Rusty joined Watsi on April 17th, 2017. Three years ago, Rusty became the 2784th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 3,666 more people have become monthly donors! Rusty's most recent donation supported Dickens, a toddler from Kenya, to fund congenital anorectal malformation surgery.
Rusty has funded healthcare for 43 patients in 9 countries.
In 2018, Dickens’ mother gave birth to him on her way to the hospital. Upon arrival at the hospital, they were reviewed then discharged home on the same day. But, the next day Dickens’ mother noticed that his stomach had started to swell. She rushed him to the nearby facility and Dickens was diagnosed with anorectal malformation. They were then referred to another facility in Kisumu where a colostomy was put. When it was time for Dickens' second surgery, his mother took him to the same facility where the first surgery was done, but nothing was done. Dickens’ mother kept on visiting the facility to seek treatment for her son, and still nothing was done. She shared that a few months down the line, a friend learnt about Dickens' condition and he advised them to come to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Bethany Kids Hospital. Upon arrival, Dickens was examined and emergency surgery was scheduled for the next day. Just before Dickens was born, his father passed away. Both of his parents were casual laborers and would do any work that they came across to provide for their family of five. After his birth, his mother has not been able to look for work and relies on her parents-in-law. She now has to stay at home and take care of Dickens because of his medical condition. Dickens’ grandfather is a farmer and mostly sells his produce to earn a living. With Dickens surgery planned, the family is not able to raise any money to cater for the cost and his mother is appealing for financial help. Dickens’ mother shared, “It really hurts whenever I see my son crying out because of the pain he experiences.”
Nget is a 32-year-old cleaner from Cambodia. He and his wife have two young sons, both in elementary school. His wife is a cook. He enjoys listening to news on the radio, watching sports on TV, and playing soccer with his sons. In November 2019, Nget accidentally fell, causing trauma to his right knee. After the accident he went to a clinic, but they only provided him with pain relievers. His injury has worsened over time, and he now experiences severe pain in his right knee, and cannot walk without support. When Nget learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for four hours seeking treatment. On August 12th, surgeons at CSC will perform a joint arthrodesis procedure to fuse his right knee and and alleviate his pain, allowing him to walk easily. Now, Nget needs help to fund this $518 procedure. Nget said, "I hope that I can recover quickly so I can walk again with no pain or support."
Harrison is a nine month old baby from Kenya. He is the youngest in a family of three children. Harrison's father works as a casual laborer while his mother sells second hand clothes. A few days ago, Harrison began to experience diarrhea and vomiting and could not even retain breast milk. The mother took him to a dispensary and was advised to take him to a hospital. Since they didn’t have money they stayed at home, but last night his abdomen began to swell. A scan has showed intussusception, a small bowel obstruction. Surgeons recommend an emergency laparotomy. If not treated Harrison will continue having serious complications that may lead to death. Fortunately our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. Now, Harrison needs your help to fund the $788 cost of this procedure. “I am so worried about my baby, but I have no means of paying for this life-saving surgery. I plead for help so that my baby can be well again," shared Harrison's mother.
Daw Ei is a 48-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband, mother, two daughters, son, and daughter-in-law in Yangon. Her husband is a security guard, her mother is retired, and her daughter-in-law is a homemaker. Her eldest daughter works in a factory, her other daughter is a student, and her son works as a mason. Daw Ei used to work as a shop vender herself but had to stop three years ago due to her health problem. Daw Ei was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Daw Ei suffers from chest pains, feels tired and cannot walk long distances. Sometimes, she has no appetite. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Daw Ei. The treatment is scheduled to take place on June 14th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Daw Ei said, “I’m worried about my health problem. Also, I’ve spent all my money on [seeking] treatment and I had to borrow 300,000 kyat (approx. 300 USD) from my daughter’s friend. I want to be cured.”
Neak is an 8-year-old third grade student from Cambodia. Neak lives with his parents with one older sister. Recently, Neak has been studying online while schools are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. He enjoys Khmer literature and math, and wants to be a solider when he grows up. Neak likes to eat beef hot dogs, salty and sour crab salad, and chicken soup. One month ago, Neak had a serious 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, Neak experiences hearing loss, foul smell, and ear discharge. It is difficult for him to hear his friends speaking. Neak traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 13th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left 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. His father said, "We already brought him for treatment at an ear care organization in another province, but he still cannot hear out of his ear. I hope that my son will get to hear better after this surgery, then he can learn in school very well."
Nwe is a 36-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her family in Thingangkuun Township in Yangon Division. Nwe works as a seamstress at home while her husband works in a factory. In her free time, Nwe likes to play with her nephew who lives close by and also loves to watch movies at home. Nwe was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Nwe experiences tiredness especially when she walks for longer periods of time. If she feels tired, she also experiences heart palpitations. Sometimes, she also suffers from dizziness. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Nwe. The treatment is scheduled to take place on March 24th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Nwe shared, “I feel stressed about my condition. I am afraid to have surgery but there is no other option. I hope that after I have fully recovered from my surgery, I will be able to work as seamstress again.” Nwe’s husband is also worried for her and he has had to take time off from work to accompany her to all her appointments. He said, “I get paid daily for my work and if I do not work regularly then I have less income. Before, we were able to save some money from our work but since my wife was diagnosed with a heart problem and started to see the doctor for tests and medications, we can no longer save any money.”
Lomunyaki is a 3-month-old baby boy from Tanzania. He is the only child to his parents. Lomunyak's mother is staying at her parent’s home after giving birth to Lomunyak. Lomunyaki's father didn’t want to take his son to the hospital thus the mother was forced to ran away and go seek help from her parents. Her parents are livestock keepers with very little income but they were able to get some money and took Lomunyaki to a clinic. Lomunyaki 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, Lomunyaki 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 $966 to cover the cost of Lomunyaki's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 12th. This procedure will hopefully spare Lomunyaki from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthier trajectory. Lomunyaki’s mother says, “I was very shocked when I gave birth to Lomunyaki; he is my first born and him born with a disability made me feel very bad like there was something wrong with my womb. Please help my son get this treatment.”
Marvalie is a preschooler from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three siblings in a rural area of southwest Haiti; her parents are farmers. She has not yet started school due to her illness. Marvalie has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Marvalie will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On March 6th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which Surgeons will close the hole in her heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage from her valve. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for surgery. Marvalie's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Marvalie's family overseas. Her mother said, "Our family has been praying for a cure since our daughter was a small baby, we are very happy to know our prayers are being answered!"
Grace is a 3-year-old from Tanzania, and the first born child in a family of two with a single mother. Grace and her sibling are being raised by their grandmother after their mother asked their grandmother to help her look after the children so that she can be able to find a job and be able to support the children. Ever since she left Grace and her sibling, she rarely visits the children and sends money once in awhile. Her grandmother has no source of income other than small-scale farming. Grace's grandfather has been bed ridden for almost a year now. Grace was diagnosed with windswept deformity, which causes her legs to be curved. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she has a difficult time walking and playing with her sibling. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Grace. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Grace's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Grace’s grandmother says, “My granddaughter’s legs are getting worse as days go by but I don’t have the money to seek her treatment. Please help her.”
Mealea has two younger brothers, and she enjoys cooking, watching television, listening to music, and helping with the housework. She helps her family sell gasoline in front of her house, but her hand often feels swollen and painful. Mealea was born with a tumor on her left hand, which was later removed. However, she now suffers from contractures on four of her fingers. This limits her ability to work and go about her daily activities. Surgery will help to release the contractures from her fingers and decrease any swelling, allowing her to move and flex her hand and fingers. She shared, "I hope that after my surgery, I will no longer have any pain in my hand. I hope my hand will no longer be swollen so I can return to my work and use my hands normally."
Roth has a two-year-old son, and enjoys reading books and taking care of his family and household in his free time. Since Roth was born, he had a curvature in his spine, making it difficult for him to walk and sleep comfortably. He was diagnosed with scoliosis and the curvature of his spine is nearly 80 degrees. Roth will undergo spinal surgery, where implants will be inserted along his spine to help correct the deformity and prevent the curve from developing in the future. He shared, "I hope that I will be able to recover from my surgery and ... I will be able to walk again without any difficulty."
Tun is a 33-year-old man from Burma. He used to work as a day laborer at a construction site until he fell sick. During his free time, he enjoys playing billiards with his friends. Tun was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Tun is experiencing tiredness, fast heartbeats, sharp chest pains, and he is unable to sleep well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Tun. The treatment is scheduled to take place on December 16th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Tun said, "I am very happy that I received this chance of getting treatment. It is impossible if I must fund my own treatment. Thank you very much for your support.”