Mark joined Watsi on January 9th, 2015. Eight years ago, Mark joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mark's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Miheretu, a 9 month old baby boy from Ethiopia, to fund colon surgery.
Mark has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 14 countries.
Mark has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 14 countries.
Miheretu is a sweet nine month old boy, who loves to play with his mother and other children. Miheretu's father works as a day laborer, while his mother stays at home to care for their children. Sadly, the family's income is insufficient to supply adequate food for the children, leaving Miheretu nutritionally deprived. Due to the concerns of his doctors, Miheretu underwent a colostomy for what was determined to be Hirschsprung's Disease. This is a condition that is present at birth, in which the baby's colon is missing necessary nerve cells. Without these cells, the muscles of Miheretu's gut cannot move contents through his colon, which can result in the contents backing up and causing a bowel blockage. After the colostomy, Miheretu's parents brought him back home, as they were unable to pay for the additional medical care that he needs. Thanks to the intervention of a local charitable organization, Miheretu was brought to BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre, where on January 5th, doctors from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, will perform a Hirschsprung Pull Through. During this procedure, doctors will remove the damaged section of Miheretu's colon, which will alleviate the bowel obstruction, and allow for normal colon function. Miheretu's parents cannot afford the $1,500 cost of the surgery, and are looking to you for help. Miheretu's mother says: “If my child gets the surgery and recovers, I will give thanks to God in front of all church members and tell my testimony. I will take care of him to the best of my capacity. I want him to get an education and to get married one day.”
Sokcheat is a 50-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She is married and has one daughter and two sons. Her sons both work in construction and her daughter works in a clothing store. Sokcheat lives with her husband, who is also a farmer. During her free time, she likes to watch the news and movies on TV. Three years ago, Sokcheat developed a pterygium in her left eye, causing her to experience redness, irritation and tearing in her eye. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. Because of her condition, she now has reduced vision and experiences difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside. When Sokcheat learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. Sokcheat needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The total cost of her procedure is $225, which covers supplies, treatment, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for August 11th. Sokcheat says, "I hope after surgery my eye stops burning and I will feel better. I am afraid that if I do nothing, I will not be able to see to plant rice to feed my family."
Simon is a 20-year-old who, since he was a little boy, he has worked selling goods at a nearby open market. He has no stable source of income and is currently unable to work due to his medical condition. His single mother is unable to support him. Fortunately, his friend is allowing him to stay in their single room close to the city market. Two years ago, Simon began experiencing pain in his left knee, causing him to limp as he walked. His pain eventually spread to his hip. He now cannot walk without a walking stick and has an infected hip and knee, which are limiting his mobility. After receiving a CT scan, Simon was diagnosed with septic arthritis, which is inflammation of a joint caused by an infection, and sequelae of the hip. In hopes to help his condition, Simon visited visited Kenyatta National Hospital. He has since been on medical follow-up for septic arthritis at the facility without any surgical intervention. He eventually had to stop attending the follow-up clinics due to a lack of financial resources. Fortunately, a friend told Simon about our medical partner's care center, and he traveled there to receive treatment. Now, Simon is scheduled to undergo a treatment on July 8th. This will hopefully finally help heal his condition and relieve his pain. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to fund his treatment. Simon shares, “I can barely move my leg without support from this walking stick. My hip is painful and my knee is just unbearable. I cannot work in my condition and therefore am struggling to survive.”
Htun is a four year old boy living with 12 other children and a pastor and his wife who are helping to raise them in Tak Province, Thailand. Htun enjoys riding bicycles, watching cartoons, and playing with action figures. Towards the beginning of April, Htun began experiencing discomfort while walking and when he was sitting down. According to his guardian, whenever Htun begins to feel pain, he will point to where the pain is coming from and cry. Htun has been diagnosed with an inguinal hernia, which will need to be treated with surgery. Fortunately, he was brought to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, and he is now scheduled for hernia repair surgery on May 31st, at Mae Sot General Hospital. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Htun's hernia repair surgery, after which Htun will be able to live a full and healthy life ahead. "I want to support him as if he were my own child, and I want him to feel like we are his family," shared the pastor.
Mark is a primary school student in a special need school in Nairobi. Mark wears a broad smile and is feeling proud to take his photo and share his story. Mark is the firstborn in a family of two children. Mark's parents are both hawkers at a local market in Githurai. His father sells second-hand shoes famously known as Mitumba and his mother sells t-shirts at the same market. This work results in inconsistent income for their family. Mark has a fracture and dislocation of the shoulder joint and the upper part of the bone of the arm (humerus). As a result of his disability, Mark is unable to communicate the cause of the injury, but his mother suspects he fell a couple weeks ago and injured himself. Mark is unable to use his arm and hand as a result of the fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 5th, Mark will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal well and he will be able to use his arm and hand again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Mark's family raise $1,500 to fund this procedure. Mark's mother shared, “Mark is struggling to use his hand. He is in constant pain and it is written all over his face. Normally, he is a jovial kid but the pain is making him frown constantly.”
Neat is a 41-year old-construction worker, who is married and has a nine-year-old daughter who is in 1st grade. Neat's wife is also a construction worker, and when Neat has free time, he repairs motorcycles to earn more money. In 2021, Neat developed an ear infection, which caused the ear drum in his right ear to perforate. As a result, Neat now experiences ear pain, hearing loss, tinnitus, discharge, and headaches, and he cannot hear clearly when he is at work. Neat traveled to Children's Surgical Centre hoping to receive treatment. On May 5th, he will undergo a procedure on his right ear, during which surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $487 to fund this procedure. This will cover medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Neat says: "I hope my ear heals so the infection stops and I can hear well again."
Porla is a 57-year-old farmer who is married and has two sons and two daughters. Porla's children are now married and he has several grandchildren. Porla enjoys playing with his grandchildren, drinking tea with his friends, and listening to the radio. Porla's right foot is has become severely infected from an insect bite. His foot is swollen and red making it difficult for him to walk without pain. When Porla learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled there hoping for treatment. On April 20th, surgeons will perform a skin graft procedure to help him walk easily again. CSC is helping Porla raise $487 to fund this procedure. Porla says, "I hope after surgery I heal quickly and am able to return to work and be free of pain."
Shisena is a fun-loving 8-year-old girl from Haiti. She lives with her parents and four older brothers and sisters in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Shisena likes playing with her older siblings and listening to music. She goes to a special school program that she enjoys very much. Shisena was born with Down Syndrome and a condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which a hole exists between two major blood vessels near the heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) is helping Shisena undergo the cardiac surgery she needs for a healthy life ahead. During the procedure, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole with a small device. HCA is contributing $5,000 to make her treatment possible and needs to raise $1,500 to fully cover her medical care. Shisena's mom told us, "We are very thankful to everyone who is making this miracle possible for our daughter!"
Victor is a 9-year old boy and the oldest of two children in his family. Victor's mother is a single parent working as a housekeeper. While his mother is at work, Victor often spends time with his grandmother who is a farmer. Victor was born with cerebral palsy and his grandmother shared that he has a lot of energy! Victor was brought to Cure International Hospital's outreach clinic by his grandmother. His condition makes it challenging for Victor to walk without falling. Now he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 28th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Victor and his family raise the $1,224 necessary to fund this surgery so that Victor will be able to live a full, healthy live as he grows up. Victor's grandmother said, "I would love to see my grandson’s feet fully corrected and walking well like other children."
Phat is a 58-year-old farmer who works in the rice fields. She is married and has two sons, two daughters, and seven grandchildren. Phat lives with her husband, and likes to go to the pagoda. Three years ago, Phat developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision, photophobia, and tearing. As a result, Phat has difficulty seeing things clearly and is worried about falling when walking alone. When Phat learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On February 14th, doctors will perform cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in Phat's left eye. CSC is helping Phat raise $229 to fund this surgery so that she can see clearly. Phat shared, "I hope after surgery I can easily travel outside again and do my work well."
Rebecca is a very talkative and friendly woman. In September 2020, she noticed that her belly had started to increase in size and she thought she was pregnant. During one of the clinic visits, the doctor wanted to listen to the baby’s heartbeat but found there was nothing to listen to so they sent her for an ultrasound. The results revealed an ovarian cyst and her doctor advised her to seek for urgent review in a different facility. At the time, Rebecca did not have money to go for checkup. Her belly grew bigger as time went by and in August, her brother offered her help to support some of her hospital visits. She started visiting different hospitals but could afford them. Her brother recommended she try visiting Kijabe Hospital and upon arrival, she was examined and later was scheduled for surgery. Rebecca was employed as a tailor, but lost her job due to her health last April. Since loosing her job, she works doing casual jobs, like laundry work and cleaning houses and shops for people. In her new line of work, it is still hard to make ends meet and she shared that she now relies on her friends for connections to put food on the table. Learning that she might be able to have financial support for her surgery, Rebecca has new hope for the future. She said, "I’m very happy that at least there is some hope that I can get treated.”
Angelica is a hard-working young mom with a three-year-old son. She and her partner work in construction, earning just enough to support their daily needs. Angelica was diagnosed with external hemorrhoids. Because of her financial situation, even though she experiences pain, she is not able to get the medical care she needs to heal. Fortunately, Angelica is scheduled to undergo surgery to treat her condition on March 5th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,163 to cover the total cost of Angelica's procedure and care. After her recovery, Angelica will no longer experience severe pain and other complications in the future. "I want to be able to take care of my child without worrying about my condition," Angelica explained. "I am fortunate to have been referred for surgery with World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi; without them, I'm not sure where we would be able to get help for my treatment."