sandy's Story

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.

Patients funded by sandy

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.”

$779to go

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.”

Fully funded

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."

Fully funded

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."

Fully funded