Maolin joined Watsi on November 19th, 2015. Five years ago, Maolin became the 1629th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,829 more people have become monthly donors! Maolin's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Emma, a joyful young woman from Kenya, to fund gallbladder treatment.
Maolin has funded healthcare for 56 patients in 11 countries.
Looking jovial, 26-year-old Emma walks into the office wearing a broad smile. However, behind the joy and smile are recurring stomach pains that give her sleepless nights. Emma was diagnosed with symptomatic cholelithiasis - a gall bladder disorder that requires laparoscopic cholecystectomy analgesia surgery. If left untreated, cholelithiasis can lead to serious complications such as tissue damage, tears in the gallbladder, and infection that could spread spreads to other parts of her body. In Mid-April 2020, Emma started experiencing recurring pains burning in nature. She tried managing the pains using over the counter pain killers but the pain kept recurring. About a week later she was forced to visit a health centre in her home town Kayole for medical checkup. Emma was treated for suspected ulcers at the facility and was discharged with anti-acids. The pains seemed under control for over a month but they recurred in July. She went back to the same facility where a scan, x-ray, and further tests were recommended. Results indicated that she had cholelithiasis and she required urgent surgery. Doctors from the facility recommended she go to Kijabe Hospital for treatment. Emma is a single mother of one. She shared that she is raising her 6-month-old baby on her own after the father of the child left them and declined responsibility. She works as a shop attendant about 10km from her home and earns a total of $100 monthly income as her salary. To enable her to fend for the family, she has a house helper who takes care of her little child while she out looking for their daily bread. She pays the house help $35 a month. The three live in a single room rental which costs $50 a month. The remaining less than $20 is not enough to buy food and basic needs and still cover the cost of surgery. Emma is the oldest in a family of three. Her siblings are unemployed and live with their mother in the village. They depend on produce from their ¼ acre farm for survival. Emma’s employer and few close relatives contributed a small amount for the surgery but she still needs $616 in financial support to fund the treatment. Emma shared, “I need this surgery to get better and take care of my small family. I am the father and the mother to my little kid and my siblings depend on me. The small salary I get I barely make enough for our family and we basically live from hand to mouth. I have to spend all the income I make.”
Vanna is a 64-year-old government employee. He and his wife have six children together, all of whom are grown and started their own families. His wife was a rice farmer, but recently retired. He reads a lot of books, and has started to collect books to give to his grandchildren. He also enjoys watching news on TV. Vanna has had chronic back pain for over ten years. He has managed the pain with painkillers and light exercise, but recently it started to get worse. He experiences numbness in his legs, and has difficulty sitting and standing. He came to Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) on recommendation from a friend, and has been diagnosed with lumbar stenosis, a condition in which spinal nerves are pressured by the bone. Doctors will perform a laminectomy in order to relieve that pressure. This will allow him to walk easily with out pain. Now, CSC needs your help to fund this $1,027 procedure. Vanna shared, "I can't imagine life without back pain, so I am simply excited to feel what it will feel like when the surgery is done."
Malaika is a two-month-old baby girl from Tanzania. Maliaka is a Swahili name meaning Angel. She is the last born in a family of five children. Both Malika's parents depend on small-scale farming and livestock keeping for their living and to support their family of five children. Malaika has clubfoot of both her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Malaika traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Malaika's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to wear shoes and walk easily as she grows. Malaika’ mother says, “We would love to see our daughter walk like other normal children without being discriminated. Please help support us so that our daughter can have a chance to walk well when the time comes.”
Ohmar is a 36-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and two children in a town along the Thai-Burma border. On July 4th, Ohmar was trying to cross the highway to go to a grocery store. She was on her bike on the side of the road when a car sped past, causing her to fall off her bike and land on top of her right arm. A man who saw her fall put turmeric powder on her injured arm and wrapped it in a cloth. But Ohmar did not go to Mae Tao Clinic right away because she did not have enough money. She was only able to seek treatment two days after the accident. Now, Ohnmar's she is in pain, her right arm cannot be extended and her fingers are also swollen. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ohmar will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 16th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help make Ohnmar's right arm become functional again and she will no longer be in pain. "I am happy that I can have surgery with the support of the Burma Children Medical Fund and Watsi donors. I have to look after my two children so I need to be strong for them," shared Ohmar.
Suzana is a kindergartener from Tanzania. She is five years old and the only child to her single mother. She was born a healthy child and has been developing well until earlier this year in March. Her mother started noting her dragging her right leg when walking and lacking strength mostly on the right side of her body. Previously she could run and play freely. She would walk to her kindergarten school with her friends with ease. However, she started having difficulties in all these activities, which made her mom worried. Suzana’s mother is a single mother working as a cleaner at a local university to make a living. Her husband left them when Suzana was just two years old. Her mom shared that it has not been easy for her to support Suzana on her own and things are now even harder given Suzana’s condition. It took Suzana’s mother a few months to be able to save some money and take Suzana to Arusha district hospital where she was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner ALMC hospital for a diagnosis. At ALMC hospital, Suzana was diagnosed with hydrocephalus which has caused a tumor in her head. She needs to have surgery to help drain the fluids accumulating and thereafter have the tumor excised if possible. Her mother is unable to afford the treatment cost and she is asking for help and support. Suzana 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, Suzana has been experiencing general weakness on her right side of the body and dragging her legs. Without treatment, Suzana will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $802 to cover the cost of surgery for Suzana that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 17th and will drain the excess fluid from Suzana's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Suzana will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Suzana's mother shared, “I would love to see my daughter walk well again, resume school and be able to get back to normal. The cost of the surgery is something I can’t afford. Please find a place in your hearts and help my daughter."
Lon is a 59-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia with four sons, one daughter, and ten grandchildren. Her husband left many years ago. Lon is living with her daughter and grandchildren. She enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio and spending time with her grandchildren at home. Three years ago, Lon developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her itchiness, tearing, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Lon learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On May 13th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery, and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Her daughter said, "I hope that my mom's eye will be better, then she can plant rice again and will be able to go to the pagoda by herself."
Salome is a small business operator from Kenya. Salome is 46 years old and hails from Nairobi. She is married and they have three children who are all in school. Salome does a small business of selling clothes to neighbors (hawking), while her husband used to work with a non-governmental organization but resigned about four years ago after developing diabetes. Since one month ago, Salome has been experiencing lower abdominal pains and heavy bleeding with clots. She has been diagnosed with endometrial hyperplasia and a left ovarian cyst. 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 Salome's surgery. On May 13th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Salome will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. “If my husband was still working, I would have no problems but now our little income is not sufficient. I humbly request for support so that I can be well to go back and take care of my family,” said Salome.
Witness is a student from Tanzania who is the first born child in a family of four children. She is smart, intelligent, and very hard working girl. Witness has completed her form four education and is currently waiting for her results to be able to join form five and six. She wishes to be a laboratory technician when she completes her studies and be able to support her parents and siblings. Witness’ father used to work as foreman at a construction site but after the project matured he has not been able to get any other job thus he is now forced to seek any casual day jobs to be able to support his family. The mother sells vegetables and the little income she gets she helps her husband to support her family. Witness was diagnosed with right genu varus. Her leg is bowed so that her knees cannot touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she has difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Witness. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 24th. Treatment will hopefully restore Witness's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Witness says, “My secondary education has been really challenging for me due to my leg’s condition. If you can help correct my leg I would be able to continue with my further studies with ease without all this challenges I am going through.”
Oliva is a baby from Tanzania and is the first born child in her small family. Since Olivia’s mother is a stay-at-home mother and her father is a subsistence farmer, they are not able to afford Oliva’s needed treatment. Oliva 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, Oliva has been experiencing vomiting and irritability. Without treatment, Oliva will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Oliva that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 11th and will drain the excess fluid from Oliva's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Oliva will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Oliva’s mother says, “After my daughter had her VPS shunt placed earlier she got better but due to her shunt having failed her head is increasing and she is having fevers and vomiting a lot. Please help my daughter."
Lomunyaki is a 3-month-old baby boy from Tanzania. He is the only child to his parents. Lomunyak's mother is staying at her parent’s home after giving birth to Lomunyak. Lomunyaki's father didn’t want to take his son to the hospital thus the mother was forced to ran away and go seek help from her parents. Her parents are livestock keepers with very little income but they were able to get some money and took Lomunyaki to a clinic. Lomunyaki was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Lomunyaki is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $966 to cover the cost of Lomunyaki's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 12th. This procedure will hopefully spare Lomunyaki from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthier trajectory. Lomunyaki’s mother says, “I was very shocked when I gave birth to Lomunyaki; he is my first born and him born with a disability made me feel very bad like there was something wrong with my womb. Please help my son get this treatment.”
Jane is a middle-aged woman who is undergoing serious pain in her spine and waist area. In August 2019, she complained of hip-area pain and had ointment applied. Over the weeks, the pain has become severe accompanied with numbness in both legs. She hardly sits down and has to be assisted to make every move. Pain medicines have not been helpful to her. She had an MRI and was diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) of the spine. She requires surgery to relieve her of the pain and regain her ability to walk. Jane used to be a peasant farmer while her husband is a driver. The mother of four children is not able to raise the full amount required for surgery. They have managed to raise $1,000 and the national insurance has committed to pay $1,300. The family is hoping to raise the remaining amount from Watsi supporters. Jane says, “I am in severe pain and my prayer is that soon I will be able to walk with ease.”
Joe is a 12-year-old student from Thailand. He moved to Mae Sot in early 2019, in search for better education. He now lives at a boarding house while studying at a migrant learning center. Joe noticed his blurred vision since he was five years old. Although he told his parents about it, his parents thought it was not that serious; they just told him that his eye sight will get better with time. As Joe did not experience any pain, aside from blurry vision, Joe stopped complaining about his problem to his parents. Joe continue to have a blurred vision, especially in his left eye. After he moved to Mae Sot, he told his uncle about his eye sight. His uncle made arrangements for him to meet with a medic, who later found that Joe has a cataract on his left eye and that it needs to be fixed in order for Joe to regain a clear vision in his left eye. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Joe. On December 10th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Joe'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. Joe said, “I don’t know yet of what I want to be in the future, but all I’m looking forward to is to ride a bicycle and play with my friends without any difficulty seeing.”