Ashley joined Watsi on May 23rd, 2014. Six years ago, Ashley joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ashley's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Beatrice, a farmer and market vendor from Kenya, to fund a fracture repair surgery.
Beatrice is a quiet lady in her early 50’s who has been blessed with six children, now ages 14-27. She runs a small grocery at the marketplace to provide for her family. Beatrice's husband doesn’t have a stable job. He does casual jobs across the village such as clearing bushes to meet the needs of his family. Beatrice and her family live in a two-bedroom house constructed with mud. They depend mostly on their daily jobs for food and save a little to pay school fees for their children and bills at the end of the month. A week ago, Beatrice sustained a left arm injury after fainting. Beatrice was brought to Kapsowar Hospital and an X-Ray was done which confirmed a fracture to her left humerus. Beatrice shared that she has a history of fainting and subsequently falling. Beatrice is in pain and she is unable to attend to her normal day-to-day things now. Beatrice is concerned that she can’t cook for her family or run her grocery business due to her injury. Beatrice had a cast applied about a week ago and was discharged to go home to look for funds for her surgery. A week later, Beatrice returned to the hospital with no hope of raising funds for her surgery. Their family is unable to raise the required amount with their low wages only able to afford daily needs like meals and clothing. Fortunately, our medical partner can help. On September 7th, Beatrice will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation procedure. Beatrice will no longer be in pain, she will be able to attend to her grocery business and take care of her family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $941 to fund this procedure. Beatrice says, “Life has never been the same since I broke my hand. I am worried about my children who need care every day. My hope is to get treated so that I can continue supporting my family.”
Noemi is a cheerful three-year-old girl from Venezuela. Her family moved to Colombia two years ago, and she will start school soon. Noemi loves playing with dolls and painting. Noemi has clubfoot of both feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Noemi's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 28th. Now, Clínica Noel, is requesting $1,500 to fund Noemi's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk more easily and wear shoes. Her mother shared, "it breaks my heart when she tells me she wants to walk and I see that she is not able to... she is starting school soon and I would love to see her walk and play with her new friends."
Tarik is four-month-old baby boy and the youngest in a family of four children. Tarik’s parents are small scale farmers and grow food mainly for their own family's consumption. Tarik was born with congenital 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 as he grows up. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Tarik receive treatment. His family visited AMH's care center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 13th and now, they need help to fund the $935 procedure. After treatment, Tarik will be able to grow up with a full life ahead! Tarik’s mother shared, "it is through God’s blessings and people’s support that my baby has made it this far. He needs to start treatment for his legs. Please help correct by baby’s disability so that he can grow up like other children.”
Stephanie is a five-year-old student from Nairobi, Kenya who enjoys singing and dancing. She is the older sibling in her family, and her mother takes care of their family and home while her father is a small businessman. Stephanie has clubfoot on her left foot, causing her foot to be twisted out of shape and resulting in difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Stephanie traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Stephanie's procedure. The treatment will allow Stephanie to walk, wear shoes, and continue with her studies. Her mother, Maureen, told us, “I am humbly requesting help from well-wishers to help my daughter walk like other children."
Navin is an eight-year-old third grade student with one older sister. Navin lives in the province where his parents are farmers. When he is not in school, Navin enjoys playing football, playing with his toy car, and asking his father questions (sound familiar to any parents out there?) Two years ago, Navin 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, Navin experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. It is difficult for him to hear at school. His parents took him to a local NGO that told them Navin needed to have surgery. They recommended his family come to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). Navin and his family traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 12th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear 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 his medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Navin's parents hope his hearing can improve so he can communicate well again in school and at home.
Sineth is a 30-year-old woman who sells boiled corn to earn a living and support her family. She is married and has one daughter and two sons. All of her children are in school. Sineth's husband is a garment worker, but is currently at home since his factory is closed due to COVID-19. Sineth shared that she enjoys listening to music on her phone in her free time. When she was 27, Sineth developed a pterygium in her left eye, causing her irritation, tearing, and discomfort with her appearance. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside. When Sineth learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled there with her sister seeking treatment. Sineth needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The total cost of her procedure is $216. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for April 6th. Sineth shared, "I hope I can get back to selling corn again without worrying about my eye hurting me."
Josephine is a widow and mother who has three children, now grown up themselves and who work as casual laborers. Recently, Josephine's daughter brought her to our medical partner and explained that her mother has difficulties in communicating and hearing. She could not explain how she slipped or fell, but has severe leg pain, including feeling like it has detached, and she had not been able to walk for over a week. An X-ray showed she has a closed fracture of the left femur. Additionally, on checking her blood level, she had hemoglobin (Hb) of 7mg/dl, which is a sign of anemia. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. The surgeon first advised admission for treatment to correct the anemia. Next, on April 15th, an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) procedure has been scheduled to repair her fracture. This procedure will help Josephine be able to walk again and resume her normal activities. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. If not treated, Josephine will not be able to use her left leg and the fracture may have malunion or heal with permanent deformity. Josephine was mostly quiet as her daughter shared her story, but she added, “Please help me and God will bless you.”
Ko is a 37-year-old father of five who lives with his wife, three daughters and two sons in a refugee camp in Thailand. His family receives a cash card every month from an organization, but this is not enough to cover their expenses. Therefore, he also works as an agricultural day laborer in a nearby Thai village. In his free time, Ko enjoys playing cane ball and spending time with his friends. On December 11, 2020, Ko slipped and fell onto rocks outside of the camp. When he tried to get up, Ko could tell that his leg was broken. He went to the hospital in the refugee camp run by Malteser International (MI). He was eventually referred to a hospital where he underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into his leg on December 25, 2020. When he went back to the hospital for his follow-up appointment on February 3, 2021, the doctor observed that the surgical wound was infected and he underwent surgery to clean his wound. When the wound still did not heal, the doctor referred him to another hospital, where the doctor told him he would need an additional surgery to remove necrotic tissue and replace the rod in his leg. Currently, Ko is experiencing a lot of pain. It is difficult for him to walk and he is worried about his family in the camp. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ko will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and finally heal. This procedure will allow Ko to walk and his leg to heal properly. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. Ko shared, “I really want to work to support my family as soon as possible. I cannot imagine what life would be like for my family if my leg never heals.”
Naw Kwee Moo is a 54-year-old woman from the Karen region in Burma, who lives with her husband and their family in a refugee camp. Of her children, three daughters and three sons still live in the refugee camp along with them near the Thai-Burma border. Naw Kwee is a homemaker and her husband is currently too ill to work. Five of their children go to school in the camp, four other children have moved away, and her second oldest son graduated from a post-secondary program in May 2020. He worked as an agricultural day laborer at a nearby Thai village until mid-December 2020. Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, he was no longer allowed to leave the camp. Naw Kwe’s household receives a monthly cash card to purchase basic rations. Although they receive free education and basic health care in the camp, they shared how hard it is to make ends meet. Starting four years ago, Naw Kwee often went to the camp’s hospital run by Malteser International (MI) Thailand to receive treatment for urinary tract infections (UTI). Most of the time, she would feel better after taking medication, but she was no longer able to work as an agricultural day laborer because of her pain. Over the next few years, she was diagnosed with chronic UTI. “I think my condition was caused from consuming dirty water,” she said. “When I worked as a day laborer, we had no access to clean water.” Naw Kwee received antibiotics through an intravenous (IV) line at the camp’s hospital. When her condition did not improve, a doctor at the camp’s hospital referred her again to Mae Sariang Hospital in March 2020. There she received a urine test and an x-ray of her kidneys, ureters and bladder. She was finally diagnosed with a right kidney stone. After multiple visits, the doctor at Mae Sariang Hospital referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further treatment. However, Naw Kwee could not travel to CMH for a while due to travel restrictions after the outbreak of Covid-19. Finally, last June medical staff from her camp were able to bring Naw Kwee to Chiang Mai. During her appointment, the doctor scheduled her to undergo an intravenous pyelogram on July 16th, 2020. After she received a diagnostic test, she returned to CMH for her follow-up appointment on November 19th, 2020. During her appointment, she received more tests and it was at her next appointment Naw Kwee was told she needed to undergo multiple rounds of laser treatment to break up the stone in her kidney. She received her first round of laser treatment on February 11th, 2021. Two days later, she developed a fever and could only pass a bit of urine. She also started to experience severe back pain and other troubling symptoms. MI staff took her back to the hospital where she received an ultrasound. The nurse shared with her that after her laser treatment, the stones had broken up and many of them where now stuck in her ureter, creating a blockage. She now needs emergency surgery to remove the stones. Our Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to support her surgery and finally relieve her of her painful condition.
Dany is 29-years-old. She is married and her husband is a farmer. Together they have one son. When Dany's not caring for her very active child, she likes to go through Facebook and watch TV. For the past ten years, she has had consistent right ear discharge and pain. When she was a child, she had surgery for an abscess near her right ear. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Dany experiences hearing loss and ear discharge. It is difficult for her to hear or communicate with others. Dany traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 14th, 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. "I really hope that after the operation my ear will be better, the hearing will be normal, the ear discharge and pain will all be gone," Dany said.
Salmani is a six-month-old baby from Tanzania and the second born in his family. His parents live in Arusha where they are both subsistence farmers. Salmani was born healthy, but at the age of three months, Salmani’s mother observed that his head size looked abnormal. His neck was not as strong as a 3-month-old, and she felt his other body parts were somewhat weak. As a result of his condition, Salmani has been experiencing an increasing head circumference and inability to sit on his own. His mother took him to Mount Meru Hospital and they referred their family to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center ALMC Hospital for treatment. She decided she had to wait to go because they could not afford to proceed with Salmani's treatment, doctor’s visits, or the tests required. Later on, they heard about Watsi's ALMC-The Plaster House program and how children with disabilities are able to be supported. Salmani's parents wish to see him be able to sit, walk one day, and also to see his head size return back to normal. Salmani has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Without treatment, Salmani will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Salmani that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 14th and will drain the excess fluid from Salmani's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Salmani will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Salmani’s mother shared, “Please help my son get this treatment so that we can save his life and he can be able to play like other children.”
Vireak is an 18-year-old student. He is the elder brother to two younger sisters. Both of Vireak's parents work in construction. In his free time, Vireak enjoys reading books, exercising, listening to music, and helping his family with cooking and taking care of his younger sisters. Vireak has been diagnosed with lumbar scoliosis. He has a curved spine causing back pain and has difficulty walking and sitting. On November 12th, surgeons at the Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) will perform an orthopedic repair surgery on Vireak to alleviate his scoliosis pain. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to fund his spinal surgery. Once recovered, his quality of life will significantly improve and he will be able to return to life as normal. Vireak shared, "I hope after my surgery my back gets better and I can have a straight spine and be free of discomfort."