Jan joined Watsi on October 2nd, 2015. Six years ago, Jan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jan's most recent donation supported Benjamin, a farmer and father of six from Kenya, to fund a fracture repair surgery so he can walk and farm again.
Jan has funded healthcare for 41 patients in 9 countries.
Jan has funded healthcare for 41 patients in 9 countries.
Benjamin is a farmer from a small village in Kenya where most of his neighbors also farm for a living. He plants maize and potatoes in communal land. He feels blessed to have six children with his wife. Their family lives in a house made of mud on the farm given by their parents. Benjamin shared that his employment options are limited because his family was only able to send him to school until grade eight, at which point he left school and became married. Over a week ago, Benjamin suffered an injury on his right knee after he fell on the way home from the farm. Benjamin is unable to stand on his right foot nor to flex his knee. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On June 30th, Benjamin is scheduled to undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After the surgery, Benjamin will be able to walk and farm to provide for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Benjamin has a strong protectiveness and sense of responsibility for his family. Smiling, he states, “My hope is to receive treatment, be well, and continue supporting my family."
Wit is a four-year-old boy who lives with his parents in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Wit goes to junior kindergarten, while his parents own a small shop in the camp. In his free time, he enjoys drawing and coloring. He's also already really interested in fixing and building things. Since he was a year old, Wit has had an inguinal hernia. The hernia causes him pain in his scrotum and in his stomach. Due to the pain, he cannot run and play with his friends and he sometimes he misses school. To control the pain, he takes pain medication three times a day. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Wit to receive treatment. On June 1st, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once completed, the procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Wit's surgery. Wit's mother shared, "he tells me he wants to become a doctor [in the future], but he also says that he wants to become a mechanic or a builder. He will ask me to buy him tools and things to fix. He will try to fix his [father’s] motorcycle and bicycle.”
Claire is an eight-month-old baby girl and the youngest of three children in her family. Claire’s mother is a farmer and her father is a preacher at gospel churches in Kenya. Claire was born with clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. As she grows, this causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Claire to receive treatment. Claire traveled to visit AMH's center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 9th. Now, AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Claire's surgery. After treatment, she will be able to walk like other children without any difficulty. Claire's mother shared, “I would request support for my daughter to undergo surgery so that she can walk like other children."
Meet Fidelis, a 5-year-old beautiful girl. Her mother told us that she likes playing and singing, “Fidelis likes singing in church and reciting bible memory verses." Fidelis's mother is a single mum working as a vendor selling vegetables within their home area. Fidelis was born with clubfoot deformity, she has tried many treatments at a government hospital and at Cure Hospital. Her condition has continued to recur and has greatly affected her mobility. Her mother is concerned and worried for her as Fidelis is not able to walk, run with her friends, and sometimes stays lonely at home because her friends focus on her disability. Fidelis has clubfoot of of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. Fortunately, Fidelis traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Fidelis's clubfoot repair. After treatment, the hope is that Fidelis will finally be able to wear shoes well, run, walk, and play with her friends at home and at school. Her mother also hopes her self-esteem will improve. “I would like my daughter to undergo surgery so she can walk well without any hardship and continue with her education uninterrupted,” Fidelis’s mother told us.
Nehimia is a 1-year-old from Ethiopia. He is a sweet, playful boy and the first child to his parents. Nehimia loves listening to music, and watching animation movies. His dad is a gym trainer, but his income was affected as a result of the closure of gyms during the pandemic. His mom is a housewife and also has been unable to work during the pandemic, though she used to work in a small boutique. His family lives together in a government house and they pay a small fee for rent. Nehimia was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Nehimia is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 4th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Nehimia's mother shared, “I hope my child will heal and grow and become a minister in the house of God.”
Pamela is wheeled into the consultation room wincing in pain. She briefly smiles but gets back to a serious face. Pamela is a widow whose husband passed away in 1993. After his passing, family conflicts forced her to move from their home village in Migori and settle in a crowded, more run-down neighborhood near Eastleigh. She used to work as a tailor but, after she needed a wheelchair in 2011, she has been unable to work. Pamela lives in a single room tin-roofed house and the local church helps to support her rent. She doesn’t have an ID so it has been hard for her to access local services such as medical support. Pamela told us that she has been relying on well-wishers and their local church for survival and her closest relatives live in Migori and rarely are able to offer her support. Pamela arrived to the hospital with bladder calculus with recurrent UTI that requires an urgent cystolithotomy, a curative laparotomy procedure, to aid relieve her stomach pains that have been recurrent for many years now. According to her neighbors who brought her to the facility, she had been in severe pain the whole night, and the medicine that she received from a nearby dispensary were not helping her. Pamela has been through a lot medically and socially. In late 2011, she suffered from TB of her spine and underwent spinal surgery. She has been using a wheelchair since then. In mid-2017, her stomach pains started and in November 2019, she underwent several tests and was booked for surgery at a hospital. She didn’t have funds so she went back home and continued managing her pains with pain medication. Upon hearing about Watsi's Medical Partner Kijabe Hospital, she came hoping for treatment. On November 7th this year, she was reviewed by the doctors and several tests were done which revealed her condition and need for surgery. She was discharged home and booked for a follow up appointment and possible surgery next week (November 23rd) but because of the pains, she was rushed back to the hospital. Pamela shared with us, “This is my only option to get rid of the pains. I have tried several medications but they are not working. I really need assistance to get this surgery. “
Gabriel is a 46-year-old refugee from South Sudan. He is a father of six children aged between 2-19 years old. Currently, Gabriel and his family are staying in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya fleeing civil conflict in their home country. In June 2020, Gabriel had an accident and broke his arm. He underwent surgery in his hometown of Juba in the same month and was discharged home from the hospital. However, his left arm started developing further complications, and he was forced to seek treatment in Kenya after his family left Sudan. Gabriel has chronic osteomyelitis of the left humerus and infected hardware in his arm. Gabriel has undergone 3 surgeries, including humeral debridement, hardware removal, and bone cementing. Doctors recommend another urgent sequestrectomy surgery on his left humerus to remove the infected hardware. If left untreated, he risks impediment of blood circulation within the bone leading to bone death and even amputation. Unfortunately, this procedure is costly for Gabriel and his family. He does not currently have a job, nor any medical coverage. Due to the support of well-wishers, friends, and family, Gabriel has been able to raise some money for his earlier medical and surgical concerns. However, he was forced to postpone his surgery due to lack of funds. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Gabriel receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo a sequestrectomy on December 2nd at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,500, and he appeals for financial help to fund the cost of his care. Gabriel shared, “I am in so much pain and there have been so many surgeries for me. I need assistance on this one.”
Kupha is a 45-year-old woman from Kenya and has six children. In 2014, Kupha started experiencing some pain in her upper jaw. After some time, her jaw started to swell and the pain worsened. Both cold and hot food triggered pain that would last day and night. She went to a nearby facility in Kwale County to seek care, and was given some pain medication that worked for a while. She later returned for a surgery to remove the swollen tissue. Though she recovered well, the following year, Kupha started experiencing pain and swelling again. Upon returning to the same facility for a checkup, the doctor told her that no further treatment could be done. A few years later, Kupha heard about Kijabe Hospital and came for an examination in January 2020. The doctors diagnosed her with a benign maxillary mass and scheduled her for an excision surgery. During the surgery, they will put in a plate and screws to hold together her maxillar. However, Kupha and her family are not able to raise funds needed for the surgery. After the death of her husband a few years ago, Kupha has been struggling to provide for her six children. Her firstborn son is the main breadwinner of the family and also attends college, partially sponsored by the county government of Kwale. He does some casual jobs when he is not in class to feed the family, and also facilitates his mother's hospital visits. Kupha was able to raise some money for her treatment, but she does not have enough financial support and appeals for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Kupha's surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 15th and will be a ten hour long surgery. Hopefully, this treatment will alleviate her of further severe pain and swelling. Kupha shared, “With the pain that I have endured over the years, it has made it difficult for me to look for work and provide for my family. I will be happy when I receive the required treatment for my condition.”
Soe is a 13-year-old from Burma. She lives with her parents and two siblings in a village in Taninthary Division. Her brother goes to school while her little sister is still too young to go. Soe was not able to go back to school this year, after she completed grade seven, due to her illness. Her father works as a tenant on Soe grandparents’ farm and gets to keep half of the harvest. Soe's mother used to be a vegetable vendor but has stopped working to look after Soe. In May 2019, Soe fell sick with a high fever and a severe cough. She was brought to a clinic where she received a physical examination. The doctor informed Soe's mother that she has a heart condition and urged them to go to a hospital in Yangon. Her mother followed the doctor’s advice and took her to Bahosi Hospital in Yangon on June 25th, 2019. There she received an echocardiogram (echo), x-ray, and a blood test. After her results came in, the doctor diagnosed her with mitral valve regurgitation, a problem with one of the valves in her heart, and told Soe's mother that she needs to have surgery that will cost 8,000,000 kyat (approx. 8,000 USD). Unable to afford her treatment, Soe instead received medication for the next four months. Although she took the medication, Soe did not feel better. One day, their neighbor told them to bring Soe to another hospital in Yangon. Soe's mother followed their advice and took her to Vitoria Hospital in Yangon. Soe received another echo, blood test, and an x-ray. A doctor at the hospital then told Soe's mother to come back the next month, without explaining why. When they traveled back in January 2020 for her appointment, the doctor told them to meet a cardiac nurse at another hospital in Yangon. When meeting that nurse, she told them about Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and that they may be able to assist her in accessing further treatment. With the help of BCMF, Soe went to Chiang Mai in March 2020. She was admitted at Lampang Hospital on July 25th, 2020 and received surgery to repair her mitral valve two days later. She was discharged home in August and received a follow-up appointment for a month later. When she returned for her follow-up appointment, she was readmitted to the hospital. She received a number of tests including an echo and an electrocardiogram. Once the doctor reviewed her test results, she was told that the sutures from her surgery were loose and that she would need to receive surgery to replace her mitral valve. Since her first surgery, Soe no longer has a cough. However, she is pale. Her mother is worried because Soe has not gained weight nor has her condition gradually improved like other heart patients after surgery. “After she recovers, I want to send her to school until she becomes a teacher," said Soe's mother. "When she plays with her friends, she pretends she is a teacher and that she is teaching her friends. Even when she felt sick, she would try to go to school and she always studied a lot. Her teacher loves her. But Soe is always worried that she will fail her exams.”
Than is 21-year-old woman from Burma. She is a soldier in Karen State, Burma and lives with the other soldiers in the barracks. On July 21, Than was participating in a drill on top of a mountain. Equipped with a heavy backpack and load, they had to descend the mountain quickly in the rain. While descending, Than’s left foot slipped. While falling, she banged her equipment against her left thigh and heard a cracking noise, before falling. Than's left leg is in a lot of pain and she cannot put any weight on her left leg. If she moves even a little bit, she shared that her pain increases. She can move her left ankle and toes, but she cannot bend her left leg. Her friend has to help her go to the bathroom and to take a shower. She cannot sleep well, her appetite has decreased, and she has noticed that she has already lost weight since the accident. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Than will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for September 1st and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Than walk again and allow her leg to heal properly. “I am worried about how my leg will recover, and I am worried about the surgery,” said Than.
Win is a 46-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife and two sons in a village in Kyain Seikyi Township in Karen State. His elder daughter is a health worker where she works at a clinic in another village in Burma. His two youngest sons are students. Both he and his wife are a subsistence farmers. In his free time, he sometimes helps his communities with building a bridge or road as much as he can. In January 2020, he developed a painful urination, itchiness, and also difficulty urinating. He feels like something is blocking his urinary and also feels stomach pain in his right side. Doctors want Win to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Win's CT scan and care, scheduled for February 28. Win said, “I keep myself strong and I hope if I receive proper treatment I will be better.”
Mercy is a 49-year-old single mother of two children from Kenya who makes a living as a street vendor. Mercy has been experiencing heavy bleeding and lower abdominal pains for the past three years. She has been diagnosed with uterine fibroids. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $791 to fund Mercy's surgery. On July 3, she will undergo surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Mercy will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. “I have no one to help me yet this problem is affecting my social life and my ability to work. I am asking for Watsi's help so that I can be well and be able to live a normal life," shared Mercy.