Chang joined Watsi on March 12th, 2015. One year ago, Chang joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Chang's most recent donation supported Lydia, a 25-year-old farmer and loving mom from Kenya, to fund burn treatment on her hand.
Chang has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 7 countries.
Chang has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 7 countries.
Meet Lydia, a 25-year-old mother of three, living with her husband and children in rural Kenya. Lydia and her husband both work as farmers, and live with her husband's parents. Lydia, who has epilepsy, fainted while she was preparing food for her children. She sustained severe burns on her left hand, extending to the left forearm. Lydia was admitted to the hospital, where she was treated, but her wounds became infected, and she lost her fingers. After three weeks of medication and surgeries, Lydia’s medical costs rose to a level that her family could not sustain, so the decision was made to discharge her from the hospital, even though her condition had not improved. Lydia is worried about being able to care for her children now that she can no longer work as a farmer. Her mother-in-law is also concerned about her future, and the difficulties she may face: will she be able to do laundry and cook, will she face social problems or financial challenges? Lydia requires skin grafting to heal her burn wounds and treat her infection. Her family, who sold everything at home to raise funds for Lydia's initial treatment, cannot afford the cost of her procedure. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,089 to fund her surgery, which is scheduled to take place on May 25th, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. Lydia shared: “It is difficult to look at my hand; I want to get better than this. Please help me improve the quality of my life.”
Meet Precious: a nine-year-old talkative girl who comes from a small village in Nandi County in Western Kenya. She's a bright third grade student who likes singing at home and at church. She is a second born in a family of two. Precious lives with her brother in their grandmothers’ house since their parents separated due to family conflicts. Precious' father is a casual laborer who works really hard to make ends meet. He is always determined to give what is best to his children and he now requests help so that his daughter can be well and be able to continue with her education without difficulty. Precious visited our medical partner's facility due to recurrent tonsillitis for more than a year. Medication has not improved her recurring infection and the medical team has recommended she undergo surgery to fully heal. With this treatment, Precious will finally have relief from her symptoms. Her family hopes she will be well and be able to concentrate in school and perform well once she is healthy. Precious' father shared, "I would like to see her well. I am motivated to work hard for my children to ensure they get a good education and prosper in life.”
Roy is a charming and energetic toddler from Tanzania. He is playful and full of smiles. He is the youngest of his single mother's three children. His mother sells cassava root at the local bus station to support their family. Roy was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. This means Roy has difficulty walking due to his legs bowing outwards. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he walks with an abnormal gait and complains of pain and exhaustion after playing or taking a short walk. His surgery is scheduled for February 18th and our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is raising $880 to fund Roy's surgery. Treatment will hopefully restore Roy's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Roy’s mother says, “My income is very little, I want my son to have his legs corrected but there is no way I can afford the cost.”
Lek is a 68-year-old who is married with three sons, three daughters, and many grandchildren. She lives with her husband and one of their sons, and they are vegetable farmers in Kampot Province in rural Cambodia. When she is not cooking, cleaning, or selling vegetables at the local market, Lek finds it calming to listen to the local monks pray on the radio. Two years ago, the retina of Lek's left eye detached, causing her deteriorating vision. She noticed a change in her eye, but could not afford to see anyone to help fix it. When Lek learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and half hours seeking treatment. On January 12th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $648 procedure. "I hope after surgery my eye will get better. I can look after my grandchildren, cook for them, and walk them to school," shared Lek.
Jane is a strong 34-year-old woman from Zambezi in Kiambu County. She is married with 3 children. Jane began having abdominal pains and vomiting about four years ago. She visited various hospitals and was treated for ulcers but her symptoms persisted. At one point she was told she had an issue with her liver and was sent to a specialist. Jane had extensive lab tests done and several scans which showed she has cholelithiasis or gallstones. These are hardened deposits of digestive fluid that form in the gallbladder. She came to Nazareth Hospital and consulted the surgeon who recommended laparotomy to finally remove the gallstones. Jane’s husband, who runs a small shop to fend for his family, has registered with the national health insurance program but their coverage has not yet been approved. On seeing his wife’s worsening pain and discomfort he decided he couldn’t wait any longer and came to the hospital to find out about the estimated cost of surgery so that he can organize a community fundraiser (Harambee). The family members are not able to raise the money required on their own and need support. Jane says, “I hope to be treated and get relieved of these symptoms so that my family can stop being in a constant state of worry and uncertainty.”
Marvens is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and three siblings in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He enjoys going to school and would like to continue to university and study business in the future. Marvens has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. Marvens will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment as it is not available within Haiti. On November 26th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is contributing $8000 to help pay for surgery. Marvens'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 Marvens's family overseas. Marvens wanted to share: "I would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to heal my heart so that I can be normal and healthy."
Phally is a 41-year-old vegetable farmer. She is the oldest in a family of five children, including two sisters and two brothers. Phally lives with one of her sisters. When she is at home, she likes to watch movies on TV. Over ten years ago, Phally had an ear infection that caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Phally experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Phally receive treatment. On October 28th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure at CSC's care center. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Now, CSC is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Phally shared, "I hope my ear infections and pain will stop. I want to return to the rice field to earn money and be able to hear people well."
Victor is a three-year-old boy and the youngest in a family of four children. Victor’s father is the sole provider for the family through his job at a tobacco factory. Victor was diagnosed with bilateral Genu Valgus, which means that his legs have bowed inwards forming knocked 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, walking is difficult and painful for him. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Victor to receive treatment. On September 14th, Victor will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center and now, AMH is requesting $880 to fund Victor's procedure and care. Treatment will hopefully restore Victor's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Victor’s mother shared, "we have been informed that surgery will correct his legs but the cost is too high for us to afford."
Naw Lah is a 24-year-old woman who lives in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. She is 40 weeks pregnant with her first child. She recently went into labor and was brought to our medical partner's care center by Malteser International (MI) Thailand staff. The doctor there initially expected her to deliver the baby vaginally, but when labor stopped progressing, the obstetrician suspected that her baby was in distress. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Naw Law to deliver her baby safely. On August 25th, she will undergo an emergency C-Section at BCMF's care center. Now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care.
Richard is an 11-year-old student and the oldest child in a family of four children. His parents are farmers and when they have a productive harvest, they are able to sell some of their produce. When he was born, Richard was diagnosed with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Richard is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 29th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $735 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Richard’s father shared, “as a parent, I would really be happy and grateful when Richard is treated.”
Lucy is a fishmonger who sells fish in an eatery in Naivasha, Kenya. As a mother of three, she was widowed in 1997 and has been raising her children by herself. Now, her children are all adults in their twenties, but do not yet have stable jobs. Lucy underwent total hip replacement 6 weeks ago as a result of severe arthritis. She was discharged after she showed signs of recovery. However, two weeks ago she started experiencing prolonged pain, difficulty walking, and infection in the wound. It turns out that she has a post-hip replacement infection and needs a debridement and polyethylene liner change to stop the infection and accelerate healing of her hip. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is able to help. On June 28th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure, and AMH is requesting $1,185 for the treatment. Lucy has not been able to go to work for over two months now. Lucy reveals, "I am almost closing down my fish business due to this sickness. For some months now, I have been on and off at hospitals to treat the hip. My children and I rely on this business and I need to get well soon or I will not be able to take care of my family and myself. ”
Prince is a 8-year-old boy and the second born in a family of four children. Prince's father sells maize and his mother plants vegetables, which she is able to sell sometimes to supplement her husband’s earnings. His family feels they are not well off financially, but proud to own a small house that they live in. Prince was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Prince has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Prince will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on May 27th. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $569 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Prince’s mother shared, “It is very difficult for us as a family to raise the required funds for Prince’s surgery. We are requesting financial help.”