Jeremy joined Watsi on August 5th, 2014. Six years ago, Jeremy joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jeremy's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Kishimwi, a playful four-year-old from Tanzania, to fund life-changing clubfoot treatment.
Kishimwi is a playful and friendly young boy who is currently having a hard time walking. Kishimwi has a younger sibling, and his parents are small-scale maize and vegetable farmers who grow food for their family. His father also works as a hawker selling Maasai beads, belts and sandals in order to make extra income. Kishimwi was diagnosed with genu valgus, causing his legs to bend inward to form knock knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Kishimwi's parents noticed a slight bent in his leg when he was three years old, but became alarmed when the problem worsened over the past year to the point where walking became difficult. Kishimwi experiences pain when participating in daily activities, so his parents decided to seek treatment for him at a local hospital in their village. The family was advised to give Kishimwi foods containing high calcium and calcium supplements to strengthen his bones and prevent his legs from bending further. However, the effects were negligible and Kishimwi's legs became more bent. Fortunately, an older patient's parent told the family about Watsi's medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC), and the family traveled to the hospital hoping for treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Kishimwi. The procedure will take place on June 29th. Treatment will hopefully restore Kishimwi's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Kishimwi’s father hopes his son's pain will be alleviated after this care, "We have used medication and foods containing high calcium but none has helped. Please help treat my son because as you can see his legs are badly affected."
Kennedy is a 23-year-old high school graduate and the second born of four children in his family. Kennedy shared that his father sadly passed away in 2006, and his mother works as a house helper in Nairobi. His older brother works as a watchman in the city and his younger siblings are still in school. He is not working currently, and he lives alone in his family home on a quarter-acre of land. On May 22nd, while training to drive a motorbike so that he may be able to do this for an income, he was hit by a speeding vehicle and lost control. He fell along the roadside and fractured his right leg. It is difficult for him to walk and he is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 2nd, Kennedy will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Kennedy shared, “I recently finished my form four and I have my future to think of. I need to be able to walk well but first I need the surgery to help me.”
Sok Lim is a 35-year-old traditional Khmer food seller who works in the market along with her mother. She has two brothers: her older brother is a farmer, and her younger brother is a car mechanic. Their father died of illness many years ago. In October 2020, Sok Lim was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of her right arm. She has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on her right 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. Currently, she is unable to lift her arm and cannot work. Sok Lim traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 27th, she will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, Sok Lim will be able to use her arm normally and easily again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Sok Lim shared, "I am thankful that this surgery will help me return home and get back to helping my mother at the market. My life will be changed if I can use my right arm and hand again."
Mohammed is a four-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He is a sweet and playful boy who loves to play with toy cars. He also loves to play with his younger brother. His mom and dad are returnees from Saudi Arabia. He did not start school as a result of COVID-19, but his mom plans to have him start by next year. His mom is a housewife and his dad does business selling socks on the street, but they shared this his income is not enough to meet the needs of the family. Mohammed was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one of the testicles does not descend. If left untreated, Mohammed could have an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, Mohammed is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 18th. He will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). AMH is requesting $754 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His mom shared, “for my child, I wish a good personality and behavior. I hope he will be a good person and that he will serve his country."
Losieku is a nine-year-old boy and the youngest child born to his mother, who has six children. He is a friendly, cheerful and hard-working boy. He has not had the chance to go to school yet, though his father says he has plans to enroll him in school next year if everything goes well. Losieku lives in Northern Tanzania. The majority of people in this area are traditional Maasai and are livestock farmers. Losieku's father has a few goats that Losieku and his siblings take out to graze. They also practice small-scale farming of maize and vegetables as a source of food. About three years ago, Losieku was out playing with his siblings. He fell and his left hand went into an open fireplace where a bit of hot charcoal was burning below ashes. He sustained burns which were treated at home using traditional herbal medication due to lack of money and distance to the closest hospital. Over the years, the skin around his fingers has contracted and he is unable to straighten them. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Losieku receive treatment. On March 3, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery so that he will be able to use his fingers freely. Now, he needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Losieku’s father shared, "it’s really challenging for my son to carry out his daily activities because of his hand. He is a hardworking boy, and if he gets his hand corrected, it will help him do more with ease.”
Lewis is a playful and social 11-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the sixth born in a family of eight children, and is brother to Jonah, another Watsi patient. When he's older, Jonah aspires to be in the special forces as a military officer in the future. His mother is a single parent and used to be a farmer, but currently stays at home to take care of her children. She recently underwent an amputation on her leg after suffering from diabetes. Lewis had clubfoot of both his feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Lewis traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons healed one foot with support from Watsi and now will perform his other clubfoot repair surgery on January 25th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Lewis's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk and play with his brother more easily. Rosaria, Lewis' mother shared, “We are grateful that Watsi is helping my two sons undergo surgery. We have seen a lot of impact on their feet. Previously, they used to complain of pain while walking and they like playing a lot. We plead for more support to ensure that their feet can be able to step on the ground and walk like other children. God bless you."
Kelvin is a 13-year-old boy from from Nyeri County in Central Kenya. He is a humble and calm child, and the 4th born in a family of six children. His mother is a farmer, while his father passed on 6 years ago after a long illness. At school, Kelvin is in Class 3 at Karangi Primary School. His teacher says he is a bright boy and performs well in class. Kelvin is actually supposed to be in Class 8 but, because of the condition of his feet, he has not been able to advance in his education as quickly. Kelvin was born with bilateral clubfoot, which was neglected and not treated earlier on. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, and causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Though he was taken to a hospital in the area to seek treatment, he could not initially undergo surgery due to lack of money. Now, Kelvin faces difficulty as he walks because his feet knock each other and causes him to fall every time. Unfortunately, this has affected his self-esteem when he sees other people playing and he cannot join. In March 2020, Kelvin underwent left triple arthrodesis surgery supported by Watsi donors and the procedure corrected his foot perfectly. Now, he is scheduled to undergo a right triple arthrodesis, a surgery to correct his right foot so he can walk well with both feet. Fortunately, Kelvin traveled back to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on him on January 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Kelvin's clubfoot repair. This surgery will be very impactful as he will be able to wear both shoes, walk well, and play with friends. Kelvin will also be able to continue with his studies without any hindrances. His mother asks for support for his second surgery. Kelvin's mother shared, “We are grateful to God for the support we received from Cure Hospital through the Watsi donors. I have seen great improvement with my son and am looking forward to seeing him walking like other children. God bless you and continue with the good work you do of helping needy families to have surgery. God bless you."
Gabriel is a 46-year-old refugee from South Sudan. He is a father of six children aged between 2-19 years old. Currently, Gabriel and his family are staying in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya fleeing civil conflict in their home country. In June 2020, Gabriel had an accident and broke his arm. He underwent surgery in his hometown of Juba in the same month and was discharged home from the hospital. However, his left arm started developing further complications, and he was forced to seek treatment in Kenya after his family left Sudan. Gabriel has chronic osteomyelitis of the left humerus and infected hardware in his arm. Gabriel has undergone 3 surgeries, including humeral debridement, hardware removal, and bone cementing. Doctors recommend another urgent sequestrectomy surgery on his left humerus to remove the infected hardware. If left untreated, he risks impediment of blood circulation within the bone leading to bone death and even amputation. Unfortunately, this procedure is costly for Gabriel and his family. He does not currently have a job, nor any medical coverage. Due to the support of well-wishers, friends, and family, Gabriel has been able to raise some money for his earlier medical and surgical concerns. However, he was forced to postpone his surgery due to lack of funds. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Gabriel receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo a sequestrectomy on December 2nd at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,500, and he appeals for financial help to fund the cost of his care. Gabriel shared, “I am in so much pain and there have been so many surgeries for me. I need assistance on this one.”
Kabula is the fifth born child in her family and was born with Spina Bifida. Her parents were referred to a more advanced hospital for treatment but they could not afford to travel to there or the cost of treatment that would be needed. They returned home tried to raise money but months kept passing by and they still could not afford it. Kabula kept getting sick every now and then with fever and vomiting, and her family took her to the nearby clinic where they were given medications. Kabula's parents separated two months ago, her mom shared, as Kabula's father was blaming her mom for giving birth to a child with Hydrocephalus. He also felt he could not afford any treatment for her with his living as a subsistence farmer, so Kabula's mother has been caring for her alone. Kabula's mother has now returned back to her parent's house to live. Kabula has been scheduled for Spina Bifida repair surgery and a VPS insertion and her mother is requesting financial support. She said, “I have been left with no support from my husband due to our child’s condition. Please help save her life.”
Nyi is 18-year-old agricultural day laborer from Thailand. He has lived with his grandparents in a village close to the border of Burma since he was 10 years old. His grandfather is a carpenter and earns 2,000 baht (approx. $66.7 USD) per month. His grandmother works as a daily laborer too and also earns 2,000 baht (approx. $66.7) in a month. Nyi had to stop working in March when he felt unwell. Previously, in his free time, he liked to play cane ball. On the evening of December 2nd 2019, Nyi and his brother went out together and they ended up in the hospital with a endotracheal tube for three days due to alcohol poisoning. One week after he was discharged, Nyi went back to work. About a month later, he developed shortness of breath and fatigue. By the time he went to Mae Sot Hospital in March 2020, the doctor diagnosed him with tracheal stenosis, a narrowing of the wind pipe. He then received a tracheostomy. The doctor referred him to Chiang Mai for further treatment, but Nyi was unable to go to Chiang Mai until September due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Doctors want Nyi 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 $469 to cover the cost of Nyi's CT scan and care, scheduled for October 2nd. "Since I was told that spraying pesticides without protective gear is unsafe [a task he used to do all the time as an agricultural day laborer], I want to find some other type of work such as in construction once I recover," said Nyi.
Than is 21-year-old woman from Burma. She is a soldier in Karen State, Burma and lives with the other soldiers in the barracks. On July 21, Than was participating in a drill on top of a mountain. Equipped with a heavy backpack and load, they had to descend the mountain quickly in the rain. While descending, Than’s left foot slipped. While falling, she banged her equipment against her left thigh and heard a cracking noise, before falling. Than's left leg is in a lot of pain and she cannot put any weight on her left leg. If she moves even a little bit, she shared that her pain increases. She can move her left ankle and toes, but she cannot bend her left leg. Her friend has to help her go to the bathroom and to take a shower. She cannot sleep well, her appetite has decreased, and she has noticed that she has already lost weight since the accident. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Than will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for September 1st and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Than walk again and allow her leg to heal properly. “I am worried about how my leg will recover, and I am worried about the surgery,” said Than.
Chhoeun and his wife have three daughters, all in primary school. In addition to working at construction sites, Chhoeun raises chickens to sell at the market. He is used to being active, taking his daughters to school, and helping his wife with housework. Four months ago, Chhoeun suffered a fall, causing his left shoulder to dislocate. He first went to a traditional Khmer healer to get treatment, but his shoulder developed an infection shortly afterwards. Since then, his shoulder has become swollen and painful, and he has lost the use of his left arm. His wife has become worried that a loss of income while Chhoeun cannot work could affect their daughters' education. After getting a recommendation from a neighbor, Chhoeun traveled four hours to Watsi's Partner Children's Surgical Centre to receive treatment. At Children's Surgery Centre, doctors will perform open reduction surgery, in order to realign his shoulder, properly heal his dislocation, and clean up the infection. After recovery, Chhoeun will regain use of his arm with no pain. Chhoeun said, "I am so excited to have my arm back. I hope that I can start my work again soon. I do not want to see my wife and children get worried about my shoulder anymore."