Doug joined Watsi on June 20th, 2015. 13 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Doug's most recent donation supported Asaph, a farmer from Malawi, for prostate surgery.
Doug has funded healthcare for 12 patients in 8 countries.
Doug has funded healthcare for 12 patients in 8 countries.
Asaph is a 64-year-old farmer and father of eight children who lives in Malawi. Two years ago, he started experiencing difficulty passing urine and increased nighttime urinary frequency—symptoms related to an enlarged prostate. The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. An enlarged prostate—known as benign prostatic hyperplasia—is a common condition in older men due to hormonal changes. As the prostate gets larger, it squeezes the urethra, causing problems with urination. Asaph has been unable to sleep restfully and has had difficulty providing for his family due to pain and discomfort associated with the catheter he uses to empty his bladder. For $742, Asaph will undergo surgery—transurethral resection of the prostate—in which doctors insert an instrument into the urethra to remove the part of his prostate that is blocking urine flow. After surgery, a catheter will be inserted temporarily to remove urine from the bladder. When the urine is free of blood or blood clots, the catheter will be removed, and Asaph can urinate on his own. Funding for Asaph also pays for a three-night hospital stay, lab tests, medicine, and transportation to and from the hospital for him and two caregivers. It is expected that, after his surgery, Asaph will make a full recovery and be able to live catheter- and symptom-free. "Before I had to go to the bathroom four to five times every night," shares Asaph. "Now I will be able to live a normal life again."
Meet John, a 13-year-old living with his family in a village in Uganda, approximately 70 km from our partner hospital. Three months ago, John had an accident working on his father’s farm and sustained a chronic joint dislocation on his left elbow. After the accident, his parents, Ronald and Gillian, sought help from local facilities. When these facilities were unable to help John, they reached out to local healers who prescribed herbs, which also did not work. Fortunately, they learned of a surgical camp and were accepted into the program. For $429, John will receive chronic joint dislocation correction surgery to realign his left elbow. After surgery, John is looking forward to going back to school and when he is completely healed, playing on his village soccer team. His father shares, "I would like to thank everyone supporting the camp and pray that God blesses you."
Sokheng is a four-year-old girl living with her sibling in Cambodia. She was born with clubfoot in her left leg, which makes it painful and difficult to walk normally. Her mother took her to our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC), to seek proper treatment. Clubfoot occurs when the foot is twisted out of shape or position. As a result, the tendons in the limbs are shorter than usual and can cause limited movement and instability, among other complications. When treated early enough, clubfoot can be corrected with physical therapy, but after a threshold of development, orthopedic surgery is necessary. CSC shares that for $266, Sokheng can receive the surgery she needs to correct her clubfoot. The total cost covers the procedure, supplies, and five days of inpatient care. After casting, her foot is expected to be straightened and allow for normal, painless, weight-bearing movement. Sokheng’s mother is eager for her daughter's surgery. “After surgery,” she shares, “ I hope my daughter can walk properly.”
Nine-year-old Khu is the youngest of six children and lives on her family’s farm in Burma. “When Khu was a year old, she first developed jaundice, fever, and a distended abdomen,” our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP), tells us. She was prescribed medicine from a local clinic to treat her symptoms, and at age six, she was diagnosed with thalassemia. Thalassemia is a genetic condition in which the body does not make enough red blood cells, and the existing red blood cells do not transport oxygen efficiently. This is problematic because red blood cells carry oxygen to all of the body’s organs. When an organ’s oxygen supply is inadequate, the organ cannot function properly, and symptoms such as fatigue, pallor (pale skin), and slow growth rates can result. “Khu needs a blood transfusion every month, and if [she does not receive it], she becomes pale and tired,” explains BBP. “Khu no longer goes to school as her illness continually forces her to miss classes, and she falls behind the rest of the class.” Khu also has an enlarged spleen—known as splenomegaly— which is common in individuals with thalassemia. The spleen is responsible for destroying old and defective red blood cells. In thalassemia, the rate of destruction is increased in response to the abnormal and transfused red blood cells in circulation, and the spleen grows larger due to the increased activity. “With thalassemia, a splenectomy [removal of the spleen] is often required to alleviate symptoms,” BBP continues. The family’s farm work—growing rice, selling livestock, fishing, and collecting wild fruits and vegetables—provides sufficient income for their day-to-day expenses, but they can afford only the most basic medications for Khu. For $1,015, Khu will undergo a splenectomy and receive seven days of hospital care and follow-up appointments after surgery. “Following the surgery,” says BBP, “Khu should be able to go back to school, and she will no longer need blood transfusions.” "Hopefully, my girl can regain her health, return to school, and possibly become a medic in her future," shares Khu’s mother.
Meet Krim, an 84-year-old Cambodian man. Krim is a stay-at-home dad—an occupation that keeps him especially busy, given that he has ten children and 21 grandchildren. When he isn’t spending time with his large family, "Krim spends his free time going to the pagoda to listen to the monks pray and join in the ceremonies,” shares our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC). About a year ago, Krim began to notice it was difficult for him to see clearly. He was having trouble recognizing the faces of people he knew well. He traveled four hours to visit CSC, where he learned that the source of his vision problems was a cataract, or clouded lens, in his right eye. This condition has also been “causing Krim blurred vision, tearing, and irritation,” CSC tells us. This combination of symptoms now makes it hard for Krim to go outside by himself and to do work around the home. $150 will provide Krim with the surgery he needs to be able to see clearly again. First he’ll receive an extracapsular cataract extraction, which will remove his clouded lens; then, that lens will be replaced by an intraocular lens implant. This artificial lens will function like a natural one, and will restore Krim’s normal vision. After these procedures, Krim will have fully restored vision, and will be able to recognize his family members once again.
Meet Abubeker, a two-year-old boy from Ethiopia. Abubeker’s father is a newly employed teacher in a government school. “Abubeker was born with an abnormally placed urination hole," says our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), "As a result, Abubeker cannot pass urine normally. This condition puts Abubeker at risk of contracting urinary tract infections and infertility in the future." Abubeker's condition is known as hypospadias. For $1,155, we can fund an operation that will correct the abnormality. “Abubeker will have a straight penis with a urination hole at the tip. He will be able to pass urine normally and his risk of urinary tract infections and infertility in future will be minimized,” explains AMHF. Abubeker's father says, “I really pray and wish that in future, Abubeker will be an intelligent and educated professional.”
Five-month-old Stella lives in Tanzania with her parents and three siblings. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us that "when Stella turned two months, she had severe fever and fits." Despite a few weeks in the hospital, "her mother noticed the size of her baby’s head was getting bigger. Stella’s activity slowly started to diminish and crying became normal for her." Stella’s symptoms are caused by hydrocephalus, a condition where cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) builds up in the brain, causing the head to swell. According to AMHF, “Stella is at risk of losing her vision if not treated. She may also not be able to sit, stand or walk due to the size of her head.” Stella’s condition can be treated with hydrocephalus shunt surgery. During surgery, excess CSF will be drained, relieving her of the swelling and pressure in her head. This will eliminate the risk of vision-loss, and give Stella the chance to reach her developmental milestones. To support their family, Stella's mother does bead work and her father works as a livestock keeper, but they are unable to afford treatment for their daughter. Treatment costs $775, which includes surgical fees, wound dressings for two weeks, pain management, a five day stay in the hospital, and two weeks at a rehabilitation center. “I pray that my baby will get better. I will be very happy to see her grow up like other children,” says Stella’s mom.
Meet Seang, a 14-year-old girl from Cambodia. Our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC), shares, “Seang is a student in grade three and she has two brothers and one sister.” Since Seang was five months old, she has had chronic otitis media -- an infection of the inner ear. This infection has caused perforation of both her eardrums, and she cannot hear well. CSC shares: “Seang feels unhappy because she cannot communicate with other children at school.” Although Seang received treatment at a local health center, her condition did not improve. With $598, Seang will receive a myringoplasty to close her eardrum perforation and drain excess fluid in her ear. “After treatment, pain and discharge from her ear will decrease,” says CSC. With time, Seang’s hearing should improve as well. Her sister shares, “I worry about my youngest sister so much. It is hard for her to talk with other children at school.” Seang hopes that after the operation, she will be able to hear and communicate better.
"Alex is an energetic, 11-year-old boy," shares our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). "He is the seventh born in a family of nine children. Alex is in primary school." Alex was born with congenital gigantism of the first, second and third digits of his left foot. The digits continue to increase in size as Alex grows. Alex cannot wear shoes, and feels different from other kids. "The long distance walk to school is sometimes a problem for him due to the size of his foot, but Alex doesn’t like missing classes at all," AMHF continues. "He enjoys science subjects and also likes to draw. His father passed away, leaving his mother and children. Alex’s mother does small business of selling green vegetables and fruits. She is doing the best she can to raise her children." Alex would like to be able to wear shoes and comfortably walk to school like other children. For $1,035, we can fund surgery to correct his gigantism and allow him to walk normally. Let's help make it happen!
Meet Houy, a 70-year-old woman from Cambodia. Our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC), shares, “Houy is married with six children and twelve grandchildren. She spends most of her day doing housework.” “Houy has had cataracts in both of her eyes for four years,” CSC explains. A cataract occurs when the lens of the eye becomes clouded, leading to blurred vision. “Huoy’s cataracts make it difficult for her to do work on the farm and she can't go to the pagoda or join ceremonies as much as she would like to,” CSC explains. “Houy also does not like to go outside during the day and go places that aren't close to her house.” With $225 in Watsi funding, Houy will receive cataract removal surgery. Doctors will remove her clouded lenses and replace them with clear implants. CSC explains that after surgery is performed on Huoy’s left eye, “Huoy will have clear vision in her left eye and can come back in 1-2 weeks for surgery on her right eye.” CSC adds, “After surgery Huoy will help her family out at the farm, go to the pagoda more often, and try going out to places on her own.”
Meet Francis, a 55-year-old man from Kenya with a wife and four children. “Francis comes from one of the most rural areas of Kenya,” says our medical partner, the African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Francis works as a laborer for the local city council, while his wife is a subsistence farmer. “On 8th July this year, Francis fell, sustaining a fracture of the left leg. He went to the hospital and the surgeon prescribed an ORIF [open reduction and internal fixation] to be done to fix the bones,” says the AMHF. Francis' family's income is not sufficient to cover the cost of the surgery, and if the fracture is not treated, Francis’ leg will never heal properly. For $1,125, we can fund the ORIF—a procedure in which a surgeon makes an incision to reach the bones and then moves them back into their normal position. Metal screws, plates, sutures, or rods are then placed on the bone to keep it in place while it heals. Funding will also cover lab costs, two weeks in the hospital, and ten days of physical therapy. Our medical partner expects that after the treatment, “the bones will unite and Francis will be able to use his leg again. Francis will be able to work and support his family.” Francis shares, “I am the hope of my family, therefore, I really hope that Watsi will assist me to be operated on. I hope my surgery will be successful.”
Meet Diego, a two-year-old baby boy from Guatemala. “Diego is the youngest of seven children, and his mother is eight months pregnant with her eighth child,” reports our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). “His father works as a tractor driver on a large farm, while his mother takes care of the household, washing clothes and cooking.” “While all of Diego’s siblings are in school, his parents have a hard time affording study materials, uniforms, and proper nutritious food,” continues WK. “His parents value education and are trying to give all of their children the chance to study and graduate from school, but admit it is extremely difficult to ensure each child’s future at this time.” Diego has acute malnutrition, marked by a below average weight for his height. “Without intervention, Diego will continue to not receive the nutrition and calories needed to thrive, his height will continue to not improve, and his weight will decline,” explains WK. “Diego will suffer from limited mental growth and a weakened immune system, consequently leading to fatigue, decreased ability to concentrate and learn, and limited long-term success.” For $535, Diego can be fully treated for acute malnutrition. This includes food supplementation, micronutrient support, travel/lodging, laboratory studies, medications, and several sessions with a nutritionist. “Micronutrient and food supplementation will increase his vitamin, mineral, and overall caloric intake, while deworming medication will rid him of any potential parasitic infections and allow him to digest and absorb vital nutrients,” explains WK. “Diego’s immune system will strengthen and he will avoid the devastating long-term effects of malnutrition, such as increased risk of chronic disease, decreased performance in school, and lower economic productivity later in life.” “This treatment will give Diego’s family the tools they need to help him thrive,” continues WK. “Intensive nutrition education will benefit not only Diego, but also his seven and soon to be eight other siblings, as his parents will have the educational tools necessary to prepare nutritious meals for all their children and be able to recognize signs of malnutrition in the future.” “I love my children and want them to do well, but sometimes I am overwhelmed by how many I am responsible for,” says Diego’s mother. “And now with this next little one on the way, I am afraid I will not be able to give all of them the food and education they want.” Let’s help Diego grow and reach his developmental milestones.