Tangam joined Watsi on June 12th, 2013. One year ago, Tangam became the 5333rd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 1,160 more people have become monthly donors! Tangam's most recent donation traveled 8,100 miles to support Gift, a 5-year-old from Kenya, to fund clubfoot treatment.
Tangam has funded healthcare for 20 patients in 6 countries.
Gift is a young child from Kenya--a playful and lively boy. His mother told us that he likes reading and playing with other kids. Gift is the last born in his family that hails from Mathare neighborhood in Nairobi County. His mother does casual jobs of washing clothes and cleaning. His father passed on two years ago after an accident. The family lives in a one-roomed ironsheet house in Mathare. Gift 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, Gift traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 14th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Gift's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. “I am appealing to people of goodwill to help my son undergo surgery so that he can be able to walk like other children. God bless you," his mother told us.
Khna is a 31-year-old taxi driver from Cambodia. He got married only five months ago, and his wife is a farmer. In his free time he enjoys playing volleyball with his friends, going for walks with his wife, and making improvements to his home. In August 2020, Khna fell out of a tree from a height of five meters. He was able to get up and walk home, but later that night he started feeling pain in his back. Now he is experiencing numbness in his legs and an inability to control urine flow. He has come to our partner facility, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), where doctors will be able to perform a spinal implant procedure which will alleviate the pressure on the spinal nerves. This will allow him to regain feeling in his legs and walk easily again. Khna told us, "I hope that this surgery will go well, and that I can recover quickly. I will work hard to regain strength and walk like normal."
Thu is a 11-year-old student from Burma. He lives with his mother, sister, brother-in-law, twin brother and an older brother. He and his family moved to Thailand from Burma five months ago in search of better job opportunities. Thu’s mother and older brother are agricultural day laborers. Thu and his twin brother are fourth graders at a Burmese migrant school. In his free time, Thu likes to play football with his friends. On July 12th Thu, his twin, and his friends were climbing guava trees near their school to pick up guavas. He fell out of the tree and onto his left arm. An x-ray revealed that he had broken his left elbow. Currently, his left arm is swollen, painful, and cannot be bent. He feels uncomfortable when he lays down and he cannot sleep at night. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Thu will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 15th and will cost $1,500. Thu’s mother shared, “I’m very worried and sad that I don’t have enough money to pay for my son’s treatment.” Thu also said, “I’m sad that I broke my hand and that I won’t be able to climb trees again. I don’t want to carry my hand in a sling.”
Margaret is a university student in her second year of studies. However, since 2018, she has not been to school after suffering a road accident in the capital, Nairobi. She was hit by a vehicle while crossing the road, fracturing her right femur and suffering body lacerations. She spent a lengthy stay in a national hospital and received surgery. She required physiotherapy sessions which she could not start due to financial constraints. Last July, she noted an open wound on her surgical site which was painful and septic. Since then, she had been cleaning it with salty water. Margaret was brought by her friend to Watsi's partner Kijabe Hospital and diagnosed with chronic osteomyelitis, a bone infection. Doctors recommend she have a sequestrectomy and hardware removal surgery to treat her condition. Successful surgery will allow Margaret to be able to ambulate with ease and less pain. Margaret is the firstborn child in her family. Her two siblings and parents live in a three-roomed rental house in the city’s outskirts. Her father is a construction site laborer while her mother relies on casual jobs such as laundry in the estate. The family is not able to pay the required hospital bill of $1,500. Margaret says, “My hope is to go back to school once treated so that I can help my younger siblings.”
Joseph is a father of 9 children, now all grown up and working in small-scale businesses. He lives on his subsistence farm in Nakuru. Joseph started to experience hearing problem 20 years back but he could still hear with difficulties. The condition become severe about four years ago where he was forced to go to a provincial hospital. He was checked and the plan was to wash his ears. Since then he has been going for ear washing regularly when his family heard of our facility through the social media. This is when we had a free clinic for patients with a hearing problem. Joseph was diagnosed with mild to moderate-severe hearing loss. The plan is for him to have hearing aids for both ears so that he can return to a higher quality of life and independence. Currently, Joseph is not working due to his health and is fully depended on his children. He lives with his wife who is also elderly and can’t work either. "I will really appreciate if I can be able to hear clearly and communicate with my family," Joseph said.
Dane is the youngest child of her family, and her parents are rice farmers. Since she cannot spend much time outside, she enjoys painting, watching movies on TV, and listening to the stories her brothers read to her from their books. When she was born, Dane had scoliosis that is causing her spine to curve, affecting her ability to walk normally. Though she does not feel pain, she has difficulty moving around the house by herself, and she requires extra care from her family, who must also spend a lot of time working on their farm. Her mother is also worried about her confidence and independence as she gets older. After getting a recommendation from a neighbor, Dane's parents brought her directly to Watsi's Partner Children's Surgical Centre to get treatment. Doctors will perform spinal surgery to correct the curve of Dane's spine, allowing it to develop normally. After recovery, she will have increased mobility and normal posture. Her mother said, "I worried about my daughter's spine since she was born, but I know that when she gets surgery, her back will be stronger and she will be more confident."
Jeremiah is a young man aged 18 years from Limuru Kiambu. He is a form two student and is the second born in a family of two children. He stays with his grandparents because his mother is a single parent and traveled to Dubai where she is trying to make a living with little income. His grandparents are peasant farmers and his mother is not able to send them any money. Jeremiah has for the last five years been visiting many hospitals because of a headache and abdominal pains. He has taken many recommended drugs and undergone many tests without positive results. This has greatly affected his learning, and that is why at the age of eighteen years he is still in form two. Eventually, his grandfather decided to bring him to Watsi Medical Partner's care center Nazareth Hospital and an ultrasound showed he has a big gallstone. The surgeon advised a laparotomy but the family is not in a position to meet the surgery cost. If not treated Jeremiah will continue to experience the pain as the stone will continue to grow and may cause complications like inflammation or blockage of the gallbladder and pancreatic duct. “It has been years of pain and frequent visits to different hospitals, at one time I was even being told that I am not eating well. I really plead for help so that I can get back to my normal life and continue with my studies,” said Jeremiah.
Vivian was born with congenital hearing loss that was only noted when she was 3 years old. She also suffers from delayed milestones that affect her growth process compared to other children of her age. Vivian had an audiometry test done at Watsi Partner Kijabe Hospital in December 2019 and doctors recommend hearing aids. Vivian is not able to perceive low volume sounds and this concerns her parents. She is the firstborn child with one other sibling who is four years her junior. Her family lives in a two-roomed house at the capital’s outskirts. Her father works as a mechanic in an industrial area while the mother is a mobile money agent. The family’s income is quite little to raise the total amount required for hearing fittings. They appeal for financial assistance. Vivian’s father says, “My hope is that Vivian will get hearing aids and be able to talk with ease like any other child.”
Lors is a 26-year-old rubber plantation worker from Cambodia. He has two daughters and enjoys playing soccer, listening to music, and helping around the house when he is not working. In July 2019, Lors was in a motorcycle accident and collided with a truck, injuring his left arm. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left 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 experiences pain and has lost sensation in his shoulder and is unable to move his arm. Lors traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On December 11th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to regain sensation and move his arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $637 to fund this procedure. "I hope that my hand will be back to full function just like before, and then I can return to work again," Lors shared.
Aimidiwe is a three month old baby girl from Tanzania and the second-born child in a family of two children. She was born at a local hospital with a cleft palate and was referred to Watsi Medical Partner ALMC hospital to seek treatment. She was admitted to the hospital since she couldn’t feed well and was having regular seizures. Her family was advised to return for regular check-ups and observation but the parents couldn’t afford the transport money and the consultation fee since they had used up all their saving for the period she had been admitted, thus they hadn't returned. A few weeks later, she started vomiting and her head was increasing in size so her family had to find money and take Aimidiwe back to ALMC hospital. Her father is a shop attendant with a meager income and they had to borrow money to take Aimidiwe back to the hospital. At the hospital Aimidiwe needed to have CT scan done but the parents couldn’t afford it thus when they were referred to our funding and support program. Aimidiwe has now been diagnosed with cleft palate and hydrocephalus, and she will need to have the hydrocephalus condition corrected first to save her from the pain and danger of brain damage. Thereafter, doctors will correct her cleft palate condition. Her parents are asking for help and support since they can’t afford the treatment cost. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Aimidiwe that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 13th and will drain the excess fluid from Aimidiwe's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Aimidiwe will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Ahimidiwe’s mother says, “Our daughter needs two very important surgeries none of which we can afford, kindly help us.”
Colette is a young mother from Haiti. She lives with her husband and baby son in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Colette has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged due to a rheumatic fever she suffered a number of years ago, and it cannot adequately pump blood through her body. Colette will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On December 11th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove her damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing funds to pay for surgery. Colette's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. 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 Colette's family overseas. "I am very relieved I can have this surgery so that I know I will be alive to take care of my son," Colette shared.
Kyi is a 58-year-old woman from Burma. She lives alone and used to sell clothing in her village. However, she stopped working since her symptoms worsened, over a year ago. She now has no income but is able to pay her daily expenses with money she has saved. Kyi was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, 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, Kyi feels tired when she walks and has a rapid heartbeat. She has also started to experience chest pain and shortness of breath. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Kyi. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 4th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Kyi said, “I felt very sad when I was told that the surgery will cost a lot because I do not have enough money to pay for my own heart surgery. I used up a lot of my money to go to a hospital which did not diagnose me. I felt less burdened when I met Pinlon Hospital’s staff and she told me that an organization [BCMF] will support my surgery’s cost.”