Rafael joined Watsi on September 5th, 2016. Eleven months ago, Rafael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Rafael's most recent donation traveled 5,900 miles to support Arahufu, a two-year-old boy from Tanzania, to fund corrective surgery so he can run and play.
Rafael has funded healthcare for 24 patients in 8 countries.
Rafael has funded healthcare for 24 patients in 8 countries.
Arahufu is a two-year-old boy who loves football. He is the youngest child in a family of five children. Aruhufu's father works as a ‘manamba’, where his job is to call passengers onto a bus at the bus stop. When he manages to fill all the sits in the bus, he is then given some money. Arahufu was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, a condition in which his legs bow outward. 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 difficulty walking and running. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Arahufu. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 14th. Treatment will hopefully restore Arahufu's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Arahufu’s mother shared, “I can never find the money needed to cover my son’s treatment cost. I am struggling to even put food on the table. Please help him.”
Elsa is a 9-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He loves to play football with his dad and other kids. He is the first born in a family of three. His father is a daily laborer and his mother takes care of their house and family. Elsa and his family live in a rented house. Their family shared with us that Elsa does not go to school because his father hides him from the community for fear of gossip and stigma due to his birth condition. His parents are highly affected psychologically as a result of his affliction. His father is planning to send him to school in September after his surgery and recovery. Elsa was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Elsa had his first stage of hypospadias repair surgery in January and is now planned for a second stage surgery. He will be healthy and active after this treatment. Elsa is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on August 31st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His father said, “I hope my child goes to school after the treatment. I hope he will mingle and play with other children and that will make him happy, break his isolation, and resolve the tension in his mind. If God wills he will be a doctor.”
Stuwart is a playful and friendly boy and the only child so far in his family. He is currently in the first grade and he loves counting numbers and drawing. Stuwart’s father works as a bodaboda taxi driver to be able to support and care for his family. They shared that his income is not much but it helps them make ends meet. Stuwart was diagnosed with genu valgus. His legs bow inward so that his knees touch and rub against each other when he walks. 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 is having a hard time walking and is experiencing pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Stuwart. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 15th. 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 "We've tried to seek treatment for our son but all our efforts have not been successful despite trying to get national insurance. We are either to pay with what we don't have or wait for one year. Please help."
Sokea is an 11-year-old student who is in the fifth grade. He has one brother and one sister. In his free time, he enjoys reading and playing football. His parents are construction workers. One year ago, the retina of Sokea's left eye detached, causing him partial blindness and tearing. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Sokea learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three hours with his mother seeking treatment. On June 11th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Sokea shared, "I hope I can see well so I can study better in school and play with my friends."
Sonoeun is a two-month-old baby boy and the first child born to his parents. His father is a construction worker and his mother works in a factory. Sonoeun 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, Sonoeun traveled with his parents to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). There, surgeons will perform an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure on May 17th. Now, CSC is requesting $385 to fund Sonoeun's clubfoot repair. After treatment, his feet will develop normally and he will be able to walk more easily as he gets older. Sonoeun's father shared, "I want to see my child run and play sports when he is older, but now I hope he heals from the surgery well."
Htoo is a 6-year-old boy from Thailand. He lives with his parents, brother and two sisters in a refugee camp on the border of Thailand and Burma. Htoo and his siblings were born in the refugee camp. Htoo’s mother is a homemaker, while Htoo’s older brother and sisters go to primary school and Htoo attends kindergarten. His father used to work as a day labourer, but has been unemployed since the pandemic began. Currently, they have no income and receive some financial support for their daily expenses. Luckily, Htoo's family receives free basic healthcare and education in the camp. In late October 2020, Htoo was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. If he stands up for a short period of time, or walks, the right side of his private area will swell. Around twice a week, Htoo shares with his parents that this area is hurting him and he feels uncomfortable. Fortunately, on April 8th, he 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 Htoo's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 8th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Htoo's father shared, “Most of the time, my son is very active and playful. He will only rest when he complains about the pain.”
Paw is a 21-year-old who lives with her parents, a brother, three sisters, a daughter and a niece in a refugee camp. Her father used to be an agricultural day laborer, but had to stop working due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Her sisters go to school and her brother is unemployed. Paw looks after her daughter and niece, who are too young to go to school, while her mother looks after the household chores. In her free time, Paw likes to play with her daughter and visit her friends. On March 9th, Paw left the camp alone to collect firewood. While climbing a hill, she slipped, falling onto her right shin. She was in so much pain that she could not stand up. She got herself to a nearby road where a motorcyclist drove her back to the camp. At home, Paw was treated by a traditional healer, and a couple of days later, a second traditional healer told her family that Paw had fractured her leg. Paw's father made a bamboo brace for her leg, and carried her to the hospital in the camp run by International Rescue Committee (IRC). Knowing that she would need surgery, IRC staff referred her to Burma Children Medical Fund to receive treatment at a local hospital. Currently, Paw experiences a lot of pain when moving her right leg. She cannot stand up by herself and she cannot sleep at night when the pain is severe. Since she injured her leg, she feels more tired and she has lost her appetite. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Paw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will help her walk and live pain-free. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. Paw shared, "once recovered, I will take care of my parents. I will work and save money for my daughter, so that I can make sure that she has food and clothes."
Tun is a 73-year-old man who lives with his three daughters in Umpiem Mai Refugee Camp in Thailand. Each month, Tun's household receives a small cash card to purchase rations in the camp, and their monthly household income is just enough to cover daily expenses. In his free time, Tun loves to read books and loves telling stories to his neighbours’ children. He is always welcoming, giving the children snacks and telling them stories from his home. Tun also loves to grow different types of vegetables around his house, sharing the harvest with his neighbours who cannot afford to buy vegetables. Before he felt unwell, Tun used to volunteer, organising cleaning groups in the camp and helping with road repairs. Currently, Tun experiences on and off pain in his upper abdomen. He also has a slight fever and often feels nauseous. Over time, his appetite has gradually decreased, and he has lost weight. Tun has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If his condition is left untreated, Tun's symptoms will continue to worsen and he will be at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Tun is scheduled to undergo his cholecystectomy on February 16th. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Tun's procedure and care. Once recovered, he will able to resume gardening, volunteering, and socializing with others in the camp. Tun shared, “I love volunteering and I am happy to help the community with whatever I can. But since I got sick, I cannot participate, and I cannot go to the monastery to help clean nor can I meditate. If I ever feel better again, I will continue to help my community with whatever I can do and I will also continue to grow vegetables around my house for my family and for my neighbours.”
To is a 57-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He has been married for 12 years and has 3 sons and 2 daughters. His oldest child is in the ninth grade, while the others are not in school yet. To's wife works as a vegetable seller. In his free time, To enjoys working around the house, taking care of his children, and helping his wife to sell vegetables. In August 2020, To was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a fracture in his right hand. His family took him to a provincial hospital for wound repair, where he stayed for ten days. After this, To tried a Khmer traditional treatment, but it proved ineffective and the fracture did not heal. His relatives told him to come to Children's Surgical Center, our medical partner's care center, for treatment. There, surgeons assessed that his fracture is still mobile and he cannot use his hand. He has wrist drop and muscle atrophy, and is in chronic pain. On January 18th, To will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Surgeons plan to conduct an ORIF (open reduction internal fixation) technique and will put a plate, screws and a bone graft in his hand. In addition, they will explore the radial nerve to assess for any damage. This procedure will help him to use his hand again so that he can work to support his family. To shared, "I hope that my hand will be fixed with a good result, and I will have no more pain. I wish I could be working but need my hand to heal first."
Ivan is a three-year-old boy from Tanzania. He loves playing with his friends, and doesn’t like staying indoors - sometimes, his mother has to force him to rest when he wants to play. Ivan is unable to use his right hand after being involved in a fire accident earlier this year in April. Ivan was outside playing with his friends, and his mother had put a pot of beans cooking on the stove. When it started raining, Ivan came back running into the house and slipped on the wet floor. His right hand went into the pot, burning him badly. Ivan's family took him to the hospital right away for treatment. It took time for his wounds to heal but eventually, they did. However, the burns healed with contractures, which make him unable to straighten his fingers and limit movement around his wrist. Ivan has been scheduled to have surgery, but his parents are unable to afford the treatment cost. Both of his parents have a small business of making and selling local soap, and they also make a living by selling fish. Their income is small, and they do not earn enough for Ivan's cost of care. They appeal for financial support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Ivan receive treatment. On December 11th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to allow Ivan to use his hand with ease. Once healed, he will be able to use his hand to care for himself, and learn to write when he starts school. Now, he needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Ivan’s mother shared, “Please help my son to get this treatment so that he can be able to write when he starts school. I am not able to afford his needed treatment, please help us."
Samrith is a 27-year-old delivery man from Cambodia. He is the eldest ins his family and has two brothers and one sister, all of whom are students. Samrith's mother works as a clothing seller and his father is a taxi driver. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music, playing on his phone, and meeting up with friends in the evening. On September 23rd, Samrith was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a fracture and paralysis of his right arm. His family took him to a private clinic to treat the fracture, which has now healed. However, the nerve damage remains. Samrith has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He has no sensation or mobility in his right arm, which prevents him from working. Samrith traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 12th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will regain full range of motion of his arm. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Samrith shared, "I hope after my surgery I am able to use my right arm again and return to working without pain."
Joseph is a 10-month-old baby boy and the last born in his family to his mother who has eight other children. His father is polygamous with two wives, and the second wife has five children making them a large family of fourteen children. Four children in his family have been able to join school, but the rest have not had a chance to join yet. Joseph's older siblings who do not go to school help their parents look after their herd of five cows and five goats. Both parents depend on small-scale farming of maize, beans and vegetables for their food and are able to sell a goat once in a while to be able to get money to buy other commodities. Joseph was born at home earlier this year with the help of midwives since their nearest local hospital is a long distance from home. At birth , the midwives noticed Joseph had a swell with an open wound along his spine and advised his parents to take Joseph to hospital and seek medical care. They were able to get a small amount of money and took Joseph to a local hospital where he had his wound dressed and were referred to Watsi's Medical Partner ALMC Hospital. At the hospital, Joseph's parents were informed that their son would need to undergo surgery to help correct his Spina Bifida. Without treatment Josep was in danger of getting his spine infected, which could lead to him losing limb movement making him permanently disabled or even lead to death in case of a serious infection. Through Watsi donors' incredible support, Joseph was able to have this life-saving surgery. Unfortunately, he has since acquired hydrocephalus which is putting him in danger of brain damage due to the fluids accumulating in his head, increasing head size and pressure. His parents cannot afford the treatment cost thus they are asking for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Joseph that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 12th and will drain the excess fluid from Joseph's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life now and in the future. With proper treatment, Joseph will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Joseph’s mother says, “After my son had his first surgery he was so well, but now his head is increasing in size and he is vomiting a lot accompanied with fevers. Please help save my baby.”