Martha joined Watsi on October 14th, 2015. Five years ago, Martha joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Martha's most recent donation supported Elsa, an athletic young boy from Ethiopia, for corrective surgery to treat a birth condition.
Martha has funded healthcare for 61 patients in 11 countries.
Martha has funded healthcare for 61 patients in 11 countries.
Elsa is a 9-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He loves to play football with his dad and other kids. He is the first born in a family of three. His father is a daily laborer and his mother takes care of their house and family. Elsa and his family live in a rented house. Their family shared with us that Elsa does not go to school because his father hides him from the community for fear of gossip and stigma due to his birth condition. His parents are highly affected psychologically as a result of his affliction. His father is planning to send him to school in September after his surgery and recovery. Elsa was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Elsa had his first stage of hypospadias repair surgery in January and is now planned for a second stage surgery. He will be healthy and active after this treatment. Elsa is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on August 31st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His father said, “I hope my child goes to school after the treatment. I hope he will mingle and play with other children and that will make him happy, break his isolation, and resolve the tension in his mind. If God wills he will be a doctor.”
Dora is a teenager studying in class six and her best subjects are English and Swahili. Once she completes her studies, Dora has dreams to become a teacher. At home, she is the seventh oldest of her mother's eleven children. Dora's father has three wives, so Dora has twenty siblings total. Dora likes helping her mother with home chores, such as washing dishes and keeping their home clean. Dora's parents are small scale farmers of maize and vegetable, and they also have a few cattle that they depend on for milk. Dora was diagnosed with left genu valgus, a condition typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, her left leg is bowed so that her knees touch, thus making walking difficult. Dora has to walk forty minutes one way to and from school everyday, so this condition poses a significant barrier to Dora continuing her education and pursuing her aspirations. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Dora. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 15th. Treatment will hopefully restore Dora's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Dora shares her current condition, "When I walk to school my leg pains so much there are days I am unable to put weight on the leg especially when it’s cold. Please help me."
Hsue is a 52-year-old man who lives with his four daughters, his son-in-law and two grandchildren in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Hsue and his son-in-law used to work as agricultural day laborers in a nearby Thai village, but stopped working after travel restrictions were put in place due to Covid-19. These restrictions made it difficult for them to leave the camp for work. Since then, only Hsue's oldest daughter works, while one of his daughters goes to school and the others look after household chores. Last month, the ophthalmologist at Mae Sot Hospital diagnosed Hsue with a cataract in his left eye. Currently, the vision in Hsue's left eye is blurry, and he can only perceive light. He develops a headache whenever he tries to focus on something. He has to rely on his right eye and he can only see things that are near him. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Hsue. On June 20th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Hsue's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Hsue said,“I feel very sad. I can’t see and I can't make out people's faces when they are not near.” He is hopeful that this surgery will help him to get his vision back.
Sok is a 43-year-old taxi driver who is married with a son and a daughter. Both of his children are in elementary school. His wife sells food at the local market. Sok has not been able to work for more than a year, so lately he has enjoyed growing vegetables that his wife can sell, listening to the radio, and walking with his children to school. Four years ago, Sok developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him irritation, sensitivity to light, and blurry vision. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Sok learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled there with his wife seeking treatment. On May 17th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Sok shared, "I will be so happy to be able to drive my motorbike and work again. I hope that I can make my family happy and support them well."
Meet Fidelis, a 5-year-old beautiful girl. Her mother told us that she likes playing and singing, “Fidelis likes singing in church and reciting bible memory verses." Fidelis's mother is a single mum working as a vendor selling vegetables within their home area. Fidelis was born with clubfoot deformity, she has tried many treatments at a government hospital and at Cure Hospital. Her condition has continued to recur and has greatly affected her mobility. Her mother is concerned and worried for her as Fidelis is not able to walk, run with her friends, and sometimes stays lonely at home because her friends focus on her disability. Fidelis has clubfoot of of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. Fortunately, Fidelis traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Fidelis's clubfoot repair. After treatment, the hope is that Fidelis will finally be able to wear shoes well, run, walk, and play with her friends at home and at school. Her mother also hopes her self-esteem will improve. “I would like my daughter to undergo surgery so she can walk well without any hardship and continue with her education uninterrupted,” Fidelis’s mother told us.
Isack is 34-year-old from Tanzania and the youngest in a family of six children. One of his older brothers passed away last year due to COVID-19, leaving the family in a tough situation. Before his accident, Isack was working as a driver’s assistant in a truck with his brother, who was the driver. Working as a driver's assistant helped Isack make a living and he was able to support himself. In 2019, however, Isack was involved in an accident which left him with an open wound on his right leg. On the day of the accident, Isack was checking on the truck that was being serviced. As the mechanics were working, gas was unknowingly spilt on Isack's trousers. Afterwards, a match stick caught on Isack's right trouser leg starting a fire. Since then, Isack has not been able to work or support himself due to his leg injury. The wound is not healing, making walking very difficult. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Isack receive treatment. On March 19th, surgeons will perform a skin graft procedure to heal his wound and infection. Now, Isack needs help to fund this $747 procedure. Isack shared, "I am not able to work and support myself because of my leg. My family is currently struggling and they too cannot help due to lack of money. Please help me have my leg treated so that I can work."
Yohannes is a 13-month-old toddler from Ethiopia who loves eating noodles and playing with his mom and with other children. Yohannes’ only family is his mother, who lives in Addis Ababa. She used to work as a domestic worker, but after experiencing labor abuse she is temporarily staying at a charity organization. Yohannes was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Yohannes is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Yohannes' mother is excited for him to undergo the surgery, saying “I pray for my child to grow healthy and become somebody.”
Shamra is a 3-year-old baby girl from Tanzania. She is the firstborn of two children in her family. Shamra has clubfoot of her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes her difficulty with walking and wearing shoes. She needs surgery to help re-position her foot correctly. Currently, Shamra and her sibling are being looked after by their grandmother because their mother has been sick for a long time and is unable to care for herself and her children. Given her age, their grandmother shared with us that she is really struggling to provide and care for both her daughter and and her grandchildren. Shamra’s grandmother sells boiled maize and groundnuts by the roadside in order to feed and care for her sick daughter and her grandchildren. Shamra's father has been absent for some time and does not provide support for their family. Their family appeals for financial support for the care that Shamra needs. Fortunately, Shamra traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery and ongoing treatment starting on January 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Shamra's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk and play easily again. Shamra’s grandmother shared, “Please help my granddaughter as we are going through a very challenging situation and we have no means to raise the money we need. Thank you for any support you can provide.”
U Win is a 54-year-old man who lives with his wife and youngest son in the Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. He has three sons and three daughters, with five of his children already married and working. His 17-year-old son left school because they were unable to pay school fees, and worked as a day laborer until COVID-19 happened. U Win used to work as a day laborer as well, but stopped working around two years ago due to his health condition. His family survives on 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) each month that U Win's three other daughters and another son send them, enough to cover their basic expenses. In January 2012, U Win felt tired, had a headache, suffered from heart palpitations, and a rapid heartbeat. He went to a clinic where the doctor listened to his heart with a stethoscope and checked his blood pressure. U Win was told that he has high blood pressure and that he would need to take oral medication for a long time. He received an injection, oral medication, and another appointment for more medication. After he took the medication, he felt better and he went back to work. However, U Win continued to experience worsening symptoms over the next few years, returning to clinics and receiving the same treatment. He was told at one point to visit a cardiologist, but did not do so until later on. In August 2020, during another clinic visit in Yangon, the doctor diagnosed U Win with an atrial septal defect, and said that he would need to receive surgery to repair this hole in his heart. If not treated, the condition could weaken his heart further and cause lung problems later on. He was unable to receive surgery in November due to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases, and was also told the procedure would cost about 3,000,000 kyat (approx. 3,000 USD). Luckily, U Win’s wife remembered that there is a charity group in Yangon that might be able to help. The group told him about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, to look for assistance with accessing the treatment he needed. U Win currently experiences chest pain and back pain, has no appetite, and cannot sleep well at night. He appeals for financial support for his cost of care. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 20th, U Win will undergo an atrial septal defect closure procedure. Once recovered, his quality of life will significantly improve and he will be able to return to work. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. U Win shared, “I want to get better soon so that I can work for my family again. I am worried about my family’s future because we cannot find work in the village. My son also cannot go to Yangon to find another job because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.”
Leang Sim is a seven-year-old 1st grade student. She has one older brother who is 11 years old and in the 6th grade. Their father sells vegetables at the market and their mother is a vegetable farmer. When Leang Sim is not at school she likes to play with toys with her brother, read books, watch TV, and go outside with her parents. When Leang Sim was one, her mother first noticed she had a curved spine. Doctors have now diagnosed Leang Sim with thoracolumbar scoliosis. She arrived at Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) with a curved spine reporting difficulty walking, sleeping, and trouble breathing after strenuous activity. Surgeons at CSC will place an extending rod inside Leang Sim's back to help improve her condition now and as she grows, the rod will be extended to alleviate her scoliosis. Leang Sim's mother is hopeful for the surgery and said, "I hope my daughter can walk well after surgery."
Noel is a 3-year-old boy from Tanzania and the only child to his single mother. He is a happy, friendly, and cheerful boy. Noel's mom shared that his father left them when he was young and does not offer support, leaving her struggling to raise him all by herself. Last year, Noel fell over a pot of hot porridge which has left him with scars on his face. The skin around his face is now contracting and pulling the skin up impacting his mouth. Due to this, he can’t speak well and if this is not corrected the condition will continue to worsen. Noel's mother does not have a stable job; she seeks casual labor like house cleaning and washing clothes in order to get money to support herself and her baby. She is unable to afford her child's treatment cost thus she is asking for help and support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Noel receive treatment. On October 12th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery and he will be better able to talk properly after treatment. Now, their family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Noel’s mother says: “With no job, I am struggling to even feed my son well. I won’t be able to afford his surgery cost, please help us.”
Megan is a 3-month old baby girl from Tanzania, and the only child to her single mother. Megan was born with clubfoot and spina bifida, which contributed to her acquiring hydrocephalus. Megan’s father left their family when her mother was five months pregnant and they lost any contact with him. Megan's grandmother, who was also a single mom after her husband passed away at a young age, depends on selling second-hand clothes. Her income is very limited to be able to provide for her children and be able to afford school fees. Due to this, Megan's mother was not able to continue with her studies due to financial challenges and joined her mother in selling second hand clothes. Megan 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, Megan has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Megan 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 Megan that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 21st and will drain the excess fluid from Megan's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Megan will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Megan’s mother says, “I have no one to run to for help and support, all my relatives have told me they can no longer support us in any way and yet my daughter is suffering. Please help save my daughter.”