Dustin joined Watsi on December 17th, 2015. Six years ago, Dustin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Dustin's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Nakoyai, a 13-year-old student from Tanzania, to fund mobility-restoring corrective surgery.
Dustin has funded healthcare for 64 patients in 11 countries.
Dustin has funded healthcare for 64 patients in 11 countries.
Nakoyai is a 13-year-old student and the second-born child in a family of five children and lives with her parents who keep livestock for a living. Nakoyai was involved in a motorbike accident while walking to school. This left her with acquired valgus of her left foot, in which the joint of the toe closest to the ankle is bent upwards, while the others are bent downwards. She has difficulty walking and was admitted to a local hospital for almost one year, throughout which her parents spent their savings and sold most of their cattle to pay the hospital bills. Nakoyai dropped out of school after her discharge from hospital because she was no longer able to walk to her school, which was quite far from her home. One year later, she received a scholarship to join a boarding school and was brought to our medical partner's care center seeking treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Nakoyai. Treatment will hopefully restore Nakoyai's mobility, allowing her to participate in a variety of activities and greatly reducing her risk of future complications. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 10th. Nakoyai shared, "I feel pain when I walk and I cannot play most of the sports at school because of my leg. I will be happy if my leg could be treated so that I can walk around and play like my friends.”
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.”
Phoebe is a fruit vendor and a single mother with one daughter, now 27 years old. She moved in with her daughter in December 2018 after she was involved in an accident and broke her leg. She used to sell fruits but has not been able to work since her accident. Since the beginning of January 2021, Phoebe has been experiencing back pains, which have persisted over time and extended to her lower abdomen. Upon examination, doctors found a mass on the cervix which was bleeding, and she has been diagnosed with an early stage cancer. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $794 to fund Phoebe's surgery. On July 15th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Phoebe will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and her risk for future spreading of the cancer will be limited. Phoebe says, “Cancer is scary for me. I cannot wait to be declared free of the dangerous cells that I know can end my life. ”
Paulo is a 5-year-old boy boy and the third born in a family of five siblings. He is yet to start formal schooling and his father has been taking him out with him grazing their cattle. His parents are livestock keepers from a pastoralist community. Paulo was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, or knock knees. His parents noted that he would complain of fatigue after walking for a shorter distance. They also started noting changes in how his legs looked, as they started bowing inward so his knees 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, Paulo is not able to sustain lengthy walks. His relative referred them to a local dispensary providing health services, where a team from Watsi's medical partner's care center was conducting outreach. Paulo was reviewed and had surgery recommended to heal his condition. However, his family is not able to raise the cost of surgery required and thus appeals for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Paulo. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Paulo's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Paulo’s father shared, "Please help my son; his legs are really bad and we cannot afford the treatment cost. Thank you for your support."
Sorann is a 28-year-old sugar seller who lives in a rural province with his family. Sorann has one older brother and four older sisters. Last year Sorann got married, and his wife is five months pregnant. He travels around his village by motorcycle to sell sugar. In his free time Sorann enjoys playing football, listening to the radio, and watching Khmer boxing on TV. In January, Sorann was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of his left arm. 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 lift his hand and he cannot work. Sorann traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 12th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his left arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Sorann said, "I hope surgery goes well so I can get back to using my hand as soon as possible."
Brigitte is a 2-year-old baby girl and the only child in her family. Her parents shared how talkative she already is and they are hopeful for her bright future. Brigitte's parents sells clothes at the local market and work hard to earn enough to make ends meet. Brigitte has been diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, also known as knock knees, which makes it difficult for her to stand and walk. Her legs bow inward so that her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Brigitte on April 16th. Treatment will support Brigitte's mobility, allow her to participate in all kinds of new activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Brigitte’s mother shared, "My daughter’s legs are so badly deformed, please help correct her leg. We have no means of affording the treatment cost."
Peter is a third grade student from Kenya. Peter is very active and playful like many kids his age. He is the seventh son in a family of eight children. Peter's father repairs household items including basins and jerricans, and his mother is a casual laborer who washes clothes for a living. Their family currently lives together in a two-room mud house. About 10 weeks ago, Peter fell from a tall tree and he sustained a femur shaft fracture and hip dislocation. He currently walks and gets around using crutches, and there is the risk that he may not able to walk on his own again unless he receives surgical intervention. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 17th, Peter will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund his surgery. Peter's father shared, “[Peter] has been unable to go to school since the accident. He can’t walk without the help of crutches and if he doesn’t go for surgery he might be unable to walk normally.”
Esther is a 13-year-old girl from Kenya. She is the first born in a family of two children. Currently, Esther is a sixth grade student. She likes reading and is very active at home, especially with helping her mother with household chores. Esther's father is a farmer, while her mother is a homemaker and takes care of their family. Esther was born a healthy child. However, when she turned one year of age, her family noticed un unusual bowing in her legs. Since then, her condition has worsened. She often feels pain while walking, and cannot walk well or carry heavy loads. This affects her self-esteem, and in turn her studies as well. Esther has a condition called genu valgus, or knock knees. Last year with the help of Watsi supporters, she underwent corrective surgery on her left side, which has healed and she is walking well. Now, she is scheduled to undergo the same surgery on her right side to completely correct her legs from the bowing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Esther receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a corrective foot surgery on February 15th at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,224, and she and her family need help raising money. Once Esther is fully recovered, she will be able to walk, continue with her education, and help her mother again. Esther will also be able to socialize and play with other girls more comfortably. Esther's Aunt Fridah shared, "On behalf of the family, we are extremely grateful for the support you rendered to our daughter. May the almighty God bless you. We continue to plead for more support to ensure that she is completely healed and continue with her life like other girls."
Ry is a 26-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He has been married for three years and has a one-year-old son, and their family currently lives with his parents. His wife is a farmer. In Ry's free time, he likes watching TV, playing games on his phone, and caring for his son. Three months ago, Ry was in a construction accident that caused a severe laceration on his right neck and paralysis of his right shoulder and elbow. After the accident, his family took him to the hospital where he had nerve repair treatment and wound closure. Ry stayed there for one month, before returning home. Still not feeling well, he traveled to Watsi's Medical Partner Children's Surgical Center to receive treatment. Doctors diagnosed him with a brachial plexus injury on his right shoulder 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. Ry is unable to lift his arm and he cannot work. On January 12th, Ry will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. Surgeons plan to do a spinal accessory nerve to suprascapular nerve transfer, referred to as an Oberlin transfer. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm and shoulder normally again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Ry shared, "I hope that after surgery, my right shoulder and elbow will get back to their full function and I can work as I did before."
Salmani is a six-month-old baby from Tanzania and the second born in his family. His parents live in Arusha where they are both subsistence farmers. Salmani was born healthy, but at the age of three months, Salmani’s mother observed that his head size looked abnormal. His neck was not as strong as a 3-month-old, and she felt his other body parts were somewhat weak. As a result of his condition, Salmani has been experiencing an increasing head circumference and inability to sit on his own. His mother took him to Mount Meru Hospital and they referred their family to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center ALMC Hospital for treatment. She decided she had to wait to go because they could not afford to proceed with Salmani's treatment, doctor’s visits, or the tests required. Later on, they heard about Watsi's ALMC-The Plaster House program and how children with disabilities are able to be supported. Salmani's parents wish to see him be able to sit, walk one day, and also to see his head size return back to normal. Salmani has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Without treatment, Salmani will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Salmani that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 14th and will drain the excess fluid from Salmani's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Salmani will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Salmani’s mother shared, “Please help my son get this treatment so that we can save his life and he can be able to play like other children.”
Alice is a 47-year-old woman from Kenya. Sheis a single mother of 2 children, and her children live with their grandmother in their home village. Alice was an active and healthy woman who was able to use her legs normally. However, in early November 2017, she was involved in a road traffic accident that rendered her immobile. Alice was rushed to the hospital to undergo treatment and surgery. Although she was discharged, her troubles with the leg continued, and she developed more pain and complications. After returning to the same facility for treatment and not showing signs of improvement, Alice visited Kijabe Hospital. There, she has since undergone several other surgeries, including post-open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) repair and debridement after the skin overlying the fracture site was compromised and infected. Alice's doctors have scheduled her for a sequestrectomy procedure and IM nail removal on November 12th. The sequestrectomy will remove any fragment of dead bone or other tissue that has separated from healthy tissue in her wound. Ultimately, they aim to prevent further infection of the hardware in her leg. Alice is currently ambulating in crutches and, if not treated, she might not be able to walk or properly use her leg in the future. Unfortunately, this procedure is costly for Alice and her family. Alice owns a small green grocery in Mukaa Town where she sells vegetables and tomatoes. Her total monthly profit is barely able to cover her basic needs, rent, and kids' needs; let alone pay for her necessary surgeries. She has depended on the National Hospital Insurance Fund and support from friends to help cover her several medical and surgical trips to different facilities. Alice is appealing for financial help so she can get the care she needs. Alice shared, "My problems never seem to come to an end after the accident. I have been through a lot of surgeries, and I still need more to be able to walk again. Thank you for your support."
Shanice is a 1-year-old girl from Kenya. Earlier this month, while her mother was boiling water to shower, Shanice accidentally pulled a pot of hot water towards herself and sustained severe burns on her hands, abdomen and thighs. These injuries were second-degree burns of 10%. Shanice’s mother rushed her to a nearby facility for treatment. Shanice was given some medication, her wounds were dressed, and she was asked to return the following day. Her bandages were eventually removed and she was discharged with some medication. However, Shanice's wounds did not heal well and she lost her appetite. Her mother became concerned and took her back to the same facility for a checkup. After discussion with the doctor, Shanice was eventually referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital and was admitted as an emergency case. After debriding and properly dressing her wounds, the doctor recommended she undergo skin grafting surgery. Shanice is at risk of developing infections on her post-burn wounds if not treated. Shanice’s father is a carpenter in their home area. Her mother lost her job three years ago and has not been able to find a stable job since then. She currently does casual jobs to supplement her husband’s earnings and sustain their four person family. The family is not able to raise enough money for Shanice's surgery and are appealing for financial help. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Shanice receive treatment. On October 15th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to heal her open wounds. Now, Shanice needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Shanice’s mother shared, “It is difficult for us to raise any money because of our financial status. I feel sad whenever I see her crying of pain because of her wounds. I hope she can recover soon.”