Jerome joined Watsi on February 22nd, 2016. Six years ago, Jerome joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jerome's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Sai, a young shopkeeper from Burma, to fund a procedure to heal his heart defect.
Jerome has funded healthcare for 79 patients in 11 countries.
Jerome has funded healthcare for 79 patients in 11 countries.
Sai lives with his parents and sister in a village in Karen State in the border region of Burma where there is currently a lot of violence and instability. His sister is a teacher, while both he and his parents run a shop from their home, selling various items such as snacks, drinks, dry goods, and cement. In his free time, he loves to play cane ball with his friends. In early November 2021, Sai received treatment for COVID-19. While getting treatment, doctors also discovered that he was born with a hole in his heart, and he was diagnosed with atrial septal defect. A doctor in Yangon confirmed his diagnosis and told him that he needs surgery. He recommended he go to Thailand as the only other option was to receive surgery at a military hospital in Burma, which have been impacted in the recent humanitarian crisis. Sai's aunt suggested he seek treatment at a clinic in Thailand and he was referred to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial support to make his care possible. Now, Sai is raising $1,500 for his Atrial Septal Defect Closure procedure, which is scheduled for July 12th. Sai said, “I would like to receive surgery as soon as possible so that I can help my parents like before. Now, my father has to do all the hard and heavy work, which is not good for him as he is getting old.”
Kasaine is an 8-year-old boy, living with his family in a mud and grass thatched house in Southern Kenya. Kasaine's father is a farmer and a herder, while his mother stays home to take care of their family. Kasaine was born with a condition known as Rt hemiplegic CP, which means that his right side is weak, affecting his mobility, and the use of his hand. He tiptoes when he walks, and is able to walk only short distances. Kasaine also has clubfoot of his right foot, which causes his foot to be twisted, making it even more difficult for him to walk or to wear shoes. Fortunately, Kasaine's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Kasaine's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he'll be able to walk much more easily, play with friends, and continue with his education. “My prayer is to see my son walking normally like other children.” Kasaine's mother told us.
Said is a talkative, friendly and playful 4-year-old boy who loves to play football and to watch movies. Said's family consists of three other siblings, his mother, who is a housewife, and his father, who is a day laborer getting work whenever he can. Because of a medical condition, Said's legs bow outward and his knees don't touch, which caused difficulty walking. Our medical partner African Mission Healthcare is requesting $880 to fund a procedure that will take place on April 22nd to restore Said's mobility. This treatment will enable him to participate in a variety of activities as he grows and also decrease his risk for future complications. Said’s mother says, “The economy is not good and finding work is getting hard. The little money I get goes to food. If you can help my son have this treatment, I would be very grateful.”
Eden is a 15-month-old baby boy from Haiti. He lives with his mother, father, and two older brothers in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Eden's father is a teacher and his mother takes care of their family and home. Eden was born with a cardiac condition called complete atrioventricular canal defect. A large hole exists in the center of Eden's heart that causes blood to leak between all four chambers. This condition puts a strain on his heart and makes it difficult for oxygen to circulate through his body. The treatment and diagnostics he needs is not available in Haiti so on April 20th, Eden will fly to the Dominican Republic to hoping undergo cardiac surgery. Upon arrival at the hospital, doctors will perform advanced diagnostics to determine the best way to treat Eden's condition. Depending on the results of the exams, the doctors will determine if they recommend Eden undergo surgery or have his condition closely managed through medication and other care. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $4,000 towards Eden's medical care, but his family also needs assistance covering an additional $1,500 for labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This also supports passport obtainment and the social workers who will accompany Eden's family overseas. Eden's mother shared, "We are very hopeful that the doctors will have good news to share with us about Eden's heart problem!"
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.”
Roy is a charming and energetic toddler from Tanzania. He is playful and full of smiles. He is the youngest of his single mother's three children. His mother sells cassava root at the local bus station to support their family. Roy was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. This means Roy has difficulty walking due to his legs bowing outwards. 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 walks with an abnormal gait and complains of pain and exhaustion after playing or taking a short walk. His surgery is scheduled for February 18th and our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is raising $880 to fund Roy's surgery. Treatment will hopefully restore Roy's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Roy’s mother says, “My income is very little, I want my son to have his legs corrected but there is no way I can afford the cost.”
Ray is a 2-year-old boy who lives with his four brothers and parents in a refugee camp. His siblings go to school and his mother weaves traditional Karen skirts for sale at their home. Unfortunately, his father has been unable to leave the refugee camp to search for work since August 2021, due to local COVID-19 restrictions. When Ray was eight months old, his mother noticed a worrying swelling. She brought him to the hospital in the refugee camp, where a medic examined Ray and advised his mother to come back if it increased in size. In July 2021, his parents brought him back to the hospital for a medical examination and he was referred to Mae Sariang Hospital for further treatment. With the help of the organization Malteser International (MI) staff, Ray and his mother were brought to the hospital, where a doctor examined Ray and diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia. Ray has little appetite and cries frequently, and the pain he feels often causes him to wake up during sleep. After completing a physical examination, the doctor scheduled him to be admitted to the hospital on January 12th so he can receive hernia repair surgery the following day. As Ray’s family cannot afford to pay for surgery, MI staff referred him to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, for assistance accessing treatment. This procedure will cost $1,486, and Ray and his family need help raising money. Ray's mother shared, “I will send Ray to school when he is older and I want him to become a doctor because I want my son to help the community and other families."
Kyle is a beautiful one-year-old girl. She's the last born in a family of two children and her older sibling is in third grade. Her mother is a single mom who is raising her kids on her own. She earns a living trading second-hand clothes in their neighborhood. Kyle's mom shared that they are signed up for a national health insurance program, but haven't been able to make the monthly premium payments so the insurance is not able to cover expenses like surgery. Kyle has beendiagnosed with a rectovestibular fistula and had a colostomy performed at Kenyatta National Hospital last year. She has now come to our medical partner's care center for the follow-up surgery that she needs for her birth condition. She has needed this surgery for a while but the waiting list has been long at the other hospital and their family could not afford the cost of surgery. Kyle’s mother says, “My young girl deserves to grow up like other kids. She needs this treatment.”
Godfrey is a 9-year-old student in grade 3 at a public primary school. He is the third born in a family of six siblings. Among them are four sisters and one brother. His eldest two siblings had to drop from school due to a lack of school fees, but his other younger siblings are in lower primary grades. Godfrey’s mother sells ripe bananas on the street while his father is a stone mansion. Through their daily combined efforts, they are able to support their family. The family lives in a rented single room timber house. Godfrey has a right hydrocele. The hydrocele is causing him progressive swelling resulting in pain and discomfort. Fortunately, on November 11th, he will undergo repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $733 to fund Godfrey's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Godfrey’s father says, "I have really struggled with my son’s condition and I cannot afford his treatment cost.’’
Godwin is three-month-old baby boy and the last born child in a family of two children. Godwin's parents are small-scale farmers and his father has a small shop where he sells fruits and vegetables. His parents have spent all their savings seeking treatment for Godwin. However, their savings were not enough to fund his medical bills and so they resorted to borrowing from their friends and relatives. They are still in debt and can no longer find any money to pay for their son's shunt revision surgery that he needs to treat his worrying condition. Godwin has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Godwin has been experiencing an increased size of his head due to fluid accumulation. Without treatment, Godwin will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for Godwin that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 13th and will drain the excess fluid from Godwin's brain. This will reduce the intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Godwin will develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Godwin’s mother says “We can no longer raise the money needed to cover our son’s treatment. We are in debt and we have no one to run to, please help us."
Winfred is a humble and shy 18-year-old girl. She is the second born in a family of three children. Her mother is single and works as a farmer. About eight years ago, when Winfred was 10 years old, she developed a change in her legs so that the bow and began experiencing pain when walking long distances. Since then, her condition has worsened. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Winfred receive treatment. On September 16th, she will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. After surgery, she will be able to walk much more easily and will no longer experience pain when walking long distances. She will be able to continue with her life like her peers. Now, her family needs help raising $1,224 to fund her procedure. Winfred shared, "I would love to walk well like other girls and continue with my normal life."
Rhophence is struggling to speak when we meet her. She cannot pronounce words clearly or eat regularly due to a mandibular mass. She was diagnosed with Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia, which is also causing her teeth to loosen on the affected area. She is scheduled for a 10-hour surgery at our Medical Partner's Care Center Kijabe Hospital. Her chronic mandibular swelling started back in October 2020 as a small swelling and has gradually increased in size, so Rhophence was forced to visit the hospital. She was treated for pain in their local health centre and discharged home. But, the swelling worsened and Rhophence opted to visit Kijabe in May 2021. Several tests revealed the Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia diagnosis and surgery was recommended. She does not have the funds for the various procedures to relieve her pain. She is a single mother of four children aged between 30 and 18 years. She comes from a remote village along the Kenyan coast. She is currently jobless with no source of income and stays with her younger brother who she depends on for survival. The surgery is estimated to cost about $4,500. She has active national health insurance coverage that has only approved $2,000. She is unable to raise the remaining amount. She fundraised money for travel fare to come to Kijabe and she is now being hosted in the local centre by a relative. Rhophence shared, "This swelling is so painful. My mouth is deformed and I cannot even speak clearly. It’s sadly starting to give a bad odour making people close to me uncomfortable. This is affecting my life. I need these surgeries to normalize my life.”