AJ joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, AJ became the 109th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,723 more people have become monthly donors! AJ's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Irshad, a baby boy from Kenya, to fund anorectoplasty surgery.
AJ has funded healthcare for 87 patients in 12 countries.
Irshad was diagnosed with an anorectal malformation a day or two after birth. This followed frequent vomiting, poor feeding and distention of his abdomen. A colostomy (a perforation on his abdomen to aid in passing stool) was put in place at day three and after six weeks a pull-through procedure was done. This was to create an anal opening. In order to keep the newly created anus from closing, Irshad’s parents were advised to do dilation which according to them, they faithfully did. Upon review, the doctor noted that the anal opening was not well dilated and would need a revision. The doctor then referred them to Watsi Medical Partner care center BethanyKids Hospital where surgery has been recommended. If not treated, Irshad will not be able to pass stool normally. The cost of buying colostomy bags has proven to be quite expensive for his parents and thus, they have resulted to using old clothes. This puts little Irshad at risk of infection and scarring at the colostomy site due to occasional leakages. Irshad’s parents hoped that the national health insurance fund would help fund the treatment, but since it is a repeat surgery, their request was turned down. Irshad’s father is employed casually as an office messenger while his mother is a full-time mom. Irshad is the second born of two children. He lives with his parents and elder brother in a two-room rental house in the coastal region of Kenya. His father assures that he can raise Kes15,000, but that is not enough to support the surgery needed and thus appeals for help.
Maxwell is a two-year-old boy from Kenya. Maxwell’s mother works casually in construction sites. His father left them when he learned of his son’s condition. Maxwell is an only child and lives with his mother in a single-rental house in Kiharo Village in Central Kenya. Maxwell 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 infertility. Fortunately, Maxwell is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 25th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $700 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “Life is very tough. I earn very little from helping out on construction sites and it cannot cater for the surgery my son needs. Please help me,” says Maxwell’s mother.
Kelvin is a 13-year-old student and the fourth born in a family of six children. The family hails from Karangia village in Nyeri County of Kenya. He is a class 3 student at Karangi Primary School. His mother is a peasant farmer while his father passed away six years ago after a long illness. According to his teacher, Kelvin is a bright boy and performs well in class however she has noted that his self-esteem has been very low. “Kelvin likes playing with other kids but he cannot, he falls every time as his feet knock each other.” Kelvin 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, Kelvin traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 9th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Kelvin's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. “I am appealing to the people of goodwill to support my son for surgery so that he can live a better life free from struggles/hardships and also progress well in his studies,” Ann, Kelvin’s mother shared with us.
Monica is a farmer from Kenya. She is a widow and a mother of four ranging between 11 and 2 years of age. Sadly, she lost her husband in February 2018 after he was attacked by bandits and his cattle raided. Monica didn’t go to school when she was young, so she can’t write, read or talk the national language of Swahili. Since her cattle were taken, Monica embarked on farming millet and sorghum in the farm left by her late husband. Monica arrived at the hospital after she was assaulted by someone she knows two weeks ago and sustained injuries to her right hand. She is not able to work and is in persistent pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 28th, Monica will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her heal and use her hand again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $771 to fund this procedure. Monica’s brother says, “Or hope is for her to get treated, she is the sole breadwinner to her family.”
Chheng is a 50-year-old clothes seller from Cambodia. She enjoys cooking for her family, including one son and one daughter, and likes to watch television in her free time. For the last ten years, Chheng has suffered from swelling and pain in her left knee. She was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in her left knee and cannot stand for a long period of time, and now has difficulty walking comfortably. Fortunately, Chheng learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total knee replacement to relieve Chheng of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for January 6th, and Chheng needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. I hope that I will no longer be in any pain, and I will be able to walk well again and return to my work," Chheng said.
Tula is a farmer from Kenya. Tula is mother of six is a peasant farmer in the upcountry. She plants maize in her small farm left by his late husband to meet her daily needs. She lives in a two roomed house roofed with grass with some of his grandchildren. Apart from farming, Tula also likes spending her time doing church activities. Tula was well until the 21st of November when she accidentally fell and injured her left hip. Tula was taken to a nearby health Centre where she was referred to our facility for Doctors assessment. On arrival an X-ray was done where she was diagnosed with left hip fracture. Tula is unable to stand or walk using her left leg. She also has deformity on her lower limb with pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 28th, Tula will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. She will no longer be in pain and will be able to walk. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. Tula says, “I want to get back on my feet and resume my normal duties of farming and serving the church.
Navy is a 43-year-old tailor from Cambodia. She has four children, and enjoys cooking and watching television in her spare time. When she was nine years old, Navy had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in her right ear to perforate. For this reason, Navy experiences ear discharge, tinnitus, headaches, hearing loss, and itchiness. She has a difficult time hearing others and cannot communicate well. Navy traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On September 03, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $423 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. "I hope that after my operation, the infection will heal and I will no longer have any tinnitus ear discharge and my hearing will improve."
Grace is a farmer from Kenya. Grace and her husband are both subsistence farmers without an external source of income. Her five children are busy building their own homes. Grace has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $816 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Grace. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 2nd. After treatment, Grace will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. “I am still asking why cancer chose me,” says Grace.
Chit is a 30-year-old man who lives with his wife, daughter, son and father-in-law in Noh Poe Village, Myawaddy Township, Karen State, Burma. Chit’s daughter and son go to school. Chit, together with his wife and father-in-law work as farmers on land they rent. Chit’s family does not have regular income, but they sell durian and betel nut that they grow in their garden. Seven years ago, Chit started to experience pain in his lower left abdomen. He also had difficulty passing urine so he went to Myawaddy Hospital for help. He received an ultrasound and an x-ray before the doctor informed him that he has a urinary tract infection (UTI) and a kidney stone. He was treated for the UTI but he did not received treatment for the kidney stone. He was given a follow-up appointment for every month, to receive medication for the abdominal pain. He continued to return for his appointments until late-2018, but when he did not feel better he followed his neighbour’s suggestion and sought help at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand on 20 February 2019. When Chit arrived at MTC, he received an ultrasound as well as a urine and blood test. After the tests, the medic informed him that he has a kidney stone and he was prescribed some medication. On 29 February, MTC referred him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. At MSH, he underwent an intravenous pyelogram (IVP) and was asked to return to MSH for his follow-up appointments and he returned several times. Eventually, he was told that the kidney stone had moved into his urethra and that he would need to undergo laser treatment to break up the stone. Currently, Chit still experiences pain in his lower left abdomen and sometimes he has difficulty passing urine. He worries that his condition will get worse if he does not get treatment. Sometimes his urine has blood in it, especially when he drinks less water and he has difficulty passing urine. Sometimes, he feels like the pain of his abdominal is worse and he is not able to walk or work. He is unable to sleep, and he feels more comfortable when he lies down and rests. In his free time, Chit loves to forage for vegetables in the forest.
Salesa is a young boy from Kenya. He 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 infertility. Fortunately, Salesa is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on August 2. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $700 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “Please assist my son get treated. He is growing up fast,” says Salesa’s father.
Sue is a 48-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her mother, husband and son in Hlaingbwe Township, Karen State. Sue and her husband are farmers. Sue has a kidney stone. She has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, Sue'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), Sue is scheduled to undergo her cholecystectomy on July 3. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Sue's procedure and care. Sue said, “I would like to become healthy again, so that I can be able to work and support my family.”
Zar is a 23-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her sister in Hpa-An Town, Karen State. Zar works as a seamstress at a shop and her sister works as a vendor in another shop that sells Karen clothes. Zar was born with encephalocele, a type of neural type defect characterized by sac-like protrusions of nervous tissue through openings in the skull. Both incomplete bone fusion in the skull and incomplete closure of the neural tube contribute to this condition. If left untreated, the lump will continue to grow, heightening the risks of developmental delays and permanent neurological impairment. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to help cover the cost of corrective cranial surgery for Zar, which is scheduled to take place on June 8. Surgeons will remove the protrusion and correct the skull defect, hopefully eliminating the risk of future neurological complications and allowing Zar to develop along a healthy trajectory. Zar says, "I feel lucky because some people have many appointments with their doctors and have to wait a long time to receive a surgery date. But in my case, I only had one appointment before I received my surgery date."