Sebastian joined Watsi on September 20th, 2016. Six years ago, Sebastian joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Sebastian's most recent donation supported Joyce, a 52 year old farmer from Kenya, to fund a thyroidectomy to treat her thyroid cancer.
Sebastian has funded healthcare for 80 patients in 13 countries.
Sebastian has funded healthcare for 80 patients in 13 countries.
Joyce is a 52 year old, small-scale farmer. She relies on the proceeds from her small farm, and from the milk that she sells from the one cow that she and her husband own. Her husband is also a farmer, and together, they have five adult children. In October 2017, Joyce began to experience troubling symptoms, including pain in her neck - especially during swallowing - and difficulty in breathing. She went to a nearby health facility, and underwent several surgical procedures on her thyroid and esophagus, but her condition did not improve. In May of this year, Joyce presented at Kijabe Hospital with progressive difficulty in breathing. After she was evaluated and scans were done, Joyce was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. While she has an excellent prognosis, Joyce needs to be treated quickly, to prevent the cancer from spreading. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Joyce access the care that she needs. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on September 20th, at our medical partner's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital. During this procedure, surgeons will remove all or part of Joyce's thyroid gland. This operation will cost $949, and she and her family need help raising money. Joyce says, “I am almost losing my voice. I have been through several hospitals seeking treatment. This cancer is threatening my life.”
Jonathan is a courageous fire officer from the Philippines. He lives with and helps support his siblings and elderly mother. He works to provide their family's sole income. Last month, Jonathan began to experience pain and other troubling symptoms that caused him to seek medical attention. He was diagnosed with mixed hemorrhoids, or a combination of internal and external hemorrhoids. This condition causes the veins of the lower rectum to become swollen. He requires surgery to prevent his symptoms from getting worse. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Jonathan receive treatment. He is scheduled to undergo a hemorrhoidectomy on August 20th at WSFP's care center. During this procedure, surgeons will remove his hemorrhoids. A portion of the cost of his treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,137 to cover the cost of Jonathan's procedure and care. Jonathan shares, "This disease hinders me from doing my job. I'm the only one who works in our family. If I can't work, I won't be able to provide for our needs, so this surgery is a big help for me. To Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines, thank you so much for your kind hearts. May you not get tired of helping the needy."
Erlinda is a hardworking 54-year-old woman from the Philippines. She earns money to support her family by washing and ironing clothes. In 2019, Erlinda began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty breathing and swallowing. Eventually, she noticed a growing mass on her neck. Because of this, she decided to seek medical treatment, but the doctor notified her that due to the progression of her mass, medication would not be enough to treat her condition. Erlinda was diagnosed with Thyroid Carcinoma, a type of cancer that begins in the thyroid gland. It occurs when healthy cells in the thyroid change and grow out of control, forming a tumor. She now needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Erlinda receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on July 16th at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $890, and she needs help raising money for this life-changing care. Erlinda tearfully shared, "Where else would I find money to pay for my surgery? We can't afford it. I'm really thankful that Watsi, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, and Our Lady of Peace Hospital are going to help me."
Shantel is a 5-year-old cheerful girl from Elgeyo Marakwet County in western Kenya. Shantel is the eldest child in her family and lives with her grandmother in a semi-permanent house. Shantel's family grows maize on their small piece of land as their source of food along with casual jobs working on other farms and doing laundry to earn a living. Shantel recently visited AIC Kapsowar Hospital for an x-ray of an elbow fracture and a posterior splint for her right arm. She sustained the injury after falling from a tree while playing with other children. They visited another hospital near their home where she was stabilized with the splint, but was asked to wait to be seen by a surgeon. Shantel is right-handed and this injury has impacted her performance at school since she cannot write. An orthopedic surgeon determined that Shantel needed percutaneous pinning urgently to help restore the normal functioning of her limb and to be able to continue with her education. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $679 to cover Shantel's surgery on May 24th. Shantel's mother shared, "It hurts when my child needs help that I cannot offer her. Kindly help her so she may be able to go to school like other children.”
Collins is seventh grade student and is looking forward to finishing his primary school studies. He is the second born in a family of three children. His father is a motorbike taxi driver but was involved in an accident and broke his hand and is now unable to work. Their family now relies on Collins' mother who does laundry work and house chores to earn a living for their family. Collins is a happy and talkative boy. When he was young, his parents noticed his health condition took him to a nearby hospital for treatment. There he was examined but was not able to receive care at that time. His parents were not satisfied and went to another hospital where they recommended surgery. His family has not been able to cover the cost and Collins has not yet been treated. Fortunately, their church pastor heard about Collins’ condition and referred them to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Hospital. Collins was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Collins has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Collins will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on April 12th. AMH is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Collins’ mother says, “I used to feel bad about myself previously as I could not afford to cater for my son’s treatment. Now I’m happy with the progress and what God is doing in Collins’ life. We hope for the best with the surgery.”
Meet Mercy, a 7-year-old jovial and calm girl. Our medical partner met Mercy at Cure Hospital's satellite clinic in Matuu, Kenya when she arrived with her mother. Mercy is a second grade student who is very bright and likes to study. Her mother is a homemaker while her father works on a tea farm whenever he can get small jobs there. Mercy has clubfoot of both of her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Mercy's family was referred to our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Mercy's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk, play and run like other kids she knows. “As a mother, I will be so happy seeing my child walking like other children,” Mercy’s mother told us.
Grace is a bright and hardworking student who is ready to sit for her government-mandated national exams for high school students in just two days. She is the youngest in her family of four. Grace's family came to Kenya as refugees from Rwanda to escape the 1994 genocide. Her parents started a small cereal shop after they settled. They don’t have medical insurance so are requesting help for Grace. She has had many ear infections that have now caused difficulty for her to hear and she strains to pick up voices. This has been affecting her classwork and she's even worried she may not be able to hear during her final exams on Monday. Grace urgently needs hearing aids on both ears and our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping her receive this treatment and care. AMH is raising $1,171 to fund the full cost. Grace father shared, "Grace has been struggling with her studies because of her hearing. She is now supposed to sit for her final exams in two days and will need the hearing aids so as not to miss the instructions during the exams.”
Erlando is a playful three-year-old boy from the Philippines who loves to giggle and watch Tik Tok videos. Erlando was born with a congenital abnormality that leads to intestinal complications. This condition requires Erlando to go through a series of corrective procedures to eliminate the abnormality and reduce the risk of life-threatening complications. Erlando's parents sew uniforms for a living and work hard to earn enough to sustain their daily needs. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Erlando's parents raise $1,279 to cover the total cost of Erlando's procedure and care. He is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 16th and after his recovery, Erlando will be able to live a happier and healthier life. Erlando's mother shared," This surgery will be the biggest blessing our child will ever receive given our economic situation. It will be a such a relief to see him grow up healthy."
Ravuth is a bright student in the 4th grade. He's the youngest in his family and has three older siblings. When not studying, Ravuth likes to play football, watch TV and play games with his friends from school. Six weeks ago, Ravuth had a severe ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. Ravuth now experiences ear discharge, pain, fevers, and hearing loss. It is difficult to listen and he feels shy because he doesn't understand the conversation. He has frequently been absent from class and his mother is worried that he might be held back in school. Ravuth's family traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 18th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Ravuth said: "I hope my hearing will improve and I can go back to school!"
Robinah is a 35-year-old woman and a mother of one child. Her son is eight years old and in the first grade in primary school in their hometown. She used to run a small market selling fruits and vegetables, but she closed it last year. She and her son live with her elderly mother in a two-room rental house. In March of 2020, Robinah noticed a small, painless lump in her breast. About a year later, the lump began to grow and Robinah visited a government hospital for further evaluation. She had a left breast biopsy and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. Her doctors have recommended that she undergo a mastectomy, or a surgery to remove breast tissue, to remove the cancer and prevent it from metastasizing. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Robinah receive treatment. On December 17th, she will have a mastectomy at AMH's care center. After surgery, Robinah will hopefully return to her life cancer-free. Now, she needs help raising $1,110 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Robinah shared, "no, I can’t lose my breast. I am so young, and it is my source of pride as a woman. But I need to fight this cancer. It is heartbreaking but I am strong because I know it is necessary to have the surgery."
Marian is a seven-year-old student and the youngest child of three children in her family. Her mother is a housewife, while her father is a small-scale farmer. Marian has clubfoot of the right foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Marian tiptoes when she walks, has difficulty walking for long distances, and often falls. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Marian receive treatment. On November 22nd, she will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, she will be able to walk well, run, and play with her peers in school. Now, AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Marian's procedure and care. Marian's mother shared, "I would love to see my daughter walking like other girls, and any support to make her surgery possible will be highly appreciated by our family."
Kolongo is a 17-year-old student and the oldest child in a family of six children. He is currently in class five in school and his best subjects are Swahili and math. Kolongo is hard-working both at school and home. He helps his parents with farm work when he is not at school. Kolongo’s parents are small-scale farmers of maize, cassava, and sorghum. They depend entirely on what they harvest for food and his father also seeks day laboring jobs to supplement the family's income. Kolongo was diagnosed with right genu valgus, which means that his right leg is bowing inward at the 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 of his condition, walking to school and other daily activities are difficult. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Kolongo to receive treatment. On October 8th, he will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. Treatment will hopefully restore Kolongo's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Now, AMH is requesting $880 to fund his procedure and care. Kolongo shared, "walking long distances is a challenge and carrying out my daily life activities, like working on the farm and carrying anything heavy causes me pain. I will be happy if I have my leg corrected."