Glenna joined Watsi on December 6th, 2020. Eleven months ago, Glenna joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Glenna's most recent donation supported Bariki, a friendly young boy from Tanzania, to fund surgery to help him walk and begin school.
Glenna has funded healthcare for 13 patients in 7 countries.
Glenna has funded healthcare for 13 patients in 7 countries.
Bariki is six-year-old boy and the only child of her single mother. He's a charming, friendly, and social kid. Bariki is now old enough to start school because most of his age mates joined class one this year. Bariki couldn’t join the school because he was born with a disability of the legs making walking for him impossible. He was born with a right clubfoot and the left had a congenital deformity of the knee. Currently he has to pull himself around to be able to move from one place to another. Bariki’s mother depends on small-scale farming to be able to feed her child. She lives and farms on her parents’ land. Last year through our medical partner's outreach program they got to know Bariki and the need for him to have treatment to help him have a chance to walk. He went through treatment of manipulation and casting to correct his clubfoot, and this was successful. He has been to an orthopedic clinic trying to see whether his knee joint could be corrected to help him straighten his leg and stand but his knee cannot be released. To help Bariki have a chance to walk with ease he needs amputation above the knee so that when he is healed, he can use a prosthetic leg that will help him walk. Bariki’s mother shared, “I will be so happy if my son can be treated and be able to stand and walk instead of him crawling.”
Hassan is a hardworking 37-year-old from Kenya who works as a casual laborer. He lives in a single-room rental house that costs about $10 per month. On July 25th, Hassan was working as a night guard when he was attacked by unknown people. During the attack, his left leg was hit with a sharp object. He was eventually taken to a nearby health facility for emergency treatment, where he received stitches and was discharged with pain medication. However, his condition did not improve, and he was still unable to walk. Community health workers in the area took Hassan to a nearby hospital, where an X-ray revealed a transverse patella fracture with some displacement. A doctor at our medical partner's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital, recommends that he undergo fracture repair surgery. Hassan shares that income from casual labor jobs in Kenya is inconsistent and is not enough to pay for the proposed procedure. He also does not have medical insurance and would need to pay for the surgery in cash. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 26th, Hassan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Hassan says, “I am struggling to walk as a result of the fracture. I am unable to get any manual work to earn a living because I cannot use my legs. Surviving without a job is an issue. I need this surgery to be able to work.”
Santiago is a charming four-year-old boy from a mining community in the mountains of central Bolivia. His parents both work in office roles at a local mining company. Santiago enjoys watching cartoons and making new friends. He also loves to dress up as his favorite superheroes like Spiderman, who he aspires to be when he grows up! Santiago was born with a 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 the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Santiago is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 26th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through his body and improving his quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Santiago's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Santiago and his family can travel to receive his life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Santiago shares, "I hope that after my surgery, I will grow up to be Spiderman!"
Eddys is a farmer and tailor who hails from the highlands of Elgeyo Marakwet County in a small village well known for potato farming. She is a calm and conversational woman. Eddys is a mother of two aged between 5 and 9 years. She separated from her husband due to domestic violence at home. She returned to her homeland after the separation and now lives with her parents and her children in a semi-permanent house in their village. Before the incident, Eddys used to earn her wages through tailoring, a skill she learned in a polytechnic program. Eddys presented to our medical partner's hospital with a five-month-old fracture following a road traffic accident, which left her with severe injuries and a broken leg. Before they came to our hospital, Eddys was managed in a local health facility near her home. She had a cast applied and was told that she will heal without surgery. However, two months later, she started having pain in her leg. One of her relatives referred her to our facility where an X-Ray revealed a closed fracture of the shaft of her tibia. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On June 21st, Eddys will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Eddy will be able to walk, work and provide for her children once she heals. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Eddys has been surviving on her friend’s contributions and relies on her mother because she has not been working since the accident. She appeals for financial assistance so that she can be well again. Eddys says, “My children need my motherly support which I am unable to give them since I broke my leg, it has been a nightmare for us. My hope is to get my leg treated and be able to walk again.”
Melodie is an 11-month-old baby from Haiti. She lives in Port-au-Prince with her mother, father, and two older sisters. Her father is a school principal, and her mother is a homemaker. Melodie has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. There is a hole between the two lower chambers of Melodie's heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Melodie also has Down Syndrome. Since the care she needs is not available in Haiti, Melodie will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On April 18th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in Melodie's heart using a patch. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for the surgery. Melodie's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Melodie's family overseas. Melodie's mother shared: "Our family has been very scared about whether our daughter will have surgery in time. We are very happy to know that the date is almost here!"
Mom is a 42-year-old seller of snacks and drinks. She is married with three young children. Her husband also sells goods at the market in Siem Reap province. She works hard to keep their house clean, cook for the children, and spend time with relatives when she has free time. Ten years ago, Mom had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. Mom experiences frequent ear infections causing ear discharge, hearing loss and tinnitus. It is difficult for her to communicate with others. She feels unwell and often cannot work due to frequent headaches. Mom is frustrated because she has spent money on medicine and treatments but nothing has worked. Mom traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 8th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her left 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. She hopes that - after this surgery - her ear infections will disappear and she will improve her hearing. She said, "I want to care for my children and not always feel bad."
Paul is 51-year-old, outgoing farmer from a small village in the highlands of Kenya. Paul survives on daily work in his neighbors' farms to gather for the needs of his family. He is married with two children, and together they live in a semi-permanent house. His family relies on him for their daily needs as Paul is the only family bread winner. Paul arrived to the hospital with a fracture on his left knee after a fall at his home. He now has a lot of pain, swelling, and inability to flex his left knee. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 22nd, Paul will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Once he heals, he'll be able to walk well with no difficulties and pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,145 to fund his procedure. Paul says, "I am really uncomfortable when my children need me and I cannot be there for them. Please help me so that I can heal and be able to raise them well."
Samuel is a hard working and handsome young 17-year-old. He is the second born in a family of four children. As his mother puts it, Samuel is a very obedient, hardworking, and kind boy. Samuel left high school after seeing how his mother was straining with his father being sick, so he started doing any casual work available to try and support his mother's efforts. Their family has encountered many challenges leaving Samuel's mother feeling helpless and frustrated. They shared that this is a hard moment for their family as Samuel's grandmother recently passed away and now Samuel has been in an accident. On January 15th, as Samuel was walking along the side of the road, a car hit him and the driver ran away. Samuel is experiencing pain from the fracture injury that resulted from the accident. If not treated, he may have malunion, where his leg may be permanently impacted and he may never be able to fully use his leg again. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 27th, Samuel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Following surgery, Samuel will no longer be in pain. His leg will heal and he will be able to walk. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I left school to assist my mother, and now this has happened. I feel very frustrated and hope someone can assist me so that as soon as I get well, I can start working again to support my mother and our family,” said Samuel looking very concerned.
Arnold is a 40-year-old married man with three children; aged 15, 10, and 3. He is a truck driver and his wife helps take care of their family and home. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, his work has decreased. Also, his driving license is currently expired which means that he cannot work as a truck driver until he's able to renew the license. Since last year, Arnold has had a chronic cough. He sought medical care and tested negative for Tuberculosis more than four times; he was frequently put on antibiotics. Late last year, he started noticing a protruding swelling on his neck along with his persistent cough. He again sought medical attention from a health center and was referred to the public hospital. At the hospital, they suspected that he had a goiter and was referred to Partners in Hope (PIH) for thyroid tests since the other facility had no reagents for these tests. At PiH, Arnold was diagnosed with goiter. Doctors recommend that he has his thyroid removed in a procedure called thyroidectomy. A goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland; a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. Although goiters are usually painless, a large goiter can cause a cough, irritation and may also cause difficulty in swallowing and breathing. Arnold is afraid that his thyroid might grow bigger if he does not have it removed. It is expected that after surgery, the symptoms will heal and his neck will return to its normal size. Arnold appeals for financial assistance as he is not financially able to pay for the surgery. Arnold says, "My worry is that the goiter might grow bigger. I hope to get treatment before the condition worsens."
Eugene is a 5-year-old student and the second born in a family of two siblings. His older brother is in grade three. His mother shared that she did not manage to further her own studies due to financial problems. Eugene's father passed away last year after a long illness and his mother is the only breadwinner for their family. She farms maize and beans on a rented piece of land. During the harvest, she sells some in order to support her children and their family uses the rest at home. She lives at her late husband’s ancestral home, in a timber-roomed house. She also keeps some hens which provide them with eggs and meat. Since two months ago, Eugene has had bilateral hydrocele. The hydrocele causes him pain and discomfort. Fortunately, on November 11th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $733 to fund Eugene's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Eugene’s mother says, "I am the only breadwinner. Kindly, assist me to raise the hospital bill for my son.’’
Emily is a kind 26-year-old woman who recently got engaged to her childhood friend. She is the fourth born in a family of 7 and lives with both of her parents. One day in 2008, Emily started to experience severe abdominal pains. The pains kept increasing and she could not pass stool. On the third day, her parents rushed her the hospital where a diagnosis of bowel obstruction was made. She was taken to the operating room and had an ileostomy done as a temporary treatment for the bowel obstruction. An ileostomy is an opening in the abdominal wall that is made during surgery, part of the small intestines are diverted through an opening in the abdomen called a stoma. A special bag is placed over the stoma to collect fecal matter that are unable to pass through the colon out of the body. An ileostomy is reversible since it is only made to provide a temporary passage for the release of stools out of the body while allowing healing of the operated part of the intestines/ bowels. Emily was scheduled for ileostomy reversal in July 2008 and the parents took her back to the hospital where she was admitted. She was later discharged home and the surgery rescheduled since the there were many patients in the waiting list. She has since had more than 7 admissions for the procedure but each time she is discharged and the surgery rescheduled. They kept going to the hospital and in 2011 they gave up since they were not getting help and had already spent a lot on transport and meals. Emily eventually dropped out of school due to discrimination and the stigma associated with the condition. She now uses cheap thin plastic papers as stoma bags as the family cannot afford to buy the all the bags due to financial constraints. She has grown to live with this condition. Despite all that has been in her way, Emily is still very hard working and earns a living from washing clothes at people's homes. This enables her to buy the plastic bags for the stoma. Often, she runs out of money to buy the bags and is forced to stay indoors. Recently, one of their neighbors had a thyroidectomy done at Partners in Hope Hospital under a special program and urged her parents to bring her for assessment. The surgeon reviewed her and indicated that the condition can still be corrected through laparotomy where an ileostomy reversal will be done. This surgery will greatly improve Emily’s life, restore her dignity as a human being and remove the emotional pain and torture that Emily has lived with the past 13 years. Her parents are seeking financial support to help their daughter undergo the surgery. “I remember that when I was young, I used to use the bathroom normally in the pit latrine. I pray that one day I will be able to use the toilet again. I hope that when I get married I will be like all other women and will not have to embarrass my husband with this condition," shared Emily with a shy smile on her face.
Margreth is a six-year-old girl and the second-born child in a family of six children in Tanzania. She is a hard-working girl despite being young and not being able to straighten her left hand after being involved in a fire accident two years ago. Margreth helps look after her younger siblings when her parents are out working on the farm. Her parents say she has not had a chance to join school in fear of discrimination due to her disability. Her parents are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers. They depend entirely on what they harvest from the farm for a living and sometimes they are able to sell milk from their cattle. In 2018, Margreth was sitting around the fireplace warming herself with her siblings when her Maasai clothing caught fire. Margreth panicked and started running crying for help when her grandmother and mother came to her rescue and put the fire out by taking her clothes off. She had sustained severe burns around her belly and the left hand. She was rushed to the district hospital where she was admitted for six months for treatment. The cost of her treatment made her parents sell almost all of their cattle in order to settle the bill. She healed but now she is unable to straighten her left hand which is limiting her in carrying out her daily life activities. She needs to have her hand-corrected, but her parents can’t afford the cost thus they are asking for support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Margreth receive treatment. On October 12th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery so she will be able to utilize her hand with greater ease. Now, her family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Margreth’s mother says: “Life would be easier for our daughter if she is able to have this surgery. Our problem is that we can’t afford the treatment cost. If it’s possible please help our daughter.”