Thiény joined Watsi on June 29th, 2016. Five years ago, Thiény joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Thiény's most recent donation traveled 4,200 miles to support Anitha, a 6-year-old girl from Tanzania, to fund a clubfoot repair surgery.
Thiény has funded healthcare for 42 patients in 11 countries.
Thiény has funded healthcare for 42 patients in 11 countries.
Anitha is a beautiful six-year-old child from Tanzania. She is the only child to her mother, who is a single parent. Her mother shared that Anitha's father left their family when Anitha was a baby and Anitha herself has never met him. Her mother helps her aunt in a small vegetable garden, where they grow tomatoes and sell them an open market. Whatever they can earn is what they use for their basic needs. Anitha has clubfoot of both her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty with walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Anitha traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 5th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Anitha's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk more easily and play with her friends. Anitha’s mother shared, “All I wish for my daughter is to see her walk normally so that she can pursue her studies and have a better life.”
Ivan is a three-year-old boy from Tanzania. He loves playing with his friends, and doesn’t like staying indoors - sometimes, his mother has to force him to rest when he wants to play. Ivan is unable to use his right hand after being involved in a fire accident earlier this year in April. Ivan was outside playing with his friends, and his mother had put a pot of beans cooking on the stove. When it started raining, Ivan came back running into the house and slipped on the wet floor. His right hand went into the pot, burning him badly. Ivan's family took him to the hospital right away for treatment. It took time for his wounds to heal but eventually, they did. However, the burns healed with contractures, which make him unable to straighten his fingers and limit movement around his wrist. Ivan has been scheduled to have surgery, but his parents are unable to afford the treatment cost. Both of his parents have a small business of making and selling local soap, and they also make a living by selling fish. Their income is small, and they do not earn enough for Ivan's cost of care. They appeal for financial support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Ivan receive treatment. On December 11th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to allow Ivan to use his hand with ease. Once healed, he will be able to use his hand to care for himself, and learn to write when he starts school. Now, he needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Ivan’s mother shared, “Please help my son to get this treatment so that he can be able to write when he starts school. I am not able to afford his needed treatment, please help us."
Alice is a 47-year-old woman from Kenya. Sheis a single mother of 2 children, and her children live with their grandmother in their home village. Alice was an active and healthy woman who was able to use her legs normally. However, in early November 2017, she was involved in a road traffic accident that rendered her immobile. Alice was rushed to the hospital to undergo treatment and surgery. Although she was discharged, her troubles with the leg continued, and she developed more pain and complications. After returning to the same facility for treatment and not showing signs of improvement, Alice visited Kijabe Hospital. There, she has since undergone several other surgeries, including post-open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) repair and debridement after the skin overlying the fracture site was compromised and infected. Alice's doctors have scheduled her for a sequestrectomy procedure and IM nail removal on November 12th. The sequestrectomy will remove any fragment of dead bone or other tissue that has separated from healthy tissue in her wound. Ultimately, they aim to prevent further infection of the hardware in her leg. Alice is currently ambulating in crutches and, if not treated, she might not be able to walk or properly use her leg in the future. Unfortunately, this procedure is costly for Alice and her family. Alice owns a small green grocery in Mukaa Town where she sells vegetables and tomatoes. Her total monthly profit is barely able to cover her basic needs, rent, and kids' needs; let alone pay for her necessary surgeries. She has depended on the National Hospital Insurance Fund and support from friends to help cover her several medical and surgical trips to different facilities. Alice is appealing for financial help so she can get the care she needs. Alice shared, "My problems never seem to come to an end after the accident. I have been through a lot of surgeries, and I still need more to be able to walk again. Thank you for your support."
Ruth is a 15-year-old from Kenya who has special needs. She is a student at Limuru Cheshire Home (a center for girls with physical/mental disabilities) and was admitted to the institute in 2019. She was born into a family of two, being the firstborn followed by a brother who lives with her aunt. Her mother, who was a single mom, died when Ruth and her brother were young. This led to the two being separated and since Ruth is more vulnerable, she was left under the care of their grandmother. Together they live in a two-roomed house and they depend on the local community for upkeep. Life has become more difficult now that Ruth's grandmother cannot move around even for firewood since she has to ensure Ruth’s safety. Ruth has clubfoot that makes her walking extremely difficult. Last year she was brought to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center CURE Hospital, where she was recommended for surgery. Since her grandmother cannot afford the treatment, her surgery has not yet taken place. The surgery would highly enhance Ruth's mobility as well as improve her self-esteem and ability to socialize with her peers. Fortunately, surgeons at our partner hospital will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Ruth's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. “I will appreciate any kind of support give to make my granddaughter walk comfortably,” Ruth’s grandmother told us.
Rhoda was born at her home in 2012 and the next day she was taken to the clinic for vaccinations. The doctor examined her, and she was found to be healthy. She had all her required vaccines at the right time until she was five years. Rhoda has been healthy, and her family shares that she rarely got sick, only the common cold which did not require her to see the doctor. Rhoda started her schooling when she turned five and really enjoys being at school. Equally, she likes the company of her teachers and her agemates during class time and playtime. At the age of six her parents realized that Rhoda was always left behind to and from school. Her friends reported to the parents that Rhoda often falls and that’s why they usually leave her behind. The parents observed Rhoda and realized that one of her legs was not okay. Rhoda twists her leg when she moves. Her ankle continued to worsen until Rhoda couldn’t move far before she fell. She is an active and restless girl, but her twisting ankle keeps bringing her down. The problem has stressed her and affected her socialization with other children and friends. Often, she cries when she falls especially when she notices that people are observing and talking about her shorter leg. It is even saddening to hear other children give her bad names because of her limping. Her parents took her to various hospitals without success. Some health officers thought it was polio and thus there was nothing they could do. The family had difficulties accessing specialists due to their income. Rhoda's father is unemployed and her mother who is the only breadwinner who just got a teaching job. After hert mother got the job and got a National Health Insurance (NHIF) card they took Rhoda to Kikuyu Hospital. However, the NHIF card could not cover the cost for treating her there. It was after the unsuccessful attempt to seek medical care at other facilities that they heard about Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Cure International Hospital. They visited, as they said, trusting God that their lovely daughter will receive treatment and grow up happily just as other children. Rhoda's family shared, “Any help to enable Rhoda to receive treatment will be greatly appreciated.”
Zin Oo is a 36-year-old man who lives with his mother, younger sister, and his seven-year-old son in Mawlamyine, Burma. He is an assistant truck driver and he earns 4,000 kyat (approx. 4 USD) per day. Since the outbreak of CVOID-19, there is less work and he is only able to earn 64,000 kyat (approx. 64 USD) in a month. Zin Oo's son goes to primary school and his wife passed away last year. His mother goes house to house to see if anyone would hire her to wash their clothes. His younger sister lost her job at the factory after the outbreak of COVID-19 in Yangon. Since April, she looks after the household chores and she also works as a day laborer when she can find work. Zin Oo’s combined household income of 124,000 kyat (approx. 150 USD) in a month is just enough for their daily expenses and they cannot afford to pay the costs of basic healthcare. On August 3rd, Zin Oo was cutting firewood with an axe. While cutting the logs, his aim was off and he hit his fingers on his right hand against the log. His fingers became swollen and red after the accident, especially his small and index fingers. Without enough money to go to the hospital, Zin Oo bought traditional medicine and applied it to his fingers. He felt like his middle and ring fingers healed but his small and index fingers became more swollen and painful. Eventually when he noticed pus on his fingers, he told his friend about his problem and his friend suggested he go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where treatment often cost less than other hospitals. At MLCH, the doctor completed a detailed assessment of his right hand and diagnosed him with cellulitis, a serious bacterial skin infection. The doctor told him that because of poor blood supply, he would need to amputate his small finger and probably his index finger as well. When Zin Oo told the doctor that he does not have any money to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing treatment. Currently, the fingers on Zin Oo’s right hand are red, swollen, and warm to the touch. His fingers hurt a lot, especially his small and index finger. He cannot sleep at night without taking pain medication. He is not able to eat food with his right hand and he feels uncomfortable eating with his left hand since he is right-handed. Aside from this, Zin Oo feels stressed about his condition. He cannot work and his mother has to help look after him since he was admitted at the hospital. His mother then has no income while he receives treatment. They are worried that they will not have enough money for food and for Zin Oo’s treatment. In the future, Zin Oo wants to work as a truck driver to earn money for his family. Once he has fully recovered, he will accept any work he can find as he looks for a job as a truck driver. Zin Oo’s younger sister shared with us, “Now, I have to take care of my nephew while my mother accompanies my brother [Zin Oo] at the hospital. I cannot work and our family is worried about money. We owe our neighbor 50,000 kyat [approx. 50 USD] and we have to pay it back with 20% interest.”
Vin is a five-year-old child from Cambodia. She is the oldest of three children. Her mother works in a factory, and her father is a farmer. She has not yet started school but she loves to paint at home and help her mother cook. She also helps taking care of her younger siblings. Since birth, Vin has had nevus, or mole, on her cheek. It has grown larger as time has passed. As it grows bigger, it could start to cause further complications. She also experiences difficulty socializing with other children because of her condition. When Vin's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, they traveled for four hours seeking treatment. On July 9th, surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre will perform a skin flap procedure to to replace the skin of the nevus with healthy skin. Now, she needs help to fund this $657 procedure. Vin's mother shared, "I hope that after this surgery, she will look healthy and normal, and will not have any more problems."
Joseph is a father of 9 children, now all grown up and working in small-scale businesses. He lives on his subsistence farm in Nakuru. Joseph started to experience hearing problem 20 years back but he could still hear with difficulties. The condition become severe about four years ago where he was forced to go to a provincial hospital. He was checked and the plan was to wash his ears. Since then he has been going for ear washing regularly when his family heard of our facility through the social media. This is when we had a free clinic for patients with a hearing problem. Joseph was diagnosed with mild to moderate-severe hearing loss. The plan is for him to have hearing aids for both ears so that he can return to a higher quality of life and independence. Currently, Joseph is not working due to his health and is fully depended on his children. He lives with his wife who is also elderly and can’t work either. "I will really appreciate if I can be able to hear clearly and communicate with my family," Joseph said.
Dane is the youngest child of her family, and her parents are rice farmers. Since she cannot spend much time outside, she enjoys painting, watching movies on TV, and listening to the stories her brothers read to her from their books. When she was born, Dane had scoliosis that is causing her spine to curve, affecting her ability to walk normally. Though she does not feel pain, she has difficulty moving around the house by herself, and she requires extra care from her family, who must also spend a lot of time working on their farm. Her mother is also worried about her confidence and independence as she gets older. After getting a recommendation from a neighbor, Dane's parents brought her directly to Watsi's Partner Children's Surgical Centre to get treatment. Doctors will perform spinal surgery to correct the curve of Dane's spine, allowing it to develop normally. After recovery, she will have increased mobility and normal posture. Her mother said, "I worried about my daughter's spine since she was born, but I know that when she gets surgery, her back will be stronger and she will be more confident."
Jonah is a jovial and high-spirited student from Kenya. He is the 7th born in a family of 8 children. He is in class 2 at Mwiteria vision academy under a sponsorship of a well-wisher. The family hails from Iteria village in Meru County. His single mother used to be a farmer, but she currently stays at home. She recently underwent an amputation on her leg after suffering from diabetes. Jonah has clubfoot of his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Jonah traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Jonah's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. “We request your support, being the only breadwinner in the family and I am also impaired. I have two boys who need surgery. I am not able to raise the bill. Please help,” said Jonah’s mother.
Misgune is a 3-month-old baby boy from Ethiopia with one older brother. He loves to play and laugh with his mom. He's exclusively fed by breast milk. Misgune’s mom is a house wife; she dropped out of school at grade 9 when she got pregnant. She used to do a bit of small business before she gave birth to him. Misgune's dad is a daily laborer. They live in a rented house and their family's income is unpredictable and limited for the expenses of the basic needs of the family. Misgune was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Misgune is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on March 10th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Misgune's procedure and care. After his recovery, Misgune will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Misgune's mom said, “It is my hope that my baby will get healthy and as normal as other boys. I hope I will raise him well and educate him. I hope I will start working again and support my children. ”
Khin is a 39-year-old woman who lives with her family in Hpa-An Township, Karen State, Burma. Both her children are in preschool. She and her husband are subsistence farmers, growing rice during the rainy season on rented land. The rest of the year, her husband collects leaves used to make roofs, works as a daily labourer or collects branches to sell. Khin was born with a scar the size of an ant bite on her upper lip. Her parents thought that it would disappear or heal on its own but the scar developed into a growth and increased in size. Her parents passed away when she was young and after that she went to live with her brother’s family. By the time she was around 20 years old, the growth had become large and soft, covering the area between her upper lips and her nose. When the pain became unbearable in 2005, her uncle dropped her off at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand, a free clinic close to where her uncle used to work. At this point, the growth had become so large that dragged her upper lip down and extended into her nostrils. At MTC, she was seen by doctors and medics, before she was diagnosed with a hemangioma. At this point, the growth had worsened, and she was bleeding from her lips. In April 2006, Khin went to Chiang Mai Hospital and had the hemangioma removed surgically. The growth later has returned. Overtime, the hemangioma has increased in size and become hard. It has now expanded into Khin’s nostrils, especially her left nostril, which causes her to have difficulty breathing at times. She feels uncomfortable but is not in pain. Sometimes she also feels like she has a blood clot in her nostrils during her nosebleeds. Because the nosebleed can start at any time and can last anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, her life revolves around managing her nosebleeds. She is unable to work or sleep properly, and if she is about to have a nosebleed, she is unable to eat. The nosebleeds have also affected her ability to earn an income for her children and continues to impact her social life. “When I socialise, I do not feel comfortable and some people think I have a disease that I can infect them with,” said Khin. “So, I hope to get better after surgery, and I hope I will no longer have nosebleeds. I don’t want to bleed, and I want to socialise with my friends and family happily. [Right now] my friends won’t even touch me.”