Jan joined Watsi on September 15th, 2013. Six years ago, Jan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jan's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Jackson, a nine-year-old boy from Tanzania, to fund burn treatment on his foot.
Jan has funded healthcare for 75 patients in 13 countries.
Jan has funded healthcare for 75 patients in 13 countries.
Jackson is a nine-year-old boy from Tanzania. He is the fourth born child in a family of six children. Jackson is a hard-working boy both at home and school. He is currently in class three and his best subjects are Mathematics and Swahili. Due to his health condition, Jack is having a hard time walking and it continues to become more difficult as time goes on. When he is not at school, he helps to look after his father's cattle. Jackson's parents are livestock keepers who make a very humble income. When Jackson was two years old, he fell off his bed. As he fell, his right leg went into the fireplace, which is usually next to the bed to keep the hut warm. At the time, his parents couldn't take him to the hospital due to financial challenges and treated the burn wound using traditional herbal medication. His wound took a long time to heal. Over the years, the skin around his right foot has contracted and pulls his toes upward, which makes putting shoes on very challenging for Jackson. His parents have to buy big, soft shoes so that he can go to school wearing shoes. Jackson often complains of pain after a long day of walking. Most of the times when he is home, he doesn’t like wearing shoes due to the pain and discomfort. Through a mission organization, Jackson was referred to Plaster House at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre to seek treatment help. Doctors recommend that Jackson undergo an amputation of two toes on his right foot in order to remove the pain and difficulty that he feels when walking and wearing shoes. Jackson's parents cannot afford the treatment cost thus they are asking for help. Jackson will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. He is scheduled to undergo surgery on April 23rd. African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,088 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Once recovered, he will be free of pain and will soon be able to walk comfortably again. Jackson shared, "I would like to be able to wear shoes and walk without feeling pain. I will be happy if am able to have this treatment."
Say is a four-year-old boy who lives with his mother, brother, sister, and grandfather in a refugee camp on the border of Thailand. His father returned to Burma to visit his village last year. When Thailand closed its borders because of the COVID-19 outbreak, his father could not come back to the camp. Say's grandfather is an assistant pastor in the camp and he receives his income through donations when he visits his church members for home prayers. Say goes to nursery school while both of his siblings go to primary school. His mother does all the household chores. Every month, their household receives some funding to purchase rations in the camp, which is just enough for their basic needs. They receive free healthcare and education in the camp, but specialized procedures like the care that Say needs are often not possible. In early February 2021, Say developed an inguinal hernia on his right side, which has resulted in swelling and pain. His mother has noticed that since he developed the hernia, his appetite has decreased, as eating more can sometimes cause additional discomfort. Fortunately, on March 25th, he 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 Say's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 25th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Say's mother said, "When I heard that my son needs surgery, I became so worried because he is the youngest in our family." She is eager for the surgery to be complete and for Say to have healed.
Alamunyak is a 16-year-old boy from Tanzania. He is the first born child to his father and mother, and they have are six children together. Alamunyak's parents are small scale farmers and livestock keepers. Because he was the firstborn, Alamunyak was never able to join school because he was the one looking after his father's cattle. He is a hard working young man who walks long distances seeking green pasture for the cattle. Currently, Alamunyak is unable to walk well because his legs bow outwards as he walks. Alamunyak was diagnosed with a condition called genu varus on his right leg, or bow-leggedness. 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 in pain and cannot walk comfortably for a long distance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Alamunyak. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Alamunyak's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Alamunyak shared, “The first surgery I had helped correct my leg, and walking became a bit easier compared to before. If I am able to get this next surgery, I will be able to walk better and be able to go back home and help my parents and siblings without difficulty.”
Rebecca is a 1-year-old girl from Tanzania. She is the last born in a family of two children and has started to grow into a strong and beautiful girl. Both of her parents depend on small scale farming to support their family. Rebecca was initially brought to the hospital by her parents seeking treatment to help correct her spina bifida condition. Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord fail to form properly. This puts a child in danger of limb paralyses or death in case of a severe infection. At the time, Rebecca's parents could not afford the proposed surgery. Luckily, one of their friends advised them to seek help at our medical partner's care center, ALMC Plaster House. Through Watsi funding, Rebecca’s life was saved and she has been growing well since then. However, a few weeks ago, Rebecca's mother noticed her daughter's head was increasing in size at a very fast rate and she was complaining of headaches. Her parents had worked hard to save some money and got a health insurance card for their baby, so they decided to take her to the hospital to seek treatment. There, Rebecca was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. She needs to have an ETV surgery that will help relieve her of the pressure build-up, which would otherwise lead to brain damage. Unfortunately, their insurance has not matured enough to cover this kind of major surgery, so Rebecca's parents are appealing for financial support to help her. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Rebecca that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 25th and will drain the excess fluid from Rebecca's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Rebecca will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Rebecca’s mother shared, “My daughter’s head is increasing in size and it is making her sick. She needs surgery but the insurance we got for her cannot cover the cost. Please help once more if it is possible because we don’t know where to run to for help besides all of you.”
Vy is a 32-year-old farmer who raises animals in Cambodia. Vy has one sister and one brother. Their father passed away years ago. She lives with her family and they work together to raise animals. Vy was born with meningoencephalocele (MEC), a rare defect which causes spinal fluid to protrude from the front of the skull. In her case, the mass formed at the bridge of her nose. Years ago she had the complex MEC correction procedure to remove the mass and repair the hole in her skull to prevent future fluid leaking. The surgery was successful at treating the MEC but some tissue scarring remains on her nose. Vy still experiences occasional pain and tearing from the condition. She also finds it difficult to secure employment outside her home due to the stigma associated with her facial scarring. When Vy learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On June 5th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft procedure to cover up the scar tissue around Vy's nose, allowing her to skin to heal normally. Now, Vy needs help to fund this $474 procedure. Vy said, "I hope that after the surgery, I will not have that big scar on my nose, and I can be happy and confident showing my face to the people in my village."
Mary is a 46-year-old woman from Kenya. She is a housewife and a farmer, and is a mother of four children. Despite having lost sight in her left eye, Mary has been taking care of her children and her family's small piece of land. Her husband works as a street vendor to support the family's financial needs. On November 23rd, Mary slipped and fell, bending her left knee directly onto a stone. An X-ray confirmed that she sustained a closed fracture of her patella. This injury makes it difficult for her to walk, and she is in chronic pain. Fortunately, Mary's husband was able to bring her to the hospital and now surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 26th, Mary will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Mary's husband shared while holding back tears, "Without support, my wife will never walk again and it will be hard for her take care of our children. Please help her so that at least she can walk again and continue supporting our family.”
Ezra is a 28-year-old man from Kabomo Village, Kenya. He works as a labourer in his village. Ezra is a very talkative and energetic person. Earlier in October, Ezra fell into a ditch and sustained a severe fracture on his right lower leg. He could not lift his leg and was in great pain. Ezra was taken to the nearest health centre, where a cast was placed and he was referred to our medical partner's facility for orthopedic review. On arrival at Kapsowar Hospital, Ezra was reviewed and sent for an x-ray which revealed a right tibia plateau fracture that required surgery. However, he did not have money to pay the necessary deposit to have the surgery. Because he was in pain and his leg was swelling abnormally, Ezra was admitted to elevate his limb and avoid any complications that may arise due to his fracture. Twelve days later, Ezra has been deemed fit for surgery, but the family has not raised the required amount to proceed for surgery. Due to his injury, Ezra is not able to continue working to raise money for his procedure. He dropped out of school in 8th grade due to his family's financial struggles, and as such works many causal jobs to meet his daily needs. Ezra is a young, hardworking man and is very optimistic of a better future. So far, he has raised 20,000 Kenyan shillings, and is appealing for financial support for his surgery so that he can have a good outcome. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 23rd, Ezra will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow Ezra to ambulate with ease and reduce chances of future complications. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund his procedure. Ezra shared, “It hasn't been easy for me since I fractured my leg. This situation has weighed heavily on me because there’s no one to help me out. My hope is to receive treatment, get out of the hospital bed and walk again.”
Naikulo is a smiley seven-year-old boy from Tanzania and one of almost 40 children in his family. They shared with us that his father is polygamous and has eight wives. Naikulo's father is an older man who depends on livestock keeping to be able to care for and support his family. Naikulo 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, Naikulo has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Naikulo acquired hydrocephalus in 2012 and was able to have treatment through funding that helped relieve him of the pressure build-up which was putting him in danger of brain damage. However, Naikulo's shunt has failed and he needs another surgery to help relieve him from the pain he is going through because of the pressure build-up that has resulted due to the malfunctioning of the shunt. Without treatment, Naikulo will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for Naikulo that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 28th and will drain the excess fluid from Naikulo's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Naikulo will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Naikulo’s older brother says, “My parents are not able to come up with the money needed to treat my young brother, please help him he is suffering.”
John is a 46-year-old disabled father of three who needs to undergo a second-stage bone transport surgery. John shared his story with us: In early December 2015, he was attacked by an unknown assailant who robbed him and dragged him along the road causing a serious femur fracture on his left leg. Unconscious, he was rushed to Kenyatta National Hospital where he was admitted and underwent surgery receiving an implant. This marked the beginning of a series of surgeries associated with his fracture and he was later referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital for treatment and management of his condition. Although he has applied for funding through the national insurance scheme, it was not approved due to his previous treatments and he now needs financial support for a bone transport surgery. Previously, John was a matatu driver but quit after a serious accident. He lives in a single room house that a local church offered because of his condition and his children are currently living with his sister. John is ambulating on crutches and if not treated, he might be at risk of not being able to walk freely again. John said, “With my disability, I am unable to cater for my family and live normally. If I get the required treatment, I will be able to raise my 3 kids and live normally again.”
Phannith is fourteen years old. He is a student in the ninth grade. He has one younger sister in fifth grade. His parents are factory workers and work long hours, so he takes care of his sister everyday. His favorite subject at school is math and he wants to be a computer programmer when he grows up. Since he was born, Phannith has had torticollis. The muscles on the left side of his neck are involuntarily contracted, causing his head to tilt to that side, and he has difficulty moving his head or looking around. It can also cause recurrent neck pain and make it difficult to sleep. Fortunately, surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) can perform a tenotomy to release the tension in those muscles and allow Phannith to gain normal movement of his head once he has recovered and completed physiotherapy. Now, Phannith needs your help to fund this $541 surgery. Phannith shared, "I hope that soon my neck will feel better and look better. I hope I can play sports with all my friends and not have to worry about neck pain."
Phylis is a 34 year old housewife from Kenya. She is married, has four children aged between 14 years and 18 months, and her husband works as a mechanic. Three months ago, Phylis began to experience troubling symptoms, including shortness of breath and heart palpitations. She was diagnosed with a goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Phylis receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on December 19th 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 look forward to raising my children and especially my baby without my family having to worry about my health,” says Phylis.
Htet is a 24-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her grandparents, her uncle, her uncle’s wife, her niece, her aunt, and her aunt’s husband in Yangon, Burma. Her parents passed away when she was 19 years old. Htet's uncle is still searching for work and is currently unemployed, while his wife is a homemaker. Her niece is still too young to enroll in school. Htet works as shop vender at a construction store. Htet’s aunt is a homemaker while her husband is a day laborer. Htet’s grandparents are retired. Their family's combined incomes are is just enough for their daily expense and for basic healthcare needs. Htet 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, Htet feels very tired and cannot walk long distances. Sometimes, she has chest pains. She often has a headache and shared that she feels stressed and unhappy all the time. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Htet. The treatment is scheduled to take place on May 31st and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Htet said, “In the future if I recover, I would like to become a makeup artist. In my free time, I try to make my own makeup.”