Kathleen joined Watsi on November 29th, 2015. Five years ago, Kathleen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Kathleen's most recent donation supported Benjamin, a cheerful motorbike driver from Kenya, to fund a mobility-restoring spinal fusion surgery.
Kathleen has funded healthcare for 60 patients in 10 countries.
Kathleen has funded healthcare for 60 patients in 10 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."
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."
Joseph is a 59-year-old who relocated from his homeland to Kenya, where he has been for over 20 years. Joseph is a father to one child. His wife left their family many years ago. Currently, Joseph works as a day laborer and is especially well known for his tree cutting skills. He and his son stay with a family on their farm, where he often works. Several days ago, Joseph experienced an extremely painful accident. He fell from a tree when he was cutting tree branches. As a result, Joseph sustained multiple severe injuries, including multiple left rib fractures with a pneumothorax, and a closed intertrochanteric femur fracture on his right leg. He was rushed to our medical partner's care center Kapsowar Hospital, where he received emergency care and a chest tube was inserted to drain fluids surrounding his lungs caused by the impact of the incident. Since his admission, his condition has improved. Joseph was also put on traction to restore and maintain straight alignment and length of the fractured bone. Joseph is still bedridden and in pain, and is not able to walk and work. Despite this, he is optimistic that he will recover soon with proper treatment. Joseph requires funding for the fixation of his fracture to facilitate a full recovery. He is unable to raise any amount for his surgery, and appeals for financial support. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 27th, Joseph will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help Joseph recover from his pain and restore his mobility, allowing him to return to walking and working. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,016 to fund his procedure. Joseph shared, “My hope is to be healed and be on my feet again so that I can continue with my daily duties."
Biruk is a young boy from Ethiopia who loves to eat spaghetti and macaroni. He also enjoys doing arts and crafts, and loves to play hide and seek with his friends in his neighborhood. Biruk is the second child in his family, and he has one older sister. His dad is a teacher in primary school and his mom is a housewife. Biruk lives together with his parents and sister in a rented house. Biruk was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment and surgery, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility as he grows older. Fortunately, Biruk is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,231 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Biruk shared with us, “I want to heal well and go to school and become a pilot.”
Tun is a 73-year-old man who lives with his three daughters in Umpiem Mai Refugee Camp in Thailand. Each month, Tun's household receives a small cash card to purchase rations in the camp, and their monthly household income is just enough to cover daily expenses. In his free time, Tun loves to read books and loves telling stories to his neighbours’ children. He is always welcoming, giving the children snacks and telling them stories from his home. Tun also loves to grow different types of vegetables around his house, sharing the harvest with his neighbours who cannot afford to buy vegetables. Before he felt unwell, Tun used to volunteer, organising cleaning groups in the camp and helping with road repairs. Currently, Tun experiences on and off pain in his upper abdomen. He also has a slight fever and often feels nauseous. Over time, his appetite has gradually decreased, and he has lost weight. Tun has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If his condition is left untreated, Tun's symptoms will continue to worsen and he will be at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Tun is scheduled to undergo his cholecystectomy on February 16th. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Tun's procedure and care. Once recovered, he will able to resume gardening, volunteering, and socializing with others in the camp. Tun shared, “I love volunteering and I am happy to help the community with whatever I can. But since I got sick, I cannot participate, and I cannot go to the monastery to help clean nor can I meditate. If I ever feel better again, I will continue to help my community with whatever I can do and I will also continue to grow vegetables around my house for my family and for my neighbours.”
Than is a 42-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, three daughters, three sons, son-in-law and granddaughter. Than and her family moved from Burma to Thailand ten years ago in search of better job opportunities. Her husband, her oldest daughter, one son, and her son-in-law work as day labourers on their employer’s farm, growing and harvesting tapioca, corn, and cabbage. Her two other sons go to school, while her youngest daughter and her granddaughter are too young to go to school. Than and her second oldest daughter are homemakers. On November 7th, 2020, Than discovered that she had an incisional hernia. Currently, Than experiences abdominal pain throughout the week and has to take pain medication to decrease her pain. She feels uncomfortable when she sits, and when she is in pain, she has to walk or lie down for the pain to ease. Fortunately, on January 28th, she 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 Than's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 28th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and go about her daily activities normally. Than shared, “I was so happy when I learned that I was to go to Mae Tao Clinic [and later Mae Sot Hospital] for treatment. My children are also happy that I will receive treatment with help from donors.”
Khaing is a 27-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and a three-year-old son in a village in Tak Province. Originally from Karen State, Burma, they moved to their current home three years ago in search of better job opportunities. Her husband is a day laborer and she is homemaker. Ten years ago, Khaing started feeling like her nose was blocked and that she could not breathe well. She also had a runny nose and saw a small mass in her nostril while looking at her reflection in the mirror. At the time, Khaing did not go to see a doctor because she could not afford to pay for treatment, and she thought that she would feel better over time. However, four years ago she noticed that the mass had grown. Khaing went to her local hospital in Burma, where the doctor confirmed she had a mass in her nostril and gave her medication for a week. She did not go back to her follow-up appointment as she had run out of money. She then tried to treat herself with traditional medicine unsuccessfully as the mass continued to increase in size. In the beginning of May 2020, Khaing developed a severe headache and pain in her nose. The area around her nose also became swollen. She went to Mae Tao Clinic for treatment, where the medic found large masses in both of her nasal cavities. She was then taken to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. At MSH, she received an x-ray of her nose and the doctor told her that the masses were large and surrounded by a lot of pus. After a CT scan, the doctor diagnosed her with a nasal polyp and scheduled her for surgery on December 28th, 2020. Currently, the area around her nose is swollen and painful. Her nostrils feel itchy, her nose is blocked, and has to breathe through her mouth. She still has a headache, though since she received pain medication from the doctor at MSH, this has been less severe. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 28th, Khaing will undergo an endoscopic sinus surgery. Once recovered, she will be able to breathe normally again and her quality of life will significantly improve. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Khaing shared, "I really want to have surgery and feel better. I am not scared because I believe that the surgery will help me be free from headaches and breathe well again."
Victor is a five-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the firstborn child in a family of three aged between 5 months and 1 year. He is a kindergartener and a happy boy. On November 24th, Victor was playing with his friends when he accidentally fell down and sustained an injury on his right hand. His father found him on the road crying, and brought him to the hospital. Doctors conducted an x-ray, which revealed a fracture on his right supracondylar. Because he was in pain, and could not move nor lift his hand, Victor was admitted to the pediatrics ward awaiting surgery. Unfortunately, the procedure Victor needs is costly for his family, who lacks a stable income. His father is a casual labourer who looks after people’s cattle, and his mother is a housewife. Victor's family has been able to raise some money, but needs additional support to raise the amount needed for his treatment. On November 27th, Victor will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Now, Victor's family needs $801 to fund the cost of his care. Victor’s father shared, “I want to see him happy, not in pain, be healthy and have a good life."
Voeun is a 70-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has four sons, two daughters, twenty grandchildren, and in her free time she enjoys listening to the news on the radio. Two years ago, Voeun developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her vision loss. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Voeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for eight and a half hours seeking treatment. On December 16th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $211 procedure. "I hope that I am able to see better so I can help take care of my grandchildren, assist with the housework, and help my children plant rice and other crops at the farm," Voeun shared.
Moses is a 3-month-old baby boy from Tanzania. His mother does not know the exact date of birth because women in her village are not able to go for pregnancy clinics and delivery is mostly done at home by the help of midwives. Our local rep tried to inquire whether any of her children have ever had any immunization vaccines and she shared that none of them have, but they are all healthy and well. Moses is the last born child in a family of four children from his mother. Moses's father is a polygamous man with three wives and a total of eleven children. They live in a remote area where getting to a local hospital requires traveling for a long distance. If they leave home at dawn, they arrive around 2:00pm walking on foot. Moses's parents are livestock keepers and are able to sell a goat or a sheep once in a while to be able to buy other commodities. Moses has clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Moses's family was able to make the journey to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 29th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Moses's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when he grows up. Moses’s mother says, “I would be very grateful if my son is able to have his foot corrected. We are not able to find the money needed to cover his treatment cost, please help us.”
Joan is a one-year-old from Tanzania. Joan is a beautiful girl and the youngest child in a family of four children. Joan’s father works as a motorcycle driver commonly known as “bodaboda” driver while the mother does tailoring in their neighborhood. Joan has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Joan has been experiencing fevers, vomiting and her head is increasing in size. Without treatment, Joan will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Joan that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 24 and will drain the excess fluid from Joan's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Joan will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Joan’s mother says, “We have struggled so much to make sure our daughter gets all her disabilities corrected, something that has left us with no savings of any kind and only debts. She needs another surgery as soon as possible and we have nowhere to get the money from, please help us.”