Tangam joined Watsi on June 12th, 2013. Eleven months ago, Tangam became the 5333rd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 628 more people have become monthly donors! Tangam's most recent donation traveled 8,100 miles to support Margaret, a university student from Kenya, to fund bone fracture surgery following a vehicle accident.
Tangam has funded healthcare for 17 patients in 6 countries.
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.”
Since birth, Sim has had a malformation of her spine, which she worries is slowly getting worse with time. Her scoliosis causes her pain in her legs, difficulty sleeping, and she is unable to sit for long periods of time. With surgery, Sim will be able to walk again with ease and will be able to sit and sleep comfortably. She will not have to worry that her condition will worsen, and she can return to her work. Sim enjoys watching television, listening to the news, and helping with the housework in her spare time.
Nesly is a young man from Haiti. He lives in a small village in northwestern Haiti with his parents and siblings. He would like to go to college once he is in better health. Nesly has a cardiac condition called severe rheumatic mitral and aortic regurgitation. Two of the four valves in his heart have been severely damaged due to a rheumatic fever he suffered several years ago. Nesly will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On September 10, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove his damaged valves and implant artificial replacements.. Another organization, The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, is contributing $35000.0 to pay for surgery. Nesly'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 Nesly's family overseas. "I am so happy that this surgery will finally be possible for me!"
Chanthen is a two-year-old boy from Cambodia. He has two older sisters, and he enjoys watching television and going for walks in the village with his parents. In October 2018, Chanthen accidentally came into contact with an open flame, burning three of the fingers on his left hand. The burn has since healed but the skin has tightened, restricting the movement of his fingers. When Chanthen learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for eight and a half hours seeking treatment. On August 8, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to to help his fingers move and flex properly. Now, he needs help to fund this $448 procedure. "I hope that my son's fingers will heal and he will be able to move them and carry something in the future."