Kellam joined Watsi on November 6th, 2014. Eight years ago, Kellam joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Kellam's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Yi, a 67-year-old woman from Burma, to fund a lens replacement procedure so she can regain her vision.
Kellam has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 14 countries.
Kellam has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 14 countries.
Yi is a 67-year-old woman from Bruma who lives in a monastery with 40 other monks, nuns, and villagers. Although she does not have an income, all of her basic needs are met by the monastery. Yi enjoys spending most of her time reading religious books. Over 15 years ago, Yi's vision in her right eye became blurred, but she did not seek treatment because she thought it was simply something that was destined to occur due to her aging process. However, she eventually sought medical care at a hospital with the support of donors because her vision progressively worsened. There, she was diagnosed with a cataract and was scheduled to undergo repair surgery. On the day she was supposed to receive treatment, her son unfortunately passed away, so she did not return to the hospital for the procedure. Over the next couple of years, Yi began to also experience blurred vision in her left eye. The vision in both of her eyes deteriorated to the point where she could no longer recognize people. Fortunately, she was able to undergo cataract surgery of her left eye two months ago with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Now, she is scheduled to undergo cataract surgery on August 10th. During this procedure, surgeons will perform a lens replacement on her right eye. BCMF is requesting $769 to cover the total cost of Yi's procedure and care. Yi shares, "As long as I am alive, I want to see and I do not want to depend on others to help me. I felt so happy when I learned that donors will pay for the cost of my surgery. Thank you so much to all the donors.”
Saoly is a 33-year-old former garment factory worker from Cambodia. He is from the Kampong Speu province, and married with two children. His wife makes and sells traditional Khmer cakes at the local market. His children are four and seven years of age. Since an accident, he has been home and likes to listen to the news, watch TV, and play with his children. In March 2020, he was in a motorcycle collision with a truck and fell on his left shoulder on the pavement. This caused paralysis of his left shoulder and arm. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. In August 2020, he had a surgical nerve graft, which allowed him to successfully bend his elbow, but he still cannot move his shoulder or his fingers. He cannot work, feels phantom pain in his arm, and is very depressed he cannot support his family and his wife has to work hard. Saoly traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. This is the only center in the whole country where this treatment is available. On December 1st, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he hopes that he will be able to move his shoulder, use his hand, and work again to support his family. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $709 to fund this procedure. Saoly said: "I hope this surgery will help me to use my arm again. I would like to work in a factory again to support my family."
Latifa is a beautiful young girl and the second born of three children. She is charming and bright, and joined the first grade earlier this year. Latifa loves to sing the vowels and to color. Latifa's father is a casual laborer working at construction sites while her mother sells deep fried cakes outside their home every morning. Latifa was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus which causes her legs bow outward at the knees. Latifa's mother says she noticed the problem when Latifa was learning to walk. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she walks with a challenging gait and has exhaustion and pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Latifa. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 20th. Treatment will hopefully restore Latifa's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and decrease her risk of future complications. Latifa’s mother shared, “My daughter is struggling to walk, and her legs get worse every day. Please help her.”
Christian, who lives in the Philippines, is a hardworking father with a 7-month-old daughter. He works as an on-call waiter, while his wife is currently a student. With Christian’s limited income, he is worried about supporting all of his family’s needs and financing his medical treatment. In April, Christian was diagnosed with a hernia which requires surgery. Correcting the hernia will better enable Christian to find a new job and higher pay, and improve his ability to care for his family. With the help of our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, Christian is scheduled for surgery at Our Lady of Peace Hospital on May 3rd, for which they are requesting $1,130 to fund his procedure and care. “I always fail my physical exams because of my condition, and I'm burdened by it because, as a father, I need to support my family,” Christian shared. “This surgery will be a big help to our family so thank you so much World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for helping,” he added.
Linda is a beautiful three-week-old baby from Kenya who is the youngest of three children. A few months prior to Linda's birth, her mother became very sick and lost her job as a security guard. Her mother shares that this created many challenges for their family because she was their sole source of income after Linda's father left them. Additionally, they have not had many people nearby to help them since they came from Uganda. Fortunately, a Ugandan friend of Linda's mother heard about her condition and offered to accommodate her. This good Samaritan has since been facilitating hospital transportation and providing Linda’s family with financial support where possible. Shortly after her birth, Linda was diagnosed with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Linda is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. The public hospital where she was born was unable to offer her any treatment and instead referred her to our medical partner's care center, Bethanykids Kijabe Hospital. Upon arrival, Linda was found to be in critical condition. She was immediately admitted and put on medication. She stayed in the hospital for more than two weeks under the care of the medical team. Once she got better, she was discharged and scheduled to undergo spinal repair surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Linda's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 25th. This procedure will hopefully spare Linda from the risks associated with her condition and allow her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Linda’s mother says, “I was shocked when I saw her at birth and did not know if she would ever be treated. Now, I have courage to face the future, as I have been told that she will be treated.”
Saw Eh is a two-year-old boy who lives with his mother and older sister in a refugee camp in Thailand. Both he and his older sister go to nursery school. His mother weaves and sells traditional Karen clothing to earn extra money in addition to the small amount they receive every month on a cash card. When Saw Eh was two months old, he began crying a lot and his mother noticed swelling in a sensitive area. He received medication at the hospital in the refugee camp, which helped alleviate his discomfort and crying. However, Saw Eh began experiencing pain in the same sensitive area this past June. This pain often causes him to miss school, as well as to cry frequently again. His mother shares that when he cries, she must hold him, meaning she no longer has time to weave clothes. During the short moments when the pain lessens after taking painkillers, Saw Eh loves playing with his friends and his sister. When his family brought him to the hospital, a medic told them that they would have to wait for a doctor to visit the refugee camp. When Saw Eh was finally seen by a doctor in late July, he and his family were referred to our medical partner's care center, Mae Sariang Hospital, for treatment. He was diagnosed with hydrocele in his left scrotum and a left inguinal hernia. Due to his severe condition, the doctor admitted him and scheduled his surgery to take place that same night, August 4th. However, Saw Eh's mother shares that she cannot pay for her son's needed treatment due to financial constraints. Fortunately, she was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for financial assistance accessing treatment. On August 4th, surgeons will perform hernia repair surgery to treat Saw Eh's hernia and help alleviate his symptoms. BCMF is requesting $1,486 to fund his surgery and care. Saw Eh’s mother shares, “I feel so sad when I see my son in pain. I love to see him playing with his sister, but if he is in pain, he will cry a lot.”
Elka is a 13-month-old baby who lives in Haiti with her parents. Both of her parents are hardworking vendors in their local market. Elka was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, meaning blood leaks through a hole between two blood vessels located near her heart. This leaves her feeling weak and short of breath. Since the required treatment is not available in Haiti, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Elka travel to the Dominican Republic where she will be able to access the care she needs. On July 28th, she will undergo a procedure where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole so blood can flow without issue through her body. Elka's family is looking to raise $1,500 to fund her necessary care, treatment, and travel. Elka also has a cleft lip and palate, so once her heart condition is treated, a team of doctors will soon be able to perform another surgery to repair this condition and help her have a healthier future and a full life ahead. Her mother says, "I am looking forward to my daughter growing up as a normal healthy child!"
Rayvan is a 1 month old baby boy living with his parents and three siblings in Kenya. Rayvan's mother used to plough her neighbors' farms, while his father herds cattle and ploughs farms to earn a living for their family. Rayvan parents shared that he was born at home because they could not afford to pay for his delivery at a hospital. After his birth, his mother noticed that Rayvan had a large swelling on the lower part of his back. She immediately took him to a nearby hospital to be examined. Rayvan was given some medication, and sent back home. After using the medication for a few weeks, there was no change in his condition. His mother shared her concerns about Rayvan with her friends, and one of them referred her to our medical partner's care center BethanyKids Hospital in Kijabe. On arrival, he was examined and diagnosed with spina bifida, a condition that requires surgical intervention to heal. Without surgery, Rayvan is at risk of developing paralysis of his lower limbs, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, and possible developmental delays. His parents do not have health insurance, and are unable to pay for the surgery he needs. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Rayvan's spina bifida closure surgery, which is scheduled to take place on May 18th at BethanyKids Hospital. This procedure will hopefully spare Rayvan from the risks associated with his condition, and enable him to grow up strong and healthy. Rayvan’s mother says: “I have never seen such a condition before and I was very much worried about my child. Now I’m happy to hear that he can get treated. The sad part is that I cannot afford the treatment but I believe that God will make a way.”
Zion is an adorable four-month-old baby boy from the Philippines. Despite being so young, Zion loves interacting with people and already responds when his name is called. Zion's mother is a full-time mom, while his father is a contract-of-service worker. Zion's father's income helps to sustain their family's daily needs. In March, Zion's family brought him to the hospital as he has skin tags on his body and they were concerned for his future health and development. This condition can be severe, especially at his age as it may cause discomfort that leads to itching, wounds, and infections. On May 4th, Zion is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Zion's parents raise $1,196 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. After recovery, Zion will no longer have multiple skin tags or be at risk of developing related health complications in the future. "Once this surgery is done, we don't have to worry about his condition, and we can focus on taking care of Zion," his father shared. "Thank you so much World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for your help. May you help other people in need like us," he added.
Allan is an adorable two-year-old boy from the Philippines. Allan loves to sing nursery rhymes and listen to music. Allan's father works as a welder in Saudi Arabia, while his mother stays at home to look after their children. Allan’s father's income is only enough to support their basic needs, the family works hard to shoulder Allan’s medical treatment. Allan was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. Allan needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Allan is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on April 4th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Allan's family raise $1,279 to cover the total cost of Allan's procedure and care. After his recovery, Allan will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Allan's mother shared, “This surgery is important for us. Through this, Allan will have a chance to grow as a normal kid - no more discomforts and pain. This will also ease our financial burden to buy his colostomy supplies. WSFP and WATSI will be of really great help to us, and so we’re grateful to them!”
Isaac is a 32-year-old man from Kenya. He is married and his wife works at a saloon, while Isaac often works as a truck driver when he can find work. The couple has two children. Last week, Isaac visited a petrol station to fill his tires with air. Unfortunately, one of the wheels burst and the rim hit his leg, fracturing bones in his right leg and injuring his right hand. He is now in pain and unable to walk due to the fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On March 2nd, Isaac will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. After recovery, he will be able to walk well. Now, he needs help raising $1,049 to fund his procedure and care. Isaac shared, "the pain I am having is too much to bear. I kindly requested assistance so that I could see my leg whole again. I also need this leg to be well so that I can go back and work to sustain my family."
Haron is a young boy who also has a twin sister. He has fallen behind her in school because of his difficulty hearing and other medical challenges he has faced, like meningitis and bladder stones. But he has now enrolled in a special school and with hearing treatment too, they are hopeful that he can have a higher quality of life ahead. Haron needs hearing aids in both ears to help him hear clearly again and communicate with his peers. Haron's mother sells food in their local community in Soweto and currently, his father has no source of income. The family has been working hard to pay for his frequent medical visits since he was very young and needs assistance to help with the cost of his hearing treatment. Haron's mother shared, “We have been through a lot. We have visited several hospitals since our kid was born. He is currently unable to hear, and it is affecting his studies. We have now taken him to a special school because of his condition.“