Mark joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Eight years ago, Mark joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mark's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Ivan, a cheerful 11-month-old baby from Tanzania, to fund clubfoot repair surgery so that he can walk as he grows.
Mark has funded healthcare for 112 patients in 12 countries.
Mark has funded healthcare for 112 patients in 12 countries.
Ivan is an 11-month-old baby who is very energetic. He is now at the crawling stage, and from the moment he arrived at our medical partner's care centre, Ivan has not stopped crawling from one point to another. Ivan lives with both his parents. His father is a small-scale farmer, and the sole provider for the family, while his mother stays at home taking care of household chores. He is very close to his mother, but also not afraid to meet new people. His mother enjoys watching him move around. She has struggled to find treatment for him since he was a newborn baby. When Ivan was born, his parents tried their best to pay for his treatment, but halfway through the treatment plan, they could not afford to pay anymore. Ivan has clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and wearing shoes as he grows. Fortunately, Ivan's family came to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on November 8th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Ivan's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily when he grows up. Ivan’s mother says, “my biggest wish is to see my son learn how to stand and eventually start walking.”
Abraham is a 27-year-old farmer from Kenya. He is a happy and joyful man who loves smiling. Abraham is married with two sons aged six and three years. He also does construction work when he can find jobs on local building projects. His wife sells secondhand clothes at the local markets around. Abraham and his family live in a rental house which has two rooms. He works hard but it has been difficult to earn a living and pay his monthly bills. Earlier last year, Abraham was among the people who got sponsorship from the county to study in technical training institutes. He is almost done with his studies and will soon be able to work toward a better job. Abraham arrived at the hospital on Saturday afternoon with right lower limb pain. On physical examination, his lower limb had bruises and it was swollen to the knee. After the examination, the clinician recommended an x-ray and the results revealed that Abraham had sustained a fracture of the upper end of tibia and fibula. The Orthopedic surgeon met him and recommends that he undergo surgery. Abraham has no medical insurance coverage, and he is now appealing to all well-wishers to help him in order to get his surgery. Abraham shared that he was hit by a tree while cutting it down. He cannot walk easily and more and has a lot of pain and swelling. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 27th, Abraham will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After surgery Abraham will be able to continue with his studies, and he will no longer have pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Abraham says, “I cannot walk without support. I am really worried because of my family. Kindly help me so that I may be able to get back to them and offer them my support.”
Elkana is a cheerful and friendly man from Kenya. He is the fourth born in a family of seven. He attended school up until class seven but had to end his studies due to financial constraints. He now works as a farmer and has a small piece of land on which he plants maize and potatoes, primarily to feed him and his family. To earn money, he works as a casual laborer, working on people's farms, as well as doing work such as clearing bushes and carrying loads. Until now, his wife has worked alongside him, but she has stopped working because she is currently pregnant. On July 16th, Elkana was brought to our medical partner's care center after being involved in a road traffic accident involving a lorry, or large truck, and a tractor. This accident left many people injured, including Elkana. He experienced a fracture of his left femur and is now experiencing pain. He is also unable to walk or stand. Without treatment, he will not be able to return to work and provide for his family. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 19th, Elkana will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After surgery, he will be able to use his leg again, return to work, and continue providing for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Elkana shares, ”My family depends on me for their daily needs, so it is really difficult for them. Kindly help me so that I may lead a normal life once again.”
Jonathan is a courageous fire officer from the Philippines. He lives with and helps support his siblings and elderly mother. He works to provide their family's sole income. Last month, Jonathan began to experience pain and other troubling symptoms that caused him to seek medical attention. He was diagnosed with mixed hemorrhoids, or a combination of internal and external hemorrhoids. This condition causes the veins of the lower rectum to become swollen. He requires surgery to prevent his symptoms from getting worse. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Jonathan receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo a hemorrhoidectomy on August 20th at WSFP's care center. During this procedure, surgeons will remove his hemorrhoids. A portion of the cost of his treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,137 to cover the cost of Jonathan's procedure and care. Jonathan shares, "This disease hinders me from doing my job. I'm the only one who works in our family. If I can't work, I won't be able to provide for our needs, so this surgery is a big help for me. To Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines, thank you so much for your kind hearts. May you not get tired of helping the needy."
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.”
Keysnaelle is a bright and caring 5-year-old who lives in the mountains of central Haiti. She lives with her parents, who are both farmers, and several older siblings. Keysnaelle enjoys helping her family out with different activities on the farm, as well as going to kindergarten and learning new things. Keysnaelle was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which blood leaks through a hole between two blood vessels near her heart. This causes her to experience weakness and shortness of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is asking for $1,500 to fund Keysnaelle's procedure and care. During the procedure, which is scheduled for July 27th, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole so blood can flow with ease. This will eliminate her difficulties with breathing and allow her to grow stronger. Her mother said, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping Keysnaelle to become healthy!"
Helena is a teenage girl and the fourth of six children. She is a friendly and social girl who loves sports and helping with home chores. Helena is in class two and her best subjects are writing skills and mathematics. Most children around Helena's age have finished their primary school education, but Helena's delay in her studies is caused by a foot disability she was born. Helena has clubfoot of both feet and her parents could not afford any form of medical treatment as small-scale farmers and livestock keepers. Learning to walk was very difficult for Helena. She can only stand or walk with crutches at this time, but it is still very painful. Therefore, Helena relies on a wheelchair to move from one place to another. Fortunately, Helena traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Helena's life-altering surgery. After treatment, she will be able to stand unassisted, walk and wear shoes like the other kids she knows. Helena shared, “I will be very happy if my feet can be treated and help me to stand and walk."
Colleta is a 26-year-old woman who works at a small boutique in Nairobi. She is married and has two children, who are four-years-old and five-months-old. Colleta and her family currently live in the capital city, but they plan to relocate to Colleta’s hometown soon. Colletta and her family were involved in a serious car accident last month. Her parents and brother passed away, and her husband and two children were seriously injured and admitted to the ICU. Although her husband’s condition has stabilized, Colleta’s kids are in critical condition and under pediatric intensive care. Colletta sustained a fracture to her right pelvic bones. As a result, she experiences severe pain and cannot sit, turn her body, or feed herself. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Colletta receive treatment. On April 28th, she will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, that will allow her to sit and walk again. AMH is requesting $979 to fund this procedure. Colleta shared, “I am in pain and cannot even turn or sit. I am also sad that I lost my parents and my brother. My kids and husband are in critical care and still in ICU. I feel confused and heartbroken.”
Mom is a 42-year-old seller of snacks and drinks. She is married with three young children. Her husband also sells goods at the market in Siem Reap province. She works hard to keep their house clean, cook for the children, and spend time with relatives when she has free time. Ten years ago, Mom had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. Mom experiences frequent ear infections causing ear discharge, hearing loss and tinnitus. It is difficult for her to communicate with others. She feels unwell and often cannot work due to frequent headaches. Mom is frustrated because she has spent money on medicine and treatments but nothing has worked. Mom traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 8th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her 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. She hopes that - after this surgery - her ear infections will disappear and she will improve her hearing. She said, "I want to care for my children and not always feel bad."
Karen is a hardworking and independent woman. She is the second-born in a family of four children. To make a living, Karen sells clothes in a neighborhood of the capital city of Nairobi in Kenya. In February, Karen was removing a gas cylinder from a shelf when it fell on her hand. She visited a local clinic where pain medication was prescribed, but she did not experience relief. After an x-ray, she was diagnosed with a closed fracture on her left hand and surgery was recommended. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Karen receive treatment. On March 2nd, she will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After the procedure, she will be able to work normally with no pain. Now, AMH is requesting $1,049 to fund her procedure and care. Karen shared, "I always liked to be an independent lady. This is disturbing since I am not able to work. I request help and will be very grateful so that I can be okay again and continue with my work."
Chora is a 22-year-old welder and construction worker. He is married and lives with his wife, who works as a rice and potato farmer. They recently welcomed a son to their family. When he is not working in construction, he likes to exercise and play with his son. In October 2021, Chora was welding a roof on a new house when he got an electrical burn on his left hand. He received treatment at a local hospital, but his hand became infected. He is unable to flex his thumb or use his hand, the muscles have atrophied, and he cannot work. He experiences pain and spent several weeks in the hospital to help heal his wound. He requires a skin graft procedure to repair his hand. When Chora learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled for seven hours seeking treatment. On January 11th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft procedure to transfer a skin flap to cover the site that was infected and allow Chora to use his hand again. Now, he needs help to fund this $474 procedure. Chora shared, "I hope that the surgeons can fix my burns so that I can work again. I have a newborn son and need to work to support my family."
Gideon is four years old and the last-born in his family of six children. He is a playful, charming, friendly, and happy boy. Gideon comes from the southern highlands of Tanzania close to Katavi National Park. Gideon has not yet started school, but his father says when he gets to be six years old, he will enroll him. Most children in this region join school starting at the age of six due to the long distance they must walk to school. Parents must wait for their children to grow strong enough to walk to and from school before enrolling them. Gideon’s parents are small-scale farmers of maize, beans, and vegetables and only sell a few of their harvests to get money to buy other basics for their family. Gideon has been diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, where his legs bow inward so that they 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 experiences pain and discomfort. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Gideon. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 4th. Treatment will hopefully restore Gideon's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, including school in the future, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Gideon’s father says “My son walks with a gait and falls down a lot. He also complains of pain after a long day of play.”