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 Elkana, a cheerful farmer and expecting father from Kenya, to fund fracture repair surgery so he can walk again and return to providing for his family.
Rafael has funded healthcare for 59 patients in 9 countries.
Rafael has funded healthcare for 59 patients in 9 countries.
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!"
Meng Thong is an 11-year-old student with one younger sister. Meng Thong's parents are rice and vegetable farmers. Meng Thong is in the 5th grade and is an outstanding student, in the top 5 in his class! His best subjects are Khmer and math. After school he likes to play football with friends. Thong fell playing football last October and injured his left forearm. Now he has limited mobility in his left wrist and decreased sensation whenever he used his hand. He has been diagnosed with a volkman's contracture of the left forearm. Surgeons will perform a wrist contracture release to heal the bone. When Meng Thong's parents learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, they traveled for four hours seeking treatment. On March 1st, surgeons at CSC will perform a contracture release surgery to to help him move his arm easily again. Now, his family needs help to fund this $477 procedure. His father says, "I hope he can heal quickly and return to school."
Langeda is a charming 23-month-old boy and the only child to his mother. Langeda’s parents work as livestock keepers who sell cattle to provide for their family. When he was five months old, Langeda was in bed while his mother was outside doing chores. He woke up and rolled off the bed, and his hand went into a bedside fire. He sustained severe burns and was treated at home using traditional medicine, however, he now has limited use of his hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Langeda receive treatment. On March 2nd, surgeons will perform a burn contracture release surgery so that he can use his hand freely. Now, he and his family need help raising $874 to fund his procedure and care. Langeda’s mother was grateful that support for her son was now possible and shared, "we have never sought treatment for our son due to lack of money."
Joan is a smart and outgoing 12-year-old girl. She is in grade five in school and enjoys playing basketball in her free time. She is the third born child in a family of five children. Her parents work as casual laborers, doing a variety of jobs to make ends meet. For about three years, Joan has been experiencing intermittent enlargement of her tonsils. Over the past month, her tonsils have become very swollen, and it has become difficult for her to swallow and speak. She has been unable to attend school because she experiences so much pain. She visited a local ENT clinic where a surgeon recommended that she undergo an adenotonsillectomy. If she is not treated, Joan may continue to have recurrent tonsillitis, difficulty breathing when asleep, or infections like tonsillar cellulitis. These complications could also lead to rheumatic fever. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Joan receive treatment. On February 8th, she will undergo an adenotonsillectomy, during which surgeons will remove her tonsils and adenoids. After recovery, Joan will be able to live comfortably and continue with her studies. Now, she and her family need help raising $565 to fund her procedure and care. Joan's father shared, "Because of this illness, our house is now very quiet. Joan makes everyone happy. I am kindly requesting help so that she can be treated and get back to her normal life and go back to school."
Vicheka is the eldest of two children in her family and loves her younger sister who is three years old. Their family lives in Preah Vihear near the Thai border of Cambodia. Her father is a soldier and her mother is a potato farmer. At school, she is fond of math and Khmer literature and would like to be a teacher when she is older. She likes reading books, painting, playing with her little sister, and taking walks with her parents. When Vicheka was five, she was diagnosed with scoliosis of the spine—a sideways curvature of the spine that most often is diagnosed in adolescents. She has uneven shoulders, a bump in her lower back, difficulty standing up straight, and shortness of breath. It has become difficult for her to breathe, she tires easily, and she is having difficulty walking. This can be very difficult for young girls, they are often hidden at home because other children make fun of the way they look. A neighbor told her parents about our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre, so they traveled over 10 hours for a diagnosis and surgery. Surgeons plan to put in expanding rods along her spine. The expanding rods will allow her to grow and keep her spine from curving further, which could cause her more health problems if left untreated. Their family needs $1,500 for the surgery, which will cover medications, implants, and post-operative care. Vicheka said, "I hope the doctors can fix my spine so I can play with my friends and my back will be straight. I want to continue in school but it is hard for me to keep up, and I miss school."
Vaughn is a three-year-old boy from the Philippines. He is the youngest sibling of three. He loves playing with his cousins just like any other child at his age. His father is a construction worker earning minimum wage; while his mother is a stay-at-home mom. Three months ago Vaughn's parents noticed a swelling around his belly button. They brought him to the hospital for care and Vaughn has been diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. This hernia causes severe stomachaches. Fortunately, on November 10th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner is requesting $1,130 to fund Vaughn's surgery at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. "After the surgery, we hope Vaughn will be able to enjoy his childhood and not ever hesitate to play," shared Edgar, Vaughn's father.
Faisal is a 5-year-old boy and the last born in a family of five children. He is a charming young boy and likes to play with his friends. Faisal has not yet started school. Faisal was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, where his legs bow outward so that his knees cannot touch. 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 a difficult time walking for a distance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Faisal. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 18th. Treatment will hopefully restore Faisal's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Faisal’s mother says, “Please help my son be able to walk without difficulty.”
Salha is a three-week-old baby girl. She is a second child in a family of two children. Her mother sells vegetables at the market and her father helps in building construction. Salha was born with 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, Salha's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on November 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Salha's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when she grows up. Salha’s mother says, “Please help my daughter get the treatment she needs so she may be able to grow up like other children without being looked at as an outcast.”