UNIVERSAL FUND MEMBERBoston native in ATL
United States • cmtysolutions.org
Jacob joined Watsi on May 27th, 2015. Eight years ago, Jacob joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jacob's most recent donation traveled 5,900 miles to support Nafissa, a beautiful 25 year old mother from Burkina Faso, to fund a mass removal on her jaw.
Jacob has funded healthcare for 96 patients in 15 countries.
Jacob has funded healthcare for 96 patients in 15 countries.
Meet Nafissa. She is a 25-year old woman who shared that she tends to be very shy and reserved. She lives with her parents and her young child in an area of Burkina Faso where conflict is currently impacting their lives deeply. When she was a child, Nafissa developed a painful growth on the left side of her chin. This swelling in her lower jawbone affected her ability to eat, and was determined to be a benign tumor that needed to be removed. Her parents were able to secure the funds to send Nafissa to a hospital in Togo, where she could be treated at no cost to her family. The growth was removed, and for several years, Nafissa did well. However, the growth recurred, and in the middle of last year, Nafissa returned to Togo, where the second growth was excised. This time, however, the surgeon determined that her whole jawbone would also need to be removed. As the doctor in Togo did not have the necessary training to perform the surgery that Nafissa needed, he referred her to a physician with our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. Miraculously, Nafissa is now scheduled for a major jaw surgery with the leading team at AIC Kijabe Hospital in Kenya. As Nafissa's husband abandoned her because of her condition, and provides no support to Nafissa or their child, Nafissa and her parents are looking to you to help fund the $1,500 procedure, which will finally relieve Nafissa of the pain and symptoms that result from the tumor. Nafissa says: “It pains me that I have to stay at home with no friends. Making it worse, I cannot work to provide for my child.”
Bela is an 18-month-old girl from the Philippines, who loves listening to nursery rhymes and playing with her musical toys. She lives with her older sibling, her father, who is a businessman, and her mother, who is a homemaker. Bela was born with an anorectal malformation, which is a congenital condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate her bowel dysfunction and help her grow up healthy. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Bela access the treatment that she needs. She is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on January 14th, at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being paid for by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is looking to you to help raise $1,211 to cover the remaining cost of Bela's procedure and care. After her recovery, Bela will no longer need a colostomy, experience bowel dysfunction, or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Bela's mother said: "As a parent, I hoped she'd have a normal life, and be free from using a colostomy bag. To be honest, a huge part of our budget goes to her colostomy supplies. So this free surgery is really a big help to our family. To WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines, thank you very much! We wouldn't know how to get her treated without your support."
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."
Boniface is a 9-year-old student with two siblings. He started school late and enjoys taking part in science classes. Boniface likes to play soccer with his peers, but it is hard for him to play for long because of his leg condition. Boniface was diagnosed with genu valgus. His right knee knocks on his left 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 has difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Boniface. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 8th. Treatment will hopefully restore Boniface's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Boniface’s mother says, “It has been hard for him with his leg condition. He wishes to do more, but he is limited."
Jayden is a sweet baby and the last born in a family of 5 children. His parents separated before he was born and his mother does laundry for neighbors to provide for the family. Shortly after Jayden was born, his mother noticed a large swelling on his back. She did not have the money to take him to a doctor at the time but, when he was seven months old, she took him to the hospital where Jayden was examined and was sent to another facility for a scan. Unfortunately, the scan was not done because Jayden's mother could not raise the required amount of money. She shared her plight with her boss who got in touch with one of the ambassadors from BethanyKids hospital in their village. The ambassador reached out to her the following day and helped bring Jayden to the hospital. Upon examination, he was diagnosed with spina bifida and urgent surgery was recommended. Spina bifida is a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Jayden is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Jayden's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 21. This procedure will hopefully spare Jayden from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Jayden’s mother says, “I have been praying for a long time for Jayden’s healing and I now believe that he will be treated.”
Agnes is a college student and is in her final year pursuing an architectural course. She lives with her parents and is the second born in a family of three children, all of whom are in school and rely on their parents for school fees and upkeep. Her father is a carpenter in their hometown, Kimende, and his income is inconsistent and not enough to cover the cost of the required surgery. Her mother is a small-scale farmer. Agnes was heading home in the evening last night when she remembers hearing screams and was hit by an unknown motorist from behind. She has no recollection of what happened after that. She lost consciousness and could not recognize her surroundings. She was brought to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital and had an x-ray that revealed a left distal femur fracture. Doctors have recommended an urgent fracture repair surgery since the wound is open and she is in extreme pain. Today, she has regained her consciousness but cannot sit or walk due to the fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner are here to help. On October 14th, Agnes will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help get rid of the pain and she will eventually be able to sit and walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Agnes says, “I am in so much pain and I cannot walk. I don’t remember what happened, I just found myself bedridden with lights all over. I am unable to go back home because of the fracture.”
Samuel is a hard working man from Kenya who gets jobs at a construction site in Narok town. He lives in his ancestral home with his siblings - his parents passed on several years ago. Six days ago, Samuel was attacked by unknown people on his way home in the evening. He has a swollen face, is unable to chew, and is also unable to use his right hand. He was taken to a nearby health center by well-wishers for emergency care from where he was referred to a government facility, and thence to Kijabe Hospital. Kijabe doctors have recommended two surgeries to heal his fractures. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help him to get the care he needs. On September 30th, Samuel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, to fix the fractures in his jaw and hand. Samuel's income is inconsistent, and is not enough to pay for the surgery. He does not have medical coverage and has been depending on well-wishers to pay for his medical bill. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Samuel shared with us, “I can only take liquid meals. My mouth is painful and swollen. I am also unable to use my right hand. I cannot work to buy food, and I cannot even eat the food I struggle to get because of the injuries.”
Naw Ta is a 54-year-old woman who lives with her retired husband in a refugee camp in Thailand. Originally from Burma, she and her husband fled to Thailand in 2010 due to conflict in their area. She now works selling snacks and sweets from her home. Naw Ta has developed cataracts in both eyes, causing her to experience blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about tripping on stones or the uneven road when walking. Because of this, she is not able to go places on her own. She also cannot sew clothing anymore or see the rice grains clearly when cooking. Fortunately, doctors will perform a lens replacement on September 1st. During this procedure, surgeons at our medical partner's care center, Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, will remove Naw Ta's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Ta's surgery. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly again and return to doing her daily tasks without difficulty. Naw Ta shares, “I will be happy when I can see clearly again. I am grateful for having the chance to receive eye surgery.”
Daw Tin is a strong, hardworking 60-year-old woman from Burma who enjoys cleaning her home, visiting her local Buddhist temple, meditating, and praying. She lives on her own and supports herself by working as a day laborer, herding goats and collecting firewood to sell. However, her siblings have been supporting her since her recent injury because she is unable to work. This past May, Daw Tin stepped on a nail protruding from a wooden board while herding her neighbor’s goats. Over time, the wound on her right heel turned into a painful ulcer, and she could no longer work or walk. She was able to undergo wound debridement surgery in July thanks to donations collected from her community. However, her doctor told her that she would need to have a second surgery in order to fully heal her condition. Without treatment, Daw Tin is at risk of developing severe damage to underlying bone and tissue. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $851 to cover the cost of a local rotation flap procedure for Daw Tin, which is scheduled to take place on July 28th at BCMF's care center. During this procedure, surgeons will rotate a partially attached piece of skin onto the wound. This will allow for optimal vascularization, or the ability to grow blood vessels to improve oxygen and nutrient supply, as well as optimal tissue reconstruction. Daw Tin says, "I was so happy to hear that I would receive surgery with the help of donors and the organization. Without your help, I could never receive surgery."
Zara is a bright and creative 3-year-old from Haiti. She lives with her parents and two older sisters, and she loves going to preschool. One of her favorite ways to spend her time is by exploring her creativity and doing arts and crafts projects. Zara was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which blood leaks through a hole between two major blood vessels next to her heart. This causes her to experience weakness and shortness of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. During the procedure, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole so blood can properly flow through her body. This will allow Zara to breath with ease. Zara's mother said, "Our family is very hopeful that after this surgery our daughter will become healthier and stronger."
Htun is a four year old boy living with 12 other children and a pastor and his wife who are helping to raise them in Tak Province, Thailand. Htun enjoys riding bicycles, watching cartoons, and playing with action figures. Towards the beginning of April, Htun began experiencing discomfort while walking and when he was sitting down. According to his guardian, whenever Htun begins to feel pain, he will point to where the pain is coming from and cry. Htun has been diagnosed with an inguinal hernia, which will need to be treated with surgery. Fortunately, he was brought to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, and he is now scheduled for hernia repair surgery on May 31st, at Mae Sot General Hospital. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Htun's hernia repair surgery, after which Htun will be able to live a full and healthy life ahead. "I want to support him as if he were my own child, and I want him to feel like we are his family," shared the pastor.
Dismas is a boda boda taxi driver from Kenya. He is a bright and hardworking young man from a highland region in Elgeyo Marakwet County. Dismas is the third born in a family of four. He studied up to the 7th grade in primary school, but then had to stop attending due to the school fees. Now he lives in a rental house with his wife and their son. His parents live in a place far from him in a semi-arid area, and he moved to look for work and to earn a living. Before his recent accident, Dismas was employed as a motorcycle driver and his limited wages enabled him to sustain his family and give his parents a little support. After a severe road traffic accident about three weeks ago, Dismas was taken to the hospital on a stretcher and is still unable to walk. The bill for his care has been accumulating and he had no funds to pay due to his current state and inability to work. Well-wishers helped him pay the bill and he was discharged home with his fracture stabilized on a splint. One of his brothers reached out to a friend who knew of our medical partner's care center, Kapsowar Hospital, and he was brought in to see if they could help him. An x-ray found that he sustained fractures of the distal tibia and fibula. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 26th, Dismas will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After he heals from this surgery, he will be able to walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Dismas says, "It really hurts when I see my family suffering. I am worried about their future if my condition doesn’t change. Kindly help me get well so that they may not be impacted even more.”