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 8,300 miles to support U Hla, a 43-year-old from Burma, to fund treatment for a severe infection.
Shalene has funded healthcare for 61 patients in 13 countries.
Shalene has funded healthcare for 61 patients in 13 countries.
U Hla is a 43-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife, three sons and a three-year-old daughter in Mon State. His sons go to school, while he and his wife collect recyclable plastic items and sell it to a recycling plant to earn a living. In his free time, U Hla enjoys growing vegetables in their garden. In October, U Hla was walking around his hut barefoot when he stepped on a piece of glass that cut his right toe. He could not afford to go to a clinic or a hospital and, over time, the injury became infected. His right toe is swollen and has turned blue. He cannot put any weight on his toe and has to use a wheelchair. Due to the pain, he cannot work as much as he needs to and he shared that since the end of November, he had to take his sons out of school to help him earn enough income for them to survive. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping U Hla receive treatment. On December 16th, surgeons will perform a debridement to help his infection heal so that he can go back to work and his sons can go back to school. Now, U Hla needs help to fund this $694 procedure. “I really miss my children and I want to see them,” said U Hla. "After I recover, I will go back to work and plant more vegetables. My garden is small, but I want to grow more vegetables and sell it to earn more money. I want to support my family as much as I can."
Kenneth is a moto-taxi driver hailing from Marakwet County in Kenya. Kenneth completed his secondary school education in 2014 but did not proceed to college due to a lack of funds. He lives in a single-roomed rental house and he depends on his low-paying job to pay rent and provide daily needs for his family. During the afternoon on Saturday, November 6th, Kenneth was involved in a hit-and-run road traffic accident with a motorbike when he was headed home from his daily hustle. He sustained injuries on his leg including a fracture of the left femur which was confirmed after doing an X-Ray. Kenneth was brought by his brothers to our medical partner's hospital where his fracture was immobilized and he was admitted to the surgical ward. He is currently unable to use or move his leg. He is also in immense pain. This road accident has been extremely tough for Kenneth and his family since he has been the only breadwinner. Now he is worried about the struggles his family might face if he is not treated. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 9th, Kenneth will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This surgery will rid him of the pain and restore his ability to use his leg. He is seeking financial support to help him undergo the surgery. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Kenneth says, “I want to receive treatment [and] walk again so that I can be well and continue supporting my family.”
Daniel is an 11-year-old student and the firstborn in a family of three children. He is a social and playful boy. Daniel is currently in class four and his best subjects are mathematic and Swahili. Daniel's parents are small-scale farmers who depend entirely on what they harvest for their food. They are having a hard time making ends meet so haven't been able to seek treatment for their son. Daniel 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, Daniel traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 26th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Daniel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Daniel says “I will be happy if my foot is treated and I am able to wear shoes and walk normally.”
Peter is a 42-year-old father who lives in Kenya but hails from the neighboring country Uganda. With no formal education, Peter works as a casual laborer, mostly working in people's farms to meet his daily needs. He is a father of three children, aged between 4 to 13 years old. He lives with his family here in Kenya in a rented single room in Chesoi village. Peter works hard but shared that his family struggles financially. None of his children are able to attend school, and his eldest son always accompanies him to the farm to help his father meet the needs of his younger siblings during these difficult times. On September 21st, Peter presented to the hospital late at night with complaints of abdominal pain and left inguino-scrotal swelling. Initially, the swelling was improving but has since worsened, becoming very painful. When Peter arrived at the hospital, he was walking in a stooping posture due to abdominal pain he has. An ultrasound confirmed irreducible inguinal hernia and was told that he needed to undergo an urgent herniorrhaphy. Because he had no money for the surgery, Peter considered postponing this urgent surgery, which doctors told him would be a dangerous move. Fortunately, the hospital enrolled him with Watsi and he slept at the hospital awaiting his treatment. On September 22nd, he'll undergo his much-needed surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $631 to fund Peter's surgery. Peter says, “My hope is to get treated. I want to be well and continue supporting my family.”
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.”