Meet another patient

Watsi logo blueWatsi

Success! James from Tanzania raised $880 to fund mobility-restoring knee surgery.

  • $880 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
James's treatment was fully funded on March 12, 2021.

Photo of James post-operation

March 16, 2021

James underwent mobility-restoring knee surgery.

James underwent a successful surgery to help correct his left leg, which was previously bent inward and made walking both painful and challenging. Once he is recovered, James will be able to continue with his normal daily life activities like looking after his parent’s cattle, without fear of any challenges with his leg.

James shared, “I am very happy and thankful to you for helping treat my leg. I know I am now required to be on bed rest for some time, but very soon I will be able to stand and walk again because now my leg is straight. Thank you and God bless you.”

James underwent a successful surgery to help correct his left leg, which was previously bent inward and made walking both painful and challe...

Read more
December 31, 2020

James is a 14-year-old boy and the second-born in a family of five children. James is a hard-working boy who helps to look after his father’s cattle, requiring him to walk a long distance in search of green pasture. James has not had a chance to join school due to his parent’s financial challenges. His parents are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers. They work hard to make ends meet, and are living in a very difficult environment.

James was diagnosed with left genu varus, also known as bowleggedness. This condition causes his left leg to bow inwards so that his knees touch when walking. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. James is having difficulty walking because his left leg curves as we walks, affecting his gait.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for James. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 5th. This treatment will hopefully restore James’s mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications.

James shared, “Please help correct my leg because I can’t walk well anymore and am even unable to go out and graze my father’s cattle. I appreciate any support you can provide.”

James is a 14-year-old boy and the second-born in a family of five children. James is a hard-working boy who helps to look after his father’...

Read more

James's Timeline

  • December 31, 2020

    James was submitted by Joan Kadagaya, Curative Medical Support Program-Partner Representative at African Mission Healthcare.

  • January 3, 2021

    James's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • January 5, 2021

    James received treatment at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC) in Tanzania. 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.

  • March 12, 2021

    James's treatment was fully funded.

  • March 16, 2021

    James's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 22 donors

Funded by 22 donors

Fluorosis - Genu Valgus / Varus
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $880 for James's treatment
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

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

Patients with genu valgum (or "knock-knees") have knees that bend inward and cause an abnormal walking gait. Patients with genu varum (or bowleggedness) have knees that bend outward and cause knee or hip pain and reduced range of motion in the hips.

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

The patient's mobility is hindered, which can prevent the patient from making a living through physical labor. The patient may also develop arthritis later in life.

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

In the United States, supplemental fluoride is added to the water to improve dental health. However, in areas of northern Tanzania, there is too much naturally-occurring fluoride in the water, which causes bone curvature.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

After surgery, the patient will stay in the hospital for 4-5 days. During this time, the surgical wound will be monitored for swelling and infection. The patient will complete physiotherapy to help him or her walk or move the limbs. A series of X-rays will be performed over several months to monitor the healing process.

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

The bones and joints will be aligned, and long-term disability will be prevented.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This procedure is not risky, but it is time-consuming. The rehabilitation process can take several months.

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

Care is not easily accessible. Most patients live in remote, rural areas and are identified through mobile outreach. The pediatric surgical program at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre was started to meet the large burden of pediatric disability in the region.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no alternatives. Although some cases can heal on their own, the patients submitted to Watsi require dedicated treatment.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Paw is a 59-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters in a refugee camp. In her free time, Paw like to feed her three chickens and sing gospel songs. She also loves looking after her granddaughters at home when their mother is teaching. On a late evening earlier this month, Paw was walking home in the rain when she slipped and fell on the muddy road. She accidentally hit her forehead against a tree stump and tried to break her fall by sticking out her right arm. Right after she fell, Paw experienced a sharp pain in her right arm and forehead. Her son and daughter-in-law brought her to the camp hospital, where Paw was given stitches for her forehead as well as pain medication, and her arm was put in a splint and a sling. The medic then referred her to another hospital, where she was finally admitted at two days later when a car became available to take her. At the hospital, Paw received a X-Ray and was told that her right wrist is broken and requires surgery. With her hand wrapped in a bandage, she was referred to our medical partner's care center, Chiang Mai Hospital, for further treatment. Currently, Paw cannot move her right wrist, not even to lift her hand. Without more pain medication, her hand and forearm experience severe pain with any movement, so Paw has to be careful to keep her right hand straight. Because of this, Paw cannot complete her daily chores nor look after her grandchildren. Fortunately, with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Paw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 23rd and will cost $1,500. This surgery will help Paw move her hand around and resume her daily activities again with ease. “I want to get well soon so that I can go back to taking care of my grandchildren,” Paw said. “They are waiting for me at home to go back to my daily life. Now, I have to come for my treatment and there's nobody look after them. It is hard for my daughter in-law.”

83% funded

$242to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.