Samantha joined Watsi on January 9th, 2016. Three years ago, Samantha became the 2964th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 2,960 more people have become monthly donors! Samantha's most recent donation supported Bernice, a 2-year-old from Kenya, to fund congenital umbilical hernia surgery.
Samantha has funded healthcare for 39 patients in 10 countries.
Bernice is a two and a half year old and the firstborn to her mother, who is raising Bernice on her own. Bernice’s mother is the fifth born in a large family of seven siblings. Bernice’s mother completed Form Four schooling two years ago, however, she was not able to continue with her studies due to financial pressures. However, since she had performed well, a well-wisher supported her to join a nursing college in Nakuru. She lives with her mother (Bernice's grandmother) who is chronically sick from a spinal injury. During the school holiday’s Bernice’s mother does clothes washing for people, in order to support her baby. Bernice was born with a congenital umbilical hernia. Her mother assumed that it would to heal, but the condition progressed. She was taken to a general hospital, where she was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center. During our interview, Bernice's mother said that she has been looking for funds to bring her baby for the treatment, however, it has been very difficult. Bernice’s mother shared, "I wish I can get help for my baby."
Duncan is a 30-year-old young man. He is the 3rd and last born in his family. Duncan completed his studies last year and hopes to gain meaningful employment with the Kenyan government. While on his daily routine and walking through town dropping his CV, he encountered an accident on the road, and the vehicle that hit him disappeared. He was taken to Kenyatta National Hospital (the main referral hospital in Kenya) where he underwent multiple surgeries. Due to financial constraints, he was discharged without further interventions. Duncan then was able to connect with Watsi's medical partner and received fracture treatment with Watsi donor support earlier this year. Duncan underwent his surgery and it was successful. The treatment has helped him improve his ability to walk and be out of a wheelchair. During his follow-up appointment, the doctors have determined that unfortunately he will need to undergo another surgery to correct his proximal ulna fracture. This is because Duncan is still experiencing pain and discomfort. We are hopeful that this fracture repair surgery will finally deliver Duncan from the pain and suffering he is currently undergoing and are requesting $1,165 to cover the treatment costs. “I'm in a lot of pain and discomfort in my right hand and any kind of support accorded to me will be highly appreciated,” Duncan expressed.
Saitabau is a 4-month-old baby from Tanzania. He is the only child to his parents who depend on livestock keeping for their living and their income is very little to get them by. Saitabau has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Saitabau has been experiencing an increasing head circumference and irritability. Without treatment, Saitabau will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Saitabau that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 2nd and will drain the excess fluid from Saitabau's brain and replace the previous insertion that is blocked. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Saitabau will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Saitabau’s mother says, “My son had gotten better but now he is sick again please help him get another surgery.”
Philomena was diagnosed with ARM at birth. With this condition, the little one was found to lack an anal opening and instead was passing stool through her vagina. A few hours after birth, Philomena, one in a set of twins, was noted to have a distended abdomen. The doctor quickly checked on the baby and discovered she lacked an anal opening. To keep Philomena from getting a fistula, the doctors put in a colostomy at three days. Philomena’s parents paid for this through some family savings they had. When they left for home, Philomena’s twin sister developed a persistent cough which was later found to be a hole in the heart. "I have never felt this drained ever in my life. Since I gave birth I am always in hospitals with either one of my two babies,” says Philomena’s mother. Due to lack of finances, Philomena’s parents shared their plight with their church members and one of them advised that they visit Watsi Partner Care Center BethanyKids Hospital. At BethanyKids a surgery to create an anal opening has been recommended. If not treated, Philomena will not lead a normal life and will be forced to use a colostomy for life. The surgery is a cost Philomena’s parents cannot bear. Philomena’s father is a carpenter while her mother closed her grocery store to tend to the children. Together they have five children with three currently in school. With very limited income and having exhausted their savings, Philomena’s parents are not able to raise the funds needed. They had defaulted on paying the national health insurance premiums as they could not keep up, but they’ve been advised to try to maintain this coverage in the future given their family's health needs. “Please help us. It is quite a stressful time for us but we believe we will come from it as victors,” says Philomena’s mother.
Meet Sefania, a class four pupil who loves playing football. He is confident to be as good as Ronaldo in football. Unfortunately, his feet limit him from being the best player! He has bilateral clubfoot, a condition that affects the positioning of his feet. This makes it hard for him to walk or run. Despite the condition, Sefania enjoys playing football with his friends. He was reviewed in our facility and surgery to correct the deformity recommended. However, his parents are not able to raise the funds needed for the surgery. With the right surgery. Sefania will be able to walk with ease and less fatigue. He will enjoy playing football with his friends. Sefania is the second born in a family of three children. His parents are small scale farmers, relying on subsistence output to meet their daily needs. They are not able to provide for their family and save some more for their child's surgery. They appeal for help. Fortunately, Sefania traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 09. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Sefania's clubfoot repair. After treatment, He will be able to walk easily. Sefania says, “I would be so happy if I could walk like my friends and not have to struggle to have them help me.”
Vy is a 74-year-old vegetable seller from Cambodia. She has five children, thirteen grandchildren, and enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio in her spare time. Five months ago, Vy developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Vy learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On November 05, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $211 procedure. Vy said, "I hope that I will be able to see clearly again so I can return to the pagoda and so I can recognize my relatives's faces."
Khin lives with his wife and five children along the Thai-Burma border. Khin and his wife work as porters on the river that runs between the Thai-Burma border. They carry items to and from the boats that bring Burma people across to Thailand. However, Khin has been unable to work for the past year, and his wife stopped working in December 2019, when she accompanied Khin to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). His eldest son works at a bicycle shop as a salesman and earns 200 baht (approx. 7 USD) per day. Khin’s other children all go to school. One day in February 2019, Khin was playing football with his friends. During the game, Khin went to hit the ball with the inside of his right foot. However, someone from the opponent team accidentally kicked him above his right ankle when they tried to take the ball away from him. Right away, Khin’s leg hurt and he was unable to continue with the game. His friend brought him back home. For the next two months, Khin sought help from a traditional masseuse and a traditional healer. When neither treatments helped, he sought help from a health worker. There, he received an injection into his right leg, close to his injury. Khin said, “As soon as I received the injection, I felt better but it did not last for a long time and the pain returned.” He returned twice more and each time he received another injection that at first helped reduce the pain. One day, Khin heard about a traditional healer from a friend. When he went to see them, the traditional healer applied a bandage with herbs to his injured leg and provided him with instructions on how to reapply the bandage at home. Afterward, whenever Khin applied the bandage with herbs, he felt better so he continued to reapply it for the next six months. Khin thought his leg would finally heal, but after using the bandage for six months, he noticed that the area around his ankle and his right foot had become swollen, and that there was pus from sores on his ankle and the sole of his foot. A friend told him about a charitable clinic called MTC right across the border in Mae Sot, Thailand. Khin decided to seek help there, so accompanied by his wife, they arrived at MTC on the 1st of December 2019. He was admitted right away and he received oral medication, injections and had his leg dressed and changed daily. Every 10 days, he also had the pus in his injured leg drained. During the first week of January 2020, MTC brought Khin to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further treatment. There, he received blood tests and an X-ray before the doctor told him that he needs to receive surgery which would cost him around 30,000 baht (approx. 1,000 USD). However, Khin was unable to pay for surgery. Once Khin was brought back to MTC, the medic saw that he had been diagnosed with chronic osteomyelitis, a severe infection of his bone, and referred him to Watsi Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing further treatment. BCMF connected him to Mawlamyine Christine Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) in Burma. After the doctor reviewed his medical records, the doctor recommended an amputation of his right leg below the knee. Currently, Khin suffers from a lot of pain in his right leg at night and he is not able to sleep. During the day however, the pain lessens if he does not walk long distances. He also needs to use crutches to get around. Khin said, “I would like to feel better as soon as possible so that I can go back to work to support my family and so that we can pay back our loan.”
Dylan is a child from Kenya. Dylan and his mother depend on his aunt who sells cereals and has two children besides Dylan. Dylan's mother just completed school and yet to land a job. Dylan’s father left them days before he was born and does not want to be associated with them. Dylan 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, Dylan is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on November 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $700 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “It pains to know that I cannot fully support my son but I trust God will make a way,” says Dylan’s mother.
Kyu is 38-year-old-woman from Burma. She owns a farm which she is able to rent out for 200,000 kyat (approx. 200 USD) for each season. In her free time, she enjoys doing housework such as cooking and cleaning. Kyu was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle that controls the flow of blood. Currently, Kyu has difficulty breathing, chest pain as well as pain in her neck. She also cannot walk fast or for long distances because she gets tired easily. Kyu is unable to sleep well for she worries about her condition. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Kyu. Once her treatment is completed, it will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. “If I feel better after surgery, I want to work and save money for my daughter,” said Kyu.
Aziza is a pupil from Tanzania. Aziza is a twelve-year-old girl who hopes to become a teacher in future. The class five pupil enjoys learning mathematics and Swahili. However, she struggles with her left land due to secondary burn contractures. When she was three years old, Aziza fell on an open fire when playing with her two siblings. She suffered wrist burns and after a hospital stay, she was discharged to continue with dressing at home. Unfortunately, she healed with contractures on her left wrist. One of her aunts referred her to our facility whereupon review, contracture release was advised. The aunt is afraid that she might not receive surgery as they do not have sufficient money. Aziza's mother passed away three years ago. Aziza currently lives with her aunt who does laundry labourer to provide for the family. Their income is limited to meet just basic needs. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Aziza receive treatment. On October 17th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to allow Aziza fully utilize her hand. Now, she needs help to fund this $832 procedure. Aziza’s aunt says, “Aziza already has a lot of challenges we would be happy and life would be easier for her if she could get her hand treated and be able to use both of her hands in her daily activities.”
She lives with her parents in Karen State, Burma. She now works at Kyaw Hta Rural Clinic, 45 minutes away by motorbike from her village and earns 70,000 Kyat (approx. 70 USD) per month. Her parents are farmers and their total income is 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month. Their income is just enough for their daily needs. Around eight years ago, Cherry developed pain in the right side of her abdomen. She went to the clinic near her village. At the clinic, the medic thought that she was suffering from normal stomachaches. Since the clinic did not have the necessary equipment to run diagnostic tests, the medic treated her for the pain. She received pain killers and when the pain was worse, a stronger does of pain killers through an injection. In May 2019, she was completing her training with Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), when the pain in her abdomen became worse. She received an ultrasound and painkillers at the clinic, before she was diagnosed with a renal stone in her right kidney. MTC then referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation and treatment. At the hospital, she received an X-ray, ultrasound and a blood test, as well as oral medication for the pain. After checking her results, the doctor confirmed her diagnosis and told her that she needs to receive laser treatment two to three times, to break up the stone in her kidney. She received her first round of laser treatment on 7 August 2019. To pay for that, she had to borrow money from her supervisor and her neighbor. She was scheduled to undergo a second round of treatment on 18 September 2019, but she could no longer afford to pay. Luckily, MTC referred her to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance in accessing further treatment. Currently, Cherry still has pain in the right side of her abdomen. She is interested in the field of medicine and enjoys learning new things related to this field in her free time.
Shin is a 15-year-old novice monk from Burma. He lives and studies with his brother in Aung Damar Zinyone Learning Centre Monastery in Insein Township, Yangon Division. His father is a government officer for the ministry of religious affairs and culture and his mother is a shopkeeper and sells rice and curry. Although his parents send them pocket money, they cannot always do so. Instead, Shin and his brother are supported by the monks, and he collects donations of food from the community with the other monks, during morning alms collections. In his free time Shin like to play football with his friends. Sometimes, he likes to read books and study to learn new things. Shin 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, Shin has difficulty breathing, is unable to sleep at night and sometimes he has a fever during the night. He cannot walk long distances and he has difficulty walking up stairs. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Shin. The treatment is scheduled to take place on August 21 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. “When I grow up, I want to become a monk to help those in need as well as children whose parents cannot afford to send them to school,” said Shin. “This has been my dream since I was a child.”