Jennifer joined Watsi on January 19th, 2019. One year ago, Jennifer became the 4522nd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 1,954 more people have become monthly donors! Jennifer's most recent donation supported Agnes, a mom-of-8 from Kenya, to fund ovarian tumor removal.
Jennifer has funded healthcare for 21 patients in 6 countries.
Agnes, a mother of eight children, arrived in our Watsi reps' office looking frail, drained, and in deep thought. She had given up getting medical attention and had requested her children to take her home before we intervened. She is mourning her husband who recently succumbed to cancer. Furthermore, doctors recently discovered she has a high-grade stromal tumor and requires surgery to remove the ovarian mass, which has been causing her severe discomfort. She shared her story with us: during the first week of May 2020, Agnes started feeling a sharp pain in the lower part of her stomach. She thought they were just normal pains and therefore got pain medication from a nearby chemist. Days later, her pains continued to increase, this time accompanied by bleeding. Alarmed she visited the nearest health centre where she was referred to Kijabe Hospital for further review. Several tests were conducted when she visited the facility and doctors discovered that she has symptomatic uterine fibroids. She underwent surgery but later doctors discovered that she has a mass in her ovaries that requires excursion. Despite having approval from the National Health Insurance program, the amount is not enough to cover the cost of surgery and she needs financial assistance. Agnes was widowed barely a month ago after her husband's long battle to cancer. The cost of taking care of her husband has depleted the limited family resources they had. Equally, she has also been sick and had several trips that made her close the little shop they were running from their home. She has no source of income after they closed down their shop. Her kids don’t yet have a stable source of income, and with what they do have, they have been instrumental in paying for her husband’s medical bills and cost of the funeral. Agnes shared, “I recently buried my husband as a result of cancer. I have been ailing and in a lot of pain. I had to close my small shop and therefore have no source of income. I am unable to afford this much-needed surgery and request for assistance.”
Susana is a 62-year-old farmer from Kenya. She is a talkative and happy grandmother who lives in along the Kerio Valley. Susana is a mother of four and is a subsistence farmer in the upcountry. She plants millet and sorghum in her small farm along the valley to meet her daily needs. She lives in a mud house with her husband. She shared that her four children did not finish school due to lack of money and are in the village doing casual jobs like working in hotels, while her two daughters are married. Susana was well until the Sunday, August 9th when she accidentally fell and injured her left hip. She is currently in pain and unable to walk. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 13th, Susana will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her walk again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Susana shared, “I want to get back on my feet and resume my normal duties of farming and taking care of my husband."
Shedrack is an infant from Tanzania. He is the fourth born child to his mother and one of sixteen children to his father. Shedrack’s mother keeps cows and goats and his father works as a guard. Since birth, Shedrack has had a bilateral inguinal hernia. The hernia may result in intestinal obstruction resulting in tissue damage or death. Fortunately, on July 16th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $566 to fund Shedrack's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Shedrack’s mother shared, “Please help my son get this treatment so that he is no longer in pain and he is able to eat and feed well.”
Gilbert is a calm and polite boy. He is the second born in a family of four children and hails from Dagoretti in Nairobi county. He is in 3rd grade at a primary school in Nairobi and aspires to be a pilot. Gilbert was brought to our hospital by his mother because he was experiencing pain and could not walk long distances. He has had this condition since he was three years old and it has significantly impacted his ability to go to school. Gilbert's mother shared that, “I sometimes carry him to school as his knees knock against each other which hinders his movement. But when I have money, I will pay for a motorbike to take him and his brother to school.” His mother works part-time cleaning houses, washing clothes, and performing other household work she may be given. Gibert's father is a street pastor and works as a street vendor. The family lives in a one-bedroom rental house in Nairobi and they shared with us that they feel life is hard because they do not have the resources to buy everything they need. Gilbert was able to already have his right leg treated which is now healed. He now needs support for the surgery on his left knee. With both knees healed, Gilbert will be able to walk comfortably and continue with his studies.
Josphina is an elderly woman from Kenya. She is a 68-year-old joyful grandmother who was admitted to the hospital three weeks ago with a proximal tibia fracture after she was involved in a road traffic accident. Sokome was crossing the road when she was run over by a speeding motorcycle. She fractured her right leg and suffered serious wounds on her leg. She was rushed to a government hospital where a cast was applied and was admitted for daily cleaning and dressing. Sokome kept complaining of pain on her limb until she was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner's hospital and diagnosed with a grade 3 open tibia fracture after an x-ray examination. Doctors treated her with debridement and external fixation. She has progressed well, with good healing with the exception of a 2x2cm non-healing wound with soft tissue loss and exposed bone. She requires a flap to cover the wound and allow healing, and post-surgery rehabilitation when she is discharged home. Sokome is a mother of three and grandmother to twelve. She is a maize and millet farmer in a rural village. She is a widow after her husband died two months ago after suffering a longtime illness and now lives with her son in a two-roomed house with an iron sheet as its roof. Sokome requires financial support for a successful surgery. Before coming to the hospital, her family had spent much of their money treating her. They have done their best for the hospital bill for her first surgery until this time when they can’t afford another surgery for Sokome. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Josphina receive treatment. On May 15th, surgeons at their care center will perform a skin grafting and wound cover so she will be out of risk of further complications. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,169 procedure. Josphina says, “I am worried about my health and the obstacles I might face; would I be able to walk again, would I face social problems or financial challenges? My only hope is to walk again.”
Nita is a sixth-grade student from Cambodia. She has two brothers, and her favorite subjects in school are Khmer literature and English. She hopes to become a doctor when she gets older. When she was just one year old, Nita had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in her right ear to perforate. For this reason, Nita experiences discharge, itchiness, and hearing loss. She struggles to concentrate at school and cannot hear others well or communicate easily. Nita traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On February 26th, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $464 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. "I hope that my daughter's surgery will go smoothly and her ear drum will heal and she will have good hearing again." -Nita's Mother
Lemayan is an active little boy from Tanzania. He is the fourth born to his mother, who is the eldest wife to her husband and has five children. Lemayan's father has two wives and a total of six children. Both wives live together in the same homestead, but each one has their own mud house. They live in harmony, mainly keeping livestock - cows, goats and sheep. Three of the children are currently going to school. Lemayan was diagnosed with genu varus, meaning his legs are curved outward. 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 a difficult time walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Lemayan. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Lemayan's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Lemayan’s father says, “I wish my son to get treatment and later on join school."
Lomunyaki is a 3-month-old baby boy from Tanzania. He is the only child to his parents. Lomunyak's mother is staying at her parent’s home after giving birth to Lomunyak. Lomunyaki's father didn’t want to take his son to the hospital thus the mother was forced to ran away and go seek help from her parents. Her parents are livestock keepers with very little income but they were able to get some money and took Lomunyaki to a clinic. Lomunyaki was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Lomunyaki is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $966 to cover the cost of Lomunyaki's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 12th. This procedure will hopefully spare Lomunyaki from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthier trajectory. Lomunyaki’s mother says, “I was very shocked when I gave birth to Lomunyaki; he is my first born and him born with a disability made me feel very bad like there was something wrong with my womb. Please help my son get this treatment.”
Mai is a 23-year-old woman from Burma. Lway lives with her parents and two sisters in Northern Shan State. Since she was three years old, Mai has suffered from an enlarged thyroid but her parents were able afford to take her to a clinic only when Mai was in grade seven. By then, the lump on Mai's throat has become noticeable. At the clinic, the doctor examined her neck and prescribed her medication. After a month, although Mai felt like her neck was still in the same size as before, the doctor told her that her goiter had been cured. Three years later, Mai's neck started to grow bigger. Having no money in hand, her parents did not take her any clinics although there was a tightness in her throat and it was uncomfortable for Mai to move her neck to the side. In 2018, Mai was selected to attend a training in Mae Sot. After her training, she was put in for an internship at Mae Tao Clinc (MTC). Through an advice from one of her trainers, Mai went to Mae Sot Hospital, where the doctor examined her and prescribe her medications. After three months of taking the medications, the doctor finally told her that she needed a surgery. Mai looks forward to receiving surgery soon. She plans to go back to her native town and work as an assistant health worker, after she has completed her treatment. Mai said, “When I told my parents that BCMF would provide support for my surgery, they’re very happy. They have been worried for me for a long time already. I would like to say a big thank you to BCMF for supporting my surgery. I’m very excited to be freed from this condition. I have suffered from this goiter for a long time!”
Lawi is a student from Kenya. He is the 5th born child in a family of six. He was born and raised in a small village called Mogil where most of the inhabitants work in farms or other unstable jobs. His parents are uneducated so they don’t speak Kiswahili. The family live in small mud hut with grass as a roof. His family gets its food from their small farm and consists mostly of millet, sorghum and seasonal fruits like mango. Lawi likes to spend his days climbing trees. Lawi was well until Sunday noon when he fell from a mango tree. Lawi sustained multiple severe injuries on his left leg and hand. He was rushed to our hospital accompanied by his father and on arrival an X-Ray was done where he was diagnosed with multiple fractures. He is in severe pain and is having a difficult time sleeping because of the fractures. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 7th, Lawi will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This treatment will help Lawi heal well with no malunion and he will no longer be in pain Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. His father says, “I just want my child not to be in pain anymore and be healthy and happy and have a good life.”
Sarah is a calm teenager and in class six from Kenya. She is an aspiring lawyer and firstborn of two children. She lives with her mother and younger sister in a two-room house in the Rift valley region of Kenya. Her father left them years back due to the increasing family demands. Sarah was diagnosed with spina bifida at birth and was treated. The site is however prone to infection and if not treated, result in severe pain. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Sarah receive treatment. On October 30th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to this will eliminate the risk of infection. Now, Sarah needs help to fund this $1,129 procedure. “I would like to be a lawyer when I grow up,” says Sarah.
Da is a mother of four from Thailand. She is a homemaker, looking after household chores and her two children who are still in school. During her free time, she likes to spend time with her children and reads religious texts to them. Da was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Da currently suffers from chest pain, pain in the middle of her back and extreme tiredness. When the doctor diagnosed her, she became upset and is worried as her children are still very young. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Da. The treatment is scheduled to take place on October 13 and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Da said, “Although I tried to forget about my condition, it's always on my mind and I feel very irritated. I want to be healthy again and help my husband with his work. I also want to see my children grow up and send them all to a Thai school.”