Shannon joined Watsi on February 16th, 2016. Five years ago, Shannon joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Shannon's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Edna, a single mother from Kenya, to fund surgery so she can walk again.
Shannon has funded healthcare for 68 patients in 10 countries.
Shannon has funded healthcare for 68 patients in 10 countries.
Edna is a 48-year-old single mother and small-scale farmer who grows food crops for home use. Her four children range in age from 17 to 29 years and have been depending on her. Unfortunately, Edna is now unable to walk due to lower limb weakness. She has been suffering from goiter for over 15 years and the thyroid malignancy has now spread to her spine impacting her mobility. Accompanied by her daughter, who had to push her in a wheelchair, Edna recently visited our medical partner's care center AIC Kijabe Hospital for help. She has been to other facilities but still hadn't been able to get the help she needs due to a lack of funds. After a multi-disciplinary team meeting comprising of Head & Neck and Ortho surgeons, she has been scheduled for a Total Thyroidectomy, Neck Dissection, and Spine Decompression and Fusion to help her heal and walk again. Our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is requesting $1,500 to cover this intensive procedure, a ten-day stay at the hospital, and wheelchair adjustments, tests, and physical therapy for Edna. Edna says, “I lost my ability to walk after this disease attacked me. I am afraid if not attended to I may be confined to a wheelchair for good. But my hope is up and alive now that doctors have scheduled me for surgery. This treatment is meant to rectify the situation and help me to walk again.”
Beatrice is a quiet lady in her early 50’s who has been blessed with six children, now ages 14-27. She runs a small grocery at the marketplace to provide for her family. Beatrice's husband doesn’t have a stable job. He does casual jobs across the village such as clearing bushes to meet the needs of his family. Beatrice and her family live in a two-bedroom house constructed with mud. They depend mostly on their daily jobs for food and save a little to pay school fees for their children and bills at the end of the month. A week ago, Beatrice sustained a left arm injury after fainting. Beatrice was brought to Kapsowar Hospital and an X-Ray was done which confirmed a fracture to her left humerus. Beatrice shared that she has a history of fainting and subsequently falling. Beatrice is in pain and she is unable to attend to her normal day-to-day things now. Beatrice is concerned that she can’t cook for her family or run her grocery business due to her injury. Beatrice had a cast applied about a week ago and was discharged to go home to look for funds for her surgery. A week later, Beatrice returned to the hospital with no hope of raising funds for her surgery. Their family is unable to raise the required amount with their low wages only able to afford daily needs like meals and clothing. Fortunately, our medical partner can help. On September 7th, Beatrice will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation procedure. Beatrice will no longer be in pain, she will be able to attend to her grocery business and take care of her family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $941 to fund this procedure. Beatrice says, “Life has never been the same since I broke my hand. I am worried about my children who need care every day. My hope is to get treated so that I can continue supporting my family.”
Grace is a beautiful, charming, and smiley 15-month-old baby. Grace's parents are small scale farmers and have one other child. They grow and sell maize and vegetables. Grace's mother sells fresh vegetables to her surrounding neighbors to make a living while, her father works at a carwash to support their family. Grace 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, Grace has been experiencing vomiting and high fevers. Without treatment, Grace will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Grace that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 9th and will drain the excess fluid from Grace's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Grace should grow and develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Grace’s mother says, "Our baby is usually very active and playful but as days go by, her condition worsens, causing her weakness, vomiting and high fevers. Please help us."
Venance is a five year old boy and the second born child in a family of four children. Venance is a friendly boy who is currently in kindergarten. Venance and his siblings are being raised by their mother, who does small scale farming where she gets most of the food her children need. She also seeks day laboring jobs like working on other peoples farms or laundry to help make ends meet. Venance was diagnosed with Bilateral Genu Valgus, a condition that causes bones to bend. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Venance now has pain after a long day of play and walks to and from school. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Venance. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Venance's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Venance mother says, "Please help my son."
Landei is an adventurous, playful and social 10-year-old boy from Tanzania. A while ago, he and his friends were playing in the fields, climbing on electric poles as the cattle were grazing. Sadly, they didn't realize the dangers that the poles posted, and the boys were electrocuted. Landei sustained burns to his hand and thigh. He later developed gengrene and had an emergency below-elbow amputation. However, his condition is not improving and now he needs an above-elbow amputation to save the rest of his arm. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Landei to receive treatment. On June 10th, he will undergo surgery at AMH's care center and now, AMH is requesting $1,088 to cover the cost of Landei's procedure and care. Landei’s father shared, "our son’s accident found us with no money to seek treatment for him that’s why it’s gotten this bad. Please help him have the needed surgery."
Jeremiah is a 26-year-old construction worker and a married father a two-year-old. His wife works at a local tea plantation, while he works at a construction site. On May 8th, Jeremiah was involved in a traffic accident on the highway. He had visited a local market and was on a motorbike on his way home. As they were turning a corner, they collided head-on with a car. He suffered fractures in his tibia and femur. He is not able to stand or walk without support, and he is in severe pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On May 13th, Jeremiah will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Jeremiah shared, “the accident was sudden and caught me off guard. I do not have enough savings considering we almost live from hand to mouth. This surgery is important to me to walk again.”
Lomnyak is a 5-year-old boy and the fourth born child in a family of five children. Lomnyaki and his siblings live with their mother, as their father left and doesn't offer support. His mother does not currently work as she is taking care of their family and she shared how challenging it was as they do not have livestock nor a place to farm. They are doing their best to get through a challenging living situation. Lomnyak was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Lomnyak is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Lomnyak's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 19th. This procedure will hopefully spare Lomnyak from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Lomnyak’s mother shared, "I didn’t know that this condition was life-threatening but I suspected it to be the cause of my son not being able to stand nor walk. Please help him get this surgery."
Ko is a 37-year-old father of five who lives with his wife, three daughters and two sons in a refugee camp in Thailand. His family receives a cash card every month from an organization, but this is not enough to cover their expenses. Therefore, he also works as an agricultural day laborer in a nearby Thai village. In his free time, Ko enjoys playing cane ball and spending time with his friends. On December 11, 2020, Ko slipped and fell onto rocks outside of the camp. When he tried to get up, Ko could tell that his leg was broken. He went to the hospital in the refugee camp run by Malteser International (MI). He was eventually referred to a hospital where he underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into his leg on December 25, 2020. When he went back to the hospital for his follow-up appointment on February 3, 2021, the doctor observed that the surgical wound was infected and he underwent surgery to clean his wound. When the wound still did not heal, the doctor referred him to another hospital, where the doctor told him he would need an additional surgery to remove necrotic tissue and replace the rod in his leg. Currently, Ko is experiencing a lot of pain. It is difficult for him to walk and he is worried about his family in the camp. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ko will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and finally heal. This procedure will allow Ko to walk and his leg to heal properly. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. Ko shared, “I really want to work to support my family as soon as possible. I cannot imagine what life would be like for my family if my leg never heals.”
Naw Kwee Moo is a 54-year-old woman from the Karen region in Burma, who lives with her husband and their family in a refugee camp. Of her children, three daughters and three sons still live in the refugee camp along with them near the Thai-Burma border. Naw Kwee is a homemaker and her husband is currently too ill to work. Five of their children go to school in the camp, four other children have moved away, and her second oldest son graduated from a post-secondary program in May 2020. He worked as an agricultural day laborer at a nearby Thai village until mid-December 2020. Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, he was no longer allowed to leave the camp. Naw Kwe’s household receives a monthly cash card to purchase basic rations. Although they receive free education and basic health care in the camp, they shared how hard it is to make ends meet. Starting four years ago, Naw Kwee often went to the camp’s hospital run by Malteser International (MI) Thailand to receive treatment for urinary tract infections (UTI). Most of the time, she would feel better after taking medication, but she was no longer able to work as an agricultural day laborer because of her pain. Over the next few years, she was diagnosed with chronic UTI. “I think my condition was caused from consuming dirty water,” she said. “When I worked as a day laborer, we had no access to clean water.” Naw Kwee received antibiotics through an intravenous (IV) line at the camp’s hospital. When her condition did not improve, a doctor at the camp’s hospital referred her again to Mae Sariang Hospital in March 2020. There she received a urine test and an x-ray of her kidneys, ureters and bladder. She was finally diagnosed with a right kidney stone. After multiple visits, the doctor at Mae Sariang Hospital referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further treatment. However, Naw Kwee could not travel to CMH for a while due to travel restrictions after the outbreak of Covid-19. Finally, last June medical staff from her camp were able to bring Naw Kwee to Chiang Mai. During her appointment, the doctor scheduled her to undergo an intravenous pyelogram on July 16th, 2020. After she received a diagnostic test, she returned to CMH for her follow-up appointment on November 19th, 2020. During her appointment, she received more tests and it was at her next appointment Naw Kwee was told she needed to undergo multiple rounds of laser treatment to break up the stone in her kidney. She received her first round of laser treatment on February 11th, 2021. Two days later, she developed a fever and could only pass a bit of urine. She also started to experience severe back pain and other troubling symptoms. MI staff took her back to the hospital where she received an ultrasound. The nurse shared with her that after her laser treatment, the stones had broken up and many of them where now stuck in her ureter, creating a blockage. She now needs emergency surgery to remove the stones. Our Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to support her surgery and finally relieve her of her painful condition.
Thea is a 39-year-old gendarmerie (military policeman) from Cambodia. He has been proudly married for 7 years and has 3 daughters. Thea's first two children are in school. In his free time, he likes to exercise, play football, listen to music and news, read books, and take care of his children. Five years ago, Thea had a severe fall and subsequently developed right hip pain. He was diagnosed with avascular necrosis of the hip, a painful condition that occurs when the blood supply to the head of the femur (thighbone) is disrupted. Because bone cells need a steady supply of blood to stay healthy, it can ultimately lead to destruction of the hip joint and severe arthritis. After his accident, he was given pain medication, but the medication only helped for a short time. He continues to have chronic pain and needs to have his condition treated. Fortunately, Thea learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Thea of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for January 6th, and Thea needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Thea shared, "I hope that after my operation, I will be able to walk without pain and can do my job easily again."
Kevin is a very playful 5-year-old from Kiambu County, Kenya. He is the only child to his mother, and was born when she was 17 years old so they decided to give him his grandmother's surname. His mother has been able to find casual jobs like working in neighbors farms and washing clothes. They also depend on Kevins’ grandmother who is a small scale farmer. Last week, while playing, Kevin slipped and fell. He sustained a closed fracture of his left hand (radius and ulna) and is unable to move his hand. He was brought to the hospital and the doctor advised he needs an ORIF procedure to correct the fractures. Kevin’s mother and grandmother could not raise the fee required and need help. If not treated Kevins’ hand may heal with a deformity or may have delayed healing or malunion. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 17th, Kevin will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This surgery will help him move his hand easily, reduce the pain and be free from future complications. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “My child had just started school and I had high hopes of seeing him grow up like other children. I kindly ask for help so that he can be well again and continue to play as he enjoys. We are desperate and can’t get the money required,” said Kevin’s mother.
Thein is a 33-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife in Yangon, while his daughter lives with his aunt. He and his wife are vendors at the main bus station. In his free time, Thein likes to go to the tea shop with his friend and talk about work. In the future, he would like to become a motorcycle broker, where he believes he could earn a more steady income. Unfortunately, Thein has been unable to work since March 2020. At the time, he often felt too tired or unwell to work. Upon seeking care, Thein was diagnosed with a heart condition involving a malformation of the mitral valve, which is 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, Thein has difficulty breathing and feels tired when he does not receive oxygen or an intravenous drip. He cannot sleep well at night and has to take sleeping pills to help him get rest. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement procedure for Thein. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 13th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and improve his quality of life. Thein shared, “After I have recovered fully, I will go back to work. I will try to search for a job that pays better so that I can pay off my debt. After I have paid back my debt, I will save money for my family’s future. I want my daughter to complete her studies.”