Stephen joined Watsi on November 7th, 2014. Seven years ago, Stephen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Stephen's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Elizabeth, a 4-year-old from Tanzania, to fund mobility-restoring knee surgery.
Stephen has funded healthcare for 73 patients in 12 countries.
Stephen has funded healthcare for 73 patients in 12 countries.
Elizabeth a charming and very happy 4-year-old girl. She's the only born child to her mother who passed away after giving birth to Elizabeth. She was then taken in by her grandmother who has raised her since she was quite young. Elizabeth has not started school yet but her grandmother hopes to enroll her next year for school. Elizabeth has been diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. Her legs bow outward so that her 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, she feels pain after walking for a while and it is keeping her from being as active as she'd like to be. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Elizabeth. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Elizabeth's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Elizabeth’s grandmother says: “She plays and does most children's activities despite her legs being curved. But it hurts me to see her fall down every time she tries to run and how she walks with a gait. If I had enough money I would have tried to seek treatment for her.”
Thuwaibatu is a three-year-old girl and the second-born child in a family of three children. Thuwaibatu is a friendly, playful and talkative girl. Thuwaibatu was diagnosed with genu varus, where her legs bow outwards and her 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, she has difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Thuwaibatu. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 2nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Thuwaibatu's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Thuwaibatu’s mother says "Her legs worsen each day, you can see how she walks and how big the curve is. Please help my daughter, we cannot afford the treatment cost.”
Srim is a 61-year-old farmer with one son and now three grandchildren. Her son is also a farmer. She lives with him they work in the fields together. Her husband passed away during the time of the Khmer Rouge. She loves being around her family, taking care of her grandchildren, and providing meals for the monks at the pagoda nearby her house. Three years ago, Srim developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision, photophobia, and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Srim learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On July 28th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Srim said, "I hope that I can see well after this surgery, so that I can work more often and start a vegetable garden to make extra money for my family. I also want to go back to my favorite pagoda again."
Richard is four year old boy and the third born in a family of four children. He has not yet started school and enjoys looking after his father's cattle alongside his siblings. Richard's parents are small-scale farmers who grow maize, beans, and vegetables for their own consumption and they also have a few cattle for milk. Since he was a baby, Richard has had an inguinal hernia, a condition in which soft tissue protrudes through a weak place in the abdominal muscles. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Richard to receive treatment. On July 4th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $566 to fund Richard's surgery and once complete, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Richard’s mother shared, "if my son is able to get this treatment it will help stop the suffering he is going through especially this cold season."
Ngoun is an 81-year-old retired driver with one son, four daughters, and 11 grandchildren. Ngoun and his wife live with their son. He enjoys listening to the news on TV and to the monks pray on the radio. Five years ago, Ngoun developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him pain, blurry vision, and tearing. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Ngoun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for an hour with his son seeking treatment. On June 3rd, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Ngoun shared, "I hope after my surgery my eye can see better so I can go outside on my own to join ceremonies at the pagoda and also help my wife with our housework."
Jovin is a beautiful one-month-old baby boy from Tanzania and the first child born to his young parents. Jovin's parents are small scale farmers of maize and vegetables for their family's food and for their living. Since birth, Jovin has had a right inguinal hernia. If not treated, the hernia could result in intestinal tissue death or damage. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Jovin to receive treatment. On May 5th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Once complete, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Now, AMH is requesting $566 to fund Jovin's surgery. Jovin’s father shared, "the cost of treating our son’s condition is too high for us to afford and he is suffering. Please help if possible."
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!"
George is an 11-year-old boy and the third child in his family. George is in grade six and loves playing football a lot. Both of his parents are farmers. To earn a living, his mother sells the farm produce, which makes them some income. To supplement these earnings, his father completes any informal jobs he can find. George was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, George has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. George will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 3rd. AMHF is requesting $561 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. George’s father shared, “It is very difficult for us as a family to raise the required amount for his surgery. We are grateful and appreciative of any help offered to us."
Touch is a 31-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He has been married for 15 years and has one son and two daughters. Touch's daughters are in school, and his son is nine months old and not yet in school. His wife is a factory worker but does not make enough money to support their family's needs. Currently, he and his family live with his mother due to his inability to work. He describes his general health as very poor, especially since his accident. In 2019, Touch was hit by a car and his left tibia was fractured in the accident. His family took him to a government hospital, where they treated him with a skin flap, but the bone was not stabilized and remained unhealed. When Touch returned home, the wound appeared to heal, but he still couldn’t walk. His left knee is very painful, and the wound scars appear infected. Touch now has a knee flexion contracture and can only walk with support. He takes pain medication to ease his symptoms, but it is still too painful for him to walk. When Touch learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled for four hours seeking treatment. On February 4th, surgeons at CSC will perform knee fusion procedure to help him to walk without pain, secure his left knee, and restore pain-free range of motion in his left knee. Now, Touch needs help to fund this $518 procedure. Touch shared, "I hope that after surgery, my left leg will have no pain, and I can go back to work to support my family."
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.”
Yar is a 18-year-old girl from Thailand. She lives with her parents, three younger sisters and three younger brothers in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Yar and her parents are all too ill to work and are homemakers, while her siblings are students. Her family relies on the monthly food allowance they receive from an organization to get by. They also grow vegetables for themselves to supplement this income. Yar completed grade nine, but felt too ill to return to school this year. In her free time, she likes to weave traditional Karen bags for her siblings and help her mother with household chores. One day in early January 2020, Yar started to experience neck pain, fevers, and chills. When she went to the refugee camp’s hospital, run by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), she was diagnosed with tonsillitis and was given oral paink medication and antibiotics. During her follow-up appointment, the medic gave her more of the same medications. After her follow-up appointment, Yar felt a small growth with her tongue inside her bottom left jaw behind her front teeth. She told the medic about this at her next appointment, but it was not checked out and she received more oral medication each week until the beginning of June 2020. During this time, the mass increased in size. In June, she was referred to Umphang Hospital, which then referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for surgery. IRC brought Yar to MSH, where she received a physical examination, a CT-scan, and a biopsy of the mass. The CT result indicated that the mass was benign. In July, when she went back to MSH for her follow-up appointment, the doctor removed the mass in her mouth as well as five of her lower front teeth during surgery. Since the surgery, Yar has experienced swelling where the mass was removed. Daily, she experiences an achy pain in her lower left jaw, her neck and her back. The mass has also returned and is increasing in size. IRC referred Yar to Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing treatment in Chiang Mai Hospital. After reviewing a CT scan to confirm her diagnosis, the doctor in Chiang Mai recommended she move forward with surgery to remove the tumor. Now, she is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on December 3rd. She is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Yar shared, "I am scared to receive surgery but I believe that I will be recovered after that so I am happy."
Eustase is a 40-year-old man from Kenya. He is married and has three children aged 16, 10, and 5 years of age. All of his children are currently in school. Eustase was involved in a tragic road accident while on a boda-boda (motocycle taxi) drive. Rushing to pick up a client, Eustase was sandwiched between a lorry and a matatu (public service van) on a highway a few kilometres from his home town. The driver was trying to pass Eustase when the lorry hit him. He sustained serious injuries that rendered him unconscious. Well-wishers rushed him to a nearby hospital for first aid and review and later to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital. After several tests and an x-ray, he was diagnosed with a right tibia fracture. Doctors recommended a series of surgeries by both orthopaedic and plastic surgery teams. So far, Eustase has gone through three surgeries. Unless he undergoes the complete series of surgeries scheduled, he is at risk of not being able to walk or work. Eustase has already undergone right femur IM nailing and tibia ex-fix; debridement of his wounds and skin grafting; and 1st stage bone transport surgeries in an attempt to normalize his life. Currently, he is able to walk with crutches, and has been under close review by the plastic and orthopaedic teams. Next, Eustase is scheduled to undergo a second stage bone transport to enable his bones to heal normally and allow him to gain strength to walk. However, these procedures are very costly for Eustase and his family. He runs a boda-boda business to make a living and feed his family, but his daily wage is low and he does not have enough to pay for the surgeries. Their family depends on this sole source of income for survival. He has not been able to work since his motorbike was destroyed during the accident. Eustase has been relying on his national health insurance medical coverage, but has depleted his funding allocation and is therefore unable to get additional help. His friends and relatives have helped supplement his rising medical costs. Eustase requests for assistance to meet the cost of his planned surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund Eustase's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to regain his ability to walk and significantly improve his quality of life. Eustace shared, “This procedure will help me be able to get back to normal and even walk again. My family depends on me, and with this fracture, I am not able to work or even take care of them.“