Steven joined Watsi on December 3rd, 2021. One year ago, Steven joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Steven's most recent donation supported Francis, a 68-year-old father of four from Kenya, to fund a surgery to fix his leg after a bad motorbike accident.
Steven has funded healthcare for 16 patients in 7 countries.
Steven has funded healthcare for 16 patients in 7 countries.
Francis is a 68-year-old father of four children from Kenya. He is a small-scale corn farmer with a motorbike that he uses as a source of income to feed his family. In November 2021, Francis was hit by a police officer pursuing criminals in a high-speed chase when they lost control and hit him by the roadside. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where an X-ray confirmed he had broken his tibia and fibula in his right leg. He received surgery to repair the fracture that month. However, a year later, the pain persisted from his injury, and a wound developed. He decided to visit Kijabe Hospital (KH), the care center of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), to seek a second opinion. Upon examination, the doctors quickly realized that the nail inserted to stabilize his leg during his last operation was infected and needed to be removed. He had the nail removed in October 2022, followed by a procedure to remove dead cells from the chronic wound that had developed. However, he still needs another procedure to create a cover for the wound in order to decrease the odds of future infection. Francis has been unable to walk or use his right leg for over 15 months, preventing him from working or using his motorbike. The multiple surgeries and the numerous hospital visits, coupled with his inability to work, have caused his family financial instability. Additionally, Francis was dependent on insurance for the previous treatments and surgeries. However, his insurance is now exhausted, and he cannot afford the next procedure. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Francis receive treatment. On February 16th, AMH surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure which will allow Francis to walk easily again and reduce the likelihood of further infection. AMH is requesting $1,185 to fund this procedure. Francis says, “I have never been able to walk since the accident. I depend on my motorbike to feed my family. In this state, I am unable to ride it. I hope to get the surgery to help me use my leg again."
Meet Slai, a 41-year-old man who lives alone, and works as a security guard at night. In June 2020, when Slai was living in Burma, he started to sneeze frequently, and he also developed a constantly runny nose. Additionally, his nose became swollen, and his right nostril became blocked, making it difficult for Slai to breathe through his nose. At the local hospital, he was diagnosed with nasal polyps, and was given medication to treat his condition. However, when he moved to Thailand in January 2022, his symptoms returned, and doctors recommended surgery so he can breathe well again. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, can help Slai access the treatment that he needs. On January 11th, Slai will undergo surgery to remove the polyps at Mae Sot General Hospital. Slai is looking to you to help raise the $1,500 to cover the cost of this procedure, which will allow him to breathe freely again. Slai said: "After completing my treatment, I want to be legally employed as a worker in Thailand. Driving is my profession, so I want to work as a driver, but I would be happy with any work opportunity.”
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."
Saw Myo is a 14-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his grandparents, parents, two sisters and a brother in a village in Karen State in eastern Burma. His grandparents are retired, and his father is a farmer who grows paddy and rubber trees on their own land. Saw Myo’s mother is a homemaker, while his two sisters and his brother go to school. The family income is just enough to cover their daily expenses. They cannot afford to pay for basic healthcare. Saw Myo used to go to school but stopped attending since his condition worsened in 2021. Saw Myo has had a lump at his lower spinal cord since he was nine years old, when he was hit by a slingshot in that area. He was given a medicinal ointment by a traditional healer which appeared to stop the lump from growing and helped with the stiffness temporarily. When Saw Myo was 12 years old, he fell off of his bicycle. He did not have any cuts or bruises but felt stiffness along his spinal cord. Afterwards, the lump appeared to be growing in size again. He was seen at a local clinic and then at a clinic in Hpa-An in January 2021, where he had an X-ray. The doctor suspected a spinal cord problem, so they encouraged Saw Myo and his mother to follow up with a computerized tomography (CT) scan at the Yangon Orthopedic Hospital in Yangon. Due to Covid-19, Saw Myo was unable to get in for a CT scan. Saw Myo’s parents did not want to give up, so they went to the Asia Royal Hospital, also in Yangon. Again, they were told that Saw Myo’s condition could not be treated locally. Finally, they returned to their home without receiving treatment. Saw Myo’s mother then contacted a medic who works at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot, Thailand, who is originally from their village. The medic told her to bring Saw Myo to the clinic as soon as possible. They spent the next few months trying to raise money, borrowing from family and neighbours. Doctors recommended Saw Myo to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. After analyzing the MRI, the doctors recommended Saw Myo undergo surgery to remove the tumor on his back. The tumor is cancerous, and Saw Myo will need to undergo chemotherapy after his surgery. Currently, Saw Myo is suffering a lot. He has to be careful when sitting because his whole back along his spinal cord is painful if he does not sit down slowly, and he can only sit for short periods of time before his back begins to ache. The lump is not painful to touch, but when he lays down on his right side, he has to support the lump with a pillow, making it difficult for him to sleep. He also has backpain if he has to walk for more than 15 minutes. Saw Myo sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on November 24th and his family needs $1,500 to cover the cost of his procedure and care. Saw Myo said, "I enjoy going to school and my favourite subject is mathematics. I hope that I will be able to go to school after my treatment. I would also like to raise chickens and cows to help my family in the future."
Paw is a 46-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, and daughter in the refugee camp in Mae Hong Son Province. Originally from the conflict area of Karen State, Burma, she and her family fled to the refugee camp due to conflict in their area. Today, her daughter goes to school in the camp, while her son stays home because he has an intellectual disability. In her free time, Paw enjoys gardening. Paw and her husband also raise chickens and grow vegetables to supplement their family's diet. Every month, their household receives 1,460 baht (approx. $49) on a cash card from an organization called The Border Consortium to support their day-to-day needs. Sometimes, Paw also receives pocket money from her other son, who works as a security guard in the refugee camp and lives with his wife and children. This amount is not enough to cover their daily needs, so they often have to purchase food on credit, which they pay back at the end of the month. They receive free basic health care at the hospital in the refugee camp, provided by Malteser International (MI) Thailand, but surgery there is not available. In early 2020, Paw started to experience pain in her lower abdomen. She also experienced severe back pain, dizziness and nausea when she ate. She went to the hospital in the refugee camp, where she was treated for a urinary tract infection (UTI). When the UTI kept returning, MI staff referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital for further treatment. Paw went to that hospital in February 2020, where she was diagnosed with a stone in her right kidney and acute pyelonephritis, a bacterial infection causing inflammation of the kidneys. She was admitted for five days and received treatment for the infection. Afterwards, she was referred to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further treatment for the kidney stone. In July 2020, MI staff brought Paw to CMH, where she received various x-rays. Doctors confirmed her diagnosis, but also diagnosed her with severe hydronephrosis, or a buildup of urine, in her right kidney. She received a catheter to drain urine from her kidney, and was brought back to CMH every three months to change the catheter. The doctor also scheduled Paw to have the stone removed from her right kidney on October 31st. Our partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is asking for financial assistance to help Paw pay for this surgery. Currently, Paw experiences pain and has difficulty sleeping. Traveling to the hospital regularly is also difficult for her family. Paw thinks a lot about her future and shared: “In the future I want to buy and raise a pig and more chickens. I do not want to be resettled in another country because I love living near my siblings. If they [my siblings] are resettled, I might go with them."
Meet Britney, a sociable, six year old girl, living in a village in rural Kenya. Britney is an only child, and is currently in school. Her mother is unemployed, and relies on family to support her and Britney. While Britney was born a healthy child, her legs began to bow out when she turned two. While her mother, who suffers from the same condition, brought her to various doctors, Britney's condition continued to deteriorate. Well wishers, who noticed Britney's condition, brought her to the AIC Cure International Hospital for further evaluation. Thanks to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Britney will undergo surgery on September 27th, to help correct her bowed legs. This procedure will enable Britney to walk more easily, and to live without pain. Britney and her family are seeking $1,224 to fund the operation. "I will be grateful to see my daughter growing and walking well like other children,” Britney’s mother told us.
Naw Ta is a 54-year-old woman who lives with her retired husband in a refugee camp in Thailand. Originally from Burma, she and her husband fled to Thailand in 2010 due to conflict in their area. She now works selling snacks and sweets from her home. Naw Ta has developed cataracts in both eyes, causing her to experience blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about tripping on stones or the uneven road when walking. Because of this, she is not able to go places on her own. She also cannot sew clothing anymore or see the rice grains clearly when cooking. Fortunately, doctors will perform a lens replacement on September 1st. During this procedure, surgeons at our medical partner's care center, Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, will remove Naw Ta's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Ta's surgery. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly again and return to doing her daily tasks without difficulty. Naw Ta shares, “I will be happy when I can see clearly again. I am grateful for having the chance to receive eye surgery.”
Neima is an adorable 16-month-old baby from Ethiopia. She loves to play and eat with her mother! She has an older sister who is eight years old. To support their family, her father works as a farmer and her mother manages their household. Neima was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Her family has taken her to different hospitals seeking treatment, resulting in them using all of their savings. This left them unable to fund her needed treatments, so Neima went without a colostomy for one year. This led to her experiencing difficulty eating, only taking breast milk and liquids. She eventually developed bowel obstruction because of her condition, and an emergency colostomy was done. However, she now needs to undergo another procedure to eliminate her bowel dysfunction. Fortunately, Neima is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on August 1st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Neima's procedure and care. After her recovery, Neima will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Her mother shares, “For my child, I am so hopeful that she will completely heal, and I will celebrate her birthday with my whole family. I will educate her, and I have hope that she will be a teacher or a doctor.”
Nada is a 3-year-old girl and the youngest born into a family of three. She is a friendly and playful girl. Nada's parents are farmers of maize, beans, and vegetables. They rely entirely on what they harvest for food and sell off any surplus for income for their family. Nada's father also does small jobs on the side to generate extra income. Nada was diagnosed with acquired bilateral genu varus. Her legs bow inward so that her knees 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, Nada has a hard time walking and complains of pain after a long day of play or when it gets cold. She is sometimes unable to stand due to severe pain in her knees when she wakes up in the morning. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Nada. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 21st. Treatment will hopefully restore Nada's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Nada’s father says, “My family and I cannot afford to get our daughter treated. We need your help to ensure that she is well and is not in constant pain.”
Dennis is a newly married, 20-year-old motorbike taxi driver. Dennis' wife is currently unemployed, so Dennis' earnings need to sustain his family. On April 14th, Dennis was involved in a road accident while riding his motorbike. He was diagnosed with a closed fracture of his femur, put in traction, and sent home from the hospital to heal. A clinical officer at our medical partner's hospital who knows Dennis reviewed his X-ray, and after consulting with another surgeon, it was determined that Dennis requires surgery in order for his fracture to heal properly. Currently, it is difficult for Dennis to walk, and he is still in constant pain. Dennis shared that this was not how he had hoped to begin married life. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center, Nazareth Hospital, can help. On June 2nd, Dennis will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This operation will enable Dennis' fracture to heal without deformity or malunion. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “This is not the way I expected to start my family. I had planned to work hard, but this accident has interrupted that. It is one month now since the accident, and my leg is not well yet. I pray that I may get help, and have this surgery done so that my leg can be well soon to resume working for my new family,” Dennis said.
Bradley is a six-year-old boy who lives with his grandmother in a small town in western Haiti, which an island nation in the Caribbean Sea. Bradley's parents work in the capital of Port-au-Prince and visit him regularly. He's happy to have started school and is in the first grade. Bradley was born with a condition called atrial septal defect. The condition means a hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole, which means Bradley often feels weak and short of breath. This condition is highly treatable with surgery, but the surgery he needs is not available within Haiti. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged to bring Bradley to the Dominican Republic for treatment. There, on May 26th, doctors will use a catheter to close the hole in his growing heart. He should then be able to go on to live a full and healthy life. "Our family is looking forward to this surgery so we no longer have to worry so much about Bradley's health," his grandmother says. The Rotarian-based nonprofit Gift of Life International is contributing $5,000 toward Bradley's surgery. The additional $1,500 will help cover his medical bills and related care, including travel expenses for Bradley. His grandmother shared: "Our family is looking forward to this surgery so we no longer have to worry so much about Bradley's health."
Sapuro is a bright student from Tanzania. He is social, friendly, and funny. He's in class three in school and his best subject is mathematics. Sapuro is the third born child in a family of seven children. “It was last year on a Saturday afternoon, as I was looking after my father’s cattle. It had rained for a few hours, so the ground was slippery. I was grazing my father cattle’s on a slope which had green pasture. As I was siting under a tree, I saw one cow going down the slope and I had to run after it to bring it back because at the bottom there was a road where trucks carrying sand and rocks from the quarry pass through. As I was running, I slipped and rolled all the way to the road just as a truck was coming and one of the tires went over my foot. I have never been able to walk well since then,” Sapuro recounted about how he injured his foot. Now he cannot walk and it has really impacted his life. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Sapuro receive treatment. On March 15th, surgeons will perform a skin graft procedure which aims to prevent amputation of his foot should the infection persist. Now, Sapuro's family needs help to fund this $747 procedure. Sapuro says, “I miss walking without support and being able to run around freely.”