Kevin joined Watsi on November 6th, 2014. Eight years ago, Kevin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Kevin's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Kalyan, a 13-year-old girl from Cambodia, to fund spinal surgery.
Kalyan, a 13-year-old seventh grader, lives with her mother and brother in Kandal province in Cambodia. She enjoys studying home economics and Khmer literature and would like to be a singer when she grows up. Kalyan was born with a spinal condition called listhesis, which is an unnaturally mobile vertebra that moves, leaves its normal position, and can cause different complaints when it compresses nerves and other vertebrae. Listhesis can be caused by a bone abnormality, trauma from an accident or injury, or result from a fracture or a tumor. Pinched nerves and chronic back pain are common symptoms of this condition, as is loss of flexibility and possible paralysis. Kalyan is frequently unable to attend school due to her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. Specialty surgeons at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre can fuse her spine to avoid any further damage to Kalyan's back, while also alleviating her pain. Kalyan and her mother need your help to raise the $1,500 cost of the surgery, implants, hospitalization, and post-op medication. After recovery from the procedure, which is scheduled for February 7th, Kalyan's spine will be more stable, and she will be able to engage in all of the normal activities of a 13-year-old. Kalyan's mother shared: "I hope my daughter will no longer have pain and she can go back to school."
Thanh is from Kampot province in Cambodia, and he and his wife are durian fruit farmers. They have a three-year-old daughter. In his free time, Thanh enjoys exercising, playing chess, and fishing. He also enjoys taking walks with his wife and daughter along the river. In January 2020, Thanh was in a motorbike collision and fractured his right tibia. He had an open reduction with an external fixation device at a local hospital, which was removed several months later. Unfortunately, the surgical site has become infected, with an exposed tibial bone. Thanh has chronic pain and cannot rid himself of the infection. He is unable to walk and feels ashamed that his wife must do much of the management of their small farm that supports their family. Thanh and his family traveled three hours to Children's Surgical Centre, where surgeons recommended debridement of the infected wound and a reverse sural flap. This technique is used to reconstruct defects in the lower part of the leg. Now, Thanh needs help with the $991 cost of this treatment. The cost includes surgery, medications, hospital care, and post-op rehabilitation. Thanh's wife shared: "My husband has been unable to walk or work for more than two years, which has been hard on our family. I hope that the doctors can fix his leg so he can walk well again and help manage the farm."
Vichea is a 37-year-old soft drink seller from Cambodia. He is married and has two daughters and one son. When he is not working, Vichea enjoys playing with his small son and helping his wife at home. When he was six, Vichea had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. Because of this, Vichea experiences hearing loss, discharge, and pain. It is difficult for him to communicate with others, and the pain and discharge disrupts his sleep. The medications to alleviate his symptoms are expensive and have not treated the problem. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Vichea receive treatment. He traveled to CSC's care center where, on November 16th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During the procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Now, he needs help raising $926 to fund his procedure and care. Vichea shared, "I hope my hearing improves and my ear heals."
Puthnea is a hardworking 17-year-old from Cambodia who works for a private construction company in a province outside of Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital city. He has two younger sisters, both of whom are currently in school. His parents are rice and vegetable farmers. On March 24th, Puthnea was in a motorcycle accident that fractured his left tibia. His family took him to a government hospital where he stayed for 19 days and doctors fixated external hardware in attempts to heal the fracture. However, his wound became infected, and he is now experiencing pain, discharge, and knee stiffness. When Puthnea learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On August 11th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin flap procedure to treat the infected wound and heal his leg. Now, he needs help to fund this $673 procedure. Puthnea says, "I hope I can walk again after this surgery."
Titus is a hardworking 24-year-old from Kenya. He is the only child to his single mother, who sells tea and porridge at the market. Due to their financial situation, Titus was compelled to drop out of high school and do casual labor jobs to support his mother. Together with his mother, they live in his uncles’ home who is a small-scale farmer. Titus also helps his uncle with farm work. A month ago, Titus fell at work and his hand was cut by a sharp object. Titus went to a nearby facility where his wound was sutured because the fracture was open, and a splint was applied in order to stabilize the fracture. Now he cannot work using his hand and therefore he depends entirely on his mother. When he realized that there was no improvement of his injury, Titus visited a nearby facility where he was referred to our medical partner's care center Kapsowar Hospital. On physical examination, the surgeon told him that he required an urgent surgery in order to repair his tendon and fix his fracture which had taken time to heal. Titus has no medical insurance and is worried about how he can pay for the care he needs. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 27th, Titus will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Titus will be able to go back to his work and continue to earn a living. He will be able to assist his mother. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $941 to fund this procedure. Titus says, “I get my income through working with my hands. Now that I cannot use them, I feel so bad. I don’t want to burden my mother who is also struggling. Kindly help me.”
Peter is a 75-year-old man from central Kenya who has never been married and has no children. He is the thirdborn in a family of 10 siblings, all of whom are now adults. Peter previously worked on his small farm to support his basic needs, but he had to begin depending on his family members once he grew older and became unable to continue farming. On July 12th, Peter was hit by a sports motorcycle, causing him to sustain an injury to his left leg. An X-ray was taken at a nearby hospital, which showed that Peter fractured his left tibia and fibula. If left untreated, he risks developing a bone infection, since it is an open fracture. His injury can also result in a malunion, meaning the bones may not heal in their proper position, potentially impairing functioning of the bones and limb. Fortunately, his brother brought him to our medical partner's care center. On August 15th, Peter will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help ensure he heals properly, and it will allow him to walk again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Peter says, “My brothers have been feeding me, but this is too much for them. They have no money to pay for my treatment. Please help so that at least I can be able to move around and also become less of a burden.”
Stephen is a hardworking 29-year-old from Kenya. He lives with his single mother and his ten-year-old son. To support his mother and son, he works at a barber shop. Four months ago, Stephen fell from a tree while he was fetching firewood for his mother. This fall caused a closed fracture of his right hand. This condition has profoundly affected Stephen, not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. He currently experiences a lot of pain and can no longer work. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 8th, Stephen will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The procedure will heal his fracture and alleviate his pain. After receiving treatment, he will be able to return to his barber shop business and generate income for his mother and son. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Stephen shares, "Already my mother has been taking care of me and my son. I desperately need help so that I can regain my own self, start working to support my son, and not be dependent on my mother.”
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!"
Dawiskenley is a toddler from Haiti who lives with his aunt, uncle and cousins in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Dawiskenley's mother and father live nearby and visit him regularly. Dawiskenley enjoys going to preschool and playing with his cousins. Dawiskenley has a cardiac condition called tricuspid endocarditis, one of the four valves of his heart has been infected and can no longer pump blood properly. The treatment that Dawiskenley needs is not available in Haiti, so he needs to fly to the Cayman Islands to undergo heart surgery. On May 25th, surgeons will attempt to repair the damaged valve so that it can pump blood more normally. Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for surgery. Our medical partners, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is requesting $1,500 to help Dawiskenley's family cover labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker who will accompany Dawiskenley's family overseas to support his treatment and care. Dawiskenley's uncle shared, "Our family is very grateful that so many people want to help Dawiskenley become healthy!"
Ruth is a two-year-old girl who lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, which is the capital of the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. She is her parent's first child. Ruth was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus, which causes blood to leak through a hole between two major blood vessels near her heart. The condition makes it difficult for Ruth's small heart to fully function. Fortunately, her condition is highly treatable with surgery. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, so our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged to take Ruth and her mother to the Dominican Republic, where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole near her heart. The treatment, scheduled for May 25th, will stop blood from leaking into her blood vessels and should allow her to live a full life ahead. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 toward the surgery cost. Her family is raising $1,500 to help cover the rest of her treatment and related care, including travel for Ruth and her mother. Her mother shared, "Our family is very hopeful that after the surgery, our daughter will have more energy and a better appetite."
Cornelius is four-month-old baby boy. He is the youngest in a family of eight children. Cornelius's older siblings are still school ranging from high school to primary school. Cornelius's parents are laborers on a tea farm making enough to meet the essential needs of the family. Without medical insurance, Cornelius's family cannot afford the cost of necessary medical treatments. Cornelius has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of this condition, Cornelius has experienced swelling in his head. Cornelius's parents took him to a hospital where he was examined and sent for a brain scan. Cornelius's parents could not afford the scan at that time, but soon after, friends of the family referred them to BenthanyKids Hospital. It was there Cornelius was was examined and scheduled to undergo a shunt insertion. This treatment will decompress the excess pressure in Cornelius's head, alleviate the swelling, and give Cornelius a chance at a better life. Without treatment, Cornelius will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Cornelius and his family raise $720 to cover the cost of the surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 31st and is expected to greatly improve Cornelius's quality of life. With proper treatment, Cornelius will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Cornelius’ mother says, “We have faith that Cornelius will be healed.”
Elizabeth is a 10-year-old student. She is a hard-working, oldest sibling of 4 children, who likes to help her mother with daily household chores. She is currently in class two at school and her best subject is Swahili. Elizabeth’s parents are small scale farmers, who grow maize, beans and vegetables. Their income is very modest, which makes it out of reach to cover Elizabeth's $874 medical treatment and care. In November 2021, Elizabeth had a fire accident that left her with burns on her body. She healed but was left with contracting scars, which make walking difficult. She has a hard time carrying out her daily life activities due to this lasting complication from the burn accident. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Elizabeth receive treatment. On March 3rd surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. Now, she and her family needs help to fund this procedure. Elizabeth’s mother says, “After the fire accident my daughter now struggles to walk and even carry out her daily life activities.”