Raphael is a 63-year-old Tanzanian man with osteoarthritis in his right knee. According to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), “Raphael is the father of seven children. Raphael’s wife died of a sudden illness in 2008, so he is the one left to look after the children. When he was fifteen years old, he accidentally cut himself very close to his right knee. Ever since that accident, Raphael has felt some pain in his knee. Forty-eight years later, the pain has become unbearable. Raphael used to keep a few livestock and did a little bit of farming, but now he can’t do as much as he would like to. He relies on his children to do more and look after him.”
Osteoarthritis is an extremely common form of arthritis in which the cartilage that protects the ends of the bones is worn away over time. This causes severe pain and makes movement very difficult, as is the case with Raphael. AMHF reports, “Raphael walks very slowly. If untreated, Raphael’s pain will continue and eventually he will become completely dependent and unable to walk.”
However, for $960, Raphael will regain his independence and be able to return to his farm work without discomfort. Raphael will undergo a total knee replacement, in which doctors will remove the knee joint and replace it with an artificial one. That way, the cartilage-less bone will no longer cause painful friction as Raphael goes about his daily activities.
Raphael, who is “very thankful to have been blessed with children who love and care for him,” will also be able to better look after his kids once he is treated. “I long to be able to do things on my own again – feed my two cows, plant vegetables, and do good business,” Raphael expresses.