Arturo joined Watsi on March 26th, 2013. Five years ago, Arturo joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Arturo's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Ashford, a traveling musician from Kenya, to fund surgery for his legs so he can walk again.
Arturo has funded healthcare for 83 patients in 12 countries.
Arturo has funded healthcare for 83 patients in 12 countries.
Ashford is a jovial, 46-year-old farmer from the western part of Kenya. He enjoys playing music on his nyatiti (an eight-stringed plucked bowl yoke lute). Apart from farming, Ashford played the nyatiti to earn a living until he had an accident in December 2020. Ashford was in an accident in Nairobi, where he had moved to earn his living and sustained bilateral tibia fractures on his legs. This has caused Ashford pain and difficulty in walking, and he is now unable to earn a living as he cannot play the nyatiti without his mobility. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH) can help. On September 7th, Ashford will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). The treatment will accelerate his healing process and enable him to walk again. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Ashford says, “I used to walk far and wide to entertain people while playing the nyatiti but now I am immobile and homeless. I rely on the church for survival and care. I need this surgery to be able to walk again.”
Kidus is a cute baby boy who loves to walk. His dad enjoys walking with him and holding his hand, and Kidus loves it when his mom carries him on her back. He also loves to watch cartoons. Kidus's dad and mom love each other so much and have a happy life together. Kidus's father is a tailor. His income is very limited and barely enough to sustain the family through the month, but love fills their home, and their lives, with happiness. When Kidus was born his parents learned that he had bladder exstrophy, a rare condition where children are born with an open bladder. His parents faced a challenge that they did not expect in their life, but they are facing it with courage. Kidus needs surgery to perform a procedure to divert his urination to the anal opening & make a pouch bladder from the bowel. He will undergo this surgery on September 28th with our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) and his family needs $1,500 for the procedure. Kidus's dad said, “For thirteen days after his birth we worked hard to get him treatment but no one in the health centres could help us. Some health workers gave us hope and some health workers did not give us any hope." He is hopeful for after surgery, “After he gets his surgery and recovers I want to tell him the truth about his condition and what we went through as a result of it when he grows up. Also, I want to tell him how he got the treatment, about the people who helped him, how God helped him and gave him this healthy life. I will tell him this so he grows up grateful and he lives to support and help others. I want him to be good and caring and God-fearing. I want him to be there for others. I believe kindness is contagious.”
Furahini is a five-year-old student from Tanzania and the oldest child in a family of three children. Furahini is hardworking, friendly, and social; she is currently in kindergarten and loves coloring in her free time. "Furahini" is a Swahili word that means "be happy". Her grandmother suggested the name to her parents because even though they were worried about her birth condition, they were thankful for their firstborn child. Furahini has clubfoot of right foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. The condition causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Furahini to receive treatment. She traveled to visit AMH's care center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 10th. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Furahini's procedure. After treatment, she will able to walk easily and wear shoes. Her grandmother shared, "my granddaughter is struggling to walk thus she was sent to stay with me so that she does not have to walk long distances to school. If she is able to have her foot corrected she will go back to her family and enjoy living with her parents and siblings."
Panha is a 7-year-old student from Cambodia. He lives in Kampongcham Province with his parents and is an only child. His father is a driver and his mother sells soft drinks and vegetables out of their home. Panha is learning writing in school, and loves listening to stories. Outside of school, he likes to play with his large group of friends, or walk with his mother. Three years ago, Panha received poorly administered injections, causing a flexion contracture in both knees. He is unable to fully straighten his knee, which limits his mobility greatly. When Panha's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, they traveled there seeking treatment. On July 7th, surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre will perform a quadricepsplasty procedure on his left leg to improve his knee flexion and help him walk again. Now, Panha's family needs help to fund this $430 procedure. Panha shared, "I want to walk with my mother and my friends easily again."
Joana is a 50-year-old primary school teacher from Malawi. She teaches a class of more than 80 children. She shared that she loves teaching because it makes her feel young and energetic. Joana is also a mother of two children of her own, ages 29 and 27. In March 2021, Joana visited a local clinic for a routine check-up and was diagnosed with a uterine mass. A total abdominal hysterectomy, or a procedure where both the uterus and cervix are removed, was recommended as treatment. If her condition is not treated, Joana is at risk of becoming severely anemic. After the surgery, it is expected that Joana will no longer experience the uncomfortable symptoms associated with her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Joana to receive treatment. On June 5th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a hysterectomy. Now, Joana needs help to fund this $1,363 procedure. Joana shared, “I will soon be a grandmother and I want to be in good health so I can play with my grandchildren the way I play with learners at school. I appreciate your support to have this uterine mass removed."
Subira is a forty-one-year-old mother of six children. Subira and the husband are small scale farmers who grow mainly food crops which they use for their food and sell the surplus to buy other basic commodities for their family. Subira was born with a small swelling on her back but her parents were never able to seek treatment of any kind for her since it didn't look like it was something serious. Over the years, the swelling has been increasing in size gradually and it’s now causing her pain and discomfort. In addition to these new challenges, the swelling is also discharging fluids, causing her to panic. Her condition is affecting her ability to walk and care for her family. Subira has spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Subira is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of other complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Subira's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. This procedure will hopefully spare Subira from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to flourish along a healthier trajectory. Subira says, "I am really scared about the condition, I have children to look after but in my current state I am not fit enough to care for them, please help me get this surgery."
Nosiligi is a 10-year-old girl and the seventh born child in a family of eight children. Nosiligi's father passed away when she was two years old, leaving her in her mother's care. Her mother is able to practice small scale farming on land that they own to make a living for the family. When she was two years old, Nosiligi was playing with other siblings when she accidentally dipped her left hand in hot porridge. As a result, she sustained severe burns. Nosiligi is not able to utilize her left hand with ease due to the contractures that formed when her burns healed. Her mother was scared that Nosiligi might be discriminated against by other pupils due to her scars, so she kept her from attending school for the time being. Through Watsi funding, Nosiligi was able to go through a first round of surgery on her wrist and recovered well. She now requires a surgery to help correct her left fingers, and her family appeals for financial support for her care. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Nosiligi receive treatment. On March 2nd, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help improve the mobility in her fingers. Now, she needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Nosiligi’s mother shared, “I have no means of paying for my daughter’s second-stage surgery. Kindly help us.”
Jue is a 25-year-old woman who lives with her family in a village in Hmawbi Township, Yangon Division, Burma. Her parents are housekeepers, and her youngest brother is a first-year university student who has been seeking work. Jue used to run a beauty salon, but had to stop working four months ago when her health deteriorated. In her free time, Jue likes to watch the news and videos relating to her work at the beauty salon. She also likes to read books and wants to write a book of her own someday. In August 2020, Jue felt pains in her stomach and chest. She would also experience difficulty breathing sometimes, and she would feel tired when she walked for a longer period of time. Jue went to the clinic in her village, where she received oral medication, but she did not feel better after taking it. She returned to the clinic several times over the course of two months, but her condition continued to worsen – the chest pain, difficulty breathing and feeling of fatigue happened more often. Jue decided to go to another clinic in North Okkala Township in Yangon in November 2020. At the clinic, the doctor listened to her heart with a stethoscope, and informed her that she has a congenital heart condition. The doctor recommended she receive a blood test, an echocardiogram (echo) and an electrocardiogram (ecg) at a hospital. After visiting a hospital to receive those tests, the doctor there told her that she was born with a hole in her heart and that she might need to receive surgery at the general hospital. However, the cost of surgery was too high. Luckily, Jue crossed paths with another former patient and was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) to seek assistance with accessing treatment. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 24th, U Win will undergo an atrial septal defect closure procedure. Once recovered, her quality of life will significantly improve and she will be able to return to working at her beauty salon. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Jue shared, “I want to get better as quickly as possible and go back to work. I’m worried about my younger brother. He doesn’t have a job, and he needs to graduate from university. I’m also worried about Covid-19 because nobody has a job right now.”
Ku is an 11-year-old student from Thailand. Ku lives with his mother, four brothers and a sister in a refugee camp. All of his siblings also go to school, except for his oldest brother, who used to work with their mother as agricultural day labourers. However, since the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020, they have not been able to leave the camp easily to find work. Ku's father works as a day labourer outside of the camp, but has also been unable to find consistent work due to the pandemic. Ku's family receives some financial support from an external organisation, but it is not enough to cover their expenses, and they shared that they often borrow rice or money from their neighbors. In March 2021, Ku and his friends were playing tag that led him to have a bad fall. Ku had taken off his sandals and left them at the top of a hill. When he ran up the rocky hill to fetch his sandals, he slipped and stuck out his left hand to break his fall, breaking his wrist. Currently, Ku’s left hand and forearm are very painful. He cannot bend his wrist and can only move his fingers slightly. Before his accident, Ku was able to prepare his own meals and set up his mosquito net at night. But now, he needs someone to help him do these tasks. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ku will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for March 10th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Ku use his left hand again and live pain-free. He will be able to cook his own meals again and set up his mosquito net by himself. Now, he and his family need help raising money for this procedure. Ku's mother shared, "After he receives treatment, I want Ku to continue his studies until he graduates and becomes a medic."
Turyahariwe is a farmer, a widow, and a mother to three daughters. All her daughters are now married - one is a nurse, one a primary school teacher, and one is a hairdresser. Turyahariwe earns a living from the small coffee and banana plantation that she was left to her by her late husband. Through farming, she has been able to support and educate her children. Ten years ago, Turyahariwe began to experience shortness of breath when sleeping. She was ultimately diagnosed with a goiter, which is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse and from any further complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Turyahariwe receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on January 5th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $252, and she and her family need help raising money. Turyahariwe shared, "I hope to get a new life after surgery because this disfigurement really gives me a hard time. Once recovered, I will continue with farming.”
Chanthou is a 34-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He is married and has one son and one daughter, who are both in primary school. Chanthou's wife is a factory worker. In his free time, Chanthou enjoys looking after his children, watching TV, and listening to the radio. Ten years ago, Chanthou had an 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, Chanthou experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, ear discharge, and headache. This makes it difficult for him to communicate with others. Chanthou traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On October 14th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left 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. Chanthou said, "I hope this surgery makes the ear discharge stop and my hearing will improve."
Philemon is a 22-year-old motorcycle driver and a student from Kenya. He studies economics at Kabianga University and works as a motorcycle driver during his holidays so that he can raise school fees and upkeep money when he returns to college. In his family of eight children, Philemon is the second eldest. His parents are farmers in the village who grow maize, but their income is limited to support the entire family. Philemon is motivated to work hard so that he can support his siblings and build a better house for his parents when he is done with schooling. On November 29th, 2020, Philemon was in a motorcycle accident at the local market. His motorcycle's brakes malfunctioned, and he fell on the luggage he was carrying. Philemon came to the hospital with pain on his tibia fibular and left ankle joint. Currently, he cannot walk on his own and is in great pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 7th, Philemon will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal and walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Philemon shared, “I want to get treated so that I can resume school, and be able to complete school on time and be able to support my siblings.”