Mateus' Story

Mateus joined Watsi on April 19th, 2013. Nine years ago, Mateus joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mateus' most recent donation traveled 5,900 miles to support Eunice, a mother from Uganda, to fund a safe delivery.


Mateus has funded healthcare for 35 patients in 10 countries.

Patients funded by Mateus

Meva is a two-month-old baby girl from Kenya with hydrocephalus, which is a condition caused by the buildup of cerebral spinal fluid in the head. Meva has an increased head size and is irritable. Meva is the last born in a family of three children. A few days after her birth, Meva’s mother noticed she had poor head control, and the size of her head was rapidly increasing. This concerned her, so she decided to seek advice at a nearby hospital. After scans and investigations, the doctors confirmed that Meva had hydrocephalus. If left untreated, she will suffer many complications that can lead to brain damage. The increased pressure inside the skull may cause progressive enlargement of the head and potentially cause mental disability and tunnel vision. The hospital lacked the resources to treat Meva so they were referred to Bethany Kids at Kijabe Hospital. Meva’s family made the long trip to Kijabe where Meva was seen by a Neurosurgery consultant. They were educated on Meva’s condition and informed on the need for surgery. Meva’s parents became distressed when they learned this as they had already spent most of their meager savings on Meva’s medical tests. Meva’s father is a fisherman and her mother stays at home to take care of her children. They live in a single-roomed rental house. They urgently need help to pay for Meva’s operation to help her live a long and healthy life. For $685, Meva will undergo treatment for her congenital hydrocephalus. The procedure will relieve Meva of swelling and pain.

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“When I grow up, I would like to become a primary school teacher,” shares Ramadhani, a happy, hard-working, 13-year-old boy who lives with his grandparents in Tanzania. He loves going to school, where he is in class three and enjoys mathematics and science. Ramadhani was born with talipes equinovarus, a condition commonly known as congenital clubfoot. His right foot is twisted out of position due to short tendons in the foot and ankle, preventing him from stepping on the sole of his right foot as he walks. Even with his deformed right foot, Ramadhani likes to run and jump around with other children. Ramadhani’s parents are small-scale farmers who grow potatoes and cassava. They look after Ramadhani and his two younger siblings as well as their parents. For many years, they have not been able to get proper treatment for their son. It is through word of mouth that Ramadhani’s grandfather heard about The Plaster House and what it does and collected enough cash to transport Ramadhani to Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre for treatment. For $1,160, Ramadhani will undergo surgery to release the tendons in his foot and ankle. Doctors will then move his foot into the proper position and place it in a cast for up to two months. Funding also covers the costs of cast changes, braces, and a four-month stay at The Plaster House for recovery and rehabilitation after surgery. After receiving care, Ramadhani will be able to properly step on his right foot and wear shoes.

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Dickson is a 75-year-old father and grandfather who farms tobacco in Malawi. He came to our medical partner, World Altering Medicine (WAM), seeking treatment for an enlarged prostate gland. “Dickson's enlarged prostate has led to urinary incontinence, an embarrassing and inconvenient symptom,” WAM tells us. “He is occasionally unable to go to work in the garden due to his condition.” The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. An enlarged prostate—known as benign prostatic hyperplasia—is a common condition in older men due to hormonal changes. As the prostate gets larger, it squeezes the urethra, causing problems with urination. Typical symptoms include difficulty starting or stopping urination, weak urine streams, and inability to empty the bladder. For $742, Dickson will undergo surgery—transurethral resection of the prostate—in which doctors insert an instrument into the urethra to remove the part of his prostate that is blocking urine flow. After surgery, a catheter will be inserted temporarily to remove urine from the bladder. When the urine is free of blood or blood clots, the catheter will be removed, and Dickson can urinate on his own. Funding for Dickson also pays for a three-night hospital stay, lab tests, medicine, and transportation to and from the hospital for him and two caregivers. “Following surgery,” says WAM, “Dickson is expected to have his catheter removed and make a full recovery.”

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“Lencer is a young child with a long medical history,” reports our medical partner in Kenya, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). When he was nine months old, he fell sick with meningitis; he has contracted pneumonia six times since his birth; and now, at three years old, Lencer has contracted tuberculosis. “Lencer has battled his previous medical complications with zeal,” AMHF tells us. However, fighting these near-constant illnesses “has drained his family’s income,” leaving them unprepared to cope financially with the most recent medical problem that has beset Lencer: severe hearing loss in both ears. Lencer’s hearing problems are sensorineural, meaning they originate in his inner ear, and could have been caused by a variety of factors, from disease to head trauma. According to AMHF, “if not assisted with the hearing aids, Lencer may not be able to communicate effectively”—a deficiency that could have profound implications for the child’s social life, language learning, academic abilities, and career. $920 will purchase two hearing aids—one for each of Lencer’s ears. With these devices in place, “Lencer will be able to use speech and hearing for communication,” AMHF tells us. “I feel emotionally weak that my child has to pass through all these medical complications,” shares Lencer’s father. “My only wish is to have God heal him and for him to grow as a healthy child.” Let’s help make that wish a reality for this family.

Fully funded