Dawn joined Watsi on April 14th, 2013. Five years ago, Dawn joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Dawn's most recent donation supported Ryan, an active and joyful boy from Kenya, to fund corrective surgery for his birth condition.
Dawn has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 14 countries.
Dawn has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 14 countries.
Ryan is a very active and jovial 5-year-old boy. He's the only child in his family. His mother works at a local dry cleaner and his father is a matatu driver in their area. Ryan's family lives in a small rented house in a town within Nairobi, Kenya. His parents’ income is very limited and they are not able to afford the second surgery he needs, as they are also paying off his first surgery that was unsuccessful in fully treating his birth condition. Ryan was diagnosed with a condition called cryptorchidism. If left untreated, Ryan has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Ryan will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 14th. AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Ryan’s mother says, “It has been a tough time for us after we realized Ryan's first surgery was not successful, but we still trusted in God.”
Samiri is a four-year-old boy and the only child of his single mother. His father is married to another woman and has two other children. Samiri's mother provides for their family through her work as a tailor. Samiri has not started school yet, but his mother would like to enroll him in kindergarten next year. Her hope is that Samiri's condition will be treated before he joins school. Samiri has been diagnosed with bilateral Genu Varus, which means that his legs are angled inwards at the knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Samiri has difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Samiri. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 14th. Treatment will hopefully restore Samiri's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Samiri’s mother shared, "I can never find the money needed to cover my son’s treatment cost. I am struggling to even put food on the table for my son. Please help him."
Rhophence is struggling to speak when we meet her. She cannot pronounce words clearly or eat regularly due to a mandibular mass. She was diagnosed with Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia, which is also causing her teeth to loosen on the affected area. She is scheduled for a 10-hour surgery at our Medical Partner's Care Center Kijabe Hospital. Her chronic mandibular swelling started back in October 2020 as a small swelling and has gradually increased in size, so Rhophence was forced to visit the hospital. She was treated for pain in their local health centre and discharged home. But, the swelling worsened and Rhophence opted to visit Kijabe in May 2021. Several tests revealed the Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia diagnosis and surgery was recommended. She does not have the funds for the various procedures to relieve her pain. She is a single mother of four children aged between 30 and 18 years. She comes from a remote village along the Kenyan coast. She is currently jobless with no source of income and stays with her younger brother who she depends on for survival. The surgery is estimated to cost about $4,500. She has active national health insurance coverage that has only approved $2,000. She is unable to raise the remaining amount. She fundraised money for travel fare to come to Kijabe and she is now being hosted in the local centre by a relative. Rhophence shared, "This swelling is so painful. My mouth is deformed and I cannot even speak clearly. It’s sadly starting to give a bad odour making people close to me uncomfortable. This is affecting my life. I need these surgeries to normalize my life.”
Chhorn is a 45-year-old food seller. He's married and has two sons and one daughter. Chhorn and his wife rent a small stall at the market where they sell food. Chhorn loves being a dad and on the weekends he enjoys talking his children to the river and teaching them how to cook. Many years ago when he was only five, Chhorn had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Chhorn experiences ear discharge, hearing loss, and tinnitus. He is in pain and cannot communicate clearly with others. Chhorn traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 15th, he will finally undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Chhorn said, "I hope that my hearing will improve and the ear discharge will finally stop."
Guadalupe is an one-year-old baby from Colombia. She is an only child, so she is regarded as the little princess of the family, which consists of her mother, grandma, and uncle. She is already sympathetic and friendly, and loves to play with stuffed toys and with other kids. Guadalupe has clubfoot on her right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Guadalupe's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel, where they can offer treatment. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 13th. Our medical partner is requesting $1,422 to fund Guadalupe's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to start walking and running without pain. Her mother shares a story and her hopes for Guadalupe, "I would really love to see her walk and run normally, she is not the first person with this condition in our whole family, I have a cousin who received treatment when he was 8 years old and it was really hard to see him asking why he couldn't run like the other kids."
William is a hardworking motorbike taxi driver from Kenya. He earns $2.50 daily and lives in a one-room house in Naivasha, costing about $24 a month. His parents are elderly and live nearby on a quarter of an acre piece of land. William suffered femur and distal tibia fractures and is unable to walk and cannot work. Currently, the hospital has admitted him to the respiratory ward since he developed difficulties in breathing. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 20th, William will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. These surgeries will enable the bones to heal and he will be able to walk again normally. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. William says, “I don’t have anyone to depend on, I survive on my own through this motorbike taxi business. But with these fractures, I cannot walk or work at all. I need the surgery to normalize my life and be independent again.”
Kay is a 34-year-old woman who lives with her husband and two sons in a village on the Thai-Burma border. Her husband is a day labourer at a construction site, while both of her children are students. Kay used to work in a factory but stopped last year when her health deteriorated. Kay remembers first feeling the pain she has in her abdomen in April of 2014, a month after she gave birth to her second son. Five years later, the pain in the left side of her abdomen returned. Kay also could not eat or drink anything, and vomited every time she tried to eat. At the hospital, she was given medication and was instructed to take it regularly. Though Kay felt better at a follow-up appointment, some of her symptoms were still persistent, so the medic referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. At that hospital, Kay received an ultrasound, blood test and urine test, and the results revealed that she had stones in her left ureter. The doctor recommended that she undergo laser treatment to breakup these stones and treat the pain she has been experiencing. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Kay receive treatment. On March 2nd, she is scheduled to undergo a shockwave lithotripsy treatment at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,500, and she and her family need help raising money. Kay shared, “I really want to recover. I cannot work at the factory [because of my condition] but I want to earn money. In the future, if I recover, I want to open a small shop to sell dry goods.”
Shoh is a 47-year-old man who lives with his wife, two sons, daughter-in-law and two daughters in Nu Poe Refugee Camp in Thailand. In the camp, Shoh and his oldest son are teachers who teach about the Quran for other refugees. They each earn 1,200 baht (approx. 40 USD) per month. His wife is often sick, and his eldest daughter has to look after her at home. His daughter-in-law is a homemaker while his youngest daughter and son are students. Shoh’s household receives 1,110 baht (approx. 37 USD) every month on a cash card to purchase rations in the camp. Their monthly household income is just enough to cover their daily expenses as they also receive free basic health care and education in the camp. Since February 2020, Shoh has had umbilical hearnia. Currently, Shoh’s abdomen pain is not severe but his hernia is still increasing in size. He feels uncomfortable when he walks because of his swollen abdomen. He cannot sleep well and is increasingly worried about his diagnosis. The pain in his abdomen increases when he feels cold, especially at night. Fortunately, on March 9th, he 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 Shoh's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 9th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Shoh said, “I do not want to stop being a teacher. I love teaching the Quran to young children. Also, if I do not teach, I do not earn an income and my family does not have enough income to cover our household expenses.”
Shamsi is a beautiful, friendly and cheerful 3-year-old girl from Tanzania. She is the youngest in their family of five children. Shamsi’s father is self-employed and sells home materials like nets, pillows, and bedsheets. Her mother is a homemaker and stays at home to care for their children. Shamsi was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, or bow-leggedness. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Her legs bow outward when she walks, so she is not able to walk comfortably for long periods of time. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Shamsi. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Shamsi's mobility, allow her to play normally with her siblings, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Shamsi’s father shared, “We have tried medications and different food containing high calcium, but her legs are not getting any better. The only way to correct her legs is through surgery, but the cost of treatment is something we cannot afford.”
Saidi is a 23-year-old from Tanzania who was born with spina bifida. He was able to have his spina bifida corrected when he was younger, which saved his life and allowed him to grow up to a strong young man. Saidi was able to go to school until class seven but was not able to continue with his education due to his parents' financial challenges. Saidi’s parents are small-scale farmers and have six children, of which Saidi is the third born child. Saidi used to join his parents in farming, but he had to stop and seek treatment because his legs and feet are bowed, which makes standing and walking very challenging. In 2014, Saidi came to our medical partner's care center to seek treatment because he had limb external rotation, which was causing him difficulty with walking and carrying out daily life activities. Through funding support, he was able to have his feet and legs corrected, and was able to resume normal life once more. Since then, over the last few years Saidi’s left foot has developed a serious infection that has struggled to heal. The infection would repeatedly start to heal but would return within five to six months, which makes it difficult for him to work and make a life for himself. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 19th, Saidi will undergo a left leg amputation below the knee to save him from the pain and suffering he is going through as doctors noted his foot can no longer be saved. Through this surgery, Saidi will eventually be able to use a prosthetic leg which will enable him to walk with ease and return to his daily life activities. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,088 to fund this procedure. Saidi shared, “Please help me as this foot has taken me through so much suffering and pain. I would like to be able to work and make a living for myself, but due to this infection I haven't been able to do that. Kindly help me.”
U Win is a 54-year-old man who lives with his wife and youngest son in the Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. He has three sons and three daughters, with five of his children already married and working. His 17-year-old son left school because they were unable to pay school fees, and worked as a day laborer until COVID-19 happened. U Win used to work as a day laborer as well, but stopped working around two years ago due to his health condition. His family survives on 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) each month that U Win's three other daughters and another son send them, enough to cover their basic expenses. In January 2012, U Win felt tired, had a headache, suffered from heart palpitations, and a rapid heartbeat. He went to a clinic where the doctor listened to his heart with a stethoscope and checked his blood pressure. U Win was told that he has high blood pressure and that he would need to take oral medication for a long time. He received an injection, oral medication, and another appointment for more medication. After he took the medication, he felt better and he went back to work. However, U Win continued to experience worsening symptoms over the next few years, returning to clinics and receiving the same treatment. He was told at one point to visit a cardiologist, but did not do so until later on. In August 2020, during another clinic visit in Yangon, the doctor diagnosed U Win with an atrial septal defect, and said that he would need to receive surgery to repair this hole in his heart. If not treated, the condition could weaken his heart further and cause lung problems later on. He was unable to receive surgery in November due to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases, and was also told the procedure would cost about 3,000,000 kyat (approx. 3,000 USD). Luckily, U Win’s wife remembered that there is a charity group in Yangon that might be able to help. The group told him about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, to look for assistance with accessing the treatment he needed. U Win currently experiences chest pain and back pain, has no appetite, and cannot sleep well at night. He appeals for financial support for his cost of care. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 20th, U Win will undergo an atrial septal defect closure procedure. Once recovered, his quality of life will significantly improve and he will be able to return to work. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. U Win shared, “I want to get better soon so that I can work for my family again. I am worried about my family’s future because we cannot find work in the village. My son also cannot go to Yangon to find another job because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.”
Sorma is a one-year-old baby girl from Cambodia and the only child in her family. Her mother is a factory worker and her father is a construction worker. Sorma enjoys playing with her mother, and eating and sleeping. In March 2020, Sorma was accidentally burned by fire. Her face and right arm were badly damaged. She received medical care and skin grafts at another hospital. Now her family has come to Watsi's medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) for help with the scar contractures on Sorma's eyes, lip, nose, right elbow, and right wrist. Particularly, the scar contracture on her right arm and she cannot bend her right arm now. When Sorma's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, they traveled for 90 minutes seeking treatment. On November 18th, surgeons at CSC will perform an elbow contracture release and local flap surgery to help her be able to bend her right arm. Now, she needs help to fund this $787 procedure. Sorma's mother said, "I hope she will be able to use her arm to hold objects and feel more confident."