Chase joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Chase became the 335th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 6,091 more people have become monthly donors! Chase's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Sifa, a three-month-old from Tanzania, to fund surgery for his spina bifida condition.
Sifa is a baby from Tanzania. Sifa is a three months old baby boy and the youngest child in a family of four children. Sifa's parents come from the central part of Tanzania where most people depend on farming for their living. His parents own a small piece of land from which they are able to grow maize and sunflowers. Their income is not much and barely enough to support their family. Sifa 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, Sifa 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 Sifa's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 24th. This procedure will hopefully spare Sifa from the risks associated with his condition, allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Sifa’s mother says, “Please help my son."
Delvin is 8 months old and the fourth born child in his family. He was born healthy and his mom and him were discharged home from the hospital. However, once home, his mother noticed that he did not have a BM for the first three days and his she started noticing that his stomach was getting swollen. Delvin's parents returned to the hospital where they performed a small procedure and he was able to go to the bathroom normally. They were discharged back home and but the problem returned in just a few weeks. They returned to the hospital where an ultrasound and x-rays were done. Results showed that he needed a surgical review and possibly surgery to correct his anorectal malformation, so his family was referred to a bigger hospital for further management. Delvin's parents could not afford to go to the referral hospital but by luck as they were telling their neighbor about their situation, he connected them with one of our Medical Partner's doctors for help. Delvin's parents are both subsistence farmers, they do not earn enough to be able to afford Delvin's needed surgery. Delvin's mother says, "My son is suffering, his stomach swells and he cries out of discomfort and pain. Please help us get him this treatment so that he may be able to use the bathroom normally."
Sambo is a 4-year-old student from Cambodia. He has recently started elementary school. He lives with both of his parents and his older brother. His parents sell goods at the local market to earn a living for their family. Sambo shared that he likes to play ball with his friends and go for walks with his family. In July 2019, a snake bit Sambo on his right hand. His mother took him to a local hospital where they performed a fasciotomy and skin graft. However, the wound did not heal properly. The fingers on his hand have contracted and he can no longer easily move them. When Sambo's parents learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, they traveled for seven hours seeking treatment. On July 8th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft procedure to to help him regain good use of his hand and fingers. Now, Sambo's family needs help to fund this $474 procedure. His mother said, "I am worried he will miss a lot of school because he cannot write with his hand that way. I hope this surgery can make his fingers work well again."
Rose is a 40-year-old woman. She is married and was blessed with six children, two sons and four daughters. Rose and her husband are not financially stable. Her husband is a Khat farmer while Rose is a small-scale farmer who plants maize and beans for home use. She sells the rest for additional income. Last year, Rose began to experience swelling in her abdomen. An x-ray revealed that she has an epigastric hernia which needs to be repaired. She explained that she cannot afford the hospital bill now because her husband's Khat business is heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. They are asking for $768 to fund the cost of her surgery. Rose shared, "I am pleading for help."
Rath is a 34-year-old from Cambodia. He and his wife have been married for ten years, and have three children together. They live on the army base where Rath's unit is located. Rath is a good soccer player, and he plays often with others in his army unit. When he was only 15 years old, Rath had a serious ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Rath experiences severe hearing loss and constant discharge from his ears. He also experiences tinnitus. His ears are chronically infected and require a lot of medicine. His lack of hearing has made it difficult to communicate and affected his career. His family is worried that he will have this problem forever. Rath traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On June 3rd, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Rath said, "Once this ear infection is stopped, I will be able to hear better and maybe have an easier time in my work. Most of all I want to hear the voices of my children when they talk to me."
Bernard is an elderly man from Uganda. For close to one year, Bernard has been complaining of a painful scrotal swelling that has been a source of discomfort in his life. He experiences pain when walking or on the farm when tilling. He had relied on herbs to treat the condition, which have not worked. He heard of Nyakibale Hospital and came for review. Doctors diagnosed a hydrocele and surgery is recommended for Bernard. If not treated, he is at risk suffering from urethral dysfunction. Bernard does not have money to pay for his planned surgery. He is a husband to three wives and a father to ten children. They rely on his small banana and coffee plantation to meet daily needs. His wives work in the farms as well, mainly cultivating cassava and maize. The yields are quite low, limiting his chances of income and he appeals for assistance with his treatment costs. Fortunately, on May 5th, he will undergo hydrocele repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $139 to fund Bernard's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Bernard says, “I hope to regain my health once again when my surgery goes on successfully.”
Belinda is a young lady from Kenya and the last born in a family of five children. She has lost her father and two siblings, leaving her mother with the task of caring for her and her nieces and nephews. Her mother notes that she cares for more than 12 grandchildren in her house, relying on her small piece of land to make ends meet. Belinda was born with spina bifida and received a shunt insertion surgery when she was young. Six years ago, Belinda developed a wound on her gluteal region. However, she did not go to the hospital since the wound was not painful. In late 2019, the wound became septic with pus discharge. Belinda stopped schooling in 2015 due to stigma from other students and she relies on a wheelchair for her movement. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Belinda receive the treatment she needs. On June 12th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to relieve Belinda of the gluteal ulcers she has. Following treatment, Belinda will lead a more comfortable life. Now, we need help to fund this $1,129 procedure. Belinda’s mother says, “My prayer is to have my child treated since the wound looks bad.”
Isaya is a 3-month-old baby boy from Tanzania. Isaya is the third born child to her family. Isaya’s parents are both subsistence farmers who do not make enough to be able to afford his treatment. Isaya has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Isaya traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 1st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Isaya's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk and wear shoes when he grows up. Isaya’s mother says, “I have seen children, even adults, with clubfeet but when I gave birth to Isaya it still scared me. I think I was scared because of the society’s perception regarding disability and I was worried that my son will have a hard life. Please help me get him this treatment so that he may have a good future.”
Nay is a 35-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband in Mae Pa Village in Tak Province. One and half year ago, they moved from Shwegyin Township, Bago Division in Burma for a better job opportunities. Nay stopped working as a day laborer because her health deteriorated. Now, her husband is the only earner and he is also a day laborer making limited income. Around eight months ago, Nay had a high fever and stomachache. She was also vomited a few times so her employer took her to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). When she arrived, she received an IV as well as oral medications. She was admitted for one day and then she felt better and returned home. Two days later after she got home, she felt stomachache again in the right side and also vomited. Again, her employer took her back to MTC and she was admitted again. She received oral medications as well as an ultrasound test. After an ultrasound, the medic informed her that she has a stone in her common bile duct as well as in the intrahepatic duct. She was then referred to Watsi Medical Partner Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. At MSH she received another ultrasound as well as a blood test and an X-ray. She was given oral medications to take home and she was asked to return to the hospital once a month for follow up. She went to MSH several times for follow-up appointments and she kept receiving oral medications for her stomachache problem. On February 11th, she went back to MSH as usual and she received another blood test. After that she was told that she has stone in her common bile duct and she needs to be admitted for surgery to remove the stone. Nay has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, Nay's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Nay is scheduled to undergo her cholecystectomy on March 24th. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nay's procedure and care. Nay said, “I want to work after my surgery so that our family will have enough income and now I am very sad that because of my condition we may have to borrow money from our neighbor.”
Myint is a nursery school teacher from Burma. She lives with her husband, son, and daughter in Burma. Her husband is a homemaker while her children go to school. Myint also cooks Burmese Moh Hin Kar, a type of fish soup, during the weekend, to earn extra money. Since June 2018, Myint has been experiencing abnormal bleeding on a weekly basis and she can feel a mass in her lower abdomen. She used to experience very bad cramps, but since she received oral medication from Mae Sot Hospital she no longer has cramps. She has been diagnosed with a uterine mass. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Myint's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Myint is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on January 31st. 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 experience abnormal bleeding and discomfort. "Once I recover fully, I would like to continue to work as a nursery school teacher and earn money from making and selling Moh Hin Kar," said Myint.
Eight years ago, Elizabeth noticed that her left ear could barely grasp a sound. Over the years, the hearing loss has spread to the right ear. She received eardrops from a local clinic but that did not help the situation. Instead, the condition got worse. Elizabeth’s daughter advised that they visit Kijabe hospital where a test was done and hearing aids recommended. Elizabeth has a difficult time communicating with her husband with whom she stays with. She can also barely use a phone, attend church or gatherings. Together, Elizabeth and her husband have twelve children all grown and living off on their own. They depend on two of their children who have done well for themselves. One of them is employed casually as a clerk and the other one a private school teacher in the village. They are not able to raise the funds needed and thus appealing for help. “I will appreciate any help accorded towards my treatment,” says Elizabeth.
Meet Josephine, a 15-year-old girl from Mbembani Village in Kenya. Josephine likes socializing and playing with her friends both at home and at school. Josephine is the 3rd born in a family of 6 children, 2 of her siblings (Musau Muasya & Maureen Mwikali) have physical impairments and have been previously supported by Watsi. Josephine was born partially blind and with additional congenital abnormalities. She is a class four student at Joy Town Special School in Thika. Besides being partially blind, Josephine walks by herself, she seems not to like people who pity her but those who play with her and encourage her. Her mother does household and farm work at their neighbor’s home. This job entails fetching water, washing clothes, as well as going to the shamba. Her husband fled home 3 years ago and has never returned leaving his family in a very difficult state. Treatment will be of great benefit to her as she will walk without straining. Her mother cannot afford to pay for surgery and hence requested for support. Her mother shared, "First, I wish to thank Watsi for the help they have rendered to my two children Musau and Maureen, God bless you so much for the support and I hope you will not get tired in helping my daughter Josephine as well. God bless you so much.”