Ryan joined Watsi on February 14th, 2017. Five years ago, Ryan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ryan's most recent donation supported Kolongo, a hardworking student from Tanzania, to fund corrective surgery so that he can walk easily.
Ryan has funded healthcare for 56 patients in 11 countries.
Ryan has funded healthcare for 56 patients in 11 countries.
Kolongo is a 17-year-old student and the oldest child in a family of six children. He is currently in class five in school and his best subjects are Swahili and math. Kolongo is hard-working both at school and home. He helps his parents with farm work when he is not at school. Kolongo’s parents are small-scale farmers of maize, cassava, and sorghum. They depend entirely on what they harvest for food and his father also seeks day laboring jobs to supplement the family's income. Kolongo was diagnosed with right genu valgus, which means that his right leg is bowing inward at the knee. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result of his condition, walking to school and other daily activities are difficult. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Kolongo to receive treatment. On October 8th, he will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. Treatment will hopefully restore Kolongo's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Now, AMH is requesting $880 to fund his procedure and care. Kolongo shared, "walking long distances is a challenge and carrying out my daily life activities, like working on the farm and carrying anything heavy causes me pain. I will be happy if I have my leg corrected."
Taw is a 43-year-old teacher who lives with her family in the refugee camp. Taw and her husband work at the same school and their daughter is also enrolled there in the nursery program. In her free time, Taw enjoys singing and reading with her students. Taw also loves to grow vegetables around her house, and she is very proud that the vegetables she grows are organic. Growing her own vegetables also helps to reduce her household expenses. Last month, Taw was walking home with a branch from a banana tree she had just cut down to cook for dinner. That afternoon it was drizzling and the dirt road was slippery. Taw slipped and fell onto her left arm, breaking both bones in her left forearm. With the help of Watsi donors, she underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into her forearm at the end of August at Chiang Mai Hospital. A few days after her surgery, Taw's wound got an infection and the doctor had to perform another surgery to remove the rod from her arm. Once the infection cleared up with the help of antibiotics, the doctor scheduled another surgery to have the rod reinserted into Taw's arm to finally help her heal. Taw’s left arm is still in pain. She is in pain whenever she sits down, and the pain increases when she moves her arm. If she lies down and puts her left arm on a pillow, she feels better. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Taw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for September 7th and will cost $1,500. After the procedure, Taw will no longer be in pain and she will be able to go back home and see her family. She will be able to teach again and garden like before. Taw said, "I really miss my family and my daughter. I hope that I will receive proper treatment and be able to go back home again soon."
Maria is a sweet and loving 7-year-old girl. She lives with her parents and four siblings at their home in Tanzania. Maria's parents are laborers and small scale farmers and who enjoy growing mainly maize, vegetables, and sunflowers. Maria has clubfoot in both of her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Maria and her parents learned about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare and traveled to their care center seeking treatment. On August 10th surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery. AMH is requesting $935 to fund the surgery. After treatment, she will be able to walk without discomfort and with ease. Maria’s mother shares, "Our daughter is strong and a fighter. She is always ready to help with chores. We see the challenge she is goes through due to her legs but due to lack of money we have not been able to seek treatment again for her."
Venance is a five year old boy and the second born child in a family of four children. Venance is a friendly boy who is currently in kindergarten. Venance and his siblings are being raised by their mother, who does small scale farming where she gets most of the food her children need. She also seeks day laboring jobs like working on other peoples farms or laundry to help make ends meet. Venance was diagnosed with Bilateral Genu Valgus, a condition that causes bones to bend. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Venance now has pain after a long day of play and walks to and from school. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Venance. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Venance's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Venance mother says, "Please help my son."
Ku is a seven-year-old boy who lives with his parents and two younger sisters in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Ku's mother weaves shirts that she sells, and Ku's father helps weave, too. Ku is a primary school student, while one of his sisters is in nursing school, and his youngest sister is too young to go to school. On June 6th, Ku and two of his friends were playing in a tamarind tree when they all fell out of the tree. Ku injured his left arm in the fall and his father carried him to the camp hospital for an exam. The medic there told Ku's father that his elbow might be broken. After they bandaged his arm, Ku visited another hospital for an x-ray and was diagnosed with a left elbow fracture. Ku is in pain and cannot bend his arm or lift anything. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ku will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for June 9th and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Ku will no longer be in pain and he will be able to go back to school. He will regain full mobility in his arm. Ku's father shared, "Ku is an active boy who loves school and reading a lot. He always says that he wants to become a health worker to look after his family and others when he grows up. I want him to recover and go back to school soon."
Isaac is a 23-year-old from Kenya who works as a manual laborer, loading and off-loading sand in the Maai Mahiu area. His father passed away while he was young, and he has been living with his mother and sister. A few weeks ago, during work, Issac slipped into a ditch and broke his right femur. His colleagues came to help him and brought him to Kijabe hospital. It is difficult for Isaac to walk, and he is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 11th, Isaac will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure so he can walk again. Isaac shared, “I am in pain and can’t walk without support. I am out of options since I cannot afford the cost of the treatment.”
Netsanet is a 5-month-old baby girl from Ethiopia. She has seven siblings and loves to play with all of them along with her mom and dad. Netsanet's dad is a traditional farmer. He has no land of his own, but farms another person's land and shares the fruit with the owner. He also does labor work in his free time to earn more for their family. Most of the kids in the house attend school, but the oldest ones have also started working to support their family. Netsanet was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction and reduce the risk of serious complications. Netsanet is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on April 13th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Netsanet's procedure and care. After her recovery, Netsanet will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Netsanet's dad shared, “After receiving this treatment, I hope my baby will be able to use the bathroom comfortably.”
Angel is a beautiful 11-year-old girl from Kenya. Her family is from Nairobi county, and she is the only child in her family. She lives with her grandparents, as her mother is single and ill. Angel has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Angel to receive treatment. Angel traveled to visit AMH's care center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 22nd. Now, AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Angel's procedure. After surgery, Angel will be able to stand and walk like other children. Angel's grandmother shared, “we will be grateful if you can give Angel back her smile and she can enjoy life like other children. Thank you very much.”
Naw Kwee Moo is a 54-year-old woman who lives with her husband, three daughters and three sons in Mae Ra Ma Luang Refugee Camp in Thailand. She and her family fled to the camp in 2006 from Burma. Today, Naw Kwe is a homemaker and her husband is too ill to work. Five of their children go to school in the camp, four other children have moved away, and she proudly shared that her second oldest son graduated from a post-secondary program in May 2020. Naw Kwe’s family receives 2,030 baht (approx. 68 USD) in a month on a cash card to purchase rations for basic food needs. Although they receive free education and primary health care in the camp, Naw Kwee’s family struggles to make ends meet each month. Four years ago, Naw Kwee started going to the camp’s hospital run by Malteser International (MI) Thailand to receive treatment for urinary tract infections (UTI). Most of the time, she would feel better after taking medication, but she was no longer able to work as an agricultural day labourer. Over the next few years, when she increasingly sought treatment for UTIs, she was diagnosed with chronic UTI. When her condition did not improve after taking antibiotics, a doctor at the camp’s hospital referred her to another hospital in March 2020, where she was diagnosed with a right kidney stone. In June 2020, after a delay due to COVID-19, Naw Kwee was able to get to Chiang Mai Hospital for further treatment. There, doctors confirmed her earlier diagnosis, in addition to hydronephrosis, a condition where the kidney swells due to a build-up of urine. Currently, Naw Kwee takes pain medication whenever she experiences pain or discomfort in the right side of her back from her kidney stone. The pain will usually only last for a day before it disappears, but she feels weak. Sometimes she also has cloudy urine and a mild fever. Her appetite has decreased, but she tries to eat as much as she can. Naw Kwee will need to undergo multiple rounds of laser treatment to break up the stone in her kidney. Her first round of shockwave lithotripsy will be on February 11th. Naw Kwee will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, who requests $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will be free of pain and will be able to resume weaving and sewing, which she enjoyed doing before having this condition. Naw Kwee shared, “I’m desperately trying to stop the pain in my back from returning. Because of the pain, I can’t even do household chores properly. I can’t sleep well and sometimes I have difficulty breathing. Once I recover, I’ll no longer feel stressed because of this pain. I’ll be able to enjoy my days even though I have some problems related to aging.”
Hamisi is a four-month-old baby from Tanzania. He is the last born child in a family of four children. Hamisi’s parents are subsistence farmers who depend entirely on what they harvest for their food and living. Their income is very limited, since they have to sell some of their harvests in order to be able to buy other basic commodities and support their family. Hamisi was born with clubfoot of both of his feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty with walking, playing, and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Hamisi traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 5th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Hamisi's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily, wear shoes, and go about normal life when he grows up. Hamisi’s mother shared, “Living with a disability comes with a lot of hardship, which is not something I would like my son to go through. Please help correct his feet.”
Ivan is a three-year-old boy from Tanzania. He loves playing with his friends, and doesn’t like staying indoors - sometimes, his mother has to force him to rest when he wants to play. Ivan is unable to use his right hand after being involved in a fire accident earlier this year in April. Ivan was outside playing with his friends, and his mother had put a pot of beans cooking on the stove. When it started raining, Ivan came back running into the house and slipped on the wet floor. His right hand went into the pot, burning him badly. Ivan's family took him to the hospital right away for treatment. It took time for his wounds to heal but eventually, they did. However, the burns healed with contractures, which make him unable to straighten his fingers and limit movement around his wrist. Ivan has been scheduled to have surgery, but his parents are unable to afford the treatment cost. Both of his parents have a small business of making and selling local soap, and they also make a living by selling fish. Their income is small, and they do not earn enough for Ivan's cost of care. They appeal for financial support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Ivan receive treatment. On December 11th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to allow Ivan to use his hand with ease. Once healed, he will be able to use his hand to care for himself, and learn to write when he starts school. Now, he needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Ivan’s mother shared, “Please help my son to get this treatment so that he can be able to write when he starts school. I am not able to afford his needed treatment, please help us."
Jane is a 70-year-old kiosk owner from Kenya. She is a former civil servant who was released from government duty in 2000. Since then, she has since been running a small kiosk that sells vegetables and other groceries. In March 2019, Jane suffered a fracture on her left distal femur with intraarticular extension, meaning the break crossed into the surface of a joint. To remedy this, she underwent surgery with a locking plate. However, the fracture has not healed properly, which threatens her mobility. Doctors are now recommending a another fracture repair surgery to prevent future complications of her condition, including inability to walk. However, this procedure is costly for Jane. The profit she earns from her small business is not enough to cover her basic needs, let alone her medical bills. Jane has been relying on a small government pension to get by. She separated from her husband over 30 years ago and has since been raising her only son alone. Her son is an adult, but lacks a stable job and works as a casual laborer to make ends meet. Thus, Jane is appealing for financial help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 11th, Jane will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After recovering, she will no longer have difficulties in walking or be in constant pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Jane shared, “I need this surgery to get back on my feet. I am the one taking care of my grandkids since my son has no job. This procedure will help me be able to go get vegetables from the market so that I can sell and continue my business.”