Matt joined Watsi on December 25th, 2013. Five years ago, Matt joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Matt's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Samiri, a four-year-old child from Tanzania, to fund corrective surgery and soon start school.
Matt has funded healthcare for 93 patients in 12 countries.
Matt has funded healthcare for 93 patients in 12 countries.
Samiri is a four-year-old boy and the only child of his single mother. His father is married to another woman and has two other children. Samiri's mother provides for their family through her work as a tailor. Samiri has not started school yet, but his mother would like to enroll him in kindergarten next year. Her hope is that Samiri's condition will be treated before he joins school. Samiri has been diagnosed with bilateral Genu Varus, which means that his legs are angled inwards at the knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Samiri has difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Samiri. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 14th. Treatment will hopefully restore Samiri's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Samiri’s mother shared, "I can never find the money needed to cover my son’s treatment cost. I am struggling to even put food on the table for my son. Please help him."
Samson is a 26-year-old minibus conductor. He shared with us that he was orphaned in 2008 and currently lives with a relative in a rented two room house. He has relied on his older sister to help with his medical bills, but unfortunately, his sister lost her job due to the pandemic. Two months ago, Samson was struck by a motorcycle on his way home. He fractured his left tibia and was seen at a hospital in Nairobi where his leg was casted. However, after removing the cast, re-examining his leg and doing an x-ray, surgery was recommended as he had not healed. Samson currently moves around with crutches due to difficulty walking and he continues to experience leg pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On August 10th, Samson will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help his fractures fully heal and allow him to walk comfortably again. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Samson shared, "I am struggling to walk and my leg is so painful. I cannot work in this condition and unless I get the treatment I'm worried I might end up crippled.”
Victor is an energetic, bright boy from Kenya. He is the first born in a family of two children. Currently, Victor is in grade 8 and is looking forward to sit for his national examination this year. His father, who was the breadwinner of the family, passed away in 2019. His mother has been doing temporary laundry work and house chores for her neighbors to earn a living. Ever since his father passed away, life has been very hard for the family. Victor was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Victor has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Victor will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 6th. AMH is requesting $561 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Victor’s mother says, "I have been fearing for the worst but it seems like the worst was inevitable. Now I cannot raise any money to cater for my son’s surgery but I’m hopeful that God will work his way out for us.”
When Brandon was one week old, his mother noticed that he had not passed stool since he was born, and his stomach was swollen and painful. His mother took him to a nearby facility for examination, where Brandon was immediately referred to another facility in Nairobi. However, due to financial difficulties, they cannot travel to Nairobi and instead went to a larger, nearby facility. When they arrived, Brandon was examined and given medication for him to pass stool. The medication worked to alleviate Brandon's discomfort, so he was discharged a few days after. However, after a few months, the medication became less effective and Brandon had to be taken to the clinic again. Brandon was admitted as an emergency patient and was given new medications, which were ineffective. His condition worsened. Fortunately, he was then referred to BethanyKids Hospital, a care center of our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Upon arrival to BethanyKids, he was examined again and after tests he has been diagnosed with problems in his colon. Brandon now requires a special surgery to finally treat his condition. Brandon is the youngest in a family of five children. His father was working as a security guard and was the breadwinner of the family, but passed away when Brandon was six months old. Brandon's mother does not have a stable job, and it is getting more difficult as work becomes scarce. Without medical insurance to pay for Brandon's procedure, his mother and AMH are requesting $743 to help pay for the expenses. Brandon’s mother appreciates the support, “I am very happy to hear that my son will be treated and grow up as a normal child. I am just requesting for any help so he may be treated.”
Eh is a 16-year-old boy who lives with his parents and cousin in the refugee camp in Mae Hong Son Province in Thailand. His family receives 1,180 baht (approx. 39 USD) every month on a food card from the organization The Border Consortium. This amount is not enough to cover their daily needs despite receiving free basic health care and education in the camp. To help make ends meet, Eh’s father works as a security guard in the camp too, earning 800 baht (approx. 27 USD) in a month. In addition to this, Eh’s mother and cousin work as day labourers whenever they find work. Eh also works with them during his summer vacations. In May, Eh climbed up a ladder to lay down and rest in a bamboo hut on stilts. While trying to sit down, one of the bamboo sticks rolled out from under him and Eh fell through the floor of the hut. Putting out his left arm subconsciously to break his fall, Eh ended up landing on that arm. Currently, Eh's arm is in a sling and he is taking pain medication to control the pain. If he moves his left arm or tries to lift his arm, he feels a lot of pain. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Eh will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for May 28th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Eh be able to use his arm again and he will no longer be in pain after surgery. Eh shared, “I want to become a literature teacher as it is my favorite subject. After surgery, I hope that I can go back to school with my arm healed."
So is a nine-year-old boy who lives with his parents, sister and brother in a village in Tak Province. Since schools closed due to Covid-19, So and his siblings have had to stop studying. So now helps out around the house, watering their garden and helping his mother with preparing meals. His sister works as a dishwasher at a Thai noodle soup shop. His father works at a construction site, and his mother is a homemaker. Their monthly household income is just enough to cover their basic expenses. When So was born, the medic noticed that So had a mass on the right side of his neck. Upon pressing the mass with his finger, So did not react, so the medic assumed the mass was not painful. The medic told So’s parents that the mass was fatty tissue and that they had nothing to worry about for now, but he would need to receive surgery to remove it when he was older. As So grew, the mass also slowly increased in size and became heavier. Currently, the muscles in his neck are stiff and the mass is painful when it is touched. Frequently, he will wake up in the middle of the night in pain after he turns in his sleep, putting pressure on the mass. So underwent a CT scan at the hospital, which indicated that the mass is a lymphangioma, or a noncancerous fluid-filled cyst. The doctor recommended that So undergo a cyst excision procedure to remove the cyst. So told us he's extremely excited to receive surgery and is not afraid to undergo the procedure because he wants to look (even more) handsome afterwards :). However, he and his family need financial support to afford the cost of his care. So will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo a cyst excision procedure on April 23rd. Our partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Once recovered, he will be free of pain and will feel more comfortable and confident in his daily life activities and when spending time with his friends. So shared, “I cannot wait to receive surgery and I really want this mass to go away. I am so embarrassed of this mass but once it is gone, I will go back to school and my friends will no longer tease me.”
Alex is a 20-year-old high school student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and younger brother in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. When he's healthy, he enjoys dancing and playing drums in church. Before his most recent illness, he was in his final year of high school. Alex has a cardiac condition called mitral regurgitation. When Alex was a child, he became infected with rheumatic fever which severely damaged one of his heart valves so that it could no longer pump blood through his body. Four years ago, surgeons in the Cayman Islands repaired Alex's existing heart valve in order to avoid replacing it with an artificial valve. This repaired valve worked well for three years, but then began to have difficulty pumping blood as well. Doctors now need to implant an artificial valve to replace the valve that is no longer working well. Alex will fly to the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On April 7th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove Alex's damaged valve and implant a mechanical replacement valve. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman Islands, is contributing $20,000 to pay for surgery. Alex'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 Alex's family overseas. Alex shared, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can get back to attending school and going to church."
Bunthan is a 39-year-old market worker from Cambodia. He has been married for 12 years and has 3 children - 2 sons and 1 daughter who are all in school. His wife also sells things for a living. Currently, Bunthan and his family live with his parents, as they are elderly and he helps to support them. In Bunthan's free time, he likes to exercise, read the news, listen to the radio, and play games on his phone. He also enjoys taking his family outside for walks on the weekend. In November 2020, Buntham was in a motor accident that caused a new fracture of his left femur - he shared that he previously fractured his leg about 12 years ago. Buntham came to Children's Surgical Centre to seek treatment for his fracture, reporting symptoms of chronic pain and inability to walk without support. On January 13th, Bunthan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Surgeons plan to exchange the nail on his left femur to help stabilize his leg and assist with healing the new fracture. This procedure will relieve him of pain and help him to walk easily again. Bunthan shared, "I hope that after my surgery that I can fully recover and walk with my family again."
Uzima is a two-year-old boy from Tanzania and the second born in a family of three children. Uzima comes from a family that is living in hardship. His father has had health issues and is not strong enough to work on a farm, but he takes cattle out to graze, and through this, he is able to get milk or a bit of maize as payment. Uzima's mother works on farms to support her family. Uzima has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Uzima traveled to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Uzima's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes well. Uzima’s uncle shared, “my nephew suffers from this condition, and life is hard at their home. His parents have no means of treating him and I am afraid life is going to be really hard for him if he lives with this disability. Please help treat him so that he is able to grow up and take care of himself.”
Oun is a 56-year-old Khmer cake seller from Cambodia. Oun has been married for 31 years and she has three daughters and one granddaughter. Oun's husband is a hard-working farmer. Three months ago Oun was in an accident caused by a dog running across the road as she was driving her moto. The accident caused a left side distal humerus fracture. First, she went to a Khmer traditional healer for treatment but after one week she saw no improvement. She still experiences swelling, pain with movement, and is unable to flex her left arm. Her family encouraged her to come to Watsi's Medical Partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). Fortunately, surgeons at CSC can help. On September 7th, Oun will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will allow her to use her left arm again. Oun says, "I hope after surgery my arm will heal and I will not feel any pain."
Horn is a 55-year-old father of four. He has been married for 33 years and together they have one son, three daughters, and seven grandchildren. Horn's wife is also a farmer. In his free time Horn enjoys doing exercises, taking care of his grandchildren, and doing house work. When he was young Horn fell off a truck and never saw a doctor after the accident. Over time, his right hip pain worsened and Khmer traditional medicine treatments did not improve his condition. When Horn arrived at our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), doctors noted his leg lengths are unequal and his right leg has limited range of motion. He cannot walk and is in pain. Fortunately, at CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Horn of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for December 24th, and Horn needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Horn said, "I hope I can finally walk again after surgery so I can work without pain and support my family."
Rorhimas is a 46-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She is one of seven siblings. She lives with her husband and her mother, who needs a great deal of care. She farms with her husband when she can, and often her siblings come to help out. In her free time she watches TV or visits the mosque. In February 2020, Rorhimas fell from her roof, landing on her side. The fall resulted in a dislocated left elbow. She immediately went to a traditional Khmer healer, but the pain and swelling became worse over the course of a month. Now she cannot use her hand or bend her arm. She has a difficult time doing any housework or taking care of her mother. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On June 8th, Rorhimas will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. After the procedure, she will no longer experience pain and will regain use of her arm and hand. Rorhimas said, "I hope that this surgery heals me quickly and I can go back to working to help support my family and taking care of my mom."