Galen joined Watsi on February 19th, 2015. Six years ago, Galen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Galen's most recent donation traveled 2,600 miles to support Maria Jose, an bright baby girl from Colombia, to fund clubfoot correction surgery to have a full life ahead.
Galen has funded healthcare for 78 patients in 12 countries.
Galen has funded healthcare for 78 patients in 12 countries.
Maria Jose is a cute and intelligent baby from Colombia. She lives with her single mother, Sandra, and her godmother and aunt. Sandra only has good wishes for her daughter, and works really hard to see her baby happy. Maria Jose has clubfoot on both feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This will cause difficulty walking and even wearing shoes in the future. Fortunately, Maria Jose's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 31th. Our partner is requesting $1,500 to fund Maria Jose's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to crawl, walk and run with ease. Sandra shares her hopes for Maria Jose's development, "I really wish to see her grow as a normal child, and enjoy every step of her life. After the surgery I deeply want to see her crawl, walk, run, and play with other kids."
Ku is a seven-year-old boy who lives with his parents and two younger sisters in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Ku's mother weaves shirts that she sells, and Ku's father helps weave, too. Ku is a primary school student, while one of his sisters is in nursing school, and his youngest sister is too young to go to school. On June 6th, Ku and two of his friends were playing in a tamarind tree when they all fell out of the tree. Ku injured his left arm in the fall and his father carried him to the camp hospital for an exam. The medic there told Ku's father that his elbow might be broken. After they bandaged his arm, Ku visited another hospital for an x-ray and was diagnosed with a left elbow fracture. Ku is in pain and cannot bend his arm or lift anything. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ku will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for June 9th and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Ku will no longer be in pain and he will be able to go back to school. He will regain full mobility in his arm. Ku's father shared, "Ku is an active boy who loves school and reading a lot. He always says that he wants to become a health worker to look after his family and others when he grows up. I want him to recover and go back to school soon."
Justine is a nine-year-old student and has a twin brother. They have two other siblings and Justine's mother is raising her children on her own. She sells mandazi by the roadside to make a living and provide for her family. For seven years, Justine has had an inguinal hernia. The hernia causes him pain and discomfort, and sometimes he cannot sleep. He has stopped going to school while he tries to seek treatment. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Justine to receive treatment. On May 12th, Justine will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $566 to fund Justine's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Justine’s mother shared, "I have always wanted to seek treatment for my son but due to financial challenges I have not been able to afford the treatment cost. If there is a chance for my son to have his condition corrected I would be very grateful."
Thavy is a 62-year-old woman with a son, a daughter, and three grandchildren. Thavy enjoys listening to the radio, reading dharma, visiting the pagoda, and taking care of her grandchildren. In May 2019, Thavy fell and fractured her left elbow. She has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on her left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand, and injuries to this network can result in loss of function and sensation. She was taken to a clinic where the fracture was healed but she still experiences numbness, pain, muscle atrophy, and lack of mobility of her left hand. Surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, will perform a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, she will able to freely use her left arm and hand again. Thavy shared, "I hope I can start to use my left hand again without numbness or pain."
Paw is a 21-year-old who lives with her parents, a brother, three sisters, a daughter and a niece in a refugee camp. Her father used to be an agricultural day laborer, but had to stop working due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Her sisters go to school and her brother is unemployed. Paw looks after her daughter and niece, who are too young to go to school, while her mother looks after the household chores. In her free time, Paw likes to play with her daughter and visit her friends. On March 9th, Paw left the camp alone to collect firewood. While climbing a hill, she slipped, falling onto her right shin. She was in so much pain that she could not stand up. She got herself to a nearby road where a motorcyclist drove her back to the camp. At home, Paw was treated by a traditional healer, and a couple of days later, a second traditional healer told her family that Paw had fractured her leg. Paw's father made a bamboo brace for her leg, and carried her to the hospital in the camp run by International Rescue Committee (IRC). Knowing that she would need surgery, IRC staff referred her to Burma Children Medical Fund to receive treatment at a local hospital. Currently, Paw experiences a lot of pain when moving her right leg. She cannot stand up by herself and she cannot sleep at night when the pain is severe. Since she injured her leg, she feels more tired and she has lost her appetite. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Paw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will help her walk and live pain-free. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. Paw shared, "once recovered, I will take care of my parents. I will work and save money for my daughter, so that I can make sure that she has food and clothes."
Guyo is a 2-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He has three siblings. Guyo's parents are from a rural area and make a humble living. His uncle, who brought Guyo to Watsi's Partner Care Center BethanyKids Hospital, helps to raise Guyo. Guyo is a sweet, outgoing boy who loves to play with his friends and siblings. He also loves playing with dogs. Guyo was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Guyo is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 9th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Once recovered, he will no longer have any pain or discomfort and can return to happily playing with his friends. His uncle shared, “I believe if he is treated well, he will be good psychologically in the future. And all the family will be happy. I hope he will be a doctor in the future and help his community.”
Patrick has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, and it causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. After he was born, his parents visited the nearest dispensary in their village to take him for treatment, where he was referred to a bigger hospital that would have more resources to treat him. Because Patrick's parents are small scale farmers with minimal income, they decided to return home and save up money so that they could take him to a proper hospital to have his feet corrected. Through a neighbor, Patrick's parents got to know about Watsi's Partner ALMC Plaster House and decided to come and seek treatment for Patrick. Patrick needs to start manipulation and casting, which will help correct his feet. If Patrick does not get this treatment, his learning-to-walk process will be very challenging. It will take a long time for him to be able to stand and walk, and it may be painful. He will not be able to wear normal shoes like other children, and could potentially experience discrimination due to his disability. Fortunately, Patrick traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery and begin his treatment on January 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Patrick's clubfoot repair. After treatment as he grows, he will be able to walk and play with ease. Patrick’s mother shared, "We wish our son to have his feet corrected but the treatment cost is too high for us to afford. Please help our son.”
John is a motorcycle taxi operator from Kenya. He's a 31-year-old man from an area called Zimmerman in Nairobi County and the second born in a family of four. John went to school up through high school, but since his family could not afford to send him to college, he learnt how to ride a motorbike and started hustling in Zimmerman to sustain himself. John told us that he was just planning for his future and to get married when the worst happened. On Saturday Dec. 12th, when a client sent him to carry some luggage, on the way he was hit by a vehicle. He sustained an open fracture of his right femur. Luckily he was brought to Nazareth Hospital and was admitted for care. He is not able to move his leg and the surgeon recommends an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) surgery to heal his fracture. Since John had to borrow funds for his admission fee, he does not have a way to pay for the surgery he needs. He has requested support and is concerned if he is not treated soon he could develop a bone infection which will delay healing and cause him more complications. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 15th, John will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “My family members are not able to support me for this surgery and am afraid to see my bones. I kindly ask for help so that I can be able to walk again, go back to my job, and start planning for my future family,” said John.
Grace is a 6-year-old girl from Tanzania. She is the firstborn child in a family of two children. Grace's parents depend on small scale farming for their living, and sell milk from the cows that they own. Last year, Grace was left in her family's hut when her mother went out to milk one of their cows. Normally, Grace would accompany her mother, but because it was raining, her mother asked her to keep herself warm by the fire. As she was warming herself, Grace's clothing caught on fire, and she sustained burns on her left hand and arm. Her wounds have since healed, but her hand is now deformed and she is unable to use it in life's daily activities. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Grace receive treatment. On November 13th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help restore her ability to use her hand easily. Now, she needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Grace’s father shared, “The fire accident has left our daughter disabled. Please help correct her hand so that she can be able to use both of her hands and return to normal life.”
Hasani is a young boy from Tanzania. He is six years old and the firstborn child in a family of three children. Hasani has always been a hard-working boy according to his father. He would help graze the cattle and look after his siblings when his parents were out working on their small farm where they grow maize and vegetables for their living. Hasani was burnt severely after being involved in a home fire accident that left him with very severe burns on his face. He was rushed to the hospital and stayed there for one month having his burns taken care of. Once he was stable that cetner referred him to our partner hospital for further management and treatment. Through Watsi funding earlier this year, Hassani had a skin graft surgery that helped cover up the wound that was not healing on his face. He is now completely healed, but doctors are recommended that he have another surgery to help release a burn contracture around his left eye and place a skin graft. His parents are requesting support for the cost of treatment. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Hasani receive treatment. On October 12th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. The released skin will allow his eyes to close properly and reduce the chances of severe complications. Now, his family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Hasani’s father says: “My son was able to have surgery which helped with the healing of his wound but he now needs another surgery which I can’t afford. Kindly help him.”
Jackson is an 8-year-old student from Tanzania. He has been living with his grandmother since he was 2 years old as his mother and father separated and neither could care for him. His aunt describes Jackson as a very friendly and playful boy. He used to be a very active boy, always friendly, and hardworking. He would help his grandmother with home chores when he was not at school. He was in class one at school but unfortunately, his studies had to stop after he started losing consciousness and falling most of the time when at school. Jackson has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Jackson has been experiencing dizziness and he would lose consciousness and fall at school. He now cannot walk or stand and is often asleep. Without treatment, Jackson will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for Jackson that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 16th and will drain the excess fluid from Jackson's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Jackson will hopefully continue to develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Jackson’s aunt told us, “We all wish Jackson to get this needed treatment so that he can get back to his old normal self and hopeful resume school again.”
Min lives with his wife, son, and daughter in a village in Tak Province, Thailand. He moved from Burma to Thailand nine months ago in search of better job opportunities. His daughter is still too young to go to school and his wife and son work as day laborers on a farm, each earning 150 baht (approx. 5 USD) per day. Min had to stop working with his wife and son three months ago because of his condition. Their monthly household income of 3,000 baht (approx. 100 USD) is not enough to cover their daily expenses. Sometimes, they have to borrow money from their relatives to meet their basic needs. Four years ago, Min used to work as a construction worker in Bangkok. One day, he started to experience pain in the left side of his abdomen. He went to a clinic twice and was diagnosed with a kidney stone in his left kidney after receiving an ultrasound. The doctor told him that he would need to undergo laser treatment at a hospital to break up the stone. The next day, Min went to a hospital in Bangkok. He received another ultrasound and underwent laser treatment which he did not have to pay for because he had health insurance at that time. When he returned for his follow-up appointment, he underwent another round of laser treatment, followed by more oral medications to take home. Min was not able to return to the hospital because his father passed away before his next appointment and he had to go back to Burma for the funeral. Before he had a chance to return to Bangkok, his mother also passed away. After spending money on the two funerals, Min did not have enough money to return to Bangkok. He moved back in with his wife and children and started working as a day laborer on a farm with his wife in their village. In May 2019, Min started experiencing pain again in his left lower abdomen. He would also pass small stones about twice a month while urinating. He went to a clinic where he received oral medication as well as an ultrasound. The doctor told him that he has a stone in his left kidney as well as small stones in his urethra. Min went back to the same clinic several times for his follow-up appointments, where he received oral medication each time for his abdominal pain. By September 2019, he was feeling much better and was no longer in pain. He was also no longer passing stones when urinating. Min then stopped going back to the clinic and stopped taking medication. Later in December 2019, Min and his family moved to their current home in Thailand and in May 2020, the pain in Min’s lower abdomen returned. He has pain when urinating and has started to pass small stones again about every two weeks. He went to a local hospital in the beginning of May with his wife, and he received an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that he now has stones in both of his kidneys in addition to a bladder stone. The doctor referred him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for treatment, but his family was not able to afford the estimated cost so he returned home. At home, Min told his friend about his condition and his lack of funds to pay for it. His friend told him to seek help at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) and with Watsi's Medical Parter Burma Children Medical Fund. Surgery is now scheduled for August 14th. Min shared, “I had to sell my phone to pay for my treatment [the ultrasounds and oral medications] and my transportation when I sought treatment. For the past few days, we don’t have enough rice and we also don’t have any money to buy more food. So we have to eat rice porridge. I feel so sad for my family.”