Brandon joined Watsi on April 7th, 2014. Eight years ago, Brandon joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Brandon's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Katelyn, an eight-year-old girl from Kenya, to fund life-changing hearing aids to improve her hearing and speech.
Brandon has funded healthcare for 101 patients in 13 countries.
Brandon has funded healthcare for 101 patients in 13 countries.
Katelyn is an eight-year-old girl from Kenya. She is the middle child, with her older sibling being 11 years old and her younger sibling being two. Her father previously worked as a butcher in their hometown, but he has since stopped and currently does not have a source of income. Her mother is a homemaker and takes full-time care of the children. They all live together in a rental house. Katelyn was born with an ear condition, which has caused her to experience hearing loss. She eventually had to stop attending school due to her condition. She is currently unable to communicate with others despite her having some speech. Last month, Katelyn's parents took her to Kenyatta National hospital to receive medical care. After undergoing an audiogram scan, it was confirmed that Katelyn has moderate to profound hearing loss. Her doctor recommends that she receive hearing aids since this would help with her hearing and likely her speech as well. However, her family is not able to pay for them due to financial constraints. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Katelyn receive treatment on August 5th. Now, Katelyn's family needs help funding these $1,171 life-changing hearing aids. Katelyn's mother shares, “We didn’t know that she could not speak because she is unable to hear! Doctors have said that it’s possible for her to both hear and speak if she gets the aids.”
Rose is a retried woman who used to work as a junior officer at the county government in Machakos in Kenya. Her husband is also retired, and they both now spend their time farming at their ancestral home to provide food for their family. Together, they have one daughter who is currently attending secondary school. Their family does not have a stable source of income. Rose was involved in a motorbike accident two weeks ago, and she was rushed to a nearby facility. There, she was treated for pain and discharged, but she later developed a blister on her right leg which burst and worsened into a wound. After attempting to clean the wound at home with no improvement, one of Rose's relatives advised her to visit Kijabe Hospital. On June 21st, she visited the facility and underwent two debridement surgeries where they removed damaged and infected tissue in her leg. However, her wound still needs care, as well as skin graft surgery. Due to financial constraints, Rose has not been able to pay for her medical coverage since she retired. She accrued a bill that she has been unable to clear, and as a result, she cannot afford her third procedure. Rose currently experiences pain due to her injury, and she is unable to use her right leg or walk. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Rose receive treatment. On July 4th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to get rid of the infection and help her walk again. Now, Rose needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Rose shares, “I haven’t been able to walk since the accident. The leg was so swollen and infected. I am scared I might lose my leg if not treated.”
Faith is a 12-year-old student from Kenya. Her father is a farmer, while her mother works hard to raise their family and care for their home. Faith is the only girl and the second-oldest in her family of four. She is in fourth grade and likes reading and playing with friends. She has a big heart and hopes to one day become a surgeon to help children who are neglected because of their medical conditions. Faith has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition where the foot is twisted out of shape. This condition makes it difficult for Faith to walk or to even wear shoes. Fortunately, Faith and her mother traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons are scheduled to perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Faith's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she should be able to put on shoes and walk well at home and school. Her self-esteem also will improve, and she'll be able to continue with her studies and hopefully achieve her dream career of becoming a surgeon. Faith's mother said, “I hope to see my daughter walking normally like other children. That’s why I am requesting support to facilitate her surgery."
Poe is a 43-year-old man who lives alone in Bangkok and works as a construction contractor. He supports his wife and son in Burma, but has been unable to work for the past four months since his health deteriorated. Currently, he is getting by on money his friends have given him. Poe was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, he has edema (swelling) in both of his legs. If he walks short distances, he feels tired, experiences shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. He cannot sleep if he lays down and has to sleep in a sitting position. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Poe. The treatment is scheduled to take place on May 6th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. "After I recover from surgery, I will go back to work. I will save the money to pay back my debts. After that I will save money to support my son and wife. I want my son to go to school, and I want him to become an educated man," said Poe.
Laizer is 17 years old and a happy guy who loves to play with his siblings. He is the fourth born of his mother's eight children and does not attend school yet due to his disability. Laizer was diagnosed with a condition called Right Varus that affects the alignment of bones in his legs. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Laizer experiences pain at the end of the day and cannot walk for a long distance, including to school. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help him finally heal. On March 22nd, Laizer will undergo corrective surgery that will restore his mobility, allow him to participate in various activities, and significantly decrease his risk of future complications. AMH is requesting $880 to fund this life-changing procedure. Laizer's mother shared, "I am happy to know that his leg can be corrected. This will help him walk well and stop having pain."
Joseph is a 17-year-old student who likes music and playing table tennis. He's the youngest of four children in his family. Joseph's father passed away when Joseph was only two years old and his mother currently works with physically impaired children at a local Catholic institution. Joseph was born with bilateral club feet, a condition that causes him discomfort and pain when he walks. Joseph previously underwent corrective surgery on his left foot at our medical partner's care center, Cure International Hospital. Joseph is now in need of corrective surgery on his right foot. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare is helping Joseph's family raise the $1,224 needed to cover this corrective surgery so that can walk pain free and do all the things he wants to enjoy like playing football with his friends. Our medical partners shared that this surgery will be very impactful for Joseph allowing him to walk more easily and continue with his education. Joseph says, "I'd like to have my foot corrected so that I can keep going to school without difficulties."
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."
Srey Nath is a bright young student who loves to read books and wants to be a teacher when she grows up. She has two older brothers and lives with her parents who are rainy day rice farmers. They also grow vegetables and keep cows and chickens to feed their family and make extra money at the local market. Over the past several years, Srey Nath's back has curved which limits her movement and lung expansion. She has trouble standing up straight or walking, and is easily winded when she is active due to difficulty expanding her lungs. She shared that she feels embarrassed with her friends and very shy about how her back looks. She loves school but doesn't want to attend now because of the abnormal curvature of her spine, and the chronic pain it causes. Srey Nath's neighbors told her family to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre for a diagnosis and treatment. Surgeons have diagnosed her with scoliosis of the thoracic spine. She needs expanding rods in her back to straighten her spine as she grows to avoid any further medical problems. Srey Nath and her parents traveled two and a half hours to seek treatment and need help raising $1,500 for this specialty surgery. Srey Nath's mother said: "My daughter needs this surgery to grow normally and become a teacher. I hope we can raise the money so she can fulfill her dream someday."
Joseph is a 3-year-old who hails from Kiambu County in Kenya. He is the fourth born in a family of five children. Joseph loves to play with his siblings. At the age of one year, Joseph's mother took him to the hospital. His health was not well enough at that time to safely undergo surgery. In September of this year, they brought him to Nazareth Hospital and doctors diagnosed him with cryptorchdisim. Cryptorchidism is a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Joseph has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. The surgeon recommends an orchidopexy procedure but the family’s health insurance could not be used since it has paid for previous surgeries and also treatment for his other brothers. Joseph's family's income is very limited and they are seeking help. Joseph will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on November 4th. AMHF is requesting $483 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. "We really appreciate the kind sponsorship of our other son. We pray that you may extend the same gesture to Joseph so that he can also grow up like other normal boys,” says Joseph’s father.
Samuel is a hardworking laborer getting jobs whenever he can to earn a living. He's a 37-year-old single man who hails from Kawaida Village in Kenya. His parents separated many years back, and his mother has brought their family up single-handedly. He shared that their family has lived a very difficult life making it hard for them to acquire an education. Samuel lives with his mother in a single rented house. He does mechanic jobs when available while his mother sells fruits at the roadside near their home. On the evening of September 8th 2021, as Samuel was going home, he was hit by a motorbike. He sustained an open fracture of his left tibia. He was taken to Kiambu County Hospital where the wound was treated and later the doctor advised them to have a fracture surgery. His mother could not afford the cost and took him home. Last week, our medical partner's Community Health Worker heard about Samuel and brought him to the hospital for possible support. He has pain, difficulty walking, and has been fully depending on his mother. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 28th, Samuel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). The surgery will rid him of the pain, bring healing, and eventually, Samuel will be able to walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Samuel says, “It is now almost 2 months, I have had pain and difficulties going anywhere and I have to fully depend on my mother. I am also worried that my leg could be amputated if I don't get treated in time. I plead for help so that I can be independent and go back to work and support my mother.”
Elizabeth a charming and very happy 4-year-old girl. She's the only born child to her mother who passed away after giving birth to Elizabeth. She was then taken in by her grandmother who has raised her since she was quite young. Elizabeth has not started school yet but her grandmother hopes to enroll her next year for school. Elizabeth has been 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, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she feels pain after walking for a while and it is keeping her from being as active as she'd like to be. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Elizabeth. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Elizabeth's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Elizabeth’s grandmother says: “She plays and does most children's activities despite her legs being curved. But it hurts me to see her fall down every time she tries to run and how she walks with a gait. If I had enough money I would have tried to seek treatment for her.”
Kidus is a cute baby boy who loves to walk. His dad enjoys walking with him and holding his hand, and Kidus loves it when his mom carries him on her back. He also loves to watch cartoons. Kidus's dad and mom love each other so much and have a happy life together. Kidus's father is a tailor. His income is very limited and barely enough to sustain the family through the month, but love fills their home, and their lives, with happiness. When Kidus was born his parents learned that he had bladder exstrophy, a rare condition where children are born with an open bladder. His parents faced a challenge that they did not expect in their life, but they are facing it with courage. Kidus needs surgery to perform a procedure to divert his urination to the anal opening & make a pouch bladder from the bowel. He will undergo this surgery on September 28th with our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) and his family needs $1,500 for the procedure. Kidus's dad said, “For thirteen days after his birth we worked hard to get him treatment but no one in the health centres could help us. Some health workers gave us hope and some health workers did not give us any hope." He is hopeful for after surgery, “After he gets his surgery and recovers I want to tell him the truth about his condition and what we went through as a result of it when he grows up. Also, I want to tell him how he got the treatment, about the people who helped him, how God helped him and gave him this healthy life. I will tell him this so he grows up grateful and he lives to support and help others. I want him to be good and caring and God-fearing. I want him to be there for others. I believe kindness is contagious.”