Geoffrey joined Watsi on February 20th, 2020. One year ago, Geoffrey joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Geoffrey's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Vangilista, a farmer from Uganda, for a hysterectomy.
Geoffrey has funded healthcare for 100 patients in 8 countries.
Geoffrey has funded healthcare for 100 patients in 8 countries.
Vangilista is a 55-year-old mother of three daughters. In her younger years, she was not able to study and thus started farming at an early age. She got married, and together with her late husband, they continued farming on their small piece of land. Their income is limited and only manages to meet the cost of daily needs. Vangilista told us how much she loves going to church and attending mass anytime it's available. Three months ago, she noticed a mass protrusion that was causing her pain. On visiting a clinic near her place, Vangilista was referred to Nyakibale Hospital and diagnosed with uterine prolapse. Vangilista is in need of a transvaginal hysterectomy but the cost of surgery is too high for her to afford. She appeals for help. Vangilista says, “I no longer go to the garden, I can’t stand for long and even sitting is a problem, I have no posture that gives me comfort but I hope that surgery will end this all and I will be healthy once more.”
Jesca is a hardworking, friendly, and sociable girl who loves music and singing in the choir at church. She's an 18-year-old teenager, born as the third child in a family of nine. Jesca was only able to study until seventh grade because she was experiencing mobility issues due to clubfoot, making going to school particularly challenging. Jesca's father tried to encourage his daughter to continue with school by discussing with her the the importance of education. However, Jesca was too concerned about going to secondary school, which is located even further away and thereby posing an even bigger challenge for her. Jesca has clubfoot on her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Jesca has now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform a clubfoot repair surgery on June 29th, and requests support of $935 for her treatment costs. After treatment, Jesca will be able to walk normally and is hopeful for a better life ahead. Jesca describes her previous decisions about school with regret but turns an optimistic outlook for her future: "If it wasn’t for my foot I would have probably continued with school and maybe today I would be in a better position. I am now working but my foot is still limiting my work. Please help me have my foot corrected."
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."
Melvin is a 3-year-old boy and the third and last born child in his family. His father is a security guard at local gas station and makes a humble income. To supplement his earnings, Melvin’s mother does laundry and farming for their neighbors. Occasionally, she's able to sell some farm produce she gets from their small farm. When Melvin was born, he was not able to breastfeed. After some referrals and unsuccessful treatments, Melvin went to the national hospital and was diagnosed with Hirschprung disease, a birth condition affecting his digestive system. He had several surgeries to correct the condition, which were fortunately covered by his family's National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) coverage at the time. One of the surgeries Melvin underwent was a colostomy, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Melvin's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. However, to undergo the colostomy closure at the national hospital, he and his mother had to take COVID-19 tests, which were too expensive for their family. Fortunately, a family friend referred them next to our Medical Partner's Care Center BethanyKids Hospital, where doctors conducted tests and scheduled Melvin for the colostomy closure. Melvin's family normally has NHIF coverage, but they have depleted their yearly surgical allocation so this procedure is not supported. Melvin’s parents appeal for financial support for their son. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $650 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Melvin. The surgery is scheduled to take place on April 27th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Melvin’s mother shared, “We have been through a lot with Melvin and stopping now is not an option for us. We would like Melvin to live a healthy life just as our other children but our financial state has been a big hindrance for us.”
Shoh is a 47-year-old man who lives with his wife, two sons, daughter-in-law and two daughters in Nu Poe Refugee Camp in Thailand. In the camp, Shoh and his oldest son are teachers who teach about the Quran for other refugees. They each earn 1,200 baht (approx. 40 USD) per month. His wife is often sick, and his eldest daughter has to look after her at home. His daughter-in-law is a homemaker while his youngest daughter and son are students. Shoh’s household receives 1,110 baht (approx. 37 USD) every month on a cash card to purchase rations in the camp. Their monthly household income is just enough to cover their daily expenses as they also receive free basic health care and education in the camp. Since February 2020, Shoh has had umbilical hearnia. Currently, Shoh’s abdomen pain is not severe but his hernia is still increasing in size. He feels uncomfortable when he walks because of his swollen abdomen. He cannot sleep well and is increasingly worried about his diagnosis. The pain in his abdomen increases when he feels cold, especially at night. Fortunately, on March 9th, he 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 Shoh's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 9th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Shoh said, “I do not want to stop being a teacher. I love teaching the Quran to young children. Also, if I do not teach, I do not earn an income and my family does not have enough income to cover our household expenses.”
Adere is a 14-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He is a grade seven student who loves to go to school and study. Adere also loves music and spends his free time listening to country music and dancing with his friends. Adere's parents are farmers of teff and maize, but they have a limited harvest each year due to the hot and dry landscape. The local community is mostly supported by government and NGOs for food and other basic need. His parents have 12 children, most of whom they are still supporting financially. As a result, Adere's parents need assistance with the upcoming medical bill for their son's surgery. Adere was born with a congenital anomaly called bladder exstrophy, and last year he received surgery to treat this condition in BethanyKids Hospital funded through Watsi donor support. Now, he is scheduled to undergo another surgery for his epispadias condition. Epispadias is an abnormal defect in a sensitive area that prevents him from using the bathroom comfortably. His condition may also cause future infertility problems. Adere will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo an epispadias repair procedure on February 11th. African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,040 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. This procedure will enable him to use the bathroom comfortably and prevent risk of future complications. Adere's brother shared, “I hope he can be relieved of this condition soon. That would be a great blessing for him and for our family. I hope he will be a doctor and treat children in need.”
Rosina is a 24-year-old teacher from Cambodia. She was married two years ago and has a one-year-old daughter. Her husband is also a teacher. Rosina and her family live with her parents. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and reading. When she was 5 years old, Rosina fractured her right elbow. She followed Khmer traditional medicine, and it proved to be an effective treatment for her elbow until last year. Then, Rosina started experiencing numbness on her right forearm, as well as muscle atrophy on her palm. Doctors diagnosed her with an old fracture of right elbow and compression of the ulnar nerve. Rosina will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. Fortunately, she is scheduled to undergo a corrective nerve and tendon procedure on February 4th. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $541 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will be free of pain and will be able to use her arm normally again. Rosina shared, "I hope that the numbness of my right hand will disappear, and I will have no pain. I would like to be able to return to my day-to-day activities soon."
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.”
Yee is a 65-year-old grandmother from Thailand. She lives with her daughter, son-in-law, and five grandchildren. Yee is a homemaker and takes care of her youngest grandchildren. Her daughter and her eldest grandson are agricultural day labourers, and her son-in-law works as a carpenter. Yee has abdominal pain that becomes more severe after she eats. She is now longer able to do any household chores due to her condition. Doctors have advised Yee to undergo a cholecystectomy, a procedure where her gallbladder is surgically removed. If left untreated, Yee's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Yee is scheduled to undergo her cholecystectomy on December 28th. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Yee's procedure and care. Yee shared, "I am scared to have surgery but I will have to be strong and I hope that my pain will be gone after I receive surgery."
Grace is a 6-year-old girl from Tanzania. She is the firstborn child in a family of two children. Grace's parents depend on small scale farming for their living, and sell milk from the cows that they own. Last year, Grace was left in her family's hut when her mother went out to milk one of their cows. Normally, Grace would accompany her mother, but because it was raining, her mother asked her to keep herself warm by the fire. As she was warming herself, Grace's clothing caught on fire, and she sustained burns on her left hand and arm. Her wounds have since healed, but her hand is now deformed and she is unable to use it in life's daily activities. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Grace receive treatment. On November 13th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help restore her ability to use her hand easily. Now, she needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Grace’s father shared, “The fire accident has left our daughter disabled. Please help correct her hand so that she can be able to use both of her hands and return to normal life.”
Myint is a 52-year-old father from Burma. He lives with his wife, two sons and daughter. Myint used to work as a construction manager, and his wife is a homemaker. In his free time, Myint likes to search for building design ideas on Facebook and likes to read books. He also enjoys helping a charity group that drives patients to hospitals in an ambulance. Myint was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, which is the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle that controls the flow of blood. Malformations of this sort may cause blood to flow backward, or cause the valve to narrow. Currently, Myint has difficulty breathing and chest pains. He cannot sleep well at night and has to take medication to help him fall asleep. He also feels tired when he talks for a long time. Myint needs a mitral valve replacement surgery to improve his quality of life. Since April 2020, he has been unable to work due to his poor health. When his eldest son's university classes did not resume this year, his son found work as a truck driver to make additional money. However, due to government imposed COVID-19 restrictions, his work ceased around August. Myint's family now lives off of their savings and borrow money when needed. They are appealing for financial help for Myint's health. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Myint. The treatment is scheduled to take place on October 25th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Myint shared, “After I have recovered fully, I will go back to work. But if I cannot do that same job anymore, I will look for something else that I can do. I will save money for my family’s future. I want my daughter and my sons to successfully complete their studies.”