Garrett joined Watsi on August 2nd, 2015. Eight years ago, Garrett joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Garrett's most recent donation supported Wit, a curious four-year-old boy from Thailand, to fund hernia repair surgery.
Garrett has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 13 countries.
Garrett has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 13 countries.
Wit is a four-year-old boy who lives with his parents in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Wit goes to junior kindergarten, while his parents own a small shop in the camp. In his free time, he enjoys drawing and coloring. He's also already really interested in fixing and building things. Since he was a year old, Wit has had an inguinal hernia. The hernia causes him pain in his scrotum and in his stomach. Due to the pain, he cannot run and play with his friends and he sometimes he misses school. To control the pain, he takes pain medication three times a day. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Wit to receive treatment. On June 1st, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once completed, the procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Wit's surgery. Wit's mother shared, "he tells me he wants to become a doctor [in the future], but he also says that he wants to become a mechanic or a builder. He will ask me to buy him tools and things to fix. He will try to fix his [father’s] motorcycle and bicycle.”
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."
Meet Fidelis, a 5-year-old beautiful girl. Her mother told us that she likes playing and singing, “Fidelis likes singing in church and reciting bible memory verses." Fidelis's mother is a single mum working as a vendor selling vegetables within their home area. Fidelis was born with clubfoot deformity, she has tried many treatments at a government hospital and at Cure Hospital. Her condition has continued to recur and has greatly affected her mobility. Her mother is concerned and worried for her as Fidelis is not able to walk, run with her friends, and sometimes stays lonely at home because her friends focus on her disability. Fidelis has clubfoot of of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. Fortunately, Fidelis traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Fidelis's clubfoot repair. After treatment, the hope is that Fidelis will finally be able to wear shoes well, run, walk, and play with her friends at home and at school. Her mother also hopes her self-esteem will improve. “I would like my daughter to undergo surgery so she can walk well without any hardship and continue with her education uninterrupted,” Fidelis’s mother told us.
Antony is a 36-year-old motorbike taxi operator. He is married and has three children. Antony is the sole breadwinner of the family. In his line of work, his income depends on the availability of customers and is somewhat inconsistent. He lives with his family in a two-roomed rental house. On February 9th, Antony was riding a friend to a funeral on a motorbike, when he got into an accident along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway. His bike lost control when he tried to avoid an oncoming vehicle that was speeding on the wrong side of the road. Antony hit a ditch on the side of the road and sustained multiple injuries. He is in pain and is not able to use his left hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 5th, Antony will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal well and he will be able to use his arm normally again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Anthony shared, “I am the sole breadwinner and my family is looking upon me for survival. I cannot work without the use of my hand, and my hand needs surgery to heal. I am unable to get the money to raise the amount needed for my care."
Godfrey is a 49-year-old manual labourer from Kenya. He currently lives alone since separating with his wife. Godfrey has one daughter who lives with his mother. He works hard in order to support his family. Though Godfrey completed secondary school, he did not attend college, so he started working casual jobs. He mostly works at construction sites. On January 12th, as Godfrey was working, he fell from the first floor of a building under construction and badly injured his right leg. He has sustained a fracture, it is difficult for him to walk, and he is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 28th, Godfrey will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Godfrey shared, “I am so desperate and just don’t know where to go for help. If not for my friend, I would have just stayed in the house with my sick leg. I plead for help so that I can be well to go back to my work to support myself and my daughter."
Sok is a 42-year-old scrap metal worker from Cambodia. He has a 13-year-old daughter. When he's at home, Sok listens to the radio and helps to take care of his father. In January 2020, Sok was in a motor vehicle accident that caused head trauma and a closed fracture of his left leg. His family took him across the border to Vietnam where plate screws were put in his leg to heal the fracture. Now, it is still difficult for him to walk and he is in chronic pain. He feels left knee pain and needs crutches to walk. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On December 14th, Sok will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. The procedure will allow him to finally be able to walk again without pain. Sok is hopeful that after surgery he'll have no pain when walking and can work easily again.
Gabriel is a 46-year-old refugee from South Sudan. He is a father of six children aged between 2-19 years old. Currently, Gabriel and his family are staying in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya fleeing civil conflict in their home country. In June 2020, Gabriel had an accident and broke his arm. He underwent surgery in his hometown of Juba in the same month and was discharged home from the hospital. However, his left arm started developing further complications, and he was forced to seek treatment in Kenya after his family left Sudan. Gabriel has chronic osteomyelitis of the left humerus and infected hardware in his arm. Gabriel has undergone 3 surgeries, including humeral debridement, hardware removal, and bone cementing. Doctors recommend another urgent sequestrectomy surgery on his left humerus to remove the infected hardware. If left untreated, he risks impediment of blood circulation within the bone leading to bone death and even amputation. Unfortunately, this procedure is costly for Gabriel and his family. He does not currently have a job, nor any medical coverage. Due to the support of well-wishers, friends, and family, Gabriel has been able to raise some money for his earlier medical and surgical concerns. However, he was forced to postpone his surgery due to lack of funds. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Gabriel receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo a sequestrectomy on December 2nd at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,500, and he appeals for financial help to fund the cost of his care. Gabriel shared, “I am in so much pain and there have been so many surgeries for me. I need assistance on this one.”
Sophy is a 41-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He and his wife have been married for 15 years and have two sons and two daughters, all of whom are in school. He mainly grows vegetables, and his wife takes them to market to sell. In his free time, he likes watching boxing matches, going to concerts, and taking care of his children. In August 2020, Sophy was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a fracture of his left wrist. He went to a provincial hospital and was provided with a cast, but it did not properly heal his fracture. It is difficult for him to use this hand, and he is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On October 13th, Sophy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will relieve his pain and help him to use his hand again. Sophy shared, "I want to do my work with no pain so that I can easily take care of my family, and I hope I can recover from this surgery quickly."
Soe is a 13-year-old from Burma. She lives with her parents and two siblings in a village in Taninthary Division. Her brother goes to school while her little sister is still too young to go. Soe was not able to go back to school this year, after she completed grade seven, due to her illness. Her father works as a tenant on Soe grandparents’ farm and gets to keep half of the harvest. Soe's mother used to be a vegetable vendor but has stopped working to look after Soe. In May 2019, Soe fell sick with a high fever and a severe cough. She was brought to a clinic where she received a physical examination. The doctor informed Soe's mother that she has a heart condition and urged them to go to a hospital in Yangon. Her mother followed the doctor’s advice and took her to Bahosi Hospital in Yangon on June 25th, 2019. There she received an echocardiogram (echo), x-ray, and a blood test. After her results came in, the doctor diagnosed her with mitral valve regurgitation, a problem with one of the valves in her heart, and told Soe's mother that she needs to have surgery that will cost 8,000,000 kyat (approx. 8,000 USD). Unable to afford her treatment, Soe instead received medication for the next four months. Although she took the medication, Soe did not feel better. One day, their neighbor told them to bring Soe to another hospital in Yangon. Soe's mother followed their advice and took her to Vitoria Hospital in Yangon. Soe received another echo, blood test, and an x-ray. A doctor at the hospital then told Soe's mother to come back the next month, without explaining why. When they traveled back in January 2020 for her appointment, the doctor told them to meet a cardiac nurse at another hospital in Yangon. When meeting that nurse, she told them about Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and that they may be able to assist her in accessing further treatment. With the help of BCMF, Soe went to Chiang Mai in March 2020. She was admitted at Lampang Hospital on July 25th, 2020 and received surgery to repair her mitral valve two days later. She was discharged home in August and received a follow-up appointment for a month later. When she returned for her follow-up appointment, she was readmitted to the hospital. She received a number of tests including an echo and an electrocardiogram. Once the doctor reviewed her test results, she was told that the sutures from her surgery were loose and that she would need to receive surgery to replace her mitral valve. Since her first surgery, Soe no longer has a cough. However, she is pale. Her mother is worried because Soe has not gained weight nor has her condition gradually improved like other heart patients after surgery. “After she recovers, I want to send her to school until she becomes a teacher," said Soe's mother. "When she plays with her friends, she pretends she is a teacher and that she is teaching her friends. Even when she felt sick, she would try to go to school and she always studied a lot. Her teacher loves her. But Soe is always worried that she will fail her exams.”
Israel is a baby boy from Tanzania and the last-born in a family of two children. His mother delivered him at home with the help of midwives and soon noticed her son's left foot was not straight. She was scared to tell her husband or her parents-in-law as she was scared they might accuse her of bringing disability into their family. It took her almost two months to be able to summon up the courage and inform her husband about their son's condition. Her husband was understanding and they decide to seek a doctor's advice at a local hospital near their village. They were informed that the condition was treatable but they would have to be referred to the district hospital. They inquired on the cost of the treatment but the cost turned out to be too expensive for them to afford. Thus they were forced to return home hoping they would be able to raise the money one day and have their son's foot corrected. Both parents depend on small-scale farming for their living, which they shared is barely enough to meet their basic needs. They heard about the Plaster House from a relative and decide to try seeking help. The medical team shared that Israel has clubfoot of his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Israel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, when he grows up, he will be able to walk easily. Israel’s mother says, “I am scared my son would be discriminated if he does not have this condition corrected. Please help us.”
Kruy is a 40-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has two sons, two daughters, her husband is a fisherman. She likes to make food for her children and take care of their family's house. Fifteen years ago, Kruy 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, Kruy experiences hearing loss, ringing, and ear discharge. She cannot hear clearly when she communicates with other people, and she cannot work outside the house independently. Kruy traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 7th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right 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 medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Kruy said, "I hope that after my operation, the infection will finally be gone, and I can feel what it is like to have clear hearing again."
Abdulkirim is a baby from Ethiopia. He is a cute boy who loves to play with other children and with his mom. He is a happy child and has one sibling. Abdulkirim 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 Abdulkirim'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 $1,057 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Abdulkirim. The surgery is scheduled to take place on June 30 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Abdulkirim's mom shared, "We sold all our animals and we asked for help from our community twice. When we came to Addis Ababa, our son had already undergone two operations and we were struggling with finances. We were out of money to even pay for our hotel. I was so worried and afraid, but we are now hopeful that he will get the surgery and it will be successful. We hope he will grow up to be a healthy boy and achieve a lot by getting a good education.”