Elonet joined Watsi on December 17th, 2016. Five years ago, Elonet joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Elonet's most recent donation traveled 5,300 miles to support Sai, a young shopkeeper from Burma, to fund a procedure to heal his heart defect.
Elonet has funded healthcare for 68 patients in 10 countries.
Elonet has funded healthcare for 68 patients in 10 countries.
Sai lives with his parents and sister in a village in Karen State in the border region of Burma where there is currently a lot of violence and instability. His sister is a teacher, while both he and his parents run a shop from their home, selling various items such as snacks, drinks, dry goods, and cement. In his free time, he loves to play cane ball with his friends. In early November 2021, Sai received treatment for COVID-19. While getting treatment, doctors also discovered that he was born with a hole in his heart, and he was diagnosed with atrial septal defect. A doctor in Yangon confirmed his diagnosis and told him that he needs surgery. He recommended he go to Thailand as the only other option was to receive surgery at a military hospital in Burma, which have been impacted in the recent humanitarian crisis. Sai's aunt suggested he seek treatment at a clinic in Thailand and he was referred to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial support to make his care possible. Now, Sai is raising $1,500 for his Atrial Septal Defect Closure procedure, which is scheduled for July 12th. Sai said, “I would like to receive surgery as soon as possible so that I can help my parents like before. Now, my father has to do all the hard and heavy work, which is not good for him as he is getting old.”
Seak Long is a 26-year-old construction worker. He lives in the far northwest of the country in Battambang province with his parents. In his free time, Seak Long enjoys playing football and listening to music. Two years ago, Seak Long developed an ear infection that caused a cholesteatoma, or abnormal skin growth, to develop in his middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Seak Long experiences ear discharge, hearing loss, and ear pain accompanied by headaches. Consequently, it is difficult for him to communicate clearly with others. Fortunately, Seak Long could travel to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On June 14th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $926 to fund this procedure, which covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Seak Long shared, "I hope my ear pain stops and my hearing improves."
Agrey is a five-month-old baby boy, and the first child born to his parents. Agrey was born with spina bifida and bilateral clubfoot. Agrey's father, who is a truck driver at a local sand quarry, was able to find enough money to take Agrey to a referral hospital for assessment of his spina bifida. But their family could not afford to pay for the surgery necessary to correct this condition, which put Agrey at risk of losing the ability to use his lower limbs, and endangering his life in the event of a serious infection. They were referred to the Plaster House for help, and through Watsi funding, Agrey had his spina bifida corrected. Agrey's bilateral clubfoot also means that both of his feet are twisted out of shape, which would make it difficult for Agrey to walk when he gets older. Fortunately, Agrey's family brought him to Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, our care partner's health center. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 13th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund this procedure and his care. After treatment, Agrey's feet will be straightened and he will be able to wear shoes and to walk easily as he grows up. Agrey’s mother says: “My son has had his first surgery of his back and it was successful. He now needs to start treatment for his feet. Thank you for your help.”
We met Thomas, a 9-year-old jovial and social boy at Cure Hospital's Nyeri satellite clinic. He is the second born in a family of four children. His family hails from a village in Muranga County. Thomas is a third grade student and a very bright boy who aspires to be a pilot in the future. His mother is a small business lady while his father is a mason. Thomas lives with his grandmother. Thomas was born healthy, however at the age of three his grandmother noted an unusual bowing of his legs. He was taken to a hospital in Muranga, however, the condition has never improved and instead has continued to worsen. Fortunately our medical partner can help. Thomas is now scheduled to undergo surgery to heal his condition. The treatment will be impactful to him because he will be able to walk and play more easily. The severe pain he has been experiencing from straining when walking will be alleviated and he will be able to continue with his studies uninterrupted. We can't wait to see him flying in the skies one day! "I would request the hospital to help me undergo surgery so that my legs can be corrected and I can continue with my education," Thomas expressed.
Meet Lucy, a 3-year-old jovial girl. She is the second born and last born in the family. Her family hails from Mai-Mahiu village in Nakuru County of Kenya. Lucy's mother separated from her father after having challenges in the family. Now they live in a two-room rental house in their village and her mom does laundry, farming, and any other work she can get within the village. Our medical partner met Lucy at the Kijabe clinic, where she came with her mother. Lucy has a fracture on her hand that was sustained after a fall last year. She was taken to a hospital in Kiambu county, where casting was done, and she was later told that the hand had healed. Lucy's mother noticed, however, that her hand is still not well and she is not able to lift things or do all that she should be able to. Lucy is scheduled to undergo osteotomy surgery to correct her left hand. Her mother is not able to raise the hospital bill and has requested support. "Any help to assist my daughter with undergoing surgery will be highly appreciated," Lucy’s mother shared.
Brighton is a 6-year-old boy and the 1st born in a family of two children. He is a very bright and social boy. His mother reports that he likes reading and English is his favorite subject. The family hails from Jogoo village in Kisii County in Kenya and his parents are small-scale farmers. Brighton has clubfoot of his left foot. He was born with this condition and he limps as he walks and often falls while playing football, his favorite sport. Fortunately, Brighton traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 24th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Brighton's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily, wear both shoes and enjoy playing football. Brighton's mother says, “Please, I am pleading for help for my son’s foot to be corrected so that he can walk, play as he wishes, and enjoy life."
Margaret is a 41-year-old who works jobs she can find in her neighborhood. She hails from Baringo County in Kenya and is married with 8 children aged between 26 and three years old. Together with her husband, they work on their farm and other people's farms to earn a living. They also get their school fees for their kids from this work. Their family lives in a grass-thatched house. Fifteen years ago, Margaret began to experience troubling symptoms, including a neck swelling that has continuously grown over the years. Before she was seen by our medical partner's doctors, Margaret had tried to seek medication from different hospitals but she could not receive treatment because of financial strain. She opted for herbal treatments, which did not improve her condition either. Her thyroid condition has affected her general well-being and she cannot carry out her day-to-day duties normally since she gets tired easily. This has affected her daily income and support for her family. Margaret attended one of the free medical camps held at Kapsowar Hospital and after examination by the doctors, an ultrasound was done. She was diagnosed with a non-toxic multinodular goiter. The doctor recommended surgery, but Margaret is unable to raise the required funds. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Margaret receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on January 13th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money. Margaret says: "I really look forward to getting well and going back to normal so that I can work like before and support my husband in providing for our family.”
Myat lives with his elderly mother. He stopped working two years ago after a stroke left the right side of his body weak. He is now unemployed and relies on his mother’s support. His mother is a street vendor, selling foraged vegetables and plants as well as sticky rice that she makes. The income she earns is not enough for their daily needs. They survive thanks to the generosity of their neighbors, who support them with food and allow them to live on their land in a hut rent-free. Starting three years ago, Myat has experienced pain in his lower right abdomen whenever lifting something heavy and now the pain is more regular. At the beginning of December, the pain in his lower right abdomen increased and became constant. His neighbor lent him 50,000 kyat (approx. $50 USD) and told him to seek treatment at Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). Myat traveled to the hospital and was admitted right away. A doctor completed a physical examination, diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia, and told him that he would need surgery. When Myat told the doctor that he cannot afford to pay for it, the doctor referred him to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing treatment. “When I recover, I want to sell traditional medicine again,” Myat shared with a renewed sense of hope that he might be able to finally have surgery.
Zaw lives with his mother, two sisters, two nephews, and two nieces in Mon State in Burma. His mother is retired, and his youngest niece and nephew go to school. His niece works as a betel nut cutter with his two sisters, while his nephew works as a day laborer. Zaw cannot work right now due to the pain in his foot. In his free time, he enjoys praying to Buddha and watching movies, which also helps him feel better. Around the end of September, Zaw developed pain in his left foot. A few weeks later, three of his toes turned black. Eventually, all of his toes, and his forefoot turned black too. When he went to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) a couple weeks ago, he was diagnosed with gangrene and was admitted to the hospital straight away. At first the doctor tried to treat him with oral medication, injections and physiotherapy exercises to increase the blood supply in his left foot. When this did not work, Zaw was told that the best option is to amputate his foot. Unable to pay for surgery, the doctor referred him to our partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing further treatment. Currently, Zaw is in a lot of pain. His left forefoot is black and swollen. As the pain is worse at night, he cannot sleep properly. He also has difficulty sleeping because he is worried about his foot and their financial situation. "Once I have recovered from surgery and I have received a prosthetic foot, I want to support my family and become a taxi driver," he said. "Thank you so much to the donors for supporting me. Every day I pray for them."
Kolongo is a 17-year-old student and the oldest child in a family of six children. He is currently in class five in school and his best subjects are Swahili and math. Kolongo is hard-working both at school and home. He helps his parents with farm work when he is not at school. Kolongo’s parents are small-scale farmers of maize, cassava, and sorghum. They depend entirely on what they harvest for food and his father also seeks day laboring jobs to supplement the family's income. Kolongo was diagnosed with right genu valgus, which means that his right leg is bowing inward at the knee. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result of his condition, walking to school and other daily activities are difficult. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Kolongo to receive treatment. On October 8th, he will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. Treatment will hopefully restore Kolongo's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Now, AMH is requesting $880 to fund his procedure and care. Kolongo shared, "walking long distances is a challenge and carrying out my daily life activities, like working on the farm and carrying anything heavy causes me pain. I will be happy if I have my leg corrected."
Jane is a 35-year-old farmer, a single mother of two, and the 5th born child in a family of twelve. Due to the size of their family and how close-knit they are, Jane's mother commented, “all my daughters (6) have been married, gotten children, and then have come back home. I never even remember who is who and who follows the other." Jane was born with a disability and never able to attend school. Jane's mother helps to take care of her. Earlier this month, Jane was working and going through her daily activities when she slipped and fell, sustaining a fractured clavicle on her right side. Jane is in severe pain, and she is not able to go about her normal activities. Jane came to the hospital accompanied by her elderly mother and her niece, and Jane's mother shared her story with the hospital staff. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 16th, Jane will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). Following the procedure, Jane will not experience pain, the fracture will heal well and she will be able to work and take care of her children as normal. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Jane’s mother said, “I am desperate and Jane has been a great challenge to take care of even before she was sick. I kindly request help so that at least she can be well and assist herself where she can. I also wish she can be relieved of this pain.”
Teltila is a lively five-month-old girl from Ethiopia and a sibling to an older brother and sister. She is sociable, loves to play with her mom, and enjoys it when her mom talks to her. Her dad is physically impaired and unable to move around easily. He sells candies and some sweets on the street for a living and her mom is a housewife raising their three kids. His income is not enough to maintain the family but fortunately, they are supported by a foundation in their town that works with people with impairments. Teltila was born with a birth condition called anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage causing pain and complications. She developed bowel obstruction because of her condition and an emergency colostomy, one of the series of procedures needed to eliminate the condition, was done for her at our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM). She has had multiple issues with her colostomy care and associated complications and as a result, she continues to feel significant discomfort. According to her mother, Teltila had her first surgery when she was 45-days-old and unfortunately, the second surgery was delayed due to finances. The money they saved could only cover doctor reviews and some level of surgical fees. After getting an appointment, her bag was stolen with all the money and documents at a bus stop. Teltila's mother was devastated and did not know what to do. She heard of a charitable organization that supports the poor and went there to share her story. Teltila is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on August 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Teltila's procedure and care. After her recovery, she will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Teltila's mother says, "I am now so thankful. I lost all I had and I just received it back through you all. I hope my daughter will be treated."