Flax joined Watsi on September 19th, 2016. Four years ago, Flax became the 2252nd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,220 more people have become monthly donors! Flax's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Rhoda, a girl from Kenya, to fund mobility-restoring leg surgery.
Flax has funded healthcare for 48 patients in 13 countries.
Rhoda was born at her home in 2012 and the next day she was taken to the clinic for vaccinations. The doctor examined her, and she was found to be healthy. She had all her required vaccines at the right time until she was five years. Rhoda has been healthy, and her family shares that she rarely got sick, only the common cold which did not require her to see the doctor. Rhoda started her schooling when she turned five and really enjoys being at school. Equally, she likes the company of her teachers and her agemates during class time and playtime. At the age of six her parents realized that Rhoda was always left behind to and from school. Her friends reported to the parents that Rhoda often falls and that’s why they usually leave her behind. The parents observed Rhoda and realized that one of her legs was not okay. Rhoda twists her leg when she moves. Her ankle continued to worsen until Rhoda couldn’t move far before she fell. She is an active and restless girl, but her twisting ankle keeps bringing her down. The problem has stressed her and affected her socialization with other children and friends. Often, she cries when she falls especially when she notices that people are observing and talking about her shorter leg. It is even saddening to hear other children give her bad names because of her limping. Her parents took her to various hospitals without success. Some health officers thought it was polio and thus there was nothing they could do. The family had difficulties accessing specialists due to their income. Rhoda's father is unemployed and her mother who is the only breadwinner who just got a teaching job. After hert mother got the job and got a National Health Insurance (NHIF) card they took Rhoda to Kikuyu Hospital. However, the NHIF card could not cover the cost for treating her there. It was after the unsuccessful attempt to seek medical care at other facilities that they heard about Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Cure International Hospital. They visited, as they said, trusting God that their lovely daughter will receive treatment and grow up happily just as other children. Rhoda's family shared, “Any help to enable Rhoda to receive treatment will be greatly appreciated.”
Malaika is a two-month-old baby girl from Tanzania. Maliaka is a Swahili name meaning Angel. She is the last born in a family of five children. Both Malika's parents depend on small-scale farming and livestock keeping for their living and to support their family of five children. Malaika has clubfoot of both her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Malaika traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Malaika's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to wear shoes and walk easily as she grows. Malaika’ mother says, “We would love to see our daughter walk like other normal children without being discriminated. Please help support us so that our daughter can have a chance to walk well when the time comes.”
Kong is a 60-year-old tour guide from Cambodia. He and his wife have three children. Kong has to travel a lot for his work, but he can support his family. He enjoys taking care of his children, helping them with their schoolwork and taking them on trips. Last year, Kong had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Kong experiences hearing loss, ear pain, and pus discharge. He has trouble communicating in his work now, and his wife is very concerned that he will have permanent hearing loss. Kong traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 8th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Kong said, "I hope that my ear can heal well after this surgery and that I can have an easy time going back to work. I do not want my family to worry too much."
Maxwell is a 3-year-old from Kenya. He is an only child, his father owns a small butchery, and his mother is a stay-at-home mom. Maxwell was born 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. Fortunately, Maxwell is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 23. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $770 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “It will be a great joy to see Maxwell’s condition fully treated,” shared Maxwell's mother.
Joshua is a 47-year-old man with renal carcinoma. About eight months ago, he started experiencing abdominal pains and was treated with ulcers. However, with persistent pain, he changed hospitals and was later diagnosed with a kidney mass. His condition kept worsening as he changed hospitals. In one of his admissions, he had a blood transfusion of 10 pints due to low blood count. When he came to our partner facility in late April, he was admitted and started treatment of acute kidney infection, renal failure and liver failure. His surgeon recommended a nephrectomy as part of his treatment. If not treated, he is at risk of cancer metastasis. Joshua used to work as a casual sculptor in the capital city. He would fend for his family with the little income he earned. His wife works in the village as a hired laborer in other people’s farms. Their two children are in secondary school. Joshua is not able to meet the entire cost of surgery. His wife shared, “Please help us with financial support. We are really overwhelmed.”
Savoeun is a 38-year-old mother of five from Cambodia. She has three sons, two daughters, and enjoys watching television, taking care of her children, and feeding the animals nearby the house. In February of 2017, Savoeun was is a motorcycle accident and fractured her right leg. She received initial treatment at a local hospital, but she still experiences pain and she is unable to walk easily. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On December 10th, Savoeun will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $430. Surgery will internally fixate new hardware and relieve any pain and discomfort caused by the initial fracture treatment. "I hope that I will be able to walk easily again without any crutches, and I will no longer have any pain and can return to work," she shared.
Faraja is a two-year-old girl and the last born child in a family of two children in Tanzania. Faraja’s father works as a night guard and during the day he tries to seek casual laboring jobs like working on other people’s farms with his wife in order to supplement the little income he is able to get from his night guard job. Faraja has clubfoot of her right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Faraja traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Faraja's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk without difficulty. Faraja’s mother says, “Please help treat my daughter. We are not able to afford her treatment due to financial challenges.”
Elizabeth is a casual laborer from Kenya. She washes clothes in other people households so that she can raise money to buy food and pay her monthly bills. She got married previously, but separated with her husband after she was unable to conceive. Elizabeth lives in rented single-room house alone. Two years ago, Elizabeth experienced pelvic pain. She has been diagnosed with bulky uterus, multiple fibroids, and bilateral hydrosalpinx. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $630 to fund Elizabeth's surgery. On January 14th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Elizabeth will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Elizabeth says, “I want this pain removed so that I can be able to work.”
Kyi is a 58-year-old woman from Burma. She lives alone and used to sell clothing in her village. However, she stopped working since her symptoms worsened, over a year ago. She now has no income but is able to pay her daily expenses with money she has saved. Kyi was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Kyi feels tired when she walks and has a rapid heartbeat. She has also started to experience chest pain and shortness of breath. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Kyi. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 4th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Kyi said, “I felt very sad when I was told that the surgery will cost a lot because I do not have enough money to pay for my own heart surgery. I used up a lot of my money to go to a hospital which did not diagnose me. I felt less burdened when I met Pinlon Hospital’s staff and she told me that an organization [BCMF] will support my surgery’s cost.”
Jean has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect and pulmonary hypertension. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Earlier this year, he underwent a procedure called a cardiac catheterization to confirm that his condition can be repaired, and now he is ready to have surgery. Jean lives with his parents and two siblings in a mountain village in northern Haiti; his parents are both farmers. He is in the fourth grade and enjoys going to school. Jean's mother said, "I am very happy that after many years of hoping and praying, Jean can finally have this operation!"
Mee is a 53-years-old woman who lives with her husband and two daughters who are studying in grade nine and six at a local high school. Mee’s husband is a carpenter and she is a homemaker. Their income is not enough to cover their expenses. About ten years ago, Mee had joint pain and swollen knees. She went to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) where she received blood test and vital signs. The results showed Mee has hypertension as well as arthritis. She also found out that she has a goiter related problem. She received one month worth of medication for all three conditions. Since then, Mee went back to MTC every month for follow-up appointment and to received medication. After three years of taking medication, Mee was told that she does not need to take medication for goiter anymore. Up until now, Mee has been going back to the same clinic for regular medication for her goiter. Meanwhile, Mee feels like her goiter has grown bigger. One day, she happened to meet a health worker in her village who told her to go and seek treatment at MTC. So Mee, along with her friend, went to MTC. From there, she was told to go to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. Mee then went to MSH the following day and she received blood tests and an ultrasound. With the results, the doctor confirmed Mee has a goiter. He said Mee needs to undergo surgery because oral medication or injection would not decrease the size of her goiter. Currently, Mee cannot sleep well but she can eat well. Sometimes, when she carries heavy things, she feels pain in her neck.
Abdirahim is a child from Ethiopia. Abdirahim is a cute boy who loves to play with others. He loves to play football with other children in the village. He also loves to watch animation movies. Abdirahim’s father is retired while his mother was a business woman who supported the family until six months ago when she passed away. Abdirahim has five siblings. Abdirahim 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 Abdirahim's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $961 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Abdirahim. The surgery is scheduled to take place on September 09 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. His dad said “After the operation I see a bright future for our child. I believe his trouble will come to end. And for us the families, it is a big relief.”