Stephen NathanUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Stephen's Story

Stephen joined Watsi on April 14th, 2013. Ten years ago, Stephen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Stephen's most recent donation traveled 9,000 miles to support Rosemary, a grandmother from Malawi, to fund stomach surgery.

Impact

Stephen has funded healthcare for 280 patients in 17 countries.

Patients funded by Stephen

Rosemary is a mother of five children. She lives with her husband, their two youngest children, and 6 grandchildren. Rosemary enjoys chatting with her grandchildren and eating nsima, a porridge made from maize flour and served with local chicken and vegetables. Five years ago, Rosemary started experiencing swelling near her abdomen After visits to different hospitals and clinics, she was diagnosed with an umbilical hernia and was recommended to have surgery. Her symptoms worsened as she delayed treatment and was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia, a condition that occurs when part of the stomach protrudes up into the chest through the diaphragm because of the weakening of surrounding tissues. Rosemary could no longer walk long distances and was experiencing frequent vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, heartburn, discomfort, and pain in her chest and abdomen. Rosemary can hardly do anything at home due to worsening pains during activities that add more pressure to the painful area. Rosemary was later taken to Partners in Hope Medical Center and doctors explained the need for a surgical intervention called Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication, a surgery that treats Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD). In GORD, acid from the stomach leaks up into the esophagus (gullet) due to the weakness of the lower esophageal sphincter which leads to failure to close properly. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On May 7th, Rosemary will undergo surgery that will help relieve her of her symptoms and improve her quality of life. AMH is requesting $1,244 to fund this procedure. Rosemary said, “I can now smile again and look forward to a successful surgery, for me to be well again.”

$514raised
$730to go

Nan is a 50-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. Nan's and his wife have eight children. Four still live at home - one son works in the rice paddies with his parents, and the three youngest children are still in school. His four older children are married but visit the family frequently. Last February, when Nan was on his way home on his motorbike during a rainstorm, he suddenly lost control of the bike on the muddy road. He fractured his left femur, but could not afford to visit the clinic, so he was treated by a Khmer traditional healer. His fractured femur has still not healed. When a bone fracture is untreated, the bone doesn't heal at all, which means that it will remain broken. As a result, Nan continues to have swelling, tenderness, and pain that has worsened over the past ten months. It is difficult for him to walk and he is in constant pain. Nan is embarrassed because he cannot work outside with his wife and son or help to feed his family. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) can help. On December 11th, Nan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $483. This procedure will fixate his unhealed fracture with an orthopedic nail to help to heal the bone and allow him to walk again. Nan is able to contribute towards the cost of surgery and needs help raising the remaining to fund his procedure. He said, "I hope to be able to walk again after my operation, so I can work to feed my family and send my younger children to school."

$483raised
Fully funded

Marife is a loving wife and mother from the Philippines. She previously worked as a janitor at Makati Medical Center but had to quit to give more time to her daughter, who has difficulty breathing with asthma. Marife occasionally does freelance work, but their family mostly depends on the income her husband makes as a janitor. Marife and her family reside in a Housing Relocation Site provided by the National Housing Authority. One year ago, Marife began to experience troubling symptoms, including vomiting and extreme abdominal pain. She described it as even worse pain than when she gave birth. For a year, she tried various medications and home remedies to help ease the pain, but to no avail. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Marife was diagnosed with cholelithiasis, or gallstones. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Marife is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) on October 21st. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,128 to cover the cost of Marife's surgery and care. Marife says, "This surgery will be a great help for me and my family as it will regain my confidence. I have been through depression since I first felt my symptoms. This illness sacrificed my supervision and parenting time with my daughter. I had come to the point of being hopeless but thanks to this hospital and the donors I will fight and continue my life. I hope they can help more people like me who need an operation. Thank you very much."

$1,128raised
Fully funded

Recheal is a 20-year-old from Kenya. She is studying in secondary school but has been unable to attend school for the last three months due to her condition. Recheal is the sixth born in a family of eleven children. Her parents are small-scale farmers, growing maize and beans for their family’s home use. Recheal does not have medical coverage, and her parents had to sell cattle and maize to raise Ksh 120,000.00 ($783) to cover her initial surgery costs. Recheal needs to undergo urgent surgery, and her family is requesting financial assistance. Recheal has been diagnosed with an abdominal bile leak that is causing her discomfort and pain. Her doctors have recommended surgery to ease the pain and enable her to resume her studies. She first experienced painful stomach swelling in August 2023. She visited a local health center and was treated for worms, which relieved her of pain for a while, but it recurred with time. She then visited our medical partner’s hospital for review. At the beginning of November, she received a CT scan that showed a liver cyst that required surgery. She underwent a laparotomy to remove the cyst on November 23rd. Four days later, the doctors identified a bile leakage that needed to be rectified. She is now scheduled for emergency surgery on November 28th to fix the fatal condition. African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is requesting $1,074 to fund this surgery. Recheal said, “I have missed school for three months now. This procedure will help ease stomach pain and enable me to return to school.”

$1,074raised
Fully funded

Ester is a 56-year-old woman from Uganda. She is married with five children, all in school. Together with her husband, she engages in small-scale farming for survival. Ester humbly requests donors to support her tumor removal surgery, enabling her to lead a better quality of life and continue providing for her family. She has been experiencing swelling around the neck posteriorly for ten years, which has significantly impacted her quality of life. This condition prevents her from turning her neck or carrying anything on her head. She has endured this problem for so long, causing her discomfort and disfigurement. Due to her condition, she avoids wearing clothes that don't cover her neck, fearing ridicule. The inability to afford surgical treatment has been stressful for her. Without proper treatment, her quality of life will continue to deteriorate, and the swelling may progress severely. Ester has never received hospital treatment and has relied on pain relievers from health centers, which did not alleviate her condition. As her mass worsened, she decided to seek help at Nyakibale Hospital, where she learned about successful treatments from others. On November 7th, she is scheduled for surgery to finally remove the mass on her neck. Now, Ester needs help to raise $137 to fund this procedure. Ester says, "I will surely be grateful and praise the Living God to free myself from this condition. I thank the donors for their support, as I cannot afford it. I look forward to farming once I am well."

$137raised
Fully funded