Mark joined Watsi on September 25th, 2013. 12 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Mark's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Felix, a playful 9-year-old boy from Kenya, to fund surgery to heal his clubfoot birth condition.
Mark has funded healthcare for 54 patients in 12 countries.
Mark has funded healthcare for 54 patients in 12 countries.
Felix is a playful 9-year-old, third grade student from Kajiado County, Kenya. His mother is a homemaker while his father works on construction sites. Felix likes playing football despite the limitations he has because of his foot, and he spends most of his time playing with his friends. Felix was born with clubfeet and at the age of 2 weeks, he underwent serial casting and later surgery on both feet at a government hospital near their home. The left foot corrected well, but the right foot recurred. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Having heard about AIC CURE Hospital through CURE's local partner Kajiado Childcare Center, Felix's family brought him to the hospital for review. Felix is currently in the hospital undergoing serial casting and will undergo surgery on November 9th to fix the clubfoot. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Felix's clubfoot repair. After treatment, Felix will be able to walk confidently, play football more easily with friends, and continue with his education without any impediment. “I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the donors for the support. May the almighty God continue to bless them and even reach out to more patients who are in need,” Felix's mother told us.
Sebastiana, who is eight years old, lives with her mother and four siblings in Tanzania. Because she is separated from her husband, Sebastiana's mother works many different jobs in order to support her children. One day, when their mother was away, Sebastiana and her siblings were busy helping out with household chores. Sebastiana got into an accident, and hot water spilled all over her arm. She received treatment for her burns - which healed - but they have left her with scars that limit the use of her arm. Sebastiana and her mother traveled a long way to meet with doctors from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. As a result of their visit, Sebastiana is now scheduled to undergo contracture release surgery, and the amputation of her left thumb, at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre on October 13th. After her surgery, Sebastiana should regain full use of her hand and arm, which will be a big relief to her mother. Now we need your help to fund the $1,088 required for the surgery. Sebastiana’s mother says: “When we were leaving home, she was so happy knowing that she is going to get treatment.”
Mark is a primary school student in a special need school in Nairobi. Mark wears a broad smile and is feeling proud to take his photo and share his story. Mark is the firstborn in a family of two children. Mark's parents are both hawkers at a local market in Githurai. His father sells second-hand shoes famously known as Mitumba and his mother sells t-shirts at the same market. This work results in inconsistent income for their family. Mark has a fracture and dislocation of the shoulder joint and the upper part of the bone of the arm (humerus). As a result of his disability, Mark is unable to communicate the cause of the injury, but his mother suspects he fell a couple weeks ago and injured himself. Mark is unable to use his arm and hand as a result of the fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 5th, Mark will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal well and he will be able to use his arm and hand again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Mark's family raise $1,500 to fund this procedure. Mark's mother shared, “Mark is struggling to use his hand. He is in constant pain and it is written all over his face. Normally, he is a jovial kid but the pain is making him frown constantly.”
Abegaelle is a five-year-old girl from Haiti. She lives in the capital city of Port-au-Prince with her parents and older brother. Some of her favorite activities include going to preschool and attending church with her family. Abegaelle was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through, leaving her weak and short of breath. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Abegaelle receive treatment. She will travel to the Dominican Republic to undergo surgery on July 26th, during which surgeons will insert a catheter to plug the hole in her heart and restore a healthy blood flow. Abegaelle's family is raising $1,500 to cover the costs of her surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Abegaelle and her family overseas. Abegaelle's mother shared, "Our family is all very thankful that Abegaelle will have this chance to have her heart fixed!"
BB Mireille is a one-month-old baby from Haiti and her parents' first child. BB Mireille was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, BB Mireille has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, BB Mireille will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for BB Mireille at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat her hydrocephalus. Hospital Bernard Mevs is the only facility in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure will take place on March 22nd. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from BB Mireille's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, BB Mireille will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Her parents are grateful for the opportunity for this surgery. They have hope that the procedure will allow BB Mireille to grow up healthy.
Shee is a 23-year-old woman from Burma. In 2016, Shee and her family moved to a refugee camp in Thailand. There she has been able to continue her studies. Shee graduated from the junior college and now helps her cousin-in-law weave and sell traditional Karen clothes. She shared that it has been difficult for her family to find work within the camp at this time, but she hopes to become a teacher soon. In her free time, Shee enjoys playing with her nephews. In February, Shee began to develop a mass and experience pain in her abdomen, so she visited the camp's hospital. Upon review, she was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection and given medication. Since the mass continued to grow, Shee was referred to her our medical partner's hospital, Mae Sariang Hospital, in early April. After receiving an ultrasound, the doctors determined Shee has an ovarian cyst and needs to undergo surgery to heal. Currently, Shee experiences severe pain that makes it challenging for her to sleep, eat, or continue her weaving. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Shee receive treatment. On April 20th, she will undergo surgery to remove the cyst. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund the total cost of this procedure. Shee shared, "I am not worried about my operation because I hope it will fix my health problem. I would like to become a teacher in the future because I like teaching. After I recover, I plan to apply at a school in the refugee camp."
Chora is a 22-year-old welder and construction worker. He is married and lives with his wife, who works as a rice and potato farmer. They recently welcomed a son to their family. When he is not working in construction, he likes to exercise and play with his son. In October 2021, Chora was welding a roof on a new house when he got an electrical burn on his left hand. He received treatment at a local hospital, but his hand became infected. He is unable to flex his thumb or use his hand, the muscles have atrophied, and he cannot work. He experiences pain and spent several weeks in the hospital to help heal his wound. He requires a skin graft procedure to repair his hand. When Chora learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled for seven hours seeking treatment. On January 11th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft procedure to transfer a skin flap to cover the site that was infected and allow Chora to use his hand again. Now, he needs help to fund this $474 procedure. Chora shared, "I hope that the surgeons can fix my burns so that I can work again. I have a newborn son and need to work to support my family."
Mana is a curious 4-year-old boy and the youngest child in his family. He has an older brother and a sister. He does not attend school yet, but likes to play with puppets, or play football with his older siblings. He told us he would like to be a policeman when he grows up. His father sells Khmer cakes at the local market and his mother is a hairdresser. Mana has been experiencing difficulty swallowing and a sore throat. He often loses his appetite and gets fever frequently. His mother has taken him for treatment at other hospitals but his condition has not improved. Mana was recently diagnosed with enlarged tonsils and adenoids, which, if not treated, will cause his symptoms to persist and possibly intensify over time. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $241 to fund a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy for Mana, which is scheduled to take place on March 14th. Surgeons will remove his tonsils and adenoids, hopefully relieving Mana of his symptoms and helping him live much more comfortably as he grows up. Mana's mother says, "I hope Mana will get better soon. I am worried he is small for his age and does not eat well because he is sick so often."
Taing is a 60-year-old farmer who is married with one daughter, four sons, and six grandchildren. Taing lives with her husband and their daughter, who is a farmer. Taing shared that she likes to listen to the monks pray on the radio. Five years ago, Taing developed a pterygium in her right eye. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. They occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage, and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. As a result, Taing experiences tearing, burning, blurry vision, and discomfort with her appearance. She also has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going outside. When Taing learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On January 4th, Taing will undergo surgery to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft. CSC is requesting $216 for the total cost of Taing's procedure, which includes medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. Taing says, "I hope I don't have to worry about my eye anymore, and I will be able to feel comfortable and see well."
Velonica is a 43-year-old woman and a mother of three living children. She shared that she lost a set of twins just a few days after birth some 15 years ago but still holds fond memories of her lovely tiny twins. Her children are aged between 25 and 8 years old and they are all in school. The oldest daughter is at a teachers' training college and the youngest in 4th grade in primary school. Velonica lives with her children and husband in Dowa about 40 kilometers away from the city of Lilongwe in Malawi. She and her husband are subsistent farmers, although they usually don’t have enough food for the year and they seek support from her husband’s relatives that live in the same village. In 2013, Velonica developed a swelling on her neck. She visited different hospitals and finally was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where a diagnosis of goiter was made. A partial thyroidectomy was done at the facility in 2014. However, in 2019 her neck swelling resurfaced again. She started feeling pain, having sleepless nights, difficulties in swallowing, feeling neck tightness, and headaches. She reported again to Kamuzu Central Hospital and a rescan was recommended but unfortunately, it was not done at the time. While seeking alternatives, Velonica came to Partners in Hope Medical Center. She was seen by a surgeon who, after laboratory tests and a scan, concluded that her goiter has recurred. He recommended surgery to remove the enlarged thyroid gland in a procedure called a total thyroidectomy. Velonica is currently unable to help her husband on the farm and has challenges in performing daily duties. She is unable to lift water on her head or to carry other heavy loads. Velonica feels the condition is interfering with her life and is looking forward to living her normal life again soon. Velonica said, “I live at my husband’s village among my in-laws and it has been about 2 years now of failing to do the things that every woman does, this is threatening my marriage and makes me feel bad. I hope this operation will bring an end to all this and I will be able to do my household chores again.”
Oeun is a 65-year-old farmer with one daughter and one grandchild. Oeun's daughter lives and works in Thailand, so Oeun lives in Cambodia and cares for her school-age grandchild. Two years ago, Oeun developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her photophobia and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going outside. When Oeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. On January 4th, doctors will perform cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. CSC is requesting $229 to fund this procedure. Oeun shared, "After surgery, I hope I can see clearly and cook food for my grandchild."
Ngasungui is a five-month-old baby girl and the youngest child in a family of five children. Her parents have five cows and five goats, and they make a living selling milk to their neighbors. Ngasungui 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. A visiting doctor referred Ngasungai's parents to our medical partner's care center for treatment. Fortunately, Ngasunguii and her parents traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. On December 17th, surgeons there will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $935 to fund Ngasungui's procedure and care. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily and her self esteem will not be affected by her condition. Ngasungui’s mother shared, "I pray that my child gets this treatment and everything goes well. I want her to live and grow without disability."