Zi joined Watsi on August 3rd, 2013. Seven years ago, Zi joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Zi's most recent donation traveled 4,900 miles to support Benjamin, a cheerful motorbike driver from Kenya, to fund a mobility-restoring spinal fusion surgery.
Zi has funded healthcare for 84 patients in 12 countries.
Zi has funded healthcare for 84 patients in 12 countries.
Benjamin is a father of a four-year-old child who works as a motorbike (boda-boda) driver, earning about $3.70USD per day. His income is also inconsistent and depends on the availability of customers. He is the sole breadwinner for his family. Unfortunately, he has no active medical insurance coverage and has had to rely on relatives and friends to settle hospital bills. Benjamin is full of smiles but finds it difficult to sit up while sharing his story. He opts to talk while lying flat on his back. Benjamin is currently immobile, unable to sit and walk, as a result of a road traffic accident from the beginning of the month. When the 25-year-old hitched a ride on his friend's water truck, the vehicle lost control and he was thrown out the window. He immediately experienced severe back pain and lost consciousness. The accident left Benjamin with multiple fractures and wounds that will require several fracture repair and spine surgeries in order for him to sit, walk, and be able to continue with his normal routine roles again. After stays at various hospitals and numerous referrals, Benjamin arrived at our medical partner's care center, Kijabe Hospital, for care on July 17th. One of the obstacles to treatment he had faced at other hospitals was a long waiting list that meant a delay in much-needed care, but fortunately Kijabe is able to offer his needed care more urgently. At Kijabe Hospital, the doctors recommended a spinal fusion procedure for him to help regain his mobility. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,500 for Benjamin's critical surgery, scheduled to take place on July 26th. Benjamin shares, “I just sleep on my back and cannot even sit or walk. I cannot work and fend for my family. I need this surgery to get back to my Boda-boda job and raise my family."
Baby Nejat is a sweet six-month-old boy from Ethiopia. He has one brother, a father who works as a laborer, and a mother who is a homemaker raising their two children. Baby Nejat loves playing and spending time with his parents and brother. Baby Nejat was born with an abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage, and needs to undergo a series of procedures to correct his condition. Baby Nejat's surgery is scheduled to take place on June 24th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Baby Nejat's procedure and care. After his recovery, Baby Nejat will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing serious health complications in the future. His mom is optimistic, “After the operation, I believe my son will grow healthy. And I hope I will educate him and help him reach higher in life."
Saray is a 16-year-old student who with his mother and his five older siblings. His father passed away a few years ago. His mother and older brothers work as farmers. When he is not at school, Saray likes to help with household chores or go for walks with one of his brothers. About five years ago, Saray had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Saray experiences pain, hearing loss, tinnitus and ear discharge. It is difficult for Saray to hear his family members, listen to the teacher at school, and in the past few months he has had to take time away from school. Saray traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 25th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear 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. Saray said, "I hope that this ear pain will be gone after surgery. I want to hear well at school and also listen to music on the radio when I am at home."
Tin is a 38-year-old woman from Northern Thailand. She and her husband are agricultural day laborers, and they live in a hut on their employer’s land. They shared that, unfortunately, their earnings are not enough to cover their expenses or to pay for basic healthcare. Since early 2019, Tin has been experiencing dizziness, fatigue, insomnia and pain in her lower abdomen. She was diagnosed with a myoma and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Tin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications. Since September 2020, Tin has been unable to work due to her illness. Fortunately, Tin is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on March 23rd. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Tin will no longer experience lower abdominal pain, dizziness or fatigue. She will be able to work again as a day laborer after her treatment. Tin shared, “I am not afraid to undergo surgery because I believe that I will receive successful treatment. I used to pray every day that a donor would help me. Once I have recovered from surgery, I will go back to work so that we can repay our debts. In the future, I would like to stay healthy so that I can work, eat good food, wear beautiful clothes, and earn an income.”
Gilbert is a hard working 48-year-old man from Kiambu, on the outskirts of Nairobi. His family is from both Kenya and Rwanda and he is the second born in a family of four. Gilbert has been working as a labourer at construction sites. He was married but separated with his wife and he is now raising their small child who is in kindergarten with the help of his neighbors. On Monday 25th January, while checking a tank at a construction site, Gilbert slipped and fell. He sustained a closed fracture of the right tibia and was brought to Nazareth Hospital. He needs a fracture repair surgery but his income is not sufficient to meet the cost of the surgery. If not treated Gilbert may have difficulty walking, may not be able to go back to work, and his leg may heal with a deformity. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 8th, Gilbert will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will correct the fracture, allow him walk with ease and free of pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I have no family member around, yet I have to work to support myself and my child. I kindly request for help so that I may be well to take care of my baby,” said Gilbert.
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.”
Jedidah was feeling very unwell while she met with our local Watsi representative. She is a 52-year-old woman from Machakos County in Kenya. Married with five children, she is a farmer along with her husband. Since 2018, Jedidah has had upper abdominal pains, a constant feeling fullness and heartburn, plus bitter saliva and regurgitation. Her symptoms make it hard for Jedidah to eat. She has visited many hospitals, but without help. They recently decided to come to Nazareth Hospital where our partner doctor ordered for an oesophagal-gastro-duodenoscopy, which finally showed that Jedidah has a hiatus hernia. The surgeon advised a laparotomy is needed to cure her condition, but Jedidah's family is not able to meet the cost. If not treated, Jedidah may have hernia strangulation, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or future lung problems as her stomach contents are moved up to the oesophagus. Jedidah said quietly, “This condition has made it difficult for me to work in our small farm, to interact with friends and even take care of my children. I plead for help and God will bless you.”
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.”
Mary is a businesswoman from Kenya. She is married and is a mother of three adult children. Two months ago, while relaxing at home, Mary felt a lump in her breast with a burning sensation. She ignored it at first, but it gradually became painful. Worried, she visited Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital in mid-September for medical attention and care. After review, doctors ordered a CT scan and a core biopsy, which confirmed her worst fear - that she had breast cancer. The biopsy test found an infiltrating ductal carcinoma, but luckily she had no metastasis yet. Doctors recommend she undergo a mastectomy procedure as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the deadly cancerous cells. Although she is struggling to come to terms with the shocking news, Mary's main worry now is the high, unaffordable cost of the surgery. She runs a small kiosk that generates little profit each day. Her husband is a small-scale farmer who owns one cow. The family relies on the proceeds from their eatery and milk sales to survive. Sadly, they had to sell their only cow to raise money for Mary’s treatment. However, the money from the sale is barely enough to cover the cost of mastectomy surgery. Her kids do not have stable jobs, and Mary says they are struggling. She has no national health insurance or any medical coverage, and is thus appealing for financial help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $857 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Mary. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 23rd. After treatment, Mary will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Mary shared, “I am shocked that I was diagnosed with this deadly cancer. But I am more worried that I am unable to afford the only procedure that can stop the spread of the disease. I wasn’t prepared for a procedure of this magnitude. I appreciate any support you can provide.”
Samnang is a 14-year-old ninth grade student from Cambodia. She is the only child for her parents who are both farmers. She enjoys reading books, doing her school work, listening to music, and watching TV. Her favorite meal is fried rice and coke and her favorite subject in school in math. She wants to be a pharmacist when she grows up! In November 2019, Samnang fell down from a stage and injured her right elbow. After that she went to a Khmer traditional healer but is not better and now she has come to Watsi's Medical Partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). They have started her treatment and found that she has an aneurysmal bone cyst that needs treatment. Fortunately, surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre can help. On September 24th, Samnang will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will help the bone in her arm heal and she will be able to use her hand again. Samnang shared that she is hopeful that her hand will be ok and that she can use it easily again once she has surgery.
Khin Htay is a 26-year-old-Araknese woman who lives with her younger sister in Yangon, Burma. She is in her final year of university. Her sister works as a seamstress in a shop and earns 200,000 kyat (approx.200 USD) per month. Their parents and their eldest sister are rice farmers in Rakhine State. Every year, they sell half of their harvest to earn an income. Htay's sister in Yangon sends their parents money occasionally, while their parents support Htay's medical expenses. The income that Khin Htay's sister earns is enough to cover their daily expenses and pay for basic health care. In 2018, Khin Htay started to feel very tired and could not sleep well at night. She also experienced chest pains if she walked anywhere far. She took traditional medicine which helped her feel and sleep better. However, she continued to feel tired and experience pain. One day in 2019, a neighbor who has a heart condition, told her that she could have a heart disease like her; the neighbor had also experienced the same symptoms. The neighbor advised her to seek treatment at Pinlon Hospital in Yangon, where the neighbor had undergone heart surgery. She decided to follow the neighbor's recommendation and also moved in with her sister in Yangon for extra support. In December 2019, Khin Htay went to Pinlon Hospital to see a cardiologist. After receiving an echocardiogram (echo), the doctor told her that two valves in her heart no longer work and that she would need to receive surgery to replace those valves. The doctor also told her that because her condition is not severe, she did not need surgery yet. She received six month's worth of medication and a follow-up appointment for June 17th, 2020. When she came back for her appointment, she received another echo and an x-ray. After checking her results, the doctor told her that her condition had progressed and she now needed surgery, which would cost 15,000,000 kyat (approx.15,000 USD). When they learned about the price of the procedure, Khin Htay and her sister lost hope of ever getting Khin Htay treatment; they could not afford to pay such a large sum of money. When she told a nurse at the hospital called Sandar Ko about their financial situation, the nurse told her about an abbot who might be able to help her. The abbot heads Kyaung Gyi Parahita Monastery and is a partner of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Khin Htay called the abbot and asked for help accessing surgery. The abbot then referred Htay to Watsi's Medical Partner BCMF for assistance receiving treatment at Pinlon Hospital. Currently, Khin Htay feels tired and suffers from chest pains when she walks a lot. She cannot sleep very well at night and she feels short of breath at least twice a week. To try and cope with her symptoms mentally, she prays or recites Dhamma. She also tries to help her sister with household chore such as cooking and sweeping. She hopes that she will be able to continue her studies after surgery and she would like to work for the government as a civil servant once she graduates. Khin Htay shared, “When I graduate, I will work and support my parents because they are getting old and they will not be able to work on the farm in the future.”
Miseyek is a young boy from Tanzania. He is the last born child in a family of five children. Miseyek is a hard-working boy who helps his parents with daily home chores. He mostly helps his father look after their cattle which he takes out for grazing every day. Miseyek never had a chance to join school due to his parents financial constraints. His parents depend entirely on their livestock and small-scale farming to make a living. Miseyek was diagnosed with genu valgus. His legs bow inward so that his knees touch 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 experiencing discomfort and has difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Miseyek. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 23rd. Treatment will hopefully restore Miseyek's mobility and allow him to participate in a variety of activities, while also greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Miseyek says, “Please help me get treated. I would like to be able to walk with ease and without pain so that I can help my parents.”