Dana joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Dana joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Dana's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Benjamin, a cheerful motorbike driver from Kenya, to fund a mobility-restoring spinal fusion surgery.
Dana has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 12 countries.
Dana has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 12 countries.
Benjamin is a father of a four-year-old child who works as a motorbike (boda-boda) driver, earning about $3.70USD per day. His income is also inconsistent and depends on the availability of customers. He is the sole breadwinner for his family. Unfortunately, he has no active medical insurance coverage and has had to rely on relatives and friends to settle hospital bills. Benjamin is full of smiles but finds it difficult to sit up while sharing his story. He opts to talk while lying flat on his back. Benjamin is currently immobile, unable to sit and walk, as a result of a road traffic accident from the beginning of the month. When the 25-year-old hitched a ride on his friend's water truck, the vehicle lost control and he was thrown out the window. He immediately experienced severe back pain and lost consciousness. The accident left Benjamin with multiple fractures and wounds that will require several fracture repair and spine surgeries in order for him to sit, walk, and be able to continue with his normal routine roles again. After stays at various hospitals and numerous referrals, Benjamin arrived at our medical partner's care center, Kijabe Hospital, for care on July 17th. One of the obstacles to treatment he had faced at other hospitals was a long waiting list that meant a delay in much-needed care, but fortunately Kijabe is able to offer his needed care more urgently. At Kijabe Hospital, the doctors recommended a spinal fusion procedure for him to help regain his mobility. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,500 for Benjamin's critical surgery, scheduled to take place on July 26th. Benjamin shares, “I just sleep on my back and cannot even sit or walk. I cannot work and fend for my family. I need this surgery to get back to my Boda-boda job and raise my family."
Baby Nejat is a sweet six-month-old boy from Ethiopia. He has one brother, a father who works as a laborer, and a mother who is a homemaker raising their two children. Baby Nejat loves playing and spending time with his parents and brother. Baby Nejat was born with an abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage, and needs to undergo a series of procedures to correct his condition. Baby Nejat's surgery is scheduled to take place on June 24th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Baby Nejat's procedure and care. After his recovery, Baby Nejat will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing serious health complications in the future. His mom is optimistic, “After the operation, I believe my son will grow healthy. And I hope I will educate him and help him reach higher in life."
John is very talkative and welcoming 46-year-old man. He arrived to the hospital with pain and distention for 3 days before admission to Kijabe Hospital this week. He had an x-ray and an endoscopy on the same day that revealed he has a Sigmoid Volvulus a condition in which the sigmoid colon wraps around itself, causing a closed-loop obstruction. This condition causes continued abdominal discomfort. He's now scheduled for a laparotomy and sigmoid colectomy to rectify the condition and needs financial support. Barely two weeks ago, John was very excited that he had found a job and was looking forward to his first day at work. Two days before he had to report to work, he noticed that he had not passed stool for some days. He started feeling uncomfortable but thought that he will be well soon enough. The day he was waiting for had arrived and he reported to work very happily but uncomfortable because his condition had worsened. He opened up to his immediate supervisor who advised him to go back home and seek medical attention. His supervisor went ahead to offer him some money to cater for the transport fee. John went to the terminus and boarded a matatu to head back home. Along the way, the pain worsened and was unbearable and he started vomiting. He requested the driver to drop him off at a nearby hospital. Luckily, the matatu was almost near our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital. The driver pulled over and helped him catch a taxi to Kijabe as fast as he could. He was admitted as an emergency case under the general surgery team. John is the father of six children, with his firstborn now 20 years old and married. Four of his children are in high school and the youngest is yet to join the school. Eight months ago, John lost his job as a security guard in a flower farm. After he was dismissed, he used the money he was given as service fees to buy a motorcycle, with which he started a bodaboda taxi business. His wife is involved in farming and mostly she sells the farm produce to supplement their family's earnings. John shared, “I feel sad for myself and my family because now I cannot do anything to provide for them as I am in hospital. I would really like to go back to work and earn enough for them.”
Melvin is a 3-year-old boy and the third and last born child in his family. His father is a security guard at local gas station and makes a humble income. To supplement his earnings, Melvin’s mother does laundry and farming for their neighbors. Occasionally, she's able to sell some farm produce she gets from their small farm. When Melvin was born, he was not able to breastfeed. After some referrals and unsuccessful treatments, Melvin went to the national hospital and was diagnosed with Hirschprung disease, a birth condition affecting his digestive system. He had several surgeries to correct the condition, which were fortunately covered by his family's National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) coverage at the time. One of the surgeries Melvin underwent was a colostomy, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Melvin's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. However, to undergo the colostomy closure at the national hospital, he and his mother had to take COVID-19 tests, which were too expensive for their family. Fortunately, a family friend referred them next to our Medical Partner's Care Center BethanyKids Hospital, where doctors conducted tests and scheduled Melvin for the colostomy closure. Melvin's family normally has NHIF coverage, but they have depleted their yearly surgical allocation so this procedure is not supported. Melvin’s parents appeal for financial support for their son. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $650 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Melvin. The surgery is scheduled to take place on April 27th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Melvin’s mother shared, “We have been through a lot with Melvin and stopping now is not an option for us. We would like Melvin to live a healthy life just as our other children but our financial state has been a big hindrance for us.”
Tin is a 38-year-old woman from Northern Thailand. She and her husband are agricultural day laborers, and they live in a hut on their employer’s land. They shared that, unfortunately, their earnings are not enough to cover their expenses or to pay for basic healthcare. Since early 2019, Tin has been experiencing dizziness, fatigue, insomnia and pain in her lower abdomen. She was diagnosed with a myoma and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Tin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications. Since September 2020, Tin has been unable to work due to her illness. Fortunately, Tin is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on March 23rd. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Tin will no longer experience lower abdominal pain, dizziness or fatigue. She will be able to work again as a day laborer after her treatment. Tin shared, “I am not afraid to undergo surgery because I believe that I will receive successful treatment. I used to pray every day that a donor would help me. Once I have recovered from surgery, I will go back to work so that we can repay our debts. In the future, I would like to stay healthy so that I can work, eat good food, wear beautiful clothes, and earn an income.”
Sabel is a 5-year-old boy from Tanzania. He is the third born in a family of four children. Sabel’s father is a small scale farmer and his mother is a homemaker. They work hard to meet their family's basic needs. Sabel was born a healthy child, but when he was born, his umbilical cord was wrapped around his thigh and knee. As a result, he had to undergo a below-the-knee amputation, and the surgery was successful. However, the operation site is not closing properly. If not treated, Sabel could develop a severe infection in this area so the medical team wants to make sure he heals well. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Sabel receive treatment. On February 9th, surgeons will perform a skin graft procedure. This treatment will allow Sabel's wound to heal well and, once he is fully recovered, he will be able to be fitted for a prosthetic. Now, Sabel's family needs help to fund this $747 procedure. Sabel’s mother shared, “His wound has taken a long time to heal and the doctors have advised he needs a skin graft surgery which we can’t afford. Please help him."
Jonah is a 9-year-old student from Kenya. He is a jovial and high-spirited boy. Jonah is the seventh born in a family of eight children. Under the sponsorship of a well-wisher, he is a second grade student at Mwiteria Vision Academy. Jonah's family hails from Iteria Village in Meru County. His mother is a single parent who used to be a farmer, but now stays at home to take care of her children. She recently underwent an amputation on her leg after suffering from diabetes. Jonah has clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even with wearing shoes. His mother, sister, and elder brother brought him to AIC Hospital's mobile clinic in Meru to seek treatment. Watsi donors supported surgery for his left foot and now his family has returned to help heal is right foot as well. Jonah will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. Fortunately, he is scheduled to under go a clubfoot repair surgery on January 25th. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,286 to fund Jonah's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk and play easily again. Rosaria, Jonah's mother shared, “We are grateful for helping my two sons undergo surgery. We have seen a lot of impact on their feet. Previously, they used to complain of pain while walking and they like playing a lot. We plead for more support to ensure that their feet can be able to step on the ground and walk like other children. God bless you."
Shanel is a 9-year-old girl from western Kenya. She is a talkative girl in class two who loves reading and playing with her friends. Shanel is having challenges because of her congenital condition called genu varum, where her legs curve outwards by the knees. This causes her pain and limits her mobility. Shanel has never been treated due to lack of funds to pay for her treatment. She was brought to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Cure International Hospital, where doctors recommended she undergo a right distal femoral and tibial osteotomy procedure. Since Shanel's treatment has been delayed, she cannot have both legs corrected at the same time. Once her right leg has fully recovered, she will be reviewed for treatment of her left leg. Shanel's family is still struggling to meet the cost of her care. Shanel's mother is a waiter at a local hotel in their village. She earns limited income that is only sufficient to pay rent for their one-roomed house and meet the daily needs of her three children. Shanel and her family appeal for help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 11th, Shanel will undergo an angular deformity correction procedure on her leg. Once recovered, she will be able to walk and move normally again, and return to playing with her friends. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,224 to fund this procedure. Shanel's mother shared, "I am humbly requesting for support from well-wishers so that my daughter can walk well like other children."
Victor is a five-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the firstborn child in a family of three aged between 5 months and 1 year. He is a kindergartener and a happy boy. On November 24th, Victor was playing with his friends when he accidentally fell down and sustained an injury on his right hand. His father found him on the road crying, and brought him to the hospital. Doctors conducted an x-ray, which revealed a fracture on his right supracondylar. Because he was in pain, and could not move nor lift his hand, Victor was admitted to the pediatrics ward awaiting surgery. Unfortunately, the procedure Victor needs is costly for his family, who lacks a stable income. His father is a casual labourer who looks after people’s cattle, and his mother is a housewife. Victor's family has been able to raise some money, but needs additional support to raise the amount needed for his treatment. On November 27th, Victor will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Now, Victor's family needs $801 to fund the cost of his care. Victor’s father shared, “I want to see him happy, not in pain, be healthy and have a good life."
Naw Mar is a 35-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, two daughters and two sons in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Four years ago, Naw Mar started to suffer from pain in the right side of her abdomen. At first, she thought the pain would disappear after she rested. When it did not, she went to the hospital in the camp run by Malteser International Thailand (MI). She received medications which helped for a bit. Two years later, the pain became severe and the right side of her abdomen also became swollen. After more medication and follow-up appointments, she was eventually admitted to Mae Sariang Hospital and received an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that she had multiple gallstones, and she was given more medication. However, the medication did not help her much. In early June 2020, the pain in Naw Mar’s right abdomen increased. After she went to the camp’s hospital, the doctor referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital again, where the doctor told her that she would need to have surgery to remove the gallstones. Since Mae Sariang Hospital doctors could not perform this surgery, she was again referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital. However, the high cost of surgery proved difficult, so she was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance with accessing treatment. Currently, Naw Mar has constant pain in her right abdomen that is only manageable through pain medication. Her right abdomen is also swollen, and she suffers from back pain as well. When the pain in her abdomen is excruciating, she develops a headache and high blood pressure. Naw Mar is a homemaker, while her two daughters and her youngest son go to school. Her oldest son helps her with household chores. Her husband works as an agricultural day laborer, but has been unable to find work for the past month. While their family does receive a cash card each month for food support, it is not enough to cover their daily expenses and they struggle to make ends meet despite receiving free health care and education in the refugee camp. Their family is appealing for financial support. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Mar's surgery. On October 25th, she will undergo a cholecystectomy at our medical partner’s care center. Once recovered, Naw Mar will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and her quality of life will improve. Naw Mar shared, "After I receive treatment, I want to work for an organisation [NGO] in the camp so that we [my family] can have an income. Right now, I have no pocket money and I cannot borrow money from any one because we have no way of paying them back. I appreciate any support you can provide.”
Naikulo is a smiley seven-year-old boy from Tanzania and one of almost 40 children in his family. They shared with us that his father is polygamous and has eight wives. Naikulo's father is an older man who depends on livestock keeping to be able to care for and support his family. Naikulo has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Naikulo has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Naikulo acquired hydrocephalus in 2012 and was able to have treatment through funding that helped relieve him of the pressure build-up which was putting him in danger of brain damage. However, Naikulo's shunt has failed and he needs another surgery to help relieve him from the pain he is going through because of the pressure build-up that has resulted due to the malfunctioning of the shunt. Without treatment, Naikulo will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for Naikulo that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 28th and will drain the excess fluid from Naikulo's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Naikulo will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Naikulo’s older brother says, “My parents are not able to come up with the money needed to treat my young brother, please help him he is suffering.”
Abraham is a motorbike taxi operator from Kenya. He is married and a father of three children, the oldest is six and the youngest is two weeks old. The young couple depend on casual jobs to cater to the needs of their young family. Abraham is known to his friends and villagers as the tall and slim guy. He is a hardworking young man. One week ago, Abraham was involved in a road traffic accident while he was riding on the motorbike and sustained a traumatic right tibia fibula fracture. He is in pain and he cannot walk. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 24th, Abraham will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This treatment will help Abraham's leg heal well and he will no longer be in pain. He will also be able to walk on his own and continue working to care for his young family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Abraham says, “I wish I was home to help my wife, it’s barely two weeks since we had our baby. She needs a lot of support. I feel sorry for her. If I could be walking now I would be providing for my family. I have faith that I will walk again so that I can continue supporting my family.”