Mark joined Watsi on September 20th, 2016. Five years ago, Mark joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mark's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Stuwart, a 5-year-old from Tanzania, to fund mobility-restoring knee surgery.
Mark has funded healthcare for 63 patients in 11 countries.
Mark has funded healthcare for 63 patients in 11 countries.
Stuwart is a playful and friendly boy and the only child so far in his family. He is currently in the first grade and he loves counting numbers and drawing. Stuwart’s father works as a bodaboda taxi driver to be able to support and care for his family. They shared that his income is not much but it helps them make ends meet. Stuwart was diagnosed with genu valgus. His legs bow inward so that his knees touch and rub against each other when he walks. 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 is having a hard time walking and is experiencing pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Stuwart. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 15th. Treatment will hopefully restore Stuwart's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Stuwart’s mother says "We've tried to seek treatment for our son but all our efforts have not been successful despite trying to get national insurance. We are either to pay with what we don't have or wait for one year. Please help."
Fenet is a 1-year-old child from Ethiopia. She is a beautiful baby girl with two older siblings and she loves to play with them and their parents. Her dad is a daily labourer with an income not large enough to meet the family's needs and medical costs. Fenet was born with an anorectal malformation, which is a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. Children with this condition have an imperforate anus, or an absence of opening where it should be. Due to this condition, she developed bowel obstruction and underwent an emergency colostomy. Post-surgery, Fenet has had multiple issues with her colostomy care and experienced associated complications. As a result, she cannot pass stool in a normal way. Fenet's condition has taken its toll on her mom and dad, and the whole process has been very emotional and difficult for them to go through. Her family appeals for help for Fenet to be treated. Fenet is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on June 10th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Fenet's procedure and care. After her recovery, Fenet will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Her mom shared, “I hope my child will heal and God is able.”
Duncan is a 28-year-old man from Kenya. He is currently unemployed. Both of his parents are elderly and are farmers. Because of his current condition, he lives with his relatives who help him visit the hospital regularly for checkups. Duncan currently has tinnitus in his right ear, which causes him to have reduced hearing. His symptoms began in early 2010 after a road traffic accident, which also caused him a spine injury. He is currently still waiting to receive spine surgery. A few weeks after the accident, Duncan started having ear drainage, and visited a local hospital in his hometown for treatment. His ear eventually recovered, but the pain and infection reappeared two years later in 2012. Gradually, Duncan became unable to hear voices well, and currently he is not able to hear using the right ear. Doctors have recommended that he get a hearing aid to restore his hearing to its normal levels and improve his quality of life. However, Duncan cannot afford the cost of the hearing aids. His National Health Insurance Fund coverage cannot cover the cost of both his spine surgery and this treatment for his hearing loss. He currently relies on well-wishers to pay for his medical bills. Duncan appeals for financial support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Duncan receive his hearing aids on March 31st. This will cost $748, and he needs help raising money. Duncan shared, “I am losing my hearing at a tender age, my mobility is also threatened and I am unable to afford the increasing cost of medical care. I need support to get this treatment so that I may hear well again. Thank you for your support.”
Ra Sa is a 67-year-old woman who lives with her nephew in Mae La Refugee Camp in Thailand. Ra Sa is a homemaker and her nephew is a student. Ra Sa’s daughter, who also lives in the camp with her husband, supports Ra Sa with food and visits several times a week. Ra Sa’s daughter works as a domestic worker in the camp, and her son-in-law works as a porter unloading supplies from delivery trucks, but the support they are able to provide for Ra Sa does not always cover her expenses. In her free time, Ra Sa likes to teach children at the local mosque. However, since a hernia appeared last year, she has not been able to teach in the same way. Once she has recovered, she wants to live happily with her nephew and to continue teaching. Since the 7th of March 2020, Ra Sa has had an umbilical hernia. She experiences a lot of pain in her lower abdomen and has three lumps that are increasing in size every day. She can no longer sit for more than 10 minutes before she is in pain, feeling more comfortable when she lies down. Sometimes she cannot breathe well and is having other troubling symptoms. Fortunately, on March 5th, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Ra Sa's hernia repair surgery, which will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably again. Ra Sa said, “I prayed every day that I would get a donor to cover the cost of my surgery and I feel like my prayers have been answered. I am so happy! I would like to say thank you so much to all of the donors. I will never forget what you have done for me and I hope that you will continue to help more patients in the future.”
Salim is an 18-year-old student and the oldest in a family of two children, with a younger sister who is seven years old. His mother hawks mandazi (fried dough) for a living and sometimes sells cosmetics to supplement the family's income. Their family lives together in a single room. Salim has profound hearing loss in his right ear and severe sensorineural hearing loss in his left ear. When he was two years old, Salim's mother discovered that he was unable to speak well and that he had a small wound on his right ear. Salim has visited several healthcare facilities through the years for treatment and speech therapy, but he still has difficulty hearing and communicating. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Salim to get a hearing aid for his left ear. He is scheduled to receive his treatment and be fitted for the hearing aid on March 23rd. Now, his family needs help raising $748 to fund the cost of this care and device. Salim's mother shared, “his hearing condition and speech problem are affecting his studies, and he is always sad and secluded. He is suspicious and scared of making friends. He needs this hearing aid to hear his teachers in school.”
Angel is a beautiful 11-year-old girl from Kenya. Her family is from Nairobi county, and she is the only child in her family. She lives with her grandparents, as her mother is single and ill. Angel 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, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Angel to receive treatment. Angel traveled to visit AMH's care center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 22nd. Now, AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Angel's procedure. After surgery, Angel will be able to stand and walk like other children. Angel's grandmother shared, “we will be grateful if you can give Angel back her smile and she can enjoy life like other children. Thank you very much.”
Uzima is a two-year-old boy from Tanzania and the second born in a family of three children. Uzima comes from a family that is living in hardship. His father has had health issues and is not strong enough to work on a farm, but he takes cattle out to graze, and through this, he is able to get milk or a bit of maize as payment. Uzima's mother works on farms to support her family. Uzima 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, Uzima traveled to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Uzima's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes well. Uzima’s uncle shared, “my nephew suffers from this condition, and life is hard at their home. His parents have no means of treating him and I am afraid life is going to be really hard for him if he lives with this disability. Please help treat him so that he is able to grow up and take care of himself.”
To is a 57-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He has been married for 12 years and has 3 sons and 2 daughters. His oldest child is in the ninth grade, while the others are not in school yet. To's wife works as a vegetable seller. In his free time, To enjoys working around the house, taking care of his children, and helping his wife to sell vegetables. In August 2020, To was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a fracture in his right hand. His family took him to a provincial hospital for wound repair, where he stayed for ten days. After this, To tried a Khmer traditional treatment, but it proved ineffective and the fracture did not heal. His relatives told him to come to Children's Surgical Center, our medical partner's care center, for treatment. There, surgeons assessed that his fracture is still mobile and he cannot use his hand. He has wrist drop and muscle atrophy, and is in chronic pain. On January 18th, To will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Surgeons plan to conduct an ORIF (open reduction internal fixation) technique and will put a plate, screws and a bone graft in his hand. In addition, they will explore the radial nerve to assess for any damage. This procedure will help him to use his hand again so that he can work to support his family. To shared, "I hope that my hand will be fixed with a good result, and I will have no more pain. I wish I could be working but need my hand to heal first."
Sherline is a 7-year-old playful girl from Kenya. Last Friday, Shirlene arrived at the hospital with pain in her right leg and head after being hit by a tree branch. Sherline had gone to fetch firewood with her friends when the accident happened. She was rushed to the hospital by samaritans and on arrival, an x-ray was done which confirmed a right femur fracture. Because she was unable to use her leg and was in pain, Sherline was put on traction to reduce pain, avoid irritation, and help put tension on the displaced bone. Sherline was born and raised in a village in Elgeyo Marakwet County. She was the firstborn child of a single mother. In 2015, during the Marakwet and Pokot clashes in their region, her mother was eloped and taken away to an unknown location. Since then Sherline has not seen her mum and, currently, she stays with her elderly grandmother. Shirlene's grandmother is a farmer of millet for their family's consumption. They live in a two-roomed grass-thatched house. Sherline is going through a tough experience with intense pain, trauma, and discomfort. She needs urgent help to fix her condition. Their family is facing financial hardship and is asking anyone reading Sherline's story to help her raise the fee for her surgery. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 16th, Sherline will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will reduce the pain, initiate her healing, and help her to walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Shirleen's guardian shared, "It's paining me to see her cry in pain, I want her to receive treatment and be able to walk again."
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."
Oeun is a 36-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. Oeun has been married for ten years and has one daughter and one son who are both in school. Oeun's wife is also a rice farmer along with him. In his free time, Oeun enjoys spending time with his children and meeting up with his friends to drink beer. Two weeks ago, Oeun was burned by acid on his forehead and shoulders. He first went to a provincial hospital where they dressed his wounds for nine days but he developed an infection and the wound grew larger. His neighbor told him to come to Watsi's Medical Partner CSC for treatment. He is in pain and the wound infection is spreading, threatening his healthy skin. When Oeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On October 14th, surgeons at CSC will perform a debridement procedure to help remove the dead skin and clean the area. Now, he needs help to fund this $787 procedure. Oeun said, "I hope my skin will get better soon and my pain will go away."
Hla is a 41-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her family in a village in Kawkareik Township of Karen State in Burma. One year ago, Hla felt a painless growth when she touched her lower abdomen. That same day, she went to see a traditional birth attendant (TBA) about this. The TBA told her that she has a gastric problem. The next day, Hla went to see a traditional healer and received blessed water in the hopes it would make the growth disappear. Although she drank the blessed water for around two months, the growth remained. As she did not think that the growth would make her seriously ill, she did not go to a clinic. In January 2020, Hla felt like the growth was increasing in size. She decided to visit Kawkareik Private Clinic where the doctor performed an ultrasound. She was told that she has a mass in her uterus. The doctor provided her with painkillers and was told to only take it when she is in pain. Currently, Hla suffers from back pain and the mass increases in size day by day. Doctors want Hla to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Hla's CT scan and care, scheduled for February 14th. Hla said, “I feel very stressed that I don’t have money to seek treatment. I hope that I will get better once I receive proper treatment.”