Matteo joined Watsi on July 11th, 2016. Six months ago, Matteo became the 5765th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 707 more people have become monthly donors! Matteo's most recent donation traveled 6,200 miles to support Dickens, a toddler from Kenya, to fund congenital anorectal malformation surgery.
Matteo has funded healthcare for 31 patients in 12 countries.
In 2018, Dickens’ mother gave birth to him on her way to the hospital. Upon arrival at the hospital, they were reviewed then discharged home on the same day. But, the next day Dickens’ mother noticed that his stomach had started to swell. She rushed him to the nearby facility and Dickens was diagnosed with anorectal malformation. They were then referred to another facility in Kisumu where a colostomy was put. When it was time for Dickens' second surgery, his mother took him to the same facility where the first surgery was done, but nothing was done. Dickens’ mother kept on visiting the facility to seek treatment for her son, and still nothing was done. She shared that a few months down the line, a friend learnt about Dickens' condition and he advised them to come to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Bethany Kids Hospital. Upon arrival, Dickens was examined and emergency surgery was scheduled for the next day. Just before Dickens was born, his father passed away. Both of his parents were casual laborers and would do any work that they came across to provide for their family of five. After his birth, his mother has not been able to look for work and relies on her parents-in-law. She now has to stay at home and take care of Dickens because of his medical condition. Dickens’ grandfather is a farmer and mostly sells his produce to earn a living. With Dickens surgery planned, the family is not able to raise any money to cater for the cost and his mother is appealing for financial help. Dickens’ mother shared, “It really hurts whenever I see my son crying out because of the pain he experiences.”
Min lives with his wife, son, and daughter in a village in Tak Province, Thailand. He moved from Burma to Thailand nine months ago in search of better job opportunities. His daughter is still too young to go to school and his wife and son work as day laborers on a farm, each earning 150 baht (approx. 5 USD) per day. Min had to stop working with his wife and son three months ago because of his condition. Their monthly household income of 3,000 baht (approx. 100 USD) is not enough to cover their daily expenses. Sometimes, they have to borrow money from their relatives to meet their basic needs. Four years ago, Min used to work as a construction worker in Bangkok. One day, he started to experience pain in the left side of his abdomen. He went to a clinic twice and was diagnosed with a kidney stone in his left kidney after receiving an ultrasound. The doctor told him that he would need to undergo laser treatment at a hospital to break up the stone. The next day, Min went to a hospital in Bangkok. He received another ultrasound and underwent laser treatment which he did not have to pay for because he had health insurance at that time. When he returned for his follow-up appointment, he underwent another round of laser treatment, followed by more oral medications to take home. Min was not able to return to the hospital because his father passed away before his next appointment and he had to go back to Burma for the funeral. Before he had a chance to return to Bangkok, his mother also passed away. After spending money on the two funerals, Min did not have enough money to return to Bangkok. He moved back in with his wife and children and started working as a day laborer on a farm with his wife in their village. In May 2019, Min started experiencing pain again in his left lower abdomen. He would also pass small stones about twice a month while urinating. He went to a clinic where he received oral medication as well as an ultrasound. The doctor told him that he has a stone in his left kidney as well as small stones in his urethra. Min went back to the same clinic several times for his follow-up appointments, where he received oral medication each time for his abdominal pain. By September 2019, he was feeling much better and was no longer in pain. He was also no longer passing stones when urinating. Min then stopped going back to the clinic and stopped taking medication. Later in December 2019, Min and his family moved to their current home in Thailand and in May 2020, the pain in Min’s lower abdomen returned. He has pain when urinating and has started to pass small stones again about every two weeks. He went to a local hospital in the beginning of May with his wife, and he received an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that he now has stones in both of his kidneys in addition to a bladder stone. The doctor referred him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for treatment, but his family was not able to afford the estimated cost so he returned home. At home, Min told his friend about his condition and his lack of funds to pay for it. His friend told him to seek help at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) and with Watsi's Medical Parter Burma Children Medical Fund. Surgery is now scheduled for August 14th. Min shared, “I had to sell my phone to pay for my treatment [the ultrasounds and oral medications] and my transportation when I sought treatment. For the past few days, we don’t have enough rice and we also don’t have any money to buy more food. So we have to eat rice porridge. I feel so sad for my family.”
Lucy is a housewife from Kenya. Lucy used to sell foodstuffs but stopped because of her medical condition. The family now fully depends on her husband who works as a casual laborer on construction sites to pay rent and college fees for their two children. Four months ago, Lucy began to experience severe abdominal pain and a backache. She has been diagnosed with a 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 $756 to fund Lucy's surgery. On July 16th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Lucy will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Lucy shared, “I hope I get assistance. I really want to get well soon and help my husband raise our family."
Besigye is a farmer from Uganda and a widow after losing her husband in 2012, leaving her with two sons. Her first son is a motorbike taxi operator while the youngest has just finished his studies but hasn’t gotten a job yet. Her husband left her with enough land on which to cultivate food crops like beans, groundnuts, and maize for their family. She also has a coffee and banana plantation from which she generates an income to provide to her family. Since six years ago, Besigye has been experiencing severe backache, lower abdominal pain, and shared that she often feels weak and uncomfortable. She has been diagnosed with large uterine mass and needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $230 to fund Besigye's surgery. On June 9th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Besigye will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Besigye says: “I hope to be treated from this condition which I have had for so long. After my surgery, I can continue with cultivation.”
Esther is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. She used to work in her small village farm for subsistence and her husband worked as a chef in a city restaurant. However, with the closure of businesses currently due to COVID, they have limited finances. Two years ago, Esther has been experiencing lower abdominal pain, back pain and fatigue. She has been diagnosed with a swollen abdominopelvic 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 Esther's surgery. On June 12th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Esther will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Esther shared hopefully, “My desire is to be treated and regain back my strength.”
George is a 35-year-old truck driver from central Kenya. A week ago, he fell from the second floor of his rented flat while trying to fix an antenna. He fractured his mandible, right humerus and neck of the right femur. He had first aid in a nearby general hospital but beyond that, he was not given any other assistance. His family opted to bring him to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital where he had x-ray imaging done and surgery recommended. He is in pain and unable to eat anything but hopes to get well soon. George is a father of two children, with his last born 4 months old. He used to work as a truck driver but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been out of work. His wife is not in any employment making George the sole breadwinner of the family. He does not have any medical insurance yet he would be required to pay a deposit for his surgery. George appeals for financial assistance. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 15th, George will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow him to walk again easily, reduce the chances of further complications, and be free from pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. George says, “My hope is to be able to walk again and with less pain.”
Justin is a jovial 7-year-old girl from Kenya. She is a class 1 pupil at Kisisi Primary School and her family hails from Igoji village in Meru County. Justin is an only child, her mother stays at home with Justin’s elderly grandmother while their aunt is a peasant farmer. Justin has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Justin traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Justin's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily without the deformity. “My joy is to see Justin walking like other children. I am pleading for support that will make her undergo surgery and continue with her studies uninterrupted.” --Joyce, Justin’s aunt told us.
Lewis is a playful and social student from Kenya. Lewis is the brother to Jonah, who also needs clubfoot repair, and is the 6th born in a family of 8 children. He aspires to be in the Special Forces as a Military Officer in future. The family hails from Iteria village in Meru County. His single mother used to be farmer but she currently stays at home. She recently underwent an amputation on her leg after suffering from diabetes. Lewis has clubfoot of both of his feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Lewis traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Lewis's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk well and no longer be in pain. “We request your support. I cannot be able to raise the estimated bill. Please help,” Lewis’s mother pleaded with us.
Carlos is a one-month-old baby boy from Guatemala. He lives with his mother and four siblings. Carlos's mother is unable to produce breastmilk and has resorted to feeding him warm sugar water to fill him up. This limited diet is insufficient and has dangerous implications for Carlos's health. Lactation failure can lead to starvation, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances that cause seizures. Brain development during this period is particularly sensitive and continued malnourishment could put Carlos at risk for long-term damage. Our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq, is asking for $1,162 to fund Carlos's treatment. By supplying Carlos with formula and his mother with health education, Carlos will receive the nutrients he needs to grow and thrive. One-on-one education with Carlos’s mother will teach her how to provide a nutritious, inexpensive diet for her son. His mother will also learn to check for signs of malnutrition and other illness. “Thank you for this support that will be given to my nephew. We wish to see our nephew grow so that he can go to school in order to have a better future and become a good person,” his aunt says.
Ohn is a 62-year-old married woman and mother of five who lives in Burma. She and her husband plant and sell chilies and vegetables. A month ago, Ohn started to have a stomachache. She took some traditional medicine and visited a local clinic twice, however her discomfort only intensified. Upon reaching our medical partner's care center with severe pain and nausea, Ohn was diagnosed with a biliary obstruction, which is a blockage of the bile ducts. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to help cover the cost of Ohn's biliary obstruction repair. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 31 and, once completed, will hopefully allow Ohn to live more comfortably. Following surgery, Ohn is looking forward to tending to her plants at home; it pains her to have left them uncared for while she sought out treatment. “I only want my wife to be healthy. I hope she will be better after the surgery," says Ohn's husband.
Baby Lesly lives in rural Guatemala with her family. She loves playing with her doll and rattle. Lesly's parents work hard as tomato farmers to support their family. Lesly has severe stunting as a result of malnutrition. Lesly has little energy to grow and is unable to put on weight. Her weakened immune system puts her at risk of contracting an infection. While malnutrition can have devastating effects, it is also very treatable. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), has enrolled Lesly into a treatment program that is set to begin on March 16. Lesly will be given medication and micronutrient supplements to help her recover. Her condition will be monitored by a nutritionist, and community care workers will teach her parents how to prepare nutrient-rich meals for their daughter. Lesly's parents wish for their daughter to grow up healthy and strong, but they cannot afford to pay for her treatment. WK is requesting $492 in donations to help support Lesly's recovery.
Mamok is a nine-year-old boy from South Sudan. Today, he is living in Kenya after having to flee due to the civil war that broke out in his home country. Unable to continue farming their land, he and his family no longer have access to basic healthcare or education. In December of 2013, Mamok noticed a small swelling on his knee and scheduled a visit to the doctor. Two days before the appointment, the civil war began and Mamok and his family were forced to leave. He was unable to access medical care until February of 2016, at which point he was given crutches and referred to a specialist who recommended surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,176 to fund Mamok's operation. He is scheduled to undergo knee surgery on May 24 at our medical partner's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital. After treatment, Mamok will be able to walk easily and without pain. “I want to read. I want to be useful in my country," Mamok says. "I can do this if I get treatment."