Galen joined Watsi on February 19th, 2015. Five years ago, Galen became the 934th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,894 more people have become monthly donors! Galen's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support David, a 23-year-old from Kenya, to fund urethroplasty surgery.
Galen has funded healthcare for 62 patients in 11 countries.
Meet David, a 23-year-old from Kenya. David relies on casual labour to make ends meet. He takes up jobs such as digging pit latrines, tilling, or any other work that comes along. His family background is poverty-stricken. David shared that his father is an alcoholic and has sold most of the family properties including even cooking utensils. His mother separated from his father. David and his 6 siblings did not manage to go to school as their parents could not manage to raise school fees. David currently struggles to pass urine. Six years ago, David was started developing problems and his condition worsened in 2017. He was reviewed at Maua Hospital and referred to Watsi Partner Kijabe Hospital. Through national health insurance funding, he had first stage urethroplasty in 2018 and doctors advised him to return for follow up and second stage surgery. However, due to financial difficulties, he could not manage to come back to the hospital. In 2020, he returned after fundraising for transport and hospital appointment charges. He now requires surgery but is not able to raise the funds required and is still has difficulties due to his condition. David had to be supported with bus fare to travel to Kijabe, 6-hour journey from his village, and he appeals for financial assistance. David says, “My hope is to be treated fully. I want to marry but I feel any lady would not want to settle down with me in my current condition.”
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.”
Joyce is business woman and 47-year-old mother of three from Gitaru, Kenya. She has been widowed since 2003. Her daughter is 29 and married but unemployed while her son is in university and her youngest daughter is yet to join university. Two weeks ago someone pointed out that Joyce's neck looked a bit swollen. Joyce decided visit the hospital. She began to experience troubling symptoms, including a swollen neck. She was diagnosed with multinodular goitre and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Joyce receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on December 26th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $625, and she and her family need help raising money. “When I was told of the diagnosis I gathered a group of people to help me pray towards the provision of funds for surgery. My prayers have been answered,” Joyce commented on the prospect of financial assistance for her surgery.
Khun is a 17-year-old from Cambodia. He enjoys listening to music, exercising, and he hopes to become a businessman when he gets older. Since 2015, Khun has experienced debilitating pain in both of his hips caused by osteoarthritis. He has to walk with crutches and dropped out of school because he was unable to sit in class for long periods of time. Fortunately, Khun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Khun of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for November 5th, and Khun needs help raising $1,025 to pay for this procedure. Khun's mother said, "I hope that after surgery, my son will be able to sit and walk without any difficulties, and I won't have to worry about his condition anymore."
Siphilina is a 68-year-old talkative grandmother. On 25th of October, 2019, Siphilina fell, sustaining severe left femoral neck fracture. She was taken to the nearest health facility but could not get treatment due to the severity of the condition. She spent some days at home as she was unable to afford medical care. She was in great pain, could not walk and had difficulties sitting or lying in bed. Fortunately, Siphilina went to Kapsowar hospital whereupon diagnosis, she had an ORIF surgery recommended. The surgery will relieve her of the pain, reduce the chances of ambulation problems and further closed fracture complications. Siphilina, a humble millet farmer lives with her daughter and three grandchildren in the village. She lost her husband years ago. Her only source of income is from subsistence farming which has very low-income yields. This limits her ability to raise the required hospital fee for the surgery. Siphilina appeals for help to be able to meet the cost of surgery. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 30th, Siphilina will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will reduce the pain, fix the fracture reducing chances of further complications on her left leg. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. Siphilina says, “I want to be able to walk sit and even feed by myself like other people.”
Merlin is the 2nd and last born in the family. She hails from Mathare in Nairobi County. She is a pre-primary pupil at Mathare primary school. She was brought to our hospital by her mother and a community health worker from within their region. Merlin's mother is a single parent and a casual labourer. She washes clothes does any household job that she can find which earns about $3 to $5 a day. Merlin was born normal however her mother noticed a swelling on her hip. She was taken to a hospital within Mathare where she underwent for treatment. Later she fell and was taken to Kenyatta National hospital and surgery was done on her right foot. Since then, the condition has never improved and Merlin has been experiencing pain and discomfort as she walks. Her mother came to CURE for a consultation where the x-ray indicated that Merlin's right hip is dislocated. She was booked to fix her right hip dislocation. She currently limps as she walks and also feels pain. This has affected her while going to school and sometimes forces her to stay at home. Merlin's mother cannot raise the estimated bill and thus requested help from Watsi and CURE as well. “I am pleading to CURE and Watsi to help my daughter undergo surgery so that she can walk well," Melvin’s mother pleaded.
Esther is an elderly lady from Kenya. Esther is a mother of 2 children whom she has struggled to raise for the past 23 years. She lost her husband in 1996 and since then has been struggling with poverty. She had to sell a small piece of land to educate her children. Esther does not have any income and relies mainly on friends and relatives. Two years ago, Esther has been experiencing persistent bleeding. She has been diagnosed with a large ovarian tumor that is suspected to be malignant. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $756 to fund Esther's surgery. On September 13th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Esther will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Esther says, “I am appealing for your kind support to help me access medical care. I hope that soon Il be free from the complications."
Sothavy is a two-year-old girl from Cambodia. She has two older brothers, and she enjoys watching television and playing games. In February 2018, Sothavy was involved in an accident and burned both of her hands with hot water. The accident has left severe burns on both hands, fingers, and wrists, and the skin has since healed and tightened around her burn. It is difficult for her to move her fingers and hands. When Sothavy learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for five hours seeking treatment. On August 14, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her regain movement in her fingers and hands and allow her to grow up with little difficulty from her accident. Now, she needs help to fund this $448 procedure. Her mother says, "I hope that my daughter's surgery goes well and she will be able to heal and her hands will look better and she will be able to move them again."
Aisha is a baby from Tanzania. She was diagnosed with genu varus. Her legs bow outward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Aisha. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 4. Treatment will hopefully restore Aisha's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications.
Chheang is a teenager from Cambodia. He was born with scoliosis, which is progressing with age and making it difficult to sit in school for long periods, and causing a lot of discomfort. Surgery can help correct the position of his spine, and prevent further worsening of the condition. Spinal surgery is scheduled for June 6 and will cost $1,500. In his free time, he likes to read books, watch TV, listen to music, and go outside with his family. He hopes to one day become a doctor when he grows up.
Ricky is a baby from Kenya. He is the youngest of three children. Ricky 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, Ricky 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 $1,097 to cover the cost of Ricky's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 6. This procedure will hopefully spare Ricky from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. “I hope we get help so that Ricky is treated,” says Ricky’s mother.
Kaung is a two-year-old boy from Thailand. He lives with his parents in Ban San Kwan, Mae Sot District, Tak Province. They moved there from Bago Division, Burma, in search of better job opportunities. Kaung’s parents work as agricultural day laborers. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Kaung. On April 19, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Kaung's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Kaung’s mother says, “We are very stressed, and I have had to stop working to look after him. As my husband is the only one working, his income is not enough to cover our daily expenses.”