Kimberly joined Watsi on September 19th, 2016. Four years ago, Kimberly joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Kimberly's most recent donation supported Vireak, an 18-year-old student from Cambodia, to fund a spinal surgery to alleviate scoliosis.
Kimberly has funded healthcare for 52 patients in 11 countries.
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."
Fredrick is an elderly man from Kenya. Earlier this year in April, Fredrick noticed a lump in his right breast. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and his older age, he decided not to risk visiting the hospital for a checkup. He was examined in September and underwent some scans and a biopsy test, but no treatment or medication was offered to him. Later on, one of his children brought him back to the hospital for further examination. The doctor diagnosed Frederick with breast cancer requiring a mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue. Without treatment, the cancer may metastasize to other organs. Fredrick has five children whom he relies on to meet his daily needs. Only one of the five is financially stable able enough to send him some money for daily living. Fredrick and his wife practice small-scale farming to supplement this financial support. He and his family are not able to raise the required amount of money for his surgery and ask for your help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $857 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Fredrick. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 14. After treatment, Fredrick will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Fredrick shared, “I am hopeful that I will get the required treatment."
Hellen is a farmer from Kenya. Hellen, accompanied by her youngest daughter, looks uneasy but confident as she met with our local Watsi rep. She shared a smile as we approached her but occasionally frowns and gets lost in thoughts. She has symptomatic fibroids which have been causing her excessive bleeding since 2015. Doctors recommended a Total Abdominal Hysterectomy-TAH to help stop the prolonged bleeding and relieve her of stomach aches and discomfort. Hellen's problem started in early February 2015 when she began experiencing stomach aches and bleeding. She visited a nearby health centre and was treated for suspected ulcers and stomach pains. Although her pains and the discharges kept recurring, she never visited the hospital but was managing the condition with medication from a nearby pharmacy. However, in November 2016 her condition worsened and she was forced to visit a bigger hospital. After a series of tests and visits to the facility, doctors recommended myomectomy. At the time Hellen was taking care of two of her family members, her husband who succumbed to prostate cancer, and a son who has epilepsy. Due to financial constraints, she was unable to get the surgery done and opted not to seek medical attention. After a while, her daughter mobilized resources from friends and relatives and opted to bring her to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital for medical attention. The OBS/GYN team recommended a TAH, of which she is unable to fully cover the cost. She was recently widowed after her husband and the father to her 4 children passed on as a result of his cancer. Her second-born child is suffering from epilepsy and has been in and out of the hospital depleting their family's already limited resources. She shared that her kids have been supportive but bills for her husband and his subsequent burial have forced them to seek help from well-wishers and relatives. Her National Health Insurance has not been approved for the procedure. Hellen lives in a one-acre piece of land in Embu where they practice small scale farming for home use. She was a housewife who relies on her children since her husband who was the breadwinner passed on. She is unable to pay for the cost of the surgery and treatment and hereby requests for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $794 to fund Hellen's surgery. On September 24th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Hellen will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Hellen says, “I have lived with pain and bleeding for a long time. I sacrificed the family resources to treat my husband and child. I need help to at least put this pain to a stop.”
Ye lives with his wife and daughter on the Thai-Burma border. He used to work as a carpenter but had to stop working two years ago when his health deteriorated. His wife is a homemaker and his daughter works as a vendor selling mobile phones. Her monthly income of 10,000 baht (approx. 335 USD) is just enough to cover their family's daily needs. In the beginning of 2018, Ye started to experience swelling in his hands and feet, pain in his lower back, and difficulty passing urine. At first he thought that it was caused by overworking and would disappear over time. Six months later, when he still felt unwell, Ye finally decided to go see a doctor. He went to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) where the doctor conducted tests and concluded that he had high blood pressure. The doctor also sent him to another hospital for an ultrasound because at that time the ultrasound machine was broken at MSH. When Ye returned to MSH with his ultrasound results, the doctor diagnosed him with stones in both of his kidneys. He was told to drink lots of water and was provided with oral medication. When Ye returned for his follow-up appointment, he received another ultrasound and more oral medication. As his condition went on, he received a catheter in both of his kidneys while admitted at the hospital. Ye kept returning regularly for his follow-up appointments. Up until 2020, he had the catheter replaced a number of times and also asked the doctor twice if he could receive surgery. However, both times the doctor told him that he would have to wait because there were too many patients on the waiting list. Eventually in the beginning of 2020, Ye was scheduled to receive surgery. When he was admitted in the middle of March 2020, he first received treatment for a urinary tract infection before he received surgery to remove the stone from his right kidney. After surgery, Ye had difficulty breathing and was placed in the intensive care unit for four days. By the time he was discharged, he was left with a 127,000 baht (approx. 4,233 USD) hospital bill. Ye paid what he could by selling all their jewelry and using up their saving. However, most of his bill was paid by borrowing money from his relatives in Burma. Before he was discharged, the doctor told him that he will need to receive laser treatment to breakup the stone in his left kidney. However, if the procedure was not successful he would need surgery to remove the stone. His daughter was no longer able to pay for his laser treatment so a nurse at MSH told him to ask for help at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). When Ye went to the clinic and told the medic that they cannot afford to pay for his laser treatment, the medic referred him to Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing further treatment and we now are raising $1500 to support his care. “I am very depressed, and I feel stressed about my health condition. I have used up all my savings for my treatment. Now I have to rely on my daughter’s income and I feel really feel bad as she works hard," said Ye.
Sambo is a 4-year-old student from Cambodia. He has recently started elementary school. He lives with both of his parents and his older brother. His parents sell goods at the local market to earn a living for their family. Sambo shared that he likes to play ball with his friends and go for walks with his family. In July 2019, a snake bit Sambo on his right hand. His mother took him to a local hospital where they performed a fasciotomy and skin graft. However, the wound did not heal properly. The fingers on his hand have contracted and he can no longer easily move them. When Sambo's parents learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, they traveled for seven hours seeking treatment. On July 8th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft procedure to to help him regain good use of his hand and fingers. Now, Sambo's family needs help to fund this $474 procedure. His mother said, "I am worried he will miss a lot of school because he cannot write with his hand that way. I hope this surgery can make his fingers work well again."
Mercy is a 49-year-old single mother of two children from Kenya who makes a living as a street vendor. Mercy has been experiencing heavy bleeding and lower abdominal pains for the past three years. She has been diagnosed with uterine fibroids. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $791 to fund Mercy's surgery. On July 3, she will undergo surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Mercy will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. “I have no one to help me yet this problem is affecting my social life and my ability to work. I am asking for Watsi's help so that I can be well and be able to live a normal life," shared Mercy.
Josphina is an elderly woman from Kenya. She is a 68-year-old joyful grandmother who was admitted to the hospital three weeks ago with a proximal tibia fracture after she was involved in a road traffic accident. Sokome was crossing the road when she was run over by a speeding motorcycle. She fractured her right leg and suffered serious wounds on her leg. She was rushed to a government hospital where a cast was applied and was admitted for daily cleaning and dressing. Sokome kept complaining of pain on her limb until she was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner's hospital and diagnosed with a grade 3 open tibia fracture after an x-ray examination. Doctors treated her with debridement and external fixation. She has progressed well, with good healing with the exception of a 2x2cm non-healing wound with soft tissue loss and exposed bone. She requires a flap to cover the wound and allow healing, and post-surgery rehabilitation when she is discharged home. Sokome is a mother of three and grandmother to twelve. She is a maize and millet farmer in a rural village. She is a widow after her husband died two months ago after suffering a longtime illness and now lives with her son in a two-roomed house with an iron sheet as its roof. Sokome requires financial support for a successful surgery. Before coming to the hospital, her family had spent much of their money treating her. They have done their best for the hospital bill for her first surgery until this time when they can’t afford another surgery for Sokome. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Josphina receive treatment. On May 15th, surgeons at their care center will perform a skin grafting and wound cover so she will be out of risk of further complications. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,169 procedure. Josphina says, “I am worried about my health and the obstacles I might face; would I be able to walk again, would I face social problems or financial challenges? My only hope is to walk again.”
Aung is a 15-year-old novice monk from Hpa-An. He lives with other monks in the monastery. His parents own a piece of land where his father and oldest brother grow vegetables and fruits for sale. The family also grows vegetables for their own consumption. He was born with encephalocele and it was the size of a fingerprint. It grew bigger over the years and was the same size for the last three years before receiving surgery in 2015. He also suffers from hydrocephalus and he received ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VP) in 2016. Two months ago, Aung developed headaches and his head has grown bigger on the right side. At that time, his father bought medicine from the pharmacy to reduce his headaches. He took it for two days, but he did not feel better. Later on, his father took him to Hpa-An hospital where he received a blood test and x-ray. The doctor suggested his father to take him to Yangon but his father returned to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot instead of going to Yangon. On February 25th, he arrived at MTC and he was referred to Watsi Medical Partner's Care Center Mae Sot Hospital to be seen the next day. At MSH, the doctor recommended a CT scan, which Watsi donors have also generously supported, and with these results Aung's father was told that doctors need to replace Aung's VP shunt as the previous shunt from 2016 is blocked. Aung’s father said, “I am very worried for him as he is my son and I hope that he will be healthy as soon as possible. In the future, I want him to be a monk for the rest of his life. Because I know my other older sons will not take good care of him as he is not a healthy boy. If he stays at the temple, he can be able to sleep and eat regularly."
Monica is a farmer from Kenya. She is a widow and a mother of four ranging between 11 and 2 years of age. Sadly, she lost her husband in February 2018 after he was attacked by bandits and his cattle raided. Monica didn’t go to school when she was young, so she can’t write, read or talk the national language of Swahili. Since her cattle were taken, Monica embarked on farming millet and sorghum in the farm left by her late husband. Monica arrived at the hospital after she was assaulted by someone she knows two weeks ago and sustained injuries to her right hand. She is not able to work and is in persistent pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 28th, Monica will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her heal and use her hand again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $771 to fund this procedure. Monica’s brother says, “Or hope is for her to get treated, she is the sole breadwinner to her family.”
Vivian was born with congenital hearing loss that was only noted when she was 3 years old. She also suffers from delayed milestones that affect her growth process compared to other children of her age. Vivian had an audiometry test done at Watsi Partner Kijabe Hospital in December 2019 and doctors recommend hearing aids. Vivian is not able to perceive low volume sounds and this concerns her parents. She is the firstborn child with one other sibling who is four years her junior. Her family lives in a two-roomed house at the capital’s outskirts. Her father works as a mechanic in an industrial area while the mother is a mobile money agent. The family’s income is quite little to raise the total amount required for hearing fittings. They appeal for financial assistance. Vivian’s father says, “My hope is that Vivian will get hearing aids and be able to talk with ease like any other child.”
Meet Jeff a one-year-old boy from Kiambu County in Kenya. He is a jovial and friendly boy, the only child of Shadrack and Catherine, a young couple. His father operates a Boda Boda taxi along the village, while his mother is a housewife. Jeff was born through a c-section at Kenyatta National Hospital and was discovered to have multiple birth deformities including spina bifida, hydrocephalus, clubfoot, and a hip condition. He stayed in the hospital for more than 2 months in the nursery and where the spina bifida and hydrocephalus conditions were treated. He has undergone hip surgery at Watsi Medical Partner care center CURE Hospital, where an x-ray reflected that he has healed. He is now scheduled to undergo a Rt hip open reduction and pelvic osteotomy treatment which will enhance his ability to stand and later walk like other children. He will later undergo surgery to correct his clubfoot. His family is a young couple who recently got married, they cannot afford the estimated bill at the hospital and thus requested for help. “The only challenge we have is the hospital bill. We are pleading for help so that our son can walk like other children,” Shadrack and Catherine, Jeff’s parents pleaded.
Joseph is a young boy from Tanzania. He is the fifth born child in a family of 7 children and also comes from a polygamous family and has 10 siblings inclusive of his step-siblings. His parents are small scale farmers in Northern Tanzania. His father often traverses into Kenya to sell Masai herbal medicine to supplement income and meet the daily demands of his big family. When Joseph was two years old, he slipped by boiling tea in his mother's hut. He suffered burns on his right hand and right side of his head. He spent several months in the hospital recuperating from the burns. Unfortunately, he healed with contractures on his right hand that has limited his ability to use his right hand. Joseph had surgery in October to release his wrist and now he needs to have another surgery to have his fingers released. Joseph is struggling to write in his class one studies due to contractures on his right hand. He has to learn how to write with his left hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Joseph receive treatment. On January 7th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to he will be able to use his hand and even move his fingers independently. Now, he needs help to fund this $832 procedure. Joseph says, “I like how my hand looks now, and I am able to use my hand to carry things. I hope that if I get another surgery it will look more okay.”