Matthew joined Watsi on November 5th, 2014. Eight years ago, Matthew joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Matthew's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Baby Of Debrah, a newborn baby boy from Tanzania, to fund corrective surgery for his clubfoot.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 14 countries.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 14 countries.
Deborah's baby is a newborn - only a few days old. Deborah and her husband have two more children. Deoborah's husband is the breadwinner of the family, working as a small business operator while Deborah is a stay-at-home parent for their family. Her husband's income provides for their basic needs and school fees. Deborah's baby was born with clubfoot of his right leg. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. His parents are greatly concerned about their baby’s condition. They are worried, but also holding hope that their newborn baby will be ok. Fortunately, the parents brought their newborn to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is raising $935 to fund the baby's clubfoot repair. After treatment, his leg will be aligned correctly and he will be able to walk easily as he grows. His father shared, “It has been so hard living in doubt for the past three days. I'm grateful my baby will now get help."
Mary lives with her husband and 5-year-old child in Kenya. She is 28 years old and works as a laborer on farms. Her husband does labor jobs when we can get them at construction sites. Their combined income is inconsistent, and they have no savings or medical insurance. Mary has been unwell for a while now. She had a hemorrhagic stroke in January of this year, which has mostly been resolved. However, an ultrasound revealed that she has a right ovarian serous cystadenoma. These are abnormal growths that need to be removed. If left untreated, they can turn into cancer (serous carcinomas). Mary needs surgery, but cannot afford it. She is scheduled for an oophorectomy procedure, which is the surgical removal of an ovary or ovaries. This surgery will cost $1074, and she needs help raising the payment. Mary says, "I am in so much pain and need treatment. If left untreated I am scared of losing my life.”
Ann is a 34-year-old widow and a mother of two children, ages 13 and 8 years old. She does odd jobs at a nearby small hotel; though she shared that her medical condition makes it hard to work. Ann started having epigastric pains in 2015 and has being treated intermittently for ulcers. She said that sometimes all her income goes to treatment, and yet she doesn’t get well. Recently, the pain became worse, and she was taken to different hospitals over the weekend before being brought to Nazareth Hospital, where she was admitted. A scan showed Cholelithiasis, and since she has severe pain on and off, the Surgeon recommended she should go for Cholecystectomy (surgical removal of the gall bladder) immediately. Unfortunately, her medical insurance (NHIF) did not approve her case, so she needs $788 to fund her surgery. If not treated, Ann will continue to experience the pain and may have complications like pancreatitis, blockage of the gall bladder with inflammation of the gall bladder. She is in severe pain already. “I am desperate, the doctor says I have to be operated on tomorrow but have no money to pay, and NHIF did not approve my application. Any support given, I will appreciate, at least to have my life back. I am the hope of my children who are still young,” said Ann quietly.
Hellen is a soft-spoken, 23 year old student, living with relatives in Gilgil Town in Kenya. Hellen's parents are elderly, and as neither they nor Hellen have a stable source of income, Hellen's relatives are paying for her studies in food and beverage. Just two weeks ago, after undergoing an MRI because of abdominal pain, Hellen learned that she has a fast growing mass in her abdomen, that has displaced her uterus. Hellen was told that she needs surgery urgently in order to remove the mass. If left untreated, the mass could become cancerous, and threaten Hellen's ability to bear children. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help Hellen access the care that she needs. On September 9th, Hellen will undergo a laparoscopic procedure at AIC Kijabe Hospital, at which time the mass will be removed. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is seeking $1,074 to fund Hellen's surgery. Hellen says: "The swelling in the stomach is growing so fast. I am scared it might be cancerous. It might also affect my ability to get kids if not treated.”
Regina is a 13-year-old girl from Kenya. She is the secondborn in a family of three children. Her parents separated a few years back, and she and all of her siblings currently live with their mother in their ancestral home. Regina’s mother practices small-scale farming to provide food for their family. Her mother shares that she previously ran a small kiosk in their hometown where she sold fruits, but she has been unable to sustain the business since Regina fell sick in June. They currently rely on Regina’s grandmother to help support them. Regina has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Regina has been experiencing fevers and severe headaches. Although she and her family have been to different hospitals seeking treatment, they have not seen much change in her condition. Fortunately, they were referred to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, where she will undergo surgery to treat her hydrocephalus. Without treatment, Regina would experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Regina. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 17th and will drain the excess fluid from Regina's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Regina will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Regina’s mother says, “I am not happy that my child is in this condition. I want her to get well and bring back my happiness.”
Alison is a sweet 6-year-old from Bolivia who loves princesses and coloring in coloring books! She lives with her parents in a small town on the border between Bolivia and Argentina. Her father is a minibus taxi driver, and her mother is currently finishing her university studies. Alison also attends school and recently finished first grade. Alison was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her feeling weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Alison is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 26th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through her body and improving her quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Alison's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which funds surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Alison and her family can travel to receive her life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Alison's mother shares, "Our family is so grateful for this opportunity to save our daughter's life!"
Saw Wah is a 14-year-old student who lives with his parents and five younger brothers. He is in grade six, but his youngest brother is too young to enroll in school and his four other brothers stopped going to school earlier this year. It has been a challenging time in their region and Saw Wah shared: “They do not want to attend school because fighting happens very often in this area. We have to run and hide in the jungle where we study and they do not like to study in the jungle." Saw Wah’s family raises chickens and two goats to help feed their family. They also go fishing and foraging for vegetables in the jungle. His father works as a day laborer when there is no work on the farm, and even though Saw Wah's family does not have a regular income, they have enough food and receive free basic healthcare at a clinic near their village. A few years ago, Saw Wah developed a runny nose with yellowish nasal discharge. At first, he thought this was normal and would go away on its own, but towards the end of April, Saw Wah's nose became entirely blocked. He could no longer breath through it and lost all sense of smell. He finally told his parents about his symptoms, and his father took him to the free clinic where the medic checked his nostrils and found a mass blocking the nasal passage in both of his nostrils. Saw Wah was told he would need to go to a larger hospital for further investigation. Doctors want Saw Wah to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $693 to cover the cost of Saw Wah's CT scan and care, scheduled for June 27th. Saw Wah said, “I cannot breathe well especially at night... I want to receive surgery soon so that I will be able to breath normally again.”
Rayvan is a 1 month old baby boy living with his parents and three siblings in Kenya. Rayvan's mother used to plough her neighbors' farms, while his father herds cattle and ploughs farms to earn a living for their family. Rayvan parents shared that he was born at home because they could not afford to pay for his delivery at a hospital. After his birth, his mother noticed that Rayvan had a large swelling on the lower part of his back. She immediately took him to a nearby hospital to be examined. Rayvan was given some medication, and sent back home. After using the medication for a few weeks, there was no change in his condition. His mother shared her concerns about Rayvan with her friends, and one of them referred her to our medical partner's care center BethanyKids Hospital in Kijabe. On arrival, he was examined and diagnosed with spina bifida, a condition that requires surgical intervention to heal. Without surgery, Rayvan is at risk of developing paralysis of his lower limbs, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, and possible developmental delays. His parents do not have health insurance, and are unable to pay for the surgery he needs. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Rayvan's spina bifida closure surgery, which is scheduled to take place on May 18th at BethanyKids Hospital. This procedure will hopefully spare Rayvan from the risks associated with his condition, and enable him to grow up strong and healthy. Rayvan’s mother says: “I have never seen such a condition before and I was very much worried about my child. Now I’m happy to hear that he can get treated. The sad part is that I cannot afford the treatment but I believe that God will make a way.”
Randy is a 49-year-old from the Philippines. He has developed a large mass on his left shoulder. Because of this mass, Randy has been unable to secure full time employment. In order to support the needs of his family, Randy works part time in the neighborhood where he lives. Because of his inability to afford and access care, Randy had to delay treatment for a couple of years, and the mass increased in size. Fortunately, Randy found his way to our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, and he is now scheduled for surgery on May 3rd at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. World Surgical Foundation Philippines is requesting $1,196 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care, which will remove the mass and enable Randy to return to full time employment. “Randy is so eager to be treated so he can work and provide for his family,” his sister said. “We are very grateful to World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for helping people like us. Thank you for your generous hearts," she added.
Allan is an adorable two-year-old boy from the Philippines. Allan loves to sing nursery rhymes and listen to music. Allan's father works as a welder in Saudi Arabia, while his mother stays at home to look after their children. Allan’s father's income is only enough to support their basic needs, the family works hard to shoulder Allan’s medical treatment. Allan was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. Allan needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Allan is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on April 4th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Allan's family raise $1,279 to cover the total cost of Allan's procedure and care. After his recovery, Allan will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Allan's mother shared, “This surgery is important for us. Through this, Allan will have a chance to grow as a normal kid - no more discomforts and pain. This will also ease our financial burden to buy his colostomy supplies. WSFP and WATSI will be of really great help to us, and so we’re grateful to them!”
Sayanga is a 14-year-old boy and the fourth born child of his mother's seven children. He is a bright and hard working student in the sixth grade, and his best subjects are Swahili and Mathematics. When he was three years old, Sayanga was outside playing with his siblings when he tripped and his hand went into an open fireplace. He sustained burns which were treated at home with traditional medicine. His wounds healed, but he developed a contracture on his finger, which limits his ability to use his right hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Sayanga receive treatment. On March 2nd, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him regain use of his hand. Now, his family needs help raising $874 to fund his procedure and care. Sayanga’s priest, who accompanied him to the hospital, shared, "his parents are struggling financially they can’t afford the treatment cost."
Mary is a 33-year-old woman and arrived to meet with our local Watsi rep having a lot of pain. She has a cancerous tumor in her abdomen that requires surgery. Over the past year she has been through a lot and, while she has insurance coverage, they will no longer cover her treatment. She is currently scheduled for a laparotomy surgery to help with the removal of the tumor and relieve her stomach pains. Mary is a mother of one child who is six years old. She used to work as a shop steward but stopped due to her condition so no longer has a source of income. Her husband works as a motorbike ‘boda-boda’ driver and income from this venture is inconsistent and can't cover the cost of her surgery. She has been relying on friends and relatives to raise money for travel fare and medication. Mary says, “I have been through a lot. My stomach keeps swelling and it is very painful. I need to get better so as to raise my little kid and family.“