Greg joined Watsi on February 23rd, 2014. Seven years ago, Greg joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Greg's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Sitha, a 40-year-old car mechanic from Cambodia, to fund shoulder surgery so he can use his left arm.
Greg has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 12 countries.
Greg has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 12 countries.
Sitha is a 40-year-old car mechanic. He's been married for four years and lives in the city with his wife. In addition to repairing cars, Sitha works in a garment factory. In his free time, he enjoys playing football, listening to music, and fishing. Two years ago, Sitha was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of his left shoulder. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He is unable to lift his left arm and he hasn't been able to work. Sitha traveled to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) to receive treatment. On September 9th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his left arm again. Now, CSC is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Sitha shared, "I really hope I can regain full function of my left arm and be independent again."
Teltila is a lively five-month-old girl from Ethiopia and a sibling to an older brother and sister. She is sociable, loves to play with her mom, and enjoys it when her mom talks to her. Her dad is physically impaired and unable to move around easily. He sells candies and some sweets on the street for a living and her mom is a housewife raising their three kids. His income is not enough to maintain the family but fortunately, they are supported by a foundation in their town that works with people with impairments. Teltila was born with a birth condition called anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage causing pain and complications. She developed bowel obstruction because of her condition and an emergency colostomy, one of the series of procedures needed to eliminate the condition, was done for her at our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM). She has had multiple issues with her colostomy care and associated complications and as a result, she continues to feel significant discomfort. According to her mother, Teltila had her first surgery when she was 45-days-old and unfortunately, the second surgery was delayed due to finances. The money they saved could only cover doctor reviews and some level of surgical fees. After getting an appointment, her bag was stolen with all the money and documents at a bus stop. Teltila's mother was devastated and did not know what to do. She heard of a charitable organization that supports the poor and went there to share her story. Teltila is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on August 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Teltila's procedure and care. After her recovery, she will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Teltila's mother says, "I am now so thankful. I lost all I had and I just received it back through you all. I hope my daughter will be treated."
Venance is a five year old boy and the second born child in a family of four children. Venance is a friendly boy who is currently in kindergarten. Venance and his siblings are being raised by their mother, who does small scale farming where she gets most of the food her children need. She also seeks day laboring jobs like working on other peoples farms or laundry to help make ends meet. Venance was diagnosed with Bilateral Genu Valgus, a condition that causes bones to bend. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Venance now has pain after a long day of play and walks to and from school. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Venance. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Venance's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Venance mother says, "Please help my son."
Stephanie is a five-year-old student from Nairobi, Kenya who enjoys singing and dancing. She is the older sibling in her family, and her mother takes care of their family and home while her father is a small businessman. Stephanie has clubfoot on her left foot, causing her foot to be twisted out of shape and resulting in difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Stephanie traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Stephanie's procedure. The treatment will allow Stephanie to walk, wear shoes, and continue with her studies. Her mother, Maureen, told us, “I am humbly requesting help from well-wishers to help my daughter walk like other children."
Navin is an eight-year-old third grade student with one older sister. Navin lives in the province where his parents are farmers. When he is not in school, Navin enjoys playing football, playing with his toy car, and asking his father questions (sound familiar to any parents out there?) Two years ago, Navin had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Navin experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. It is difficult for him to hear at school. His parents took him to a local NGO that told them Navin needed to have surgery. They recommended his family come to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). Navin and his family traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 12th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers his medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Navin's parents hope his hearing can improve so he can communicate well again in school and at home.
Lomnyak is a 5-year-old boy and the fourth born child in a family of five children. Lomnyaki and his siblings live with their mother, as their father left and doesn't offer support. His mother does not currently work as she is taking care of their family and she shared how challenging it was as they do not have livestock nor a place to farm. They are doing their best to get through a challenging living situation. Lomnyak was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Lomnyak is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Lomnyak's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 19th. This procedure will hopefully spare Lomnyak from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Lomnyak’s mother shared, "I didn’t know that this condition was life-threatening but I suspected it to be the cause of my son not being able to stand nor walk. Please help him get this surgery."
Ko is a 37-year-old father of five who lives with his wife, three daughters and two sons in a refugee camp in Thailand. His family receives a cash card every month from an organization, but this is not enough to cover their expenses. Therefore, he also works as an agricultural day laborer in a nearby Thai village. In his free time, Ko enjoys playing cane ball and spending time with his friends. On December 11, 2020, Ko slipped and fell onto rocks outside of the camp. When he tried to get up, Ko could tell that his leg was broken. He went to the hospital in the refugee camp run by Malteser International (MI). He was eventually referred to a hospital where he underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into his leg on December 25, 2020. When he went back to the hospital for his follow-up appointment on February 3, 2021, the doctor observed that the surgical wound was infected and he underwent surgery to clean his wound. When the wound still did not heal, the doctor referred him to another hospital, where the doctor told him he would need an additional surgery to remove necrotic tissue and replace the rod in his leg. Currently, Ko is experiencing a lot of pain. It is difficult for him to walk and he is worried about his family in the camp. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ko will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and finally heal. This procedure will allow Ko to walk and his leg to heal properly. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. Ko shared, “I really want to work to support my family as soon as possible. I cannot imagine what life would be like for my family if my leg never heals.”
Sanchez is a 3-year-old boy from Haiti. He is an only child who lives with his mother and father in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He likes drawing pictures and playing with toy cars. Sanchez has a heart condition called ventricular septal defect, which means that there is a hole between the two lower chambers of his heart. He will fly to the United States to receive life-saving treatment. On February 17th, Sanchez will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will close the hole in his heart by sewing a patch over it. Another organization, HeartGift Foundation, is contributing $17,000 to pay for the surgery. Sanchez's family also needs help funding the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Sanchez's family overseas. Sanchez's mother shared, "our family has been praying for years that our child would be able to have this surgery. We are nervous but very glad it is happening!"
Hamisi is a four-month-old baby from Tanzania. He is the last born child in a family of four children. Hamisi’s parents are subsistence farmers who depend entirely on what they harvest for their food and living. Their income is very limited, since they have to sell some of their harvests in order to be able to buy other basic commodities and support their family. Hamisi was born with clubfoot of both of his feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty with walking, playing, and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Hamisi traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 5th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Hamisi's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily, wear shoes, and go about normal life when he grows up. Hamisi’s mother shared, “Living with a disability comes with a lot of hardship, which is not something I would like my son to go through. Please help correct his feet.”
Sherline is a 7-year-old playful girl from Kenya. Last Friday, Shirlene arrived at the hospital with pain in her right leg and head after being hit by a tree branch. Sherline had gone to fetch firewood with her friends when the accident happened. She was rushed to the hospital by samaritans and on arrival, an x-ray was done which confirmed a right femur fracture. Because she was unable to use her leg and was in pain, Sherline was put on traction to reduce pain, avoid irritation, and help put tension on the displaced bone. Sherline was born and raised in a village in Elgeyo Marakwet County. She was the firstborn child of a single mother. In 2015, during the Marakwet and Pokot clashes in their region, her mother was eloped and taken away to an unknown location. Since then Sherline has not seen her mum and, currently, she stays with her elderly grandmother. Shirlene's grandmother is a farmer of millet for their family's consumption. They live in a two-roomed grass-thatched house. Sherline is going through a tough experience with intense pain, trauma, and discomfort. She needs urgent help to fix her condition. Their family is facing financial hardship and is asking anyone reading Sherline's story to help her raise the fee for her surgery. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 16th, Sherline will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will reduce the pain, initiate her healing, and help her to walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Shirleen's guardian shared, "It's paining me to see her cry in pain, I want her to receive treatment and be able to walk again."
Jane is a 70-year-old kiosk owner from Kenya. She is a former civil servant who was released from government duty in 2000. Since then, she has since been running a small kiosk that sells vegetables and other groceries. In March 2019, Jane suffered a fracture on her left distal femur with intraarticular extension, meaning the break crossed into the surface of a joint. To remedy this, she underwent surgery with a locking plate. However, the fracture has not healed properly, which threatens her mobility. Doctors are now recommending a another fracture repair surgery to prevent future complications of her condition, including inability to walk. However, this procedure is costly for Jane. The profit she earns from her small business is not enough to cover her basic needs, let alone her medical bills. Jane has been relying on a small government pension to get by. She separated from her husband over 30 years ago and has since been raising her only son alone. Her son is an adult, but lacks a stable job and works as a casual laborer to make ends meet. Thus, Jane is appealing for financial help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 11th, Jane will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After recovering, she will no longer have difficulties in walking or be in constant pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Jane shared, “I need this surgery to get back on my feet. I am the one taking care of my grandkids since my son has no job. This procedure will help me be able to go get vegetables from the market so that I can sell and continue my business.”
Ruth is a 15-year-old from Kenya who has special needs. She is a student at Limuru Cheshire Home (a center for girls with physical/mental disabilities) and was admitted to the institute in 2019. She was born into a family of two, being the firstborn followed by a brother who lives with her aunt. Her mother, who was a single mom, died when Ruth and her brother were young. This led to the two being separated and since Ruth is more vulnerable, she was left under the care of their grandmother. Together they live in a two-roomed house and they depend on the local community for upkeep. Life has become more difficult now that Ruth's grandmother cannot move around even for firewood since she has to ensure Ruth’s safety. Ruth has clubfoot that makes her walking extremely difficult. Last year she was brought to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center CURE Hospital, where she was recommended for surgery. Since her grandmother cannot afford the treatment, her surgery has not yet taken place. The surgery would highly enhance Ruth's mobility as well as improve her self-esteem and ability to socialize with her peers. Fortunately, surgeons at our partner hospital will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Ruth's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. “I will appreciate any kind of support give to make my granddaughter walk comfortably,” Ruth’s grandmother told us.