Sean joined Watsi on September 12th, 2014. Seven years ago, Sean joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Sean's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Edna, a single mother from Kenya, to fund surgery so she can walk again.
Sean has funded healthcare for 87 patients in 13 countries.
Sean has funded healthcare for 87 patients in 13 countries.
Edna is a 48-year-old single mother and small-scale farmer who grows food crops for home use. Her four children range in age from 17 to 29 years and have been depending on her. Unfortunately, Edna is now unable to walk due to lower limb weakness. She has been suffering from goiter for over 15 years and the thyroid malignancy has now spread to her spine impacting her mobility. Accompanied by her daughter, who had to push her in a wheelchair, Edna recently visited our medical partner's care center AIC Kijabe Hospital for help. She has been to other facilities but still hadn't been able to get the help she needs due to a lack of funds. After a multi-disciplinary team meeting comprising of Head & Neck and Ortho surgeons, she has been scheduled for a Total Thyroidectomy, Neck Dissection, and Spine Decompression and Fusion to help her heal and walk again. Our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is requesting $1,500 to cover this intensive procedure, a ten-day stay at the hospital, and wheelchair adjustments, tests, and physical therapy for Edna. Edna says, “I lost my ability to walk after this disease attacked me. I am afraid if not attended to I may be confined to a wheelchair for good. But my hope is up and alive now that doctors have scheduled me for surgery. This treatment is meant to rectify the situation and help me to walk again.”
Angel is a three-year old girl and the firstborn in a family of two. Her younger sister is only three months old. Her mother is a homemaker without a source of income and her father is a driver at a local tea plantation. They live in a two-room house costing $50 a month and have been relying on her father's employer to help pay their bills. On September 17th, Angel suffered 2nd-degree burns. Angel's mother was preparing bathing water for her and her little sister. Her mother poured hot water into a basin and had gone to get cold water to cool the bathing water. While away, Angel unknowingly stepped into the basin with the hot water and got burnt. Angel sustained burns on about 12% of her total body surface area (TBSA), including to her gluteal region, her feet, and her right hand. Due to these injuries she is unable to sit and she sleeps on her belly. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Angel receive treatment. On September 23rd, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help her heal well and be able to sit again. Now, Angel's family needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Angel’s mother says, “I want to see my little angel grow into a successful lady. She is constantly crying because of the pain and discomfort. I hope this surgery relieves her of these predicaments.”
Rhophence is struggling to speak when we meet her. She cannot pronounce words clearly or eat regularly due to a mandibular mass. She was diagnosed with Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia, which is also causing her teeth to loosen on the affected area. She is scheduled for a 10-hour surgery at our Medical Partner's Care Center Kijabe Hospital. Her chronic mandibular swelling started back in October 2020 as a small swelling and has gradually increased in size, so Rhophence was forced to visit the hospital. She was treated for pain in their local health centre and discharged home. But, the swelling worsened and Rhophence opted to visit Kijabe in May 2021. Several tests revealed the Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia diagnosis and surgery was recommended. She does not have the funds for the various procedures to relieve her pain. She is a single mother of four children aged between 30 and 18 years. She comes from a remote village along the Kenyan coast. She is currently jobless with no source of income and stays with her younger brother who she depends on for survival. The surgery is estimated to cost about $4,500. She has active national health insurance coverage that has only approved $2,000. She is unable to raise the remaining amount. She fundraised money for travel fare to come to Kijabe and she is now being hosted in the local centre by a relative. Rhophence shared, "This swelling is so painful. My mouth is deformed and I cannot even speak clearly. It’s sadly starting to give a bad odour making people close to me uncomfortable. This is affecting my life. I need these surgeries to normalize my life.”
Paw is a 59-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters in a refugee camp. In her free time, Paw like to feed her three chickens and sing gospel songs. She also loves looking after her granddaughters at home when their mother is teaching. On a late evening earlier this month, Paw was walking home in the rain when she slipped and fell on the muddy road. She accidentally hit her forehead against a tree stump and tried to break her fall by sticking out her right arm. Right after she fell, Paw experienced a sharp pain in her right arm and forehead. Her son and daughter-in-law brought her to the camp hospital, where Paw was given stitches for her forehead as well as pain medication, and her arm was put in a splint and a sling. The medic then referred her to another hospital, where she was finally admitted at two days later when a car became available to take her. At the hospital, Paw received a X-Ray and was told that her right wrist is broken and requires surgery. With her hand wrapped in a bandage, she was referred to our medical partner's care center, Chiang Mai Hospital, for further treatment. Currently, Paw cannot move her right wrist, not even to lift her hand. Without more pain medication, her hand and forearm experience severe pain with any movement, so Paw has to be careful to keep her right hand straight. Because of this, Paw cannot complete her daily chores nor look after her grandchildren. Fortunately, with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Paw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 23rd and will cost $1,500. This surgery will help Paw move her hand around and resume her daily activities again with ease. “I want to get well soon so that I can go back to taking care of my grandchildren,” Paw said. “They are waiting for me at home to go back to my daily life. Now, I have to come for my treatment and there's nobody look after them. It is hard for my daughter in-law.”
Stephanie is a five-year-old student from Nairobi, Kenya who enjoys singing and dancing. She is the older sibling in her family, and her mother takes care of their family and home while her father is a small businessman. Stephanie has clubfoot on her left foot, causing her foot to be twisted out of shape and resulting in difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Stephanie traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Stephanie's procedure. The treatment will allow Stephanie to walk, wear shoes, and continue with her studies. Her mother, Maureen, told us, “I am humbly requesting help from well-wishers to help my daughter walk like other children."
Veronica is a cheerful, married 29-year-old mother of two children. Veronica shared that she left school in primary school, because her parents could not afford her school fees. Her husband earns a living through helping people lift heavy luggage at a local bus station, and he also does a variety of other jobs when he has the opportunity. Veronica enjoys spending time with her two children, ages two and four; they give her joy and fulfillment as a mother. Her family lives in a one-bedroom rented house. In 2009, Veronica developed a swelling on her neck. She ignored it, thinking it would soon go away, but in 2014, the swelling grew. In 2015, she was diagnosed with a goiter, or enlarged thyroid, and surgery was recommended. As the goiter continues to grow, she has experienced coughing, difficulty breathing and difficulty swallowing. She can no longer sing in church or carry heavy things on her head, and she shared that she can no longer eat hard foods like msima, a Malawian staple. Veronica also told us that the condition has changed her appearance and has impacted her self-esteem. Veronica has visited the government hospital more than 15 times since her diagnosis, but her surgery was always rescheduled. Two weeks ago, she went to a different hospital and was referred to our medical partner's care center, where a surgeon recommended a thyroidectomy. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Veronica receive treatment. On May 25th, Veronica will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $1,015 to fund her procedure. The surgery is expected to improve her life and heal her symptoms. With a hopeful smile, Veronica shared, “I am overwhelmed with this opportunity to be sponsored for this operation. After the operation, I hope to live normally and care for my children properly. I believe I should be able to eat hard msima [the Malawi staple food] or raw cassava and potatoes which I now miss greatly. I look forward to sleeping without struggles after this surgery, much appreciation!”
Zawadi is a one month old infant from Tanzania. Her name means "gift" in Swahili, because to her parents she is a gift from God. Her parents are small scale farmers who mainly grow food crops like maize and vegetable for their own use at home. The father also seeks day jobs at construction sites to be able to supplement their living, and through the money they get from this work, they are able to pay bills and buy other home commodities. Zawadi has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Zawadi has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Zawadi will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for Zawadi that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure will drain the excess fluid from Zawadi's brain, to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Zawadi will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Zawadi’s mother says "It’s been a step at a time trying to treat my daughter, but money is what has been our biggest challenge. She needs another surgery. Please help my daughter."
Tin is a 38-year-old woman from Northern Thailand. She and her husband are agricultural day laborers, and they live in a hut on their employer’s land. They shared that, unfortunately, their earnings are not enough to cover their expenses or to pay for basic healthcare. Since early 2019, Tin has been experiencing dizziness, fatigue, insomnia and pain in her lower abdomen. She was diagnosed with a myoma and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Tin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications. Since September 2020, Tin has been unable to work due to her illness. Fortunately, Tin is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on March 23rd. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Tin will no longer experience lower abdominal pain, dizziness or fatigue. She will be able to work again as a day laborer after her treatment. Tin shared, “I am not afraid to undergo surgery because I believe that I will receive successful treatment. I used to pray every day that a donor would help me. Once I have recovered from surgery, I will go back to work so that we can repay our debts. In the future, I would like to stay healthy so that I can work, eat good food, wear beautiful clothes, and earn an income.”
Ninsiima is a 43-year-old farmer from Uganda. Ninsiima is married and is a mother to four children with three daughters and with one son, all are studying at secondary levels in school. Ninsiima dropped out of school at sixth grade when she was young due to lack of school fees. She currently earns a living from small-scale farming growing food crops like beans, maize, millet and sorghum for home consumption, but often sells off the surplus to generate an income to her family. Her husband works as a builder. Three years ago, Ninsiima began to experience troubling symptoms, including shortness of breath. She was diagnosed with a goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Ninsiima receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on December 1st at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $252, and she and her family need help raising money. Ninsiima says: “I hope that I will be able to have a new life after surgery and continue with farming to sustain my family.”
Isaya is a 16-year-old teenager from Tanzania. He is the firstborn child in a family of three children. Isaya never had the chance to join school due to his parent’s financial challenges. Despite not going to school, Isaya has been a very hardworking young man who helps his father look after the cattle. Isaya was born healthy and his growth has been normal, until last year when he noticed his right leg was bending inwards. He says the bend was very slight but over time it has increased significantly. Isaya has been walking over a long distance in search of green pasture for his father's cattle. However, due to his leg, Isaya can no longer go out with the cattle. Isaya was diagnosed with right genu valgus, or bowleggedness. His leg is bowed inward so that 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, he is in pain and discomfort after walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Isaya. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Isaya's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Isaya shared, “I am unable to carry out my daily chores because of my leg. Please help me get this treatment so that I can return home and help my parents.”
Touch is a 72-year-old farmer from Cambodia. She lives with her husband and five children, all of whom are also married. She takes care of her grandchildren and helps her husband in the farming. She likes listening to the prayers on the radio and joining ceremonies. Three years ago, Touch developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurred vision, tearing, and photophobia. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and being independent. When Touch learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled a long journey of eight hours by taxi seeking treatment. On June 1st, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification 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. Touch said, "My vision got so bad a while ago, that I cannot go outside by myself. I want to see my family and cook for them again. I still want to visit many pagodas."
Jane is a 70-year-old kiosk owner from Kenya. She is a former civil servant who was released from government duty in 2000. Since then, she has since been running a small kiosk that sells vegetables and other groceries. In March 2019, Jane suffered a fracture on her left distal femur with intraarticular extension, meaning the break crossed into the surface of a joint. To remedy this, she underwent surgery with a locking plate. However, the fracture has not healed properly, which threatens her mobility. Doctors are now recommending a another fracture repair surgery to prevent future complications of her condition, including inability to walk. However, this procedure is costly for Jane. The profit she earns from her small business is not enough to cover her basic needs, let alone her medical bills. Jane has been relying on a small government pension to get by. She separated from her husband over 30 years ago and has since been raising her only son alone. Her son is an adult, but lacks a stable job and works as a casual laborer to make ends meet. Thus, Jane is appealing for financial help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 11th, Jane will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After recovering, she will no longer have difficulties in walking or be in constant pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Jane shared, “I need this surgery to get back on my feet. I am the one taking care of my grandkids since my son has no job. This procedure will help me be able to go get vegetables from the market so that I can sell and continue my business.”