norma joined Watsi on November 6th, 2014. Seven years ago, norma joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. norma's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Phat, a food seller from Cambodia, to fund cataract surgery so she can keep cooking and working.
norma has funded healthcare for 63 patients in 10 countries.
norma has funded healthcare for 63 patients in 10 countries.
Phat is a 61-year-old food seller. She is a widow and has one son, two daughters, and three grandchildren. She lives with her oldest daughter who works as a chef in a small restaurant. Due to her age and vision, she stays home and looks after her grandchildren now. In her spare time, she likes to listen to the news on the radio and watch movies on TV. One year ago, Phat developed a cataract in her right eye causing her blurry vision, sensitivity to light, and sometimes tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Phat learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On September 15th, doctors will perform small incision cataract surgery, and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Phat shared, "I hope after surgery my eye can see clearly, I want to make food for sale again and go outside on my own."
Kea is a student who lives in a rural province of Cambodia with his parents, who are farmers, and his younger brother and sister. When he was 11, Kea had a severe ear infection that caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in his left ear to perforate. As a result, Kea experiences pain and discharge from his ear. He also has difficulty communicating with others. Kea traveled to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), to receive treatment. On September 1st, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in his left ear. During the procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Now CSC is requesting $464 to fund his procedure. This will cover the cost of medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Kea shared, "I hope my hearing will improve and the the infection and pain will go away."
Yon is a mother of three from Cambodia. Her husband had died during the Khmer Rouge regime, so she now lives with her eldest daughter who is a rice farmer. Yon enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio and visiting the pagoda. Four years ago, Yon developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurry vision, tearing, and photophobia. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Yon learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours with her daughter seeking treatment. On June 17th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Yon shares, "After surgery I hope I am comfortable and can see clearly so I can go places on my own and take care of my grandchildren."
Robson is a friendly and calm baby. He is the youngest sibling of the family, and they all live in an urban settlement in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. Robson's mother takes care of their family and home while his father used to be a cook, but was laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While his mother was outside washing clothes, Robson was in his grandmother’s grass-thatched house in their village. Suddenly, a mattress caught fire, causing burns on Robson's face and fingers. The burns led to contractures on the fingers, so that Robson is unable to hold things and use his fingers well. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is helping Robson receive treatment. On July 17th, surgeons from the care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. Now, AMH is requesting $840 to help fund this procedure. “I hope and pray that with the assistance accorded to my son, he will be able to hold things and start crawling with support as he learns to walk,” Robson’s mother told us.
Saly is a 53-year-old rice farmer with one daughter, four sons, and five grandchildren. Saly lives with her eldest son since her husband passed away 10 years ago. Her son is also a farmer. In her free time, Saly enjoys listening to traditional music on the radio. Five years ago, Saly developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her itchiness, tearing, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Saly learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours with her daughter seeking treatment. On June 1st, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Saly shared, "I want to be able to plant crops and rice again and take care of my grandchildren better with clear vision."
Joseph is a 28-year-old gardener from Western Kenya. He is married and has two young children including one who is four years old and another who is five months old. His wife takes care of their home and children, and he is the breadwinner of the family. On April 4th, Joseph was involved in a road accident on his way home from work. He was knocked down by a speeding motorbike and fractured his right tibia/fibula. Joseph cannot walk on his own. He is ambulating using crutches and experiences a lot of pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On May 6th, Joseph will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Joseph shared, “I am the breadwinner of the family and this accident is affecting my work and life. I, sadly, am unable to raise the amount required for the surgery and treatment.“
Vincent is a six-year-old boy and the oldest of three children. Vincent and his siblings live with their grandmother in Southern Kenya. Vincent has bilateral equinus deformity, which means he has difficulty walking and often tiptoes as he walks, or even crawls. He has visited clinics in the past and undergone casting, but there has been no significant improvement. To correct his condition, Vincent is scheduled to undergo Achilles Tendon Lengthening (ATL) surgery on April 14th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,224 to fund Vincent's life-changing procedure. Vincent's grandmother shared, "I would love to see my grandson walk on his own. Any help will be highly appreciated.”
Losieku is a nine-year-old boy and the youngest child born to his mother, who has six children. He is a friendly, cheerful and hard-working boy. He has not had the chance to go to school yet, though his father says he has plans to enroll him in school next year if everything goes well. Losieku lives in Northern Tanzania. The majority of people in this area are traditional Maasai and are livestock farmers. Losieku's father has a few goats that Losieku and his siblings take out to graze. They also practice small-scale farming of maize and vegetables as a source of food. About three years ago, Losieku was out playing with his siblings. He fell and his left hand went into an open fireplace where a bit of hot charcoal was burning below ashes. He sustained burns which were treated at home using traditional herbal medication due to lack of money and distance to the closest hospital. Over the years, the skin around his fingers has contracted and he is unable to straighten them. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Losieku receive treatment. On March 3, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery so that he will be able to use his fingers freely. Now, he needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Losieku’s father shared, "it’s really challenging for my son to carry out his daily activities because of his hand. He is a hardworking boy, and if he gets his hand corrected, it will help him do more with ease.”
Navy is a 49-year-old rice seller. She's been married for 15 years and has 2 daughters who are in school. Navy sells rice in front of a factory, but has been unable to work for over a year. Her husband is currently unemployed. Four years ago, Navy started to have pain in her back and on both hips, and she was given steroids to ease the pain. Doctors have diagnosed her with avascular necrosis in both hips. Avascular necrosis, or osteonecrosis, is the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply. Navy cannot walk and is confined to a wheelchair. She is in constant pain, and is depressed because she cannot work to support her family. Fortunately, Navy learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). At CSC, surgeons will perform a total hip replacement to relieve Navy of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for February 5th, and Navy needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Navy shared, "I hope that I'll feel better soon, and will be able to walk again without pain. I am anxious to return to work to help my family."
Jedidah was feeling very unwell while she met with our local Watsi representative. She is a 52-year-old woman from Machakos County in Kenya. Married with five children, she is a farmer along with her husband. Since 2018, Jedidah has had upper abdominal pains, a constant feeling fullness and heartburn, plus bitter saliva and regurgitation. Her symptoms make it hard for Jedidah to eat. She has visited many hospitals, but without help. They recently decided to come to Nazareth Hospital where our partner doctor ordered for an oesophagal-gastro-duodenoscopy, which finally showed that Jedidah has a hiatus hernia. The surgeon advised a laparotomy is needed to cure her condition, but Jedidah's family is not able to meet the cost. If not treated, Jedidah may have hernia strangulation, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or future lung problems as her stomach contents are moved up to the oesophagus. Jedidah said quietly, “This condition has made it difficult for me to work in our small farm, to interact with friends and even take care of my children. I plead for help and God will bless you.”
Darong is an 11-year-old 4th grade student from Cambodia. Darong has two siblings and his parents work in Thailand. As we got to know Darong, he shared with us that his favorite subjects in school are Khmer, math, and English. His favorite foods are fried meat, sausage soup, and juice or milk. When he is not studying, Darong enjoys playing football, reading books, and playing games. When he grows up he wants to be a doctor. Nine years ago, Darong had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Darong experiences damaged hearing, tinnitus, ear discharge, and pain. He cannot communicate clearly with others, making his studies difficult. Darong traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 30th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure. 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. Darong's aunt shared, "We are worried about him because it is hard for him to have conversations and he is in pain."
Koeun is a woman from Cambodia. In August 2018, Koeun was struck from behind by a motorcycle on her way home from work, resulting in a fractured left thigh. She was initially treated at Kampong Cham Referral Hospital, where they inserted pins near the fracture so the bones would heal in alignment. However, Koeun's bones have now healed, and the pins are ready to be removed. Surgery will allow Koeun to completely bend her leg and foot without any pain or difficulty. Surgery is scheduled for May 3 and will cost $390. She looks forward to returning to her family and going for walks in the village.