Robin joined Watsi on February 27th, 2016. Six years ago, Robin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Robin's most recent donation supported Aziza, a resilient and bright student from Tanzania, to fund surgery to help her use her hand fully.
Robin has funded healthcare for 75 patients in 10 countries.
Robin has funded healthcare for 75 patients in 10 countries.
Aziza is 14-year-old girl and the second born child in a family of three children. She has just completed her class seven exams and looks forward to joining secondary school once the national examination results are out. She would love to be a teacher when she grows up. Aziza was involved in a fire accident when she was just three years old and she had not been able to use her left hand to hold things or be able to participate in many home chores. Aziza had surgery in February 2020 to release the burn contracture on her hand, which went a long way to enable her to use her hand more. Now, Aziza also needs an amputation of the small finger of her left hand. Her small finger has significant flexion contracture with severe damage to the joint capsules. Aziza is being raised by one of her aunts while her other siblings are being raised by other relatives after their mother passed away three years ago. Their father is not reliable in taking care of the children, and that’s when relatives decided to come in to help since they would miss meals and they didn’t have anyone to wash their clothes or provide them with other needs. Aziza’s aunt has three children of her own and including Aziza she has a total of four children. Aziza’s aunt is a stay at home wife while the husband sells bicycle spare parts and repairs them for a living. The income is not much but just enough to help support the family. Aziza says, “I am scared to lose a part of my hand but I agree with the surgeons that it is necessary and I hope it will help me be able to use my hand more. Please help me get this treatment.”
Nancy is a single lady who currently lives with her sister after she losing her job as a cashier during COVID. She lost both her parents a few years ago and has been mostly raised by relatives. Nancy was involved in a road accident two weeks ago and sustained multiple injuries and fractures. She is feeling very grateful to have seen another day after the road accident left three people dead. She is in pain and is not able to use her hands or her legs. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 10th, Nancy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. She be able to heal completely and use her limbs again after therapy. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Nancy says, "I am grateful to be alive today. I almost lost my life but God is great. Although I fractured my leg and hands, I got another chance in life. Luckily, these surgeries will help me get back on my feet and use my hands.”
Emily is a kind 26-year-old woman who recently got engaged to her childhood friend. She is the fourth born in a family of 7 and lives with both of her parents. One day in 2008, Emily started to experience severe abdominal pains. The pains kept increasing and she could not pass stool. On the third day, her parents rushed her the hospital where a diagnosis of bowel obstruction was made. She was taken to the operating room and had an ileostomy done as a temporary treatment for the bowel obstruction. An ileostomy is an opening in the abdominal wall that is made during surgery, part of the small intestines are diverted through an opening in the abdomen called a stoma. A special bag is placed over the stoma to collect fecal matter that are unable to pass through the colon out of the body. An ileostomy is reversible since it is only made to provide a temporary passage for the release of stools out of the body while allowing healing of the operated part of the intestines/ bowels. Emily was scheduled for ileostomy reversal in July 2008 and the parents took her back to the hospital where she was admitted. She was later discharged home and the surgery rescheduled since the there were many patients in the waiting list. She has since had more than 7 admissions for the procedure but each time she is discharged and the surgery rescheduled. They kept going to the hospital and in 2011 they gave up since they were not getting help and had already spent a lot on transport and meals. Emily eventually dropped out of school due to discrimination and the stigma associated with the condition. She now uses cheap thin plastic papers as stoma bags as the family cannot afford to buy the all the bags due to financial constraints. She has grown to live with this condition. Despite all that has been in her way, Emily is still very hard working and earns a living from washing clothes at people's homes. This enables her to buy the plastic bags for the stoma. Often, she runs out of money to buy the bags and is forced to stay indoors. Recently, one of their neighbors had a thyroidectomy done at Partners in Hope Hospital under a special program and urged her parents to bring her for assessment. The surgeon reviewed her and indicated that the condition can still be corrected through laparotomy where an ileostomy reversal will be done. This surgery will greatly improve Emily’s life, restore her dignity as a human being and remove the emotional pain and torture that Emily has lived with the past 13 years. Her parents are seeking financial support to help their daughter undergo the surgery. “I remember that when I was young, I used to use the bathroom normally in the pit latrine. I pray that one day I will be able to use the toilet again. I hope that when I get married I will be like all other women and will not have to embarrass my husband with this condition," shared Emily with a shy smile on her face.
Sitha is a 40-year-old car mechanic. He's been married for four years and lives in the city with his wife. In addition to repairing cars, Sitha works in a garment factory. In his free time, he enjoys playing football, listening to music, and fishing. Two years ago, Sitha was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of his left shoulder. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He is unable to lift his left arm and he hasn't been able to work. Sitha traveled to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) to receive treatment. On September 9th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his left arm again. Now, CSC is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Sitha shared, "I really hope I can regain full function of my left arm and be independent again."
Sophat is a 28-year-old mechanic. His father passed away when he was young, so he lives with his mother and takes care of her. In addition to working as a mechanic, he also grows vegetables to sell. When he is not working, he likes to ride motorbikes, play sports, and watch the news on television. When he was 14 years old, Sophat had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in his left ear to perforate. Now, Sophat experiences pain, hearing loss, and discharge from the ear. He has difficulty working, taking care of his mother, and communicating with others. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Sophat finally receive treatment. He traveled to CSC and, on August 23rd, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in his left ear. During the procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Now, CSC is requesting $464 to fund this procedure. This will cover the cost of the medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sophat shared, "I hope after surgery my ear will become healthy, and I can hear well and feel no pain. I will be able to work more and feel good when I make more money to support my living and my mom."
Imran is a charming and friendly four-year-old boy. He lives with his grandfather, mother, and siblings at his grandfather's home. Imran has clubfoot of the left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Imran receive treatment. He visited AMH's care center where, on July 6th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Imran's procedure. After treatment, Imran will be able to walk without difficulty and wear shoes. Imran's grandfather shared, "there is no day my grandson doesn’t say to me, grandfather I want to wear shoes like my friends. Please help my grandchild."
Shupe is a 39-year-old mother of two girls, ages 16 and 17. She is very proud of her children who have both been successful in school. She separated from her husband four years ago and has a small business selling tomatoes and vegetables house-to-house. Last year, Shupe began experiencing pain in her abdomen. She shared that she has been unable to work due to the pain and had difficulty paying her rent. Now, she is staying with her sister while both of her daughters stay at a friend’s house to attend their secondary schools until they pass their exams. Shupe recently visited a surgeon who confirmed that she has an inguinal hernia and requires hernia repair surgery. If not treated, the hernia will continue to cause her pain, and in rare cases, it could lead to strangulation, cutting off the blood flow to part of her intestines. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Shupe to receive treatment. On June 3rd, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $575 to cover the cost of Shupe's procedure. Shupe shared, “I need to be alive to see my children go to college. This hernia and the pain are shattering my hopes, but with this surgery, I can see freedom coming. Much appreciation to Watsi for the support and funding."
Omar is a 14-year-old student and the youngest of eight children. He is in grade 5 and likes reading. His father is a farmer and his mother died last year after a long illness. Omar has clubfoot in both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Omar and his father traveled over a day to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 28th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Omar's clubfoot repair. He is scheduled to undergo right foot triple arthrodesis surgery to first correct his right foot. After treatment, he will be able to walk and be able to put on shoes. “Any support rendered to make my son walk like other children will be highly appreciated,” Omar’s father told us.
Ni is a 17-year-old student who lives with her two younger sisters, her younger brother, her aunt and her aunt's daughter in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Ni, her siblings and her aunt's children all go to school in the camp. Her aunt is a seamstress. In her free time, Ni likes to read about her school subjects in English and Thai. Since October 2019, Ni has been experiencing lower abdominal pain and she cannot sit for long periods of time because the pain worsens. When she presses the right side of her lower abdomen she can feel a small mass. She has been diagnosed with a bicornuate uterus with bilateral endometriotic cysts. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, or the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Ni's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk of further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Ni is scheduled to undergo treatment on May 25th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer be in constant pain. Ni shared, "I want to graduate from college and I want to find work to support my siblings. If I have a chance I would like to continue my education abroad."
So is a nine-year-old boy who lives with his parents, sister and brother in a village in Tak Province. Since schools closed due to Covid-19, So and his siblings have had to stop studying. So now helps out around the house, watering their garden and helping his mother with preparing meals. His sister works as a dishwasher at a Thai noodle soup shop. His father works at a construction site, and his mother is a homemaker. Their monthly household income is just enough to cover their basic expenses. When So was born, the medic noticed that So had a mass on the right side of his neck. Upon pressing the mass with his finger, So did not react, so the medic assumed the mass was not painful. The medic told So’s parents that the mass was fatty tissue and that they had nothing to worry about for now, but he would need to receive surgery to remove it when he was older. As So grew, the mass also slowly increased in size and became heavier. Currently, the muscles in his neck are stiff and the mass is painful when it is touched. Frequently, he will wake up in the middle of the night in pain after he turns in his sleep, putting pressure on the mass. So underwent a CT scan at the hospital, which indicated that the mass is a lymphangioma, or a noncancerous fluid-filled cyst. The doctor recommended that So undergo a cyst excision procedure to remove the cyst. So told us he's extremely excited to receive surgery and is not afraid to undergo the procedure because he wants to look (even more) handsome afterwards :). However, he and his family need financial support to afford the cost of his care. So will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo a cyst excision procedure on April 23rd. Our partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Once recovered, he will be free of pain and will feel more comfortable and confident in his daily life activities and when spending time with his friends. So shared, “I cannot wait to receive surgery and I really want this mass to go away. I am so embarrassed of this mass but once it is gone, I will go back to school and my friends will no longer tease me.”
Tin is a 38-year-old woman from Northern Thailand. She and her husband are agricultural day laborers, and they live in a hut on their employer’s land. They shared that, unfortunately, their earnings are not enough to cover their expenses or to pay for basic healthcare. Since early 2019, Tin has been experiencing dizziness, fatigue, insomnia and pain in her lower abdomen. She was diagnosed with a myoma and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Tin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications. Since September 2020, Tin has been unable to work due to her illness. Fortunately, Tin is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on March 23rd. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Tin will no longer experience lower abdominal pain, dizziness or fatigue. She will be able to work again as a day laborer after her treatment. Tin shared, “I am not afraid to undergo surgery because I believe that I will receive successful treatment. I used to pray every day that a donor would help me. Once I have recovered from surgery, I will go back to work so that we can repay our debts. In the future, I would like to stay healthy so that I can work, eat good food, wear beautiful clothes, and earn an income.”
Ombeni is a playful and friendly three-year-old boy and the youngest of four children in his family. Ombeni's parents are small-scale farmers of maize and vegetables. Things have been challenging financially for the family, and Ombeni's father left home to make a living in Kenya selling belts and Maasai sandals. When Ombeni was two months old, his mother noticed that he had a small swollen area on his right hand. He experiences redness and swelling that is worrisome for their family. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $724 to fund surgery for Ombeni. On February 16th, surgeons will remove the mass. Ombeni’s mother shared, “I am worried that if this problem is not treated it might worsen. Please help my son because the cost of treatment is too high for us to afford.”