Kathleen joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Ten months ago, Kathleen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Kathleen's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Taw, a gardener and teacher from Thailand, to fund a fracture repair surgery.
Kathleen has funded healthcare for 51 patients in 12 countries.
Kathleen has funded healthcare for 51 patients in 12 countries.
Taw is a 43-year-old teacher who lives with her family in the refugee camp. Taw and her husband work at the same school and their daughter is also enrolled there in the nursery program. In her free time, Taw enjoys singing and reading with her students. Taw also loves to grow vegetables around her house, and she is very proud that the vegetables she grows are organic. Growing her own vegetables also helps to reduce her household expenses. Last month, Taw was walking home with a branch from a banana tree she had just cut down to cook for dinner. That afternoon it was drizzling and the dirt road was slippery. Taw slipped and fell onto her left arm, breaking both bones in her left forearm. With the help of Watsi donors, she underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into her forearm at the end of August at Chiang Mai Hospital. A few days after her surgery, Taw's wound got an infection and the doctor had to perform another surgery to remove the rod from her arm. Once the infection cleared up with the help of antibiotics, the doctor scheduled another surgery to have the rod reinserted into Taw's arm to finally help her heal. Taw’s left arm is still in pain. She is in pain whenever she sits down, and the pain increases when she moves her arm. If she lies down and puts her left arm on a pillow, she feels better. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Taw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for September 7th and will cost $1,500. After the procedure, Taw will no longer be in pain and she will be able to go back home and see her family. She will be able to teach again and garden like before. Taw said, "I really miss my family and my daughter. I hope that I will receive proper treatment and be able to go back home again soon."
Florence is a 38-year-old house helper from Uganda and a single mother to two children, ages eight and nine years old. She works as a house helper and their family lives in a one-room house. For eight years, since her pregnancy with her youngest child, Florence has had a mass in her pelvic area. She experiences chronic pelvic pain and bloating and was diagnosed with multiple myomas and an ovarian cyst. Her medical team recommended a total abdominal hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus, to treat her condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,260 to fund Florence's surgery. On August 16th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Florence will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Florence shared, “I am overwhelmed with both sickness and family responsibility. I have been having this stomach upset for so long I am even worried. I need this treatment to be able to raise my young family."
Phoebe is a fruit vendor and a single mother with one daughter, now 27 years old. She moved in with her daughter in December 2018 after she was involved in an accident and broke her leg. She used to sell fruits but has not been able to work since her accident. Since the beginning of January 2021, Phoebe has been experiencing back pains, which have persisted over time and extended to her lower abdomen. Upon examination, doctors found a mass on the cervix which was bleeding, and she has been diagnosed with an early stage cancer. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $794 to fund Phoebe's surgery. On July 15th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Phoebe will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and her risk for future spreading of the cancer will be limited. Phoebe says, “Cancer is scary for me. I cannot wait to be declared free of the dangerous cells that I know can end my life. ”
Mafuru is a happy and energetic four-year-old boy from Tanzania and the oldest child in a family of two children. Mafuru was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, which means that his legs bow inward and his knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often comes from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he falls when walking or running and experiences pain in his knees that is more severe during cold weather. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Mafuru. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 4th and treatment will hopefully restore Mafuru's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Mafuru’s father shared, "I wish to see my son have the surgery so that he can lead a life free of disability."
Nim is a retired rice farmer, who along with her husband has nine children, and many grandchildren. She has been retired for a while, so she has taken time to travel to many famous pagodas around the country, and she always loves to spend time helping to raise her grandchildren. She also loves reading religious books and listening to monks on the radio. Two months ago, Nim fell and fractured her hip. Since the fall, she has experienced severe pain and is unable to walk. She was referred to a local hospital for treatment where she received an x-ray, but was sent to another hospital afterwards and was unable to afford treatment there. Fortunately, Nim learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). At CSC, surgeons will perform a total hip replacement to relieve Nim of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for May 14th, and Nim needs help raising $1,087 to fund this procedure. Nim shared, "I hope that I can walk again easily soon. There are still many things I want to do. I want to travel and play with my grandchildren, and visit my children."
Adiel was brought in to the hospital carried by his mother. He's a 19-month-old baby from Kiambu County in Kenya and is the second of two children. His family has a small farm and his mother also has a college degree in beauty therapy. Usually, Adiel is a jolly child, but his mother said that he has frequent tonsil swelling which affects his happiness and can make feeding difficult, especially when he also develops a high fever. Adiel’s condition started about six months ago. His parents have been taking him to the hospital but the condition keeps on recurring. The ENT surgeon at the hospital has advised that Adiel must undergo a tonsillectomy to fix this condition. If not treated, the condition will lead to complications like disrupted breathing during sleep, otitis media (middle ear infection), and peritonsillar abscess. His parents are eager for Adiel to receive the surgery so that he can heal soon. Adiel's mother said, “It is disheartening to see our baby struggling at this age. We are kindly requesting help so that once treated he can be able to be sleeping well and grow up without problems."
Paw is a 21-year-old who lives with her parents, a brother, three sisters, a daughter and a niece in a refugee camp. Her father used to be an agricultural day laborer, but had to stop working due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Her sisters go to school and her brother is unemployed. Paw looks after her daughter and niece, who are too young to go to school, while her mother looks after the household chores. In her free time, Paw likes to play with her daughter and visit her friends. On March 9th, Paw left the camp alone to collect firewood. While climbing a hill, she slipped, falling onto her right shin. She was in so much pain that she could not stand up. She got herself to a nearby road where a motorcyclist drove her back to the camp. At home, Paw was treated by a traditional healer, and a couple of days later, a second traditional healer told her family that Paw had fractured her leg. Paw's father made a bamboo brace for her leg, and carried her to the hospital in the camp run by International Rescue Committee (IRC). Knowing that she would need surgery, IRC staff referred her to Burma Children Medical Fund to receive treatment at a local hospital. Currently, Paw experiences a lot of pain when moving her right leg. She cannot stand up by herself and she cannot sleep at night when the pain is severe. Since she injured her leg, she feels more tired and she has lost her appetite. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Paw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will help her walk and live pain-free. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. Paw shared, "once recovered, I will take care of my parents. I will work and save money for my daughter, so that I can make sure that she has food and clothes."
Di is a 40-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her parents, her husband, her brother, and her two children in Mae La Refugee Camp in Tak Province. Di and her family work hard to make ends meet. Her family runs a small shop selling kitchen utensils. Di's husband is a religious teacher, and he does not earn regular income. Her brother is unemployed, and her parents are retired. Di helps with the family shop while her daughter goes to the community school that is led by volunteers. Her youngest son is too young to go to school. She shared that their family income is enough for family expenses, but they are not able to save any money. Around two years ago, Di was diagnosed with an umbilical hernia. Currently, she experiences pain under her chest and her abdominal around umbilical is swollen and pain. Di is not able to do any household chores because of her condition. The pain worsens after she has meals or constipation, and her stomach will feel as hard as a stone. Fortunately, on January 19th, Di will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Di's hernia repair surgery. Once completed, the procedure will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and be well enough to care for her family. Di shared, “Once I am better, I will try my best to take care of my family and my children's education. I want them to study in Thai school. They need to be educated, so I need to be healthy."
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!"
Anitha is a beautiful six-year-old child from Tanzania. She is the only child to her mother, who is a single parent. Her mother shared that Anitha's father left their family when Anitha was a baby and Anitha herself has never met him. Her mother helps her aunt in a small vegetable garden, where they grow tomatoes and sell them an open market. Whatever they can earn is what they use for their basic needs. Anitha has clubfoot of both her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty with walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Anitha 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 Anitha's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk more easily and play with her friends. Anitha’s mother shared, “All I wish for my daughter is to see her walk normally so that she can pursue her studies and have a better life.”
Kupha is a 45-year-old woman from Kenya and has six children. In 2014, Kupha started experiencing some pain in her upper jaw. After some time, her jaw started to swell and the pain worsened. Both cold and hot food triggered pain that would last day and night. She went to a nearby facility in Kwale County to seek care, and was given some pain medication that worked for a while. She later returned for a surgery to remove the swollen tissue. Though she recovered well, the following year, Kupha started experiencing pain and swelling again. Upon returning to the same facility for a checkup, the doctor told her that no further treatment could be done. A few years later, Kupha heard about Kijabe Hospital and came for an examination in January 2020. The doctors diagnosed her with a benign maxillary mass and scheduled her for an excision surgery. During the surgery, they will put in a plate and screws to hold together her maxillar. However, Kupha and her family are not able to raise funds needed for the surgery. After the death of her husband a few years ago, Kupha has been struggling to provide for her six children. Her firstborn son is the main breadwinner of the family and also attends college, partially sponsored by the county government of Kwale. He does some casual jobs when he is not in class to feed the family, and also facilitates his mother's hospital visits. Kupha was able to raise some money for her treatment, but she does not have enough financial support and appeals for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Kupha's surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 15th and will be a ten hour long surgery. Hopefully, this treatment will alleviate her of further severe pain and swelling. Kupha shared, “With the pain that I have endured over the years, it has made it difficult for me to look for work and provide for my family. I will be happy when I receive the required treatment for my condition.”
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.”