Bilal joined Watsi on January 22nd, 2014. Two years ago, Bilal joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Bilal's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Salome, a future teacher from Kenya, to fund surgery for an umbilical hernia.
Bilal has funded healthcare for 38 patients in 9 countries.
Bilal has funded healthcare for 38 patients in 9 countries.
Salome is a jovial but very timid student. Her mother does most of the talking as she lovingly clings to her. Currently a fourth-grade student, and she aspires to be a teacher in the future. Salome is the second born in a family of four. Her older sibling is 17 years old, and the youngest is 8 years of age. Her father is a casual laborer who transports meat to butcheries around the Kagwe area in Kenya. Her mother is also a casual laborer and tends to farms for a living. They live in their ancestral home on a quarter an acre farm. Since birth, Salome has had an umbilical hernia. If not treated, the hernia could result in intestinal tissue damage and/or death. Fortunately, on August 26th, she will undergo repair surgery at our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $585 to fund Salome's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and to continue her studies. Salome’s mother says, “My baby has had this condition since birth. We have not been able to take her to a hospital because we are financially struggling. I hope her condition does not threaten her life.”
Ma Htun is a 60-year-old woman from Thailand who lives with her son. She and her family moved to Thailand from Burma about 17 years ago in search of better job opportunities. Since early 2020, Ma Htun has been retired. She is now a homemaker and takes care of the household chores. In her free time, she forages for vegetables in the forest. She has a daughter who is married and a son who works as a day laborer. On July 27, Ma Htun was walking home in the rain after visiting a shop to buy food. She slipped and fell and experienced a sharp pain in her right leg. Her son and her neighbor took her to the hospital where an x-ray confirmed that Ma Htun had fractured a bone in her thigh. Currently, she is unable to move her right leg or walk due to pain, and she has difficulty sleeping. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ma Htun will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 30th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Ma Htun to be free from pain and to walk again. Ma Htun's son shared, “I want my mother to receive surgery and get well soon. I feel bad that I cannot afford to pay for her surgery.”
Jayden is an active, curious 9-month-old baby. He is the only child in his family. His father is a laborer in a construction site, but work is hard to come by due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, his mother found a job as teacher in a private school but also lost her job as a consequence of the pandemic. The family currently lives in a rented house on the outskirts of Nairobi. When Jayden was born, his mother noticed that he was not passing urine properly. Before they were discharged home from the hospital, she shared her concern with the doctor who assured her that it was only a temporary condition. Despite the assurance from the doctor, she still had her own doubts. Five months later, there was no improvements in how Jayden was passing urine. So she took him to a local facility for examination and the doctor diagnosed him with hypospadias, or urinary dysfunction, and Jayden was referred to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Hospital, for treatment. Upon arrival, he was examined again and the doctor scheduled him for a hypospadias repair surgery. Jayden's parents have National Health Insurance (NHIF), but their request for coverage was rejected. The hospital's social worker then referred their family to Watsi to get help for his treatment. Jayden is now scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 28th to address his uncomfortable symptoms and possible future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $735 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Jayden’s mother shares her concern, “It was a hard time for us when NHIF rejected our request. We had started to learn to live with the fact that Jayden may stay for a long time before he could be treated as we are not financially stable.”
Wit is a four-year-old boy who lives with his parents in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Wit goes to junior kindergarten, while his parents own a small shop in the camp. In his free time, he enjoys drawing and coloring. He's also already really interested in fixing and building things. Since he was a year old, Wit has had an inguinal hernia. The hernia causes him pain in his scrotum and in his stomach. Due to the pain, he cannot run and play with his friends and he sometimes he misses school. To control the pain, he takes pain medication three times a day. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Wit to receive treatment. On June 1st, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once completed, the procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Wit's surgery. Wit's mother shared, "he tells me he wants to become a doctor [in the future], but he also says that he wants to become a mechanic or a builder. He will ask me to buy him tools and things to fix. He will try to fix his [father’s] motorcycle and bicycle.”
Sut is a 30-year-old who lives with his family in a refugee camp. His mother is a shop vendor who sells snacks in front of their home. Sut and his brother-in-law used to work as agriculture day laborers, but can no longer leave the camp to find work since the camp is on lockdown after the outbreak of COVID-19. Since then, Sut has been helping out with household chores and looks after his nephew. The income they receive from selling snacks in addition to the food card they receive from a support organization is just enough to cover their daily needs. He and his family receive free basic health care in the camp. Since April 2020, Sut has had an inguinal hernia. This hernia causes him pain in the right side of his groin and he feels a burning sensation when he urinates. If he walks for a longer period of time, he will experience pain in the right side of his groin. Occasionally, when the pain worsens, he is not able to help out with household chores. Fortunately, on April 29th, Sut 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 Sut's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 29th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Sut shared, "Sometimes I experience such severe pain that I cannot bear it anymore. I cannot do anything and I cannot help my family with anything due to my condition. My wife left me because of my condition and I do not have anyone that can help me. When I learned that a donor could help pay for my surgery, I felt like they had saved me from death."
Angel is a beautiful 11-year-old girl from Kenya. Her family is from Nairobi county, and she is the only child in her family. She lives with her grandparents, as her mother is single and ill. Angel has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Angel to receive treatment. Angel traveled to visit AMH's care center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 22nd. Now, AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Angel's procedure. After surgery, Angel will be able to stand and walk like other children. Angel's grandmother shared, “we will be grateful if you can give Angel back her smile and she can enjoy life like other children. Thank you very much.”
Htun is a 50-year-old man from Thailand. He lives with his wife, son, and two daughters in Thailand. Htun and his wife work as agricultural day laborers, but Htun had to stop working after he injured his eye. Currently, Htun can only perceive light with both of his eyes, but he cannot clearly see objects. Although he is not in pain, he needs someone to assist him when he walks or eats. He also cannot work nor do any household chores as a result of losing his vision. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Htun. On March 2nd, doctors will perform the lens replacement surgery, and they will remove Htun's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After his surgery, Htun will be able to see clearly and get back to all that he needs to do in the day. Htun said, “I am sad and depressed that I cannot see nor do anything. I feel sorry that my wife has had to accompany me everywhere and do every little thing for me such as helping me eat and go to the bathroom. I want to regain my vision quickly and I want to go back to work.”
Sovana is a 50-year-old coconut farmer from Cambodia. He has two daughters and one son. When Sovana is not farming coconuts he enjoys reading the news on the his phone. Unfortunately, two months ago his eye was damaged during an accident moving wood and he developed a traumatic cataract. He has difficulty seeing things clearly and doing his work. When Sovana learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for eight hours with his niece seeking treatment. On September 21st, doctors will perform small incision cataract surgery (SICS) and 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. Sovana said, "I hope after surgery I can see everything again so I can continue my work at the farm and get around outside easily." Sovana's niece said, "I hope my uncle's surgery is successful so he can see. I want him to be comfortable again."
Sopheak is a 38-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He has one son and two daughters, and has been married to his wife for the last 22 years. In his free time, his favorite activities include looking after his children, doing the housework, feeding his chickens, and cooking. Last year, Sopheak was in a motorcycle collision and fractured his left leg. He experiences pain, swelling, and is unable to walk or stand without support. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On March 4th, Sopheak will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Surgery will allow Sopheak to walk independently again and return to his activities with little difficulty. "My family is worried because they are no longer able to afford treatments. I hope that after my surgery, I will no longer have any pain or swelling, and will be able to walk on my own again. My wife is looking forward to getting back to her normal activities without having to look after me everyday," he said.
Elias is a young student from Kenya and is a happy young boy. He is the second-born child in a family of three children. He is currently in 4th grade and aspires to be an engineer in the future. Elias was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Elias has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. However, treatment is costly for Elias's family. Both of his parents are labourers who depend on manual jobs to feed their family. His mother washes clothes, and his father works in construction sites. They both lack a stable income since the jobs and payments depend on the availability of work. There are times when they go without work for several days. Elias will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo an orchidopexy, which is a corrective surgery, on November 12th. AMHF is requesting $754 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Elias shared, “I want to study hard and become an engineer when I grow up. For now, the doctors told me that I needed to get treatment to help me grow into a healthy man."
Sophal is a 63-year-old sugar cane seller from Cambodia. She has two children, five grandchildren, and enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio. One year ago, Sophal developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Sophal learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for one hour seeking treatment. On December 23rd, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $211 procedure. "I hope that I will be able to see clearly and can return to my work selling sugar cane," she shared.
Meet Britney, a 14-year-old girl from a village in Meru County. Britney likes socializing and playing handball. She aspires to become a doctor in future to help patients who are going through tough times in the hospital. Britney is the second born in a family of three children. Her father is a small businessman while her mother is a farmer. While playing with a few other girls, Britney slipped in the field and injured her left foot. She has been to different hospitals for x-rays and seeking treatment, but her condition has been worsening. It affects her mobility and is causing her to feel pain anytime she walks. Britney cannot stand for long and doing household duties is also a challenge for her now. Surgery will be of great impact as she will be able to walk without any challenge and the pain which she has been feeling whenever she walks, will be alleviated. “I want my foot to be corrected so that I can walk well like other girls,” Britney told us.