Yolanda joined Watsi on May 11th, 2016. Five years ago, Yolanda joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Yolanda's most recent donation supported Benson, a shy toddler from Tanzania, to fund corrective surgery so he can grow up active.
Yolanda has funded healthcare for 69 patients in 13 countries.
Yolanda has funded healthcare for 69 patients in 13 countries.
Benson is a twin two-year-old. His mom shared that Benson is a playful boy but a little shy and quiet compared to his twin brother who is more social and more talkative. Benson’s mother makes a living doing other people’s laundry while his father is a public transport driver commonly known as a “daladala” driver in Tanzania. Their income is not enough to provide for the family's needs and still cover Benson’s needed treatment cost. They are asking for help to support his medical care. Benson was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. He and his brother were born healthy babies and their growth has been on track until they learned to walk. Benson’s mother started to notice that his legs were not straight as he started to crawl. He took a long time to learn to stand and walk compared to his twin. When he got on his feet and walked, his mother noticed that his legs were bowed outwards. Benson's mother had never taken him to any hospital for help or treatment, she thought he would eventually grow out of it but that has not been the case. His condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, his legs keep bowing outwards, making walking more difficult. One of Benson’s father’s friends advised his parents to seek treatment for him. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Benson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Benson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Benson’s mother says, “I would love to see Benson walking normally like his brother but the treatment cost is too high for us.”
Susan is a mother of three, with her eldest child now 23 years, and two twins who are 17. She used to work at a salon in Nairobi, but the owner closed the business at the beginning of the year. She has been out of work since then and husband works as a casual laborer in a pharmaceutical firm, which recruits them in intervals depending on the availability of funds. She has applied for national health insurance coverage, but it is not yet approved and her doctors have recommended that she undergoes her surgery as soon as possible. Susan first noted a lump in July so she visited a facility in Nairobi and was treated with pain medication and an ointment. She felt better, but the pain recurred after two months. Due to the pain, she went to a government clinic and was advised to visit a higher-level facility. She opted to visit our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital after a recommendation by a neighbor. However, Susan is not in a financial position to pay for the surgery and is appealing for financial assistance. Susan has been 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 $1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Susan. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 6th. After treatment, Susan will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Susan says, "My family and my kids are my motivation. This lump is just increasing in size and pain. I hope I get the treatment I need.”
Moe lives with his two uncles, one aunt, two nephews and a niece in a village in Mont State in Burma. Moe's two uncles are retired, his niece looks after his youngest nephew who is a baby, and he had to stop working two years ago after he had a stroke. His aunt and his older nephew are shop vendors, earning 150,000 kyat (approx. 150 USD) together in a month. In his free time, Moe likes to read magazines. Two months ago, Moe noticed that he had a blister on his right big toe. Three days after he first noticed the blister, it ruptured. Over time, the area around the blister turned red and swollen, before developing pus and becoming itchy. He went to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) after a nurse at the village clinic advised him to go there to get help. At MCLH, the doctor examined his toe and performed surgery to clean and remove necrotic tissue. Moe returned to that hospital several times, however, his toe never healed. He has diabetes and it is especially difficult for his body to heal from an injury like this. His doctor at MCLH has now determined that he needs to have his toe amputated. By this point, Moe has run out of money and can no longer pay for his treatment. Moe cannot walk long distances and he cannot sleep well due to pain that worsens at night. He hopes that with this treatment, he can finally feel well again. "I don't have any money to pay for my surgery and I feel sad about this. I worry about my toe getting worse and I feel sorry that my aunt [and nephew] have to work hard to support our family. But I feel so happy to receive support from you," said Moe.
Sa lives with her husband, daughter, and two granddaughters in Burma. She is a homemaker, and her daughter and husband are day laborers. However, due to constantly changing regulations regarding the number of people who can gather, they have difficulty finding work. Sa's granddaughters are students, though their schools are currently closed. Their family shared that they were only able to earn 100,000 kyat (approx. $100 USD) last month, which is not enough to cover their daily needs. A few years ago, Sa was diagnosed with diabetes. This September, she had an injury on her right toe. Her toe became itchy and infected, so she visited a local clinic twice. After her symptoms did not subside, she visited a private clinic, where the doctor diagnosed her with an ulcer and told her she would need to undergo surgery to clean and remove the necrotic tissue. On September 24th, she underwent this procedure. A few days later, the toe continued to worsen, and a second surgery is now required to amputate Sa's right toe and keep her infection from worsening. To help with the cost, Sa was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund the costs of this surgery. Sa is currently experiencing swelling and pain in her foot, especially when the weather is cool during the night and morning. As a result, Sa cannot do her daily household chores. She shared, "Even though I cannot meet my donors, I want to thank them. If you [BCMF and donors] had not helped me during this difficult time, I do not know who else I could have turned to for help."
Ar is a 28-year-old man who lives with his wife, three sons, and two daughters in a refugee camp. Originally from Burma, his family fled to Thailand 20 years ago due to civil war. His children attend school, except for his youngest daughter, who is not yet old enough. His wife is a homemaker and Ar works as a day laborer when work is available. Ar's family shared that, in addition to his day laborer pay, they receive a monthly cash card from The Border Consortium to purchase food in the refugee camp. Overall, the family's total monthly income is just enough to cover their basic needs. On September 2nd, Ar climbed a tamarind tree to pick tamarinds fruit. When the branch he was standing on suddenly broke, he fell and landed on his right arm and experienced pain in his back. He visited the camp hospital that day, and the medic initially determined that his arm was not broken. Due to recent positive COVID-19 cases in the refugee camp, Ar could not be immediately referred to the local hospital for further testing and was kept for observation at the camp hospital. When the pain in Ar's back and arm did not subside the next day, the medic referred Ar to the local hospital. After receiving a negative COVID-19 test, Ar was finally able to visit the hospital on September 6th, where he received an X-ray for his arm and a blood test for a second COVID-19 test. The X-ray revealed that his upper right arm is broken. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ar will undergo surgery on September 8th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will enable Ar to continue working in the future. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Ar shared, "I am scared to receive surgery. But I was told that I will not be able to work using my right arm if I do not receive surgery, so I gave my consent to the doctor. I hope that I will be able to work again after I receive treatment."
Samson is a 26-year-old minibus conductor. He shared with us that he was orphaned in 2008 and currently lives with a relative in a rented two room house. He has relied on his older sister to help with his medical bills, but unfortunately, his sister lost her job due to the pandemic. Two months ago, Samson was struck by a motorcycle on his way home. He fractured his left tibia and was seen at a hospital in Nairobi where his leg was casted. However, after removing the cast, re-examining his leg and doing an x-ray, surgery was recommended as he had not healed. Samson currently moves around with crutches due to difficulty walking and he continues to experience leg pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On August 10th, Samson will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help his fractures fully heal and allow him to walk comfortably again. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Samson shared, "I am struggling to walk and my leg is so painful. I cannot work in this condition and unless I get the treatment I'm worried I might end up crippled.”
Rady is an 11-year-old, sixth grade student. He is the only child in his family. Rady's father works in construction, and in the future Rady wants to become a policeman. One year ago, Rady had an ear infection that caused cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. The growth made Rady experience hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. It is difficult for him to hear at school and communicate with his friends Rady traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 1st, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left 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. Rady would like his life to return to normal, "I hope my ear will improve soon so I can return to school and see and hear my friends."
Samuel is a 25-year-old motorbike taxi driver from Kenya. His father is a carpenter and his mother runs a greengrocery in their hometown. On May 8th, Samuel was in a traffic accident that caused a serious fracture to his left ankle. Samuel is unable to walk on his own and is currently using crutches. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 8th, Samuel 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. Samuel shared, “I am in pain and cannot walk without the help of the crutches. The doctor said if I don’t get the surgery my leg will not be okay and can't work.”
Elvin is a one-year-old baby boy and the youngest in a family of two children. His mother shared that he is usually a smiley and happy baby. Elvin's mother sells goods at a shop, while his father is a welder. Elvin 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, Elvin has been experiencing pain and is at risk of brain damage. His condition has made him irritable and he experiences regular fevers and vomiting whenever he eats. Without treatment, Elvin will experience physical and developmental delays. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) can help. AMH is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery to treat Elvin's hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th and will drain the excess fluid from Elvin's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Elvin will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Elvin’s mother shared, "my son’s head keeps increasing in size and his health keeps worsening each day, please help."
Naw Mu is a five-year-old girl who lives with her family in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Naw Mu, her older brother and older sister are all primary school students. Her mother is a homemaker and her father works as a day laborer outside of the camp when he can. Her parents also look after a small shop in the camp. Her family's combined income is just enough to cover their family expenses and are grateful they can receive basic healthcare and education in the camp. On April 8th, Naw Mu was playing with her friends when she fell to the ground and injured her left arm. Her mother immediately took her to the hospital in the camp, run by Malteser International Thailand. When the medics examined her arm, they suspected that Naw Mu's forearm was fractured and referred her to another hospital to confirm her diagnosis. After Naw Mu received an x-ray, the doctor confirmed that Naw Mu's radius and ulna bones are broken. Currently, Naw Mu is experiencing pain in her left arm and has to take pain medication to have comfort and to sleep. She cannot lift her left hand or move it around. Fortunately, with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Naw Mu will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for April 9th and will cost $1,500. With this treatment, she will no longer be in pain and she will be able to move her hand and arm fully again in the future. Naw Mu's father shared, “my daughter loves to play outsides with her friends and watching cartoon clips on the phone. After she receives surgery, I hope that she is able to play with her friends again.”
Shoh is a 47-year-old man who lives with his wife, two sons, daughter-in-law and two daughters in Nu Poe Refugee Camp in Thailand. In the camp, Shoh and his oldest son are teachers who teach about the Quran for other refugees. They each earn 1,200 baht (approx. 40 USD) per month. His wife is often sick, and his eldest daughter has to look after her at home. His daughter-in-law is a homemaker while his youngest daughter and son are students. Shoh’s household receives 1,110 baht (approx. 37 USD) every month on a cash card to purchase rations in the camp. Their monthly household income is just enough to cover their daily expenses as they also receive free basic health care and education in the camp. Since February 2020, Shoh has had umbilical hearnia. Currently, Shoh’s abdomen pain is not severe but his hernia is still increasing in size. He feels uncomfortable when he walks because of his swollen abdomen. He cannot sleep well and is increasingly worried about his diagnosis. The pain in his abdomen increases when he feels cold, especially at night. Fortunately, on March 9th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Shoh's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 9th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Shoh said, “I do not want to stop being a teacher. I love teaching the Quran to young children. Also, if I do not teach, I do not earn an income and my family does not have enough income to cover our household expenses.”
Guyo is a 2-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He has three siblings. Guyo's parents are from a rural area and make a humble living. His uncle, who brought Guyo to Watsi's Partner Care Center BethanyKids Hospital, helps to raise Guyo. Guyo is a sweet, outgoing boy who loves to play with his friends and siblings. He also loves playing with dogs. Guyo was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Guyo is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 9th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Once recovered, he will no longer have any pain or discomfort and can return to happily playing with his friends. His uncle shared, “I believe if he is treated well, he will be good psychologically in the future. And all the family will be happy. I hope he will be a doctor in the future and help his community.”