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Alex is a four-year-old boy who lives with his parents and three siblings in Tanzania. His parents are small scale farmers. Alex was brought to Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre in October after having been involved in an accident in 2020, that resulted in burns and deformed toes on both of his feet. His condition makes it painful for Alex to wear shoes or to walk, and the surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, have advised Alex's parents that the optimal treatment would be the amputation of his toes. As small scale farmers, Alex's parents have struggled during the recent droughts in Tanzania. Therefore, they are looking to you to help fund the $1,088 for the surgery that Alex needs to resume a full and happy life, which is scheduled to take place on December 1st, at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. Alex’s father says: “Alex is having a hard time walking barefooted. I hope one day he is able to wear shoes and to walk without enduring pain.”
Sai is a six-year-old kindergarten student. He lives with his parents and siblings (a 12-year-old brother who is in grade four and a 11-month-old sister) at Mae Sot District, Tak Province in Thailand. His father is a daily worker and works as a blacksmith. Sai’s mother is a homemaker who looks after the children at home. Sai was born with a healthy delivery however just after his sixth birthday, his mother noticed that Sai’s left eye was red. He told her that it was not painful, so they did not worry about it. In June 2022 though, his mother saw that there was a white dot in the pupil of Sai’s eye. When his mother covered Sai’s right eye and asked if he could see, he answered that he did not see clearly. Sai had his eyes checked at Mae Tao Clinic and the medic suspected that he had a cataract. He was sent to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. He was referred to the ophthalmology department which later the doctor diagnosed him with mature left eye cataract. Currently, Sai’s vision in his left eye is blurry and he has trouble seeing the board when he is in the classroom. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Sai. On December 9th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Sai's natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Sai’s mother said, “We cannot afford to take a loan (for the surgery) because we would have to pay the interest. There is less work during the pandemic and so it makes things very hard to have such a large loan. My words cannot express the thanks that I feel. It is so lucky for us to have the assistance from BCMF and donors.”
Gladys is a Kenyan mother of seven. She and her husband are small-scale farmers and sell potatoes to provide for their children. Currently, their income is not enough to cover their medical bills. A few weeks ago, Gladys was involved in a road accident involving a motorcycle that resulted in a degloving wound on her left leg. Degloving injuries are injuries where the upper skin and tissue layers are torn from the lower muscle or bone. Last week, she successfully underwent a wound debridement procedure, and the wound is now clean. The surgeon has recommended a skin grafting procedure to be done while the wound is still in good condition. She is appealing for financial assistance to undergo the procedure, which is scheduled for February 9th. Gladys has accumulated a huge hospital bill that she and her family have been unable to pay. As a result, she needs help raising $1,089 to fund her skin grafting procedure, which will allow her to heal quickly and attend to her children Gladys says, ”My long stay in the hospital has really worried me. I don’t know how my children are doing and that has traumatized me. Kindly help me get treatment so that I may be able to go home.”
Ly is a 61-year-old grandmother. She lives with her husband and has one son, four daughters, and seven grandchildren. They are rice farmers in Kampong Chnnang province, which has a 1,500-year-old tradition of making clay pottery which they are proud of. When not working outside, Ly likes to visit the pagoda for ceremonies or listen to the monks pray on the local radio. Two years ago, Ly developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her tearing, cloudy vision, and sensitivity to light. She can no longer cook well or do housework due to her limited vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so is not able to go many places on her own. When Ly learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On January 2nd, doctors will perform small incision cataract surgery and implant a new lens in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $253 procedure. She shared: "I hope my eyesight can improve so I can take care of my family again."
San Htay is a 45-year-old woman from Thailand and a mom to two sons. While she normally cares for their home, she has been unable to work since she became ill. Her husband and oldest son work as day laborers, and their youngest is too young to attend school. Her husband also makes and sells charcoal, and the family raises chickens. In her free time, San Htay enjoys gardening and growing vegetables, her favorite being cabbage and chilies. In October 2022, San Htay visited the hospital when she began to experience pain in her lower back. Through funding from Watsi donors, she underwent a CT scan and was diagnosed with cervical cancer and a left ovarian tumor. Currently, San Htay experiences headaches, fatigue, decreased appetite, pain, and other worrisome symptoms. The doctors referred her to our medical partner's care center where, on February 19th, she will undergo mass removal surgery. Our medical partner, Burma Children's Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of San Htay's procedure and care. San Htay said: "I am so happy that BCMF has agreed to continue to support the cost of my treatment. I never knew that cancer could be treated. My children can now live longer with their parents."
Rosette is a 26-year-old from Uganda. She is currently expecting a new child and shared that she has one child and lost two children after delivery. Rosette is the sixth born in her family of seven children and was brought up by her mother, as her father passed away when she was young. Rosette was passionate about becoming a nurse but had to leave school early due to the school fees. She practices small-scale farming alongside her husband and takes on casual jobs to supplement their income. During her free time, Rosette enjoys caring for her family and home. Rosette’s doctors recommend that she deliver her new baby via a cesarean section to ensure their safety. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Rosette undergo a C-section on February 7th. AMH is requesting $252 to fund the cost of this procedure. Rosette says: “I have been traumatized during all my previous deliveries. I hope I will have a successful delivery when given your support this time.”
Srey Neang is a one-year-old baby who lives with her parents and older brother. Her mother is a construction worker and her father sells traditional Khmer cakes at the local market. Her old brother is in grade eight at the local school. Srey Neang has just learned to walk and keeps her mother very busy as she explores the family home. Recently, Srey Neang has been pulling on her left ear and crying. Her mother noticed that the ear is red and swollen. A local clinic diagnosed her with a pre-auricular skin pit - also known as a sinus or ear pit - which are congenital small depressions in the skin in front of the ear. These are usually harmless, but they can become infected and they require medical attention. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can treat Srey Neang by removing the skin pit. Srey Neang's family needs support with the $297 cost, which will cover surgery, hospitalization, and post-operative medications. Srey Neang and her family traveled two hours to CSC, where she will undergo surgery on March 3rd. Srey Neang's mother said, "We hope the infection goes away and Srey Neang stops having pain, so she can be happy again."
Samson is a widower and father of a 9-year-old child. He works as a laborer at a garage washing cars to support himself and his child. A few years ago, Samson started experiencing epigastric pain and discomfort, and could not keep down his food. He has sought treatment at other hospitals before, but to no avail. A few weeks ago, Samson's condition worsened and his brother helped him seek care with our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. Doctors there conducted an endoscopy and found that the cause of Samson's symptoms was gastric obstruction due to pyloric stenosis, a narrowing of the opening from the stomach into the small intestine. If left untreated, Samson will continue to experience pain. His symptoms may also worsen, leading to dehydration, weight loss, and an overall decreased quality of life. Surgeons have recommended a laparotomy to treat Samson's condition. Fortunately, Samson is scheduled for surgery on March 13th with the help of African Mission Healthcare. Samson needs help raising $788 to fund the cost of his procedure. After surgery, not only will Samson's quality of life improve, but he will also be able to care for himself and his child. “I have been unable to care for myself and my child, becoming a burden to my family. The pain is also too much and I am afraid my wife went through the same and died. I plead for support so that I may be treated and get back to my normal life. I am also the only hope of my child,” said Samson.
Nobert is a one-month-old baby. His parents work in agriculture. They noticed that their newborn child's feet are twisted inward and downward. This worried the parents, for they have never come across a child born with such a disability. Nobert's parents shared that they spent a whole week in a dilemma, not knowing what to do. As they were about to go to a small local hospital nearby, they met with a friendly neighbour who helped to educate them on the problem and informed them of a health centre that can provide the proper treatment to their newborn child. Nobert 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, Nobert's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 13th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Nobert's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when he grows up. Nobert's mother says, “I was worried that my son will grow up with his feet in this condition, but now I hope his feet will be normal after treatment."
Sophea is an 18-year-old student from Cambodia. She lives at home with her parents and two siblings. Her dad is a rice farmer and her mom cares for the children at home. Sophea spends most of her free time reading and studying. She enjoys spending time with her family and going to school. Sophea was born with club feet, a condition in which the feet are turned in and under, making it difficult to walk and balance. Currently, Sophea uses a wheelchair to help her get around. Sophea's family traveled an hour and a half to visit our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC), so she could undergo clubfoot treatment. On February 15th, surgeons will perform bilateral tendon Achilles lengthening (TAL) and casting. Surgery and physiotherapy will improve her mobility. The procedure will cost $572. Sophea said, “I hope I will look better after surgery and walk someday.”
Hope is a 54-year-old farmer, married with eight children. Five of her children are married and building their own families now too. Both she and her husband are small-scale farmers. They live in a semi-permanent house with three rooms. For the past one year, Hope has been experiencing lower abdominal pain and uncomfortable symptoms. This pain has made it difficult for her to work as she experiences a lot of pain. She has been diagnosed with pre-malignant cervical lesion and is currently unable to raise funds for her treatment. She needs to undergo a gynecological surgery to heal and stop the risk of cancer. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $219 to fund Hope's surgery. On February 28th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Hope will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Hope says “I have pain worsening from time to time but I hope since I have come to you for the support I will live better, and, thus, resume my work.”
Milka is a 48-year-old woman. She is the mother of three children, between 6 and 26 years. She works harvesting tea at a tea plantation, while her husband gets jobs working at construction sites. Their income is not enough to pay for life-saving surgery, and they do not have medical coverage. Milka woke up one morning at the beginning of February this past year and discovered a lump in her right breast. It was painless at first, but later became painful. She went to a clinic in her local area, but was referred to a bigger facility that offers cancer care. She came to Kijabe Hospital this month where she had an ultrasound, mammogram, and a core biopsy that revealed cancer. Milka has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. Doctors recommend a mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing, or spreading. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Milka. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 8th. After treatment, Milka will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Milka says, "I might be scared that I am losing my breast, but I know it is important to stop the cancer.”