Jonathan joined Watsi on December 1st, 2013. Seven years ago, Jonathan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jonathan's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Gebreegziabher, a brave teenager from Ethiopia, to fund surgery to finally heal his birth condition.
Jonathan has funded healthcare for 100 patients in 12 countries.
Jonathan has funded healthcare for 100 patients in 12 countries.
Gebreegziabher is a brave, young, and fun boy who loves to hangout with his friends. He loves to play chase and other games with his friends and brothers. He has five siblings and shared with us that he loves goats! Gebreegziabher never went to school because of his condition. He is a shepherd and helps to keep the sheep and goats of his parents. Because of his condition, he has endured bullying, but he continues to be brave and his dad shared: “He is so strong despite his sickness. When others pick on him and speak bad things about him and things related to his disease he even gets in to fights.” Gebreegziabher's mom and dad counsel him and comfort him and help him to bring out self-confidence and strength. His dad and his mom are farmers and his mom takes care of all the household chores. Dad said: “Our area is dry. We work hard and farm but the harvest is poor with lack of rain. We purchase food because our harvest is not enough to support the family.” They also raise animals to support themselves. The community survives with the dry land and the scarcity of food by donations from the government and NGOs. But the past two years they couldn’t get the donation since they are in the war zone. For these reasons they can’t afford the medical bill for their son. Gebreegziabher was born with congenital anomaly called bladder extrophy. That is an abnormally where the bladder is open to air. Given the pain and risk of infection, he just ties clothes around the wound. His mom is very much worried and concerned because of his condition. She shared that she has excluded herself from the community for years in taking care of him and raises him and recalls that when growing up, he would sit faraway from others and boys in his age. They keep up hope for better days ahead and are a loving family who support each other the best they can. His Dad said: “He learned to exclude himself from others growing up. We are sad as a family because of his condition. The neighbor insults us, discriminate us and we feel so sad about this. We couldn’t tell what will happen to him. And we bring him to God always.”
Meet Precious: a nine-year-old talkative girl who comes from a small village in Nandi County in Western Kenya. She's a bright third grade student who likes singing at home and at church. She is a second born in a family of two. Precious lives with her brother in their grandmothers’ house since their parents separated due to family conflicts. Precious' father is a casual laborer who works really hard to make ends meet. He is always determined to give what is best to his children and he now requests help so that his daughter can be well and be able to continue with her education without difficulty. Precious visited our medical partner's facility due to recurrent tonsillitis for more than a year. Medication has not improved her recurring infection and the medical team has recommended she undergo surgery to fully heal. With this treatment, Precious will finally have relief from her symptoms. Her family hopes she will be well and be able to concentrate in school and perform well once she is healthy. Precious' father shared, "I would like to see her well. I am motivated to work hard for my children to ensure they get a good education and prosper in life.”
Ann is a 33-year-old single mother with two children— a 14-year-old and a one-year-old. She works at building sites whenever she can get small jobs to support her family. She and her children live in a single-room rental home. In July 2021, Ann noticed a small lump on her neck that gradually grew more painful. She sought treatment at a local health facility and was diagnosed with a non-cancerous mass. The mass affects her breathing, along with her ability to eat, sleep, and work. She requires an urgent surgery called a CBT (carotid body tumor) excision. The procedure will help relieve her symptoms and prevent further tumor growth. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Ann receive treatment. On February 23rd, she will undergo mass excision surgery at AMH's care center. Now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. Ann shared, "my kids are my source of joy. They rely on me for everything and this sickness is making it so hard for me to take care of them."
Samuel is a hard working and handsome young 17-year-old. He is the second born in a family of four children. As his mother puts it, Samuel is a very obedient, hardworking, and kind boy. Samuel left high school after seeing how his mother was straining with his father being sick, so he started doing any casual work available to try and support his mother's efforts. Their family has encountered many challenges leaving Samuel's mother feeling helpless and frustrated. They shared that this is a hard moment for their family as Samuel's grandmother recently passed away and now Samuel has been in an accident. On January 15th, as Samuel was walking along the side of the road, a car hit him and the driver ran away. Samuel is experiencing pain from the fracture injury that resulted from the accident. If not treated, he may have malunion, where his leg may be permanently impacted and he may never be able to fully use his leg again. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 27th, Samuel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Following surgery, Samuel will no longer be in pain. His leg will heal and he will be able to walk. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I left school to assist my mother, and now this has happened. I feel very frustrated and hope someone can assist me so that as soon as I get well, I can start working again to support my mother and our family,” said Samuel looking very concerned.
Margaret's smile lights up the room. She is a 41-year-old small scale farmer who is married and has one child. Her husband worked as a taxi driver, but, unfortunately, he lost his job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Three years ago, Margaret began experiencing troubling symptoms including difficulty swallowing, throat soreness and voice changes. Over time, her symptoms worsened, so she visited a local hospital for further evaluation. She was diagnosed with a multinodular goiter, or an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. A thyroidectomy was recommended to treat her condition. If left untreated, the goiter will continue to grow, which could lead to troubling complications like difficulty breathing, heart problems, thyrotoxicosis, or trachea obstruction. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Margaret receive treatment. On December 28th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH's care center, where surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. Now, she and her family need help raising $657 to fund her procedure and care. Margaret shared, "this problem has affected my daily work and life for a long time, and now I worry I am becoming a bother even to my husband. I am therefore kindly asking for assistance to have this surgery so that I can regain my health."
Win is a 40-year-old man. He lives with his mother and step-father in Tak Province in Thailand. He used to work in a restaurant until his vision deteriorated and he could no longer work. His mother and his step-father are agricultural day labourers. The income they earn is not enough for their family and sometimes they make and sell charcoal to earn extra money. Win has cataracts in both his eyes but the doctor plans to do surgery on his right eye first. The vision in both his eyes are so poor that he can only perceive light. His mother has to help look after him, washing and feeding him since he cannot see well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Win. On November 9th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Win's natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. "I was so happy when I heard that I will be able to see again," he said. "I want to work once I can see again, so that I can repay our loan. I want to look after my mother and step-father in the future, and one day I want to become a [Buddhist] monk."
Naw Blut lives with her husband, toddler son, and parents in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. She is a homemaker, her parents are retired, and her husband works at the Water and Sanitation Department in the refugee camp. Their family's monthly income of 2,694 baht ($89.80 USD) is just enough to cover their daily needs as they currently have to buy formula milk for Naw Blut's toddler. Naw Blut has been receiving a antenatal care at the clinic at the refugee camp. Earlier this month, Naw Blut went for her follow-up appointment and since she was 37 weeks pregnant and had previously had an emergency C-section, she was told she would need to see a specialist about her delivery. The next day, staff from the organization that helps run the camp (Malteser International (MI) Thailand), brought her to Mae Sariang Hospital. After she met the doctor, the doctor said she could not give birth vaginally because of the status of her pregnancy and her last delivery. The team has scheduled her to undergo a c-section to safely delivery her baby. As Naw Blut cannot afford to pay for the procedure, MI staff referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for financial support.
Nehemia is a nine-year-old child from Tanzania and the fourth born in a family of five children. She is currently in kindergarten and she loves singing the vowels. Nehemia's parents keep livestock for a living and sell the milk. Once in a while, they also sell a goat to make additional money. Nehemia has clubfoot of her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Nehemia traveled to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), to receive treatment. On September 14th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Nehemia's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Nehemia’s father shared, "every day when she gets home from school she complains of pain and you can easily see she is trying not to put pressure on the foot due to fear of pain. Please help my daughter."
Fred is a motorbike delivery man from Kenya. He is the last born in a family of five. Fred recently got a job in Nairobi making deliveries using a motorbike. He has only been working for two months at his job. On average, he can make $4 a day. The single young man lives in an apartment costing $30 a month. He does not have active medical insurance coverage do to the cost. His parents are small-scale farmers who grow food crops for home-use on their half an acre piece of land in Kisii. Fred's parents rely on him for upkeep and income since not all his siblings have jobs. To save money, he had travelled to his ancestral home in Kisii (about 500 km from Nairobi) to visit his elderly parents using his work motorbike. He was involved in an accident along Maai Maihiu road while going back to Nairobi. A personal car was on the wrong side of the narrow road and unfortunately hit him. He was rushed to Kijabe Hospital as an emergency case and admitted right away. X-rays revealed that he has a midshaft fracture femur, distal fibular fracture, ulna styloid fracture, Scaphoid fracture, and fracture of his finger.. The Orthopedic team has recommended right femur and right distal tibia fracture repair surgery. He is currently unable to walk or use his right leg and arm. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 25th, Fred will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. He will be able to walk again and use his arm again Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Fred says, “I am young and have a life to lead, I cannot lose my leg. I recently started working with high hopes for my future and supporting my elderly parents. I also promised my brother to pay for his college fees. Sadly, I now cannot walk or use my legs”.
David is a nine-year-old boy who lives with his three sisters and one brother. His mother sells Khmer noodles at the market and his father works in construction. He shared that math and physics are his best subjects in school. When not in school, David enjoys playing with toys, playing football, watching TV, and reading books. Recently, David fell down the stairs and injured his left hip. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), diagnosed him with avascular necrosis at the hip, which means loss of blood supply to the bone. This condition causes David to have difficulty and pain when walking. Luckily, surgeons with perform a left hip bone osteotomy to relieve his pain and help prevent further damage. CSC is requesting $425 to fund this procedure. When asked about what the surgery means to him, David shared with us that he hopes to walk easily again and without pain.
James is former motorbike taxi driver from Kenya. He's married and is the father of two children 13 and 6 years old. James' wife is works part-time on a rice farm in their hometown. The family currently lives in a rental house paid for by their local church pastor. In November 2017, James was in a motorbike accident. Due to the accident, he lost his job, and he shared that his life became one revolving around experiencing pain and constant hospital visits. He underwent surgery on his broken leg in a nearby health facility in his hometown. Following the procedure he had a challenging recovery due to infections, causing him sleepless nights and visits to different healthcare facilities. James was finally referred to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital where he underwent several treatments in May. James returned home but later came back to the hospital with a wounded leg that was in bad shape with an exposed bone. The doctors originally admitted James for repair surgery, but determined he needed a below-knee amputation which took place in mid-June. James still experiences a lot of pain, so the surgeon recommend he undergo another round of intense debridement in the amputated area to remove his damaged tissue and help him to finally heal. James has national health insurance, which supported his two major surgeries, but his coverage has been depleted and will not support the care he needs now. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping James receive treatment. On June 25th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to prevent the spread of infection and speed up his recovery. Now, James needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. James wishes to be free from pain, “I, unfortunately, lost my leg due to a sudden amputation, and I am still in shock. I will never be able to use both legs again. I am still in a lot of pain and the wound needs another procedure for me to be well. I need to get out of the hospital and figure out how to take care of my family with my current condition.”
Saray is a 16-year-old student who with his mother and his five older siblings. His father passed away a few years ago. His mother and older brothers work as farmers. When he is not at school, Saray likes to help with household chores or go for walks with one of his brothers. About five years ago, Saray 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, Saray experiences pain, hearing loss, tinnitus and ear discharge. It is difficult for Saray to hear his family members, listen to the teacher at school, and in the past few months he has had to take time away from school. Saray traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 25th, 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 medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Saray said, "I hope that this ear pain will be gone after surgery. I want to hear well at school and also listen to music on the radio when I am at home."