Joe joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Joe joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Joe's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Mengsim, a tour guide from Cambodia, to fund arm surgery so he can resume work.
Joe has funded healthcare for 65 patients in 13 countries.
Joe has funded healthcare for 65 patients in 13 countries.
Mengsim is a 49-year-old tour guide from Cambodia. He is married and lives in the province with his wife and two sons. Mengsim's wife sells soft drinks from their home. In December 2020, Mengsim was in a car accident that caused paralysis of his right hand. This injury, a branchial plexus nerve injury, can cause him to lose feeling and control of his shoulder, arm, and hand. Mengsim is unable to lift his arm and he cannot work. Mengsim traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On June 23rd, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, He will be able to use his arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Mengsim shares, "I am thankful that I will be able to return to work when my arm heals so I can support my family."
Kennedy is a 23-year-old high school graduate and the second born of four children in his family. Kennedy shared that his father sadly passed away in 2006, and his mother works as a house helper in Nairobi. His older brother works as a watchman in the city and his younger siblings are still in school. He is not working currently, and he lives alone in his family home on a quarter-acre of land. On May 22nd, while training to drive a motorbike so that he may be able to do this for an income, he was hit by a speeding vehicle and lost control. He fell along the roadside and fractured his right leg. It is difficult for him to walk and he is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 2nd, Kennedy will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Kennedy shared, “I recently finished my form four and I have my future to think of. I need to be able to walk well but first I need the surgery to help me.”
Natalia is an eight-year-old girl. She's in grade three and is the oldest in a family of two children. Natalia is very clever in school and she likes to play with her friends. Natalia's parents work as hawkers selling small items to make a living for their family. For about four years, Natalia has had on and off tonsillitis and a common cold. This has affected her happiness and relationships with her friends. She has visited many facilities for treatment and while the swelling in her tonsils subsides, it ultimately comes back. Natalia visited our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), accompanied by her grandmother who works at the care center. Now, AMH is requesting $565 to fund an adenotonsillectomy for Natalia, which is scheduled for March 26th. If left untreated, Natalia could be at risk of complications like chronic tonsillitis, middle ear infection, peritonsillar abscess, and rheumatic fever. Natalia's grandmother shared, “Natalia is my first grandchild and I love her very much. I hope Watsi can support us so that she can get well and continue with her normal life, and also be ready to go back to school when it reopens.”
Weyneshet is a 15-month-old baby girl from Ethiopia who is active and playful. She loves to play with her mom and other children, and she loves eating and breastfeeding. Her mom is a single parent, and they live with the support of family members. Weyneshet was born with an anorectal malformation, a condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Weyneshet is scheduled to undergo her first surgery to correct her condition on April 8th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After her recovery, Weyneshet will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Weyneshet's mother shared, “after receiving treatment, I will educate her by working hard in any job I get.”
Abiudi is a 1-year-old baby boy. He is a charming baby and the last born in a family of five children. Abiudi's family lives in an important agricultural area in the central part of Tanzania, and his parents are small scale farmers of maize, vegetables, and sunflowers They depend entirely on what they harvest from their farm for their daily living and supporting their family. Abiudi has a mass that has developed on his left mandible. The mass first appeared when he was six months old as a small swelling, and has been growing since then. His parents sought treatment for him at a local hospital, and doctors determined the mass needs to be removed. He currently experiences a lot of pain and discomfort. Abiudi traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 4th, surgeons will remove the mass, and once recovered he will continue to grow up as a happy, healthy boy. Now, Abiudi's family needs help to raise $724 to fund this procedure. Abiudi’s mother shared, “We have struggled a lot trying to seek treatment for our son, but without success. Kindly help treat our son as he is suffering.”
Isaya is a 16-year-old teenager from Tanzania. He is the firstborn child in a family of three children. Isaya never had the chance to join school due to his parent’s financial challenges. Despite not going to school, Isaya has been a very hardworking young man who helps his father look after the cattle. Isaya was born healthy and his growth has been normal, until last year when he noticed his right leg was bending inwards. He says the bend was very slight but over time it has increased significantly. Isaya has been walking over a long distance in search of green pasture for his father's cattle. However, due to his leg, Isaya can no longer go out with the cattle. Isaya was diagnosed with right genu valgus, or bowleggedness. His leg is bowed inward so that his knees touch. 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 is in pain and discomfort after walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Isaya. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Isaya's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Isaya shared, “I am unable to carry out my daily chores because of my leg. Please help me get this treatment so that I can return home and help my parents.”
Benard is a 35-year-old man from Kiambu County in Kenya. He works as a laborer, off-loading trucks carrying construction materials. His wife is a housemaker and together they have three children aged 10 years, 9 years and 3 months old. In December 2020, Benard slipped and fell from a raised water tank he was inspecting, fracturing his right tibia and fibula. He was taken to a clinic in the neighbourhood, where first aid was administered. Afterwards, Benard went to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Nazareth Hospital for an x-ray, which confirmed a fracture of his right tibia and fibula close to his ankle joint. Surgeons recommend he undergoes a fracture repair surgery. If not treated, Benard’s fracture could heal while misaligned or be malunited, resulting in limited use of his right limb, deformity, and infection. However, this procedure is costly for Benard and his family. He is the sole breadwinner of the family, and does not have savings to pay for his care. He appeals for financial support. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 5th, Benard will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will ease his pain, allow him to recover, and help him to be able to walk with ease again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Benard shared, “My head is spinning because I do not know what would happen to my family if I was unable to go to work due to my injury. I would really appreciate help with the surgery so that I can continue providing for my family.”
Derick is a three-year-old boy from Tanzania and an only child to his parents. Derick is a friendly boy who likes playing and listening to stories from his mother. Derick’s parents depend on small scale farming to make ends meet for their small family. Derick was diagnosed with genu valgus. His legs bow inward so that her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, as he continued to grow his leg condition worsened, making it more and more painful for him to walk. He no longer wants to stand or walk on his own so his mother carries him most of the time. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Derick. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 4th. Treatment will hopefully restore Derick's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Derick’s mother says: “Please help my son get this treatment, I am scared that he may lose his ability to walk.”
Meet Elizabeth, a 14-year-old girl who is the second and youngest in her family. Her family hails from Mwatate Village and her single-parent mother is a small business woman in Mwatate town. She lives in a two-roomed rental house. Elizabeth was born healthy but she suffered meningitis when she was eight months old. She was hospitalized for six months. Since then Elizabeth has never walked and has always been under the care of her mother. Elizabeth's right foot is flexed and she cannot walk or stand. All her life she has been using a wheelchair and her mother is worried the situation for her might even get worse. Elizabeth is scheduled to undergo a right hamstring release surgery to enable flexion of her knee. Her mother is unable to raise the estimated cost and has requested financial support. “I am pleading for support to help my daughter undergo surgery so she can stand and walk comfortably. God bless you and continue with the good work you are doing helping needy patients,” Gisela, Elizabeth’s mother said.
Su is 14-year-old girl from Thailand. She lives with her parents in a village in Take Province, Thailand. After Su completed grade five she was unable to continue her schooling since there are no middle or high schools in their area and her parents could not afford to send her to school in nearby Burma. Today she and her parents are agricultural day laborers, each earning 150 baht (approx. 5 USD) per day. In the past, they used to have enough work but for the past four months they are not able to work as much as they would like to. Due to COVID-19 restrictions on the number of people who can gather, employers are only able to hire five to seven workers in a day. To ensure that everyone has a chance to work in their community, all the day laborers take turns working in a week. Around April or May 2020, Su noticed that she was not feeling well. When she explained how she felt to her mother, she was reassured that this was normal. However, around September 15th, Su started to suffer from terrible lower back and abdominal pain. When she went to Mae Tao Clinic she received an ultrasound which indicated a mass in her uterus. She was then referred to Mae Sot Hospital where she received another ultrasound and physical examination. The doctor then confirmed there was a growing mass in her uterus. The doctor told her they will be able to remove the mass with surgery. Su sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on October 1st and is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once she recovers, Su hopes to help her parents out financially. “I will go back to work with my mother and I will save money,” she said. “I will build my parents a new house on our land in Burma. I will also learn to sew and do that [becoming a seamstress] for the rest of my life in my own shop."
Khin Htay is a 26-year-old-Araknese woman who lives with her younger sister in Yangon, Burma. She is in her final year of university. Her sister works as a seamstress in a shop and earns 200,000 kyat (approx.200 USD) per month. Their parents and their eldest sister are rice farmers in Rakhine State. Every year, they sell half of their harvest to earn an income. Htay's sister in Yangon sends their parents money occasionally, while their parents support Htay's medical expenses. The income that Khin Htay's sister earns is enough to cover their daily expenses and pay for basic health care. In 2018, Khin Htay started to feel very tired and could not sleep well at night. She also experienced chest pains if she walked anywhere far. She took traditional medicine which helped her feel and sleep better. However, she continued to feel tired and experience pain. One day in 2019, a neighbor who has a heart condition, told her that she could have a heart disease like her; the neighbor had also experienced the same symptoms. The neighbor advised her to seek treatment at Pinlon Hospital in Yangon, where the neighbor had undergone heart surgery. She decided to follow the neighbor's recommendation and also moved in with her sister in Yangon for extra support. In December 2019, Khin Htay went to Pinlon Hospital to see a cardiologist. After receiving an echocardiogram (echo), the doctor told her that two valves in her heart no longer work and that she would need to receive surgery to replace those valves. The doctor also told her that because her condition is not severe, she did not need surgery yet. She received six month's worth of medication and a follow-up appointment for June 17th, 2020. When she came back for her appointment, she received another echo and an x-ray. After checking her results, the doctor told her that her condition had progressed and she now needed surgery, which would cost 15,000,000 kyat (approx.15,000 USD). When they learned about the price of the procedure, Khin Htay and her sister lost hope of ever getting Khin Htay treatment; they could not afford to pay such a large sum of money. When she told a nurse at the hospital called Sandar Ko about their financial situation, the nurse told her about an abbot who might be able to help her. The abbot heads Kyaung Gyi Parahita Monastery and is a partner of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Khin Htay called the abbot and asked for help accessing surgery. The abbot then referred Htay to Watsi's Medical Partner BCMF for assistance receiving treatment at Pinlon Hospital. Currently, Khin Htay feels tired and suffers from chest pains when she walks a lot. She cannot sleep very well at night and she feels short of breath at least twice a week. To try and cope with her symptoms mentally, she prays or recites Dhamma. She also tries to help her sister with household chore such as cooking and sweeping. She hopes that she will be able to continue her studies after surgery and she would like to work for the government as a civil servant once she graduates. Khin Htay shared, “When I graduate, I will work and support my parents because they are getting old and they will not be able to work on the farm in the future.”
Rithy is a 5-year-old student from Cambodia. He began kindergarten this year, and is excited to join Grade One next year. He has three siblings. Rithy's mother sells fruit at a local market, and his father is a tuk tuk driver. He and his older sister love to paint pictures together, and he is currently learning writing. Three years ago, Rithy 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, Rithy experiences hearing loss, ear discharge, and fever. It is difficult for him to hear what the teachers say at school, and he is often absent from class due to his ear discharge and fever. Rithy traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 6th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his 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. His parents said, "This problem has been bad for his hearing in both ears, so we worry about his ability to go to school in the future. We hope that after surgery, he can start his first full year at school with all his hearing."