bruce joined Watsi on January 14th, 2015. Five years ago, bruce became the 811th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,639 more people have become monthly donors! bruce's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Rhoda, a girl from Kenya, to fund mobility-restoring leg surgery.
bruce has funded healthcare for 68 patients in 11 countries.
Rhoda was born at her home in 2012 and the next day she was taken to the clinic for vaccinations. The doctor examined her, and she was found to be healthy. She had all her required vaccines at the right time until she was five years. Rhoda has been healthy, and her family shares that she rarely got sick, only the common cold which did not require her to see the doctor. Rhoda started her schooling when she turned five and really enjoys being at school. Equally, she likes the company of her teachers and her agemates during class time and playtime. At the age of six her parents realized that Rhoda was always left behind to and from school. Her friends reported to the parents that Rhoda often falls and that’s why they usually leave her behind. The parents observed Rhoda and realized that one of her legs was not okay. Rhoda twists her leg when she moves. Her ankle continued to worsen until Rhoda couldn’t move far before she fell. She is an active and restless girl, but her twisting ankle keeps bringing her down. The problem has stressed her and affected her socialization with other children and friends. Often, she cries when she falls especially when she notices that people are observing and talking about her shorter leg. It is even saddening to hear other children give her bad names because of her limping. Her parents took her to various hospitals without success. Some health officers thought it was polio and thus there was nothing they could do. The family had difficulties accessing specialists due to their income. Rhoda's father is unemployed and her mother who is the only breadwinner who just got a teaching job. After hert mother got the job and got a National Health Insurance (NHIF) card they took Rhoda to Kikuyu Hospital. However, the NHIF card could not cover the cost for treating her there. It was after the unsuccessful attempt to seek medical care at other facilities that they heard about Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Cure International Hospital. They visited, as they said, trusting God that their lovely daughter will receive treatment and grow up happily just as other children. Rhoda's family shared, “Any help to enable Rhoda to receive treatment will be greatly appreciated.”
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.”
Philip is a widower from Kenya. He is a quiet man who mostly keeps to himself and rarely shares his troubles and needs. His wife passed away in 2010 and he was left with four children to look after. But Philip now lives alone in a grass-thatched house and has four sheep. He does casual jobs and the little he earns enables him to buy food for himself. Philip recently slipped and fell while he was tending to one of his sheep. He fractured his left femur and because he is in pain he cannot walk or work. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 7th, Philip will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again and he will be able to work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Philip shared, “I have been living a life that is not pleasing and my personal problems turned my children against me. This has been an eye-opener and I promise to make peace with my children after getting help with my broken leg.”
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.”
Jalen is a lively 6-month-old baby who was born with an anorectal malformation. Over the last six months, he has had three surgeries for his condition and now a PSARP surgery is needed as a final stage. The surgery will allow Jalen to be able to pass stool normally. Jalen’s past three surgeries were funded by the national health insurance system (NHIF), but he has now exhausted the maximum surgical package the insurance offers. His parents are not able to meet the cost of surgery. Jalen’s father is a peasant farmer while his mom a housewife. She recently completed college and is yet to secure a job. Jalen has a 7-year-old sibling and their family lives together in a rented house. Their reliance on seasonal farming limits their income level, leaving too little to meet the cost of surgery. Jalen’s mother says, “My hope is to see Jalen recovering and leading a normal life like any other child.”
Bravel Paul is an 8-year-old student from Kenya. He likes playing football and watching cartoons. His family hails from Kajiado County. He is a class 1 pupil and likes reading books and other hobbies. His father is a caretaker for some houses, while his mother is a housewife. The family lives in a one-roomed rental house in Kitengela. Bravel has clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Bravel traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 24th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Bravel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. "I would like to see my son walking comfortably and therefore any assistance accorded to us will be highly appreciated," Bravel’s father told us.
Kylian is a baby from Haiti. He lives with his mother and father in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince; his mother is a nurse and his father manages a small store. Kylian 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. Kylian will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On March 11th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will use a patch to close the hole in his heart, and will remove the blockage from his valve. Another organization, Akron Children's Hospital, is contributing $20,000 to help pay for surgery. Kylian's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and transport. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Kylian's family overseas. Kylian's mother shared: "I am so happy that my son has the chance to be healthy and safe."
Jane, a self-employed woman, was unfortunate to fall in a latrine in July 2018, severely breaking her leg. Upon the accident, she was rushed to Nakuru Hospital, where she was admitted and had surgery in which a metal plate was inserted. She went for clinics in the same hospital after being discharged, but the leg was not improving at all. Her uncle came to her rescue in June 2019 and brought her to Kijabe Hospital. Jane was admitted, had the metals on her leg replaced with lighter ones, and was discharged. She has been coming for clinics to monitor her leg. An x-ray was done and it was decided that another surgery was needed. Due to lack of funds, Jane went home helpless. Being a divorced woman and self-employed (selling second-hand clothes), Jane is the breadwinner of her family of five children. With her mobility being hindered by her broken leg, she cannot do as much as she would have if she’d be on both feet. This surgery will definitely improve Jane’s and her children’s quality of life.
Phors is a 22-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He has two older sisters and one older brother. In his free time, he likes to help feed the animals around the house and work on his family's farm. In September 2019, Phors fell off his motorcycle after a collision with another vehicle. He suffered injuries to his left arm but was unable to receive any initial treatment. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He is unable to move his arm and cannot work. Phors traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 10th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, will be able to use his arm again and can return to his work. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. "I hope that my left hand will regain function again and I can return to my work easily like before," he shared.
Amri is an elderly man who operates a small shop to earn a living. In the 80s, he was injured at a football match on his left knee. He was treated and able to walk with ease three months later. However, as years progressed, the knee became painful making it hard for him to walk. Over the years, the pain has been persistent. He has tried different ointments which relieves pain temporarily. He came to our facility and upon review, he had surgery recommended. He managed to get medical insurance. Unfortunately, the card does not cover the full cost of surgery. With successful surgery, Amri will be able to walk with ease. Amri relies on his small business to meet daily needs. His children have assisted him to get medical coverage but are not able to raise the remaining funds. He appeals for help. Fortunately, Amri learned about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). At AMHF's care center, surgeons can perform a total knee replacement to relieve Amri of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for December 10th, and Amri needs help raising $822 to pay for this procedure. Amri says, “I am unable to come up with all the surgery cost. Please help me so that I can have my knee corrected and walk again.”
Dennis is a very shy and quiet boy from Kenya. Dennis was born with anal rectal malformation, where he lacked an anal opening. This caused trouble to his parents as he could not pass stool for an entire week when he was born. He had a colostomy created and was required to proceed with subsequent surgeries of the anal opening and colostomy closure. However, for the last 17 years, he has survived with the colostomy. His parents were not able to raise the funds needed for his surgeries. His area chief recently forced Dennis's parents to bring him to Bethany Kids Kijabe after much suffering. At Bethany Kids Kijabe, he was diagnosed and surgery recommended. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. However, the family is still struggling financially. Dennis is the firstborn child in his family. Due to his condition, he has never been to school, being passed by all his 6 siblings who are schooling. Dennis is quite shy and prefers to be alone due to his condition. Successful surgery will allow Dennis to resume a relatively normal life like any other child and perhaps start schooling. His father is a security guard while his mother sells vegetables in their village.The family appeals for help. Dennis is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on October 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,327 to cover the total cost of Dennis's procedure and care. “If only I knew, I would have come here early. I feel like I have wasted his life,” says Dennis's father with regret.
Richard is a farmer from Kenya. Father of six Richard is a small scale farmer. He plants maize and beans in his farm. Richard doesn’t have a good house to live in. He stays in a two room house roofed with grass. None of his children completed school due to low income in the family. The family has gone through a hard-time that they even lack food some of the days. Two months ago, Richard was involved in a road traffic accident and sustained a complex femur fracture on his left leg. Richard was brought to our hospital where he underwent a successful intramedullary nail femur surgery on 8/08/2019. He was discharged where he has been recovering at home. On his first surgical review, the surgeon realized that Richard is unable to get full extension of the femur. On further examination he realized that Richard had shortened femur and suggested that he needs revision surgery to fix his this condition for previous surgery done that was not successful. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 07, Richard will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. Richard says, “I am really worried about the fate of my leg. I thought it was getting well. I have nothing to offer for my second surgery. Help me raise funds to make it possible and a success."