Stephen joined Watsi on November 7th, 2014. Eight years ago, Stephen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Stephen's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Noah, a lovable 3-year-old boy from Tanzania, to fund burn contracture surgery and skin graft on his left arm.
Stephen has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 12 countries.
Stephen has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 12 countries.
Noah is a young boy from Ngarenanyuki, a small village in the rural parts of Arusha, Tanzania. He is a member of a big family with seven siblings. His father is a livestock keeper and at their home, the young children are responsible for helping around with light house chores. In 2021, Noah was in the kitchen with some of his siblings, and he accidentally fell into a pot of boiling water. He was badly burnt on his left side of the elbow near the chest. His parents provided first aid to Noah, because they live in a remote area, and it was hard for them to get to the nearest hospital. Noah’s wounds healed eventually, but left him with a burn scar contracture. The contractures tighten the skin around the burn area, and it is difficult to move his hand. Noah came to our center during a medical camp and was assessed to find out if he was fit for the required treatment to help with the burn scar contracture. Noah's parents cannot afford treatment and are appealing for help. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Noah receive treatment. On October 12th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to release the tightening and help him move his hand easily. Now, he needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Noah’s mother says, "I was worried that that my boy will grow up with that deformity but with what I have seen here, he is going to be better.”
Tracey is a sweet and adorable newborn baby from Kenya who was born just over a week ago at a local government hospital. She is the youngest in a family of three children. To support their family, her parents both do casual labor for their neighbors. Tracey was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube condition in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Tracey is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and developmental delays. Her parents share that they do not have insurance and are unable to pay for their daughter's needed treatment due to financial constraints. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Tracey's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 8th. This procedure will hopefully spare Tracey from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Tracey’s mother says, “When I got more informed about her condition, I felt bad. I just want her to be treated and be well.”
Samwel, a very social and hardworking Kenyan father of eight children, is an active maize farmer who likes spending most of his time on his farm. He works hard to meet the needs of his family. His wife takes care of their home and helps him in his daily farming activities. Samwel lives with his family in a semi-permanent house in their farm. His elder children are married, and they also work hard to meet their own families' basic needs. Samwel presented to the emergency department with cuts on his left wrist joint and on his knees after an assault with a machete by a person known to him. This was brought up by family conflicts due to land disputes. Doctors diagnosed that he had multiple tendon injuries with nerve injuries in his wrist and an open fracture of his left distal femur in his leg. He is in pain and cannot walk with ease. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help him heal and get active again. On September 5th, Samwel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Samwel will no longer experience pain. He will go back to his family and continue with his farm activities. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Samwel says, “I have so much pain, but I am happy to be alive. I hope to get treated, go back home and be with my family.”
Simon is a 20-year-old who, since he was a little boy, he has worked selling goods at a nearby open market. He has no stable source of income and is currently unable to work due to his medical condition. His single mother is unable to support him. Fortunately, his friend is allowing him to stay in their single room close to the city market. Two years ago, Simon began experiencing pain in his left knee, causing him to limp as he walked. His pain eventually spread to his hip. He now cannot walk without a walking stick and has an infected hip and knee, which are limiting his mobility. After receiving a CT scan, Simon was diagnosed with septic arthritis, which is inflammation of a joint caused by an infection, and sequelae of the hip. In hopes to help his condition, Simon visited visited Kenyatta National Hospital. He has since been on medical follow-up for septic arthritis at the facility without any surgical intervention. He eventually had to stop attending the follow-up clinics due to a lack of financial resources. Fortunately, a friend told Simon about our medical partner's care center, and he traveled there to receive treatment. Now, Simon is scheduled to undergo a treatment on July 8th. This will hopefully finally help heal his condition and relieve his pain. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to fund his treatment. Simon shares, “I can barely move my leg without support from this walking stick. My hip is painful and my knee is just unbearable. I cannot work in my condition and therefore am struggling to survive.”
Elka is a 13-month-old baby who lives in Haiti with her parents. Both of her parents are hardworking vendors in their local market. Elka was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, meaning blood leaks through a hole between two blood vessels located near her heart. This leaves her feeling weak and short of breath. Since the required treatment is not available in Haiti, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Elka travel to the Dominican Republic where she will be able to access the care she needs. On July 28th, she will undergo a procedure where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole so blood can flow without issue through her body. Elka's family is looking to raise $1,500 to fund her necessary care, treatment, and travel. Elka also has a cleft lip and palate, so once her heart condition is treated, a team of doctors will soon be able to perform another surgery to repair this condition and help her have a healthier future and a full life ahead. Her mother says, "I am looking forward to my daughter growing up as a normal healthy child!"
Jane is a happy, talkative farmer and mother of ten. Jane leases out some of her lands to help provide for her children’s education since her health condition has made it too difficult for her to farm. Jane's family has recently had very hard times and she is hopeful that better days are ahead. A few months ago, Jane began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty breathing. She visited the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a goiter, which is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. Jane will need to undergo surgery to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Jane receive treatment. On April 12th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy, in which surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $936 to help fund this procedure. Jane shared, "The people I looked up to just perished. Kindly help me so that I may get back to work and be able to raise my other children.”
Moses is a seven-year-old boy. His father shared that he is jovial and active, just as most of the kids his age, however, he is not doing well in school because he has had reduced hearing in both ears. Moses has been diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss. He requires bilateral amplification, and is scheduled for treatment and fittings of hearing aids in both ears to help him pick up voices and be able to study well. The income from his father's work as a tout in the transport industry is inconsistent and, therefore, not sufficient to cover the scheduled procedure. His mother recently traveled to the UAE to work as a domestic worker, but they are not able to gather the funds needed for his care. His family is requesting financial help them pay the $1,171 cost for his treatment and care. Moses' father shared, “Our kid is eager to go to school. He always accompanies his sibling to school although he is not examined yet. If he gets the hearing aids, they will help him study well."
Thein is a 56-year-old man who lives with his family in a refugee camp. Two of his daughters and his son-in-law work as seasonal workers outside of the camp, while Thein and his wife look after their three grandchildren, send them to school, and care for the household chores. In January, Thein was diagnosed with a cataract in his right eye and an early cataract in his left eye. Currently, he cannot see with his right eye, as his vision is blurry, and the vision in his left eye is also beginning to blur. As a result, Thein cannot walk easily and relies on a bamboo staff to help stabilize him as he tries to avoid tripping on any objects in his path. He shared that he feels discomforted and like he is living in darkness. Fortunately, Thein was able to visit our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), and they can help him heal. On March 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Thein shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will help my family plant and water vegetables around the house. It can save us money from buying the vegetables. I can help send my grandchildren to school and pick them up in the evening. I will also be able to visit my friend.”
Langeda is a charming 23-month-old boy and the only child to his mother. Langeda’s parents work as livestock keepers who sell cattle to provide for their family. When he was five months old, Langeda was in bed while his mother was outside doing chores. He woke up and rolled off the bed, and his hand went into a bedside fire. He sustained severe burns and was treated at home using traditional medicine, however, he now has limited use of his hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Langeda receive treatment. On March 2nd, surgeons will perform a burn contracture release surgery so that he can use his hand freely. Now, he and his family need help raising $874 to fund his procedure and care. Langeda’s mother was grateful that support for her son was now possible and shared, "we have never sought treatment for our son due to lack of money."
Daw Khin is a 45-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her parents, who are retired and supported by Daw Khin's sister, who earns an income from renting out their land. Daw Khin used to work as a teacher before her condition made it difficult for her to continue teaching her students. Around June 2020, Daw Khin began to feel very tired and experienced heart palpitations. She shared that it felt like she could not breathe while teaching. Because these episodes happened infrequently, she did not seek treatment at the time; however, in December 2020, her condition worsened, and she went to a local hospital. After receiving an electrocardiogram, doctors determined she has an enlarged heart and an abnormal heartbeat and prescribed medication to help Daw Khin feel better. Since Daw Khin's symptoms continued, her sister brought her to a cardiologist in April 2021. Upon review, Daw Khin's condition was diagnosed as an atrial septal defect, a birth condition in which there is a hole in the wall that divides the upper chambers of the heart. The cardiologist informed her that she would need surgery, but the cost was too high for Daw Khin's family, so they returned home with medications. Daw Khin currently experiences headaches, difficulty sleeping, and fatigue and heart palpitations when talking or walking short distances. Fortunately, a friend visited Daw Khin in June and told her about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Daw Khin contacted BCMF and learned that BCMF will be able to help her finally heal. On February 6th, she will undergo an atrial septal defect (ASD) closure. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund her procedure. Daw Khin shared, "I would like to teach all my students again in the future. I like teaching students."
Chorn is a hardworking man from Takeo province in Cambodia. He has three daughters and ten grandchildren. He lives with his wife who is a farmer. In his free time, Chorn likes to play with his grandchildren and listen to the radio. Chorn had an unfortunate electric burn on his right arm and chest last month. After the burn, his family took him to a local clinic for medication, but his wound has become infected. The skin on his right arm and chest has necrosed. Chorn has a loss of sensation on the fifth finger, the muscle has wasted away and he is in a lot of pain. He and his wife travelled two and a half hours to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, for a diagnosis and treatment. Fortunately, surgeons plan to do a debridement and exploration of the ulnar nerve on the right arm to help him. Chorn needs $541 to cover the surgery, inpatient care and medication. After surgery, Chorn hopes his right arm will function and his wound heal soon. He shared how important it is for him to use his hand again to be able to work and feed his family.
Nat is a 48-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He is married and has 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren. Two of his daughters are married, and the other lives at home and is a seller of fish in the local market. His wife is a farmer and a fish seller too. For at least 7 months, Nat has experienced pain in his right hip. He was treated at a clinic by injection but only had brief relief from the pain. He visited our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) in April but was unable to have surgery due to the pandemic. Nat returned recently and is in constant pain from his right hip. He is unable to walk without a crutch, his gait is unbalanced, and he is now unable to work. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Nat of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for November 24th, and Nat needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. "I hope the pain in my hip will go away and I can return to farming and supporting my family," shared Nat.