Carolyn joined Watsi on October 26th, 2016. Four years ago, Carolyn joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Carolyn's most recent donation supported Lesina, a loving and hardworking mom from Malawi, to fund treatment for uterine fibroids.
Carolyn has funded healthcare for 50 patients in 10 countries.
Carolyn has funded healthcare for 50 patients in 10 countries.
Lesina is a married mother of two. Her firstborn was born in 1995 and has special needs that require a lot of support from Lesina. Lesina likes spending a lot of time with her and ensures her safety all the time. Her other child is 13 and is a 5th grade student. Lesina sells tomatoes at a nearby market while her husband is a driver. They own a three-bedroom iron sheet-roofed house for shelter. She also raises some local chickens with free-range farming, but shared that most of them were stolen. Currently, her family has no land where they can do farming and usually has to buy food from the market. Lesina was well until 2019 when she started having a lot of abdominal pains and other symptoms. She went to a clinic and was given medication which helped for while. But, her condition kept recurring. In 2020, she started feeling a hard mass on the left side of her abdomen and when she came to the hospital again the clinician ordered a cancer screening for her. During the procedure, the nurse felt a mass that is suggestive of uterine fibroids. She was referred to a gynecologist who after scanning and examination confirmed the diagnosis of uterine fibroids and ordered surgical intervention of a procedure called total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) which is the full removal of the uterus. Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman's uterus. Sometimes these growths become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding. If left untreated, fibroids can continue to grow, both in size and number and the symptoms will become worse. The fibroids' pain may increase and the heavy bleeding may become worse leading to anemia which may be fatal. After the surgery, it is expected that Lesina will stop having abdominal pains and heavy bleedings and will lead a full, healthy life. She is scheduled for surgery on January 3rd and is appealing for financial support. Lesina says, “I have heard that some uterine fibroids can burst and cause serious problems, I don’t want that to happen to me. My handicapped firstborn needs me in sound health to continue caring for her. Kindly support my surgery.”
Nat is a 48-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He is married and has 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren. Two of his daughters are married, and the other lives at home and is a seller of fish in the local market. His wife is a farmer and a fish seller too. For at least 7 months, Nat has experienced pain in his right hip. He was treated at a clinic by injection but only had brief relief from the pain. He visited our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) in April but was unable to have surgery due to the pandemic. Nat returned recently and is in constant pain from his right hip. He is unable to walk without a crutch, his gait is unbalanced, and he is now unable to work. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Nat of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for November 24th, and Nat needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. "I hope the pain in my hip will go away and I can return to farming and supporting my family," shared Nat.
Mark Andrei is a five-year-old boy from the Philippines. Mark Andrei loves to draw and dreams of becoming a policeman someday. His father is a farmer—earning lower than the minimum wage that is approved by the Department of Labor in the Philippines; while his mother is a stay-at-home mom. Mark Andrei was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Mark Andrei is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on November 10th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to cover the total cost of Mark Andrei's procedure and care. After his recovery, Mark Andrei will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. “We are thankful that there are organizations like WSFP and WATSI who are providing surgeries like this. This surgery will help increase Mark Andrei's confidence to interact with his classmates without being afraid of getting bullied,” shared Donnalyn, Mark Andrei's mother.
Ar is a 28-year-old man who lives with his wife, three sons, and two daughters in a refugee camp. Originally from Burma, his family fled to Thailand 20 years ago due to civil war. His children attend school, except for his youngest daughter, who is not yet old enough. His wife is a homemaker and Ar works as a day laborer when work is available. Ar's family shared that, in addition to his day laborer pay, they receive a monthly cash card from The Border Consortium to purchase food in the refugee camp. Overall, the family's total monthly income is just enough to cover their basic needs. On September 2nd, Ar climbed a tamarind tree to pick tamarinds fruit. When the branch he was standing on suddenly broke, he fell and landed on his right arm and experienced pain in his back. He visited the camp hospital that day, and the medic initially determined that his arm was not broken. Due to recent positive COVID-19 cases in the refugee camp, Ar could not be immediately referred to the local hospital for further testing and was kept for observation at the camp hospital. When the pain in Ar's back and arm did not subside the next day, the medic referred Ar to the local hospital. After receiving a negative COVID-19 test, Ar was finally able to visit the hospital on September 6th, where he received an X-ray for his arm and a blood test for a second COVID-19 test. The X-ray revealed that his upper right arm is broken. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ar will undergo surgery on September 8th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will enable Ar to continue working in the future. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Ar shared, "I am scared to receive surgery. But I was told that I will not be able to work using my right arm if I do not receive surgery, so I gave my consent to the doctor. I hope that I will be able to work again after I receive treatment."
James is a hardworking man coming from the outskirts of Nairobi and is a father of two daughters, one in college and the other having completed high school recently. He is separated from his wife and takes up casual labour to make ends meet. He is a jovial man. In August, James was involved in an accident when a motorcycle hit him as he walked on a footpath. The motorcycle driver escaped leaving him in pain. He was taken to a local hospital for first aid and then to a district hospital. He had an x-ray done but was only given pain medication and advised to wait for the bone to heal on its own. However, James' mother decided to bring him to Nazareth hospital. His leg is painful and swollen and he is not able to walk at all. James was recommended to undergo an ORIF surgery to repair the fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 30th, James will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow the fractured bone to heal with ease allowing him to walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. James says, “I am glad there is hope for my leg to be treated so that I can go back to my normal life.”
Meet Owomugisha, a smiling, cheerful expecting mother. After completing seventh grade, Owomugisha had to leave school because the tuitions fees were too high. After staying at home to farm for a short while, she got married to her husband, and they now grow crops like beans, maize and potatoes for a living. Owomugisha is already a mother to two daughters and one son. Her children are all in primary school. In her free time, Owomugisha loves serving in the church with activities like cleaning, arranging the seats, and singing in the choir. Owomugisha's pregnancy is almost at term, and after reviewing her condition of three previous deliveries, doctors recommended for her to receive a C-Section. Without the procedure, attempts to deliver the baby may result in a uterine rupture, haemorrhage, and or fetal or maternal death. Fortunately, Owomugisha is scheduled to have a C-Section on Aug 3rd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $252 to fund this procedure. Owomugisha shares, “I can’t meet the cost of surgery on my own. I appeal for your support and I hope that God will surely bless you for that.”
Benjamin is a farmer from a small village in Kenya where most of his neighbors also farm for a living. He plants maize and potatoes in communal land. He feels blessed to have six children with his wife. Their family lives in a house made of mud on the farm given by their parents. Benjamin shared that his employment options are limited because his family was only able to send him to school until grade eight, at which point he left school and became married. Over a week ago, Benjamin suffered an injury on his right knee after he fell on the way home from the farm. Benjamin is unable to stand on his right foot nor to flex his knee. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On June 30th, Benjamin is scheduled to undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After the surgery, Benjamin will be able to walk and farm to provide for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $1,016 to fund this procedure. Benjamin has a strong protectiveness and sense of responsibility for his family. Smiling, he states, “My hope is to receive treatment, be well, and continue supporting my family."
Kennedy is a 23-year-old high school graduate and the second born of four children in his family. Kennedy shared that his father sadly passed away in 2006, and his mother works as a house helper in Nairobi. His older brother works as a watchman in the city and his younger siblings are still in school. He is not working currently, and he lives alone in his family home on a quarter-acre of land. On May 22nd, while training to drive a motorbike so that he may be able to do this for an income, he was hit by a speeding vehicle and lost control. He fell along the roadside and fractured his right leg. It is difficult for him to walk and he is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 2nd, Kennedy will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Kennedy shared, “I recently finished my form four and I have my future to think of. I need to be able to walk well but first I need the surgery to help me.”
Kayiok is a 33-year-old father from Kenya. He has four kids aged between 7 and 11 years of age. He is the sole breadwinner for his family, selling cattle in the markets around Narok to make an income. For the last three years, Kayiok has struggled with stomach pains and prolonged upsets that give him sleepless nights. It started off as a small pain in his stomach area that gradually worsened. He visited several facilities in his home area, which treated him for gastritis. The treatments were only occasionally effective at reducing the pain. In the last three months, Kayiok's condition has significantly worsened. He started having more pain in the right upper and lower quadrant of his epigastric region, with associated heartburn. The pains worsen when he is hungry, with slight relief after eating. He mainly eats porridge and milk, because his heartburn is worse with solid foods. When he came to the hospital on February 12th, doctors conducted several tests and diagnosed him with a duodenal ulcer. He needs to undergo an urgent laparotomy and gastrojejunostomy surgery to ease his stomach pains and distress. Unfortunately, Kayiok cannot afford the cost of his care. He does not have medical insurance coverage and has been paying for his medical bills with cash. Several trips to different health facilities for the last three months have depleted his small savings. He currently relies on well-wishers to buy medication. Kayiok is unable to afford the surgery and is requesting financial help. Kayiok will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo a curative laparotomy on April 23rd. African Mission Healthcare is requesting $616 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Once recovered, he will be free of pain and will be able to eat normally and go about his daily life activities as he used to. Kayiok shared, “I have been struggling with this stomach problem for years now. I have even lost a lot of weight and my condition is worsening. I need this surgery to get well.”
Myo is a 16-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents and four brothers in northern Rakhine State. Myo is a student in grade nine and his four brothers also go to school. However, they have been unable to study since the Covid-19 pandemic shut all schools. Myo’s parents are day laborers, and their family's combined income is just enough to cover their daily expenses since Myo and his brothers’ schooling is free. To survive with limited income, they forage for vegetables and fish. If they fall ill, they use traditional medicine, which is more affordable then going to a clinic or a hospital. Myo was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, which is the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Myo cannot walk long distances or climb stairs because of his tiredness. Sometimes, he cannot breathe very well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Myo. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 7th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Myo shared, “I am worried about my health and I feel sorry for my parents. Because of my health problems, my father had to work more days to earn more money. Also, my mother cannot work because she accompanies me and has to take care of me. I hope my school will reopen soon so that I can go back to school. One day I hope that I can become a teacher. I want to teach because there are not enough teachers in my village.”
In late January, the Muinde family from Kenya was blessed with their firstborn child, a daughter they named Emmaculate. Emmaculate's mother works in a mobile money shop and Emmaculate's father has a small electronics shop. They live in a small rented house in Nakuru, and are able to use their income to cover most of their family's basic needs. They learned that Emmaculate was born with a rare form of craniosynostosis, which meant that her eyes were not fully formed and her pupil was not visible in both of her eyes. A few days after her birth, Emmaculate was reviewed at her local clinic, and the doctor referred Emmaculate to a nearby facility for further examination. Ultimately, Emmaculate was seen by the doctors at our Medical Partner Care Center BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital (BKKH). On March 1st, Emmaculate will undergo a craniotomy in order to release the pressure in her brain. However, Emmaculate’s parents are not able to cover the amount needed for her surgery. Emmaculate’s father says, “When I was told about my child’s condition and the treatment required, my heart sank as we could not afford any of this treatment. As a family, we are requesting financial help.”
Saw Ki is a 10-year-old boy living with his parents, sister and a brother in Mae Ra Ma Luang Refugee Camp in Thailand. Saw Ki is in grade two and his siblings also attend school in the camp. At school, Saw Ki’s favorite subject is Koraen literature. In the future, he would like to become an agricultural day laborer and work hard like his father. On the morning of January 30, 2021, Saw Ki was playing with his friends when he slipped on some rocks and fell onto his left arm. Right away, his left arm became extremely painful and his left arm looked deformed. Saw Ki was brought to the refugee camp’s hospital run by Malteser International (MI) Thailand. After a medic completed a physical examination, the medic told him that they thought his left forearm was broken. Saw Ki was referred to Mae Sariang Hospital to receive an x-ray. There, the doctor confirmed that his left forearm was broken and referred him to Chiang Mai Hospital for surgery right away. Currently, Saw Ki cannot move his left hand and he is in a lot of pain. He has been receiving pain medication while waiting for surgery. This surgery is costly for Saw Ki and his family. Saw Ki's father used to work as an agricultural day laborer in nearby villages, but he can no longer work since the refugee camp went into lockdown following the outbreak of Covid-19. His mother is a homemaker. Although their household receives a cash card with 2,200 baht (approx. 74 USD) every month to purchase rations, this amount is not enough. Their family struggles to make ends meet without Saw Ki’s father’s income, and they appeal for financial support. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Saw Ki will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 2nd and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Saw Ki will no longer be in pain and he will be able to return home, play with his friends and also continue his studies. Saw Ki shared, "I want to play a lot of games with both of my hands, like before. I am not scared of receiving surgery."