Melissa joined Watsi on August 12th, 2014. One year ago, Melissa joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Melissa's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Scovian, a studious 6-year-old girl from Kenya, to fund mobility-restoring clubfoot repair surgery.
Melissa has funded healthcare for 23 patients in 7 countries.
Melissa has funded healthcare for 23 patients in 7 countries.
Scovian is a quiet 6-year-old student and the firstborn in a family of two. She was brought to our clinic by her grandmother who takes care of her. She shared that Scovian's mother is a hawker in a town near her home while her father left the family because of her birth condition. Scovian has clubfoot of both feet. The condition has seriously affected her mobility. Balancing and maintaining her posture is a challenge. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Scovian is stigmatized due to this condition in the village and at school. At school, Scovian is often mocked by other pupils. Due to that, her grandmother escorts her to school every day. Fortunately, Scovian traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on November 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Scovian's clubfoot repair. After treatment, her self-esteem will be boosted, she will be able to put on shoes, walk well, and engage with friends. Also, she will be able to continue with her studies well. Scovian's grandmother says, “If the surgery is done and is successful, I will be grateful to God.”
Naw Day is a 31-year-old pregnant woman who lives with her husband and three-year-old son in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Naw Day works as a high school teacher, however since August 2021, schools have been closed in the refugee camp due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. She currently only works one day a week, where she helps clean the school. Naw Day and her husband are expecting their second child. Her doctor has recommended that she give birth through a scheduled Caesarean section to ensure a safe arrival for her baby. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Naw Day to receive labor and delivery care. On October 8th, she will deliver her baby via C-Section. Now, their family needs help raising $1,500 to fund a healthy and safe delivery for her and her baby. Naw Day shared, "Thank you for helping me."
Ndaanya is a five-year-old boy and the youngest child in a family of three children. His mother is not married and works as a farmer to support her family growing maize, sunflowers, groundnuts and vegetables. Ndaanya 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, Ndaanya traveled to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), to receive treatment. On September 14th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Ndaanya's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and start schooling. Ndaanya’s mother shared, "I had lost hope... I knew this problem could only be corrected when he was a small baby and because his treatment was not successful I thought he would live with this disability for the rest of his life. I will be so happy and grateful if you help correct my son’s feet.”
Deth is a 37-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He lives in the Kampong Cham province with his wife and two children. His wife works on a farm alongside him, while his children are both in primary school. They also have another son who recently became a monk. Deth works seasonally, and when he is not working he likes to spend a lot of time playing soccer, growing vegetables, and watching movies. One year ago, Deth had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Deth experiences hearing loss, pain and ear discharge. He cannot communicate clearly with others. Deth traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On August 17th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations and relieve Deth's pain. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and in-patient care. Deth said, "I am hopeful that my ear will get better soon, so I can work in peace and enjoy talking to my family."
Hul is a 21-year-old motorcycle mechanic. He has two brothers and one sister. Hul's parents work as farmers. In March, Hul fell hard and damaged his left shoulder. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He has no shoulder abduction or elbow flexion, and can not move his fingers. He is unable to work. Hul traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 14th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his left arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Hul said, "I hope I can regain use of my left arm and hand so I can work again to support myself."
Htoo is a 12-year-old girl who lives with her parents, two older sisters, an older brother and a younger brother in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Htoo’s father works as a construction worker while Htoo's mother is a homemaker and looks after Htoo's younger brother who is too young to go to school. Htoo and her older siblings study in the camp. Every month, the family receives oil, rice and charcoal rations, but they shared that the rations are unfortunately not enough to cover their daily needs. They also receive free basic health care and education in the refugee camp. In her free time, Htoo likes to play with her friends and help her mother clean. Htoo was born with a small mass in a sensitive area. At the time, Htoo's mother was told not to worry about the mass. However, beginning in 2016, Htoo noticed the mass increasing in size and she could no longer pass urine comfortably. A medic at the camp's hospital examined the mass and determined that it is benign and recommends it is surgically treated for Htoo's comfort and peace of mind. Htoo is receiving treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and she is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 6th. Now, their family is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Htoo shared, “in the future, I want to finish my schooling and become a teacher in the camp. I want to teach Karen [language].”
Vincent is a six-year-old boy and the oldest of three children. Vincent and his siblings live with their grandmother in Southern Kenya. Vincent has bilateral equinus deformity, which means he has difficulty walking and often tiptoes as he walks, or even crawls. He has visited clinics in the past and undergone casting, but there has been no significant improvement. To correct his condition, Vincent is scheduled to undergo Achilles Tendon Lengthening (ATL) surgery on April 14th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,224 to fund Vincent's life-changing procedure. Vincent's grandmother shared, "I would love to see my grandson walk on his own. Any help will be highly appreciated.”
Komugisha is a farmer who has had troubling symptoms and pain for the past year. She had not been to any hospital previously, but when she came to Nyakibale Hospital, she was diagnosed with uterine fibroids and was advised to undergo surgery. Komugasho shared that it has been hard for her to bend or stand for extended time periods, ultimately affecting her time on the farm. Her desire is to have her condition treated but she is afraid of the cost of surgery. As the mother of six, her and her husband's combined income are only sufficient to meet their minimum daily needs. On May 11th, she'll undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Komugisha will be able to resume her daily activities and finally be free of pain. Komugisha shared, “I really beg for your support because it’s my only hope of receiving my surgery since I can’t afford it on my own. I hope to resume with farming once I have fully recovered to sustain my family.”
Nickson is a milk vendor from Kenya. A few months ago, he married his wife and now they are expecting their firstborn baby. His wife is a housewife and they live in a mud house on a farm. Nickson was not able to go to college, so he decided to become a milk vendor so that he could provide for his young and growing family. In December 2020, Nickson was involved in a road traffic accident - he was riding a motorcycle when he collided with an oncoming lorry truck. He was rushed to the district hospital where he had a cast applied and was then discharged home. However, two weeks ago, he started having pain while he was walking. A friend referred Nickson to a local medical facility. Nickson was examined and sent for an x-ray which revealed that he had fractured his knee. Right now, Nickson has trouble standing on his right foot or flexing his knee. Fortunately, surgeons at our Medical Partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help Nickson, and they are requesting $1,016 to fund his procedure. On March 3rd, Nickson will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk more easily again. Nickson says, “My hope is to receive treatment, be well, and continue supporting my young family."
Peter is a third grade student from Kenya. Peter is very active and playful like many kids his age. He is the seventh son in a family of eight children. Peter's father repairs household items including basins and jerricans, and his mother is a casual laborer who washes clothes for a living. Their family currently lives together in a two-room mud house. About 10 weeks ago, Peter fell from a tall tree and he sustained a femur shaft fracture and hip dislocation. He currently walks and gets around using crutches, and there is the risk that he may not able to walk on his own again unless he receives surgical intervention. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 17th, Peter will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund his surgery. Peter's father shared, “[Peter] has been unable to go to school since the accident. He can’t walk without the help of crutches and if he doesn’t go for surgery he might be unable to walk normally.”
Tun is a 73-year-old man who lives with his three daughters in Umpiem Mai Refugee Camp in Thailand. Each month, Tun's household receives a small cash card to purchase rations in the camp, and their monthly household income is just enough to cover daily expenses. In his free time, Tun loves to read books and loves telling stories to his neighbours’ children. He is always welcoming, giving the children snacks and telling them stories from his home. Tun also loves to grow different types of vegetables around his house, sharing the harvest with his neighbours who cannot afford to buy vegetables. Before he felt unwell, Tun used to volunteer, organising cleaning groups in the camp and helping with road repairs. Currently, Tun experiences on and off pain in his upper abdomen. He also has a slight fever and often feels nauseous. Over time, his appetite has gradually decreased, and he has lost weight. Tun has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If his condition is left untreated, Tun's symptoms will continue to worsen and he will be at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Tun is scheduled to undergo his cholecystectomy on February 16th. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Tun's procedure and care. Once recovered, he will able to resume gardening, volunteering, and socializing with others in the camp. Tun shared, “I love volunteering and I am happy to help the community with whatever I can. But since I got sick, I cannot participate, and I cannot go to the monastery to help clean nor can I meditate. If I ever feel better again, I will continue to help my community with whatever I can do and I will also continue to grow vegetables around my house for my family and for my neighbours.”
Herrieth is a one-month-old beautiful girl and the firstborn to her young parents who recently graduated from college. Herrieth’s father graduated as a clinical officer, while her mother graduated as a nurse. Unfortunately, both parents have not been able to get an employment opportunity yet. They now help each other make a living through a small business of selling fish in order to be able to raise and take care of their baby. Herrieth was born with a bilateral clubfoot, which her parents were informed is treatable, but due to financial challenges they couldn’t afford the treatment cost. If not treated, Harrieth will not be able to walk properly as she develops and her chances of growing up with disability will be very high. Her parents got to know about Watsi's medical partner and the possibility for their daughter to have her feet corrected, thus they are asking for help. Fortunately, Herrieth's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre and The Plaster House. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 12th and provide critical follow-up care. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Herrieth's clubfoot repair. After treatment, as she grows older, she will be able to walk easily, run, and play. Herrieth’s mother says: “We would love to see our daughter lead a normal life without the challenges that come along with being disabled. Please help her.”