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 8,500 miles to support Kelvin, a bright 13-year-old boy from Kenya, to fund a clubfoot repair surgery on his right foot.
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."
Noeun is a 54-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. She has one son, four daughters, and six grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoys spending time taking care of her family, feeding the chickens nearby her house, and watching television. In May 2019, Noeun was in a motorcycle accident and fractured her left leg. She is unable to walk or do any work, and experiences pain and swelling daily. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On January 9th, Noeun will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Surgery will allow her injuries to heal properly and help her to walk easily again. "I hope that my wounds will heal and I will no longer have any pain and can walk well again," she shared.
Mercy is a 49-year-old single mother of two children from Kenya who makes a living as a street vendor. Mercy has been experiencing heavy bleeding and lower abdominal pains for the past three years. She has been diagnosed with uterine fibroids. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $791 to fund Mercy's surgery. On July 3, she will undergo surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Mercy will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. “I have no one to help me yet this problem is affecting my social life and my ability to work. I am asking for Watsi's help so that I can be well and be able to live a normal life," shared Mercy.
Neang is a 4-year-old child from Cambodia. She is the youngest child in a family of five. Her father is a farmer, while her mother sells goods at the local market. Neang has not yet started school, but when she is at home, she likes to paint pictures in watercolor and play with her brother. When she was two years old, Neang had a serious ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Neang experiences hearing loss, severe ear pain, and a persistent discharge from both ears. Her infections have been recurring and resistant to medicine. Her hearing loss has prevented her from communicating effectively with others, and the pain causes her distress. Neang's mother has had to spend more time caring for her, resulting in a loss of income for the family. Neang traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On June 2nd, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Her father said, "I am sad when I think about the pain she feels in both her ears, and I want her to be able to talk normally and clearly with us, and do the things she likes as a child."
Geoffrey is a young boy from Kenya. Geoffrey has two other siblings and together with his parents, lives on their ancestral land. His father takes up casual labor in people’s farms to provide for their family, while his mother takes care of the house and children. Their income is quite limited to make ends meet. When Geoffrey was one-year-old, he fell on a basin with boiling water sustaining severe burns on his hands and scalp. He spent the next 6 weeks in the hospital receiving wound care. Fortunately, he healed, but with contractures on his left hand. This led to limited motion of his hand by the elbow. His fingers fused together, and he is not able to hold anything with his hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Geoffrey receive treatment. On June 10th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. In the future, he will be able to hold things and to write using his hands. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,176 procedure. Geoffrey’s mother says, “My hope is to see Geoffrey being able to hold something with his hands.”
Isaya is a 3-month-old baby boy from Tanzania. Isaya is the third born child to her family. Isaya’s parents are both subsistence farmers who do not make enough to be able to afford his treatment. Isaya has 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, Isaya traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 1st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Isaya's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk and wear shoes when he grows up. Isaya’s mother says, “I have seen children, even adults, with clubfeet but when I gave birth to Isaya it still scared me. I think I was scared because of the society’s perception regarding disability and I was worried that my son will have a hard life. Please help me get him this treatment so that he may have a good future.”
Rathana is a fourteen-year-old boy who enjoys studying math, and hopes to work in international technology when he grows up. He has one younger sister, and his favorite activities include reading books, exercising with his mother, spending time with his friends, and watching movies. Rathana was born with congenital scoliosis, and is unable to walk for long periods of time, has difficulty breathing, and cannot sleep well. For the past two months, Rathana has been in a halo gravity traction to assist in lengthening his spine prior to his surgery. Surgery will place a growing rod in his spine to straighten out Rathana's spine and achieve maximum correction of his spinal curvature. He will be able to walk, sleep, and breathe easily again. He looks forward to returning to his studies and reuniting with his friends. His mother shared, "I hope that my son's operation will go well and he will be able to do things independently again, and I will no longer have to worry about him and can return to my work."