Gareth joined Watsi on October 17th, 2018. Five years ago, Gareth joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Gareth's most recent donation traveled 4,500 miles to support Tony, an industrial chemistry student from Kenya, to fund fracture repair surgery.
Gareth has funded healthcare for 55 patients in 9 countries.
Gareth has funded healthcare for 55 patients in 9 countries.
Tony is a 23-year-old student from Kenya. He was raised by a single mom and shared that she passed away a few years ago. He now lives with his elderly grandparents in rural Kenya. Tony has six siblings, who are all in school. Tony is in his third year at the university, where he is studying industrial chemistry. Unfortunately, he had to miss his end-of-semester exams because of his injuries and the need to use his school fees to cover his treatment costs. Tony also works part-time as a writer, but the income is insufficient to cover his school and medical bills. At the end of March, Tony was attacked by a group of people who took his valuables and hit him with a blunt object, causing serious injuries on the left side of his face. Tony was rushed to a nearby health facility for first aid and referred to a government hospital in the city the next day. The CT scan images revealed fractures in his face. Tony urgently needs to undergo surgery for his bones to heal properly. It is also difficult for him to open his mouth or eat due to his injuries. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 18th, Tony will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. The procedure will help him eat and chew comfortably, and he will be able to resume his studies. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $979 to fund this procedure. Tony said: “I missed my exams because of the injury. I cannot eat or chew anything. I need this surgery to be able to eat and use my mouth well again.”
Peter, who is 45 years old, lives with his wife and five young children in Pokot county in Kenya. Peter was a successful dairy farmer until drought and famine decimated his herd of cows, rendering it impossible for him to earn sufficient money to provide for his family. Currently, he works as a small scale potato farmer, while his wife is a homemaker, caring for their children. Not too long ago, Peter was involved in a road traffic accident, while heading to the farm. He lost control of his motorbike, and fractured his tibia. In order to heal, Peter needs surgery on his leg, a procedure that he cannot afford with his limited earnings from the farm. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On March 28th, Peter will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. After this procedure, Peter will no longer be in pain, and once he has fully recovered, he will be able to return to work and to provide for his family. African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,145 to fund his surgery and medical care. Peter says: "I am the only person who works to provide for my family. My wife looks after the children at home as they are still young and need more attention. I feel bad when I cannot help them. Kindly help me so that they may not suffer."
Emmanuel is a 39-year-old father of two from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He lives with his wife and children and works in sales at an electronics store. He has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. There is a hole between the two upper chambers of his heart, which causes blood to leak out without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Because the care he needs is not available in Haiti, Emmanuel will fly to the United States to undergo cardiac surgery on February 27th. Doctors will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital is contributing $10,000 to help pay for this surgery. His family now needs $1,500 to help fund costs of the surgery preparations, including labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments, and travel expenses. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance will accompany Emmanuel overseas and ensure he safely undergoes treatment. Emmanuel says, "I am excited for this surgery so that I can focus on taking care of my family without worrying about my health."
Nine-year-old Thiri is a first-grader, living with her mother and two brothers in Burma. Her mother sells vegetables in a local shop, while Thiri and her brothers attend school. While playing with her friends in front of her house in early January 2023, Thiri tripped, and fell into a pile of rice sacks, injuring her left eye in the process. Immediately, she realized that she could not see out of her left eye. Over time, her eye injury became more painful, red, and sensitive to light. Eventually, when her eye did not heal, her mother brought her to Mae Sot Hospital, where she was diagnosed with traumatic glaucoma. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Thiri. On February 1st, doctors at Mae Sot General Hospital will remove the natural lenses from both of her eyes, and replace them with intraocular lens implants. Once she has recovered. Thiri will regain her ability to see clearly. Now she needs your help to fund this critical procedure. Thiri's mother said: "I want her to receive surgery and recover soon so that she [Thiri] can go back to school and I can go back to work. I want her to be rich in the future, not like me, and own her own shop, because she likes to cook."
Meet Night, a jovial and playful five year old girl. Night lives with her parents and two younger siblings in a traditional home in Kenya. Her father works selling second hand clothing, while her mother stays home to take care of the children. Shortly after she was born, Night's parents realized that something seemed wrong. They brought Night to a health facility in Turkana County where they lived, and were referred on to BethanyKids Hospital. There she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which meant that fluid was collecting in her head. Surgery was performed, and a shunt was placed to continuously drain the fluid from Night's head. A year later, however, Night's head began to increase in size, and she developed weakness on the right side of her body. The doctors at the local health facility urged Night's parents to take her back to BethanyKids Hospital for additional treatment, but Night's parents didn't have enough money to do this. With the help of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Night is now scheduled to undergo a craniotomy on January 5th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, when surgeons will drain excess fluids from Night's brain. Night's father is providing as much of a co-pay as possible for this procedure, but the family needs your help to raise the remaining $1,500 required to cover all of the costs of Night's surgery and care. Night’s father said: “Night is not able to communicate well because of her condition. This surgery will help her to be able to speak.”
Jaebets is a 13-year-old, eighth grade student from Haiti, who aspires to study medicine when he is older. He lives with his parents and two sisters in Port-au-Prince. Jaebets has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, which means that a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is paying for the cardiac surgery that Jaebets needs to correct the defect. However, Jaebets' family also needs to be able to cover the $1,500 that it will cost for pre-surgical preparation, laboratory tests, medicines and follow-up appointments. The money is also needed to pay for the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Jaebets and his family when they travel to the Cayman Islands for Jaebets' surgery, which is scheduled for November 17th. Jaebets said: "I am excited to have this surgery so that I can focus on school instead of on my heart."
Meet Katweensly, a 16 year old student, living with her mother and siblings in a small town in Haiti, near the border with the Dominican Republic. Katweensly, who is a junior in high school, particularly enjoys her math and science classes. As a young child, Katweensly suffered a bout of rheumatic fever, which damaged one of the four valves in her heart. As a result, her heart cannot pump blood efficiently through her body, leaving her feeling weak and short of breath. Thanks to the help of our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, Katweensly is scheduled to travel to the Dominican Republic for surgery, which is scheduled for November 10th, at Hospital CEDIMAT. There, doctors will first try to repair the damaged valve. If they are unable to do this, they will implant an artificial valve. Another organization, Mitral Foundation, is helping supporting the cost of the surgery, but Katweensly's family needs an additional $1,500 to pay for lab tests, medicines, and follow up appointments that are a part of her overall treatment. In addition, support will help cover the travel costs and ensure a social worker from Haiti Cardiac Alliance can support the family during treatment in the Dominican Republic. Katweensly said: "I am feeling very happy to finally have the chance to have my heart repaired after waiting for so long."
Hser is an 11-year-old student from Thailand who is in sixth grade. He lives with his parents and three brothers, all of whom attend school, in a refugee camp. His father is on the school committee at the camp, and his mother occasionally works as an agricultural day laborer outside of the refugee camp. Hser enjoys going to school, attending church, and praying. In his free time, he also likes playing games on his parents’ phone. This past June, Hser slipped on the mud under his house and landed on his left arm and shoulder. Although he initially felt fine, he developed pain and swelling in his left arm and shoulder a week later. He was diagnosed with a dislocated left shoulder and a fractured upper arm. However, after visiting another hospital, his doctor suspected he might have osteomyelitis, or inflammation of the bone, in his left upper arm. Doctors want Hser to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $814 to cover the cost of Hser's MRI and care, which is scheduled for August 4th. Hser shares, “I would like to become a pastor when I grow up.”
Dibora is a smiley and playful 13-month-old baby girl from Ethiopia. Her father is a farmer and her mother is a housewife. She has three older siblings and loves to eat and to play with her family. Dibora was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. Due to her condition, she developed a bowel obstruction and an emergency colostomy procedure was performed. She has had a number of complications due to this procedure, and requires an additional procedure to correct her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Dibora receive treatment. On September 8th, she will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. After her recovery, Dibora will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Now, she and her family need help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. Dibora's mother shared, "Once Dibora has recovered and is healed of this condition, I want to take care of her and her siblings well."
Simon is a 20-year-old who, since he was a little boy, he has worked selling goods at a nearby open market. He has no stable source of income and is currently unable to work due to his medical condition. His single mother is unable to support him. Fortunately, his friend is allowing him to stay in their single room close to the city market. Two years ago, Simon began experiencing pain in his left knee, causing him to limp as he walked. His pain eventually spread to his hip. He now cannot walk without a walking stick and has an infected hip and knee, which are limiting his mobility. After receiving a CT scan, Simon was diagnosed with septic arthritis, which is inflammation of a joint caused by an infection, and sequelae of the hip. In hopes to help his condition, Simon visited visited Kenyatta National Hospital. He has since been on medical follow-up for septic arthritis at the facility without any surgical intervention. He eventually had to stop attending the follow-up clinics due to a lack of financial resources. Fortunately, a friend told Simon about our medical partner's care center, and he traveled there to receive treatment. Now, Simon is scheduled to undergo a treatment on July 8th. This will hopefully finally help heal his condition and relieve his pain. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to fund his treatment. Simon shares, “I can barely move my leg without support from this walking stick. My hip is painful and my knee is just unbearable. I cannot work in my condition and therefore am struggling to survive.”
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.”
Shedrack is a 17-year-old teenager and the fourth born child in a family of seven. He had to drop out of school last year, but hopes to learn masonry at a local technical school so that he can work and make a living for himself. He is currently helping in looking after his family's cattle. His parents are small scale farmers, and his father also works as a night guard. His father shared that he can't yet afford to send Shedrack to the technical school. Shedrack was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus. His legs bow inward at the knees. 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 has had difficulty walking for four years now. His father says the problem started with a slight curve but over the years the curve has increased in size. Shedrack's aunt learned about Plaster House - a special site that provides a home to patients undergoing treatment at our medical partner's care center in Arusha, Tanzania. She informed Shedrack's father who brought him there seeking treatment. Unable to raise the funds needed for surgery, their family is asking for support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Shedrack. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 6th. Treatment will hopefully restore Shedrack's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Shedrack says, “My legs hurt at the knees and carrying out daily life activities is now a big challenge.”