Christopher joined Watsi on December 16th, 2014. 30 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Christopher's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Norah, a farmer from Uganda, for a hysterectomy.
Christopher has funded healthcare for 23 patients in 8 countries.
Christopher has funded healthcare for 23 patients in 8 countries.
Norah is a 51-year-old woman from Uganda. She is a widowed mother of eight children. Norah has experienced pelvic pain for the last three years. Six months ago, she began to experience pelvic bleeding. Norah is a farmer, and she uses her income to pay the school fees of her four children that attend the local school. Unfortunately, her recent symptoms have prevented her from working, and her children have been supporting her. Norah has also been unable to go to church, an activity she enjoys. After visiting multiple clinics, Norah was referred to Bwindi Hospital, a Watsi medical partner hospital. Bwindi doctors believe that a hysterectomy––the removal of Norah's uterus––will relieve her of the pain. Norah cannot pay for a hysterectomy, so she needs support to fund this life-changing surgery. She hopes that after her treatment, she will return to work to provide food and tuition money for her children. “This is by grace of God that we can get people to help us," says Norah. "I was told that I need a hysterectomy, but I could not afford the cost. Thanks to the people that will donate to my care, may God bless them abundantly.”
Diego is a 23-month-old baby from Guatemala who lives with his parents and siblings in a rented one-room house. Diego loves to play ball with his neighbors. His mother works at home, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the children as well as looking for firewood to sell in the market. His father is a day laborer in the fields. Diego's mother has been worried since she has noticed that her son has not been wanting to eat, preventing him from growing like he should. This is because the diet his parents can afford for him lacks protein, calories, and nutrients, leaving him malnourished. If he does not receive treatment, malnutrition could cause permanent consequences such as a low IQ, trouble focusing in school, and a greater risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension as an adult. Although his parents work hard, they do not have the resources to feed him even one vegetable, piece of fruit, or egg—the minimum that he needs to reach a healthy height and weight. For $512, we can treat Diego's malnutrition with a combination of food supplements, deworming medication and growth monitoring. This will allow him to gain weight, grow taller and resume normal development for a child his age. His mother will also receive nutrition education so she can help her son remain well-fed and healthy in spite of limited resources. Intervention now will prevent the future devastating effects of malnutrition, and give Diego the chance to live a healthy and productive life, finish school, get a good job, and escape the cycle of malnutrition and poverty that made him sick in the first place.
Three-year-old Timothy lives with his parents and two siblings in a one-room rental house in Kenya. His father works part-time at a local barber shop, and his mother takes care of the children and the home. Timothy's parents never noticed that his testes were missing from the scrotal sac. When Timothy's complaints of stomach pain persisted, they sought treatment for him at a local clinic and learned that he has bilateral undescended testes. In male infants, both testes usually move down into the scrotum just prior to birth. However, in some infants, one or both testes may stop along the path to the scrotum, pausing in the abdomen or groin before continuing to the scrotum within a few months. For those infants whose testes do not descend by four months of age, surgery is required. “We all along brushed off Timothy’s condition as a stomach pain without knowing that it was more serious," shares Timothy's mother. On the advice of a friend, Timothy’s parents sought specialized treatment for him at BethanyKids at Kijabe Hospital. Doctors evaluated Timothy and recommended surgery, but the family—which relies solely on their father’s meager income from the barber shop—is unable to raise the money required for Timothy's surgical care. His parents were advised of the possible effects on non-treatment, including infertility, inguinal hernia, and testicular cancer. "We would love to have him treated soon, but finances are restricting us," Timothy's mother says. "No matter how much we try, I know I cannot raise those funds." For $570, Timothy will undergo surgery to move the undescended testicles into the scrotum. During the procedure—known as a double orchidopexy—a surgeon makes incisions in the scrotum or groin, detaches the testes and cords from surrounding tissues, manipulates the testes into the scrotum, and sutures them into place. Funding for Timothy also covers the costs of three days of hospital care, pain medicine, and blood tests. Let's help fund surgery for Timothy!
"When I grow up, I want to be a doctor," says nine-year-old Ly, a second-grade student from Cambodia who enjoys reading books and doing homework. He traveled one hour with his mom to reach Watsi's medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, for treatment of his ear. Ly has had recurring infections in his left ear since he was five years old. This has caused left ear discharge and hearing loss, and he has developed a cholesteaoma—an abnormal skin growth located behind his eardrum. The tympanic membrane (eardrum) is perforated on the left side. He experiences headaches and has a hard time hearing his teacher in class. For $809, a surgeon will perform a mastoidectomy to remove the cholesteatoma and fix the perforated tympanic membrane. Funding also covers the costs of two hearing tests, one night in the hospital, one day of inpatient post-operative care, and three outpatient follow-up visits in the month following surgery. Once Ly heals, the discharge will stop, and over time, his hearing can improve. Ly's mother looks forward to a successful operation for her son. "I hope after the operation is done, my son's ear discharge will stop, and he can have good hearing and health," she shares.
“I want to be a car driver and see the country when I grow up," says 12-year-old Htet Aung. He is a third grade student from Burma, and likes to watch television, play sports, sing and play with toys. When Htet Aung was born at home in his village, his mother noticed a small bump on the bridge of his nose, directly between the eyes. About six months later, doctors diagnosed this bump as an encephalocele. This is a neural tube defect caused by the failure of the neural tube to close completely during fetal development. The growth of the mass has been slow but steady over the years and affects Htet Aung's vision. To read, he has to bring the book very close to his face. The mass is generally not painful but occasionally, he will feel sharp pangs. It also causes him tearing. Besides this encephalocele, Htet Aung has been in relatively good health. However, he is becoming increasingly sensitive about the mass on his face. Htet Aung's family tried to find him proper medical services at a larger hospital about ten years ago. However, they realized they could not afford the expensive surgery that he would need to remove the growth. Htet Aung's father works as a carpenter and his siblings work in a sewing factory-- their income is not enough to pay for major surgery in addition to supporting their family. After learning about Burma Border Projects (BBP) from a neighbor, Htet Aung travelled four hours with his mother to reach BBP for treatment. $1500 will cover the cost of his operation to surgically remove the growth, as well as any additional transportation and hospital costs before and after the procedure. Although Htet Aung's family is nervous about possible adverse affects of the surgery on his vision or cognition, they are eager for him to finally receive treatment. After the operation, Htet Aung will be able to return home and lead a normal childhood.
"I am unhappy that I have right ear pain, and it is difficult to communicate with other people," shares Sao, a 39-year-old wife and mother. She works as a cook and cares for her parents in her home in Cambodia. “For two years, Sao has experienced discharge from her right ear every day as well as hearing loss,” our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC), tells us. “She has been treated with antibiotics at another hospital, but her condition did not improve.” Doctors at CSC have discovered a cholesteatoma—an abnormal skin growth located behind the eardrum—in Sao’s right ear. A cholesteatoma initially develops as a cyst after chronic ear infections or perforation of the eardrum. Over time, the cyst sheds layers of old skin that collect within the ear. Without treatment, a cholesteatoma can grow large enough to cause hearing loss, dizziness, or facial paralysis. Treatment for Sao is a mastoidectomy, a surgical procedure in which doctors remove the diseased cells in the hollow, air-filled spaces in the skull behind the ears. The cells—known as mastoid air cells—are diseased as a result of the chronic ear infections that spread to the skull structures near Sao’s right ear. Doctors will also remove the cholesteatoma that has grown behind her right eardrum. $809 pays for surgery for Sao as well as two hearing tests, one night in the hospital, one day of inpatient post-operative care, and three outpatient follow-up visits in the month following surgery. “Sao’s ear discharge and pain will stop after the surgery,” says CSC. Sao’s uncle, who accompanied her to the appointment at CSC, looks forward to a successful procedure for his niece. "I hope after the operation is done, Sao's ear discharge will stop, and she can have good hearing and health,” he shares.
Five-year-old Silas lives with his parents and six siblings in Tanzania. He likes to run and jump and play with his toy cars. “Silas’s legs started bowing outwards when he was two years old,” our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us. “Slowly but surely, his gait has been badly affected by the condition. He quickly gets tired and easily falls down when running.” Silas’s bowed legs—known as bilateral genu varum—are not painful, but the abnormal stress on his hips, knees, and ankles may lead to osteoarthritis of those joints. In addition, Silas will continue to be at risk for trips and falls. Treatment for Silas is a surgical procedure known as an osteotomy. Doctors remove a wedge of bone from each of his lower leg bones and attach a metal plate and screws to close the gap and straighten the leg. Silas will wear casts on his legs while they heal. Silas’s parents are small-scale farmers who grow maize and beans. Paying school fees for five of their children—in addition to providing for the family’s basic needs—has made it difficult for them to save enough money for the surgery that Silas needs. $940 pays for Silas' surgery as well as three days of hospital care, cast changes, physiotherapy, and a three-month-stay at The Plaster House for recovery and rehabilitation. After treatment, “Silas will have straight legs and the ability to walk properly,” says AMHF. Silas’s parents look forward to a successful operation for their son. “We pray that our son’s legs will be straight to allow him to walk like other children,” they share.
Astania is two months old and lives in Haiti with her parents and four older siblings. She was born with a heart condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. "Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen," our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) shares. "This leaves her feeling sick and weak." Astania’s father works in construction, and her mother sells rice in a marketplace. Although they work hard, they cannot afford the heart surgery that their daughter needs. Her mother told HCA that “Astania has been sick ever since she was born,” and she is “very happy that [Astania] can have her surgery.” $1,500 will fund preparation and overseas transportation costs for Astania's surgery, which is also being funded with a subsidy of $5,000 from Gift of Life International. "A successful surgery will restore normal blood flow to Astania’s heart, and she will not have any further symptoms," HCA adds.
“We just pray that our son will get well, have the ability to breastfeed and continue with normal growth,” share Christian’s parents. Their baby boy, Christian, was born in last December in Tanzania. When he was just a few days old, his mother became alarmed when "he did not want to breastfeed at all,” says our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). She also noticed that his abdomen was beginning to swell, and his skin was jaundiced. Soon after, “Christian was diagnosed with biliary obstruction secondary to choledochal cyst,” AMHF tells us. This means that Christian’s bile ducts, which carry digestive fluids from the liver to the intestines, are blocked. “This biliary obstruction has to be removed to prevent too much toxic bile [from building up] in the blood,” AMHF tells us. Christian needs a mass excision operation to un-block his bile duct. However, his parents cannot afford to pay for this procedure on their own. Christian’s mother recently had to quit her job to bring her ailing infant on frequent hospital visits, leaving the four-person family reliant on their father’s single income as a van driver. “The little that Christian’s father earns is not enough to cover their basic needs as well as the cost of operation which their son badly needs,” AMHF says. Fortunately, with $920 we can help Christian get the care he urgently needs. This sum will cover the surgery to remove the choledocal cyst blocking Christian’s bile ducts, as well as a six-week stay for the baby afterwards at a recovery center. After this procedure, “Christian’s liver will function well, allowing adequate bile flow to the intestine. Hence, no more toxins and Christian will feed well and continue with normal growth,” says AMHF.
“Sometimes I feel depressed about my current situation, and I am worried. I just want to be healthy and happy,” says Su, a 42-year-old woman living in Burma. Our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP), tells us that two years ago, Su began experiencing severe abdominal pain due to a mass in her uterus, called a uterine myoma. The mass was found after a long history of pregnancy complications and vaginal bleeding. Su has sought out medical attention numerous times to no avail. Because of Su’s abdominal pain, she has been forced to stop working as a private teacher, and instead do part-time teaching. This has caused a reduction in her income, forcing her to borrow money for medical expenses. BBP can treat Su through surgeries to remove her uterus and ovaries, known as a hysterectomy and oophorectomy. For $1,500, Su will undergo these two procedures in addition to prolapse surgery to ensure that her lower abdominal organs remain in place. The cost includes a 7-day hospital stay with food, and post-surgical care. “I would like to work more and go to computer training, so that I can learn how to use a computer,” shares Su. “I want to learn new things and work hard.” “With treatment for her myoma, Su should be able to return to her work and commence paying of the debts she has incurred while she has been unwell,” adds BBP. “She can commence computer classes and following her dreams.”
Gustavo is a three-year-old boy who lives in Guatemala with his parents and older brother. He enjoys playing soccer with his brother, watching dogs play in his front yard, and crawling after the chickens that roam through his home. “Gustavo has epilepsy and, as a result, has had convulsions regularly since he was barely one-year-old,” our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, tells us. “He is not on medication and his mother is currently afraid to leave the house with him because she fears he will have a convulsion in public. There is no way that Gustavo’s family can afford the medication, physician visits, and labs he needs to keep his convulsions under control.” “Without intervention, he will continue to have regular seizures which will affects his ability to physically grow and mentally develop,” Wuqu’ Kawoq continues. “It is common to see children with epilepsy not seek an education out of fear of having a seizure in front of their classmates and out of the safety of their parent’s watchful eyes.” $745 will fund medication and regular counseling for Gustavo to treat and manage his convulsions. “He will undergo a lab work-up to rule out any other possible conditions he may have,” says Wuqu’ Kawoq. “Best of all, Gustavo will have access to a more full life. His mother will not have to live in fear of her child having a seizure and, as a result, Gustavo will be freer to play with other kids, eventually attend school, and just be a kid.” “I just want my son to grow well and go to school to become a professional, perhaps a doctor,” shares Gustavo’s mother.
This is Clinton, a 30-year-old husband and father of two children from Kenya. His family lives on a one acre farm where they grow maize and beans. Clinton broke his right tibia in a motorcycle accident. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), shares: “Early this year, Clinton was riding his motorcycle when he was involved in an accident with another motorcyclist. Clinton suffered multiple injuries including internal bleeding, a chest injury, and his broken leg.” AMHF continues, “Clinton is not able to walk on his own, which has prevented him from working on his farm. If not treated, Clinton may suffer severe infection, which could result in amputation of his leg.” Clinton's family and friends have already joined together to pay for the many hospital bills that have incurred, but Clinton is now struggling to pay for his next procedure. With $1,500, Clinton can undergo surgery to fill in the gap in his tibia and restore the bony tissue. AMHF reports, “We expect that after the surgery and recovery, Clinton will be able to walk on his own again and go back to working on his farm with his wife.” "I have not been able to work and support my family for a while now. My friends and relatives stepped up and made sure that my family had meals and my children stayed in school," Clinton shares. "I am very grateful for the support that I have received thus far and hope that I will get the next treatment so that I will be well again."