Ashley joined Watsi on July 10th, 2014. Seven years ago, Ashley joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ashley's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Furaha, a 4-year-old from Tanzania, to fund knee surgery to be able to run and play.
Ashley has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 12 countries.
Ashley has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 12 countries.
Furaha is a beautiful and charming four-year-old and the eighth-born child in a family of nine children. Furaha is a Swahili word for "happiness" and true to her name she is always a happy and smiley girl. Furaha's parents are small-scale farmers of maize and rice. They get most of their food from what they harvest. Their income is not much because they can only get money when they sell their rice harvest or go out and seek day’s jobs like working on other people's farms. Furaha has been diagnosed with bilateral genu varus where her legs bow outward at the knee. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she experiences knee pain after walking or playing for a while. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Furaha. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 8th. Treatment will hopefully restore Furaha's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Furaha’s mother says: “I was told that we can have her legs corrected here, please help us.”
Taw is a 43-year-old teacher who lives with her family in the refugee camp. Taw and her husband work at the same school and their daughter is also enrolled there in the nursery program. In her free time, Taw enjoys singing and reading with her students. Taw also loves to grow vegetables around her house, and she is very proud that the vegetables she grows are organic. Growing her own vegetables also helps to reduce her household expenses. Last month, Taw was walking home with a branch from a banana tree she had just cut down to cook for dinner. That afternoon it was drizzling and the dirt road was slippery. Taw slipped and fell onto her left arm, breaking both bones in her left forearm. With the help of Watsi donors, she underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into her forearm at the end of August at Chiang Mai Hospital. A few days after her surgery, Taw's wound got an infection and the doctor had to perform another surgery to remove the rod from her arm. Once the infection cleared up with the help of antibiotics, the doctor scheduled another surgery to have the rod reinserted into Taw's arm to finally help her heal. Taw’s left arm is still in pain. She is in pain whenever she sits down, and the pain increases when she moves her arm. If she lies down and puts her left arm on a pillow, she feels better. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Taw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for September 7th and will cost $1,500. After the procedure, Taw will no longer be in pain and she will be able to go back home and see her family. She will be able to teach again and garden like before. Taw said, "I really miss my family and my daughter. I hope that I will receive proper treatment and be able to go back home again soon."
Grace is a beautiful, charming, and smiley 15-month-old baby. Grace's parents are small scale farmers and have one other child. They grow and sell maize and vegetables. Grace's mother sells fresh vegetables to her surrounding neighbors to make a living while, her father works at a carwash to support their family. Grace 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, Grace has been experiencing vomiting and high fevers. Without treatment, Grace will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Grace that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 9th and will drain the excess fluid from Grace's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Grace should grow and develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Grace’s mother says, "Our baby is usually very active and playful but as days go by, her condition worsens, causing her weakness, vomiting and high fevers. Please help us."
Joseph is a two-year-old boy and the youngest child in a family of four children. The family lives in a small timber house and his father sells vegetables to provide for the family. His mother often does laundry work for their neighbors, however, sometimes work is difficult to find and she works on neighbors' farms to supplement the family's income. Joseph was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended after birth. If not treated, Joseph will have an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, Joseph will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). He is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 5th and now, AMH is requesting $569 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Joseph’s father shared, “since we visited the last facility, I have never had peace in my heart after the doctor told us what will happen if the testes did not descend and he was not treated. Now, I’m more troubled that I cannot do anything for his surgery as we cannot raise any amount close to what is required. I really need support for my child's surgery."
Htoo is a 12-year-old girl who lives with her parents, two older sisters, an older brother and a younger brother in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Htoo’s father works as a construction worker while Htoo's mother is a homemaker and looks after Htoo's younger brother who is too young to go to school. Htoo and her older siblings study in the camp. Every month, the family receives oil, rice and charcoal rations, but they shared that the rations are unfortunately not enough to cover their daily needs. They also receive free basic health care and education in the refugee camp. In her free time, Htoo likes to play with her friends and help her mother clean. Htoo was born with a small mass in a sensitive area. At the time, Htoo's mother was told not to worry about the mass. However, beginning in 2016, Htoo noticed the mass increasing in size and she could no longer pass urine comfortably. A medic at the camp's hospital examined the mass and determined that it is benign and recommends it is surgically treated for Htoo's comfort and peace of mind. Htoo is receiving treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and she is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 6th. Now, their family is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Htoo shared, “in the future, I want to finish my schooling and become a teacher in the camp. I want to teach Karen [language].”
Lengai is a 7-year-old boy and the last born of four children. Lengai is a friendly and playful boy who is of age to attend kindergarten. He wants to go to school like his siblings, but due to a deformity on his right foot, he is not able to walk the long distance to and from school. Lengai's parents work as livestock keepers to make a living for their family. Lengai was born with a congenital deformity called syndactyly on his right foot and the fingers of his right hand. As a result, he cannot walk without pain, and is not able to move and use his fingers easily. Lengai's parents noticed his condition early on in his life, but due to the distance from their village to the nearest clinic, and the high cost of care, they were not able to seek treatment for him. Through a mission organization, Lengai was referred to our medical partner's care center, the Plaster House, for treatment. Lengai has been scheduled to have surgery on his right fingers so that he can use his hand in carrying out his daily life activities. Soon after, he will undergo treatment to correct his right foot. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Lengai receive treatment. On May 7th, surgeons at their care center will perform his hand surgery. Once recovered, he will be able to use his fingers with ease. Now, Lengai needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Lengai’s mother shared, "We were unable to seek treatment for our son not because we were okay seeing our son struggling to walk and use his right-hand fingers, but instead because of life's hardships. Please help our son."
Naw Mu is a five-year-old girl who lives with her family in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Naw Mu, her older brother and older sister are all primary school students. Her mother is a homemaker and her father works as a day laborer outside of the camp when he can. Her parents also look after a small shop in the camp. Her family's combined income is just enough to cover their family expenses and are grateful they can receive basic healthcare and education in the camp. On April 8th, Naw Mu was playing with her friends when she fell to the ground and injured her left arm. Her mother immediately took her to the hospital in the camp, run by Malteser International Thailand. When the medics examined her arm, they suspected that Naw Mu's forearm was fractured and referred her to another hospital to confirm her diagnosis. After Naw Mu received an x-ray, the doctor confirmed that Naw Mu's radius and ulna bones are broken. Currently, Naw Mu is experiencing pain in her left arm and has to take pain medication to have comfort and to sleep. She cannot lift her left hand or move it around. Fortunately, with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Naw Mu will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for April 9th and will cost $1,500. With this treatment, she will no longer be in pain and she will be able to move her hand and arm fully again in the future. Naw Mu's father shared, “my daughter loves to play outsides with her friends and watching cartoon clips on the phone. After she receives surgery, I hope that she is able to play with her friends again.”
Savorn is a 21-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He lives with his parents and two siblings. In his free time, Savorn likes to listen to music on his phone and watch Khmer boxing on TV. In August 2020, Savorn was in a motor vehicle accident which caused a fracture of his left femur. After the accident, he went to a local Khmer healer, but his leg did not heal. As a result of the accident, Savorn cannot work or walk without assistance and he says that he feels poorly and is depressed. It is difficult for him to walk, and he is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), can help Savorn. Savorn is currently in traction to align his fracture. On March 2nd, Savorn will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will stabilize his fracture for permanent healing and will help him walk again. Savorn hopes after surgery, his left femur will be fixed, he will have no pain, and that can return to work to support his family.
Horn is an older woman from Cambodia with two sons, three daughters, and twelve grandchildren. Now she lives with her daughter and sells food in front of the school to earn a small living. he also enjoys listening to the monks pray. Five years ago, Horn developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision, tearing, eye irritation, cloudy lens, and photophobia. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Horn learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and a half hours with her daughter seeking treatment. On October 12th, doctors will perform small incision cataract surgery (SICS) 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. Horn said, "I hope after surgery my eye can see everything clearer than now so I can recognize the faces of my family and get around easily on my own."
Ahimbisibwe is a farmer from Uganda. She is married and a mother to four children: two boys, one operates a small-scale retail shop and the other is in third grade. Her daughters are also still in school. Ahimbisibwe and her husband earn a living from small-scale farming where they grow food crops for home consumption and sell off the surplus. Five years ago, Ahimbisibwe began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty in breathing, pain when swallowing and coughing. She was diagnosed with a goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Ahimbisibwe receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on July 14 at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $252, and she and her family need help raising money. Ahimbisibwe shared, “I hope to recover from this long-standing condition, and expect that I will have a new, better life and be able to continue with farming after I have fully recovered.”
Mujuna is a small-scale farmer from western Uganda who relies on his coffee and banana plantation to earn a living. He rears three cows as well but since he has not adopted the modern agricultural practices, his farm produce is often low. A father of 8 children, he lives with his wife and two grandchildren. He came to Nyakibale Hospital's surgical team with complaints of a neck swelling that is quite painful. He has had this swelling for about 10 years and he associates it with a pins and needle feeling and persistent headache. He further notes that due to the swell, he is not able to lift heavy weights with ease. Mujuna had not been to any hospital mainly due to limited finance. Upon review at Watsi's Medical Partner's Care Center, he has an anterior neck lipoma diagnosis and surgery is recommended. On April 25th, surgeons will remove the mass. Now, Mujuna needs help to raise $187 to fund this procedure. Mujuna said, “When treated, I hope to get fine and continue farming to support my family.”
Lim is a 69-year-old grocery seller from Cambodia. He has four sons, two daughters, and enjoys looking after his six additional grandchildren. One year ago, Lim developed a cataract in each eye, causing him blurry vision and photophobia. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Lim learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled there seeking treatment. On January 14th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $425 procedure. "I hope that I will be able to see clearly and can look after my grandchildren again," he shared.