Iris joined Watsi on September 4th, 2014. Seven years ago, Iris joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Iris' most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Jesca, friendly, music-loving teenager from Tanzania, to fund mobility-restoring clubfoot treatment.
Iris has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 12 countries.
Iris has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 12 countries.
Jesca is a hardworking, friendly, and sociable girl who loves music and singing in the choir at church. She's an 18-year-old teenager, born as the third child in a family of nine. Jesca was only able to study until seventh grade because she was experiencing mobility issues due to clubfoot, making going to school particularly challenging. Jesca's father tried to encourage his daughter to continue with school by discussing with her the the importance of education. However, Jesca was too concerned about going to secondary school, which is located even further away and thereby posing an even bigger challenge for her. Jesca has clubfoot on her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Jesca has now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform a clubfoot repair surgery on June 29th, and requests support of $935 for her treatment costs. After treatment, Jesca will be able to walk normally and is hopeful for a better life ahead. Jesca describes her previous decisions about school with regret but turns an optimistic outlook for her future: "If it wasn’t for my foot I would have probably continued with school and maybe today I would be in a better position. I am now working but my foot is still limiting my work. Please help me have my foot corrected."
Kennedy is a 23-year-old high school graduate and the second born of four children in his family. Kennedy shared that his father sadly passed away in 2006, and his mother works as a house helper in Nairobi. His older brother works as a watchman in the city and his younger siblings are still in school. He is not working currently, and he lives alone in his family home on a quarter-acre of land. On May 22nd, while training to drive a motorbike so that he may be able to do this for an income, he was hit by a speeding vehicle and lost control. He fell along the roadside and fractured his right leg. It is difficult for him to walk and he is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 2nd, Kennedy will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Kennedy shared, “I recently finished my form four and I have my future to think of. I need to be able to walk well but first I need the surgery to help me.”
Claire is an eight-month-old baby girl and the youngest of three children in her family. Claire’s mother is a farmer and her father is a preacher at gospel churches in Kenya. Claire was born with clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. As she grows, this causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Claire to receive treatment. Claire traveled to visit AMH's center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 9th. Now, AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Claire's surgery. After treatment, she will be able to walk like other children without any difficulty. Claire's mother shared, “I would request support for my daughter to undergo surgery so that she can walk like other children."
Saw Moo is a seven-year-old boy who lives with his parents and older sister in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Saw Moo is a student in kindergarten and his sister goes to primary school. In his free time, Saw Moo enjoys playing hide and seek outside. Around mid-May 2020, Saw Moo began to experience blurry vision in his right eye, making it increasingly difficult to for him to see clearly. Saw Moo was diagnosed with retinal detachment, a condition in which the retina pulls away from the supportive tissue in the eye, resulting in vision loss. If left untreated, he could lose vision completely. Saw Moo is scheduled to undergo surgery to reattach his retina and our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund is raising $1,500 for his treatment. After his surgery, there is hope for Saw Moo's vision to be restored so that he is able to resume his daily activities comfortably. Saw Moo's aunt shared, “My nephew is a hard-working student. You do not need to tell him to read [or study] because he loves to do it. He is amongst the top 10 students in his class. I want him to regain vision in his right eye and to continue his studies so that he can become a medic. His mother is ill and cannot accompany him [during his treatment]. If my nephew becomes a medic or health worker, he can look after his mother and his community.”
Htun is a 50-year-old man from Thailand. He lives with his wife, son, and two daughters in Thailand. Htun and his wife work as agricultural day laborers, but Htun had to stop working after he injured his eye. Currently, Htun can only perceive light with both of his eyes, but he cannot clearly see objects. Although he is not in pain, he needs someone to assist him when he walks or eats. He also cannot work nor do any household chores as a result of losing his vision. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Htun. On March 2nd, doctors will perform the lens replacement surgery, and they will remove Htun's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After his surgery, Htun will be able to see clearly and get back to all that he needs to do in the day. Htun said, “I am sad and depressed that I cannot see nor do anything. I feel sorry that my wife has had to accompany me everywhere and do every little thing for me such as helping me eat and go to the bathroom. I want to regain my vision quickly and I want to go back to work.”
Kyaw is a one-year-old boy from Thailand. He lives with his father, grandmother, uncle and brother in a village in Tak Province, Thailand. His father and uncle are day laborers while his grandmother is a homemaker. Kyaw’s 13-year-old brother also helps out with household chores. In the middle of November 2020, Kyaw developed a fever, cough and difficulty breathing. His grandmother treated him with traditional medicine but Kyaw did not get better. His grandmother then took him to a clinic in the village, where he received oral medication for a week. Once he completed the medication, Kyaw still was not better. His grandmother then took him to another clinic where he received a blood test, fluid through an intravenous (IV) infusion, and oxygen. After the doctor checked his results, Kyaw was diagnosed with anemia and he was admitted. He received a blood transfusion, but Kyaw still did not get better. The medic then referred him to another hospital where he was also admitted and received tests and treatment. When Kyaw did not get better, the doctor referred him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH). After Kyaw arrived at MSH in an ambulance in early December, he was admitted. At the hospital, Kyaw received an x-ray, oxygen and antibiotics. After checking his x-ray result, the doctor diagnosed Kyaw with congenital pulmonary airway malformation (CPAM), where a mass forms during pregnancy in one of the lungs of the fetus. The doctor told Kyaw’s grandmother that Kyaw could have a mass or cyst in his right lung in addition to a build-up of fluid in that lung. The doctor then inserted a tube into his right lung which was connected to a bag to drain the fluid. After the procedure, the doctor told Kyaw’s grandmother that they would remove the tube when no more fluid would drain from his lungs. When Kyaw did not get better, the doctor referred him to Chiang Mai Hospital for further treatment. Doctors want Kyaw to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. After a long journey and many treatments, this scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $693 to cover the cost of Kyaw's CT scan and hospital care, scheduled for February 1st. “I want to see him free from this suffering,” said Kyaw’s grandmother. “Once Kyaw recovers and is older, I will send him to school. I want him to become an educated person because I do not want him to work as a day labourer and work under the hot sun like his father.”
Collins is a young boy from the northeastern slopes of Mt Kenya in Meru County, Kenya. He is 5 years old and is the firstborn in a family of two children. His mother is a housewife, while his father is a mason. Collins was born with clubfoot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. Since birth, he has had serial casting treatment, but his condition has yet to improve. Both his mother and his sibling also have neglected clubfoot conditions. Collins has difficulty with walking and wearing shoes, and is unable to play with other kids. In January 2020, he was able to undergo a left posterior medial release (PMR) with Watsi support, and his foot has corrected well. As a result of the surgery, he is able to wear his left shoe and his walking has improved. However, his right foot is still deformed and requires surgery for him to be able to walk comfortably and confidently on both feet. Fortunately, Collins' family traveled back to our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on his right foot on January 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Collins's clubfoot repair. This surgery will be very impactful for Collins because he will be able to walk, play, and enjoy life like other children. His mother is grateful for the support for his first surgery, and again appeals for support for this procedure as their income level is not high enough to afford his needed care. Collins' mother shared, “I would like to thank CURE Hospital and AMH-Watsi who made possible my son’s first surgery. May the almighty God bless you. I continue to plead for support for the planned surgery on his right foot so that he can fully walk without any difficulty.”
Agnes is a housewife from Kenya and a mother of 2 children aged 2 and 10 years old. Agnes' husband is a stonemason who earns a daily wage, and his income is dependent on the availability of work. Because she does not work, their family depends solely on him for income and to pay medical bills, which is only enough to cover their basic needs. Agnes has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. She needs to undergo a mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $857 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Agnes. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 2nd. After treatment, Agnes will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Agnes shared, “My family is my greatest motivation, I need to get this surgery to be able to raise my young kids and take care of my husband."
Kabula is the fifth born child in her family and was born with Spina Bifida. Her parents were referred to a more advanced hospital for treatment but they could not afford to travel to there or the cost of treatment that would be needed. They returned home tried to raise money but months kept passing by and they still could not afford it. Kabula kept getting sick every now and then with fever and vomiting, and her family took her to the nearby clinic where they were given medications. Kabula's parents separated two months ago, her mom shared, as Kabula's father was blaming her mom for giving birth to a child with Hydrocephalus. He also felt he could not afford any treatment for her with his living as a subsistence farmer, so Kabula's mother has been caring for her alone. Kabula's mother has now returned back to her parent's house to live. Kabula has been scheduled for Spina Bifida repair surgery and a VPS insertion and her mother is requesting financial support. She said, “I have been left with no support from my husband due to our child’s condition. Please help save her life.”
Martha is a hardworking 54-year-old mother from Kenya. She is a single mother of two, who are now adults. She used to run a small green grocery along the road in Ruaraka, but she is now jobless. One month ago, the structure where she used to sell her produce was brought down to pave way for the expansion of the road. She therefore has no source of income. Her oldest daughter used to work as a hotelier in Mombasa but lost her job due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which greatly affected the hospitality industry. Her son used to help Martha with the grocery shop but he is also jobless after the demolition. Their family is struggling to meet their daily needs and pay their $35 rent for their two-room home. Martha has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $857 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Martha. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 25th. After treatment, Martha will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Martha says, “I am confident that I will be able to fight this disease and have a normal life. However, I don’t have means to cover for the cost of this surgery since my business went down. If I get assistance, I will greatly appreciate it.”
Reaksmey is one-month-old baby girl from Cambodia. Reaksmey was born with congenital clubfoot on her right foot. Her mother tried to correct this at home but attempts were unsuccessful. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Reaksmey traveled two and a half hours to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). There, surgeons will perform tendon achilles lengthening procedure followed by casting on May 28th. CSC is requesting $385 to fund Reaksmey's clubfoot repair. After treatment, her right foot will be aligned with her left foot and she will develop normally. Her mom says, "my daughter's foot problem makes me very worried about her future. I hope she will not be in pain and everything will be ok."
Philomena is a baby girl from Kenya. Philomena’s father is a carpenter and her mother, who used to operate a grocery store, is now a homemaker. Together they have five children, three of which are in school. The family has a small income and they have exhausted their savings helping pay for Philomena’s twin sister's heart problems. Philomena underwent a colostomy, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Philomena's case, her colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $681 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Philomena. The surgery is scheduled to take place on July 3rd and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. Philomena’s mother shared, “I will be very grateful for any financial help offered.”