Mark joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven 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 Helena, a friendly 14-year-old girl from Tanzania, to fund clubfoot treatment so she can begin walking.
Mark has funded healthcare for 106 patients in 12 countries.
Mark has funded healthcare for 106 patients in 12 countries.
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.”
Neema is a young girl from Tanzania and the last born in a family of five children. Neema is a quiet and shy girl and is currently attending primary school. Neema’s parents are both subsistence farmers. Neema was diagnosed with left genu valgus, where her knee bows 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, she has pain after walking for a distance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Neema. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 18th. Treatment will hopefully restore Neema's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Neema says, “I would like to be able to walk to school without pain, please help me be able to continue with school and be able to walk without difficulty.”
Savun has five sons, two daughters, and five grandchildren and lives in Cambodia. Savun's husband passed away and now she lives with her eldest daughter. On October 24th, Savun fell and sustained a closed fracture of her left femur. She is in pain and cannot walk now. Fortunately surgeons at our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) can help. They will perform an open reduction with retrograde nailing on her left femur to heal her fracture and allow her to walk easily again as she recovers. Savun is hopeful that she can be active again and out of pain. She shared, "I hope I can walk and be free of pain after this surgery."
Fredrick is a hardworking student and the third born in a family of four siblings. His family comes from a town called Maua in Kenya. Fredrick is deaf and attends a special school named Ntoruba. He comes from a humble background: sadly, his mother passed away in July 2017 due to prolonged illness. His father also suffers from an illness and is currently under treatment. A neighbor expressed, “The family depends on well-wishers for their daily living.” Fredrick has clubfoot on his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Fredrick traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Fredrick's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily again. Fredrick signed that he will be happy if his leg will be corrected and able to walk normally. His brother Dennis told us, "Any help to make him happy and walk normally will be highly appreciated.”
Thuwaibatu is a three-year-old girl and the second-born child in a family of three children. Thuwaibatu is a friendly, playful and talkative girl. Thuwaibatu was diagnosed with genu varus, where her legs bow outwards and her knees do not 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, she has difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Thuwaibatu. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 2nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Thuwaibatu's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Thuwaibatu’s mother says "Her legs worsen each day, you can see how she walks and how big the curve is. Please help my daughter, we cannot afford the treatment cost.”
Phannarith is a 61-year-old mother of five. She has two daughters, three sons, and eight grandchildren. She retired from her government job ten years ago. Since her husband passed away a few years ago, Phannarith has been living with her mother and takes care of her blind brother. In her free time she likes to visit pagodas and listen to the radio. Five years ago, Phannarith developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurry vision, photophobia, and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Phannarith learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled there seeking treatment. On August 2nd, doctors will perform a cataract surgery and lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, CSC is requesting $229 to fund this procedure. Phannarith said, "I hope that I can see better after this surgery, so that I can keep taking care of my mother and brother well."
Alory is a 56-year-old married father of three daughters and one son. In his free time, Alory enjoys watching political news and Khmer movies on TV. On June 2nd, Alory was in a bicycle accident. He visited a hospital where they took an x-ray and told him he would need surgery on his knee. However, the hospital did not have the instruments to perform the procedure. It is difficult for him to walk because he can not straighten his left leg without pain. He then visited our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), and was diagnosed with a left patella fracture. On June 7th, surgeons will perform an open reduction surgery to heal his fracture and allow him to walk easily again. Now, CSC is requesting $412 to fund Alory's procedure. Alory shared, "I hope I can return to my work soon when I am healed and can walk again."