Rafael joined Watsi on September 5th, 2016. Two years ago, Rafael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Rafael's most recent donation traveled 6,200 miles to support Esther, a 22 year old student from Kenya, to fund surgery for a fractured ankle so she can return to her studies and walk again.
Rafael has funded healthcare for 66 patients in 9 countries.
Rafael has funded healthcare for 66 patients in 9 countries.
Esther is a 22 year old woman, living in Kenya. She is currently in her final year of school, pursuing a course in hospitality. Esther is supported by her mother, a widow, who runs a small grocery. Two weeks ago, Esther slipped on a staircase and broke her left ankle. At the local facility where Esther was initially taken, she was administered pain medication. An X-ray was performed at a second facility, and it was recommended that Esther undergo surgery to repair the fracture. Esther chose to visit the doctors at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, and now she is scheduled for surgery on January 5th, at AIC Kijabe Hospital. While Esther is currently unable to walk without support and without pain, the scheduled fracture repair surgery should restore her mobility. Now she needs your help to cover the $979 cost of the procedure. Esther says: “I am unable to go to school due to the fracture. I cannot walk and need the surgery to be able to use my leg again.”
Saw Kyaw is a 25-year-old man living in Thailand. He currently lives with his older sister, younger sister, mother and her niece. He moved from Burma to Thailand for job opportunities three years ago. He was working in a shop and was able to support two younger siblings who are studying in Karen State in Burma. Around the end of July, he was playing football with friends when he slipped trying to kick the ball. His lower right leg was very painful, but he was still able to bear weight lightly on that leg. At the time, Saw Kyaw didn’t have health insurance, so he went to a clinic instead of the hospital. There they examined his leg, gave him some medication for the pain and advised him to go to the hospital for an X-ray if the pain persisted. Saw Kyaw rested for two days and then went back to work. That day at work, Saw Kyaw was carrying a heavy load when he slipped again. This time, the pain was severe, and he was unable to stand on his right leg. He went to a hospital in Bangkok where they X-rayed his lower right leg and told him that the tibia was fractured. The doctor recommended surgery where they would use a metal rod to connect the bones and set them in the correct position to heal. Saw Kyaw was told that the surgery would cost between 40,000 to 50,000 baht (approx. 1,330- 1,660 USD). He told them that he did not have insurance and was unable to afford the surgery, so they gave him pain medication and bandaged up his leg. He returned to the hospital three times and each time the doctor recommended surgery, but Kyaw was unable to figure out how he could get that kind of money. His employer was not helpful and refused to assist with the cost of the surgery. Since Saw Kyaw didn’t have the money, he decided to just rest and see whether the bones would heal on their own. Saw Kyaw recalled that he had fractured his femur when he was young, and he had used a traditional medicated oil to help heal the injury. He hoped that he could use this on his new fracture. But now he cannot walk properly and cannot work since his accident. He is stressed about his condition and his future. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Saw Kyaw will finally undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for December 7th and will cost $1,500. He will able to go back to work after surgery Saw Kyaw said, “I would like to go back to Bangkok and find work again so I can go back to helping my family; my siblings who are studying in Burma, and also my mother who is getting older. I also want to save some money for my future. I will not work at the same place though as they have not been kind or caring since I had the accident.”
Elia is a playful 17-month-old baby from Tanzania who loves to smile. He is the youngest in his family of four children. Elia's father is a small-scale farmer and primarily grows food for the family's sustenance, while his mother cares for children. They shared that their income is limited to cover their basic needs. Elia's mother noticed that his leg was twisted downward and inward, affecting his ability to begin walking. She took him to a local clinic, but there were no improvements in his physical condition. When Elia's mother learned about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), she brought him to AMH's care center. As soon as he arrived, Eila's charming personality emerged, and he made friends with the other children and played many games. Upon examination, the doctors at AMH diagnosed the condition as clubfoot of the right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. On November 18th, Elia will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and start wearing shoes. AMH is requesting $935 to fund Elia's procedure. Elia’s mother says: "I appeal for your financial support, and I will be glad to see my son start walking normally."
Nicholaus is a young boy from a family of five living in Tanzania. His parents are local farmers who practice subsistence farming. They try to provide for the family, but it has been hard for them to provide the basic needs. They sometimes live on one meal a day, and shared that buying clothes for their children is difficult. When Nicholaus was two years old, he fell into a pit of hot ashes, burning his right hand. The parents applied honey on the wound and left it to heal. They got rid of the open wound, but it left the boy with a burn scar contracture on his right hand. They live in a remote area where it is hard to access social services like medical care. The contractures tighten the area around the burn, and it is now hard for him to move the hand especially around the wrist and part of the fingers. Nicholaus' parents have tried seeking professional medical opinion for their son before, but have not been able to afford the recommended treatment. When they heard about Friends of the Plaster House (ALMC), they were hopeful, and travelled over 600 km to seek assistance for their son. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Nicholaus receive treatment. On October 12th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him move his hand easily. Now, he needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Nicholaus’s mother says “We left home with hope that when he comes back, his hand will be okay."
Cho is a 23-year-old woman from Thailand, living with her husband, son and her husband’s cousin in a refugee camp, in Mae Hong Son Province. Her husband works as a medic at the hospital in the refugee camp, and her husband’s cousin goes to school. Cho is a homemaker, and looks after her son. In her free time, Cho loves to play with her son, while on Saturdays, she likes to attend church. Cho is currently expecting her second child. At a recent antenatal visit, Cho's doctors told her that she would need to give birth via Caesarean section, due to complications she experienced when giving birth to her son. A C-section offers the best opportunity for a safe and healthy outcome for both Cho and her new baby. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Cho access the care that she needs. On September 8th, Cho will undergo a Caesarean section at Mae Sariang Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to fund this procedure and ensure a safe delivery. “I want to work as a teacher in the future again, when my children are old enough to go to school,” Cho said.
Faith is a beautiful four-month-old baby from Kenya. She is the youngest of two children. To support their family, her mother is a stay-at-home mom, and her father herds and sells cattle. Faith was born at home with several congenital conditions. Her parents took her to a nearby facility for examination, where she was diagnosed with spina bifida, hydrocephalus, and clubfoot. They were referred to another facility where a medical device, called a shunt, was used to help treat the hydrocephalus, draining the excess fluid from her brain. On discharge, the hospital referred her and her family to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, where Faith was examined and scheduled for spina bifida repair surgery. Spina bifida is a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Faith is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Faith's spina bifida closure surgery. The surgery is scheduled to take place on July 13th. This procedure will hopefully spare Faith from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Faith’s father says, “When I saw the problems that my child has, I was worried that she would never receive treatment. I am hopeful she will receive treatment with your help.”
Linda is a beautiful three-week-old baby from Kenya who is the youngest of three children. A few months prior to Linda's birth, her mother became very sick and lost her job as a security guard. Her mother shares that this created many challenges for their family because she was their sole source of income after Linda's father left them. Additionally, they have not had many people nearby to help them since they came from Uganda. Fortunately, a Ugandan friend of Linda's mother heard about her condition and offered to accommodate her. This good Samaritan has since been facilitating hospital transportation and providing Linda’s family with financial support where possible. Shortly after her birth, Linda was diagnosed with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Linda is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. The public hospital where she was born was unable to offer her any treatment and instead referred her to our medical partner's care center, Bethanykids Kijabe Hospital. Upon arrival, Linda was found to be in critical condition. She was immediately admitted and put on medication. She stayed in the hospital for more than two weeks under the care of the medical team. Once she got better, she was discharged and scheduled to undergo spinal repair surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Linda's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 25th. This procedure will hopefully spare Linda from the risks associated with her condition and allow her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Linda’s mother says, “I was shocked when I saw her at birth and did not know if she would ever be treated. Now, I have courage to face the future, as I have been told that she will be treated.”
Elkana is a cheerful and friendly man from Kenya. He is the fourth born in a family of seven. He attended school up until class seven but had to end his studies due to financial constraints. He now works as a farmer and has a small piece of land on which he plants maize and potatoes, primarily to feed him and his family. To earn money, he works as a casual laborer, working on people's farms, as well as doing work such as clearing bushes and carrying loads. Until now, his wife has worked alongside him, but she has stopped working because she is currently pregnant. On July 16th, Elkana was brought to our medical partner's care center after being involved in a road traffic accident involving a lorry, or large truck, and a tractor. This accident left many people injured, including Elkana. He experienced a fracture of his left femur and is now experiencing pain. He is also unable to walk or stand. Without treatment, he will not be able to return to work and provide for his family. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 19th, Elkana will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After surgery, he will be able to use his leg again, return to work, and continue providing for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Elkana shares, ”My family depends on me for their daily needs, so it is really difficult for them. Kindly help me so that I may lead a normal life once again.”
Erick is a four year old boy, living with his parents and five siblings. He is a charming and playful fellow, who loves football. Erick was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, a condition which causes his legs to bow outward, making it difficult for him to walk, and causing him pain. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, has stepped up to help Erick access the corrective surgery he needs. They are requesting $880 to fund this procedure, which is scheduled to take place on June 7th at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, and which should restore Erick's mobility. After he heals, he will be able to engage in a variety of activities, and the risk of future complications will be greatly diminished. Erick’s father says: “We have hope that our son could have his legs corrected here.”
Gordon is a six year old boy, living with his parents and two younger siblings in a one roomed house in the Korogocho area of the capital city. His mother is a homemaker, while his father works as a vendor. Gordon was born with multiple birth conditions, including spina bifida, and hydrocephalus, as well as bilateral clubfoot. Currently, he cannot stand or walk - or wear shoes - and he has to crawl every time he wants to move about. At a visit to a mobile health clinic, it was determined that Gordon needs surgery to correct his feet. His family cannot afford the estimated hospital bill, and is requesting help to cover the costs so he can get the care he needs. Fortunately, Gordon's family traveled to our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 30th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Gordon's surgery and care. After treatment, Gordon should be able to put on shoes, to stand, and to walk. “I would request the donors to help my son undergo surgery. My desire is to see him grow up like other children,” Gordon’s mother told us.
Bb Lafleur is a newborn baby from Haiti. She has an older brother and two loving parents. Bb Lafleur 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, Bb Lafleur has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, she will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Bb Lafleur at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat her hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on April 7th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Bb Lafleur's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Bb Lafleur will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Her family hopes that this early treatment of their baby's hydrocephalus will allow her to grow up without any health problems and have a full life ahead.
Jephte is a sweet 3-year-old boy who lives with his parents in a small town in Northern Haiti. He loves playing with toys and watching cartoons. Jephte has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. The care the Jephte needs is not available in Haiti, so he will fly to the Cayman Islands for treatment. On March 18th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will sew a patch over the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Their family has raised funds for his surgery, but they also need help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Jephte's family overseas. His mother shared, "Our family will be praying for everyone who is making this surgery possible for our son!"