Gentry joined Watsi on May 27th, 2017. Four years ago, Gentry joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Gentry's most recent donation supported Levina, a bright young student from Tanzania, to fund clubfoot repair surgery so she can walk easily and return to school.
Gentry has funded healthcare for 50 patients in 9 countries.
Gentry has funded healthcare for 50 patients in 9 countries.
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.”
So is a nine-year-old boy who lives with his parents, sister and brother in a village in Tak Province. Since schools closed due to Covid-19, So and his siblings have had to stop studying. So now helps out around the house, watering their garden and helping his mother with preparing meals. His sister works as a dishwasher at a Thai noodle soup shop. His father works at a construction site, and his mother is a homemaker. Their monthly household income is just enough to cover their basic expenses. When So was born, the medic noticed that So had a mass on the right side of his neck. Upon pressing the mass with his finger, So did not react, so the medic assumed the mass was not painful. The medic told So’s parents that the mass was fatty tissue and that they had nothing to worry about for now, but he would need to receive surgery to remove it when he was older. As So grew, the mass also slowly increased in size and became heavier. Currently, the muscles in his neck are stiff and the mass is painful when it is touched. Frequently, he will wake up in the middle of the night in pain after he turns in his sleep, putting pressure on the mass. So underwent a CT scan at the hospital, which indicated that the mass is a lymphangioma, or a noncancerous fluid-filled cyst. The doctor recommended that So undergo a cyst excision procedure to remove the cyst. So told us he's extremely excited to receive surgery and is not afraid to undergo the procedure because he wants to look (even more) handsome afterwards :). However, he and his family need financial support to afford the cost of his care. So will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo a cyst excision procedure on April 23rd. Our partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Once recovered, he will be free of pain and will feel more comfortable and confident in his daily life activities and when spending time with his friends. So shared, “I cannot wait to receive surgery and I really want this mass to go away. I am so embarrassed of this mass but once it is gone, I will go back to school and my friends will no longer tease me.”
Victor is a student and the oldest of six in his family who live together in a grass thatched house. His parents are farmers in the village, and they grow maize and beans for their family’s upkeep. Victor was born with a complete absence of fingers on his left hand, which has forced him to learn how to do all tasks with his right hand including cooking and laundry. On March 11th, 2021, eighteen-year-old Victor was injured in a motorcycle road traffic accident. He was a passenger when the motorcycle slid on mud and fell. He sustained an injury on his lower leg, and his leg was placed in a cast shortly after the accident. A few weeks later, his condition worsened and his wounds started having signs of infection. His parents brought him to the hospital, where doctors conducted an X-ray which revealed a left tibia-fibula fracture. Victor is in pain and unable to walk. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 25th, Victor will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After healing, Victor will be able to walk again and engage in his normal activities. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,014 to fund this procedure and his family has been able to contribute $100. Victor is a diligent student, and he scheduled his surgery to begin after he sits for his final exams. He says, “I would have wished to undergo the surgery as soon as possible but I am sitting for my exams this coming week. My prayer is that I won’t be in so much pain so that I can sit for my exams comfortably.” Victor’s mother is appealing to anyone reading his son's story to help her raise money for a successful surgery.
James is a 52-year-old boda-boda driver from Kenya. He is a father to four children, all of whom are adults. His wife is a homemaker, and he is the sole breadwinner for the family. On February 5th, 2021, James was in a road traffic accident and sustained a burst fracture of T12 spinal cord transection. Immediately after the accident, he was aware of the intensity of the injury because he could not use his lower limbs and had a sharp pain in the mid-back. He was assisted by well-wishers and was rushed to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital, where the orthopaedic team ran x-rays and other tests. Now, James needs to undergo a posterior spinal instrumentation and fusion, a procedure that is aimed at stabilizing his spine and avoiding future complications. However, James does not have medical coverage and is therefore required to raise the full deposit for his surgery. He has raised some financial contributions from friends and relatives, but needs additional support for his care. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping James receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo a spinal fusion procedure on February 10th at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,500, and will hopefully allow James' legs to heal and regain some mobility. James shared, “I hope I will be able use my legs again. I need help both surgically and financially given that the cost of the surgery is high and I am unable to afford.”
Scholastica is a 6-month-old baby girl from Tanzania. She is the last born in a family of six children. Scholastica was born a healthy child but, at four months of age, her mother noticed her head was growing very fast and she was not able to support it. They could not afford the cost of seeking care at the regional hospital at the time. Scholastica's parents are small scale farmers and work hard to make ends meet with their income. Eventually, they were able to get some money from relatives and took her back to the regional hospital. There, Scholastica was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Without treatment, Scholastica will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Unfortunately, she was not able to get an appointment at the regional hospital for a long time. As time went on, Scholastica's condition grew worse. Her head increased in size and her eyes began rolling down. Though they were concerned, her parents could not raise money to seek an alternative hospital for care. Eventually, their friend referred them to our medical partner's care center, ALMC Plaster House. Their friends and neighbours supported them with bus fare for the two-day journey to the hospital. Now, she is scheduled for an ETV surgery to treat her condition, and the family appeals for financial support for this procedure. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of ETV surgery for Scholastica that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 25th and will drain the excess fluid from Scholastica's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. It will also reduce the likelihood of severe fevers, vomiting, and potential brain damage. With proper treatment, Scholastica will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Scholastica’s mother shared, "We travelled for two days because we were told there is hope for my daughter to get help. Please help save her.”
Pun Theary is a 59-year-old mother of four, with three sons, one daughter, and four grandchildren. Pun Theary sells fruit and her husband is a tailor. In her free time she enjoys watching Khmer movies on TV. Her days have become more challenging since one year ago. The retina of Pun Theary's left eye detached, causing her blurry vision, photophobia and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing friends, and going places on her own. When Pun Theary learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled by motorcycle with her husband seeking treatment. On December 24th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in her left eye. After her recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Pun Theary shared with us, "For my business I need to have good vision. I want to see well again so I can sell my fruit and take good care of my children."
Neng is a 54-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. Her husband of 24 years unfortunately passed away five years ago from illness. Neng has two sons and one daughter, and her daughter is married and has one child. In her free time, Neng enjoys watching Thai movies on TV and taking care of her grandchild. Neng slipped and fell on October 21st, fracturing her right elbow. She received initial treatment from a Khmer healer, but the treatment did not improve her closed elbow fracture. Neng came to Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) with right elbow pain, swelling, and inability to flex her arm. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On November 10th, Neng will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will allow her to use her right arm easily again. Neng shared, "I hope my right arm is better after surgery so I can be free of pain and continue my work as normal."
Mary is a businesswoman from Kenya. She is married and is a mother of three adult children. Two months ago, while relaxing at home, Mary felt a lump in her breast with a burning sensation. She ignored it at first, but it gradually became painful. Worried, she visited Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital in mid-September for medical attention and care. After review, doctors ordered a CT scan and a core biopsy, which confirmed her worst fear - that she had breast cancer. The biopsy test found an infiltrating ductal carcinoma, but luckily she had no metastasis yet. Doctors recommend she undergo a mastectomy procedure as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the deadly cancerous cells. Although she is struggling to come to terms with the shocking news, Mary's main worry now is the high, unaffordable cost of the surgery. She runs a small kiosk that generates little profit each day. Her husband is a small-scale farmer who owns one cow. The family relies on the proceeds from their eatery and milk sales to survive. Sadly, they had to sell their only cow to raise money for Mary’s treatment. However, the money from the sale is barely enough to cover the cost of mastectomy surgery. Her kids do not have stable jobs, and Mary says they are struggling. She has no national health insurance or any medical coverage, and is thus appealing for financial help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $857 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Mary. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 23rd. After treatment, Mary will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Mary shared, “I am shocked that I was diagnosed with this deadly cancer. But I am more worried that I am unable to afford the only procedure that can stop the spread of the disease. I wasn’t prepared for a procedure of this magnitude. I appreciate any support you can provide.”
Megan is a 3-month old baby girl from Tanzania, and the only child to her single mother. Megan was born with clubfoot and spina bifida, which contributed to her acquiring hydrocephalus. Megan’s father left their family when her mother was five months pregnant and they lost any contact with him. Megan's grandmother, who was also a single mom after her husband passed away at a young age, depends on selling second-hand clothes. Her income is very limited to be able to provide for her children and be able to afford school fees. Due to this, Megan's mother was not able to continue with her studies due to financial challenges and joined her mother in selling second hand clothes. Megan 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, Megan has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Megan will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Megan that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 21st and will drain the excess fluid from Megan's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Megan will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Megan’s mother says, “I have no one to run to for help and support, all my relatives have told me they can no longer support us in any way and yet my daughter is suffering. Please help save my daughter.”