Tom joined Watsi on April 7th, 2014. Three months ago, Tom joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Tom's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Francis, a hardworking man from Kenya, to fund fracture surgery so he can walk and work again.
Tom has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 12 countries.
Tom has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 12 countries.
Francis is 27-year-old man who is married and they have one child. He drives whenever he can get work and his wife runs a small kiosk (a temporary roadside shop) that helps to sustain their young family. Francis shared that he's feeling horrible because he had just married when an accident occurred, and now he has to depend on his wife. Francis remembers 15th May 2018 as if it was yesterday. It is a day he says he saw death but says he thanks God he is still alive. Francis worked as a driver who was employed when he could get work. He drives sand lorries, all the drivers wait in one field where lorries are packed and wait for their opportunity to work. Then when the opportunity comes, the driver goes to get sand about 30 kilometres away from his home area. It is in one of these trips that Francis was driving a lorry full of sand and had a head-on collision with a trailer. He was taken to a hospital and a fracture repair procedure was done. But last November Francis started having pain and an inability to walk with this leg. He went to a nearby hospital where an x-ray was done and showed dislodged plates. He was told to give it time to heal but seeing no difference decided to come to Nazareth Hospital where the surgeon advises he undergo a fracture repair to finally heal his condition. On July 26th, Francis will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Francis will no longer be in pain, he will be able to work and provide for his young family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “It is very frustrating to marry and be unable to support your family. This accident changed what plans I had for my new family. Now I cannot meet the cost but I plead for help so that I can be able to use my leg and resume my job,” said Francis.
Tina is a 39-year-old mango farmer. He's proudly married with three sons who are all in school. Since Phnom Penh has been on a COVID lockdown for a month, he has been unable to travel to sell his mangos, so he is currently staying at home with his family. Two years ago, Tina developed a pterygium in his left eye, causing him itchiness and tearing. 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. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside. When Tina learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled there seeking treatment. Tina needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The procedure is scheduled for May 4th, and the total cost of his procedure is $216. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. Tina shared, "I hope after surgery my eye's irritation stops and when I return to work I am feeling well."
Marilyn is a 10-month-old baby girl from a small town in Colombia. She lives with her mother, grandmother, three aunts and one uncle, who is a farmer. Marilyn has clubfoot, a condition in which her foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Marilyn's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel, where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 26th. Now, Clínica Noel is requesting $1,422 to fund Marilyn's life-changing procedure. After treatment, she will be able to start walking and running after her dreams as she grows. Her mother shared, "my biggest dream is for her to get well soon, to see her walking and running as a normal child, with no pain or anything."
Touch is an 53-year-old nurse with one son and three daughters. Touch used to work as a volunteer nurse in a health center but retired after her husband passed away. She enjoys listening to the news and the monks praying on the radio. Five years ago, Touch developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her photophobia, blurry vision, and itchiness. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. Surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and implant an intraocular lens in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly and perform daily activities again. Touch said, "I hope after surgery I can see better so I can help my daughter cook, do housework, and take care of myself well."
“I will be happy to see my health restored so that I can continue tending to my family and farm," Bampata told us as he shared his story. He is a married 71-year-old man and a father to 13 children. He practices small scale farming on his banana and coffee plantation and also raises cows for the family's daily needs. For three years, Bampata has had left inguinal swelling, but the pain has worsened over the past month. Due to the pain, he no longer tends to the farm and experiences pain when bending down or attempting to lift heavy loads. When Bampata visited our medical partner's care center, he was diagnosed with a left inguinal hernia and hernia repair surgery was recommended. Without treatment, Bampata will continue experiencing pain and there is a chance that the hernia could become strangulated. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $230 to fund Bampata's surgery. On April 20th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Once complete, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently.
Justine is a nine-year-old student and has a twin brother. They have two other siblings and Justine's mother is raising her children on her own. She sells mandazi by the roadside to make a living and provide for her family. For seven years, Justine has had an inguinal hernia. The hernia causes him pain and discomfort, and sometimes he cannot sleep. He has stopped going to school while he tries to seek treatment. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Justine to receive treatment. On May 12th, Justine will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $566 to fund Justine's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Justine’s mother shared, "I have always wanted to seek treatment for my son but due to financial challenges I have not been able to afford the treatment cost. If there is a chance for my son to have his condition corrected I would be very grateful."
Tushabomwe is a 50-year-old farmer. She completed primary school class seven when in school herself and is a mother of four children. Her firstborn is 31 years old, and her youngest child is 15 years old. Her children have all completed some school, but minimal financial support made it difficult for them to continue attending. Tushabomwe and her husband own a three-room semi-permanent house for shelter. During her free time, she enjoys singing in a choir. Three years ago, Tushabomwe began to experience troubling symptoms, including pain and difficulty breathing. She was diagnosed with a goitre. Tushabomwe needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Tushabomwe receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on February 10th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $293, and Tushabomwe and her family need your support. Tushabomwe shared, “Once I am in better health, I will rejoin my husband in small scale farming to be able to further develop and sustain our family.”
Simon is a ten-year-old boy and is the fifth of seven children. Simon and his siblings are being raised by their widowed mother. Though they do not have a farm, Simon's mother has received some support from their village church and has been able to start a small business of selling sugar, tea leaves, salt, and little snacks like doughnuts to be able to support and provide for her children. Recently, Simon was diagnosed with a bone condition called right valgus. During year seven at school, he fell ill from a bacterial infection and was bedridden for a long time. His mother tried to use traditional herbal medication which didn't help with the condition. Simon's infection continued to get worse, and as his mother began to worry he might die, the church helped to pay for medical treatment so he could recover fully. When he was strong enough to get out of bed and walk, his mother noticed his leg was not straight, but she thought it was because of the long period he had been in bed not walking. Over time, his leg has worsened, making walking difficult for him. As a result, Simon is unable to get around or attend to his normal daily activities with ease. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Simon. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 20th. Treatment will hopefully restore Simon's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Simon’s mother asks, "Please help my son."
Minea is 12-year-old 4th grade student. Her favorite subject in school is Khmer literature, and she hopes to be a teacher when she grows up. In her free time she enjoys exercising for good health, reading books, and watching cartoons on TV. She has one older sister; together they like to cook fried rice with chicken. Five years ago, Minea's spine curvature became noticeably worse at around 20 degrees. For a time she was using a back brace but it did not improve her condition in the long term. In recent months her scoliosis has advanced to a 45 degree angle. Her family is concerned that her condition will prohibit her from attending school and make her self conscious about her appearance. She has difficulty in sleeping, sitting, standing, or walking, and she feels uncomfortable with her appearance. Minea's mother said "I hope that the doctors will help my daughter improve her quality of life, and that she will be able to be happy and confident."
Oliva is a baby from Tanzania and is the first born child in her small family. Since Olivia’s mother is a stay-at-home mother and her father is a subsistence farmer, they are not able to afford Oliva’s needed treatment. Oliva 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, Oliva has been experiencing vomiting and irritability. Without treatment, Oliva will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Oliva that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 11th and will drain the excess fluid from Oliva's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Oliva will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Oliva’s mother says, “After my daughter had her VPS shunt placed earlier she got better but due to her shunt having failed her head is increasing and she is having fevers and vomiting a lot. Please help my daughter."
Mbegesi is nine-year-old student from Tanzania and the second born in a family if three children. His parents are small-scale farmers with very limited income. Mbegesi 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, Mbegesi traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Mbegesi's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Mbegesi’s father says, “His age mates are ahead in school. I would love to see him be able to walk like other normal children and be able to study with ease."
Immaculate is fast asleep on her mother’s lap. She was woken quite early to come to the hospital. A little bump, almost invisible, sits on her fontanel. Following results from CT scan, little Immaculate has been diagnosed with a dermoid cyst, a sac-like growth, that is present at birth and a craniotomy surgery is recommended. According to the doctor, the cyst sits on a very sensitive vein and if it ruptures Immaculate risks death. Surgery to close it will minimize such risks especially as she grows older, is more active, and playing with children who may accidentally hit the bump and cause the rupture. Immaculate lives with her parents and siblings in a one-room house in Central Kenya. The surgery is a cost that Immaculate’s parents cannot bear. They both are employed casually in a neighbor’s farm with an irregular daily wage of around Kes200 each. Immaculate’s elder brother is a student in class one and doing fine. With a very menial income, they are not able to raise the funds needed. “I will be glad if we get help,” says Immaculate’s mother.