Martha joined Watsi on October 14th, 2015. Six years ago, Martha joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Martha's most recent donation supported Stephen, a 15-year-old student and future engineer from Kenya, to fund knee surgery enabling him to walk more easily.
Martha has funded healthcare for 76 patients in 11 countries.
Martha has funded healthcare for 76 patients in 11 countries.
Stephen is 15 years old and lives with his parents and eight siblings in Machakos County in Kenya. He hopes to study engineering when he is older. At the age of seven, Stephen developed severe knock knees. As a result, his knees tilt inwards, while his ankles are spaced apart. He wobbles when he walks, making it impossible for him to travel any distance on foot, or to play with his friends at school. His family learned about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, and sought their help. Now, Stephen is scheduled to undergo his first surgery, which will repair his right leg, enabling him to walk more easily. The procedure will take place on November 14th, at AIC Cure International Hospital. Stephen and his family are seeking $1,224 to fund this surgery and his medical care. "I would like to see my legs corrected so that I can walk, run, and play football with my friends and continue with my education,” Stephen told us.
Noah is a young boy from Ngarenanyuki, a small village in the rural parts of Arusha, Tanzania. He is a member of a big family with seven siblings. His father is a livestock keeper and at their home, the young children are responsible for helping around with light house chores. In 2021, Noah was in the kitchen with some of his siblings, and he accidentally fell into a pot of boiling water. He was badly burnt on his left side of the elbow near the chest. His parents provided first aid to Noah, because they live in a remote area, and it was hard for them to get to the nearest hospital. Noah’s wounds healed eventually, but left him with a burn scar contracture. The contractures tighten the skin around the burn area, and it is difficult to move his hand. Noah came to our center during a medical camp and was assessed to find out if he was fit for the required treatment to help with the burn scar contracture. Noah's parents cannot afford treatment and are appealing for help. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Noah receive treatment. On October 12th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to release the tightening and help him move his hand easily. Now, he needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Noah’s mother says, "I was worried that that my boy will grow up with that deformity but with what I have seen here, he is going to be better.”
Primer is a father of three from Haiti. He lives in a small village in southwestern Haiti with his wife and three children; he is a farmer and sells produce in the local market. Primer has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of his heart is severely damaged as the result of a rheumatic infection he suffered a number of years ago, and cannot adequately pump blood through his heart and body. The surgery that Primer needs is not available anywhere in the country so he will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On September 13th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove the damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $9000 to pay for surgery. Primer's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also covers travel expenses for the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Primer's family overseas, as well as the cost of obtaining Prince's passport. Prince says: "I am very grateful to be having this surgery so I can take care of my family and see my children grow up."
Janet is a hardworking mother of two from the Philippines. To support their family, she works as a merchandiser, and her partner works as an on-call construction worker. Janet has been diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2013, she discovered a mass on her right breast and underwent surgery to remove it, but the mass unfortunately reoccurred in 2015. However, this time there was a mass on each of her breasts. When she was finally able to seek medical care, an ultrasound showed that the masses have grown in size and need to be surgically removed. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Janet receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a mastectomy on August 13th at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising $983 to cover the remaining amount. After treatment, Janet will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Janet shared, "This free surgery is a big help for me. We don't have to worry about my medical expenses anymore. Thank you so much Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for your help!"
Jean Pierre is a 45-year-old father from Haiti who lives with his wife and daughter. To help support his family, he works at the local city hall. His daughter was a previous Watsi patient and received life-changing surgery with the help of amazing donors. When bringing his daughter in a few months ago for a post-op checkup, he mentioned that he has been experiencing the same symptoms as his daughter for many years. After further examination, doctors found that Jean Pierre has the same life-threatening condition as his daughter and has somehow survived to his age! He was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, a condition in which blood leaks through a hole between two large blood vessels near the heart. After years of feeling weak and experiencing poor health, Jean Pierre's heart condition will finally be treated. On July 14th, doctors will use a catheter to insert a device into the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is raising $1,500 to pay for Jean Pierre's life-saving procedure. Jean Pierre shares, "My family and I are very grateful that so many people are making it possible for me to have this surgery!"
Caleb is a sweet one-month-old baby boy. Immediately after his birth, the doctors noticed a small growth on his back, which they attempted to prick. This only made the growth increase in size, and to begin leaking fluid. Recognizing that they could not treat Caleb, the local doctors referred the family to our medical partner BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. A neighbor provided the family with the funds to travel to BethanyKids. Caleb was diagnosed with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect, in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without surgery, Caleb is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delay. As the family has very little income and no national health care insurance, they cannot cover the costs of Caleb's surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. Caleb is scheduled to undergo spina bifida closure surgery on June 16th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. Their family needs $1,151 to fund this life saving procedure, which, it is hoped, will spare Caleb from the risks associated with his condition, allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Caleb’s mother says: “I was very worried about my son’s condition but now I am happy that I know that he can be treated.”
Naw En is a 31-year-old woman who lives with her husband, two sons and parents in a village in Karen State near the border of Burma and Thailand. Her husband and parents are subsistence farmers. Naw En is a village health worker, and her two sons are primary school students in the village. Although she earns around 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month to support her family, she does whatever she can to only charge the villagers she treats for medications provided. Those who cannot afford to pay for the cost of medications are provided medication free of charge. Her family also raises chickens and pigs for their family to eat. The income Naw En earns is just enough to cover their daily expenses, but they have to borrow money to pay for anything else, like basic health care. Naw En learned she was pregnant last August 2021. She went to register her pregnancy at nearby Hlaingbwe Hospital, but the doctor told her to go to Hpa-An General Hospital when she told them that she had high blood pressure and previously needed a c-section delivery. When she went to Hpa-An General Hospital, a nurse told her to go to Taw Win Thu Ka Hospital because they were understaffed due to the coup and humanitarian crisis in their area. Finally, she then registered her pregnancy at Taw Win Thu Ka Hospital last November and received an ultrasound, blood test and urine test. The doctor gave her monthly follow-up appointments to check her high blood pressure and to check that her baby is in the right position. In January, Naw En learned that she will have a girl. “I was very happy to hear this as I already have two sons,” she said. Her doctor has now told her that she will need another c-section to ensure a safe delivery and unable to come up with the money needed, Naw En called her friend who works in Mae Sot to ask for help. Her friend told her about our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and that she may be able to find assistance in accessing her treatment. Currently, Naw En is taking medication for high blood pressure and feels tired when she walks. She can feel her baby kicking. When her blood pressure is high, she feels dizzy. She feels stressed each time she has to travel to the hospital, as it is located four hours from her home and cost 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) just for the round-trip transportation. She is also worried about the cost of her c-section and that they would have to borrow money if they cannot find donors. In the future, she will continue to work as a village health worker. In her free times, she loves to spend time with her two sons and play with them. Naw En said, “I was happy when BCMF staff told me that donors will help pay for my c-section. Thank you so much to the donors for reliving me of my worries.” She also added, “I am very happy and excited to have a baby girl!”
Eden is a 15-month-old baby boy from Haiti. He lives with his mother, father, and two older brothers in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Eden's father is a teacher and his mother takes care of their family and home. Eden was born with a cardiac condition called complete atrioventricular canal defect. A large hole exists in the center of Eden's heart that causes blood to leak between all four chambers. This condition puts a strain on his heart and makes it difficult for oxygen to circulate through his body. The treatment and diagnostics he needs is not available in Haiti so on April 20th, Eden will fly to the Dominican Republic to hoping undergo cardiac surgery. Upon arrival at the hospital, doctors will perform advanced diagnostics to determine the best way to treat Eden's condition. Depending on the results of the exams, the doctors will determine if they recommend Eden undergo surgery or have his condition closely managed through medication and other care. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $4,000 towards Eden's medical care, but his family also needs assistance covering an additional $1,500 for labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This also supports passport obtainment and the social workers who will accompany Eden's family overseas. Eden's mother shared, "We are very hopeful that the doctors will have good news to share with us about Eden's heart problem!"
Khoem is a loving grandmother and a widow with two sons, two daughters, and several grandchildren. Her husband passed away several years ago, so she lives with her youngest daughter, who works in a local factory and supports her mother. Over the past several years, her greatest joy is playing with her grandchildren when they come to visit. Due to her age, she mostly stays home and listens to the radio. Earlier this month, Khoem tripped in her house and fell, fracturing her left hip. Although she experienced a lot of pain and was not able to walk, she did not seek any medical help because she was worried she could not pay. A relative visited her and suggested she go to Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) for diagnosis and treatment. She is in constant pain and cannot walk so is using a wheelchair to get around. Fortunately, Khoem took her relatives advice and came to CSC. There surgeons can perform a surgery to relieve Khoem of her pain and allow her to walk more easily again. Her treatment is scheduled for March 15th, and Khoem needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. "I hope that I can walk without pain, and play with my grandchildren again," shared Khoem.
Keysha is a bright 12-year-old who lives on a small farm in northwest Haiti with her parents and four siblings. She really likes going to school and helping to take care of her family's animals. Keysha was born with a hole between the two upper chambers of her heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and fatigued. During her upcoming surgery, doctors will use a catheter probe to plug the hole in Keysha's heart with a device so that blood can no longer leak through it. With this treatment, she can finally have a healthier life ahead. Keysha is hopeful to have more energy and feel healthy after her surgery. She shared, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can walk to my friends' houses to visit them without getting tired."
Ngeke is a 17-month-old boy from a family of four children. Ngeke's father is the sole provider of their family through keeping livestock. They shared that this year has been very hard for them because of the drought that hurt the pastures. This has led to a loss of cattle and income for their family. Ngeke was born with clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Ngeke's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Ngeke's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to grow up healthy and walk much more easily. Ngeke’s mother says, “I would be very happy to see my son’s feet normal.”
Florante is a 44-year-old father from the Phillippines. He has one daughter, and he volunteers as a driver in his local administrative district. In 2016, Florante developed a mass in his neck. He was diagnosed with a cyst in his preauricular sinuses and surgery was recommended to treat his condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Florante receive treatment. On December 9th, he will undergo a parotidectomy, where surgeons will remove his parotid gland, the largest of the salivary glands. Now, he needs help raising $1,323 to fund his procedure and care. After he has recovered, Florante will be able to lead a higher quality and pain-free life. Florante shared, "this will be the best Christmas gift of my life. I am very grateful to WSFP and Watsi."