United States • Born on July 2nd
Byron joined Watsi on September 2nd, 2015. Eight years ago, Byron joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Byron's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Salmin, a newborn from Tanzania, to fund surgery so he can walk easily as he grows.
Byron has funded healthcare for 111 patients in 15 countries.
Byron has funded healthcare for 111 patients in 15 countries.
Meet Salmin, an adored newborn baby from Tanzania and the youngest in his family of four children. His father is a soldier and must spend most of his time away from home, and his mother is a teacher. Salmin was born with clubfoot on his right foot and hyperextension on his left knee. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Salmin’s parents want to ensure he receives the best care to grow up to live a healthy and fulfilling life. When they learned about our medical partner’s care center, they brought him in for assessment and treatment. Salmin will first receive non-surgical care that involves gentle manipulation and casting of his right foot. Over the course of several weeks, Salmin’s foot angle will gradually improve; then, he will undergo tenotomy surgery on May 16th. After treatment, Salmin will be able to walk easily as he grows and reaches the walking stage. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $935 to fund Salmin’s surgery. Salmin’s mother said: “I have been constantly worried since I got news of my son’s condition. I am hopeful that with the right treatment, he will be fine.”
Janet is a 6-year-old girl from Tanzania. She is a bright-eyed, curious girl living in a remote village called Manyus, Tanzania. She is the second youngest of five children, raised by her hardworking parents, who do everything possible to provide for their family. Her father is a farmer and cattle breeder; however, due to the fluctuating prices of crops and cows, he struggles to make enough money to provide for his family. From a young age, Janet's legs started bowing, making it difficult to walk, run, or play like other children her age. Janet was able to reach our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), where she was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. Her legs bow outward so that her knees do not touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, often stemming from contaminated drinking water. AMH is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Janet. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 17th. Treatment will hopefully restore Janet's mobility, allow her to participate in various activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Janet’s mother says, “We are concerned about her future. I hope my daughter will be better after this treatment.”
Kidus is a cute and playful little boy. He loves playing with toys and football with other children. His favorite food is Shiro (Ethiopian staple food) and meat. He also loves watching cartoons and is good at observing and imitating some characters from cartoon shows. He is the only child in the family. His dad is a tailor, employed at a local tailor shop. His father uses the little income to provide food for their family and pay rent. Kidus was born with a congenital anomaly called bladder exstrophy and he underwent surgery at BethanyKids with Watsi's support in 2021 to heal this condition. He was also born with a congenital anomaly called epispadias and has an inguinal hernia. Now he is scheduled for epispadias and right inguinal hernia repair. Epispadias impacts his ability to urinate and puts him at risk of future complications. Kidus is now much more playful than beforeand his family can see how intelligent he is. His family also shared how very much better psychologically they feel after his first treatment. But they are still worried about his urinary condition. He is now scheduled for the two surgeries that will take place simultaneously, and his family needs financial support. Kidus' father said, “Kidus means the world to me. To see him completely well will bring me so much joy. I want him to have a great personality with a kind heart; just like the amazing people helping him recover and become healthy. I really hope that he becomes a doctor in the future and helps those who are in need.”
Meet Nafissa. She is a 25-year old woman who shared that she tends to be very shy and reserved. She lives with her parents and her young child in an area of Burkina Faso where conflict is currently impacting their lives deeply. When she was a child, Nafissa developed a painful growth on the left side of her chin. This swelling in her lower jawbone affected her ability to eat, and was determined to be a benign tumor that needed to be removed. Her parents were able to secure the funds to send Nafissa to a hospital in Togo, where she could be treated at no cost to her family. The growth was removed, and for several years, Nafissa did well. However, the growth recurred, and in the middle of last year, Nafissa returned to Togo, where the second growth was excised. This time, however, the surgeon determined that her whole jawbone would also need to be removed. As the doctor in Togo did not have the necessary training to perform the surgery that Nafissa needed, he referred her to a physician with our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. Miraculously, Nafissa is now scheduled for a major jaw surgery with the leading team at AIC Kijabe Hospital in Kenya. As Nafissa's husband abandoned her because of her condition, and provides no support to Nafissa or their child, Nafissa and her parents are looking to you to help fund the $1,500 procedure, which will finally relieve Nafissa of the pain and symptoms that result from the tumor. Nafissa says: “It pains me that I have to stay at home with no friends. Making it worse, I cannot work to provide for my child.”
Nuru is a young girl with a big family. Her father is a cattle breeder. Cattle breeding has been hard for the past few years because of climate change, so the cattle have been dying because of starvation. Nuru has always wished to go to school, but it has been hard for her to start because the nearest school is located around 6 km away from home and her condition makes it impossible for her to walk that distance every day. Nuru was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus. Her legs bow inward so that her 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, Nuru has a difficult time walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Nuru. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 6th. Treatment will hopefully restore Nuru's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Nuru’s father says, “My daughter has been suffering for a while. I wish for her to be able to do what she wishes independently.”
Mary lives with her husband and 5-year-old child in Kenya. She is 28 years old and works as a laborer on farms. Her husband does labor jobs when we can get them at construction sites. Their combined income is inconsistent, and they have no savings or medical insurance. Mary has been unwell for a while now. She had a hemorrhagic stroke in January of this year, which has mostly been resolved. However, an ultrasound revealed that she has a right ovarian serous cystadenoma. These are abnormal growths that need to be removed. If left untreated, they can turn into cancer (serous carcinomas). Mary needs surgery, but cannot afford it. She is scheduled for an oophorectomy procedure, which is the surgical removal of an ovary or ovaries. This surgery will cost $1074, and she needs help raising the payment. Mary says, "I am in so much pain and need treatment. If left untreated I am scared of losing my life.”
Andy lives in a neighborhood of La Paz with his parents and younger sister; he is in the fifth grade and likes playing video games and spending time with his friends and family. Andy was born with a heart condition called ventricular septal defect: a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart, and blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. During surgery, doctors will sew a patch over this hole to close it. His surgery costs $1,500, and Andy's family needs help to pay for it. Andy's mother said, "Our family is very hopeful that after this surgery Andy will have more energy and will grow bigger and stronger!"
Mu is a 34-year-old wife and mother, living in Thailand. Mu lives with her husband, son, and two daughters in Mae Sot, Tak Province. Their family moved from Yangon, Burma to Thailand 14 years ago, in search of better job opportunities. Today, Mu is a homemaker, her son is a student, while her two daughters are still too young to study. Her husband is a dockworker in Mae Sot. Because their income is insufficient to cover their daily expenses, they sometimes have to borrow money from a neighbor. About two years ago, Mu developed a femoral hernia. Because of the hernia, Mu experiences severe pain in her left groin area, and she also has a lump that has been increasing in size, and which hangs down when she walks. Mu is very stressed about her condition, and because of chronic discomfort, she has been unable to keep up with her daily tasks. Fortunately, with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Mu is scheduled for hernia repair surgery on October 27th, at Mae Sot General Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of Mu's surgery and care, which should enable Mu to return to a life without the hardship she experiences now. Mu said: “I feel like I have to hold myself so this will not fall down when I walk, which makes me feel very uncomfortable. I want to receive surgery soon so that I can work to earn more money in the future. Now, my baby—our youngest daughter—is older so I will find a job after I have fully recovered from surgery.”
Samuel is a hard working man from Kenya who gets jobs at a construction site in Narok town. He lives in his ancestral home with his siblings - his parents passed on several years ago. Six days ago, Samuel was attacked by unknown people on his way home in the evening. He has a swollen face, is unable to chew, and is also unable to use his right hand. He was taken to a nearby health center by well-wishers for emergency care from where he was referred to a government facility, and thence to Kijabe Hospital. Kijabe doctors have recommended two surgeries to heal his fractures. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help him to get the care he needs. On September 30th, Samuel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, to fix the fractures in his jaw and hand. Samuel's income is inconsistent, and is not enough to pay for the surgery. He does not have medical coverage and has been depending on well-wishers to pay for his medical bill. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Samuel shared with us, “I can only take liquid meals. My mouth is painful and swollen. I am also unable to use my right hand. I cannot work to buy food, and I cannot even eat the food I struggle to get because of the injuries.”
Yi is a 67-year-old woman from Bruma who lives in a monastery with 40 other monks, nuns, and villagers. Although she does not have an income, all of her basic needs are met by the monastery. Yi enjoys spending most of her time reading religious books. Over 15 years ago, Yi's vision in her right eye became blurred, but she did not seek treatment because she thought it was simply something that was destined to occur due to her aging process. However, she eventually sought medical care at a hospital with the support of donors because her vision progressively worsened. There, she was diagnosed with a cataract and was scheduled to undergo repair surgery. On the day she was supposed to receive treatment, her son unfortunately passed away, so she did not return to the hospital for the procedure. Over the next couple of years, Yi began to also experience blurred vision in her left eye. The vision in both of her eyes deteriorated to the point where she could no longer recognize people. Fortunately, she was able to undergo cataract surgery of her left eye two months ago with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Now, she is scheduled to undergo cataract surgery on August 10th. During this procedure, surgeons will perform a lens replacement on her right eye. BCMF is requesting $769 to cover the total cost of Yi's procedure and care. Yi shares, "As long as I am alive, I want to see and I do not want to depend on others to help me. I felt so happy when I learned that donors will pay for the cost of my surgery. Thank you so much to all the donors.”
Treshass is a three-week-old baby. She is the only child in her family. Her parents are hardworking and already are learning to be exceptional parents. Her father depends on casual labor jobs, while her mother has established a small local business selling groceries. They live near the city and the current inflation and high standard of living makes it difficult for them to provide even basic needs for their family. They are worried if their child will live a full life because they are not in a position to fund her medical bill. Treshass has clubfoot of both legs. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Treshass's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Treshass's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to grow with her legs being straight and walking with ease. Treshass's father says, “When we heard of the work and treatment offered here, we decided to visit. We hope our baby will receive the required treatment."
Sarai is a sweet and friendly three-year-old girl from Bolivia who has Down syndrome. She lives in a small indigenous community in the mountains of central Bolivia with her parents, who are both farmers, and her five siblings. She is a friendly little girl who loves making new friends and blowing kisses to everyone she meets! Sarai 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 her body, leaving her feeling weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Sarai is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 28th 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, allowing blood to properly flow through her body and improving her quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Sarai'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 Sarai and her family can travel to receive her life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Sarai's mother shares, "Our family is all praying that our daughter will become healthy and strong after this surgery!"