Marilyn joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Eight 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 Irine, a hardworking grandmother from Kenya, to fund fracture repair surgery to heal an injury she sustained while working.
Marilyn has funded healthcare for 133 patients in 13 countries.
Marilyn has funded healthcare for 133 patients in 13 countries.
Irine is a hardworking 76-year-old grandmother and widow from Kenya. She lives in a semi-permanent house and works as a small-scale farmer, growing food to feed herself. She receives other basic necessities from her children. Irine's home is located in an area with many hills, which become very slippery when it rains. One rainy day, Irine was doing her daily duties when she unfortunately slipped and fell. As she fell on the side of her hip, the load she was carrying also fell on top of her. She could not get up or move due to her right lower limb being in pain. Since she was home alone, she had to shout for help, and a neighbor eventually came to her rescue. A family member later took her to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with a fracture of her right femur. Irene currently experiences pain and is unable to use her leg. Although she was previously among the beneficiaries who received health insurance paid for by the government, the government eventually stopped providing payment. This meant Irine had to pay for her own monthly bill, a cost she could not provide. Due to financial constraints and not having insurance, Irine cannot fund her needed treatment. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 2nd, Irine will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After the surgery, she will hopefully be able to walk and care for herself again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,247 to fund this procedure. Irine says, "I know how my children struggle to earn a living. Kindly help me so that I may not be a burden to them.”
Nancy is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. Together with her elderly husband, they grow food crops for home use on their half-acre piece of land. She is a mother of eight children who are all adults. All her children don’t have a stable source of income at the moment. She needs care but does not have medical coverage and hasn't been able to raise the required amount for treatment. In early July this year, Nancy was tripped by her dog and fell on a stone, hurting the left side of her hip. She sustained a left sub-trochanteric fracture that is making her immobile. This is a fracture of the proximal femur located a few centimeters from the hip. She was taken to a nearby health facility and had an x-ray done after review. She was then referred to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital for surgery. She is unable to walk and is currently using a wheelchair and although jovial and smiling, she is in pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 30th, Nancy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will relieve her of her pain and help her walk easily again. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Nancy says, “I am unable to walk. I am desperate, and also struggling to pay for my treatment. I need this treatment to be able to get out of this wheelchair.”
Gladys is a strong, hardworking mother from Kenya who is raising her five children on her own. Her oldest child is 14 years old, while her youngest is only three. To support her family, she works as a casual laborer plucking tea. She currently lives in a single-room rental house, which costs Ksh.1200 (~10 USD) per month. Gladys shares that her income is inconsistent and not enough to cover her needed medical treatment. She also does not have active medical coverage and currently has a large accrued bill due to her recent hospital admission. Recently, Gladys was involved in a road traffic accident that caused several fractures. One of the fractures she sustained in this accident was of her left tibia. As a result of this injury, she is currently unable to walk. In order to properly heal her fracture, she must undergo an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) procedure. She also has facial fractures, which will require another ORIF later the same week. However, undergoing an ORIF for her fractured tibia is the current priority. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 8th, Gladys will undergo fracture repair surgery so she can walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Gladys says, “I cannot walk and my face is in pain. I am the only breadwinner of the family, and I cannot work if my leg is broken. All my five children depend on me for upkeep and survival. I need this treatment to get back on my feet.”
Win is a 34-year-old mother of two from Thailand. She works as an agricultural day laborer to support her two children who live with her relative. Last month, Win was walking down the stairs in front of her home when she suddenly slipped and fell. This fall caused a fracture of her lower right leg, preventing her from both standing up and straightening her right leg. She first tried to treat herself with traditional medicine, but when she saw no improvement, she sought medical attention at a clinic. Win's lower right leg is currently swollen and in a lot of pain. She cannot straighten it nor put any weight on it. Because of the pain, she is experiencing difficulty sleeping and a loss of appetite. To get around, she is using a wheelchair provided by the clinic. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Win will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The treatment is scheduled for August 5th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help her walk again and return to work to support her children. She said, “I felt very happy when I learned that an organization will support the cost of my surgery. I am very thankful to all the donors and the organization for their support."
Blessed is a five-year-old boy. He is very jovial and was born with a condition called cerebral palsy. He's the second born in a family of three children, one of whom is his twin brother. His parents separated long ago leaving his mother solely responsible for raising the kids and earning an income. Blessed's family lives in a small rented house in Wangige, a town roughly 30 minutes outside of Nairobi, where his mother worked. In March however, she lost her teaching job at a small private school, and now does casual jobs like ploughing farms and ferrying manure to earn a living and support her family. In 2018, Blessed's mother took both him and his twin brother to the doctor after developing some concerns about their health. After examination, both boys were diagnosed with a condition called cryptorchidism which causes the testes to not descend properly. After taking them to another facility in Nairobi, she was referred to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Hospital for help. If left untreated, Blessed has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Thanks to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, Blessed and his mother will receive the help they need. Blessed is scheduled to undergo corrective orchidopexy surgery on June 21st. Our medical partner is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. After treatment, Blessed will be able to grow up without having to worry about his condition worsening or developing additional problems. Blessed’s mother says, “It is very sad for me as a parent to not be able to facilitate the treatment that my son requires.”
Poe is a 43-year-old man who lives alone in Bangkok and works as a construction contractor. He supports his wife and son in Burma, but has been unable to work for the past four months since his health deteriorated. Currently, he is getting by on money his friends have given him. Poe 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, he has edema (swelling) in both of his legs. If he walks short distances, he feels tired, experiences shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. He cannot sleep if he lays down and has to sleep in a sitting position. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Poe. The treatment is scheduled to take place on May 6th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. "After I recover from surgery, I will go back to work. I will save the money to pay back my debts. After that I will save money to support my son and wife. I want my son to go to school, and I want him to become an educated man," said Poe.
Christian, who lives in the Philippines, is a hardworking father with a 7-month-old daughter. He works as an on-call waiter, while his wife is currently a student. With Christian’s limited income, he is worried about supporting all of his family’s needs and financing his medical treatment. In April, Christian was diagnosed with a hernia which requires surgery. Correcting the hernia will better enable Christian to find a new job and higher pay, and improve his ability to care for his family. With the help of our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, Christian is scheduled for surgery at Our Lady of Peace Hospital on May 3rd, for which they are requesting $1,130 to fund his procedure and care. “I always fail my physical exams because of my condition, and I'm burdened by it because, as a father, I need to support my family,” Christian shared. “This surgery will be a big help to our family so thank you so much World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for helping,” he added.
Tecla is a shy and hardworking woman in her early 40s. She was born alone in her home and she now stays with her mother. Tecla did not complete schooling after she developed partial hearing loss at an early age. She also experienced a painful accident when she was young after she burnt her right fingers leaving her disabled. Due to this, Tecla does not work and depends on her mum for all her needs. They live together in a semi-permanent house. Starting five years ago, Tecla has been experiencing abdominal swelling and other symptoms. She has been diagnosed with a large fibroid uterus and needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Surgical removal should be performed as soon as possible. Since Tecla does not have national health insurance, she is requesting help to pay for her treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $918 to fund Tecla's surgery. On April 5th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Tecla shared, "It has never been easy for me. My hope here is to get treated and be well and live a normal life.”
Liam is a playful four-year-old boy and the only child in his family. Liam and his young, single mother both live with Liam's grandmother, and depend on her farm for food. Liam was born with a condition known as quad cop, which is a subset of cerebral palsy that affects all four of his limbs (both arms/hands and legs). In addition, Liam has clubfoot on both of his feet. Clubfoot is a congenital musculoskeletal condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes him to have a great deal of difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Fortunately, on March 15th, Liam will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Liam's treatment. After treatment, Liam will be able to place his entire foot on the ground when he walks, compared to now where he can only walk on his tiptoes which makes it hard for him to get around freely and independently. In the future his mother hopes he will be able to run, play, and join school like other children. Liam's mother says, "We would like to request support because we have nothing in our pockets to facilitate the surgery he needs."
Jaden is a one-year old boy from the Philippines. His mother is a public school teacher, while his father is an office clerk. They work hard, but their income is not enough to support their son's medical needs. Jaden was born with an anorectal malformation, a birth condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction and help him grow up healthy. Jaden is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on January 28th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to cover the total cost of Jaden's procedure and care. After his recovery, Jaden will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. "Thank you WATSI and WSFP. His operation would be a big help towards his growth and our financial situation," Jaden's mother shared.
Annastasia is a very joyful lady. The 47-year-old is married and has five children. Two of her children have already finished school and are not yet financially stable. Her husband does not have a job but is sometimes able to get work as a bus driver when they need more help. Annastasia used to sell charcoal but she stopped the business three months ago when she fell ill and started her treatment process. In September of this year, she noticed a mass in her right breast. Three days later, she went to a facility near her home area, was examined, and told that she had mastitis. She was immediately admitted, put on medication and a few days later, she was discharged. While at home, she noticed that the swelling was getting bigger. She went back to the facility, was examined again, and referred to another nearby facility. In the facility scans and test were done and she was immediately referred to Kijabe Hospital for treatment. Upon arrival at Kijabe hospital, Annastasia was scheduled for urgent surgery. However, she is not in a financial position to cater for the surgery and is appealing for financial aid. Annastasia has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been advised to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Annastasia. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 30th. After treatment, Annastasia will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Annastasia says, "When I was told that the mass could be cancerous if not removed, I felt helpless and knew that it was over for me.”
Dennis is a nine-year-old student. He's the youngest of four children in his family and is in grade six at school. Sadly, his mother passed away several years ago and his father was unable to take care of him. He now lives with a neighbor, who is his guardian. He enjoys playing football and other games in school, although his condition makes it difficult. Dennis was born with clubfoot of both feet, a condition in which the feet are twisted out of shape causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. He experiences pain and difficulty walking, and cannot wear shoes. He is unable to play games, like football, which he enjoys. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Dennis receive treatment. On November 22nd, he will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, he will be able to walk well, wear shoes, play with friends and continue with his studies. Now, they need help raising $1,286 to fund his procedure and care. Dennis shared, "I would love to have my feet corrected so that I can walk well and play with my friends."