Catherine joined Watsi on June 18th, 2015. Six years ago, Catherine joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Catherine's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Susan, a 59-year-old from Kenya, to fund a hysterectomy to treat uterine cancer.
Catherine has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 12 countries.
Catherine has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 12 countries.
Susan is a 59-year-old homemaker who together with her husband have five children. Unfortunately, her husband had a stroke and Susan is unemployed, so their family depends greatly on their land. For two months, Susan has been experiencing heavy bleeding. She has been diagnosed with uterine cancer, and she needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $755 to fund Susan's surgery. On September 15th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Susan will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Susan shared, "I am very scared because the doctor said I have cancer, but I trust in God and hope to see my tomorrow. Please plead for help on my behalf so that my life can be saved and I can continue caring for my family."
Rhophence is struggling to speak when we meet her. She cannot pronounce words clearly or eat regularly due to a mandibular mass. She was diagnosed with Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia, which is also causing her teeth to loosen on the affected area. She is scheduled for a 10-hour surgery at our Medical Partner's Care Center Kijabe Hospital. Her chronic mandibular swelling started back in October 2020 as a small swelling and has gradually increased in size, so Rhophence was forced to visit the hospital. She was treated for pain in their local health centre and discharged home. But, the swelling worsened and Rhophence opted to visit Kijabe in May 2021. Several tests revealed the Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia diagnosis and surgery was recommended. She does not have the funds for the various procedures to relieve her pain. She is a single mother of four children aged between 30 and 18 years. She comes from a remote village along the Kenyan coast. She is currently jobless with no source of income and stays with her younger brother who she depends on for survival. The surgery is estimated to cost about $4,500. She has active national health insurance coverage that has only approved $2,000. She is unable to raise the remaining amount. She fundraised money for travel fare to come to Kijabe and she is now being hosted in the local centre by a relative. Rhophence shared, "This swelling is so painful. My mouth is deformed and I cannot even speak clearly. It’s sadly starting to give a bad odour making people close to me uncomfortable. This is affecting my life. I need these surgeries to normalize my life.”
Meet Jecinta, a 12-year-old friendly, talkative, and funny girl. She is the youngest in her family of three children. Currently, Jecinta is a student in grade 5, and in school, she likes reading and playing with her friends even though her legs limits her ability to play as well as her peers. Jecinta's mother is a single mother who works temporary jobs on neighbor’s farms, clothes washing, and other available jobs. Jecinta was born healthy, but her mother noticed a sudden bowing of her legs when she was one. Jecinta's mother took her toddler to a nearby hospital where plaster was applied to her legs to prevent spreading of her condition. However, since then, it has continued to worsen and has been affecting Jecinta's mobility. At this point, she cannot stand upright and play with friends as she would like to. Fortunately, Jecinta is scheduled to undergo surgery on July 19th to correct her legs. This treatment will allow her to walk like other friends, play with them, and continue with her studies, all of which can improve her self-esteem. “I would wish for support for my child because I cannot be able to afford the hospital bills,”Jecinta’s mother asks.
Stephanie is a five-year-old student from Nairobi, Kenya who enjoys singing and dancing. She is the older sibling in her family, and her mother takes care of their family and home while her father is a small businessman. Stephanie has clubfoot on her left foot, causing her foot to be twisted out of shape and resulting in difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Stephanie traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Stephanie's procedure. The treatment will allow Stephanie to walk, wear shoes, and continue with her studies. Her mother, Maureen, told us, “I am humbly requesting help from well-wishers to help my daughter walk like other children."
Navin is an eight-year-old third grade student with one older sister. Navin lives in the province where his parents are farmers. When he is not in school, Navin enjoys playing football, playing with his toy car, and asking his father questions (sound familiar to any parents out there?) Two years ago, Navin 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, Navin experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. It is difficult for him to hear at school. His parents took him to a local NGO that told them Navin needed to have surgery. They recommended his family come to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). Navin and his family traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 12th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear 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 his medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Navin's parents hope his hearing can improve so he can communicate well again in school and at home.
Sumeya is a baby girl from Ethiopia who loves music. She also loves sweets and playing with her mom. She is her parents' first child, and her mom is a housewife while her dad is a teacher in a mosque. They all live together in his parents’ house, who help support them with their basic needs. Sumeya was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Sumeya is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on April 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Sumeya's procedure and care. After her recovery, Sumeya will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing serious health complications in the future. Her mom said “ It is my hope that my baby will heal and get in to school.”
Paw is a 21-year-old who lives with her parents, a brother, three sisters, a daughter and a niece in a refugee camp. Her father used to be an agricultural day laborer, but had to stop working due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Her sisters go to school and her brother is unemployed. Paw looks after her daughter and niece, who are too young to go to school, while her mother looks after the household chores. In her free time, Paw likes to play with her daughter and visit her friends. On March 9th, Paw left the camp alone to collect firewood. While climbing a hill, she slipped, falling onto her right shin. She was in so much pain that she could not stand up. She got herself to a nearby road where a motorcyclist drove her back to the camp. At home, Paw was treated by a traditional healer, and a couple of days later, a second traditional healer told her family that Paw had fractured her leg. Paw's father made a bamboo brace for her leg, and carried her to the hospital in the camp run by International Rescue Committee (IRC). Knowing that she would need surgery, IRC staff referred her to Burma Children Medical Fund to receive treatment at a local hospital. Currently, Paw experiences a lot of pain when moving her right leg. She cannot stand up by herself and she cannot sleep at night when the pain is severe. Since she injured her leg, she feels more tired and she has lost her appetite. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Paw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will help her walk and live pain-free. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. Paw shared, "once recovered, I will take care of my parents. I will work and save money for my daughter, so that I can make sure that she has food and clothes."
Tun is a 73-year-old man who lives with his three daughters in Umpiem Mai Refugee Camp in Thailand. Each month, Tun's household receives a small cash card to purchase rations in the camp, and their monthly household income is just enough to cover daily expenses. In his free time, Tun loves to read books and loves telling stories to his neighbours’ children. He is always welcoming, giving the children snacks and telling them stories from his home. Tun also loves to grow different types of vegetables around his house, sharing the harvest with his neighbours who cannot afford to buy vegetables. Before he felt unwell, Tun used to volunteer, organising cleaning groups in the camp and helping with road repairs. Currently, Tun experiences on and off pain in his upper abdomen. He also has a slight fever and often feels nauseous. Over time, his appetite has gradually decreased, and he has lost weight. Tun has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If his condition is left untreated, Tun's symptoms will continue to worsen and he will be at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Tun is scheduled to undergo his cholecystectomy on February 16th. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Tun's procedure and care. Once recovered, he will able to resume gardening, volunteering, and socializing with others in the camp. Tun shared, “I love volunteering and I am happy to help the community with whatever I can. But since I got sick, I cannot participate, and I cannot go to the monastery to help clean nor can I meditate. If I ever feel better again, I will continue to help my community with whatever I can do and I will also continue to grow vegetables around my house for my family and for my neighbours.”
Patrick has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, and it causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. After he was born, his parents visited the nearest dispensary in their village to take him for treatment, where he was referred to a bigger hospital that would have more resources to treat him. Because Patrick's parents are small scale farmers with minimal income, they decided to return home and save up money so that they could take him to a proper hospital to have his feet corrected. Through a neighbor, Patrick's parents got to know about Watsi's Partner ALMC Plaster House and decided to come and seek treatment for Patrick. Patrick needs to start manipulation and casting, which will help correct his feet. If Patrick does not get this treatment, his learning-to-walk process will be very challenging. It will take a long time for him to be able to stand and walk, and it may be painful. He will not be able to wear normal shoes like other children, and could potentially experience discrimination due to his disability. Fortunately, Patrick traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery and begin his treatment on January 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Patrick's clubfoot repair. After treatment as he grows, he will be able to walk and play with ease. Patrick’s mother shared, "We wish our son to have his feet corrected but the treatment cost is too high for us to afford. Please help our son.”
Sherline is a 7-year-old playful girl from Kenya. Last Friday, Shirlene arrived at the hospital with pain in her right leg and head after being hit by a tree branch. Sherline had gone to fetch firewood with her friends when the accident happened. She was rushed to the hospital by samaritans and on arrival, an x-ray was done which confirmed a right femur fracture. Because she was unable to use her leg and was in pain, Sherline was put on traction to reduce pain, avoid irritation, and help put tension on the displaced bone. Sherline was born and raised in a village in Elgeyo Marakwet County. She was the firstborn child of a single mother. In 2015, during the Marakwet and Pokot clashes in their region, her mother was eloped and taken away to an unknown location. Since then Sherline has not seen her mum and, currently, she stays with her elderly grandmother. Shirlene's grandmother is a farmer of millet for their family's consumption. They live in a two-roomed grass-thatched house. Sherline is going through a tough experience with intense pain, trauma, and discomfort. She needs urgent help to fix her condition. Their family is facing financial hardship and is asking anyone reading Sherline's story to help her raise the fee for her surgery. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 16th, Sherline will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will reduce the pain, initiate her healing, and help her to walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Shirleen's guardian shared, "It's paining me to see her cry in pain, I want her to receive treatment and be able to walk again."
Brighton is three-year-old boy and the youngest in his family of nine children. Brighton is a friendly and playful boy. Brighton's parents have been wanting to enroll him in school and start kindergarten but they are concerned because Brighton's right foot is deformed after being involved in a fire accident two years ago, making walking for him difficult. Brighton was left at home sleeping while his mother went out to fetch water. His older siblings were inside the house playing and one of them took a matchbox and started playing with it. The fire caught the bed in which Brighton was sleeping in. The oldest child seeing the fire ran and called their mother who rushed in to save Brighton. He was saved, though he sustained burns on his right foot and was rushed to the hospital. Thankfully Brighton was treated, his wound healed, and was able to walk. However as time went on the scars around his foot contracted to pull on his toes, deforming his foot and making it difficult for him to walk well. His parents tried to seek treatment for him but the cost turned out to be expensive for them to afford. Both parents are small scale farmers and their income is not enough to support the family and cover Brighton's treatment cost. They are asking for help. Brighton’s mother says, “We would love to see our son’s foot well so that he can be able to walk like other normal children, but the cost of treatment is too high for us to afford. Please help us.”
Ruth is a 15-year-old from Kenya who has special needs. She is a student at Limuru Cheshire Home (a center for girls with physical/mental disabilities) and was admitted to the institute in 2019. She was born into a family of two, being the firstborn followed by a brother who lives with her aunt. Her mother, who was a single mom, died when Ruth and her brother were young. This led to the two being separated and since Ruth is more vulnerable, she was left under the care of their grandmother. Together they live in a two-roomed house and they depend on the local community for upkeep. Life has become more difficult now that Ruth's grandmother cannot move around even for firewood since she has to ensure Ruth’s safety. Ruth has clubfoot that makes her walking extremely difficult. Last year she was brought to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center CURE Hospital, where she was recommended for surgery. Since her grandmother cannot afford the treatment, her surgery has not yet taken place. The surgery would highly enhance Ruth's mobility as well as improve her self-esteem and ability to socialize with her peers. Fortunately, surgeons at our partner hospital will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Ruth's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. “I will appreciate any kind of support give to make my granddaughter walk comfortably,” Ruth’s grandmother told us.