Inez joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven years ago, Inez joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Inez's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Samuel, a 21-year-old from Kenya, to fund surgery to close a colostomy and live a more independent life.
Inez has funded healthcare for 81 patients in 10 countries.
Inez has funded healthcare for 81 patients in 10 countries.
Samuel is a 21-year-old talkative young man. He is the second born in a family of five children. His father passed away when he was four years old, so his mother had to raise him and his siblings by herself. She does jobs on tea farms to provide for the family. When Samuel was two years old, his abdomen started to swell, which was very painful for him. His mother took him to the hospital and he was given some medication and sent back home. The medication did not work as expected. He was then taken to a different hospital for examination. He was given more medication and after some time he seemed to be better. The stomachache did not go away completely, however. Samuel and his mother shared that over the years, he has had stomachaches and gotten used to taking pain medication. In 2017 when Samuel was in high school, the pain worsened and his abdomen started to swell again. He had to leave school as a result. His mother took him to a hospital in Meru where he was admitted for three months. While in the hospital, scans and a biopsy were done to determine what the problem was. He was given a colostomy, where the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall, in order to pass stool. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Samuel's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. At that time, his doctors did not manage to treat him and referred him to BethanyKids Hospital in 2018. On arrival, he was examined and admitted, as he was not in good condition. After more scans and tests, he was ultimately diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease. Since then, Samuel has undergone several surgeries with the aim of trying to better his condition. The first surgery failed, but the second was successful. He is now scheduled to undergo his last surgery to close the colostomy so that he can pass stool on his own again and live a more active life. Earlier in his treatment, Samuel's parents had enrolled in the national health insurance program (NHIF), which helped them pay for most of his hospital bills. BethanyKids also chipped in on occasion to help with some of the bills. Unfortunately, for his last surgery, NHIF has rejected the request since he is beyond the age to be covered by his mother’s insurance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping him to undergo treatment and needs $1,084 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Samuel. The surgery is scheduled to take place on November 11th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Samuel’s Mother says, “For years now, I have been very worried about my son, but God has seen us through.”
Hsa is an 18-year-old living with his parents, three brothers and a sister, in Burma. Two of his siblings are still in school, while the remainder of his family work as subsistence farmers. Hsa, however, is currently unemployed, and enjoys playing various sports with his friends. Hsa has cataracts in both of his eyes, making it difficult for him to see clearly. Thanks to assistance from our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Hsa is scheduled for cataract surgery on October 11th, at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. During the surgery, doctors will replace Hsa's own lenses with intraocular implants, enabling Hsa to live a more independent life. Now, Hsa needs your help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Hsa said: "I wish to see again so that I can look after myself. Then my family will no longer need to assist me with everything."
Cho is a 23-year-old woman from Thailand, living with her husband, son and her husband’s cousin in a refugee camp, in Mae Hong Son Province. Her husband works as a medic at the hospital in the refugee camp, and her husband’s cousin goes to school. Cho is a homemaker, and looks after her son. In her free time, Cho loves to play with her son, while on Saturdays, she likes to attend church. Cho is currently expecting her second child. At a recent antenatal visit, Cho's doctors told her that she would need to give birth via Caesarean section, due to complications she experienced when giving birth to her son. A C-section offers the best opportunity for a safe and healthy outcome for both Cho and her new baby. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Cho access the care that she needs. On September 8th, Cho will undergo a Caesarean section at Mae Sariang Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to fund this procedure and ensure a safe delivery. “I want to work as a teacher in the future again, when my children are old enough to go to school,” Cho said.
Janet is a hardworking mother of two from the Philippines. To support their family, she works as a merchandiser, and her partner works as an on-call construction worker. Janet has been diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2013, she discovered a mass on her right breast and underwent surgery to remove it, but the mass unfortunately reoccurred in 2015. However, this time there was a mass on each of her breasts. When she was finally able to seek medical care, an ultrasound showed that the masses have grown in size and need to be surgically removed. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Janet receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a mastectomy on August 13th at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising $983 to cover the remaining amount. After treatment, Janet will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Janet shared, "This free surgery is a big help for me. We don't have to worry about my medical expenses anymore. Thank you so much Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for your help!"
Abigael is a bright seven-year-old from Kenya. She is the firstborn in a family of two children. Her mother is a single mom who works to support her family by doing a variety of work on other people’s farms. Abigael attends school, and one of her favorite ways to spend time is playing with her friends, both at school and at home. Abigael was born with clubfoot on her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Abigael's mother noticed the condition and took her to the nearest hospital when she was two weeks old. She underwent a series of casting there; however, over time, her clubfoot became progressively worse rather than improving. Fortunately, Abigael and her family traveled to our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital, to seek treatment. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Abigael's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to put on shoes, walk comfortably, play with her friends freely, and continue with her education uninterrupted. Abigael’s mom shares, “I request support for my daughter's clubfoot to be corrected so that she can be able to put on her shoes and walk like other children.”
Thi is a 37-year-old woman who lives and works at a garment factory in Tak Province near the Thai border with Burma. Through her work, she receives free meals and board in addition to 4,000 baht (approx. 133 USD) per month. In her free time, she likes to watch political news and read books. She is also learning Thai to help her communicate with others in Thailand. Since April 17, Thi has been experiencing severe pain due to a mass in her ovary. She feels very unwell and often has a headache. She has been diagnosed with an ovarian tumor and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Thi's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Thi is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on June 14th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Thi will be no longer in pain and will be able to work without feeling pain. Thi said, "I want to receive surgery as soon as possible so that I can return to my work after I am fully recovered."
Hla is a 40-year-old woman living with her husband and adopted daughter in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Hla and her family fled their village in Burma, due to fighting in the area. In January, Hla learned that she was pregnant for the first time after ten years of marriage. Then in March, Hla had to flee with her husband and daughter due to the fighting near her village. They moved in with her uncle, who lives in a refugee camp. Once there, she sought prenatal care at a clinic in the camp, where she was told that she had a breech baby, which would require a Caesarean section in order for her baby to be delivered safely. The C-section is scheduled for May 11th at nearby Mae Sot Hospital (MSH). When Hla told a friend that she does not have the money to pay for her hospital stay, her friend referred her to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for help with paying for her care. Currently, Hla is eight months pregnant and is worried about her condition and the health of her baby. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of Hla's treatment, and for the safe delivery of her baby. Hla said, "I was very worried when I heard that I will need an expensive C-section. I could not think of anyone to help pay for my surgery, and I felt stressed about giving birth through a C-section. After I heard from BCMF staff that donors could help pay for my surgery, I started to feel so much more relaxed and less worried. I still worry about my baby being born healthy."
U Chit is a 42-year-old husband and father from Burma. He lives with his in-laws, wife and son. His father-in-law works as a day laborer, while his wife and his mother-in-law are homemakers. U Chit used to work with his father-in-law, and also as a motorcycle taxi driver for extra income. However, he stopped working in January when his health worsened. When schools reopen, his son will begin kindergarten. A little over a year ago, U Chit began experiencing dizziness, fatigue, tightness in his chest and difficulty breathing when he exerted himself. A month later, he visited a local clinic where he was diagnosed with high blood pressure. However, in December 2021, U Chit lost a lot of weight and experienced night sweats in addition to his other symptoms. He was diagnosed with aortic valve regurgitation, mitral valve regurgitation and tricuspid valve regurgitation, and was placed on a waiting list to receive surgery. Because his condition is severe, the doctor recommended that he undergo surgery as soon as possible. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping U Chit access treatment. On April 8th, he will undergo mitral valve replacement surgery at BCMF's care center. After recovery, his symptoms should improve. Now, he needs help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. U Chit shared, "I gave up and I was ready to die before. There are a lot of heart patients waiting to receiving surgery. Since I heard that I could have surgery with the help of donors, I feel like there is hope that I will survive. I have to look after my family because my son is still young. I will always remember everything the donors did for me."
Khoem is a loving grandmother and a widow with two sons, two daughters, and several grandchildren. Her husband passed away several years ago, so she lives with her youngest daughter, who works in a local factory and supports her mother. Over the past several years, her greatest joy is playing with her grandchildren when they come to visit. Due to her age, she mostly stays home and listens to the radio. Earlier this month, Khoem tripped in her house and fell, fracturing her left hip. Although she experienced a lot of pain and was not able to walk, she did not seek any medical help because she was worried she could not pay. A relative visited her and suggested she go to Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) for diagnosis and treatment. She is in constant pain and cannot walk so is using a wheelchair to get around. Fortunately, Khoem took her relatives advice and came to CSC. There surgeons can perform a surgery to relieve Khoem of her pain and allow her to walk more easily again. Her treatment is scheduled for March 15th, and Khoem needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. "I hope that I can walk without pain, and play with my grandchildren again," shared Khoem.
Brighton is a 6-year-old boy and the 1st born in a family of two children. He is a very bright and social boy. His mother reports that he likes reading and English is his favorite subject. The family hails from Jogoo village in Kisii County in Kenya and his parents are small-scale farmers. Brighton has clubfoot of his left foot. He was born with this condition and he limps as he walks and often falls while playing football, his favorite sport. Fortunately, Brighton traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 24th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Brighton's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily, wear both shoes and enjoy playing football. Brighton's mother says, “Please, I am pleading for help for my son’s foot to be corrected so that he can walk, play as he wishes, and enjoy life."
Neila is a beautiful, smiley, and charming three-year-old girl. She is the second born child in a family of two children. Her family shared that she is a very friendly and loving little girl. Neila was diagnosed with genu varus, where her legs bow outward. 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 cannot walk easily. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Neila. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 11th. Treatment will hopefully restore Neila's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Neila’s mother says, “I am struggling to make ends meet I won't be able to afford the treatment cost. Thank you for your help."
Erick works as a tout, earning a daily wage, which is inconsistent. His wife is a hawker selling second-hand clothes for a living. Their family lives in a single room rental house costing USD 17.74 per month. Given his health, Erick currently depends on his relatives and wife for support. Erick has been on and off to different medical facilities due to stomach distress. This has depleted his resources and affected his ability to work. Without medical insurance, he is not able to cover the surgical procedure he needs and pay family bills. Erick has been unwell for about two years. An MRI showed a large mass on his pancreas and he is now scheduled for laparotomy to help ease the discomfort and pain. Erick says, "I have failed to provide for my family due to this condition. We rely on my wife for survival but her income is low and not enough. I need this treatment to be able to work and support my family.”