Chris joined Watsi on April 7th, 2014. 39 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Chris' most recent donation traveled 9,000 miles to support Kuminga, a farmer from Malawi, for prostate surgery.
Chris has funded healthcare for 20 patients in 9 countries.
Chris has funded healthcare for 20 patients in 9 countries.
Kuminga is a 55-year-old farmer and father of five from a village in Malawi. Three years ago, in 2013, Kuminga started experiencing symptoms including trouble passing urine. He has been living with a catheter, which can lead to infection, trauma, and have a negative psychological impact on patients. Kuminga is unable to afford the prostatectomy he needs. For $742, he will be able to receive this surgery - after which, he is expected to make a full recovery. Kuminga is eager to be able to work again and get rid of his catheter. "After the surgery, my family will benefit since I will be able to be productive again," said Kuminga.
Meet Boniface, a 26-year-old who lives in Kenya with his mother and five siblings. His father and brother passed away a few years ago, so Boniface works in a vehicles' spare shop to help support his mother's income working on their small farm. Last year, Boniface began experiencing painful head migraines. He took over-the-counter medicines to try and alleviate the pain, but when he recently went to the doctor he was diagnosed with both hydrocephalus and a brain tumor. Hydrocephalus is an accumulation of water in the brain that causes increased pressure in the skull. In conjunction to this condition, the tumor has made it difficult for Boniface to see, and he needs assistance with walking because he cannot keep his balance very well. He also had to stop going to work. Boniface already received surgical treatment to drain the accumulated fluids and reduce the cranial pressure, but now surgeons recommend a crainiotomy to remove his tumor. If not treated, Boniface will continue experiencing migraines and risk complete blindness. Furthermore, he will be at risk of the tumor growing and causing more severe complications, even resulting in death. After his operation, Boniface will be able to return home to his family and continue supporting his mother and siblings. "I want to be free from the migraines and continue helping my mother," Boniface shares.
“I would love to get well and go back to work,” shares Walter, a 50-year-old widower from Kenya who fractured his left upper and lower leg in a motorcycle accident last fall. “Before the accident, Walter had been a casual laborer, moving from one homestead to another in search of casual labor for sustenance,” says our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Since the accident, he has been unable to work on people’s farms due to his painful leg. With no income and no contact with his two daughters, Walter has had to rely on friends for financial support. “He has no place to call home, he owns nothing, and relies on [a friend] for his upkeep.” Walter needs surgery—open reduction and internal fixation—to reposition and set the broken bones of his upper and lower left leg and enable proper healing. Without treatment, “the pain will persist and there [is a risk of a] bone infection in Walter's leg,” explains AMHF. $1,410 pays for the surgery that Walter needs. Funding also covers the cost of seven days of hospital care, including imaging, blood tests, pain medicine and antibiotics, and physical therapy. “It is expected that after the treatment, Walter will have easy mobility and will be relieved of the pain,” says AMHF. “He will be able to work and earn a living.” Walter looks forward to a successful operation. “I will improve my life and help others as I have been assisted,” he said.
At 19 months old, Kanakate is an active little girl who loves talking, running, and taking walks with her parents near their home in Ethiopia. “Kanakate was born with a birth defect called anorectal malformation,” our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us. “Children with this defect have an imperforate anus, or they have no opening where the anus should have been. As a result, Kanakate cannot pass stool in the normal way.” Treatment for an anorectal malformation typically involves three surgical procedures. In the first procedure—a colostomy—doctors pull an end of the colon through a cut in the abdominal wall and suture it in place to create an opening for passing stool. This is followed by an anorectoplasty to create an anal opening and then, two or three months later, a colostomy closure. Kanakate underwent an emergency colostomy after she developed a bowel obstruction. Currently, “Kanakate has multiple issues with her colostomy care and associated complications from the colostomy,” explains AMHF. Because of these issues, the next steps in her care—anorectoplasty and colostomy closure—are more urgent. Kanakate’s parents, who work as farmers, have been unable to afford the care that she needs. “We have no money to cover our child's hospital bill. And that is really worrying us,” shares her father. In addition, the social stigma associated with Kanakate’s condition has been challenging for the family. $1,500 covers the costs of the final two surgical procedures and inpatient care, including labs, imaging, pain medicine, and antibiotics. After surgery, “Kanakate will be able to pass stool in a normal way,” says AMHF. “We hope that our daughter will get treatment and be well after all these months of waiting for treatment,” says Kanakate’s father.
Thuok is a 27-year-old tuk tuk driver from Cambodia. In 2008, Thuok noticed a foul smelling discharge coming out of both of his ears that caused him pain. He has experienced hearing loss, pain, and recurrent discharge since then. Thuok is married with one daughter. After work he enjoys listening to the radio and playing football with his neighbors. One of Thuok’s friends, also a tuk tuk driver, told him about our medical partner Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC) and urged him to get medical care at CSC's clinic. Thuok was diagnosed with bilateral cholesteatoma - small growths in Thuok’s middle ear that are causing his discharge and pain. $809 will fund surgery to remove the growths in Thuok’s ears to stop the discharge and pain, and permanently treat his condition. “I hope that my husband will stop having ear discharge and have no more pain after his operation,” says Thuok’s wife, who accompanied him to the clinic. “I am very worried about his disease and I am happy that he can get surgery done at CSC."
Mercy is a six-month-old girl from Kenya. She was brought to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), by her parents and her uncle. Mercy lives in a two room house with six other siblings where her mother watches over the family at home and nearby, her father works in a tea factory. When Mercy was born, she developed a sac-like protrusion on the lower backbone. This open defect on her spine, a condition called spina bifida, has already been hindering her normal development for the last few months. The congenital deformity is often a consequence of fetal hydrocephalus where cerebrospinal fluid adds pressure to the spinal cord. “Mercy came to the hospital with a leaking mass, so surgery must be done [promptly] to avoid severe infection and other complications,” explains AMHF. If her condition goes untreated, tethered cord syndrome is likely to develop, resulting in a permanently hunched back or a spine bent sideways. Mercy requires $805 for a spina bifida closure surgery, in which a surgeon will correct, reconstruct, and close the deformity. Long term monitoring and braces are part of the treatment process to observe her walking ability and gauge surgery success. AMHF believes the surgery will eliminate infections, prevent more nerve damage in the future, and decrease her chances of developing tethered cord syndrome. Mercy's father says, "I hope Mercy will get treatment and this condition will be past us. Please help us make her treatment possible."
“Zaw is a playful 19-month-old baby who suffers from a neurological condition called encephalocele,” our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP), tells us. Zaw lives with his parents, sister, and grandmother in Burma. An encephalocele is a sac of brain tissue that protrudes through a structural gap in the front or back of the skull. They are very rare, occurring in one in 5,000 births. Protrusions in the front of the skull—as is the case with little Zaw—are more common in Southeast Asia than those at the back and may cause difficulty seeing, breathing, or eating. Infection of the encephalocele due to injury or rupture is a major concern and can be life-threatening. BBP continues, “Since Zaw was born, the mass has now grown. It covers the bridge of his nose, the top of his left cheek, and his left eye. If something accidently touches the mass on his face, then he cries loudly, but otherwise he is a playful, happy little boy.” Zaw’s father works as a day laborer in construction, and his mother stays at home to take care of Zaw and his sister. They have been very worried about their son’s condition. $1,500 will fund surgery to remove Zaw's encephalocele, repair the hole in his skull with a bone graft, and reconstruct his face. Funding also covers eight days of hospital care, transportation to and from the hospital, and three post-operative follow-up appointments. BBP says, “Encephalocele repair will improve Zaw's future. He will no longer have disfiguration and will also be able to see and breathe better.” Let’s help fund surgery for Zaw!
Emmanuel is 16 months old and lives in Haiti with his mother and father. He enjoys smiling around his family, listening to music, and eating fresh mangoes. "Emmanuel was born with only three valves in his heart, instead of the normal four," explains our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA). "The fourth, his tricuspid valve, is completely missing, limiting his heart's ability to pump blood to his body and leaving him sickly and fatigued." Emmanuel's condition requires two surgeries. Health City Cayman Islands has subsidized $10,000 of the total surgery cost, and an additional $1,500 is needed to cover transportation and surgical preparation costs. "Following surgery, Emmanuel should have increased blood circulation to his body, and should be more healthy and stable," HCA adds. "This will allow him to grow, and when he is older and bigger he will undergo a second surgery to complete the repair." "I am very thankful to everyone who is helping my son," his mother shares. "My husband would also like to say thank you so much."
Henry, a 52-year-old man from the Philippines, is a father who provides for his family through his job as a construction worker. According to our medical partner, International Care Ministries (ICM), Henry was diagnosed with a perforated typhoid ileitis after suffering from typhoid fever four years ago. This condition is marked by a hole in the patient's intestine that causes intestinal contents to leak into the abdominal cavity. Drainage of Henry's intestinal contents occurs through an external pouch—one which "is making Henry uncomfortable in a way that it needs to be changed from time to time for it may spill at any moment and make him odorous," ICM explains. “He can’t sleep well at night and is unable to perform his duties as a breadwinner of the family,” ICM explains. “Just recently, because life has been really difficult for them without any income, Henry was forced to work in a construction site in spite of his condition to somehow meet some of the family’s basic needs.” $760 covers the cost of an ileostomy closure, a procedure that will close the hole in Henry’s intestine. In addition to support from generous Watsi donors, PhilHealth is subsidizing Henry’s treatment with a $110 donation. “If his ileostomy were closed, Henry would be able to be free from the suffering it brings him and would also be able to do his usual activities as being the father and breadwinner of his family,” continues ICM. “I thank God for everything, especially those who are willing to help,” shares Henry. “My family is very much thankful and hoping that I can be operated sooner.”
Say hello to Litzy! She's two years old and lives in Guatemala with her mother in a house owned by her grandparents with six other people. Since Litzy was born, she has experienced developmental delays due to cerebral palsy and malnutrition. Litzy’s mother is 20 years old, and raising her daughter alone. However, she committed to her only child’s health. She tells us, “my dream is that God gives my little girl the chance to live a full life.” Litzy’s mother works as a weaver, and she does not have any other family to take care of Litzy. She must miss work when Litzy is sick, which happens frequently because of her compromised immune system. Wuqu’ Kawoq adds that when Litzy’s mother misses work, it “compromises her economic productivity and ability to afford even the most basic necessities,” such as the nutritious foods Litzy needs to gain weight, strength, and energy. For $1385 Litzy will receive a full physical to properly diagnose her condition and treatment regimen including medications, physical and speech therapies, and followup medical visits. This treatment plan will improve Litzy’s immune system as well as her motor function, making it easier for her mother to care for her overall. This funding will also provide Litzy’s mother with the education and she needs to make healthy, informed decisions about her daughter’s health. Let's ensure that Litzy has the support she needs to improve her nutrition, mobility, and cognitive development to grow into a sociable and healthy young girl.
Meet Cho Than, a 53-year-old seamstress and mother from Burma who enjoys planting vegetables in her garden. Known within her community for her generosity, Cho Than often gives the vegetables that she grows to her neighbors and friends. Cho Than has a myoma, more commonly known as a uterine fibroid. Fibroids are benign tumors that grow within the muscle tissue of the uterus, or womb. They can be very small (invisible to the naked eye) or very large (melon-sized) and can present as a single mass or a cluster of several masses. An estimated 80 percent of women have uterine fibroids in their lifetime. While some women who have fibroids have no symptoms, others experience heavy periods, abdominal pain, or constipation. “Cho Than experiences severe pain in her back and lower abdomen,” shares our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP). “She has difficulty urinating and it is painful for her to do so. Her condition makes it impossible for her to work and requires her daughter to care for her and support her financially.” The recommended treatment for Cho Than is a total hysterectomy and oophorectomy (surgical removal of the uterus and ovaries). $1500 covers the cost of the surgery as well as a seven-day hospital stay and one outpatient appointment post-surgery. “With surgery, Cho Than will be able to live without pain,” reports BBP. Cho Than looks forward to being healthy again and hopes to be able to return to work as a seamstress. She dreams of owning a small house where she and her daughter can live peacefully.
Meet San! San is 42 years old, and works as a seamstress in Burma to help support her husband and elderly parents. A few months ago, San visited her local midwife because she was experiencing abdominal and back pain, fatigue, and joint pain. All of these symptoms were causing her a great deal of stress as well. San’s midwife referred her to our medical partner, Burma Border Projects, where she was diagnosed with a uterine tumor known as a myoma. San is grateful for this access to care -- she tells us, “the poor always have to struggle to get food daily and at the hospital there are not enough health workers.” San has not been able to work due to the pain and swelling caused by the myoma, and has been additionally distressed because her husband’s truck broke down, making it impossible for him to work as a driver and earn enough to support their family. For $1500, San will have surgery to remove the uterine myoma. After this surgery, her pain and distension will subside and she will be able to return to work and supporting her family. Let's help ensure that San gets the care she needs to alleviate her discomfort and stress.