Stephen joined Watsi on February 2nd, 2016. Five years ago, Stephen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Stephen's most recent donation traveled 2,100 miles to support Lomnyak, a 5-year-old boy from Tanzania, to fund a spina bifida repair surgery.
Stephen has funded healthcare for 32 patients in 7 countries.
Stephen has funded healthcare for 32 patients in 7 countries.
Lomnyak is a 5-year-old boy and the fourth born child in a family of five children. Lomnyaki and his siblings live with their mother, as their father left and doesn't offer support. His mother does not currently work as she is taking care of their family and she shared how challenging it was as they do not have livestock nor a place to farm. They are doing their best to get through a challenging living situation. Lomnyak 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, Lomnyak 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 $1,015 to cover the cost of Lomnyak's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 19th. This procedure will hopefully spare Lomnyak from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Lomnyak’s mother shared, "I didn’t know that this condition was life-threatening but I suspected it to be the cause of my son not being able to stand nor walk. Please help him get this surgery."
Mukirirehe is a small scale farmer from Uganda. She is a widow and a mother to four children; three daughters and one son. All of her children are married and are now farmers as well. She lost her husband in 1999 and has been able to raise and support all of her children through her farming. Mukirirehe normally grows food crops like maize, cassava, and beans for home consumption, selling off any extra to generate an income. Fifteen years ago, Mukirirehe began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath whenever it’s cold, and persistent headaches. Doctors have diagnosed her with a goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. Mukirirehe needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Mukirirehe receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on December 8th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $252, and she and her family need help raising money. Mukirirehe shared, “I really have faith and feel that once my surgery goes on well, I will be able to continue with farming and have a new life again.”
Salmani is a six-month-old baby from Tanzania and the second born in his family. His parents live in Arusha where they are both subsistence farmers. Salmani was born healthy, but at the age of three months, Salmani’s mother observed that his head size looked abnormal. His neck was not as strong as a 3-month-old, and she felt his other body parts were somewhat weak. As a result of his condition, Salmani has been experiencing an increasing head circumference and inability to sit on his own. His mother took him to Mount Meru Hospital and they referred their family to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center ALMC Hospital for treatment. She decided she had to wait to go because they could not afford to proceed with Salmani's treatment, doctor’s visits, or the tests required. Later on, they heard about Watsi's ALMC-The Plaster House program and how children with disabilities are able to be supported. Salmani's parents wish to see him be able to sit, walk one day, and also to see his head size return back to normal. Salmani has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Without treatment, Salmani will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Salmani that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 14th and will drain the excess fluid from Salmani's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Salmani will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Salmani’s mother shared, “Please help my son get this treatment so that we can save his life and he can be able to play like other children.”
Kupha is a 45-year-old woman from Kenya and has six children. In 2014, Kupha started experiencing some pain in her upper jaw. After some time, her jaw started to swell and the pain worsened. Both cold and hot food triggered pain that would last day and night. She went to a nearby facility in Kwale County to seek care, and was given some pain medication that worked for a while. She later returned for a surgery to remove the swollen tissue. Though she recovered well, the following year, Kupha started experiencing pain and swelling again. Upon returning to the same facility for a checkup, the doctor told her that no further treatment could be done. A few years later, Kupha heard about Kijabe Hospital and came for an examination in January 2020. The doctors diagnosed her with a benign maxillary mass and scheduled her for an excision surgery. During the surgery, they will put in a plate and screws to hold together her maxillar. However, Kupha and her family are not able to raise funds needed for the surgery. After the death of her husband a few years ago, Kupha has been struggling to provide for her six children. Her firstborn son is the main breadwinner of the family and also attends college, partially sponsored by the county government of Kwale. He does some casual jobs when he is not in class to feed the family, and also facilitates his mother's hospital visits. Kupha was able to raise some money for her treatment, but she does not have enough financial support and appeals for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Kupha's surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 15th and will be a ten hour long surgery. Hopefully, this treatment will alleviate her of further severe pain and swelling. Kupha shared, “With the pain that I have endured over the years, it has made it difficult for me to look for work and provide for my family. I will be happy when I receive the required treatment for my condition.”
Min lives with his wife, son, and daughter in a village in Tak Province, Thailand. He moved from Burma to Thailand nine months ago in search of better job opportunities. His daughter is still too young to go to school and his wife and son work as day laborers on a farm, each earning 150 baht (approx. 5 USD) per day. Min had to stop working with his wife and son three months ago because of his condition. Their monthly household income of 3,000 baht (approx. 100 USD) is not enough to cover their daily expenses. Sometimes, they have to borrow money from their relatives to meet their basic needs. Four years ago, Min used to work as a construction worker in Bangkok. One day, he started to experience pain in the left side of his abdomen. He went to a clinic twice and was diagnosed with a kidney stone in his left kidney after receiving an ultrasound. The doctor told him that he would need to undergo laser treatment at a hospital to break up the stone. The next day, Min went to a hospital in Bangkok. He received another ultrasound and underwent laser treatment which he did not have to pay for because he had health insurance at that time. When he returned for his follow-up appointment, he underwent another round of laser treatment, followed by more oral medications to take home. Min was not able to return to the hospital because his father passed away before his next appointment and he had to go back to Burma for the funeral. Before he had a chance to return to Bangkok, his mother also passed away. After spending money on the two funerals, Min did not have enough money to return to Bangkok. He moved back in with his wife and children and started working as a day laborer on a farm with his wife in their village. In May 2019, Min started experiencing pain again in his left lower abdomen. He would also pass small stones about twice a month while urinating. He went to a clinic where he received oral medication as well as an ultrasound. The doctor told him that he has a stone in his left kidney as well as small stones in his urethra. Min went back to the same clinic several times for his follow-up appointments, where he received oral medication each time for his abdominal pain. By September 2019, he was feeling much better and was no longer in pain. He was also no longer passing stones when urinating. Min then stopped going back to the clinic and stopped taking medication. Later in December 2019, Min and his family moved to their current home in Thailand and in May 2020, the pain in Min’s lower abdomen returned. He has pain when urinating and has started to pass small stones again about every two weeks. He went to a local hospital in the beginning of May with his wife, and he received an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that he now has stones in both of his kidneys in addition to a bladder stone. The doctor referred him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for treatment, but his family was not able to afford the estimated cost so he returned home. At home, Min told his friend about his condition and his lack of funds to pay for it. His friend told him to seek help at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) and with Watsi's Medical Parter Burma Children Medical Fund. Surgery is now scheduled for August 14th. Min shared, “I had to sell my phone to pay for my treatment [the ultrasounds and oral medications] and my transportation when I sought treatment. For the past few days, we don’t have enough rice and we also don’t have any money to buy more food. So we have to eat rice porridge. I feel so sad for my family.”
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."