Melissa joined Watsi on August 12th, 2014. Two years 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 Cleophas, an enterprising student and farmer from Kenya, to fund surgery to repair a fractured leg.
Melissa has funded healthcare for 36 patients in 7 countries.
Melissa has funded healthcare for 36 patients in 7 countries.
Cleophas is a 23-year-old farmer and student from a Kenyan family of eleven. He is studying at a technical training institute, and grows potatoes to help him pay his school fees. His wife is also a student taking an information technology course at the same institute, and they have a 2-year-old son. When schools are in session, they live in a rental house near their school, but during the holiday they stay at home and focus on farming as it is their main source of income. Cleophas was preparing timber for repair of their maize store, when one of the timbers fell on his leg and injured him. The heavy timber broke his leg, and when he was examined, he had a large wound on his left leg with tendons and proximal tibia exposed. He was rushed to theatre for incision and drainage and his fracture was stabilized with a long leg posterior splint. Now Cleophas is unable to use his swollen and painful leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 8th, Cleophas will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Cleophas will no longer be in pain, he will be able to use his leg and work to provide for family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this medical procedure. Cleophas says, "I am the sole bread winner in the family. Sometimes I give a helping hand to my parents so that my siblings can study. I feel so sorry for myself now that I cannot use my limb. Please help me so that my family may not suffer.”
Shedrack is two years old, and lives in Tanzania with his parents and one sibling. His mother stays at home to care for the children, while his father is a small scale farmer, whose earnings cover the family's basic needs. Five months ago, when Shedrack was in the kitchen with his mother, he pushed over a pot of boiling water, burning his left arm and left leg. Shedrack's mother rushed him to a local dispensary, where they were sent on to the hospital. As the family lives in a remote area, Shedrack's treatment required extensive travel. And, while the burns ultimately healed, Shedrack developed contractures, which limit his ability to straighten his leg, or to use the fingers on his left hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Shedrack receive treatment. On October 13th, surgeons at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre will perform burn contracture release surgery, which will enable Shedrack to walk easily, and use his fingers again. Now, he needs your help to fund this $874 procedure. Shedrack’s mother says: “The burns were so bad that I thought I was going to lose my son. I am glad that now I am going to be able to help finish his treatment and all thanks to you.”
Meet Venesa, a beautiful two year old girl. She was born at home with a swelling at the lower part of her back, and with legs that were not straight like other babies their family knew. The day after she was born, Venesa's parents took her to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with spina bifida and clubfoot. The family was advised to wait until Venesa turned nine months old, before having her undergo the surgery that she needs. Although surgery was deemed urgent, when Venesa was finally old enough, her parents couldn't afford to pay for it. Then, about a year ago, Venesa was diagnosed with hydrocephalus. Venesa's mom shared that shortly after this last diagnosis, Venesa's father abandoned the family and is not involved in helping support them any more. Venesa's mother used to work at a salon, but after Venesa's birth, she has been unable to work. They are now living with Venesa's grandmother, who does what she can to help. Without surgery for her spina bifida, Venesa risks paralysis of her lower limbs, infection of the exposed nerve tissue, and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Venesa's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 14th, at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. This procedure will hopefully spare Venesa from the risks associated with her condition, allowing her to experience a strong and healthy life. Venesa’s mother says: “Since she was born, I have no peace knowing that I can’t afford her treatment.”
Shee is a bright and caring 12-year-old girl from Thailand who likes to play the piano, listen to music, and help her caregiver garden with her friends. She lives with 30 students, including her younger brother, in the dormitory of Has Thoo Lei Learning Centre. She is currently in fifth grade, and her brother is in third grade. Both her and her brother's dormitory fees, including food and accommodations, are funded by a Christian nonprofit organization called Compassion Thailand. Both of her parents currently live in Burma and work as subsistence farmers. Her father also works as a day laborer. Shee's parents support her and her brother with their school fees and pocket money. For the past two years, Shee has dealt with femoral hernias. As a result of her condition, she experiences pain in her right groin, as well as pain and discomfort when she sits for a long period of time. When she plays with her friends or is active, the bulge increases in size. Her condition has progressively worsened, and she has had to miss school frequently as a result. Fortunately, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Shee's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 22nd. Once completed, she will hopefully be able to live more comfortably. Shee says, “I want to become a nurse when I grow up one day and help people in my community who are sick and need my help.”
Hebron is an adorable two-year-old baby boy. He is a charming boy who loves to play with his older sister. Hebron’s father is a teacher at a local college while Hebron's mother is a housewife. Despite working hard, it is difficult for Hebron’s father to make ends meet for their family. Hebron has been diagnosed with genu valgus, where his legs bow inward so that his knees touch. 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 difficulty walking and this worries his parents since his sister suffers the same condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Hebron. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 8th. Treatment will hopefully restore Hebron's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Hebron’s mother says, “Please help me, my children's legs are being deformed and we are worried."
Angel is a one-year-old girl from Haiti. She is her parent's first child. Her dad works as a taxi driver to support the family. Angel has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Angel's head has been increasing in circumference. Without treatment, Angel will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery that will treat her hydrocephalus at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on April 26th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Angel's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Angel will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Angel's parents are looking forward to her being able to grow up and play like other children.
Sreyda is a 26-year-old grocery seller with five siblings. She currently lives with her parents and her sister. Sreyda enjoys watching movies and spending time chatting with her relatives. Three years ago, Sreyda had a severe ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. This has now caused Sreyda to experience hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. Sreyda traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 19th, Sreyda will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear where ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is helping Sreyda and her family raise $926 to cover her procedure, medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sreyda says, "I'm really hoping all of the ear discharge will stop and my hearing will improve."
Joy is a curious, active, and happy six-year-old girl. Joy's father works at a construction site, and her mother is unwell and unable to work. She also has a twin sister, and both girls attend school. The family lives in their ancestral home. Joy has been diagnosed with severe to profound bilateral hearing loss and needs to be fitted for a hearing aid so that she can hear well. She is currently unable to speak and while she is able to attend school, she is unable to sit for exams due to her hearing loss. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Joy to get treatment and fitted for hearing aids. On April 8th, she will undergo the fitting and afterwards, her hearing should improve. Now, she and her family need help raising $1,171 to fund her care. Joy's mother shared, "our baby is so curious and anxious to go to school. Although she is unable to hear, she insists on accompanying her twin to school."
Daniel is a smart sixteen-year-old boy. He is the eldest in a family of three children and has been living with his aunt ever since he was a little boy. He joined the primary school at the age of nine and he passed his class 7 exams with flying colors. It is now getting difficult for him to walk to school due to a condition that started when he was in class six. He dreams of becoming an orthopedic doctor in the future. Daniel's aunt works as a security guard in a hospital in Arusha and her husband is a driver. They have four children of their own and they are also looking after Daniel. Daniel was diagnosed with genu valgus. His legs bow so that his knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. He used to enjoy playing soccer, but now he can no longer run as well as he used to. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Daniel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 17th. Treatment will hopefully restore Daniel's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Daniel shared, “There were lots of things I enjoyed doing like playing football and being able to walk and run easily, but due to my legs bending it is hard now.”
Yousos is a 26-year-old rice farmer who is married with has a four-year-old son and an eight-month-old son. Yousos enjoys reading and playing chess. In May 2019, Yousos was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a right hip fracture. Yousos sought treatment at a local hospital and was diagnosed with avascular necrosis. Yousos was also seen by a Khmer traditional healer, but his hip pain has persisted. Now Yousos's hip pain is so great, he can no longer walk. Fortunately, a neighbor told Yousos about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Yousos of his pain and allow him to walk easily. CSC is helping Yousos raise the $1,087 to cover the cost of the procedure scheduled for February 16th. Yousos is now hopeful to be more active and feel well again. He shared, "I hope I can walk easily again without pain."
Tabitha is a mother of four children and shared that her husband passed away few years ago. She works hard to find jobs, mostly doing laundry for people, to provide for her family. Over the years, she has managed to take care of her four children with the limited income she gets from her work. Last November, Tabitha noticed a worrisome bump and consulted with her daughters who advised her to visit a hospital. She gathered some funds and visited a hospital nearby, but was not able to receive any help. She went to another facility that referred her to our Medical Partner's care center Kijabe Hospital. There doctors have told Tabitha that she needs an urgent surgery. Tabitha has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been advised to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Tabitha. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 14th. After treatment, Tabitha will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Tabitha says, "I was very shocked when I learned about my condition and up to now, I do not know what to do as I cannot afford the surgery.”
Mu is a 17-year-old boy who lives with his sister in Mae Sot, Thailand. Before that, he lived with his parents, one older sister, two younger brothers and one younger sister in a refugee camp. His sister works at a non-governmental organisation helping others in need. Around mid-August, Mu woke up one morning with pain in his left knee. At first he thought that the pain would go away on its own and that it was nothing serious. However, when the pain remained a few days later, he told his sister about it. His sister bought him a type of Burmese pain reliever balm to apply on his knee. He applied the balm for a week, but he did not feel any better. When he and his sister noticed that his left knee had become slightly swollen his sister called their father. Mu’s father told them that it could be an ulcer and suggested that they go to a hospital or buy him pain medication to reduce swelling. His sister bought the medication their father had suggested at a pharmacy, and Mu took it for a week. However, he did not feel better, and the swelling did not decrease. Mu was able to have an MRI at Chiang Mai Hospital and now the doctor recommends he undergo surgery to remove a tumor on his left knee. Mu sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund and is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on December 17th. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care which will enable him to get off of using crutches and back to feeling well again. Mu said, "After I heard from the doctor that my leg does not need to be amputated, I feel so happy."