Leonardo joined Watsi on March 16th, 2015. One year ago, Leonardo joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Leonardo's most recent donation traveled 5,700 miles to support Vorn, a 56-year-old farmer from Cambodia, to fund shoulder surgery so he can use his arm again.
Leonardo has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 9 countries.
Leonardo has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 9 countries.
Vorn is a 56-year-old hardworking man. He and his wife are seasonal farmers. They have four sons who have all moved away and started families, but they still visit often. Vorn and his wife also have six grandchildren. When he is not working, he loves to visit his sons, see his grandchildren, go to restaurants with his friends and watch boxing matches on TV. Seven months ago, Vorn fell down a set of stairs and dislocated his right shoulder. He left the injury untreated for several months, and now his shoulder has become swollen, painful, and difficult to move. He traveled to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), where, on August 27th, doctors will perform a closed reduction to repair his shoulder. Once he has recovered, the swelling will go down and he will regain full mobility in his shoulder. He will be able to return to work comfortably. Now, he needs help raising $412 to fund the procedure. Vorn shared, "I hope that I can get back to my job and work without any pain, and help my family around the house. I also want to be able to pick my grandchildren up with out any problem."
Kea is a student who lives in a rural province of Cambodia with his parents, who are farmers, and his younger brother and sister. When he was 11, Kea had a severe ear infection that caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in his left ear to perforate. As a result, Kea experiences pain and discharge from his ear. He also has difficulty communicating with others. Kea traveled to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), to receive treatment. On September 1st, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in his left ear. During the procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Now CSC is requesting $464 to fund his procedure. This will cover the cost of medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Kea shared, "I hope my hearing will improve and the the infection and pain will go away."
Robert is a 37-year-old matatu taxi driver with two children. Recently, Robert was involved in a traffic accident where he sustained multiple fractures in his legs. He has difficulty walking and can no longer work as a driver. Fortunately, with the support of Watsi donors he was able to have his first surgery and now surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), are able to help with his final repair. On August 5th, Robert will undergo a second fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will allow Robert to walk with more ease. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. "I am hopeful I will be able to walk again. I am halfway there. I know with this surgery, I will be able to use my legs and get back to working again,” shared Robert.
Naing is a 46-year-old-man who lives with his mother, wife, sister, son and two daughters in Karen State in the border area of Burma. Naing used to work in a teashop as a baker but stopped four years ago when his health deteriorated. His son is also unemployed, unable to find work ever since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in Burma more than a year ago. They all rely on Naing’s wife, who works as a vendor in the market, to get by. She earns about 150,000 kyat (approx. 150 USD) a month, which they shared is not enough to cover their household expenses. In 2014, Naing received surgery for a right inguinal hernia with the help of his employer. Then, four years ago in 2017, he noticed that he had a small lump on his left side. Over time, the small lump increased in size and shifted downwards, causing pain and discomfort that made it impossible for Naing to continue working at the teashop. Although Naing knew that he most likely is having another hernia, since he was experiencing the same symptoms as before, he did not have enough money to pay for surgery. Therefore, he tried to cope with the pain and discomfort without treatment. In June, Naing’s friend advised for him to go to Ananda Myitta Clinic, a charity clinic in his city to ask for help accessing treatment. Naing and his friend went to the clinic, where they talked to the founder. The founder then referred Naing to another organization called Health for All who help put him in touch with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance accessing surgery for his hernia. Naing said, “I would like to receive treatment for my hernia. If I’m cured, I can work again as a baker and our [household] income will increase. Now, only my wife works and we all depend on her.”
Glory is a charming four-year-old girl and the firstborn child in a family of two children. Glory’s mother is house mother, while her father provides for the family through his work at construction sites. Glory was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, which means that her legs bow inwards and her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often comes from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Glory has difficulty walking and experiences pain after playing all day. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Glory. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 4th and treatment will hopefully restore Glory's mobility, allowing her to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing her risk of future complications. Glory’s mother shared, "we have tried medication, but it has not helped. Our daughter now needs surgery but the cost of treatment is too high for us to afford. Please help."
Jovin is a beautiful one-month-old baby boy from Tanzania and the first child born to his young parents. Jovin's parents are small scale farmers of maize and vegetables for their family's food and for their living. Since birth, Jovin has had a right inguinal hernia. If not treated, the hernia could result in intestinal tissue death or damage. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Jovin to receive treatment. On May 5th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Once complete, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Now, AMH is requesting $566 to fund Jovin's surgery. Jovin’s father shared, "the cost of treating our son’s condition is too high for us to afford and he is suffering. Please help if possible."
Kome is a 15-year-old student and his parents fish to earn a living for their family. In December of 2020, Kome's left leg became swollen and later ruptured exposing the bone. He has since developed a severely infected wound. He is in pain, unable to walk, and has since stopped walking to school. He was undergoing treatment and wound cleaning in his hometown, but unfortunately, his condition has worsened. After being examined by both general and orthopedic surgeons, he is now scheduled for surgery as an urgent case. Kome requires debridement and a possible sequescretomy to avoid amputation of his infected leg. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Kome receive treatment. On April 2nd, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure. After treatment, Kome will no longer be at risk for a severe bone infection and possible amputation. Now, Kome's family needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Kome's father shared, “Kome has not been going to school or playing because of the wound. The best we could do is the herbal treatment, but it seems it wasn’t working. He can lose the leg if it is not treated, and that is very sad.”
Naw Kwee Moo is a 54-year-old woman from the Karen region in Burma, who lives with her husband and their family in a refugee camp. Of her children, three daughters and three sons still live in the refugee camp along with them near the Thai-Burma border. Naw Kwee is a homemaker and her husband is currently too ill to work. Five of their children go to school in the camp, four other children have moved away, and her second oldest son graduated from a post-secondary program in May 2020. He worked as an agricultural day laborer at a nearby Thai village until mid-December 2020. Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, he was no longer allowed to leave the camp. Naw Kwe’s household receives a monthly cash card to purchase basic rations. Although they receive free education and basic health care in the camp, they shared how hard it is to make ends meet. Starting four years ago, Naw Kwee often went to the camp’s hospital run by Malteser International (MI) Thailand to receive treatment for urinary tract infections (UTI). Most of the time, she would feel better after taking medication, but she was no longer able to work as an agricultural day laborer because of her pain. Over the next few years, she was diagnosed with chronic UTI. “I think my condition was caused from consuming dirty water,” she said. “When I worked as a day laborer, we had no access to clean water.” Naw Kwee received antibiotics through an intravenous (IV) line at the camp’s hospital. When her condition did not improve, a doctor at the camp’s hospital referred her again to Mae Sariang Hospital in March 2020. There she received a urine test and an x-ray of her kidneys, ureters and bladder. She was finally diagnosed with a right kidney stone. After multiple visits, the doctor at Mae Sariang Hospital referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further treatment. However, Naw Kwee could not travel to CMH for a while due to travel restrictions after the outbreak of Covid-19. Finally, last June medical staff from her camp were able to bring Naw Kwee to Chiang Mai. During her appointment, the doctor scheduled her to undergo an intravenous pyelogram on July 16th, 2020. After she received a diagnostic test, she returned to CMH for her follow-up appointment on November 19th, 2020. During her appointment, she received more tests and it was at her next appointment Naw Kwee was told she needed to undergo multiple rounds of laser treatment to break up the stone in her kidney. She received her first round of laser treatment on February 11th, 2021. Two days later, she developed a fever and could only pass a bit of urine. She also started to experience severe back pain and other troubling symptoms. MI staff took her back to the hospital where she received an ultrasound. The nurse shared with her that after her laser treatment, the stones had broken up and many of them where now stuck in her ureter, creating a blockage. She now needs emergency surgery to remove the stones. Our Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to support her surgery and finally relieve her of her painful condition.
Baby of Stumai is a 27-day-old old baby boy from Tanzania. He is the last born child in a family of three children. His father sells fruits by the roadside in order to support his family, while his mother takes care of their home. Baby of Stumai was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Baby of Stumai is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Baby of Stumai's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 3rd. This procedure will hopefully spare Baby of Stumai from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Baby of Stumai's mother shared, “We have been informed that our son needs surgery to correct his condition, which is putting his life at risk but we can’t afford the cost. Please help us.”
Tibafumura is a rural farmer from Uganda. She is a mother of three and shared that she lost her fourth born who was just one-year-old at the time. Her husband passed away fifteen years ago. He left his family a three-room semi-permanent house for shelter. She has managed to pay school fees for her children through farming and selling off some of her domestic animals. All of her three children are married, two of them are primary school teachers while the other one is still searching for a job. She receives minimal financial support since they too have their personal challenges in meeting their families' needs. Tibafumura starting feeling abdominal pains years ago. She visited different clinics and received tablets to relieve her pain. A scan at Rugarama Hospital showed that she had uterine fibroids but could not have the surgery due to lack of financial support from her family. She has now come to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Rushoroza Hospital to seek medical advice. At Rushoroza, she presented with a history of lower abdominal pains that have become progressively severe and reports to have taken medication without improvement. If her fibroids are not treated, pain could stop her from doing her day to day survival activities and her quality of life would be affected negatively. Tibafumura likes grazing her cows whenever she gets free time but she no longer does this due to her severe pain. She has completely stopped farming since she cannot climb hills or walk long distances to go to the fields. She cannot afford the surgery charges and seeks financial support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $228 to fund Tibafumura's surgery. On October 7th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Tibafumura will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and her quality of life will improve. Tibafumura says, “My family cannot afford the surgery charges and I am in a lot of pain. I will resume farming as soon as possible to be able to support and take care of my family.”
Kabeireho is a police officer from Uganda. Kabeireho is married and a father to seven children. He has two daughters who have completed school and are working as hotel attendants but are not yet married. His other five children are all still in school. He is the sole provider for his family because his wife is a homemaker. One year ago, Kabeireho developed an inguinal and umbilical hernia. This condition causes him pain and discomfort and it is affecting his ability to carry out his work. Fortunately, on July 14, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $230 to fund Kabeireho's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Kabeireho shared, “I hope to be relieved from pain and have restored health to continue with my work effectively after I have fully recovered.”
Thomas is a 45-year-old laborer from Uganda who came to Kenya in search of a livelihood. He is the oldest child in a family of 5 children. His mother passed in 2005, and his father left the family, which forced him to come to Kenya to search for a job. Thomas has four children aged between 4 and 17 years of age. They currently live with their mother. In November, Thomas suffered right tibia and humerus fractures after being knocked by a hit and run vehicle. While crossing the road along the Nakuru-Nairobi highway, he was hit by a vehicle that took off immediately. Left unconscious, he could not remember subsequent events, but he was rushed to the hospital and admitted. As a result of the accident, Thomas cannot move nor use his hand and leg, and is in constant pain. He cannot move on his own and needs a wheelchair to move around. For the last three weeks, Thomas has been bedridden, and has had no visitors because none of his family can be reached. Doctors recommended a humerus ORIF surgery to correct the fracture. Though he was scheduled for surgery, it was cancelled because he was unable to raise money. Thomas normally works as a casual laborer, loading and off-loading building stones, at a construction site along the highway. His daily income is about $USD3 a day and generally inconsistent, depending on the availability of work. Thomas is still financially supporting his children, and he does not have medical insurance coverage. He appeals for financial help for his cost of care. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 8th, Thomas will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow him to walk with ease and also use his hand with ease. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund his life-changing procedure. Thomas shared, “I am unable to move nor use my arm since the accident. Doctors recommended this surgery but I have not been able to get it because I don’t have money. I have been unable to contact my family or friends back at home, and I am all alone with no one to turn to.”