Ondrej joined Watsi on September 26th, 2017. Two years ago, Ondrej joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ondrej's most recent donation traveled 3,500 miles to support Rhophence, a mother of 4 children from Kenya, to remove a mandibular mass.
Ondrej has funded healthcare for 49 patients in 10 countries.
Ondrej has funded healthcare for 49 patients in 10 countries.
Rhophence is struggling to speak when we meet her. She cannot pronounce words clearly or eat regularly due to a mandibular mass. She was diagnosed with Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia, which is also causing her teeth to loosen on the affected area. She is scheduled for a 10-hour surgery at our Medical Partner's Care Center Kijabe Hospital. Her chronic mandibular swelling started back in October 2020 as a small swelling and has gradually increased in size, so Rhophence was forced to visit the hospital. She was treated for pain in their local health centre and discharged home. But, the swelling worsened and Rhophence opted to visit Kijabe in May 2021. Several tests revealed the Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia diagnosis and surgery was recommended. She does not have the funds for the various procedures to relieve her pain. She is a single mother of four children aged between 30 and 18 years. She comes from a remote village along the Kenyan coast. She is currently jobless with no source of income and stays with her younger brother who she depends on for survival. The surgery is estimated to cost about $4,500. She has active national health insurance coverage that has only approved $2,000. She is unable to raise the remaining amount. She fundraised money for travel fare to come to Kijabe and she is now being hosted in the local centre by a relative. Rhophence shared, "This swelling is so painful. My mouth is deformed and I cannot even speak clearly. It’s sadly starting to give a bad odour making people close to me uncomfortable. This is affecting my life. I need these surgeries to normalize my life.”
Wit is a four-year-old boy who lives with his parents in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Wit goes to junior kindergarten, while his parents own a small shop in the camp. In his free time, he enjoys drawing and coloring. He's also already really interested in fixing and building things. Since he was a year old, Wit has had an inguinal hernia. The hernia causes him pain in his scrotum and in his stomach. Due to the pain, he cannot run and play with his friends and he sometimes he misses school. To control the pain, he takes pain medication three times a day. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Wit to receive treatment. On June 1st, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once completed, the procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Wit's surgery. Wit's mother shared, "he tells me he wants to become a doctor [in the future], but he also says that he wants to become a mechanic or a builder. He will ask me to buy him tools and things to fix. He will try to fix his [father’s] motorcycle and bicycle.”
Robson is a friendly and calm baby. He is the youngest sibling of the family, and they all live in an urban settlement in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. Robson's mother takes care of their family and home while his father used to be a cook, but was laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While his mother was outside washing clothes, Robson was in his grandmother’s grass-thatched house in their village. Suddenly, a mattress caught fire, causing burns on Robson's face and fingers. The burns led to contractures on the fingers, so that Robson is unable to hold things and use his fingers well. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is helping Robson receive treatment. On July 17th, surgeons from the care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. Now, AMH is requesting $840 to help fund this procedure. “I hope and pray that with the assistance accorded to my son, he will be able to hold things and start crawling with support as he learns to walk,” Robson’s mother told us.
Enock is a talkative 16-year-old student and the fourth child in a family of five. He just completed his primary school education and he is currently waiting to begin his secondary studies in July. His parents are farmers in his village where they plant maize and beans in their small farm for their family to eat. His elder siblings did not finish school due to insufficient finances at home to proceed with their education. His father has epilepsy and this has affected the family's daily activities and general production of resources for the family. They don’t have a permanent house but live in a mud house with grass as its roof. Two days ago, Enock went to get medical assistance after falling from a tree while he was cutting down tree branches. He had pain in his left hand and doctors observed that he had a left distal humerus comminuted fracture. Because he had so much pain, Enock was admitted to receive pain medications. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help him to fully heal. On May 25th, Enock will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Enock will be free from the pain, he will be able to use his hand again, and resume school and helping out at home. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Enock says, “My hope is to get treated, and be well again.”
Kayiok is a 33-year-old father from Kenya. He has four kids aged between 7 and 11 years of age. He is the sole breadwinner for his family, selling cattle in the markets around Narok to make an income. For the last three years, Kayiok has struggled with stomach pains and prolonged upsets that give him sleepless nights. It started off as a small pain in his stomach area that gradually worsened. He visited several facilities in his home area, which treated him for gastritis. The treatments were only occasionally effective at reducing the pain. In the last three months, Kayiok's condition has significantly worsened. He started having more pain in the right upper and lower quadrant of his epigastric region, with associated heartburn. The pains worsen when he is hungry, with slight relief after eating. He mainly eats porridge and milk, because his heartburn is worse with solid foods. When he came to the hospital on February 12th, doctors conducted several tests and diagnosed him with a duodenal ulcer. He needs to undergo an urgent laparotomy and gastrojejunostomy surgery to ease his stomach pains and distress. Unfortunately, Kayiok cannot afford the cost of his care. He does not have medical insurance coverage and has been paying for his medical bills with cash. Several trips to different health facilities for the last three months have depleted his small savings. He currently relies on well-wishers to buy medication. Kayiok is unable to afford the surgery and is requesting financial help. Kayiok will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo a curative laparotomy on April 23rd. African Mission Healthcare is requesting $616 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Once recovered, he will be free of pain and will be able to eat normally and go about his daily life activities as he used to. Kayiok shared, “I have been struggling with this stomach problem for years now. I have even lost a lot of weight and my condition is worsening. I need this surgery to get well.”
Salim is an 18-year-old student and the oldest in a family of two children, with a younger sister who is seven years old. His mother hawks mandazi (fried dough) for a living and sometimes sells cosmetics to supplement the family's income. Their family lives together in a single room. Salim has profound hearing loss in his right ear and severe sensorineural hearing loss in his left ear. When he was two years old, Salim's mother discovered that he was unable to speak well and that he had a small wound on his right ear. Salim has visited several healthcare facilities through the years for treatment and speech therapy, but he still has difficulty hearing and communicating. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Salim to get a hearing aid for his left ear. He is scheduled to receive his treatment and be fitted for the hearing aid on March 23rd. Now, his family needs help raising $748 to fund the cost of this care and device. Salim's mother shared, “his hearing condition and speech problem are affecting his studies, and he is always sad and secluded. He is suspicious and scared of making friends. He needs this hearing aid to hear his teachers in school.”
Uzima is a two-year-old boy from Tanzania and the second born in a family of three children. Uzima comes from a family that is living in hardship. His father has had health issues and is not strong enough to work on a farm, but he takes cattle out to graze, and through this, he is able to get milk or a bit of maize as payment. Uzima's mother works on farms to support her family. Uzima 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, Uzima traveled to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Uzima's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes well. Uzima’s uncle shared, “my nephew suffers from this condition, and life is hard at their home. His parents have no means of treating him and I am afraid life is going to be really hard for him if he lives with this disability. Please help treat him so that he is able to grow up and take care of himself.”
Lewis is a playful and social 11-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the sixth born in a family of eight children, and is brother to Jonah, another Watsi patient. When he's older, Jonah aspires to be in the special forces as a military officer in the future. His mother is a single parent and used to be a farmer, but currently stays at home to take care of her children. She recently underwent an amputation on her leg after suffering from diabetes. Lewis had clubfoot of both his feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Lewis traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons healed one foot with support from Watsi and now will perform his other clubfoot repair surgery on January 25th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Lewis's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk and play with his brother more easily. Rosaria, Lewis' mother shared, “We are grateful that Watsi is helping my two sons undergo surgery. We have seen a lot of impact on their feet. Previously, they used to complain of pain while walking and they like playing a lot. We plead for more support to ensure that their feet can be able to step on the ground and walk like other children. God bless you."
Horn is a 55-year-old father of four. He has been married for 33 years and together they have one son, three daughters, and seven grandchildren. Horn's wife is also a farmer. In his free time Horn enjoys doing exercises, taking care of his grandchildren, and doing house work. When he was young Horn fell off a truck and never saw a doctor after the accident. Over time, his right hip pain worsened and Khmer traditional medicine treatments did not improve his condition. When Horn arrived at our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), doctors noted his leg lengths are unequal and his right leg has limited range of motion. He cannot walk and is in pain. Fortunately, at CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Horn of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for December 24th, and Horn needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Horn said, "I hope I can finally walk again after surgery so I can work without pain and support my family."
Pamela is wheeled into the consultation room wincing in pain. She briefly smiles but gets back to a serious face. Pamela is a widow whose husband passed away in 1993. After his passing, family conflicts forced her to move from their home village in Migori and settle in a crowded, more run-down neighborhood near Eastleigh. She used to work as a tailor but, after she needed a wheelchair in 2011, she has been unable to work. Pamela lives in a single room tin-roofed house and the local church helps to support her rent. She doesn’t have an ID so it has been hard for her to access local services such as medical support. Pamela told us that she has been relying on well-wishers and their local church for survival and her closest relatives live in Migori and rarely are able to offer her support. Pamela arrived to the hospital with bladder calculus with recurrent UTI that requires an urgent cystolithotomy, a curative laparotomy procedure, to aid relieve her stomach pains that have been recurrent for many years now. According to her neighbors who brought her to the facility, she had been in severe pain the whole night, and the medicine that she received from a nearby dispensary were not helping her. Pamela has been through a lot medically and socially. In late 2011, she suffered from TB of her spine and underwent spinal surgery. She has been using a wheelchair since then. In mid-2017, her stomach pains started and in November 2019, she underwent several tests and was booked for surgery at a hospital. She didn’t have funds so she went back home and continued managing her pains with pain medication. Upon hearing about Watsi's Medical Partner Kijabe Hospital, she came hoping for treatment. On November 7th this year, she was reviewed by the doctors and several tests were done which revealed her condition and need for surgery. She was discharged home and booked for a follow up appointment and possible surgery next week (November 23rd) but because of the pains, she was rushed back to the hospital. Pamela shared with us, “This is my only option to get rid of the pains. I have tried several medications but they are not working. I really need assistance to get this surgery. “
Ezra is a 28-year-old man from Kabomo Village, Kenya. He works as a labourer in his village. Ezra is a very talkative and energetic person. Earlier in October, Ezra fell into a ditch and sustained a severe fracture on his right lower leg. He could not lift his leg and was in great pain. Ezra was taken to the nearest health centre, where a cast was placed and he was referred to our medical partner's facility for orthopedic review. On arrival at Kapsowar Hospital, Ezra was reviewed and sent for an x-ray which revealed a right tibia plateau fracture that required surgery. However, he did not have money to pay the necessary deposit to have the surgery. Because he was in pain and his leg was swelling abnormally, Ezra was admitted to elevate his limb and avoid any complications that may arise due to his fracture. Twelve days later, Ezra has been deemed fit for surgery, but the family has not raised the required amount to proceed for surgery. Due to his injury, Ezra is not able to continue working to raise money for his procedure. He dropped out of school in 8th grade due to his family's financial struggles, and as such works many causal jobs to meet his daily needs. Ezra is a young, hardworking man and is very optimistic of a better future. So far, he has raised 20,000 Kenyan shillings, and is appealing for financial support for his surgery so that he can have a good outcome. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 23rd, Ezra will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow Ezra to ambulate with ease and reduce chances of future complications. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund his procedure. Ezra shared, “It hasn't been easy for me since I fractured my leg. This situation has weighed heavily on me because there’s no one to help me out. My hope is to receive treatment, get out of the hospital bed and walk again.”
Immanuel is a 2-year-old child from Kenya and the last born in a family of four. His parents are both casual laborers who earn an average of $3 per day. His mother washes clothes while his father works in construction sites where they earn a daily wage. Immanuel’s parent’s income is inconsistent since they depend on the availability of work. In mid-June this year, Immanuel was playing in the kitchen as his mother prepared supper for the family. He dipped his left hand into a boiling pot of potatoes when his mother stepped out to fetch more firewood for the broth. He let out a loud scream which made his mother rush back to the kitchen only to find him burnt and in pain. Immanuel suffered burns on his chest and left arm. He is not healing well and he is prone to infection. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Immanuel receive treatment. On September 21st, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure. This treatment will help clean his wounds and cover them with skin so as to reduce the risk of infection and improve his healing. Now, Immanuel needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Immanuel's mother shared, “For over two months now we have tried to source help for my baby to get this needed treatment. Unfortunately, we have been unsuccessful. The wounds are refusing to heal and his elbow has become immobile and stiff. This might affect him now and in the future, if something is not done soon.”