Shalene joined Watsi on December 20th, 2014. Two years ago, Shalene joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Shalene's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Puthavy, a cooking-and-music-loving teen from Cambodia, for fracture repair treatment.
Shalene has funded healthcare for 57 patients in 13 countries.
Shalene has funded healthcare for 57 patients in 13 countries.
Puthavy is a 15-year-old girl from Cambodia. She lives in the Kandal province with her family. Her father is a tuk tuk driver and her mother is a beverage seller. She also has two sisters who are high school students. Puthavy has experienced deafness since birth, and this has prevented her from attending school like her sisters. She likes to cook food at home, listen to music, take care of her two dogs and go for walks. In June 2021, she was involved in a motor vehicle accident that caused a fracture of her left leg. She was unable to seek treatment after the accident and stayed at home for a few stays, before her parents decided to take her to a traditional Khmer healer. Her leg became more painful however, and now it is difficult for her to walk. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On August 18th, Puthavy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will help her walk easily again. Puthavy's mother said, "I want to see my daughter smiling and happy again, so she can walk without pain and enjoy time with our family."
Benjamin is a father of a four-year-old child who works as a motorbike (boda-boda) driver, earning about $3.70USD per day. His income is also inconsistent and depends on the availability of customers. He is the sole breadwinner for his family. Unfortunately, he has no active medical insurance coverage and has had to rely on relatives and friends to settle hospital bills. Benjamin is full of smiles but finds it difficult to sit up while sharing his story. He opts to talk while lying flat on his back. Benjamin is currently immobile, unable to sit and walk, as a result of a road traffic accident from the beginning of the month. When the 25-year-old hitched a ride on his friend's water truck, the vehicle lost control and he was thrown out the window. He immediately experienced severe back pain and lost consciousness. The accident left Benjamin with multiple fractures and wounds that will require several fracture repair and spine surgeries in order for him to sit, walk, and be able to continue with his normal routine roles again. After stays at various hospitals and numerous referrals, Benjamin arrived at our medical partner's care center, Kijabe Hospital, for care on July 17th. One of the obstacles to treatment he had faced at other hospitals was a long waiting list that meant a delay in much-needed care, but fortunately Kijabe is able to offer his needed care more urgently. At Kijabe Hospital, the doctors recommended a spinal fusion procedure for him to help regain his mobility. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,500 for Benjamin's critical surgery, scheduled to take place on July 26th. Benjamin shares, “I just sleep on my back and cannot even sit or walk. I cannot work and fend for my family. I need this surgery to get back to my Boda-boda job and raise my family."
Vuth is a 58-year-old farmer with four sons and one daughter, all of whom are married and living elsewhere. She and her husband work seasonally, so she is able to have time to visit her children and grandchildren. She loves to make special cakes to bring for her grandchildren to eat. In 2019, Vuth was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a fracture in her right leg. She visited a local NGO hospital, where doctors implanted hardware in her leg to heal the fracture. Due to complications from diabetes, her leg did not heal well and eventually became infected. Vuth is now experiencing difficulty walking, and the hardware may become exposed. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On June 25th, Vuth will undergo a hardware removal procedure, which will cost $230. This procedure will finally heal her fracture, remove the infected hardware, and help her walk with ease again. Vuth is excited for her treatment, "I hope this surgery will help me become strong again, so that I can keep traveling to see my children and grandchildren."
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.”
Hamza is a 4-year-old boy from Ethiopia and the sixth child of his parents. He loves to play football. He joined school but had to stop going as a result of his condition. Hamza's father died a year and a half ago and his mom runs a small business selling charcoal in their village. His three older siblings do small business as shoe shiners and daily workers. Hamza's mom shared that most of the time, their family eats twice a day because their income can't afford three meals a day. Hamza has been diagnosed with an abdominal mass called Neurofibomatosis. This causes swelling and a change of the shape of the abdomen. It also causes abdominal discomfort, pain, and bloating. Doctors have done a CT scan and identified a mass is on the wall of his abdomen that needs to be removed. His mother shared: “Hamza wants to learn and I want him also to go to school. I hope after the treatment he'll be as healthy as others and go to school.”
So is a nine-year-old boy who lives with his parents, sister and brother in a village in Tak Province. Since schools closed due to Covid-19, So and his siblings have had to stop studying. So now helps out around the house, watering their garden and helping his mother with preparing meals. His sister works as a dishwasher at a Thai noodle soup shop. His father works at a construction site, and his mother is a homemaker. Their monthly household income is just enough to cover their basic expenses. When So was born, the medic noticed that So had a mass on the right side of his neck. Upon pressing the mass with his finger, So did not react, so the medic assumed the mass was not painful. The medic told So’s parents that the mass was fatty tissue and that they had nothing to worry about for now, but he would need to receive surgery to remove it when he was older. As So grew, the mass also slowly increased in size and became heavier. Currently, the muscles in his neck are stiff and the mass is painful when it is touched. Frequently, he will wake up in the middle of the night in pain after he turns in his sleep, putting pressure on the mass. So underwent a CT scan at the hospital, which indicated that the mass is a lymphangioma, or a noncancerous fluid-filled cyst. The doctor recommended that So undergo a cyst excision procedure to remove the cyst. So told us he's extremely excited to receive surgery and is not afraid to undergo the procedure because he wants to look (even more) handsome afterwards :). However, he and his family need financial support to afford the cost of his care. So will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo a cyst excision procedure on April 23rd. Our partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Once recovered, he will be free of pain and will feel more comfortable and confident in his daily life activities and when spending time with his friends. So shared, “I cannot wait to receive surgery and I really want this mass to go away. I am so embarrassed of this mass but once it is gone, I will go back to school and my friends will no longer tease me.”
Rickshadez is a young student and the third of four children. He's a very active and clever boy. His parents sell clothes in Nairobi to earn a living. They live in a small house on the same property where they work. In the middle of last year, Rickshadez began to experience swelling on one side of his lower abdominal area, and his father brought him to the doctor. Rickshadez was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Rickshadez has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. This condition can be healed through corrective surgery, which will help prevent these potential complications. Rickshadez will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 25th. AMHF is requesting $561 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Rickshadez’s mother says, “We are not blessed enough to raise the required amount for Rickshadez’s surgery.” With some financial help, Rickshadez can undergo this surgery to heal the swelling and protect against future risks.
Doto is a 10-year-old boy who is a very social and cheerful child. Doto has a twin brother by the name of Kurwa. His parents are small scale farmers who grow maize and vegetables to make a living. Doto's father also seeks day labouring jobs to supplement his income and provide for their family. Doto was diagnosed with left genu varus, or bow-leggedness. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he cannot walk to school comfortably or for long periods of time. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Doto. His treatment is scheduled to begin on February 11th. Treatment will hopefully restore Doto's mobility, return to walking and playing normally, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Doto’s father shared, “I would love my son to lead a normal life like his twin without his leg being a challenge. Please help correct his leg.”
Rebecca is a 1-year-old girl from Tanzania. She is the last born in a family of two children and has started to grow into a strong and beautiful girl. Both of her parents depend on small scale farming to support their family. Rebecca was initially brought to the hospital by her parents seeking treatment to help correct her spina bifida condition. Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord fail to form properly. This puts a child in danger of limb paralyses or death in case of a severe infection. At the time, Rebecca's parents could not afford the proposed surgery. Luckily, one of their friends advised them to seek help at our medical partner's care center, ALMC Plaster House. Through Watsi funding, Rebecca’s life was saved and she has been growing well since then. However, a few weeks ago, Rebecca's mother noticed her daughter's head was increasing in size at a very fast rate and she was complaining of headaches. Her parents had worked hard to save some money and got a health insurance card for their baby, so they decided to take her to the hospital to seek treatment. There, Rebecca was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. She needs to have an ETV surgery that will help relieve her of the pressure build-up, which would otherwise lead to brain damage. Unfortunately, their insurance has not matured enough to cover this kind of major surgery, so Rebecca's parents are appealing for financial support to help her. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Rebecca that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 25th and will drain the excess fluid from Rebecca's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Rebecca will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Rebecca’s mother shared, “My daughter’s head is increasing in size and it is making her sick. She needs surgery but the insurance we got for her cannot cover the cost. Please help once more if it is possible because we don’t know where to run to for help besides all of you.”
Shanel is a 9-year-old girl from western Kenya. She is a talkative girl in class two who loves reading and playing with her friends. Shanel is having challenges because of her congenital condition called genu varum, where her legs curve outwards by the knees. This causes her pain and limits her mobility. Shanel has never been treated due to lack of funds to pay for her treatment. She was brought to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Cure International Hospital, where doctors recommended she undergo a right distal femoral and tibial osteotomy procedure. Since Shanel's treatment has been delayed, she cannot have both legs corrected at the same time. Once her right leg has fully recovered, she will be reviewed for treatment of her left leg. Shanel's family is still struggling to meet the cost of her care. Shanel's mother is a waiter at a local hotel in their village. She earns limited income that is only sufficient to pay rent for their one-roomed house and meet the daily needs of her three children. Shanel and her family appeal for help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 11th, Shanel will undergo an angular deformity correction procedure on her leg. Once recovered, she will be able to walk and move normally again, and return to playing with her friends. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,224 to fund this procedure. Shanel's mother shared, "I am humbly requesting for support from well-wishers so that my daughter can walk well like other children."
Victor is a five-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the firstborn child in a family of three aged between 5 months and 1 year. He is a kindergartener and a happy boy. On November 24th, Victor was playing with his friends when he accidentally fell down and sustained an injury on his right hand. His father found him on the road crying, and brought him to the hospital. Doctors conducted an x-ray, which revealed a fracture on his right supracondylar. Because he was in pain, and could not move nor lift his hand, Victor was admitted to the pediatrics ward awaiting surgery. Unfortunately, the procedure Victor needs is costly for his family, who lacks a stable income. His father is a casual labourer who looks after people’s cattle, and his mother is a housewife. Victor's family has been able to raise some money, but needs additional support to raise the amount needed for his treatment. On November 27th, Victor will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Now, Victor's family needs $801 to fund the cost of his care. Victor’s father shared, “I want to see him happy, not in pain, be healthy and have a good life."
Mary is a businesswoman from Kenya. She is married and is a mother of three adult children. Two months ago, while relaxing at home, Mary felt a lump in her breast with a burning sensation. She ignored it at first, but it gradually became painful. Worried, she visited Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital in mid-September for medical attention and care. After review, doctors ordered a CT scan and a core biopsy, which confirmed her worst fear - that she had breast cancer. The biopsy test found an infiltrating ductal carcinoma, but luckily she had no metastasis yet. Doctors recommend she undergo a mastectomy procedure as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the deadly cancerous cells. Although she is struggling to come to terms with the shocking news, Mary's main worry now is the high, unaffordable cost of the surgery. She runs a small kiosk that generates little profit each day. Her husband is a small-scale farmer who owns one cow. The family relies on the proceeds from their eatery and milk sales to survive. Sadly, they had to sell their only cow to raise money for Mary’s treatment. However, the money from the sale is barely enough to cover the cost of mastectomy surgery. Her kids do not have stable jobs, and Mary says they are struggling. She has no national health insurance or any medical coverage, and is thus appealing for financial help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $857 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Mary. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 23rd. After treatment, Mary will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Mary shared, “I am shocked that I was diagnosed with this deadly cancer. But I am more worried that I am unable to afford the only procedure that can stop the spread of the disease. I wasn’t prepared for a procedure of this magnitude. I appreciate any support you can provide.”