Van joined Watsi on August 23rd, 2016. Five years ago, Van joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Van's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Daniel, a toddler from Tanzania, to fund knee surgery so he can grow up active and healthy.
Van has funded healthcare for 56 patients in 12 countries.
Van has funded healthcare for 56 patients in 12 countries.
Daniel is a two-year-old from Tanzania. Daniel’s father is a tailor and his mother is a stay at home mother. Their family does not earn enough to be able to afford Daniel’s needed treatment which will allow him to be able to walk without difficulty. If not treated Daniel will continue to have challenges when walking. Daniel was diagnosed with genu varus where his legs bow outward so that his knees do not 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 feels pain after walking for a while. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Daniel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 3rd. Treatment will hopefully restore Daniel's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Daniel’s mother says, “Please help my son get this treatment so that he can be able to walk.”
Felix is a 6th grade student and the oldest in a family of 2 siblings. His little brother is three yrs. old and not yet in school. Both of his parents are small-scale farmers, growing maize, beans, and bananas to support their family. During their free time, his parents also till land for other people to earn more for the upkeep of their family. They own a small piece of land, where they have constructed a timber house. They also own a cow that provides them with a little milk to use at home. In July Felix fell down while playing with his friends. He injured his finger and now is not able to use it and is still in pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 11th, Felix will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After he heals, he will be able to use his left hand freely. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $916 to fund this procedure. Felix’s mother says, "I am pleading for financial help for my son.’’
Ezra is a very talkative and active boy. He would like to be a truck driver when he grows up. He's in grade five and the last born in a family of five children. A few years ago, his father fell into a deep hole he was digging and broke both of his legs. He has been recovering well but he is still unable to work. His mother, who is the sole breadwinner of the family does farming, ploughs farms, and does laundry for their neighbors to provide for the family. The family can not raise the required funds to cater for Ezra’s surgery. Ezra 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, Ezra is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $847 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Ezra’s mother says, “I was really worried that my son will not get treated but now at least I’m very hopeful that he will.”
Enock is a loving father of two. His wife is a housewife and doesn't have a source of income so he is the sole breadwinner for their family. Enock is a self-employed electrician who performs contractual jobs. However, his source of income is not stable as it depends on customer availability. Additionally, Enock supports his siblings financially as they are in need. About a year ago, Enock was involved in a traffic collision where he sustained a tibia fracture. Since then he has undergone multiple surgeries but has exhausted all his healthcare benefits. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,500 to fund bone transport surgery that Enock needs to help him finally heal and get back to work. This surgery will allow Enock to work easily again and to provide for his family. Enock shared, “I rely on my legs to work and fend for my family. After the accident, I have had difficulties in walking and I cannot go to work. I need this surgery to help me with mobility.”
Shallet is a humble and jovial three-year-old girl. She's the third child born in a family of four children and her parents are teachers. Shallet has hydrocephalus, spina bifida, and clubfoot of both feet. She has visited local hospitals since birth for treatments, and began casting for clubfoot when she was four weeks old. Her condition causes her difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Shallet traveled to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for treatment. At AMH's care center, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 18th and now, AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Shallet's clubfoot repair. Her parents shared that they hope that the treatment will be of great impact to Shallet because she will be able to wear shoes and walk with ease. Shallet's father shared, “we have high hopes for Shallet and it is our joy to see her excel in life and become an independent person like other girls in the society.”
Gladys is a 47-year-old hardworking woman and a mother to three children. Gladys is separated from her husband and now lives with two of her children in a small rented room. In January, Gladys began experiencing troubling symptoms including neck swelling, headaches, and difficulty swallowing. She was diagnosed with an enlarged thyroid and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Gladys receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on June 9th at AMH's care center, where surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. Now, she needs help to fund this $657 procedure. Gladys shared, "if this condition is treated, I can continue with my work. I am requesting help so that I can be treated and be okay to take care of my children."
Destiny is a two-year-old boy who likes playing and eating sweets 🍭. His mother works in a hair salon and rents a one-bedroom house for the two of them to live in. When Destiny was three months old, his mother noticed a swelling in a sensitive area. They visited a government hospital and he was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. He had surgery in December 2019 to repair the hernia, but a month after the surgery, unfortunately, the hernia recurred on the other side. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is now helping Destiny to receive treatment. On June 9th, Destiny will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Now, he needs help to fund this $575 procedure. Destiny’s mother shared that she believes the surgery will significantly improve Destiny's life and that the pain and discomfort will go away. She shared that she believes Destiny will be able to lead a normal life without episodes of pain and will be able to concentrate in school and have a bright future.
Makara is a 36-year-old driver who is married and has one daughter. Makara's wife works in a garment factory but it has been closed for two months due to the COVID lockdown. Makara is home right now too because of his poor vision. He enjoys Khmer boxing and spending time with his family. Three years ago, Makara developed a cataract in his left eye, causing him impaired vision, photophobia, and tearing. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Makara learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two hours with his brother seeking treatment. On May 12th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Makara said, "After surgery I hope I can drive again for my work and find other jobs to be there for my family."
Hong is a 66-year-old widowed rice farmer. She shared proudly that she has eight children: four sons and four daughters. All of her children are married except the youngest daughter - a factory worker - with whom she lives. She also has ten beautiful, lively grandchildren. When not helping to care for her family, she likes to listen to monks pray on the radio. Eight months ago, Hong developed a mass on her right elbow. At first, it was small, but it quickly grew larger. Now, the mass on her right elbow is painful and swollen, and Hong is unable to work with her right hand. She visited her local provincial hospital in January for a removal, but the mass has grown even larger since then. Another local hospital referred her to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, for treatment. On April 21, surgeons at CSC will perform excision of mass in her right elbow and a flap for a skin graft. These surgical procedures will help her feel comfortable again and regain use of her right arm. Now, she needs help to fund this $657 procedure. Hong said, "I hope that this treatment will be successful this time, so I can go back home and work as I did as before. I hope I am able to use my right hand without pain, without a recurrent mass, and have full function of my right hand again."
Biruk is a young boy from Ethiopia who loves to eat spaghetti and macaroni. He also enjoys doing arts and crafts, and loves to play hide and seek with his friends in his neighborhood. Biruk is the second child in his family, and he has one older sister. His dad is a teacher in primary school and his mom is a housewife. Biruk lives together with his parents and sister in a rented house. Biruk was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment and surgery, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility as he grows older. Fortunately, Biruk is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,231 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Biruk shared with us, “I want to heal well and go to school and become a pilot.”
Uzima is a two-year-old boy from Tanzania and the second born in a family of three children. Uzima comes from a family that is living in hardship. His father has had health issues and is not strong enough to work on a farm, but he takes cattle out to graze, and through this, he is able to get milk or a bit of maize as payment. Uzima's mother works on farms to support her family. Uzima has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Uzima traveled to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Uzima's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes well. Uzima’s uncle shared, “my nephew suffers from this condition, and life is hard at their home. His parents have no means of treating him and I am afraid life is going to be really hard for him if he lives with this disability. Please help treat him so that he is able to grow up and take care of himself.”
Elnatan is a 1-year-old boy from Uganda. He is very playful and loves to play with car toys. Elnatan is an only child. His mom makes traditional coffee for a living, and she is the main breadwinner and caretaker for the family. His dad is an assistant mechanic, but, as his mom shared, he does not contribute as much to the family due to his problems with alcoholism. Elnatan was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Elnatan has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Elnatan will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo a corrective surgery called an orchidopexy on January 21st. AMHF is requesting $754 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Elnatan's mother shared, “I believe he will heal and go to school and become a clever student. I hope he will lead his own organization and become financially successful one day."