Samuel joined Watsi on August 8th, 2013. Six years ago, Samuel joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Samuel's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Faustin, an adorable newborn baby from Tanzania, to fund clubfoot treatment so she can grow up in good health.
Samuel has funded healthcare for 83 patients in 14 countries.
Samuel has funded healthcare for 83 patients in 14 countries.
Faustin is an adorable one-month-old baby from Tanzania who is the third child in her family. To support their family, her father is a small-scale subsistence farmer, and her mother is a homemaker. Her parents share that the income they earn is enough to sustain their basic needs. Since Faustine was born, her mother has been to several hospitals seeking medical care for her condition. Faustin was born with clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. Her left foot is twisted inward, making it difficult for her to straighten it. If not treated, she will experience difficulty walking and wearing shoes when she grows up. Fortunately, Faustin's family traveled to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, to seek medical treatment. On August 9th, surgeons there will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Faustin's clubfoot repair, which will allow her to grow up in good health. Faustine's mother says, "I feel so blessed knowing that my daughter will get treatment and grow up to have a normal life."
Cristian is a sweet three-year-old boy from Bolivia who has Down syndrome. He lives in a small city in the mountains of central Bolivia with his parents and three siblings. To support their family, his parents operate a small market stall. Some of Cristian's favorite activities include clapping along to music and watching cartoons. Cristian was born with an atrial septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole instead of flowing properly through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Cristian is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 29th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, healing his condition and improving his quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Cristian's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Cristian and his family can travel to receive his life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Cristian's mother says, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping our son to become healthy!"
U Pyin is a 36-year-old monk who lives with three other monks, seven novice monks, and his two younger brothers, in a village in central Burma. His two younger brothers are not monks, but work at the monastery as helpers, assisting with cooking and cleaning. U Pyin has no income, but receives food and accommodation at the monastery. If he is ill, there are three local families that help to cover the costs of his basic health care expenses. In early May, U Pyin began experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, and headaches. One of his brothers brought him to a hospital, where tests revealed that one of the valves in his heart needs to be replaced. This is a particularly dangerous condition, as it can lead to a stroke, and U Pyin has already suffered a stroke, earlier in his life. U Pyin was given medication, an appointment to return in two months, and sent home. When U Pyin did not feel any better after taking the medication that he had been given, he and his brother decided that he should see a cardiologist in Yangon. The cardiologist confirmed U Pyin's diagnosis, and stressed the need for U Pyin to have surgery to replace the ailing mitral valve. As U Pyin was unable to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to an abbot for assistance. Fortunately, the abbot referred U Pyin to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, and now U Pyin is scheduled to have mitral valve replacement surgery on June 24th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of U Pyin's procedure and care, which will enable him to breathe well and to sleep comfortably again, things that he is unable to do right now. U Pyin will also be able to return to teaching the novice monks at the monastery, which he has been unable to do because he feels so unwell. U Pyin said: “After I recover, I want to teach novice monks again and I want to open a Buddhist school near Yangon.”
Meet Lydia, a 25-year-old mother of three, living with her husband and children in rural Kenya. Lydia and her husband both work as farmers, and live with her husband's parents. Lydia, who has epilepsy, fainted while she was preparing food for her children. She sustained severe burns on her left hand, extending to the left forearm. Lydia was admitted to the hospital, where she was treated, but her wounds became infected, and she lost her fingers. After three weeks of medication and surgeries, Lydia’s medical costs rose to a level that her family could not sustain, so the decision was made to discharge her from the hospital, even though her condition had not improved. Lydia is worried about being able to care for her children now that she can no longer work as a farmer. Her mother-in-law is also concerned about her future, and the difficulties she may face: will she be able to do laundry and cook, will she face social problems or financial challenges? Lydia requires skin grafting to heal her burn wounds and treat her infection. Her family, who sold everything at home to raise funds for Lydia's initial treatment, cannot afford the cost of her procedure. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,089 to fund her surgery, which is scheduled to take place on May 25th, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. Lydia shared: “It is difficult to look at my hand; I want to get better than this. Please help me improve the quality of my life.”
Stefano is a 5-year-old child from Tanzania. Stefano’s parents are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers. They are not able to afford their son’s treatment costs thus they are asking for help. When we first met Stefano he was having difficulty walking and it was challenging for him to do day-to-day tasks. He looked tired despite being carried on her mother’s back. Stefano has needed support from the hospital to get healthy enough for surgery and has been receiving care since last November. He now is healthy enough to undergo surgery for his leg condition. Stefano was diagnosed with windswept deformity. His legs bow so that the knees appear windswept. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has a difficult time walking and experiences pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Stefano. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Stefano's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Stefano’s mother shared in her language, “Mchugaji alituambia tunaweza kupata msaada wa matibabu kwa ajili yam toto wetu hapa.” Meaning: "The pastor told us our son could get treatment help from here."
Rosemary is a loving grandmother and a single mother of five children, who have all grown now. Because of Rosemary's medical condition, she has not been able to work and therefore has no current source of income. She is currently staying with her sister who is taking care of her. Four months ago, Rosemary was hit by a car and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since. An X-ray revealed that her femur/thigh bone that connects to the hip socket is broken affecting her mobility. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 14th, Rosemary will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, to help heal her condition and hopefully be able to walk again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure and care. Rosemary shared, "I used to be well, and I could use my legs well. But after the accident, I am just confined to this wheelchair and cannot do anything without help. I hope this treatment will help me get back to my feet.”
Meet Purity! She's a five-year playful girl who hails from Kachibora in western Kenya. Four days ago Purity sustained a severe injury to her left arm after she fell on the ground while playing with friends in school. She was brought to the hospital by her mother. Doctors did an x-ray and found a fracture to her left supracondylar. She was in severe pain and just wanted to be with in her mother's arms. With a fear of large hospital bills, her family left but the social workers from the hospital followed up with them and requested they come back so that Purity can receive treatment. Purity is the last born child in a family of three. She's in Kindergarten and already enjoying school a lot. Her mother earns wages from laundry and farm labour in their village while her father works as an electrician. Purity and her family live in a rented two-roomed iron sheet built house. Purity's mother shared with us, “She is in pain and crying a lot. It’s really hard as a parent. My prayer and hope are to see her well again. I need to get back to my normal duties in order to support my family.”
Shellden is a sweet two-year-old and the youngest-born child in her family. Her family lives in an informal settlement in Kenya's capital city of Nairobi. Shellden's mother is a homemaker, while her father is a laborer working in construction sites. Last year, Shellden's mother noticed a sudden bowing of her legs when she started to stand and take her first steps to walk. Her mother took her to a local hospital, where she has continued with follow-up visits over the past year. However, since there has been no improvement so far, her mother was referred to the care center at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for the treatment Shellden needs to heal. On February 28th, Shellden will undergo corrective surgery that will allow her to walk without difficulty and be able to easily attend school once she is old enough. AMH is requesting $1,224 to fund Shellden's procedure. Shellden's mother shared, "At the moment, we don’t have work and are unable to pay for national insurance because of our current economic status. Any support will be highly appreciated."
Sheila is a 13-year-old bright and outgoing girl. She is a partial orphan who lives with a guardian that helped to rescue her from a difficult situation growing up. Sheila lives at a special place alongside 10 other children who come from a similar background. Her guardian says that Sheila's clubfoot condition limits her from her potential. Sheila was born with clubfoot and the condition has affected her mobility and lowered her self-esteem in a way that she cannot connect with her peers. Her guardian and family are not financially able to support the surgery and are appealing for financial assistance. Fortunately, Sheila traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Sheila's clubfoot repair. After treatment, Sheila will be able to easily interact with her peers and have a high self-esteem. Her guardian says, “I would very much appreciate the support that may be provided for Sheila's care. She will be able to explore her full potential.”
Dolla is a 47-year-old woman who has been married for 25 years. She has four children between the ages of 19 and 24 years. Her first and second-born are in college and the last-born children are twins, currently in form 4 of school. Her husband works as a carpenter, while Dolla sells Thobwa drinks, freezers, and second-hand clothes. She shared that business is now slow due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so it is a hard time to earn money. Dolla started having difficulty swallowing 2 years ago. She went to a healthcare facility near her home where she was referred to a bigger facility for diagnosis. The healthcare givers there told her to avoid taking certain foods which might have been a result of her having a hard time swallowing food. After a year, she noticed swelling around her neck. She returned to the hospital and had an ultrasound which revealed an enlarged right side of her thyroid. It was diagnosed as goiter. A goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland; a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. Although goiters are usually painless, a large goiter can cause a cough, irritation, and may also cause difficulty in swallowing and breathing. Dolla has been unable to eat well and constantly reports feeling like there is a foreign body in her throat. She is afraid of the goiter continuing to grow as she believes it may cause serious problems. She sought care at Partners In Hope Medical Center because she believes the surgery will prevent future complications and significantly improve her quality of life. Upon review at Partners in Hope, the surgeon confirmed a multi-nodular goiter and recommended a total thyroidectomy to remove it and heal her condition. It is expected that after the surgery the chronic sensation of choking and the feeling of having something ‘stuck’ in her throat will go away. This will allow her to eat and breathe without feeling uncomfortable. Dolla is not in a financial position to cater for surgery and is appealing for financial assistance. Dolla says, "I hope the surgery will prevent future complications and give me a chance to continue meeting my responsibilities as a parent like raising school fees for my children.”
Margret is a 69-year-old woman - a mother of five children and a grandmother to 13 children. She lives in a thatched house with her family. She and her husband are farmers and rely on seasonal farm products for their income. Due to a recent drought on their land, they do not have any farm products to sell. Margret and her husband are aging and shared that they are limited in how they can care for themselves. They also shared that their children are married but do not have stable jobs yet to help support the family. One week ago, Margret’s poor vision caused her to fall on her walk to the farm. She fell on her left hand and can longer use it or put any weight on it. Her daughter-in-law bought her to the hospital for an X-Ray. After an assessment by the doctor, she was diagnosed with a left distal humerus fracture, and surgery was recommended. Currently, Margret is experiencing pain in her left hand and requires 24-hour care from her daughter-in-law. On October 26th, Margret will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, with our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). This surgery will alleviate her pain and bring healing and restoration to the functioning of her left hand. She will be able to carry out her day-to-day activities and take care of herself again. AMH is requesting $941 to help fund this procedure. Margret shared, “I am in pain. I hope I get treated soon and be able to use my hand again. Please help me.”
Peter is a playful and active two-year-old boy. He's an only child and is excited to begin school next year. When the pandemic struck, his father unfortunately lost his job. He's now begun working as a farmer and sells produce to support their family. Peter was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Peter will have an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Peter receive treatment. On September 21st, he will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Peter’s father shared, "the past few months haven’t been easy for me as a father knowing what could happen if Peter is untreated. I would like to take him to school when he is healthy."