Christian joined Watsi on July 31st, 2017. Three years ago, Christian became the 3074th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 3,398 more people have become monthly donors! Christian's most recent donation supported Sifa, a three-month-old from Tanzania, to fund surgery for his spina bifida condition.
Christian has funded healthcare for 37 patients in 9 countries.
Sifa is a baby from Tanzania. Sifa is a three months old baby boy and the youngest child in a family of four children. Sifa's parents come from the central part of Tanzania where most people depend on farming for their living. His parents own a small piece of land from which they are able to grow maize and sunflowers. Their income is not much and barely enough to support their family. Sifa 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, Sifa 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 $1,015 to cover the cost of Sifa's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 24th. This procedure will hopefully spare Sifa from the risks associated with his condition, allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Sifa’s mother says, “Please help my son."
James is a young man from Kenya. He is single and works as a bus conductor on the Kiambu-Nairobi route. He is on a daily contract and earns an average $3 depending on the day. For the last three months, he has been jobless following the government COVID-19 restrictions that are in place. James shared that his mother is elderly and depends on farming for upkeep. His father passed on years ago. On the 22nd of July, James accidentally hit a brick wall when the vehicle lost control while he was driving the bus to work. James was injured in the accident and fractured his hip. He is now in chronic pain and cannot walk. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 29th, James will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,094 to fund this procedure. James says, "I will be happy to get help so that I can get back to work and help my elderly mother who depends on me.”
Abdulkirim is a baby from Ethiopia. He is a cute boy who loves to play with other children and with his mom. He is a happy child and has one sibling. Abdulkirim 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 Abdulkirim's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,057 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Abdulkirim. The surgery is scheduled to take place on June 30 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Abdulkirim's mom shared, "We sold all our animals and we asked for help from our community twice. When we came to Addis Ababa, our son had already undergone two operations and we were struggling with finances. We were out of money to even pay for our hotel. I was so worried and afraid, but we are now hopeful that he will get the surgery and it will be successful. We hope he will grow up to be a healthy boy and achieve a lot by getting a good education.”
Delvin is 8 months old and the fourth born child in his family. He was born healthy and his mom and him were discharged home from the hospital. However, once home, his mother noticed that he did not have a BM for the first three days and his she started noticing that his stomach was getting swollen. Delvin's parents returned to the hospital where they performed a small procedure and he was able to go to the bathroom normally. They were discharged back home and but the problem returned in just a few weeks. They returned to the hospital where an ultrasound and x-rays were done. Results showed that he needed a surgical review and possibly surgery to correct his anorectal malformation, so his family was referred to a bigger hospital for further management. Delvin's parents could not afford to go to the referral hospital but by luck as they were telling their neighbor about their situation, he connected them with one of our Medical Partner's doctors for help. Delvin's parents are both subsistence farmers, they do not earn enough to be able to afford Delvin's needed surgery. Delvin's mother says, "My son is suffering, his stomach swells and he cries out of discomfort and pain. Please help us get him this treatment so that he may be able to use the bathroom normally."
Sokleng is a 30-year-old seller of Khmer food from Cambodia. She lives with her parents and four brothers. Sokleng likes listening to music and spending time with her friends. When Sokleng was six years old, she noticed that she had water in her ears when taking a bath. That water has remained in her ears and developed into a bilateral ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Sokleng experiences pain, hearing loss, ear drainage, and ringing in her ears. She cannot communicate clearly with others because of her hearing loss and can not sell food for her daily income. Sokleng traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 29th, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure for both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. "I hope that the surgery will be done well, the ear discharge will go way, and no longer annoy me any more. Also, I hope that I can hear better so I can continue my work selling Khmer food to help my parents," Sokleng said.
Marvalie is a preschooler from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three siblings in a rural area of southwest Haiti; her parents are farmers. She has not yet started school due to her illness. Marvalie has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Marvalie will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On March 6th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which Surgeons will close the hole in her heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage from her valve. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for surgery. Marvalie's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Marvalie's family overseas. Her mother said, "Our family has been praying for a cure since our daughter was a small baby, we are very happy to know our prayers are being answered!"
Su is a 43-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband and four-year-old son in Shwe Pyi Thar Township in Burma. Her husband works as a day laborer at a construction site while she does all the household chores. Su was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of her mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. In 2010, Su started to experience severe coughing so she went to see a doctor at Tun Foundation Clinic in Yangon. The doctor noticed that she has abnormal breathing and told her that she has a heart problem and she would not be able to have baby. The doctor also provided her with three days’ worth of medication and suggested she go to Yangon General Hospital (YGH) to meet with a cardiologist. The next day, she went to YGH and she received an echocardiogram and x-ray. Following this, the doctor told her that she would need surgery right away. She was told that the surgery would cost around five million kyat (approx. 5,000 USD) but she could not afford to pay such a large sum. When she told the doctor this, she received medication to stabilize her heart condition and was provided with a follow-up appointment. In 2015, she started to feel tired whenever she walked for more than 10 minutes or if she used the stairs. She went back to Tun Foundation Clinic where she received medications to stabilize her condition. Currently, she cannot sleep or eat well. She also suffers from fatigue and rapid breathing. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Su. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 27th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Su said, “I worry a lot that I will have a stroke if I do not take my medication daily. But it is had for my husband to come up with money [for my medication]. I want to live long with my family. When I talked to Watsi's partner BCMF, I felt like I had been released from the worry of paying for my surgery. Thank you so much!”
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.”
Robdu is a beautiful and playful baby girl from Ethiopia. She was born with an anorectal malformation, a birth defect where a child has an imperforate anus or they have no opening in their anus. She developed bowel obstruction because of the condition and an emergency colostomy was done. She has also had multiple issues with her colostomy care, requiring constant hospital visits. She is planned for PSARP in our facility to correct the congenital defect. Robdu and her two brothers live with their parents in Ethiopia. Her father relies on subsistence farming to make ends meet while her mother is a housewife. They do not have funds required for the surgery and so appeal for financial assistance. Robdu is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on December 31st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Robdu's procedure and care. After her recovery, Robdu will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Her dad said, “I hope she will get well. And it is my dream to educate her and see her achieving so big in her life.”
David is a construction worker from Kenya. He is a widowed father of two children. He worked on construction sites to be able to support his children. Around August this year, David was headed home when a speeding vehicle hit him from the back and sped off. Some good Samaritans picked him up and brought him to Kijabe hospital where he was found to have a left leg double fracture. He is not able to walk and is restricted to a wheelchair. David is also in pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 29th, David will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Treatment will enable David to walk again and work so that he can provide for his children. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,451 to fund this procedure. “I kindly request for financial help to get independent once again,” says David.
Gedeon is a student from Haiti. He lives in Port-au-Prince with his mother and two older sisters. He is in high school and would like to study to become a doctor. Gedeon has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of his heart was severely damaged as a result of an infection suffered in childhood; as a result, his heart cannot adequately pump blood through his body. Gedeon will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On September 16th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will replace his damaged valve with an artificial implant. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing $40,000 to pay for surgery. Gedeon's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Gedeon's family overseas. Gedeon said, "I am excited to be able to visit a new country and to get my heart back to normal."
Aung is a 30-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife, daughter and sister in an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp which is close to the Chinese-Burma border town of Lweje in Momauk Township, Kachin State. Today, his wife works as a mathematics teacher at a middle school in the IDP camp. His sister is a student in the IDP camp while his daughter is still too young to go to school. He used to work as a English teacher. Later on, he stopped working in June 2019 due to his poor health. feels exhausted and he is not able to walk for longer than 30 minutes, or he feels tired. His heartbeat is rapid, he has blue lips and sometimes he feels like he is not able to get enough oxygen. He has no appetite and he is not able to sleep well, worrying over his health condition, the cost of his surgery and his inability to access it. Aung was born with ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving his sick and short of breath. Aung is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on September 15th to correct his condition and improve his quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Aung's procedure and care. Aung said, "Even if I could go someplace else, I wouldn’t be able to do any hard labour due to my condition. And I can’t go to China because I can only speak a little bit of Chinese.”