Jacques GerberMONTHLY DONOR
Jacques' Story

Jacques joined Watsi on November 26th, 2014. Seven years ago, Jacques joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jacques' most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Stefano, a 5-year-old boy from Tanzania, to fund leg surgery so he can walk well.

Impact

Jacques has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 11 countries.

All patients funded by Jacques

Naw Hser is a 47-year-old woman who lives with her older brother, her two daughters, two son-in-laws, two grandsons and one granddaughter in a refugee camp in Tak Province, Thailand. Everyone in Naw Hser’s family is currently unemployed since the outbreak of COVID-19 in late March 2020, when their refugee camp was placed under lockdown. Making things harder, the price of food has increased so the monthly 2,050 baht (approx. 68 USD) support they receive on a cash card is not enough to purchase necessities. By the end of each month, they have to purchase food from the shop on credit, which they try to pay back at the end of the month. They also grow vegetables in their neighbour’s garden, sharing the food they grow with them. This has made funding for medical care for their family very limited right now. In early 2019, Naw Hser started to become very tired when she walked short distances. She also experiences back and lower abdominal pain almost every day. This has impacted her appetite and she has lost weight over the past year. She shared that she cannot sleep at night because of the pain and because of the stress she feels about her condition. She is worried it is not treatable and her family feels sad seeing her in pain. Naw Hser has been diagnosed with uterine myoma. She has been advised by her doctor to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Naw Hser's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Naw Hser is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on January 25th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain and she will be able to get back to more of her normal life. Once Naw Hser recovers, she is looking forward to being able to live happily with her family as she wishes. Naw Hser said, “I want to live happily with my children and look after my grandchildren. Now, my daughters do not want me to cook or wash clothes for my grandchildren anymore. They want me to rest because of my condition. They really feel sad when they see me in pain and sometimes, I also cannot control my tears when I see them cry. I really want to have surgery to recover.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Aziza is 14-year-old girl and the second born child in a family of three children. She has just completed her class seven exams and looks forward to joining secondary school once the national examination results are out. She would love to be a teacher when she grows up. Aziza was involved in a fire accident when she was just three years old and she had not been able to use her left hand to hold things or be able to participate in many home chores. Aziza had surgery in February 2020 to release the burn contracture on her hand, which went a long way to enable her to use her hand more. Now, Aziza also needs an amputation of the small finger of her left hand. Her small finger has significant flexion contracture with severe damage to the joint capsules. Aziza is being raised by one of her aunts while her other siblings are being raised by other relatives after their mother passed away three years ago. Their father is not reliable in taking care of the children, and that’s when relatives decided to come in to help since they would miss meals and they didn’t have anyone to wash their clothes or provide them with other needs. Aziza’s aunt has three children of her own and including Aziza she has a total of four children. Aziza’s aunt is a stay at home wife while the husband sells bicycle spare parts and repairs them for a living. The income is not much but just enough to help support the family. Aziza says, “I am scared to lose a part of my hand but I agree with the surgeons that it is necessary and I hope it will help me be able to use my hand more. Please help me get this treatment.”

$1,088raised
Fully funded

Emma has an entrepreneurial spirit and sells groundnuts, flour, and 'thobwa' (a flavorsome local beverage made from maize and millet) to earn a living. She is married to a primary school teacher and they have four children. All the children are independent except the last born who is in high school. Emma lives with her husband and a grandchild in Lilongwe in a house that belongs to her family. The house has no electricity but has piped water, which Emma is grateful to have. Emma works hard to lead a good life but has no medical insurance as she considers the insurance as being too expensive for her family to afford. Emma developed a goiter many years ago in 1993. This is a swelling on the neck resulting from enlargement of the thyroid gland. The goiter has since been growing in size and causing discomfort. She had been to different traditional healers and health facilities until 2008 when she was referred to KC Hospital for surgical review. The doctor at the hospital told her that the goiter would subside without any intervention if she would avoid getting angry. She was further advised to avoid emotional stress, shouting, and spending time in direct sunlight. However, the nature of her business which she also combines with farming compels her to spend hours in the sun and the swelling has continued growing over time. Emma currently has difficulties in breathing especially when sleeping, has a lot of discomforts, and also difficulty in swallowing food. She is not able to carry her grandchild on her back because it gives her a choking feeling. Her condition has affected her business because she cannot carry large quantities of ‘thobwa’ on her head to go and sell as she used to. Seeing Emma's condition, her relatives have been trying to seek help for her and a cousin recently learned that she might be able to get help at Partners in Hope Medical Center and told Emma about it. She did not hesitate to come and meet the surgeon here who after confirming the diagnosis of goiter recommended a thyroidectomy. This procedure is a surgical removal of the thyroid gland. It is expected that the swelling will go away with the operation and Emma will be able to resume activities that she is unable to do now. The surgery will also improve her appearance and increase her self-esteem. She is scheduled for this procedure on 26th October and is seeking financial assistance since her family is unable to meet the costs. “When people look at me they say, “amayi achotupa pakhosi aja” (woman with a swelling on the neck) and it really affects my self-esteem. I look forward to the removal of this goiter and looking normal again,” shared Emma.

$1,015raised
Fully funded

Benjamin is a father of a four-year-old child who works as a motorbike (boda-boda) driver, earning about $3.70USD per day. His income is also inconsistent and depends on the availability of customers. He is the sole breadwinner for his family. Unfortunately, he has no active medical insurance coverage and has had to rely on relatives and friends to settle hospital bills. Benjamin is full of smiles but finds it difficult to sit up while sharing his story. He opts to talk while lying flat on his back. Benjamin is currently immobile, unable to sit and walk, as a result of a road traffic accident from the beginning of the month. When the 25-year-old hitched a ride on his friend's water truck, the vehicle lost control and he was thrown out the window. He immediately experienced severe back pain and lost consciousness. The accident left Benjamin with multiple fractures and wounds that will require several fracture repair and spine surgeries in order for him to sit, walk, and be able to continue with his normal routine roles again. After stays at various hospitals and numerous referrals, Benjamin arrived at our medical partner's care center, Kijabe Hospital, for care on July 17th. One of the obstacles to treatment he had faced at other hospitals was a long waiting list that meant a delay in much-needed care, but fortunately Kijabe is able to offer his needed care more urgently. At Kijabe Hospital, the doctors recommended a spinal fusion procedure for him to help regain his mobility. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,500 for Benjamin's critical surgery, scheduled to take place on July 26th. Benjamin shares, “I just sleep on my back and cannot even sit or walk. I cannot work and fend for my family. I need this surgery to get back to my Boda-boda job and raise my family."

$1,500raised
Fully funded

John is very talkative and welcoming 46-year-old man. He arrived to the hospital with pain and distention for 3 days before admission to Kijabe Hospital this week. He had an x-ray and an endoscopy on the same day that revealed he has a Sigmoid Volvulus a condition in which the sigmoid colon wraps around itself, causing a closed-loop obstruction. This condition causes continued abdominal discomfort. He's now scheduled for a laparotomy and sigmoid colectomy to rectify the condition and needs financial support. Barely two weeks ago, John was very excited that he had found a job and was looking forward to his first day at work. Two days before he had to report to work, he noticed that he had not passed stool for some days. He started feeling uncomfortable but thought that he will be well soon enough. The day he was waiting for had arrived and he reported to work very happily but uncomfortable because his condition had worsened. He opened up to his immediate supervisor who advised him to go back home and seek medical attention. His supervisor went ahead to offer him some money to cater for the transport fee. John went to the terminus and boarded a matatu to head back home. Along the way, the pain worsened and was unbearable and he started vomiting. He requested the driver to drop him off at a nearby hospital. Luckily, the matatu was almost near our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital. The driver pulled over and helped him catch a taxi to Kijabe as fast as he could. He was admitted as an emergency case under the general surgery team. John is the father of six children, with his firstborn now 20 years old and married. Four of his children are in high school and the youngest is yet to join the school. Eight months ago, John lost his job as a security guard in a flower farm. After he was dismissed, he used the money he was given as service fees to buy a motorcycle, with which he started a bodaboda taxi business. His wife is involved in farming and mostly she sells the farm produce to supplement their family's earnings. John shared, “I feel sad for myself and my family because now I cannot do anything to provide for them as I am in hospital. I would really like to go back to work and earn enough for them.”

$616raised
Fully funded