Joel joined Watsi on December 10th, 2014. Seven years ago, Joel joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Joel's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Furaha, a 4-year-old from Tanzania, to fund knee surgery to be able to run and play.
Joel has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 11 countries.
Joel has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 11 countries.
Furaha is a beautiful and charming four-year-old and the eighth-born child in a family of nine children. Furaha is a Swahili word for "happiness" and true to her name she is always a happy and smiley girl. Furaha's parents are small-scale farmers of maize and rice. They get most of their food from what they harvest. Their income is not much because they can only get money when they sell their rice harvest or go out and seek day’s jobs like working on other people's farms. Furaha has been diagnosed with bilateral genu varus where her legs bow outward at the knee. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she experiences knee pain after walking or playing for a while. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Furaha. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 8th. Treatment will hopefully restore Furaha's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Furaha’s mother says: “I was told that we can have her legs corrected here, please help us.”
Ashford is a jovial, 46-year-old farmer from the western part of Kenya. He enjoys playing music on his nyatiti (an eight-stringed plucked bowl yoke lute). Apart from farming, Ashford played the nyatiti to earn a living until he had an accident in December 2020. Ashford was in an accident in Nairobi, where he had moved to earn his living and sustained bilateral tibia fractures on his legs. This has caused Ashford pain and difficulty in walking, and he is now unable to earn a living as he cannot play the nyatiti without his mobility. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH) can help. On September 7th, Ashford will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). The treatment will accelerate his healing process and enable him to walk again. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Ashford says, “I used to walk far and wide to entertain people while playing the nyatiti but now I am immobile and homeless. I rely on the church for survival and care. I need this surgery to be able to walk again.”
Grace is a beautiful, charming, and smiley 15-month-old baby. Grace's parents are small scale farmers and have one other child. They grow and sell maize and vegetables. Grace's mother sells fresh vegetables to her surrounding neighbors to make a living while, her father works at a carwash to support their family. Grace has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Grace has been experiencing vomiting and high fevers. Without treatment, Grace will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Grace that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 9th and will drain the excess fluid from Grace's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Grace should grow and develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Grace’s mother says, "Our baby is usually very active and playful but as days go by, her condition worsens, causing her weakness, vomiting and high fevers. Please help us."
Mory is a three-year-old girl and the only child in her family. Her parents sell smartphones from their home. Mory enjoys watching cartoons, playing with toys, and going outside with her parents. In November 2020, Mory accidentally placed her finger into a machine while her grandma was using it, causing a burn on her left middle finger. After the accident her father took her to a clinic where they cleaned and dressed her wound. The wound healed but a scar contracture has developed, tightening the skin around her finger and limiting movement of her hand. When Mory's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled with her parents seeking treatment. On July 5th, surgeons at CSC are scheduled to perform a burn contracture release surgery so she can use her finger freely again. Now, CSC is requesting $477 to fund this procedure. Mory's parents wishes for their daughter's recovery, "I hope the finger will heal back better so she can be free of discomfort."
Htoo is a 12-year-old girl who lives with her parents, two older sisters, an older brother and a younger brother in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Htoo’s father works as a construction worker while Htoo's mother is a homemaker and looks after Htoo's younger brother who is too young to go to school. Htoo and her older siblings study in the camp. Every month, the family receives oil, rice and charcoal rations, but they shared that the rations are unfortunately not enough to cover their daily needs. They also receive free basic health care and education in the refugee camp. In her free time, Htoo likes to play with her friends and help her mother clean. Htoo was born with a small mass in a sensitive area. At the time, Htoo's mother was told not to worry about the mass. However, beginning in 2016, Htoo noticed the mass increasing in size and she could no longer pass urine comfortably. A medic at the camp's hospital examined the mass and determined that it is benign and recommends it is surgically treated for Htoo's comfort and peace of mind. Htoo is receiving treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and she is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 6th. Now, their family is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Htoo shared, “in the future, I want to finish my schooling and become a teacher in the camp. I want to teach Karen [language].”
Lengai is a 7-year-old boy and the last born of four children. Lengai is a friendly and playful boy who is of age to attend kindergarten. He wants to go to school like his siblings, but due to a deformity on his right foot, he is not able to walk the long distance to and from school. Lengai's parents work as livestock keepers to make a living for their family. Lengai was born with a congenital deformity called syndactyly on his right foot and the fingers of his right hand. As a result, he cannot walk without pain, and is not able to move and use his fingers easily. Lengai's parents noticed his condition early on in his life, but due to the distance from their village to the nearest clinic, and the high cost of care, they were not able to seek treatment for him. Through a mission organization, Lengai was referred to our medical partner's care center, the Plaster House, for treatment. Lengai has been scheduled to have surgery on his right fingers so that he can use his hand in carrying out his daily life activities. Soon after, he will undergo treatment to correct his right foot. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Lengai receive treatment. On May 7th, surgeons at their care center will perform his hand surgery. Once recovered, he will be able to use his fingers with ease. Now, Lengai needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Lengai’s mother shared, "We were unable to seek treatment for our son not because we were okay seeing our son struggling to walk and use his right-hand fingers, but instead because of life's hardships. Please help our son."
Sos is a 76-year-old vegetable farmer who, together with his wife, has three daughters and three sons. Sos and his wife enjoy tending the vegetables on their farm, and like to play with their grandson. For the past year, Sos has had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in his right ear ear to perforate. For this reason, Sos experiences hearing loss, pain and ear discharge. He cannot communicate clearly with others and is in chronic pain. Sos traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 20th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $464 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sos shared, "I hope that after surgery I will be better, with no more ear infection and discharge, and improved hearing."
Chheut is a 62-year-old home renovator and his wife sells groceries. They have two daughters, five sons, and eight grandchildren. Chheut likes to listen to the radio at home. Chheut has developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him blurry vision, photophobia, and tearing. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Chheut learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled there with his daughter seeking treatment. On December 24th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Chheut said, "I hope after surgery I can see clear again so I can go outside by myself and help my wife sell her groceries."
Delvina is an eleven month old baby girl from Tanzania and the youngest of three children in her family. Her parents grow maize and vegetables for the family to eat and sell. Delvina was born a healthy child though her delivery was complicated and after three days at the hospital her family returned home happily with their newborn baby. At six months, Delvina started getting fevers and falling ill often. Their family tried to seek treatment at a local hospital but most of the medication they were using only relieved her for some time. At eleven months, Delvina could not sit by herself nor support the weight of her head and was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. She needs to undergo an endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) procedure, a surgery to drain the excess cerebrospinal fluid and relieve her of the pressure build-up in her head. This procedure will save her from brain damage and give her a chance to grow and develop like other children. Without treatment, Delvina will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Delvina that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 8th and will drain the excess fluid from Delvina's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Delvina will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Delvina’s mother says: “I would love to see my daughter grow up like her other siblings but for her to have that chance she has to have this needed surgery.”
Noeun is a 38-year-old rice and potato farmer from Cambodia. She is married with three sons. Noeun lives with her husband who is also a farmer. She enjoys watching Thai and Khmer dramas on TV. Three years ago, Noeun developed a pterygium in right, causing her burning, irritation, tearing, itchiness, redness, and discomfort with her appearance. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside. When Noeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours with her sister seeking treatment. Noeun needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The total cost of her procedure is $216. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for October 7th. Noeun said, "I hope after surgery I can feel comfortable and continue my work farming and taking care of my children."
Naw Ree is a 49-year-old woman from Thailand. Naw Ree has lived by herself in a refugee camp in northern Thailand since 2009. As a camp resident, Naw Ree receives 243 baht (approx. $8 USD) each month from an organization that supports refugee camp residents. She also works as a maternal and child health worker, receiving 900 baht (approx. $30 USD) per month. Naw Ree raises chickens and grows vegetables. Despite receiving free health care services in the camp, Naw Ree is struggling to make ends meet. On December 16th, 2020, Naw Ree went to see a woman who had recently given birth, to remind her about vaccinating her baby on time. After sitting and talking to the woman in her home, Naw Ree stood up to leave but felt light headed and fell. She put out her left hand to stop her fall, and hurt her left arm. She went to the hospital in the camp, run by Malteser International [MI] Thailand, and received pain medication and her arm was put into a sling. The next day, she was referred to Mae Seriang General Hospital for further treatment. At the hospital she received x-rays and the doctor told her that she had fractured one of the bones in her left forearm. She was then referred to Chiang Mai Hospital for further treatment, but her transfer was delayed for over two weeks due to an outbreak in COVID-19 cases in northern Thailand. Since Naw Ree lives by herself, she has to cook, wash her clothes, and feed her chickens without anyone's help, a difficult feat with her broken arm. Currently, she is in pain but has no fever. She can only fall asleep if she takes pain medication. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Naw Ree will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for January 6th and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Naw Ree will no longer be in pain. She will be able to go back to work as a health worker and she will be able to complete her household chores without pain or discomfort. Naw Ree shared, "My greatest wish is that I recover and that I may be able to use my left arm again."
Kabeireho is a police officer from Uganda. Kabeireho is married and a father to seven children. He has two daughters who have completed school and are working as hotel attendants but are not yet married. His other five children are all still in school. He is the sole provider for his family because his wife is a homemaker. One year ago, Kabeireho developed an inguinal and umbilical hernia. This condition causes him pain and discomfort and it is affecting his ability to carry out his work. Fortunately, on July 14, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $230 to fund Kabeireho's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Kabeireho shared, “I hope to be relieved from pain and have restored health to continue with my work effectively after I have fully recovered.”