Stephen joined Watsi on February 2nd, 2016. Four years ago, Stephen became the 2148th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 3,801 more people have become monthly donors! Stephen's most recent donation traveled 2,100 miles to support Blessed, a young boy from Kenya, to fund a surgery to close a colostomy.
Stephen has funded healthcare for 27 patients in 6 countries.
Blessed is a 7-year-old boy from Kenya. Blessed’s parents are both casual laborers and his mother stopped working so that she could take care of Blessed. His father is not able to raise enough as his work is not reliable. Blessed underwent an earlier colostomy procedure, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may need closure. In Blessed's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $681 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Blessed. The surgery is scheduled to take place on June 12th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Blessed’s mother says, “I just can’t wait to see Blessed treated and playing like other kids.”
Sopha is a 22-year-old teacher from Cambodia. She has two brothers and five sisters. When she has free time, she enjoys reading, listening to music, and cooking. Five months ago, Sopha fell off a motorcycle and fractured her left forearm. She received initial treatment at a nearby hospital, however she still experiences swelling and pain in her wrist. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On February 25th, Sopha will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Treatment will help Sopha's fractured arm to heal properly and allow her to use her arm normally again. "I hope that my arm will no longer have any pain and swelling, and the fracture will heal so that I can return to work," Sopha said.
Harrison is an elderly man from the Rift Valley in Kenya. For the last two years, his hearing has gradually deteriorated, making him struggle with communication. He had been to a different hospital previously and was given hearing drops. However, his hearing did not improve and he has now sought treatment at Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital. The audiologist recommended hearing aids for him which would improve his hearing and communication ability. Harrison is a father of 12, who have all made their own families too. His eldest son supports him and his wife from time to time. Harrison used to work in his farm but no longer does due to his older age. Because of ongoing flooding in his area, Harrison and his neighbors have been evicted from their houses as a nearby lake continues to swell. They did not get any compensation and his children are now paying for his single-roomed rental space. He is not able to meet the entire cost of hearing aids and appeals for help. Harrison shared, “I will be delighted to hear with better clarity than I am currently.”
Toeur is the sixth of seven children in his family, including four brothers and three sisters. He likes to stay home and help around the house and cook, as well as watch television and listen to music. Toeur was born with a hump on his spine and, at the age of two, he fell down the stairs and has since had a curve in his spine. He has pain in his right knee and experiences paraparesis, where he has partial paralysis in his legs and requires crutches when he walks. He cannot do any heavy work and stays near his house most days. Spinal surgery will correct Toeur's spine position and relieve his symptoms. He will be able to walk comfortably again, and will be able to take on daily activities with greater ease. He shared, "My family worries about my pain a lot, and they hope that I will be able to work again and help provide for the family. I hope that my spine will be straight and will no longer have a curve, and I won't have anymore pain in my knee so I can return to work."
Jonah is a jovial and high-spirited student from Kenya. He is the 7th born in a family of 8 children. He is in class 2 at Mwiteria vision academy under a sponsorship of a well-wisher. The family hails from Iteria village in Meru County. His single mother used to be a farmer, but she currently stays at home. She recently underwent an amputation on her leg after suffering from diabetes. Jonah has clubfoot of his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Jonah 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 Jonah's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. “We request your support, being the only breadwinner in the family and I am also impaired. I have two boys who need surgery. I am not able to raise the bill. Please help,” said Jonah’s mother.
Wim is a 48-year-old monk from Burma. He lives in a monastery in Taungoo, Bago Division. He became a monk three years ago, after he got divorced. Wim 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, Wim feels tired and cannot walk long distance. Sometimes, he has back pain and he feels like he cannot breathe well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Wim. The treatment is scheduled to take place on October 06 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Wim said, “I would to remain a monk and study Buddhism. I would really like to thank the donors, BCMF and the doctors for helping me receive surgery [in the future]. I am very happy right now.”
Esther is an elderly lady from Kenya. Esther is a mother of 2 children whom she has struggled to raise for the past 23 years. She lost her husband in 1996 and since then has been struggling with poverty. She had to sell a small piece of land to educate her children. Esther does not have any income and relies mainly on friends and relatives. Two years ago, Esther has been experiencing persistent bleeding. She has been diagnosed with a large ovarian tumor that is suspected to be malignant. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $756 to fund Esther's surgery. On September 13th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Esther will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Esther says, “I am appealing for your kind support to help me access medical care. I hope that soon Il be free from the complications."
Wel is a five-year-old boy who lives with his parents and an older sister and brother. His parents are subsistence farmers while he and his siblings are students. His mother forages for food and fishes to supplement their meals, while his father also works as a day laborer. The income he receives is just enough to cover their daily expanses but is not enough to pay for basic healthcare. On the 26th of December 2019, Wel was playing with pebbles at school with his friends. When he came back home that afternoon, he was crying but no one was home; his mother was away fishing. When she came back home and saw him still crying, she asked him what was wrong. Wel told her that while he was playing with his friends at school, one of his friends threw a pebble that hit him in his left eye. Since then, his left eye hurt a lot. His mother checked his eye, but she did not see any redness, and thought that the pain would go away after a while. Five days later, Wel complained that his left eye hurt more than before. His mother then took him to Hpa-An General Hospital, where his eye was checked. The doctor saw pus in his left eye and told his mother to take him to a hospital in Yangon as they cannot do anything for him there. The doctor provided him with eye drops and they returned home. Wel's mother did not have enough money to go to Yangon. His mother administered the eye drops for him, but his eye did not get better. His mother started to worry more about him and tried to look for a way to take him to another hospital. One of their neighbors suggested that she bring him to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot, Thailand, as she has been to the clinic before. On the 5th of January 2020, Wel's mother borrowed 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) from a neighbor and took him to MTC. There, his eye was checked but the medic referred him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH), as they could not treat Wel at the clinic. When Wel arrived at MSH, the doctor examined his eye and told Wel’s mother that he has an ulcer in the cornea of his left eye. His left eye had turned white and he also had pus due to the infection in his eye. The doctor told them that unfortunately the only option left was to remove his left eye so that his right eye would not become infected as well. Wel cried when he learned that his left eye had to be removed. Wel's mother however agreed to the procedure and he was scheduled to receive surgery on the 20th of January. Unable to pay for the surgery, the medic at MTC referred Wel to Watsi medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance in accessing treatment. Currently, Wel's left eye is itchy and has discharge coming from it. He cannot look at sunlight, as if he does his eye hurts. Before he stated taking the painkillers provided by MSH, his eye was very painful. He can no longer see anything with his left eye. "I want him to continue his studies after he receives treatment and I would like him to become either a teacher or a nurse in the future," said Wel's mother. "I don’t want him to work on the farm like us because he will have only one eye, so I want him to get a good job.”
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."
Wine is a 23-year-old man from Burma. Wine’s family are subsistence farmers and they mainly grow rice and sunflowers. Since Wine’s health deteriorated, he can no longer work on the farm and now looks after two cows. In his free time, he likes to hang out with his friends. In 2016, Wine started to experience a rapid heartbeat and fatigue. As his heart rate continued to be fast, he went to see a medic in his village. The medic told him to go to the hospital instead so he visited a general hospital near his hometown. At the hospital, he received an echocardiogram and the result revealed that Wine's heart valves are not good. The doctor told him that he needs to have surgery and that it would cost six million kyat (approx. 6,000 USD). The doctor then asked his family to come back after they have enough money for the surgery and prescribed him monthly oral medication. Since then, Wine also tried to treat himself with traditional medicine. When that did not work, he relied on oral medication to stabilize his condition. However, his symptoms frequently return. At the moment, Wine cannot do strenuous work such as lift heavy things, and he has back pain. Wine said, “I am very upset that I had to stop working on the farm and that I cannot support my family anymore. I want to be healthy and recover as soon as possible. When I recover fully, I will find a good job to pay back my debt and I will help my community as much as I can.”
Eight years ago, Elizabeth noticed that her left ear could barely grasp a sound. Over the years, the hearing loss has spread to the right ear. She received eardrops from a local clinic but that did not help the situation. Instead, the condition got worse. Elizabeth’s daughter advised that they visit Kijabe hospital where a test was done and hearing aids recommended. Elizabeth has a difficult time communicating with her husband with whom she stays with. She can also barely use a phone, attend church or gatherings. Together, Elizabeth and her husband have twelve children all grown and living off on their own. They depend on two of their children who have done well for themselves. One of them is employed casually as a clerk and the other one a private school teacher in the village. They are not able to raise the funds needed and thus appealing for help. “I will appreciate any help accorded towards my treatment,” says Elizabeth.
Ngwe is a 46-year-old from Burma. She lives with her husband and 16-year-old son in Winkabar Village, Kyain Seikgyi Township, Karen State. Her son studies in grade 6 while her husband works as a day labour tapping rubber trees. Ngwe stopped working three years ago because of her health problems. Ngwe 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, Ngwe feels tired and sometimes she has heart palpitation when she is active. She cannot walk long distances. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Ngwe. The treatment is scheduled to take place on October 31st and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. “When I recover fully, I want to meditate [at the temple]. I also want to help out with household chores and make merit through various activities,” said Ngwe.