Bridgett joined Watsi on December 2nd, 2014. Five years ago, Bridgett joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Bridgett's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Mary, a 46-year-old farmer from Kenya, to fund a fracture repair procedure on her left leg.
Bridgett has funded healthcare for 59 patients in 12 countries.
Mary is a 46-year-old woman from Kenya. She is a housewife and a farmer, and is a mother of four children. Despite having lost sight in her left eye, Mary has been taking care of her children and her family's small piece of land. Her husband works as a street vendor to support the family's financial needs. On November 23rd, Mary slipped and fell, bending her left knee directly onto a stone. An X-ray confirmed that she sustained a closed fracture of her patella. This injury makes it difficult for her to walk, and she is in chronic pain. Fortunately, Mary's husband was able to bring her to the hospital and now surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 26th, Mary will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Mary's husband shared while holding back tears, "Without support, my wife will never walk again and it will be hard for her take care of our children. Please help her so that at least she can walk again and continue supporting our family.”
Wai is a 33-year-old homemaker from Thailand. She lives with her husband, son, and daughter on the border of Thailand. She is a homemaker, and her husband is a day laborer. Since Wai injured her left eye, her husband had to stop working to look after their children, since her son has a heart condition and her daughter has asthma. Since a young boy accidentally shot her in the left eye with a slingshot, Wai's left eye has been in pain. Her left pupil is covered by a white spot, and she also cannot see clearly. Wai feels stressed and depressed about her eye, and she has lost her appetite. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a lens replacement surgery for Wai. On October 27th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Wai's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Wai shared, “I will try to be a good mother and make sure my children receive an education because I do not want my children to be uneducated like me. If I get better, I will always bring and pick up my children from school. I will look after them full time so that my husband can go back to work and save money.”
Ethan is a 2-year-old from Kenya. Ethan’s father is a bus conductor and his mother sells clothes in a market in Kayole. Being the only child in his family, his mother carries him to work with her each day. Ethan was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Ethan is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on September 29th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $735 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Ethan’s mother says, “As a family, it will be a great feeling for us when Ethan receives the required treatment.”
Joan is a one-year-old from Tanzania. Joan is a beautiful girl and the youngest child in a family of four children. Joan’s father works as a motorcycle driver commonly known as “bodaboda” driver while the mother does tailoring in their neighborhood. Joan 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, Joan has been experiencing fevers, vomiting and her head is increasing in size. Without treatment, Joan will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Joan that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 24 and will drain the excess fluid from Joan's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Joan will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Joan’s mother says, “We have struggled so much to make sure our daughter gets all her disabilities corrected, something that has left us with no savings of any kind and only debts. She needs another surgery as soon as possible and we have nowhere to get the money from, please help us.”
Mom is a four-year-old girl from Cambodia. She lives with her mother and her grandparents and her mother works at a local factory. Her father passed away before she was born. She is the only child in her family. Mom likes to draw pictures, eat rice porridge, and play outside with her friends. She also watches cartoons with her grandmother. She is excited to start school soon. Mom was born with polydactyly of both hands. This means that she has two extra thumbs, one on each hand. It is difficult for her to use her thumbs, and she experiences mild pain in her fingers. Fortunately, on August 11th, surgeons will perform a polydactyly repair procedure to remove the extra digit. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $256 to fund this procedure. After surgery, she will feel more comfortable and will be able to use her hands easily. Mom's mother said, "I am hopeful that my daughter will enjoy life when she can easily pick things up and play well. She won't have to worry about this problem ever again."
Nigel is a small boy from Kenya. Nigel’s mother used to work in people’s homes before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the financial strains that COVID-19 has caused, work is now very hard to come by. His father is a casual laborer in a construction site near their home. They only make just enough money for their family to live on. Nigel was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Nigel is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 7th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $735 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Nigel’s mother shared, “Since we are unable to raise any money for my son’s treatment, the financial help offered would be of great help.”
Muiruri is an elderly man from rural Kenya. He has 7 children and one who has passed away. He lives on his farm in Muranga with his family. His children do farming for subsistence, and none make earnings enough to help raise funds for their father's medical bill. Muiruri was able to raise funds for his previous surgery and also used his National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF). Unfortunately, he has exhausted his NHIF limit due to his previous treatment. In 2019 he was involved a motorcycle accident and had a femur fracture on his left leg. He underwent an ORIF surgery and he was healing well. Early this year, as he was walking home, he slid and fell. The same leg that had an earlier femur fracture was fractured again and now doctors need to carry out an ORIF surgery so he can walk again. Currently, he is not able to walk on his own and he is in a lot of pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On June 29th, Muiruri will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. "I will be happy to be able to walk without struggle and also assist my wife with farm work," Muiruri told us.
Ree is a 44-year-old man who lives with his wife, two sons, and his daughter in Mae Ra Ma Laung Refugee Camp in Thailand. Ree and his family used to live in a village in Hpa-pun Township in Karen State, Burma. However, due to conflict between armed groups in his area, they fled to the refugee camp in 2006. Every month Ree’s family receives 1,244 baht (approx. 42 USD) from The Border Consortium (TBC), an organization that provides support to refugees in camps. He also works as a caregiver for the elderly in the camp, for the organization Catholic Office for Emergency Relief and Refugees. He earns 1,100 baht (approx. 37 USD) each month for this. All of his children go to school in the camp while his wife works as a cook at one of the schools. On March 14, 2020, Ree slipped and fell on his right forearm while he was carrying a heavy load. When he got up, he was not able to move his right hand and he thought he had broken his forearm. Ree did not seek help at the camp’s medical centre and instead wrapped traditional herbal medicine onto his right forearm. As time passed, Ree could still not use his right arm and the pain in his arm did not go away. Eventually, on May 10th, he went to the camp’s hospital, run by Malteser International Thailand (MI). At the hospital, he was diagnosed with a fractured right forearm that had not healed properly. He was referred to the local Mae Sariang Hospital and received an x-ray on May 12th. The result indicated that he had fractured one of the two bones in his forearm. The doctor at the hospital then referred Ree to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further management and treatment. The following day, MI staff brought Ree to CMH. Once he met with the doctor, the doctor told him that he will need to receive surgery for his arm to heal properly. Currently, Ree is still in pain and his right arm is sore and not in use. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ree will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for May 21st and will cost $1,500. His arm will no longer be in pain and he hopes he will be able to go back to his old job helping the elderly in the refugee camp. While smiling he said, “I have been struggling to do tasks for the past month without using my right hand which is hard as I am right handed. I cannot wait to use my right arm again!”
Catherine is a 17-year-old student from Tanzania, the youngest in her family of three children. She is currently in Form Four and hoping to graduate secondary school this year. She is a shy but bright young girl. Catherine’s father is a construction worker and her mother owns a shop at their home where she sells day-to-day household stuff. Catherine 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, Catherine has been experiencing headaches for the past two weeks continuously. She was originally taken to the hospital and was tested for a UTI and malaria but found to have nothing wrong. Her headaches got more severe, followed by vomiting and irritability and could not control her urination. Her family was told to do a CT scan test but the surgeons were not satisfied with the results and needed to do an MRI. The MRI showed that there is build up of CSF fluids causing pressure in her brain and the doctors shared that Catherine needs surgery as soon as possible. Without treatment, Catherine will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Catherine to treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 29th and will drain the excess fluid from Catherine's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Catherine will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Catherine says, “I would really like to get better and continue with school. Please help me get well.”
Meet David, a 23-year-old from Kenya. David relies on casual labour to make ends meet. He takes up jobs such as digging pit latrines, tilling, or any other work that comes along. His family background is poverty-stricken. David shared that his father is an alcoholic and has sold most of the family properties including even cooking utensils. His mother separated from his father. David and his 6 siblings did not manage to go to school as their parents could not manage to raise school fees. David currently struggles to pass urine. Six years ago, David was started developing problems and his condition worsened in 2017. He was reviewed at Maua Hospital and referred to Watsi Partner Kijabe Hospital. Through national health insurance funding, he had first stage urethroplasty in 2018 and doctors advised him to return for follow up and second stage surgery. However, due to financial difficulties, he could not manage to come back to the hospital. In 2020, he returned after fundraising for transport and hospital appointment charges. He now requires surgery but is not able to raise the funds required and is still has difficulties due to his condition. David had to be supported with bus fare to travel to Kijabe, 6-hour journey from his village, and he appeals for financial assistance. David says, “My hope is to be treated fully. I want to marry but I feel any lady would not want to settle down with me in my current condition.”
Bernard is a driver from Kenya. Bernard is a father of 8 children from his two wives. He lives in a rental house and is the main breadwinner in the family. He does not have national insurance nor did he own the vehicle he drove when the road accident occurred. Bernard is a driver in the public transport system, commonly referred to as matatus. On 12th of February 2020, John was involved in a grisly road accident that left 22 people with various injuries. According to Bernard, the oncoming vehicle was overlapping at high speed at a place that is increasingly becoming a blackspot. Bernard and the other patients were brought to Watsi's medical partner care center and immediately started receiving treatment. Bernard had a nail implant on his left femur and a right foot closed reduction and percutaneous pinning that morning. He has been recovering and is planned for a second surgery to correct the acetabular open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). He is in chronic pain and is not able to move from his bed. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 19th, Bernard will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an ORIF. This treatment will help Bernard heal well and be able to walk and eventually work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,042 to fund this procedure. Bernard says, “I am appealing for help to have the surgery. My family is not able to raise the funds needed. I am however hopeful that soon I will be able to walk.”
Khin lives with his wife and five children along the Thai-Burma border. Khin and his wife work as porters on the river that runs between the Thai-Burma border. They carry items to and from the boats that bring Burma people across to Thailand. However, Khin has been unable to work for the past year, and his wife stopped working in December 2019, when she accompanied Khin to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). His eldest son works at a bicycle shop as a salesman and earns 200 baht (approx. 7 USD) per day. Khin’s other children all go to school. One day in February 2019, Khin was playing football with his friends. During the game, Khin went to hit the ball with the inside of his right foot. However, someone from the opponent team accidentally kicked him above his right ankle when they tried to take the ball away from him. Right away, Khin’s leg hurt and he was unable to continue with the game. His friend brought him back home. For the next two months, Khin sought help from a traditional masseuse and a traditional healer. When neither treatments helped, he sought help from a health worker. There, he received an injection into his right leg, close to his injury. Khin said, “As soon as I received the injection, I felt better but it did not last for a long time and the pain returned.” He returned twice more and each time he received another injection that at first helped reduce the pain. One day, Khin heard about a traditional healer from a friend. When he went to see them, the traditional healer applied a bandage with herbs to his injured leg and provided him with instructions on how to reapply the bandage at home. Afterward, whenever Khin applied the bandage with herbs, he felt better so he continued to reapply it for the next six months. Khin thought his leg would finally heal, but after using the bandage for six months, he noticed that the area around his ankle and his right foot had become swollen, and that there was pus from sores on his ankle and the sole of his foot. A friend told him about a charitable clinic called MTC right across the border in Mae Sot, Thailand. Khin decided to seek help there, so accompanied by his wife, they arrived at MTC on the 1st of December 2019. He was admitted right away and he received oral medication, injections and had his leg dressed and changed daily. Every 10 days, he also had the pus in his injured leg drained. During the first week of January 2020, MTC brought Khin to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further treatment. There, he received blood tests and an X-ray before the doctor told him that he needs to receive surgery which would cost him around 30,000 baht (approx. 1,000 USD). However, Khin was unable to pay for surgery. Once Khin was brought back to MTC, the medic saw that he had been diagnosed with chronic osteomyelitis, a severe infection of his bone, and referred him to Watsi Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing further treatment. BCMF connected him to Mawlamyine Christine Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) in Burma. After the doctor reviewed his medical records, the doctor recommended an amputation of his right leg below the knee. Currently, Khin suffers from a lot of pain in his right leg at night and he is not able to sleep. During the day however, the pain lessens if he does not walk long distances. He also needs to use crutches to get around. Khin said, “I would like to feel better as soon as possible so that I can go back to work to support my family and so that we can pay back our loan.”