alanna joined Watsi on May 15th, 2013. Six years ago, alanna became the 186th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 6,286 more people have become monthly donors! alanna's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Benjamin, a man from Kenya, to fund a fracture repair so he can support his family.
alanna has funded healthcare for 67 patients in 13 countries.
Benjamin is a 63-year-old man from Kenya. He is a quiet man who works hard and normally keeps to himself. Two weeks ago, Benjamin sustained an injury on his left hand while coming from his farm. It had rained heavily and Benjamin was rushing home. On his way, he fell on a hard surface and when he stood up, he realized that he could not lift his hand and was feeling pain on his left hand. Benjamin could not access treatment the same day because there’s no health facility near his home. The following morning, Benjamin was accompanied by his wife to a health centre. Because they were not confident of treating him, they just placed a sling on his arm and referred him to a district hospital for further care. Due to lack of finances, Benjamin and his wife returned home to look for money and after three days they were able to go to the hospital. Due to the ongoing medical practitioners strike, no one was there to help them and they finally decided to come to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center called AIC Kapsowar Hospital. The first returned home to look for money to gather for their travel and other expenses. Because of their socioeconomic status, it took them another ten days to raise USD130 through the help of their neighbors. On arrival to our partner hospital, an x-ray was done which confirmed his left humerus fracture. Treatment requires surgery and an implant to fix his fracture. Benjamin was born and raised in a small village called Kamok where most people work in farms or other small unsteady jobs. He has a family and has been blessed with eight children, five girls and three boys. Benjamin never was able to have a formal education so he doesn’t speak Kiswahili, but his local language Marakwet. His family lives in a small mud hut with grass as a roof and they get their food from their small farm, consisting mostly of millet, beans, and vegetables. Benjamin likes spending his days on his farm. He is the breadwinner of the family and now feels distressed because he can’t provide for them due to his condition. He is worried about the obstacles his family would face if his hand will not be treated and also learning that he has arthritis. Their family doesn’t have money to pay for his surgery and his wife shared that this would be "almost impossible" for them. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 18th, Benjamin will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help him regain utility of his hand and be free from pain and any other complications arising from untreated fractures. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Benjamin shared with us, “I just want not to be in pain anymore and be healthy and happy and have a good life because my family needs me the most.”
Bu is a 53-year-old man who lives with his wife, two sons and two daughters in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. He and his family fled there from Karen State, Burma, due to conflict in their area. Every month, Bu's household received 1,514 baht (approx. 50 USD) as part of their camp rations. Bu's oldest son works on farms outside of the camp as a seasonal day laborer. He makes 1,100 baht (approx. 37 USD) per month. The rest of Bu's three children are students, and his wife is a homemaker. Despite receiving free primary health care services and schooling in the camp, Bu's family is struggling to make ends meet every month. Bu started to suffer from back pain and fever in 2015. He also experienced slight discomfort and a burning sensation while urinating. When he went to the camp's clinic, run by Malteser International (MI), he received oral medications. For a few months, his symptoms and pain disappeared, but later on, they returned. Whenever the pain would worsen, Bu would receive more medication from the camp's clinic. On 2 July 2020, when Bu's symptoms worsened, he went back to the clinic to received more medication. Noting that he kept returning to the clinic with severe symptoms, Bu was referred to Mae Sariang Hospital for further treatment. At the hospital, he received a blood and urine test, as well as a kidney, ureter, and bladder (KUB) x-ray. The doctor informed him that he has a stone in his left kidney. The doctor then referred him to Suandok Hospital in Chiang Mai for further treatment. On 29 July 2020, Bu saw the doctor at Chiang Mai Hospital. The doctor told him that he needed to undergo an intravenous pyelogram (IVP), a type of diagnostic test that uses an injection of contrast material to evaluate the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. Once he underwent the IVP, the doctor diagnosed him with a type of kidney stone called a staghorn stone. Bu was then scheduled to receive surgery to remove the kidney stone on 16 August 2020. Unable to pay for his treatment, MI referred Bu to Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing surgery. Currently, Bu experiences back pain and a burning sensation while urinating. He sometimes experiences headaches and cannot breathe well because of the severe pain. In his free time, his favorite thing to do is to help with household chores and grow vegetables for his family. Now, Burma Children Medical Fund needs your help in funding the cost of Bu's $1,500 surgery. Bu shared, “I still experience back pain and a burning sensation while urinating. Sometimes due to the pain, I have a headache and I have difficulty breathing. But I am very excited that I will be free from this prolonged pain after surgery."
Jayden is a small baby from Kenya. Jayden’s parents are casual laborers, his mother works in other people's homes and his father does anything that comes his way to put food on the table. Jayden was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Jayden has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Jayden will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 16th. AMHF is requesting $569 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Jayden’s mother shared, “I am hopeful that my son will be treated.”
Gilbert is a calm and polite boy. He is the second born in a family of four children and hails from Dagoretti in Nairobi county. He is in 3rd grade at a primary school in Nairobi and aspires to be a pilot. Gilbert was brought to our hospital by his mother because he was experiencing pain and could not walk long distances. He has had this condition since he was three years old and it has significantly impacted his ability to go to school. Gilbert's mother shared that, “I sometimes carry him to school as his knees knock against each other which hinders his movement. But when I have money, I will pay for a motorbike to take him and his brother to school.” His mother works part-time cleaning houses, washing clothes, and performing other household work she may be given. Gibert's father is a street pastor and works as a street vendor. The family lives in a one-bedroom rental house in Nairobi and they shared with us that they feel life is hard because they do not have the resources to buy everything they need. Gilbert was able to already have his right leg treated which is now healed. He now needs support for the surgery on his left knee. With both knees healed, Gilbert will be able to walk comfortably and continue with his studies.
Samwel is a 14-month baby boy from Tanzania, the third born in a family of three children. He was born healthy but after one week his parents started noticing that his head was growing significantly. They took him to several hospitals where he was given medication but his condition was worsening. They were referred to another hospital in another city where Samwel was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and a VP Shunt was placed for him when he was three months old. He was discharged home doing well until a week ago when he started getting regular fevers. His mother noticed that there was a wound on his stomach and they could see the tube that was placed when he was three months old. Samwel’s father heard about treatment for children with hydrocephalus at Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center ALMC from our outreach team and when his son got sick he reached out for treatment and support. Samwel’s father is a subsistence farmer and his mother is a housewife. They do not earn enough to be able to afford Samwel’s needed treatment. Samwel has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Samwel has been experiencing increased head circumference and frequent fevers. Without treatment, Samwel will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,362 to cover the cost of surgery for Samwel that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 13th and will drain the excess fluid from Samwel's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Samwel will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Samwel's father says, "I have been to several places for my son's treatment, right now I cannot afford this other surgery he needs. Please help him get this needed treatment."
Korb is a 34-year-old mother of two from Cambodia. She has one son and one daughter, she enjoys cooking for her family, cleaning the house, and playing with her children. Three years ago, Korb had a serious ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Korb experiences ear discharge, pain, itchiness, and headaches. She cannot hear others clearly and has been unable to find any work. Korb traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 9th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. "I hope that after surgery, the infection will stop and my hearing will improve and my family will not have to worry anymore," she said.
Lay is a 45-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his family in a village in Karen State. His wife is a homemaker while his son and daughter-in-law work as a day laborers. He also used to work as a day laborer before he stopped two months ago due to his loss of vision in his left eye. He has blurred vision and sometimes he also feels dizzy. When the doctor checked his left eye, he was diagnosed with a cataract as well as glaucoma. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Lay. On March 17th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Lay's natural lens and replace with an intraocular lens implant in his eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Lay said, "Now I am happy that I will receive surgery with the help of donors. Thank you everyone for helping me and I pray for you all with all my heart. I know this surgery will return my vision and will be a great benefit for my family if it will allow me to go back to work.”
Abdiaziz is a child from Ethiopia. He is a beautiful baby boy. Abdiaziz has two brothers and a sister and he loves to play with his mom. Abdiaziz is exclusively breastfeeding. His father is an English teacher in a language school with a limited income while his mother is a house wife. They live in a rented house and Abdiaziz’s father's income is only enough for their basic needs. Abdiaziz was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Abdiaziz is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on February 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Abdiaziz's procedure and care. After his recovery, Abdiaziz will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Abdiaziz's mom said “I hope my child will heal completely after the coming surgeries. I believe he will lead a bright future and a quality life.”
Roth has a two-year-old son, and enjoys reading books and taking care of his family and household in his free time. Since Roth was born, he had a curvature in his spine, making it difficult for him to walk and sleep comfortably. He was diagnosed with scoliosis and the curvature of his spine is nearly 80 degrees. Roth will undergo spinal surgery, where implants will be inserted along his spine to help correct the deformity and prevent the curve from developing in the future. He shared, "I hope that I will be able to recover from my surgery and ... I will be able to walk again without any difficulty."
Ma Ni is a 30-year-old woman from Burma. In her free time, she likes to pray to Buddha. She and her husband work as government officers. Together they earn 414,000 kyat (approx. $414 USD) per month, which is not enough for any safety net after they pay their bills for utilities and other household expenses. One day in July 2019, Ma Ni stood up from her desk at work and had pain in her hip joints. She had to push her hand against her hips to help her walk. She did not think there was anything seriously wrong so she did not seek medical attention. However, two weeks after this incident, when she was going to work, she slipped and fell in front of her house. Right away her hips started to hurt and two weeks later, the pain gradually became severe. Her condition worsened day by day, although she visited several hospitals and had taken medications. Currently, Ma Ni has a lot of pain in her hips. She cannot walk for more than two minutes or the pain becomes unbearable. She does not feel comfortable when she lays down and has problems sleeping from the pain. She also needs help going to the bathroom and taking a shower. Fortunately, Ma Ni learned about Watsi's medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). At BCMF's care center, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Ma Ni of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for December 17th, and Ma Ni needs help raising $1,500 to pay for this procedure. Ma Ni said, "I had to send my son to my mother’s place in Mawlamyine and my husband also had to ask for leave. [When fully recovered] I want to take back my son from my mother and send him to school. I will support him in whatever he wants to become when he grows up.”
Mebruka is a cute baby girl from Ethiopia who loves people and to play with others. She loves eating spaghetti. She has one older sister and she loves to play with her. Her mom is a house wife and her dad is a daily laborer. They live in a rented house and the dad’s income is very much limited for the expenses of the family. Mebruka was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Mebruka is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on November 5th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Mebruka's procedure and care. After her recovery, Mebruka will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Her mother said, “It is my hope that my baby will heal and that makes me happy even now.”
Kakada is sixteen years old and enjoys reading books, playing soccer, and listening to music. Since the age of five, Kakada started showing signs of a curve in his spine. Over time, the curve has worsened, and now the spine deformity causes difficulty breathing, sleeping, walking, and an overall uncomfortable life. Surgery will help to straighten out and realign his spine, allowing him to breath without difficulty and create a less straining posture while he walks, eliminating discomfort. Kakada's favorite subject in school is Khmer literature, and he hopes to become a doctor when he grows up. "I hope that after surgery, I will not have to worry about my son's spine getting any worse and I will be happy that he can return to his normal activities again." -Kakada's Mother