Penelope joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Four years ago, Penelope became the 1865th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,560 more people have become monthly donors! Penelope's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Sifa, a three-month-old from Tanzania, to fund surgery for his spina bifida condition.
Penelope has funded healthcare for 55 patients in 10 countries.
Sifa is a baby from Tanzania. Sifa is a three months old baby boy and the youngest child in a family of four children. Sifa's parents come from the central part of Tanzania where most people depend on farming for their living. His parents own a small piece of land from which they are able to grow maize and sunflowers. Their income is not much and barely enough to support their family. Sifa was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Sifa is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Sifa's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 24th. This procedure will hopefully spare Sifa from the risks associated with his condition, allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Sifa’s mother says, “Please help my son."
Bravel Paul is an 8-year-old student from Kenya. He likes playing football and watching cartoons. His family hails from Kajiado County. He is a class 1 pupil and likes reading books and other hobbies. His father is a caretaker for some houses, while his mother is a housewife. The family lives in a one-roomed rental house in Kitengela. Bravel has clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Bravel traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 24th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Bravel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. "I would like to see my son walking comfortably and therefore any assistance accorded to us will be highly appreciated," Bravel’s father told us.
Eliphas is the fifth born in a family of seven children. He is in the third grade but has had to repeat grade levels due to the financial instability of the family. His older three siblings already had to drop out of school because they could not pay the fees and lacked food. Eliphas' father died in 2013, so his mother is a widow and has difficulty making ends meet. His mother works as a casual laborer, washing clothes in the neighborhood and sometimes farming for other people. She and her children live in a mud house on a small piece of land. Eliphas fell and sustained a left femur fracture. If Eliphas does not get the required treatment, he may develop an infection or lose the function of his leg. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is asking for your help to fund the cost of his treatment. Eliphas and his family need $1,130 to fund this mobility-restoring surgery. Eliphas' mother shared, “If my son gets help, I shall be very happy and appreciative."
Thean is a 12-year-old sixth grade student from Cambodia. She is only child in her family and her mom and dad are rice farmers. She enjoys reading books and mathematics, social science, and English are all her favorite subjects in school. When she grows up she wants to be a teacher. She likes to eat sausages and fried fish, and drink kulen juice. Since she was two, Thean has experienced hearing loss making it hard for her to communicate with friends, family, and neighbors. When she was six her family took her to a local health center for treatment but they could not improve her condition. Her family brought her in to see what the problem was and how she could be treated. Thean had an early ear infection and this infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in her right ear to perforate. For this reason, Thean experiences ear discharge, foul smell, and decreased hearing over time. Thean traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 20th, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $464 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Her mother said, "I have been worried about her ear problem for a long time and how it might negatively affect her future. I hope that after surgery her hearing will be improved and change her life. I want her to continue her studies so she may become a teacher in the future."
Sam is a 12-year-old student from Cambodia, and the third of four siblings in her family. Her mom sells food at the local market and her dad is a tuk tuk driver. She is in grade 6 at her primary school. Sam's best subjects are Khmer and English literature and she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. In her free time she enjoys playing games and watching TV. Five years ago, Sam had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Sam experiences pain, ear discharge, and hearing loss. She has difficulty communicating with others and the ear infection occasionally causes her a high fever. She is no longer attending school because of her worsening condition. Sam traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 30th, she will 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. "I hope that my daughter's surgery will be successful so she can go back to school," Sam's mother said.
Delvin is a baby boy from Tanzania, and is the second born to his parents. Delvin’s mother has another child who stays with his father in a different region after they separated. She got married to Delvin's father who also had another child. His parents depend on small-scale farming for their living thus their income is very little. Delvin 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, Delvin has been experiencing seizures. Without treatment, Delvin will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Delvin that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 11th and will drain the excess fluid from Delvin's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Delvin will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Delvin’s mother says, “Kindly help my son please, we are unable to afford the treatment cost and his health is worsening each day."
Rosemary is a housewife from Kenya. She is married with nine children. Her husband does not currently work, while she is a housewife and only sells vegetables to the neighbors. Their children could not get the needed education and so some are casual employees while others are struggling at home with the parents. Twenty years ago, Rosemary began to experience troubling symptoms, including persistent headaches and pain. 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 Rosemary receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on February 10th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $625, and she and her family need help raising money. “I was having pain but didn’t know what to do because of lack of money. I thank my neighbor who guided me here and hope you can help me to get surgery, so that I can continue to care for my family,” said Rosemary.
Nurudini is a four year old boy from Tanzania and the last born child to his parents. He was healthy until the age of one and a half years when his legs seemed to curve by the lower side and seemingly weak. His mother, concerned, took him to the hospital for review and had calcium medications prescriptions. She hoped that the calcium would strengthen his bones preventing further curving. Through a poster advertisement, his mother learnt of our services and brought Nurudini for treatment. He was diagnosed with genu varus and surgery is recommended. With the successful surgery, Nurudini will be able to walk with ease and reduce the chances of further disabilities. He had his left leg corrected and now Nurudini requires correction of the right leg. Nurudini's mother sells vegetables at their local market while his father works at construction sites. Their combined income does not make ends meet and with the ability to retain some money for medical expenses. They appeal for financial assistance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Nurudini. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 28th. Treatment will hopefully restore Nurudini's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Nurudini’s mother says, “My son’s walking has gotten better after having his left leg corrected though he is still limping due to the right one which he couldn’t have it corrected earlier.”
Srey Srors is a 19-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has one older brother, and in her spare time she enjoys watching television and helping around the house with the cooking and cleaning. In June 2019, Srey Sors was in a severe motorcycle accident that resulted in damaging nerve injuries to her upper left arm. She has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on her left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. She is unable to move her left arm and cannot return to her work on the rice farm. Srey Srors traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On December 10th, she will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, she will be able to use her arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $637 to fund this procedure. "I hope that after my surgery, can use my arm again and return to my work at the rice fields," shared Srey Srors.
Dina is a pretty little girl from Kenya. She is the 4th born and last born in the family. the family hails from Nyamakoroto village in Nyamira county. Her mother is a single parent who works as a casual laborer in a tea farm within the locality. Dina has clubfoot of her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Dina traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 01. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Dina's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. "I will appreciate any kind of assistance enhanced to make my daughter walk without straining. Thank you so much,” Josephine, Dina’s mother told us.
Nuriya is a cute child from Ethiopia. Nuriya's mother was in Saudi Arabia for four years doing domestic work and her employers did not pay her during this time. She asked for her salary several times but they refused to pay her. Finally she decided to go home and they send her home without her payment. Nuriya’s father was also immigrant in Saudi Arabia for eight years. He went to Saudi Arabia illegally by sea and was caught and deported back to Ethiopia several times but he kept using his savings to go back. Once Nuriya’s parents were back in Ethiopia, they decided to stay and start a family. Their families have decided to help them and accommodate them until they find work. Nuriya’s father has not found work and now he plans to buy oxen and start farming. Nuriya was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Nuriya is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on October 07. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nuriya's procedure and care. After his recovery, Nuriya will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Nuriya’s mother said “We can’t afford the medical bill. We are here through the support of another organization. We are living under the support of our relatives. Nuriya’s colostomy operation was done by the government. I believe the child will get better soon."
Mary walks into my office with the top of her cardigan covering her chin. She sits on the chair opposite me with one hand clasping the top of her black cardigan to veil the swell running from her jawline to her neck. The lower lip protrudes with a peeping swelling attached in so that her upper lip cannot touch the lower one. This has been Mary’s life for over 6 months. Late last year, Mary developed a small swelling on her jaw. It was not painful and therefore she did not think of it as serious. As time passed, the swell grew in size. Mary who could eat just about anything now has restrictions on what she can eat. There is pain when she bends and this has also obstructed her working. Mary is married with two children. She was a subsistence farmer before the condition restricted her activities. Mary and her husband depend on one of their daughter who sells second-hand clothes. Besides helping her parents, she has four children under her care. Mary says, “Please help me because I can barely eat."