Keith joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Eight years ago, Keith joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Keith's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Tessy, a 4-year-old girl from Kenya, to fund leg surgery so she can walk again.
Keith has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 13 countries.
Keith has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 13 countries.
Meet Tessy, a beautiful 4-year-old girl, living in Kenya. In March 2022, Tessy and several of her family members were involved in an accident. Her grandparents and an uncle did not survive this event, and Tessy's parents and her sister - and Tessy herself - were all hospitalized with traumatic injuries. Her parents and her sister have all since recovered. Tessy sustained injuries to her head, chest, hand and legs, and she remained in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital for several months. While Tessy has a visible deformity of her left arm and her right thigh, her doctors shared that her overall progress since the accident is impressive. Some of her fractures are healing well, but the fracture of her right femur requires surgical intervention. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help Tessy access the care that she needs. On June 10th, Tessy will undergo an open reduction and internal fixation at AIC Kijabe Hospital. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is seeking $1,500 to fund this procedure, without which Tessy would find it difficult to walk, and would live in chronic pain. Tessy’s father says: “Her condition has greatly improved. She was in the ICU for almost two months and responded well to treatment. She needs the surgery to help with the healing and to be able to walk again.”
Randy is a 49-year-old from the Philippines. He has developed a large mass on his left shoulder. Because of this mass, Randy has been unable to secure full time employment. In order to support the needs of his family, Randy works part time in the neighborhood where he lives. Because of his inability to afford and access care, Randy had to delay treatment for a couple of years, and the mass increased in size. Fortunately, Randy found his way to our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, and he is now scheduled for surgery on May 3rd at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. World Surgical Foundation Philippines is requesting $1,196 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care, which will remove the mass and enable Randy to return to full time employment. “Randy is so eager to be treated so he can work and provide for his family,” his sister said. “We are very grateful to World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for helping people like us. Thank you for your generous hearts," she added.
Demetria is a peanut-butter maker from the Philippines. Demetria was diagnosed with cholecystitis 10 years ago and advised by her doctor to undergo surgery, but due to financial constraints, she opted to self-medicate using herbal medicines. This served as a temporary relief to her symptoms, but now these have worsened over time, and during the past 2 weeks, she started experiencing intolerable pain and difficulty keeping food down. With age and her worsening symptoms, Demetria is not capable of earning income to support her medical treatment. She shared that she and her husband rely on their granddaughter who works as an online tutor, to support their daily needs. Fortunately, Demetria was referred to our medical partner and is now scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on April 7th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,253 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After her recovery, Demetria will no longer experience severe pain in her abdomen or be at risk of other complications in the future. “Once the surgery is done, I hope to go back to doing my small peanut butter-making business so I can help sustain our daily needs like I used to before," Demetria shared. "Thank you so much WSFP and Watsi for all your help,” she added.
Phyu is a 17-year-old who lives with her parents, husband, and two brothers on the Thai-Burma border. Her father and husband work as day labourers, while her mother looks after her two younger brothers. Phyu used to help on small jobs too, but stopped six months ago when she first felt unwell. Beginning last October, Phyu felt tired, experienced chest tightness, and oedema in both her legs. A few days later, she went to a clinic and was told that she has a problem with her heart. She received medication and a follow-up appointment for the following week. Although she took the medication regularly, she did not feel any better. When she went back to the clinic, it was closed due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in their area. While she waited for the clinic to reopen, the swelling in her legs worsened and she also had difficulty breathing. Eventually, her employer drove her to Phop Phra Hospital, where she was admitted and given oxygen. The doctor at the hospital referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) the next day where she received a number of diagnostic tests. The doctor told her that she has a heart condition and diagnosed her with aortic valve regurgitation. The medical team shared that she needed to undergo surgery and told her to travel to Chiang Mai where they can provide the care she needs. Worried about how her family would afford the surgery, once Phyu arrived at the clinic, a medic referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing the treatment she needs. Currently, Phyu feels tired if she walks far or when she has to do anything strenuous such as carrying water or cleaning her house. If she sleeps on her back, she has difficulty breathing. Although she still has oedema in her legs, the swelling has gone down since she started taking medication from MSH. “When I recover from surgery, I want to work to help increase my family’s income so that we can pay back our debt. I also want to support my brother who is attending a teacher training college in Burma. He is a second-year student now," said Phyu with new hope for her future.
Irene is a beautiful baby girl and the only child in her family. Irene's mother is young and was still in school when she was born, so they are living with her grandmother. Her grandmother sells charcoal to earn a living and it is hard for them to make ends meet each month. Irene has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. When Irene was one month old, her mother noticed that her head was increasing in size. She took her to a nearby facility for examination, and was then referred to another facility who admitted her for a few days; however despite medication, her condition did not change. Irene was discharged and sent home, but a few days later she developed a fever so her mother took her back to the previous facility. After another examination, Irene was finally referred to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Hospital. Irene’s mother did not have the funds to cover their transport to BethanyKids, but with help from medical staff they were able to make it to the hospital with a social workers accompaniment. On arrival, Irene was booked for a shunt insertion surgery to help treat her condition. Without treatment, Irene will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of Irene's surgery to treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 9th, during which surgeons will drain the excess fluid from Irene's brain to reduce the pressure inside her head. This will greatly improve her quality of life, and allow her to develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Irene’s mother says, “It is a difficult moment for us for the past few months and we did not know if she will be treated as we do not have funds for the surgery.”
Rose is a farmer and a single mother of two. She does small-scale farming, which mostly gives her and her family food to eat, leaving a little for them to sell. They live in a village where most work on farms and depend on seasonal farm products like mangoes to earn a living. Her family lives in a grass-thatched house. Rose came to the hospital after having fallen while walking. She sustained an injury to her left upper arm with an open wound, pain, bleeding, and inability to use the arm. After the doctor's assessment with help of an X-Ray, Rose was diagnosed with an open left distal humerus fracture and surgery was recommended. She is in pain and cannot use her left hand to perform any activities. Rose is currently totally dependent on her elderly mother. Their family is unable to pay for her surgery due to their socio-economic status as they depend on seasonal farm products to raise a basic level of income. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 11th, Rose will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will relieve her of the pain and restore the functionality of the hand. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $941 to fund this procedure. Rose says, “I am in pain, I have nothing to pay for the surgery. My hope is to receive treatment and be able to use my hand again.”
Florante is a 44-year-old father from the Phillippines. He has one daughter, and he volunteers as a driver in his local administrative district. In 2016, Florante developed a mass in his neck. He was diagnosed with a cyst in his preauricular sinuses and surgery was recommended to treat his condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Florante receive treatment. On December 9th, he will undergo a parotidectomy, where surgeons will remove his parotid gland, the largest of the salivary glands. Now, he needs help raising $1,323 to fund his procedure and care. After he has recovered, Florante will be able to lead a higher quality and pain-free life. Florante shared, "this will be the best Christmas gift of my life. I am very grateful to WSFP and Watsi."
Mary is a quiet and hardworking farmer. Mary and her husband plant maize on their one-acre farm and have four children aged between 33 and 24 years old. Their family is having a hard time financially due to the high bills needed to cater for their grandmother's hospital bills and she undergoes chemotherapy for breast cancer. Her children do not have sustainable jobs and are unable to pay for the treatment that Mary now needs. One evening, while Mary was listening to the radio , she heard about a medical camp that was organized by our medical partner's Kapsowar Mission Hospital in their area. She decided to seek medical advice from the doctors. After being seen, the doctors diagnosed her with a multinodular goiter that needed to be removed surgically. Before Mary sought medical care, she resorted to herbal medicine as she could not afford to go to a hospital. Years later, her condition did not improve and her general well-being has not been getting any better. She's become weak and cannot perform her daily duties of farming and house chores. Mary is unable to raise money for her surgery and is seeking financial assistance to get the surgery and lead a normal and painless life. Mary has had a long journey with her condition. In 2008, Mary began to experience troubling symptoms, including a mass on the neck, rapid heartbeat, increased sensitivity to heat and sweating. She visited the nearest healthcare facility where there were no diagnoses made. They advised her to go to a better facility for further investigations. But still many years later she hasn't been able to undergo the treatment she needs to heal. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Mary receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on November 17th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money. Mary says, “I want this mass to be removed for two reasons; so that I can continue with my daily chores and also, for my community to learn from my experience that herbalists cannot cure and should seek medical care at a hospital.”
Taraja is a charming five-year-old girl from Southwestern Tanzania and the oldest child in her family. Taraja has not started school yet, but her parents hope that once her condition is treated, she can enroll in kindergarten. Taraja’s parents grow maize, vegetables, and sorghum for a living. They get most of their food from their farm and her father also takes casual laboring jobs, like working on other peoples’ farms and carrying luggage, to supplement the family's income. Taraja has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Taraja receive treatment. On October 8th, Taraja will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Taraja's procedure and care. Taraja’s mother shared, "it was very strange to see our daughter’s feet in this position. We tried to find treatment for her but we were advised to go to a big hospital, something we couldn’t afford to do. Please help us if it’s possible."
Winfred is a humble and shy 18-year-old girl. She is the second born in a family of three children. Her mother is single and works as a farmer. About eight years ago, when Winfred was 10 years old, she developed a change in her legs so that the bow and began experiencing pain when walking long distances. Since then, her condition has worsened. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Winfred receive treatment. On September 16th, she will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. After surgery, she will be able to walk much more easily and will no longer experience pain when walking long distances. She will be able to continue with her life like her peers. Now, her family needs help raising $1,224 to fund her procedure. Winfred shared, "I would love to walk well like other girls and continue with my normal life."
Paw is a 24-year-old woman from Thailand. Originally from Burma, Paw, her husband, their three daughters and her parents fled in March 2021 after the Burmese military shot rockets into their village. In Thailand, as refugees, they cannot work, and have temporarily moved in with Paw's brother and his family. They receive rice from her brother's neighbors, while her brother's family provides them with vegetables and curries. In July 2021, Paw's parents and her two older daughters went back to their village when they felt it was safe to do so. Meanwhile, her husband and her three-month-old baby have stayed with her while she receives treatment in Chiang Mai. Two years ago, Paw noticed a mass on the right side of her neck. Her neighbor suggested she apply a natural remedy, but unfortunately, the mass remained and grew over time. In September 2019, she visited a local hospital in Thailand with her husband, but the surgery recommended was too expensive. She experiences pain near the site of the mass, and the mass is still growing. Paw sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). She is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on August 16th, and now she needs to raise $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Paw shared, “I felt embarrassed and very upset when I first noticed that I had this problem. I will feel a lot better after my surgery because I have needed to receive it since I first went to see the doctor in 2019. In the future I want to look after my children and send them to school.”
Meet Jecinta, a 12-year-old friendly, talkative, and funny girl. She is the youngest in her family of three children. Currently, Jecinta is a student in grade 5, and in school, she likes reading and playing with her friends even though her legs limits her ability to play as well as her peers. Jecinta's mother is a single mother who works temporary jobs on neighbor’s farms, clothes washing, and other available jobs. Jecinta was born healthy, but her mother noticed a sudden bowing of her legs when she was one. Jecinta's mother took her toddler to a nearby hospital where plaster was applied to her legs to prevent spreading of her condition. However, since then, it has continued to worsen and has been affecting Jecinta's mobility. At this point, she cannot stand upright and play with friends as she would like to. Fortunately, Jecinta is scheduled to undergo surgery on July 19th to correct her legs. This treatment will allow her to walk like other friends, play with them, and continue with her studies, all of which can improve her self-esteem. “I would wish for support for my child because I cannot be able to afford the hospital bills,”Jecinta’s mother asks.