Russell joined Watsi on September 9th, 2017. Five years ago, Russell joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Russell's most recent donation supported Dom, a traditional pottery maker from Cambodia, to fund hip replacement surgery so she can walk again.
Russell has funded healthcare for 53 patients in 9 countries.
Russell has funded healthcare for 53 patients in 9 countries.
Dom is a 43-year-old woman who married with three daughters and one grandchild. Dom used to be a pottery maker but has been unable to work due to the pain she is experiencing. Dom makes pottery in her province of Cambodai, called Kampong Chhnang, which is known for its beautiful ceramics that are sold all over the country. Dom has been experiencing acute pain in her right hip for several weeks. The cause is unknown but, as a result of the pain, she is unable to walk and must use a wheelchair. Dom shared that she feels unwell, cannot sleep, and has lost her appetite. She visited her local hospital, where doctors diagnosed her condition as a fracture of the femoral neck and referred her to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for treatment. Fortunately, on January 5th, surgeons as CSC will perform a total hip replacement to relieve Dom of her pain and allow her to walk easily. CSC is requesting $1,087 to pay for Dom's procedure. Dom shared, "I hope the doctors will discover why I cannot walk and fix it. I want to be able to walk again, have no pain, and take care of my family."
Sarah is a 5-year-old girl from Haiti. She is typically a healthy and active girl and is very loved by her family. Sarah 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, Sarah has been experiencing severe headaches. Sarah had a shunt placed when she was an infant for treatment and it allowed her to develop normally. The recent headaches alerted the doctors that the shunt stopped working and needed to be replaced. Without treatment, Sarah will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Sarah at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on December 7th. This critical treatment will replace the shunt and drain the excess fluid from Sarah's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Sarah will hopefully continue to develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Their family is grateful that Sarah will be able to continue to have a happy life after the shunt is replaced.
Win is a 40-year-old man. He lives with his mother and step-father in Tak Province in Thailand. He used to work in a restaurant until his vision deteriorated and he could no longer work. His mother and his step-father are agricultural day labourers. The income they earn is not enough for their family and sometimes they make and sell charcoal to earn extra money. Win has cataracts in both his eyes but the doctor plans to do surgery on his right eye first. The vision in both his eyes are so poor that he can only perceive light. His mother has to help look after him, washing and feeding him since he cannot see well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Win. On November 9th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Win's natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. "I was so happy when I heard that I will be able to see again," he said. "I want to work once I can see again, so that I can repay our loan. I want to look after my mother and step-father in the future, and one day I want to become a [Buddhist] monk."
Asiyas is a 63-year-old grandmother with one daughter, whom she currently lives with, and four grandchildren. Three years ago, Asiyas developed a cataract in her left eye, causing blurry vision and photophobia. As a result, she has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Asiyas learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for one and half hours to seek treatment. On September 9th, doctors will perform cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly again. CSC is requesting $229 to fund this procedure. Asiyas shared, "I hope I can see clearly again so I can see my grandchildren's faces and help my daughter with cooking. I would also like to visit the mosque myself."
Resta is a small-scale farmer and a 43-year-old mother of four. She lost her husband, with whom she farmed, last year. Resta's oldest child is in her late twenties and completed a university diploma while her youngest is 20 years old and in secondary class six. Since July 2020, Resta has been experiencing severe lower abdominal pains and backaches that have persisted to date and are accompanied by difficulty in passing urine. She has had to completely stop farming due to her pain and Resta has been diagnosed with Uterine Leiomyomas. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. If not treated, this could stop her from carrying out her daily duties of providing for her family due to severe pain. Her family, however, cannot afford the surgery charges and are asking for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $319 to fund Resta's surgery. On September 4th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Resta will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Resta says, “I hope and pray for a successful surgery. When I am pain free, I will continue with farming and be able to take care of myself and my family again.”
Lightness is a hard-working student and the ninth born child in a family of ten children. Lightness loves to help her mother with home chores and looking after her nieces and nephews. Lightness is currently in technical college where she is studying to be an electrician. Lightness's parents are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers, and her mother also sells vegetables and mandazi, a type of fried bread. Three years ago, Lightness was at the fireplace helping her mother cook mandazi when she lost conscious and fell into the pot of hot oil. Her mother rescued her and rushed her to the hospital. The accident has left Lightness with contractures as a result of the burns around her neck. Contractures are a condition in which the muscles are shortened and hardened, and in Lightness's case they limit her neck movement. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is helping Lightness receive treatment. On August 5th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her move her neck freely. However, Lightness's family needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Lightness says, "I feel bad seeing myself in this condition, I try to cover my neck because I don’t like how people feel sorry for me. I will be happy and grateful if I can have my neck corrected."
Nuriya is 2-year-old toddler from Ethiopia who loves his mom and dad very much and always wants to be with them. Nuriya enjoys chatting and playing with his parents. Now he also has a three-month-old baby sister. His parents are working hard to raise them both. They shared that they went through a lot as a previous immigrant in Saudi Arabia and their family now decided to stay in their home country to raise a family and support it from their homeland. Nuriya's grandparents gave his parents a small piece of land that they are now farming. However, the fruit that they farm is only enough to maintain the daily needs of the family. Nuriya 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, Nuriya is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Nuriya was also born with another birth condition that Watsi donors supported for treatment and his family is tremendously grateful for support. Nuriya's mother is inspired by the care he is receiving, “I hope he will be a doctor in the future. Just as the doctor who treated him and changed his health in the past, I want him to grow and treat so many kids with sickness and disability.”
Alvis is a two-month-old baby boy from Kenya and the youngest child in a family of five children. His father is a taxi driver in their home area, but unfortunately, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, he rarely gets customers. His mother has not been able to get work, but sells produce on their small farm to supplement their family’s earnings. Alvis was born with hypospadias, a congenital condition that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Alvis is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 4th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $735 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Alvis's mother shared, “it is very difficult for us to raise the funds required for Alvis’ surgery. Any financial help is highly appreciated.”
Tibahurira is a 71-year-old married subsistence farmer and a father of 11 children. For two years, Tibahurira has had a right inguinal hernia. He experiences weakness and lower abdominal pain that worsens when he strains. Recently, the pain has become more severe, so he visited a local hospital. He requires hernia repair surgery to restore his health. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Tibahurira receive treatment. On May 4th, Tibahurira will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Now, AMH is requesting $230 to fund his procedure. Tibahurira shared, “I am waiting to see my health restored once again through your support since I cannot support myself. I will be glad once am relieved of this so that I can resume farming.”
Navy is a 49-year-old rice seller. She's been married for 15 years and has 2 daughters who are in school. Navy sells rice in front of a factory, but has been unable to work for over a year. Her husband is currently unemployed. Four years ago, Navy started to have pain in her back and on both hips, and she was given steroids to ease the pain. Doctors have diagnosed her with avascular necrosis in both hips. Avascular necrosis, or osteonecrosis, is the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply. Navy cannot walk and is confined to a wheelchair. She is in constant pain, and is depressed because she cannot work to support her family. Fortunately, Navy learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). At CSC, surgeons will perform a total hip replacement to relieve Navy of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for February 5th, and Navy needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Navy shared, "I hope that I'll feel better soon, and will be able to walk again without pain. I am anxious to return to work to help my family."
James is a casual laborer who works hard to get any work he can. He is 34 years old and not yet married. He grew up as an orphan and has been brought up by his uncle, a small scale farmer with his own family. His mother died when he was very small, and his only sibling was a brother who also died about three years ago. Currently, James works picking tea at the neighbors’ farm. James was injured in an accident between a vehicle and a motorbike on 24th December 2020. He was a passerby and was hit on the left leg. Upon x-ray, he was found to have a closed fracture tibia/fibula. He was admitted to the hospital and open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) surgery was performed. Unfortunately, after about two weeks, the plate dislodged and opened the skin, and it became infected. If not treated, the infection may result in amputation of his leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 11th, James will undergo a new fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal well and walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. "I am so worried because I can only cry to my Uncle. I know he cannot pay for another surgery. I kindly ask for help so that I can be well and stop depending on others,” said James.
Myo is a 16-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents and four brothers in northern Rakhine State. Myo is a student in grade nine and his four brothers also go to school. However, they have been unable to study since the Covid-19 pandemic shut all schools. Myo’s parents are day laborers, and their family's combined income is just enough to cover their daily expenses since Myo and his brothers’ schooling is free. To survive with limited income, they forage for vegetables and fish. If they fall ill, they use traditional medicine, which is more affordable then going to a clinic or a hospital. Myo was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, which is the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Myo cannot walk long distances or climb stairs because of his tiredness. Sometimes, he cannot breathe very well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Myo. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 7th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Myo shared, “I am worried about my health and I feel sorry for my parents. Because of my health problems, my father had to work more days to earn more money. Also, my mother cannot work because she accompanies me and has to take care of me. I hope my school will reopen soon so that I can go back to school. One day I hope that I can become a teacher. I want to teach because there are not enough teachers in my village.”