Neeraj joined Watsi on July 9th, 2014. Six years ago, Neeraj became the 644th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,782 more people have become monthly donors! Neeraj's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Emma, a joyful young woman from Kenya, to fund gallbladder treatment.
Neeraj has funded healthcare for 89 patients in 11 countries.
Looking jovial, 26-year-old Emma walks into the office wearing a broad smile. However, behind the joy and smile are recurring stomach pains that give her sleepless nights. Emma was diagnosed with symptomatic cholelithiasis - a gall bladder disorder that requires laparoscopic cholecystectomy analgesia surgery. If left untreated, cholelithiasis can lead to serious complications such as tissue damage, tears in the gallbladder, and infection that could spread spreads to other parts of her body. In Mid-April 2020, Emma started experiencing recurring pains burning in nature. She tried managing the pains using over the counter pain killers but the pain kept recurring. About a week later she was forced to visit a health centre in her home town Kayole for medical checkup. Emma was treated for suspected ulcers at the facility and was discharged with anti-acids. The pains seemed under control for over a month but they recurred in July. She went back to the same facility where a scan, x-ray, and further tests were recommended. Results indicated that she had cholelithiasis and she required urgent surgery. Doctors from the facility recommended she go to Kijabe Hospital for treatment. Emma is a single mother of one. She shared that she is raising her 6-month-old baby on her own after the father of the child left them and declined responsibility. She works as a shop attendant about 10km from her home and earns a total of $100 monthly income as her salary. To enable her to fend for the family, she has a house helper who takes care of her little child while she out looking for their daily bread. She pays the house help $35 a month. The three live in a single room rental which costs $50 a month. The remaining less than $20 is not enough to buy food and basic needs and still cover the cost of surgery. Emma is the oldest in a family of three. Her siblings are unemployed and live with their mother in the village. They depend on produce from their ¼ acre farm for survival. Emma’s employer and few close relatives contributed a small amount for the surgery but she still needs $616 in financial support to fund the treatment. Emma shared, “I need this surgery to get better and take care of my small family. I am the father and the mother to my little kid and my siblings depend on me. The small salary I get I barely make enough for our family and we basically live from hand to mouth. I have to spend all the income I make.”
Mugyenyi is a small-scale farmer from Uganda. She is widow and has three children who are all small-scale farmers who are all married. For the last two years, Mugyenyi has experienced discomfort and disfigurement and has been diagnosed with a mass on the posterior aspect of her right arm. It is not painful but has been progressively increasing in size and needs to be excised. Mugyenyi traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 16th, surgeons will remove the mass. Now, Mugyenyi needs help to raise $145 to fund this procedure. Mugyenyi shared, “With the surgery, I will be able to work comfortably again and be able to carry on with my duties normally. I will resume farming as soon as possible.”
Yeng is a 68-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has two children and two grandchildren, and in her free time she enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio. Three years ago, Yeng developed a pterygium in her left eye, causing her irritation and blurry vision. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside. When Yeng learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. Yeng needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The total cost of her procedure is $201. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. Yeng shared, "I hope that after my surgery, I will be able to help out around the house and take care of my grandchildren."
Kham is a 14-year-old student from Burma. She lives with her father, paternal grandparents, four paternal uncles, an aunt-in-law, and a cousin in Kachin State. Kham is in the ninth grade and her cousin also goes to school. Her grandmother is a seamstress. Her grandfather is retired, and her father is unemployed and looks after her. All of her uncles are mechanics in an automobile repair shop, but they do not share their income with the rest of the family. During her free time, she helps her cousin with his homework, and she loves teaching. Kham was born with ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her sick and short of breath. Kham is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on August 9th to correct her condition and improve her quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Kham's procedure and care. “I would like to become a teacher because I feel happy teaching children that I know,” Kham shared with us.
Nay Kaw is an 11-year-old student from Burma. He lives with his parents, two older brothers and two younger sisters. He is currently in first grade since he left monkhood last year. His father is a farmer and his mother is a homemaker who looks after his youngest sister at home, the other sister is also a student like Nay Kaw. Nay Kaw, along with his two brothers, help with household chores and in his free time, he likes to play cane ball and hunt. Since birth, Nay Kaw has a had a mass on his right wrist. When he turned three years old, the mass increased in size but was still not painful. But by the time he was ten years old, the mass increased in size again, and became swollen and painful. His mother took him to a traditional healer but the medicine he received did not help. Fortunately our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, can help. He is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on July 9th. This surgery will relieve him of his pain and discomfort. He needs your help to cover the $1,500 cost of his procedure and care. Nay Kaw shared, “I would like to be a teacher because I would like to teach children like my friends who are not able to go to school to study.”
Sarith is a 14-year-old student from Cambodia. She is the oldest child in a family of five who live in Siem Riep. Her family farms and sells crops, but they also do daily wage labor when they are not farming. Sarith is in grade six, and her favorite subject of study at school is mathematics. She wants to run the farm business and improve it when she grows up. One year ago, Sarith had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Sarith experiences hearing loss, infection, occasional tinnitus, and constant irritation. Her family has spent a considerable amount of money paying for treatments for Sarith's ears, but nothing yet has been effective. She has found it difficult to participate in schooling with her reduced hearing, and her parents are worried that her condition will worsen. Sarith traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On June 2nd, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sarith said, "The itchy feeling in my ears is always there and it makes me crazy, I hope that it will go away soon and I can feel calm."
Kruy is a 40-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has two sons, two daughters, her husband is a fisherman. She likes to make food for her children and take care of their family's house. Fifteen years ago, Kruy 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, Kruy experiences hearing loss, ringing, and ear discharge. She cannot hear clearly when she communicates with other people, and she cannot work outside the house independently. Kruy traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 7th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her 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. Kruy said, "I hope that after my operation, the infection will finally be gone, and I can feel what it is like to have clear hearing again."
Margaret is a university student in her second year of studies. However, since 2018, she has not been to school after suffering a road accident in the capital, Nairobi. She was hit by a vehicle while crossing the road, fracturing her right femur and suffering body lacerations. She spent a lengthy stay in a national hospital and received surgery. She required physiotherapy sessions which she could not start due to financial constraints. Last July, she noted an open wound on her surgical site which was painful and septic. Since then, she had been cleaning it with salty water. Margaret was brought by her friend to Watsi's partner Kijabe Hospital and diagnosed with chronic osteomyelitis, a bone infection. Doctors recommend she have a sequestrectomy and hardware removal surgery to treat her condition. Successful surgery will allow Margaret to be able to ambulate with ease and less pain. Margaret is the firstborn child in her family. Her two siblings and parents live in a three-roomed rental house in the city’s outskirts. Her father is a construction site laborer while her mother relies on casual jobs such as laundry in the estate. The family is not able to pay the required hospital bill of $1,500. Margaret says, “My hope is to go back to school once treated so that I can help my younger siblings.”
Porn is a 47-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has two daughters, one son, and one grandchild. She enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio when she has free time at home. Four months ago, Porn developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision and photophobia. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Porn learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On March 9th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and 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. "I hope that I can see better so I can return to planting rice and can go outside on my own," she shared.
Anitha is a 5-year-old student from Tanzania. She is the only child to her mother who is a single parent. Anitha's father left her when she was baby. That was after he saw she was born with a congenital disability of her feet (bilateral clubfoot). Anitha has never seen her father, neither does her mother know where he is. Anitha's mother helps her aunt in a small vegetable garden. They grow tomatoes and sell them in an open market. The little that they earn is what they use for their basic needs. Anitha has clubfoot of both her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Anitha traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Anitha's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk well and wear shoes. Her mother says, “All I wish for my daughter is to see her walk normally so that she can pursue her studies and have a better life.’’
Witness is a student from Tanzania who is the first born child in a family of four children. She is smart, intelligent, and very hard working girl. Witness has completed her form four education and is currently waiting for her results to be able to join form five and six. She wishes to be a laboratory technician when she completes her studies and be able to support her parents and siblings. Witness’ father used to work as foreman at a construction site but after the project matured he has not been able to get any other job thus he is now forced to seek any casual day jobs to be able to support his family. The mother sells vegetables and the little income she gets she helps her husband to support her family. Witness was diagnosed with right genu varus. Her leg is bowed so that her knees cannot touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she has difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Witness. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 24th. Treatment will hopefully restore Witness's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Witness says, “My secondary education has been really challenging for me due to my leg’s condition. If you can help correct my leg I would be able to continue with my further studies with ease without all this challenges I am going through.”
Socheat is a 21-year-old blacksmith from Cambodia. He has three siblings, a sister and two brothers, and in his free time he enjoys playing soccer, singing karaoke, and listening to music. In November 2019, Socheat was in a severe motorcycle accident, injuring his left shoulder. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He is unable to move his left arm, and experiences a loss of sensation in his left shoulder. He is unable to work and experiences daily pain. Socheat traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 8th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm and return to work again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. "I hope that my shoulder will be in full function again and I can return to work without any pain," he shared.