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 Samuel, a 21-year-old from Kenya, to fund surgery to close a colostomy and live a more independent life.
Gentry has funded healthcare for 65 patients in 12 countries.
Gentry has funded healthcare for 65 patients in 12 countries.
Samuel is a 21-year-old talkative young man. He is the second born in a family of five children. His father passed away when he was four years old, so his mother had to raise him and his siblings by herself. She does jobs on tea farms to provide for the family. When Samuel was two years old, his abdomen started to swell, which was very painful for him. His mother took him to the hospital and he was given some medication and sent back home. The medication did not work as expected. He was then taken to a different hospital for examination. He was given more medication and after some time he seemed to be better. The stomachache did not go away completely, however. Samuel and his mother shared that over the years, he has had stomachaches and gotten used to taking pain medication. In 2017 when Samuel was in high school, the pain worsened and his abdomen started to swell again. He had to leave school as a result. His mother took him to a hospital in Meru where he was admitted for three months. While in the hospital, scans and a biopsy were done to determine what the problem was. He was given a colostomy, where the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall, in order to pass stool. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Samuel's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. At that time, his doctors did not manage to treat him and referred him to BethanyKids Hospital in 2018. On arrival, he was examined and admitted, as he was not in good condition. After more scans and tests, he was ultimately diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease. Since then, Samuel has undergone several surgeries with the aim of trying to better his condition. The first surgery failed, but the second was successful. He is now scheduled to undergo his last surgery to close the colostomy so that he can pass stool on his own again and live a more active life. Earlier in his treatment, Samuel's parents had enrolled in the national health insurance program (NHIF), which helped them pay for most of his hospital bills. BethanyKids also chipped in on occasion to help with some of the bills. Unfortunately, for his last surgery, NHIF has rejected the request since he is beyond the age to be covered by his mother’s insurance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping him to undergo treatment and needs $1,084 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Samuel. The surgery is scheduled to take place on November 11th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Samuel’s Mother says, “For years now, I have been very worried about my son, but God has seen us through.”
Ma Win is an 18-year-old girl who lives with her parents, sister and brother-in-law in Yangon, Burma. Ma Win’s sister works at a clothing factory, while her brother-in-law works as a day laborer. Her parents are homemakers. Before Ma Win's current illness, she also worked at a factory. When Ma Win was four years old, she experienced a bout of high fever, and was brought to the local clinic. She received an injection, and the doctor informed her parents that she was born with a heart problem. However, she was too young at the time for corrective surgery. Instead, she was sent home with medication, and appeared to be doing well until this past year. In April, Ma Win began experiencing chest pains, high fever and difficulty breathing. She went to a clinic, and received an x-ray and an echocardiogram. After the doctor checked her results, she was diagnosed with an opening between two major blood vessels leading from the heart. The doctor told her and her family that she would need to have surgery. When Ma Win explained to the doctor that her family could not afford to pay for the surgery, she was referred to the abbot of a local monastery, who provided the family with information about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Now Ma Win is scheduled for cardiac surgery on October 23rd at Pun Hlaing Hospital. After she has recovered, she should no longer experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, and she won't have to worry any longer about her condition. She will also be able to return to work, which will help ease her family's financial burdens. Now she needs your help to raise $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure. Ma Win said: “I am scared to receive surgery, but my mother tries to encourage me. However, I am very happy that I will be able to receive treatment with your help. I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors.”
Naima is a smiley and playful baby girl from Ethiopia. She loves to breastfeed and play with her seven older siblings and her mother. Her dad is a retired driver and the community elder, and her mother stays home to care for the children. Because Naima's father has no source of income, their older children support them financially. Naima was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Naima developed bowel obstruction because of her condition and an emergency colostomy was done. She has had multiple issues with her colostomy care and associated complications. As a result, she cannot make stool in a typical way. Her parents have been very troubled because of her condition and are asking for support. Naima is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on September 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Naima's procedure and care. After her recovery, Naima will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Naima's father says, “I hope my child will get the treatment and heal. Once she finishes her treatment, I hope she will be relieved from her pain and suffering and lead a healthy life.”
Ronald is a middle-aged farmer from Kenya who is the thirdborn in a family of six. He and his family all live in semi-permanent houses and work as small-scale farmers. His father passed away years ago, so his mother, who is diabetic, was left to care for the children alone. Ronald studied up to the college level, but he could not secure a job in his field, so he now works as a casual laborer. He also helps his mother with house chores since she is sick and on medication, making it difficult for her to do them alone. With the income he earns through doing casual labor, Ronald helps support his family's basic day-to-day needs. Ronald was recently involved in a road traffic accident while traveling as a passenger on a motorbike. After his driver lost control due to being hit by another motorbike, they both fell on the tarmacked road, and the motorbike landed on Ronald's lower limbs. Fortunately, there were people around who helped them, but he could not manage to stand. He had to be lifted onto a passenger service vehicle, which took him to the hospital. Since he sustained an open fracture to his foot during the accident, it was treated as an emergency, and he was immediately taken to the operating room for cleaning and debridement. He was then admitted to the ward and is now waiting to undergo fracture repair surgery. He is currently in pain and unable to use his limb Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 12th, Ronald will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. After the procedure, he will no longer be in pain and will be able to walk and work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Ronald says, "I earn a living through casual jobs, which some are near and some are far from home. This state has actually brought me down. Please help me so that I may not be a burden once I am able to work.”
Neima is an adorable 16-month-old baby from Ethiopia. She loves to play and eat with her mother! She has an older sister who is eight years old. To support their family, her father works as a farmer and her mother manages their household. Neima was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Her family has taken her to different hospitals seeking treatment, resulting in them using all of their savings. This left them unable to fund her needed treatments, so Neima went without a colostomy for one year. This led to her experiencing difficulty eating, only taking breast milk and liquids. She eventually developed bowel obstruction because of her condition, and an emergency colostomy was done. However, she now needs to undergo another procedure to eliminate her bowel dysfunction. Fortunately, Neima is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on August 1st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Neima's procedure and care. After her recovery, Neima will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Her mother shares, “For my child, I am so hopeful that she will completely heal, and I will celebrate her birthday with my whole family. I will educate her, and I have hope that she will be a teacher or a doctor.”
Meet John, a playful two-year-old, living with his mother. When John was nine months old, his mother noticed that he wasn't passing urine normally. She brought him to the hospital, where John was examined. His mother was told to return home and to give John time. Last month, John's mother brought him to a different facility, where he was diagnosed with hypospadias, which is the cause of John's urinating abnormally. Surgical intervention is required to remedy this condition. John's mother is a single parent, who works when she can as a caretaker, but is not able to raise enough funds to pay for John's surgery. Fortunately, they were referred to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare for help. They are now seeking $847 to fully fund John's hypospadias repair, which is scheduled for June 16th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. The surgery will correct his birth condition, which can cause future complications for John's health. John’s mother has new hope that he son will be well, she shared: “Despite our financial hardships, I do believe that John will be treated.”
Thay is a one-year-old girl from Burma. She lives with her parents, grandfather, three sisters and a brother in a village. Thay's mother looks after her and her brother at home, her grandfather is retired, and her sisters go to school. Thay's father works as a porter, but has has difficulty finding work for over a month. With the increasing number of internally displaced people settling in their village due to the humanitarian crisis, there are now many individuals competing for the same work. When Thay was around eight months old, her parents noticed that her head was increasing in size. As a result, Thay cannot yet sit up or crawl. She is only able to turn her head, and will cry if she cannot see her parents. Thay was recently diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which has causes fluid to build up in her brain. Without immediate surgery to alleviate the intracranial pressure, Thay is at risk of developing severe, potentially fatal medical complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for Thay, which will drain the fluid that has accumulated in her brain. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 20th and, once completed, will greatly improve Thay's quality of life as she grows up. Thay's father said, "I am thankful to every organisation and everyone for supporting my daughter’s treatment cost. Because of you, I believe that my daughter will receive surgery and be healthy and live a normal life after treatment."
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.”