Ville joined Watsi on May 19th, 2014. Seven years ago, Ville joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ville's most recent donation traveled 5,100 miles to support Leakhen, a curious and playful student from Cambodia, for spinal surgery for her birth condition.
Ville has funded healthcare for 89 patients in 12 countries.
Ville has funded healthcare for 89 patients in 12 countries.
Leakhen is a bright and hardworking 12-year-old girl. She and her brother live with their parents, who are rainy day farmers, in Takeo province in Cambodia. Leakhen enjoys playing with her brother, reading books, and doing homework. When she grows up, Leakhen would like to be a teacher. Leakhen was born with congenital scoliosis. Congenital scoliosis is the presence of an abnormal curvature of the spine. The curvature causes the spinal column to bend left or right. Leakhen is not able to stand up straight or expand her lungs, which causes her frequent fatigue and chronic pain. Because of the stress that scoliosis places on the vital organs of adolescents and their ability to grow, active treatment is required. If not corrected, she could experience progressive weakness, numbness, or a loss of coordination. Leakhen is embarrassed to go places because of her condition. She has had two previous surgical procedures, and surgeons have determined that she needs a revision of her spinal rod to help her heal. Leakhen and her family traveled to our medical partner’s care center to receive treatment. On September 17th, she will undergo a revision of her spinal rod. During this procedure, surgeons will implant and expand a rod to allow her to continue to grow normally. Our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. This support will help her feel confident and be active like other children her age. Leakhen said, "I hope that my spine will look better and I can play with other children."
Paw is a 24-year-old woman from Thailand. Originally from Burma, Paw, her husband, their three daughters and her parents fled in March 2021 after the Burmese military shot rockets into their village. In Thailand, as refugees, they cannot work, and have temporarily moved in with Paw's brother and his family. They receive rice from her brother's neighbors, while her brother's family provides them with vegetables and curries. In July 2021, Paw's parents and her two older daughters went back to their village when they felt it was safe to do so. Meanwhile, her husband and her three-month-old baby have stayed with her while she receives treatment in Chiang Mai. Two years ago, Paw noticed a mass on the right side of her neck. Her neighbor suggested she apply a natural remedy, but unfortunately, the mass remained and grew over time. In September 2019, she visited a local hospital in Thailand with her husband, but the surgery recommended was too expensive. She experiences pain near the site of the mass, and the mass is still growing. Paw sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). She is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on August 16th, and now she needs to raise $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Paw shared, “I felt embarrassed and very upset when I first noticed that I had this problem. I will feel a lot better after my surgery because I have needed to receive it since I first went to see the doctor in 2019. In the future I want to look after my children and send them to school.”
Bright is a very charming, friendly, and playful 2-year-old boy. He's his mother's only child. Bright's mother works at a shop as salesperson while his father owns a small liquor shop. The two parents live separately and his mother is single, though his father does try to provide for his son when he is able. Bright was diagnosed with genu varus, a condition typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Bright's legs bow outward so that his knees do not touch. He has having difficulty walking and experiences pain when he walks for a short distance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Bright. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 15th. Treatment will hopefully restore Bright's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Bright’s mother shares, "My son falls down when walking and needs to be supported most of the time, his age mates are running about but not my son, please help."
Teresia is a hard working 39-year-old woman from Kenya. She is the second born in a family of three children. Teresia and her siblings lost their parents early in life and have been taking care of each other. She was not able to continue with her education and this has made it hard for her to get a decent job. Currently, Teresia works doing laundry by hand for neighbors to sustain herself. In 2020, Teresia began to experience troubling symptoms, including tachycardia, irritation, nervousness, headache, and loss of sleep. She also shared with us that she had two miscarriages, which her doctors associate with her condition. She's been diagnosed with a thyroid condition and she needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Teresia receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on June 10th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $657, and she and her family need help raising money. “I am looking forward to this treatment so that my life can be back to normal. I plead for support so that I can undergo the surgery. At least after healing, I can expect to have my own children,” said Teresia.
Sonoeun is a two-month-old baby boy and the first child born to his parents. His father is a construction worker and his mother works in a factory. Sonoeun 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, Sonoeun traveled with his parents to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). There, surgeons will perform an Achilles tendon lengthening procedure on May 17th. Now, CSC is requesting $385 to fund Sonoeun's clubfoot repair. After treatment, his feet will develop normally and he will be able to walk more easily as he gets older. Sonoeun's father shared, "I want to see my child run and play sports when he is older, but now I hope he heals from the surgery well."
Rickshadez is a young student and the third of four children. He's a very active and clever boy. His parents sell clothes in Nairobi to earn a living. They live in a small house on the same property where they work. In the middle of last year, Rickshadez began to experience swelling on one side of his lower abdominal area, and his father brought him to the doctor. Rickshadez was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Rickshadez has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. This condition can be healed through corrective surgery, which will help prevent these potential complications. Rickshadez will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 25th. AMHF is requesting $561 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Rickshadez’s mother says, “We are not blessed enough to raise the required amount for Rickshadez’s surgery.” With some financial help, Rickshadez can undergo this surgery to heal the swelling and protect against future risks.
Biruk is a young boy from Ethiopia who loves to eat spaghetti and macaroni. He also enjoys doing arts and crafts, and loves to play hide and seek with his friends in his neighborhood. Biruk is the second child in his family, and he has one older sister. His dad is a teacher in primary school and his mom is a housewife. Biruk lives together with his parents and sister in a rented house. Biruk was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment and surgery, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility as he grows older. Fortunately, Biruk is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,231 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Biruk shared with us, “I want to heal well and go to school and become a pilot.”
James is a 52-year-old boda-boda driver from Kenya. He is a father to four children, all of whom are adults. His wife is a homemaker, and he is the sole breadwinner for the family. On February 5th, 2021, James was in a road traffic accident and sustained a burst fracture of T12 spinal cord transection. Immediately after the accident, he was aware of the intensity of the injury because he could not use his lower limbs and had a sharp pain in the mid-back. He was assisted by well-wishers and was rushed to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital, where the orthopaedic team ran x-rays and other tests. Now, James needs to undergo a posterior spinal instrumentation and fusion, a procedure that is aimed at stabilizing his spine and avoiding future complications. However, James does not have medical coverage and is therefore required to raise the full deposit for his surgery. He has raised some financial contributions from friends and relatives, but needs additional support for his care. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping James receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo a spinal fusion procedure on February 10th at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,500, and will hopefully allow James' legs to heal and regain some mobility. James shared, “I hope I will be able use my legs again. I need help both surgically and financially given that the cost of the surgery is high and I am unable to afford.”
Paul is a manual laborer from Kenya who works at a sawmill in Nyahururu. In his job, they are given duties depending on the workload so he does not have a stable income. On a good day, Paul takes home $2.50. He is a married father of one and lives in a 2 room house in Subukia, built on his father’s land. His father passed on in 2019, and his mother is elderly and depends on her children for survival. Paul was involved in an accident on the 20th of November 2020, where he works at a sawmill. He was rolled over by a wheel that caused his injury. He sustained a large lateral injury spanning from 1cm proximal to the malleolus to 15cm proximal with a large section of exposed tendon and fibular bone. He also has dislodgement of his lateral fibula. He is in chronic pain and is not able to walk on his own. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Paul receive treatment. On January 19th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help heal his wound. His hope is to be able to walk again and no longer be in pain. Now, Paul needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Paul shared with us, “Looking at the work I do, I don’t have the financial strength to pay for the surgery. I am scared and the wound looks bad. Kindly help."
Zera is a five-year-old girl and the firstborn child in her family of two. She is a curious girl and very helpful with her young sister at home. Zera has not started school yet, but her parents hope to enroll her in school when she is seven years old. Zera was born with a right clubfoot; a condition whereby her foot is curved inward at the ankle making it hard and painful to walk. Her parents and relatives tried to get her treatment at nearby clinics and were referred to other hospitals. Unfortunately, they could not afford to go. Zera has been experiencing difficulty in walking and playing due to the way her leg is curved. A few months ago Zera's aunt had her child treated at Watsi's Medical Partner's Care Center ALMC Hospital where she shared about Zera's condition. Zera's aunt told their family about the hospital hoping she could be assisted. Zera's parents are subsistence farmers who do not earn enough to pay for Zera's medical care and they need help so that Zera can start her treatment. This will allow Zera to be able to walk without difficulty when she starts school. Fortunately, Zera's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Zera's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily and free of pain. Zera shared with us, “I feel pain when walking, I cannot walk fast or run like my friends. I will be very happy if I receive treatment and be able to walk.”
Jane is a 70-year-old kiosk owner from Kenya. She is a former civil servant who was released from government duty in 2000. Since then, she has since been running a small kiosk that sells vegetables and other groceries. In March 2019, Jane suffered a fracture on her left distal femur with intraarticular extension, meaning the break crossed into the surface of a joint. To remedy this, she underwent surgery with a locking plate. However, the fracture has not healed properly, which threatens her mobility. Doctors are now recommending a another fracture repair surgery to prevent future complications of her condition, including inability to walk. However, this procedure is costly for Jane. The profit she earns from her small business is not enough to cover her basic needs, let alone her medical bills. Jane has been relying on a small government pension to get by. She separated from her husband over 30 years ago and has since been raising her only son alone. Her son is an adult, but lacks a stable job and works as a casual laborer to make ends meet. Thus, Jane is appealing for financial help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 11th, Jane will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After recovering, she will no longer have difficulties in walking or be in constant pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Jane shared, “I need this surgery to get back on my feet. I am the one taking care of my grandkids since my son has no job. This procedure will help me be able to go get vegetables from the market so that I can sell and continue my business.”
Teresiah is a teenage girl from Kenya who has special needs. She was born into a family of 3 girls and hails from a very humble background. Her studies Limuru Cheshire Home were partially sponsored by a compassionate organization. Since she left school last year, the organization has helped her family settle in a small two-roomed iron-built house, which is a real milestone. Her dad has a health condition that requires surgery but it has been postponed several times due to funds. Her dad cannot do heavy manual jobs and so he mostly remains at home with Teresiah while her mother goes to search for casual work. Teresiah has clubfoot that has rendered her walking difficult. She was reviewed by specialists at Cure International Hospital and surgery is recommended. The surgery will be of great impact as she will finally be able to walk comfortably and help her parents at more home. She will be able to be more independent as she grows. Fortunately, Teresiah traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Teresiah's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. “Any assistance accorded to our daughter will be highly appreciated. God bless you," Teresiah’s mom told us.