Robert joined Watsi on April 7th, 2014. Seven years ago, Robert joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Robert's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Naing, a baker from Burma, to fund hernia repair.
Robert has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 12 countries.
Robert has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 12 countries.
Naing is a 46-year-old-man who lives with his mother, wife, sister, son and two daughters in Karen State in the border area of Burma. Naing used to work in a teashop as a baker but stopped four years ago when his health deteriorated. His son is also unemployed, unable to find work ever since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in Burma more than a year ago. They all rely on Naing’s wife, who works as a vendor in the market, to get by. She earns about 150,000 kyat (approx. 150 USD) a month, which they shared is not enough to cover their household expenses. In 2014, Naing received surgery for a right inguinal hernia with the help of his employer. Then, four years ago in 2017, he noticed that he had a small lump on his left side. Over time, the small lump increased in size and shifted downwards, causing pain and discomfort that made it impossible for Naing to continue working at the teashop. Although Naing knew that he most likely is having another hernia, since he was experiencing the same symptoms as before, he did not have enough money to pay for surgery. Therefore, he tried to cope with the pain and discomfort without treatment. In June, Naing’s friend advised for him to go to Ananda Myitta Clinic, a charity clinic in his city to ask for help accessing treatment. Naing and his friend went to the clinic, where they talked to the founder. The founder then referred Naing to another organization called Health for All who help put him in touch with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance accessing surgery for his hernia. Naing said, “I would like to receive treatment for my hernia. If I’m cured, I can work again as a baker and our [household] income will increase. Now, only my wife works and we all depend on her.”
Dennis is a nine-year-old boy and the oldest in a family of four children. His mother shared that she works hard on people’s farms in the villages, and his father is also a farmer. Dennis fell into a fire that unfortunately burnt half of his right arm. Since the burn, his elbow and wrist have developed a contracture, which has caused him pain. He also cannot extend his arm fully. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Dennis to receive treatment. On June 1st, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery on his right elbow, wrist, and fingers. After surgery, he will be able to use his hand without any limitations. He will also continue his education, use his hand to write, and help out his parents at home. Now, their family needs help to fund this $840 procedure. Dennis's mother shared, "my desire is to see Dennis using his hand like other boys. Any kind of help to my son to undergo surgery will be greatly appreciated."
Nary is a 50-year-old mother of two with one son and one daughter. Nary lives with her husband, who works as a policeman. When she has free time, Nary enjoys listening to traditional music and watching the news. Five years ago, Nary developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her photo phobia, tearing, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Nary's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled there with her sister seeking treatment. On May 28th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Nary shared, "I hope after surgery that my eye can see well so I can cook good food for my family and go to the market by myself."
Joseph is a 28-year-old gardener from Western Kenya. He is married and has two young children including one who is four years old and another who is five months old. His wife takes care of their home and children, and he is the breadwinner of the family. On April 4th, Joseph was involved in a road accident on his way home from work. He was knocked down by a speeding motorbike and fractured his right tibia/fibula. Joseph cannot walk on his own. He is ambulating using crutches and experiences a lot of pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On May 6th, Joseph will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Joseph shared, “I am the breadwinner of the family and this accident is affecting my work and life. I, sadly, am unable to raise the amount required for the surgery and treatment.“
Vincent is a six-year-old boy and the oldest of three children. Vincent and his siblings live with their grandmother in Southern Kenya. Vincent has bilateral equinus deformity, which means he has difficulty walking and often tiptoes as he walks, or even crawls. He has visited clinics in the past and undergone casting, but there has been no significant improvement. To correct his condition, Vincent is scheduled to undergo Achilles Tendon Lengthening (ATL) surgery on April 14th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,224 to fund Vincent's life-changing procedure. Vincent's grandmother shared, "I would love to see my grandson walk on his own. Any help will be highly appreciated.”
Abiudi is a 1-year-old baby boy. He is a charming baby and the last born in a family of five children. Abiudi's family lives in an important agricultural area in the central part of Tanzania, and his parents are small scale farmers of maize, vegetables, and sunflowers They depend entirely on what they harvest from their farm for their daily living and supporting their family. Abiudi has a mass that has developed on his left mandible. The mass first appeared when he was six months old as a small swelling, and has been growing since then. His parents sought treatment for him at a local hospital, and doctors determined the mass needs to be removed. He currently experiences a lot of pain and discomfort. Abiudi traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 4th, surgeons will remove the mass, and once recovered he will continue to grow up as a happy, healthy boy. Now, Abiudi's family needs help to raise $724 to fund this procedure. Abiudi’s mother shared, “We have struggled a lot trying to seek treatment for our son, but without success. Kindly help treat our son as he is suffering.”
In late January, the Muinde family from Kenya was blessed with their firstborn child, a daughter they named Emmaculate. Emmaculate's mother works in a mobile money shop and Emmaculate's father has a small electronics shop. They live in a small rented house in Nakuru, and are able to use their income to cover most of their family's basic needs. They learned that Emmaculate was born with a rare form of craniosynostosis, which meant that her eyes were not fully formed and her pupil was not visible in both of her eyes. A few days after her birth, Emmaculate was reviewed at her local clinic, and the doctor referred Emmaculate to a nearby facility for further examination. Ultimately, Emmaculate was seen by the doctors at our Medical Partner Care Center BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital (BKKH). On March 1st, Emmaculate will undergo a craniotomy in order to release the pressure in her brain. However, Emmaculate’s parents are not able to cover the amount needed for her surgery. Emmaculate’s father says, “When I was told about my child’s condition and the treatment required, my heart sank as we could not afford any of this treatment. As a family, we are requesting financial help.”
Sinuon is a bright 9-year-old girl. She has one younger brother, who is 6 years old and in grade one. Her mother works as a factory worker, while her father is a construction worker. In Sinuon's free time, she likes to read books, do homework from school, play with toys with her brother, watch TV and go outside with her parents. Sinuon has a condition called congenital torticollis, where she was born with a strained neck position due to a tight, short neck muscle. Doctors are not sure why children are born with this condition, but it is not an uncommon one. Sinuon's family was referred to Children's Surgical Centre by other non-governmental hospital staff who recognized that she needed specialty care. Currently, Sinuon is unable to move her neck significantly, and the appearance of her neck makes her feel more self-conscious. Fortunately, Sinuon is scheduled to undergo a contracture release surgery on her neck on February 2nd. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $454 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will be able to move her neck more freely and feel more comfortable with her appearance. Sinuon shared, "I hope that I will feel better and have more easy movement of my neck after surgery."
Naw Ree is a 49-year-old woman from Thailand. Naw Ree has lived by herself in a refugee camp in northern Thailand since 2009. As a camp resident, Naw Ree receives 243 baht (approx. $8 USD) each month from an organization that supports refugee camp residents. She also works as a maternal and child health worker, receiving 900 baht (approx. $30 USD) per month. Naw Ree raises chickens and grows vegetables. Despite receiving free health care services in the camp, Naw Ree is struggling to make ends meet. On December 16th, 2020, Naw Ree went to see a woman who had recently given birth, to remind her about vaccinating her baby on time. After sitting and talking to the woman in her home, Naw Ree stood up to leave but felt light headed and fell. She put out her left hand to stop her fall, and hurt her left arm. She went to the hospital in the camp, run by Malteser International [MI] Thailand, and received pain medication and her arm was put into a sling. The next day, she was referred to Mae Seriang General Hospital for further treatment. At the hospital she received x-rays and the doctor told her that she had fractured one of the bones in her left forearm. She was then referred to Chiang Mai Hospital for further treatment, but her transfer was delayed for over two weeks due to an outbreak in COVID-19 cases in northern Thailand. Since Naw Ree lives by herself, she has to cook, wash her clothes, and feed her chickens without anyone's help, a difficult feat with her broken arm. Currently, she is in pain but has no fever. She can only fall asleep if she takes pain medication. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Naw Ree will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for January 6th and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Naw Ree will no longer be in pain. She will be able to go back to work as a health worker and she will be able to complete her household chores without pain or discomfort. Naw Ree shared, "My greatest wish is that I recover and that I may be able to use my left arm again."
Zakayo is a 6-year-old from Tanzania. Zakayo is a firstborn child in his family. He is currently in nursery school, he just started school this year and his father says he loves school and he has made so many friends. He has not been able to read or write yet, but he is eager to learn. Zakayo got into a fire accident when he was one year old, his mother had cooked a meal and left the fire burning. He walked to the fire and touched the burning firewood with both his hands and he then fell into the fire burning both his hands and his stomach as well. His mother rushed to get him and got him out of the fire. He was treated using the traditional medications (honey, tree leaves and eggs). He healed but his hands now have a contracture limited his ability to use them. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Zakayo receive treatment. On December 4th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery so he will be able to use his hand and fingers well and this will help him in school. Now, his family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Zakayo says, "I really want to be able to use both my hands like my friends and be able to do things for myself. My father says I need this treatment so that when I grow up i will not have trouble using my hands."
Jenipher is a 48-year-old mother of three from Kenya. She is married and lives in Umoja area in Nairobi County. In August 2020, Jenipher started experiencing heavy bleeding. She visited a hospital in Umoja, where the doctor suggested that the bleeding may be a result of menopause. She was put on medication for hormonal imbalance and hematinic for blood cell production. Unfortunately, the bleeding continued, so she was referred by a friend to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Nazareth Hospital. There, Jenipher had an ultrasound, which unfortunately showed that she had a cervical mass. The gynaecologist recommended that she undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. However, this procedure is very costly for Jenipher and her family. Currently, they depend on her husband’s income from his small business as a carpenter. Since she was let go from her job as a school secretary due to the school's bankruptcy, Jenipher has tried her hand in several small businesses. Lately, she is unable to do much because the bleeding leaves her feeling very drained and uncomfortable. She hopes to get better and help her 20-year-old daughter start a boutique business that can supplement their family’s income. If left untreated, Jenipher's bleeding will continue and may lead to severe anaemia. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $755 to fund Jenipher's surgery. On October 30th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Jenipher will be able to resume her daily activities free of fatigue and pain. Jenipher shared, “I am hopeful that surgery will help me get better so that my daughter and I can start a small boutique business to enable us to take care of my grandchild.”
Zephania is a third grade student from Tanzania and the sixth born in a family of seven children. His family hails from Kabarawo village, which is known to be rural area with limited access to medical and social services. Zephania comes from a humble background and his family lives in a community land area in a grass-thatched house on a temporary basis. His father was a guard who lost his job due to Coronavirus and his mother has a grocery shop at a small centre in their village. Since his father lost his job, life hasn’t been easy for their family and they depend mostly on his mother's earnings, which they shared are very low. One week ago, Zephania was playing with his friends when he fell into a ditch after a push by one of his friends. He fell from a high height and sustained trauma with injuries on his left leg. He is in pain and cannot walk. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 15th, Zephania will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will allow him to heal well and be able to walk on his own and without pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Jane, Zephania’s mother, shared with us: “He has been in pain and I feel sorry for him. He can’t move his leg, I hope he will receive treatment soon. I want to see him walk again.”