Andy joined Watsi on December 1st, 2015. Five years ago, Andy joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Andy's most recent donation supported Rhophence, a mother of 4 children from Kenya, to remove a mandibular mass.
Andy has funded healthcare for 61 patients in 13 countries.
Andy has funded healthcare for 61 patients in 13 countries.
Rhophence is struggling to speak when we meet her. She cannot pronounce words clearly or eat regularly due to a mandibular mass. She was diagnosed with Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia, which is also causing her teeth to loosen on the affected area. She is scheduled for a 10-hour surgery at our Medical Partner's Care Center Kijabe Hospital. Her chronic mandibular swelling started back in October 2020 as a small swelling and has gradually increased in size, so Rhophence was forced to visit the hospital. She was treated for pain in their local health centre and discharged home. But, the swelling worsened and Rhophence opted to visit Kijabe in May 2021. Several tests revealed the Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia diagnosis and surgery was recommended. She does not have the funds for the various procedures to relieve her pain. She is a single mother of four children aged between 30 and 18 years. She comes from a remote village along the Kenyan coast. She is currently jobless with no source of income and stays with her younger brother who she depends on for survival. The surgery is estimated to cost about $4,500. She has active national health insurance coverage that has only approved $2,000. She is unable to raise the remaining amount. She fundraised money for travel fare to come to Kijabe and she is now being hosted in the local centre by a relative. Rhophence shared, "This swelling is so painful. My mouth is deformed and I cannot even speak clearly. It’s sadly starting to give a bad odour making people close to me uncomfortable. This is affecting my life. I need these surgeries to normalize my life.”
Maria Jose is a cute and intelligent baby from Colombia. She lives with her single mother, Sandra, and her godmother and aunt. Sandra only has good wishes for her daughter, and works really hard to see her baby happy. Maria Jose has clubfoot on both feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This will cause difficulty walking and even wearing shoes in the future. Fortunately, Maria Jose's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 31th. Our partner is requesting $1,500 to fund Maria Jose's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to crawl, walk and run with ease. Sandra shares her hopes for Maria Jose's development, "I really wish to see her grow as a normal child, and enjoy every step of her life. After the surgery I deeply want to see her crawl, walk, run, and play with other kids."
Esamu is a one-year-old baby boy from Tanzania and the youngest child in a family of four children. Esamu's mother has a small hair salon just outside of their home, while his father seeks day labor jobs at construction sites to support their family. Esamu was born with a mass on the right side of his jaw and experiences redness and swelling. His parents tried to seek treatment for him at an early age, but they were not successful until now. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Esamu to receive treatment. He traveled to AMH's care center where, on June 4th, surgeons will remove the mass. Now, Esamu needs help to raise $724 to fund this procedure. Esamu’s mother shared, "we have spent the little money we had saved seeking treatment for our baby to no success. Please help our son."
Chaw is a 35-year-old woman who lives with her husband and two children in Burma. Her husband is a fisherman, who earns 10,000 kyat (approx. 10 USD) per day selling his catch at the market. However, she shared that since the coup d'état in February, he cannot work because he is afraid of being taken away. Her husband has tried to find other work, but nobody wants to hire him because they also have the same problem. About a year ago, Chaw was diagnosed with diabetes. She could not always afford to pay for medication, and only able to purchase it occasionally. One day, while she was doing household chores, she accidentally injured her left foot with a knife. The wound worsened, until she sought treatment at a local clinic, where it was recommended that she seek treatment at a hospital. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Chaw to receive treatment. Chaw visited BCMF's care center where a doctor examined her foot. While examining her, the doctor diagnosed her with a diabetes-related cellulitis ulcer and recommended surgery. Currently, the skin around Chaw's ulcer is red, she has a fever and experiences severe pain in her left foot, especially at night. On May 11th, she will undergo a wound debridement procedure, and now she needs help to fund the $694 procedure. Chaw shared, "our family has low income during these difficult times and we cannot pay for treatment. Our two children are staying with their grandmother because my husband has to take care of me while I am admitted at the hospital."
Ko is a 37-year-old father of five who lives with his wife, three daughters and two sons in a refugee camp in Thailand. His family receives a cash card every month from an organization, but this is not enough to cover their expenses. Therefore, he also works as an agricultural day laborer in a nearby Thai village. In his free time, Ko enjoys playing cane ball and spending time with his friends. On December 11, 2020, Ko slipped and fell onto rocks outside of the camp. When he tried to get up, Ko could tell that his leg was broken. He went to the hospital in the refugee camp run by Malteser International (MI). He was eventually referred to a hospital where he underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into his leg on December 25, 2020. When he went back to the hospital for his follow-up appointment on February 3, 2021, the doctor observed that the surgical wound was infected and he underwent surgery to clean his wound. When the wound still did not heal, the doctor referred him to another hospital, where the doctor told him he would need an additional surgery to remove necrotic tissue and replace the rod in his leg. Currently, Ko is experiencing a lot of pain. It is difficult for him to walk and he is worried about his family in the camp. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ko will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and finally heal. This procedure will allow Ko to walk and his leg to heal properly. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. Ko shared, “I really want to work to support my family as soon as possible. I cannot imagine what life would be like for my family if my leg never heals.”
Htoo is a five-year-old boy from who lives with his parents and four siblings in a refugee camp in Thailand. His mother is a homemaker and his father used to work as a day laborer in a nearby Thai village, but has been unable to leave the camp for work since COVID-19 broke out in Thailand. Htoo will start Kindergarten this year. Their family's monthly stipend is not enough to cover their daily needs. Recently, Htoo climbed a guava tree to pick some fruit. He slipped, fell, and landed on his left arm. Htoo injured his elbow in the fall and his father immediately rushed him to the camp hospital run by Malteser International (MI). After receiving first aid, the medic referred him to another hospital, where he was diagnosed with a broken elbow and referred for treatment. Knowing that Htoo needed surgery, MI staff referred him to our Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund for financial assistance to access surgery. Currently, Htoo is in pain and cannot bend his left arm. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Htoo will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Htoo regain use of his left arm so that he can complete daily tasks. Htoo's father is hopeful he'll be feeling well soon. He shared that right now, "Htoo does not want to go to school or study. He loves to play football."
Naw Kwee Moo is a 54-year-old woman from the Karen region in Burma, who lives with her husband and their family in a refugee camp. Of her children, three daughters and three sons still live in the refugee camp along with them near the Thai-Burma border. Naw Kwee is a homemaker and her husband is currently too ill to work. Five of their children go to school in the camp, four other children have moved away, and her second oldest son graduated from a post-secondary program in May 2020. He worked as an agricultural day laborer at a nearby Thai village until mid-December 2020. Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, he was no longer allowed to leave the camp. Naw Kwe’s household receives a monthly cash card to purchase basic rations. Although they receive free education and basic health care in the camp, they shared how hard it is to make ends meet. Starting four years ago, Naw Kwee often went to the camp’s hospital run by Malteser International (MI) Thailand to receive treatment for urinary tract infections (UTI). Most of the time, she would feel better after taking medication, but she was no longer able to work as an agricultural day laborer because of her pain. Over the next few years, she was diagnosed with chronic UTI. “I think my condition was caused from consuming dirty water,” she said. “When I worked as a day laborer, we had no access to clean water.” Naw Kwee received antibiotics through an intravenous (IV) line at the camp’s hospital. When her condition did not improve, a doctor at the camp’s hospital referred her again to Mae Sariang Hospital in March 2020. There she received a urine test and an x-ray of her kidneys, ureters and bladder. She was finally diagnosed with a right kidney stone. After multiple visits, the doctor at Mae Sariang Hospital referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further treatment. However, Naw Kwee could not travel to CMH for a while due to travel restrictions after the outbreak of Covid-19. Finally, last June medical staff from her camp were able to bring Naw Kwee to Chiang Mai. During her appointment, the doctor scheduled her to undergo an intravenous pyelogram on July 16th, 2020. After she received a diagnostic test, she returned to CMH for her follow-up appointment on November 19th, 2020. During her appointment, she received more tests and it was at her next appointment Naw Kwee was told she needed to undergo multiple rounds of laser treatment to break up the stone in her kidney. She received her first round of laser treatment on February 11th, 2021. Two days later, she developed a fever and could only pass a bit of urine. She also started to experience severe back pain and other troubling symptoms. MI staff took her back to the hospital where she received an ultrasound. The nurse shared with her that after her laser treatment, the stones had broken up and many of them where now stuck in her ureter, creating a blockage. She now needs emergency surgery to remove the stones. Our Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to support her surgery and finally relieve her of her painful condition.
Marline is a 7-year-old boy from Kenya. He is a cheerful boy and a Grade 2 student at Jayden Academy. Marline wants to be an engineer when he grows up. Marline's mother says that he loves to dismantle and assemble electronics in the house, and is well on his way to his career dreams. Additionally, Marline has a condition called spina bifida. Earlier in April 2020, Marline was playing with his friends when his mother noticed a small pimple-like wound on his right foot. It was small at first, but slowly started to grow bigger in size. His mother rushed him to a nearby health centre in their hometown, where he has been undergoing dressing in the facility but they have not seen much improvement. Since Marline has been coming to Kijabe Hospital for his spina bifida clinic, he opted to seek review in the hospital and get this wound checked. He was reviewed a week ago by the plastic and pediatric surgical teams, who recommended that he undergoes debridement, excision of calcaneal ulcer, and flap cover surgery to clean and heal his infected wound. Currently, Marline is in pain and at risk for further infection. If left unattended, the wound may result in severe infection and possible amputation. Unfortunately, these procedures are costly for Marline's family. His mother is a single mother raising two kids on her own. Their family lives in a bedsitter house in Ruai, at the outskirts of Nairobi. Marline's father left the family and his responsibility. Marline's mother is the sole breadwinner of the family and she has a small grocery kiosk. The total profit from the venture is very small, and her close relatives are not able to assist with financial support. Their family appeals for help. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Marline receive treatment. On January 6th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help heal the wound and prevent possible complications. Now, Marline's family needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Marline's mother says, “This wound is worsening by the day. If left unattended, doctors say that he might lose his leg. This would be hurting all of us. Kindly help us as we really don’t have a way out."
Joan is a 15-year-old student from Kenya. She is the third born in a family of five children, and is very calm and tends to be quiet. Joan is a hard-working, optimistic girl who hopes to excel in school, and she is currently in Grade Seven. Her dream is to become a teacher in future. In the second week of December, Joan was involved in a road accident as a pillion passenger which almost cost her her life. Her vehicle came into a head-on collision with a car, and she lost consciousness for more than three hours. Ultimately, Joan suffered a severe femur fracture and skin lacerations. Because she could not lift her leg, she was put on traction to bring stability to her leg. She is in pain on her right leg and unable to walk. Now, she needs to undergo a fracture repair procedure to heal her injury and avoid risk of further complications. Unfortunately, this procedure is costly for Joan and her family. Her mother is a potato farmer, while her father is ill and currently unable to work in the farm. Joan's mother is the sole breadwinner of the family, and she has found it hard to educate her children due to the family's income. Joan and her family live in a mud-built house that is not in good condition and they are unable to repair it due to lack of money. The family has raised some money for the surgery thus far, but needs more financial support to raise the total cost. They appeal for financial help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 17th, Joan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After she is fully recovered, Joan will be able to walk with ease and will be able to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Joan shared, "My prayer is to finish school, have a good job and support my mum and my siblings."
Joseph is a brave 8-year-old boy from Karanjee Village in Kenya. He is the youngest in a family of 3 children and he is in seventh grade. He and his siblings live with their mother who is a casual laborer working in neighbor’s farms to earn an income for their family. Joseph was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Joseph has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Joseph will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 11th. AMH is requesting $506 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. "My boy is now getting big and I would not like to risk his future with infertility. Kindly support us as I am the breadwinner with no one to turn to. I hope my son will have successful corrective treatment so that he can be like other boys,” said Josephs’ mother.
Grace is a 6-year-old girl from Tanzania. She is the firstborn child in a family of two children. Grace's parents depend on small scale farming for their living, and sell milk from the cows that they own. Last year, Grace was left in her family's hut when her mother went out to milk one of their cows. Normally, Grace would accompany her mother, but because it was raining, her mother asked her to keep herself warm by the fire. As she was warming herself, Grace's clothing caught on fire, and she sustained burns on her left hand and arm. Her wounds have since healed, but her hand is now deformed and she is unable to use it in life's daily activities. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Grace receive treatment. On November 13th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help restore her ability to use her hand easily. Now, she needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Grace’s father shared, “The fire accident has left our daughter disabled. Please help correct her hand so that she can be able to use both of her hands and return to normal life.”
Peter is a 46-year-old man from Kiambu County in Kenya. He works mostly in construction sites as a manual laborer. Peter is the second born in a family of eight. He was hit by a motorbike while crossing the road on July 27th, 2020. He was taken to a nearby hospital where an x-ray confirmed he had sustained a fracture of his left femur. An ORIF surgery was recommended but he could not afford the cost of surgery. Peter had been on traction to help treat his fracture since his admission at a government hospital. A recent standoff between the county government and health workers led to a go-slow, which has prompted patients like Peter to seek treatment elsewhere since they cannot access care currently. Peter came to our medical partner's facility and saw the surgeon who again also recommended an ORIF procedure. Peter hopes that he finally has the life-changing surgery that will restore full functionality of his leg and enable him to go back to work. If not treated Peter’s fracture may fail to unite or mal-unite leading to loss of function of his left lower limb. He is not able to personally raise the amount required for surgery given that he is a casual laborer with minimal income. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 19th, Peter will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow him to walk with ease and reduce the instance of complications. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I have been in hospital and unable to provide for myself since the accident in July. I hope that the operation will enable me to walk again so that I can fend for myself once more,” Peter said.