Christopher joined Watsi on November 6th, 2014. Six years ago, Christopher joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Christopher's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Edwin, an aspiring engineer from Kenya, to fund a mobility restoring surgery on his foot.
Christopher has funded healthcare for 67 patients in 15 countries.
Edwin is a fifteen year old boy from Kenya. He was brought by his mother to a medical camp organized by our partner hospital, Cure International. He is in the eighth grade and very bright. His mother is a housewife while the father is a mason. Edwin was born with a condition known as hemiplegia, a weakness that results from damage to the part of the brain that controls muscle movements. This damage may occur before, during or shortly after birth. Therefore, the entire left side of his body is weak and he cannot see with his left eye. He is currently not able to walk and he keeps falling. The condition is worsening and lowering his self-esteem which is affecting his schoolwork. He is an aspiring engineer but is worried that the condition will hinder him from achieving his goals. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. They are now requesting your help to fund this $1,224 surgery that will repair a congenital foot deformity. “My prayer is for my son to receive help, undergo the surgery, and continue with his life like other children. I would love to see him healthy and able to pursue his dream. I would greatly appreciate any kind of help,” Edwin’s mother shared.
Morch is a 60-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has two sons, two daughters, and two grandchildren. When she is not busy at home caring for her family, she enjoys spending time with her friends at the local church. Two years ago, Morch developed a cataract in each eye, causing her pain, tearing, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Morch learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for eight hours seeking treatment. On February 26th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $425 procedure. "I hope that I can get better after my surgery and that I will be be able to see clearly and go places on my own again," she shared.
Soeun is 37-year-old government worker from Cambodia. He and his wife have a 10-year-old daughter who is in second grade. His wife sells rice at a local market. In his free time he loves to read the news or discovers new topics and books on the internet. In April 2020, Soeun was in motor vehicle accident that caused a fracture to his left femur and a traumatic injury to his left arm. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He received treatment to his femur, but his left arm remains numb and he cannot move it. Soeun traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On August 4th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will regain feeling in his shoulder and arm, and will be able to return to work and do all of his daily tasks easily again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Soeun said, "I have been very worried about the numbness in my arm, but I am hopeful that after this surgery I will move it again and get my strength back."
Sophaiyath is a 9-year-old girl who lives with her family in Kratie Province. She has one brother who is only one-year-old. She wants to be a doctor when she grows up, so she studies very hard at school. She loves to eat mangoes, play jump rope, and take care of her little brother. One year ago, Sophaiyath's father began to see that she was walking abnormally. They brought her to a local hospital and found that she had developed Legg-Calve-Perthes (LCP) disease. This disease is a rare childhood disease in which blood flow to part of the hip socket is cutoff, and the bone begins to die. Now Sophaiyath experiences pain and stiffness, and cannot walk normally. She has missed school due to the condition, and her parents are worried that she will have permanent mobility issues. Luckily, the doctors at CSC can perform an osteotomy to repair Sophaiyath's hip. Once she recovers, she will no longer experience pain and will regain her mobility. She will also have increased confidence in her physical abilities. Sophaiyath's mother shared, "I want to see my daughter run and enjoy playing with the other children, so I hope this surgery is successful and finally fixes her hip."
Horn and his wife have been married for forty years, and have three daughters together. His wife works with him in the fields, while his daughters are all still in high school. He spends free time with his friends raising livestock for sale. Four months ago, Horn started feeling pain in his left hip. He had one previous surgery there, but no trauma. His pain reached the point where he can no longer walk unaided, and he had to stop working. On recommendation from one of his friends, he traveled for nearly ten hours to come to Watsi's Medical Partner CSC to receive treatment. Doctors at CSC will perform a girdlestone procedure in order to alleviate his pain. Once he recovers, he will no longer experience any pain in his hip, but his mobility will be reduced and he will use a cane. He will be able to continue working and doing the same activities he enjoyed before. Horn said, "I am glad my pain will finally be gone after my surgery. I cannot walk or do anything right now, so I am excited for the day I can finally go back to working and supporting my family."
Kelvin is a 13-year-old student and the fourth born in a family of six children. The family hails from Karangia village in Nyeri County of Kenya. He is a class 3 student at Karangi Primary School. His mother is a peasant farmer while his father passed away six years ago after a long illness. According to his teacher, Kelvin is a bright boy and performs well in class however she has noted that his self-esteem has been very low. “Kelvin likes playing with other kids but he cannot, he falls every time as his feet knock each other.” Kelvin 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, Kelvin traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 9th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Kelvin's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. “I am appealing to the people of goodwill to support my son for surgery so that he can live a better life free from struggles/hardships and also progress well in his studies,” Ann, Kelvin’s mother shared with us.
We met with eleven-year-old Ian in the hospital ward as he was admitted for a skin traction after he fell from a tree and broke his left hand. His mother sat beside him helplessly while she watched her only son in pain. It took me time for his mother to talk as she was feeling very disturbed and stressed because of her son's condition. She was trying to help him sit up but he couldn’t because of his fractured hand. Ian was brought to the hospital accompanied by his parents. They walked for hours to get the nearest health facility where he was referred to our hospital for surgical review. On arrival, he had an x-ray done which showed that Ian had fractured his left supracondylar. Ian is the third born child in a family of five. He is the eldest son of Christine and Isaac. They are a humble family who is struggling financially and often lack food for their children. Ian's father is a farmer and his mother is a housewife. They live in a two-roomed mud house in upcountry of Kenya. Ian's father, who is a maize farmer says that his farming is not doing well due to poor rains in the area and he has not been getting good yields in recent years. Medical examination shows that Ian needs urgent surgical intervention for his hand, but his family is unable to raise money for their son’s surgery apart from $30 that they collected from friends and family. His family is requesting our prayers and financial support for Ian’s treatment enable him use his hand. Christine, Ian’s mother says, “It is painful to see my son cry in pain. I hope he will receive treatment soon. All I want is to see him happy.”
Soti is a farmer from Kenya. Soti is a widow and mother of four with many grandchildren. Her husband died 28 years ago while she was still in her early 40’s. She became a strong woman for her children and took care of them. Ten years ago, Soti developed blurred vision in her eyes which is related to muscular degeneration. On February 27th she fell on her left hip while she was walking to the farm due to her poor vision. She is not able to walk and is in pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 4th, Soti will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her heal and walk again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. Soti says, “I want to get out of bed and walk again, please pray for me and support my surgery.”
Naw Htee is a 30-year-old woman from Thailand. In 2006, Naw Htee and her family fled from Karen State, Burma to Thailand because there were conflicts between the armed groups and the country's military in their village. She now lives in a refugee camp with her family. In 2010, Naw Htee felt a severe toothache while she and her parents were visiting her village in Burma. She went to the nearest local clinic, where she had her molar teeth extracted. After the procedure, Naw Htee was in extreme pain; she could not even open her mouth as she used to. She was told that pain after tooth extraction is normal and that the pain will be diminished if she takes painkillers. Naw Htee tolerated the pain and hoped for the pain to be gone. Since then, Naw Htee could barely open her mouth. Naw Htee was too afraid to tell about her condition to anyone. She carried this burden for almost 9 years, until she decided to seek help. She then visited the clinic in the refugee camp. After trying oral medication and since her condition remained the same, she was referred to Mae Sariang General Hospital (MSGH) in July 2019. There, she received an x-ray, and the doctor diagnosed her with Ankylosis of the Temporamandibular joint [TMJ], stiffness of a joint due to abnormal adhesion and rigidity of the bones of the joint of jaw. She was then referred on to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) as MSGH does not have capacity to treat her condition. Once at CMH, the doctor told Naw Htee that she needs to undergo a special x-ray prior to receiving treatment. Doctors want Naw Htee to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $469 to cover the cost of Naw Htee's CT scan and care, scheduled for February 5th. Naw Htee mentioned, “I wanted to be a healthy, strong and supportive mother, even without the support of their father.”
U Min is a 49-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife, son, and daughter. He and his son work as day laborers. His wife stays home to look after household chores, while his daughter studies in grade school. About a month ago, U Min's right heel was injured while he was getting off from the tractor he was driving at work. It was very painful that he went to a clinic in his village to receive treatment. However, his condition did not improved with the treatment, and the wound worsened day by day. He was then advised by the health workers at his village to go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) for further treatment. At MCLH, the doctor did detail assessment of U Min's condition and said that because of his injury, the blood supply to his heel was insufficient. His wound by then has turned into black color, as the tissues around his heel were damaged and have died, and it causes him severe pain, especially at night. Since the doctor could no longer help to make his ulcer healed by treatments, the only option is to do a below knee amputation. U Min said, "It's so painful that I can't bear it anymore. I just want to receive surgery as soon as possible."
Modesta is a beautiful and playful 5-year-old girl from Tanzania who struggles to walk due to genu varum, a condition where the legs curve outward at the knees. She falls often when she tries to run. The curving has increased as she has grown. Her parents did not think its a treatable condition, but during an outreach program, her father learnt of the treatment option and hopes to have Modesta treated. With successful surgery, Modesta will be able to walk with ease and less pain. She will also walk to school easily when she joins. Modesta's parents are peasant farmers relying on maize, sorghum and vegetable plantations to meet their daily needs. They have limited income to pay for the cost of surgery. Modesta lives with her parents and 8 siblings. The family appeals for financial assistance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Modesta. Treatment will hopefully restore Modesta's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Modesta’s father says, “The treatment cost is too expensive for us to afford please help.”
Rochel is a school principal from Haiti. He lives with his wife and six children on an island off the coast of Haiti; he is the principal of a local elementary school, and also a church pastor. Rochel has a cardiac condition called degenerative mitral valve disease. One of the four valves of his heart has gradually become weaker and less able to perform his function as he gets older; as a result, his heart cannot adequately pump blood through his body. Rochel will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On September 16th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will repair the valve so that it functions more normally. Another organization, The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, is contributing $40000 to pay for surgery. Rochel'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 Rochel's family overseas. Rochel says, "I am thankful to God and to everyone who is helping to make this surgery possible for me!"