Patrick joined Watsi on July 17th, 2014. Seven years ago, Patrick joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Patrick's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Taraja, a five-year-old girl from Tanzania, to fund clubfoot surgery so that she can walk and start school.
Patrick has funded healthcare for 92 patients in 13 countries.
Patrick has funded healthcare for 92 patients in 13 countries.
Taraja is a charming five-year-old girl from Southwestern Tanzania and the oldest child in her family. Taraja has not started school yet, but her parents hope that once her condition is treated, she can enroll in kindergarten. Taraja’s parents grow maize, vegetables, and sorghum for a living. They get most of their food from their farm and her father also takes casual laboring jobs, like working on other peoples’ farms and carrying luggage, to supplement the family's income. Taraja has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Taraja receive treatment. On October 8th, Taraja will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Taraja's procedure and care. Taraja’s mother shared, "it was very strange to see our daughter’s feet in this position. We tried to find treatment for her but we were advised to go to a big hospital, something we couldn’t afford to do. Please help us if it’s possible."
Jane is a 35-year-old farmer, a single mother of two, and the 5th born child in a family of twelve. Due to the size of their family and how close-knit they are, Jane's mother commented, “all my daughters (6) have been married, gotten children, and then have come back home. I never even remember who is who and who follows the other." Jane was born with a disability and never able to attend school. Jane's mother helps to take care of her. Earlier this month, Jane was working and going through her daily activities when she slipped and fell, sustaining a fractured clavicle on her right side. Jane is in severe pain, and she is not able to go about her normal activities. Jane came to the hospital accompanied by her elderly mother and her niece, and Jane's mother shared her story with the hospital staff. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 16th, Jane will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). Following the procedure, Jane will not experience pain, the fracture will heal well and she will be able to work and take care of her children as normal. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Jane’s mother said, “I am desperate and Jane has been a great challenge to take care of even before she was sick. I kindly request help so that at least she can be well and assist herself where she can. I also wish she can be relieved of this pain.”
Rhophence is struggling to speak when we meet her. She cannot pronounce words clearly or eat regularly due to a mandibular mass. She was diagnosed with Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia, which is also causing her teeth to loosen on the affected area. She is scheduled for a 10-hour surgery at our Medical Partner's Care Center Kijabe Hospital. Her chronic mandibular swelling started back in October 2020 as a small swelling and has gradually increased in size, so Rhophence was forced to visit the hospital. She was treated for pain in their local health centre and discharged home. But, the swelling worsened and Rhophence opted to visit Kijabe in May 2021. Several tests revealed the Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia diagnosis and surgery was recommended. She does not have the funds for the various procedures to relieve her pain. She is a single mother of four children aged between 30 and 18 years. She comes from a remote village along the Kenyan coast. She is currently jobless with no source of income and stays with her younger brother who she depends on for survival. The surgery is estimated to cost about $4,500. She has active national health insurance coverage that has only approved $2,000. She is unable to raise the remaining amount. She fundraised money for travel fare to come to Kijabe and she is now being hosted in the local centre by a relative. Rhophence shared, "This swelling is so painful. My mouth is deformed and I cannot even speak clearly. It’s sadly starting to give a bad odour making people close to me uncomfortable. This is affecting my life. I need these surgeries to normalize my life.”
Meet Jecinta, a 12-year-old friendly, talkative, and funny girl. She is the youngest in her family of three children. Currently, Jecinta is a student in grade 5, and in school, she likes reading and playing with her friends even though her legs limits her ability to play as well as her peers. Jecinta's mother is a single mother who works temporary jobs on neighbor’s farms, clothes washing, and other available jobs. Jecinta was born healthy, but her mother noticed a sudden bowing of her legs when she was one. Jecinta's mother took her toddler to a nearby hospital where plaster was applied to her legs to prevent spreading of her condition. However, since then, it has continued to worsen and has been affecting Jecinta's mobility. At this point, she cannot stand upright and play with friends as she would like to. Fortunately, Jecinta is scheduled to undergo surgery on July 19th to correct her legs. This treatment will allow her to walk like other friends, play with them, and continue with her studies, all of which can improve her self-esteem. “I would wish for support for my child because I cannot be able to afford the hospital bills,”Jecinta’s mother asks.
Ku is a seven-year-old boy who lives with his parents and two younger sisters in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Ku's mother weaves shirts that she sells, and Ku's father helps weave, too. Ku is a primary school student, while one of his sisters is in nursing school, and his youngest sister is too young to go to school. On June 6th, Ku and two of his friends were playing in a tamarind tree when they all fell out of the tree. Ku injured his left arm in the fall and his father carried him to the camp hospital for an exam. The medic there told Ku's father that his elbow might be broken. After they bandaged his arm, Ku visited another hospital for an x-ray and was diagnosed with a left elbow fracture. Ku is in pain and cannot bend his arm or lift anything. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ku will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for June 9th and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Ku will no longer be in pain and he will be able to go back to school. He will regain full mobility in his arm. Ku's father shared, "Ku is an active boy who loves school and reading a lot. He always says that he wants to become a health worker to look after his family and others when he grows up. I want him to recover and go back to school soon."
Isaac is a 23-year-old from Kenya who works as a manual laborer, loading and off-loading sand in the Maai Mahiu area. His father passed away while he was young, and he has been living with his mother and sister. A few weeks ago, during work, Issac slipped into a ditch and broke his right femur. His colleagues came to help him and brought him to Kijabe hospital. It is difficult for Isaac to walk, and he is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 11th, Isaac will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure so he can walk again. Isaac shared, “I am in pain and can’t walk without support. I am out of options since I cannot afford the cost of the treatment.”
Sumeya is a baby girl from Ethiopia who loves music. She also loves sweets and playing with her mom. She is her parents' first child, and her mom is a housewife while her dad is a teacher in a mosque. They all live together in his parents’ house, who help support them with their basic needs. Sumeya was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Sumeya is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on April 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Sumeya's procedure and care. After her recovery, Sumeya will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing serious health complications in the future. Her mom said “ It is my hope that my baby will heal and get in to school.”
Biruk is a young boy from Ethiopia who loves to eat spaghetti and macaroni. He also enjoys doing arts and crafts, and loves to play hide and seek with his friends in his neighborhood. Biruk is the second child in his family, and he has one older sister. His dad is a teacher in primary school and his mom is a housewife. Biruk lives together with his parents and sister in a rented house. Biruk was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment and surgery, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility as he grows older. Fortunately, Biruk is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,231 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Biruk shared with us, “I want to heal well and go to school and become a pilot.”
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.
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.”
John is a motorcycle taxi operator from Kenya. He's a 31-year-old man from an area called Zimmerman in Nairobi County and the second born in a family of four. John went to school up through high school, but since his family could not afford to send him to college, he learnt how to ride a motorbike and started hustling in Zimmerman to sustain himself. John told us that he was just planning for his future and to get married when the worst happened. On Saturday Dec. 12th, when a client sent him to carry some luggage, on the way he was hit by a vehicle. He sustained an open fracture of his right femur. Luckily he was brought to Nazareth Hospital and was admitted for care. He is not able to move his leg and the surgeon recommends an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) surgery to heal his fracture. Since John had to borrow funds for his admission fee, he does not have a way to pay for the surgery he needs. He has requested support and is concerned if he is not treated soon he could develop a bone infection which will delay healing and cause him more complications. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 15th, John will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “My family members are not able to support me for this surgery and am afraid to see my bones. I kindly ask for help so that I can be able to walk again, go back to my job, and start planning for my future family,” said John.
Vireak is an 18-year-old student. He is the elder brother to two younger sisters. Both of Vireak's parents work in construction. In his free time, Vireak enjoys reading books, exercising, listening to music, and helping his family with cooking and taking care of his younger sisters. Vireak has been diagnosed with lumbar scoliosis. He has a curved spine causing back pain and has difficulty walking and sitting. On November 12th, surgeons at the Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) will perform an orthopedic repair surgery on Vireak to alleviate his scoliosis pain. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to fund his spinal surgery. Once recovered, his quality of life will significantly improve and he will be able to return to life as normal. Vireak shared, "I hope after my surgery my back gets better and I can have a straight spine and be free of discomfort."