Jennifer joined Watsi on September 17th, 2015. Five years ago, Jennifer became the 1480th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,946 more people have become monthly donors! Jennifer's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Hellen, a farmer from Kenya, to fund fibroids treatment.
Jennifer has funded healthcare for 61 patients in 9 countries.
Hellen is a farmer from Kenya. Hellen, accompanied by her youngest daughter, looks uneasy but confident as she met with our local Watsi rep. She shared a smile as we approached her but occasionally frowns and gets lost in thoughts. She has symptomatic fibroids which have been causing her excessive bleeding since 2015. Doctors recommended a Total Abdominal Hysterectomy-TAH to help stop the prolonged bleeding and relieve her of stomach aches and discomfort. Hellen's problem started in early February 2015 when she began experiencing stomach aches and bleeding. She visited a nearby health centre and was treated for suspected ulcers and stomach pains. Although her pains and the discharges kept recurring, she never visited the hospital but was managing the condition with medication from a nearby pharmacy. However, in November 2016 her condition worsened and she was forced to visit a bigger hospital. After a series of tests and visits to the facility, doctors recommended myomectomy. At the time Hellen was taking care of two of her family members, her husband who succumbed to prostate cancer, and a son who has epilepsy. Due to financial constraints, she was unable to get the surgery done and opted not to seek medical attention. After a while, her daughter mobilized resources from friends and relatives and opted to bring her to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital for medical attention. The OBS/GYN team recommended a TAH, of which she is unable to fully cover the cost. She was recently widowed after her husband and the father to her 4 children passed on as a result of his cancer. Her second-born child is suffering from epilepsy and has been in and out of the hospital depleting their family's already limited resources. She shared that her kids have been supportive but bills for her husband and his subsequent burial have forced them to seek help from well-wishers and relatives. Her National Health Insurance has not been approved for the procedure. Hellen lives in a one-acre piece of land in Embu where they practice small scale farming for home use. She was a housewife who relies on her children since her husband who was the breadwinner passed on. She is unable to pay for the cost of the surgery and treatment and hereby requests for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $794 to fund Hellen's surgery. On September 24th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Hellen will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Hellen says, “I have lived with pain and bleeding for a long time. I sacrificed the family resources to treat my husband and child. I need help to at least put this pain to a stop.”
Zin Oo is a 36-year-old man who lives with his mother, younger sister, and his seven-year-old son in Mawlamyine, Burma. He is an assistant truck driver and he earns 4,000 kyat (approx. 4 USD) per day. Since the outbreak of CVOID-19, there is less work and he is only able to earn 64,000 kyat (approx. 64 USD) in a month. Zin Oo's son goes to primary school and his wife passed away last year. His mother goes house to house to see if anyone would hire her to wash their clothes. His younger sister lost her job at the factory after the outbreak of COVID-19 in Yangon. Since April, she looks after the household chores and she also works as a day laborer when she can find work. Zin Oo’s combined household income of 124,000 kyat (approx. 150 USD) in a month is just enough for their daily expenses and they cannot afford to pay the costs of basic healthcare. On August 3rd, Zin Oo was cutting firewood with an axe. While cutting the logs, his aim was off and he hit his fingers on his right hand against the log. His fingers became swollen and red after the accident, especially his small and index fingers. Without enough money to go to the hospital, Zin Oo bought traditional medicine and applied it to his fingers. He felt like his middle and ring fingers healed but his small and index fingers became more swollen and painful. Eventually when he noticed pus on his fingers, he told his friend about his problem and his friend suggested he go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where treatment often cost less than other hospitals. At MLCH, the doctor completed a detailed assessment of his right hand and diagnosed him with cellulitis, a serious bacterial skin infection. The doctor told him that because of poor blood supply, he would need to amputate his small finger and probably his index finger as well. When Zin Oo told the doctor that he does not have any money to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing treatment. Currently, the fingers on Zin Oo’s right hand are red, swollen, and warm to the touch. His fingers hurt a lot, especially his small and index finger. He cannot sleep at night without taking pain medication. He is not able to eat food with his right hand and he feels uncomfortable eating with his left hand since he is right-handed. Aside from this, Zin Oo feels stressed about his condition. He cannot work and his mother has to help look after him since he was admitted at the hospital. His mother then has no income while he receives treatment. They are worried that they will not have enough money for food and for Zin Oo’s treatment. In the future, Zin Oo wants to work as a truck driver to earn money for his family. Once he has fully recovered, he will accept any work he can find as he looks for a job as a truck driver. Zin Oo’s younger sister shared with us, “Now, I have to take care of my nephew while my mother accompanies my brother [Zin Oo] at the hospital. I cannot work and our family is worried about money. We owe our neighbor 50,000 kyat [approx. 50 USD] and we have to pay it back with 20% interest.”
Ohmar is a 36-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and two children in a town along the Thai-Burma border. On July 4th, Ohmar was trying to cross the highway to go to a grocery store. She was on her bike on the side of the road when a car sped past, causing her to fall off her bike and land on top of her right arm. A man who saw her fall put turmeric powder on her injured arm and wrapped it in a cloth. But Ohmar did not go to Mae Tao Clinic right away because she did not have enough money. She was only able to seek treatment two days after the accident. Now, Ohnmar's she is in pain, her right arm cannot be extended and her fingers are also swollen. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ohmar will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 16th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help make Ohnmar's right arm become functional again and she will no longer be in pain. "I am happy that I can have surgery with the support of the Burma Children Medical Fund and Watsi donors. I have to look after my two children so I need to be strong for them," shared Ohmar.
Alex is a 22-month-old boy from Tanzania. He is the youngest of two children. His parents depend entirely on small-scale farming for a living. Alex’s father decided to travel to neighboring Kenya to seek small jobs in order to supplement the little harvest they are able to currently get from their farm. Alex was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Alex is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,063 to cover the cost of Alex's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 15th. This procedure will hopefully protect Alex from the risks associated with his condition, allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Alex's mother says, “I will be very happy to see my son walk by himself like his sibling. Please help us as the cost is too high for us to afford."
Samwel is a 14-month baby boy from Tanzania, the third born in a family of three children. He was born healthy but after one week his parents started noticing that his head was growing significantly. They took him to several hospitals where he was given medication but his condition was worsening. They were referred to another hospital in another city where Samwel was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and a VP Shunt was placed for him when he was three months old. He was discharged home doing well until a week ago when he started getting regular fevers. His mother noticed that there was a wound on his stomach and they could see the tube that was placed when he was three months old. Samwel’s father heard about treatment for children with hydrocephalus at Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center ALMC from our outreach team and when his son got sick he reached out for treatment and support. Samwel’s father is a subsistence farmer and his mother is a housewife. They do not earn enough to be able to afford Samwel’s needed treatment. Samwel has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Samwel has been experiencing increased head circumference and frequent fevers. Without treatment, Samwel will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,362 to cover the cost of surgery for Samwel that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 13th and will drain the excess fluid from Samwel's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Samwel will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Samwel's father says, "I have been to several places for my son's treatment, right now I cannot afford this other surgery he needs. Please help him get this needed treatment."
Lazaru was diagnosed with an anorectal malformation a day after birth. This is a condition where Lazaru was born without an anal opening. While changing his diapers, his mother noticed that Lazaru had not passed stool since he was born. His abdomen was distended and he was quite irritable. A closer look confirmed that their son lacked an anal opening. This was unheard of and discreetly, his parents rushed him to the nearest hospital. Lazaru was further referred and a colostomy put in place when he was three days old. A second surgery would be needed later on to create an anal opening. The funds they had were exhausted and thus could not afford to pay for the subsequent surgery. A previous Watsi beneficiary from their village advised them to visit BethanyKids Hospital where they could get assistance. With hopes high, they set out. The creation of an anal opening is needed without which, Lazaru risks scarring at the colostomy site due to occasional leakages and infection. Lazaru lives with his parents and elder brother in a one-room traditional house in the Rift Valley region of Kenya. His parents are subsistence farmers and own a few goats. His family was also advised to apply for national health insurance to support future needs, which they did not know was possible. They are appealing for help towards their son’s surgical care. “A friend told us that we would get help from here and we are happy even for the warm reception,” says Lazaru’s mother.
Lewis is a playful and social student from Kenya. Lewis is the brother to Jonah, who also needs clubfoot repair, and is the 6th born in a family of 8 children. He aspires to be in the Special Forces as a Military Officer in future. The family hails from Iteria village in Meru County. His single mother used to be farmer but she currently stays at home. She recently underwent an amputation on her leg after suffering from diabetes. Lewis has clubfoot of both of 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 will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Lewis's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk well and no longer be in pain. “We request your support. I cannot be able to raise the estimated bill. Please help,” Lewis’s mother pleaded with us.
Victor is a child from Kenya. Victor is the second born in a family of two. His mother is a stay-at-home mom while his father is a motorbike taxi rider. Victor was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Victor has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Victor will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on November 28. AMHF is requesting $542 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care.
Neath is a ten year old girl from Cambodia. She has two older brothers, an older sister, and she loves to drink soy milk and eat fried chicken. When she is not studying, her favorite pastimes are reading books, watching television, and going for walks with her friends. Neath was born with congenital scoliosis. She has undergone several treatments in the past to correct her spine as she grows, and a growing rod was placed along her spine to assist with alignment. However, the rod has to be realigned to ensure successful treatment and outcomes for Neath. Surgery will ensure that Neath can grow up without any difficulty and discomfort. "I hope that my daughter's surgery will go well and that she will recover after her surgery." -Neath's Mother
Shwe Win is a 39-year-old man who lives with wife, two daughters, and two sons in Yangon, Burma. Shwe Win used to work as a civil engineer but is currently unemployed. His wife is a teacher and all of his children go to school. Their monthly household income is enough to pay for their expenses and basic health care, but they have to use their savings to pay for all the children’s school fees. In the beginning of 2018, Shwe Win developed severe pain in his waist and back. He went to a local hospital to see a doctor, who ordered an ultrasound, x-rays, a blood test and a urine test. After checking his results, the doctor told him that he has a stone in his left kidney. He was given an injection, and the doctor told him that he would need to be admitted at a hospital to have the stone broken up surgically. Afterwards, Shwe Win would be in pain anytime he lifted anything heavy or sat for longer than 30 minutes. Whenever the pain became unbearable, he would take painkillers. In June 2019, he decided to join a rehabilitation program run by Christian Youth. When he finished the program, he developed severe pain again. This time, neither the painkillers nor the injection worked. He was referred again to the hospital. There he was admitted for five days because he was in so much pain that he vomited and had difficulty breathing. While admitted, he received an ultrasound and was told that he now had stones in both of his kidneys. He would need to have treatment to break up the stones. "I feel thankful that I was able to meet Burma Children Medical Fund. If I hadn’t come here, I wouldn’t have pursued treatment because I don’t want to be a burden on my siblings nor my wife anymore,” shared Shwe Win.
Sarah has a cardiac condition called pulmonary atresia, in which one of the four valves of the heart is missing, and blood cannot adequately reach the lungs. Last year, she underwent a procedure called a cardiac catheterization to confirm that her condition can be fixed; now, she is ready to proceed with the surgery. Sarah lives with her parents and older brothers in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince; she likes playing with her cousins and her neighborhood friends. Sarah's mother said, "We know this is a very big surgery for Sarah but are hopeful that when it is done her heart will be normal."
Mee is a 53-years-old woman who lives with her husband and two daughters who are studying in grade nine and six at a local high school. Mee’s husband is a carpenter and she is a homemaker. Their income is not enough to cover their expenses. About ten years ago, Mee had joint pain and swollen knees. She went to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) where she received blood test and vital signs. The results showed Mee has hypertension as well as arthritis. She also found out that she has a goiter related problem. She received one month worth of medication for all three conditions. Since then, Mee went back to MTC every month for follow-up appointment and to received medication. After three years of taking medication, Mee was told that she does not need to take medication for goiter anymore. Up until now, Mee has been going back to the same clinic for regular medication for her goiter. Meanwhile, Mee feels like her goiter has grown bigger. One day, she happened to meet a health worker in her village who told her to go and seek treatment at MTC. So Mee, along with her friend, went to MTC. From there, she was told to go to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. Mee then went to MSH the following day and she received blood tests and an ultrasound. With the results, the doctor confirmed Mee has a goiter. He said Mee needs to undergo surgery because oral medication or injection would not decrease the size of her goiter. Currently, Mee cannot sleep well but she can eat well. Sometimes, when she carries heavy things, she feels pain in her neck.