John joined Watsi on June 16th, 2018. Two years ago, John became the 4496th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 1,980 more people have become monthly donors! John's most recent donation traveled 4,500 miles to support Emma, a joyful young woman from Kenya, to fund gallbladder treatment.
John has funded healthcare for 25 patients in 8 countries.
Looking jovial, 26-year-old Emma walks into the office wearing a broad smile. However, behind the joy and smile are recurring stomach pains that give her sleepless nights. Emma was diagnosed with symptomatic cholelithiasis - a gall bladder disorder that requires laparoscopic cholecystectomy analgesia surgery. If left untreated, cholelithiasis can lead to serious complications such as tissue damage, tears in the gallbladder, and infection that could spread spreads to other parts of her body. In Mid-April 2020, Emma started experiencing recurring pains burning in nature. She tried managing the pains using over the counter pain killers but the pain kept recurring. About a week later she was forced to visit a health centre in her home town Kayole for medical checkup. Emma was treated for suspected ulcers at the facility and was discharged with anti-acids. The pains seemed under control for over a month but they recurred in July. She went back to the same facility where a scan, x-ray, and further tests were recommended. Results indicated that she had cholelithiasis and she required urgent surgery. Doctors from the facility recommended she go to Kijabe Hospital for treatment. Emma is a single mother of one. She shared that she is raising her 6-month-old baby on her own after the father of the child left them and declined responsibility. She works as a shop attendant about 10km from her home and earns a total of $100 monthly income as her salary. To enable her to fend for the family, she has a house helper who takes care of her little child while she out looking for their daily bread. She pays the house help $35 a month. The three live in a single room rental which costs $50 a month. The remaining less than $20 is not enough to buy food and basic needs and still cover the cost of surgery. Emma is the oldest in a family of three. Her siblings are unemployed and live with their mother in the village. They depend on produce from their ¼ acre farm for survival. Emma’s employer and few close relatives contributed a small amount for the surgery but she still needs $616 in financial support to fund the treatment. Emma shared, “I need this surgery to get better and take care of my small family. I am the father and the mother to my little kid and my siblings depend on me. The small salary I get I barely make enough for our family and we basically live from hand to mouth. I have to spend all the income I make.”
Kham is a 14-year-old student from Burma. She lives with her father, paternal grandparents, four paternal uncles, an aunt-in-law, and a cousin in Kachin State. Kham is in the ninth grade and her cousin also goes to school. Her grandmother is a seamstress. Her grandfather is retired, and her father is unemployed and looks after her. All of her uncles are mechanics in an automobile repair shop, but they do not share their income with the rest of the family. During her free time, she helps her cousin with his homework, and she loves teaching. Kham 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 her sick and short of breath. Kham is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on August 9th to correct her condition and improve her quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Kham's procedure and care. “I would like to become a teacher because I feel happy teaching children that I know,” Kham shared with us.
Nigel is a small boy from Kenya. Nigel’s mother used to work in people’s homes before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the financial strains that COVID-19 has caused, work is now very hard to come by. His father is a casual laborer in a construction site near their home. They only make just enough money for their family to live on. Nigel 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, Nigel is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 7th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $735 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Nigel’s mother shared, “Since we are unable to raise any money for my son’s treatment, the financial help offered would be of great help.”
Jimmy is the first born of two children and lives in Makadara rehabilitation center. Jimmy was brought to Watsi's Partner CURE Hospital by Elijah, a social worker at Makadara Rehab Center. The rehab center supports street children and their families. They rescue, rehabilitate, and cater for the basic needs and facilitate placement either in regular schools or special schools or rehabilitation homes. Jimmy was a street child and was rescued in January 2018. He had fled home in Kayole, Soweto slum where his single mother lives in a difficult state. Fortunately, he was rescued and enrolled in school. He recently finished his class 8 final exam and scored good grades that will enable him to join a national high school. Jimmy joined the street family in 2016. He fell in 2017 and injured his elbow so that to this day he cannot stretch out. He has lived like that since then and complains of pain and discomfort. Jimmy is afraid that his education might be affected and his aspiration of becoming an engineer might come to an end. Jimmy is scheduled to undergo right elbow interposition arthroplasty to realign the bones so that he can be able to stretch his hand and use it fully. On behalf of the Makadara Rehab Center, Elijah, a social worker requested for support because they have so many children who need different care and attention and they cannot meet the cost of this treatment. “I request for support to undergo surgery so that I can play basketball and even do other things like washing and writing which I am currently not able to,” Jimmy told us.
Jane is a farmer from Kenya who was well until Friday night, February 28th, when she fell on a hard ground while carrying a bunch of firewood. She visited a nearby health centre but was referred to our facility for specialized treatment secondary to severe pain and inability to stretch her hand. Upon review, x-ray imaging indicated a radial head fracture and a radial head excision with Open Reduction Internal Fixation (ORIF) recommended by doctors. The surgery will allow her to stretch/flex her hand and continue with her normal life duties. Jane is a peasant farmer in the upcountry, planting millet and sorghum on her farm located along the valley. The mother of 8 and a grandmother to several children, she has always worked hard to meet her children's needs. Despite her hard work, Jane faces a lot of social challenges at home. Since her husband was murdered four years ago by unknown persons, Jane developed depression that led to partial psychosis. Due to this condition, Jane is unable to attend to her home duties like before. She no longer does farming like she used to do, now she is left in the hands of her daughter who takes care of her needs. Jane's family is able to raise $98 only. She is requesting the rest of the funds to undergo ORIF. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 6th, Jane will undergo a fracture repair procedure. The surgery will reduce further complications and allow Jane be able to utilize her hand with ease. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $771 to fund this procedure. “I hope that I will get well soon. I am missing my home,” says Jane with sweet laughter.
Ethiopia is a three-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He loves to interact with people he knows. Ethiopia loves to play games and to watch television. He has three brothers and a younger sister. His mother is a house wife and his father is a teacher in a high school. His father has a low monthly income and is barely able to support his family's basic needs. Ethiopia 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, Ethiopia is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 17th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,231 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His father said, “In the future, I hope he will be a doctor because he loves to play as a doctor.”
Mean is a 71-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He has six children and ten grandchildren, and enjoys exercising, visiting the pagoda, and taking care of his family when he has free time. Two months ago, Mean started experiencing pain in his right hip, five years after seeking treatment in both of his hips. He now experiences the same difficulty with his walking, and has pain everyday. Fortunately, Mean learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Mean of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for January 7th, and Mean needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. "I hope that I will be able to walk again and will not experience anymore pain in my hip," he said.
Christian is a one week old boy from Tanzania. He is the last born child in a family of two children. His parents depend on small scale farming for their living with no other source of income. Christian has clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Christian traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on November 14th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Christian's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Christian’s mother says, “We would love our son to have normal feet and grow into a normal child not having to go through discrimination. The cost is too high for us to afford please help.”
Khin is a 58-year-old Chin woman from Burma. She moved to Yangon one year ago when her health deteriorated. She lives with her sister, daughter and two grandnephews. In her free time she likes to read the Bible and pray to God. Sometimes she helps with household chores such as ironing her daughter and grandnephews cloths. Khin was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Khin feels tired, experiences heart palpitations and cannot walk long distances. However, she feels slightly better when she takes her medication. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Khin. The treatment is scheduled to take place on September 10 and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Khin said, “I don’t want to feel stressed and I stay happy even though I don’t have enough money to treat myself. I am happy that my family encourages me to be strong even though they can’t help me. When I recover fully I want to help and look after orphaned children from Chin."
Susan is a housewife from Kenya. She is a mother of six children who are grown up with their own families. But since she could not give them a good education they are also struggling to sustain their families. Susan does not work she is a house wife and the husband is a small scale farmer. Susan has been alright until 26th July 2019 when she slipped and fell. She was taken to hospital and an x-ray done showed she had closed fracture right radius/ulna bones. It is difficult for her to use her hand and she is in chronic pain Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 03, Susan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her work again Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $998 to fund this procedure. “I love my wife and she has been very helpful to me and the family. I hate to see how she is suffering and kindly ask for help” said Susan’s husband.
Nurudini is a child from Tanzania. He has been diagnosed with windswept deformity. His lower legs are curved. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he cannot walk well. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Nurudini. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 16. Treatment will hopefully restore Nurudini's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Nurudini’s mother says, “Despite using calcium medication, my son’s legs are worsening. We were advised on surgery but we couldn’t afford the cost please help my son.”
Mary struggles with ambulation due to a spinal complication she is having. This has been the struggle for the past 12 months and continues to strain her daily life. Mary complained of fatigue and back pain in October of 2018 and sought treatment in a nearby hospital and was given no conclusive diagnosis. She was then referred to a more advanced facility and came to Kijabe. Mary had MRI and X-ray imaging done and was diagnosed with TB of the spine. Her surgeon recommended spinal decompression and fusion surgery to correct the condition. If not treated, Mary will continue experiencing much pain and ambulation struggles. Mary is a mother of 4 children and together, they live in her parent's house. Mary used to sell second-hand clothes but stopped in October when she could not bear the persistent fatigue and pain. Currently, her needs and those of her children are met by her relatives. She is not able to raise the full amount required for surgery.