Alexander joined Watsi on February 2nd, 2018. Two years ago, Alexander joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Alexander's most recent donation supported Benjamin, a cheerful motorbike driver from Kenya, to fund a mobility-restoring spinal fusion surgery.
Alexander has funded healthcare for 28 patients in 8 countries.
Alexander has funded healthcare for 28 patients in 8 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."
Omar is a 14-year-old student and the youngest of eight children. He is in grade 5 and likes reading. His father is a farmer and his mother died last year after a long illness. Omar has clubfoot in both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Omar and his father traveled over a day to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 28th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Omar's clubfoot repair. He is scheduled to undergo right foot triple arthrodesis surgery to first correct his right foot. After treatment, he will be able to walk and be able to put on shoes. “Any support rendered to make my son walk like other children will be highly appreciated,” Omar’s father told us.
Hamza is a 4-year-old boy from Ethiopia and the sixth child of his parents. He loves to play football. He joined school but had to stop going as a result of his condition. Hamza's father died a year and a half ago and his mom runs a small business selling charcoal in their village. His three older siblings do small business as shoe shiners and daily workers. Hamza's mom shared that most of the time, their family eats twice a day because their income can't afford three meals a day. Hamza has been diagnosed with an abdominal mass called Neurofibomatosis. This causes swelling and a change of the shape of the abdomen. It also causes abdominal discomfort, pain, and bloating. Doctors have done a CT scan and identified a mass is on the wall of his abdomen that needs to be removed. His mother shared: “Hamza wants to learn and I want him also to go to school. I hope after the treatment he'll be as healthy as others and go to school.”
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."
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.”
James is a 52-year-old boda-boda driver from Kenya. He is a father to four children, all of whom are adults. His wife is a homemaker, and he is the sole breadwinner for the family. On February 5th, 2021, James was in a road traffic accident and sustained a burst fracture of T12 spinal cord transection. Immediately after the accident, he was aware of the intensity of the injury because he could not use his lower limbs and had a sharp pain in the mid-back. He was assisted by well-wishers and was rushed to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital, where the orthopaedic team ran x-rays and other tests. Now, James needs to undergo a posterior spinal instrumentation and fusion, a procedure that is aimed at stabilizing his spine and avoiding future complications. However, James does not have medical coverage and is therefore required to raise the full deposit for his surgery. He has raised some financial contributions from friends and relatives, but needs additional support for his care. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping James receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo a spinal fusion procedure on February 10th at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,500, and will hopefully allow James' legs to heal and regain some mobility. James shared, “I hope I will be able use my legs again. I need help both surgically and financially given that the cost of the surgery is high and I am unable to afford.”
Nshemereirwe is a mother of 9, and shared with us that she lost her first born at 14 years. Her youngest is now 20 years old and in primary school class seven, even at that age she shared. Her third born is the only one who reached the highest class, secondary school class four and is currently a casual laborer in their village. Nshemereirwe gets only a little support from her children and relatives. She is a small-scale farmer along with her husband. They own a three-room semi-permanent house for shelter. During her free time, she enjoys visiting her relatives. About 20 years ago, Nshemereirwe began to experience troubling symptoms, including shortness of breath and high blood pressure. She was diagnosed with a goitre and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Nshemereirwe receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on September 3rd at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $293, and Nshemereirwe and her family need your support. Nshemereirwe told us, “I pray that I may be considered for treatment. After treatment, I believe I will be able to comfortably continue with farming and be able to sustain and take good care of my family as before, through hard work.”
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."
Nuwamanya is a 33-year-old farmer from Uganda. He is a married father with two children in school and the youngest is still a baby who breastfeeds. Both of his parents are small scale farmers as is Nuwamanya and his wife. They mostly grow cassava, potatoes, and beans, making a limited income. Since two years ago, Nuwamanya has had a hydrocele, which is a swelling in a sensitive area. Hydrocele causes him weakness and pain and prevents him from working. Fortunately, on March 5th, he will undergo hydrocele repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $139 to fund Nuwamanya's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Nuwamanya says, “I hope my surgery will go on well so that I can continue with cultivation.”
Thy is a 61-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has eight children, six grandchildren, and enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio and going to the pagoda to pray. Five years ago, Thy developed a pterygium in her left eye, causing her blurry vision, tearing, redness, and irritation. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside. When Thy learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. Thy needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The total cost of her procedure is $201. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for December 16th. "I hope that I am able to take care of my grandchildren and help around the house again," shared Thy.
Erick is a 15-year-old student from Tanzania and the third born in a family of five children. He is a smart, kind, and friendly boy who is currently at school of people with learning disabilities. Erick was born with spina bifida which has resulted in him not being able to stand or walk and this is because the condition was never corrected. His parents didn't know what to do or where to go to seek treatment for their son due to financial challenges. They have no stable source of income other than seeking casual laboring jobs were they are able to get money to buy basics and little commodities. Erick was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Erick is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Erick's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 28th. This procedure will hopefully spare Erick from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Erick shared hopefully, “If I have my back corrected and heal, I will go back to school and work hard to be the best tailor so that I can work by myself and help my family.”
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."