Gentry joined Watsi on May 27th, 2017. Five years ago, Gentry joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Gentry's most recent donation supported Gatguon, a newborn baby girl from South Sudan, to fund spina bifida repair surgery.
Gentry has funded healthcare for 58 patients in 11 countries.
Gentry has funded healthcare for 58 patients in 11 countries.
Gatguon is an 8-week-old baby girl from a remote area of South Sudan. The civil war in South Sudan has made it difficult for many to access healthcare and treatment, including Gatguon's family. Gatguon was born with swelling in the back of her head. Upon referral to Old Fangak Clinic, the doctor diagnosed Gatguon with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Gatguon is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Gatguon urgently needs spina bifida repair surgery to correct the condition and reduce risk of infection. Unfortunately, this treatment is not available for her in South Sudan. Dr Jill Seaman and her team at Old Fangak Clinic facilitated Gatguon’s travel to Kenya – a long and difficult journey for a sick baby. Now, doctors at our medical partner's care center in Kenya will perform the surgery she needs. Gatguon’s parents have two kids. Her mother is a stay-at-home mom and her father is a vegetable farmer. They are hopeful that baby Gatguon will be treated and that they will continue taking care of her and loving her unconditionally. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Gatguon's family raise $1,151 to cover the cost of spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 20th and will hopefully spare Gatguon of further complications and allow her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Gatguon’s mother shared, “We hope that our child will be treated.”
James is is a 43-year-old man who is married with two children. James and his wife are casual laborers taking any job available, which means their income is limited and inconsistent. James was brought in on a stretcher by his wife and brother. His wife shared that they have had a very difficult life recently. James has been bedridden following a fall and broken leg as they could not afford the cost of his treatment. Fortunately a neighbor intervened and now he is seeking help. Our medical partner's team will perform a fracture repair to heal his leg and they also plan to follow up to assess if he has weakened bones. If not treated James may never be able to walk again and his leg may heal with deformity. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is raising $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I have been at home at the mercy of God. At least my neighbor directed us to Nazareth Hospital. I hope I can get help so that hopefully I can walk again,” said James quietly.
Daw Than is 54-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, daughter-in-law, grandson, daughter and her son-in-law. Her daughter-in-law looks after her son, while the rest of her family makes and sells different types of breakfast food from their home to earn a living. Their income is just enough for their daily expenses, but they haven't been able to save any money. Five years ago, the vision in Daw Than's left eye began to blur. In 2021 she underwent surgery to replace the lens in that eye but soon after the surgery, she developed blurred vision in her right eye. She went to the hospital last week to have her right eye checked. The doctor told her she needs to undergo lens replacement surgery on that eye. She told the doctor that their family had used all the money that had for her first surgery so she went home feeling uncertain about the future. Later on, Daw Than's neighbour told her to go to a monastery where the abbot might be able to help her access surgery. Daw Than followed the neighbour's advice and went to see the abbot. The abbot then referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing the surgery she needs. Daw Than's daughter said, "We do not have any money to pay for my mother's surgery. It is very helpful for us that the organisation and donors are hopefully willing to help pay for it."
Jaden is a one-year old boy from the Philippines. His mother is a public school teacher, while his father is an office clerk. They work hard, but their income is not enough to support their son's medical needs. Jaden was born with an anorectal malformation, a birth condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction and help him grow up healthy. Jaden is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on January 28th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to cover the total cost of Jaden's procedure and care. After his recovery, Jaden will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. "Thank you WATSI and WSFP. His operation would be a big help towards his growth and our financial situation," Jaden's mother shared.
Haikaeli is a 3-month-old baby and the last born child in a family of four children. Her parents are both small-scale farmers who depend entirely on what they harvest for their living. With the rains delayed in their region of Tanzania, food is becoming scarce and making life difficult. Haikaeli 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, Haikaeli has been experiencing her head increasing in size significantly and as days go by her health keeps deteriorating. Without treatment, Haikaeli will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for Haikaeli that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 14th and will drain the excess fluid from Haikaeli's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Haikaeli will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Haikaeli’s mother says “My daughter worsens as days go by, she cannot eat well anymore. Please help her.”
Namayani is a fourteen-year-old student and the last-born girl in a family of five children. Namayani is social and friendly and has just completed her primary school education. She hopes she will get good grades to enable her to join a prestigious high school. She wishes to become a teacher when she completes her studies. Her parents are livestock keepers and cannot afford the required surgery cost. Namayani was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus. Her legs bend such that her knees are knocking. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Namayani says she struggled a lot walking to and from school because she felt pain when walking. The problem started three years ago, but has worsened over the years. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Namayani. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Namayani's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Namayani says: “I will be happy if I have my legs corrected so that when I join secondary school next year I don’t struggle walking anymore.”
Phat is a 50-year-old laborer. He is married and has two sons, two daughters, and one grandson. Phat lives with his wife and their children. At home he likes to watch Khmer boxing on TV. One year ago, the retina of Phat's left eye detached, causing him partial blindness and tearing. When Phat learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On October 26th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Phat says, "I will feel happy when my eye heals because I can return to working and helping my wife on the rice field."
Halima is a charming two-year-old girl and the youngest child of two children in her family. Halima's mother sells fruits while her father works as a mechanic. Halima was diagnosed with bilateral Genu Varus, meaning that her legs bow outward. 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 and experiences pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Halima to receive treatment. On September 14th, she will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. Treatment will hopefully restore Halima's mobility, allowing her to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing her risk of future complications. Now, her family needs help raising $880 to fund her procedure and care. Halima’s mother shared, "money has been our biggest challenge in seeking treatment for our daughter. Please help us."
Levina is a bright 10-year-old student. She is very social and loves to study. She is especially gifted in science and math! She is the youngest child in a family of four children. Her mother stays at home to care for the family. Although her father does not have permanent work, he owns a chainsaw and seeks lumber jobs as they are available during timber seasons. Levina is experiencing clubfoot in her left foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. As a result, she has difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Due to the persistent pain of walking, she had to stop school to seek treatment for her left foot. Levina’s family traveled to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for her treatment. On August 13th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery that will allow Levina to walk easily. AMH is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Levina’s mother shared, “We decided to stop her from going to school so that we can find treatment for her foot as it is troubling her so much in walking. Her treatment cost is too high for us to afford."
Grayson is the fourth born in a family of five children. His mother shared that their family is not well off financially, as his father works a matatu driver and the sole breadwinner. His mother is not able to go to work as she has to take care of Grayson and his younger brother. Grayson was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Grayson has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Grayson will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 17th. AMHF is requesting $569 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Grayson’s mother says, “As his mother, I can do anything to see my child is treated but I cannot go to work to help raise the funds for his surgery as I have to take care of him.”
James is former motorbike taxi driver from Kenya. He's married and is the father of two children 13 and 6 years old. James' wife is works part-time on a rice farm in their hometown. The family currently lives in a rental house paid for by their local church pastor. In November 2017, James was in a motorbike accident. Due to the accident, he lost his job, and he shared that his life became one revolving around experiencing pain and constant hospital visits. He underwent surgery on his broken leg in a nearby health facility in his hometown. Following the procedure he had a challenging recovery due to infections, causing him sleepless nights and visits to different healthcare facilities. James was finally referred to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital where he underwent several treatments in May. James returned home but later came back to the hospital with a wounded leg that was in bad shape with an exposed bone. The doctors originally admitted James for repair surgery, but determined he needed a below-knee amputation which took place in mid-June. James still experiences a lot of pain, so the surgeon recommend he undergo another round of intense debridement in the amputated area to remove his damaged tissue and help him to finally heal. James has national health insurance, which supported his two major surgeries, but his coverage has been depleted and will not support the care he needs now. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping James receive treatment. On June 25th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to prevent the spread of infection and speed up his recovery. Now, James needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. James wishes to be free from pain, “I, unfortunately, lost my leg due to a sudden amputation, and I am still in shock. I will never be able to use both legs again. I am still in a lot of pain and the wound needs another procedure for me to be well. I need to get out of the hospital and figure out how to take care of my family with my current condition.”
Htoo is a 29-year-old woman from Burma, and the headmistress for a middle school. She lives with her seven friends in a dormitory, and they are all teachers at the same middle school in the village. She raises chickens and also grows vegetables in a small garden beside the dormitory. She and her friends often go to the forest on weekends. Due to impacts of COVID-19 on her school, her income has been irregular since June 2020, but she and her friends share meals to make sure they have enough. In late March 2021, after a friend had mentioned how to do a self-exam for breast cancer, Htoo found a mass in her right breast later that night. Currently, Htoo does not experience any pain but she is very worried that the mass will turn cancerous. Htoo felt very scared to undergo surgery, as she feels stressed about her condition and she also thinks about the work she has to do at school which stresses her out even more. However, the doctors have recommended surgery to remove the tumor before it causes more risk or has a chance to spread. Htoo is seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo tumor removal surgery on May 25th and is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Htoo said, “When I think about my condition and my work, I become so stressed, and I cannot sleep well at night. I cry very often when I think about my condition. I feel like the stress has made me lose my appetite.”