Christian joined Watsi on April 18th, 2013. Seven years ago, Christian joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Christian's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Kefas, a cheerful 4-year-old from Tanzania, to fund hernia repair so he can play with his brother again.
Christian has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 14 countries.
Christian has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 14 countries.
Kefas is friendly and cheerful boy from Tanzania. He loves being around his mother and playing with his six-month-old sibling. Kefas' parents say their son has been complaining of pain for a while, but they did not take him to the hospital because they elected to try traditional herbal medication (which has not helped alleviate the pain). Recently, as Kefas was running towards his mother to welcome her home, he accidentally tripped and fell, sustaining an injury that forced his parents to take him to the hospital. Kefas was attended to and diagnosed with an inguinal hernia which needs to be corrected surgically. An inguinal hernia is a condition in which soft tissue bulges through a weak point in the abdominal muscles. Fortunately, on July 12th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $566 to fund Kefas' surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Kefas’ mother shares, "We have used traditional medication but it has not helped treat the condition. When he had the accident and went took him to hospital we were informed his inguinal hernia is bad and it has to be corrected. Please help, we cannot afford the money needed."
Marilyn is a 10-month-old baby girl from a small town in Colombia. She lives with her mother, grandmother, three aunts and one uncle, who is a farmer. Marilyn has clubfoot, a condition in which her foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Marilyn's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel, where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 26th. Now, Clínica Noel is requesting $1,422 to fund Marilyn's life-changing procedure. After treatment, she will be able to start walking and running after her dreams as she grows. Her mother shared, "my biggest dream is for her to get well soon, to see her walking and running as a normal child, with no pain or anything."
Sorann is a 28-year-old sugar seller who lives in a rural province with his family. Sorann has one older brother and four older sisters. Last year Sorann got married, and his wife is five months pregnant. He travels around his village by motorcycle to sell sugar. In his free time Sorann enjoys playing football, listening to the radio, and watching Khmer boxing on TV. In January, Sorann was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of his left arm. 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 hand and he cannot work. Sorann traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 12th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his left arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Sorann said, "I hope surgery goes well so I can get back to using my hand as soon as possible."
Sumeya is a baby girl from Ethiopia who loves music. She also loves sweets and playing with her mom. She is her parents' first child, and her mom is a housewife while her dad is a teacher in a mosque. They all live together in his parents’ house, who help support them with their basic needs. Sumeya was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Sumeya is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on April 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Sumeya's procedure and care. After her recovery, Sumeya will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing serious health complications in the future. Her mom said “ It is my hope that my baby will heal and get in to school.”
Fidelica is a third grade student from Haiti. She is an only child and enjoys learning to play piano and guitar. Fidelica has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, which means a large hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. This condition may have serious risk factors for heart failure or stroke. In order to receive treatment, Fidelica must fly from Haiti to the Dominican Republic. On March 15th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, as surgeons will use a patch to close the hole in her heart. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 to pay for her surgery. However, Fidelica's family needs help raising an additional $1,500 to fund related costs such as labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This funding will also help the family cover travel costs for the procedure, such as obtaining a passport and having social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, accompany Fidelica's family overseas. Fidelica's mother says, "I am excited for this surgery so that I can let my daughter run and play with other children!"
Sanchez is a 3-year-old boy from Haiti. He is an only child who lives with his mother and father in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He likes drawing pictures and playing with toy cars. Sanchez has a heart condition called ventricular septal defect, which means that there is a hole between the two lower chambers of his heart. He will fly to the United States to receive life-saving treatment. On February 17th, Sanchez will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will close the hole in his heart by sewing a patch over it. Another organization, HeartGift Foundation, is contributing $17,000 to pay for the surgery. Sanchez's family also needs help funding the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Sanchez's family overseas. Sanchez's mother shared, "our family has been praying for years that our child would be able to have this surgery. We are nervous but very glad it is happening!"
Hamisi is a four-month-old baby from Tanzania. He is the last born child in a family of four children. Hamisi’s parents are subsistence farmers who depend entirely on what they harvest for their food and living. Their income is very limited, since they have to sell some of their harvests in order to be able to buy other basic commodities and support their family. Hamisi was born with clubfoot of both of his feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty with walking, playing, and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Hamisi traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 5th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Hamisi's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily, wear shoes, and go about normal life when he grows up. Hamisi’s mother shared, “Living with a disability comes with a lot of hardship, which is not something I would like my son to go through. Please help correct his feet.”
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.
Jane is a 70-year-old kiosk owner from Kenya. She is a former civil servant who was released from government duty in 2000. Since then, she has since been running a small kiosk that sells vegetables and other groceries. In March 2019, Jane suffered a fracture on her left distal femur with intraarticular extension, meaning the break crossed into the surface of a joint. To remedy this, she underwent surgery with a locking plate. However, the fracture has not healed properly, which threatens her mobility. Doctors are now recommending a another fracture repair surgery to prevent future complications of her condition, including inability to walk. However, this procedure is costly for Jane. The profit she earns from her small business is not enough to cover her basic needs, let alone her medical bills. Jane has been relying on a small government pension to get by. She separated from her husband over 30 years ago and has since been raising her only son alone. Her son is an adult, but lacks a stable job and works as a casual laborer to make ends meet. Thus, Jane is appealing for financial help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 11th, Jane will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After recovering, she will no longer have difficulties in walking or be in constant pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Jane shared, “I need this surgery to get back on my feet. I am the one taking care of my grandkids since my son has no job. This procedure will help me be able to go get vegetables from the market so that I can sell and continue my business.”
Mo is 22-year-old student from Thailand. Mo lives with his father in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. In the camp, Mo finished high school and is now completing his post-high school education. Their household receives 480 baht (approx. $16 USD) each month as part of their food support from an organization called The Border Consortium. However, this amount is not enough to cover their daily needs. Mo's father also works as a seasonal agricultural day laborer in a nearby village to earn an extra 350 baht (approx. $12 USD) each month. However this amount is still not enough and they struggle to make ends meet despite having free basic health care and education in their camp. Mo was recently diagnosed with a mass in his brain and hydrocephalus, which has caused fluid to build up in his brain. Watsi supporters are helping to fund his brain mass removal surgery, but without immediate surgery to treat his hydrocephalus and alleviate the intracranial pressure that the excess fluid is causing, he is at risk of developing severe, potentially fatal medical complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for Mo, which will drain the fluid that has accumulated in his brain. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 9th, and, once completed, will greatly improve Mo's quality of life. "I dream of becoming a great medic after I finish my post-high school education, but for now I am in the care of the [hospital’s] medical team," said Mo.
Agnes, a mother of eight children, arrived in our Watsi reps' office looking frail, drained, and in deep thought. She had given up getting medical attention and had requested her children to take her home before we intervened. She is mourning her husband who recently succumbed to cancer. Furthermore, doctors recently discovered she has a high-grade stromal tumor and requires surgery to remove the ovarian mass, which has been causing her severe discomfort. She shared her story with us: during the first week of May 2020, Agnes started feeling a sharp pain in the lower part of her stomach. She thought they were just normal pains and therefore got pain medication from a nearby chemist. Days later, her pains continued to increase, this time accompanied by bleeding. Alarmed she visited the nearest health centre where she was referred to Kijabe Hospital for further review. Several tests were conducted when she visited the facility and doctors discovered that she has symptomatic uterine fibroids. She underwent surgery but later doctors discovered that she has a mass in her ovaries that requires excursion. Despite having approval from the National Health Insurance program, the amount is not enough to cover the cost of surgery and she needs financial assistance. Agnes was widowed barely a month ago after her husband's long battle to cancer. The cost of taking care of her husband has depleted the limited family resources they had. Equally, she has also been sick and had several trips that made her close the little shop they were running from their home. She has no source of income after they closed down their shop. Her kids don’t yet have a stable source of income, and with what they do have, they have been instrumental in paying for her husband’s medical bills and cost of the funeral. Agnes shared, “I recently buried my husband as a result of cancer. I have been ailing and in a lot of pain. I had to close my small shop and therefore have no source of income. I am unable to afford this much-needed surgery and request for assistance.”
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.”