Marshall joined Watsi on September 4th, 2013. Seven years ago, Marshall joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Marshall's most recent donation traveled 3,700 miles to support Samuel, a 21-year-old from Kenya, to fund surgery to close a colostomy and live a more independent life.
Marshall has funded healthcare for 94 patients in 12 countries.
Marshall has funded healthcare for 94 patients in 12 countries.
Samuel is a 21-year-old talkative young man. He is the second born in a family of five children. His father passed away when he was four years old, so his mother had to raise him and his siblings by herself. She does jobs on tea farms to provide for the family. When Samuel was two years old, his abdomen started to swell, which was very painful for him. His mother took him to the hospital and he was given some medication and sent back home. The medication did not work as expected. He was then taken to a different hospital for examination. He was given more medication and after some time he seemed to be better. The stomachache did not go away completely, however. Samuel and his mother shared that over the years, he has had stomachaches and gotten used to taking pain medication. In 2017 when Samuel was in high school, the pain worsened and his abdomen started to swell again. He had to leave school as a result. His mother took him to a hospital in Meru where he was admitted for three months. While in the hospital, scans and a biopsy were done to determine what the problem was. He was given a colostomy, where the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall, in order to pass stool. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Samuel's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. At that time, his doctors did not manage to treat him and referred him to BethanyKids Hospital in 2018. On arrival, he was examined and admitted, as he was not in good condition. After more scans and tests, he was ultimately diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease. Since then, Samuel has undergone several surgeries with the aim of trying to better his condition. The first surgery failed, but the second was successful. He is now scheduled to undergo his last surgery to close the colostomy so that he can pass stool on his own again and live a more active life. Earlier in his treatment, Samuel's parents had enrolled in the national health insurance program (NHIF), which helped them pay for most of his hospital bills. BethanyKids also chipped in on occasion to help with some of the bills. Unfortunately, for his last surgery, NHIF has rejected the request since he is beyond the age to be covered by his mother’s insurance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping him to undergo treatment and needs $1,084 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Samuel. The surgery is scheduled to take place on November 11th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Samuel’s Mother says, “For years now, I have been very worried about my son, but God has seen us through.”
Meet Glory, a three year old girl living with her parents and one sibling in Tanzania. Her parents work hard at jobs that limit the time that they can spend with their children, but which enable them to provide for the family's basic needs. In 2021, Glory was enjoying tea with her sister, when the hot liquid spilled onto her arm, burning her. Glory's parents brought her to the nearest hospital, where she was treated and sent home. The burns healed, but contractures formed, making it impossible for Glory to straighten her arm. After a second evaluation, Glory's parents were told that she would need surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help. On October 13th, surgeons at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre will perform burn contracture release surgery, which will enable Glory to straighten her arm. Now, the family needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Glory’s mother says: “I am hopeful now that my daughter is going to get better.”
Margaret is a single mother of two children. She moved from Uganda to Kenya in search of a better livelihood. She works as a house help in Loresho area in Nairobi and lives in a one-room rental house costing about $35 a month. She has an immigrant identification card and cannot get national health insurance coverage within Kenya. Since two months ago, Margaret has been experiencing lower abdominal pains. She visited a nearby health facility and was treated for typhoid and ulcers. The pain did not end and she could feel a painful lump on her abdomen. She was forced to go back for a checkup and advised to visit Kijabe Hospital for a cancer review. Early this month a biopsy was ordered and results revealed a vaginal mass and squamous cell carcinoma. She urgently needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1260 to fund Margaret's surgery. On September 22nd, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Margaret will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Margaret says, “This news is tough but I am determined to battle the cancer.”
Josephine is a 70-year-old mother of eight children who lives with her husband in Kenya. Although she and her husband both do some small-scale farming in her community, they depend on their children to support them. However, Josephine has recently been unable farm due to her current medical condition. Since January, Josephine has been experiencing troubling symptoms, including uncontrolled bleeding. She visited a nearby health facility in her hometown to be evaluated and was referred to a hospital for additional tests. There, she received a CT scan and a biopsy, which revealed that she has uterine cancer. Her doctor recommends that she undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the uterus, to help remove the cancer from her body and hopefully stop its spread. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is requesting $1,260 to fund Josephine's surgery. Josephine has gathered funds to help with a copay, but the full cost of the specialist procedure is out of reach. On August 25th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMHF's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital. After this procedure, she should be able to resume her life free from discomfort and bleeding. Josephine says, “Struggling with cancer at my age is scary. I can’t believe it! I hope the surgery will help to get rid of the disease.”
Abigaelle is an 18-month-old infant from Haiti. She has two siblings: one brother and one sister. She is a happy and cheerful baby who loves to smile and play! Abigaelle has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Abigaelle has been experiencing an increase in head circumference. Without treatment, Abigaelle will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Abigaelle at Hospital Bernard Mevs to treat her hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 13th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Abigaelle's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, she will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Abigaelle's family shares that they are looking forward to their child being healthy.
Brian is a 12 year old boy living with his parents and three older siblings. His father is a motorcycle taxi driver earning a living whenever he can from the limited work, while his mother stays at home to care for the children. When Brian was about nine months old, his parents noticed that he had general body weakness. He was diagnosed with rickets and additional medical conditions, which have caused a delay in many of his milestones as he continues to grow. Brian's physical coordination is limited, and he suffers from a profound hearing loss, for which his doctors have recommended hearing aids. But hearing aids are too expensive for his family to afford, so Brian currently attends a special school, which can accommodate his hearing loss. The doctors have assured Brian's parents that with hearing aids, Brian would be able to attend an ordinary school near their home. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,171 to cover the costs of the hearing aids and the fitting, which is scheduled to take place on June 17th at AIC Kijabe Hospital. With his hearing restored, Brian will be able to attend a regular school, and to interact more fully with the world around him. Brian's father says: “Brian is unable to pick up voices and this is affecting his studies. He shifted to a special school because of his condition. His doctors say that he can hear well if fitted with hearing aids. If he gets this medical attention, he can join his colleagues in a normal school.“
John is 22-year-old who is working hard to make a life for himself. He currently stays with his parents in their ancestral home in the South Central Kenyan town of Narok, and works as a casual laborer who loads and off-loads maize for a living. Unfortunately during a dispute at a farm where he was working, John and other workers were attacked. John was hit on the head, resulting in an intracranial hematoma (pooled blood in his skull). The internal injuries are currently affecting his mobility and speech, and could be fatal without treatment. John urgently needs a craniotomy to remove the hematoma and this family is raising $1,500 for his surgery at Kijabe Hospital. His father says, “John is a young hardworking man. He was attacked while trying to earn a living. These head injuries are serious, they have made him almost immobile, and has started having trouble speaking. This surgery is urgent to restore his speech and ability to walk.”
Meet Mercy, a 7-year-old jovial and calm girl. Our medical partner met Mercy at Cure Hospital's satellite clinic in Matuu, Kenya when she arrived with her mother. Mercy is a second grade student who is very bright and likes to study. Her mother is a homemaker while her father works on a tea farm whenever he can get small jobs there. Mercy has clubfoot of both of her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Mercy's family was referred to our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Mercy's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk, play and run like other kids she knows. “As a mother, I will be so happy seeing my child walking like other children,” Mercy’s mother told us.
Feven is a beautiful 7-month-old baby girl from Ethiopia. She has two older brothers and five sisters. She loves to play with her mom. Her dad is a farmer and he works hard, but his income is not enough to maintain the family so his brother often helps. All their children are in school and Feven's mom sometimes is able to sell items at the market. Feven was born with a birth defect called anorectal malformation. She developed bowel obstruction because of her condition and had an emergency colostomy surgery. Her parents shared that they are highly affected psychologically and are sad and worried about their baby. Feven now needs a follow up surgery to help her eliminate bowel dysfunction. She is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on March 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After her recovery, Feven will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing related health complications in the future. Her mom shared, “We were so worried. But thank God he gave us this opportunity.”
Soro is an 18-year-old who works as a rice and vegetable farmer. He also has an older sister. In this free time, Soro enjoys playing football, going out with his friends, and listening to music. In January, when Soro was traveling, he was assaulted and stabbed on the left side of his neck. He went to a local hospital, where doctors cleaned and closed the wound. However, he has not regained movement in his left arm since returning home. Doctors diagnosed his condition as 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 a loss of function and sensation. Currently, Soro cannot lift his arm, which means he is unable to work. Soro traveled to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for treatment, as CSC's care center is the only center in the country that provides the surgery he needs to heal. On February 15th, Soro will undergo brachial plexus repair surgery. Upon recovery, he will be able to use his left arm again. CSC is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Soro says," After surgery, I hope I can return to work and be free of pain."
Saren is a 39-year-old rice farmer. He's married and they have one son and two daughters. Their children are all in public school. His wife is a garment worker in a local factory. In his spare time, Saren likes to play football and read the news on his phone. About two years ago, he had a traumatic injury to his eye when he fell off his motorbike. He did not receive any care at that time, but the retina of Saren's left eye detached. Recently he has lost vision in that eye, he only sees shadows, he cannot recognize people and can't work. When Saren learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three and a half hours at the suggestion of his grandmother hoping for treatment. On January 11th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $648 procedure. "I am worried I might be blind forever, and will not be able to support my family. I hope that this surgery will restore vision to my eye so I can see well again," he shared.
Afifi is a 25-year-old electrician. He lives at home with his parents and is the oldest child in his family. He has one younger brother, and two younger sisters. His parents work as rice farmers. In his spare time, he likes to play football and listen to popular songs on his phone. Three weeks ago, Afifi had a traumatic eye injury at work when a piece of metal flew into his eye. The retina of Afifi's left eye detached, causing him pain, and blurry vision. Surgeons suspect a globe tumor and/or a retinal detachment. When Afifi learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On December 13th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Afifi shared, "I am worried I will lose my eye, and won't be able to work. I hope that I will be able to see again, and no longer have pain."