Laurence joined Watsi on November 4th, 2014. Six years ago, Laurence joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Laurence's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Im, a woman from Cambodia, to fund surgery for an infection on her foot.
Laurence has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 13 countries.
Im is a 60-year-old woman who married with two sons, two daughters, and five grandchildren. She enjoys taking care of her grandchildren and watching TV. Im is diabetic and developed a wound on her right big toe a month ago. It has developed to a necrotic stage with exposed bone. Unfortunately, it is swollen and very painful for her to walk. On October 1st, Watsi's Medical Partner, Children's Surgical Centre, will perform an amputation of the toe so her wound will not spread further and she will be able to walk again without pain. Im shared, "I am so worried about my wound becoming even worse so I am thankful the surgeons can help me."
Joan is a one-year-old from Tanzania. Joan is a beautiful girl and the youngest child in a family of four children. Joan’s father works as a motorcycle driver commonly known as “bodaboda” driver while the mother does tailoring in their neighborhood. Joan has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Joan has been experiencing fevers, vomiting and her head is increasing in size. Without treatment, Joan 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 Joan that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 24 and will drain the excess fluid from Joan's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Joan will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Joan’s mother says, “We have struggled so much to make sure our daughter gets all her disabilities corrected, something that has left us with no savings of any kind and only debts. She needs another surgery as soon as possible and we have nowhere to get the money from, please help us.”
Vann is a 23-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. His favorite activities are watching television, listening to music, growing vegetables, and feeding the farm animals nearby his house. Seven months ago, Vann was in a motorcycle accident and fractured his right leg. He was treated at a hospital in the city where his leg was fixed with external hardware to help his injuries heal. Now, he cannot afford further treatment, and he still experiences pain and is unable to walk without support. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On February 24th, Vann will undergo a hardware removal procedure, which will cost $230. Treatment will allow for Vann to walk easily again without any support, and he will be able to return to work again. "I hope that my bones will heal completely and I will no longer have any pain and can walk and return to work again to make a living," he shared.
Keo is a 59-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has six children, seven grandchildren, and enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio in her spare time. Five months ago, Keo developed a cataract in each eye, causing her blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Keo learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for one and a half hours seeking treatment. On January 6th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $425 procedure. "I hope that I will be able to go outside again and be able to recognize objects, as well as help take care of my grandchildren," she said.
Eliphas is the fifth born in a family of seven children. He is in the third grade but has had to repeat grade levels due to the financial instability of the family. His older three siblings already had to drop out of school because they could not pay the fees and lacked food. Eliphas' father died in 2013, so his mother is a widow and has difficulty making ends meet. His mother works as a casual laborer, washing clothes in the neighborhood and sometimes farming for other people. She and her children live in a mud house on a small piece of land. Eliphas fell and sustained a left femur fracture. If Eliphas does not get the required treatment, he may develop an infection or lose the function of his leg. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is asking for your help to fund the cost of his treatment. Eliphas and his family need $1,130 to fund this mobility-restoring surgery. Eliphas' mother shared, “If my son gets help, I shall be very happy and appreciative."
Allan is a child from Tanzania. His mother is a single mother who works at a local restaurant as a cook in order to support her baby. Allan 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, Allan is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,086 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Allan's mother says, "Please help my son get this treatment so that he can be able to grow up into a normal man.”
Geoffrey is a young boy from Kenya. Geoffrey has two other siblings and together with his parents, lives on their ancestral land. His father takes up casual labor in people’s farms to provide for their family, while his mother takes care of the house and children. Their income is quite limited to make ends meet. When Geoffrey was one-year-old, he fell on a basin with boiling water sustaining severe burns on his hands and scalp. He spent the next 6 weeks in the hospital receiving wound care. Fortunately, he healed, but with contractures on his left hand. This led to limited motion of his hand by the elbow. His fingers fused together, and he is not able to hold anything with his hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Geoffrey receive treatment. On June 10th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. In the future, he will be able to hold things and to write using his hands. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,176 procedure. Geoffrey’s mother says, “My hope is to see Geoffrey being able to hold something with his hands.”
Isaya is a 3-month-old baby boy from Tanzania. Isaya is the third born child to her family. Isaya’s parents are both subsistence farmers who do not make enough to be able to afford his treatment. Isaya 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, Isaya traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 1st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Isaya's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk and wear shoes when he grows up. Isaya’s mother says, “I have seen children, even adults, with clubfeet but when I gave birth to Isaya it still scared me. I think I was scared because of the society’s perception regarding disability and I was worried that my son will have a hard life. Please help me get him this treatment so that he may have a good future.”
Nay is an eight-year-old boy from Thailand. He lives with his parents and two older sister in in a village in Tak Province. Nay’s mother and his eldest sister work at a sock factory. They receive food and accommodation in addition to a combined monthly income of around 7,000 baht (approx. $234 USD) per month. Nay and his other older sister are students at one of the migrant learning centers in their area, while his father is homemaker. This morning at around 11:00 am, Nay had finished writing his exam at school and was ready to go home. When he saw the school car that had come to bring the students back to their homes, he and some of the other students became excited about going back home. They rushed into the car before the car had come to a full stop. In the chaos, Nay fell out of the car and cried out that his leg is hurt. His teacher ran to help him up, but Nay told the teacher that he could not stand up and that his right leg was in pain. His teacher then arranged for a car to take him to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), where upon arrival the medic examined his leg and informed his teacher that Nay had broken his right femur. The medic also told the teacher that he would need to receive surgery at Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) to help his leg heal properly. Currently, Nay is in pain and he cannot move or lift his right leg. He can only lay down and complains that his leg is in pain. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Nay will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for March 3rd and will cost $1,500. He will be able to move his leg and walk again after surgery. He will also no longer be in pain.
Immaculate is fast asleep on her mother’s lap. She was woken quite early to come to the hospital. A little bump, almost invisible, sits on her fontanel. Following results from CT scan, little Immaculate has been diagnosed with a dermoid cyst, a sac-like growth, that is present at birth and a craniotomy surgery is recommended. According to the doctor, the cyst sits on a very sensitive vein and if it ruptures Immaculate risks death. Surgery to close it will minimize such risks especially as she grows older, is more active, and playing with children who may accidentally hit the bump and cause the rupture. Immaculate lives with her parents and siblings in a one-room house in Central Kenya. The surgery is a cost that Immaculate’s parents cannot bear. They both are employed casually in a neighbor’s farm with an irregular daily wage of around Kes200 each. Immaculate’s elder brother is a student in class one and doing fine. With a very menial income, they are not able to raise the funds needed. “I will be glad if we get help,” says Immaculate’s mother.
Nuredin is a second grade student from Ethiopia. He is a nice boy who is an introvert and shy. Nuredin is caring toward his three siblings and even likes to share his food with his sisters and brother. He loves to play with his friends and he loves his studies. Nuredin helps his father shepherd their sheep. His dad is a farmer and his mom is a house wife. Nuredin 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, Nuredin is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on December 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,231 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Nuredin's dad said, “we couldn’t go to hospital until last year because we were financially unable. And I tried to take him to different places after last year but the waiting list in the government hospitals is too long that we couldn’t get the necessary treatment. Now we are hopeful that Nuredin will get the surgery, heal well and go to school. I hope he will become a doctor as he always wanted."
Sharon is a 22 year old from Singore Village in Kenya. She is social, friendly and loves music. Sharon is the 2nd born together with her twin sister in a family of 5 children. She is currently enrolled at Eldoret Technical Training Institute pursuing a medical record course with her sister. Sharon's mother is a farmer and her father a carpenter. Sharon had a normal birth but at a young age she couldn’t walk and her knee was stiff. She previously underwent surgery 16 years ago, but she has never improved and is still walking with a lot of difficulties. Sharon currently limps as she walks and feels pain as she strains to move. Her self esteem has also been affected and sometimes while in college she gets imitated by her colleagues in school. Sharon is scheduled to undergo surgery on her right knee. This treatment will be of great help to her as she will be able to walk without any difficulty. Her self esteem will improve and she will continue with her dream career of becoming a record officer in a hospital. Sharon and her family are not able to raise the estimated bill and thus requested for support saying, "my desire is to walk well like my sister without straining. Any kind of support purposed to make/ improve my walking is highly appreciated.”