Matt joined Watsi on August 28th, 2014. One year ago, Matt joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Matt's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Regina, a middle-aged farmer from Kenya, to fund a mastectomy to fight her breast cancer.
Matt has funded healthcare for 58 patients in 13 countries.
Matt has funded healthcare for 58 patients in 13 countries.
Regina is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. She rears cattle on a rented piece of land. She has two cows from which she gets milk for sale. Her husband is unemployed, and the income Regina earns is not sufficient to cater to all the family's needs. Regina first experienced a painful lump in her right breast in early August when she was taking a shower. She immediately went to a local health facility for a check-up and was later referred to a local government hospital in Olkalau town, situated several kilometers from her home. She has since had several tests including a mammogram and a CT scan. The result revealed the presence of cancerous cells. She opted to visit Kijabe Hospitals’s breast clinic after a referral by a friend. After a review, doctors recommended a partial mastectomy and she needs financial assistance to go through the surgery. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. The mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, aims to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Regina. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 2nd. After treatment, Regina will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Regina says, “This is shocking, but I know God will give me strength to overcome the cancer.”
Efraim is a 16-year-old high school student from Tanzania. Despite his difficulties walking, he loves playing football with his classmates! Efraim comes from a large family with 6 siblings. His parents are livestock keepers who also practice small-scale farming. They work hard to ensure that their family's day-to-day needs are able to be met. In 2020, Efraim sustained an injury to his leg while playing. On top of the pain he experienced, he noticed that his right leg began bending inward months later. He has since been diagnosed with genu valgus, a condition that causes the leg to bow inward and touch the opposite knee. As a result, he experiences difficulty working, playing, and doing any physically demanding activities. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Efraim, which is scheduled to take place on August 9th. The goal of this treatment is to restore Efraim's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Efraim's mother says, "It scared the whole family when his leg started having problems, but when we heard that he could get treatment, it brought joy to us."
Samwel, a very social and hardworking Kenyan father of eight children, is an active maize farmer who likes spending most of his time on his farm. He works hard to meet the needs of his family. His wife takes care of their home and helps him in his daily farming activities. Samwel lives with his family in a semi-permanent house in their farm. His elder children are married, and they also work hard to meet their own families' basic needs. Samwel presented to the emergency department with cuts on his left wrist joint and on his knees after an assault with a machete by a person known to him. This was brought up by family conflicts due to land disputes. Doctors diagnosed that he had multiple tendon injuries with nerve injuries in his wrist and an open fracture of his left distal femur in his leg. He is in pain and cannot walk with ease. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help him heal and get active again. On September 5th, Samwel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Samwel will no longer experience pain. He will go back to his family and continue with his farm activities. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Samwel says, “I have so much pain, but I am happy to be alive. I hope to get treated, go back home and be with my family.”
Christian is a caring and helpful 13-year-old boy from the Philippines. He takes care of his two younger siblings and helps his mother sell vegetables. His father works multiple part-time jobs to help provide for their family. Since Christian was young, his mother noticed swelling in a sensitive area but did not seek medical attention due to Christian not complaining about it. In June, his mother scheduled him a circumcision, but the doctor deferred the procedure since they needed to first treat his condition. Christian was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia, right hydrocele, and left undescended testis. If left untreated, these conditions would cause Christian to eventually experience pain and discomfort, as well as an increased risk of developing testicular cancer. Fortunately, Christian will undergo hernia repair surgery on August 8th at our medical partner's care center, Our Lady of Peace Hospital. A portion of the cost of Christian's treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation. Our medical partner is raising the remaining $845 to cover the cost of his surgery and care. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. His mother shares, "I'm worried that Christian's condition might worsen, but we are financially incapable to support his treatment. I am hoping to make him feel better before the school year starts. Thank you so much Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for this big help!"
Rose is a retried woman who used to work as a junior officer at the county government in Machakos in Kenya. Her husband is also retired, and they both now spend their time farming at their ancestral home to provide food for their family. Together, they have one daughter who is currently attending secondary school. Their family does not have a stable source of income. Rose was involved in a motorbike accident two weeks ago, and she was rushed to a nearby facility. There, she was treated for pain and discharged, but she later developed a blister on her right leg which burst and worsened into a wound. After attempting to clean the wound at home with no improvement, one of Rose's relatives advised her to visit Kijabe Hospital. On June 21st, she visited the facility and underwent two debridement surgeries where they removed damaged and infected tissue in her leg. However, her wound still needs care, as well as skin graft surgery. Due to financial constraints, Rose has not been able to pay for her medical coverage since she retired. She accrued a bill that she has been unable to clear, and as a result, she cannot afford her third procedure. Rose currently experiences pain due to her injury, and she is unable to use her right leg or walk. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Rose receive treatment. On July 4th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to get rid of the infection and help her walk again. Now, Rose needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Rose shares, “I haven’t been able to walk since the accident. The leg was so swollen and infected. I am scared I might lose my leg if not treated.”
Faith is a 12-year-old student from Kenya. Her father is a farmer, while her mother works hard to raise their family and care for their home. Faith is the only girl and the second-oldest in her family of four. She is in fourth grade and likes reading and playing with friends. She has a big heart and hopes to one day become a surgeon to help children who are neglected because of their medical conditions. Faith has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition where the foot is twisted out of shape. This condition makes it difficult for Faith to walk or to even wear shoes. Fortunately, Faith and her mother traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons are scheduled to perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Faith's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she should be able to put on shoes and walk well at home and school. Her self-esteem also will improve, and she'll be able to continue with her studies and hopefully achieve her dream career of becoming a surgeon. Faith's mother said, “I hope to see my daughter walking normally like other children. That’s why I am requesting support to facilitate her surgery."
Poe is a 43-year-old man who lives alone in Bangkok and works as a construction contractor. He supports his wife and son in Burma, but has been unable to work for the past four months since his health deteriorated. Currently, he is getting by on money his friends have given him. Poe 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, he has edema (swelling) in both of his legs. If he walks short distances, he feels tired, experiences shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. He cannot sleep if he lays down and has to sleep in a sitting position. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Poe. The treatment is scheduled to take place on May 6th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. "After I recover from surgery, I will go back to work. I will save the money to pay back my debts. After that I will save money to support my son and wife. I want my son to go to school, and I want him to become an educated man," said Poe.
Khoem is a loving grandmother and a widow with two sons, two daughters, and several grandchildren. Her husband passed away several years ago, so she lives with her youngest daughter, who works in a local factory and supports her mother. Over the past several years, her greatest joy is playing with her grandchildren when they come to visit. Due to her age, she mostly stays home and listens to the radio. Earlier this month, Khoem tripped in her house and fell, fracturing her left hip. Although she experienced a lot of pain and was not able to walk, she did not seek any medical help because she was worried she could not pay. A relative visited her and suggested she go to Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) for diagnosis and treatment. She is in constant pain and cannot walk so is using a wheelchair to get around. Fortunately, Khoem took her relatives advice and came to CSC. There surgeons can perform a surgery to relieve Khoem of her pain and allow her to walk more easily again. Her treatment is scheduled for March 15th, and Khoem needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. "I hope that I can walk without pain, and play with my grandchildren again," shared Khoem.
Elizabeth is a 10-year-old student. She is a hard-working, oldest sibling of 4 children, who likes to help her mother with daily household chores. She is currently in class two at school and her best subject is Swahili. Elizabeth’s parents are small scale farmers, who grow maize, beans and vegetables. Their income is very modest, which makes it out of reach to cover Elizabeth's $874 medical treatment and care. In November 2021, Elizabeth had a fire accident that left her with burns on her body. She healed but was left with contracting scars, which make walking difficult. She has a hard time carrying out her daily life activities due to this lasting complication from the burn accident. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Elizabeth receive treatment. On March 3rd surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. Now, she and her family needs help to fund this procedure. Elizabeth’s mother says, “After the fire accident my daughter now struggles to walk and even carry out her daily life activities.”
Audrey is a three-year-old toddler from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three older siblings in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, and has fun playing dress up and going to church with her family. Audrey has Down Syndrome and a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. This entails a hole in the wall of her heart that separates the two lower chambers. Audrey is traveling to receive treatment at our medical partner's care center, Hospital CEDIMAT, in the Dominican Republic. On February 22nd, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will sew a patch over the hole in her heart. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is also contributing $5,000 to help pay for her surgery. Audrey's family needs help funding her pre and post operation costs. The $1,500 bill will cover her labs, medications, checkups, and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment for the social workers from Haiti Cardiac Alliance who will accompany Audrey's family as they travel overseas where she can finally access the surgery she needs. Audrey's mother says, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to heal our daughter."
Nov is a 48-year-old rainy day rice farmer and part-time construction worker. Nov is married and has three children. His two sons work in a local factory making clothing and his daughter is in grade ten at the local high school. Nov's wife helps him with farming and sells fruit from their farm on the roadside to help pay for their daughter's school. He likes to go fishing and spend time with friends when he's not working. In December 2021, Nov was on his way home from selling bags of rice to a local distributor, when he collided with a tractor on a bumpy road. His femur was fractured. He spent a month in the local hospital, but his fracture did not heal. Now, Nov is unable to walk and can only move around in a wheelchair. He cannot care for himself and is in constant pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On January 5th, Nov will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. An open reduction and internal fixation of his femur will help the bone to heal properly so that he can walk again. Nov said, "I hope I will be able to walk again and no longer have pain. I need to work so I can support my family."
Somaly is a 27-year-old woman who is married and lives in Banteay Mean Chey Province in Cambodia. Her husband is a construction worker, and they have two active sons. The first is 10 years old and in grade 5, and their second is 2 years old. When she is not cooking or cleaning for the family, she likes to watch TV and listen to the radio. When Somaly was 14, she noticed a small tumor on her face that has now grown. She has had surgery twice, and was scheduled for a mandible resection, but did not have the money. It has continued to grow and she now has an abscess that is causing more symptoms. In March 2021 she went to a government hospital and fortunately, they referred her to our Medical Partner Children's Surgical Centre. Doctors diagnosed her with ameloblastoma of the mandible and left maxilla. She feels very poorly most of the time. She experiences pain, has discharge from her mouth, and cannot eat. When Somaly learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for ten hours seeking treatment. On November 30th, surgeons at CSC will perform a mandibulectomy and maxillectomy to to allow her face to return to finally heal, and have no more pain or embarrassment. Now, she needs help to fund this $657 procedure. Somaly shared, "I hope the tumor will be removed, and I won't have to hide from people and be ashamed of how I look."