Shalene joined Watsi on December 20th, 2014. Three years ago, Shalene joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Shalene's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Lydiah, a 39-year-old vegetable vendor from Kenya, to fund leg surgery so she can walk again.
Shalene has funded healthcare for 66 patients in 13 countries.
Shalene has funded healthcare for 66 patients in 13 countries.
Lydiah is a 39-year-old woman, living with her husband and teenaged child in Kenya. While Lydiah works as a vegetable vendor - traditionally known as a mama mboga - her husband is employed as a clothing vendor. On her way to work in March 2021, Lydiah was hit by a motorcycle. She sustained a fracture of the right femur, necessitating three surgeries and multiple trips to the hospital. Despite the care that she has already received, an infection of the fracture has set in, and if Lydiah doesn't receive treatment soon, she risks losing her leg and becoming permanently disabled. Currently, Lydiah cannot walk, and is confined to a wheelchair. Lydiah is scheduled to undergo surgery for the infected fracture on May 24th, at the AIC Kijabe Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Lydiah's surgery, which will enable her to walk again. Lydiah says, “I haven’t been able to go to the market to sell my vegetables because of the fracture and multiple infections. I am afraid of losing my leg and being unable to walk. I am in constant pain and need support to get this treatment.”
Daw Nwe is a 61-year-old woman from Thailand. Originally from Mon State, Burma, she moved in with her sister’s family in Thailand in January 2022, when her vision worsened and she did not have anyone to take care of her at home. In her free time, she enjoys watching videos about Buddhism, reading books about Buddhism and praying. She has cataracts and she can can only perceive darkness and light with her left eye. The vision in her right eye is slightly better as she can still see a bit, but her vision is blurry and she needs help from her family for daily personal activities. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Daw Nwe. On April 25th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Daw Nwe's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Daw Nwe said, “I am very happy when I think about how my vision will be restored. I am thankful to all the donors and the organisation [BCMF] for helping me receive eye surgery.”
Meet Precious: a nine-year-old talkative girl who comes from a small village in Nandi County in Western Kenya. She's a bright third grade student who likes singing at home and at church. She is a second born in a family of two. Precious lives with her brother in their grandmothers’ house since their parents separated due to family conflicts. Precious' father is a casual laborer who works really hard to make ends meet. He is always determined to give what is best to his children and he now requests help so that his daughter can be well and be able to continue with her education without difficulty. Precious visited our medical partner's facility due to recurrent tonsillitis for more than a year. Medication has not improved her recurring infection and the medical team has recommended she undergo surgery to fully heal. With this treatment, Precious will finally have relief from her symptoms. Her family hopes she will be well and be able to concentrate in school and perform well once she is healthy. Precious' father shared, "I would like to see her well. I am motivated to work hard for my children to ensure they get a good education and prosper in life.”
Benzaqueen is a 4-month-old baby and the second born in a family of two children. Her parents work hard to make ends meet for their family. Before she was caring for Benzaqueen, her mother used to do jobs like plowing and house chores for people to earn a living. Her father mostly works in construction sites when he can find jobs to provide for their family. Benzaqueen has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Benzaqueen has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Benzaqueen will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Benzaqueen that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 24th and will drain the excess fluid from Benzaqueen's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Benzaqueen will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl! Benzaqueen’s mother says, “We just cannot wait for our child to be fully out of the hospital and treated. We hope for the best.”
U Than is a 45-year-old man from Burma who lived by himself in a village. He used to look after his neighbor's cows in exchange for rice. However, since January 2022, U Than is unfortunately unemployed, has no income and no permanent address. In mid-January 2022, U Than was on his way to Thailand to find better work. He arrived at a bus station, and, after requesting a ride to a local guest house, he was left on the side of the road and mugged. He visited a local hospital where he had an x-ray of his right arm that showed that both of the bones in his forearm were broken. The nurse there wrapped his arm in a bandage and gave him some pain medication, but told him he would need to get surgery elsewhere. Currently, he cannot use his right arm and has difficulty grabbing things with his right hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping U Than receive treatment. On January 26th, he will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will help him recover and find work again. Now, he needs help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. U Than shared, "I feel very uncomfortable using my left hand when I eat or go to the toilet as I usually never use my left hand. I feel so sad that I have this unexpected problem. I thought that my life will be better when I come here and find work. This was not what I was expecting. I am happy to hear that there will be donors to help pay for my treatment’s cost. Thank you."
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 a bright 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."