Kevin joined Watsi on April 14th, 2013. Three years ago, Kevin became the 3282nd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 3,211 more people have become monthly donors! Kevin's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Max, an 8-year-old from Kenya, to fund surgery for his broken arm.
Kevin has funded healthcare for 57 patients in 10 countries.
Max is a young boy from a rural village in Kenya and the only son in his family. He recently lost his dear mother who passed on after a long battle with diabetes and heart complications. Their family is currently servicing debts accrued from his mother’s several visits to different facilities as they were forced to deposit their grandfather's title deed to be able to bury Max's mother. His father is a driver who used to work for a private lorry owner. However, he lost his job because of his continued absence from work to take care of Max’s mother during her numerous hospital admissions. On August 20th, Max broke his arm while scaling an 8ft. ladder on their farm in the Kiambu region. Unfortunately, he tripped and came down tumbling, causing him to break his arm. He is in pain and cannot use his left hand at all now. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 23rd, Max will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal well and he will be able to use his hand with no pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Max’s father shared, “If my son doesn’t get this surgery, he might not be able to use his arm again. He is young with a full life ahead of him.”
Josephine shared that she has been struggling with chronic lower back pains for 7 years. She has been under medication and physiotherapy, but without improvement. Doctors recommend a Lumbar Discectomy Surgery to avert the possible advance effects of the condition, which could affect her backbone and the spinal cord. If not treated, Josephine risks having prolonged pains, numbness, and loss of muscle strength that can result in paralysis. Josephine's back problems started in November 2012 while she was doing her laundry. She felt clicking sound on her lower back accompanied by sharp pains. She visited a nearby hospital for treatment. Josephine was put on physiotherapy and pain medication. For the last 7 years, she has been visiting different health facilities but her condition keeps deteriorating. Josephine was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital by a friend who had received the same treatment in the facility. Josephine doesn’t have a source of income. She is a full time housewife who has dedicated all her time to raising their three children aged between 4-13 years, and taking care of her family. They live in a two-roomed house that costs $30 per month. Her husband is a lorry driver and their family depends on his sole source of income to pay rent, school fees, medical expenses, and for survival. Josephine depends on her husband’s medical cover where she is listed as a beneficiary. Several trips to different hospital has depleted their coverage and family’s little resources. They have been also been relying in the the national health insurance fund which can cover only part of the total cost of the surgery and treatment. She is appealing for financial aid to support the remaining cost of $1,500. Josephine says, “I have lived with this pain for long but it’s now becoming unbearable. I need this surgery and treatment to get my life back to normal again."
Israel is a seven-year-old boy from Tanzania. He has a twin brother and is the last born in a family of four children. Israel is a little shy and likes to keep to himself most of the time. Israel’s parents separated when Israel was just a little baby and he and his twin brother stayed with their father. Israel’s father is a subsistence farmer who grows cabbages, tomatoes, and maize. They live in a two-bedroom wooden house and especially lately it has been difficult for Israel’s father to make ends meet because he is growing older and weaker. Israel was diagnosed with genu varus. his legs are bowed so that his knees do not touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has difficulty walking and has to drag his left foot which causes pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund mobility-restoring leg surgery for Israel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 23rd. Treatment will hopefully restore Israel's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Israel’s father shared, “When my son gets well I will make sure he goes to school. I really want him to have a good and successful life.”
Elimlim is the oldest in a family of three children. He and his siblings depend on their mother because their father passed away in 2019. They live together in a single traditional Masai house made of mud, sticks, and grass. He is currently a full-time student and his healthcare would normally be covered by his university, but due to COVID-19 he is no longer receiving those benefits. In 2017, Elilim was hit by a stray bullet during a school shooting. Since then, he has undergone a series of surgeries to repair his fractured leg. Now, Elimlim has to undergo another bone transport surgery in order for him to walk again. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. They are requesting $1,500 to help fund the cost of his surgery and care. We need your help to cover the cost of his treatment. This life-changing surgery will significantly improve Elimlim's quality of life. "I will be happy to get well so that my whole family does not have to take care of me anymore," shared Elimlim.
Leah is a street vendor from Kenya. She is a mother of six grown-up children, but one has passed away and left Leah with 3 grandchildren to care for. Leah separated from her husband when her children were young and she worked hard to raise them well despite limited income. Leah earns a living by selling clothes around her neighborhood. On Wednesday May 13th, 2020 Leah was on a motorbike going to take clothes to a customer when she had an accident and sustained a closed fracture tibia on her right leg. It is difficult for her to walk, and she is now in pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 19th, Leah will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her walk easily again Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,099 to fund this procedure. “Only God can know what I am going through and the pain I am in. I have no one to turn to for help yet there are children depending on me. I plead for help so that this leg can get well and I can resume my job to support my family especially my grandchildren,” said Leah.
Moe is a 31-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and four-year-old son in Mae La Refugee Camp (MLRC) in Tha Song Yang District of Tak Province. She has lived there for 20 years after her parents moved from Bilin Township, Bago Division in Burma because of the civil war. Moe is a homemaker who does all the household chores while her husband is a farmer who works on rented land outside of the camp, where he plants corn and beans. To make some extra income, Moe also sells snacks from home. Their combined income is enough to cover basic family expenses. As for healthcare, they receive free basic care in the camp provided by International Rescue Committee (IRC). A few months ago, Moe started to feel a mass in her lower abdomen while she was lying down after eating dinner. She thought it was strange and told her neighbor about it the next day. Her neighbor told her that this was normal for someone gaining weight, which she suggested Moe was. Upon hearing this, she did not seek treatment, agreeing with her neighbor’s conclusion. However, she soon felt that the mass was increasing in size, which did not seem normal. On February 13th, 2020, she decided it was time to go to the clinic in the camp for further investigation. The medic at the camp examined to her and told her that she likely had a cyst in her lower abdomen, but they could not diagnose her further. The medic informed the doctor at the camp and the doctor discussed the situation with IRC staff, who then referred Moe to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. She was referred to MSH on February 17th for an ultrasound. Upon going to MSH, doctors performed an ultrasound and told her that she has a mass in her uterus. Since the mass was already large, however, the ultrasound did not show a clear result whether the mass was outside or inside her uterus. For this reason, the doctor recommended a computed tomography (CT) scan on February 25th. Moe returned home and came back to MSH for the CT scan according to the appointment date. On the day of the scan, she also received a blood test and urine test before being informed that she would have to come back on February 27th to get the results. When she returned, the doctor explained to her that there is a large tumor in her right ovary and that she needs surgery to remove it, followed by a tissue biopsy to confirm whether the growth is cancerous. Currently, Moe has a burning pain in her lower right abdomen. Sometimes the pain gets worse, which makes it difficult for her sleep or eat well. For this reason, she said that she lost her appetite and weight. When she eats, she feels discomfort as her stomach becomes tight and full, even she eats very little. She feels like the mass is gradually getting bigger and she feels more comfortable lying down instead of sitting or walking. Moe sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on March 24th and is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Moe said, “Both my husband and I became worried when we heard that there was mass in my uterus. We worry that my whole uterus might need to be removed and we will no longer be able to have more children. Now, the doctor told me that only the tumor will be removed and that I most likely will be able to have children in the future. Me and my husband want to have one or two more children, so we were very happy when we heard that my uterus would not to be removed.”
Sokchea is a 30-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He has two sisters and one brother. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer and listening to music. Seven years ago, Sokchea had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Sokchea experiences discharge, infection, itchiness, and tinnitus. Sokchea finds it difficult to listen to others and cannot communicate easily. Sokchea traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On February 25th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. "I hope that after the operation, the infection and discharge will stop, and I will be able to hear more clearly again," he shared.
Princess is a child from Tanzania. She is is a beautiful girl and an only child. Princess’s mother is a housewife while her father works as a casual laborer in a factory. In 2018, Princess had gone out to play while her mother was inside doing house chores and she had left drinking water to boil on their stove. As Princess was coming back into the house she fell over the stove and the hot water poured all over her chest burning her badly. Contractures from the burn scar have made it difficult for her to move freely. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Princess receive treatment. On November 15th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her move her head again. Now, she needs help to fund this $608 procedure. Princess’s mother says, “Now my daughter can move her neck compared to before, if she is able to get this next surgery she will be able to fully move her neck, please help.”
Wine is a 23-year-old man from Burma. Wine’s family are subsistence farmers and they mainly grow rice and sunflowers. Since Wine’s health deteriorated, he can no longer work on the farm and now looks after two cows. In his free time, he likes to hang out with his friends. In 2016, Wine started to experience a rapid heartbeat and fatigue. As his heart rate continued to be fast, he went to see a medic in his village. The medic told him to go to the hospital instead so he visited a general hospital near his hometown. At the hospital, he received an echocardiogram and the result revealed that Wine's heart valves are not good. The doctor told him that he needs to have surgery and that it would cost six million kyat (approx. 6,000 USD). The doctor then asked his family to come back after they have enough money for the surgery and prescribed him monthly oral medication. Since then, Wine also tried to treat himself with traditional medicine. When that did not work, he relied on oral medication to stabilize his condition. However, his symptoms frequently return. At the moment, Wine cannot do strenuous work such as lift heavy things, and he has back pain. Wine said, “I am very upset that I had to stop working on the farm and that I cannot support my family anymore. I want to be healthy and recover as soon as possible. When I recover fully, I will find a good job to pay back my debt and I will help my community as much as I can.”
Nan Lay is a 22-year-old woman from Burma. She works as a medic at a clinic near her village. In her free time, she enjoys reading health-related books to gain more knowledge on the work she does. In 2014, while she was attending the medic training at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), she had a fever which was followed by pain in her back and her right abdomen. Although she had ultrasound done at the clinic, the result showed normal. She was just treated for urinary tract infection, and she felt better after five days. In 2016, she again experienced pain in her abdomen but this time was on the left side. She went to a clinic in Taunggyi, Burma, where she again had an ultrasound imaging test. The result this time revealed a stone in her left ureter. The doctor told her to undergo surgery to remove the stone but because she could not afford the surgical cost 800,000 kyat (approx. 800 USD), she just asked for medication. Since then she had a few episode of severe abdominal pain, and she went to different hospitals in Burma to seek treatment but the doctors kept telling her that she needed surgery. One day in 2019, Nan Lay ran into a friend who also had the same kind of health condition as hers. Her friend told her about the assistance she received at Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and advised her to ask for help there. Nan Lay then went to MTC, a partner organisation of BCMF. After confirming her diagnosis, MTC referred her to BCMF. Nan Lay still is experiencing back pain at the moment. She worries that her pain will increase when she has to travel. She has pain at her back and at suprapubic area, especially when she sits for a longer period of time and/or when she drinks insufficiently. Although she wants to continue learning and attending more training on medical and health, her health problem has limited her ability to finish her trainings. Nan Lay said, “After I recover from this condition, I will save money so that I can open a small shop, for my parents, to sell dry foods."
Sokni is a 19-year-old factory worker from Cambodia. He has seven other brothers and sisters, and enjoys playing soccer and going for walks with his friends around the village. In July 2019, Sokni was in a motorcycle accident where he injured 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 has lost sensation in his elbow, has pain every day, and cannot move his arm without difficulty. Sokni traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On October 04, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, Surgery will allow Sokni to be able to use his arm again and no longer have any pain.. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $637 to fund this procedure. Sokni said, "I hope that after surgery, I will not have any more pain or difficulty moving my arm and I can return to my work at the tire factory."
She lives with her parents in Karen State, Burma. She now works at Kyaw Hta Rural Clinic, 45 minutes away by motorbike from her village and earns 70,000 Kyat (approx. 70 USD) per month. Her parents are farmers and their total income is 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month. Their income is just enough for their daily needs. Around eight years ago, Cherry developed pain in the right side of her abdomen. She went to the clinic near her village. At the clinic, the medic thought that she was suffering from normal stomachaches. Since the clinic did not have the necessary equipment to run diagnostic tests, the medic treated her for the pain. She received pain killers and when the pain was worse, a stronger does of pain killers through an injection. In May 2019, she was completing her training with Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), when the pain in her abdomen became worse. She received an ultrasound and painkillers at the clinic, before she was diagnosed with a renal stone in her right kidney. MTC then referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation and treatment. At the hospital, she received an X-ray, ultrasound and a blood test, as well as oral medication for the pain. After checking her results, the doctor confirmed her diagnosis and told her that she needs to receive laser treatment two to three times, to break up the stone in her kidney. She received her first round of laser treatment on 7 August 2019. To pay for that, she had to borrow money from her supervisor and her neighbor. She was scheduled to undergo a second round of treatment on 18 September 2019, but she could no longer afford to pay. Luckily, MTC referred her to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing further treatment. Currently, Cherry still has pain in the right side of her abdomen. She is interested in the field of medicine and enjoys learning new things related to this field in her free time.