Phillip joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Eight years ago, Phillip joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Phillip's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Leon, a 3-year-old boy from Kenya, to fund surgery to heal his birth condition.
Phillip has funded healthcare for 99 patients in 12 countries.
Phillip has funded healthcare for 99 patients in 12 countries.
Leon is a young boy from Kenya. When he was born in 2019, he was diagnosed with bilateral cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. His parents did not know what to do and didn't know where to turn for help. In 2020, his mother told some friends about Leon’s condition. They advised her to take him to a nearby hospital where he was examined, and a scan was recommended. They did not have money for the scan and had not sought any medical intervention since then. Recently, his mother told another friend who, upon learning about Leon’s condition, referred them to our medical partner's care center BethanyKids. On arrival, Leon was examined and scheduled for surgery. Leon is the first born in a family of two children. He lives with his mother who does jobs like pruning coffee, doing laundry for people, and plowing farms to provide for their family. Leon's brother is a newborn, and his mother is taking time off work to take care of him. She is now relying on Leon’s grandfather to temporarily support the family. If left untreated, Leon has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, Leon will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). He is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 28th. AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Leon’s grandfather says, “I really want to help my grandchild so that he can have a good future like the other children.”
Josephine is a 70-year-old mother of eight children who lives with her husband in Kenya. Although she and her husband both do some small-scale farming in her community, they depend on their children to support them. However, Josephine has recently been unable farm due to her current medical condition. Since January, Josephine has been experiencing troubling symptoms, including uncontrolled bleeding. She visited a nearby health facility in her hometown to be evaluated and was referred to a hospital for additional tests. There, she received a CT scan and a biopsy, which revealed that she has uterine cancer. Her doctor recommends that she undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the uterus, to help remove the cancer from her body and hopefully stop its spread. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is requesting $1,260 to fund Josephine's surgery. Josephine has gathered funds to help with a copay, but the full cost of the specialist procedure is out of reach. On August 25th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMHF's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital. After this procedure, she should be able to resume her life free from discomfort and bleeding. Josephine says, “Struggling with cancer at my age is scary. I can’t believe it! I hope the surgery will help to get rid of the disease.”
Shwe is a 24-year-old woman who lives with her family in Burma and enjoys listening to Burmese pop music! Shwe previously worked in a factory, but she had to stop working last December when her health began to deteriorate. Her brother and stepfather both work as agricultural day laborers, and her sister-in-law and mother are both homemakers. The rest of her siblings are all waiting for schools to reopen so they can return to their studies. The schools were closed in February of 2021 following the Mayanmar military coup. About a year and a half ago, Shwe began to experience pain in her chest, as well as fatigue. She initially did not think that her symptoms were serious, but this changed after she fainted at work a few months later. After receiving an echocardiogram, she was diagnosed with mitral valve, aortic valve, and tricuspid valve regurgitation, which are all cardiac conditions that occur when the specified valve does not close properly. As a result, she experiences difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, a lack of appetite, and trouble sleeping. She also feels very tired when walking longer distances. Shwe now needs cardiac surgery to help alleviate her symptoms and allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. However, once the doctor told her and her family the cost of surgery, they left the hospital because they could not pay for Shwe's needed procedure. Fortunately, they happened to meet a taxi driver who kindly told them about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). BCMF is now helping Shwe undergo cardiac surgery on August 12th at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Shwe and her family need your support to fund this $1,500 procedure. Shwe says, “When I recover fully, I will go back to work and work hard. I will save my money and support my family.”
Nickson is a 5-year-old boy from Tanzania. Both he and his older brother live with and are being raised by their hardworking mother. She single-handedly supports her children by working as a secretary. Two years ago, Nickson mother took him to a hospital where he was diagnosed with genu valgus, a condition that causes his leg to bow inward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Nickson has difficulty walking and is at risk of developing more complications as he grows up if the condition is not corrected. Although the hospital he visited provided him with medication, it did not improve his condition. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center can help treat his condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Nickson, which is scheduled to take place on August 5th. Treatment will hopefully restore Nickson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Nickson's mother says, "I am a single mother with no husband supporting me. I try hard to provide, but it is not enough to afford my son's treatment cost."
Meet John, a playful two-year-old, living with his mother. When John was nine months old, his mother noticed that he wasn't passing urine normally. She brought him to the hospital, where John was examined. His mother was told to return home and to give John time. Last month, John's mother brought him to a different facility, where he was diagnosed with hypospadias, which is the cause of John's urinating abnormally. Surgical intervention is required to remedy this condition. John's mother is a single parent, who works when she can as a caretaker, but is not able to raise enough funds to pay for John's surgery. Fortunately, they were referred to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare for help. They are now seeking $847 to fully fund John's hypospadias repair, which is scheduled for June 16th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. The surgery will correct his birth condition, which can cause future complications for John's health. John’s mother has new hope that he son will be well, she shared: “Despite our financial hardships, I do believe that John will be treated.”
Robert is a 16-year-old teenager who is a sociable and talkative boy with five siblings. Robert enjoys helping his parents with their work. Their family lives a nomadic life, herding his father's cattle. During the dry season, Robert can spend two to three months away from home, walking long distances with his cattle, in search of pastureland and water. However, walking has gotten more difficult for Robert now. He was diagnosed with left genu valgus and right genu varus. His left leg bends inward at the knee, while the right leg bends outward at the knee. This condition is typically caused by excessive fluoride in contaminated drinking water. As a result of his condition, walking is exhausting and painful, and he has stopped taking his father's cattle out to graze. While he is scheduled for surgery to help correct his legs, his parents cannot afford the treatment cost, and are asking for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is raising $880 to fund Robert's corrective surgery. It is hoped that this procedure, which is scheduled for May 13th, will restore Robert's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Robert says: “Staying at home all day without participating in daily life is very boring and it makes me feel bad, because I cannot work and help.”
Debora is a young student and the last-born child to a single mother of two. She is charming and friendly. Her father left her family when Debora was very young. Debora’s mother has worked hard to raise her two children by herself ever since. She practices small-scale farming and grows bananas, maize, beans, and other vegetables as food for her children and to sell to others for money. Debora has clubfoot on her right leg. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Debora and her mother traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC). There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Debora's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily when she heads back to school. Debora’s mother shared, “I have watched my daughter turn from a normal child to a disabled child and all because I cannot afford her treatment cost. Please help.”
Maryann is a three-year-old girl and the second born in a family of three children. Maryann's sister Natalia had tonsil surgery one year ago with support from the Watsi community and almost immediately after her sister was home from the hospital, Maryann started having a frequent colds, swollen tonsils, and hotness of the body/fevers. She has been taken to various health facilities, with short relief, but her symptoms continue to reoccur. The ENT surgeon has advised that Maryann also undergo a tonsillectomy to fully heal her condition. Maryann's grandmother works at Nazareth Hospital to help support their family and Maryann’s parents are small business people making just enough to sustain them. Their family is seeking support from Watsi so that Maryann can grow up with fewer challenges and a bright, healthy future. If not treated, Maryann will continue to have recurrent swelling, colds, and fevers. Her condition could also become chronic tonsillitis, which can cause infection to the middle ear, a peritonsillar abscess, or rheumatic fever. “This condition seems to run in the family. It is hard to have such a small and second child having the same condition of tonsils. I hope Watsi can assist again so that my other grandchild can also get help. We really appreciate it," Maryann's grandmother told us.
Sa is a 36-year-old woman who likes to sew clothes. She also enjoys doing household chores and making delicious curries. Her husband is a nightguard at a hospital. Since 2015, Sa started to experience pain in her back and her pelvic area. Since December, her pain has worsened which makes it hard for her to sleep. She shared that she is feeling increasingly worried and depressed since she first experienced the pain and realized that she was unwell. Watsi donors helped support a CT scan and doctors have now diagnosed her with bilateral ovarian cancer. To help treat her condition, her doctors advised Sa to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Sa's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Sa is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on February 25th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she is hopeful that she'll no longer be in pain and will have a better shot at recovering from cancer. Sa said, "I was very worried when I heard that I needed surgery and that it would cost a lot of money. I was worried that if the donors stopped helping me, where would I come up with enough money to pay for my surgery. I could not sleep last night, constantly worrying about my treatment cost. When I called BCMF's staff and they told me that donors could pay for my surgery, I felt so much better. Thank you everyone for helping me."
Sean is in 6th grade and lives with his parents and his older brother. His parents are rainy day rice farmers and have several cows for milk. Sean likes to read and watch TV and loves it when his mom makes curry soup for dinner. He would like to be a policeman when he is older. Sean has a rare genetic disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which mostly affects boys. He suffers from chronic pain and progressive muscle weakness in both his legs. He has an uneasy gait and difficulty climbing stairs. His neighbors told his parents about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, and urged them to visit for diagnosis and treatment. While there is no cure for his genetic disease, surgeons plan to release and lengthen his Achilles tendons on both legs, which will allow him to walk more easily. Sean needs help with the $541 cost of the procedure, subsequent leg casts, and physical therapy. His mother said: "It is hard to see our son in pain when he tries to walk; we are grateful the doctors will be able to help him walk again."
Nyo is a 58-year-old woman. She and her husband are agricultural day laborers, but Nyo had to stop working two years ago due to poor vision. Since COVID-19 led to lockdowns in April 2020, her husband only receives work from his employer when there is a worker shortage so their income has been very limited. Nyo shared that she likes to meditate with prayer beads and listen to the news about her homeland Myanmar and music on the radio. Nyo is experiencing a cataract in her right eye. She can only see shadows, and the vision in her right eye is worsening. As a result, she cannot do household chores, and her husband has to help her to eat and guide her to the bathroom. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Nyo receive treatment. On January 4th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Nyo’s natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Nyo’s procedure. Nyo shared, “If I can’t work or I can’t see, I will have to beg to eat because my husband cannot work. My husband and I were so happy to learn that an organization will help pay for the cost of my treatment. We are thankful to the donors and BCMF.” Nyo added, “When I have money, I want to open a small dry foods shop in my house. This way, when my husband and I are no longer able to continue to work as day laborers because of our age, we can chose a way to earn extra money while staying at home.”
Taw is a 16-year-old boy who lives with his family in a village in Tak Province, Thailand. Everyone in his family works as a farmer and he's a student in the eighth grade. In September 2021, there was an outbreak of COVID-19 cases around his area and his school was closed. Since then, he helps out his family on the farm. Occasionally, he also helps out in their village to earn pocket money. On November 21st, Taw was riding a motorbike on a small dirt road to his family's fields. He was driving quickly, when suddenly another motorbike appeared driving straight towards him. He tried to move to the side of the road to let the other driver pass, but his motorbike slipped and his left ankle hit a stone beside the road, breaking his ankle in the process. At first he was in a lot of pain, but now the pain has lessened thanks to medication he is taking. However, the area around his left ankle hurts if he tries to move his left foot. Currently, Taw cannot put pressure on his left ankle and has to use crutches to do anything. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Taw will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for November 26th and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Taw will be able to walk again and he will no longer be in pain. Taw said, "I want to get better. My teacher told me that my school will reopen soon. Thank you so much to the donors and the organization who are willing to help me. Without your help, my family could never come up with enough money to pay for my treatment."