Ramona's Story

Ramona joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Two years ago, Ramona joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ramona's most recent donation traveled 4,700 miles to support Foster, a 70-year-old farmer and grandfather from Malawi, to fund hernia repair surgery.

Impact

Ramona has funded healthcare for 1167 patients in 17 countries.

All patients funded by Ramona

Foster is a 70-year-old father of nine, from Makwenda Village in Malawi. He lives with his wife and grandchildren. To support his family, he solely depends on farming where he grows maize, groundnuts, and soya beans. Foster is a village headman and he is a member of the Church of African Presbytery. Foster was well until 2020 when he noticed a swelling on the right side of his groin. The swelling was very painful and made passing stool and urine very difficult. The swelling would disappear and reappear after a while, especially when it is cold, and when he coughs or strains himself. Foster decided to seek medical help at a health center in his area where he was referred to Nkhoma Hospital, but at the time surgeries were limited due to the coronavirus pandemic. He was told to come back another time. As the condition persisted, Foster went to seek medical help at Dedza District Hospital where he has been visiting up to now and had been given pain medication. Last week, Foster visited Nkhoma Hospital once again, and he presented that the swelling has now been appearing on both sides. After assessment in the surgical clinic, Foster was diagnosed with Bilateral Inguinal Hernia. The doctor advised that he needs to undergo Hernia Repair surgical procedure and this was scheduled for October 5th. This hernia condition has impacted Foster’s life negatively. Since the condition surfaced, he experiences pain that hinders him from doing his daily activities and he fails to work on his farm. Additionally, he cannot walk a long distance or ride his bike as the swelling appears when he strains himself. Treatment will be a welcome development in Foster’s life. He will be able to work on his farm and continue taking care of his family as he is the sole breadwinner. In addition to that, treatment will prevent Foster from developing complications that a hernia can cause, such as enlargement, incarceration, small bowel obstruction, and strangulation of the hernia, which can be fatal. Foster shared that he does not have enough money to pay for his surgery and other expenses so the medical team referred him to Watsi and our medical partner African Mission healthcare. He has been able to contribute $15 to his care and our medical partner is requesting $500 to cover the cost of Foster's surgery. Foster says, “I was afraid that this condition will start affecting my duties as a village headman, I am thankful that there is hope for me through my donors.”

6%funded
$30raised
$470to go

Samuel is a 21-year-old talkative young man. He is the second born in a family of five children. His father passed away when he was four years old, so his mother had to raise him and his siblings by herself. She does jobs on tea farms to provide for the family. When Samuel was two years old, his abdomen started to swell, which was very painful for him. His mother took him to the hospital and he was given some medication and sent back home. The medication did not work as expected. He was then taken to a different hospital for examination. He was given more medication and after some time he seemed to be better. The stomachache did not go away completely, however. Samuel and his mother shared that over the years, he has had stomachaches and gotten used to taking pain medication. In 2017 when Samuel was in high school, the pain worsened and his abdomen started to swell again. He had to leave school as a result. His mother took him to a hospital in Meru where he was admitted for three months. While in the hospital, scans and a biopsy were done to determine what the problem was. He was given a colostomy, where the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall, in order to pass stool. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Samuel's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. At that time, his doctors did not manage to treat him and referred him to BethanyKids Hospital in 2018. On arrival, he was examined and admitted, as he was not in good condition. After more scans and tests, he was ultimately diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease. Since then, Samuel has undergone several surgeries with the aim of trying to better his condition. The first surgery failed, but the second was successful. He is now scheduled to undergo his last surgery to close the colostomy so that he can pass stool on his own again and live a more active life. Earlier in his treatment, Samuel's parents had enrolled in the national health insurance program (NHIF), which helped them pay for most of his hospital bills. BethanyKids also chipped in on occasion to help with some of the bills. Unfortunately, for his last surgery, NHIF has rejected the request since he is beyond the age to be covered by his mother’s insurance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping him to undergo treatment and needs $1,084 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Samuel. The surgery is scheduled to take place on November 11th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Samuel’s Mother says, “For years now, I have been very worried about my son, but God has seen us through.”

42%funded
$457raised
$626to go