Bonnie joined Watsi on January 8th, 2014. Five years ago, Bonnie joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Bonnie's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Thomas, a joyful and bright 9-year-old from Kenya, to fund mobility-restoring leg surgery so he can chase his big dreams.
Bonnie has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 11 countries.
Bonnie has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 11 countries.
We met Thomas, a 9-year-old jovial and social boy at Cure Hospital's Nyeri satellite clinic. He is the second born in a family of four children. His family hails from a village in Muranga County. Thomas is a third grade student and a very bright boy who aspires to be a pilot in the future. His mother is a small business lady while his father is a mason. Thomas lives with his grandmother. Thomas was born healthy, however at the age of three his grandmother noted an unusual bowing of his legs. He was taken to a hospital in Muranga, however, the condition has never improved and instead has continued to worsen. Fortunately our medical partner can help. Thomas is now scheduled to undergo surgery to heal his condition. The treatment will be impactful to him because he will be able to walk and play more easily. The severe pain he has been experiencing from straining when walking will be alleviated and he will be able to continue with his studies uninterrupted. We can't wait to see him flying in the skies one day! "I would request the hospital to help me undergo surgery so that my legs can be corrected and I can continue with my education," Thomas expressed.
Aljahnie is a four-year-old boy from the Philippines. He loves to play with toy cars, to sing nursery rhymes, and to listen to songs. His mother is a stay-at-home mom, and his father is a jeepney driver. Despite working hard, they are unable to finance his medical needs. Aljahnie was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Aljahnie is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on March 17th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to cover the total cost of Aljahnie's procedure and care. After his recovery, Aljahnie will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. "By the grace of God, and extra caution, we hope that his condition will be much better after this treatment. We are very grateful to World Surgical Foundation and WATSI for helping us," shared Aljahnie’s mother.
K is a 46-year-old homemaker from Burma. K lives with her husband, son and two daughters in a refugee camp. K and her husband are small scale vegetable farmers. K's eldest daughter is a nurse in the refugee camp's hospital, while her other daughter and son are students. In her free time, K enjoys cleaning her house and weaving traditional Karen shirts. K has a cataract in her left eye that causes blurred vision. K's challenged vision has prevented her from weaving, and causes her to walk slowly so she does not get injured. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to help fund K's lens replacement surgery on February 16th. After recovery, K will be able to see clearly again. K shared, "After surgery, when I can see again, I hope to go back to weaving and helping with all the household chores.”
Charity is a vegetable vendor from Kenya. She is married and a mother of three children who are all in school. Charity sells vegetables while her husband is a hawker. The income they get is only sufficient to meet their basic family needs. On the evening of January 11th 2022, Charity accidentally slipped and fell in her house. She sustained a fracture of the left femur which was then confirmed by an X-ray. She is in pain and unable to walk, and therefore not able to carry on with her normal activities. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center can help. On January 18th, Charity will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The procedure will help her walk, work, and take care of her family again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $998 to fund this procedure. "I am used to doing my own work and this accident has really affected my life. Our NHIF (National Health Insurance Fund) card has an issue and they can only help me after 28days, which I cannot bear to wait before being treated. I kindly request for help so that I can be well again to continue with my responsibilities” said Charity.
Erick works as a tout, earning a daily wage, which is inconsistent. His wife is a hawker selling second-hand clothes for a living. Their family lives in a single room rental house costing USD 17.74 per month. Given his health, Erick currently depends on his relatives and wife for support. Erick has been on and off to different medical facilities due to stomach distress. This has depleted his resources and affected his ability to work. Without medical insurance, he is not able to cover the surgical procedure he needs and pay family bills. Erick has been unwell for about two years. An MRI showed a large mass on his pancreas and he is now scheduled for laparotomy to help ease the discomfort and pain. Erick says, "I have failed to provide for my family due to this condition. We rely on my wife for survival but her income is low and not enough. I need this treatment to be able to work and support my family.”
Zaw lives with his mother, two sisters, two nephews, and two nieces in Mon State in Burma. His mother is retired, and his youngest niece and nephew go to school. His niece works as a betel nut cutter with his two sisters, while his nephew works as a day laborer. Zaw cannot work right now due to the pain in his foot. In his free time, he enjoys praying to Buddha and watching movies, which also helps him feel better. Around the end of September, Zaw developed pain in his left foot. A few weeks later, three of his toes turned black. Eventually, all of his toes, and his forefoot turned black too. When he went to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) a couple weeks ago, he was diagnosed with gangrene and was admitted to the hospital straight away. At first the doctor tried to treat him with oral medication, injections and physiotherapy exercises to increase the blood supply in his left foot. When this did not work, Zaw was told that the best option is to amputate his foot. Unable to pay for surgery, the doctor referred him to our partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing further treatment. Currently, Zaw is in a lot of pain. His left forefoot is black and swollen. As the pain is worse at night, he cannot sleep properly. He also has difficulty sleeping because he is worried about his foot and their financial situation. "Once I have recovered from surgery and I have received a prosthetic foot, I want to support my family and become a taxi driver," he said. "Thank you so much to the donors for supporting me. Every day I pray for them."
Michela is a 6-month-old baby from Haiti. Michela's family shared that she was born healthy and they are very worried about how to help her condition now since they have limited ability to pay for hospital costs. Michela has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. When Michela was two months old, her parents noticed Michela's head looked bigger that it should be. They have not known how to help without money for her care. Without treatment, Michela will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Fortunately, our medical partner, Project Medishare, is teaming up with Watsi to raise $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Michela at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat her hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on October 15th. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from Michela's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Michela will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Their family has been so sad but now are very happy that their baby will get the surgery that she needs. They shared, "Thank you Jesus! Bless this organization who is so good to us and bless Bernard Mevs Hospital and it's team."
Ar is a 28-year-old man who lives with his wife, three sons, and two daughters in a refugee camp. Originally from Burma, his family fled to Thailand 20 years ago due to civil war. His children attend school, except for his youngest daughter, who is not yet old enough. His wife is a homemaker and Ar works as a day laborer when work is available. Ar's family shared that, in addition to his day laborer pay, they receive a monthly cash card from The Border Consortium to purchase food in the refugee camp. Overall, the family's total monthly income is just enough to cover their basic needs. On September 2nd, Ar climbed a tamarind tree to pick tamarinds fruit. When the branch he was standing on suddenly broke, he fell and landed on his right arm and experienced pain in his back. He visited the camp hospital that day, and the medic initially determined that his arm was not broken. Due to recent positive COVID-19 cases in the refugee camp, Ar could not be immediately referred to the local hospital for further testing and was kept for observation at the camp hospital. When the pain in Ar's back and arm did not subside the next day, the medic referred Ar to the local hospital. After receiving a negative COVID-19 test, Ar was finally able to visit the hospital on September 6th, where he received an X-ray for his arm and a blood test for a second COVID-19 test. The X-ray revealed that his upper right arm is broken. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ar will undergo surgery on September 8th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will enable Ar to continue working in the future. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Ar shared, "I am scared to receive surgery. But I was told that I will not be able to work using my right arm if I do not receive surgery, so I gave my consent to the doctor. I hope that I will be able to work again after I receive treatment."
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.”
Chhorn is a 45-year-old food seller. He's married and has two sons and one daughter. Chhorn and his wife rent a small stall at the market where they sell food. Chhorn loves being a dad and on the weekends he enjoys talking his children to the river and teaching them how to cook. Many years ago when he was only five, Chhorn had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Chhorn experiences ear discharge, hearing loss, and tinnitus. He is in pain and cannot communicate clearly with others. Chhorn traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 15th, he will finally undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Chhorn said, "I hope that my hearing will improve and the ear discharge will finally stop."
Lah is a 50-year-old woman from Thailand who lives with her husband and her daughter in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Lah is a homemaker, and her daughter is a middle school student. Her husband cannot work since he was in an accident six years ago. Her neighbor pays for her daughter’s school fees and in return, Lah shares vegetables that she grows with her neighbors. Her family receives about $35 per month on a cash card, but this income is not enough to cover their daily needs. In her free time, Lah loves praying at home and she enjoys going to church every Sunday. Starting from 2018, Lah has been experiencing dizziness, back pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, and lower abdomen pain every day. If she sits for a longer period of time, she has difficulty standing up due to the back pain. Lah cannot walk longer distances because of the pain in her lower abdomen and back. Lah has been diagnosed with myoma uteri, and is advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy. If left untreated, Lah's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Lah is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on June 16th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once she is fully recovered, Lah will no longer experience pain in her back and abdomen and will be able to sit and walk without difficulty. Lah said, “I am so happy that my condition is treatable. I will be able to live with my family for a longer time. Now that I know donors may help pay for my treatment, I would like to thank them in advance for helping me. I want to live long, and look after my daughter and my husband. I prayed and God has answered my prayers, so I am very thankful to God and your organization who helped find donors for me.”
“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.