Amy joined Watsi on February 14th, 2016. Four years ago, Amy became the 1790th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,682 more people have become monthly donors! Amy's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Gift, a 5-year-old from Kenya, to fund clubfoot treatment.
Amy has funded healthcare for 56 patients in 12 countries.
Gift is a young child from Kenya--a playful and lively boy. His mother told us that he likes reading and playing with other kids. Gift is the last born in his family that hails from Mathare neighborhood in Nairobi County. His mother does casual jobs of washing clothes and cleaning. His father passed on two years ago after an accident. The family lives in a one-roomed ironsheet house in Mathare. Gift has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Gift traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 14th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Gift's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. “I am appealing to people of goodwill to help my son undergo surgery so that he can be able to walk like other children. God bless you," his mother told us.
Min lives with his wife, son, and daughter in a village in Tak Province, Thailand. He moved from Burma to Thailand nine months ago in search of better job opportunities. His daughter is still too young to go to school and his wife and son work as day laborers on a farm, each earning 150 baht (approx. 5 USD) per day. Min had to stop working with his wife and son three months ago because of his condition. Their monthly household income of 3,000 baht (approx. 100 USD) is not enough to cover their daily expenses. Sometimes, they have to borrow money from their relatives to meet their basic needs. Four years ago, Min used to work as a construction worker in Bangkok. One day, he started to experience pain in the left side of his abdomen. He went to a clinic twice and was diagnosed with a kidney stone in his left kidney after receiving an ultrasound. The doctor told him that he would need to undergo laser treatment at a hospital to break up the stone. The next day, Min went to a hospital in Bangkok. He received another ultrasound and underwent laser treatment which he did not have to pay for because he had health insurance at that time. When he returned for his follow-up appointment, he underwent another round of laser treatment, followed by more oral medications to take home. Min was not able to return to the hospital because his father passed away before his next appointment and he had to go back to Burma for the funeral. Before he had a chance to return to Bangkok, his mother also passed away. After spending money on the two funerals, Min did not have enough money to return to Bangkok. He moved back in with his wife and children and started working as a day laborer on a farm with his wife in their village. In May 2019, Min started experiencing pain again in his left lower abdomen. He would also pass small stones about twice a month while urinating. He went to a clinic where he received oral medication as well as an ultrasound. The doctor told him that he has a stone in his left kidney as well as small stones in his urethra. Min went back to the same clinic several times for his follow-up appointments, where he received oral medication each time for his abdominal pain. By September 2019, he was feeling much better and was no longer in pain. He was also no longer passing stones when urinating. Min then stopped going back to the clinic and stopped taking medication. Later in December 2019, Min and his family moved to their current home in Thailand and in May 2020, the pain in Min’s lower abdomen returned. He has pain when urinating and has started to pass small stones again about every two weeks. He went to a local hospital in the beginning of May with his wife, and he received an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that he now has stones in both of his kidneys in addition to a bladder stone. The doctor referred him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for treatment, but his family was not able to afford the estimated cost so he returned home. At home, Min told his friend about his condition and his lack of funds to pay for it. His friend told him to seek help at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) and with Watsi's Medical Parter Burma Children Medical Fund. Surgery is now scheduled for August 14th. Min shared, “I had to sell my phone to pay for my treatment [the ultrasounds and oral medications] and my transportation when I sought treatment. For the past few days, we don’t have enough rice and we also don’t have any money to buy more food. So we have to eat rice porridge. I feel so sad for my family.”
Vin is a five-year-old child from Cambodia. She is the oldest of three children. Her mother works in a factory, and her father is a farmer. She has not yet started school but she loves to paint at home and help her mother cook. She also helps taking care of her younger siblings. Since birth, Vin has had nevus, or mole, on her cheek. It has grown larger as time has passed. As it grows bigger, it could start to cause further complications. She also experiences difficulty socializing with other children because of her condition. When Vin's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, they traveled for four hours seeking treatment. On July 9th, surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre will perform a skin flap procedure to to replace the skin of the nevus with healthy skin. Now, she needs help to fund this $657 procedure. Vin's mother shared, "I hope that after this surgery, she will look healthy and normal, and will not have any more problems."
Joseph is a father of 9 children, now all grown up and working in small-scale businesses. He lives on his subsistence farm in Nakuru. Joseph started to experience hearing problem 20 years back but he could still hear with difficulties. The condition become severe about four years ago where he was forced to go to a provincial hospital. He was checked and the plan was to wash his ears. Since then he has been going for ear washing regularly when his family heard of our facility through the social media. This is when we had a free clinic for patients with a hearing problem. Joseph was diagnosed with mild to moderate-severe hearing loss. The plan is for him to have hearing aids for both ears so that he can return to a higher quality of life and independence. Currently, Joseph is not working due to his health and is fully depended on his children. He lives with his wife who is also elderly and can’t work either. "I will really appreciate if I can be able to hear clearly and communicate with my family," Joseph said.
Dane is the youngest child of her family, and her parents are rice farmers. Since she cannot spend much time outside, she enjoys painting, watching movies on TV, and listening to the stories her brothers read to her from their books. When she was born, Dane had scoliosis that is causing her spine to curve, affecting her ability to walk normally. Though she does not feel pain, she has difficulty moving around the house by herself, and she requires extra care from her family, who must also spend a lot of time working on their farm. Her mother is also worried about her confidence and independence as she gets older. After getting a recommendation from a neighbor, Dane's parents brought her directly to Watsi's Partner Children's Surgical Centre to get treatment. Doctors will perform spinal surgery to correct the curve of Dane's spine, allowing it to develop normally. After recovery, she will have increased mobility and normal posture. Her mother said, "I worried about my daughter's spine since she was born, but I know that when she gets surgery, her back will be stronger and she will be more confident."
Michael is a baby from Tanzania, and the last born child in a family of five. He is a jovial boy and happy most of the time. Michael’s father has been away to a different city working as night guard while the mother is a stay home wife looking after their five children. His father is able to send some little money every month to help support the family. Michael has clubfoot of his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Michael traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Michael's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk without difficulty. Michael’s mother says, “Please help correct my child's foot so that he can learn how to walk like other children.”
Sopheak is a 45-year-old grocery seller from Cambodia. She has three children, two sons and one daughter. She likes to listen to the radio, watch television, and look after her children. When she was young, Sopheak 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, Sopheak experiences ear discharge, tinnitus, and ear pain. She finds difficulty in hearing clearly, and she has trouble communicating with her family members and her customers. Sopheak traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 11th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right 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.
Sandra is an 11-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her parents in a city in northwest Haiti. She is in the fifth grade and especially likes reading and art. Sandra has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect and pulmonary hypertension. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart; she also has blood flowing through her lungs at much higher pressures than normal. Sandra will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On February 24th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will first perform a catheterization to make sure the high pressures in her lungs can be reversed. If the results of this procedure are positive, she will go on to have open-heart surgery in which doctors will close the hole in her heart with a patch. Sandra's family needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Sandra's family overseas. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for her surgery. Sandra shared, "I am looking forward to being able to walk to and from school without stopping to rest!"
Phors is a 22-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He has two older sisters and one older brother. In his free time, he likes to help feed the animals around the house and work on his family's farm. In September 2019, Phors fell off his motorcycle after a collision with another vehicle. He suffered injuries to his left arm but was unable to receive any initial treatment. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He is unable to move his arm and cannot work. Phors traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 10th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, will be able to use his arm again and can return to his work. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. "I hope that my left hand will regain function again and I can return to my work easily like before," he shared.
Jackson is an eighteen year old and the firstborn child in a family of six children in Tanzania. He never had a chance to go to school since his parents could not afford the cost of educating him. He is hardworking and helps his father in looking after their cattle and working on their farm. Jackson started having leg problems four years ago. Over the years his legs have curved inward making him struggle to walk and go through pain when he walks for a long distance. He can’t go too far with his father’s cattle or work on the farm. His father didn’t have the money to take him for a check-up in a hospital. They tried herbal medicines but none have helped to straighten his legs. When our outreach team visited their village they got to know about Jackson’s condition and referred him for treatment at our hospital. He has been diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus which need to be corrected surgically but his parents can’t afford the treatment cost. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Jackson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Jackson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Jackson says, “I will be so happy if I can get this treatment and be able to walk normally again without the difficulty I am going through.”
Jean is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and brothers in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He is in the eight grade, and before becoming sick he enjoyed playing soccer regularly. Jean has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral and aortic regurgitation. Two of the four valves of his heart were severely damaged by a rheumatic fever he suffered in childhood, and can no longer adequately pump blood through his body. Jean will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On October 28th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair his two damaged valves; if they are unable to do so, they will implant artificial replacements. Another organization, The Mitral Foundation, is contributing $7500 to pay for surgery. Jean'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 Jean's family overseas. Jean said, "I am very excited to have this chance to get my heart fixed!"
Samnang currently studies in sixth grade, and enjoys playing with his two sisters, reading books, and listening to music. Samnang was born with scoliosis. Since birth, the curvature in his spine has been slowly worsening over time. Today, he experiences pain when lying down, and difficulty walking, breathing, and sleeping. Surgery will remove the curve in Samnag's spine and realign the bones along his lower spine. Samnang will be able to breathe normally and walk and sleep without difficulty. He looks forward to returning to school and playing with his friends and siblings.