Stephen joined Watsi on April 14th, 2013. Seven years ago, Stephen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Stephen's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Joffrey, a playful 3-year-old from Tanzania, to fund mobilty-restoring knee surgery.
Stephen has funded healthcare for 228 patients in 15 countries.
Stephen has funded healthcare for 228 patients in 15 countries.
Joffrey is three years old and the only child of his young parents. He's a playful and curious boy who wants to know and understand everything around him. He is a big lover of football just like his father despite his legs being curved. His mother said she thinks he's too cheeky for his age. Joffrey has not started school yet but he keeps asking his mother to take him to school. Both Joffrey's parents are small-scale farmers who grow maize, groundnuts, rice, and vegetables. They get most of their food from what they grow on their farm. Joffrey was recently diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. His legs bow outward so that his knees do not touch. 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 feels pain even after a short walk. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Joffrey. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Joffrey's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Joffrey’s father says: “My son’s legs are worsening as days go by and from how I see it he might not be able to walk or enjoy his play, especially football, if he does not have this needed surgery.”
Kidus is a cute baby boy who loves to walk. His dad enjoys walking with him and holding his hand, and Kidus loves it when his mom carries him on her back. He also loves to watch cartoons. Kidus's dad and mom love each other so much and have a happy life together. Kidus's father is a tailor. His income is very limited and barely enough to sustain the family through the month, but love fills their home, and their lives, with happiness. When Kidus was born his parents learned that he had bladder exstrophy, a rare condition where children are born with an open bladder. His parents faced a challenge that they did not expect in their life, but they are facing it with courage. Kidus needs surgery to perform a procedure to divert his urination to the anal opening & make a pouch bladder from the bowel. He will undergo this surgery on September 28th with our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) and his family needs $1,500 for the procedure. Kidus's dad said, “For thirteen days after his birth we worked hard to get him treatment but no one in the health centres could help us. Some health workers gave us hope and some health workers did not give us any hope." He is hopeful for after surgery, “After he gets his surgery and recovers I want to tell him the truth about his condition and what we went through as a result of it when he grows up. Also, I want to tell him how he got the treatment, about the people who helped him, how God helped him and gave him this healthy life. I will tell him this so he grows up grateful and he lives to support and help others. I want him to be good and caring and God-fearing. I want him to be there for others. I believe kindness is contagious.”
Rady is an 11-year-old, sixth grade student. He is the only child in his family. Rady's father works in construction, and in the future Rady wants to become a policeman. One year ago, Rady had an ear infection that caused cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. The growth made Rady experience hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. It is difficult for him to hear at school and communicate with his friends Rady traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 1st, 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. Rady would like his life to return to normal, "I hope my ear will improve soon so I can return to school and see and hear my friends."
David is a nine-year-old boy who lives with his three sisters and one brother. His mother sells Khmer noodles at the market and his father works in construction. He shared that math and physics are his best subjects in school. When not in school, David enjoys playing with toys, playing football, watching TV, and reading books. Recently, David fell down the stairs and injured his left hip. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), diagnosed him with avascular necrosis at the hip, which means loss of blood supply to the bone. This condition causes David to have difficulty and pain when walking. Luckily, surgeons with perform a left hip bone osteotomy to relieve his pain and help prevent further damage. CSC is requesting $425 to fund this procedure. When asked about what the surgery means to him, David shared with us that he hopes to walk easily again and without pain.
Mao is a 51-year-old rice farmer with one son, one daughter, and one grandchild. Mao lives with his wife who is a grocery seller. At home he enjoys listening to the news and Chinese dramas on TV. Two years ago, the retina of Mao's left eye detached, causing him blurry vision, pain, and tearing. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Mao learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled therewith his son seeking treatment. On June 9th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Mao shared, "I hope after surgery I can see better so I can plant rice and also sell piglets from my motorbike to earn money for my family."
Thon is a 73-year-old retired farmer with five daughters, five sons, and many grandchildren. She lives with her oldest daughter (who is also a farmer) and her grandchildren. Thon's husband had passed away 15 years ago from liver disease. Currently, Thon spends much of her time cooking and taking care of her grandchildren. In her free time she likes to listen to the radio and play music for her grandchildren. Six years ago, Thon developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision, photophobia, and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Thon learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled there with her daughter seeking treatment. On June 15th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Thon shares her hopes with us: "I hope that I will be able to walk by myself and travel easily, so that I can join in some ceremonies. I hope that I will be able to see my grandchildren easily too."
Erick is a seven-month-old baby boy and the youngest child in a family of two children. His mother does laundry work to help provide for the family, while his father is a veterinarian in the area. His business was doing well before the COVID-19 pandemic, but unfortunately, they had to stop paying for health insurance when they became financially strained due to the pandemic. Erick was born with an anorectal malformation, or a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He is scheduled to have corrective surgery on July 5th and now our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,393 to cover the total cost of Erick's procedure and care. After his recovery, Erick will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing severe health complications in the future. Erick’s father shared, “during this hard time of the pandemic, we are not able to raise any money for Erick’s surgery. Please help us."
Francis is a 48-year-old hawker and a married father of two children, ages 12 and 14. Francis sells a variety of items like pencils and books in Nairobi. His wife is a cook at a nearby school, but unfortunately, due to COVID-19 she has been staying home with no salary. On the evening of Thursday, May 27, Francis was a passenger on a motorbike that was hit by a speeding car as they entered an intersection. He sustained injuries to his head and mouth and fractured his right leg. He was brought to our medical partner's care center where he received stitches in his head and an x-ray showed that he has a fractured tibia and fibula. The surgeon recommended that Francis undergo a fracture repair procedure. If not treated, he will continue to experience pain, and the bones could heal in a suboptimal position. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 3rd, Francis will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Francis will be free from the pain, the fracture will heal and he will be able to resume work. Now, AMH is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Francis shared, “I will appreciate very much any help because I have no way to raise the money needed for the surgery. I hope to get well and assist my wife in taking care of our family."
Beatrice is a three-year-old girl and the youngest in a family of five children. She is an outgoing and friendly girl who loves to play with other children. Beatrice and her siblings are being raised by their mother, who sells vegetables and fruits to make a living. She also practices small scale farming and the family grows most of the food they need at home. Beatrice went to play with a neighbor's child who is around the same age. While at her neighbor’s house, a fire had been started to prepare food. As the children were playing, Beatrice accidentally fell onto the fire. She has open wounds and a contracture behind her knee. She is at risk of infection and is not able to move her leg freely. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Beatrice receive treatment. On May 4th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her walk easily again. Now, her family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Beatrice’s mother shared, "my daughter cannot stand nor walk due to the contracture. She used to walk and go out playing with other children which is something she can’t do any more. Please help my daughter."
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.”
Neema is a 5-year-old girl and the firstborn to her mother who has three children. Neema started kindergarten earlier this year. She is a hard-working girl for her age, and looks after her siblings when her mother goes out to work on the farm. She also likes to help her mother clean their home and wash dishes. Neema was involved in a fire accident when she was one year old. She had been left in the care of an older child when her parents went out to work on the farm. As the children were playing, Neema walked into a dying fire that had been started to burn cow dung from the cattle shed. She was rescued by a passer-by and was rushed to the hospital, where she was admitted for two months. Neema's wounds healed, but contractures formed on a finger on her right-hand and the toes on her right foot. Her feet and toes are especially painful when she wears shoes and walks for a long distance. Neema's parents are not able to afford the cost of her procedure that will help to treat her contractures. They depend solely on livestock keeping and small scale farming for a living. Neema's parents had not been able to seek treatment for their daughter earlier due to the remoteness of their village, lack of proper medical facilities, and financial challenges. They appeal for help and support for their daughter's surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Neema receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo surgery to free up her thumb for better movement and amputate her littlest finger at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,088, and she and her family need help raising money. Neema's father shared, “The fire accident has left my daughter with a disability. We hope for her to get treated but we cannot afford the cost. Please help us.”
Nary is a 79-year-old retired soldier from Cambodia. He has three sons, four daughters, and five grandchildren. Nary lives with his wife and two of his daughters. He shared that he likes to listen to the news and monks praying on the radio. Around three years ago, Nary developed a cataract in his left eye, causing blurry vision, photophobia, tearing, and pain. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Nary learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three and a half hours with his daughter seeking treatment. On November 23rd, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Nary said, "At this age I just want to go to the pagoda and look after my grandchildren. I hope my eye gets better so I can do this."