sandy joined Watsi on April 23rd, 2016. Seven years ago, sandy joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. sandy's most recent donation supported Nyakek, a 3 month old baby girl from Sudan, to fund spina bifida treatment.
sandy has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 15 countries.
sandy has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 15 countries.
Nyakek is a beautiful three-month-old baby from Sudan. She was born at home, and her mother immediately noticed a large, open swelling on the lower part of her back. The midwives recommended that Nyakek be brought to a nearby missionary hospital, where she was diagnosed with spina bifida. This is a neural tube defect, where the spine and spinal cord don't fully form, leading to infection, lower limb paralysis, and developmental delays. A missionary doctor at the hospital immediately linked them to our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH), which was able to refer them to our partner hospital in Kenya. Plans were put together for how she would travel to Kenya for treatment. Where their comes from in Sudan, the area has very poor roads and it would not have been possible for them to travel to Juba to be airlifted to Kenya. Instead, the missionary doctor organized for them to board a helicopter that visits the area once a week to deliver supplies. They were taken to Juba where they boarded another flight to Kenya. Upon arrival at our partner's care center, Nyakek was examined and they have started planning for the urgent surgery she needs. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Nyakek's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 9th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. This procedure will hopefully spare Nyakek from the risks associated with her condition, allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Nyakek’s mother said: “When I saw the swelling, I was very stressed as I had not seen such a thing before. I immediately got worried about my daughter.”
Kelvin is a student from Kenya and the eldest of 4 children. He is a student at Kitui School for the mentally challenged. His mother told us that he likes listening to music, playing football and operating a phone. Our partners in AIC Cure International met him at their Matuu clinic accompanied by his mother Petronilla who works as a peasant farmer. Kelvin has clubfoot of his right foot, a condition that was noted by the mother when he was 1 year old. His foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and wearing shoes. This condition formed because he used to convulse. He started medication and experienced delayed milestones. At the age of 3, Kelvin began to exhibit an unusual walking style and was diagnosed with hemiplegia, a type of unilateral cerebral palsy that causes paralysis on only one side of the body. Fortunately, our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) can help. AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Kelvin's clubfoot repair. The treatment will be impactful to him because he will be able to walk without falling and play football with his friends. Kelvin’s mother shared, “I would love to see my son’s condition corrected so he can be independent. I will appreciate any support from AMH, and God bless you.”
Saing is a 47-year-old man who resides in a refugee camp along the Thai-Burma border. He serves as a volunteer teacher, dedicating his time to educating the children in the camp. He owns a small garden where he cultivates vegetables for his own consumption and generously shares the surplus with others. During his free time, Saing spends time reading books. Saing has suffered from a right inguinal hernia for the past 5 years. Initially, he could push the swelling back into his abdomen, but since August 2023, this has become increasingly difficult. He has also experienced severe pain in his groin since then. Saing has been diagnosed with a right irreducible inguinal hernia. Saing's doctor has scheduled him to undergo a right herniotomy with mesh repair on September 4th to repair the hernia. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) will be helping Saing access treatment and he needs help raising $1,486 to fund the procedure. Saing said, “I would like to receive surgery to recover from my condition because I feel uncomfortable and I cannot do what I want to do. After the operation, I hope my condition improves and I can continue teaching.”
Festo is a 3-year-old boy and the seventh child in his family of eight. His family resides in a remote village called Itenka in the Mpanda district. Both of his parents engage in small-scale farming, earning just enough to cover their daily expenses. However, with the older children attending school, the parents are doing their best to manage both educational expenses and other day-to-day needs. During the initial stages of learning how to walk, Festo's parents noticed that he displayed signs of bowed legs. Initially, they attributed it to his newly acquired walking skills and assumed that his bones were not strong enough. However, at age of two, he was diagnosed with bilateral varus, characterized by bilateral knocking of the knees, which significantly hinders his ability to move around comfortably. Festo quickly becomes fatigued and experiences pain while attempting to walk. Furthermore, his overall health has been unstable, largely due to malnutrition. Fortunately, our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) can help. Festo is scheduled for corrective surgery on August 1st, and AMH is requesting $880 to fund the procedure. Treatment will hopefully restore Festo's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Festo’s mother shared, “I hope my boy to grow older free from any kind of disability. I hope he gets the right treatment that will make it possible to have a good life in the future.”
Victoria is a 3-month-old baby from Bolivia. She lives with her mother in a neighborhood in La Paz. Her mother makes and sells handcrafted hats for a living. Victoria was born with a cardiac condition called Total anomalous pulmonary vein return. With this condition, the major blood vessels connect to Victoria's heart at abnormal locations, making it difficult for blood to flow through her lungs and leaving her weak and short of breath. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, can help Victoria receive the treatment she needs. On July 12th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which the doctors will disconnect the blood vessels and reattach them at the anatomically correct locations. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to fund VIctoria's surgery costs. Victoria's mother said, "I am very hopeful that my daughter will be able to breathe normally and gain weight after this surgery!"
Melesh is a playful and smiley four year old girl who lives with her mother, two brothers and one sister in Ethiopia. She is the youngest of the four children, and loves going to school. Melesh's older siblings have finished high school, but did not proceed to university, and are currently unemployed. Her mother - who is divorced from Melesh's father - makes and sells traditional beverages for a living. Her mom shared that their family does not receive any support from the father. Melesh was born with a rare, congenital anomaly, called bladder exstrophy. As a result of this condition, the abdominal wall doesn't fully form as the bladder is developing, leaving the pubic bones separated, and the bladder exposed to the outside surface of the skin. Urine leaks directly into Melesh's abdomen, so that she suffers from infections and other symptoms. In fact, Melesh has stopped going to school because the other children insult her because of her condition. Melesh's mother is worried, as Melesh has isolated herself to avoid being stigmatized by the community. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,500 to fund the Mainz Pouch procedure which if successful, should enable Melesh to pass urine normally. Surgery is scheduled for May 16th at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre, and should allow Melesh to resume the life of a happy and healthy four year old. Melesh's mother said: “I will educate her once she gets the surgery and heals. I will work on keeping her clean. I hope she will be content and healthy."
Four-year-old Brighton is a pre-primary pupil from Kenya. His father works as a casual laborer while his mother is a homemaker, who takes care of their three children. The family is currently living in a temporary, makeshift shelter after they were displaced from their permanent home by flooding of the nearby Lake Baringo. On November 19, 2022, Brighton tripped over a piece of wood and fell onto an open flame in the cooking area of the family's shelter. He sustained burns to his forehead and both of his hands. As a result of his injuries, Brighton is in pain and has been unable to attend school. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Brighton to access treatment. On April 26th, surgeons at AIC Kijabe Hospital will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to prevent his wounds from becoming infected. The procedure will also help Brighton in regaining the ability to use his hands again and return to school. Now, Brighton and his family need your help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Brighton's father said: “This kid is so silent. He did not even scream when he got burnt. He has not been able to go to school due to the wounds he sustained. He needs this treatment to stop infection in the wounds. ”
39-year-old Sopheap lives with his wife and two young children in rural Pailin province in Cambodia. Both Sopheap and his wife farm potatoes, and sometimes rice, for extra income. In his free time, Sopheap likes to play volleyball in the village. In early March, Sopheap was in a motorbike accident and suffered an injury to his back. X-rays showed a C6-7 dislocation of the spine. Since the accident, Sopheap has not been able to work, experiences numbness in his arm, and is unable to sleep comfortably through the night due to his pain. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Sopheap to receive treatment. On April 6th, doctors at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre will perform spinal surgery with implants to stabilize the spinal column. Now, Sopheap and his family need your help to raise $1,500 to fund the procedure and care. The money will cover the cost of hospitalization, surgery, implants, physical therapy, and medication. After recovery, Sopheap's condition should improve significantly, and he should have full mobility after four to eight weeks. Sopheap shared: "I want to be able to go back to work and support my family."
Kanha is a 21-year-old woman from Cambodia who lives with her family. She has three brothers and two sisters who also still live at home with their parents. Because of an unknown birth condition, she does not speak, so she has never attended school. She occasionally helps out her family by harvesting fruit from local orchards to earn extra income. On March 4th, Kanha fell from a mango tree while collecting fruit and injured her back. She experiences severe pain in her neck and back and is unable to walk. Her family took her to a local provincial hospital, but they could not pay for her care. Instead, the doctors recommended that the family drive four hours to the capital city of Phnom Penh for treatment. She has been diagnosed with a fractured spin and requires surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Kanha receive treatment. On March 10th, doctors at CSC will perform a spinal laminectomy with metal implants to stabilize her spinal column. A laminectomy enlarges the spinal canal to relieve pressure on the spinal cord. Now, Kanha and her family need help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. The cost includes hospitalization, surgery, implants, physical therapy, and medications. After recovery, Kanha's pain should improve significantly, and she should have full mobility after four to eight weeks. Kanha's mother shared, "we hope after surgery, my daughter will no longer be in pain and will be able to walk."
Paul is a 44-year-old herdsman and small-scale farmer living in Kenya. His wife sells vegetables at a local market, and together, she and Paul have four children. In February 2023, Paul was walking home one evening when he was hit by a speeding motorbike. He was rushed to a nearby health center where first aid was administered and an X-ray was performed. The X-ray revealed that his left leg had been fractured. As a result, he is finding it challenging to walk and sit upright. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. On February 8th, Paul will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at AIC Kijabe Hospital. The procedure will help him regain his mobility, and allow him to return to work, which is critical to his ability to support his family. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Paul says: “I cannot walk because of the fracture. I need treatment to be able to use my legs.”
Meet Aman, a smart, kind, five year old boy, who lives with his family in Ethiopia. Aman likes to help care for his siblings, and to play football. While his parents are farmers, his mother has been unable to work, of late, due to an issue with her eyes. Aman's mother shared that he developed visible changes to the shape of his abdomen, swelling, pain and bloating. Ultimately, he has been diagnosed with a mass on his abdominal wall. As a result of this mass, Aman experiences a variety of challenging symptoms, while his parents are emotionally distressed from watching their child suffer. With the assistance of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Aman is now scheduled for an abdominal resection - the removal of the mass - on January 5th, at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre. The cost of Aman's procedure and care is $1,500, and their family needs your help to fund this procedure to alleviate Aman's suffering. Aman's mother says: “I want him to recover from this disease and be healthy. After this treatment I wish for him to play like his friends. I hope he will get married one day, and I want to see my grandchildren in the future.”
Tsion is a curious 22-month-old from Ethiopia. She is the youngest in her family of six children. Tsion loves to play with her mother and other kids and always enjoys eating eggs or drinking milk. Tsion’s father passed away when she was a month old. Tsion’s mother had to close her business to care for Tsion and ask her community for support in caring for her other five children. Tsion has developed an intestinal obstruction and underwent a colostomy at our medical partner’s care center. She was born with a birth condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. Tsion needs to undergo a series of procedures to correct bowel dysfunction. Fortunately, on December 16th, she will undergo surgery to correct this condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Tsion’s procedure and care. After her recovery, Tsion will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Tsion’s mother said: “After receiving treatment, I hope she will start making stool normally, and I can’t wait for that day. I know that will change her life for good for her future. People and friends who know me and love me have called me names and disgraced me. But I hope I will stand in front of everyone and my church to give thanks to God and a testimony.”