Stephen joined Watsi on November 7th, 2014. Nine years ago, Stephen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Stephen's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Charles, a future doctor from Kenya, to fund corrective surgery.
Stephen has funded healthcare for 101 patients in 13 countries.
Stephen has funded healthcare for 101 patients in 13 countries.
Charles is a fifth-grade student from Kenya. Charles wants to be a doctor in the future. He is the only son in his family. Charles is being raised by his maternal grandmother. His mother left him when he was a small boy and his father’s whereabouts are not known. He is unable to get medical coverage because he does not have a birth certificate and cannot be included in the grandmother’s coverage. They live in their ancestral home in Maai Maahiu. Charles was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Charles has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Charles will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on January 5th. AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Charles Grandmother says, “He has started being conscious of himself. This condition will affect his self-esteem if not helped.”
56 year old Sylvia lives with her sister in the Philippines. As she has no family of her own, she takes care of her sister's home to earn money for her personal expenses. Several years ago Sylvia began to experience troubling symptoms, including cough, itchiness and pain in the area around her throat. In June she was examined at our medical partner's care center Our Lady of Peace Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a multinodular, non-toxic goiter. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is able to help Sylvia receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on November 25th at Our Lady of Peace Hospital, when surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP needs your help to raise the remaining $935 to cover the cost of Sylvia's procedure and care. Sylvia said: "This operation is very important to me since it will help me go back to doing my usual chores properly. I'm very grateful to Watsi and its donors for helping me with my expenses for this life-changing surgery."
Khin is a 49-year-old refugee living with her father, her daughter and her younger sister in a refugee camp, in Tak Province along the Thail-Burma border. Her family fled from Karen State, Burma to Thailand in 2017 because of the conflict in their area. Khin’s father is retired and her daughter is a student. Khin’s sister looks after their retired father at home. Khin Mar is a day labourer in the camp. However, the job is not available every day. Every month her family receives 1,200 baht (approx. 40 USD) on a cash card from the organization The Border Consortium. This amount combined with her monthly salary is enough to cover their daily needs. They receive free basic health care provided by the International Rescue Committee in the camp but surgical care is not available there. In the middle of 2023, Khin noticed pain in her lower abdomen. Still, she did not go to the hospital or clinic as she thought the process was normal for women who are getting older and close to menopause. However, in the beginning of November, she noticed that the pain worsened and now the pain is constant. She visited the hospital in the camp, where the medic gave her some medication and she returned home. The pain did not resolve and continued. On 13 November, she returned to the hospital in the camp where she met with the doctor and the doctor performed an ultrasound for her and told her that there is a mass in her uterus. The doctor told her that they will refer her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) where she received another ultrasound, and the doctor diagnosed her with uterine myoma - a benign tumour in the uterus and also told her that she needs surgery to remove the mass as well as her whole uterus. Khin has been experiencing lower abdominal pain and back pain almost every day now. She cannot sleep as she worries that if she receives surgery, she will not be able to work and will not have income. At the same time, she also feels hard to perform her job well as she feels that her back pain makes it worse for her when she washes clothes. If left untreated, Khin's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Khin is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy which will heal her condition on December 4th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. After surgery, she will no longer in pain and she will be able to continue her job comfortably like before. Khin said, “if I do not work, I worry that I will not have enough income for my family and also when I heard that I need surgery, I worry about the surgery cost. When I heard that there will be a donor for me, my father and I are very happy as we know we cannot afford to pay for this expensive surgery.”
Mai is a 46-year-old mother from Thailand. She resides with her husband, and son in a refugee camp along the Thai-Burma border. She works as a seamstress, her husband sells snacks and her son is a tutor. Mai has been unwell since 2015 and doctors advise her to undergo a hysterectomy. If left untreated, Mai's pain and symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Mai said, "I felt very happy when I found out that Watsi would support my treatment. Thank you so much for your assistance. It means a lot to me and my family.”
Baraka is a 15-year-old boy who is in fifth grade, and resides with his uncle in Arusha. Seven of Baraka's ten siblings have passed away, as has his mother, after a prolonged bout of ill health. Baraka's father lives in a different region of the country, and has entrusted his care to the uncle, who has six children of his own. When Baraka was a young child, he fell onto a lighted stack of firewood while playing. He sustained severe burns - which were successfully treated - but which have left him with residual scar contractures around his mouth, and on and under his arm. Baraka lived with these contractures for a long time, until he met a neighbor, who told Baraka and his uncle about Plaster House. Baraka's uncle was unable to bring Baraka to Plaster House, so their neighbor, Charles, undertook to do so. Baraka is looking forward to treatment, as the contractures have negatively affected his confidence when he is interacting with other people. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Baraka receive the care that he needs. On August 16th, surgeons will perform burn contracture release surgery, which will enable Baraka to have improved mobility, functionality and appearance. Now, he needs your help to fund this $874 procedure. Baraka says: “I desire an improvement in my facial appearance. Right now, I lack confidence in how I look. I hold the hope that this treatment will bring about a substantial transformation in my appearance.”
Wayen is an 8-month-old baby from Haiti. He lives with his mother, grandmother, and two older siblings in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. His mother works as a market vendor. Wayen has a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, which means that a hole exists between two major blood vessels near his heart. Blood leaks through this hole, leaving him weak and short of breath. The surgery he needs is not available in Haiti, so Wayen will travel to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On September 13th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will insert a catheter into the hole and expand a device to plug it, so that blood can no longer leak through it. Gift of Life International is contributing $3,000 towards the cost of the surgery, and Wayen's family needs help with the remaining $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. This money will also support passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner International Cardiac Alliance who will accompany Wayen's family overseas. Wayen's mother shared, "I will be praying for everyone who is helping my son to become healthy."
Peter is a 28-year-old artisan from Kenya. He creates and sells lampshades made from recycled materials to support his family. Peter's wife stays at home with their three-year-old daughter. In his free time, Peter and his friends run a boxing group that helps keep unemployed youths around his home area busy. One month ago, Peter sustained a fracture to his right pinky while boxing. He went to a local health facility where he received pain medication. However, Peter saw no improvement in his pain. He currently can't work or grip using his right hand and is at risk for future complications. Peter sought out care again, and his doctors recommended he undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. However, Peter's medical coverage is not currently active and he can't afford the surgery on his own. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 21st, Peter will undergo surgery to repair his fracture. After surgery, he will be able to grip objects again and resume work. Now, AMH is requesting $979 to fund this procedure. Peter says, “I use my hand to work. I am unable to make the lampshades because my hand is injured, this is what I use to earn a living. I hope to get treatment to be able to go back to my Jua-Kali work and feed my family
Darwin, a two-year-old toddler, resides with his parents and older sister in a small mining community nestled in the mountains of central Bolivia. Darwin was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and in need of supplemental nasal oxygen. The only way to treat his condition is through Congenital Cardiac Surgery. Skilled doctors at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría aim to close this hole using a patch, enabling blood to flow more naturally. Presently, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking assistance in raising the necessary funds of $1,500 for this crucial procedure. Your support would have a profound impact on Darwin's life and well-being. Edwin's mother said: "I am hopeful that Darwin will be able to be a normal and healthy child once his surgery is over."
Sophea is a 27-year-old father of two from Cambodia. He lives in a small village with his wife and two sons. Sophea and his wife plant and harvest vegetables to sell from their street cart and provide food for their family's consumption. Twelve years ago, Sophea developed an ear infection that caused a cholesteatoma, or abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind his ear drum. As a result, Sophea experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. It is difficult for him to hear at home and with his customers. Sophea traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 6th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $926 to fund this procedure, which covers all medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sophea also contributed $100 towards his care. Sophea shared that he hopes this surgery will relieve him of symptoms and allow him to finally be able to hear again.
Sayuni, who is 4 years old, lives with her mother and two siblings in Tanzania. Sayuni's mother sells local bites like buns and Vitumbua- coconut rice pancakes- by the roadside to try and make ends meet. Sayuni was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, which causes her legs to bow outward at the knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, stemming from the consumption of contaminated drinking water. As a result of her condition, Sayuni has a difficult time walking and playing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Sayuni. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 17th, at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. Treatment should restore Sayuni's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Sayuni’s mother says: “I have hope that my daughter will be able to walk better after the treatment.”
Wideline is a 27 year old woman from Haiti. She lives in Port-au-Prince with her sister and her sister's family. She has not been working because of her illness, but would like to return to school to study business once she is able. Wideline has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect and ventricular septal defect. Wideline was born with two holes in her heart, one between the upper chambers and another between the lower chambers. Blood leaks through these holes without passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. It is extremely rare for someone to live to Wideline's age with this untreated condition. Because the care that she needs is not available in Haiti, Wideline will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On March 1st, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will use patches to close the holes so that blood can no longer leak through them. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing $15,000 to help pay for surgery. Wideline'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 Wideline overseas. Wideline shared: "I am so excited to finally be able to live a more normal life!"
Emmanuel is a 39-year-old father of two from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He lives with his wife and children and works in sales at an electronics store. He has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. There is a hole between the two upper chambers of his heart, which causes blood to leak out without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Because the care he needs is not available in Haiti, Emmanuel will fly to the United States to undergo cardiac surgery on February 27th. Doctors will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital is contributing $10,000 to help pay for this surgery. His family now needs $1,500 to help fund costs of the surgery preparations, including labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments, and travel expenses. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance will accompany Emmanuel overseas and ensure he safely undergoes treatment. Emmanuel says, "I am excited for this surgery so that I can focus on taking care of my family without worrying about my health."