Ho joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Ho became the 78th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 6,394 more people have become monthly donors! Ho's most recent donation traveled 8,100 miles to support Gift, a 5-year-old from Kenya, to fund clubfoot treatment.
Ho has funded healthcare for 124 patients in 16 countries.
Gift is a young child from Kenya--a playful and lively boy. His mother told us that he likes reading and playing with other kids. Gift is the last born in his family that hails from Mathare neighborhood in Nairobi County. His mother does casual jobs of washing clothes and cleaning. His father passed on two years ago after an accident. The family lives in a one-roomed ironsheet house in Mathare. Gift 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, Gift traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 14th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Gift's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. “I am appealing to people of goodwill to help my son undergo surgery so that he can be able to walk like other children. God bless you," his mother told us.
Khna is a 31-year-old taxi driver from Cambodia. He got married only five months ago, and his wife is a farmer. In his free time he enjoys playing volleyball with his friends, going for walks with his wife, and making improvements to his home. In August 2020, Khna fell out of a tree from a height of five meters. He was able to get up and walk home, but later that night he started feeling pain in his back. Now he is experiencing numbness in his legs and an inability to control urine flow. He has come to our partner facility, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), where doctors will be able to perform a spinal implant procedure which will alleviate the pressure on the spinal nerves. This will allow him to regain feeling in his legs and walk easily again. Khna told us, "I hope that this surgery will go well, and that I can recover quickly. I will work hard to regain strength and walk like normal."
Veronica is a 12-month-old girl from Kenya. Veronica’s mother was a stay at home mother but now prepares and sells mandazi (pastries) while her father who used to farm now is a laborer in construction sites in order to make ends meet. Being the third born in a family of five, Veronica’s parents are not able to raise enough to pay for her treatment. Veronica underwent a colostomy, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Veronica's case, her colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $650 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Veronica. The surgery is scheduled to take place on July 13th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. Veronica’s mother says, “Being Veronica’s last surgery, I’m looking forward to see her well.”
Esther is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. She used to work in her small village farm for subsistence and her husband worked as a chef in a city restaurant. However, with the closure of businesses currently due to COVID, they have limited finances. Two years ago, Esther has been experiencing lower abdominal pain, back pain and fatigue. She has been diagnosed with a swollen abdominopelvic mass. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $832 to fund Esther's surgery. On June 12th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Esther will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Esther shared hopefully, “My desire is to be treated and regain back my strength.”
Joshua is a 47-year-old man with renal carcinoma. About eight months ago, he started experiencing abdominal pains and was treated with ulcers. However, with persistent pain, he changed hospitals and was later diagnosed with a kidney mass. His condition kept worsening as he changed hospitals. In one of his admissions, he had a blood transfusion of 10 pints due to low blood count. When he came to our partner facility in late April, he was admitted and started treatment of acute kidney infection, renal failure and liver failure. His surgeon recommended a nephrectomy as part of his treatment. If not treated, he is at risk of cancer metastasis. Joshua used to work as a casual sculptor in the capital city. He would fend for his family with the little income he earned. His wife works in the village as a hired laborer in other people’s farms. Their two children are in secondary school. Joshua is not able to meet the entire cost of surgery. His wife shared, “Please help us with financial support. We are really overwhelmed.”
Shatrice is a playful child whom her mother describes as exploring. She was born with hearing loss which was only noted when she was two years old. Efforts to seek treatment in their home area were fruitless. This was mainly because of financial limitation. Her mother was advised to bring her to Watsi's medical partner facility, about 500km from their village. Shatrice was diagnosed with profound hearing loss and requires hearing aids. With the fittings, she will develop her speech and her hearing will greatly improve. Shatrice’s mother is the only breadwinner in the family. She has to care for her two children and Shatrice’s grandmother who is struggling with esophageal cancer. From time to time, she has to take up cleaning jobs to meet demands at home. The family, however, relies on the church to meet their daily needs, including their transport and consultation fee. Shatrice’s mother desires to have her child grow up like any other child. She appeals for help.
Bres is a 38-year-old rice and vegetable farmer from Cambodia. He is married with one son and two daughters. When he is finished working, he enjoys listening to music and spending time with his children. Twenty-three years ago, Bres had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Bres experiences dizziness, discharge, tinnitus, pain, and hearing loss. He is unable to hear others clearly and cannot communicate easily. Bres traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 9th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. "I hope that the ear discharge and the ear infection stops, and my hearing improves," he shared.
Alice is a wife and mother of eight from Tanzania. Her husband, is also a farmer, and they both assist each other in their daily duties. They plant potatoes for consumption and also for commercial purpose. The family is hardworking but due to having a large family, they struggle financially to make ends meet. Also to add to their hardship, one of their children is paralyzed and disabled. Alice has give him special attention because he can’t leave the compound and all he can do is crawl outside and in the house. Seven years ago, Alice began to experience troubling symptoms, including anterior neck swelling that has been increasing in size. 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 Alice receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on November 15th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $641, and she and her family need help raising money. Alice says, “I want to be a strong mother for my children especially my son. I have good plans for them.”
Phors is a 22-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He has two older sisters and one older brother. In his free time, he likes to help feed the animals around the house and work on his family's farm. In September 2019, Phors fell off his motorcycle after a collision with another vehicle. He suffered injuries to his left arm but was unable to receive any initial treatment. 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 move his arm and cannot work. Phors traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 10th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, will be able to use his arm again and can return to his work. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. "I hope that my left hand will regain function again and I can return to my work easily like before," he shared.
Meet Belinda, a quiet lady in her mid-30’s from Kenya who has been blessed with two kids. Belinda runs a small grocery business in the market to make ends meet. Her husband takes up casual jobs such as clearing bushes to compliment his wife's income. The family lives in a single rental house and their daily income is not sufficient to meet all the expenses including surgery fees. On 30th November 2019, Belinda fell and fractured her right proximal radius. She had a cast applied and went home awaiting funds for surgery. She was not able to raise funds required yet she desperately needs the surgery. Belinda is not able to cook for her family nor operate her grocery business. With successful surgery, Belinda will be able to use her hand with ease and reduce chances of further complications on the fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 10th, Belinda will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $771 to fund this procedure. Belinda says, “Life has never been the same since I broke my hand. I am worried about my children who need care every day. My hope is to get treated so that I can continue supporting my family.”
Tak Van is a first grader from Cambodia. She has one younger brother, and she enjoys playing with her toys and watching television. Five years ago, Tak Van had an accident and fell off her bed, hitting her right cheek bone on the floor. She developed swelling under her right eye, and a small soft mass has now developed. When Tak Van learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. Surgeons at CSC will perform an excision procedure to remove the mass and relieve the swelling below Tak Van's right eyelid, making her feel comfortable again. Now, she needs help to fund this $220 procedure. "I hope that my daughter's surgery is successful so that she will not have to undergo anymore surgery, and she will feel better," shared Tak Van's mother.
Kyi is a 58-year-old woman from Burma. She lives alone and used to sell clothing in her village. However, she stopped working since her symptoms worsened, over a year ago. She now has no income but is able to pay her daily expenses with money she has saved. Kyi 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. Currently, Kyi feels tired when she walks and has a rapid heartbeat. She has also started to experience chest pain and shortness of breath. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Kyi. The treatment is scheduled to take place on November 4th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Kyi said, “I felt very sad when I was told that the surgery will cost a lot because I do not have enough money to pay for my own heart surgery. I used up a lot of my money to go to a hospital which did not diagnose me. I felt less burdened when I met Pinlon Hospital’s staff and she told me that an organization [BCMF] will support my surgery’s cost.”