Gareth AshcroftMONTHLY DONOR
Gareth's Story

Gareth joined Watsi on October 17th, 2018. Four years ago, Gareth joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Gareth's most recent donation traveled 4,500 miles to support Simon, a hardworking young man from Kenya, to fund life-changing surgery to alleviate his pain and help him walk easier.

Impact

Gareth has funded healthcare for 46 patients in 9 countries.

All patients funded by Gareth

Simon is a 20-year-old who, since he was a little boy, he has worked selling goods at a nearby open market. He has no stable source of income and is currently unable to work due to his medical condition. His single mother is unable to support him. Fortunately, his friend is allowing him to stay in their single room close to the city market. Two years ago, Simon began experiencing pain in his left knee, causing him to limp as he walked. His pain eventually spread to his hip. He now cannot walk without a walking stick and has an infected hip and knee, which are limiting his mobility. After receiving a CT scan, Simon was diagnosed with septic arthritis, which is inflammation of a joint caused by an infection, and sequelae of the hip. In hopes to help his condition, Simon visited visited Kenyatta National Hospital. He has since been on medical follow-up for septic arthritis at the facility without any surgical intervention. He eventually had to stop attending the follow-up clinics due to a lack of financial resources. Fortunately, a friend told Simon about our medical partner's care center, and he traveled there to receive treatment. Now, Simon is scheduled to undergo a treatment on July 8th. This will hopefully finally help heal his condition and relieve his pain. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to fund his treatment. Simon shares, “I can barely move my leg without support from this walking stick. My hip is painful and my knee is just unbearable. I cannot work in my condition and therefore am struggling to survive.”

58%funded
$881raised
$619to go

Shedrack is a 17-year-old teenager and the fourth born child in a family of seven. He had to drop out of school last year, but hopes to learn masonry at a local technical school so that he can work and make a living for himself. He is currently helping in looking after his family's cattle. His parents are small scale farmers, and his father also works as a night guard. His father shared that he can't yet afford to send Shedrack to the technical school. Shedrack was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus. His legs bow inward at the knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has had difficulty walking for four years now. His father says the problem started with a slight curve but over the years the curve has increased in size. Shedrack's aunt learned about Plaster House - a special site that provides a home to patients undergoing treatment at our medical partner's care center in Arusha, Tanzania. She informed Shedrack's father who brought him there seeking treatment. Unable to raise the funds needed for surgery, their family is asking for support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Shedrack. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 6th. Treatment will hopefully restore Shedrack's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Shedrack says, “My legs hurt at the knees and carrying out daily life activities is now a big challenge.”

48%funded
$427raised
$453to go

Ni lives with her mother & four siblings in Yangon, Burma. Her two younger sisters work in a clothing factory, while her mother and one brother are homemakers. Her other brother works as a driver assistant. Ni works in a factory that produces alcohol and in her free time, she enjoys watching television with her family. She also enjoys teaching English to their neighbor's children on the weekends. In July 2019, Ni started to experience chest pain and difficulty breathing. She went to a hospital in Yangon and was told she might have a problem with her kidney. When she did not feel any better after taking medication for a month, she went to another hospital in Yangon. She received multiple diagnostic tests and was told that her kidney is healthy but she has a heart condition. After receiving an echocardiogram, she was diagnosed with atrial septal defect (ASD). The doctor told her she would need heart surgery, but Ni told the doctor she could not afford to pay for it. Ni received medication and went back home. Unfortunately, she was unable to go back to the hospital for follow up because the hospital closed after the country's military coup. Due to the deteriorating security condition in their area, Ni’s family decided to go back to their village near Mandalay. Around her village, she could not find a pharmacy that sold her medication. When her family finally traveled back to Yangon she was feeling better and decided not to purchase more of the special medication she needed. Then in January, Ni felt like she could not breathe well, and experienced chest pain and rapid breathing again. She went to a hospital, where the doctor referred her to Pun Hlaing Hospital. After she undergoing more diagnostic tests, the doctor told her she would need to receive surgery costing 9,000,000 kyats (approx. $9,000 USD). When she told the doctor she could not afford to pay for it, the doctor gave her the phone number of a nurse who may be able to help. When Ni called the nurse, the nurse told her about our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) who is now helping Ni access treatment. On March 13th she will undergo cardiac surgery to close the Atrial Septal Defect. Currently, Ni has chest pain and difficulty breathing. Sometimes, she has rapid breathing at night. She cannot sleep well because she is always worried about her condition. Ni shared, "I am very scared to receive surgery but if I do not receive this treatment, I will not live a long life. I am so happy to receive treatment and I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors."

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Ko Myo lives with his mother in a village in Burma. He used to be a motorcycle taxi driver but stopped working two months ago when his health deteriorated. His mother and wife currently care for him, washing clothes and working in a clothing factory in Yangon, earning income to support their family. With the help of Watsi donors, Ko Myo underwent his second round of laser treatment in January 2020, at Mae Sot Hospital in Thailand, to breakup stones in his left kidney. He was scheduled to undergo a third round of laser treatment however, when the Thai-Burma border closed in March 2020 due to increasing COVID-19 cases, Ko Myo was not able to go back to the hospital. He felt better until the first week of December 2021 when he started experiencing a lot of pain in his waist when he sat for a long time. With the border still closed and without enough money to go to a hospital, Ko Myo sought advice. He then went with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, in Yangon to a clinic in January 2022 and was able to visit our partner's care center, Shin Par Ku Hospital. The doctor has told him he will need surgery on his left kidney to remove the stone and has scheduled him to have the procedure on February 6th. Currently, Ko Myo has little appetite and experiences pain in the left side of his back. He is eagerly awaiting surgery. He shared, "I pity my wife because she has to work hard and support me. Now, I am so happy that I will receive surgery soon," he said. "One day I want to open my own shop in the market and sew children's clothing."

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Clement is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. He was born and raised in a small village called Bugar where most of the people living in the area are farmers or find other casual jobs. He is married and has six children: two girls, and four boys. He did not attend school and communicates only in his mother tongue, called Keiyo. His family lives in a small mud house with a thatched roof and grows their food from their small farm, which mostly consists of maize and beans. Last week, Clement sustained a severe injury on his right leg after he was involved in a road traffic accident while going to the market. He was a passenger on a motorcycle that lost control and fell into a ditch leaving him and the rider with severe injuries. They were rushed to a nearby hospital where they received first aid and were later referred to our medical partner's care center for treatment. An X-ray revealed an open right tibia fibula fracture. Quickly Clement was rushed to the operating theatre for surgical debridement of wounds and casting. He was admitted to the hospital and is awaiting fracture surgery. He is unable to walk and is in great pain. Clement likes spending his days on his farm and as the breadwinner of the family, he's now feeling distressed because he can’t provide for them due to his condition. He is worried about the obstacles his family would face if his leg is not treated, having also been diagnosed with arthritis. The family doesn’t have funds to pay for his surgery and he's appealing for support. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 6th, Clement will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will reduce his pain and help him walk easily again. After complete recovery, he will be able to resume his work and support his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund his treatment to help him heal. Clement says, “I want to be pain-free and healthy. I hope to be happy again and have a good life. My family needs me the most.”

$1,145raised
Fully funded

Aziza is 14-year-old girl and the second born child in a family of three children. She has just completed her class seven exams and looks forward to joining secondary school once the national examination results are out. She would love to be a teacher when she grows up. Aziza was involved in a fire accident when she was just three years old and she had not been able to use her left hand to hold things or be able to participate in many home chores. Aziza had surgery in February 2020 to release the burn contracture on her hand, which went a long way to enable her to use her hand more. Now, Aziza also needs an amputation of the small finger of her left hand. Her small finger has significant flexion contracture with severe damage to the joint capsules. Aziza is being raised by one of her aunts while her other siblings are being raised by other relatives after their mother passed away three years ago. Their father is not reliable in taking care of the children, and that’s when relatives decided to come in to help since they would miss meals and they didn’t have anyone to wash their clothes or provide them with other needs. Aziza’s aunt has three children of her own and including Aziza she has a total of four children. Aziza’s aunt is a stay at home wife while the husband sells bicycle spare parts and repairs them for a living. The income is not much but just enough to help support the family. Aziza says, “I am scared to lose a part of my hand but I agree with the surgeons that it is necessary and I hope it will help me be able to use my hand more. Please help me get this treatment.”

$1,088raised
Fully funded

Taw is a 43-year-old teacher who lives with her family in the refugee camp. Taw and her husband work at the same school and their daughter is also enrolled there in the nursery program. In her free time, Taw enjoys singing and reading with her students. Taw also loves to grow vegetables around her house, and she is very proud that the vegetables she grows are organic. Growing her own vegetables also helps to reduce her household expenses. Last month, Taw was walking home with a branch from a banana tree she had just cut down to cook for dinner. That afternoon it was drizzling and the dirt road was slippery. Taw slipped and fell onto her left arm, breaking both bones in her left forearm. With the help of Watsi donors, she underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into her forearm at the end of August at Chiang Mai Hospital. A few days after her surgery, Taw's wound got an infection and the doctor had to perform another surgery to remove the rod from her arm. Once the infection cleared up with the help of antibiotics, the doctor scheduled another surgery to have the rod reinserted into Taw's arm to finally help her heal. Taw’s left arm is still in pain. She is in pain whenever she sits down, and the pain increases when she moves her arm. If she lies down and puts her left arm on a pillow, she feels better. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Taw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for September 7th and will cost $1,500. After the procedure, Taw will no longer be in pain and she will be able to go back home and see her family. She will be able to teach again and garden like before. Taw said, "I really miss my family and my daughter. I hope that I will receive proper treatment and be able to go back home again soon."

$1,500raised
Fully funded