Sarah joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Sarah joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Sarah's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Benjamin, a farmer and father of six from Kenya, to fund a fracture repair surgery so he can walk and farm again.
Sarah has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 10 countries.
Sarah has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 10 countries.
Benjamin is a farmer from a small village in Kenya where most of his neighbors also farm for a living. He plants maize and potatoes in communal land. He feels blessed to have six children with his wife. Their family lives in a house made of mud on the farm given by their parents. Benjamin shared that his employment options are limited because his family was only able to send him to school until grade eight, at which point he left school and became married. Over a week ago, Benjamin suffered an injury on his right knee after he fell on the way home from the farm. Benjamin is unable to stand on his right foot nor to flex his knee. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On June 30th, Benjamin is scheduled to undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After the surgery, Benjamin will be able to walk and farm to provide for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Benjamin has a strong protectiveness and sense of responsibility for his family. Smiling, he states, “My hope is to receive treatment, be well, and continue supporting my family."
Veronica is a cheerful, married 29-year-old mother of two children. Veronica shared that she left school in primary school, because her parents could not afford her school fees. Her husband earns a living through helping people lift heavy luggage at a local bus station, and he also does a variety of other jobs when he has the opportunity. Veronica enjoys spending time with her two children, ages two and four; they give her joy and fulfillment as a mother. Her family lives in a one-bedroom rented house. In 2009, Veronica developed a swelling on her neck. She ignored it, thinking it would soon go away, but in 2014, the swelling grew. In 2015, she was diagnosed with a goiter, or enlarged thyroid, and surgery was recommended. As the goiter continues to grow, she has experienced coughing, difficulty breathing and difficulty swallowing. She can no longer sing in church or carry heavy things on her head, and she shared that she can no longer eat hard foods like msima, a Malawian staple. Veronica also told us that the condition has changed her appearance and has impacted her self-esteem. Veronica has visited the government hospital more than 15 times since her diagnosis, but her surgery was always rescheduled. Two weeks ago, she went to a different hospital and was referred to our medical partner's care center, where a surgeon recommended a thyroidectomy. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Veronica receive treatment. On May 25th, Veronica will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $1,015 to fund her procedure. The surgery is expected to improve her life and heal her symptoms. With a hopeful smile, Veronica shared, “I am overwhelmed with this opportunity to be sponsored for this operation. After the operation, I hope to live normally and care for my children properly. I believe I should be able to eat hard msima [the Malawi staple food] or raw cassava and potatoes which I now miss greatly. I look forward to sleeping without struggles after this surgery, much appreciation!”
Mary is a 78-year-old woman and a married mother of ten children. Since her husband is elderly, she depends on her children for day-to-day support. Mary used to have a small business selling cereals, but now that she is older, she mostly stays home and does some farming. In the mid-2020, Mary began experiencing pain in the upper left part of her abdomen, abdominal fullness and lack of appetite. She was taken to a few different hospitals, but the medicines prescribed did not help her condition. An ultrasound scan showed that Mary has gallstones, and a cholecystectomy was recommended to help her fully heal. If not treated, she could experience complications like gall bladder inflammation or blockage. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Mary to receive treatment. On May 6th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a cholecystectomy to remove Mary's gallbladder. Now, AMH is requesting $788 to fund Mary's surgery. Mary shared, "if that is the only way to make me well, I plead for your help so that I can be ok and continue mentoring my children and taking care of my husband."
Stephanie is a seven-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her aunt, uncle, and three cousins in a rural area in far southwestern Haiti. She enjoys going to school and church. Stephanie 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. Stephanie will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On April 9th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in Stephanie's heart with a patch and remove the blockage from her valve. Another organization, Akron Children's Hospital, is contributing $17,000 to pay for surgery. Stephanie's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. 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 Stephanie's family overseas. Stephanie's aunt shared, "we have been waiting a very long time for this surgery and are relieved it can finally happen!"
Losieku is a nine-year-old boy and the youngest child born to his mother, who has six children. He is a friendly, cheerful and hard-working boy. He has not had the chance to go to school yet, though his father says he has plans to enroll him in school next year if everything goes well. Losieku lives in Northern Tanzania. The majority of people in this area are traditional Maasai and are livestock farmers. Losieku's father has a few goats that Losieku and his siblings take out to graze. They also practice small-scale farming of maize and vegetables as a source of food. About three years ago, Losieku was out playing with his siblings. He fell and his left hand went into an open fireplace where a bit of hot charcoal was burning below ashes. He sustained burns which were treated at home using traditional herbal medication due to lack of money and distance to the closest hospital. Over the years, the skin around his fingers has contracted and he is unable to straighten them. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Losieku receive treatment. On March 3, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery so that he will be able to use his fingers freely. Now, he needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Losieku’s father shared, "it’s really challenging for my son to carry out his daily activities because of his hand. He is a hardworking boy, and if he gets his hand corrected, it will help him do more with ease.”
Plork is an 18-year-old ice driver from Cambodia. He has 7 siblings - 3 brothers and 4 sisters. Plork is the youngest in the family. He lives with his parents who are farmers. In December 2020, Plork was electrocuted in an electrical accident, which burned his hand. Electrical burns occur most commonly on the hands and feet. His family took him to a provincial hospital for wound care, and he spent 3 days in the hospital. When Plork returned home, his right hand got infected and did not heal. He went and had a surgical debridement of the dead skin, which healed well. Now, however, Plork cannot use this hand and is constantly in pain. He is feeling very unwell and describes his health as poor. When Plork learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled for six hours seeking treatment. On February 5th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft to help his hand to heal properly so that he can use his hand again. Now, he needs help to fund this $787 procedure. Plork shared, "After surgery, I hope my right hand will be get better and have no more pain and wound infection. I hope I can return to work soon and support my family again."
Oeun is a 36-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. Oeun has been married for ten years and has one daughter and one son who are both in school. Oeun's wife is also a rice farmer along with him. In his free time, Oeun enjoys spending time with his children and meeting up with his friends to drink beer. Two weeks ago, Oeun was burned by acid on his forehead and shoulders. He first went to a provincial hospital where they dressed his wounds for nine days but he developed an infection and the wound grew larger. His neighbor told him to come to Watsi's Medical Partner CSC for treatment. He is in pain and the wound infection is spreading, threatening his healthy skin. When Oeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On October 14th, surgeons at CSC will perform a debridement procedure to help remove the dead skin and clean the area. Now, he needs help to fund this $787 procedure. Oeun said, "I hope my skin will get better soon and my pain will go away."
Zakayo is a 6-year-old from Tanzania. Zakayo is a firstborn child in his family. He is currently in nursery school, he just started school this year and his father says he loves school and he has made so many friends. He has not been able to read or write yet, but he is eager to learn. Zakayo got into a fire accident when he was one year old, his mother had cooked a meal and left the fire burning. He walked to the fire and touched the burning firewood with both his hands and he then fell into the fire burning both his hands and his stomach as well. His mother rushed to get him and got him out of the fire. He was treated using the traditional medications (honey, tree leaves and eggs). He healed but his hands now have a contracture limited his ability to use them. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Zakayo receive treatment. On December 4th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery so he will be able to use his hand and fingers well and this will help him in school. Now, his family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Zakayo says, "I really want to be able to use both my hands like my friends and be able to do things for myself. My father says I need this treatment so that when I grow up i will not have trouble using my hands."
Jenipher is a 48-year-old mother of three from Kenya. She is married and lives in Umoja area in Nairobi County. In August 2020, Jenipher started experiencing heavy bleeding. She visited a hospital in Umoja, where the doctor suggested that the bleeding may be a result of menopause. She was put on medication for hormonal imbalance and hematinic for blood cell production. Unfortunately, the bleeding continued, so she was referred by a friend to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Nazareth Hospital. There, Jenipher had an ultrasound, which unfortunately showed that she had a cervical mass. The gynaecologist recommended that she undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. However, this procedure is very costly for Jenipher and her family. Currently, they depend on her husband’s income from his small business as a carpenter. Since she was let go from her job as a school secretary due to the school's bankruptcy, Jenipher has tried her hand in several small businesses. Lately, she is unable to do much because the bleeding leaves her feeling very drained and uncomfortable. She hopes to get better and help her 20-year-old daughter start a boutique business that can supplement their family’s income. If left untreated, Jenipher's bleeding will continue and may lead to severe anaemia. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $755 to fund Jenipher's surgery. On October 30th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Jenipher will be able to resume her daily activities free of fatigue and pain. Jenipher shared, “I am hopeful that surgery will help me get better so that my daughter and I can start a small boutique business to enable us to take care of my grandchild.”
Morch is a 60-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has two sons, two daughters, and two grandchildren. When she is not busy at home caring for her family, she enjoys spending time with her friends at the local church. Two years ago, Morch developed a cataract in each eye, causing her pain, tearing, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Morch learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for eight hours seeking treatment. On February 26th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $425 procedure. "I hope that I can get better after my surgery and that I will be be able to see clearly and go places on my own again," she shared.
Ing is a seven-year-old student from Cambodia. She lives in Kompongcham province with her parents and her sister. She enjoys playing with her sister and walking in nature, and shared with us that her favorite subject at school is reading. About two months ago, Ing had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in her right ear ear to perforate. Now, Ing experiences ear pain and constant discharge. Her parents have had to spend above their relative pay to get ear drops for her, and the treatment has been mostly ineffective. Ing traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On June 3rd, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her right ear 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. Ing's mother said, "I don't want to worry about her ears being in pain anymore, and it is hard to always take care of this problem and buy medicine. I hope this surgery will finally solve this problem."
Bravin is a child from Kenya. He is a cheerful boy who is in preschool. He is the firstborn in a family of two children. Bravin’s mother is a stay-at-home mom, while the father is a casual laborer on construction sites. On July 4th, 2020 Bravin fell from a chair as he was playing in his house. He sustained a closed fracture-dislocation of the right elbow. He is in pain and cannot use his hand freely. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 5th, Bravin will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him regain use of his hand and no longer be in pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I have watched my child suffering from pain for the past four weeks, yet we have no money to meet this cost. I kindly ask for help so that my boy can be well and use his hand so that he can grow up normally," shared Bravin’s mother.