Gareth joined Watsi on October 17th, 2018. Three years ago, Gareth joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Gareth's most recent donation traveled 3,500 miles to support Jhonatan Mercado, a 4-year-old from Venezuela, to fund clubfoot treatment so he can be active.
Gareth has funded healthcare for 38 patients in 9 countries.
Gareth has funded healthcare for 38 patients in 9 countries.
Jhonatan Mercado is a creative four-year-old from Venezuela. A year ago his family moved to Medellin in Colombia seeking for a better future for their kids. Jhonatan is an older brother in a family of two children, his little brother is one year old. Jhonatan he loves to play with his mom with Legos. He already loves soccer too. Jhonatan Mercado has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Jhonatan Mercado's family traveled to visit our Medical Partner Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 20th. Our medical partner, Clínica Noel, is requesting $1500 to fund Jhonatan Mercado's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk without pain or further complications. His mother said "We are really glad that finally we found help, we have been in different treatments since he was 6 months old but now we have a lot of faith in this procedure and in Doctor Miguel."
Taw is a 43-year-old teacher who lives with her family in the refugee camp. Taw and her husband work at the same school and their daughter is also enrolled there in the nursery program. In her free time, Taw enjoys singing and reading with her students. Taw also loves to grow vegetables around her house, and she is very proud that the vegetables she grows are organic. Growing her own vegetables also helps to reduce her household expenses. Last month, Taw was walking home with a branch from a banana tree she had just cut down to cook for dinner. That afternoon it was drizzling and the dirt road was slippery. Taw slipped and fell onto her left arm, breaking both bones in her left forearm. With the help of Watsi donors, she underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into her forearm at the end of August at Chiang Mai Hospital. A few days after her surgery, Taw's wound got an infection and the doctor had to perform another surgery to remove the rod from her arm. Once the infection cleared up with the help of antibiotics, the doctor scheduled another surgery to have the rod reinserted into Taw's arm to finally help her heal. Taw’s left arm is still in pain. She is in pain whenever she sits down, and the pain increases when she moves her arm. If she lies down and puts her left arm on a pillow, she feels better. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Taw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for September 7th and will cost $1,500. After the procedure, Taw will no longer be in pain and she will be able to go back home and see her family. She will be able to teach again and garden like before. Taw said, "I really miss my family and my daughter. I hope that I will receive proper treatment and be able to go back home again soon."
Boaz is a small baby boy and the last born in a family of three children. Boaz’s father is a teacher and his mother is a housewife. Boaz was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition he was born with. If left untreated, Boaz has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, Boaz is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on September 6th. Boaz will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care so he can grow up healthy. Boaz’s mother says, “When we heard that we were not in a position to be covered with support for his surgery, we had no choice but to go back and gather some funds which would take a long time. We are grateful for your help.”
Atuhaire is a 32-year-old expecting mother. She studied up to the sixth grade, but left school when her parents could not continue to afford her education. Atuhaire started farming before getting married. Together with her husband, they work as farmers, earning limited income to make ends meet. Atuhaire received antenatal care from a health center near her home. When she came for review at our medical partner's care center, Nyakibale Hospital, a C-Section was recommended to ensure safety for the mother and the child during birth. Atuhaire says, “My hope of delivering a live baby improved the moment I got to know about the funding program. We do not have the money and with your support, I am confident it will be successful delivery.”
Nuriya is 2-year-old toddler from Ethiopia who loves his mom and dad very much and always wants to be with them. Nuriya enjoys chatting and playing with his parents. Now he also has a three-month-old baby sister. His parents are working hard to raise them both. They shared that they went through a lot as a previous immigrant in Saudi Arabia and their family now decided to stay in their home country to raise a family and support it from their homeland. Nuriya's grandparents gave his parents a small piece of land that they are now farming. However, the fruit that they farm is only enough to maintain the daily needs of the family. Nuriya was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Nuriya is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Nuriya was also born with another birth condition that Watsi donors supported for treatment and his family is tremendously grateful for support. Nuriya's mother is inspired by the care he is receiving, “I hope he will be a doctor in the future. Just as the doctor who treated him and changed his health in the past, I want him to grow and treat so many kids with sickness and disability.”
Justine is a talkative 18-year-old laborer from Kenya. He is the second-born child in a family of five children. He dropped out of school in grade eight after his parents were unable to pay his secondary school fees. Now, Justine drives a motorcycle taxi to help support his siblings. One week ago, Justine was involved in a road accident and fractured the second, third and fourth metatarsals on his right foot. He experiences pain and he cannot walk. He was told that his fracture would require surgery, and in the meantime, he is in a cast. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 3rd, Justine will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Justine will no longer be in pain, and he will be able to walk and work. Now, AMH is requesting $1,016 to fund his procedure. Justine shared, “if I could be walking now, I could be out there looking for a job and supporting my family. I have faith that I will walk again."
Francis is a nine-year-old boy and the youngest of four children in his family. Francis is developmentally delayed, and his mother shared that at he has not yet developed speech and recently learned how to walk. Francis' father is intellectually disabled and does not work. Francis' mother does a variety of jobs, including feeding neighbors' cattle to provide for their family. Francis was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Francis has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, Francis will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). He is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on May 8th. Now, AMH is requesting $569 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Francis’ mother shared, “as the breadwinner in the family, I cannot raise the funds for his surgery. We are requesting financial help.”
Htoo is a 6-year-old boy from Thailand. He lives with his parents, brother and two sisters in a refugee camp on the border of Thailand and Burma. Htoo and his siblings were born in the refugee camp. Htoo’s mother is a homemaker, while Htoo’s older brother and sisters go to primary school and Htoo attends kindergarten. His father used to work as a day labourer, but has been unemployed since the pandemic began. Currently, they have no income and receive some financial support for their daily expenses. Luckily, Htoo's family receives free basic healthcare and education in the camp. In late October 2020, Htoo was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. If he stands up for a short period of time, or walks, the right side of his private area will swell. Around twice a week, Htoo shares with his parents that this area is hurting him and he feels uncomfortable. Fortunately, on April 8th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Htoo's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 8th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Htoo's father shared, “Most of the time, my son is very active and playful. He will only rest when he complains about the pain.”
Hear is a 28-year-old rice farmer who married with one young child. Hear is the main breadwinner of his family and works hard to support them. In his spare time, Hear likes to read the newspaper and play games with his kid. Three years ago, the retina of Hear's left eye detached, causing him partial blindness, and affected his self-esteem due to an inability to see or work. When Hear learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three and a half hours with his wife seeking treatment. On March 4th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Hear shared, "I hope after surgery I can see out of my eye again. I need to plant rice and raise animals to support my family. I want to fix my vision so I can work, and can read again without hurting my eyes."
Baby of Stumai is a 27-day-old old baby boy from Tanzania. He is the last born child in a family of three children. His father sells fruits by the roadside in order to support his family, while his mother takes care of their home. Baby of Stumai was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Baby of Stumai is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Baby of Stumai's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 3rd. This procedure will hopefully spare Baby of Stumai from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Baby of Stumai's mother shared, “We have been informed that our son needs surgery to correct his condition, which is putting his life at risk but we can’t afford the cost. Please help us.”
Choeurk is a 64-year-old farmer, proudly married for 42 years and has six children, two sons and four daughters. Four of his children are now married, and he has 4 grandchildren. Choeurk lives with his wife, who is also a farmer. During his free time, he likes to exercise in the morning, care for his grandchildren, listen to the radio news, clean the house, and visit the pagoda. Two years ago, Choeurk was in a motor vehicle accident that caused trauma to his right hip and knee. After the accident, he went to a provincial hospital, where they gave him medications to ease the pain, but his condition did not improve. When he arrived at Watsi's Medical Partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he had a painful right hip and right knee and he was unable to walk. Doctors diagnosed him with avascular necrosis in his hip and recommend a total hip replacement on his right hip and a possible knee fusion procedure as well. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Choeurk of his pain and allow him to walk easily again. Treatment is scheduled for January 7th, and Choeurk needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Choeurk shared, "I hope that after this surgery, my right hip will be free of pain, and I will be able to walk and work again."
Naomi is a 6-year-old girl from Tanzania and the youngest to her mother who has five children. Naomi's father is polygamous with three wives with a total of thirteen children in their family. Her parents have a few cattle which they depend on for daily living. Naomi is a playful girl and always wants to take part in daily home activities, but most of the time she can't due to her disability and how much she struggles using her hand. At the age of four months, Naomi was left by her mother sleeping as she went outside. She had left a fire burning close to the bed to keep their hut warm when Naomi rolled and fell into it. Her mother heard her cry and ran to her rescue. She sustained severe burns around her head and face, left hand, left foot, and around her stomach. Currently, she can’t use her left hand because it has contracted from the burn scar making it impossible for her to straighten and use it. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Naomi receive treatment. On December 1st, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. She will be able to straighten her hand and use it after she heals from surgery. Now, her family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Naomi’s mother shared: “My daughter is very hard working but her hand limits her a lot and I feel bad seeing her struggling to carry out her daily life activities. Please help treat her.”