Justin joined Watsi on December 8th, 2015. Six years ago, Justin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Justin's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Mercy, a 46-year-old woman from Kenya, to fund leg surgery so she can walk and work again.
Justin has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 12 countries.
Justin has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 12 countries.
Mercy is a hard working 46-year-old mom who lives with her two grown children. Because she is long separated from her husband, Mercy has taken care of their children by herself, doing whatever work she can find to support her family. Currently, her daughter is unemployed, while her son works doing jobs for a small hotel in their village. In May, Mercy was injured by a neighbor after a disagreement. She sustained an open fracture of her tibia/fibula, resulting in pain and difficulty walking. Mercy requires surgery to heal the fracture, to prevent an infection of the bone in her leg, and to avert other complications which might cause her to lose the use of her leg. Fortunately Mercy went to Nazareth Hospital, where a surgeon reviewed her case, and advised her to have surgery. However, Mercy and her children cannot raise the required fee for her medical care. Surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On May 26th, Mercy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at Nazareth Hospital. After treatment, Mercy will be able to walk and to work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Mercy said: “I use my legs and my strength to work and make ends meet. My leg is very important for me. I am pleading for assistance so that I may have surgery and be well again so that I can resume my work to support my family.”
Abigail is a bright three-year-old girl. She lives with her parents and one older brother in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, which is the capital of Haiti. Abigail was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus. The deformity causes blood to leak through a hole between two major blood vessels near the heart. That makes it difficult for her small heart to function properly and can lead to tiredness, shortness of breath and restricted growth as she gets older. Fortunately, the condition is highly treatable with surgery. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged for Abigail, her family and an escort to travel to the Dominican Republic, where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole near her heart. Abigail should then be able to go on to live a full, healthy life. Another charity, Gift of Life International, is also contributing $5,000 toward the procedure, which is scheduled to take place on May 24th. This $1,500 will help fund Abigail's life-changing surgery and related care. Abigail's mother says, "We would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to heal our daughter's heart!"
Kelvin is a shy, 14-year-old sixth grader. Kelvin was born to Ugandan parents who later abandoned him in Kenya. Kelvin was adopted by a potato farmer who gave him work on his farm and helped him enroll in school. Kelvin and his guardians live in a semi-permanent house in the West Pokot region of Kenya. Two weeks ago, Kelvin was struck by a motorbike in a hit and run accident. Kelvin was rushed to a nearby health facility for immediate care. Kelvin was then brought to Kapsowar Hospital for x-rays and further treatment. At this time, Kelvin is unable to walk and is in a great deal of pain. On April 1st, Kelvin will undergo a fracture repair procedure that will allow him to walk again and return to school. Our medical partners, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Kelvin raise $1,145 to fund this life altering procedure. Kelvin shared, “I miss home, I want to get treated and be well again.”
Rose is an adorable preschooler from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three siblings in a small town on the northern coast of Haiti. Rose likes helping her family take care of their pets and chickens. Rose has born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect which means a hole exists between the two lower chambers of Rose's heart. This condition often leaves Rose feeling sick and short of breath. Because the surgery she needs in not available in Haiti, Rose must fly to Dominican Republic to receive the necessary treatment. On March 3rd, Rose will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will a patch the hole in her heart. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) is helping Rose's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medication, and follow-up appointments. This will also support her family to obtain passports and the HCA social workers who will accompany Rose's family during their travel. Rose's father shared, "We are very hopeful that our daughter will be healthy and strong after this surgery!"
Ko Myo lives with his mother in a village in Burma. He used to be a motorcycle taxi driver but stopped working two months ago when his health deteriorated. His mother and wife currently care for him, washing clothes and working in a clothing factory in Yangon, earning income to support their family. With the help of Watsi donors, Ko Myo underwent his second round of laser treatment in January 2020, at Mae Sot Hospital in Thailand, to breakup stones in his left kidney. He was scheduled to undergo a third round of laser treatment however, when the Thai-Burma border closed in March 2020 due to increasing COVID-19 cases, Ko Myo was not able to go back to the hospital. He felt better until the first week of December 2021 when he started experiencing a lot of pain in his waist when he sat for a long time. With the border still closed and without enough money to go to a hospital, Ko Myo sought advice. He then went with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, in Yangon to a clinic in January 2022 and was able to visit our partner's care center, Shin Par Ku Hospital. The doctor has told him he will need surgery on his left kidney to remove the stone and has scheduled him to have the procedure on February 6th. Currently, Ko Myo has little appetite and experiences pain in the left side of his back. He is eagerly awaiting surgery. He shared, "I pity my wife because she has to work hard and support me. Now, I am so happy that I will receive surgery soon," he said. "One day I want to open my own shop in the market and sew children's clothing."
James is a bright young student and his family shared that he has been through a lot surgically and medically. His teacher has been worried recently since he has been missing classes and when in school he keeps to himself and does not want to play or interact with other students. James successfully survived chemo treatment after he was diagnosed with a sacrococcygeal mass that was malignant, but still needs treatment for cryptorchidism - a condition in which the testicles remain undescended. If left untreated, James has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. James will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on January 6th. AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. James' mother shared, “Our kid fought through chemo successfully, we are happy about that. But his problems keep recurring, and it’s affecting his studies. He needs another surgery but he is strong. All shall be well.”
Poe is a 45-year-old man who lives with his wife in a hut in a village in Myawaddy Township in Burma. Poe and his wife are agricultural day labourers, but he had to stop working two to three months ago, when his condition worsened. The income she earns is usually just enough to cover their daily expenses, but if she cannot find work, they have to borrow money to make ends meet. Around seven years ago, Poe got bamboo splinters in his left foot while working on a farm. He was able to pick out the splinters and applied traditional medicine to his foot, which healed. A little while later, he developed pain where he had the splinters before and went to a nearby clinic. A nurse checked his foot but told him that she could not find anything wrong with his foot. The nurse gave him pain medication and Poe went back home. After he took the medication, he felt better. Six or seven months later, his pain returned, and he also developed an infection. When he went back to the clinic, the nurse checked his foot and told him to go to a hospital since he signs of a severe infection. The nurse also gave him medication. He then went to Myawaddy General Hospital, where he had the ulcer cleaned with an antiseptic solution and was given medication. When he went home, he felt better. Two years ago, the pain and ulcer returned but in a larger area then previously. He went back to Myawaddy General Hospital, where he received an x-ray. He was told that his foot was infected due to his previous injury. His foot was cleaned again with an antiseptic solution, and he was given antibiotics. After he took the medication, he felt better again. Just a few months ago, Poe’s foot started to hurt again. However, he was not worried about his foot because the last time his foot had hurt, he had had the ulcers drained. When the pain and swelling increased in his foot, he was no longer able to work. Although he wanted to go to the hospital, he did not have enough money to go this time since he was not working. His brother then told him to go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) in nearby Mon State since it is more affordable. When Poe arrived at MCLH at the end of November, he was admitted after the doctor examined his foot. He received another x-ray and was told that the ulcers and an infection had spread to multiple areas. He was also told that because of how advanced his condition is, his foot could never heal fully, and the only option at this point was to amputate his foot. “I’ve been to many hospitals and clinics already,” said Poe. “The doctor told me that if I amputate my foot my condition will no longer return. So I am happy to go ahead with the procedure.” Currently, Poe’s left ankle and feet is swollen and painful. The pain is worse at night and when the temperature drops. He has multiple ulcers in his foot with discharge and he feels extremely uncomfortable. Some areas of his foot are itchy and painful while he has lost sensation in the top of his foot and areas around his ankle. Cannot put any weight on his left foot due to the pain and has to be pushed in a wheelchair since he arrived at MCLH. He's hopeful about feeling better soon and getting back to working. Poe shared, “In the future I want to buy one or two cows to breed and rear them to earn an income. I also want to grow and sell vegetables."
Jhonatan Mercado is a creative four-year-old from Venezuela. A year ago his family moved to Medellin in Colombia seeking for a better future for their kids. Jhonatan is an older brother in a family of two children, his little brother is one year old. Jhonatan he loves to play with his mom with Legos. He already loves soccer too. Jhonatan Mercado has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Jhonatan Mercado's family traveled to visit our Medical Partner Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 20th. Our medical partner, Clínica Noel, is requesting $1500 to fund Jhonatan Mercado's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk without pain or further complications. His mother said "We are really glad that finally we found help, we have been in different treatments since he was 6 months old but now we have a lot of faith in this procedure and in Doctor Miguel."
Channy is a 63-year-old rice farmer who is married and has four daughters and seven grandchildren. She lives with her husband and her youngest daughter who also works as a farmer. Five years ago, Channy developed a pterygium in her right eye causing her itchiness, tearing, and irritation. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. She has not worked in the rice field for the past few years because of her condition. When Channy learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On September 8th, Channy will undergo a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The total cost of her procedure is $216. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. Channy shared, "I hope after surgery my eye will be better. I can help my husband at the rice field and also help my daughter to take care of my grandchildren."
Duncan is a 28 year old man who is currently single and unable to work due to his condition. Duncan experienced trauma in early 2010 after a road traffic accident that caused spine injury and hearing loss. At the time of the accident, Duncan had a loss of consciousness, memory loss, and was even paraplegic at one point. He also had tinnitus in his right ear but with earlier support from Watsi donors, he got a hearing aid fitted and can now communicate well. Duncan now walks on a crutch, however, his pain worsens with movement, and radiates to his lower limbs. Because of his condition, Duncan has been in and out of hospitals. He is supposed to visit the hospital regularly. For convenience, he currently lives with his relatives nearby in Nairobi. His parents are elderly farmers in his ancestral home in Kisii in rural Kenya. Duncan is currently struggling to walk. An MRI exam identified canal stenosis and bone degeneration, so doctors have recommended surgery. He is scheduled for L4/5, L5/S1 Decompression, and Spine Fusion to avert chances of being immobile for the rest of his life. The hospital is requesting $1,500 to perform his surgery and his health insurance coverage will not cover this care. He currently relies on well-wishers to pay for his medical bills. Duncan told us, “I cannot walk well without support. I am also in pain and very uncomfortable. I hope to get better soon.”
Leap is married and has a family of four children and five grandchildren. She enjoys looking after her grandchildren and visiting the pagoda to listen to the monks pray. On April 15th, 2021, Leap fell down while pulling a cow and has had left hip pain since then. She received Khmer traditional treatment but her hip pain did not improve. She then went to a clinic where an X-ray was taken, but none of the treatment offered was one that Leap could afford. In search of treatment, finally she visited our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) where they can repair her left femoral fracture. CSC is requesting $539 for an arthroplasty that will allow Leap to walk again. Leap shares, "I hope I can be free of pain and walk again after my surgery."
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.”