Sarah joined Watsi on January 12th, 2022. One year ago, Sarah joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Sarah's most recent donation supported Rose, a 62-year-old widow of two children from Malawi, to fund surgery to remove a portion of her thyroid gland causing swelling and pain.
Sarah has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 9 countries.
Sarah has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 9 countries.
Rose is a 62-year-old widow with two fully grown children. She lost her husband four years ago. Rose owns a small business where she sells sand and also performs garden maintenance for a small fee. Rose gets support from both children, who are married with children themselves now. She lives with her second-born child in a three-bedroom house without water and electricity. Rose likes doing house chores and enjoys eating nsima, a culinary tradition of Malawi, made from maize flour with vegetables. In 2014, Rose started experiencing pain when she swallowed. She visited the hospital near her home, where she was treated. The treatment worked for awhile until December of last year when her daughter noticed that Rose's neck was swollen on the right side. In March, Rose noticed that the swelling was getting larger and also causing consistent pain. Rose decided it was time to visit Kamuzu Central Hospital in Malawi where a scan revealed her mass had grown substantially and was stemming from the right thyroid lobe. Her doctor diagnosed her with a goiter and determined that surgery would be needed. Due to her financial challenges, Rose could not afford the surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. Rose met with a surgeon who confirmed her diagnosis and the need for surgical intervention called a thyroidectomy, which removes part or all of the thyroid gland. Rose believes the surgery will help her to get better and prevent her symptoms from impacting her day to day life, and allow her to focus on how good her life is. She was able to contribute $10 toward her care and is grateful to all to help her raise the $1,015 needed. Rose said, “Thank you donors for supporting me, I want to live my normal life.”
39-year-old Sopheap lives with his wife and two young children in rural Pailin province in Cambodia. Both Sopheap and his wife farm potatoes, and sometimes rice, for extra income. In his free time, Sopheap likes to play volleyball in the village. In early March, Sopheap was in a motorbike accident and suffered an injury to his back. X-rays showed a C6-7 dislocation of the spine. Since the accident, Sopheap has not been able to work, experiences numbness in his arm, and is unable to sleep comfortably through the night due to his pain. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Sopheap to receive treatment. On April 6th, doctors at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre will perform spinal surgery with implants to stabilize the spinal column. Now, Sopheap and his family need your help to raise $1,500 to fund the procedure and care. The money will cover the cost of hospitalization, surgery, implants, physical therapy, and medication. After recovery, Sopheap's condition should improve significantly, and he should have full mobility after four to eight weeks. Sopheap shared: "I want to be able to go back to work and support my family."
Kyi is a 57-year-old woman, living with her husband in Burma. They shared that together they do not have children and they love to dedicate their time to helping others in their community. Kyi's husband volunteers with the Karen Forestry Department, helps with household chores, and grows rice and vegetables, while also raising chickens for them to eat. Kyi works in a medical clinic helping patients and is training in emergency obstetric care in Thailand. Kyi experiences back and abdominal pain, fatigue and weakness, and other symptoms. Doctors determined that Kyi suffers from gallstones; she has been advised to have her gallbladder removed to heal her symptoms and prevent further complications with her health in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Kyi is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on April 7th, at Mae Sot General Hospital. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Kyi's procedure and care. Kyi is determined to have a big impact in her community and shared: "I want to be healthy so that I can devote my mind, body, and work to fully serving my people until my last breath.”
Peterson is a 24-year-old man from Haiti. He lives with his parents and younger sister in a city on the southern coast of the island. When he feels well enough, he helps his family with their market stand. Peterson has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Peterson urgently needs surgery, but this is not available within Haiti. So Peterson will fly to United States to receive treatment. On March 2nd, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing $15000 to pay for surgery. Peterson's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Peterson overseas. "I would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to fix my heart," said Peterson.
Marion is a 6-year-old student from the highlands of Elgeyo Marakwet county in Kenya. She is the second born in a family of three girls and currently attending preschool near her family home. Her parents are small-scale potato farmers. One day Marion's mother went to the river to fetch water. While she was gone, her children were sitting near an open fireplace at home making breakfast. Unfortunately, Marion's dress caught fire on the open flame, and as a result, she sustained severe burns on her back, abdomen and thighs. It has been difficult for her to walk, and the wounds are causing extreme discomfort. She especially needs a third surgery to treat the severity of her burns contractures. Despite Marion's parents having medical insurance, due to previous surgeries that she has had to treat the injuries, the insurance (a monthly subscription) has run its course and is no longer an option. Her parents do not have the funds to pay for Marion's surgery and need support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Marion receive treatment. On January 25th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery that will allow her to walk with greater ease and resume her normal life at home and school. Now, she and her family are requesting $1,478 to help fund this procedure. Marion's mother says, “I am really looking forward to seeing my daughter live and walk in a normal way. I worked hard to pay for insurance coverage, but unfortunately, it cannot fund the upcoming procedure. I am disappointed, but I will not lose hope. Kindly help her.”
Karim is a 10-year-old boy living in La Paz. He is in the fourth grade and really likes his math and science classes. Karim was born with a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. During surgery, doctors will sew the hole closed and remove the blockage from his valve so that blood can flow more normally. Karim's family needs $1500 to pay for his surgery. Karim's mother shared: "Our family will be praying for everyone who is helping Karim to get his surgery!"
Sai is a six-year-old kindergarten student. He lives with his parents and siblings (a 12-year-old brother who is in grade four and a 11-month-old sister) at Mae Sot District, Tak Province in Thailand. His father is a daily worker and works as a blacksmith. Sai’s mother is a homemaker who looks after the children at home. Sai was born with a healthy delivery however just after his sixth birthday, his mother noticed that Sai’s left eye was red. He told her that it was not painful, so they did not worry about it. In June 2022 though, his mother saw that there was a white dot in the pupil of Sai’s eye. When his mother covered Sai’s right eye and asked if he could see, he answered that he did not see clearly. Sai had his eyes checked at Mae Tao Clinic and the medic suspected that he had a cataract. He was sent to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. He was referred to the ophthalmology department which later the doctor diagnosed him with mature left eye cataract. Currently, Sai’s vision in his left eye is blurry and he has trouble seeing the board when he is in the classroom. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Sai. On December 9th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Sai's natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Sai’s mother said, “We cannot afford to take a loan (for the surgery) because we would have to pay the interest. There is less work during the pandemic and so it makes things very hard to have such a large loan. My words cannot express the thanks that I feel. It is so lucky for us to have the assistance from BCMF and donors.”
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.”
Mark is a primary school student in a special need school in Nairobi. Mark wears a broad smile and is feeling proud to take his photo and share his story. Mark is the firstborn in a family of two children. Mark's parents are both hawkers at a local market in Githurai. His father sells second-hand shoes famously known as Mitumba and his mother sells t-shirts at the same market. This work results in inconsistent income for their family. Mark has a fracture and dislocation of the shoulder joint and the upper part of the bone of the arm (humerus). As a result of his disability, Mark is unable to communicate the cause of the injury, but his mother suspects he fell a couple weeks ago and injured himself. Mark is unable to use his arm and hand as a result of the fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 5th, Mark will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal well and he will be able to use his arm and hand again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Mark's family raise $1,500 to fund this procedure. Mark's mother shared, “Mark is struggling to use his hand. He is in constant pain and it is written all over his face. Normally, he is a jovial kid but the pain is making him frown constantly.”
Alma is a 46-year-old woman, living with her sister and daughter in the Philippines. Their basic needs are sustained by her sister’s small business. In 2020, Alma developed a sore on the inside of her right cheek. The sore kept increasing in size, until her face became highly swollen. Because her family had insufficient financial resources, Alma was unable to seek help for her condition. Fortunately, Alma was referred to our partner care facility, the Our Lady of Peace Hospital. There, she was assessed, and diagnosed with a Buccal Mass. This condition begins when the cells that make up the inner cheek have abnormal growth, and form lesions or tumors. Alma needs to undergo surgery to remove the mass. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Alma to access the care that she needs. She is scheduled to undergo an excision of the mass on September 10th, at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. World Surgical Foundation Philippines is asking for your help to fund this procedure, for which they need $1,452. Alma shared: “I’ve lost my confidence since the lump is very visible on my face. This surgery is the answer to my prayers. Thank you so much WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for helping me!”
Latifa is a beautiful young girl and the second born of three children. She is charming and bright, and joined the first grade earlier this year. Latifa loves to sing the vowels and to color. Latifa's father is a casual laborer working at construction sites while her mother sells deep fried cakes outside their home every morning. Latifa was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus which causes her legs bow outward at the knees. Latifa's mother says she noticed the problem when Latifa was learning to walk. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she walks with a challenging gait and has exhaustion and pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Latifa. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 20th. Treatment will hopefully restore Latifa's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and decrease her risk of future complications. Latifa’s mother shared, “My daughter is struggling to walk, and her legs get worse every day. Please help her.”
Ronald is a middle-aged farmer from Kenya who is the thirdborn in a family of six. He and his family all live in semi-permanent houses and work as small-scale farmers. His father passed away years ago, so his mother, who is diabetic, was left to care for the children alone. Ronald studied up to the college level, but he could not secure a job in his field, so he now works as a casual laborer. He also helps his mother with house chores since she is sick and on medication, making it difficult for her to do them alone. With the income he earns through doing casual labor, Ronald helps support his family's basic day-to-day needs. Ronald was recently involved in a road traffic accident while traveling as a passenger on a motorbike. After his driver lost control due to being hit by another motorbike, they both fell on the tarmacked road, and the motorbike landed on Ronald's lower limbs. Fortunately, there were people around who helped them, but he could not manage to stand. He had to be lifted onto a passenger service vehicle, which took him to the hospital. Since he sustained an open fracture to his foot during the accident, it was treated as an emergency, and he was immediately taken to the operating room for cleaning and debridement. He was then admitted to the ward and is now waiting to undergo fracture repair surgery. He is currently in pain and unable to use his limb Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 12th, Ronald will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. After the procedure, he will no longer be in pain and will be able to walk and work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Ronald says, "I earn a living through casual jobs, which some are near and some are far from home. This state has actually brought me down. Please help me so that I may not be a burden once I am able to work.”