Merrick joined Watsi on April 8th, 2017. 10 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Merrick's most recent donation supported Tumwine, a teacher from Uganda, to fund mass excision surgery.
Merrick has funded healthcare for 28 patients in 5 countries.
Merrick has funded healthcare for 28 patients in 5 countries.
Tumwine is a 52-year-old teacher and a mother of four children. She is married and her husband is also a primary school teacher. They are proud of the children they are raising. Their oldest child is 25 and got married after completing a nursing degree. Their second child is studying for a certificate in teaching, their third has completed secondary school class four, and their youngest is in secondary school class three. They own a four-room semi-permanent house. Tumwine developed a small swelling on her neck 20 years ago and it has progressively increased in size. While it used to be painless, she now experiences pain and worries about what may happen if she isn't treated. She could experience difficulty eating or breathing in the future. After she was examined, she was diagnosed with a thyroglossal mass. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Tumwine to receive treatment. On July 6th, surgeons will remove the mass and now, Tumwine needs help raising $145 to fund this procedure. Tumwine shared, “I pray that I may be given a chance to look normal again and to be able to do my duties comfortably. The swelling affects me and am not comfortable in class. I will resume teaching as soon as possible.”
Kelvin is a 12-year-old boy and the youngest of nine children in his family. Two of his older siblings have already finished high school and are now married. His mother is a small-scale farmer who sells maize and beans. His parents separated a long time ago and his father does not support their family. They rely on help from their local church. Kelvin was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Kelvin will have an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, or fertility problems in the future. Kelvin is receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). He is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 8th and AMH is requesting $561 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Kelvin’s mother shared, “I am happy that one of my sons noticed this early enough, but at the same time I’m sad that I cannot afford to cater for his surgery. I am requesting any financial help that can help my son get treated.”
Htoo is a 12-year-old girl who lives with her parents, two older sisters, an older brother and a younger brother in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Htoo’s father works as a construction worker while Htoo's mother is a homemaker and looks after Htoo's younger brother who is too young to go to school. Htoo and her older siblings study in the camp. Every month, the family receives oil, rice and charcoal rations, but they shared that the rations are unfortunately not enough to cover their daily needs. They also receive free basic health care and education in the refugee camp. In her free time, Htoo likes to play with her friends and help her mother clean. Htoo was born with a small mass in a sensitive area. At the time, Htoo's mother was told not to worry about the mass. However, beginning in 2016, Htoo noticed the mass increasing in size and she could no longer pass urine comfortably. A medic at the camp's hospital examined the mass and determined that it is benign and recommends it is surgically treated for Htoo's comfort and peace of mind. Htoo is receiving treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and she is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 6th. Now, their family is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Htoo shared, “in the future, I want to finish my schooling and become a teacher in the camp. I want to teach Karen [language].”
Kennedy is a 23-year-old high school graduate and the second born of four children in his family. Kennedy shared that his father sadly passed away in 2006, and his mother works as a house helper in Nairobi. His older brother works as a watchman in the city and his younger siblings are still in school. He is not working currently, and he lives alone in his family home on a quarter-acre of land. On May 22nd, while training to drive a motorbike so that he may be able to do this for an income, he was hit by a speeding vehicle and lost control. He fell along the roadside and fractured his right leg. It is difficult for him to walk and he is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 2nd, Kennedy will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Kennedy shared, “I recently finished my form four and I have my future to think of. I need to be able to walk well but first I need the surgery to help me.”
William is a hardworking motorbike taxi driver from Kenya. He earns $2.50 daily and lives in a one-room house in Naivasha, costing about $24 a month. His parents are elderly and live nearby on a quarter of an acre piece of land. William suffered femur and distal tibia fractures and is unable to walk and cannot work. Currently, the hospital has admitted him to the respiratory ward since he developed difficulties in breathing. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 20th, William will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. These surgeries will enable the bones to heal and he will be able to walk again normally. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. William says, “I don’t have anyone to depend on, I survive on my own through this motorbike taxi business. But with these fractures, I cannot walk or work at all. I need the surgery to normalize my life and be independent again.”
Hak shared with us, "I hope I can see well enough to cook food and take care of my family well." Hak is a 72-year-old rice farmer with three sons, three daughters, and 12 grandchildren. Hak lives with her eldest daughter who also works as a rice farmer. In his spare time, Hak enjoys visiting the pagoda to join ceremonies and listen to the monks pray. Five years ago, Hak developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her photophobia, itchiness, tearing, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Hak learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours with her daughter seeking treatment. On June 2nd, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure.
Channary is a two-year-old girl with two older siblings, and her father works as a fisherman. Channary put a small stone in her left ear and it became lodged there. She is now experiencing hearing loss and pain. Fortunately, Channary traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On June 24th, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), will remove the lodged stone. Now, Channary needs help to raise $231 to fund this procedure. Channary's mother shares hopefully, "I am thankful that doctors can help my daughter and I hope she can hear again after the procedure."
Tuhangirire is a 53-year-old mother of two children. She shared that she works at a nearby tea farm where the employees are paid very little to meet all of their daily needs. For two years, Tuhangirire has been experiencing symptoms like lower abdominal pain, bleeding, and backaches. She has been diagnosed with bilateral large ovarian cysts and the condition has affected her work. She gets easily tired and has difficulty sleeping. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $219 to fund Tuhangirire's surgery. On June 9th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Tuhangirire will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Tuhangirire shared, “I hope that when I am operated on, I will be relieved from pain and will do my activities with ease.”
Sokhom is a 65-year-old motor taxi driver with one son, two daughters, and four grandchildren. Sokhom lives with his wife and their daughter who is a garment factory worker. Nowadays, Sokhom does not drive his motor taxi because of his vision. Instead, he spends his time at home looking after his grandchildren, watching Khmer boxing on TV, and listening to the news on the radio. About three years ago, Sokhom developed a cataract in his left eye, causing him photophobia, tearing, irritation, and itching. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Sokhom learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled with his son seeking treatment. On April 27th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and place 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. Sokhom shared, "I hope after my surgery I can see well so I can drive my motorcycle again to support my family."
Jayden is 2-year-old baby boy from Kiambu County, Kenya. He is the second born in a family of two children. His mother is a housewife, while his father does casual work as a mason. Jayden was born with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. When he was a few months old, his mother noticed that she could not feel his testes, but ultimately the family did not bring him in to a doctor. Recently, his grandmother also noticed this, which led to Jayden being brought to the hospital. There, doctors ordered a scan that showed bilateral undescended testicles, and they recommend Jayden has an orchidopexy surgery to correct the condition. If left untreated, Jayden has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. However, this procedure is costly for Jayden and his family. Jayden's father earns just enough income to support his family's basic needs. He is not able to afford Jayden's surgery, and appeals for financial support. Jayden will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on January 5th. AMHF is requesting $483 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Jayden's mother shared, “Although we don’t go to church, I pray to God that our son may have this support and get successful treatment so that he may have a normal future like other boys.”
Veasna is an 18-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He is the youngest of three siblings. Veasna lives and works with his parents, but is planning to move out soon. He likes to play volleyball with his friends and eat grilled vegetables. He also is learning to build wooden furniture. In 2018, Veasna was in motor vehicle accident that caused a fracture of his right tibia. Veasna's family took him to a hospital where doctors fixated hardware to heal his fracture. His bone healed well and he has regained his strength. He can walk and run easily, but now the hardware needs to be removed for him to fully heal. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On August 11th, Veasna will undergo a hardware removal procedure, which will cost $230. This procedure will allow his bone to fully heal and reduce his risk of any further complications. Veasna said, "I am thankful for my injury to be healed so well, and I hope that I can run well without this hardware in my leg."
Sharon is a shy eighth grade student from Kenya. Sharon was born and raised in a village in the highlands of Elgeyo Marakwet County. Sharon is the firstborn child in a family of five. She is partially orphaned after her mother died due to a short illness. Sharon was raised by her aunt as they shared that her father is unable to provide for them due to poverty and alcoholism. Her aunt is a farmer depending mostly on maize farming as their main source of income. Being the firstborn child and the only girl, her roles have been defined at an early age. She took care of her siblings when her father could not. Her aunt says that she plays the role of the mother because she acts so maturely and responsible. On Friday September 25th, Sharon sustained a severe injury to her right lower limb after she fell from a high place while she was carrying firewood on her back. She is in pain and is not able to walk on her own. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 30th, Sharon will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her heal and walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Sharon says, “I want to receive treatment to walk again so that I can continue helping my aunt and go to school when it resumes.”