Mark joined Watsi on July 22nd, 2015. Six years ago, Mark joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mark's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Kelvin, an active 2nd grader from Kenya, for foot surgery so he can walk more easily.
Mark has funded healthcare for 78 patients in 11 countries.
Mark has funded healthcare for 78 patients in 11 countries.
Kelvin is a bright second grade student and the last born in a family of five. His mother told us that Kelvin likes playing football, reading, and running together with his friends. Kelvin's mother is now a single mom after she separated from her husband many years ago after he engaged in drugs and frequent drinking. “He could not provide for the family anymore...” Kelvin's mother told us. Currently, Kelvin's mother has a small makeshift hotel, known as a Kibanda, where she sells tea, porridge, and mandazi (doughnuts) which is just enough to sustain her children and pay for their house rent. Kelvin has a hemiplegic cerebral palsy condition. When Kelvin was one year old, his mother noticed a bending of the left foot, and as he continued to grow his left foot worsened. Recently, while Kelvin was passing by the market in the village, a lady spotted him and inquired about where he lived. She later called Kelvin's mother and advised her to visit CURE hospital. At the hospital, Kelvin was scheduled to undergo surgery. Fortunately, Kelvin traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Kelvin's treatment. After treatment, he will be able to walk well and play with friends. He will also be able to continue with his studies uninterrupted. Kelvin's mother said, “I am seeking support because I cannot pay the hospital bill, if I can be helped, I will be grateful to see my son walking normally.”
Molika is a 12-year-old student from Cambodia. She lives in the capital city with her sister and her parents who sell vegetables from a tuk tuk. Molika is in the fourth grade and her favorite subjects are math and English. In her free time, she enjoys playing with toys, watching TV, and helping her mother sell vegetables. When she was eight, Molika had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in her right ear to perforate. As a result, Molika experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, and pain. She cannot communicate clearly with others and no longer attends school. Molika traveled to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), to receive treatment. On June 21st, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her right ear where surgeons will close the perforation. Now, CSC is requesting $464 to fund this procedure. This cost covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Molika shared, "I hope my ear gets better after surgery so I can hear well and return to school."
Teresia is a hard working 39-year-old woman from Kenya. She is the second born in a family of three children. Teresia and her siblings lost their parents early in life and have been taking care of each other. She was not able to continue with her education and this has made it hard for her to get a decent job. Currently, Teresia works doing laundry by hand for neighbors to sustain herself. In 2020, Teresia began to experience troubling symptoms, including tachycardia, irritation, nervousness, headache, and loss of sleep. She also shared with us that she had two miscarriages, which her doctors associate with her condition. She's been diagnosed with a thyroid condition and she needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Teresia receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on June 10th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $657, and she and her family need help raising money. “I am looking forward to this treatment so that my life can be back to normal. I plead for support so that I can undergo the surgery. At least after healing, I can expect to have my own children,” said Teresia.
Tumushabe is a 31-year-old small scale farmer. She completed the third grade in primary school, but shared with us that she left school due to a lack of financial support for school fees. Her husband is a laborer who does work around their village. They own a three-room semi-permanent house for shelter. During her free time, she enjoys working on her farm. Tumushabe is currently expecting her third baby. Doctors recommend that she deliver her baby via c-section, because she sadly lost her first two children shortly after birth. If not treated through a c-section, Tumushabe's uterus could rupture, putting her and the baby at risk. A c-section will allow doctors to better ensure the safety of both mother and child. Tumushabe and her husband hope and pray that they may finally have a healthy child who will survive and grow up. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Tumushabe to undergo a c-section on May 19th. Now, Tumushabe needs $207 to fund the procedure. Tumushabe shared with us, “I pray for a successful surgery."
Shazma is a 2-year-old and the last born in a family of three children. She is a friendly and cheerful girl who already loves playing! Shazma's mother was laid off from her work at a horticulture farm due to the pandemic, and her father works as a cook at a local guest house. The parents used to support each other on payment of bills but now Shazma's father is the only earner while her mother takes care of the children at home. Shazma was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus which causes her legs to bend outward and results in difficulty walking. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Shazma on April 16th. Treatment will ensure Shazma's mobility as she grows, allow her to participate in all she wants to do, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Shazma’s mother shared, "My daughter is in need of treatment to repair her legs. She currently struggles a lot to walk but the cost of treatment is not something we cannot afford. Kindly help our daughter if it’s possible."
Tin is a 38-year-old woman from Northern Thailand. She and her husband are agricultural day laborers, and they live in a hut on their employer’s land. They shared that, unfortunately, their earnings are not enough to cover their expenses or to pay for basic healthcare. Since early 2019, Tin has been experiencing dizziness, fatigue, insomnia and pain in her lower abdomen. She was diagnosed with a myoma and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Tin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications. Since September 2020, Tin has been unable to work due to her illness. Fortunately, Tin is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on March 23rd. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Tin will no longer experience lower abdominal pain, dizziness or fatigue. She will be able to work again as a day laborer after her treatment. Tin shared, “I am not afraid to undergo surgery because I believe that I will receive successful treatment. I used to pray every day that a donor would help me. Once I have recovered from surgery, I will go back to work so that we can repay our debts. In the future, I would like to stay healthy so that I can work, eat good food, wear beautiful clothes, and earn an income.”
Alexa is a two-year-old girl that the only child in her family. Her mother is a housewife who has dedicated her time to raising her and taking care of their home and family. Her father is a casual laborer. The family lives in their three room ancestral home. Alexa was born with a facial condition that required medical and surgical attention. The reconstruction procedure she underwent exhausted the savings that her parents had and she is now prone to infections. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Alexa receive treatment. On March 31st, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to prevent further infection and help her heal. Now, Alexa needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Alexa’s mother shared, “Alexa is usually cheerful, but now she is dull and in pain. The infection is clearly making her uncomfortable and she needs this surgery. Sadly, we are unable to raise the required amount."
Samuel is a young student from Kenya. He is the third child in a family of four. His mother is a widow who is raising the family on her own. His father passed away three years ago and his mother works as a manual laborer washing clothes for a living. Around November 2020, Samuel fell from a bridge and landed in water resulting in multiple fractures of his pelvis, elbow, and femur. These fractures have made him immobile and unable to use his limbs. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 8th, Samuel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal and walk again. He will also not be in pain anymore. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,094 to fund this procedure. Samuel’s mother says, “My son cannot stop crying, and he is in so much pain. He cannot walk or use his hand. Kindly help Samuel walk again.”
Dominick is a 4-year-old child from Tanzania. He is the firstborn child in a family of three children. Because he has difficulty walking, his mother has been unable to enroll him in school yet. Dominick was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, or bowleggedness. His legs bow outward when he walks. 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 physically struggles to walk and cannot walk for a long time. However, Dominick's parents cannot afford the cost of the treatment he needs to cure his condition. They are subsistence farmers who make a humble income to support the family, and they appeal for financial help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Dominick. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Dominick's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Dominick's mother shared, "I believe our prayers were answered when we met one of Watsi's colleagues who directed us here. We are not able to afford Dominic's treatment and we had lost hope, but we just thought of taking Dominick for prayers that week and God led us here."
U Win is a 54-year-old man who lives with his wife and youngest son in the Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. He has three sons and three daughters, with five of his children already married and working. His 17-year-old son left school because they were unable to pay school fees, and worked as a day laborer until COVID-19 happened. U Win used to work as a day laborer as well, but stopped working around two years ago due to his health condition. His family survives on 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) each month that U Win's three other daughters and another son send them, enough to cover their basic expenses. In January 2012, U Win felt tired, had a headache, suffered from heart palpitations, and a rapid heartbeat. He went to a clinic where the doctor listened to his heart with a stethoscope and checked his blood pressure. U Win was told that he has high blood pressure and that he would need to take oral medication for a long time. He received an injection, oral medication, and another appointment for more medication. After he took the medication, he felt better and he went back to work. However, U Win continued to experience worsening symptoms over the next few years, returning to clinics and receiving the same treatment. He was told at one point to visit a cardiologist, but did not do so until later on. In August 2020, during another clinic visit in Yangon, the doctor diagnosed U Win with an atrial septal defect, and said that he would need to receive surgery to repair this hole in his heart. If not treated, the condition could weaken his heart further and cause lung problems later on. He was unable to receive surgery in November due to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases, and was also told the procedure would cost about 3,000,000 kyat (approx. 3,000 USD). Luckily, U Win’s wife remembered that there is a charity group in Yangon that might be able to help. The group told him about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, to look for assistance with accessing the treatment he needed. U Win currently experiences chest pain and back pain, has no appetite, and cannot sleep well at night. He appeals for financial support for his cost of care. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 20th, U Win will undergo an atrial septal defect closure procedure. Once recovered, his quality of life will significantly improve and he will be able to return to work. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. U Win shared, “I want to get better soon so that I can work for my family again. I am worried about my family’s future because we cannot find work in the village. My son also cannot go to Yangon to find another job because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.”
Alice is a 47-year-old woman from Kenya. Sheis a single mother of 2 children, and her children live with their grandmother in their home village. Alice was an active and healthy woman who was able to use her legs normally. However, in early November 2017, she was involved in a road traffic accident that rendered her immobile. Alice was rushed to the hospital to undergo treatment and surgery. Although she was discharged, her troubles with the leg continued, and she developed more pain and complications. After returning to the same facility for treatment and not showing signs of improvement, Alice visited Kijabe Hospital. There, she has since undergone several other surgeries, including post-open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) repair and debridement after the skin overlying the fracture site was compromised and infected. Alice's doctors have scheduled her for a sequestrectomy procedure and IM nail removal on November 12th. The sequestrectomy will remove any fragment of dead bone or other tissue that has separated from healthy tissue in her wound. Ultimately, they aim to prevent further infection of the hardware in her leg. Alice is currently ambulating in crutches and, if not treated, she might not be able to walk or properly use her leg in the future. Unfortunately, this procedure is costly for Alice and her family. Alice owns a small green grocery in Mukaa Town where she sells vegetables and tomatoes. Her total monthly profit is barely able to cover her basic needs, rent, and kids' needs; let alone pay for her necessary surgeries. She has depended on the National Hospital Insurance Fund and support from friends to help cover her several medical and surgical trips to different facilities. Alice is appealing for financial help so she can get the care she needs. Alice shared, "My problems never seem to come to an end after the accident. I have been through a lot of surgeries, and I still need more to be able to walk again. Thank you for your support."
Daniel is a seven-year-old boy from Tanzania and the firstborn in a family of two children. Daniel is a big fan of football. He is currently in second grade and he shared his best subject is mathematics. Daniel and his younger sister, who is two years old, are being raised by their widowed mother after their father passed away last December after being sick for a long time. This left their mother with no one to give her a hand or support to take care of her children. Daniel's mother depends on small-scale farming of maize and vegetables to be able to provide for her two children, something she says it has not been easy by herself. Earlier this year in April, Daniel was attacked by a hyena as he was taking a bath outside their hut in the evening. The hyena grabbed him by the leg and started running with him towards the bushes. His mother was just close by bathing his younger sister and she ran after the hyena while crying for help. The hyena dropped Daniel but left him with claw injuries, broken bones and a badly injured face. He was rushed to the hospital where he had several surgeries to help repair the places he had been cut open and casting for his fractures. He has been able to recover but the incident left Daniel with damage to his nose. All of his earlier treatment costs were paid for by their church through donations, but his mom is now trying to raise funds for his additional surgery. Daniel has been scheduled for a skin flap cover surgery that will help repair his nose. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Daniel receive treatment. On October 14th, surgeons at their care center will perform a surgery to help correct his nose. Now, his family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Daniel’s mother says, “All the treatment my son has had ever since the incident it’s through God’s grace. I wouldn’t have been able to afford any of that. Please help fund his nose correction surgery.”