karen joined Watsi on February 22nd, 2016. Seven years ago, karen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. karen's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Mar, a 56-year-old woman residing in a refugee camp from Thailand, to fund hernia repair surgery.
karen has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 14 countries.
karen has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 14 countries.
Mar is a 56-year-old woman who lives with her family in a refugee camp located on the Thai-Burma border. They sell vegetables to earn income. During her free time, Mar enjoys reading religious books. Since late August, Mar has had an incisional hernia at the side of her previous caesarean section scar. The scar bulged from her abdomen, and was accompanied by significant pain and vomiting. This hernia causes pain and discomfort in her abdomen which worsens with physical activity. It hinders her ability to work to support her family. Fortunately, she will be able to 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 Mar's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 21 and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Mar said, “I just want to return to a normal life, free from worries brought on by this condition. After surgery, I will be able to work more and contribute more money to my family's income. Thank you.”
Jackson is a 28-year-old young man from Kenya. He is the second born in a family of three children and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth, which caused paralysis on one side of his body. He lives with his parents in a rural county. His father is a pastor at a small church in their hometown, and his mother is a homemaker. He loves to learn and was sponsored to take a computer-networking course at a local technical institute in the capital city. On July 29th, Jackson was involved in a road traffic accident that caused a fracture on his left leg. He was hit by a speeding vehicle along a busy highway as he was trying to cross the road. He was rushed to a nearby local hospital where an x-ray revealed a broken bone that needed surgery. He had a cast applied and requested to return to the facility once he raised the amount needed for the surgery. Jackson is currently confined to a wheelchair and unable to walk on his own. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) can help. On August 3rd, Jackson will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The procedure will relieve him of pain and help him walk easily again. He will also be able to resume his studies. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Jackson says, “I can feel the bones pricking my legs from the inside. I cannot walk, and I am in pain. I have so far missed my classes because of the accident.”
Timoth is a 22-year-old man from Nairobi County, Kenya. He has five siblings and lived with his father in Murang'a for a while after his mother passed away. Timoth decided to move to Nairobi due to a difficult home situation, and for the past year, he has been driving a motorcycle as a casual laborer. On June 17th, 2023, Timoth was driving his motorcycle and was hit by another vehicle. He was rushed first to a nearby health center for first aid and then to our medical partner's care center. X-rays of Timoth's leg showed that he had a closed fracture in his left femur. Timoth said that since the accident, he's been experiencing a lot of pain, but he hopes to receive treatment so he can get back to his normal life. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 22nd, Timoth will undergo a fracture repair procedure called open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will relieve Timoth of his pain and enable him to return to work. Now, AMH is requesting $1049 to help fund Timoth's procedure. Timoth is subsidizing $148.00 of this amount. Timoth said, "I had many plans for my life. I had hopes that once I completed paying for the Motorbike and it became mine, I would greatly improve my status. Unfortunately, this happened, and now I can only pray for support so that once recovery takes place, I can get back to my normal life"
Peris is a 67-year-old woman from Kenya. Peris is married and practices subsistence farming with her husband–a type of farming where the majority of crops or livestock raised are used to provide food for the farmer and their family. On May 4th, 2023, Peris was preparing to go to church when she was hit by her cow. She was rushed to a nearby hospital where she received an x-ray. The images revealed a left patella fracture that requires surgical attention. Now, Peris is unable to walk or use her leg due to the fracture and is in chronic pain. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 7th, Peris will undergo a fracture repair procedure called open reduction and internal fixation. During the surgery, AMH's surgeons will use a fixing device such as plates or screws to stabilize Peris's bone. After the procedure, Peris will be able to walk again. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Peris says, “I was well and walking. However, my cow hit me and broke my knee. I need the surgery to walk."
Elenita is a 60-year-old woman from Philippines. She previously worked as a Registered Midwife but lost her job during the pandemic's peak. She's now reliant on her four children for her daily basic needs. In January, Elenita began to experience troubling symptoms, including lower back pain that's radiating down to her lower extremities. She sought a medical checkup and was told to have an ultrasound and CT scan. The tests revealed that she was suffering from gallstones. These are small stones that are usually made of cholesterol that causes inflammation of the gallbladder. Elenita has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put him at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Elenita is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on February 17th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,128 to cover the cost of Elenita's surgery and care. Elenita shared, "Thank you, WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines! You are such a blessing and I will never forget how you save my life. If in the future you will need my service as a midwife, I'm more than willing to help out."
Tony is a 23-year-old student from Kenya. He was raised by a single mom and shared that she passed away a few years ago. He now lives with his elderly grandparents in rural Kenya. Tony has six siblings, who are all in school. Tony is in his third year at the university, where he is studying industrial chemistry. Unfortunately, he had to miss his end-of-semester exams because of his injuries and the need to use his school fees to cover his treatment costs. Tony also works part-time as a writer, but the income is insufficient to cover his school and medical bills. At the end of March, Tony was attacked by a group of people who took his valuables and hit him with a blunt object, causing serious injuries on the left side of his face. Tony was rushed to a nearby health facility for first aid and referred to a government hospital in the city the next day. The CT scan images revealed fractures in his face. Tony urgently needs to undergo surgery for his bones to heal properly. It is also difficult for him to open his mouth or eat due to his injuries. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 18th, Tony will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. The procedure will help him eat and chew comfortably, and he will be able to resume his studies. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $979 to fund this procedure. Tony said: “I missed my exams because of the injury. I cannot eat or chew anything. I need this surgery to be able to eat and use my mouth well again.”
Sai Laung, who is 18 years old, lives with her parents and her younger sister in Shan State in Burma. Sai Laung used to be an agriculture day laborer, but she stopped working in July 2022 due to her illness. In her free time, Sai Laung likes to read Buddhist books and study English online. During the first week of July 2022, Sai Laung began to feel very tired and she developed a fever. At first, she thought it was because she was working a lot, but when she had difficulty breathing a few days later, her mother brought her to the hospital. She was told she might have a congenital heart condition, and the doctor recommended that she have an echocardiogram to confirm the diagnosis. Sai Laung had an echocardiogram at another hospital, confirming that she has a ventricular septal defect, or a hole in her heart. The doctor advised her to go to the Pun Hlaing Hospital in Yangon to see a cardiologist, which Sai Laung did towards the end of November 2022. During that visit, the doctor also diagnosed her with aortic valve regurgitation, and told her that she needs surgery. Currently, Sai Laung has difficulty breathing and is only able to walk short distances before experiencing fatigue. Performing ordinary household chores like cooking or cleaning is exhausting for her. Her lips turn blue, and she has sharp chest pain, fever, and difficulty sleeping. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, has stepped in to assist Sai Laung access the care that she needs. On March 7th, she will undergo surgery to repair her heart at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Now Sai Laung and her family need your help to raise the $1,500 to fund this life-saving procedure. “I have felt so sad since I was diagnosed with this [heart disease]. I need surgery and we have no money. I look at my parents and I pity them because they work so hard to help me get treatment. I want to recover quickly and go back to work so I can help my parents with the extra income. When I learned that there are donors who will help pay for my treatment cost, I felt so happy," said Sai Luang.
Vacity is a 14-year-old girl from Kenya. She is the second of five children raised by a single mother. Vacity had been sick in school and was exhibiting symptoms such as fever, rapid heartbeat, increased appetite with weight loss, and fatigue. She was found to have too much thyroid hormone in her body due to nodules that developed on her thyroid. While medications have helped her condition, she needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Her mother was recently in a motorbike accident, which is making it difficult for her to work and raise the money needed to fund Vacity's surgery. Our medical partner African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF) is helping Vacity to receive the surgery she needs. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on February 22nd at AMHF's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. Vacity and her family need help raising $936 to fully fund the procedure. Vacity shared, ”My family is needy. I would like to work hard in school so that I can be able to change our living style. Kindly help me so that I can be able to live a healthy life and be able to prosper in future.”
Luz is a sweet baby from Bolivia, where she lives with her parents and two older brothers in a small mountain village. Her parents work as farmers to support their family. Luz, in addition to being diagnosed with Down Syndrome, was born with a ventricular septal defect, a heart condition where a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through the hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance who is expanding their work in Bolivia, is helping Luz receive treatment. On January 19th, Luz will undergo surgery where doctors will sew a patch over the hole, allowing for blood to flow completely through her heart and reach her lungs, obtaining oxygen and, ultimately, allowing her to grow as a healthy baby girl. Luz's family needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. From Luz's mother: "Our family is all praying that after the surgery our daughter will be stronger and healthier."
Zeblom is a four-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He loves toys, playing football with his brother, and enjoys going to school. His twin brother is currently suffering from pneumonia and his parents are struggling to pay for medical treatment for both of them. His mother is currently not working as she is taking care of her kids, while Zeblom's father cuts wood for a living — his income is limited to providing basic needs for his family. They have not yet managed to get proper treatment for Zeblom due to these financial constraints. Zeblom was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of cancer and future infertility. Fortunately, Zeblom is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on December 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Zeblom's mother says, “After he goes through his surgery, I want to start working again and educate him. I hope he will be healthy like other children.“
Jayden is a 10 month old baby boy, living with his single mother in Tanzania. Jayden was born with a right clubfoot, and with the fingers on both of his hands fused together. Jayden's father has left the family, so Jayden's mother moved to live with her parents. Her parents have suddenly passed away, leaving Jayden's mother alone to care for her child. Because she is only able to work intermittently - taking care of other people's homes - Jayden's mother is unable to pay for the full, necessary treatment for Jayden's clubfoot. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, will be able to help Jayden access the care that he needs to correct his twisted right foot. On November 4th, Jayden will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, which will enable him to wear shoes, and to walk with ease as he grows. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is seeking $935 to cover the cost of this procedure and his care. Jayden’s mother says: “I am so grateful that you are willingly helping my son to have a better life.”
Meet Su, a 10-year-old girl, living with her mother in Thailand. Because her parents are no longer together, Su sometimes also goes and stays with her father. Both of her parents work for local community organizations. When Su has free time, she enjoys drawing pictures, and playing with her friends. Su was born with clubfeet and a dislocated hip. After her birth, she received corrective surgery in Chiang Mai, with the help of our medical partner, BCMF. During her last visit to the hospital after her surgery, the doctor told her mother that she would need to bring Su back to the hospital after she had outgrown the special, corrective shoes she wore for her clubfeet. Due to financial constraints, issues with documentation, and the Covid pandemic, Su's parents were never able to bring her back to the hospital. In June 2022, Su started to experience pain in her right foot, whenever she walked for longer than 10 minutes. And, for the first time, she also began to feel pain in her right hip when she walked. The doctor at Mae Sot Hospital diagnosed her with a dislocated hip, and referred her to Chiang Mai for further treatment. Doctors in Chiang Mai want Su to undergo an MRI, which will help them to reach a definitive diagnosis, and to formulate a plan of treatment. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting your help to cover the $814 cost of Su's MRI and care, scheduled for October 18th, at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. "I want my daughter to become a doctor in the future so that she can help others who also suffer from clubfeet," said Su's mother.