Nikola joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Five years ago, Nikola became the 807th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,781 more people have become monthly donors! Nikola's most recent donation traveled 3,400 miles to support Mary, a retired teacher from Kenya, to fund hearing aids and treatment.
Nikola has funded healthcare for 63 patients in 12 countries.
Mary Wambui, a widow, is a 79-year-old retired primary school teacher who depends on her pension to earn a living. She is suffering from hearing loss and requires bilateral hearing aids to improve her hearing. Her hearing challenges began two years ago when her hearing ability dwindled and she could no longer attend church or gatherings as she could barely hear. Mary lives on her own since her husband passed on six years ago. She has no children, thus has no one to depend on. Mary can barely afford the hearing aids with just her pension as she needs funding for the fitting to be completed as well. Mary gets an average of Kes. 5,000 per month but that can barely cater for her basic needs leave alone pay for the hearing aids she so badly needs. She appeals for financial assistance.
Dachena is a student from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and siblings in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. She likes going to school and singing in her church choir. Dachena has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged by a rheumatic fever she suffered in childhood, and can no longer adequately pump blood through her body. Dachena will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On October 29th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair her valve; if they are unable to do so, they will implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, The Mitral Foundation, is contributing $7500 to pay for surgery. Dachena's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Dachena's family overseas. Dachena said, "I hope that after surgery I will have more energy to do the things I enjoy!"
Wim is a 48-year-old monk from Burma. He lives in a monastery in Taungoo, Bago Division. He became a monk three years ago, after he got divorced. Wim was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Wim feels tired and cannot walk long distance. Sometimes, he has back pain and he feels like he cannot breathe well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Wim. The treatment is scheduled to take place on October 06 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Wim said, “I would to remain a monk and study Buddhism. I would really like to thank the donors, BCMF and the doctors for helping me receive surgery [in the future]. I am very happy right now.”
Abdirahim is a child from Ethiopia. Abdirahim is a cute boy who loves to play with others. He loves to play football with other children in the village. He also loves to watch animation movies. Abdirahim’s father is retired while his mother was a business woman who supported the family until six months ago when she passed away. Abdirahim has five siblings. Abdirahim underwent a colostomy, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Abdirahim's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $961 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Abdirahim. The surgery is scheduled to take place on September 09 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. His dad said “After the operation I see a bright future for our child. I believe his trouble will come to end. And for us the families, it is a big relief.”
Baraka is toddler from Uganda. He was diagnosed with genu varus. His legs are bowed outward. 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 difficulty walking and tires easily. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Baraka. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 24. Treatment will hopefully restore Baraka's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Baraka’s mother says, “If it was within my power I would have treated my son a long time ago but due to financial challenges have not been able, please help treat my son his condition worsens every day.”
Mi is a 57-year-old teacher from Thailand. She lives with her family in Mae Sot. Her husband is a day laborer, two sons of her go to school, and her daughter is a seamstress in the factory. Mi has a fracture in her left hip bone. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Mi will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 12 and will cost $1,500. She will be able to walk and teach again. Her husband says, “I feel very sad to see my wife in pain."
Ibrahim is a baby from Kenya. He is an only child who lives with his parents in the coastal region of Kenya. Ibrahim was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Ibrahim is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,097 to cover the cost of Ibrahim's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 2. This procedure will hopefully spare Ibrahim from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory.
Lekishon is a baby from Kenya. He is the youngest of two children. Lekishon has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Without treatment, Lekishon will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $685 to cover the cost of surgery for Lekishon that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 11 and will drain the excess fluid from Lekishon's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Lekishon will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. “Please help my son get better. I wish to see him normal just like other children,” says Lekishon’s mother.
Thearo is a young man from Cambodia. Ten years ago, Thearo's spine started to curve, which is progressing with age, making it difficult to sit in school for long periods, and causing a lot of discomfort. Surgery can help correct the position of his spine, and prevent further worsening of the condition. Fortunately, surgery is scheduled for March 14. Our medical partner needs help raising $1,500 to fund this procedure. Thearo hopes to go back to school and become a teacher one day. He says, "I hope that after surgery, I will no longer have any pain and will be able to go back to school without any discomfort."
Benson is a laborer from Kenya. He is married and has a young child. In January of this year, Benson was in a motorcycle accident. His right leg was broken twice. He is not able to move or walk and is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 12, Benson will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk again and provide for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,451 to fund this procedure. Benson says, “I am worried I may lose my leg if I am not treated and that means I cannot take care of my young family.”
Chorn is a rice farmer from Cambodia. She has one son, four daughters, and ten grandchildren. She likes to watch Thai TV dramas in her free time. Two weeks ago, Chorn developed a cataract in each eye, causing her blurry vision, irritation, tearing, clouded lenses, and photophobia. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Chorn learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On January 10, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $398 procedure. Her daughter says, "I hope my mom's surgery is successful so she can see better and she can live an independent life."
Nancy is a child from Tanzania. She lives with her foster mother. Nancy has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Nancy traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 5. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Nancy's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk. “Please help her," Nancy's mother says.