Sam joined Watsi on July 23rd, 2018. Four years ago, Sam joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Sam'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.
Sam has funded healthcare for 64 patients in 9 countries.
Sam has funded healthcare for 64 patients in 9 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.”
John is a young student from Haiti who lives with his mother and two older brothers in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He already loves going to kindergarten and enjoys playing with puzzles. John has a cardiac condition called double outlet right ventricle meaning the major arteries connect to the heart in an abnormal location making it difficult for blood to properly flow through his body. Unfortunately the treatment John needs to heal is not available anywhere in Haiti. So, John is flying to the Cayman Islands to receive cardiac surgery. On May 25th, surgeons will detach the arteries from John's heart and reconnect them in their anatomically correct locations. Have a Heart Cayman is contributing $17,000 to pay for this surgery. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, needs $1,500 to help John's family cover labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from Haiti Cardiac Alliance who will accompany John's family overseas. John's mother shared, "Our family all looks forward to our son having a more normal life after this surgery!"
Shee is a 23-year-old woman from Burma. In 2016, Shee and her family moved to a refugee camp in Thailand. There she has been able to continue her studies. Shee graduated from the junior college and now helps her cousin-in-law weave and sell traditional Karen clothes. She shared that it has been difficult for her family to find work within the camp at this time, but she hopes to become a teacher soon. In her free time, Shee enjoys playing with her nephews. In February, Shee began to develop a mass and experience pain in her abdomen, so she visited the camp's hospital. Upon review, she was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection and given medication. Since the mass continued to grow, Shee was referred to her our medical partner's hospital, Mae Sariang Hospital, in early April. After receiving an ultrasound, the doctors determined Shee has an ovarian cyst and needs to undergo surgery to heal. Currently, Shee experiences severe pain that makes it challenging for her to sleep, eat, or continue her weaving. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Shee receive treatment. On April 20th, she will undergo surgery to remove the cyst. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund the total cost of this procedure. Shee shared, "I am not worried about my operation because I hope it will fix my health problem. I would like to become a teacher in the future because I like teaching. After I recover, I plan to apply at a school in the refugee camp."
Navann is an adventurous 15-month-old girl. She is the youngest child in her family, with one three-year-old sister, and lives with her parents who make a living working as garment workers in a clothing factory. She likes to play with her older sister, and enjoys drinking milk, and eating any soup her mother makes. When Navann started learning to walk, at around 12 months, her mother noted that her left hip seemed shorter than her right hip. Navann was brought to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with developmental dysplasia of her left hip, a condition where the "ball and socket" joint of the hip does not properly form in babies and young children. As a result, her gait is uneven and she has difficulty walking, which causes her to sometimes cry when trying to keep up with her sister. Navann needs surgery to repair her hip, and a SPICA cast to maintain proper hip position. If not treated, it can cause painful long term problems for her. Fortunately, Navann's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). There surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Navann of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Her treatment is scheduled for March 22nd. Navann and her family need help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Her mother said: "I hope that Navann will have a good result after surgery, and she will walk like other children."
Sioni is a 17-month old girl and the only child to her young mother. Sioni's mom never had a chance to go to school herself, and is the second wife to her husband, who has two wives and seven children. Sioni's father is a livestock keeper and a small-scale farmer. They come from a Maasai community where health facilities are a long distance away, and frequently are unable to go to hospitals due to financial challenges. Due to this reality, Sioni was born at home through the help of midwives. Sioni was born with clubfoot on both feet. Clubfoot is a congenital musculoskeletal condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes patients to have a great deal of difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Fortunately, Sioni's family traveled to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, where she will receive treatment for her condition. There, on February 18th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on both of Sioni's feet. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Sioni's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily, and grow up to run and play like other children. Sioni’s mother says, “I would like my daughter to be like other children.”
Pauline is a vegetable vendor from Kiambu County in Kenya. She is married and has four children who are all grown and have their own families. Her husband has been working for a company for about 40 years as an office assistant. Last week Pauline was hit by a motorcycle while she waited to cross the road en route to her small vegetable business. First aid was done on site then she was rushed to Nazareth Hospital. X-rays confirmed she had sustained fractures of the right femur, tibia, and left clavicle. The surgeon has recommended two surgeries so she can heal, one for the right femur and the other for the left clavicle. She is in pain and can neither use her hand nor walk easily due to the fractures. She has applied for health insurance coverage, but so far this has been rejected. Her family is unable to raise the money required for the surgery as the income from her husband's job is just enough to sustain their basic needs. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 13th, Pauline will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will relieve her of her pain and restore the use of her hand and leg. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Grace says, “I thank God I survived the accident. I know I will get better and go back to my normal activities by God’s grace."
Mu is a 17-year-old boy who lives with his sister in Mae Sot, Thailand. Before that, he lived with his parents, one older sister, two younger brothers and one younger sister in a refugee camp. His sister works at a non-governmental organisation helping others in need. Around mid-August, Mu woke up one morning with pain in his left knee. At first he thought that the pain would go away on its own and that it was nothing serious. However, when the pain remained a few days later, he told his sister about it. His sister bought him a type of Burmese pain reliever balm to apply on his knee. He applied the balm for a week, but he did not feel any better. When he and his sister noticed that his left knee had become slightly swollen his sister called their father. Mu’s father told them that it could be an ulcer and suggested that they go to a hospital or buy him pain medication to reduce swelling. His sister bought the medication their father had suggested at a pharmacy, and Mu took it for a week. However, he did not feel better, and the swelling did not decrease. Mu was able to have an MRI at Chiang Mai Hospital and now the doctor recommends he undergo surgery to remove a tumor on his left knee. Mu sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund and is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on December 17th. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care which will enable him to get off of using crutches and back to feeling well again. Mu said, "After I heard from the doctor that my leg does not need to be amputated, I feel so happy."
Rachael is the 1st born in a family of three children. Her favorite subject in school is English and she aspires to become a lawyer in the future. Rachael's mother is a vendor, selling chips and samosas in her small shop while her father works as a mechanic. They live in a one-roomed rental house in a rural village. She was born healthy, however, at the age of 11, Rachael's mother noticed an unusual bending of her right leg towards her left leg; a condition she came to know is called genu valgum or "knock knees" deformity. Rachael cannot walk well as her right leg knocks the left. She is unable to play with her friends and while at school, her self-esteem is affected because she cannot walk like her peers. This surgery will be of great impact to her. Rachael will be able to walk well, play with her friends, her self-esteem will be boosted, and she will continue with her education to achieve her dream of becoming a lawyer. Rachael says, “I would love to be treated so that I can walk well, wear skirts like my friends, and continue with my education without interruptions.”
Hamisi is a six-year-old boy and the only child of his single mother. Hamisi started kindergarten earlier this year, but unfortunately had to stop because he was getting sick so often. His mother is a small-scale farmer and their family depends on her crops for their food. Since he was two years old, Hamisi has had a right inguinal hernia which means that tissue, such as part of the intestine, protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles. The hernia has caused swelling on the right side of his pelvis and he experiences pain and discomfort. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Hamisi to receive treatment. On October 18th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Now, he needs help raising $566 to fund his procedure and care. Hamisi’s mother shared, "my son has been suffering due to this problem since he was two years old. Due to financial challenges, I have not been able to seek treatment for him. The condition has now gotten worse. Please help my son."
Enock is a loving father of two. His wife is a housewife and doesn't have a source of income so he is the sole breadwinner for their family. Enock is a self-employed electrician who performs contractual jobs. However, his source of income is not stable as it depends on customer availability. Additionally, Enock supports his siblings financially as they are in need. About a year ago, Enock was involved in a traffic collision where he sustained a tibia fracture. Since then he has undergone multiple surgeries but has exhausted all his healthcare benefits. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,500 to fund bone transport surgery that Enock needs to help him finally heal and get back to work. This surgery will allow Enock to work easily again and to provide for his family. Enock shared, “I rely on my legs to work and fend for my family. After the accident, I have had difficulties in walking and I cannot go to work. I need this surgery to help me with mobility.”
Meshack is a young baby and the third born in a family of three children. His mother sells groceries in a local market and his father is a mechanic. His parents work hard to earn a humble income, just enough to provide for the family. Meshack was born a healthy and happy baby. However, a few days later, his mother noticed that he was not passing urine properly. His parents took him to a nearby hospital for examination where he was diagnosed with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. The doctor referred Meshack to visit BethanyKids Hospital once he turned 7 months old. Once they visited the hospital, he was scheduled to undergo a hypospadias repair surgery. Fortunately, Meshack is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on August 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $847 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Meshack’s mother shared, “It is hard for us to even think of raising any money as we cannot afford it, please help us. Thank you for your support.”
James is former motorbike taxi driver from Kenya. He's married and is the father of two children 13 and 6 years old. James' wife is works part-time on a rice farm in their hometown. The family currently lives in a rental house paid for by their local church pastor. In November 2017, James was in a motorbike accident. Due to the accident, he lost his job, and he shared that his life became one revolving around experiencing pain and constant hospital visits. He underwent surgery on his broken leg in a nearby health facility in his hometown. Following the procedure he had a challenging recovery due to infections, causing him sleepless nights and visits to different healthcare facilities. James was finally referred to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital where he underwent several treatments in May. James returned home but later came back to the hospital with a wounded leg that was in bad shape with an exposed bone. The doctors originally admitted James for repair surgery, but determined he needed a below-knee amputation which took place in mid-June. James still experiences a lot of pain, so the surgeon recommend he undergo another round of intense debridement in the amputated area to remove his damaged tissue and help him to finally heal. James has national health insurance, which supported his two major surgeries, but his coverage has been depleted and will not support the care he needs now. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping James receive treatment. On June 25th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to prevent the spread of infection and speed up his recovery. Now, James needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. James wishes to be free from pain, “I, unfortunately, lost my leg due to a sudden amputation, and I am still in shock. I will never be able to use both legs again. I am still in a lot of pain and the wound needs another procedure for me to be well. I need to get out of the hospital and figure out how to take care of my family with my current condition.”