Menno SchellekensUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Menno's Story

Menno joined Watsi on May 25th, 2016. Seven years ago, Menno joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Menno's most recent donation traveled 5,900 miles to support Phanno, a 38-year-old man from Cambodia, to fund a preauricular sinus incision.

Impact

Menno has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 12 countries.

Patients funded by Menno

Saw Ywa, who is an eight year old fourth grader, lives with his parents, his two sisters, and a brother, in Mae Ra Ma Luang Refugee Camp in Thailand. His mother helps at home, while his father works for an organization in the refugee camp. Saw Ywa loves to go to school, and to play football. When Saw Ywa was two months old, his mother noticed a concerning swelling. His parents brought him to the clinic in the refugee camp, where they were told to bring Saw Ywa back when he was five years old, and at an appropriate age for surgery they were told. Over time, Saw Ywa’s parents noticed that the swelling was increasing in size. He would also experience pain sometimes. is parents brought him back to the clinic, and after another examination, Saw Ywa was diagnosed with an irreducible inguinal hernia, which would require surgery. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is seeking $1,486 to fund the hernia repair surgery that Saw Ywa needs. The procedure is currently scheduled for May 18th, at Mae Sariang Hospital. After he has recovered, Saw Ywa should no longer suffer from the pain that he lives with now. He should also be able to walk comfortably, and to be free of the embarrassment he feels by the visible bulge in a sensitive area. Saw Ywa’s father said: “He loves to play football with his friends. But sometimes, he feels ashamed to play because his friends will make fun of him. I hope after surgery he will be free from discomfort and shame.”

$1,486raised
Fully funded

Kenn is a 26-year-old food handler from Philippines. He lives with his partner and has an income of $200 a month which is just enough to provide for their daily needs. In addition to his needed treatment, Kenn is worried because he already holds debts from a previous hospitalization. In March 2022, Kenn began to experience troubling symptoms, including severe stomachache, back pain, and vomiting. He was brought to the nearest hospital to receive urgent care. After a series of tests, he was diagnosed to have a gallstone. Unfortunately, he cannot afford his surgery and had it delayed. Consequently, his symptoms worsened as he experienced chest pain and yellow skin discoloration. He went back to his surgeon to be checked and was diagnosed with Chronic Calculous Cholecystitis. Kenn must undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder to heal. If left untreated, his symptoms will continue to worsen and put him at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Kenn is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on March 3rd. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the requesting $1,128 to cover the cost of Kenn's surgery and care. Kenn shared, "The treatment cost is very expensive and we can't afford it. Thankfully, Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines have good hearts and are willing to help me. I'm so grateful for their generosity. May the Lord continue to bless them."

$1,128raised
Fully funded

Benedister is a 45-year-old single mother and small-scale farmer from Kenya. She plants maize and millet for her family's consumption and for sale. Benedister has seven children between 11 and 23 years old. When she is done with her farm work, Benedister always looks for casual jobs in order to earn extra wages. She is very hardworking, as she is her family’s sole breadwinner. One day, while walking around her compound, Benedister fell and injured her right lower limb. She was unable to walk, so she was carried by some of her relatives to the hospital. Her pain was so intense that she was given some pain medication, then sent for an x-ray. The x-ray revealed that she had a bimalleolar fracture with a joint dislocation, which means that in addition to a bone being broken, the ligaments on the inside of her ankle were injured as well. She was treated, and then her ankle was immobilized with a bulky jones splint. She is not able to walk on her own and is in a lot of pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 7th, Benedister will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Afterward, she will be able to walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Benedister says, “It’s really sad that I cannot walk without support. My children look up to me for all their needs and here I am now with a broken leg and cannot offer any help to them. Please help me get my bones fixed so that I will be able to work and live normally as before.”

$1,145raised
Fully funded

Festus is a cheerful boy who always has a friendly smile and a joyful, resilient spirit. The fifth born of six children, he is a third grader at a nearby primary school. His parents are small scale farmers who plant maize and beans for consumption and sale. Two of his siblings are in high school and the others are in primary school. His parents sell their farm produce in order to pay their school fees and manage their daily needs. Festus has had a long stay in hospital with an infected wound and multiple surgeries, two debridement surgeries and nerve repair after he sustained a deep cut in his left hand. He now needs a skin graft to cover the damaged area. The decision to perform the skin graft was recommended by his doctors because his wound has not healed after a long time. After undergoing three surgeries, Festus feels traumatized when he enters the operation theatre. His mother is worries that he might lose his hand if not treated. Their family has had to undergo counselling to promote resilience and assurance that everything will be okay, and that Festus will be able to use his hand again. After all this, the family is looking forward to the results of the surgery with excitement. His family is asking any well-wisher to support them in this time of need, as they need $1,089 to fund the skin graft. Festus's mother says, “It’s been a long journey for my son. For the last one week I haven’t slept well just thinking of his health. I hope he gets treated and will be well again.”

$1,089raised
Fully funded

When U Eain was 10 years old, he became a monk. Now, at the age of 33, he lives with five other monks in a monastery in Yangon, Burma. As a monk, U Eain doesn't have an income. Instead, every morning, two of the novice monks from his monastery collect food donated by followers in Yangon. In addition, worshipers who visit the monastery donate vegetables, fruits and curries to eat. When the monks preach in other villages, they may receive small cash donations, and when U Eain's parents visit him every year, they provide U Eain with a small amount of money. In this way, the monks are able to cover their basic needs. In February, U Eain went to a town in Mon State to preach. During his second day there, he felt very tired and struggled to breathe, and ultimately, he had to stop preaching. He went to a local clinic, where he received two injections that helped him to feel better. The next day, he returned to his monastery in Yangon. Once he was home, he developed a fever and felt very tired, so he went to a nearby clinic. There, he received an electrocardiogram (ECG). After his results came back, the doctor told him that there were problems with his heart, and U Eain was referred to Yangon Government Hospital for an echocardiogram. On April 19th, U Eain had the echocardiogram, and then brought the results back to the nearby clinic. Due to numerous issues uncovered by the test, U Eain will need cardiac surgery to replace two valves in his heart. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is able to help U Eain access the care that he needs. On October 21st, doctors at Pun Hlaing Hospital will replace the two valves in U Eain's heart, relieving him of the chest pains, rapid heartbeat, fatigue and difficulty breathing that he suffers from now. With his limited income, U Eain needs your support to raise the $1,500 to cover the cost of the procedure. He is hopeful to feel himself again soon and looks forward to returning to preaching and teaching. U Eain said: “I am so happy to receive treatment. I would like to say thank you so much to all of the donors.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded