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Success! Mary from Kenya raised $929 to fund hearing aids and treatment.

  • $929 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Mary's treatment was fully funded on March 25, 2020.

Photo of Mary post-operation

February 21, 2020

Mary underwent fitting of hearing aids and treatment.

Mary had successful a hearing aids fitting done. She is able to perceive sound with better clarity than before. She hopes to soon resume attending social events and for a better quality of life. Her audiologist expressed positive optimism in Mary’s ability to hear.

Mary says, “Thank you for helping me with my hearing aids. God bless you.”

Mary had successful a hearing aids fitting done. She is able to perceive sound with better clarity than before. She hopes to soon resume att...

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December 9, 2019

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.

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 hea...

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Mary's Timeline

  • December 9, 2019

    Mary was submitted by Robert Kariuki, Process Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare, our medical partner in Kenya.

  • December 11, 2019

    Mary's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • December 17, 2019

    Mary received treatment at AIC Kijabe Hospital. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • February 21, 2020

    Mary's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • March 25, 2020

    Mary's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 19 donors

Funded by 19 donors

Hearing Aids - Severe
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

Patients who need hearing aids present with a variety of conditions, including cholesteatoma, conductive hearing loss, ear drainage, sensorineural hearing loss, otitis media-inflammation of the middle ear, or a perforated ear drum/tear in the ear drum. Patients are unable to perceive speech and sounds, leading to impaired speech.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

Patients are unable to perceive speech and sounds, they have impaired speech and language development, impaired communication, difficulties in learning, and avoidance/withdrawal from social situations.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

The prevalence of disabling hearing loss in children and adults is greatest in Sub-Saharan Africa, south Asia and Asia Pacific. Certain infections (e.g. meningitis and ear infections) may cause hearing loss if not treated promptly.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

Patients are fitted for hearing aids, which are electrical devices that assist in optimizing perception of speech and other sounds. They amplify sound and thus improve hearing. They are designed for hearing impaired individuals. A basic hearing aid consists of a microphone (collects sound energy), amplifier (increases amplitude of impulses collected), earphone/receiver (converts electrical energy into sound), battery (provides power supply), and mould (holds the hearing aid in place and acts like a seal and volume control). Generally, they can be categorized by technology and style. Selection depends on hearing loss, cosmetic appearance, and cost.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

Patients will gain the ability to perceive speech and sounds, have improved speech and language development, improved learning ability, and active participation in social situations.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Not using the optimal hearing aid or not using it in the correct way could lead to uncomfortable side effects, including bad fitting, headaches and tinnitus (ringing in the ear), and improper sound level and quality. However, this can be easily avoided and fixed with the assistance of an audiologist.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

There are few quality centers with the specialized personnel (audiologists and ENT doctors) that offer this kind of service, but the cost of hearing aids is a major deterrent for patients to access care.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

For many hearing disorders, there is no actual available cure. However, there are assistive devices like hearing aids and promising new treatments that allow patients to manage their hearing disorders.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Philomena was diagnosed with ARM at birth. With this condition, the little one was found to lack an anal opening and instead was passing stool through her vagina. A few hours after birth, Philomena, one in a set of twins, was noted to have a distended abdomen. The doctor quickly checked on the baby and discovered she lacked an anal opening. To keep Philomena from getting a fistula, the doctors put in a colostomy at three days. Philomena’s parents paid for this through some family savings they had. When they left for home, Philomena’s twin sister developed a persistent cough which was later found to be a hole in the heart. "I have never felt this drained ever in my life. Since I gave birth I am always in hospitals with either one of my two babies,” says Philomena’s mother. Due to lack of finances, Philomena’s parents shared their plight with their church members and one of them advised that they visit Watsi Partner Care Center BethanyKids Hospital. At BethanyKids a surgery to create an anal opening has been recommended. If not treated, Philomena will not lead a normal life and will be forced to use a colostomy for life. The surgery is a cost Philomena’s parents cannot bear. Philomena’s father is a carpenter while her mother closed her grocery store to tend to the children. Together they have five children with three currently in school. With very limited income and having exhausted their savings, Philomena’s parents are not able to raise the funds needed. They had defaulted on paying the national health insurance premiums as they could not keep up, but they’ve been advised to try to maintain this coverage in the future given their family's health needs. “Please help us. It is quite a stressful time for us but we believe we will come from it as victors,” says Philomena’s mother.

50% funded

$353to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.