Gilles joined Watsi on January 31st, 2018. Three years ago, Gilles joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Gilles' most recent donation supported Nakoyai, a 13-year-old student from Tanzania, to fund mobility-restoring corrective surgery.
Gilles has funded healthcare for 42 patients in 8 countries.
Gilles has funded healthcare for 42 patients in 8 countries.
Nakoyai is a 13-year-old student and the second-born child in a family of five children and lives with her parents who keep livestock for a living. Nakoyai was involved in a motorbike accident while walking to school. This left her with acquired valgus of her left foot, in which the joint of the toe closest to the ankle is bent upwards, while the others are bent downwards. She has difficulty walking and was admitted to a local hospital for almost one year, throughout which her parents spent their savings and sold most of their cattle to pay the hospital bills. Nakoyai dropped out of school after her discharge from hospital because she was no longer able to walk to her school, which was quite far from her home. One year later, she received a scholarship to join a boarding school and was brought to our medical partner's care center seeking treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Nakoyai. Treatment will hopefully restore Nakoyai's mobility, allowing her to participate in a variety of activities and greatly reducing her risk of future complications. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 10th. Nakoyai shared, "I feel pain when I walk and I cannot play most of the sports at school because of my leg. I will be happy if my leg could be treated so that I can walk around and play like my friends.”
Teltila is a lively five-month-old girl from Ethiopia and a sibling to an older brother and sister. She is sociable, loves to play with her mom, and enjoys it when her mom talks to her. Her dad is physically impaired and unable to move around easily. He sells candies and some sweets on the street for a living and her mom is a housewife raising their three kids. His income is not enough to maintain the family but fortunately, they are supported by a foundation in their town that works with people with impairments. Teltila was born with a birth condition called anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage causing pain and complications. She developed bowel obstruction because of her condition and an emergency colostomy, one of the series of procedures needed to eliminate the condition, was done for her at our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM). She has had multiple issues with her colostomy care and associated complications and as a result, she continues to feel significant discomfort. According to her mother, Teltila had her first surgery when she was 45-days-old and unfortunately, the second surgery was delayed due to finances. The money they saved could only cover doctor reviews and some level of surgical fees. After getting an appointment, her bag was stolen with all the money and documents at a bus stop. Teltila's mother was devastated and did not know what to do. She heard of a charitable organization that supports the poor and went there to share her story. Teltila is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on August 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Teltila's procedure and care. After her recovery, she will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Teltila's mother says, "I am now so thankful. I lost all I had and I just received it back through you all. I hope my daughter will be treated."
Phoebe is a fruit vendor and a single mother with one daughter, now 27 years old. She moved in with her daughter in December 2018 after she was involved in an accident and broke her leg. She used to sell fruits but has not been able to work since her accident. Since the beginning of January 2021, Phoebe has been experiencing back pains, which have persisted over time and extended to her lower abdomen. Upon examination, doctors found a mass on the cervix which was bleeding, and she has been diagnosed with an early stage cancer. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $794 to fund Phoebe's surgery. On July 15th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Phoebe will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and her risk for future spreading of the cancer will be limited. Phoebe says, “Cancer is scary for me. I cannot wait to be declared free of the dangerous cells that I know can end my life. ”
Mafuru is a happy and energetic four-year-old boy from Tanzania and the oldest child in a family of two children. Mafuru was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, which means that his legs bow inward and his knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often comes from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he falls when walking or running and experiences pain in his knees that is more severe during cold weather. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Mafuru. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 4th and treatment will hopefully restore Mafuru's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Mafuru’s father shared, "I wish to see my son have the surgery so that he can lead a life free of disability."
Isaac is a 23-year-old from Kenya who works as a manual laborer, loading and off-loading sand in the Maai Mahiu area. His father passed away while he was young, and he has been living with his mother and sister. A few weeks ago, during work, Issac slipped into a ditch and broke his right femur. His colleagues came to help him and brought him to Kijabe hospital. It is difficult for Isaac to walk, and he is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 11th, Isaac will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure so he can walk again. Isaac shared, “I am in pain and can’t walk without support. I am out of options since I cannot afford the cost of the treatment.”
Adiel was brought in to the hospital carried by his mother. He's a 19-month-old baby from Kiambu County in Kenya and is the second of two children. His family has a small farm and his mother also has a college degree in beauty therapy. Usually, Adiel is a jolly child, but his mother said that he has frequent tonsil swelling which affects his happiness and can make feeding difficult, especially when he also develops a high fever. Adiel’s condition started about six months ago. His parents have been taking him to the hospital but the condition keeps on recurring. The ENT surgeon at the hospital has advised that Adiel must undergo a tonsillectomy to fix this condition. If not treated, the condition will lead to complications like disrupted breathing during sleep, otitis media (middle ear infection), and peritonsillar abscess. His parents are eager for Adiel to receive the surgery so that he can heal soon. Adiel's mother said, “It is disheartening to see our baby struggling at this age. We are kindly requesting help so that once treated he can be able to be sleeping well and grow up without problems."
Sovannara is a 68-year-old retired soldier. He has six sons, one daughter, and fourteen grandchildren. He now lives with his youngest daughter and family. His daughter is a cook at a local restaurant. To earn extra money for the family, Sovannara became a motor taxi driver. He likes to watch Khmer boxing and the news on the TV. His life has become more difficult since three years ago when Sovannara developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him photophobia, blurred vision, and a need for brighter light to read or watch TV. When Sovannara learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two hours with his wife seeking treatment. On February 1st, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Sovannara told us: "During my young age I used my power to support my country, and at this old age I need my eyes to see well and support my family."
Daudi is a happy 10-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the youngest of three children in his family. Daudi's mother sells vegetables as a street vendor in the village. She and her husband are separated. She is the sole provider of the family and Daudi requires a lot of attention. Daudi 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. Daudi's feet are rigid and he cannot walk or stand, so he relies on his mother who often carries him. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping Daudi receive treatment. Daudi and his mother traveled to AMH's care center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 16th. AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Daudi's clubfoot repair. The surgery will be very impactful for him, because he will be able to walk and stand on his own. Daudi's mother shared, “I am appealing to people of goodwill to help my son undergo surgery so that he can be independent. God bless you!"
Tun is a 73-year-old man who lives with his three daughters in Umpiem Mai Refugee Camp in Thailand. Each month, Tun's household receives a small cash card to purchase rations in the camp, and their monthly household income is just enough to cover daily expenses. In his free time, Tun loves to read books and loves telling stories to his neighbours’ children. He is always welcoming, giving the children snacks and telling them stories from his home. Tun also loves to grow different types of vegetables around his house, sharing the harvest with his neighbours who cannot afford to buy vegetables. Before he felt unwell, Tun used to volunteer, organising cleaning groups in the camp and helping with road repairs. Currently, Tun experiences on and off pain in his upper abdomen. He also has a slight fever and often feels nauseous. Over time, his appetite has gradually decreased, and he has lost weight. Tun has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If his condition is left untreated, Tun's symptoms will continue to worsen and he will be at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Tun is scheduled to undergo his cholecystectomy on February 16th. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Tun's procedure and care. Once recovered, he will able to resume gardening, volunteering, and socializing with others in the camp. Tun shared, “I love volunteering and I am happy to help the community with whatever I can. But since I got sick, I cannot participate, and I cannot go to the monastery to help clean nor can I meditate. If I ever feel better again, I will continue to help my community with whatever I can do and I will also continue to grow vegetables around my house for my family and for my neighbours.”
Patrick has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, and it causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. After he was born, his parents visited the nearest dispensary in their village to take him for treatment, where he was referred to a bigger hospital that would have more resources to treat him. Because Patrick's parents are small scale farmers with minimal income, they decided to return home and save up money so that they could take him to a proper hospital to have his feet corrected. Through a neighbor, Patrick's parents got to know about Watsi's Partner ALMC Plaster House and decided to come and seek treatment for Patrick. Patrick needs to start manipulation and casting, which will help correct his feet. If Patrick does not get this treatment, his learning-to-walk process will be very challenging. It will take a long time for him to be able to stand and walk, and it may be painful. He will not be able to wear normal shoes like other children, and could potentially experience discrimination due to his disability. Fortunately, Patrick traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery and begin his treatment on January 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Patrick's clubfoot repair. After treatment as he grows, he will be able to walk and play with ease. Patrick’s mother shared, "We wish our son to have his feet corrected but the treatment cost is too high for us to afford. Please help our son.”
Periya is a baby boy from Tanzania. He is the youngest in a family of three children. Periya was born at home because the hospital is very far from where they live. His mother had no problems when giving birth, but she was caught by surprise when she saw that her baby's right foot was not normal. At first, she thought that massaging Periya's foot would bring it back to normal, but as time went by, there was still no change. Though her husband did not think it necessary, Periya's mother kept asking relatives where she could get her son treated, and she was eventually directed to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center ALMC-The Plaster House. There, Periya was diagnosed with clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. However, the treatment he needs is costly for their family. Periya's father sells traditional herbal medicines, while his mother is a homemaker and mostly herds cattle. They are not able to afford the treatment and appeal for financial help. On December 15th, surgeons at our medical partner's care center will perform clubfoot repair surgery on Periya. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Periya's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk more easily and his quality of life will significantly improve. Periya’s mother shared, “I would like for my baby's foot to be straightened so that he can stand and walk properly when the time comes.”
Alice is a 47-year-old woman from Kenya. Sheis a single mother of 2 children, and her children live with their grandmother in their home village. Alice was an active and healthy woman who was able to use her legs normally. However, in early November 2017, she was involved in a road traffic accident that rendered her immobile. Alice was rushed to the hospital to undergo treatment and surgery. Although she was discharged, her troubles with the leg continued, and she developed more pain and complications. After returning to the same facility for treatment and not showing signs of improvement, Alice visited Kijabe Hospital. There, she has since undergone several other surgeries, including post-open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) repair and debridement after the skin overlying the fracture site was compromised and infected. Alice's doctors have scheduled her for a sequestrectomy procedure and IM nail removal on November 12th. The sequestrectomy will remove any fragment of dead bone or other tissue that has separated from healthy tissue in her wound. Ultimately, they aim to prevent further infection of the hardware in her leg. Alice is currently ambulating in crutches and, if not treated, she might not be able to walk or properly use her leg in the future. Unfortunately, this procedure is costly for Alice and her family. Alice owns a small green grocery in Mukaa Town where she sells vegetables and tomatoes. Her total monthly profit is barely able to cover her basic needs, rent, and kids' needs; let alone pay for her necessary surgeries. She has depended on the National Hospital Insurance Fund and support from friends to help cover her several medical and surgical trips to different facilities. Alice is appealing for financial help so she can get the care she needs. Alice shared, "My problems never seem to come to an end after the accident. I have been through a lot of surgeries, and I still need more to be able to walk again. Thank you for your support."