Brandon joined Watsi on February 16th, 2015. Six years ago, Brandon joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Brandon's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Vireak, an 18-year-old student from Cambodia, to fund a spinal surgery to alleviate scoliosis.
Brandon has funded healthcare for 55 patients in 12 countries.
Vireak is an 18-year-old student. He is the elder brother to two younger sisters. Both of Vireak's parents work in construction. In his free time, Vireak enjoys reading books, exercising, listening to music, and helping his family with cooking and taking care of his younger sisters. Vireak has been diagnosed with lumbar scoliosis. He has a curved spine causing back pain and has difficulty walking and sitting. On November 12th, surgeons at the Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) will perform an orthopedic repair surgery on Vireak to alleviate his scoliosis pain. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to fund his spinal surgery. Once recovered, his quality of life will significantly improve and he will be able to return to life as normal. Vireak shared, "I hope after my surgery my back gets better and I can have a straight spine and be free of discomfort."
Joseph is a 10-month-old baby boy and the last born in his family to his mother who has eight other children. His father is polygamous with two wives, and the second wife has five children making them a large family of fourteen children. Four children in his family have been able to join school, but the rest have not had a chance to join yet. Joseph's older siblings who do not go to school help their parents look after their herd of five cows and five goats. Both parents depend on small-scale farming of maize, beans and vegetables for their food and are able to sell a goat once in a while to be able to get money to buy other commodities. Joseph was born at home earlier this year with the help of midwives since their nearest local hospital is a long distance from home. At birth , the midwives noticed Joseph had a swell with an open wound along his spine and advised his parents to take Joseph to hospital and seek medical care. They were able to get a small amount of money and took Joseph to a local hospital where he had his wound dressed and were referred to Watsi's Medical Partner ALMC Hospital. At the hospital, Joseph's parents were informed that their son would need to undergo surgery to help correct his Spina Bifida. Without treatment Josep was in danger of getting his spine infected, which could lead to him losing limb movement making him permanently disabled or even lead to death in case of a serious infection. Through Watsi donors' incredible support, Joseph was able to have this life-saving surgery. Unfortunately, he has since acquired hydrocephalus which is putting him in danger of brain damage due to the fluids accumulating in his head, increasing head size and pressure. His parents cannot afford the treatment cost thus they are asking for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Joseph that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 12th and will drain the excess fluid from Joseph's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life now and in the future. With proper treatment, Joseph will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Joseph’s mother says, “After my son had his first surgery he was so well, but now his head is increasing in size and he is vomiting a lot accompanied with fevers. Please help save my baby.”
Daniel is a one-month-old baby boy from Tanzania, the second born in a family of two children. Both parents are involved with small-scale farming. They grow maize and beans, which they sell and also leave some for food for their family. They shared that they have a big challenge of cultivating enough due to elephants destroying their crops even before they are ready for harvest and also some seasons don't get enough rain. Daniel 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, Daniel has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Daniel will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for Daniel that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 16th and will drain the excess fluid from Daniel's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Daniel will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Daniel’s mother says, “Please help correct our baby’s condition, we are unable to afford the treatment cost."
Khna is a 31-year-old taxi driver from Cambodia. He got married only five months ago, and his wife is a farmer. In his free time he enjoys playing volleyball with his friends, going for walks with his wife, and making improvements to his home. In August 2020, Khna fell out of a tree from a height of five meters. He was able to get up and walk home, but later that night he started feeling pain in his back. Now he is experiencing numbness in his legs and an inability to control urine flow. He has come to our partner facility, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), where doctors will be able to perform a spinal implant procedure which will alleviate the pressure on the spinal nerves. This will allow him to regain feeling in his legs and walk easily again. Khna told us, "I hope that this surgery will go well, and that I can recover quickly. I will work hard to regain strength and walk like normal."
Ohmar is a 36-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and two children in a town along the Thai-Burma border. On July 4th, Ohmar was trying to cross the highway to go to a grocery store. She was on her bike on the side of the road when a car sped past, causing her to fall off her bike and land on top of her right arm. A man who saw her fall put turmeric powder on her injured arm and wrapped it in a cloth. But Ohmar did not go to Mae Tao Clinic right away because she did not have enough money. She was only able to seek treatment two days after the accident. Now, Ohnmar's she is in pain, her right arm cannot be extended and her fingers are also swollen. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ohmar will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 16th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help make Ohnmar's right arm become functional again and she will no longer be in pain. "I am happy that I can have surgery with the support of the Burma Children Medical Fund and Watsi donors. I have to look after my two children so I need to be strong for them," shared Ohmar.
Esther is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. She used to work in her small village farm for subsistence and her husband worked as a chef in a city restaurant. However, with the closure of businesses currently due to COVID, they have limited finances. Two years ago, Esther has been experiencing lower abdominal pain, back pain and fatigue. She has been diagnosed with a swollen abdominopelvic mass. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $832 to fund Esther's surgery. On June 12th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Esther will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Esther shared hopefully, “My desire is to be treated and regain back my strength.”
Suleiman is an elderly man from Central Kenya. He and his wife are subsistence farmers, relying on their small piece of land to earn a living. They get support from their 7 children and, from time to time, the national government funds for the elderly, which are unreliable. About 19 years ago, his hearing started to deteriorate and, overtime, has worsened. Suleiman tried managing the loss with ear drops, but they were not working. He had learned to live with a partial loss. His right ear is worse so he has to turn to the left for him to hear with clarity. When he came to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital, doctors recommended he receive hearing aids. With the aids, his hearing clarity will be greatly improved. Suleiman said, “I have been struggling for a long time but I hope that my hearing will improve significantly with the aids.”
Salina is a farmer from Kenya who is married and has eight children. Salina is a farmer and life is difficult for her and her family. Her three children dropped out of school due to lack of school fees. Salina and his husband sold their only piece of land so that they could cover the cost of education and basic needs for their remaining children. A month ago, Salina fell on a slippery ground around her homestead and sustained injury on her left hand. She visited a nearby facility near her home but they were unable to treat her condition. Salina was referred to our hospital but she was unable to come due to lack of finances at home. A month later, Salina has come to hospital when her condition is getting worse. Her hand is swollen, has pain and she can’t do any duties at home. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 7th, Salina will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This surgery will help her heal well and be able to work again Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $771 to fund this procedure. Salina says, “I love family especially my children, I am worried that they might stay without food. I hope I will heal soon so that I can continue providing and supporting my family.”
Mebruka is a cute baby girl from Ethiopia who loves people and to play with others. She loves eating spaghetti. She has one older sister and she loves to play with her. Her mom is a house wife and her dad is a daily laborer. They live in a rented house and the dad’s income is very much limited for the expenses of the family. Mebruka was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Mebruka is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on November 5th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Mebruka's procedure and care. After her recovery, Mebruka will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Her mother said, “It is my hope that my baby will heal and that makes me happy even now.”
Jean is a mother of two from Haiti. She lives in a small city in southern Haiti with her husband and two young boys. Jean has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves in her heart has been severely damaged due to a rheumatic fever she suffered several years ago. Jean will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On September 11th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove her damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, is contributing $35,000 to pay for surgery. Jean'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 Jean's family overseas. "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can play with my children and take care of them."
Bernard is a casual laborer from Kenya. In April, he sustained injuries on his head, body, and both hands. He is in chronic pain and cannot use his hands. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On June 10, Bernard will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $998 to fund this procedure. “I am so desperate and would not like to become disabled. I hope to have my own family and so pray that I get help so that my hand can be well again,” says Bernard.
Rahim is a student from Tanzania. He is seven years old and loves studying math. Rahim was diagnosed with acquired left genu varus, which means his legs bow outwards. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, walking is painful and difficult. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Rahim. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 4. Treatment will hopefully restore Rahim's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Rahim’s stepfather says, “If it’s possible please help us.”