Rachel joined Watsi on July 7th, 2014. Six years ago, Rachel became the 633rd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,792 more people have become monthly donors! Rachel's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Simon, a newborn baby from Tanzania, to fund hydrocephalus treatment.
Rachel has funded healthcare for 73 patients in 12 countries.
Simon is a 3-month old baby boy from Tanzania and the only child to his parents. He was born healthy but when he was two months old he started having fevers and vomiting. His parents tried to seek treatment for him but the medication he was using only helped reduce the fevers. Soon his parents noticed his head was increasing in size and his general health became very poor due to the regular vomiting. His parents depend on small-scale farming for a living and their income is not always enough to get them by. Due to financial challenges, Simon's parents could not afford to take him to a referral hospital in time, hence his condition worsened. Through ALMC Hospital's outreach program, they learned about Simon's condition and the need for him to get treatment. Simon has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus which is putting him in danger of brain damage due to the pressure building up in his head, causing him not to be able to feed well and regular fevers. His parents cannot afford the treatment cost and are asking for help. Simon has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Simon has been experiencing increasing head circumference, fevers and vomiting. Without treatment, Simon 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 Simon that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 7th and will drain the excess fluid from Simon's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Simon will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Simon’s mother says, “My son’s head keeps increasing in size and his general health deteriorates as days go by, we are unable to afford the treatment cost. Please help us.”
Vanna is a 64-year-old government employee. He and his wife have six children together, all of whom are grown and started their own families. His wife was a rice farmer, but recently retired. He reads a lot of books, and has started to collect books to give to his grandchildren. He also enjoys watching news on TV. Vanna has had chronic back pain for over ten years. He has managed the pain with painkillers and light exercise, but recently it started to get worse. He experiences numbness in his legs, and has difficulty sitting and standing. He came to Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) on recommendation from a friend, and has been diagnosed with lumbar stenosis, a condition in which spinal nerves are pressured by the bone. Doctors will perform a laminectomy in order to relieve that pressure. This will allow him to walk easily with out pain. Now, CSC needs your help to fund this $1,027 procedure. Vanna shared, "I can't imagine life without back pain, so I am simply excited to feel what it will feel like when the surgery is done."
Philip is a widower from Kenya. He is a quiet man who mostly keeps to himself and rarely shares his troubles and needs. His wife passed away in 2010 and he was left with four children to look after. But Philip now lives alone in a grass-thatched house and has four sheep. He does casual jobs and the little he earns enables him to buy food for himself. Philip recently slipped and fell while he was tending to one of his sheep. He fractured his left femur and because he is in pain he cannot walk or work. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 7th, Philip will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again and he will be able to work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Philip shared, “I have been living a life that is not pleasing and my personal problems turned my children against me. This has been an eye-opener and I promise to make peace with my children after getting help with my broken leg.”
Regina is a 46-year-old woman from Kenya. She works as a secretary at the Kiambu County Offices with limited income and shared that she has not been paid for some months. Since five years ago, Regina has been experiencing lower abdominal pains and abnormal uterine bleeding. She has been diagnosed with uterine fibroids. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $791 to fund Regina's surgery. On June 5th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Regina will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. “I have been paying for national health insurance hoping it would help me and also if my salary was paid I would have tried to cater for this operation. Now I plead for support so that I can undergo this surgery and at least get back to my normal life,” said Regina.
Rachel is a tailor from Kenya. She is a middle-aged woman from the east of the country. Eight years ago, she noted a lump on her right breast and consulted several hospitals. She had FNA tests run and cancer was ruled out. In 2014, she had a lumpectomy but unfortunately, the lump recurred in 2018. She was biopsied in a different hospital and still did not get a cancer diagnosis. Late in 2019, she opted to come to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital where she had several tests done, including an ultrasound and CT scan. Doctors diagnosed early-stage cancer. Rachel returned to the hospital in April and surgery is advised. If not operated on, she is at risk of cancer metastasis, which might result in an early death. Rachel is a mother of two children, ages 10 and 8 years old. She lives in a two-roomed rental house paying $34 per month. She sustains her family through her small tailoring venture in their house. Living with a disability, where she had a right femur osteomyelitis in 1982, she is not able to move with ease, and this limits her ability to earn a better living and lifestyle. She separated with her husband, making it hard for her to meet the daily cost of living. She left her two children with a neighbor to come for surgery and appeals for financial help. Without treatment, her cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $898 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Rachel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 6th. After treatment, Rachel will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Rachel says, “Thank you for agreeing to support my surgery. I am grateful and look forward to quick recovery.”
Muslim is a 2-year-old child from Ethiopia. He is a beautiful baby boy who loves sweets and rice. He also loves to play with a ball. Muslim has one brother and one sister. He loves to play with his mom and siblings. His father is a farmer and his income is very limited and insufficient for the family’s daily needs. He also does hard labor work to support the family. His mom is a housewife and she raises her children full time. Muslim was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Muslim is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on May 5th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Muslim's procedure and care. After his recovery, Muslim will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Muslim’s mom said, “I hope he will be operated and heal completely.”
Kelvin is a 13-year-old student and the fourth born in a family of six children. The family hails from Karangia village in Nyeri County of Kenya. He is a class 3 student at Karangi Primary School. His mother is a peasant farmer while his father passed away six years ago after a long illness. According to his teacher, Kelvin is a bright boy and performs well in class however she has noted that his self-esteem has been very low. “Kelvin likes playing with other kids but he cannot, he falls every time as his feet knock each other.” Kelvin 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, Kelvin traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 9th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Kelvin's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. “I am appealing to the people of goodwill to support my son for surgery so that he can live a better life free from struggles/hardships and also progress well in his studies,” Ann, Kelvin’s mother shared with us.
Margaret is a trained tailor from Kenya. She is a shy single 30-year-old from Gakoe Kiambu. Margaret completed her tailoring course recently and is yet to get into employment. She lives with her mother who is a peasant farmer. For about 10 years Margaret has struggled with headache, palpitations, sometimes sweating and later swelling of the neck. These problems have made it difficult for Margaret to socialize with family and friends. She had been visiting different health centres with no change until she came to Nazareth and a diagnosis of multinodular goitre was made through ultrasound. She has been under hormones control and now is ready for a thyroidectomy. Due to her low socioeconomic status, the family is not in a position to meet the cost and requests support. If not treated Margaret will continue experiencing social misfit and the thyroid gland will continue to grow. She is also likely to suffer from complications like thyrotoxicosis. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Margaret receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on January 23rd at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $625, and she and her family need help raising money. “I have stayed for many years with this problem yet I have no means for treatment. I plead for help so that I can be well again to live my normal life,” said Margaret.
Jane is a middle-aged woman who is undergoing serious pain in her spine and waist area. In August 2019, she complained of hip-area pain and had ointment applied. Over the weeks, the pain has become severe accompanied with numbness in both legs. She hardly sits down and has to be assisted to make every move. Pain medicines have not been helpful to her. She had an MRI and was diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) of the spine. She requires surgery to relieve her of the pain and regain her ability to walk. Jane used to be a peasant farmer while her husband is a driver. The mother of four children is not able to raise the full amount required for surgery. They have managed to raise $1,000 and the national insurance has committed to pay $1,300. The family is hoping to raise the remaining amount from Watsi supporters. Jane says, “I am in severe pain and my prayer is that soon I will be able to walk with ease.”
Meet Paul, a 17 year old young man. He is social and polite and likes doing charity work. He visits the aged, sick and the orphans in his village together with his friends. He hails from Cheese village, Karangatha town Kinangop, in Nyandarua County. The village ‘Cheese’ was named after a white man who settled there for a long time. Paul finished his O-level last year and scored a grade which will enable him to enroll into a college. He is currently helping his parents at home as he plans to go for surgery before joining school. Paul’s father is a carpenter while the mother is a farmer. Everything seemed normal until about 2 years ago Paul noticed an unusual carving on his back. His friends also would tell him that he has changed rapidly. Due to so many observations and comments from friends, he was taken to a hospital nearby and later advised to seek further consultation with a spine surgeon. Paul came to CURE hospital early July and on seeing Dr. Theuri a spine specialist, he was scheduled to undergo post Instrumented spine fusion surgery. Paul and his family went home to look for ways in which they can raise the estimated bill but up to date, they have never raised. They depended on (NHIF) but the insurance rejected the request. Paul is complaining of severe pains in his back, muscle fatigue and stiffness in the back. His self-esteem has also slowed since the condition developed when he is mature. He is desiring to undergo surgery to correct the deformity so that he can continue with his normal life and studies. “My prayer is that I can go for surgery so that I can live a normal life like my friends and continue with my studies. Any kind of support will be appreciated," Paul expressed himself.
Benjamin is a middle aged man from Kenya. Benjamin was on his weekly routine, heading to the city to buy stock for his upcountry retail shop on Friday, 1st November. Unfortunately, their van was hit from behind by a speeding lorry hurling them down a steep cliff some few kilometres from our hospital. He sustained head injuries. Together with the other passengers, Benjamin was rushed to our emergency room for first aid. Upon CT scanning, the surgeon diagnosed him with a mandible fracture that requires an open reduction and internal fixation. If not treated, Benjamin who is in alot of pain will be at risk of further complications on the fracture. Benjamin and his wife rely on their small retail shop in the village to make ends meet. From there, they are able to educate their five children and at least meet their basic needs. The family lives in central Kenya and with no medical insurance, they fear the cost of surgery will be high for them. He appeals for financial assistance. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 4th, Benjamin will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will fix the fracture allowing him to feed easily and with reduced complications. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $640 to fund this procedure. “Please help us as we plan on raising other funds required,” says Benjamin’s wife.
Aung is a 30-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife, daughter and sister in an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp which is close to the Chinese-Burma border town of Lweje in Momauk Township, Kachin State. Today, his wife works as a mathematics teacher at a middle school in the IDP camp. His sister is a student in the IDP camp while his daughter is still too young to go to school. He used to work as a English teacher. Later on, he stopped working in June 2019 due to his poor health. feels exhausted and he is not able to walk for longer than 30 minutes, or he feels tired. His heartbeat is rapid, he has blue lips and sometimes he feels like he is not able to get enough oxygen. He has no appetite and he is not able to sleep well, worrying over his health condition, the cost of his surgery and his inability to access it. Aung was born with ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving his sick and short of breath. Aung is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on September 15th to correct his condition and improve his quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Aung's procedure and care. Aung said, "Even if I could go someplace else, I wouldn’t be able to do any hard labour due to my condition. And I can’t go to China because I can only speak a little bit of Chinese.”