Stefan joined Watsi on September 20th, 2016. Eight months ago, Stefan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Stefan's most recent donation supported Naw Dah, a 40-year-old woman from Thailand, to fund kidney stone surgery.
Stefan has funded healthcare for 25 patients in 11 countries.
Stefan has funded healthcare for 25 patients in 11 countries.
Naw Dah is a 40-year-old woman who lives with her husband, four daughters and three sons in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Six of her children attend school in the camp, while Naw Dah looks after her youngest daughter at home. Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, her husband has had difficulty finding work outside of the camp for the past few months. The family survives on money they receive through a food card each month from an organization called The Border Consortium. Since 2016, Naw Dah has suffered from frequent, painful urinary tract infections. After she received an x-ray at a local hospital in April 2020, she was referred for further treatment and diagnosed with kidney stones. She received treatment in September 2020, but at follow-up appointments, the doctor told her that she still had fragments of the kidney stone, and she returned for multiple x-rays and oral medications. During her most recent follow-up in August 2021, the doctor told her that the stones are now 6mm in size and scheduled her for another ureteroscopy. She is unable to pay for surgery and was referred our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance accessing treatment. On September 3rd, she will undergo a ureteroscopy and now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. Naw Dah shared, "I am a bit scared as I already underwent treatment twice, but I really want to get better. So I put my trust in God and I will go through this pain again so that I will be free from this pain in the future."
Kebirungi is a 60-year-old farmer and a mother of six children. She and her husband farm the land they own together and from the surplus they sell, they are able to support their youngest daughter who is still in school. Kebirungi loves singing in church, but has unfortunately had to stop recently due to her condition. Two years ago, Kebirungi began experiencing troubling symptoms including shortness of breath, fatigue, difficulty swallowing, and swelling in her neck. She was diagnosed with a multinodular goiter and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Kebirungi receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on June 8th at AMH's care center and now, she needs help raising $252 to cover the cost of her procedure. Kebirungi shared, “I will really be humble to have my health restored with your support. I will live to give praise to God for what you will have done for me.”
Robert is a matatu, or public transportation, driver and the father of two children aged 16 and 7 years. He recently separated from his wife, so Robert currently lives alone in their home in Magina, Kenya. On the June 26th, Robert was injured in a road accident and sustained twin fractures on his thigh and leg. Robert is now unable to walk on his own. Fortunately, our partner surgeons can help. On June 30th, Robert is scheduled to undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, to help him walk again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $672 to fund this procedure. Robert is anxious to return to work, "My legs are my source of livelihood. I need this surgery to be able to get back on my feet and fend for myself and my kids.”
Kennedy is a 23-year-old high school graduate and the second born of four children in his family. Kennedy shared that his father sadly passed away in 2006, and his mother works as a house helper in Nairobi. His older brother works as a watchman in the city and his younger siblings are still in school. He is not working currently, and he lives alone in his family home on a quarter-acre of land. On May 22nd, while training to drive a motorbike so that he may be able to do this for an income, he was hit by a speeding vehicle and lost control. He fell along the roadside and fractured his right leg. It is difficult for him to walk and he is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 2nd, Kennedy will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Kennedy shared, “I recently finished my form four and I have my future to think of. I need to be able to walk well but first I need the surgery to help me.”
Jane is a 53-year-old woman who works as a street vendor in Kenya. Her husband was a hotelier, but she shared with us that he has been jobless for over ten years since he suffered a stroke. She shared that he has been in and out of the hospital seeking treatment and the family has been relying on friends and relatives to settle bills and cover medical trips. Jane herself has now been diagnosed with breast cancer. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been recommended to rid her body of the cancer and to prevent it from metastasizing. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Jane to receive treatment. On May 3rd, she will undergo a mastectomy at AMH's care center. After treatment, Jane will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Now, AMH is requesting $857 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Jane. Jane shared that she is feeling, “I have nothing to smile about, the cancer is threatening my health and we have been treating my husband who had a stroke. I hope I will be able to get help.”
Zaw is a 40-year-old man from Thailand. He lives by himself in a hut on his employer's land on the Thai-Burma border and he harvests sugarcane for a living. He is paid 45 baht (approx. $1.50 USD) per bundle of harvested sugarcane, with each bundle containing 200 canes. He shared that the income he earns in a month is not enough to cover his basic needs, and has recently had to borrow funds to purchase food. Last Wednesday, Zaw decided to go home on his bicycle during his lunch break. While riding his bicycle, a dog started to chase him. He put his feet up on the handlebar so that the dog would not bite his legs. But while his feet were still on the handlebar, three cars drove towards him on the narrow road. Zaw swerved to avoid the cars and lost his balance, falling into the drainage ditch on the side of the road. The villagers who had seen him fall ran to the side of the ditch to check on him. When Zaw tried to stand up, he had difficulty breathing and had to sit down due to the pain in his abdomen. Since the accident, Zaw feels worse. He still has difficulty breathing, and he suffers from abdominal pain. He cannot stand up, has difficulty sitting up, and has difficulty eating or drinking water. Doctors want Zaw 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 Zaw's CT scan and care, scheduled for March 26th. “When I get better I will continue working,” he said. “I also have to pay back my debt.”
Antony is a 36-year-old motorbike taxi operator. He is married and has three children. Antony is the sole breadwinner of the family. In his line of work, his income depends on the availability of customers and is somewhat inconsistent. He lives with his family in a two-roomed rental house. On February 9th, Antony was riding a friend to a funeral on a motorbike, when he got into an accident along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway. His bike lost control when he tried to avoid an oncoming vehicle that was speeding on the wrong side of the road. Antony hit a ditch on the side of the road and sustained multiple injuries. He is in pain and is not able to use his left hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 5th, Antony will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal well and he will be able to use his arm normally again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Anthony shared, “I am the sole breadwinner and my family is looking upon me for survival. I cannot work without the use of my hand, and my hand needs surgery to heal. I am unable to get the money to raise the amount needed for my care."
Rebecca is a 1-year-old girl from Tanzania. She is the last born in a family of two children and has started to grow into a strong and beautiful girl. Both of her parents depend on small scale farming to support their family. Rebecca was initially brought to the hospital by her parents seeking treatment to help correct her spina bifida condition. Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord fail to form properly. This puts a child in danger of limb paralyses or death in case of a severe infection. At the time, Rebecca's parents could not afford the proposed surgery. Luckily, one of their friends advised them to seek help at our medical partner's care center, ALMC Plaster House. Through Watsi funding, Rebecca’s life was saved and she has been growing well since then. However, a few weeks ago, Rebecca's mother noticed her daughter's head was increasing in size at a very fast rate and she was complaining of headaches. Her parents had worked hard to save some money and got a health insurance card for their baby, so they decided to take her to the hospital to seek treatment. There, Rebecca was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. She needs to have an ETV surgery that will help relieve her of the pressure build-up, which would otherwise lead to brain damage. Unfortunately, their insurance has not matured enough to cover this kind of major surgery, so Rebecca's parents are appealing for financial support to help her. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Rebecca that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 25th and will drain the excess fluid from Rebecca's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Rebecca will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Rebecca’s mother shared, “My daughter’s head is increasing in size and it is making her sick. She needs surgery but the insurance we got for her cannot cover the cost. Please help once more if it is possible because we don’t know where to run to for help besides all of you.”
Kervens is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents, two older sisters, and two older brothers in Jacmel, a city on the southern coast of Haiti. He is in the ninth grade. Kervens has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole, making it more difficult for the heart to properly circulate blood through his body. Kervens will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On January 25, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will insert a catheter into his heart and use a device to close the hole. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $12,000 to pay for surgery. Kervens's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Kervens's family overseas. He says, "I am looking forward to being able to play soccer after my surgery!"
Jores is a young man from Haiti. He lives with his parents in Port-au-Prince. He is not currently working because of his heart condition, but has a college degree in business management. Jores has a cardiac condition called left ventricular hypertrophy. The pumping muscles on the left side of his heart have become too thick because of an infection he suffered, and as a result cannot adequately pump blood to the rest of his body. Jores will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On December 8, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove some of the muscle thickness from his heart, so that it can pump more normally. Another organization, The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, is contributing $65,000 to pay for surgery. Jores's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Jores's family overseas. He says, "I am very glad to know that the doctors can make my heart normal again!"
Sakaiyan is a five-year-old girl from Kenya. She is playful but often reserved because she has an abnormal condition in a sensitive area. Sakaiyan's parents can't afford the surgeries required to treat their daughter's condition. Earlier this year, the family was referred to Watsi. In March, Sakaiyan received a colostomy. Doctors recommended she return in July for an anorectalplasty and colostomy closure. If left untreated, Sakaiyan will experience bowel dysfunction. On July 13, Sakaiyan will receive the operation she needs to complete her treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,327 to fund the surgery. Sakaiyan’s father is grateful for the support. He says, “I want to see my daughter healthy so that she can lead a normal life like other children."
Chaw is a 13-year-old girl from the Mogok town of Mandalay Division, Burma. She lives with both of her parents, and her father works as a miner. Both Chaw and her brother are currently attending school. When Chaw was born, her family noticed that her right arm and leg were much weaker than her left side. Whenever she tried to walk, her right leg's muscles would tense up and prevent her from walking properly. She frequently has to walk on her tiptoes as her right foot cannot sit flat on the floor and her ankle mobility is limited. Chaw connected with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), at a local clinic and was diagnosed with a congenital foot deformity. This malformation will require an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure. The goal of this procedure is to stretch a tight Achilles tendon to allow increased motion at the ankle joint. As Chaw's father's work is inconsistent and depends heavily on the season, his income alone is not enough to cover the surgery. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help Chaw walk properly again. Her procedure is scheduled for June 27.