Marilyn joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven years ago, Marilyn joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Marilyn's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Vincent, a six-year-old boy from Kenya, to fund achilles tendon lengthening surgery.
Marilyn has funded healthcare for 114 patients in 12 countries.
Vincent is a six-year-old boy and the oldest of three children. Vincent and his siblings live with their grandmother in Southern Kenya. Vincent has bilateral equinus deformity, which means he has difficulty walking and often tiptoes as he walks, or even crawls. He has visited clinics in the past and undergone casting, but there has been no significant improvement. To correct his condition, Vincent is scheduled to undergo Achilles Tendon Lengthening (ATL) surgery on April 14th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,224 to fund Vincent's life-changing procedure. Vincent's grandmother shared, "I would love to see my grandson walk on his own. Any help will be highly appreciated.”
James is a 52-year-old boda-boda driver from Kenya. He is a father to four children, all of whom are adults. His wife is a homemaker, and he is the sole breadwinner for the family. On February 5th, 2021, James was in a road traffic accident and sustained a burst fracture of T12 spinal cord transection. Immediately after the accident, he was aware of the intensity of the injury because he could not use his lower limbs and had a sharp pain in the mid-back. He was assisted by well-wishers and was rushed to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital, where the orthopaedic team ran x-rays and other tests. Now, James needs to undergo a posterior spinal instrumentation and fusion, a procedure that is aimed at stabilizing his spine and avoiding future complications. However, James does not have medical coverage and is therefore required to raise the full deposit for his surgery. He has raised some financial contributions from friends and relatives, but needs additional support for his care. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping James receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo a spinal fusion procedure on February 10th at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,500, and will hopefully allow James' legs to heal and regain some mobility. James shared, “I hope I will be able use my legs again. I need help both surgically and financially given that the cost of the surgery is high and I am unable to afford.”
Tibesigwa is a shop keeper and is married with five children. He shared that one child has passed away, one is an engineer, one does welding, and the others are small scale farmers. They are all married. His wife is a small scale farmer while he is a shopkeeper since he no longer has the ability to gig. He was once a machine operator in early years but now retired. Since two years ago, Tibesigwa has had an inguinal hernia. This hernia causes him weakness and pain and prevents him from working. Fortunately, on February 9th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $230 to fund Tibesigwa's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Tibesigwa says “I am tired of this condition that has affected my life and given me a hard time. I pray that the donors help me out of this situation and I stabilize to continue working in my shop for a living since I am aging.”
Ry is a 26-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He has been married for three years and has a one-year-old son, and their family currently lives with his parents. His wife is a farmer. In Ry's free time, he likes watching TV, playing games on his phone, and caring for his son. Three months ago, Ry was in a construction accident that caused a severe laceration on his right neck and paralysis of his right shoulder and elbow. After the accident, his family took him to the hospital where he had nerve repair treatment and wound closure. Ry stayed there for one month, before returning home. Still not feeling well, he traveled to Watsi's Medical Partner Children's Surgical Center to receive treatment. Doctors diagnosed him with a brachial plexus injury on his right shoulder 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. Ry is unable to lift his arm and he cannot work. On January 12th, Ry will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. Surgeons plan to do a spinal accessory nerve to suprascapular nerve transfer, referred to as an Oberlin transfer. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm and shoulder normally again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Ry shared, "I hope that after surgery, my right shoulder and elbow will get back to their full function and I can work as I did before."
Ko is a 37-year-old father of five who lives with his wife, three daughters and two sons in a refugee camp in Thailand. His family receives a cash card every month from an organization, but this is not enough to cover their expenses. Therefore, he also works as an agricultural day laborer in a nearby Thai village. In his free time, Ko enjoys playing cane ball and spending time with his friends. On December 11, 2020, Ko slipped and fell onto rocks outside of the camp. When he tried to get up, Ko could tell that his leg was broken. He went to the hospital in the refugee camp run by Malteser International (MI). He was eventually referred to a hospital where he underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into his leg on December 25, 2020. When he went back to the hospital for his follow-up appointment on February 3, 2021, the doctor observed that the surgical wound was infected and he underwent surgery to clean his wound. When the wound still did not heal, the doctor referred him to another hospital, where the doctor told him he would need an additional surgery to remove necrotic tissue and replace the rod in his leg. Currently, Ko is experiencing a lot of pain. It is difficult for him to walk and he is worried about his family in the camp. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ko will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and finally heal. This procedure will allow Ko to walk and his leg to heal properly. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. Ko shared, “I really want to work to support my family as soon as possible. I cannot imagine what life would be like for my family if my leg never heals.”
Htun is a 50-year-old man from Thailand. He lives with his wife, son, and two daughters in Thailand. Htun and his wife work as agricultural day laborers, but Htun had to stop working after he injured his eye. Currently, Htun can only perceive light with both of his eyes, but he cannot clearly see objects. Although he is not in pain, he needs someone to assist him when he walks or eats. He also cannot work nor do any household chores as a result of losing his vision. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Htun. On March 2nd, doctors will perform the lens replacement surgery, and they will remove Htun's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After his surgery, Htun will be able to see clearly and get back to all that he needs to do in the day. Htun said, “I am sad and depressed that I cannot see nor do anything. I feel sorry that my wife has had to accompany me everywhere and do every little thing for me such as helping me eat and go to the bathroom. I want to regain my vision quickly and I want to go back to work.”
Thearith is a eight-year-old student with two older sisters. Thearith's parents are factory workers. He enjoys watching TV, playing games, and reading books. When he was a baby, Thearith had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in his left ear to perforate. For this reason, Thearith experiences ear discharge, pain, and hearing loss. Thearith is in pain and cannot communicate clearly with others, making school difficult. Thearith traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On December 23rd, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in his left ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $464 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Thearith's mother said, "I hope this surgery makes my son's pain go away and improves his hearing so he can do fine in school and enjoy playing with friends."
Myo is a 16-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents and four brothers in northern Rakhine State. Myo is a student in grade nine and his four brothers also go to school. However, they have been unable to study since the Covid-19 pandemic shut all schools. Myo’s parents are day laborers, and their family's combined income is just enough to cover their daily expenses since Myo and his brothers’ schooling is free. To survive with limited income, they forage for vegetables and fish. If they fall ill, they use traditional medicine, which is more affordable then going to a clinic or a hospital. Myo was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, which is 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, Myo cannot walk long distances or climb stairs because of his tiredness. Sometimes, he cannot breathe very well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Myo. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 7th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Myo shared, “I am worried about my health and I feel sorry for my parents. Because of my health problems, my father had to work more days to earn more money. Also, my mother cannot work because she accompanies me and has to take care of me. I hope my school will reopen soon so that I can go back to school. One day I hope that I can become a teacher. I want to teach because there are not enough teachers in my village.”
Hom is a 58-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He has five sons, one daughter, and three grandchildren. Hom and his wife live with their third son and his wife. In his spare time, Hom enjoys listening to the news and monks pray on the radio. Two years ago, Hom developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him itchiness, tearing, and blurry vision. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Hom learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for four hours with his daughter seeking treatment. On January 6th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Hom shared, "I hope after surgery I can see well again so I can plant rice and find some work as a laborer to support my family."
Met is 62-years-old and lives on a farm with her sister and mother. She no longer harvests due to her age, so she stays home to take care of the young children who are not yet in school. She likes to listen to the monks who chant and preach on the radio. Six months ago, Met developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her difficulty with vision at night, sensitivity to light and blurred vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Met learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours with her sister seeking treatment. On January 21st, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. "I hope after surgery I can see well and see my family. I will be able do things outside on my own and help to support my family," she told us.
Sos is a 76-year-old vegetable farmer who, together with his wife, has three daughters and three sons. Sos and his wife enjoy tending the vegetables on their farm, and like to play with their grandson. For the past year, Sos has had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in his right ear ear to perforate. For this reason, Sos experiences hearing loss, pain and ear discharge. He cannot communicate clearly with others and is in chronic pain. Sos traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 20th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $464 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sos shared, "I hope that after surgery I will be better, with no more ear infection and discharge, and improved hearing."
Cynthia is in her mid-30s who hails from Elgeyo Marakwet County in Kenya. Cynthia is a single mother with two children aged 13 and 5 years. She earns wages from laundry labour in the village to provide for her family. Cynthia and her 2 children live in a one-roomed rented house. On Thursday 21st January, Cynthia sustained a severe injury to her right lower limb after she fell down. She was rushed to a nearby facility by Good Samaritan where an x-ray was done and revealed that she had multiple fractures in her right leg. It is difficult for her to walk, and she is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 4th, Cynthia will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Cynthia says: “My hope is to get treated so that I can resume back to my job in order to provide for my children.”