Brandon joined Watsi on April 7th, 2014. Six years ago, Brandon became the 121st member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,840 more people have become monthly donors! Brandon's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Monica, a greengrocer and mother of four from Kenya, to fund mobility-restoring ankle surgery to repair a fracture.
Brandon has funded healthcare for 75 patients in 13 countries.
Monica is a greengrocer from Kenya. She is a mother of four aged between three and eight. She separated with his husband and now she lives with her four children in a single room rental house. Monica depends mostly on her daily work for food and saves a little to pay bills at the end of the month. Her low socioeconomic status and her family struggles have limited her options of getting treatment. On June 26th 2020, Monica went to the hospital because she fell on wet ground while she was heading home carrying a bundle of firewood on her back. On arrival at the hospital, an X-Ray was done which confirmed a fracture in her left ankle. She cannot walk on her own and is in a lot of pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 3rd, Monica will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her heal well and be able to walk and work without pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $809 to fund this procedure. Monica shared, “I want to receive treatment, get healed and continue supporting my children. I am worried about my ability to help them now that I can’t perform any of my duties at home."
Horn and his wife have been married for forty years, and have three daughters together. His wife works with him in the fields, while his daughters are all still in high school. He spends free time with his friends raising livestock for sale. Four months ago, Horn started feeling pain in his left hip. He had one previous surgery there, but no trauma. His pain reached the point where he can no longer walk unaided, and he had to stop working. On recommendation from one of his friends, he traveled for nearly ten hours to come to Watsi's Medical Partner CSC to receive treatment. Doctors at CSC will perform a girdlestone procedure in order to alleviate his pain. Once he recovers, he will no longer experience any pain in his hip, but his mobility will be reduced and he will use a cane. He will be able to continue working and doing the same activities he enjoyed before. Horn said, "I am glad my pain will finally be gone after my surgery. I cannot walk or do anything right now, so I am excited for the day I can finally go back to working and supporting my family."
Rachel is a tailor from Kenya. She is a middle-aged woman from the east of the country. Eight years ago, she noted a lump on her right breast and consulted several hospitals. She had FNA tests run and cancer was ruled out. In 2014, she had a lumpectomy but unfortunately, the lump recurred in 2018. She was biopsied in a different hospital and still did not get a cancer diagnosis. Late in 2019, she opted to come to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital where she had several tests done, including an ultrasound and CT scan. Doctors diagnosed early-stage cancer. Rachel returned to the hospital in April and surgery is advised. If not operated on, she is at risk of cancer metastasis, which might result in an early death. Rachel is a mother of two children, ages 10 and 8 years old. She lives in a two-roomed rental house paying $34 per month. She sustains her family through her small tailoring venture in their house. Living with a disability, where she had a right femur osteomyelitis in 1982, she is not able to move with ease, and this limits her ability to earn a better living and lifestyle. She separated with her husband, making it hard for her to meet the daily cost of living. She left her two children with a neighbor to come for surgery and appeals for financial help. Without treatment, her cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $898 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Rachel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 6th. After treatment, Rachel will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Rachel says, “Thank you for agreeing to support my surgery. I am grateful and look forward to quick recovery.”
We met with eleven-year-old Ian in the hospital ward as he was admitted for a skin traction after he fell from a tree and broke his left hand. His mother sat beside him helplessly while she watched her only son in pain. It took me time for his mother to talk as she was feeling very disturbed and stressed because of her son's condition. She was trying to help him sit up but he couldn’t because of his fractured hand. Ian was brought to the hospital accompanied by his parents. They walked for hours to get the nearest health facility where he was referred to our hospital for surgical review. On arrival, he had an x-ray done which showed that Ian had fractured his left supracondylar. Ian is the third born child in a family of five. He is the eldest son of Christine and Isaac. They are a humble family who is struggling financially and often lack food for their children. Ian's father is a farmer and his mother is a housewife. They live in a two-roomed mud house in upcountry of Kenya. Ian's father, who is a maize farmer says that his farming is not doing well due to poor rains in the area and he has not been getting good yields in recent years. Medical examination shows that Ian needs urgent surgical intervention for his hand, but his family is unable to raise money for their son’s surgery apart from $30 that they collected from friends and family. His family is requesting our prayers and financial support for Ian’s treatment enable him use his hand. Christine, Ian’s mother says, “It is painful to see my son cry in pain. I hope he will receive treatment soon. All I want is to see him happy.”
Marvalie is a preschooler from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three siblings in a rural area of southwest Haiti; her parents are farmers. She has not yet started school due to her illness. Marvalie has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Marvalie will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On March 6th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which Surgeons will close the hole in her heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage from her valve. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for surgery. Marvalie's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Marvalie's family overseas. Her mother said, "Our family has been praying for a cure since our daughter was a small baby, we are very happy to know our prayers are being answered!"
Ko Myo Zaw is a 41-year-old man who lives with his wife in Burma. He and his wife used to work as a seamster and sew children’s clothing. However, Ko Myo stopped working more than a year ago because of his poor health and he now relies on his wife’s income. On the 18th of June 2018, Ko Myo developed pain in his left waist after sitting for a long time. He then had to stand up every two hours to reduce the pain. This continued for a few more months, until he was no longer able to work. A year after he first experienced these symptoms, he went to Myawaddy Hospital to see a doctor. He received an x-ray and ultrasound which revealed he has a kidney stone in his left kidney. The doctor gave him medication to breakup the stone and Ko Myo took the medication for one year. The medication reduced the pain during the first month, but returned a month after that. By the 29th of May 2019, he could no longer take the pain and went to see the doctor at Myawaddy Hospital. The doctor then gave him stronger medications to reduce the pain and break up the stone. At the suggestion of a neighbor, he decided to seek treatment at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) across the border in Thailand, which he was told provides charitable health care. On 5th of October 2019, he arrived at MTC. The next day, he was brought to the local hospital where he received an ultrasound and an appointment to undergo laser treatment to breakup the kidney stone. He took out a loan to pay for the first round of treatment on November 24th, 2019. When he returned to the clinic in January to undergo a follow-up ultrasound, he was told they also found stones in his right kidney. Unable to pay for further treatment, Ko Myo was referred to Watsi Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance in accessing further treatment. Ko Myo's next appointment to undergo a second round of laser treatment will be on Jaunary 28th. He will complete treatment for the kidney stone in his left kidney, before he receives treatment for the stones in his other kidney. Currently, Ko Myo still has pain in his waist. Sometimes he feels tired and the area around his left waist feels hot. "Once I recover I would like to go back to work and pay back my loan," said Ko Myo.
Habibi is a sweet and very shy girl from Ethiopia. She loves to play with her best friend at home. Habibi has two brothers and five sisters, and she loves to take care of her three younger siblings. Her father is a daily laborer and he maintains his family with the little he earns. Her mom is a house wife. Habibi dropped out of school when she was in grade 1 as a result of her condition. Habibi was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Habibi is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on January 9th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Habibi's procedure and care. After her recovery, Habibi will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Habibi’s father said, “It is my hope to see Habibi go to school and get educated after she gets treatment. I believe she will serve her community. She always says ‘I want to get treated go to school and be a doctor.’ That’s my prayer and hope for her. ”
Simon is a child from Tanzania. He is the second born child to a family of four children. Simon’s parents depend on small scale farming of maize, beans and cassavas for their living. Simon 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, Simon has been experiencing an increasing head circumference and inter-cranial pressure. Without treatment, Simon will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $728 to cover the cost of surgery for Simon that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 2nd and will drain the excess fluid from Simon's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Simon will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Simon’s mother says, “My son was doing so well after the surgery but now he is going through a lot of pain, he can’t eat well please help my son.”
Years back, Samuel noticed that over time, his hearing dwindled. It all began with him tuning on high TV/ Radio volume and speaking very loudly. He recently decided to visit Kijabe hospital for a review. After his tests were completed, the doctors confirmed loss of hearing and recommended he be fitted for hearing aids. The cost to acquire them was however too high for Samuel to afford. The former public transport driver was forced to quit his job as he could not manage. He currently doesn’t attend church. Samuel and his wife tend to their small farm to sustain their needs. They live in their two-room rental house in a suburb in Nairobi. Their two children are grown and living off on their own. They are not able to raise the funds needed and thus appealing for help. “I will be more than happy to get my life back. I would lie to attend church and family gatherings comfortably,” says Samuel.
Baby Meseret is an infant from Ethiopia. He is a cute baby who loves to see and play with his two sisters. The dad is a self-employed mechanic and his mom is a civil servant. The income of the family is too little to cover all the basic needs and education expenses of the family. Baby Meseret’s dad spent thousands of Ethiopian Birr treating Baby Meseret who was diagnosed with Pneumonia soon after birth and stayed in hospital for nine days. Since birth, Baby Meseret has had an inguinal hernia. If not treated, the hernia may result in intestinal tissue damage or death. Fortunately, on September 24th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $487 to fund Baby Meseret's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Baby Meseret’s dad said, “I am in a point that I can’t focus and work in my work place. One of my reasons for this stress is the financial insecurity me and my wife face at this moment. We were worried on how to get money for our baby’s necessary treatment. But once I heard of this help from Watsi I saw a glimpse of hope."
Eh is a 22-year-old woman from Thailand. She was born and lives her parents and younger brother in Mae La Refugee Camp. Her younger brother studies at the bible school at the camp. Eh used to attend the same school as a third-year student, but she had to stop studying when her health deteriorated. Eh's father is a homemaker, and her mother works for the department of health at the camp. In 2017, Eh started to become more tired and began to have difficulty breathing. Her mother took her to the clinic in the camp and the doctor listened to her heart, did an electrocardiogram (ECG) and told Eh’s mother that Eh has a heart disease. She was then referred to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. Eh was not told anything about her condition, and the doctor only informed her parents without telling her. Eh had an echocardiogram (echo) at MSH in December 2018. After the echo, she travelled back and forward several times from Mae La refugee camp to MSH for medical follow-up visits. Finally, the doctor at MSH informed her that she needs surgery. Currently, Eh has dizziness, headaches, tiredness and sometimes experiences difficulty breathing. She sleeps well but has lost her appetite and she sometimes suffers from chest pain. She loves reading and playing football and volleyball in her free time. Eh was born with ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sick and short of breath. Eh is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on October 5th to correct her condition and improve her quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Eh's procedure and care. Eh said, “All my classmate graduated, and I want to as well, but I am tired of studying and when I think about this, I cry”.
Kyaw Myat is a five-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his family in a village in Sagaing Division. Kyaw Myat’s father is a subsistence farmer and sometimes he also works as a day laborer on other villagers’ farms. His mother is a homemaker and takes care of Kyaw Myat’s brother at home. Kyaw Myat received a shunt, throught the help of Watsi, for his hydrocephalus. Because he was also diagnosed with an abnormal growth in his head, and the mass is putting pressure on an artery in his head, it affected his ability to walk properly. Currently, Kyaw Myat cannot walk properly and sometimes, he complains that he has a headache and watery eyes. Doctors want Kyaw Myat to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $469 to cover the cost of Kyaw Myat's CT scan and care, scheduled for August 23. Kyaw Myat father said, "I was told that they want a CT scan to check my son's condition. I am very worried because they just asked for it before surgery and I am afraid there might be a bad outcome."