Jerome joined Watsi on February 22nd, 2016. Four years ago, Jerome became the 1809th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,019 more people have become monthly donors! Jerome's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Taung, a newborn baby from Burma, to fund a CT scan for a congenital skull malformation.
Jerome has funded healthcare for 50 patients in 9 countries.
Taung is a one-month-old baby girl from Burma. She lives with her parents and seven-year-old brother in a village in Hpan-An Township in Karen State. Her parents farm land owned by their relatives for free and grow rice for primarily their own consumption. Taung’s father also works as an agricultural day laborer. Taung was born at home with the assistance of a traditional birth attendant (TBA). As soon as she was born, the TBA noticed that she has a soft large sac protruding from the top of her head. Currently, the sac protruding from Taung’s head is continuously increasing in size. Sometimes, she cries so much her mother thinks that she is in pain. However, she responds to noise around her, and sleeps and breastfeeds well. Doctors want Taung 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 her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $469 to cover the cost of Taung's CT scan and care, scheduled for March 15th. Taung’s mother said, “Over time, I have become increasingly worried about her head, whether it would become normal and if it could be treated. We do not have money to treat her, so we came to Mae Tao Clinic. I cry every time I touch her head and it is very hard for me to hold her. I feel like I am very unlucky that both of my children do not have good health. I want her to become healthy like other children.”
Lomunyaki is a 3-month-old baby boy from Tanzania. He is the only child to his parents. Lomunyak's mother is staying at her parent’s home after giving birth to Lomunyak. Lomunyaki's father didn’t want to take his son to the hospital thus the mother was forced to ran away and go seek help from her parents. Her parents are livestock keepers with very little income but they were able to get some money and took Lomunyaki to a clinic. Lomunyaki was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Lomunyaki is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $966 to cover the cost of Lomunyaki's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 12th. This procedure will hopefully spare Lomunyaki from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthier trajectory. Lomunyaki’s mother says, “I was very shocked when I gave birth to Lomunyaki; he is my first born and him born with a disability made me feel very bad like there was something wrong with my womb. Please help my son get this treatment.”
Kyin is a farmer from Burma. She grows vegetable with her husband and her son on her husband’s relatives’ land for free. Their relatives own land that is available for half of the year after the rice is harvested. By selling the vegetables they grow, they earn a living. Kyin has been diagnosed with cataract and glaucoma in her right eye. She is sensitive to the light and her vision has deteriorated. She can only make out shapes and colors. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Kyin. On January 21st, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Kyin's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. "In the future after I recover, I would like to continue growing vegetables," said Kyin.
Duncan is a young boy from Kenya, who was 1 month old when he was diagnosed with distal hypospadias. This is a condition where the urethral opening is abnormally placed. His mother took him to the nearest hospital and was referred to a Watsi partner hospital. In March 2018, she brought Duncan to Kijabe and had one successful surgery performed on him. Duncan needs a second surgery to complete his treatment but his family faces a financial crisis to pay for it. Duncan is the second born of two children and lives with his parents and sibling in Eastern Kenya. His parents are peasant farmers without an external source of income. They are not able to raise the funds needed. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $700 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “I am more hopeful than ever, that my son will get treated,” says Duncan’s mother.
Meet Nicodemus a 14 year-old boy. He is social and likes inventing new things. Nicodemus is the 4th born in a family of 5 children. He is class 8 candidate at Daystar Primary School in Athi River. The family hails from Athi River in Machakos County. His mother is a vendor and widowed. She sells porridge and chapatis in the construction sites. His mother noticed a sudden change in his walking style last year. Nicodemus also complained of his knees knocking each other a situation which was giving him a rough time to walk and play with her friends at school. He currently feels pain as he walks as the left knee knock the right. He is currently using crutches to walk and his condition is worsening. “I would love to walk like other people, I am not comfortable with walking using crutches and I would like to achieve my passion of becoming an engineer. Any kind of support will be highly appreciated.” Nicodemus informed us.
Sokni is a 19-year-old factory worker from Cambodia. He has seven other brothers and sisters, and enjoys playing soccer and going for walks with his friends around the village. In July 2019, Sokni was in a motorcycle accident where he injured his left shoulder. He has been diagnosed with 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 loss of function and sensation. He has lost sensation in his elbow, has pain every day, and cannot move his arm without difficulty. Sokni traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On October 04, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, Surgery will allow Sokni to be able to use his arm again and no longer have any pain.. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $637 to fund this procedure. Sokni said, "I hope that after surgery, I will not have any more pain or difficulty moving my arm and I can return to my work at the tire factory."
Nesy is a baby from Tanzania. Nesy is a first born child to her newly wed parents who were very excited for her arrival. She was born in a local dispensary near their village. Nesy’s parents are subsistence farmers who earn very little and had to sell some of their cows and goats to be able to get trnsport to the hospital. Nesy was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Nesy is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $966 to cover the cost of Nesy's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 09. This procedure will hopefully spare Nesy from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Nesy’s mother says, “Please help my daughter get this surgery, I am so worried about her, she is very little and she has such a big problem. Please help us.”
Thyriya is a two-year-old girl from Cambodia. Thyriya is an only child from Phnom Penh, and she enjoys playing with her toys and playing games on the phone. Thyriya was born with syndactyly of her left hand. This means that her thumb and index finger, as well as her fourth and fifth fingers, are fused together. It is difficult for her to move her hand and utilize her fingers Fortunately, on August 13, surgeons will perform a syndactyly repair procedure to separate and release the fused digits. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $365 to fund this procedure. After surgery, she will be able to use her left hand and fully extend each of the fingers Her mother says, "I hope that my daughter will recover from her surgery and look better than before. I hope that she will no longer suffer from her hand condition and I won't have to worry about her."
Chabenta is a girl from Haiti. Chabenta lives in an orphanage in a mountainous area south of Port-au-Prince; she enjoys her classes in school and would like to become a doctor one day. She has a cardiac condition called severe mitral regurgitation, in which one of the four valves of her heart has been damaged by rheumatic fever and can no longer open and close properly. As a result, her heart cannot adequately pump blood through her body, leaving her sick and short of breath. Chabenta will fly to Boston to undergo surgery on September 5. During surgery, the medical team will first attempt to repair her damaged valve; if this is not possible, they will implant an artificial replacement. Boston Childrens Hospital is providing $28,000 to fund surgery. Chabenta's family also needs help to fund costs of surgery prep. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to support these costs. She says, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can walk to and from school without having to rest."
Juliet is a child from Kenya. She is the youngest child in her family. Juliet was burned by a pot of boiling water. She spent seven weeks in the hospital and underwent three skin graft surgeries. Her hand has healed with contractures and needs treatment. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Juliet receive treatment. On June 20, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her use her hand freely. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,176 procedure. Herr mother says, “I wish to see Juliet growing as a normal child."
Richardson is a baby from Haiti. He lives with his parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince; his father is a security guard and his mother stays at home with him. Richardson has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. His diagnosis involves several related conditions, including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. On May 24, he will undergo cardiac surgery at St. Damien Hospital, our medical partner's care center. During surgery, surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage from his valve. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $12,000 to pay for surgery. Richardson's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 requested by our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, covers cardiac exams and medications. His mother says, "We are hopeful that after the surgery our son will gain weight and be more active."
Kyaw Myat is a five-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his family in Ma Gyi Pin Village, Tigyaing Township, Sagaing Division. Kyaw Myat was recently diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which has caused fluid to build up in his brain. Without immediate surgery to alleviate the intracranial pressure that the excess fluid is causing, he is at risk of developing severe, potentially fatal medical complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for Kyaw Myat, which will drain the fluid that has accumulated in his brain. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 19, and, once completed, will greatly improve Kyaw Myat's quality of life. His father says, "After my son underwent MRI, the result shows that he is suffering from hydrocephalus and need surgery. I hope he will feel better after this surgery."