Elena joined Watsi on August 9th, 2018. Three years ago, Elena joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Elena's most recent donation traveled 7,800 miles to support Sarafina, a small-scale farmer from Uganda, for a hysterectomy.
Elena has funded healthcare for 41 patients in 8 countries.
Elena has funded healthcare for 41 patients in 8 countries.
Sarafina is a small scale farmer and a mother of six, with five living children. She shared with us that she attended school up to the first grade when she was young and since has farmed, while her husband is a retired soldier. They own a three-room semi-permanent house for shelter. Their oldest child is now 45 years old and dropped out of school due to mental illness while their youngest recently got married. Sarafina receives a little support from her children and relies on her farm produce to meet her daily needs. For two years, Sarafina has been experiencing lower abdominal pains along with itchy arms. She used herbal medication for the itching but she never got relief. She visited Rugarama Hospital and the scan showed uterine fibroids. Sarafina has stopped farming because she can no longer bend down, and has had to miss some follow-up appointments due to limited funds. Her symptoms have worsened and she has been diagnosed with large uterine leiomyoma. An exam revealed a cervical mass highly suspicious of cervical cancer. If not treated, Sarafina could develop chronic pelvic pain and there is a risk of cancer spreading, poor quality of life due to chronic pain and organ failure. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus, but her family cannot afford the surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $319 to fund Sarafina's surgery. On September 4th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Sarafina will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Sarafina says, “I pray that I may be considered for treatment because I am in severe pain and my condition could get worse. I hope to be normal again so that I may get back to farming and taking care of my family.”
Robert is a 37-year-old matatu taxi driver with two children. Recently, Robert was involved in a traffic accident where he sustained multiple fractures in his legs. He has difficulty walking and can no longer work as a driver. Fortunately, with the support of Watsi donors he was able to have his first surgery and now surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), are able to help with his final repair. On August 5th, Robert will undergo a second fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will allow Robert to walk with more ease. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. "I am hopeful I will be able to walk again. I am halfway there. I know with this surgery, I will be able to use my legs and get back to working again,” shared Robert.
Mory is a three-year-old girl and the only child in her family. Her parents sell smartphones from their home. Mory enjoys watching cartoons, playing with toys, and going outside with her parents. In November 2020, Mory accidentally placed her finger into a machine while her grandma was using it, causing a burn on her left middle finger. After the accident her father took her to a clinic where they cleaned and dressed her wound. The wound healed but a scar contracture has developed, tightening the skin around her finger and limiting movement of her hand. When Mory's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled with her parents seeking treatment. On July 5th, surgeons at CSC are scheduled to perform a burn contracture release surgery so she can use her finger freely again. Now, CSC is requesting $477 to fund this procedure. Mory's parents wishes for their daughter's recovery, "I hope the finger will heal back better so she can be free of discomfort."
Olivia is a 3-year-old girl who lives with her parents in a small city in the north central part of Haiti. Her father works in a local hospital and her mother is a homemaker. She is their only child. Olivia has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects, including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Olivia will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On June 4th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will close the hole in her heart with a patch, and dissect the blockage of her valve. Another organization, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is contributing $18,000 to pay for surgery. Olivia'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 Olivia's family overseas. From father: "Our family will pray for everyone who is helping to save our daughter's life."
Francis is a nine-year-old boy and the youngest of four children in his family. Francis is developmentally delayed, and his mother shared that at he has not yet developed speech and recently learned how to walk. Francis' father is intellectually disabled and does not work. Francis' mother does a variety of jobs, including feeding neighbors' cattle to provide for their family. Francis was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Francis has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, Francis will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). He is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on May 8th. Now, AMH is requesting $569 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Francis’ mother shared, “as the breadwinner in the family, I cannot raise the funds for his surgery. We are requesting financial help.”
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."
Nickson is a milk vendor from Kenya. A few months ago, he married his wife and now they are expecting their firstborn baby. His wife is a housewife and they live in a mud house on a farm. Nickson was not able to go to college, so he decided to become a milk vendor so that he could provide for his young and growing family. In December 2020, Nickson was involved in a road traffic accident - he was riding a motorcycle when he collided with an oncoming lorry truck. He was rushed to the district hospital where he had a cast applied and was then discharged home. However, two weeks ago, he started having pain while he was walking. A friend referred Nickson to a local medical facility. Nickson was examined and sent for an x-ray which revealed that he had fractured his knee. Right now, Nickson has trouble standing on his right foot or flexing his knee. Fortunately, surgeons at our Medical Partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help Nickson, and they are requesting $1,016 to fund his procedure. On March 3rd, Nickson will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk more easily again. Nickson says, “My hope is to receive treatment, be well, and continue supporting my young family."
Myo is a 16-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents and four brothers in northern Rakhine State. Myo is a student in grade nine and his four brothers also go to school. However, they have been unable to study since the Covid-19 pandemic shut all schools. Myo’s parents are day laborers, and their family's combined income is just enough to cover their daily expenses since Myo and his brothers’ schooling is free. To survive with limited income, they forage for vegetables and fish. If they fall ill, they use traditional medicine, which is more affordable then going to a clinic or a hospital. Myo was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, which is the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Myo cannot walk long distances or climb stairs because of his tiredness. Sometimes, he cannot breathe very well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Myo. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 7th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Myo shared, “I am worried about my health and I feel sorry for my parents. Because of my health problems, my father had to work more days to earn more money. Also, my mother cannot work because she accompanies me and has to take care of me. I hope my school will reopen soon so that I can go back to school. One day I hope that I can become a teacher. I want to teach because there are not enough teachers in my village.”
Zainabu is a 10-year-old student and the youngest in a family of six children. She is an intelligent, social, and hard-working girl both at home and at school. She is currently in class four and will be joining class five next year. Her best subjects are English and Swahili, and she proudly shared that she was position three in her class in the final exams this year. Go Zainbau :)! Zainbau loves to help her mother with home chores. Her parents are small scale farmers who sell maize, sorghum, and vegetables to make a living. They use most of their harvest of food for their family and are able to sell a few harvests in order to buy other basics. Zainabu was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, or bowleggedness. This condition causes her legs to bow outwards at the knee. It is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she has great difficulty with walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Zainabu. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 5th. Treatment will hopefully restore Zainabu's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Zainabu’s father shared, “My daughter has been having difficulty walking for a while, but I was unable to help her due to financial challenges. My family and I are grateful for your help."
Thomas is a 45-year-old laborer from Uganda who came to Kenya in search of a livelihood. He is the oldest child in a family of 5 children. His mother passed in 2005, and his father left the family, which forced him to come to Kenya to search for a job. Thomas has four children aged between 4 and 17 years of age. They currently live with their mother. In November, Thomas suffered right tibia and humerus fractures after being knocked by a hit and run vehicle. While crossing the road along the Nakuru-Nairobi highway, he was hit by a vehicle that took off immediately. Left unconscious, he could not remember subsequent events, but he was rushed to the hospital and admitted. As a result of the accident, Thomas cannot move nor use his hand and leg, and is in constant pain. He cannot move on his own and needs a wheelchair to move around. For the last three weeks, Thomas has been bedridden, and has had no visitors because none of his family can be reached. Doctors recommended a humerus ORIF surgery to correct the fracture. Though he was scheduled for surgery, it was cancelled because he was unable to raise money. Thomas normally works as a casual laborer, loading and off-loading building stones, at a construction site along the highway. His daily income is about $USD3 a day and generally inconsistent, depending on the availability of work. Thomas is still financially supporting his children, and he does not have medical insurance coverage. He appeals for financial help for his cost of care. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 8th, Thomas will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow him to walk with ease and also use his hand with ease. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund his life-changing procedure. Thomas shared, “I am unable to move nor use my arm since the accident. Doctors recommended this surgery but I have not been able to get it because I don’t have money. I have been unable to contact my family or friends back at home, and I am all alone with no one to turn to.”
Ruth is a 15-year-old from Kenya who has special needs. She is a student at Limuru Cheshire Home (a center for girls with physical/mental disabilities) and was admitted to the institute in 2019. She was born into a family of two, being the firstborn followed by a brother who lives with her aunt. Her mother, who was a single mom, died when Ruth and her brother were young. This led to the two being separated and since Ruth is more vulnerable, she was left under the care of their grandmother. Together they live in a two-roomed house and they depend on the local community for upkeep. Life has become more difficult now that Ruth's grandmother cannot move around even for firewood since she has to ensure Ruth’s safety. Ruth has clubfoot that makes her walking extremely difficult. Last year she was brought to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center CURE Hospital, where she was recommended for surgery. Since her grandmother cannot afford the treatment, her surgery has not yet taken place. The surgery would highly enhance Ruth's mobility as well as improve her self-esteem and ability to socialize with her peers. Fortunately, surgeons at our partner hospital will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Ruth's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. “I will appreciate any kind of support give to make my granddaughter walk comfortably,” Ruth’s grandmother told us.
Bernice is an 8-month-old baby from Tanzania. She is a beautiful and cheerful baby, and the last born in a family of two children. Bernice’s mother shared that she is currently having a hard time raising her children because of misunderstandings with her husband. Bernice was born with bilateral clubfoot, something the father was not happy about. The father now does not treat the rest of the family well and he does not support them in any way. Bernice's mother and her children have moved into their living room where they sleep and do everything since the father locks the bedroom and does not want any of them going in there. This has left Bernice’s mother feeling very depressed and struggling to support her children. Bernice 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. Bernice’s mother works at a local school as a teacher and uses her salary to support her children. She is not able to afford Bernice’s treatment cost. Fortunately, Bernice traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 9th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Bernice's clubfoot repair. After treatment, Bernice will be able to walk easily. Bernice’s mother says, “I am going through a very difficult time and seeing my daughter being disabled is hurting me even more. Please help my daughter so that she can have a normal walking style when she grows up.”