Isabel joined Watsi on November 28th, 2017. Three years ago, Isabel joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Isabel's most recent donation supported Benjamin, a cheerful motorbike driver from Kenya, to fund a mobility-restoring spinal fusion surgery.
Isabel has funded healthcare for 37 patients in 8 countries.
Isabel has funded healthcare for 37 patients in 8 countries.
Benjamin is a father of a four-year-old child who works as a motorbike (boda-boda) driver, earning about $3.70USD per day. His income is also inconsistent and depends on the availability of customers. He is the sole breadwinner for his family. Unfortunately, he has no active medical insurance coverage and has had to rely on relatives and friends to settle hospital bills. Benjamin is full of smiles but finds it difficult to sit up while sharing his story. He opts to talk while lying flat on his back. Benjamin is currently immobile, unable to sit and walk, as a result of a road traffic accident from the beginning of the month. When the 25-year-old hitched a ride on his friend's water truck, the vehicle lost control and he was thrown out the window. He immediately experienced severe back pain and lost consciousness. The accident left Benjamin with multiple fractures and wounds that will require several fracture repair and spine surgeries in order for him to sit, walk, and be able to continue with his normal routine roles again. After stays at various hospitals and numerous referrals, Benjamin arrived at our medical partner's care center, Kijabe Hospital, for care on July 17th. One of the obstacles to treatment he had faced at other hospitals was a long waiting list that meant a delay in much-needed care, but fortunately Kijabe is able to offer his needed care more urgently. At Kijabe Hospital, the doctors recommended a spinal fusion procedure for him to help regain his mobility. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,500 for Benjamin's critical surgery, scheduled to take place on July 26th. Benjamin shares, “I just sleep on my back and cannot even sit or walk. I cannot work and fend for my family. I need this surgery to get back to my Boda-boda job and raise my family."
Mengsim is a 49-year-old tour guide from Cambodia. He is married and lives in the province with his wife and two sons. Mengsim's wife sells soft drinks from their home. In December 2020, Mengsim was in a car accident that caused paralysis of his right hand. This injury, a branchial plexus nerve injury, can cause him to lose feeling and control of his shoulder, arm, and hand. Mengsim is unable to lift his arm and he cannot work. Mengsim traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On June 23rd, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, He will be able to use his arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Mengsim shares, "I am thankful that I will be able to return to work when my arm heals so I can support my family."
Enock is a talkative 16-year-old student and the fourth child in a family of five. He just completed his primary school education and he is currently waiting to begin his secondary studies in July. His parents are farmers in his village where they plant maize and beans in their small farm for their family to eat. His elder siblings did not finish school due to insufficient finances at home to proceed with their education. His father has epilepsy and this has affected the family's daily activities and general production of resources for the family. They don’t have a permanent house but live in a mud house with grass as its roof. Two days ago, Enock went to get medical assistance after falling from a tree while he was cutting down tree branches. He had pain in his left hand and doctors observed that he had a left distal humerus comminuted fracture. Because he had so much pain, Enock was admitted to receive pain medications. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help him to fully heal. On May 25th, Enock will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Enock will be free from the pain, he will be able to use his hand again, and resume school and helping out at home. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Enock says, “My hope is to get treated, and be well again.”
So is a nine-year-old boy who lives with his parents, sister and brother in a village in Tak Province. Since schools closed due to Covid-19, So and his siblings have had to stop studying. So now helps out around the house, watering their garden and helping his mother with preparing meals. His sister works as a dishwasher at a Thai noodle soup shop. His father works at a construction site, and his mother is a homemaker. Their monthly household income is just enough to cover their basic expenses. When So was born, the medic noticed that So had a mass on the right side of his neck. Upon pressing the mass with his finger, So did not react, so the medic assumed the mass was not painful. The medic told So’s parents that the mass was fatty tissue and that they had nothing to worry about for now, but he would need to receive surgery to remove it when he was older. As So grew, the mass also slowly increased in size and became heavier. Currently, the muscles in his neck are stiff and the mass is painful when it is touched. Frequently, he will wake up in the middle of the night in pain after he turns in his sleep, putting pressure on the mass. So underwent a CT scan at the hospital, which indicated that the mass is a lymphangioma, or a noncancerous fluid-filled cyst. The doctor recommended that So undergo a cyst excision procedure to remove the cyst. So told us he's extremely excited to receive surgery and is not afraid to undergo the procedure because he wants to look (even more) handsome afterwards :). However, he and his family need financial support to afford the cost of his care. So will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo a cyst excision procedure on April 23rd. Our partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Once recovered, he will be free of pain and will feel more comfortable and confident in his daily life activities and when spending time with his friends. So shared, “I cannot wait to receive surgery and I really want this mass to go away. I am so embarrassed of this mass but once it is gone, I will go back to school and my friends will no longer tease me.”
Natalia is an eight-year-old girl. She's in grade three and is the oldest in a family of two children. Natalia is very clever in school and she likes to play with her friends. Natalia's parents work as hawkers selling small items to make a living for their family. For about four years, Natalia has had on and off tonsillitis and a common cold. This has affected her happiness and relationships with her friends. She has visited many facilities for treatment and while the swelling in her tonsils subsides, it ultimately comes back. Natalia visited our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), accompanied by her grandmother who works at the care center. Now, AMH is requesting $565 to fund an adenotonsillectomy for Natalia, which is scheduled for March 26th. If left untreated, Natalia could be at risk of complications like chronic tonsillitis, middle ear infection, peritonsillar abscess, and rheumatic fever. Natalia's grandmother shared, “Natalia is my first grandchild and I love her very much. I hope Watsi can support us so that she can get well and continue with her normal life, and also be ready to go back to school when it reopens.”
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.”
Lewis is a playful and social 11-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the sixth born in a family of eight children, and is brother to Jonah, another Watsi patient. When he's older, Jonah aspires to be in the special forces as a military officer in the future. His mother is a single parent and used to be a farmer, but currently stays at home to take care of her children. She recently underwent an amputation on her leg after suffering from diabetes. Lewis had clubfoot of both his feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Lewis traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons healed one foot with support from Watsi and now will perform his other clubfoot repair surgery on January 25th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Lewis's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk and play with his brother more easily. Rosaria, Lewis' mother shared, “We are grateful that Watsi is helping my two sons undergo surgery. We have seen a lot of impact on their feet. Previously, they used to complain of pain while walking and they like playing a lot. We plead for more support to ensure that their feet can be able to step on the ground and walk like other children. God bless you."
Jedidah was feeling very unwell while she met with our local Watsi representative. She is a 52-year-old woman from Machakos County in Kenya. Married with five children, she is a farmer along with her husband. Since 2018, Jedidah has had upper abdominal pains, a constant feeling fullness and heartburn, plus bitter saliva and regurgitation. Her symptoms make it hard for Jedidah to eat. She has visited many hospitals, but without help. They recently decided to come to Nazareth Hospital where our partner doctor ordered for an oesophagal-gastro-duodenoscopy, which finally showed that Jedidah has a hiatus hernia. The surgeon advised a laparotomy is needed to cure her condition, but Jedidah's family is not able to meet the cost. If not treated, Jedidah may have hernia strangulation, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or future lung problems as her stomach contents are moved up to the oesophagus. Jedidah said quietly, “This condition has made it difficult for me to work in our small farm, to interact with friends and even take care of my children. I plead for help and God will bless you.”
Victor is a five-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the firstborn child in a family of three aged between 5 months and 1 year. He is a kindergartener and a happy boy. On November 24th, Victor was playing with his friends when he accidentally fell down and sustained an injury on his right hand. His father found him on the road crying, and brought him to the hospital. Doctors conducted an x-ray, which revealed a fracture on his right supracondylar. Because he was in pain, and could not move nor lift his hand, Victor was admitted to the pediatrics ward awaiting surgery. Unfortunately, the procedure Victor needs is costly for his family, who lacks a stable income. His father is a casual labourer who looks after people’s cattle, and his mother is a housewife. Victor's family has been able to raise some money, but needs additional support to raise the amount needed for his treatment. On November 27th, Victor will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Now, Victor's family needs $801 to fund the cost of his care. Victor’s father shared, “I want to see him happy, not in pain, be healthy and have a good life."
Naw Mar is a 35-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, two daughters and two sons in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Four years ago, Naw Mar started to suffer from pain in the right side of her abdomen. At first, she thought the pain would disappear after she rested. When it did not, she went to the hospital in the camp run by Malteser International Thailand (MI). She received medications which helped for a bit. Two years later, the pain became severe and the right side of her abdomen also became swollen. After more medication and follow-up appointments, she was eventually admitted to Mae Sariang Hospital and received an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that she had multiple gallstones, and she was given more medication. However, the medication did not help her much. In early June 2020, the pain in Naw Mar’s right abdomen increased. After she went to the camp’s hospital, the doctor referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital again, where the doctor told her that she would need to have surgery to remove the gallstones. Since Mae Sariang Hospital doctors could not perform this surgery, she was again referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital. However, the high cost of surgery proved difficult, so she was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance with accessing treatment. Currently, Naw Mar has constant pain in her right abdomen that is only manageable through pain medication. Her right abdomen is also swollen, and she suffers from back pain as well. When the pain in her abdomen is excruciating, she develops a headache and high blood pressure. Naw Mar is a homemaker, while her two daughters and her youngest son go to school. Her oldest son helps her with household chores. Her husband works as an agricultural day laborer, but has been unable to find work for the past month. While their family does receive a cash card each month for food support, it is not enough to cover their daily expenses and they struggle to make ends meet despite receiving free health care and education in the refugee camp. Their family is appealing for financial support. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Mar's surgery. On October 25th, she will undergo a cholecystectomy at our medical partner’s care center. Once recovered, Naw Mar will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and her quality of life will improve. Naw Mar shared, "After I receive treatment, I want to work for an organisation [NGO] in the camp so that we [my family] can have an income. Right now, I have no pocket money and I cannot borrow money from any one because we have no way of paying them back. I appreciate any support you can provide.”
Naikulo is a smiley seven-year-old boy from Tanzania and one of almost 40 children in his family. They shared with us that his father is polygamous and has eight wives. Naikulo's father is an older man who depends on livestock keeping to be able to care for and support his family. Naikulo has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Naikulo has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Naikulo acquired hydrocephalus in 2012 and was able to have treatment through funding that helped relieve him of the pressure build-up which was putting him in danger of brain damage. However, Naikulo's shunt has failed and he needs another surgery to help relieve him from the pain he is going through because of the pressure build-up that has resulted due to the malfunctioning of the shunt. Without treatment, Naikulo will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for Naikulo that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 28th and will drain the excess fluid from Naikulo's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Naikulo will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Naikulo’s older brother says, “My parents are not able to come up with the money needed to treat my young brother, please help him he is suffering.”
Joan is a one-year-old from Tanzania. Joan is a beautiful girl and the youngest child in a family of four children. Joan’s father works as a motorcycle driver commonly known as “bodaboda” driver while the mother does tailoring in their neighborhood. Joan has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Joan has been experiencing fevers, vomiting and her head is increasing in size. Without treatment, Joan will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Joan that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 24 and will drain the excess fluid from Joan's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Joan will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Joan’s mother says, “We have struggled so much to make sure our daughter gets all her disabilities corrected, something that has left us with no savings of any kind and only debts. She needs another surgery as soon as possible and we have nowhere to get the money from, please help us.”