Zack joined Watsi on November 25th, 2013. Seven years ago, Zack joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Zack's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Lekitony, a hardworking and kind 13-year-old boy from Kenya, to fund corrective leg surgery so he can walk easily.
Zack has funded healthcare for 99 patients in 12 countries.
Zack has funded healthcare for 99 patients in 12 countries.
Lekitony is a kind 13-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the youngest in a family of nine children. He and his family are from a Maasai community in a remote village where people mainly practice livestock keeping to support themselves. He is very hardworking and helps his parents look after the cattle in search of pasture and water. Lekitony was diagnosed with right genu valgum, meaning his right leg is bowed inward, causing his knees to touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, often stemming from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has a difficult time walking and experiences pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Lekitony. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 15th. Treatment will hopefully restore Lekitony's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Lekitony shares, “When I run, my knees knock and I fall. Also, most of the time my knees hurt.”
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.”
Ley Thy is a 56-year-old grandmother who sells vegetables at the local market with her husband. She enjoys playing with her grandchildren, listening to the news, and cooking for her family. Because of her diabetes, Ley Thy has experienced problems with her left foot, resulting in pain and difficulty walking. Surgeons at our local partner hospital, Children's Surgical Centre, have determined that they will need to amputate Ley Thy's lower leg, which will preserve the rest of her leg, and enable Ley Thy to walk without pain. Ley Thy is scheduled for surgery on May 2nd, and needs help to pay for the cost of the $479 operation. This includes the surgery, medication, and her post-operative stay in the hospital. Ley Thy shared: "I hope that I can walk again after this surgery, and I will have no more infections or pain. I want to be healthy enough to care for my grandchildren."
Alex is a student and is a very ambitious and active teenager from Kiambu, Kenya. He is the only child of a single mother, who is a hawker of different items. He is in high school and his mother shared that he has a passion for football and running. After schools were closed in March, Alex decided to go and visit his aunt who lives near Nazareth Hospital. Being playful as he is, he took a bicycle from his aunts’ house and decided to have a ride on last Saturday. Unfortunately, while riding, he tried to avoid a collision and he fell. He sustained an injury to his left hand. Now Alex is in pain, unable to use his hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 12th, Alex will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Alex's fracture will heal, he will be able to use his hand and also resume school. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I am feeling for my son, and hope he could receive the sponsorship so that he can be well before the school opens,” said Alex’s mother.
Abigail is a bright three-year-old girl. She lives with her parents and one older brother in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, which is the capital of Haiti. Abigail was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus. The deformity causes blood to leak through a hole between two major blood vessels near the heart. That makes it difficult for her small heart to function properly and can lead to tiredness, shortness of breath and restricted growth as she gets older. Fortunately, the condition is highly treatable with surgery. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged for Abigail, her family and an escort to travel to the Dominican Republic, where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole near her heart. Abigail should then be able to go on to live a full, healthy life. Another charity, Gift of Life International, is also contributing $5,000 toward the procedure, which is scheduled to take place on May 24th. This $1,500 will help fund Abigail's life-changing surgery and related care. Abigail's mother says, "We would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to heal our daughter's heart!"
Dominic is an 11-year-old student in the second grade. He enjoys reading and playing with his friends in school. Dominic and his brother are twins, and they are the third-born children in their family. His father works as a mechanic in the village, while his mother works at home to take care of their family. Dominic was born with a condition that affects his feet and his ability to walk. He has difficulty walking, and often falls when he runs and plays with his friends in school. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Dominic receive treatment. On April 11th, he will undergo bilateral achilles tendon lengthening surgery, and serial casting for his knee. After surgery, he will be able to walk well and play with his friends easily. Now, he and his parents need help raising $1,224 to fund his procedure and care. Dominic's mother shared, "I will be happy to see him walking well like other children. Any support will be highly appreciated."
Mathayo is a nine-year-old boy and the fourth born of his mother who has seven children. Their family is dependent on livestock keeping to make a living and support their large family. In the Fall of 2013, Mathayo was left in the hut sleeping, while his mother was out in the field herding goats. The bed he was sleeping in was close to an open fire place, which was unknowingly still hot from remnants of hot coals underneath the ash. Upon waking up from his afternoon nap, Mathayo got out of bed, however, as he crawled across the floor, he ran his left leg through the hot ashes, sustaining severe burns. As a result of his burns, he cannot walk long distances, herd livestock, fetch water, or go to school. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Mathayo receive the life-changing treatment he needs. On March 4th, surgeons at their care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, will perform a burn contracture release surgery, which will allow Mathayo to walk without pain, and live out a higher-quality life. African Mission Healthcare is asking for $874 to help fund Mathayo's procedure. Mathayo says, “I will be so happy if my foot is treated because it will help me wear shoes and walk without feeling pain.”
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."
Nov is a 48-year-old rainy day rice farmer and part-time construction worker. Nov is married and has three children. His two sons work in a local factory making clothing and his daughter is in grade ten at the local high school. Nov's wife helps him with farming and sells fruit from their farm on the roadside to help pay for their daughter's school. He likes to go fishing and spend time with friends when he's not working. In December 2021, Nov was on his way home from selling bags of rice to a local distributor, when he collided with a tractor on a bumpy road. His femur was fractured. He spent a month in the local hospital, but his fracture did not heal. Now, Nov is unable to walk and can only move around in a wheelchair. He cannot care for himself and is in constant pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On January 5th, Nov will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. An open reduction and internal fixation of his femur will help the bone to heal properly so that he can walk again. Nov said, "I hope I will be able to walk again and no longer have pain. I need to work so I can support my family."
Petro is a young student and the last born to his mother, who has six children. Petro is a bright student and is currently in the second year of his primary school education. Petro was diagnosed with a condition called bilateral genu varus, in which his legs bow outward at the knee. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he experiences pain and discomfort after walking for a while. Fortunately, on November 18th, Petro will undergo corrective surgery with our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). This treatment will help restore Petro's mobility and allow him to participate in various activities, as well as significantly decrease his risk of future complications. AMH is requesting $880 to fund Petro's procedure. Petro shared, "I would like to be able to walk without difficulty and be able to play with my friends."
Tea Cheng is a 16-year-old student in grade 11. He has two siblings, an older brother, and a younger sister. He lives with his father who is a fisherman. Tea Cheng's mother passed away when he was only 3-years-old. He likes to play football with his friends when they are not in school. Tea Cheng has ptosis in his right eye. Ptosis occurs when the eyelid droops over the eye. He feels uncomfortable going to school because his eye looks funny. His friends tease him because of his condition. Tea Cheng traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 25th, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), will perform an eyelid correction procedure to improve his vision and restore his self esteem. Now, Tea Cheng's family needs help to raise $314 to fund this procedure. His father said, "I want to see his eyelid look like other boys and to see well, so Tea Cheng can go to school."
EdithMary is a primary school teacher and the loving mother of five children. She has a diploma in primary education. Her husband is also a teacher, but both of them have been laid off from work for a while due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Three of their children have graduated from higher education institutions but none of them has been employed yet to support the family. They have always managed to pay school fees for their children through the acquisition of manageable loans along with their small salaries. They are now relying on small-scale farming as they await the reopening of schools. For three years, EdithMary has been experiencing severe lower abdominal pains. She once visited a health facility where she was treated for a urinary tract infection. Three months ago, she was diagnosed with blood brucellosis and had it treated but still, the lower abdominal pains persisted. Currently, she can no longer do farming due to her pain. She experiences severe backache and can no longer bend down. She also has menorrhagia. EdithMary has been diagnosed with uterine fibroids and the surgeon at Rushoroza Hospital has recommended surgical treatment. However, EdithMary is unable to afford this surgery. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $319 to fund EdithMary's surgery. On November 2nd, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, EdithMary will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. EdithMary says, “My condition has always affected my performance in class and has always kept on worsening over time. I pray and hope that I may get normal again through surgery so that I may continue teaching comfortably and live a better and improved life.”