Keith joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Keith became the 262nd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,684 more people have become monthly donors! Keith's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Pauline, a flower and coffee farmer from Kenya, to fund thyroid surgery.
Keith has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 13 countries.
Pauline is married and a mother of 5 children who are in school in Kenya. She and her husband do casual work in the neighboring flower and coffee farms. Two years ago, Pauline began to experience troubling symptoms, including a swelling on her neck, headache and chest pain. She was diagnosed with a goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Pauline receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on June 15th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $688, and she and her family need help raising money. “Nowadays this swelling is giving me a lot of pains and headache. I am not able to go for work and I kindly request assistance,” said Pauline.
Neak is an 8-year-old third grade student from Cambodia. Neak lives with his parents with one older sister. Recently, Neak has been studying online while schools are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. He enjoys Khmer literature and math, and wants to be a solider when he grows up. Neak likes to eat beef hot dogs, salty and sour crab salad, and chicken soup. One month ago, Neak had a serious 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, Neak experiences hearing loss, foul smell, and ear discharge. It is difficult for him to hear his friends speaking. Neak traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 13th, 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. His father said, "We already brought him for treatment at an ear care organization in another province, but he still cannot hear out of his ear. I hope that my son will get to hear better after this surgery, then he can learn in school very well."
Dina is a student from Tanzania. She is the sixth born in a family of eight children. She is currently in form one at school and her best subjects are mathematic and biology. She wishes to be a nurse in future. Dina is a very social person and very hard working both at home and school. She helps her mother with home chores and looking after her siblings. Her parents are small-scale farmers of maize, beans, and vegetables. Due to financial challenges her parents have not been able to seek treatment for her. Dina was involved in a fire accident when she was two years old. This accident has left her with contracture on her elbow and her right hand fingers have been left deformed. Dina was playing with her sibling and friends close to their home while her parents were out in their farm. There was a tree stump which had been put on fire so that the land could be used for house construction. It had past all week and most people knew the fire was out, since the fire had burned the stump leaving a big hole that went down a meter. As Dina was playing around the stump she got pushed by a friend and went head first in the stump hole. In the process of try to support herself, she landed with her right hand while her legs were left up the stump. At the bottom of the stump there was still fire burning, leading to her hand being burnt. By the time the neighbors heard her and ran to her rescue, she had sustained severe burns on her right hand. She is still not able to use her hand freely and this is affecting her studies. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Dina receive treatment. On September 30th, during her school break, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery so Dina will be able to use her hand freely again. Now, she needs help to fund this $608 procedure. Dina says, “My wrist is now released and I can move it, now I need to have my fingers released too. Please help me have my fingers treated so that I can be able to fully use my hand.”
Ivan is a baby boy from Tanzania. He is a healthy and jovial little baby, the only child to his parents. His father denied Ivan's pregnancy when his mother informed him and since then, offers no support to Ivan's mom. Upon delivery, Ivan's mother was informed of a congenital condition of her son. Through a Facebook post of Plaster House, his mother decided to bring him for review and Ivan was diagnosed with bilateral clubfoot. Doctors recommend a treatment plan of clubfoot manipulation and casting. Ivan's mother is a small business operator selling bananas near her village to make a living. Without financial assistance, Ivan's mother will not be able to pay for her son's surgery. She appeals for financial support. Ivan has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Ivan traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 13th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Ivan's clubfoot repair. After treatment, Ivan will be able to walk easily. Ivan’s mother says, “I would love to see my son walk like other normal children and not have to go through difficulty in walking or discriminated due to disability. Please help treat my him since the cost is too high for me to afford."
Socheat is a 21-year-old blacksmith from Cambodia. He has three siblings, a sister and two brothers, and in his free time he enjoys playing soccer, singing karaoke, and listening to music. In November 2019, Socheat was in a severe motorcycle accident, injuring 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 is unable to move his left arm, and experiences a loss of sensation in his left shoulder. He is unable to work and experiences daily pain. Socheat traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 8th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm and return to work again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. "I hope that my shoulder will be in full function again and I can return to work without any pain," he shared.
Roth has a two-year-old son, and enjoys reading books and taking care of his family and household in his free time. Since Roth was born, he had a curvature in his spine, making it difficult for him to walk and sleep comfortably. He was diagnosed with scoliosis and the curvature of his spine is nearly 80 degrees. Roth will undergo spinal surgery, where implants will be inserted along his spine to help correct the deformity and prevent the curve from developing in the future. He shared, "I hope that I will be able to recover from my surgery and ... I will be able to walk again without any difficulty."
Ma Ni is a 30-year-old woman from Burma. In her free time, she likes to pray to Buddha. She and her husband work as government officers. Together they earn 414,000 kyat (approx. $414 USD) per month, which is not enough for any safety net after they pay their bills for utilities and other household expenses. One day in July 2019, Ma Ni stood up from her desk at work and had pain in her hip joints. She had to push her hand against her hips to help her walk. She did not think there was anything seriously wrong so she did not seek medical attention. However, two weeks after this incident, when she was going to work, she slipped and fell in front of her house. Right away her hips started to hurt and two weeks later, the pain gradually became severe. Her condition worsened day by day, although she visited several hospitals and had taken medications. Currently, Ma Ni has a lot of pain in her hips. She cannot walk for more than two minutes or the pain becomes unbearable. She does not feel comfortable when she lays down and has problems sleeping from the pain. She also needs help going to the bathroom and taking a shower. Fortunately, Ma Ni learned about Watsi's medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). At BCMF's care center, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Ma Ni of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for December 17th, and Ma Ni needs help raising $1,500 to pay for this procedure. Ma Ni said, "I had to send my son to my mother’s place in Mawlamyine and my husband also had to ask for leave. [When fully recovered] I want to take back my son from my mother and send him to school. I will support him in whatever he wants to become when he grows up.”
Dachena is a student from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and siblings in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. She likes going to school and singing in her church choir. Dachena has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged by a rheumatic fever she suffered in childhood, and can no longer adequately pump blood through her body. Dachena will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On October 29th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair her valve; if they are unable to do so, they will implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, The Mitral Foundation, is contributing $7500 to pay for surgery. Dachena's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Dachena's family overseas. Dachena said, "I hope that after surgery I will have more energy to do the things I enjoy!"
Da is a mother of four from Thailand. She is a homemaker, looking after household chores and her two children who are still in school. During her free time, she likes to spend time with her children and reads religious texts to them. Da was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Da currently suffers from chest pain, pain in the middle of her back and extreme tiredness. When the doctor diagnosed her, she became upset and is worried as her children are still very young. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Da. The treatment is scheduled to take place on October 13 and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Da said, “Although I tried to forget about my condition, it's always on my mind and I feel very irritated. I want to be healthy again and help my husband with his work. I also want to see my children grow up and send them all to a Thai school.”
Mbondo is a nursery school pupil and likes reading and drawing. He also likes playing with other children and sometimes he says that his friends imitate him as he walks. Mbondo hails from Tulimani village in Makueni County. He is an orphan and lives with his grandparents. His mother passed 3 years ago as a result of an accident along Makutano junction Machakos road while his father passed 2 years later after a long illness. Mbondo was born with a condition known as knock knees, the grandmother did not notice the condition at an early stage until recently when he noticed the knees knocking each other and he was limping as he walks. Mbondo's grandparents who are taking care of him are farmers and mostly depend on their children for daily bread cannot afford to pay even a quarter of the estimated bill and thus requested for support.
Nurudini is a child from Tanzania. He has been diagnosed with windswept deformity. His lower legs are curved. 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 cannot walk well. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Nurudini. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 16. Treatment will hopefully restore Nurudini's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Nurudini’s mother says, “Despite using calcium medication, my son’s legs are worsening. We were advised on surgery but we couldn’t afford the cost please help my son.”
Rebecca is a woman from Kenya. She is a mother of one daughter. Rebecca has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $816 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Rebecca. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 10. After treatment, Rebecca will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Rebecca says, “I pray to win over this condition and be there for my 11-year-old daughter."