Myint is a 57-year-old man who lives by himself in a village in Burma. His wife lives in Thailand, but since she lost her work due to COVID-19, she hasn't been able to send back money for basic things like she usually does. They are in a hard postion because she also cannot come back to Burma because she doesn’t feel safe because of civil war that has started. Myint is a day labourer who earns 3,000 kyat (approx. 3 USD) per day. His monthly income of 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) is not enough to cover his daily expenses nor pay for basic health care. Last month, Myint went out fishing and he caught a catfish. While he tried to hang the fish, the catfish fell onto his left instep. The catfish’s fin which is poisonous injured his left instep. He went to small clinic and got treatment. But his wound did not improve and instead he had swelling and it become infected. The village clinic doctor told him if the wound is not improve to go to see the specialist. Since he didn't have money, Myint went to visit a monk to seek the treatment. The monk gave him traditional medicine (an herb) for the wound. However, after using the traditional medicine for one month, his foot continued to worsen. Eventually, his friend recommended that he seek treatment at Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). At the hospital, the doctor examined his foot and saw that he had developed an ulcer. The doctor said that they would need to perform surgery on his ulcer to clean it properly and remove any damaged or necrotic tissue. When Myint told the doctor he had no money to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to our Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing further treatment. Currently, Myint’s left foot is swollen and the skin around his ulcer is discoloured. He cannot sleep well at night due to the pain. He also has difficulty sleeping due to worrying about his foot and his economic situation. He is worried that if his leg has to be amputated, he will not be able to earn money to support his family. He's trying to remain hopeful and told us, “In the future I would like to grow and sell mushrooms so that I can support my family financially.”
Saroh is a 17-year-old girl who lives with her parents, two younger brothers and a younger sister in a village in Burma. Her sister and brothers attend school while Saroh has never gone to school due to her health. Saroh’s parents are farmers and they grow rice. Saroh was around five or six months old, when her mother noticed that when Saroh tried to roll over, her lips, toes and fingers would turn blue. Saroh's mother was unable to take Saroh to a clinic or hospital because they did not have enough money to do so. When Saroh was 5 years old she would often become tired when playing with her friends. Her lips, toes and fingers were also still blue. On a recommendation from a family friend, Saroh’s mother brought Saroh to a free clinic where she was referred to a hospital for further investigation. Following diagnostics exams, Saroh’s mother was told that Saroh was born with a heart condition. In order to get treatment Saroh would have to be transferred to a hospital that was very far. Without enough information or money to travel and pay for treatments, Saroh and her mother traveled back to their village. Saroh was then treated with traditional medicine which according to Saroh’s mother seemed to stabilize her condition. In the middle of 2019, Saroh started to experience back pain. She also felt more tired and had difficulty breathing. Her mother did not know what to do as they had no money to bring her to a hospital or a clinic. Saroh’s mother asked their friends if they knew of a way that Saroh could receive treatment. In May 2020, Saroh’s uncle told his friend about Saroh’s condition. That friend happened to be a former staff member of our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and told Saroh’s uncle about how BCMF could help. BCMF agreed to help Saroh access the treatment she needs, and is requesting $1500 to fund her cardiac surgery. Now staying at the patient house in Chiang Mai, Saroh is learning how to read and write with the help of BCMF staff who teaches here during her free time while waiting for her treatment. Saroh said, “If I feel better, I want to help my mother with household chores. In the future, I think I want to go to Bible school and become a missionary. I am very thankful to all the donors who are willing to help pay for the cost of my treatment.”
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."
Joseph is seven-month-old baby and the youngest of 3 children in his family. His parents are small scale farmers of corn, vegetables, and rice so that the family can grow food and sell some of the harvest to earn money for other necessities. Joseph was born with spina bifida, a type of nerve defect that puts Joseph at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Joseph's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 23rd. This procedure will hopefully spare Joseph from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop into a healthy boy. Joseph’s mother shared her concern, "Ever since we were informed about the risk our baby is in, we have never been at peace. Please help our son."
Ni is a 17-year-old student who lives with her two younger sisters, her younger brother, her aunt and her aunt's daughter in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Ni, her siblings and her aunt's children all go to school in the camp. Her aunt is a seamstress. In her free time, Ni likes to read about her school subjects in English and Thai. Since October 2019, Ni has been experiencing lower abdominal pain and she cannot sit for long periods of time because the pain worsens. When she presses the right side of her lower abdomen she can feel a small mass. She has been diagnosed with a bicornuate uterus with bilateral endometriotic cysts. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, or the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Ni's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk of further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Ni is scheduled to undergo treatment on May 25th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer be in constant pain. Ni shared, "I want to graduate from college and I want to find work to support my siblings. If I have a chance I would like to continue my education abroad."
Plork is an 18-year-old ice driver from Cambodia. He has 7 siblings - 3 brothers and 4 sisters. Plork is the youngest in the family. He lives with his parents who are farmers. In December 2020, Plork was electrocuted in an electrical accident, which burned his hand. Electrical burns occur most commonly on the hands and feet. His family took him to a provincial hospital for wound care, and he spent 3 days in the hospital. When Plork returned home, his right hand got infected and did not heal. He went and had a surgical debridement of the dead skin, which healed well. Now, however, Plork cannot use this hand and is constantly in pain. He is feeling very unwell and describes his health as poor. When Plork learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled for six hours seeking treatment. On February 5th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft to help his hand to heal properly so that he can use his hand again. Now, he needs help to fund this $787 procedure. Plork shared, "After surgery, I hope my right hand will be get better and have no more pain and wound infection. I hope I can return to work soon and support my family again."
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.”
Shamsi is a beautiful, friendly and cheerful 3-year-old girl from Tanzania. She is the youngest in their family of five children. Shamsi’s father is self-employed and sells home materials like nets, pillows, and bedsheets. Her mother is a homemaker and stays at home to care for their children. Shamsi was diagnosed with bilateral 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. Her legs bow outward when she walks, so she is not able to walk comfortably for long periods of time. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Shamsi. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Shamsi's mobility, allow her to play normally with her siblings, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Shamsi’s father shared, “We have tried medications and different food containing high calcium, but her legs are not getting any better. The only way to correct her legs is through surgery, but the cost of treatment is something we cannot afford.”
Jonah is a 9-year-old student from Kenya. He is a jovial and high-spirited boy. Jonah is the seventh born in a family of eight children. Under the sponsorship of a well-wisher, he is a second grade student at Mwiteria Vision Academy. Jonah's family hails from Iteria Village in Meru County. His mother is a single parent who used to be a farmer, but now stays at home to take care of her children. She recently underwent an amputation on her leg after suffering from diabetes. Jonah has clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even with wearing shoes. His mother, sister, and elder brother brought him to AIC Hospital's mobile clinic in Meru to seek treatment. Watsi donors supported surgery for his left foot and now his family has returned to help heal is right foot as well. Jonah will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. Fortunately, he is scheduled to under go a clubfoot repair surgery on January 25th. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,286 to fund Jonah's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk and play easily again. Rosaria, Jonah's mother shared, “We are grateful for helping my two sons undergo surgery. We have seen a lot of impact on their feet. Previously, they used to complain of pain while walking and they like playing a lot. We plead for more support to ensure that their feet can be able to step on the ground and walk like other children. God bless you."