Matthew joined Watsi on February 5th, 2015. Seven years ago, Matthew joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Matthew's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Agnes, a 49-year-old farmer from Kenya, to fund surgery to repair a fractured ankle so she can work again.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 12 countries.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 12 countries.
Agnes is a quiet, 49-year-old farmer and mother of six, living in the Rift Valley region in Kenya. Currently, her family lives on a small piece of land that was given to them, after they were displaced from their original home. The family depends on Agnes, as her husband is unable to work. In order to provide for her family, Agnes does casual jobs within the community, and also travels to neighboring villages to do farm work. While carrying a heavy load on one of her jobs, Agnes fell, fracturing a bone in her ankle. She suffers from joint pain and swelling, and is unable to bear weight on her right leg. This injury prevents Agnes from being able to work, which jeopardizes the well being of Agnes and her family, as she is the sole breadwinner for them all. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On June 28th, Agnes will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure, which will enable Agnes to continue to support her family, and to resume her life as it was prior to her injury. Agnes says: "I am living because of my children. They always look up to me for their needs. My hope is to be well again and continue supporting my family.”
Phalla is a 62-year-old grocery seller. She has one daughter, three sons, and four grandchildren. Phalla lives with her youngest daughter who is a garment worker. She shared that her husband passed away a long time ago. Phalla likes to watch the news on TV and listen to monks pray on the radio. Two years ago, Phalla developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her tearing and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so is not able to go places on her own. When Phalla learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On April 25th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Phalla says, "I hope after surgery my eye can see clearly. I would like to recognize everything well and get around on my own."
Guerdina is a 15-year-old girl who lives in the mountains of central Haiti with her parents and four siblings. When she was 10 years old, Guerdina suffered from rheumatic fever. Her illness severely damaged one of the valves of her heart, making it unable to adequately pump blood through her body. In 2019, she underwent a surgery to repair her damaged heart valve. That procedure helped for several years, but her repaired valve is becoming less functional and now needs to be replaced with an artificial valve. After surgery, Guerdina's heart should be able to pump more normally and her doctors share that she should be able to lead a full and active life. Because the surgery she needs in not available in Haiti, Guerdina must travel overseas to receive surgery. On June 2nd, she will undergo heart surgery with the Cardiac team at the Cleveland Clinic, where surgeons will replace her mitral valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) is helping Guerdina'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 Guerdina's family during their travels. Guerdina shared, "my entire family and I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been helping me!"
Vania is a hardworking 14-year-old student from Haiti. She lives in an urban area of the island nation's capital, Port-au-Prince, with her parents and three younger brothers. She enjoys studying, especially science and literature. Unfortunately, Vania has not been able to attend school for two years because of her heart condition. She suffered from rheumatic fever early in her childhood. The illness damaged one of the four valves in her heart, leaving her with a condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. Her heart cannot pump blood adequately through her body, which leaves her weak and short of breath. The good news is that surgery can help. Vania will fly to the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On May 16th, surgeons will remove her damaged valve and implant an artificial valve in its place. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for the procedure. But Vania's family also needs help to fund other medical and travel costs, which is where our Watsi donors come in. They are raising $1,500 to cover lab work and medicine for Vania, along with checkup and followup appointments. It also will help pay for her to get a passport and support social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Vania and her family overseas. Vania says, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can feel more normal and go back to school."
Dominic is an 11-year-old student in the second grade. He enjoys reading and playing with his friends in school. Dominic and his brother are twins, and they are the third-born children in their family. His father works as a mechanic in the village, while his mother works at home to take care of their family. Dominic was born with a condition that affects his feet and his ability to walk. He has difficulty walking, and often falls when he runs and plays with his friends in school. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Dominic receive treatment. On April 11th, he will undergo bilateral achilles tendon lengthening surgery, and serial casting for his knee. After surgery, he will be able to walk well and play with his friends easily. Now, he and his parents need help raising $1,224 to fund his procedure and care. Dominic's mother shared, "I will be happy to see him walking well like other children. Any support will be highly appreciated."
Sixbeth is a friendly nine-year-old boy. He is the only child to his single mother, with whom he spends most of his time, especially since he has not yet been able to start school. Sixbeth's mother farms vegetables, which she sells at a local market in order to care and provide for her son. She works hard to make ends meet. When Sixbeth was one year old, he accidentally dipped his left hand into a pot of hot porridge and sustained extensive burns. Overtime, contractures have formed, tightening the skin around his burn. This has caused Sixbeth to have limited use of his hand, and an inability to move his fingers freely. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Sixbeth receive the life-changing treatment he need. On March 4th, surgeons at their care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, will perform a burn contracture release surgery, which will help Sixbeth to better use his hand and fingers. African Mission Healthcare is asking for $874 to help Sixbeth and his mother fund his procedure. Sixbeth’s mother says, “It’s been difficult to seek treatment for my son due to my financial constraints. Please help my son.”
Mary is a 33-year-old woman and arrived to meet with our local Watsi rep having a lot of pain. She has a cancerous tumor in her abdomen that requires surgery. Over the past year she has been through a lot and, while she has insurance coverage, they will no longer cover her treatment. She is currently scheduled for a laparotomy surgery to help with the removal of the tumor and relieve her stomach pains. Mary is a mother of one child who is six years old. She used to work as a shop steward but stopped due to her condition so no longer has a source of income. Her husband works as a motorbike ‘boda-boda’ driver and income from this venture is inconsistent and can't cover the cost of her surgery. She has been relying on friends and relatives to raise money for travel fare and medication. Mary says, “I have been through a lot. My stomach keeps swelling and it is very painful. I need to get better so as to raise my little kid and family.“
Edwin is a young boy from Tanzania and the youngest in his family of three children. He is a friendly and playful boy. Edwin’s parents are small-scale farmers who mainly grow food crops like maize, potatoes, and vegetables. Edwin was diagnosed with genu varus, where his legs bow outward at the knee. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has difficulty walking and running with his agemates. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Edwin. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 4th. Treatment will hopefully restore Edwin's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Edwin’s mother says “We don't like seeing his legs this way and the struggle he has in walking. It is because of financial challenges that we haven’t been able to seek treatment for him.”
Lomayani is a 4-year-old boy and the fourth child of his mother. Lomayani has not started school yet, but his parents hope to enroll him once he is older and healthy. They shared that Lomayani is a shy, quiet boy who often likes to spend his time playing and listening to his older sibling’s stories. Lomayani’s parents sell milk from their cows and goats to provide for the family’s daily needs. Lomayani was born with clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Lomayani’s family traveled to visit the care center at our medical partner’s care, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). On November 16th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery. AMH is requesting $935 to fund Lomayani’s procedure. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. Lomayani told us, “I would like to be able to walk like my friends or other kids, please help me get this treatment. I have never played football because I am scared I will get hurt, but it looks like a fun game. I would really like to try playing too.”
Ay is a 32-year-old garment worker. She is married and has one six-year-old daughter. Her daughter is in 2nd grade. Ay's husband is a construction worker. When Ay was just three the back of her leg was burned by a cooking fire. In 2018 her wound re-opened where her scar was. She went to a pharmacy for medications and clean dressings but the wound would not heal. Ay has a painful non-healing wound that makes it difficult for her to walk or flex her right leg. When Ay learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On October 29th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft procedure to to help her walk easily again. Now, Ay needs help to fund this $474 procedure. Ay says, "After surgery I hope my right leg will be free of pain and infection and once it heals I will be able to walk again and return to work."
Fredrick is a hardworking student and the third born in a family of four siblings. His family comes from a town called Maua in Kenya. Fredrick is deaf and attends a special school named Ntoruba. He comes from a humble background: sadly, his mother passed away in July 2017 due to prolonged illness. His father also suffers from an illness and is currently under treatment. A neighbor expressed, “The family depends on well-wishers for their daily living.” Fredrick has clubfoot on his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Fredrick traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Fredrick's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily again. Fredrick signed that he will be happy if his leg will be corrected and able to walk normally. His brother Dennis told us, "Any help to make him happy and walk normally will be highly appreciated.”
Savat is a 51-year-old rice farmer. She has one son, one daughter, and three grandchildren. Savat lives with her husband who is also a rice farmer. In her free time, Savat enjoys spending time playing with her grandchildren. Two years ago, Savat developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her photophobia and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Savat learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two and a half hours with her son seeking treatment. On June 21st, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Savat shared, "I hope after surgery my eye feels comfortable again so I can see clearly and go back to planting rice and taking good care of my family."