Stephen joined Watsi on April 14th, 2013. Six years ago, Stephen became the 128th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,709 more people have become monthly donors! Stephen's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Mbegesi, a 9-year-old from Tanzania, to fund clubfoot treatment.
Stephen has funded healthcare for 194 patients in 15 countries.
Mbegesi is nine-year-old student from Tanzania and the second born in a family if three children. His parents are small-scale farmers with very limited income. Mbegesi has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Mbegesi traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Mbegesi's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Mbegesi’s father says, “His age mates are ahead in school. I would love to see him be able to walk like other normal children and be able to study with ease."
Starlex is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and two younger brothers in Cap Haitien, a city in northern Haiti. His father is a taxi driver. He is in the second grade and likes going to school and playing with his friends. Starlex has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Starlex will fly to Canada to receive treatment. On April 1st, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage from his valve. Another organization, The Herbie Fund, is contributing $25,000 to pay for surgery. Starlex's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and transport. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Starlex's family overseas. Starlex's father shared, "My family is looking forward to the day when our son can be healthy and normal!"
Nazario is a bus conductor from Uganda who came to our facility with complaints of left popliteal swelling that has affected him for six months. The painful cyst limits his ability to move especially at work where he is a bus conductor. Nazario has tried seeking treatment previously unsuccessfully. As the pain persisted and became severe, Nazario opted to come to our facility and had a cyst diagnosis. Surgery has been recommended to excise the cyst. Unfortunately, Nazario is not able to raise the total funds required for his surgery. If not treated, he will continue experiencing pain and walk with difficulty. The father of four children ekes out a living as a bus conductor while his wife is a peasant farmer. Their income is only sufficient to meet the family's basic needs. On December 31st, surgeons will remove the mass. Now, Nazario needs help to raise $187 to fund this procedure. Nazario says ,“I am more optimistic to getting better after my surgery.”
Vy is a 74-year-old vegetable seller from Cambodia. She has five children, thirteen grandchildren, and enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio in her spare time. Five months ago, Vy developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Vy learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On November 05, doctors will perform a small incision 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 $211 procedure. Vy said, "I hope that I will be able to see clearly again so I can return to the pagoda and so I can recognize my relatives's faces."
Stella is a four year old girl from Tanzania. Stella's parents are peasant farmers relying on subsistence farming to make ends meet. During dry seasons, they seek casual labour such as cleaning clothes to provide for their three children. Stella limps and complains of pain. She walks very slowly due to genu varus, where her legs are curved outwards. When standing, it is hardly noticeable but upon walking, she limps, making it challenging for her to walk. The firstborn in her family was born healthy, only acquiring the condition when she was two years old. Stella's parents were not able to seek timely treatment for their daughter due to financial need. With successful surgery, she will be able to walk with ease and less pain. They are not able to consolidate the funds needed for the surgery. They appeal for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Stella. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 5th. Treatment will hopefully restore Stella's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Stella’s mother says, “we were directed here to seek help after we couldn’t afford our daughter’s treatment cost. Please help our daughter so that she can get this treatment.”
Ruth is the sole breadwinner to her three children after separating with the husband after becoming ill. Ruth has complained of abdominal pains for some time now. She has had numerous tests to diagnose the pains, been under different medications that only reduce pain from time to time. In 2018, she was hospitalized with complains of persistent abdominal pains. In November, she complained again and this time they sought care in Watsi's partner facility AIC Kijabe Hospital. CT scanning revealed a gall bladder mass necessitating urgent surgery. Without the surgery, Ruth will be in constant pain and chances of further complications from the mass might imminent. Ruth sells second-hand clothes to make ends meet. Ruth is not able to meet the cost of surgery. She appeals for help.
Vandy is a twelfth-grade student from Cambodia. He enjoys playing soccer, listening to music, and hanging out with his friends. He hopes to become a police officer when he gets older. In June 2019, Vandy was in a severe motorcycle accident that fractured his left leg. He went for treatment at a referral hospital where doctors fixed Vandy with internal hardware to heal his fracture. Now, a nail from the hardware has broken, leaving him with pain and discomfort. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On November 19th, Vandy will undergo a hardware removal procedure, which will cost $214. Surgery will remove the hardware and ensure that Vandy can move and walk again with ease and comfort. Vandy said, "I hope that I will feel better soon and no longer have any pain so I can return to my studies."
Ainomugisha is a two-year-old girl from Uganda. Her parents are small-scale farmers. Ainomugisha is the only child to the young couple and they cannot afford her treatment. Since about 18 months ago, Ainomugisha has had an umbilical hernia. This causes her to cry especially after meals and if not treated, she might suffer intestinal tissue damage or even death. Fortunately, on January 14th, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $219 to fund Ainomugisha's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. Ainomugisha's mother says, “I pray that my child gets fine after surgery.”
Alice is a wife and mother of eight from Tanzania. Her husband, is also a farmer, and they both assist each other in their daily duties. They plant potatoes for consumption and also for commercial purpose. The family is hardworking but due to having a large family, they struggle financially to make ends meet. Also to add to their hardship, one of their children is paralyzed and disabled. Alice has give him special attention because he can’t leave the compound and all he can do is crawl outside and in the house. Seven years ago, Alice began to experience troubling symptoms, including anterior neck swelling that has been increasing in size. She was diagnosed with a goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Alice receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on November 15th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $641, and she and her family need help raising money. Alice says, “I want to be a strong mother for my children especially my son. I have good plans for them.”
Alvin is a baby boy from Tanzania. Alvin is very friendly and charming, he is the only child to his single mother. His mother has a small shop from where she is able to get money to support her son. The income is not much but gets them by somehow. Alvin was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. His legs are bowed so that his knees cannot 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 has a difficult time walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Alvin. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 24th. Treatment will hopefully restore Alvin's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Alvin’s mother says, “As days go by my son’s legs keep worsening and walking is becoming more difficult. Please help treat him.”
Jane is a middle-aged woman who is undergoing serious pain in her spine and waist area. In August 2019, she complained of hip-area pain and had ointment applied. Over the weeks, the pain has become severe accompanied with numbness in both legs. She hardly sits down and has to be assisted to make every move. Pain medicines have not been helpful to her. She had an MRI and was diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) of the spine. She requires surgery to relieve her of the pain and regain her ability to walk. Jane used to be a peasant farmer while her husband is a driver. The mother of four children is not able to raise the full amount required for surgery. They have managed to raise $1,000 and the national insurance has committed to pay $1,300. The family is hoping to raise the remaining amount from Watsi supporters. Jane says, “I am in severe pain and my prayer is that soon I will be able to walk with ease.”
Saroeun is a 31-year old corn bread baker from Cambodia. In her free time, she enjoys looking after her two daughters and cooking for her family. When she was 12 years old, Saroeun had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Saroeun experiences headaches, infection, discharge, tinnitus, and itchiness. It is difficult for her to listen clearly to others and cannot communicate well. Saroeun traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 18th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $842 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Saroeun said, "I hope that after my surgery, the ear infection will stop and my hearing will improve."