Andrew joined Watsi on September 8th, 2013. Five years ago, Andrew joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Andrew's most recent donation traveled 4,500 miles to support Faith, a beautiful four-month-old baby from Kenya, to fund spinal surgery to prevent future complications so she can grow in good health.
Andrew has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 12 countries.
Andrew has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 12 countries.
Faith is a beautiful four-month-old baby from Kenya. She is the youngest of two children. To support their family, her mother is a stay-at-home mom, and her father herds and sells cattle. Faith was born at home with several congenital conditions. Her parents took her to a nearby facility for examination, where she was diagnosed with spina bifida, hydrocephalus, and clubfoot. They were referred to another facility where a medical device, called a shunt, was used to help treat the hydrocephalus, draining the excess fluid from her brain. On discharge, the hospital referred her and her family to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, where Faith was examined and scheduled for spina bifida repair surgery. Spina bifida is a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Faith 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 $1,151 to cover the cost of Faith's spina bifida closure surgery. The surgery is scheduled to take place on July 13th. This procedure will hopefully spare Faith from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Faith’s father says, “When I saw the problems that my child has, I was worried that she would never receive treatment. I am hopeful she will receive treatment with your help.”
Meet Maripet, a 9 year-old-girl, living with her parents and two siblings. Her father is a farmer, while her mother stays home to look after the children. In August of last year, Maripet began experiencing persistent, severe headaches. Her parents brought her to a local hospital, where she was prescribed medication, and sent home. When her headaches didn't improve, her parents brought her to a second hospital, where she was given additional medication and sent home, once again. Her family tried traditional medicine, but nothing worked. When Maripet's headaches continued, her parents brought her back to the first hospital they had visited, and this time, brain scans were performed. Maripet's family was immediately referred to our BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, but without funds for her care they had to delay for visit for one month. During that time, Maripet lost her ability to walk and to move her head, and she also lost her eyesight for a few days. She is now in a wheelchair. When she arrived to BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, Maripet was examined and booked for immediate surgery to remove a brain tumor. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help make sure she can finally access the treatment she needs. They are seeking $1,500 to fund Maripet's surgery and medical care. Maripet’s mother says: “I’m very much worried about my daughter's condition. I just pray and hope that she will be fine.”
U Nyan is a 62-year-old man who lives with his wife in Mon State, Burma. He used to work as a tricycle taxi driver as well as a day labourer but since he had stroke around three months ago, he stopped working. His wife also had a stroke and cannot work. They have a daughter who works across the border in Bangkok, and she sends them some money every three or four months. However, the amount that her daughter sends is not enough for U Nyan and his wife for their daily expenses and they shared that, occasionally, their neighbor also gives them food. Recently, U Nyan noticed a small lump on his left elbow, which rapidly became enlarged and painful. Currently, U Nyan is in a lot of pain and cannot sleep. After seeking treatment at various clinics and hospitals, U Nyan was finally referred to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) where he was diagnosed with an abscess around his left elbow joint and scheduled for surgery on May 9th. When he told the doctor that he could not afford to pay for his surgery, the doctor referred him to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for financial assistance accessing surgery. He has already borrowed about $350 so far to help with his diagnosis and treatment, and people in his community have pitched in to support him financially. Our medical partner is helping him raise $760 for his surgery. “After surgery I want to go home and look after my wife. I want to listen to sermons, meditate and do good deeds,” shared U Nyan.
Samson is a quiet and reserved 16-year-old boy. Three months ago, he started experiencing severe headaches. His father gave him medication but the headache was persistent so they visited a nearby hospital. There he received mediation, but after some time he started to stagger while walking. This has made it difficult for him to go anywhere on his own. His father took him to a branch of Kijabe Hospital in their home area where they referred Samson for treatment at Bethanykids Hospital. His father went with him back home, gathered some funds and now brought him to our medical partner's care center BethanyKids Hospital. Scans have revealed that Samson has a mass growing in his head, which has affected his right eye and his balance. The doctor recommends a craniotomy surgery to heal his condition. Samson is the last born in a family of five children. His mother passed away four years ago due to illness. Now his father sells groceries to provide for their family. Without insurance coverage, they are not able to raise the amount needed for Samson's care so our medical partner is helping to raise $1,500. Samson told us, “I would like to regain my health back and go to school and after that help my father in his business.”
Nor Moo is a 40-year-old woman who lives with her husband in Chiang Mai Province in Thailand. She used to be a day labourer but since her condition has started, she stopped working because of the often pain. She is now a homemaker and takes care of household chores like cooking, washing clothes, and doing cleaning at her apartment. A few months ago, she started feeling unwell and thought she might be pregnant. However, she did not go to the hospital as she does not have money for testing. She experienced pain in her right lower abdominal and later she felt something a bump. When her pain worsened, she talked with her friend asking for her help. Her friend referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Children Medical Fund who is now helping Nor Moo receive treatment. Doctors have recommended a surgery to remove a growth and her fallopian tube on the right side. She is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Nor Moo's husband said, "I feel sorry that I cannot help my wife. Thank you to all the donors and organization for supporting my wife's treatment cost. We are very grateful."
Brighton is a 6-year-old boy and the 1st born in a family of two children. He is a very bright and social boy. His mother reports that he likes reading and English is his favorite subject. The family hails from Jogoo village in Kisii County in Kenya and his parents are small-scale farmers. Brighton has clubfoot of his left foot. He was born with this condition and he limps as he walks and often falls while playing football, his favorite sport. Fortunately, Brighton traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 24th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Brighton's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily, wear both shoes and enjoy playing football. Brighton's mother says, “Please, I am pleading for help for my son’s foot to be corrected so that he can walk, play as he wishes, and enjoy life."
Nelson is a friendly two-year-old boy. He is the last-born child in a family of two children. Nelson's father works at a construction company while his mother has a kiosk where she sells commodities like sugar, salt flour, and cooking oil. Their income is not enough for them to care for and provide for the family and at the same time pay for Nelson's needed surgery. Nelson was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, meaning his legs bow outward. 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 cannot walk easily. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Nelson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 11th. Treatment will hopefully restore Nelson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Nelson’s mother says, “He complains of pain a lot and you can see how much he struggles to stand.”
Mark Gabriel is a two-year-old boy from the Philippines. He loves singing the alphabet and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. He is the oldest son of his parents. His father works as a call center agent, while his mother is a stay-at-home mom. Mark Gabriel was born with a birth condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needed to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Mark Gabriel receive treatment. On December 8th, he will undergo colostomy closure surgery to correct his condition. After his recovery, Mark Gabriel will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Now, World Surgical Foundation Philippines is requesting $1,279 to cover the total cost of Mark Gabriel's procedure and care. Mark Gabriel's mother shared, "after his surgery, we hope that he will live a life without carrying a colostomy bag."
Naomi is a farmer and mom of five. She shared that she is shy and often quiet, but works hard as a maize farmer. She also helps on other people's farms to supplement their family's needs since she is a widow. She lost her dear husband while she was three months expectant in 2020 due to a short illness. She had to take up the responsibility of taking care of her family by herself, which hasn't been easy for her since her husband was the family breadwinner. She lives in a two-roomed house with her mother-in-law with her five children aged between 14 and 1 year. Around 16 years ago, Naomi began to experience troubling symptoms, including a neck mass that started to grow while she was still in primary school. Before coming to our partner's hospital, Naomi had tried other means of treatment like herbal medicine, which did not improve her condition. She was then advised by a neighbor who had been treated in our partner's hospital to come to seek medication. Naomi has been diagnosed with a multinodular goiter. A goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She was deemed fit for surgery earlier but she was expectant so her surgery was postponed until after delivery. One year later, she was ready for surgery but had no funds. Naomi has high blood pressure-like symptoms, gets tired easily especially while she is working, coughs frequently with persistent headaches and this has affected her general well-being. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Naomi receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on November 11th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money. Naomi says, “My children look up to me, I want to be a strong mother for them. Please help me.”
Yee is a 48-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, her daughter and a granddaughter in northern Tak Province. Yee's husband works in a rose farm and she is a homemaker as well as a caretaker of her granddaughter at home. Their family income is enough for their daily expenses and they are able to pay for basic healthcare but not for major treatment like Yee now needs. Currently, Yee feels that the right side of her head is achy and she experiences on-and-off pain around her right eye. When Yee feels the pain, she takes a pain medication, but she is worried because she cannot see anything with her right eye. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Yee. On October 12th, doctors will perform a lens replacement surgery, during which they will remove Yee's natural lenses and replace them with intraocular lens implants. After recovery, Yee will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. “When I recover from surgery, I want to raise chickens and pigs for my family to eat and sell some too. I will also be able to plant vegetables for my family to eat and sell some of those,” said Yee.
Ar is a 28-year-old man who lives with his wife, three sons, and two daughters in a refugee camp. Originally from Burma, his family fled to Thailand 20 years ago due to civil war. His children attend school, except for his youngest daughter, who is not yet old enough. His wife is a homemaker and Ar works as a day laborer when work is available. Ar's family shared that, in addition to his day laborer pay, they receive a monthly cash card from The Border Consortium to purchase food in the refugee camp. Overall, the family's total monthly income is just enough to cover their basic needs. On September 2nd, Ar climbed a tamarind tree to pick tamarinds fruit. When the branch he was standing on suddenly broke, he fell and landed on his right arm and experienced pain in his back. He visited the camp hospital that day, and the medic initially determined that his arm was not broken. Due to recent positive COVID-19 cases in the refugee camp, Ar could not be immediately referred to the local hospital for further testing and was kept for observation at the camp hospital. When the pain in Ar's back and arm did not subside the next day, the medic referred Ar to the local hospital. After receiving a negative COVID-19 test, Ar was finally able to visit the hospital on September 6th, where he received an X-ray for his arm and a blood test for a second COVID-19 test. The X-ray revealed that his upper right arm is broken. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ar will undergo surgery on September 8th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will enable Ar to continue working in the future. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Ar shared, "I am scared to receive surgery. But I was told that I will not be able to work using my right arm if I do not receive surgery, so I gave my consent to the doctor. I hope that I will be able to work again after I receive treatment."
Victor is a newborn baby and the youngest child in a family of six children. His parents are both casual laborers who sell groceries for a living. When Victor and his mom arrived home from the hospital after his birth, he was crying often and his mother and aunt became concerned. They examined him and noticed that his stomach was swollen and he was not able to pass his stool. Upon examination, he was scheduled for an urgent colostomy surgery the next day. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping Victor to receive treatment. On August 11th, he will undergo surgery at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $1,152 to fund Victor's life-saving procedure and care. Victor’s mother shared, “Victor’s condition is a big blow to us. It’s new to us and what’s worrying is that he cannot survive without surgery being done and we are not in a position to cater for that.”