Olaf joined Watsi on March 22nd, 2014. Six years ago, Olaf joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Olaf's most recent donation traveled 7,000 miles to support Sarafina, a small-scale farmer from Uganda, for a hysterectomy.
Olaf has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 11 countries.
Olaf has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 11 countries.
Sarafina is a small scale farmer and a mother of six, with five living children. She shared with us that she attended school up to the first grade when she was young and since has farmed, while her husband is a retired soldier. They own a three-room semi-permanent house for shelter. Their oldest child is now 45 years old and dropped out of school due to mental illness while their youngest recently got married. Sarafina receives a little support from her children and relies on her farm produce to meet her daily needs. For two years, Sarafina has been experiencing lower abdominal pains along with itchy arms. She used herbal medication for the itching but she never got relief. She visited Rugarama Hospital and the scan showed uterine fibroids. Sarafina has stopped farming because she can no longer bend down, and has had to miss some follow-up appointments due to limited funds. Her symptoms have worsened and she has been diagnosed with large uterine leiomyoma. An exam revealed a cervical mass highly suspicious of cervical cancer. If not treated, Sarafina could develop chronic pelvic pain and there is a risk of cancer spreading, poor quality of life due to chronic pain and organ failure. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus, but her family cannot afford the surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $319 to fund Sarafina's surgery. On September 4th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Sarafina will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Sarafina says, “I pray that I may be considered for treatment because I am in severe pain and my condition could get worse. I hope to be normal again so that I may get back to farming and taking care of my family.”
Lightness is a hard-working student and the ninth born child in a family of ten children. Lightness loves to help her mother with home chores and looking after her nieces and nephews. Lightness is currently in technical college where she is studying to be an electrician. Lightness's parents are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers, and her mother also sells vegetables and mandazi, a type of fried bread. Three years ago, Lightness was at the fireplace helping her mother cook mandazi when she lost conscious and fell into the pot of hot oil. Her mother rescued her and rushed her to the hospital. The accident has left Lightness with contractures as a result of the burns around her neck. Contractures are a condition in which the muscles are shortened and hardened, and in Lightness's case they limit her neck movement. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is helping Lightness receive treatment. On August 5th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her move her neck freely. However, Lightness's family needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Lightness says, "I feel bad seeing myself in this condition, I try to cover my neck because I don’t like how people feel sorry for me. I will be happy and grateful if I can have my neck corrected."
Joseph is a two-year-old boy and the youngest child in a family of four children. The family lives in a small timber house and his father sells vegetables to provide for the family. His mother often does laundry work for their neighbors, however, sometimes work is difficult to find and she works on neighbors' farms to supplement the family's income. Joseph was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended after birth. If not treated, Joseph will have an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, Joseph will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). He is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 5th and now, AMH is requesting $569 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Joseph’s father shared, “since we visited the last facility, I have never had peace in my heart after the doctor told us what will happen if the testes did not descend and he was not treated. Now, I’m more troubled that I cannot do anything for his surgery as we cannot raise any amount close to what is required. I really need support for my child's surgery."
Justine is a talkative 18-year-old laborer from Kenya. He is the second-born child in a family of five children. He dropped out of school in grade eight after his parents were unable to pay his secondary school fees. Now, Justine drives a motorcycle taxi to help support his siblings. One week ago, Justine was involved in a road accident and fractured the second, third and fourth metatarsals on his right foot. He experiences pain and he cannot walk. He was told that his fracture would require surgery, and in the meantime, he is in a cast. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 3rd, Justine will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Justine will no longer be in pain, and he will be able to walk and work. Now, AMH is requesting $1,016 to fund his procedure. Justine shared, “if I could be walking now, I could be out there looking for a job and supporting my family. I have faith that I will walk again."
Jovin is a beautiful one-month-old baby boy from Tanzania and the first child born to his young parents. Jovin's parents are small scale farmers of maize and vegetables for their family's food and for their living. Since birth, Jovin has had a right inguinal hernia. If not treated, the hernia could result in intestinal tissue death or damage. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Jovin to receive treatment. On May 5th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Once complete, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Now, AMH is requesting $566 to fund Jovin's surgery. Jovin’s father shared, "the cost of treating our son’s condition is too high for us to afford and he is suffering. Please help if possible."
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.
George is an 11-year-old boy and the third child in his family. George is in grade six and loves playing football a lot. Both of his parents are farmers. To earn a living, his mother sells the farm produce, which makes them some income. To supplement these earnings, his father completes any informal jobs he can find. George was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, George has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. George will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 3rd. AMHF is requesting $561 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. George’s father shared, “It is very difficult for us as a family to raise the required amount for his surgery. We are grateful and appreciative of any help offered to us."
Myo is a 16-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents and four brothers in northern Rakhine State. Myo is a student in grade nine and his four brothers also go to school. However, they have been unable to study since the Covid-19 pandemic shut all schools. Myo’s parents are day laborers, and their family's combined income is just enough to cover their daily expenses since Myo and his brothers’ schooling is free. To survive with limited income, they forage for vegetables and fish. If they fall ill, they use traditional medicine, which is more affordable then going to a clinic or a hospital. Myo was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, which is the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Myo cannot walk long distances or climb stairs because of his tiredness. Sometimes, he cannot breathe very well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Myo. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 7th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Myo shared, “I am worried about my health and I feel sorry for my parents. Because of my health problems, my father had to work more days to earn more money. Also, my mother cannot work because she accompanies me and has to take care of me. I hope my school will reopen soon so that I can go back to school. One day I hope that I can become a teacher. I want to teach because there are not enough teachers in my village.”
Paulo is a happy 7-year-old child from Kitui County in Kenya. He is the fourth born in a family of five children. Paulo’s father is a casual labourer who does welding in Rwaka, while his mother is a housewife in their rural home in Kitui. Paulo had an accident and fell from an avocado tree while he was playing. He was taken to a government health facility but did not receive any service as the health workers were on strike. Paulo’s father then took him to a private hospital in Kiambu, where doctors conducted an x-ray revealing a fracture of his left femur. Paulo is not able to walk and is in constant pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help make sure Paulo has the surgery he needs. On January 7th, Paulo 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 $1,049 to fund this procedure. Paulo's father shared, “I had my reservations about Paulo having surgery, but I have had time to think about it, leading to my decision for him to have the surgery. I look forward to him being able to play and walk properly again.”
Musa is a two year-old boy from Tanzania, and he is the youngest in a family of four children. He is an active boy who loves playing, and his mother says he always wants to go out and play with other kids who are older than him. In May 2019, while Musa was out playing with other children in the morning around the kitchen, he accidentally stepped into the fire and burned his left foot. This accident left Musa with a deformed left foot. After healing, his toes have contracted, which makes walking painful and difficult because his toes are attached to the bottom of his foot. Now, Musa will need to undergo a surgery to remove his small toes and treat the contracture on his big toe on his left foot. Unfortunately, this procedure is costly for Musa and his family. Musa’s parents are small scale farmers who depend entirely on what they harvest for their daily living. They were only able to afford a few dressings during Musa's initial treatment, and the rest of the treatment was done at home through the use of local herbal medication. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Musa receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo his surgery on December 8th at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,088, and Musa and his family need help raising funds.
Arnold is a young boy from Kenya. Three months after birth, Arnold’s mother noticed he had some swelling in the abdominal area. Arnold's physicians diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia. However, his family was unable to afford the cost of his surgery. Arnold is one of five children, his mother does casual jobs and laundry work for her neighbors, and his father lost his job as a waiter in a local small hotel when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. He currently works in a local construction site as a casual laborer. The family is not in a position to raise any money to cater for Arnold's surgery. So, his mother is appealing for financial help. Fortunately, on October 22nd, he will undergo repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $444 to fund Arnold's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Arnold’s mother says, “Despite the problems we have encountered, we are still hopeful that Arnold will get treatment.”
Mary is a 77-year-old single woman from Kiambu County in Kenya. On September 12th, she slipped and fell sustaining a closed tibia/fibula fracture of the right leg. Her son brought her to Nazareth Hospital and an x-ray done confirmed the fracture. The surgeon recommends an ORIF procedure, but their family could not raise the money required. If not treated Mary may never be able to walk again and will continue depending on others. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 12th, Mary will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. She will be able to again walk with ease and with minimal chances of complications. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. With a heavy heart, Mary’s son said, “No one wanted to assist, but I kindly request for her support so that at least she can be able to walk around on her own.”