Sebastian joined Watsi on September 20th, 2016. Five years ago, Sebastian joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Sebastian's most recent donation supported Kolongo, a hardworking student from Tanzania, to fund corrective surgery so that he can walk easily.
Sebastian has funded healthcare for 69 patients in 13 countries.
Sebastian has funded healthcare for 69 patients in 13 countries.
Kolongo is a 17-year-old student and the oldest child in a family of six children. He is currently in class five in school and his best subjects are Swahili and math. Kolongo is hard-working both at school and home. He helps his parents with farm work when he is not at school. Kolongo’s parents are small-scale farmers of maize, cassava, and sorghum. They depend entirely on what they harvest for food and his father also seeks day laboring jobs to supplement the family's income. Kolongo was diagnosed with right genu valgus, which means that his right leg is bowing inward at the knee. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result of his condition, walking to school and other daily activities are difficult. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Kolongo to receive treatment. On October 8th, he will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. Treatment will hopefully restore Kolongo's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Now, AMH is requesting $880 to fund his procedure and care. Kolongo shared, "walking long distances is a challenge and carrying out my daily life activities, like working on the farm and carrying anything heavy causes me pain. I will be happy if I have my leg corrected."
Jane is a 35-year-old farmer, a single mother of two, and the 5th born child in a family of twelve. Due to the size of their family and how close-knit they are, Jane's mother commented, “all my daughters (6) have been married, gotten children, and then have come back home. I never even remember who is who and who follows the other." Jane was born with a disability and never able to attend school. Jane's mother helps to take care of her. Earlier this month, Jane was working and going through her daily activities when she slipped and fell, sustaining a fractured clavicle on her right side. Jane is in severe pain, and she is not able to go about her normal activities. Jane came to the hospital accompanied by her elderly mother and her niece, and Jane's mother shared her story with the hospital staff. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 16th, Jane will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). Following the procedure, Jane will not experience pain, the fracture will heal well and she will be able to work and take care of her children as normal. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Jane’s mother said, “I am desperate and Jane has been a great challenge to take care of even before she was sick. I kindly request help so that at least she can be well and assist herself where she can. I also wish she can be relieved of this pain.”
Florence is a 38-year-old house helper from Uganda and a single mother to two children, ages eight and nine years old. She works as a house helper and their family lives in a one-room house. For eight years, since her pregnancy with her youngest child, Florence has had a mass in her pelvic area. She experiences chronic pelvic pain and bloating and was diagnosed with multiple myomas and an ovarian cyst. Her medical team recommended a total abdominal hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus, to treat her condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,260 to fund Florence's surgery. On August 16th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Florence will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Florence shared, “I am overwhelmed with both sickness and family responsibility. I have been having this stomach upset for so long I am even worried. I need this treatment to be able to raise my young family."
Brian was born one month ago at our medical partner's care center, Kijabe Hospital. He is the first baby for his young family. Brian's father works in a newly opened bakery while his mother makes and sells pots to earn a living. His father lives in Kariobangi and mother stays with her mother in-law in an area called Bomet. Immediately after his birth, Brian was examined by the doctor and found that he was not able to pass stool. The doctor consulted with the pediatric surgery team and diagnosed him with anorectal malformations. Brian was referred to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids, immediately and was admitted in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for close monitoring. Later, Brian had a colostomy to enable him pass stool with funding from the Watsi community. He has healed well and is now scheduled for his next treatment, a PSARP surgery, to allow for stool passage. Brian’s father shares his appreciation for Watsi's support during his son's first surgery, and says: “We are thankful to God for he answered our prayers through the Watsi program. We are still requesting for more financial help for the second surgery.”
Joana is a 50-year-old primary school teacher from Malawi. She teaches a class of more than 80 children. She shared that she loves teaching because it makes her feel young and energetic. Joana is also a mother of two children of her own, ages 29 and 27. In March 2021, Joana visited a local clinic for a routine check-up and was diagnosed with a uterine mass. A total abdominal hysterectomy, or a procedure where both the uterus and cervix are removed, was recommended as treatment. If her condition is not treated, Joana is at risk of becoming severely anemic. After the surgery, it is expected that Joana will no longer experience the uncomfortable symptoms associated with her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Joana to receive treatment. On June 5th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a hysterectomy. Now, Joana needs help to fund this $1,363 procedure. Joana shared, “I will soon be a grandmother and I want to be in good health so I can play with my grandchildren the way I play with learners at school. I appreciate your support to have this uterine mass removed."
Dara is a 55-year-old engineer. He's married and lives with his wife who works in the home. Dara used to work from morning until night, but now his deteriorating vision prevents him from working as much. Currently, he works half days and spends his free time listening to the news on the radio and spending time at his neighbor's house. Five years ago, Dara developed a cataract in his left eye, causing him sensitivity to light, blurry vision, and itchiness. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Dara learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled there with a friend seeking treatment. On April 28th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Dara shared, "I hope after surgery I can regain my independence and return to working full time as an engineer."
Phors is a 21-year-old construction worker--the youngest in his family with two brothers and two sisters. Phors lives at home with his parents. His mother is a cleaner and his father is a farmer. When he is not building houses, Phors enjoys playing football, listening to music, and playing games on his phone. On March 28th, Phors was in a motor vehicle accident and fractured his left mandible and right femur. It is difficult for him to open his mouth or eat ever since. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On April 8th, Phors will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will help him to use his mouth easily again and be on the road to recovery and healing. Phors shared, "I hope I can return to work without pain and will be able to easily eat or drink."
Lucas is a playful four-month-old baby boy and the youngest child in a family of five children from his mother. His parents are small scale farmers of maize and vegetables for their food and they also keep livestock for a living, which allows them to get milk. Given the remoteness of their village, they shared that life is very difficult; meeting basic needs and access to health services are big challenges. Lucas 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, Lucas traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Lucas's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when he grows up. Lucas’s father shared, "we have no means of raising money to afford our son’s treatment cost. We will be very grateful if you can help correct his feet."
Em is a 25-year-old Chinese language teacher with two brothers and four sisters. Em's parents are farmers in the province. One year ago, Em started a job in the city teaching Chinese at a primary school. In his free time, he enjoys watching Youtube, fishing, and visiting his parents to help on the farm. When he was 10, Em 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, Em experiences hearing loss, headache, and discharge. It is difficult for him to hear and communicate with his students. Em traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 15th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Em said, "I hope after surgery my ear will be better so I can be free of my headaches and pain."
Esther is a 13-year-old girl from Kenya. She is the first born in a family of two children. Currently, Esther is a sixth grade student. She likes reading and is very active at home, especially with helping her mother with household chores. Esther's father is a farmer, while her mother is a homemaker and takes care of their family. Esther was born a healthy child. However, when she turned one year of age, her family noticed un unusual bowing in her legs. Since then, her condition has worsened. She often feels pain while walking, and cannot walk well or carry heavy loads. This affects her self-esteem, and in turn her studies as well. Esther has a condition called genu valgus, or knock knees. Last year with the help of Watsi supporters, she underwent corrective surgery on her left side, which has healed and she is walking well. Now, she is scheduled to undergo the same surgery on her right side to completely correct her legs from the bowing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Esther receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a corrective foot surgery on February 15th at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,224, and she and her family need help raising money. Once Esther is fully recovered, she will be able to walk, continue with her education, and help her mother again. Esther will also be able to socialize and play with other girls more comfortably. Esther's Aunt Fridah shared, "On behalf of the family, we are extremely grateful for the support you rendered to our daughter. May the almighty God bless you. We continue to plead for more support to ensure that she is completely healed and continue with her life like other girls."
Paul is a manual laborer from Kenya who works at a sawmill in Nyahururu. In his job, they are given duties depending on the workload so he does not have a stable income. On a good day, Paul takes home $2.50. He is a married father of one and lives in a 2 room house in Subukia, built on his father’s land. His father passed on in 2019, and his mother is elderly and depends on her children for survival. Paul was involved in an accident on the 20th of November 2020, where he works at a sawmill. He was rolled over by a wheel that caused his injury. He sustained a large lateral injury spanning from 1cm proximal to the malleolus to 15cm proximal with a large section of exposed tendon and fibular bone. He also has dislodgement of his lateral fibula. He is in chronic pain and is not able to walk on his own. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Paul receive treatment. On January 19th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help heal his wound. His hope is to be able to walk again and no longer be in pain. Now, Paul needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Paul shared with us, “Looking at the work I do, I don’t have the financial strength to pay for the surgery. I am scared and the wound looks bad. Kindly help."
Zera is a five-year-old girl and the firstborn child in her family of two. She is a curious girl and very helpful with her young sister at home. Zera has not started school yet, but her parents hope to enroll her in school when she is seven years old. Zera was born with a right clubfoot; a condition whereby her foot is curved inward at the ankle making it hard and painful to walk. Her parents and relatives tried to get her treatment at nearby clinics and were referred to other hospitals. Unfortunately, they could not afford to go. Zera has been experiencing difficulty in walking and playing due to the way her leg is curved. A few months ago Zera's aunt had her child treated at Watsi's Medical Partner's Care Center ALMC Hospital where she shared about Zera's condition. Zera's aunt told their family about the hospital hoping she could be assisted. Zera's parents are subsistence farmers who do not earn enough to pay for Zera's medical care and they need help so that Zera can start her treatment. This will allow Zera to be able to walk without difficulty when she starts school. Fortunately, Zera's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Zera's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily and free of pain. Zera shared with us, “I feel pain when walking, I cannot walk fast or run like my friends. I will be very happy if I receive treatment and be able to walk.”