John joined Watsi on November 6th, 2014. Seven years ago, John joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. John's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Dinavence, a mother and small scale farmer from Uganda, for thyroid removal surgery to relieve her swelling.
John has funded healthcare for 79 patients in 12 countries.
John has funded healthcare for 79 patients in 12 countries.
Dinavence is a small scale farmer. She is married but lives alone and her husband, who is also a small-scale farmer, lives in another district with their children. Dinavence is a mother of seven, with only three living children. 30 years ago, Dinavence began to experience troubling symptoms, including a painless neck swelling that has progressively been increasing in size. She has never visited a doctor for medical attention because she never knew that the condition was treatable. Currently, Dinavence can no longer carry a heavy load on her head such as agricultural produce, and feels uncomfortable while climbing steep slopes and hills. She experiences severe airway blockage while sleeping. One of her friends recently got treated for a similar issue and was able to refer her to Rushoroza Hospital. There Dinavence was diagnosed with a non-toxic goitre and after a review by the surgeon, a thyroidectomy is recommended. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse, but her family cannot afford the cost. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Dinavence receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on October 5th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $333, and she and her family need help raising money. Dinavence says, "I had lost hope of living a normal life again. I pray that I may be considered for treatment so that I may have another chance to live comfortably like others and be able to continue farming.”
Vedastus is a two-year-old boy and the only child of his young parents. He's a friendly boy who is currently having a hard time walking because his legs bow outwards. Vedastus' mother works at a local food joint as a cook. Her income is not much, but enables her to support and care for her son. Vedastus' father is still in college studying, which leaves Vedastus' mother as the only parent with an income. Vedastus was diagnosed with fluorosis - genu varus, where his legs bowing outwards so that his knees do not touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Vedastus cannot walk well and he is in pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Vedastus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 2nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Vedastus's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Vedastus’s mother says "I am the only person working to be able to provide for our son. The father of my son is still studying and my income is not enough to care for Vedastus and afford his treatment cost. Please help us, he needs treatment for his leg because he is struggling to walk.”
Savat is a 51-year-old rice farmer. She has one son, one daughter, and three grandchildren. Savat lives with her husband who is also a rice farmer. In her free time, Savat enjoys spending time playing with her grandchildren. Two years ago, Savat developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her photophobia and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Savat learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two and a half hours with her son seeking treatment. On June 21st, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Savat shared, "I hope after surgery my eye feels comfortable again so I can see clearly and go back to planting rice and taking good care of my family."
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.
Brian was born last night and is the first born in his family. His father works in a newly opened bakery and shared that he earns very little money, while his mother makes and sells pots to earn a living. After Brian was born, he was examined by the pediatric surgery team and diagnosed with anorectal malformations. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping Brian to receive treatment. On June 2nd, at AMH's care center, he is scheduled to undergo a colostomy surgery to enable him to pass stool. Now, AMH is requesting $592 to fund Brian's surgery. Brian’s father shared, “we are hoping and praying that our son will get treated despite the fact that we are not financially stable to afford the surgery.”
Mary is a 78-year-old woman and a married mother of ten children. Since her husband is elderly, she depends on her children for day-to-day support. Mary used to have a small business selling cereals, but now that she is older, she mostly stays home and does some farming. In the mid-2020, Mary began experiencing pain in the upper left part of her abdomen, abdominal fullness and lack of appetite. She was taken to a few different hospitals, but the medicines prescribed did not help her condition. An ultrasound scan showed that Mary has gallstones, and a cholecystectomy was recommended to help her fully heal. If not treated, she could experience complications like gall bladder inflammation or blockage. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Mary to receive treatment. On May 6th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a cholecystectomy to remove Mary's gallbladder. Now, AMH is requesting $788 to fund Mary's surgery. Mary shared, "if that is the only way to make me well, I plead for your help so that I can be ok and continue mentoring my children and taking care of my husband."
Stephanie is a seven-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her aunt, uncle, and three cousins in a rural area in far southwestern Haiti. She enjoys going to school and church. Stephanie has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects, including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Stephanie will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On April 9th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in Stephanie's heart with a patch and remove the blockage from her valve. Another organization, Akron Children's Hospital, is contributing $17,000 to pay for surgery. Stephanie's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Stephanie's family overseas. Stephanie's aunt shared, "we have been waiting a very long time for this surgery and are relieved it can finally happen!"
Teresia is a homemaker with five children between ages six and 26. Her husband is a casual laborer who depends on manual jobs to earn a living for their family. They live together in Thika, a town in south-central Kenya, in a three roomed rental house. In 2017, Teresia began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty swallowing. She was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and she needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. She has made several trips to different healthcare facilities that have exhausted her savings. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Teresia receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on March 19th at AMH's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. The procedure will cost $686, and she and her family need help raising money. Teresia shared, “I have had treatment but I keep feeling unwell. This time I am hopeful all will be well, but first I need this surgery."
Plork is an 18-year-old ice driver from Cambodia. He has 7 siblings - 3 brothers and 4 sisters. Plork is the youngest in the family. He lives with his parents who are farmers. In December 2020, Plork was electrocuted in an electrical accident, which burned his hand. Electrical burns occur most commonly on the hands and feet. His family took him to a provincial hospital for wound care, and he spent 3 days in the hospital. When Plork returned home, his right hand got infected and did not heal. He went and had a surgical debridement of the dead skin, which healed well. Now, however, Plork cannot use this hand and is constantly in pain. He is feeling very unwell and describes his health as poor. When Plork learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled for six hours seeking treatment. On February 5th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft to help his hand to heal properly so that he can use his hand again. Now, he needs help to fund this $787 procedure. Plork shared, "After surgery, I hope my right hand will be get better and have no more pain and wound infection. I hope I can return to work soon and support my family again."
James is a 14-year-old boy and the second-born in a family of five children. James is a hard-working boy who helps to look after his father’s cattle, requiring him to walk a long distance in search of green pasture. James has not had a chance to join school due to his parent’s financial challenges. His parents are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers. They work hard to make ends meet, and are living in a very difficult environment. James was diagnosed with left genu varus, also known as bowleggedness. This condition causes his left leg to bow inwards so that his knees touch when walking. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. James is having difficulty walking because his left leg curves as we walks, affecting his gait. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for James. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 5th. This treatment will hopefully restore James's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. James shared, "Please help correct my leg because I can’t walk well anymore and am even unable to go out and graze my father’s cattle. I appreciate any support you can provide.”
16-year-old James is an active boy, he likes looking after his father’s cattle, digging, and playing football in his free time. He is the fourth born in a family of six children. His father has two wives and they live in a traditional grass-thatched mud house in West Pokot County in Kenya. James's father is a farmer while his mother is a housewife. At the age of four, while playing football, James fell and sustained a patella dislocation - a knee injury in which the knee cap slips out of its normal position. The condition has greatly affected his mobility to the point that he is not able to walk because of pain. He now limps as he walks, a situation which has affected his education. Fortunately, James is scheduled to undergo an open reduction surgery (with possible DFO) to return his knee's position and realign his bones so he can walk without any difficulty in the future. Their family cannot afford the treatment's bill and have requested for help meeting the cost of $1,224. "I desire to walk normally like my friends and so that I can continue helping my parents at home," James told us.
Debora is a three-weeks-old beautiful baby girl and the firstborn child to her young parents. Both parents are small-scale farmers and depend fully on what they harvest for their daily living. Debora 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, Debora 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 Debora's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 2nd. This procedure will hopefully spare Debora from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Debora’s mother shared with us, “Please help my daughter I am scared. I would love to see my daughter grow up into a big girl but this condition is putting her life at risk.”