Nick joined Watsi on December 28th, 2015. Four years ago, Nick became the 2397th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 3,556 more people have become monthly donors! Nick's most recent donation supported Angel, a funny and jovial eight-year-old from Kenya, to fund surgery that will enable him to walk.
Nick has funded healthcare for 47 patients in 14 countries.
Angel is a funny and jovial boy. Like his brother, Gilbert, he has a condition known as Bilateral Genu Valgus, or knock knees, that makes it difficult for him to walk. Angel is the second youngest of four siblings and is in the first grade at a local primary school. His mother works part-time cleaning houses, washing clothes, and performing other household work she may find. Gibert’s father is a street pastor and also works as a street vendor. The family lives in a one-bedroom rental house in Nairobi and they shared with us that they feel life is hard because they do not have the resources to buy everything they need. Angel's condition began when he was just two years old. He experienced pain and could not walk long distances. Since then, his condition has worsened and he cannot run or play with his friends at school. In June of 2019, he and his brother underwent a Derotational Femoral Osteotom, a surgery that realigns their bones so that they can resume walking comfortably. The surgery was successful for both brothers and Angel has been walking well with his right leg. He now needs support for the surgery on his left knee. With both knees healed, Angel will be able to walk comfortably. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,282 to fund this procedure. Angel's mother shared, “I am pleading for more support for their second surgery. God bless you."
Fred is a jovial 15-year-old who likes learning. He is a student at Mary Mother of Grace School in Laikipia and his family hails from Naivasha in Nakuru county. Fred is the oldest child in his family of three children. His mother is a housewife while his father works in one of the flower farms in Naivasha. In 2019, Fred's parents realized that his posture was not okay and he was taken to Naivasha District Hospital for checkups where he was diagnosed with scoliosis. He was then referred for advanced treatment to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Cure International Hospital. While being attended to at the hospital, the doctor suggested taking two MRI images which were very costly to the family who earns low monthly wages. After the MRI the doctor scheduled a much-needed surgery on Fred's spine (Posterior Spine Instrumented Fusion). The hospital bill is $3350, of which the National Health Insurance Fund has agreed to pay $1300. Fred is straining when standing and while sitting. After receiving the treatment Fred will be able to continue with his studies without physical straining and his posture will be normal again. “We are appealing for support from well-wishers to enable our son to continue with his life and studies normally. We will appreciate any kind of support,” Fred’s mother told us.
Sopheak is a 45-year-old grocery seller from Cambodia. She has three children, two sons and one daughter. She likes to listen to the radio, watch television, and look after her children. When she was young, Sopheak had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Sopheak experiences ear discharge, tinnitus, and ear pain. She finds difficulty in hearing clearly, and she has trouble communicating with her family members and her customers. Sopheak traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 11th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care.
Karen is a two-year-old child from Tanzania, who is the last born child in a family of four children. Karen’s father works at a mine while her mother works as a storekeeper at a local school. Through their income, they are able to support their family's basic needs. Karen was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, meaning her legs curve 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, she struggles to walk. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Karen. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 13th. Treatment will hopefully restore Karen's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Karen’s father says, “Please help my daughter get this treatment so that she will be able to walk well without pain.”
Wel is a five-year-old boy who lives with his parents and an older sister and brother. His parents are subsistence farmers while he and his siblings are students. His mother forages for food and fishes to supplement their meals, while his father also works as a day laborer. The income he receives is just enough to cover their daily expanses but is not enough to pay for basic healthcare. On the 26th of December 2019, Wel was playing with pebbles at school with his friends. When he came back home that afternoon, he was crying but no one was home; his mother was away fishing. When she came back home and saw him still crying, she asked him what was wrong. Wel told her that while he was playing with his friends at school, one of his friends threw a pebble that hit him in his left eye. Since then, his left eye hurt a lot. His mother checked his eye, but she did not see any redness, and thought that the pain would go away after a while. Five days later, Wel complained that his left eye hurt more than before. His mother then took him to Hpa-An General Hospital, where his eye was checked. The doctor saw pus in his left eye and told his mother to take him to a hospital in Yangon as they cannot do anything for him there. The doctor provided him with eye drops and they returned home. Wel's mother did not have enough money to go to Yangon. His mother administered the eye drops for him, but his eye did not get better. His mother started to worry more about him and tried to look for a way to take him to another hospital. One of their neighbors suggested that she bring him to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot, Thailand, as she has been to the clinic before. On the 5th of January 2020, Wel's mother borrowed 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) from a neighbor and took him to MTC. There, his eye was checked but the medic referred him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH), as they could not treat Wel at the clinic. When Wel arrived at MSH, the doctor examined his eye and told Wel’s mother that he has an ulcer in the cornea of his left eye. His left eye had turned white and he also had pus due to the infection in his eye. The doctor told them that unfortunately the only option left was to remove his left eye so that his right eye would not become infected as well. Wel cried when he learned that his left eye had to be removed. Wel's mother however agreed to the procedure and he was scheduled to receive surgery on the 20th of January. Unable to pay for the surgery, the medic at MTC referred Wel to Watsi medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance in accessing treatment. Currently, Wel's left eye is itchy and has discharge coming from it. He cannot look at sunlight, as if he does his eye hurts. Before he stated taking the painkillers provided by MSH, his eye was very painful. He can no longer see anything with his left eye. "I want him to continue his studies after he receives treatment and I would like him to become either a teacher or a nurse in the future," said Wel's mother. "I don’t want him to work on the farm like us because he will have only one eye, so I want him to get a good job.”
U Min is a 49-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife, son, and daughter. He and his son work as day laborers. His wife stays home to look after household chores, while his daughter studies in grade school. About a month ago, U Min's right heel was injured while he was getting off from the tractor he was driving at work. It was very painful that he went to a clinic in his village to receive treatment. However, his condition did not improved with the treatment, and the wound worsened day by day. He was then advised by the health workers at his village to go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) for further treatment. At MCLH, the doctor did detail assessment of U Min's condition and said that because of his injury, the blood supply to his heel was insufficient. His wound by then has turned into black color, as the tissues around his heel were damaged and have died, and it causes him severe pain, especially at night. Since the doctor could no longer help to make his ulcer healed by treatments, the only option is to do a below knee amputation. U Min said, "It's so painful that I can't bear it anymore. I just want to receive surgery as soon as possible."
Hon is a 63-year-old cashew nut farmer from Cambodia. She has one son and two grandchildren, and enjoys Khmer movies on television in her spare time. Five years ago, Hon developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurred vision, burning, itchiness, irritation, and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Hon learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for six hours seeking treatment. On August 1, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $211 procedure. She says, "I hope that my eye surgery is successful so I can see everything clearly and so I can continue my work in the farm field as well as take care of the house work and my grandchildren. I also hope that I will be able to go anywhere outside by myself more easily than before."
Ei is a 31-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her mother and two younger sisters in Dawei Township, Tanintharyi Division. Her mother and her youngest sister, who dropped out of university to work, are vendors who sell vegetables in the street market. Ei’s other sister is in her final year of university. Ei used to help her mother sell vegetables but stopped five years ago because of her health condition. Ei was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Ei feels tired and she cannot walk long distances and has difficulty climbing stairs. In addition to feeling tired, she has difficulty breathing and experiences heart palpitations. Due to the lack blood flow, her lips, toes and fingers are blue especially when she cannot breathe well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Ei. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 7th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Ei said, “I want to have surgery soon so that I can work, and so that our family will have enough money. Now, my mother cannot work while she accompanies me to the hospital. Only my youngest sister works, and we are in debt now”.
Aloyce is a student from Tanzania. He is nineteen years old young man and the last born child in a family of three children. Aloyce only had the chance to study up to class seven. Due to financial challenges, he couldn’t continue with his studies and fulfill his dream of becoming an engineer. He stayed home helping his parents in their small scale farming to make himself productive and support his parents. Eventually a relative came in and offered to take him to Dar es Salaam and teach him welding work so that he could be able to make a living for himself. Aloyce has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Aloyce has been experiencing seizures and fainting. Without treatment, Aloyce will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Aloyce that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 15th and will drain the excess fluid from Aloyce's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Aloyce will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Aloyce says, “People look at me differently now due to this condition please help me get this treatment so that I can be able to resume my training and normal life activities again.”
Joy is 5 years old shy girl. Joy was well until Tuesday evening 10th September when she fell from a loquat tree and sustained an injury on her right upper limb. Joy was brought to our hospital presented with complains of pain on her right hand. On arrival, an X-ray was done which showed that Joy had broken her right radius ulna. Joy has swollen hand, she cannot lift her hand and she has discomfort accompanied by severe pain. Joy’s father is married to two wives and now has seven children. Because her mother is not able to have a good job, she does maize farming and life is difficult for her family due to low yields that have led to insufficient food in the family. Joy’s mother gets help and support from his brothers but wants to be able to be a strong woman for her and kids and provide well for them.
Naw is a 32-year-old agricultural day laborer from Thailand. She lives with her husband while her daughter and son live with her sister-in-law in Burma. In her free time, Naw likes to stay at home and do housework. For the past eight months, Naw has been experiencing a mass that is slowly increasing in size in her lower abdomen. She has been diagnosed with a dermoid cyst in her right ovary. She has been advised to undergo an oophorectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her ovaries. Fortunately, Naw is scheduled to undergo her oophorectomy on August 15. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $913 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. “After I recover fully, I will continue to work as an agricultural day laborer and save some money to visit my children one day,” she says.
Chabenta is a girl from Haiti. Chabenta lives in an orphanage in a mountainous area south of Port-au-Prince; she enjoys her classes in school and would like to become a doctor one day. She has a cardiac condition called severe mitral regurgitation, in which one of the four valves of her heart has been damaged by rheumatic fever and can no longer open and close properly. As a result, her heart cannot adequately pump blood through her body, leaving her sick and short of breath. Chabenta will fly to Boston to undergo surgery on September 5. During surgery, the medical team will first attempt to repair her damaged valve; if this is not possible, they will implant an artificial replacement. Boston Childrens Hospital is providing $28,000 to fund surgery. Chabenta's family also needs help to fund costs of surgery prep. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to support these costs. She says, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can walk to and from school without having to rest."