Matthew joined Watsi on May 7th, 2013. Five years ago, Matthew joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Matthew's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Agrath, a charming baby girl from Tanzania, to fund clubfoot repair surgery so she can grow up walking without difficulty.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 72 patients in 11 countries.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 72 patients in 11 countries.
Agrath is a beautiful seven-month-old baby girl. She is a healthy and happy little girl raised by a single mother and her grandmother. Agrath was born with bilateral clubfoot, a congenital musculoskeletal malformation that causes the foot to twist of our shape, ultimately impairing the ability to walk. She was scheduled for corrective casting once she was given her diagnosis, but it was too expensive for their family to cover. Understanding the financial challenges the family was facing, and the potential dangers associated with discontinuing treatment, the doctors referred Agrath's family to the Plaster House to seek help. Fortunately, on May 13th Agrath will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Agrath's clubfoot repair. After treatment, her legs will be corrected and she will be able to grow up walking, running, and playing like other kids. Agrath’s grandmother says, “I am a widow and my granddaughter’s father is nowhere to be seen. We have no means of affording the surgery costs. Please help us.”
Jane is a happy, talkative farmer and mother of ten. Jane leases out some of her lands to help provide for her children’s education since her health condition has made it too difficult for her to farm. Jane's family has recently had very hard times and she is hopeful that better days are ahead. A few months ago, Jane began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty breathing. She visited the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a goiter, which is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. Jane will need to undergo surgery to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Jane receive treatment. On April 12th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy, in which surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $936 to help fund this procedure. Jane shared, "The people I looked up to just perished. Kindly help me so that I may get back to work and be able to raise my other children.”
Daw lives with her two sons who work as day labourers getting work where they can. While her sons work, her daughter comes over to do their household chores. The income her sons earn is not enough to cover their daily expenses and sometimes they have to borrow money from their neighbor. Around 15 years ago, Tin was diagnosed with high blood pressure and diabetes. In early January, she noticed that she had developed ulcers on her left soles. She could not even remember injuring her left foot, but she went to a clinic twice to have her foot treated. Unfortunately, her condition worsened and by the end of February, she also developed ulcers an on her right big toe. In March, she was brought to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where she was admitted. She underwent wound debridement surgery on her left foot. A few days later, the doctor told her they would need to do an amputate her right foot so that her infection did not spread further. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Tin and her family raise the financial support for her treatment. Currently, Tin is experiencing a lot of pain in both her left foot and her right big toe. At night, she has a fever and cannot sleep. She cannot walk and needs her son to help her go to the bathroom and take a shower. “Since I learned that donors could help pay for my surgery, I feel very happy,” she said. “I want to say thank you to the donors.”
Agnes is food vendor in the capital city of Nairobi, Kenya. She shared that she usually earns about $5 a day. Agnes is a widow and lives with her two children who are now grown. Together they live in a one-room house costing about $40 per month. Her medical coverage is not active because she has not been able to pay the monthly premiums with her earnings. Agnes has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been recommended to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Agnes. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 11th. After treatment, Agnes will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Agnes says, “The news about cancer is still shocking. I have hopes the disease will be stopped from spreading.“
Pauline is a vegetable vendor from Kiambu County in Kenya. She is married and has four children who are all grown and have their own families. Her husband has been working for a company for about 40 years as an office assistant. Last week Pauline was hit by a motorcycle while she waited to cross the road en route to her small vegetable business. First aid was done on site then she was rushed to Nazareth Hospital. X-rays confirmed she had sustained fractures of the right femur, tibia, and left clavicle. The surgeon has recommended two surgeries so she can heal, one for the right femur and the other for the left clavicle. She is in pain and can neither use her hand nor walk easily due to the fractures. She has applied for health insurance coverage, but so far this has been rejected. Her family is unable to raise the money required for the surgery as the income from her husband's job is just enough to sustain their basic needs. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 13th, Pauline will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will relieve her of her pain and restore the use of her hand and leg. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Grace says, “I thank God I survived the accident. I know I will get better and go back to my normal activities by God’s grace."
Mu lives with her four nieces and nephew in a refugee camp along the Thai/Burma border region. One of her nieces is a medic, the other a teacher, and the two youngest go to school with her nephew. Mu is unemployed and in her free time she enjoys gardening and reading the Bible. In 2019, Mu started to suffer from abdominal pain, back pain, and exhaustion. When she touched her lower abdomen, she could feel a mass. After the International Rescue Committee (IRC) helped her undergo medical investigations at multiple hospitals, she was diagnosed with bilateral endometriosis cysts and was told she has cysts outside of her uterus. Although she needed surgery, she was told she would have to wait because all surgeries had stopped due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Thailand. In September, she had an ultrasound which showed that she had one new cyst. The doctor said she would need surgery soon but Mu could not go back to Mae Sot Hospital for the next few months because more COVID-19 cases in the refugee camp caused a lockdown. When she was finally able to go to the hospital this month, doctors have scheduled her for surgery to remove her cysts. With Mu unable to pay for the procedure, IRC referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for financial assistance to raise $1,500 that is needed for her treatment. "I felt like half of my worries disappeared when I heard that I could have surgery with the support of donors," said Mu. "I have waited so long to receive surgery and my condition is so painful. I would like to say thank you so much to everyone who is helping me."
Melvin is a four-year-old girl. She has a twin brother and lives with her grandmother and her father. Her father works finding jobs wherever he can to support their family. Melvin was born with a condition which is known as genu varum, or bowleggedness. She has had examinations at different hospitals but, unfortunately, her condition has worsened. Currently, she is unable to walk, run, or play with her friends. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Melvin receive treatment. On November 22nd, she is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. After surgery, she will be able to walk well, play with her friends, and enroll in school. Now, she and her family need help raising $1,224 to fund her procedure and care. Melvin's grandmother shared, "I would love to see my granddaughter walking well like other children. Please support us."
Chanreth is a 21-year-old, hard working man. He is married and has two daughters. Chanreth's wife is a garment worker. He enjoys listening to music on his phone. Three months ago, Chanreth was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of 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 is unable to lift his arm, and he cannot work right now because of this. Chanreth traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On October 13th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Chanreth says, "I hope after surgery my shoulder will move again. I have a four-month-old daughter that I would like to take more care of once I am healed."
Roy is 1-year-old baby boy and the only child in his family. After he was born, his father stopped supporting Roy and his mother. Roy and his mother moved to his grandmother's home, and his grandmother sells farm products to sustain them. His mother is not able to work because Roy needs her attention, but sometimes she does some casual jobs when she can bring Roy along. The family does not have insurance and is asking for financial help. Two weeks after Roy was born, his mother noticed that his stomach was swollen and he was not passing stool. She rushed him to a nearby hospital for examination and Roy was urgently referred to another facility where he underwent a colostomy. His mother was informed that Roy was born with a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. The facility Roy was at stopped offering surgeries and so he was referred to our medical partner's care center Bethany Kids Hospital for surgery. Roy is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on September 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Roy's procedure and care. After his recovery, Roy will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Roy’s mother says, “I would like my child to grow up healthy as other kids so that I can be independent and provide for him.”
Shallet is a humble and jovial three-year-old girl. She's the third child born in a family of four children and her parents are teachers. Shallet has hydrocephalus, spina bifida, and clubfoot of both feet. She has visited local hospitals since birth for treatments, and began casting for clubfoot when she was four weeks old. Her condition causes her difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Shallet traveled to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for treatment. At AMH's care center, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 18th and now, AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Shallet's clubfoot repair. Her parents shared that they hope that the treatment will be of great impact to Shallet because she will be able to wear shoes and walk with ease. Shallet's father shared, “we have high hopes for Shallet and it is our joy to see her excel in life and become an independent person like other girls in the society.”
Fenet is a 1-year-old child from Ethiopia. She is a beautiful baby girl with two older siblings and she loves to play with them and their parents. Her dad is a daily labourer with an income not large enough to meet the family's needs and medical costs. Fenet was born with an anorectal malformation, which is a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. Children with this condition have an imperforate anus, or an absence of opening where it should be. Due to this condition, she developed bowel obstruction and underwent an emergency colostomy. Post-surgery, Fenet has had multiple issues with her colostomy care and experienced associated complications. As a result, she cannot pass stool in a normal way. Fenet's condition has taken its toll on her mom and dad, and the whole process has been very emotional and difficult for them to go through. Her family appeals for help for Fenet to be treated. Fenet is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on June 10th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Fenet's procedure and care. After her recovery, Fenet will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Her mom shared, “I hope my child will heal and God is able.”
Chaw is a 35-year-old woman who lives with her husband and two children in Burma. Her husband is a fisherman, who earns 10,000 kyat (approx. 10 USD) per day selling his catch at the market. However, she shared that since the coup d'état in February, he cannot work because he is afraid of being taken away. Her husband has tried to find other work, but nobody wants to hire him because they also have the same problem. About a year ago, Chaw was diagnosed with diabetes. She could not always afford to pay for medication, and only able to purchase it occasionally. One day, while she was doing household chores, she accidentally injured her left foot with a knife. The wound worsened, until she sought treatment at a local clinic, where it was recommended that she seek treatment at a hospital. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Chaw to receive treatment. Chaw visited BCMF's care center where a doctor examined her foot. While examining her, the doctor diagnosed her with a diabetes-related cellulitis ulcer and recommended surgery. Currently, the skin around Chaw's ulcer is red, she has a fever and experiences severe pain in her left foot, especially at night. On May 11th, she will undergo a wound debridement procedure, and now she needs help to fund the $694 procedure. Chaw shared, "our family has low income during these difficult times and we cannot pay for treatment. Our two children are staying with their grandmother because my husband has to take care of me while I am admitted at the hospital."