Miikka joined Watsi on November 4th, 2015. Five years ago, Miikka joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Miikka's most recent donation traveled 4,300 miles to support Sylvia, a future doctor from Kenya, to fund clubfoot repair surgery.
Miikka has funded healthcare for 68 patients in 12 countries.
Miikka has funded healthcare for 68 patients in 12 countries.
Sylvia is a 14-year-old student and her favorite subjects in school are mathematics and chemistry. She shared that she would like to be a doctor in the future. Sylvia is the oldest child in a family of two. Her mother is a single mom and works hard as a laborer whenever she can get work. Sylvia has clubfoot of the left foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes her difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Sylvia to receive treatment. She visited AMH's care center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 6th. Now, AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Sylvia's procedure. After treatment, Sylvia will be able to walk with ease and wear shoes. She will continue with her studies and hopefully achieve her dream of becoming a doctor. Sylvia shared, "my desire is to walk well like other girls and continue with school without any interruptions."
Brian was born last night and is the first born in his family. His father works in a newly opened bakery and shared that he earns very little money, while his mother makes and sells pots to earn a living. After Brian was born, he was examined by the pediatric surgery team and diagnosed with anorectal malformations. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping Brian to receive treatment. On June 2nd, at AMH's care center, he is scheduled to undergo a colostomy surgery to enable him to pass stool. Now, AMH is requesting $592 to fund Brian's surgery. Brian’s father shared, “we are hoping and praying that our son will get treated despite the fact that we are not financially stable to afford the surgery.”
Phuon is a 27-year-old tuk tuk driver. He's married and has three sons. In his free time, Phuon shared that he enjoys listening to romantic music and pop songs, playing volleyball, and relaxing at home. On March 14th, Phuon was shocked on both hands in an accident with electrical wires. This badly damaged the tissue and after three days in a government hospital he ran out of money to cover treatment. He is in pain and cannot use his hands to hold anything. When Phuon learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On April 22nd, surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre will perform a debridement procedure to remove the dead tissue to preserve and return the function of his hands. Now, he needs help to fund this $787 procedure. Phuon shared, "I hope after surgery I can use my hands again and get back to work to support my family."
Navy is a 49-year-old rice seller. She's been married for 15 years and has 2 daughters who are in school. Navy sells rice in front of a factory, but has been unable to work for over a year. Her husband is currently unemployed. Four years ago, Navy started to have pain in her back and on both hips, and she was given steroids to ease the pain. Doctors have diagnosed her with avascular necrosis in both hips. Avascular necrosis, or osteonecrosis, is the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply. Navy cannot walk and is confined to a wheelchair. She is in constant pain, and is depressed because she cannot work to support her family. Fortunately, Navy learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). At CSC, surgeons will perform a total hip replacement to relieve Navy of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for February 5th, and Navy needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Navy shared, "I hope that I'll feel better soon, and will be able to walk again without pain. I am anxious to return to work to help my family."
Nosiligi is a 10-year-old girl and the seventh born child in a family of eight children. Nosiligi's father passed away when she was two years old, leaving her in her mother's care. Her mother is able to practice small scale farming on land that they own to make a living for the family. When she was two years old, Nosiligi was playing with other siblings when she accidentally dipped her left hand in hot porridge. As a result, she sustained severe burns. Nosiligi is not able to utilize her left hand with ease due to the contractures that formed when her burns healed. Her mother was scared that Nosiligi might be discriminated against by other pupils due to her scars, so she kept her from attending school for the time being. Through Watsi funding, Nosiligi was able to go through a first round of surgery on her wrist and recovered well. She now requires a surgery to help correct her left fingers, and her family appeals for financial support for her care. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Nosiligi receive treatment. On March 2nd, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help improve the mobility in her fingers. Now, she needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Nosiligi’s mother shared, “I have no means of paying for my daughter’s second-stage surgery. Kindly help us.”
Lewis is a playful and social 11-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the sixth born in a family of eight children, and is brother to Jonah, another Watsi patient. When he's older, Jonah aspires to be in the special forces as a military officer in the future. His mother is a single parent and used to be a farmer, but currently stays at home to take care of her children. She recently underwent an amputation on her leg after suffering from diabetes. Lewis had clubfoot of both his feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Lewis traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons healed one foot with support from Watsi and now will perform his other clubfoot repair surgery on January 25th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Lewis's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk and play with his brother more easily. Rosaria, Lewis' mother shared, “We are grateful that Watsi is helping my two sons undergo surgery. We have seen a lot of impact on their feet. Previously, they used to complain of pain while walking and they like playing a lot. We plead for more support to ensure that their feet can be able to step on the ground and walk like other children. God bless you."
Collins is a young boy from the northeastern slopes of Mt Kenya in Meru County, Kenya. He is 5 years old and is the firstborn in a family of two children. His mother is a housewife, while his father is a mason. Collins was born with clubfoot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. Since birth, he has had serial casting treatment, but his condition has yet to improve. Both his mother and his sibling also have neglected clubfoot conditions. Collins has difficulty with walking and wearing shoes, and is unable to play with other kids. In January 2020, he was able to undergo a left posterior medial release (PMR) with Watsi support, and his foot has corrected well. As a result of the surgery, he is able to wear his left shoe and his walking has improved. However, his right foot is still deformed and requires surgery for him to be able to walk comfortably and confidently on both feet. Fortunately, Collins' family traveled back to our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on his right foot on January 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Collins's clubfoot repair. This surgery will be very impactful for Collins because he will be able to walk, play, and enjoy life like other children. His mother is grateful for the support for his first surgery, and again appeals for support for this procedure as their income level is not high enough to afford his needed care. Collins' mother shared, “I would like to thank CURE Hospital and AMH-Watsi who made possible my son’s first surgery. May the almighty God bless you. I continue to plead for support for the planned surgery on his right foot so that he can fully walk without any difficulty.”
Naomi is a 6-year-old girl from Tanzania and the youngest to her mother who has five children. Naomi's father is polygamous with three wives with a total of thirteen children in their family. Her parents have a few cattle which they depend on for daily living. Naomi is a playful girl and always wants to take part in daily home activities, but most of the time she can't due to her disability and how much she struggles using her hand. At the age of four months, Naomi was left by her mother sleeping as she went outside. She had left a fire burning close to the bed to keep their hut warm when Naomi rolled and fell into it. Her mother heard her cry and ran to her rescue. She sustained severe burns around her head and face, left hand, left foot, and around her stomach. Currently, she can’t use her left hand because it has contracted from the burn scar making it impossible for her to straighten and use it. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Naomi receive treatment. On December 1st, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. She will be able to straighten her hand and use it after she heals from surgery. Now, her family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Naomi’s mother shared: “My daughter is very hard working but her hand limits her a lot and I feel bad seeing her struggling to carry out her daily life activities. Please help treat her.”
Eustase is a 40-year-old man from Kenya. He is married and has three children aged 16, 10, and 5 years of age. All of his children are currently in school. Eustase was involved in a tragic road accident while on a boda-boda (motocycle taxi) drive. Rushing to pick up a client, Eustase was sandwiched between a lorry and a matatu (public service van) on a highway a few kilometres from his home town. The driver was trying to pass Eustase when the lorry hit him. He sustained serious injuries that rendered him unconscious. Well-wishers rushed him to a nearby hospital for first aid and review and later to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital. After several tests and an x-ray, he was diagnosed with a right tibia fracture. Doctors recommended a series of surgeries by both orthopaedic and plastic surgery teams. So far, Eustase has gone through three surgeries. Unless he undergoes the complete series of surgeries scheduled, he is at risk of not being able to walk or work. Eustase has already undergone right femur IM nailing and tibia ex-fix; debridement of his wounds and skin grafting; and 1st stage bone transport surgeries in an attempt to normalize his life. Currently, he is able to walk with crutches, and has been under close review by the plastic and orthopaedic teams. Next, Eustase is scheduled to undergo a second stage bone transport to enable his bones to heal normally and allow him to gain strength to walk. However, these procedures are very costly for Eustase and his family. He runs a boda-boda business to make a living and feed his family, but his daily wage is low and he does not have enough to pay for the surgeries. Their family depends on this sole source of income for survival. He has not been able to work since his motorbike was destroyed during the accident. Eustase has been relying on his national health insurance medical coverage, but has depleted his funding allocation and is therefore unable to get additional help. His friends and relatives have helped supplement his rising medical costs. Eustase requests for assistance to meet the cost of his planned surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund Eustase's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to regain his ability to walk and significantly improve his quality of life. Eustace shared, “This procedure will help me be able to get back to normal and even walk again. My family depends on me, and with this fracture, I am not able to work or even take care of them.“
Su is 14-year-old girl from Thailand. She lives with her parents in a village in Take Province, Thailand. After Su completed grade five she was unable to continue her schooling since there are no middle or high schools in their area and her parents could not afford to send her to school in nearby Burma. Today she and her parents are agricultural day laborers, each earning 150 baht (approx. 5 USD) per day. In the past, they used to have enough work but for the past four months they are not able to work as much as they would like to. Due to COVID-19 restrictions on the number of people who can gather, employers are only able to hire five to seven workers in a day. To ensure that everyone has a chance to work in their community, all the day laborers take turns working in a week. Around April or May 2020, Su noticed that she was not feeling well. When she explained how she felt to her mother, she was reassured that this was normal. However, around September 15th, Su started to suffer from terrible lower back and abdominal pain. When she went to Mae Tao Clinic she received an ultrasound which indicated a mass in her uterus. She was then referred to Mae Sot Hospital where she received another ultrasound and physical examination. The doctor then confirmed there was a growing mass in her uterus. The doctor told her they will be able to remove the mass with surgery. Su sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on October 1st and is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once she recovers, Su hopes to help her parents out financially. “I will go back to work with my mother and I will save money,” she said. “I will build my parents a new house on our land in Burma. I will also learn to sew and do that [becoming a seamstress] for the rest of my life in my own shop."
Josephine shared that she has been struggling with chronic lower back pains for 7 years. She has been under medication and physiotherapy, but without improvement. Doctors recommend a Lumbar Discectomy Surgery to avert the possible advance effects of the condition, which could affect her backbone and the spinal cord. If not treated, Josephine risks having prolonged pains, numbness, and loss of muscle strength that can result in paralysis. Josephine's back problems started in November 2012 while she was doing her laundry. She felt clicking sound on her lower back accompanied by sharp pains. She visited a nearby hospital for treatment. Josephine was put on physiotherapy and pain medication. For the last 7 years, she has been visiting different health facilities but her condition keeps deteriorating. Josephine was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital by a friend who had received the same treatment in the facility. Josephine doesn’t have a source of income. She is a full time housewife who has dedicated all her time to raising their three children aged between 4-13 years, and taking care of her family. They live in a two-roomed house that costs $30 per month. Her husband is a lorry driver and their family depends on his sole source of income to pay rent, school fees, medical expenses, and for survival. Josephine depends on her husband’s medical cover where she is listed as a beneficiary. Several trips to different hospital has depleted their coverage and family’s little resources. They have been also been relying in the the national health insurance fund which can cover only part of the total cost of the surgery and treatment. She is appealing for financial aid to support the remaining cost of $1,500. Josephine says, “I have lived with this pain for long but it’s now becoming unbearable. I need this surgery and treatment to get my life back to normal again."
Htay is a 45-year-old woman who lives with her husband and three daughters in Thae Phyu Village in Burma. Htay and her husband run a small shop selling betel nut and general groceries beside their home, however she has been unable to work due to her heart condition for the past year. Htay’s oldest daughter used to work at a factory in Yangon, but moved back home last year when Htay became too ill to wok. She now helps out at Htay’s shop while also helping with household chores. Htay’s other two daughters are students; one is in grade 10 and the other is in grade four. After she gave birth to her last daughter, Htay began to experience frequent pain in her chest and headaches. Whenever she would lay down, she also felt like she could not breathe well. She then went to Htantabin General Hospital in Yangon where she received an electrocardiogram (ecg). Later, the doctor told her that she has arthritis and Ischemic heart disease, a condition where an organ does not receive enough blood and oxygen. She was given medication and returned home. Htay said, “This medication seemed to help my condition and I continued to buy it from the pharmacy.” In February 2020, Htay’s condition deteriorated again; she felt like she could not breathe and that she was exhausted all the time. Htay and her husband went to Thiri Sandar Hospital in Yangon where she received x-rays and an echo. After checking her results, the doctor told her that she has a large hole in her heart and that she would need to have it closed surgically. Currently, Htay has difficulty breathing, mostly at night, and she feels tired especially when she uses the upstairs. She also has a rapid heartbeat. Htay told us, “I am worried about my condition and I am very sad whenever I think about it. But now I am happy to have found someone to help support my treatment. Once I have fully recovered, I will build a new shop [made of bamboo] because my old shop is starting to fall apart. I will also go back to working with my husband and I will support my children so that they can become educated people.”