rachel joined Watsi on May 16th, 2017. Three years ago, rachel became the 2856th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 3,570 more people have become monthly donors! rachel's most recent donation supported Agnes, a mom-of-8 from Kenya, to fund ovarian tumor removal.
rachel has funded healthcare for 39 patients in 8 countries.
Agnes, a mother of eight children, arrived in our Watsi reps' office looking frail, drained, and in deep thought. She had given up getting medical attention and had requested her children to take her home before we intervened. She is mourning her husband who recently succumbed to cancer. Furthermore, doctors recently discovered she has a high-grade stromal tumor and requires surgery to remove the ovarian mass, which has been causing her severe discomfort. She shared her story with us: during the first week of May 2020, Agnes started feeling a sharp pain in the lower part of her stomach. She thought they were just normal pains and therefore got pain medication from a nearby chemist. Days later, her pains continued to increase, this time accompanied by bleeding. Alarmed she visited the nearest health centre where she was referred to Kijabe Hospital for further review. Several tests were conducted when she visited the facility and doctors discovered that she has symptomatic uterine fibroids. She underwent surgery but later doctors discovered that she has a mass in her ovaries that requires excursion. Despite having approval from the National Health Insurance program, the amount is not enough to cover the cost of surgery and she needs financial assistance. Agnes was widowed barely a month ago after her husband's long battle to cancer. The cost of taking care of her husband has depleted the limited family resources they had. Equally, she has also been sick and had several trips that made her close the little shop they were running from their home. She has no source of income after they closed down their shop. Her kids don’t yet have a stable source of income, and with what they do have, they have been instrumental in paying for her husband’s medical bills and cost of the funeral. Agnes shared, “I recently buried my husband as a result of cancer. I have been ailing and in a lot of pain. I had to close my small shop and therefore have no source of income. I am unable to afford this much-needed surgery and request for assistance.”
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."
George is a 35-year-old truck driver from central Kenya. A week ago, he fell from the second floor of his rented flat while trying to fix an antenna. He fractured his mandible, right humerus and neck of the right femur. He had first aid in a nearby general hospital but beyond that, he was not given any other assistance. His family opted to bring him to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital where he had x-ray imaging done and surgery recommended. He is in pain and unable to eat anything but hopes to get well soon. George is a father of two children, with his last born 4 months old. He used to work as a truck driver but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been out of work. His wife is not in any employment making George the sole breadwinner of the family. He does not have any medical insurance yet he would be required to pay a deposit for his surgery. George appeals for financial assistance. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 15th, George will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow him to walk again easily, reduce the chances of further complications, and be free from pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. George says, “My hope is to be able to walk again and with less pain.”
Bernard is a bodaboda (motorcycle) operator from Kenya. Bernard and his brother were riding home on the night of March 21st when they were involved in a head-on collision with a lorry truck near his home. He sustained several fractures of his ribs and femur. He also sustained facial abrasions and they were rushed to Watsi's partner medical facility. His brother was admitted in the ICU in critical condition. Bernard requires tractions and an ORIF fracture repair in the coming days. Without the right treatment, he risks complications and being unable to move. Bernard is a father of two. He operates a motorcycle taxi commonly referred to as bodaboda to make a living. His wife is not employed and takes up casual labour like washing people’s clothes to complement her husband’s income. The family is financially strained and with two brothers in the hospital, the burden gets heavier. Bernard’s mother appeals for financial assistance. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 30th, Bernard will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow Bernard walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,451 to fund this procedure. Bernard says, “Please help me be treated so I can continue providing for my family.”
Sarorn is a 60-year-old mother of five from Cambodia. She has three sons and two daughters, and likes to make desserts and look after her family when she is not working. Three year ago, Sarorn 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, Sarorn experiences headaches, dizziness, ear discharge, infection, and hearing loss. She is not able to hear others clearly, and this makes her husband and children worry about her alot. Sarorn traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 10th, 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. "I hope that once my surgery is over, the ear infection will stop and I will be able to hear again," Sarorn shared.
Alvin is a baby boy from Tanzania. Alvin is very friendly and charming, he is the only child to his single mother. His mother has a small shop from where she is able to get money to support her son. The income is not much but gets them by somehow. Alvin was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. His legs are bowed so that his knees cannot touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has a difficult time walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Alvin. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 24th. Treatment will hopefully restore Alvin's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Alvin’s mother says, “As days go by my son’s legs keep worsening and walking is becoming more difficult. Please help treat him.”
Kheang has one son, and enjoys playing soccer, feeding the animals, helping cook food, and listening to the radio. Six days ago, Kheang fell four meters off the roof of his house and fractured his lower spine. He has lost sensation of his lower limbs and he is now unable to take care of himself on his own. Surgery will help to fuse his fractured spinal vertebrae into place, securing the bones and allowing them to heal together. Surgery will give him the chance to return to his normal activities again without difficulty. He shared, "I hope that I will be able to walk again and work the same as before."
Soe is a 49-year-old man from Burma. He and his wife got separated about six years ago and he has been living alone since. Soe does not have a regular job, but sometimes he drives a shared-taxi to make a living. About two weeks ago, Soe's left eye started to get irritated and the itchiness did not go away for a few days so with the advice from neighbors and friends, he soaked some betel leaves in water with salt and used the liquid as eye drops. As soon as he dropped the liquid in, he sensed a burning sensation in his left eye. In hope to get cured, he used the homemade eye drops for two days. After two days, his eye became worse and the pain even radiated to his head. He could no longer open left eye due to the pain. Soe had no money to go to the hospital, but with the help from his neighbors and friends, Soe arrived at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) on December 3rd, 2019. The medics at MTC explained that his left eye has totally been damaged and that the only option now is to remove his eye. Soe feels sad and frustrated most of the time now and he keeps blaming himself for not being careful. He feels that his neglect now has caused him an eye.
Guerdina is a student from Haiti. She lives in a small village in the mountains of central Haiti with her parents and 4 siblings. She likes going to school and would like to become a teacher. Guerdina has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged by a rheumatic fever she suffered in childhood, and can no longer adequately pump blood through her body. Guerdina will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On October 29, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair her valve; if they are unable to do so, they will implant an artificial replacement.. Another organization, The Mitral Foundation, is contributing $7500 to pay for surgery. Guerdina'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 Guerdina's family overseas. "I am hopeful that after my surgery I will feel healthy and normal," said Guerdina.
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.