United States • Born on August 1st
Berton joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. 1,770 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Berton's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Lomnyak, a 5-year-old boy from Tanzania, to fund a spina bifida repair surgery.
Berton has funded healthcare for 109 patients in 14 countries.
Berton has funded healthcare for 109 patients in 14 countries.
Lomnyak is a 5-year-old boy and the fourth born child in a family of five children. Lomnyaki and his siblings live with their mother, as their father left and doesn't offer support. His mother does not currently work as she is taking care of their family and she shared how challenging it was as they do not have livestock nor a place to farm. They are doing their best to get through a challenging living situation. Lomnyak 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, Lomnyak 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 $1,015 to cover the cost of Lomnyak's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 19th. This procedure will hopefully spare Lomnyak from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Lomnyak’s mother shared, "I didn’t know that this condition was life-threatening but I suspected it to be the cause of my son not being able to stand nor walk. Please help him get this surgery."
Ko is a 37-year-old father of five who lives with his wife, three daughters and two sons in a refugee camp in Thailand. His family receives a cash card every month from an organization, but this is not enough to cover their expenses. Therefore, he also works as an agricultural day laborer in a nearby Thai village. In his free time, Ko enjoys playing cane ball and spending time with his friends. On December 11, 2020, Ko slipped and fell onto rocks outside of the camp. When he tried to get up, Ko could tell that his leg was broken. He went to the hospital in the refugee camp run by Malteser International (MI). He was eventually referred to a hospital where he underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into his leg on December 25, 2020. When he went back to the hospital for his follow-up appointment on February 3, 2021, the doctor observed that the surgical wound was infected and he underwent surgery to clean his wound. When the wound still did not heal, the doctor referred him to another hospital, where the doctor told him he would need an additional surgery to remove necrotic tissue and replace the rod in his leg. Currently, Ko is experiencing a lot of pain. It is difficult for him to walk and he is worried about his family in the camp. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ko will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and finally heal. This procedure will allow Ko to walk and his leg to heal properly. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. Ko shared, “I really want to work to support my family as soon as possible. I cannot imagine what life would be like for my family if my leg never heals.”
Baby of Magdalena is a 1-month-old baby girl and the only child to her young parents. Both of her parents are small-scale farmers of maize and vegetables. Her father also seeks casual labour jobs on construction sites to help supplement their family's income. Baby of Magdalena was brought in as an emergency case seeking treatment at ALMC Hospital after being born with spina bifida and congenital malformation of her lower limbs. When she was delivered, the clinic doctors covered the spina bifida area with saline gauze, which led to wound contamination and put her at risk of infection. Once she arrived at ALMC Hospital, Baby of Magdalena was scheduled for spina bifida repair to help save her life and ability to use her lower limbs. Given the urgency of her situation, she was able to get funding to cover this surgery, and it was successful in preventing infection. However, Baby of Magdalena has now developed hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. This could potentially cause brain damage and cause physical and developmental delays. Now, she needs to have ETV surgery, but her parents cannot afford the treatment cost due to financial challenges. They appeal for financial assistance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Baby of Magdalena that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 15th and will drain the excess fluid from Baby of Magdalena's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Baby of Magdalena will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Baby of Magdalena's mother shared, "My baby’s head is increasing in size and she needs surgery, but we cannot get that amount of money. Please help us.”
Philemon is a 22-year-old motorcycle driver and a student from Kenya. He studies economics at Kabianga University and works as a motorcycle driver during his holidays so that he can raise school fees and upkeep money when he returns to college. In his family of eight children, Philemon is the second eldest. His parents are farmers in the village who grow maize, but their income is limited to support the entire family. Philemon is motivated to work hard so that he can support his siblings and build a better house for his parents when he is done with schooling. On November 29th, 2020, Philemon was in a motorcycle accident at the local market. His motorcycle's brakes malfunctioned, and he fell on the luggage he was carrying. Philemon came to the hospital with pain on his tibia fibular and left ankle joint. Currently, he cannot walk on his own and is in great pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 7th, Philemon will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal and walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Philemon shared, “I want to get treated so that I can resume school, and be able to complete school on time and be able to support my siblings.”
Maxwell is a 10-month-old from Kenya. His mother shared that he's already a playful and jovial boy together with his twin. Unfortunately, she said, his curiosity accidentally caused him to get a burn on his chest, abdomen, right arm and his feet. If left untreated, he could suffer from long-term tissue damage, prolonged pain, and infections. Maxwell requires a split-thickness skin graft surgery to help heal the burns and reduce the infections. On December 3rd, Maxwell was playing with his twin brother when he pulled down a cup containing hot tea from the table. The hot beverage spilled and burned his body. He was rushed to St Joseph Hospital in their home village of Kangemi and was treated in the emergency phase, and was later referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital the additional care he needs. At Kijabe Hospital, Maxwell has had debridement and endoscopy procedures. However, he still requires skin grafting which is scheduled at the end of the week. Since admission, Maxwell has already accrued a bill that his family is working hard to raise, but they are having difficulties. They are requesting Watsi's assistance for his his skin graft surgery. Maxwell has three other siblings and his mother stays at home watching them and taking care of their daily tasks. Their family relies on their father's income for survival and upkeep. Maxwell's father is a taxi driver in Kangemi, who earns a daily allowance depending on the availability of work. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Maxwell receive treatment. On December 17th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to The surgery will reduce the chances of infection. Now, Maxwell needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Maxwell's mother says, “My baby has been in pain since the unfortunate accident occurred. I know he misses playing with his brother because they are very jovial together. We already have a huge bill that we are unable to afford. We need help with this surgery.”
Thein is a 33-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife in Yangon, while his daughter lives with his aunt. He and his wife are vendors at the main bus station. In his free time, Thein likes to go to the tea shop with his friend and talk about work. In the future, he would like to become a motorcycle broker, where he believes he could earn a more steady income. Unfortunately, Thein has been unable to work since March 2020. At the time, he often felt too tired or unwell to work. Upon seeking care, Thein was diagnosed with a heart condition involving a malformation of the mitral valve, which is the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Thein has difficulty breathing and feels tired when he does not receive oxygen or an intravenous drip. He cannot sleep well at night and has to take sleeping pills to help him get rest. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement procedure for Thein. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 13th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and improve his quality of life. Thein shared, “After I have recovered fully, I will go back to work. I will try to search for a job that pays better so that I can pay off my debt. After I have paid back my debt, I will save money for my family’s future. I want my daughter to complete her studies.”
Joseph is a 10-month-old baby boy and the last born in his family to his mother who has eight other children. His father is polygamous with two wives, and the second wife has five children making them a large family of fourteen children. Four children in his family have been able to join school, but the rest have not had a chance to join yet. Joseph's older siblings who do not go to school help their parents look after their herd of five cows and five goats. Both parents depend on small-scale farming of maize, beans and vegetables for their food and are able to sell a goat once in a while to be able to get money to buy other commodities. Joseph was born at home earlier this year with the help of midwives since their nearest local hospital is a long distance from home. At birth , the midwives noticed Joseph had a swell with an open wound along his spine and advised his parents to take Joseph to hospital and seek medical care. They were able to get a small amount of money and took Joseph to a local hospital where he had his wound dressed and were referred to Watsi's Medical Partner ALMC Hospital. At the hospital, Joseph's parents were informed that their son would need to undergo surgery to help correct his Spina Bifida. Without treatment Josep was in danger of getting his spine infected, which could lead to him losing limb movement making him permanently disabled or even lead to death in case of a serious infection. Through Watsi donors' incredible support, Joseph was able to have this life-saving surgery. Unfortunately, he has since acquired hydrocephalus which is putting him in danger of brain damage due to the fluids accumulating in his head, increasing head size and pressure. His parents cannot afford the treatment cost thus they are asking for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Joseph that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 12th and will drain the excess fluid from Joseph's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life now and in the future. With proper treatment, Joseph will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Joseph’s mother says, “After my son had his first surgery he was so well, but now his head is increasing in size and he is vomiting a lot accompanied with fevers. Please help save my baby.”
Jalen is a baby from Kenya. Jalen’s father is a smallholder farmer while his mom takes care of the house. She recently completed college and is yet to secure a job. Jalen has a 7-year-old sibling and together they all live in a small, rented house. To help treat his anorectal condition, Jalen underwent a colostomy, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Jalen's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications as he grows and develops. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $650 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Jalen. The surgery is scheduled to take place on September 15th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Jalen’s mother says, “It will be great joy to us as a family when Jalen undergoes his last surgery.”
Khna is a 31-year-old taxi driver from Cambodia. He got married only five months ago, and his wife is a farmer. In his free time he enjoys playing volleyball with his friends, going for walks with his wife, and making improvements to his home. In August 2020, Khna fell out of a tree from a height of five meters. He was able to get up and walk home, but later that night he started feeling pain in his back. Now he is experiencing numbness in his legs and an inability to control urine flow. He has come to our partner facility, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), where doctors will be able to perform a spinal implant procedure which will alleviate the pressure on the spinal nerves. This will allow him to regain feeling in his legs and walk easily again. Khna told us, "I hope that this surgery will go well, and that I can recover quickly. I will work hard to regain strength and walk like normal."
Ohmar is a 36-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and two children in a town along the Thai-Burma border. On July 4th, Ohmar was trying to cross the highway to go to a grocery store. She was on her bike on the side of the road when a car sped past, causing her to fall off her bike and land on top of her right arm. A man who saw her fall put turmeric powder on her injured arm and wrapped it in a cloth. But Ohmar did not go to Mae Tao Clinic right away because she did not have enough money. She was only able to seek treatment two days after the accident. Now, Ohnmar's she is in pain, her right arm cannot be extended and her fingers are also swollen. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ohmar will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 16th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help make Ohnmar's right arm become functional again and she will no longer be in pain. "I am happy that I can have surgery with the support of the Burma Children Medical Fund and Watsi donors. I have to look after my two children so I need to be strong for them," shared Ohmar.
Pauline is married and a mother of 5 children who are in school in Kenya. She and her husband do casual work in the neighboring flower and coffee farms. Two years ago, Pauline began to experience troubling symptoms, including a swelling on her neck, headache and chest pain. 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 Pauline receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on June 15th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $688, and she and her family need help raising money. “Nowadays this swelling is giving me a lot of pains and headache. I am not able to go for work and I kindly request assistance,” said Pauline.
Suleiman is an elderly man from Central Kenya. He and his wife are subsistence farmers, relying on their small piece of land to earn a living. They get support from their 7 children and, from time to time, the national government funds for the elderly, which are unreliable. About 19 years ago, his hearing started to deteriorate and, overtime, has worsened. Suleiman tried managing the loss with ear drops, but they were not working. He had learned to live with a partial loss. His right ear is worse so he has to turn to the left for him to hear with clarity. When he came to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital, doctors recommended he receive hearing aids. With the aids, his hearing clarity will be greatly improved. Suleiman said, “I have been struggling for a long time but I hope that my hearing will improve significantly with the aids.”