Stephen joined Watsi on November 7th, 2014. Eight years ago, Stephen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Stephen's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Emmanuel, a 39-year-old loving father from Haiti, to fund the medical care and travel needed for specialized heart surgery.
Stephen has funded healthcare for 90 patients in 12 countries.
Stephen has funded healthcare for 90 patients in 12 countries.
Emmanuel is a 39-year-old father of two from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He lives with his wife and children and works in sales at an electronics store. He has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. There is a hole between the two upper chambers of his heart, which causes blood to leak out without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Because the care he needs is not available in Haiti, Emmanuel will fly to the United States to undergo cardiac surgery on February 27th. Doctors will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital is contributing $10,000 to help pay for this surgery. His family now needs $1,500 to help fund costs of the surgery preparations, including labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments, and travel expenses. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance will accompany Emmanuel overseas and ensure he safely undergoes treatment. Emmanuel says, "I am excited for this surgery so that I can focus on taking care of my family without worrying about my health."
Meet Night, a jovial and playful five year old girl. Night lives with her parents and two younger siblings in a traditional home in Kenya. Her father works selling second hand clothing, while her mother stays home to take care of the children. Shortly after she was born, Night's parents realized that something seemed wrong. They brought Night to a health facility in Turkana County where they lived, and were referred on to BethanyKids Hospital. There she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which meant that fluid was collecting in her head. Surgery was performed, and a shunt was placed to continuously drain the fluid from Night's head. A year later, however, Night's head began to increase in size, and she developed weakness on the right side of her body. The doctors at the local health facility urged Night's parents to take her back to BethanyKids Hospital for additional treatment, but Night's parents didn't have enough money to do this. With the help of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Night is now scheduled to undergo a craniotomy on January 5th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, when surgeons will drain excess fluids from Night's brain. Night's father is providing as much of a co-pay as possible for this procedure, but the family needs your help to raise the remaining $1,500 required to cover all of the costs of Night's surgery and care. Night’s father said: “Night is not able to communicate well because of her condition. This surgery will help her to be able to speak.”
Emmanuel, who is 19 years old, is the third born in a family of five children. He lives in Kansau village in Kenya. While Emmanuel was healthy at birth, when he was four or five years old, he began to experience convulsions. His parents brought him to Kenyatta National Hospital, where he was diagnosed with hemiplegic CP, a condition where the brain has been impacted and results in the paralysis of one side of the body. In addition, Emmanuel has clubfoot of his left foot, which makes it difficult for him to wear shoes and to walk easily. Fortunately, Emmanuel traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Emmanuel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk more easily, and to resume his vocational studies classes at Machakos School, which he so enjoys. Emmanuel said: “I would love to see my foot corrected so that I can continue with my studies and start my business in the future.”
Saw Myo is a 14-year-old from Burma. He lives with his grandparents, parents, two sisters, and brother. His grandparents are retired. His father farms paddy and rubber trees on their land, while his mother is a homemaker. Saw Myo and his siblings are all in school, but Saw Myo recently had to stop attending due to a medical condition. Saw Myo has had a lump on his lower spinal cord since he was nine years old due to an injury from a slingshot. He received medicinal ointment from a traditional healer that helped with the stiffness and prevented further growth. However, Saw Myo fell off his bicycle a few years later, and the lump grew in size. His family took him to several clinics, and an X-ray indicated a potential spinal cord problem. The doctors recommended a computerized tomography (CT) scan, but due to COVID-19 policies, Saw Myo could not receive the scan. His parents continued to try and help Saw Myo receive treatment but learned that his condition could not be treated locally. Saw Myo's mother then contacted a neighbor who worked as a medic at a clinic in Burma and began raising money for his care. The doctors want Saw Myo to undergo an MRI, which is an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Saw Myo receive this treatment. On November 15th, he will undergo an MRI. BCMF requests $814 to cover the cost of Saw Myo's MRI procedure and care. Saw Myo's mother said: “We have been so worried since we saw the mass increasing in size. It was tiring to seek treatment in Burma, and we now have borrowed a lot of money without Saw Myo having received treatment."
Noah is a young boy from Ngarenanyuki, a small village in the rural parts of Arusha, Tanzania. He is a member of a big family with seven siblings. His father is a livestock keeper and at their home, the young children are responsible for helping around with light house chores. In 2021, Noah was in the kitchen with some of his siblings, and he accidentally fell into a pot of boiling water. He was badly burnt on his left side of the elbow near the chest. His parents provided first aid to Noah, because they live in a remote area, and it was hard for them to get to the nearest hospital. Noah’s wounds healed eventually, but left him with a burn scar contracture. The contractures tighten the skin around the burn area, and it is difficult to move his arm. Noah came to our center during a medical camp and was assessed to find out if he was fit for the required treatment to help with the burn scar contracture. Noah's parents cannot afford treatment and are appealing for help. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Noah receive treatment. On October 12th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to release the tightening and help him move his hand easily. Now, he needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Noah’s mother says, "I was worried that that my boy will grow up with that deformity but with what I have seen here, he is going to be better.”
Tracey is a sweet and adorable newborn baby from Kenya who was born just over a week ago at a local government hospital. She is the youngest in a family of three children. To support their family, her parents both do casual labor for their neighbors. Tracey was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube condition in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Tracey is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and developmental delays. Her parents share that they do not have insurance and are unable to pay for their daughter's needed treatment due to financial constraints. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Tracey's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 8th. This procedure will hopefully spare Tracey from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Tracey’s mother says, “When I got more informed about her condition, I felt bad. I just want her to be treated and be well.”
Samwel, a very social and hardworking Kenyan father of eight children, is an active maize farmer who likes spending most of his time on his farm. He works hard to meet the needs of his family. His wife takes care of their home and helps him in his daily farming activities. Samwel lives with his family in a semi-permanent house in their farm. His elder children are married, and they also work hard to meet their own families' basic needs. Samwel presented to the emergency department with cuts on his left wrist joint and on his knees after an assault with a machete by a person known to him. This was brought up by family conflicts due to land disputes. Doctors diagnosed that he had multiple tendon injuries with nerve injuries in his wrist and an open fracture of his left distal femur in his leg. He is in pain and cannot walk with ease. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help him heal and get active again. On September 5th, Samwel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Samwel will no longer experience pain. He will go back to his family and continue with his farm activities. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Samwel says, “I have so much pain, but I am happy to be alive. I hope to get treated, go back home and be with my family.”
Simon is a 20-year-old who, since he was a little boy, he has worked selling goods at a nearby open market. He has no stable source of income and is currently unable to work due to his medical condition. His single mother is unable to support him. Fortunately, his friend is allowing him to stay in their single room close to the city market. Two years ago, Simon began experiencing pain in his left knee, causing him to limp as he walked. His pain eventually spread to his hip. He now cannot walk without a walking stick and has an infected hip and knee, which are limiting his mobility. After receiving a CT scan, Simon was diagnosed with septic arthritis, which is inflammation of a joint caused by an infection, and sequelae of the hip. In hopes to help his condition, Simon visited visited Kenyatta National Hospital. He has since been on medical follow-up for septic arthritis at the facility without any surgical intervention. He eventually had to stop attending the follow-up clinics due to a lack of financial resources. Fortunately, a friend told Simon about our medical partner's care center, and he traveled there to receive treatment. Now, Simon is scheduled to undergo a treatment on July 8th. This will hopefully finally help heal his condition and relieve his pain. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to fund his treatment. Simon shares, “I can barely move my leg without support from this walking stick. My hip is painful and my knee is just unbearable. I cannot work in my condition and therefore am struggling to survive.”
Elka is a 13-month-old baby who lives in Haiti with her parents. Both of her parents are hardworking vendors in their local market. Elka was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, meaning blood leaks through a hole between two blood vessels located near her heart. This leaves her feeling weak and short of breath. Since the required treatment is not available in Haiti, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Elka travel to the Dominican Republic where she will be able to access the care she needs. On July 28th, she will undergo a procedure where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole so blood can flow without issue through her body. Elka's family is looking to raise $1,500 to fund her necessary care, treatment, and travel. Elka also has a cleft lip and palate, so once her heart condition is treated, a team of doctors will soon be able to perform another surgery to repair this condition and help her have a healthier future and a full life ahead. Her mother says, "I am looking forward to my daughter growing up as a normal healthy child!"
Jane is a happy, talkative farmer and mother of ten. Jane leases out some of her lands to help provide for her children’s education since her health condition has made it too difficult for her to farm. Jane's family has recently had very hard times and she is hopeful that better days are ahead. A few months ago, Jane began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty breathing. She visited the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a goiter, which is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. Jane will need to undergo surgery to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Jane receive treatment. On April 12th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy, in which surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $936 to help fund this procedure. Jane shared, "The people I looked up to just perished. Kindly help me so that I may get back to work and be able to raise my other children.”
Moses is a seven-year-old boy. His father shared that he is jovial and active, just as most of the kids his age, however, he is not doing well in school because he has had reduced hearing in both ears. Moses has been diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss. He requires bilateral amplification, and is scheduled for treatment and fittings of hearing aids in both ears to help him pick up voices and be able to study well. The income from his father's work as a tout in the transport industry is inconsistent and, therefore, not sufficient to cover the scheduled procedure. His mother recently traveled to the UAE to work as a domestic worker, but they are not able to gather the funds needed for his care. His family is requesting financial help them pay the $1,171 cost for his treatment and care. Moses' father shared, “Our kid is eager to go to school. He always accompanies his sibling to school although he is not examined yet. If he gets the hearing aids, they will help him study well."
Thein is a 56-year-old man who lives with his family in a refugee camp. Two of his daughters and his son-in-law work as seasonal workers outside of the camp, while Thein and his wife look after their three grandchildren, send them to school, and care for the household chores. In January, Thein was diagnosed with a cataract in his right eye and an early cataract in his left eye. Currently, he cannot see with his right eye, as his vision is blurry, and the vision in his left eye is also beginning to blur. As a result, Thein cannot walk easily and relies on a bamboo staff to help stabilize him as he tries to avoid tripping on any objects in his path. He shared that he feels discomforted and like he is living in darkness. Fortunately, Thein was able to visit our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), and they can help him heal. On March 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Thein shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will help my family plant and water vegetables around the house. It can save us money from buying the vegetables. I can help send my grandchildren to school and pick them up in the evening. I will also be able to visit my friend.”