Mark joined Watsi on May 3rd, 2016. Six years ago, Mark joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mark's most recent donation supported Alex, a baby from Kenya, to fund surgery to treat hydrocephalus.
Mark has funded healthcare for 421 patients in 12 countries.
Mark has funded healthcare for 421 patients in 12 countries.
Alex is a sweet baby from Kenya and the youngest in his family of five children. His parents own livestock but, because of an ongoing drought, they have had to sell some of their livestock to provide food for the family. Alex has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of this condition, Alex has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Alex will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Alex receive treatment. On November 16th, he will undergo a procedure to drain the excess fluid from his brain, which will decrease intracranial pressure. This treatment will help Alex as he develops into a strong, healthy young boy. AMH is requesting $720 to cover the cost of this surgery. Alex’s mother says: “It has been a very hard time for me as I have to stay with him all the time because of his condition. I want to help in the provision for my children.”
Ibrahim is a new baby from Kenya and the youngest of three children. He lives with his family in their ancestral home. Ibrahim's mother had to stop working to take care of him, and his father makes ends meet by working casual labour jobs in addition to his small income from their farm. Their family does not have medical insurance. Ibrahim was diagnosed with hydrocephalus at birth. His parents took him to six different hospitals, but were not able to get his condition cured. They shared that they ran out of money and stopped going to hospitals for some time. After gathering more funds, Ibrahim's father took him to a private hospital, where the doctor referred him to our medical partner's care center BethanyKids Hospital and gave them money to pay for their travel to BethanyKids. Ibrahim has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Ibrahim has been experiencing an unusually large head. Without treatment, Ibrahim will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Ibrahim that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 19th and will drain the excess fluid from Ibrahim's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Ibrahim will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Meanwhile, Ibrahim and his mother are being housed in our partners’ patient house in Nairobi as they await the surgery date. Ibrahim’s father says, “It has been very hard for us since Ibrahim was born as we have not been able to take care of our other children. We are really looking forward to when he will be treated for us to have some peace of mind.”
Lwin is a 37-year-old wife and mother who lives with her husband and son on the Thai-Burma border. Lwin and her husband work as day labourers in a temple as a cook and gardener. In her free time, Lwin likes to garden and enjoys growing vegetables to eat and to donate to the temple. Lwin also likes to watch Thai movies. One night in March 2021, Lwin had a rapid heartbeat and felt dizzy. Lwin could not sleep that night so her husband brought her to a clinic the next day. The doctor referred her to Mae Sot Hospital in an ambulance, where she underwent diagnostic tests, but never received a diagnosis. Lwin was given medication to stabilize her condition. During her follow-up appointment in June 2022, Lwin received an echocardiogram and was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis. The doctor then referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital for further treatment. Currently, Lwin suffers from shortness of breath and heart palpitations. Lwin reports her arms and legs feeling heavy and trouble sleeping. Lwin has little appetite and she has to sleep propped up on pillows. On January 13th, Lwin with receive surgery to improve her condition. Our medical partners, Burma Children Medical Fund, are helping Lwin raise $1,500 to cover the cost of this life altering surgery. Lwin shared, "I will never forget the donors who will help pay for my treatment cost. When I recover fully, I want to learn how to sew so that I can open a shop from my home and work as a seamstress."
Meet Ann, a very bright, friendly, and cheerful 14-year-old girl who lives with her mother in Kenya. She is currently in class six and aspires to be a surgeon after completing her studies. One of her favorite activities is reading. Her mother is a single parent who works selling samosas, a fried or baked pastry, in their hometown. Ann was born with a bow-legged impairment. She began therapy at the age of two, but she had to stop attending her sessions due to financial constraints. As a result, her condition has worsened. She shares that this has affected her mobility, studies, and self-esteem. A year ago, Ann underwent a successful multiple osteotomy surgery, which cut and reshaped her leg bones, with the help of amazing Watsi supporters. Now, she requires a second procedure to fully treat her condition in both of her legs. Ann is scheduled to undergo an angular deformity correction procedure on August 29th at our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,224 to fund this surgery. This procedure will allow Ann to walk easily, engage with her friends more comfortably, and continue on with her studies. Ann's mother says, "I wish to thank the donors for their great support towards my daughter's treatment. We were desperately looking for funds for her surgery. May the almighty God bless you. After her treatment, Ann will be able to walk comfortably."
Bizuayehu is a beautiful and cheerful girl from Ethiopia who loves to talk and play with her mother. She asks a lot of questions and she is eager to learn about things. She especially loves dolls. Her mother washes clothes and makes injera (a traditional Ethiopian food) for a living. Bizuayehu's father abandoned her mother when she was pregnant. She shared that there was a time when she couldn’t pay for her rent and was out in the streets for several months. This led to malnutrition for both of them but they were able to recover with help from the hospital's nutrition program. She is now living on her very limited income from making injera and washing people’s clothes in the neighborhood, and with support from another organization. Since birth, Bizuayehu has had a bilateral inguinal hernia. The bulge is usually visible when she cries, coughs or strains. She also gets irritable and has reduced appetite. Fortunately there is a cure and on October 6th, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $591 to fund Bizuayehu's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. Bizuayehu's mother says, “Once my child gets better and cured she can join a daycare and I can do a better job to earn a better income. And I hope she will do well at school. I would like to thank BKMCM for all the support I got. I would also like also to thank our donors for this surgery. I don’t know what I could do if it was not for you and all the people at different times who supported me and encouraged me. I have been supported and gone through so many challenges, but I have had people by my side. I am thankful to God for this blessing.”
Sovannareach is a cheery and playful two-year-old boy from Cambodia. Although he has no siblings, he loves playing with other children around his home! When Sovannareach was just seven months old, he was accidentally burned by hot water on his right hand. Due to the incident, burn scar contractures have developed, meaning the skin surrounding the burn has tightened. Since this occurred around his fingers, it is now difficult for him to use his right hand. When Sovannareach's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, they traveled for three hours seeking treatment for their son. On July 14th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him be able to use his hand easily again. Now, his family needs help funding this $495 procedure. Sovannareach's parents shared that they hope their son's hand will heal well so he can regain use of it in the future.
Tracey is a sweet and adorable newborn baby from Kenya who was born just over a week ago at a local government hospital. She is the youngest in a family of three children. To support their family, her parents both do casual labor for their neighbors. Tracey was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube condition in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Tracey is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and developmental delays. Her parents share that they do not have insurance and are unable to pay for their daughter's needed treatment due to financial constraints. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Tracey's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 8th. This procedure will hopefully spare Tracey from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Tracey’s mother says, “When I got more informed about her condition, I felt bad. I just want her to be treated and be well.”
Dorcas is an adorable one-month-old baby from Tanzania who loves being close to her mother. Her mother practices subsistence farming, and she is their family's sole source of income. Dorcas was born with clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. Because of this, her right foot is twisted both downwards and inwards. This has made standing up, walking, and wearing shoes very difficult for her. Her mother shares that due to financial difficulties, she is worried about the cost of Dorcas's needed surgery. Fortunately, her family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. On August 9th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on Dorcas. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. After treatment, she will be able to walk without straining. Dorcas's mother says, "I will tell my daughter about the help she got here and how it changed her life."
Owen is a hardworking farmer from Uganda. She is married and has three children, all of whom are in school. To support their family, she and her husband both work as farmers. She also sells farm products to generate additional income to support her family's day-to-day needs. For the past two years, Owen has been experiencing backaches, abdominal pain, and severe bleeding. She has already previously received two blood transfusion due to anemia. She sought medical attention due to her troubling symptoms and was diagnosed by with multiple uterine myomas. Owen shared that due to financial constraints, she is not able to fund her needed procedure. However, if her condition is not treated, her symptoms will continue, and her rapid loss of blood will put her at risk of redeveloping anemia. She must undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus, healing her condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is requesting $219 to fund Owen's surgery. On August 5th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMHF's care center. Once recovered, Owen will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Owen says, “I hope to get support and undergo my surgery. I will get better and continue with farming in good health to sustain my family.”
John is a motivated 16-year-old footballer from Kenya. He aspires to be a professional footballer and currently plays the position of goalkeeper. He attends school and is in class seven. He currently lives in a children's home with his younger brother. His other two siblings live with his mother in a nearby town. She is a single parent who works as a hawker. She had to give her two sons up to the home because she was unable to care for them due to financial constraints. Two months ago, John broke his right leg while on the playing field with his friends. He has a right tibia fracture that is currently affecting his mobility. As a result of the injury, he has a long leg cast and has to use crutches to get around. X-ray images show that his bones are not properly aligned. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 25th, John will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal and be able to use his leg again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. John says, “I love football, and it is my passion. This fracture is affecting my passion to play and threatening my future goal of being a professional footballer.”
Nalin is a 16-month-old toddler and the only child in her family. Her father is a construction worker in the capital city of Phnom Penh and her mother stays home to watch her. Nalin likes to drink milk and play with toys. Her favorite thing in the world is to fall asleep in the arms of her mom. When Nalin was two months old, she was burned on her left fingers with hot porridge. Her mother took her to a children's hospital for burn treatment, but she developed severe contractures due to the burn. Nalin now has scarring and is unable to flex her fingers making it difficult to hold or grasp objects. When Nalin's mother learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. On June 6th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery so Nalin can move her finger easily again. CSC is raising $495 to fund this life-altering procedure for Nalin. Nalin's mother shared, "I hope after surgery she can move her finger and get well soon."
Robinison is an adorable 18-month-old baby from Uganda. He has an older sister, who is currently in primary school. He will become a big brother later this year because his mother is currently expecting. To support their family, his father works in construction, and his mother works as a small-scale farmer. His mother shares that she hopes Robinson will become a banker when he grows up. Since he was born, Robinison has dealt with an umbilical hernia. This condition causes him to experience swelling and pain, making him cry. It is also difficult for him to eat with ease. Fortunately, on August 3rd, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center to heal his condition and alleviate his pain and discomfort. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $230 to fund Robinison's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Robinison's mother says, “After being operated on, I hope he will return back to normal health and be free from all the pain he has been with.”