Kathleen joined Watsi on November 29th, 2015. Six years ago, Kathleen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Kathleen's most recent donation supported Zainab, a 19-month-old baby from Tanzania, to fund corrective leg surgery so she can grow up active and healthy.
Kathleen has funded healthcare for 69 patients in 10 countries.
Kathleen has funded healthcare for 69 patients in 10 countries.
Zainab is a charming and beautiful 19-month-old girl. She and her two older siblings are being raised by their single mother after they separated from their father. Zainab's mother works as a fruit seller so that she can put food on the table for her children. Zainab was diagnosed with Bilateral Varus, a condition that causes her legs to be bowed outward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. It also leads to knee pain and osteoarthritis. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Zainab. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Zainab's mobility and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Zainab’s mother says, “Her legs keep widening I can’t even dress her in trousers because people stare at her legs.”
Rachhan is a 12-year-old student with five siblings. His parents are construction workers in their province. Rachhan enjoys playing football and riding bikes with his friends. Six years ago, Rachhan 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, Rachhan experiences ear fullness, headaches, hearing loss, and ear discharge. He shared that he does not want to go to school because he is ridiculed by his friends when the teacher scolds him for not listening. As a result he has poor grades and it is difficult for him to communicate with other people. His parents are worried, but cannot afford expensive treatment for him. Rachhan traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 10th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right 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. Rachhan was excited that he will start to feel better soon. He told us, "I hope that I can hear well and go back to school."
Pwe is a 56-year-old woman who lives with her husband, her older brother, her daughter and her grandson in a refugee camp in Tak Province, Thailand. Since they came to the refugee camp, Pwe teaches at one of the primary schools and she earns 1,060 baht (approx. 35 USD) per month. She has a resourceful family: Her daughter teaches piano on a keyboard, and she earns around 2,000 baht (approx. 67 USD) per month. Her older brother is a carpenter who earns income when someone commissions a piece of furniture. When he does have work, he will earn around 150 baht (approx. 5 USD) per day. Pwe's grandson is a nursery school student in the refugee camp. Her son-in-law went back to Burma to visit his parents in 2019. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, he has been unable to come back to the refugee camp since then. All together, they work hard to make finances meet their day to day needs. The doctors at our medical partner's care center, Mae Sot General Hospital (MSGH), have diagnosed Pwe with a cataract in her left eye. Currently, Pwe cannot see people’s faces and she can only perceive light out of her left eye. With her right eye, she can see things that are near, but nothing that's far away. She received a pair of eyeglasses from the doctor at MSGH after her first visit, which helps her see better with her right eye but if she does not wear the eyeglasses, she cannot read or teach her students. Fortunately, on February 23rd, doctors will perform a lens replacement surgery, during which they will remove Pwe's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly again and go back to teaching her students without difficulty. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to help fund Pwe's treatment. She said, “Since the vision in my left eye worsened, I feel uncomfortable reading and teaching. Sometimes, I ask my daughter, who also graduated from high school in the refugee camp, to teach in my place as I cannot read or prepare my lesson plans.”
Twel Tar is a two-year-old girl who lives with her parents in northern Thailand. Their family is originally from across the border in Burma, but moved to Thailand for a better job opportunities. Her parents are both factory workers. Twel Tar was recently diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which has caused fluid to build up in her brain. Without immediate surgery to alleviate the intracranial pressure that the excess fluid is causing, she is at risk of developing severe, potentially fatal medical complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for Twel Tar, which will drain the fluid that has accumulated in her brain. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 30th, and, once completed, will greatly improve Twel Tar's quality of life. “When my daughter recovers from surgery, I want to send her to school like other children. I want her to become an educated woman,” shared Twel Tar’s mother as she hoped for a better future for her daughter.
Da is a 67-year-old man who lives with his wife and son in a village on the border area of Thailand. Da cannot work since his vision deteriorated three years ago and his wife is a homemaker. His son works as a day labourer getting work when he can. In his free time, Da shared that he likes to listen to gospel songs. Starting three years ago, Da's right pupil gradually turned white. The vision in his eye also blurred over time. When he went to Mae Sot Hospital, the doctor diagnosed him with cataracts in both his eyes and told him he would need surgery to be able to see clearly again. The doctor scheduled him to receive surgery for his right eye first on December 28th. Currently, Da cannot see anything and can only perceive light. He needs someone to guide him to the bathroom and help him take a shower because he cannot see. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Da. Doctors can perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Da's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Da said, "I feel like I am in the darkness as I cannot see now. I hope that I will be able to see after surgery."
Marvens is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and three siblings in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He enjoys going to school and would like to continue to university and study business in the future. Marvens has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. Marvens will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment as it is not available within Haiti. On November 26th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is contributing $8000 to help pay for surgery. Marvens's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Marvens's family overseas. Marvens wanted to share: "I would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to heal my heart so that I can be normal and healthy."
Samuel is a hardworking laborer getting jobs whenever he can to earn a living. He's a 37-year-old single man who hails from Kawaida Village in Kenya. His parents separated many years back, and his mother has brought their family up single-handedly. He shared that their family has lived a very difficult life making it hard for them to acquire an education. Samuel lives with his mother in a single rented house. He does mechanic jobs when available while his mother sells fruits at the roadside near their home. On the evening of September 8th 2021, as Samuel was going home, he was hit by a motorbike. He sustained an open fracture of his left tibia. He was taken to Kiambu County Hospital where the wound was treated and later the doctor advised them to have a fracture surgery. His mother could not afford the cost and took him home. Last week, our medical partner's Community Health Worker heard about Samuel and brought him to the hospital for possible support. He has pain, difficulty walking, and has been fully depending on his mother. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 28th, Samuel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). The surgery will rid him of the pain, bring healing, and eventually, Samuel will be able to walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Samuel says, “It is now almost 2 months, I have had pain and difficulties going anywhere and I have to fully depend on my mother. I am also worried that my leg could be amputated if I don't get treated in time. I plead for help so that I can be independent and go back to work and support my mother.”
Nin is a 27-year-old rainy day farmer from Cambodia. He has 3 older sibling. Nin shared that he enjoys playing volleyball, football, fishing, and plays chess with his friends. In July 2021, Nin was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a mandible injury and paralysis of his shoulder. After the accident, he had his mandible fixed at a local government hospital. He was also diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. Nin still has no shoulder abduction, no elbow or wrist flexion, and has no sensation at the level of his forearm. Nin needs nerve reconstruction surgery to repair the injured nerves. Nin traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On September 6th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm and hand again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Nin hopes that he can use his hand again as soon as possible.
Medius is a 32-year-old mother of two children and is expecting her third child. She is the third child in a family of five children. Medius left school after completing level senior four due to financial strain from tuition, and farmed at home before getting married. Now, together with her husband, Medius does small-scale farming to grow crops for food. Medius received a full antenatal care package at our medical partner's care center, Nyakibale Hospital. A scan shows that Medius has one pregnancy with the fetus in an ideal position, but the doctor still recommends cesarean section delivery due to Medius' previous two c-section deliveries. A c-section will reduce chances of complications such as uterine rupture, which could happen in an attempt to deliver vaginally. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $252 to fund this procedure for Medius' safe delivery of her baby. Medius shares, “I trust that with your support, my surgery will be a success and I hope to recover well and proceed with farming.”
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."
Hilowie is a social 13-year-old girl, and she is the fourth born in a family of five children. Hilowie is a sixth grade student and likes to read storybooks. Her favorite subjects are English and Kiswahili. Her mother is a businesswoman who has a small shop which she operates in the village, and her father passed away 12 years ago when Hilowie was very young. Hilowie suffered burns when she was only four months old in a house fire. She sustained joint injuries known as contractures on her left hand, and until today the contractures have never improved. Currently, she cannot raise her hand or work at home, and this has greatly affected her studies. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Hilowie receive treatment. On June 28th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery so Hilowie will be able to use her hand, help around the house, and concentrate on her studies. Now, her family needs help to fund this $840 procedure. “I would love my hand to be straightened so that I can continue with my studies and as well help my mother at home,” Hilowie told us.
Panha is a 14-year-old student who needs spinal surgery. His parents are both farmers, and he has one younger sister. He loves to read stories at school, and wants to be a policeman when he gets older. Panha was born with scoliosis. This condition has made it difficult for him to walk or sit up for a long time, and he often feels discomfort before going to sleep. It is difficult for him to join his friends in sports such as volleyball or soccer. He also occasionally has difficulty breathing due to pain. Panha and his parents have come to Children's Surgical Centre, where doctors will be able to perform a spinal surgery to put in place implants that will correct the curve of his spine. He will undergo this procedure on May 25th. Once he has recovered, Panha will no longer experience pain or discomfort, and will be able to walk easily. Panha shared, "I want to play sports with my friends and I will practice running and getting stronger after I am healthy from my surgery."