ELIZABETH joined Watsi on May 11th, 2015. One year ago, ELIZABETH joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. ELIZABETH's most recent donation supported Yoon, a beautiful 12-year-old girl from Burma, to fund an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure so that she can walk again.
ELIZABETH has funded healthcare for 25 patients in 8 countries.
ELIZABETH has funded healthcare for 25 patients in 8 countries.
Yoon is a bright and loving 12-year-old girl. She lives with her mother and uncle in Karen State of Burma near the border with Thailand. She was a student in grade three but stopped studying in August 2020 when she was no longer able to walk. Yoon enjoys painting pictures and reading books. In the future, she wants to go back to school and continue her studies. She helps out her mother with household chores. Her uncle is unemployed whereas her mother is an agricultural day labourer. One day at home, Yoon fell down when she tried to stand up to go to the bathroom. Her feet felt painful and were pointing downwards. After that, she did not try to stand up again and would move around her house on her knees. Her mother would have to carry her to the bathroom. Due to their financial situation, her mother was not able to seek treatment despite being very worried for her daughter. Over time, Yoon noticed that her feet were increasingly pointing downwards and were stiff. Her legs would feel painful and were also stiff. Sometimes, she could not stretch out her legs due to feelings of tightness and pain. Her mom shared that she would cry whenever her legs pained, and she would have to wait until the pain lessened by itself. Additionally, her hands began to weaken until she could not hold food with her hands. At the same time, her speech became slurred and her voice became hoarse. On June 17, Yoon arrived at our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), and was admitted that same day. She received a physical examination and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and tightness of Achilles tendon in both of her legs. The doctor recommended she receive surgery on both of her feet, which would help her walk again, and scheduled the procedure for June 21st. When Yoon’s mother told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for surgery, the doctor referred Yoon to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing further treatment. Our medical partner, BCMF, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure for Yoon. This procedure will elongate her Achilles tendon, allowing increased motion at the ankle joint. Without treatment, Yoon's condition will continue to cause her discomfort and will further limit her movement. Her mother said, “I cried almost every night when I saw my daughter in this condition. She always cried and complained about her feet. She always asked me to bring her to the hospital to get treatment. Whenever she asked me, I felt very sad and I would cry in secret. I want her to get treatment, but I cannot afford to pay for it. Due to COVID-19 and the current fighting in Burma, I cannot make enough money or save it. Often, I would only eat fishpaste and rice, but give her meat so that she can have something nutritious. When I heard that she has donors who will help her receive treatment, I felt very happy and thankful to BCMF for this kindness. I never thought she would receive such an opportunity. It makes me so happy that I do not know how to express it in words.”
Prince is a 5-year-old and the youngest of three children. His father works at a construction site to help provide income for his family. In early February, Prince was on the school bus when the bus ran into a nearby shop. Prince was trapped between seats and became injured. He was rushed to a nearby health facility for first aid and underwent surgery. Two weeks later, he was referred to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital for review. Prince then underwent a debridement and skin graft procedure in mid-February. Currently, Prince cannot walk and attend school, which is affecting his ability to move up in grades this year. Prince’s first two surgeries were paid for using his parent’s medical coverage, but the medical insurer turned down the current request for the surgery Prince needs to heal. Prince’s family shared that their trips to the hospital have exhausted their savings. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Prince receive treatment. On May 25th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure. This surgery will address any risks of infection so that Prince’s leg can heal and he can walk again and resume his studies. AMH is requesting $1,185 to help to fund this procedure. Prince’s father said, “Prince has missed school since February. He was supposed to graduate to grade one, but due to the injuries, he did not. He needs this surgery so that he can be able to walk again.”
Alex is a student and is a very ambitious and active teenager from Kiambu, Kenya. He is the only child of a single mother, who is a hawker of different items. He is in high school and his mother shared that he has a passion for football and running. After schools were closed in March, Alex decided to go and visit his aunt who lives near Nazareth Hospital. Being playful as he is, he took a bicycle from his aunts’ house and decided to have a ride on last Saturday. Unfortunately, while riding, he tried to avoid a collision and he fell. He sustained an injury to his left hand. Now Alex is in pain, unable to use his hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 12th, Alex will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Alex's fracture will heal, he will be able to use his hand and also resume school. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I am feeling for my son, and hope he could receive the sponsorship so that he can be well before the school opens,” said Alex’s mother.
Evaline is a nine-month-old baby girl, who is the youngest of two in her family. Evaline and her parents come from a Maasai community, who are largely livestock keepers. They mostly live in remote regions where they can find water and pasture for their livestock. Living in such an environment makes it difficult to access healthcare, so it is common that mothers neither go to a clinic during pregnancy nor deliver at a hospital. Most mothers deliver at home with the help of midwives. Evaline was born with clubfoot of her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Evaline's parents traveled to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons performed clubfoot repair surgery on March 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Evaline's clubfoot repair. After treatment and recovery, she can learn to walk, run, and play like other children when the time comes. This will be especially helpful when she is school age and needs to walk longer distances to attend school,\. Evaline’s mother says, "Help my daughter, it hurts seeing her foot like this."
Soro is an 18-year-old who works as a rice and vegetable farmer. He also has an older sister. In this free time, Soro enjoys playing football, going out with his friends, and listening to music. In January, when Soro was traveling, he was assaulted and stabbed on the left side of his neck. He went to a local hospital, where doctors cleaned and closed the wound. However, he has not regained movement in his left arm since returning home. Doctors diagnosed his condition as 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 a loss of function and sensation. Currently, Soro cannot lift his arm, which means he is unable to work. Soro traveled to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for treatment, as CSC's care center is the only center in the country that provides the surgery he needs to heal. On February 15th, Soro will undergo brachial plexus repair surgery. Upon recovery, he will be able to use his left arm again. CSC is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Soro says," After surgery, I hope I can return to work and be free of pain."
Ravuth is a bright student in the 4th grade. He's the youngest in his family and has three older siblings. When not studying, Ravuth likes to play football, watch TV and play games with his friends from school. Six weeks ago, Ravuth had a severe ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. Ravuth now experiences ear discharge, pain, fevers, and hearing loss. It is difficult to listen and he feels shy because he doesn't understand the conversation. He has frequently been absent from class and his mother is worried that he might be held back in school. Ravuth's family traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 18th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his 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. Ravuth said: "I hope my hearing will improve and I can go back to school!"
Daniel is a two-year-old from Tanzania. Daniel’s father is a tailor and his mother is a stay at home mother. Their family does not earn enough to be able to afford Daniel’s needed treatment which will allow him to be able to walk without difficulty. If not treated Daniel will continue to have challenges when walking. Daniel was diagnosed with genu varus where his legs bow outward so that his knees do not touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he feels pain after walking for a while. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Daniel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 3rd. Treatment will hopefully restore Daniel's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Daniel’s mother says, “Please help my son get this treatment so that he can be able to walk.”
Mary is a farmer and the single mother of three children who are now grown. She lives in her parents’ home in Central Kenya. Mary farms on a small piece of land given to her by her parents, growing food crops for home use. She has no source of income and relies on her kids for upkeep and support. However, all her children do not have stable jobs. Her parents are elderly and don’t work either, so she is worried about how to fund the care she needs. Mary first started experiencing pain in her stomach at the beginning of October. Mary's pain has gradually increased and her stomach began swelling making her uncomfortable. She went to a health facility in Central Kenya for a check-up and review. She has been diagnosed with cancer of the ovaries. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. AMH is requesting $1,260 to fund Mary's surgery. On November 24th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Mary will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Mary says, "I feel uncomfortable with a swollen stomach and I am in pain. I know this surgery will go a long way to help heal the issue and make me well again.”
Mary is a jovial 52-year-old community health volunteer. Sadly, her husband has passed away and she cares for their five children on her own. Mary is one of the Community Health Volunteers at a local care center, which allows her to make a small living and meet her family's needs. For two years, Mary has been experiencing lower abdominal pain, a feeling of fullness and an enlargement of her abdomen. In September, the pain became more severe and she visited a local hospital for examination. She has been diagnosed with multiple fibroids and needs to undergo a hysterectomy, or a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Mary to receive treatment. On October 8th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Mary will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Now, she needs help raising $755 to fund her procedure and care. Mary shared, "I have no one to turn to for help. I would appreciate any support for this operation so that I can overcome this problem and get back to my work and also continue to care for my children."
Angel is a three-year old girl and the firstborn in a family of two. Her younger sister is only three months old. Her mother is a homemaker without a source of income and her father is a driver at a local tea plantation. They live in a two-room house costing $50 a month and have been relying on her father's employer to help pay their bills. On September 17th, Angel suffered 2nd-degree burns. Angel's mother was preparing bathing water for her and her little sister. Her mother poured hot water into a basin and had gone to get cold water to cool the bathing water. While away, Angel unknowingly stepped into the basin with the hot water and got burnt. Angel sustained burns on about 12% of her total body surface area (TBSA), including to her gluteal region, her feet, and her right hand. Due to these injuries she is unable to sit and she sleeps on her belly. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Angel receive treatment. On September 23rd, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help her heal well and be able to sit again. Now, Angel's family needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Angel’s mother says, “I want to see my little angel grow into a successful lady. She is constantly crying because of the pain and discomfort. I hope this surgery relieves her of these predicaments.”
Grace is a beautiful, charming, and smiley 15-month-old baby. Grace's parents are small scale farmers and have one other child. They grow and sell maize and vegetables. Grace's mother sells fresh vegetables to her surrounding neighbors to make a living while, her father works at a carwash to support their family. Grace 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, Grace has been experiencing vomiting and high fevers. Without treatment, Grace will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Grace that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 9th and will drain the excess fluid from Grace's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Grace should grow and develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Grace’s mother says, "Our baby is usually very active and playful but as days go by, her condition worsens, causing her weakness, vomiting and high fevers. Please help us."
Paw is a 59-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters in a refugee camp. In her free time, Paw like to feed her three chickens and sing gospel songs. She also loves looking after her granddaughters at home when their mother is teaching. On a late evening earlier this month, Paw was walking home in the rain when she slipped and fell on the muddy road. She accidentally hit her forehead against a tree stump and tried to break her fall by sticking out her right arm. Right after she fell, Paw experienced a sharp pain in her right arm and forehead. Her son and daughter-in-law brought her to the camp hospital, where Paw was given stitches for her forehead as well as pain medication, and her arm was put in a splint and a sling. The medic then referred her to another hospital, where she was finally admitted at two days later when a car became available to take her. At the hospital, Paw received a X-Ray and was told that her right wrist is broken and requires surgery. With her hand wrapped in a bandage, she was referred to our medical partner's care center, Chiang Mai Hospital, for further treatment. Currently, Paw cannot move her right wrist, not even to lift her hand. Without more pain medication, her hand and forearm experience severe pain with any movement, so Paw has to be careful to keep her right hand straight. Because of this, Paw cannot complete her daily chores nor look after her grandchildren. Fortunately, with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Paw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 23rd and will cost $1,500. This surgery will help Paw move her hand around and resume her daily activities again with ease. “I want to get well soon so that I can go back to taking care of my grandchildren,” Paw said. “They are waiting for me at home to go back to my daily life. Now, I have to come for my treatment and there's nobody look after them. It is hard for my daughter in-law.”