Norm joined Watsi on January 24th, 2016. Four years ago, Norm joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Norm's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Daniel, a student and football fan from Tanzania, to fund surgery on his nose following an animal attack.
Norm has funded healthcare for 65 patients in 10 countries.
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.”
Benjamin is a 63-year-old man from Kenya. He is a quiet man who works hard and normally keeps to himself. Two weeks ago, Benjamin sustained an injury on his left hand while coming from his farm. It had rained heavily and Benjamin was rushing home. On his way, he fell on a hard surface and when he stood up, he realized that he could not lift his hand and was feeling pain on his left hand. Benjamin could not access treatment the same day because there’s no health facility near his home. The following morning, Benjamin was accompanied by his wife to a health centre. Because they were not confident of treating him, they just placed a sling on his arm and referred him to a district hospital for further care. Due to lack of finances, Benjamin and his wife returned home to look for money and after three days they were able to go to the hospital. Due to the ongoing medical practitioners strike, no one was there to help them and they finally decided to come to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center called AIC Kapsowar Hospital. The first returned home to look for money to gather for their travel and other expenses. Because of their socioeconomic status, it took them another ten days to raise USD130 through the help of their neighbors. On arrival to our partner hospital, an x-ray was done which confirmed his left humerus fracture. Treatment requires surgery and an implant to fix his fracture. Benjamin was born and raised in a small village called Kamok where most people work in farms or other small unsteady jobs. He has a family and has been blessed with eight children, five girls and three boys. Benjamin never was able to have a formal education so he doesn’t speak Kiswahili, but his local language Marakwet. His family lives in a small mud hut with grass as a roof and they get their food from their small farm, consisting mostly of millet, beans, and vegetables. Benjamin likes spending his days on his farm. He is the breadwinner of the family and now feels distressed because he can’t provide for them due to his condition. He is worried about the obstacles his family would face if his hand will not be treated and also learning that he has arthritis. Their family doesn’t have money to pay for his surgery and his wife shared that this would be "almost impossible" for them. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 18th, Benjamin will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help him regain utility of his hand and be free from pain and any other complications arising from untreated fractures. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Benjamin shared with us, “I just want not to be in pain anymore and be healthy and happy and have a good life because my family needs me the most.”
Gladness is a two-month-old baby girl from Tanzania and the last born in a family of two children. Both parents depend on small-scale farming for a living and their income is very limited. Gladness has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Gladness traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Gladness's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. Gladness’ mother shared: “Please help us, our daughter needs this treatment but the cost is too high for us to afford.”
Harrison is a nine month old baby from Kenya. He is the youngest in a family of three children. Harrison's father works as a casual laborer while his mother sells second hand clothes. A few days ago, Harrison began to experience diarrhea and vomiting and could not even retain breast milk. The mother took him to a dispensary and was advised to take him to a hospital. Since they didn’t have money they stayed at home, but last night his abdomen began to swell. A scan has showed intussusception, a small bowel obstruction. Surgeons recommend an emergency laparotomy. If not treated Harrison will continue having serious complications that may lead to death. Fortunately our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. Now, Harrison needs your help to fund the $788 cost of this procedure. “I am so worried about my baby, but I have no means of paying for this life-saving surgery. I plead for help so that my baby can be well again," shared Harrison's mother.
Win is a 46-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife and two sons in a village in Karen State. His elder daughter is a health worker where she works at a clinic in a rural village. His two youngest sons are students. Both he and his wife are a subsidence farmers. In his free time, he sometimes helps his community with building bridges or roads as much as he can. In January 2020, Win began experiencing painful urination and other troubling symptoms. Sometimes he also feels stomach pain in his right side. Watsi donors have helped to fund a CT scan and doctors have now been able to diagnose his kidney stones, which are hard deposits of minerals that form in the kidneys and are often very painful to pass. He has been advised to undergo surgery to remove his kidney stones. If left untreated, Win's symptoms will continue to worsen and will put him at risk for further health complications in the future. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Win's kidney stone removal surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 17th. Win said, "I am very excited to receive surgery soon and I cannot wait to recover from my condition."
Salome is a small business operator from Kenya. Salome is 46 years old and hails from Nairobi. She is married and they have three children who are all in school. Salome does a small business of selling clothes to neighbors (hawking), while her husband used to work with a non-governmental organization but resigned about four years ago after developing diabetes. Since one month ago, Salome has been experiencing lower abdominal pains and heavy bleeding with clots. She has been diagnosed with endometrial hyperplasia and a left ovarian cyst. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $791 to fund Salome's surgery. On May 13th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Salome will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. “If my husband was still working, I would have no problems but now our little income is not sufficient. I humbly request for support so that I can be well to go back and take care of my family,” said Salome.
Ryan is a young boy from Kenya who is an only child. He lives with his mother, grandparents, uncles, and aunts in a two-room house in Central region of Kenya. His mother is a college student and they all rely on his grandmother who practices farming to fend for the family. Ryan’s father left them when Ryan was only four months old. His grandfather is sickly, thus cannot work. Ryan was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Ryan has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Ryan will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 21st. AMHF is requesting $542 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “I really appreciate my neighbor for bringing us here. I wouldn’t have known or thought of a way to get help,” shared Ryan’s grandmother.
Hannah is a mother of two children, the firstborn being eight years old and the youngest is two years old. Hannah is a housewife, caring for their children. Her husband, the only breadwinner in the family, works in a butchery to make ends meet. Last November, after weaning her baby, Hannah noted a breast lump but dismissed it as a result of weaning. However, with the lump persisting, Hannah sought medical consult. She went to Kijabe Hospital where she had a series of tests, including a mammogram, biopsy, and ultrasound imaging. She was finally diagnosed with breast cancer and mastectomy is recommended. If not treated, Hannah risks having metastatic cancer which would further endanger her health and cause premature death. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $816 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Hannah. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 11th. After treatment, Hannah will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Hannah says, "I have full confidence of completing my treatment and being cancer free. Please help me."
Meet Jeff a one-year-old boy from Kiambu County in Kenya. He is a jovial and friendly boy, the only child of Shadrack and Catherine, a young couple. His father operates a Boda Boda taxi along the village, while his mother is a housewife. Jeff was born through a c-section at Kenyatta National Hospital and was discovered to have multiple birth deformities including spina bifida, hydrocephalus, clubfoot, and a hip condition. He stayed in the hospital for more than 2 months in the nursery and where the spina bifida and hydrocephalus conditions were treated. He has undergone hip surgery at Watsi Medical Partner care center CURE Hospital, where an x-ray reflected that he has healed. He is now scheduled to undergo a Rt hip open reduction and pelvic osteotomy treatment which will enhance his ability to stand and later walk like other children. He will later undergo surgery to correct his clubfoot. His family is a young couple who recently got married, they cannot afford the estimated bill at the hospital and thus requested for help. “The only challenge we have is the hospital bill. We are pleading for help so that our son can walk like other children,” Shadrack and Catherine, Jeff’s parents pleaded.
Kyat is a 34-year-old female refugee from Thailand. She is a mother of three, and she loves to look after her son and play with him, while her daughters go to school. About 10 years ago, Kyat noticed a mass in her belly after her second child was born. She thought it was normal to have a mass after birth, and what she felt, she thought, was her uterus. As the mass does not cause her pain, Kyat thought the mass would disappear after some time. A little less than two years ago, Kyat became pregnant again. She then found out during her antenatal care session at the refugee camp hospital that the mass she had was still there. The doctor then told her she needs surgery, but only after she delivered her baby. Kyat has been experiencing discomfort in her abdomen. She has been diagnosed with uterine myoma. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Kyat's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Kyat is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on December 13th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Kyat said, “My children are still young, especially my son. I want to be healthy, with no mass inside my belly, so that I can support my children and live my life to the fullest.”
U Chit is a 55-year-old man from Myawaddy Township, Karen State, Burma. He divorced his wife seven years ago and has two daughters and three sons. His youngest daughter lives with his ex-wife in Yangon and their other children live in Myawaddy Township. In March 2019, he entered into monkhood. Now, he receives alms from laypeople and from his children. In February 2019, U Chit began to experience back pain and a burning sensation when urinating. To treat his symptoms, he bought medication from a nearby pharmacy. However, after taking the medicine, he did not feel any better. He later went to a local clinic where he received more medication for his symptoms. They suggested that he go to Myawadday Hospital to receive an ultrasound scan. However, he did not go to the hospital because he did not think he would be able to pay for the cost of the scan. Instead, he continued taking the medicine that the doctor had prescribed. Unfortunately, his pain when urinating did not get better. Finally, U Chit decided to visit Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), where he got his hernia treated four years ago, to seek treatment. U Chit arrived at MTC on April 24th, 2019, where an ultrasound scan revealed that he had a bladder stone. The next day, he was sent to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) where he received an injection and oral medication. On May 16th, 2019, he received an Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP) test for further investigation. After the IVP test, the doctor told him that he requires surgery and is scheduled for 20th November 2019. Currently, U Chit experiences back pain and he continues to feel a burning sensation when urinating. Aside from his concerns about his condition, he is worried about financial problems because he is a monk and does not have a regular income. U Chit likes reading Buddhist texts and newspapers in his free time. He said, “I want to cure my condition as soon as possible and I would like to focus on religious activities. After I am cured, I also would like to help find treatment for my daughter who has suffered from a stroke.”
Dachena is a student from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and siblings in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. She likes going to school and singing in her church choir. Dachena has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged by a rheumatic fever she suffered in childhood, and can no longer adequately pump blood through her body. Dachena will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On October 29th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair her valve; if they are unable to do so, they will implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, The Mitral Foundation, is contributing $7500 to pay for surgery. Dachena'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 Dachena's family overseas. Dachena said, "I hope that after surgery I will have more energy to do the things I enjoy!"