Joyce joined Watsi on March 10th, 2015. Seven years ago, Joyce joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Joyce's most recent donation traveled 8,400 miles to support Stuwart, a curious young boy from Tanzania, to fund corrective surgery to restore his mobility.
Joyce has funded healthcare for 79 patients in 13 countries.
Joyce has funded healthcare for 79 patients in 13 countries.
Stuwart is a 5-year-old boy and the only child in his family. He's a playful and friendly boy who is currently having a hard time walking due to his legs bending outwards. Stuwart is still in class one and he loves counting numbers and drawing. His father works as a bodaboda driver to be able to support and care for his family. His income is not much but helps them make ends meet. Early this year, Stuwart started having pain in his knees when he woke up and tried to stand. This went on for a few weeks and when his parents saw how much he was suffering they decided to seek treatment for him at a local hospital. Stuwart was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus (knock knees). His parents were informed that Stuwart will need to have surgery to correct both of his legs and prevent them from becoming further deformed and causing Stuwart pain. At that time, he was supported by Watsi last July to undergo surgery. He has now developed a genu valgus where his legs are now bowing outwards. To help stop this, Stuwart needs another surgery to correct this condition. 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 has pain and difficulty walking. His parents are asking for help to support his secondary surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Stuwart. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Stuwart's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Stuwart’s mother says, “His legs were straight, but over the months he has been walking we have noticed his legs are now bowing outwards. We will be so grateful if our son can be supported again.”
Poe is a 45-year-old man who lives with his wife in a hut in a village in Myawaddy Township in Burma. Poe and his wife are agricultural day labourers, but he had to stop working two to three months ago, when his condition worsened. The income she earns is usually just enough to cover their daily expenses, but if she cannot find work, they have to borrow money to make ends meet. Around seven years ago, Poe got bamboo splinters in his left foot while working on a farm. He was able to pick out the splinters and applied traditional medicine to his foot, which healed. A little while later, he developed pain where he had the splinters before and went to a nearby clinic. A nurse checked his foot but told him that she could not find anything wrong with his foot. The nurse gave him pain medication and Poe went back home. After he took the medication, he felt better. Six or seven months later, his pain returned, and he also developed an infection. When he went back to the clinic, the nurse checked his foot and told him to go to a hospital since he signs of a severe infection. The nurse also gave him medication. He then went to Myawaddy General Hospital, where he had the ulcer cleaned with an antiseptic solution and was given medication. When he went home, he felt better. Two years ago, the pain and ulcer returned but in a larger area then previously. He went back to Myawaddy General Hospital, where he received an x-ray. He was told that his foot was infected due to his previous injury. His foot was cleaned again with an antiseptic solution, and he was given antibiotics. After he took the medication, he felt better again. Just a few months ago, Poe’s foot started to hurt again. However, he was not worried about his foot because the last time his foot had hurt, he had had the ulcers drained. When the pain and swelling increased in his foot, he was no longer able to work. Although he wanted to go to the hospital, he did not have enough money to go this time since he was not working. His brother then told him to go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) in nearby Mon State since it is more affordable. When Poe arrived at MCLH at the end of November, he was admitted after the doctor examined his foot. He received another x-ray and was told that the ulcers and an infection had spread to multiple areas. He was also told that because of how advanced his condition is, his foot could never heal fully, and the only option at this point was to amputate his foot. “I’ve been to many hospitals and clinics already,” said Poe. “The doctor told me that if I amputate my foot my condition will no longer return. So I am happy to go ahead with the procedure.” Currently, Poe’s left ankle and feet is swollen and painful. The pain is worse at night and when the temperature drops. He has multiple ulcers in his foot with discharge and he feels extremely uncomfortable. Some areas of his foot are itchy and painful while he has lost sensation in the top of his foot and areas around his ankle. Cannot put any weight on his left foot due to the pain and has to be pushed in a wheelchair since he arrived at MCLH. He's hopeful about feeling better soon and getting back to working. Poe shared, “In the future I want to buy one or two cows to breed and rear them to earn an income. I also want to grow and sell vegetables."
Dortensley is a 14-month-old baby from Haiti who is loved and cared for by his mother. Dortensley has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases pressure within the skull. As a result of his condition, Dortensley's head grew beyond his expected development and he experiences seizures. Without treatment, Dortensley will experience severe physical and developmental delays. On November 9th, Dortensley will undergo surgery at the care center of our medical partner, Project Medishare. Surgeons will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Dortensley's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. Upon recovery, Dortensley should develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Project Medishare is currently the only site in the country to offer this critical care and is requesting $957 to help fund Dortensley's procedure. Dortensley's mother shared that she could not afford surgery for her child, but is now feeling hopeful. She said: "There is a God after all. God bless everyone that is helping my child."
Sok Khom is a 56-year-old mother of four children. She has has two daughters, two sons, and three grandchildren. Sok Khom has recently stopped farming. Sadly, her husband died 10 years ago and she lives with all her children. Her oldest daughter works as a tailor and her other three children are students. When she is not running the household, she likes to watch movies on TV or the news on Facebook. Five months ago, Sok Khom developed a cataract in her left eye causing her blurry vision and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Sok Khom learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On September 20th, 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 $229 procedure. Sok Khom shared, "I hope I can see clearly again. I can help my daughter to take care of my grandchildren and cook well for my children."
Dolara is a two-year-old girl who lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince in Haiti. She has two older brothers and likes drawing and playing with her dolls. Dolara was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), in which blood leaks between the major artery and the vein connected to her heart. This leak creates heart failure, leaving Dolara sick and short of breath. Doctors have recommended that Dolara undergo interventional heart catheterization to treat this issue. During the procedure, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole between the artery and the vein so that blood can flow normally. Our Medical Partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance is helping her finally undergo treatment and needs $1,500. Dolara's family is seeking help to relieve her pain and enable her to grow up and play with her siblings and friends. Dolara's mother said: "We have been hoping for this chance ever since our daughter was born, and are glad it is finally here!"
Maria is a sweet and loving 7-year-old girl. She lives with her parents and four siblings at their home in Tanzania. Maria's parents are laborers and small scale farmers and who enjoy growing mainly maize, vegetables, and sunflowers. Maria has clubfoot in both of her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Maria and her parents learned about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare and traveled to their care center seeking treatment. On August 10th surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery. AMH is requesting $935 to fund the surgery. After treatment, she will be able to walk without discomfort and with ease. Maria’s mother shares, "Our daughter is strong and a fighter. She is always ready to help with chores. We see the challenge she is goes through due to her legs but due to lack of money we have not been able to seek treatment again for her."
Erick is a seven-month-old baby boy and the youngest child in a family of two children. His mother does laundry work to help provide for the family, while his father is a veterinarian in the area. His business was doing well before the COVID-19 pandemic, but unfortunately, they had to stop paying for health insurance when they became financially strained due to the pandemic. Erick was born with an anorectal malformation, or a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He is scheduled to have corrective surgery on July 5th and now our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,393 to cover the total cost of Erick's procedure and care. After his recovery, Erick will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing severe health complications in the future. Erick’s father shared, “during this hard time of the pandemic, we are not able to raise any money for Erick’s surgery. Please help us."
Kyin is a 48-year-old woman who lives with her daughter, her friend, and her friend's family in a village in northern Thailand. Kyin’s daughter and her friend’s two children study at a migrant school. Kyin used to work as an agricultural day laborer, but stopped two months ago when her vision deteriorated. In her free time, Kyin likes to garden and clean her house. Kyin has lost most of the vision in both of her eyes. Sometimes her eyes are watery and itchy, and if she tries to focus on identifying someone’s face, her eyes will hurt and she will develop a headache. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Kyin. On June 7th, doctors will perform a lens replacement in both eyes, during which they will remove Kyin's natural lenses and replace them with intraocular lens implants. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Kyin shared, “I hope that I will get better soon so that I can go back to work. I want to support my daughter so that she becomes an educated person. I also want to build a new house and live with my daughter happily for the rest of my life.”
Roeun is a 46-year-old farmer and is married with one son. She enjoys cooking for her family and taking care of her house. Since September 2020, Roeun has experienced left ankle pain and swelling. She has been diagnosed with osteochondrolysis. The pain and swelling make it hard for her to walk. When Roeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for one and a half hours seeking treatment. On March 24th, surgeons at CSC will perform a joint arthrodesis procedure to fuse her right ankle joint and to help her walk again. Now, Roeun needs help to fund this $518 procedure. Roeun said, "I hope I can walk without any pain and heal so I can support my family."
Fulgence is a 3-year-old boy and the fifth born child in a family of six children. Fulgence is a charming, friendly, and playful child. His parents are small scale farmers who grow maize, vegetables, and sunflowers. They depend entirely on what they harvest for their food and daily living. In 2019, Fulgence dipped his right hand in a pot of hot cooking oil, sustaining severe burns on his palm. His mother had been making mandazi, a morning snack, and left the hot oil unattended in a different room after she was done. Due to the family's income, Fulgence's parents were only able to take him to a local dispensary for treatment, where he had the burn dressed and continued with home treatments afterwards. His wounds eventually healed with contractures, which limit him from holding items comfortably. When Fulgence's mother heard about the plastic surgeons working at our medical partner's care center, she decided to seek treatment help for her son. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Fulgence receive treatment. On March 2nd, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery, which will help him to be able to use his right palm with ease. Now, he needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Fulgence’s mother shared, “The Watsi program has been of great help to me and my family through the funding of my daughter’s treatment cost, which we couldn’t afford. I am kindly asking for help for my son as well who is unable to hold things using his right hand. Please help him.”
Delvina is an eleven month old baby girl from Tanzania and the youngest of three children in her family. Her parents grow maize and vegetables for the family to eat and sell. Delvina was born a healthy child though her delivery was complicated and after three days at the hospital her family returned home happily with their newborn baby. At six months, Delvina started getting fevers and falling ill often. Their family tried to seek treatment at a local hospital but most of the medication they were using only relieved her for some time. At eleven months, Delvina could not sit by herself nor support the weight of her head and was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. She needs to undergo an endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) procedure, a surgery to drain the excess cerebrospinal fluid and relieve her of the pressure build-up in her head. This procedure will save her from brain damage and give her a chance to grow and develop like other children. Without treatment, Delvina will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Delvina that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 8th and will drain the excess fluid from Delvina's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Delvina will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Delvina’s mother says: “I would love to see my daughter grow up like her other siblings but for her to have that chance she has to have this needed surgery.”
Anitha is a beautiful six-year-old child from Tanzania. She is the only child to her mother, who is a single parent. Her mother shared that Anitha's father left their family when Anitha was a baby and Anitha herself has never met him. Her mother helps her aunt in a small vegetable garden, where they grow tomatoes and sell them an open market. Whatever they can earn is what they use for their basic needs. Anitha has clubfoot of both her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty with walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Anitha traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 5th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Anitha's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk more easily and play with her friends. Anitha’s mother shared, “All I wish for my daughter is to see her walk normally so that she can pursue her studies and have a better life.”