John joined Watsi on November 21st, 2015. Seven years ago, John joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. John's most recent donation supported Thomas, a sweet newborn from Kenya, to fund spinal surgery to prevent future health complications.
John has funded healthcare for 80 patients in 13 countries.
John has funded healthcare for 80 patients in 13 countries.
Thomas is a sweet three-week-old baby from Kenya. He is the youngest in a family of four children. His father works as a luggage carrier, and his mother does laundry and other house chores for people to help provide for their family. Thomas was born at a hospital near their home. At birth, he was diagnosed with spina bifida, as well as clubfoot. Spina bifida is a type of neural tube condition in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Thomas 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 Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Thomas's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 31st. This procedure will hopefully spare Thomas from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Thomas’s father says, “Currently, we are very stressed because of our child’s condition. We are requesting for any help to see him become well.”
Nobert is a one-month-old baby. His parents work in agriculture. They noticed that their newborn child's feet are twisted inward and downward. This worried the parents, for they have never come across a child born with such a disability. Nobert's parents shared that they spent a whole week in a dilemma, not knowing what to do. As they were about to go to a small local hospital nearby, they met with a friendly neighbour who helped to educate them on the problem and informed them of a health centre that can provide the proper treatment to their newborn child. Nobert has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Nobert's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 13th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Nobert's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when he grows up. Nobert's mother says, “I was worried that my son will grow up with his feet in this condition, but now I hope his feet will be normal after treatment."
Kasotot is a cheerful 68-year-old woman from the arid region of Baringo County in Kenya. She is a widow and mother of seven children who are all grown. She lives with her youngest son and grandson. The main economic activity in the area is livestock herding of cattle, sheep, and goats. It is a challenging life, affected by insecurity, cattle rustling, and a lack of schools and other services. Most people barter with their neighboring communities for food and/or sell their animals in order to get money for food. Kasotot has no knowledge of medical insurance, and lives in a place full of hardships with no opportunity to do any saving. Kasotot suffers from epilepsy and last month she had a seizure that made her fall into the fire and burn her foot. She went to the closest hospital for treatment. Her wound condition worsened with time and when she went back to the hospital it was already infected. The facility was small, and was unable to provide the needed treatment, so she was referred to Kapsowar Hospital. Upon examination, she was admitted for urgent debridement, or deep cleaning of the wound. Kasotot is currently confined to a wheelchair, thus not able to work. Her wound is now clean after a successful wound debridement, but she requires a free tissue flap in order to reconstruct her burned foot and quicken her healing. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Kasotot receive treatment. On November 7th, surgeons will perform surgery so Kasotot will be able to walk, work and provide for herself so as to not overly burden her son and grandson. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,478 procedure. Kasotot says, “I have really burdened my son and grandson now that I cannot walk on my own. It really hurts when all they can do is look after me while I cannot help them as I did before. Kindly help me so that we can be together in order to bring food to our table and strive together to get our basic needs.”
Noah is a young boy from Ngarenanyuki, a small village in the rural parts of Arusha, Tanzania. He is a member of a big family with seven siblings. His father is a livestock keeper and at their home, the young children are responsible for helping around with light house chores. In 2021, Noah was in the kitchen with some of his siblings, and he accidentally fell into a pot of boiling water. He was badly burnt on his left side of the elbow near the chest. His parents provided first aid to Noah, because they live in a remote area, and it was hard for them to get to the nearest hospital. Noah’s wounds healed eventually, but left him with a burn scar contracture. The contractures tighten the skin around the burn area, and it is difficult to move his hand. Noah came to our center during a medical camp and was assessed to find out if he was fit for the required treatment to help with the burn scar contracture. Noah's parents cannot afford treatment and are appealing for help. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Noah receive treatment. On October 12th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to release the tightening and help him move his hand easily. Now, he needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Noah’s mother says, "I was worried that that my boy will grow up with that deformity but with what I have seen here, he is going to be better.”
Theary is a six-year-old student in first grade. She has a new younger sister who is three months old. Her father is a garment worker and her mother stays home to care for the new baby. She loves the alphabet and wants to be a teacher when she grows up. When not in school, she enjoys playing with toys with her friends, watching cartoons on TV, and drawing pictures. She enjoys drinking fresh milk and when her mom makes fried vegetables with meat to eat. A couple of years ago, she was playing with friends near a fire and was burned on her right thigh and leg. Although Theary's wounds healed with treatment, she was left with scar contractures on her right knee, making it difficult for her to walk and to sleep at night. She was referred to Children's Surgical Centre for specialty surgery. Surgeons determined she needs a release of the contracture of her right knee along with a skin graft to help her heal. On May 10th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her walk easily again. Now, her family needs help to fund this $495 procedure. Her mother said: "I hope after surgery Theary can walk and can go to school again."
Meet Venesa, a beautiful two year old girl. She was born at home with a swelling at the lower part of her back, and with legs that were not straight like other babies their family knew. The day after she was born, Venesa's parents took her to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with spina bifida and clubfoot. The family was advised to wait until Venesa turned nine months old, before having her undergo the surgery that she needs. Although surgery was deemed urgent, when Venesa was finally old enough, her parents couldn't afford to pay for it. Then, about a year ago, Venesa was diagnosed with hydrocephalus. Venesa's mom shared that shortly after this last diagnosis, Venesa's father abandoned the family and is not involved in helping support them any more. Venesa's mother used to work at a salon, but after Venesa's birth, she has been unable to work. They are now living with Venesa's grandmother, who does what she can to help. Without surgery for her spina bifida, Venesa risks paralysis of her lower limbs, infection of the exposed nerve tissue, and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Venesa's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 14th, at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. This procedure will hopefully spare Venesa from the risks associated with her condition, allowing her to experience a strong and healthy life. Venesa’s mother says: “Since she was born, I have no peace knowing that I can’t afford her treatment.”
Naw Ywa is a 29-year-old woman who lives with her husband, sister-in-law, and three nieces in a refugee camp in Thailand. Naw Ywa is a homemaker, and she weaves and sells traditional Karen clothing in her spare time. Her husband also works as a homemaker and cares for his sister, who has a mobility impairment. Naw Ywa's three nieces all currently attend school in the refugee camp. This past March, Naw Ywa began to experience severe pain in her left pelvic area. This pain was accompanied by fatigue, dizziness, and trouble breathing. Although she did seek medical attention at the hospital in the refugee camp, she was only given painkillers, which temporarily alleviated her symptoms. After a few months of repeatedly being readmitted to the hospital without fully treating her condition, a doctor referred Naw Ywa to our medical partner's care center, Mae Sariang Hospital (MSH). On July 6th, she was brought to MSH and received an ultrasound. Her doctor diagnosed her with adenomyosis, a condition that occurs when the tissue that typically lines the uterus grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. She was also diagnosed with a five cm large myoma, which is a tumor that develops in or around the uterus. Her doctor has advised that she undergo a hysterectomy to remove her uterus and alleviate her symptoms. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Ywa’s total abdominal hysterectomy. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 17th. Once completed, she will hopefully be able to live more comfortably and confidently. Naw Ywa shares, “Me and my husband want to have children, but we agreed with the doctor’s plan. I do not want to experience this pain anymore, and my husband also does not want to see me in pain.”
Jean Pierre is a 45-year-old father from Haiti who lives with his wife and daughter. To help support his family, he works at the local city hall. His daughter was a previous Watsi patient and received life-changing surgery with the help of amazing donors. When bringing his daughter in a few months ago for a post-op checkup, he mentioned that he has been experiencing the same symptoms as his daughter for many years. After further examination, doctors found that Jean Pierre has the same life-threatening condition as his daughter and has somehow survived to his age! He was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, a condition in which blood leaks through a hole between two large blood vessels near the heart. After years of feeling weak and experiencing poor health, Jean Pierre's heart condition will finally be treated. On July 14th, doctors will use a catheter to insert a device into the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is raising $1,500 to pay for Jean Pierre's life-saving procedure. Jean Pierre shares, "My family and I are very grateful that so many people are making it possible for me to have this surgery!"
Phyo Ko is a 33-year-old man, living in Thailand with his wife and two young children. Originally from Burma, Phyo Ko and his family moved to Thailand in 2009, in search of better job opportunities. Phy Ko's wife stays home with the children, who are too young to go to school, while Phyo Ko works as a construction day laborer, earning under $12 a day. In early 2021, Phyo Ko and his friend were at work at a construction site, when scaffolding fell onto Phyo Ko's left hand and thigh. Initially, he used oil made from traditional medicine to ease the pain. However, a month after the accident, Phyo Ko noticed that there was a mass on his left leg, so he sought medical attention. The first doctor he visited could find nothing wrong, and sent Phyo Ko back home. His mass continued to grow in size, and the pain increased, making it impossible for Phyo Ko to continue working, so once again, he went to the hospital. This time, there were no doctors available to see him because of the pandemic. Finally, in April, Phyo Ko was able to receive a CT scan, thanks to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund and the Watis community. The CT scan revealed a hematoma, which requires surgical intervention. On June 16th, Phyo Ko will undergo surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, to have the mass removed from his thigh. After the procedure, Phyo Ko should be able to walk, stand and work without pain, something he is unable to do now. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of Phyo Ko's surgery. Phyo Ko said: "I would like to receive surgery soon so that the pain will go away. Before I received the CT scan, I was told that my leg could be be amputated because the mass on my leg is very big. However, after the CT scan, the doctor told me that they could remove the mass without amputation. I was so happy to hear this. I want to work and earn an income for my family after surgery."
Im is a 69-year-old farmer with two sons, three daughters, and many grandchildren. Im lives with her youngest daughter. She enjoys exercising in the morning, cooking for her family, and caring for her grandchildren. She developed squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) on the right side of her face 10 years ago. It has grown over time and has become very uncomfortable, causing itchiness and pain. She has tried applying ointment from the pharmacy and Khmer traditional medicine treatments, to no avail. When Im learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On May 17th, surgeons at CSC will perform an excision, histology, and rhomboid flap procedure to remove the skin cancer. Now, she needs help to fund this $673 procedure. Im says, "I hope my face heals and I do not experience this pain again."
Rehiwilzahra is a sweet toddler from Haiti. She lives in Port-au-Prince with her mother, father, and three older siblings. Rehiwilzahra likes watching cartoons and playing with her older siblings. Rehiwilzahra has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This heart condition involves several related heart defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These defects prevent blood from circulating properly through the lungs leaving Rehiwilzahra weak and short of breath. The surgery Rehiwilzahra needs to heal is not available in Haiti, so she will need to fly to the Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery to close the hole in her heart with a patch and remove the blockage from her valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance is helping Rehiwilzahra's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This amount also supports passport obtainment and the social workers to accompany Rehiwilzahra's family overseas. Rehiwilzahra's mother shared, "We have been praying for a long time for a solution to our daughter's heart problem. We are very thankful to everyone who is helping her!"
Jack is a teacher from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is currently in Kenya in search of a better livelihood. He works as a French translator and part-time teacher, but his job is temporary so isn't providing a stable income yet. Jack and his wife are separated and together have two children aged 12 and 14 years old. He currently lives in a single-room rental house costing Ksh. 9000.00 ($90) per month. Two weeks ago, Jack was involved in a road accident that caused a left tibial fracture. Now he is unable to walk and needs to get around in a wheelchair. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 18th, Jack will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. If left untreated, he risks being unable to use his legs and could become permanently disabled. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund his procedure. Jack says, “This accident caused me to be confined in a wheelchair. If I don’t get treated I might lose my ability to walk. This surgery will really help to rectify the injuries.”