Robby joined Watsi on July 20th, 2015. Seven years ago, Robby joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Robby's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Ivan, a cheerful 11-month-old baby from Tanzania, to fund clubfoot repair surgery so that he can walk as he grows.
Robby has funded healthcare for 89 patients in 12 countries.
Robby has funded healthcare for 89 patients in 12 countries.
Ivan is an 11-month-old baby who is very energetic. He is now at the crawling stage, and from the moment he arrived at our medical partner's care centre, Ivan has not stopped crawling from one point to another. Ivan lives with both his parents. His father is a small-scale farmer, and the sole provider for the family, while his mother stays at home taking care of household chores. He is very close to his mother, but also not afraid to meet new people. His mother enjoys watching him move around. She has struggled to find treatment for him since he was a newborn baby. When Ivan was born, his parents tried their best to pay for his treatment, but halfway through the treatment plan, they could not afford to pay anymore. Ivan has clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and wearing shoes as he grows. Fortunately, Ivan's family came to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on November 8th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Ivan's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily when he grows up. Ivan’s mother says, “my biggest wish is to see my son learn how to stand and eventually start walking.”
Nicholaus is a young boy from a family of five living in Tanzania. His parents are local farmers who practice subsistence farming. They try to provide for the family, but it has been hard for them to provide the basic needs. They sometimes live on one meal a day, and shared that buying clothes for their children is difficult. When Nicholaus was two years old, he fell into a pit of hot ashes, burning his right hand. The parents applied honey on the wound and left it to heal. They got rid of the open wound, but it left the boy with a burn scar contracture on his right hand. They live in a remote area where it is hard to access social services like medical care. The contractures tighten the area around the burn, and it is now hard for him to move the hand especially around the wrist and part of the fingers. Nicholaus' parents have tried seeking professional medical opinion for their son before, but have not been able to afford the recommended treatment. When they heard about Friends of the Plaster House (ALMC), they were hopeful, and travelled over 600 km to seek assistance for their son. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Nicholaus receive treatment. On October 12th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him move his hand easily. Now, he needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Nicholaus’s mother says “We left home with hope that when he comes back, his hand will be okay."
Joyce is a 52 year old, small-scale farmer. She relies on the proceeds from her small farm, and from the milk that she sells from the one cow that she and her husband own. Her husband is also a farmer, and together, they have five adult children. In October 2017, Joyce began to experience troubling symptoms, including pain in her neck - especially during swallowing - and difficulty in breathing. She went to a nearby health facility, and underwent several surgical procedures on her thyroid and esophagus, but her condition did not improve. In May of this year, Joyce presented at Kijabe Hospital with progressive difficulty in breathing. After she was evaluated and scans were done, Joyce was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. While she has an excellent prognosis, Joyce needs to be treated quickly, to prevent the cancer from spreading. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Joyce access the care that she needs. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on September 20th, at our medical partner's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital. During this procedure, surgeons will remove all or part of Joyce's thyroid gland. This operation will cost $949, and she and her family need help raising money. Joyce says, “I am almost losing my voice. I have been through several hospitals seeking treatment. This cancer is threatening my life.”
Shee is a bright and caring 12-year-old girl from Thailand who likes to play the piano, listen to music, and help her caregiver garden with her friends. She lives with 30 students, including her younger brother, in the dormitory of Has Thoo Lei Learning Centre. She is currently in fifth grade, and her brother is in third grade. Both her and her brother's dormitory fees, including food and accommodations, are funded by a Christian nonprofit organization called Compassion Thailand. Both of her parents currently live in Burma and work as subsistence farmers. Her father also works as a day laborer. Shee's parents support her and her brother with their school fees and pocket money. For the past two years, Shee has dealt with femoral hernias. As a result of her condition, she experiences pain in her right groin, as well as pain and discomfort when she sits for a long period of time. When she plays with her friends or is active, the bulge increases in size. Her condition has progressively worsened, and she has had to miss school frequently as a result. Fortunately, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Shee's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 22nd. Once completed, she will hopefully be able to live more comfortably. Shee says, “I want to become a nurse when I grow up one day and help people in my community who are sick and need my help.”
Abigael is a bright seven-year-old from Kenya. She is the firstborn in a family of two children. Her mother is a single mom who works to support her family by doing a variety of work on other people’s farms. Abigael attends school, and one of her favorite ways to spend time is playing with her friends, both at school and at home. Abigael was born with clubfoot on her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Abigael's mother noticed the condition and took her to the nearest hospital when she was two weeks old. She underwent a series of casting there; however, over time, her clubfoot became progressively worse rather than improving. Fortunately, Abigael and her family traveled to our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital, to seek treatment. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Abigael's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to put on shoes, walk comfortably, play with her friends freely, and continue with her education uninterrupted. Abigael’s mom shares, “I request support for my daughter's clubfoot to be corrected so that she can be able to put on her shoes and walk like other children.”
Baraka is a teenager and the oldest in his family of four. He currently studies in class six. Bakara's mother practices small-scale farming of maize, sorghum, and millet to provide food for the family. Baraka and his mother both experience epilepsy, and Bakara had a seizure that led to an accident. He suffered severe burns to his right leg and is unable to straighten his leg at the knee due to the burn contractures. Bakara can only walk with the use of a walking stick. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Baraka receive treatment. On June 7th, surgeons will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him walk easily. AMH is requesting $874 to help fund this procedure. Baraka says, “I would be so happy if I can have a chance to walk normally.”
Debora is a young student and the last-born child to a single mother of two. She is charming and friendly. Her father left her family when Debora was very young. Debora’s mother has worked hard to raise her two children by herself ever since. She practices small-scale farming and grows bananas, maize, beans, and other vegetables as food for her children and to sell to others for money. Debora has clubfoot on her right leg. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Debora and her mother traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC). There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Debora's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily when she heads back to school. Debora’s mother shared, “I have watched my daughter turn from a normal child to a disabled child and all because I cannot afford her treatment cost. Please help.”
Gebreegziabher is a brave, young, and fun boy who loves to hangout with his friends. He loves to play chase and other games with his friends and brothers. He has five siblings and shared with us that he loves goats! Gebreegziabher never went to school because of his condition. He is a shepherd and helps to keep the sheep and goats of his parents. Because of his condition, he has endured bullying, but he continues to be brave and his dad shared: “He is so strong despite his sickness. When others pick on him and speak bad things about him and things related to his disease he even gets in to fights.” Gebreegziabher's mom and dad counsel him and comfort him and help him to bring out self-confidence and strength. His dad and his mom are farmers and his mom takes care of all the household chores. Dad said: “Our area is dry. We work hard and farm but the harvest is poor with lack of rain. We purchase food because our harvest is not enough to support the family.” They also raise animals to support themselves. The community survives with the dry land and the scarcity of food by donations from the government and NGOs. But the past two years they couldn’t get the donation since they are in the war zone. For these reasons they can’t afford the medical bill for their son. Gebreegziabher was born with congenital anomaly called bladder extrophy. That is an abnormally where the bladder is open to air. Given the pain and risk of infection, he just ties clothes around the wound. His mom is very much worried and concerned because of his condition. She shared that she has excluded herself from the community for years in taking care of him and raises him and recalls that when growing up, he would sit faraway from others and boys in his age. They keep up hope for better days ahead and are a loving family who support each other the best they can. His Dad said: “He learned to exclude himself from others growing up. We are sad as a family because of his condition. The neighbor insults us, discriminate us and we feel so sad about this. We couldn’t tell what will happen to him. And we bring him to God always.”
Mom is a 42-year-old seller of snacks and drinks. She is married with three young children. Her husband also sells goods at the market in Siem Reap province. She works hard to keep their house clean, cook for the children, and spend time with relatives when she has free time. Ten years ago, Mom had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. Mom experiences frequent ear infections causing ear discharge, hearing loss and tinnitus. It is difficult for her to communicate with others. She feels unwell and often cannot work due to frequent headaches. Mom is frustrated because she has spent money on medicine and treatments but nothing has worked. Mom traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 8th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. She hopes that - after this surgery - her ear infections will disappear and she will improve her hearing. She said, "I want to care for my children and not always feel bad."
Erlando is a playful three-year-old boy from the Philippines who loves to giggle and watch Tik Tok videos. Erlando was born with a congenital abnormality that leads to intestinal complications. This condition requires Erlando to go through a series of corrective procedures to eliminate the abnormality and reduce the risk of life-threatening complications. Erlando's parents sew uniforms for a living and work hard to earn enough to sustain their daily needs. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Erlando's parents raise $1,279 to cover the total cost of Erlando's procedure and care. He is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 16th and after his recovery, Erlando will be able to live a happier and healthier life. Erlando's mother shared," This surgery will be the biggest blessing our child will ever receive given our economic situation. It will be a such a relief to see him grow up healthy."
Charity is a vegetable vendor from Kenya. She is married and a mother of three children who are all in school. Charity sells vegetables while her husband is a hawker. The income they get is only sufficient to meet their basic family needs. On the evening of January 11th 2022, Charity accidentally slipped and fell in her house. She sustained a fracture of the left femur which was then confirmed by an X-ray. She is in pain and unable to walk, and therefore not able to carry on with her normal activities. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center can help. On January 18th, Charity will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The procedure will help her walk, work, and take care of her family again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $998 to fund this procedure. "I am used to doing my own work and this accident has really affected my life. Our NHIF (National Health Insurance Fund) card has an issue and they can only help me after 28days, which I cannot bear to wait before being treated. I kindly request for help so that I can be well again to continue with my responsibilities” said Charity.
Ma Zin is a 22-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her older sister, who works as a seamstress in a factory. Her parents and older brother live in Burma as well. Her father is retired, while her mother works as a day laborer and homemaker. In 2019, Ma Zin began feeling tired very often. She also began having heart palpitations and occasionally difficulty breathing. She was examined by a doctor who gave her medication and referred her to a local hospital for a chest x-ray. The doctor diagnosed her with heart disease, and prescribed medication to treat her symptoms. However, in January of 2021, Ma Zin began experiencing greater fatigue and difficulty breathing. She quit her seamstress job due to her condition and visited a local hospital where she received an echocardiogram. She was diagnosed with atrial septal defect (ASD) and surgery was recommended. Fortunately, our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Ma Zin receive treatment. On December 19th, she will undergo an atrial septal defect closure at BCMF's care center. Now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. In talking about her dreams for the future, Ma Zin shared, "I want to become a designer in the future. I want to recover quickly so that I can go back to work. After I recover, I will learn how to design clothes and sew them myself. I will work hard for my family. I would like to see my parents smile and be happy. I would also like to live with my family in my village."