Shridhar joined Watsi on August 15th, 2014. Five years ago, Shridhar joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Shridhar's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Kupha, a single mother from Kenya, to fund her maxillary excision surgery.
Shridhar has funded healthcare for 63 patients in 10 countries.
Kupha is a 45-year-old woman from Kenya and has six children. In 2014, Kupha started experiencing some pain in her upper jaw. After some time, her jaw started to swell and the pain worsened. Both cold and hot food triggered pain that would last day and night. She went to a nearby facility in Kwale County to seek care, and was given some pain medication that worked for a while. She later returned for a surgery to remove the swollen tissue. Though she recovered well, the following year, Kupha started experiencing pain and swelling again. Upon returning to the same facility for a checkup, the doctor told her that no further treatment could be done. A few years later, Kupha heard about Kijabe Hospital and came for an examination in January 2020. The doctors diagnosed her with a benign maxillary mass and scheduled her for an excision surgery. During the surgery, they will put in a plate and screws to hold together her maxillar. However, Kupha and her family are not able to raise funds needed for the surgery. After the death of her husband a few years ago, Kupha has been struggling to provide for her six children. Her firstborn son is the main breadwinner of the family and also attends college, partially sponsored by the county government of Kwale. He does some casual jobs when he is not in class to feed the family, and also facilitates his mother's hospital visits. Kupha was able to raise some money for her treatment, but she does not have enough financial support and appeals for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Kupha's surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 15th and will be a ten hour long surgery. Hopefully, this treatment will alleviate her of further severe pain and swelling. Kupha shared, “With the pain that I have endured over the years, it has made it difficult for me to look for work and provide for my family. I will be happy when I receive the required treatment for my condition.”
Rosaline is a 23-year-old manual laborer from Kenya. When she was only 15 years old, young Rosaline was married and conceived her 1st born. A year later, she left her matrimonial home following constant quarrels and domestic violence from her then-husband. She went back to her ancestral home to live with her elderly mother. She currently has three children ages: 7, 4, and 2 years old. She was not able to complete a formal education. Rosaline lives in a one-room traditional house with her children. She depends on a small income she gets from fetching water for people in her village. On a good day, she makes $2, which she uses to feed her kids and take care of her basic needs. On days when there are no jobs, she relies on her siblings for food. Rosaline is the last born in a family of five. Her siblings do fishing in the nearby lake Baringo and don’t have a stable source of income either. In April 2020, Rosaline's traditional lessos and dress caught fire while cooking in her small makeshift kitchen. She shared that the space around the cooking area is small and can barely accommodate 2 people. As she was turning to pick up salt, her loose lessos and dress caught fire causing severe burns on more than 20% of her body. She now has difficulty sitting and is in pain. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Rosaline receive treatment. On September 22nd, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to this treatment will help her heal properly and she will no longer be in pain. Now, Rosaline needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Rosaline shared with us, “I have gone through a lot. Early marriage and break up, teen pregnancy, and now this accident. I have 3 children to feed and raise. I even had to discontinue my little baby from breastfeeding after I sustained the burns. I am in constant pain and at risk of getting infections. I am hopeful I will get to undergo this surgery so that I can take care of my young family.”
Bu is a 53-year-old man who lives with his wife, two sons and two daughters in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. He and his family fled there from Karen State, Burma, due to conflict in their area. Every month, Bu's household received 1,514 baht (approx. 50 USD) as part of their camp rations. Bu's oldest son works on farms outside of the camp as a seasonal day laborer. He makes 1,100 baht (approx. 37 USD) per month. The rest of Bu's three children are students, and his wife is a homemaker. Despite receiving free primary health care services and schooling in the camp, Bu's family is struggling to make ends meet every month. Bu started to suffer from back pain and fever in 2015. He also experienced slight discomfort and a burning sensation while urinating. When he went to the camp's clinic, run by Malteser International (MI), he received oral medications. For a few months, his symptoms and pain disappeared, but later on, they returned. Whenever the pain would worsen, Bu would receive more medication from the camp's clinic. On 2 July 2020, when Bu's symptoms worsened, he went back to the clinic to received more medication. Noting that he kept returning to the clinic with severe symptoms, Bu was referred to Mae Sariang Hospital for further treatment. At the hospital, he received a blood and urine test, as well as a kidney, ureter, and bladder (KUB) x-ray. The doctor informed him that he has a stone in his left kidney. The doctor then referred him to Suandok Hospital in Chiang Mai for further treatment. On 29 July 2020, Bu saw the doctor at Chiang Mai Hospital. The doctor told him that he needed to undergo an intravenous pyelogram (IVP), a type of diagnostic test that uses an injection of contrast material to evaluate the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. Once he underwent the IVP, the doctor diagnosed him with a type of kidney stone called a staghorn stone. Bu was then scheduled to receive surgery to remove the kidney stone on 16 August 2020. Unable to pay for his treatment, MI referred Bu to Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing surgery. Currently, Bu experiences back pain and a burning sensation while urinating. He sometimes experiences headaches and cannot breathe well because of the severe pain. In his free time, his favorite thing to do is to help with household chores and grow vegetables for his family. Now, Burma Children Medical Fund needs your help in funding the cost of Bu's $1,500 surgery. Bu shared, “I still experience back pain and a burning sensation while urinating. Sometimes due to the pain, I have a headache and I have difficulty breathing. But I am very excited that I will be free from this prolonged pain after surgery."
Miseyek is a young boy from Tanzania. He is the last born child in a family of five children. Miseyek is a hard-working boy who helps his parents with daily home chores. He mostly helps his father look after their cattle which he takes out for grazing every day. Miseyek never had a chance to join school due to his parents financial constraints. His parents depend entirely on their livestock and small-scale farming to make a living. Miseyek was diagnosed with genu valgus. His legs bow inward so that his knees touch when he walks. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he is experiencing discomfort and has difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Miseyek. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 23rd. Treatment will hopefully restore Miseyek's mobility and allow him to participate in a variety of activities, while also greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Miseyek says, “Please help me get treated. I would like to be able to walk with ease and without pain so that I can help my parents.”
Ibrahim is a 15-year-old student from Tanzania and the fourth born in a family of five children. His parents are small-scale farmers. Ibrahim 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, Ibrahim has been experiencing headaches, vomiting, and difficulty walking. Without treatment, Ibrahim will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,362 to cover the cost of surgery for Ibrahim that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 22 and will drain the excess fluid from Ibrahim's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Ibrahim will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young man. Ibrahim’s father shared, “Please help us. The cost of treatment is very high and we cannot effort it. We would like to see our son get better and hopefully resume school."
Bernice is a two and a half year old and the firstborn to her mother, who is raising Bernice on her own. Bernice’s mother is the fifth born in a large family of seven siblings. Bernice’s mother completed Form Four schooling two years ago, however, she was not able to continue with her studies due to financial pressures. However, since she had performed well, a well-wisher supported her to join a nursing college in Nakuru. She lives with her mother (Bernice's grandmother) who is chronically sick from a spinal injury. During the school holiday’s Bernice’s mother does clothes washing for people, in order to support her baby. Bernice was born with a congenital umbilical hernia. Her mother assumed that it would to heal, but the condition progressed. She was taken to a general hospital, where she was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center. During our interview, Bernice's mother said that she has been looking for funds to bring her baby for the treatment, however, it has been very difficult. Bernice’s mother shared, "I wish I can get help for my baby."
Lawi is a student from Kenya. He is the 5th born child in a family of six. He was born and raised in a small village called Mogil where most of the inhabitants work in farms or other unstable jobs. His parents are uneducated so they don’t speak Kiswahili. The family live in small mud hut with grass as a roof. His family gets its food from their small farm and consists mostly of millet, sorghum and seasonal fruits like mango. Lawi likes to spend his days climbing trees. Lawi was well until Sunday noon when he fell from a mango tree. Lawi sustained multiple severe injuries on his left leg and hand. He was rushed to our hospital accompanied by his father and on arrival an X-Ray was done where he was diagnosed with multiple fractures. He is in severe pain and is having a difficult time sleeping because of the fractures. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 7th, Lawi will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This treatment will help Lawi heal well with no malunion and he will no longer be in pain Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. His father says, “I just want my child not to be in pain anymore and be healthy and happy and have a good life.”
Mya Mya is a 40-year-old-woman who lives and work with her elder sister for a herbal medicine production workshop in Sanchaung Township, Yangon Division in Burma. They are originally from Bago Division and moved a few years ago. Since Mya Mya was 18 years old she has felt bronchial asthma and suffered from difficulty breathing. Sometimes she feels severely tired. She went to a health worker at her village and the health worker told her to go and see heart specialist in Yangon. However, at that time she did not have money to go to Yangon, so she did not go. She has only used herbal medicine for treating difficulty breathing since she was 18-year-old, which did help her feel better. For the last four months at night she has severe difficulty breathing, so she woke her sister up and asked her sister to send her to a private clinic called Yaung Chi Oo in Yangon. After the doctor's examination, she was told her that she needs to go and see heart specialist doctor. Then the doctor gave her an injection and some oral medication. Then, she went to Thiri Sandar Private Hospital on January 31, 2020 where she received an echocardiogram. The doctor told her that she has heart disease and she needs surgery. On February 5, Mya Mya went to Kan Thar Yar Hospital (KTYH) as suggested by the doctor at Thiri Sandar Hospital. The doctor at KTYH performed another echo before diagnosing her with large ventricular septal defect (VSD). The doctor at KTYH also told her that she needs surgery. Unfortunately, Mya Mya and her family cannot afford to pay for the surgery. After talking to the nurses and doctor about her problem, the nurses who know Watsi Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) refered her to BCMF. Mya May needs to stop working because of her tiredness. She is worried about her parents because if she cannot work. She shared, "If I recover from my disease, I need to work for my parents, to support them.”
Meet Jeff a one-year-old boy from Kiambu County in Kenya. He is a jovial and friendly boy, the only child of Shadrack and Catherine, a young couple. His father operates a Boda Boda taxi along the village, while his mother is a housewife. Jeff was born through a c-section at Kenyatta National Hospital and was discovered to have multiple birth deformities including spina bifida, hydrocephalus, clubfoot, and a hip condition. He stayed in the hospital for more than 2 months in the nursery and where the spina bifida and hydrocephalus conditions were treated. He has undergone hip surgery at Watsi Medical Partner care center CURE Hospital, where an x-ray reflected that he has healed. He is now scheduled to undergo a Rt hip open reduction and pelvic osteotomy treatment which will enhance his ability to stand and later walk like other children. He will later undergo surgery to correct his clubfoot. His family is a young couple who recently got married, they cannot afford the estimated bill at the hospital and thus requested for help. “The only challenge we have is the hospital bill. We are pleading for help so that our son can walk like other children,” Shadrack and Catherine, Jeff’s parents pleaded.
Tabitha is a business lady from Kenya. She is a single mother of three children. Tabitha sells camel soup in the capital to make a living for herself and her three children. Two of her children are in school, which demands school fees. From her small business, she makes about $5 daily, which she saves to meet the her family's needs. Tabitha has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $816 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Tabitha. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 20. After treatment, Tabitha will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Tabitha says, “I wish to be treated and be free from the stressful experience I am in.”
On May 28th 2019, Min was playing tag with his friend in front of his house, when he decided to climb up a tree. Unfortunately, the tree was slippery due to the rainy season, and Min slipped and fell out of the tree. At first, he was able to stand on his right leg, but he was not able to walk. When Min’s mother heard the news, she immediately came to see him. In the morning, his mother and grandmother rented a car and brought him to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). The staff at MTC then sent him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for an X-ray, which indicated that his left femur was broken. After they received the results of his X-ray, MTC referred Min to Watsi partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for help in accessing the treatment he needed. On May 31st, Min underwent surgery to place a metal rod into his leg. He was discharged from the hospital on June 5th. Within the past two months, Min returned to MSH for three follow-up visits. At his most recent follow-up, he was told his prognosis was good, and he was scheduled for surgery to remove the metal rod on January 2nd, 2020. “I feel normal again,” he said. “I’m no longer in pain. I can walk, sit, and take a shower by myself again. Before, I couldn’t do anything. I could only lay on my back and watch as people around me had to do everything. After my second surgery I want to work with my older brother in the factory.”
Khin is a 39-year-old woman who lives with her family in Hpa-An Township, Karen State, Burma. Both her children are in preschool. She and her husband are subsistence farmers, growing rice during the rainy season on rented land. The rest of the year, her husband collects leaves used to make roofs, works as a daily labourer or collects branches to sell. Khin was born with a scar the size of an ant bite on her upper lip. Her parents thought that it would disappear or heal on its own but the scar developed into a growth and increased in size. Her parents passed away when she was young and after that she went to live with her brother’s family. By the time she was around 20 years old, the growth had become large and soft, covering the area between her upper lips and her nose. When the pain became unbearable in 2005, her uncle dropped her off at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand, a free clinic close to where her uncle used to work. At this point, the growth had become so large that dragged her upper lip down and extended into her nostrils. At MTC, she was seen by doctors and medics, before she was diagnosed with a hemangioma. At this point, the growth had worsened, and she was bleeding from her lips. In April 2006, Khin went to Chiang Mai Hospital and had the hemangioma removed surgically. The growth later has returned. Overtime, the hemangioma has increased in size and become hard. It has now expanded into Khin’s nostrils, especially her left nostril, which causes her to have difficulty breathing at times. She feels uncomfortable but is not in pain. Sometimes she also feels like she has a blood clot in her nostrils during her nosebleeds. Because the nosebleed can start at any time and can last anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, her life revolves around managing her nosebleeds. She is unable to work or sleep properly, and if she is about to have a nosebleed, she is unable to eat. The nosebleeds have also affected her ability to earn an income for her children and continues to impact her social life. “When I socialise, I do not feel comfortable and some people think I have a disease that I can infect them with,” said Khin. “So, I hope to get better after surgery, and I hope I will no longer have nosebleeds. I don’t want to bleed, and I want to socialise with my friends and family happily. [Right now] my friends won’t even touch me.”