Mahesh joined Watsi on January 27th, 2015. Seven years ago, Mahesh joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mahesh's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Lazaro, a bright 15-year-old student from Tanzania, to fund clubfoot repair surgery so that he can have a full life ahead.
Mahesh has funded healthcare for 78 patients in 12 countries.
Mahesh has funded healthcare for 78 patients in 12 countries.
Lazaro is a social and friendly 15-year-old student and the third born child in a family of nine children. His parents are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers. He is currently in class five, and his best subjects in school are social studies and mathematics. Lazaro was born with clubfoot of both feet, a condition in which the feet are twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Despite his condition, he tries to keep active and loves to play football. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Lazaro receive treatment. On December 17th, he will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, he will be able to run and play with friends more easily. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Lazaro's procedure and care. Lazaro shared, "I would love to have normal feet like my siblings and friends. I will be so happy if it can be possible."
Marian is a seven-year-old student and the youngest child of three children in her family. Her mother is a housewife, while her father is a small-scale farmer. Marian has clubfoot of the right foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Marian tiptoes when she walks, has difficulty walking for long distances, and often falls. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Marian receive treatment. On November 22nd, she will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, she will be able to walk well, run, and play with her peers in school. Now, AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Marian's procedure and care. Marian's mother shared, "I would love to see my daughter walking like other girls, and any support to make her surgery possible will be highly appreciated by our family."
Emily is a kind 26-year-old woman who recently got engaged to her childhood friend. She is the fourth born in a family of 7 and lives with both of her parents. One day in 2008, Emily started to experience severe abdominal pains. The pains kept increasing and she could not pass stool. On the third day, her parents rushed her the hospital where a diagnosis of bowel obstruction was made. She was taken to the operating room and had an ileostomy done as a temporary treatment for the bowel obstruction. An ileostomy is an opening in the abdominal wall that is made during surgery, part of the small intestines are diverted through an opening in the abdomen called a stoma. A special bag is placed over the stoma to collect fecal matter that are unable to pass through the colon out of the body. An ileostomy is reversible since it is only made to provide a temporary passage for the release of stools out of the body while allowing healing of the operated part of the intestines/ bowels. Emily was scheduled for ileostomy reversal in July 2008 and the parents took her back to the hospital where she was admitted. She was later discharged home and the surgery rescheduled since the there were many patients in the waiting list. She has since had more than 7 admissions for the procedure but each time she is discharged and the surgery rescheduled. They kept going to the hospital and in 2011 they gave up since they were not getting help and had already spent a lot on transport and meals. Emily eventually dropped out of school due to discrimination and the stigma associated with the condition. She now uses cheap thin plastic papers as stoma bags as the family cannot afford to buy the all the bags due to financial constraints. She has grown to live with this condition. Despite all that has been in her way, Emily is still very hard working and earns a living from washing clothes at people's homes. This enables her to buy the plastic bags for the stoma. Often, she runs out of money to buy the bags and is forced to stay indoors. Recently, one of their neighbors had a thyroidectomy done at Partners in Hope Hospital under a special program and urged her parents to bring her for assessment. The surgeon reviewed her and indicated that the condition can still be corrected through laparotomy where an ileostomy reversal will be done. This surgery will greatly improve Emily’s life, restore her dignity as a human being and remove the emotional pain and torture that Emily has lived with the past 13 years. Her parents are seeking financial support to help their daughter undergo the surgery. “I remember that when I was young, I used to use the bathroom normally in the pit latrine. I pray that one day I will be able to use the toilet again. I hope that when I get married I will be like all other women and will not have to embarrass my husband with this condition," shared Emily with a shy smile on her face.
Eh Eh is a 24-year-old woman who lives with husband, daughter, sister and parents in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. She got married three years ago and her husband works at the pharmacy in the refugee camp. He is able to earn 900 baht (approx. $30 USD) per month to support their livelihoods. Her parents are retired, and her sister is in school in grade 11. Eh Eh works for the Camp Information Team and earns 1,000 baht (approx. $30.33 USD) per month. Their household also receives 1,662 baht ($55.40 USD) per month on a cash card from an organisation called The Border Consortium. Eh Eh became pregnant soon after her wedding in 2018. When she went into labour, she was unable to give birth due to her daughter being too big to fit through her pelvis. Malteser International (MI) staff, who run the hospital in the refugee camp, rushed her to Mae Sariang Hospital, where the surgeon performed an emergency C-section to deliver Eh Eh's daughter. On 28 December 2020, Eh Eh found out she was pregnant again. Due to her previous complications during labour, MI staff referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital for further care while she wis in her 39th week. Knowing that she will need to undergo another C-section, and that she cannot afford to pay for it, Eh Eh was referred to our medical partner, the Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing the treatment she needs for a safe delivery for her and her new baby. Currently, although Eh Eh feels fine physically, she has mixed emotions about the surgery. She is worried and scared about undergoing the operation but she is excited to meet her baby. She shared: “I can cope with the worry because I have experienced this before, and because my husband will take care of me,” she said. “I just really hope that my operation will go well, and that baby will be safe."
Kelvin is a bright second grade student and the last born in a family of five. His mother told us that Kelvin likes playing football, reading, and running together with his friends. Kelvin's mother is now a single mom after she separated from her husband many years ago after he engaged in drugs and frequent drinking. “He could not provide for the family anymore...” Kelvin's mother told us. Currently, Kelvin's mother has a small makeshift hotel, known as a Kibanda, where she sells tea, porridge, and mandazi (doughnuts) which is just enough to sustain her children and pay for their house rent. Kelvin has a hemiplegic cerebral palsy condition. When Kelvin was one year old, his mother noticed a bending of the left foot, and as he continued to grow his left foot worsened. Recently, while Kelvin was passing by the market in the village, a lady spotted him and inquired about where he lived. She later called Kelvin's mother and advised her to visit CURE hospital. At the hospital, Kelvin was scheduled to undergo surgery. Fortunately, Kelvin traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Kelvin's treatment. After treatment, he will be able to walk well and play with friends. He will also be able to continue with his studies uninterrupted. Kelvin's mother said, “I am seeking support because I cannot pay the hospital bill, if I can be helped, I will be grateful to see my son walking normally.”
Ku is a seven-year-old boy who lives with his parents and two younger sisters in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Ku's mother weaves shirts that she sells, and Ku's father helps weave, too. Ku is a primary school student, while one of his sisters is in nursing school, and his youngest sister is too young to go to school. On June 6th, Ku and two of his friends were playing in a tamarind tree when they all fell out of the tree. Ku injured his left arm in the fall and his father carried him to the camp hospital for an exam. The medic there told Ku's father that his elbow might be broken. After they bandaged his arm, Ku visited another hospital for an x-ray and was diagnosed with a left elbow fracture. Ku is in pain and cannot bend his arm or lift anything. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ku will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for June 9th and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Ku will no longer be in pain and he will be able to go back to school. He will regain full mobility in his arm. Ku's father shared, "Ku is an active boy who loves school and reading a lot. He always says that he wants to become a health worker to look after his family and others when he grows up. I want him to recover and go back to school soon."
Meet Nahashion: a playful, four-year-old boy in kindergarten. Nahashion is the only child in his family. His mother gave birth to Nahashion when she was very young, so she had to drop out of school to take care of her baby. His father is a maize farmer, but he also does odd-jobs like working on other peoples’ farms to supplement his maize farm. Both parents did not finish primary education (eight years), which poses difficulty when trying to find better paying jobs. The young family lives in a rental house in a small town. After giving birth to Nahashion, his mother was told by a doctor that her child had hypospadias, a disease causing urinary dysfunction. She was very worried about it because it was the first time she heard about such a case. Without treatment, Nahashion will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility when he grows up. A few months afterwards, she started searching for treatment and could not find a specialist in the many hospitals she visited. Finally, Nahashion traveled with his parent's many miles from their hometown to arrive at Kapsowar Hospital, where he was seen by a visiting surgeon. They had heard about the specialist after hearing an advertisement on the radio of the urology clinic that is taking place at Kapsowar. Fortunately, now Nahashion is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 24th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $631 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Nahashion’s mother is optimistic and strong. She says, “I am really not sure what is going to happen, but I am confident that my child will be able to proceed well after the surgery.”
Man is a 53-year-old fisherman with one son, three daughters, and four grandchildren. Man lives with his wife and their youngest daughter who works in a garment factory. Man enjoys listening to comedy shows and football on TV and visiting the mosque with his wife. Two years ago, the retina of Man's left eye detached, causing him blurry vision and partial blindness. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Man learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for five hours with his wife seeking treatment. On May 26th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, Man needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Man shared, "I hope after surgery my eye can see better so I can go back to the sea and fish again."
Naomi is a 15-year-old girl from Kenya. She is a very fun, talkative, and outgoing girl. In school, she is in Grade 5 and is among some of the best students in her class. Naomi is the sixth born in a family of seven children. Some of her siblings are in college with different sponsorship programs, while others are in high school and primary school. Naomi’s father works hard finding labor jobs to provide for their family. Her mother currently stays at home to mainly take care of Naomi, as she is not able to go to school at the moment. Naomi has a history of spina bifida and hydrocephalus. In 2019, when her shunt that was helping treat her hydrocephalus unfortunately started malfunctioning, her mother brought her to a facility to see a neurosurgeon. At the facility, Naomi was admitted as an emergency case and was operated on successfully. After the surgery, she had a lengthy stay at the facility and was in and out of the Intensive Care Unit several times. During this time, Naomi was bedridden and developed two pressure sores in the process; one on the sacral and the other one on the right gluteal region. The medical practitioners in the facility were not able to offer any treatment for her pressure sores. As time went by, the pressure sores worsened and grew deeper. One medical practitioner advised Naomi’s mother to dress the wounds with vinegar and honey on a daily basis. Her mother tried this and noticed some small improvement. Until she had enough money to take Naomi to the hospital, she continued with this home treatment. Eventually, Naomi was brought to our Medical Partner Kijabe Hospital, where doctors examined her. Now, Naomi will undergo a colostomy conducted by the pediatric surgery team to divert the stool and avoid infection. Later, she will undergo debridement and flap reconstruction with the plastic surgery team to help her heal. However, Naomi's parents are unable to afford the cost of her care. Their family has a National Health Insurance Fund coverage that will help fund her later reconstruction procedures, but they need help raising money for the procedures Naomi must undergo now. Naomi’s mother appeals for financial support. Naomi will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. She is scheduled to undergo her colostomy surgery on April 13th. African Mission Healthcare is requesting $592 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will be free of pain and will be able to return to her studies again. Naomi’s mother shared, “Since Naomi was born, I knew that this was a God-given responsibility to take care of her and be with her throughout her treatment. Over the years, it is been difficult because of the cost of treatment as a result of several trips to seek care. She really needs this surgery but sadly we are I am unable to facilitate for it.”
Alex is a 20-year-old high school student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and younger brother in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. When he's healthy, he enjoys dancing and playing drums in church. Before his most recent illness, he was in his final year of high school. Alex has a cardiac condition called mitral regurgitation. When Alex was a child, he became infected with rheumatic fever which severely damaged one of his heart valves so that it could no longer pump blood through his body. Four years ago, surgeons in the Cayman Islands repaired Alex's existing heart valve in order to avoid replacing it with an artificial valve. This repaired valve worked well for three years, but then began to have difficulty pumping blood as well. Doctors now need to implant an artificial valve to replace the valve that is no longer working well. Alex will fly to the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On April 7th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove Alex's damaged valve and implant a mechanical replacement valve. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman Islands, is contributing $20,000 to pay for surgery. Alex's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Alex's family overseas. Alex shared, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can get back to attending school and going to church."
Tun is a 73-year-old man who lives with his three daughters in Umpiem Mai Refugee Camp in Thailand. Each month, Tun's household receives a small cash card to purchase rations in the camp, and their monthly household income is just enough to cover daily expenses. In his free time, Tun loves to read books and loves telling stories to his neighbours’ children. He is always welcoming, giving the children snacks and telling them stories from his home. Tun also loves to grow different types of vegetables around his house, sharing the harvest with his neighbours who cannot afford to buy vegetables. Before he felt unwell, Tun used to volunteer, organising cleaning groups in the camp and helping with road repairs. Currently, Tun experiences on and off pain in his upper abdomen. He also has a slight fever and often feels nauseous. Over time, his appetite has gradually decreased, and he has lost weight. Tun has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If his condition is left untreated, Tun's symptoms will continue to worsen and he will be at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Tun is scheduled to undergo his cholecystectomy on February 16th. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Tun's procedure and care. Once recovered, he will able to resume gardening, volunteering, and socializing with others in the camp. Tun shared, “I love volunteering and I am happy to help the community with whatever I can. But since I got sick, I cannot participate, and I cannot go to the monastery to help clean nor can I meditate. If I ever feel better again, I will continue to help my community with whatever I can do and I will also continue to grow vegetables around my house for my family and for my neighbours.”
Rebecca is a 1-year-old girl from Tanzania. She is the last born in a family of two children and has started to grow into a strong and beautiful girl. Both of her parents depend on small scale farming to support their family. Rebecca was initially brought to the hospital by her parents seeking treatment to help correct her spina bifida condition. Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord fail to form properly. This puts a child in danger of limb paralyses or death in case of a severe infection. At the time, Rebecca's parents could not afford the proposed surgery. Luckily, one of their friends advised them to seek help at our medical partner's care center, ALMC Plaster House. Through Watsi funding, Rebecca’s life was saved and she has been growing well since then. However, a few weeks ago, Rebecca's mother noticed her daughter's head was increasing in size at a very fast rate and she was complaining of headaches. Her parents had worked hard to save some money and got a health insurance card for their baby, so they decided to take her to the hospital to seek treatment. There, Rebecca was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. She needs to have an ETV surgery that will help relieve her of the pressure build-up, which would otherwise lead to brain damage. Unfortunately, their insurance has not matured enough to cover this kind of major surgery, so Rebecca's parents are appealing for financial support to help her. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Rebecca that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 25th and will drain the excess fluid from Rebecca's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Rebecca will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Rebecca’s mother shared, “My daughter’s head is increasing in size and it is making her sick. She needs surgery but the insurance we got for her cannot cover the cost. Please help once more if it is possible because we don’t know where to run to for help besides all of you.”