Penelope KimMONTHLY DONOR
Penelope's Story

Penelope joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven years ago, Penelope joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Penelope's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Miheretu, a 9 month old baby boy from Ethiopia, to fund colon surgery.

Impact

Penelope has funded healthcare for 84 patients in 12 countries.

patients you have funded

Miheretu is a sweet nine month old boy, who loves to play with his mother and other children. Miheretu's father works as a day laborer, while his mother stays at home to care for their children. Sadly, the family's income is insufficient to supply adequate food for the children, leaving Miheretu nutritionally deprived. Due to the concerns of his doctors, Miheretu underwent a colostomy for what was determined to be Hirschsprung's Disease. This is a condition that is present at birth, in which the baby's colon is missing necessary nerve cells. Without these cells, the muscles of Miheretu's gut cannot move contents through his colon, which can result in the contents backing up and causing a bowel blockage. After the colostomy, Miheretu's parents brought him back home, as they were unable to pay for the additional medical care that he needs. Thanks to the intervention of a local charitable organization, Miheretu was brought to BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre, where on January 5th, doctors from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, will perform a Hirschsprung Pull Through. During this procedure, doctors will remove the damaged section of Miheretu's colon, which will alleviate the bowel obstruction, and allow for normal colon function. Miheretu's parents cannot afford the $1,500 cost of the surgery, and are looking to you for help. Miheretu's mother says: “If my child gets the surgery and recovers, I will give thanks to God in front of all church members and tell my testimony. I will take care of him to the best of my capacity. I want him to get an education and to get married one day.”

53%funded
$798raised
$702to go

James is a 63yr old man from Elgeyo Marakwet County in Kenya. He is married and has eight children - some of still in high school while others are married. Formerly, James worked in the forestry department for twenty years and he managed to educate his children as he used to earn a salary. Currently he is a farmer who plants maize, millet and sorghum in his small piece of land for consumption and sale. He has been able to get his basic needs and that of his family through the sale of farm produce. He has no medical coverage or insurance at the moment. Recently, James fell down and rolled down a hill when he was attempting to move his cow. He is in a lot of pain, unable to use both legs. The timing of his injury is unfortunate, because he needs to tend to his farm. He has nothing that can enable him get funds at the moment. Two of his sons managed to get ksh 10,000 which is not even a quarter of the required amount for his procedure. James has suffered fractures around both his knee joints, and they require special attention so that they may not damage the articular cartilage. He needs an urgent procedure on one of his limbs, which will also enable him undergo the surgery he needs on his other leg more quickly as well. The finance issue is barring him from getting his surgery. He is now appealing to all well-wishers for help in order to get his surgery done. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 7th, James will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. He will no longer be in pain, and will be able to walk, work and provide for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. James says, “I am in so much pain. I cannot imagine that I am not able to walk and do things on my own. I don’t regret anything, I just thank God who protected my life. Kindly help me so that I may not become a burden to my children.”

57%funded
$654raised
$491to go

Esther is an adorable two-year-old girl from Kenya who is the only child in her family. Her father used to work in a shop, but he unfortunately lost his job over three months ago. Her mother sells shoes in a local town center to help support their family. When she was seven months old, Esther began experiencing severe constipation, even going two weeks without passing stool. Her worried parents took her to four different hospitals and received different types of medication, which were all ineffective. Fortunately, one of her aunts heard about her condition and referred her to our medical partner's care center, Bethanykids Kijabe Hospital. At the hospital, Esther was examined and diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease, a condition that causes difficulty passing stool. She began treatment immediately and eventually underwent several surgeries to rectify her condition. These procedures were all funded by her family's insurance. One of the surgeries Esther underwent was a colostomy, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Esther's case, her colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. However, her family is unable to fund this needed surgery, as their insurance rejected their funding request due to a depletion of funds. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is helping Esther receive treatment. The surgery is scheduled to take place on July 25th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. AMHF is requesting $1,084 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Esther. Esther’s mother says, “As a family, we have gone through a lot with our daughter, but we are grateful to God that the treatment is almost over.”

$1,084raised
Fully funded