Dean joined Watsi on December 31st, 2013. Five years ago, Dean joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Dean's most recent donation traveled 2,600 miles to support Israel, a curious baby and animal lover from Colombia, to fund a polydactyly procedure so he can learn to walk.
Dean has funded healthcare for 66 patients in 12 countries.
Dean has funded healthcare for 66 patients in 12 countries.
Israel is a one-year-old baby from Colombia who loves animals. His mother came to Colombia from Venezuela to seek better opportunities, where she fell in love with a Colombian man who became Israel's father. Israel loves to play with cars and his dog. Even though he doesn't speak a lot yet, he is constantly looking for a phone to call his grandmother. Israel was born with polydactyly of both feet. This means that he has an extra toe on each foot, which prevents him from wearing shoes and walking normally. On August 17th, surgeons from our medical partner will perform a polydactyly repair procedure to remove the extra digits. Our medical partner, Clínica Noel, is requesting $799 to fund this procedure. After surgery, Israel will be able to start wearing shoes and learn to walk and run. His mother offered advice for other mothers in a similar situation to stay hopeful: “The only thing that worried me was to know if he was going to be able to walk normally and wear shoes. I would tell a mother whose son was just diagnosed with polydactyly to just calm down and let the doctors help her, fortunately, this is not a complex pathology and the treatment already exists.”
Eh is a 16-year-old boy who lives with his parents and cousin in the refugee camp in Mae Hong Son Province in Thailand. His family receives 1,180 baht (approx. 39 USD) every month on a food card from the organization The Border Consortium. This amount is not enough to cover their daily needs despite receiving free basic health care and education in the camp. To help make ends meet, Eh’s father works as a security guard in the camp too, earning 800 baht (approx. 27 USD) in a month. In addition to this, Eh’s mother and cousin work as day labourers whenever they find work. Eh also works with them during his summer vacations. In May, Eh climbed up a ladder to lay down and rest in a bamboo hut on stilts. While trying to sit down, one of the bamboo sticks rolled out from under him and Eh fell through the floor of the hut. Putting out his left arm subconsciously to break his fall, Eh ended up landing on that arm. Currently, Eh's arm is in a sling and he is taking pain medication to control the pain. If he moves his left arm or tries to lift his arm, he feels a lot of pain. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Eh will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for May 28th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Eh be able to use his arm again and he will no longer be in pain after surgery. Eh shared, “I want to become a literature teacher as it is my favorite subject. After surgery, I hope that I can go back to school with my arm healed."
Soriya is a 58-year-old grandmother. Soriya and her husband are farmers, and they live with their youngest daughter. In her free time, she likes to watch Khmer dramas on TV, and listen to local monks preaching at her community pagoda. In late February, Soriya was hit by a motorbike as she stood near the road. She fell on her right elbow, which became swollen and she is now in a lot of pain. She has felt badly since the accident. Her family took her to the provincial hospital, where they took an X-ray to confirm that she had a fracture, but she could not be treated there because her family did not have enough money. As a result of this injury, she is unable to help on the farm and is in constant pain. Her movement is also limited due to the swelling and bruising. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help Soriya. On March 2nd, Soriya will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will fix her elbow fracture and allow her to use her arm again. Soriya hopes that after the surgery, her right elbow will be fixed and she will have no pain so that she can work as she did before to support her family.
Ngoitumet is a 6-year-old boy and the last born in a family of three children. Despite his legs condition and his difficulty with walking, Ngoitumet is a friendly and jovial boy. If not for his health condition, he would be running around enjoying his playtime and be more involved in daily home activities. Ngoitmet’s father is elderly with no source of income. He was not able to bring Ngoitumet to the hospital and had to be helped by a neighbor. Ngoitumet's family depends on livestock keeping and the milk they get from their cattle to make ends meet. Ngoitumet was diagnosed with "windswept" knees, a condition that started when he was two years old when his father noticed his left leg was slightly curving outward. His father couldn’t take him to the hospital for treatment due to financial challenges, so his left leg kept worsening, and the right leg also began curving inward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Due to his condition, Ngoitumet has not had a chance to join school yet. He is no longer able to take part in daily home activities, like grazing their father’s cattle. Ngoitumet undergoes a lot of pain when he walks over a long distance. Through their church and the outreach program at Plaster House, Ngoitumet's family was referred to seek treatment. He has been scheduled for surgery to help correct both of his legs. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Ngoitumet. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 20th. Treatment will hopefully restore Ngoitumet's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Ngoitumet’s neighbour shared, "Please help this boy as he is having a hard time standing and walking and his parents do not have money to seek treatment for him."
Lon is a 56-year-old cashew farm worker. He has five sons and three grandchildren, and they all live together. His wife and all of his sons are workers at the farm as well. Lon only has one functioning eye; his left eye was eviscerated due to trauma five years ago. When he has time, he likes to listen to the news on the radio. One year ago, Lon developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him blurred vision, trouble seeing in dim or bright lights, tearing and itching. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Lon learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for a rough five-hour ride with his wife seeking treatment. On February 3rd, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Lon shared, "I have only one eye now, so I want this eye to see clearly to help my wife earn money to support my family."
Bunthan is a 39-year-old market worker from Cambodia. He has been married for 12 years and has 3 children - 2 sons and 1 daughter who are all in school. His wife also sells things for a living. Currently, Bunthan and his family live with his parents, as they are elderly and he helps to support them. In Bunthan's free time, he likes to exercise, read the news, listen to the radio, and play games on his phone. He also enjoys taking his family outside for walks on the weekend. In November 2020, Buntham was in a motor accident that caused a new fracture of his left femur - he shared that he previously fractured his leg about 12 years ago. Buntham came to Children's Surgical Centre to seek treatment for his fracture, reporting symptoms of chronic pain and inability to walk without support. On January 13th, Bunthan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Surgeons plan to exchange the nail on his left femur to help stabilize his leg and assist with healing the new fracture. This procedure will relieve him of pain and help him to walk easily again. Bunthan shared, "I hope that after my surgery that I can fully recover and walk with my family again."
James is a 52-year-old boda-boda driver from Kenya. He is a father to four children, all of whom are adults. His wife is a homemaker, and he is the sole breadwinner for the family. On February 5th, 2021, James was in a road traffic accident and sustained a burst fracture of T12 spinal cord transection. Immediately after the accident, he was aware of the intensity of the injury because he could not use his lower limbs and had a sharp pain in the mid-back. He was assisted by well-wishers and was rushed to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital, where the orthopaedic team ran x-rays and other tests. Now, James needs to undergo a posterior spinal instrumentation and fusion, a procedure that is aimed at stabilizing his spine and avoiding future complications. However, James does not have medical coverage and is therefore required to raise the full deposit for his surgery. He has raised some financial contributions from friends and relatives, but needs additional support for his care. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping James receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo a spinal fusion procedure on February 10th at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,500, and will hopefully allow James' legs to heal and regain some mobility. James shared, “I hope I will be able use my legs again. I need help both surgically and financially given that the cost of the surgery is high and I am unable to afford.”
Oum is a 65-year-old potato framer from Cambodia. He has three daughters, five sons, many grandchildren. Seven of his children are married. Oum likes to watch the news and Kun Khmer boxing on the TV. Four years ago, Oum developed a cataract in his left eye, causing him blurred vision, photophobia, irritation, pain, and tearing. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going outside independently. When Oum learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for six hours with his wife seeking treatment. On December 10th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Oum said, "I just want to see clearly so I can easily go to the field to plant potatoes and take care of my wife and myself."
Innocent is a 10-month-old baby boy from Tanzania. He is the youngest in a family of two children. Both of his parents are small-scale farmers who depend on the vegetables they harvest for their food, and also sell some crops at the market to make a living. Innocent was born a healthy and cheerful baby, and his growth has been normal until last November. Now, his mother says he has became very irritable and cries a lot. Innocent has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Innocent has been experiencing a growing head circumference, and he cannot support the weight of his head. Without treatment, Innocent will experience severe physical and developmental delays and disability. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery to treat Innocent's hydrocephalus condition. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 20th and will drain the excess fluid from Innocent's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Innocent will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Innocent’s mother shared, “Please save my baby. His condition worsens as days go by, and we are really worried.”
Than is a 42-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, three daughters, three sons, son-in-law and granddaughter. Than and her family moved from Burma to Thailand ten years ago in search of better job opportunities. Her husband, her oldest daughter, one son, and her son-in-law work as day labourers on their employer’s farm, growing and harvesting tapioca, corn, and cabbage. Her two other sons go to school, while her youngest daughter and her granddaughter are too young to go to school. Than and her second oldest daughter are homemakers. On November 7th, 2020, Than discovered that she had an incisional hernia. Currently, Than experiences abdominal pain throughout the week and has to take pain medication to decrease her pain. She feels uncomfortable when she sits, and when she is in pain, she has to walk or lie down for the pain to ease. Fortunately, on January 28th, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Than's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 28th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and go about her daily activities normally. Than shared, “I was so happy when I learned that I was to go to Mae Tao Clinic [and later Mae Sot Hospital] for treatment. My children are also happy that I will receive treatment with help from donors.”
Nshemereirwe is a mother of 9, and shared with us that she lost her first born at 14 years. Her youngest is now 20 years old and in primary school class seven, even at that age she shared. Her third born is the only one who reached the highest class, secondary school class four and is currently a casual laborer in their village. Nshemereirwe gets only a little support from her children and relatives. She is a small-scale farmer along with her husband. They own a three-room semi-permanent house for shelter. During her free time, she enjoys visiting her relatives. About 20 years ago, Nshemereirwe began to experience troubling symptoms, including shortness of breath and high blood pressure. She was diagnosed with a goitre and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Nshemereirwe receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on September 3rd at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $293, and Nshemereirwe and her family need your support. Nshemereirwe told us, “I pray that I may be considered for treatment. After treatment, I believe I will be able to comfortably continue with farming and be able to sustain and take good care of my family as before, through hard work.”
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."