nick joined Watsi on March 30th, 2013. Six years ago, nick joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. nick's most recent donation supported Alex, a seven-year-old boy from Tanzania, to fund corrective surgery so he can walk more easily and go to school.
nick has funded healthcare for 27 patients in 10 countries.
nick has funded healthcare for 27 patients in 10 countries.
Alex is a social seven-year-old boy and the oldest child in a family of three children. His parents rely on small scale farming for food and other basic needs. Alex has been diagnosed with left varus and right valgus on his legs. When Alex learned to walk, his parents noticed his condition and they thought it would subside as he got older. The larger bone, or tibia, in his left calf is misaligned with the larger bone in his thigh, or femur, while the bone at the knee joint of the right leg is angled out and away from the body's midline. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Alex experiences pain and difficulty in walking. He has not yet joined school, mainly because the only school in his family's village is far from home and he cannot walk all the way there due to his condition. When Alex and his parents visited his grandfather, he was deeply concerned by Alex's condition and brought him to the care center of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for treatment. Alex is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on September 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Alex's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Now, AMH, is requesting $880 to fund Alex's surgery. Alex’s grandfather shared, "I felt really bad seeing how my grandson‘s legs have been deformed. I know his parents are not financially stable and neither am I. I remember the team from your hospital that visited our village to educate us on treatable disability and the possibility of him getting treatment and I am hopeful that he will be well. Please help him."
Shallet is a humble and jovial three-year-old girl. She's the third child born in a family of four children and her parents are teachers. Shallet has hydrocephalus, spina bifida, and clubfoot of both feet. She has visited local hospitals since birth for treatments, and began casting for clubfoot when she was four weeks old. Her condition causes her difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Shallet traveled to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for treatment. At AMH's care center, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 18th and now, AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Shallet's clubfoot repair. Her parents shared that they hope that the treatment will be of great impact to Shallet because she will be able to wear shoes and walk with ease. Shallet's father shared, “we have high hopes for Shallet and it is our joy to see her excel in life and become an independent person like other girls in the society.”
Em is an 18-year-old student who just graduated from 12th grade. In the future, he hopes to be a businessman. He has three brothers and one sister, and he enjoys playing tennis, football, and listening to pop songs in his free time. Em has stiff knees due to poorly administered injections in his right and left quadriceps muscles when he was younger. It is difficult for him to walk because he cannot bend his legs. Fortunately, his neighbors recommended our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). On June 8th, surgeons at CSC will perform a contracture release surgery to release the muscle contractures and allow Em to walk easily. Now, his needs help to fund this $454 surgery. Em shared, "I hope I can walk properly after this operation so I can do my daily activities independently."
Guadalupe is an one-year-old baby from Colombia. She is an only child, so she is regarded as the little princess of the family, which consists of her mother, grandma, and uncle. She is already sympathetic and friendly, and loves to play with stuffed toys and with other kids. Guadalupe has clubfoot on her right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Guadalupe's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel, where they can offer treatment. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 13th. Our medical partner is requesting $1,422 to fund Guadalupe's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to start walking and running without pain. Her mother shares a story and her hopes for Guadalupe, "I would really love to see her walk and run normally, she is not the first person with this condition in our whole family, I have a cousin who received treatment when he was 8 years old and it was really hard to see him asking why he couldn't run like the other kids."
Makara is a 36-year-old driver who is married and has one daughter. Makara's wife works in a garment factory but it has been closed for two months due to the COVID lockdown. Makara is home right now too because of his poor vision. He enjoys Khmer boxing and spending time with his family. Three years ago, Makara developed a cataract in his left eye, causing him impaired vision, photophobia, and tearing. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Makara learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two hours with his brother seeking treatment. On May 12th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Makara said, "After surgery I hope I can drive again for my work and find other jobs to be there for my family."
Duncan is a 28-year-old man from Kenya. He is currently unemployed. Both of his parents are elderly and are farmers. Because of his current condition, he lives with his relatives who help him visit the hospital regularly for checkups. Duncan currently has tinnitus in his right ear, which causes him to have reduced hearing. His symptoms began in early 2010 after a road traffic accident, which also caused him a spine injury. He is currently still waiting to receive spine surgery. A few weeks after the accident, Duncan started having ear drainage, and visited a local hospital in his hometown for treatment. His ear eventually recovered, but the pain and infection reappeared two years later in 2012. Gradually, Duncan became unable to hear voices well, and currently he is not able to hear using the right ear. Doctors have recommended that he get a hearing aid to restore his hearing to its normal levels and improve his quality of life. However, Duncan cannot afford the cost of the hearing aids. His National Health Insurance Fund coverage cannot cover the cost of both his spine surgery and this treatment for his hearing loss. He currently relies on well-wishers to pay for his medical bills. Duncan appeals for financial support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Duncan receive his hearing aids on March 31st. This will cost $748, and he needs help raising money. Duncan shared, “I am losing my hearing at a tender age, my mobility is also threatened and I am unable to afford the increasing cost of medical care. I need support to get this treatment so that I may hear well again. Thank you for your support.”
Biruk is a young boy from Ethiopia who loves to eat spaghetti and macaroni. He also enjoys doing arts and crafts, and loves to play hide and seek with his friends in his neighborhood. Biruk is the second child in his family, and he has one older sister. His dad is a teacher in primary school and his mom is a housewife. Biruk lives together with his parents and sister in a rented house. Biruk was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment and surgery, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility as he grows older. Fortunately, Biruk is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,231 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Biruk shared with us, “I want to heal well and go to school and become a pilot.”
Doto is a 10-year-old boy who is a very social and cheerful child. Doto has a twin brother by the name of Kurwa. His parents are small scale farmers who grow maize and vegetables to make a living. Doto's father also seeks day labouring jobs to supplement his income and provide for their family. Doto was diagnosed with left genu varus, or bow-leggedness. 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 cannot walk to school comfortably or for long periods of time. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Doto. His treatment is scheduled to begin on February 11th. Treatment will hopefully restore Doto's mobility, return to walking and playing normally, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Doto’s father shared, “I would love my son to lead a normal life like his twin without his leg being a challenge. Please help correct his leg.”
Di is a 40-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her parents, her husband, her brother, and her two children in Mae La Refugee Camp in Tak Province. Di and her family work hard to make ends meet. Her family runs a small shop selling kitchen utensils. Di's husband is a religious teacher, and he does not earn regular income. Her brother is unemployed, and her parents are retired. Di helps with the family shop while her daughter goes to the community school that is led by volunteers. Her youngest son is too young to go to school. She shared that their family income is enough for family expenses, but they are not able to save any money. Around two years ago, Di was diagnosed with an umbilical hernia. Currently, she experiences pain under her chest and her abdominal around umbilical is swollen and pain. Di is not able to do any household chores because of her condition. The pain worsens after she has meals or constipation, and her stomach will feel as hard as a stone. Fortunately, on January 19th, Di will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Di's hernia repair surgery. Once completed, the procedure will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and be well enough to care for her family. Di shared, “Once I am better, I will try my best to take care of my family and my children's education. I want them to study in Thai school. They need to be educated, so I need to be healthy."
U Win is a 54-year-old man who lives with his wife and youngest son in the Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. He has three sons and three daughters, with five of his children already married and working. His 17-year-old son left school because they were unable to pay school fees, and worked as a day laborer until COVID-19 happened. U Win used to work as a day laborer as well, but stopped working around two years ago due to his health condition. His family survives on 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) each month that U Win's three other daughters and another son send them, enough to cover their basic expenses. In January 2012, U Win felt tired, had a headache, suffered from heart palpitations, and a rapid heartbeat. He went to a clinic where the doctor listened to his heart with a stethoscope and checked his blood pressure. U Win was told that he has high blood pressure and that he would need to take oral medication for a long time. He received an injection, oral medication, and another appointment for more medication. After he took the medication, he felt better and he went back to work. However, U Win continued to experience worsening symptoms over the next few years, returning to clinics and receiving the same treatment. He was told at one point to visit a cardiologist, but did not do so until later on. In August 2020, during another clinic visit in Yangon, the doctor diagnosed U Win with an atrial septal defect, and said that he would need to receive surgery to repair this hole in his heart. If not treated, the condition could weaken his heart further and cause lung problems later on. He was unable to receive surgery in November due to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases, and was also told the procedure would cost about 3,000,000 kyat (approx. 3,000 USD). Luckily, U Win’s wife remembered that there is a charity group in Yangon that might be able to help. The group told him about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, to look for assistance with accessing the treatment he needed. U Win currently experiences chest pain and back pain, has no appetite, and cannot sleep well at night. He appeals for financial support for his cost of care. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 20th, U Win will undergo an atrial septal defect closure procedure. Once recovered, his quality of life will significantly improve and he will be able to return to work. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. U Win shared, “I want to get better soon so that I can work for my family again. I am worried about my family’s future because we cannot find work in the village. My son also cannot go to Yangon to find another job because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.”
Leang Sim is a seven-year-old 1st grade student. She has one older brother who is 11 years old and in the 6th grade. Their father sells vegetables at the market and their mother is a vegetable farmer. When Leang Sim is not at school she likes to play with toys with her brother, read books, watch TV, and go outside with her parents. When Leang Sim was one, her mother first noticed she had a curved spine. Doctors have now diagnosed Leang Sim with thoracolumbar scoliosis. She arrived at Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) with a curved spine reporting difficulty walking, sleeping, and trouble breathing after strenuous activity. Surgeons at CSC will place an extending rod inside Leang Sim's back to help improve her condition now and as she grows, the rod will be extended to alleviate her scoliosis. Leang Sim's mother is hopeful for the surgery and said, "I hope my daughter can walk well after surgery."
Dorcas is a young girl from Tanzania. She is a fourth born child in a family of four children. She is still in kindergarten but hopefully will continue to class one once the COVID-19 crisis improves. Dorcas was born with a condition called Syndactyly where her fingers are fused together making it hard for her to utilize them easily. Dorcas was taken to the hospital by her mother to try to correct her fingers when she was three years old but unfortunately they were unable to correct her condition. Since her parents' passing, Dorcas has been staying with her aunt. They have not been able to seek treatment for her due to the cost of hospital fees. Dorcas' aunt has four children of her own and also looks after Dorcas full-time as her parent. Dorcas' aunt was advised by her pastor to bring her to our medical partner's clinic for treatment. Dorcas has been scheduled to have both of her little fingers released, but her aunt cannot afford the cost of treatment and they are now asking for help. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Dorcas receive treatment. On October 14th, surgeons at our medical partner's care center will perform a hand surgery so that she will be able to use her fingers with ease. Now, she needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Dorcas' aunt shared, "I believe this surgery will help her have more use of her hands and reduce the challenges she is going through due to her fingers being joined together."