UNIVERSAL FUND MEMBERBellingham, Washington
The joined Watsi on September 19th, 2016. Six years ago, The joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. The's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support David, a 24-year-old male from Kenya, to fund a surgery to fix his leg and avoid potential amputation.
The has funded healthcare for 66 patients in 11 countries.
The has funded healthcare for 66 patients in 11 countries.
David is a 24-year-old male from Kenya. He is the last born in a family of four children raised by his mother. He works at a timber workshop near his home. In June 2020, David was involved in an accident where he was hit from the side by a motorbike. He was taken to the nearest public hospital and received emergency care. An x-ray revealed that he had an open right tibia fracture that needed surgery. Following his initial surgery, he has since had several additional surgeries due to the severity of the injury. In October 2022, he was referred to the care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital, run by our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for specialized review and care. His doctors quickly realized that he still walks with a limp, and his ankle is stiff with bloody discharge from the incision site. His doctors determined that a deeper examination was needed, and he ended up having a hardware removal surgery. However, the region where the fracture occurred is still severely infected, and he risks losing his right leg due to the infection. The doctors have recommended an additional procedure to remedy the remaining issues and clean the infection. Fortunately, AMH has scheduled David for a second-stage bone transport in hopes of avoiding amputation and helping him walk again. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund the procedure and provide for David's post-operative care. David says, “I feel exhausted and worried. I am unable to walk despite having several surgeries. I hope this surgery [helps] to save my leg.”
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."
Bela is an 18-month-old girl from the Philippines, who loves listening to nursery rhymes and playing with her musical toys. She lives with her older sibling, her father, who is a businessman, and her mother, who is a homemaker. Bela was born with an anorectal malformation, which is a congenital condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate her bowel dysfunction and help her grow up healthy. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Bela access the treatment that she needs. She is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on January 14th, at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being paid for by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is looking to you to help raise $1,211 to cover the remaining cost of Bela's procedure and care. After her recovery, Bela will no longer need a colostomy, experience bowel dysfunction, or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Bela's mother said: "As a parent, I hoped she'd have a normal life, and be free from using a colostomy bag. To be honest, a huge part of our budget goes to her colostomy supplies. So this free surgery is really a big help to our family. To WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines, thank you very much! We wouldn't know how to get her treated without your support."
Chaw is 20-year-old who lives with his parents and three younger sister in a refugee camp. Chaw's sisters go to school, his mother is a homemaker and his father and brother work as agricultural day labourers. Chaw's brother lives on his employer's land and sends the family what money he can every month. After his accident, Chaw stopped working on the same farm as his brother. In his free time, before his accident, Chaw liked to play football with his friends and visit with them. In 2020, Chaw was carrying corn to the peeling machine where he worked and he slipped and hit his left lower leg against the fan of the machine. Chaw was in a great deal of pain and was brought to the hospital. Chaw was told that his left lower leg was broken, and underwent surgery to insert a steel rod into his leg. This past January, Chaw noticed a mass on his left lower leg, where he had received surgery. The mass was very painful and felt hot to the touch. Over time, the mass increased in size until his whole lower left leg became swollen. Although he received surgery to remove the mass, Chaw's leg never fully healed. Eventually he was diagnosed with osteomyelitis and was told the steel rod in his leg would need to be replaced. Chaw is in a lot of pain and his lower left leg continues to be swollen and red. He cannot sleep well and needs crutches and assistance to move around. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Chaw will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for September 6th and BCMF is raising $1,500 to cover the cost of this life-changing procedure that will help Chaw walk free of pain. Chaw shared, “I am happy that I will receive surgery with the help of the organisation [Burma Children Medical Fund] and I am thankful to all of the donors. In the future I want to get better quickly. I will find a new job and support my family.”
Rozaleny is a 70-year-old woman from the Philippines. She lives with her husband, who is a tricycle driver. For the past few months, Rozaleny has been experiencing pain and difficulty sitting. After three months of enduring this pain and discomfort, she decided to seek medical care. She was diagnosed with external hemorrhoids and was advised to undergo surgery to prevent her condition from worsening. However, Rozaleny and her husband could not fund her needed treatment due to financial constraints. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Rozaleny receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a hemorrhoidectomy on July 30th at WSFP's care center. During this procedure, surgeons will remove her external hemorrhoids. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,137 to cover the cost of Rozaleny's procedure and care. After her recovery, she will no longer experience pain and will avoid future complications. Rozaleny's husband shares, "This free surgery will really be a big help to us. We can't afford to pay for her treatment. We're eternally grateful to Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for all their help."
Andy lives in a neighborhood of La Paz with his parents and younger sister; he is in the fifth grade and likes playing video games and spending time with his friends and family. Andy was born with a heart condition called ventricular septal defect: a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart, and blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. During surgery, doctors will sew a patch over this hole to close it. His surgery costs $1,500, and Andy's family needs help to pay for it. Andy's mother said, "Our family is very hopeful that after this surgery Andy will have more energy and will grow bigger and stronger!"
Tablut is playful a eight-year-old boy from Burma. In his free time, he enjoys playing football with his friends and hunting with a slingshot in the jungle. He lives with his parents and four sisters in a village near the border in Karen State, Burma. During the day, Tablut and his sisters go to school in the village, while his parents work as agricultural day laborers. They also grow rice for their family to eat, as well as raise chickens and pigs. Together they earn 5,000 baht (approx. 166 USD) per month. The income they earn is just enough to cover their monthly expenses and they cannot afford to pay for other costs that come up including basic health care. On April 26th, Tablut and his friends climbed up a mango tree to pick mangoes, however, Tablut slipped and fell out of the tree, fracturing his right leg. Right away his thigh looked deformed, and he experienced a lot of pain. His friends ran to get his mother who carried him on her back to a nearby clinic where he was admitted for four days. There the medic wrapped his right thigh in a bandage and gave him medication for his pain. While admitted, his pain lessened but his thigh became swollen and he began to develop a fever which caused him extensive pain and an inability to sleep. His mother was told by the medic that they would arrange transportation to take him to a hospital. On April 31st, Tablut and his mother were brought to our medical partner's care center Maharaja Nikon Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH). There, he received an x-ray confirming that his right thigh was fractured. In early May he underwent surgery to place an external fixation device onto his right thigh. Initially, after surgery his pain lessened, however as time has gone on the pain and swelling have returned and he's once again began to develop fevers at night, as well as blisters on his leg where the external fixation device is attached. Currently, he cannot shower by himself, and cannot move his right leg or walk anywhere without the help of his mother. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Tablut will undergo surgery on June 17th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. After surgery, Tablut's pain will finally subside and he will be able to walk, play, and go back to school to be with his sisters and friends. Our medical partner is asking for $1,500 to fund Tablut's surgery and medical care. His mother said, “Now I am miserable. I want my child to receive surgery quickly so that we can go home. I worry for him and I also worry about my other children who were left behind [at home]. There is flooding in my village, and I am worried that they will go to the river to swim. Thinking about both Tablut and my other children, I can’t sleep at night nor eat. The school will reopen soon, but I have not saved any money for my children’s school fees yet. I want him to go to school when he recovers.”
Shedrack is two years old, and lives in Tanzania with his parents and one sibling. His mother stays at home to care for the children, while his father is a small scale farmer, whose earnings cover the family's basic needs. Five months ago, when Shedrack was in the kitchen with his mother, he pushed over a pot of boiling water, burning his left arm and left leg. Shedrack's mother rushed him to a local dispensary, where they were sent on to the hospital. As the family lives in a remote area, Shedrack's treatment required extensive travel. And, while the burns ultimately healed, Shedrack developed contractures, which limit his ability to straighten his leg, or to use the fingers on his left hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Shedrack receive treatment. On October 13th, surgeons at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre will perform burn contracture release surgery, which will enable Shedrack to walk easily, and use his fingers again. Now, he needs your help to fund this $874 procedure. Shedrack’s mother says: “The burns were so bad that I thought I was going to lose my son. I am glad that now I am going to be able to help finish his treatment and all thanks to you.”
Verena is a small-scale farmer and a mother to eight children. Verena happily shared that all of her children are in school and that she and her husband work as farmers to help pay for their school fees. They also built a 4-room home for their family through their work selling their farm produce. Ten years ago, Verena began to experience troubling symptoms, including a swelling on her neck. Although initially painless, the swelling increased over time. Recently, Verena's airway is becoming obstructed, making it especially challenging for her to sleep, and she also becomes easily fatigued. She visited Rushoroza Hospital, our medical partner's facility, for review. The doctors diagnosed her condition as a non-toxic nodular goiter, which is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. Verena needs to undergo surgery to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Verena receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on May 14hth at AMH's care center. During this procedure, surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $333 to fund the cost of this surgery. Verena says, "I hope to live a normal and free life again through the surgery. My family and I cannot afford the surgery currently due to many unavoidable family activities that require funding, especially school fees. I will continue with farming after recovering completely."
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.”
Meshack is a six-year-old boy, living with his mother and one sibling, in a one-roomed grass thatched house in a village in Kenya. Recently, Meshack completed his preschool studies and now he is in grade one. According to his mother, Meshack is very helpful, and always assists her around the farm and in doing household chores. Meshack's mother is a single parent and a farmer, who works hard to provide for her family. Meshack was born with a condition known as hemiplegic CP, which means that one side of his body is weak. His right foot is affected, making walking challenging. Additionally, Meshack was born with clubfoot of his left foot, which adds to his difficulty walking, and limits his ability to wear shoes. Meshack has already undergone some preliminary, preparatory procedures on his left foot during mobile clinic visits near his village and the next step is for him to have clubfoot repair surgery at our medical partner's hospital. Meshack and his mother have now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 27th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Meshack's surgery, which will enable him to walk, to play with his friends, and to continue his education. “I would love to see my son walking like other children, and I will be relieved of the burden of carrying him to school,” Meshack's mother told us.
Naw En is a 31-year-old woman who lives with her husband, two sons and parents in a village in Karen State near the border of Burma and Thailand. Her husband and parents are subsistence farmers. Naw En is a village health worker, and her two sons are primary school students in the village. Although she earns around 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month to support her family, she does whatever she can to only charge the villagers she treats for medications provided. Those who cannot afford to pay for the cost of medications are provided medication free of charge. Her family also raises chickens and pigs for their family to eat. The income Naw En earns is just enough to cover their daily expenses, but they have to borrow money to pay for anything else, like basic health care. Naw En learned she was pregnant last August 2021. She went to register her pregnancy at nearby Hlaingbwe Hospital, but the doctor told her to go to Hpa-An General Hospital when she told them that she had high blood pressure and previously needed a c-section delivery. When she went to Hpa-An General Hospital, a nurse told her to go to Taw Win Thu Ka Hospital because they were understaffed due to the coup and humanitarian crisis in their area. Finally, she then registered her pregnancy at Taw Win Thu Ka Hospital last November and received an ultrasound, blood test and urine test. The doctor gave her monthly follow-up appointments to check her high blood pressure and to check that her baby is in the right position. In January, Naw En learned that she will have a girl. “I was very happy to hear this as I already have two sons,” she said. Her doctor has now told her that she will need another c-section to ensure a safe delivery and unable to come up with the money needed, Naw En called her friend who works in Mae Sot to ask for help. Her friend told her about our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and that she may be able to find assistance in accessing her treatment. Currently, Naw En is taking medication for high blood pressure and feels tired when she walks. She can feel her baby kicking. When her blood pressure is high, she feels dizzy. She feels stressed each time she has to travel to the hospital, as it is located four hours from her home and cost 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) just for the round-trip transportation. She is also worried about the cost of her c-section and that they would have to borrow money if they cannot find donors. In the future, she will continue to work as a village health worker. In her free times, she loves to spend time with her two sons and play with them. Naw En said, “I was happy when BCMF staff told me that donors will help pay for my c-section. Thank you so much to the donors for reliving me of my worries.” She also added, “I am very happy and excited to have a baby girl!”