Jennifer joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven years ago, Jennifer joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jennifer's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Lightness, a sixteen-year-old student from Tanzania, to treat severe burn injuries.
Jennifer has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 10 countries.
Jennifer has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 10 countries.
Lightness is a hard-working student and the ninth born child in a family of ten children. Lightness loves to help her mother with home chores and looking after her nieces and nephews. Lightness is currently in technical college where she is studying to be an electrician. Lightness's parents are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers, and her mother also sells vegetables and mandazi, a type of fried bread. Three years ago, Lightness was at the fireplace helping her mother cook mandazi when she lost conscious and fell into the pot of hot oil. Her mother rescued her and rushed her to the hospital. The accident has left Lightness with contractures as a result of the burns around her neck. Contractures are a condition in which the muscles are shortened and hardened, and in Lightness's case they limit her neck movement. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is helping Lightness receive treatment. On August 5th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her move her neck freely. However, Lightness's family needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Lightness says, "I feel bad seeing myself in this condition, I try to cover my neck because I don’t like how people feel sorry for me. I will be happy and grateful if I can have my neck corrected."
Nancy is a middle-aged mother from Kawaida village in Kenya. She separated from her husband and has been raising their two children on her own. Her daughter is married and her son lives with Nancy but has not started working yet. Nancy works jobs when she can find them, such as helping in the neighboring tea farms or washing clothes, to support her family. Nancy loves singing at her church, but now her condition forces her to remain indoors and in bed. Five years ago, Nancy began experiencing worrying symptoms. She has been diagnosed with uterine fibroids and needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $755 to fund Nancy's surgery. On July 2nd, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Nancy will be able to resume her daily activities free from pain. Nancy is eager to recover so she can continue her working and pursuing her musical passion: “If this bleeding continues I feel like it will be more challenging for me to continue working for my family. My children look unto me and so I really hope for help so that I can be well again, take care of them and be able to sing as I used to do."
Justine is a talkative 18-year-old laborer from Kenya. He is the second-born child in a family of five children. He dropped out of school in grade eight after his parents were unable to pay his secondary school fees. Now, Justine drives a motorcycle taxi to help support his siblings. One week ago, Justine was involved in a road accident and fractured the second, third and fourth metatarsals on his right foot. He experiences pain and he cannot walk. He was told that his fracture would require surgery, and in the meantime, he is in a cast. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 3rd, Justine will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Justine will no longer be in pain, and he will be able to walk and work. Now, AMH is requesting $1,016 to fund his procedure. Justine shared, “if I could be walking now, I could be out there looking for a job and supporting my family. I have faith that I will walk again."
Juma is a 15-year-old boy and the youngest of nine children born to his mother. He is an intelligent boy who completed primary school with good marks, but unfortunately, his father couldn't afford to send him to secondary school. Juma stays home and helps his mother work on the farm where they grow maize, vegetables, and cassava. Juma's dream is to become a teacher. Since childhood, Juma has had a right inguinal hernia that causes him pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Juma receive treatment. On May 4th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $566 to fund Juma's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Juma shared, "please help me with this condition because as I grow older the pain keeps becoming worse which is a sign it's getting worse."
Charity is a 28-year-old woman from Kenya. She is the eldest in her family and is now married and has a newborn baby who is two months old. Her husband works as a clerk at a local dairy factory, where he earns enough to feed their family. Charity was working at the same factory, but was laid off from her job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She is not currently working and spends her time at home taking care of her child. Since August 2020, when Charity was pregnant, she started experiencing pain in her upper abdomen that radiated to the back. Charity had visited several different health centers but showed no improvement, and later decided to come to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Nazareth Hospital. She underwent a scan, which showed that she has a large gallstone. The doctor recommended that she undergo a cholecystectomy. Without treatment, Charity's condition may become more complicated and cause her gall bladder inflammation, or a blocked bile duct or pancreatic duct. However, Charity is unable to meet the cost of her care and appeals for financial support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. is helping Charity receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on March 9th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove the gallbladder due to the gallstone causing pain and possibly infection. This procedure will cost $788, and she and her family need help raising money. Charity shared, "The pain is too much at times and I feel some relief when I vomit. I am hoping to get support so that I can be well and be at peace to nurse my baby."
Dalin is a 13-year-old 7th grade student, with one younger sister. His parents are both rice farmers. Dalin's favorite subjects in school are Khmer and math. His favorite meal is called koko sou with roast chicken and juice. Dalin shared with us that he wants to be a doctor when he grows up. Five years ago, Dalin 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, Dalin experiences hearing loss, tinnitus and ear discharge. It is difficult for him to hear at school. He's often absent from class due to the ear discharge. Dalin's family traveled to our medical partner's care center to finally receive treatment. On February 17th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left 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 at the hospital. Dalin said, "I hope my hearing will improve and the ear discharge will stop after surgery."
Baby of Stumai is a 27-day-old old baby boy from Tanzania. He is the last born child in a family of three children. His father sells fruits by the roadside in order to support his family, while his mother takes care of their home. Baby of Stumai was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Baby of Stumai is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Baby of Stumai's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 3rd. This procedure will hopefully spare Baby of Stumai from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Baby of Stumai's mother shared, “We have been informed that our son needs surgery to correct his condition, which is putting his life at risk but we can’t afford the cost. Please help us.”
James is a very playful and jovial boy. He loves to play with his friends and, his grandmother shared, they would play with anything because toys are hard to come by. One day James and his friends found a calabash and chose to play with it. While they were playing, one of them took the calabash and threw it to James. The calabash hit James at his right hip and he fell down. He struggled to stand up and immediately started limping and crying out of pain. He was rushed home to his grandmother where she took him to a nearby facility. James was given some pain medication and then sent home. His grandmother shared that a few days down the line his situation was not getting any better and he could not walk. James's grandmother sourced some funds and brought him to Kijabe Hospital for examination. Upon review, the doctor requested scans to develop a treatment plan, but due to lack of money to pay for the scan, his grandmother decided to go back home and look for money. While at home, it was took her a long time to raise the required amount for the scans. One day their church pastor visited to check on how they are adapting to life after the death of James’s mother. During the visit, he noticed that James was barely moving. He was concerned and asked his grandmother what was wrong. James's grandmother explained what happened and the current situation they are in. The pastor brought James back to Kijabe Hospital for the scans. When the doctor reviewed the scans, they immediately admitted James as an emergency case and a surgery was done helping to save his leg. During a regular clinic follow-up yesterday, his doctor noticed that the wound was oozing and was concerned about an infection. An x-ray was done and showed that his leg again needs emergency surgery to treat his condition. James is the youngest of four children. His father separated with his mother, and left James and his siblings to his mother. A few years later, James's mother died and his grandmother has taken full responsibility of the four children. To earn a living, his grandmother does laundry and ploughs farms for their neighbors. She does not have another source of income. James's first surgery was supported by Friends of Kijabe Hospital, but his grandmother is appealing for financial help for the surgery that is now needed for James. James’ grandmother shared, “At home after the first surgery, I was very happy to see James slowly trying to play with his friends again. Those were happy moments that I never thought James would experience again. I am requesting for financial help to put back a smile on his face."
Musa is a two year-old boy from Tanzania, and he is the youngest in a family of four children. He is an active boy who loves playing, and his mother says he always wants to go out and play with other kids who are older than him. In May 2019, while Musa was out playing with other children in the morning around the kitchen, he accidentally stepped into the fire and burned his left foot. This accident left Musa with a deformed left foot. After healing, his toes have contracted, which makes walking painful and difficult because his toes are attached to the bottom of his foot. Now, Musa will need to undergo a surgery to remove his small toes and treat the contracture on his big toe on his left foot. Unfortunately, this procedure is costly for Musa and his family. Musa’s parents are small scale farmers who depend entirely on what they harvest for their daily living. They were only able to afford a few dressings during Musa's initial treatment, and the rest of the treatment was done at home through the use of local herbal medication. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Musa receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo his surgery on December 8th at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,088, and Musa and his family need help raising funds.
Hasani is a young boy from Tanzania. He is six years old and the firstborn child in a family of three children. Hasani has always been a hard-working boy according to his father. He would help graze the cattle and look after his siblings when his parents were out working on their small farm where they grow maize and vegetables for their living. Hasani was burnt severely after being involved in a home fire accident that left him with very severe burns on his face. He was rushed to the hospital and stayed there for one month having his burns taken care of. Once he was stable that cetner referred him to our partner hospital for further management and treatment. Through Watsi funding earlier this year, Hassani had a skin graft surgery that helped cover up the wound that was not healing on his face. He is now completely healed, but doctors are recommended that he have another surgery to help release a burn contracture around his left eye and place a skin graft. His parents are requesting support for the cost of treatment. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Hasani receive treatment. On October 12th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. The released skin will allow his eyes to close properly and reduce the chances of severe complications. Now, his family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Hasani’s father says: “My son was able to have surgery which helped with the healing of his wound but he now needs another surgery which I can’t afford. Kindly help him.”
Mo is a 22-year-old student from Thailand. He lives along with his father in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. While living in the camp, Mo finished high school and is now completing 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. Therefore, Mo's father works as a seasonal agricultural day laborer in a nearby village. He is able to earn an extra 350 baht (approx. $12 USD) in a month but this amount is still not enough and they shared that they struggle to make ends meet despite having free basic health care and education in the camp. In early September, Mo started to feel dizzy frequently, especially whenever he stood up. At first, he thought he would feel better after he rested and slept. However, he was unable to sleep well for about a week and was suffering from insomnia. After a medic examined him he was referred to the local hospital for treatment. The doctor at the local hospital referred him to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) to see a neurologist. After he returned to the camp, Mo rapidly started to lose his vision in both of his eyes. An NGO called Malteser International Thailand (MI) was able to arrange Moses’ travel documents, he was brought to CMH on October 5th, 2020. The next day, he received a CT scan which showed that he has a mass in his brain and a build-up of cerebrospinal fluid in his brain due to the mass. Because of the severity of his condition, the doctor scheduled him to receive surgery right away on October 9th. The mass will be removed and sent for biopsy. He will also undergo a procedure to receive a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt to drain the excess fluid from his brain. Currently, Mo has a headache, and he is not able to move his eyes from side to side. He needs his father to accompany him wherever he goes because he can no longer see far. He spends most of his time lying down in bed and needs to be pushed in a wheelchair to get around due to his new vision problems. Mo sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo a brain mass removal surgery on October 9th. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “Life suddenly become darker without me knowing why," said Mo. "It is extremely difficult for me to even go to the toilet [by myself]. I cry while I lay in bed for many hours. I really miss seeing colors."
Looking jovial, 26-year-old Emma walks into the office wearing a broad smile. However, behind the joy and smile are recurring stomach pains that give her sleepless nights. Emma was diagnosed with symptomatic cholelithiasis - a gall bladder disorder that requires laparoscopic cholecystectomy analgesia surgery. If left untreated, cholelithiasis can lead to serious complications such as tissue damage, tears in the gallbladder, and infection that could spread spreads to other parts of her body. In Mid-April 2020, Emma started experiencing recurring pains burning in nature. She tried managing the pains using over the counter pain killers but the pain kept recurring. About a week later she was forced to visit a health centre in her home town Kayole for medical checkup. Emma was treated for suspected ulcers at the facility and was discharged with anti-acids. The pains seemed under control for over a month but they recurred in July. She went back to the same facility where a scan, x-ray, and further tests were recommended. Results indicated that she had cholelithiasis and she required urgent surgery. Doctors from the facility recommended she go to Kijabe Hospital for treatment. Emma is a single mother of one. She shared that she is raising her 6-month-old baby on her own after the father of the child left them and declined responsibility. She works as a shop attendant about 10km from her home and earns a total of $100 monthly income as her salary. To enable her to fend for the family, she has a house helper who takes care of her little child while she out looking for their daily bread. She pays the house help $35 a month. The three live in a single room rental which costs $50 a month. The remaining less than $20 is not enough to buy food and basic needs and still cover the cost of surgery. Emma is the oldest in a family of three. Her siblings are unemployed and live with their mother in the village. They depend on produce from their ¼ acre farm for survival. Emma’s employer and few close relatives contributed a small amount for the surgery but she still needs $616 in financial support to fund the treatment. Emma shared, “I need this surgery to get better and take care of my small family. I am the father and the mother to my little kid and my siblings depend on me. The small salary I get I barely make enough for our family and we basically live from hand to mouth. I have to spend all the income I make.”