Kevin joined Watsi on February 24th, 2015. Five years ago, Kevin became the 945th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,056 more people have become monthly donors! Kevin's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Julia, 73-year-old widow from Kenya, to fund colon surgery to remove a cancerous mass.
Kevin has funded healthcare for 61 patients in 13 countries.
Julia is a widow and practices small-scale farming. Julia's four children are all casual laborers and don’t have stable jobs. She has been using the little income from farm produce to raise her children and pay for her needs. In early February, Julia started complaining of abdominal pains and chronic back pain. A series of CT-scans revealed a malignant mass in her colon. Doctors then advised for an urgent hemicolectomy surgery to treat her colon carcinoma. Fortunately our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. Now, they need your help to fund this $616 surgery. This surgery will hopefully stop the spread of her cancer. Julia shared, “I am now old and weak and my children are unable to pay for the surgery. I need help to fund this procedure so that I can enjoy my old age in peace."
Gladys and her husband are farmers in Uganda, they plant maize in their one acre farm. Gladys has been blessed with nine children that are currently aged between 16 and 31 years old. The family is struggling financially due to the low socio-economic status of the area where they live. This area also experiences communal clashes. Gladys began to experience troubling symptoms 20 years ago. She was diagnosed with a goitre, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Gladys receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on June 16 at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $705, and she and her family need help raising money. “I want this mass to be removed for two reasons; so that I can continue with my daily chores and also so that the people in my community can learn from my experience that herbalists cannot cure and should seek medical care at a hospital," shared Gladys.
Edith is a farmer from Kenya and a single mother of a 23-year-old. She lives in her parental house practicing subsistence farming to make ends meet. Since 9 years ago, Edith has been experiencing an abdominal swelling and has been having bouts of pain. Recently, she has experienced severe back pains. Doctors have diagnosed her with a large abdomino-pelvic mass. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $832 to fund Edith's surgery. On May 21th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Edith will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Edith says, “My hope is to be treated and resume my work normally.”
Starlex is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and two younger brothers in Cap Haitien, a city in northern Haiti. His father is a taxi driver. He is in the second grade and likes going to school and playing with his friends. Starlex has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Starlex will fly to Canada to receive treatment. On April 1st, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage from his valve. Another organization, The Herbie Fund, is contributing $25,000 to pay for surgery. Starlex's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and transport. 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 Starlex's family overseas. Starlex's father shared, "My family is looking forward to the day when our son can be healthy and normal!"
Duncan is a 30-year-old man who is the 3rd and last born in his family from Rita Village, Kathiani, Machakos County. Duncan completed his studies last year at Kenya College of Accountancy (KCA). His passion is to become a competent accountant and work in government offices. While on his daily routine and walking through town dropping his CV, he suffered an accident on the road and the vehicle that knocked him sped off. He was taken to Kenyatta National Hospital where he underwent multiple surgeries. Due to financial constraints, he was discharged without further interventions. He currently uses a wheelchair to get around, a condition which I making him live an uncomfortable life--a life he had not even imagined or thought he would have. Duncan came to Watsi Medical Partner's care center CURE Hospital this month and was scheduled to undergo 3 different surgeries: Rt distal femur, Rt proximal tibia, and Orif of Rt distal humerus. The family is in dire need of help for surgery to take place. They have gone to different places seeking for help but they haven’t received any. Watsi's partner met Duncan at a clinic in the Machakos area and he asked for help. “I am pleading for support from well-wishers to help me undergo surgery and resume my normal life,” Duncan told us.
John is a peasant farmer from central Kenya. Seven years ago, he was riding a motorcycle as a passenger when they were involved in a road accident. The other rider died while John was fortunate to survive. However, he suffered a severe right tibia fracture that was managed with an implant weeks later. His condition improved until 2017 when he fell and the same fractured area was impacted. The treatment he received developed infections last October and John was recommended to have bone transport surgery to correct the condition. He now requires second stage bone transport as part of the treatment and John is not able to provide the funds for the planned surgery. John is not able to ambulate easily and without prompt intervention, he might suffer fracture infections. John relies on his ancestral piece of land to make ends meet. Currently, his wife is the sole bread winner of the family. The father of three children lives in his ancestral land. His eldest child is educated by his brother since he is not able to fund all their needs. John says, “I am hopeful that soon I will be able to care for my children and walk with ease.”
On May 28th 2019, Min was playing tag with his friend in front of his house, when he decided to climb up a tree. Unfortunately, the tree was slippery due to the rainy season, and Min slipped and fell out of the tree. At first, he was able to stand on his right leg, but he was not able to walk. When Min’s mother heard the news, she immediately came to see him. In the morning, his mother and grandmother rented a car and brought him to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). The staff at MTC then sent him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for an X-ray, which indicated that his left femur was broken. After they received the results of his X-ray, MTC referred Min to Watsi partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for help in accessing the treatment he needed. On May 31st, Min underwent surgery to place a metal rod into his leg. He was discharged from the hospital on June 5th. Within the past two months, Min returned to MSH for three follow-up visits. At his most recent follow-up, he was told his prognosis was good, and he was scheduled for surgery to remove the metal rod on January 2nd, 2020. “I feel normal again,” he said. “I’m no longer in pain. I can walk, sit, and take a shower by myself again. Before, I couldn’t do anything. I could only lay on my back and watch as people around me had to do everything. After my second surgery I want to work with my older brother in the factory.”
Chan is a 36-year-old woman who lives with her husband and father-in-law in Shwepyithar Town, Yangon Division. Chan’s husband works as a day labourer on a construction site, while Chan is a seamstress who works from home. In 2010, Chan started to feel tired, had a rapid heartbeat and developed joint pain. She went to the clinic in Thaton, where she lived at that time, and received an an echocardiogram (echo) and x-ray. The doctor also told her that, if her heart became too enlarged, she would not be able to control her condition with oral medication and she would not be able to have a baby. She then received oral medication for a week which made her feel better for a while. In September 2019, when she went back for her follow-up appointment, she received another echo. Following this, the doctor explained to her that her condition could no longer be stabilized with medication. As he knew that Chan could not afford to pay for her surgery, he referred her to Pinlon Hospital. On 17th September 2019, she met the staff at Pin Long Hospital and who then referred her to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Currently, Chan suffers from chest pain, has difficulty breathing, has a rapid heartbeat and has lost weight. In her free times Chan likes to sew, cook and do housework. “When I’m fully recovered, I will continue to work as a seamstress, save money and live happily with family,” said Chan. “Once I have enough money, my husband and I have decided to adopt one child. And I want to do charity work and help poor people as much as I can.”
Jackson is an only child from Tanzania. Both of his parents depend on small scale farming of maize and vegetables and only sell a few crop harvests and do not make much income. Jackson traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On October 16th, surgeons will remove the mass. Now, Jackson needs help to raise $689 to fund this procedure. Jackson's father says, “We have tried to seek treatment for our son ever since he was born with no luck. The doctors at your hospital can treat him but we can’t afford the cost, help us. ”
Aung is a 30-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife, daughter and sister in an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp which is close to the Chinese-Burma border town of Lweje in Momauk Township, Kachin State. Today, his wife works as a mathematics teacher at a middle school in the IDP camp. His sister is a student in the IDP camp while his daughter is still too young to go to school. He used to work as a English teacher. Later on, he stopped working in June 2019 due to his poor health. feels exhausted and he is not able to walk for longer than 30 minutes, or he feels tired. His heartbeat is rapid, he has blue lips and sometimes he feels like he is not able to get enough oxygen. He has no appetite and he is not able to sleep well, worrying over his health condition, the cost of his surgery and his inability to access it. Aung was born with ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving his sick and short of breath. Aung is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on September 15th to correct his condition and improve his quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Aung's procedure and care. Aung said, "Even if I could go someplace else, I wouldn’t be able to do any hard labour due to my condition. And I can’t go to China because I can only speak a little bit of Chinese.”
Bonface is a baby from Kenya. For ten months, Bonface has had an inguinal hernia. This hernia causes him pain and if not treated, the hernia may result in intestinal tissue damage. Fortunately, on August 2, he will undergo repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $423 to fund Bonface's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. “I keep paying that someday I will be in a position to sufficiently provide for my son," says his mother.
Vichhai is a 31-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. In his free time he likes to go on walks with his family, watch television, feed the animals, and help his family with the work around the house. In March 2019, Vichhai suffered injuries to his right ankle resulting from an accident at work. He is unable to walk without support and often experiences pain. When Vichhai learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for over ten hours seeking treatment. On July 10, surgeons at CSC will perform a joint arthrodesis procedure to fuse his right ankle and will help him walk again without difficulty. Now, Vichhai needs help to fund this $480 procedure. He says, "I hope that after my surgery, I will have no pain and can walk again and return to work."