Zach joined Watsi on April 21st, 2021. One year ago, Zach joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Zach's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Farhio, a 47-year-old mother and widow from Somalia, to fund a mastectomy to prevent her cancer from spreading.
Zach has funded healthcare for 32 patients in 10 countries.
Zach has funded healthcare for 32 patients in 10 countries.
Farhio is a 47-year-old mother and widow from Somalia. She lost her husband two years ago. She is now the sole breadwinner to her family of four children, aged between 8 and 16. Farhio works as a street vendor selling tea by the roadside. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago and underwent chemotherapy, a mastectomy, and radiation. She thought that the cancer had subsided, but, unfortunately, it returned. She went to a hospital in her home country of Somalia where doctors recommended she undergo surgery. She preferred to come to Kijabe Hospital after relatives who live in Nairobi referred her there. Farhio has been diagnosed with breast cancer. 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. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Farhio. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 3rd. After treatment, Farhio will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Farhio says, “I thought this disease had gone. Sadly, it came back. I need to treat it before it spreads.”
Manith is a 19-year-old with two brothers, two sisters, and his parents are rice farmers. He recently got a job feeding and looking after ducks. In his free time, he enjoys playing volleyball and going out with his friends. In 2020, Manith was in a motorbike accident and fractured his right clavicle and patella. He went to an emergency hospital and he had a sling fixed for the clavicle fracture and a tension bend wire for his patella. Now, it is time to remove the fracture hardware from his knee so he can fully heal and be out of risk for infection. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On January 11th, Manith will undergo a hardware removal procedure, which will cost $304. This procedure will help him walk easily again. He shared, "After I have surgery, I want to walk easily again and do my new job well."
Yoeun is a 70-year-old farmer from Kompong Cham province. She is a widow with no children, as her husband passed away during the Khmer Rouge regime forty years ago. She lives with her disabled brother and supports their living by growing vegetables and bananas to sell at the local market. When she has time, she enjoys joining ceremonies at the village pagoda. About ten years ago, Yoeun developed a pterygium in her right eye, causing her irritation, pain, redness. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. When Yoeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and half hours seeking treatment. Yoeun needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The total cost of her procedure is $225. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. The procedure is scheduled for December 13th. She said: "I hope after surgery my eye will see well again, my eye will feel comfortable. I want to plant crops around my home and go outside."
Bunsey is a 22-year-old garment factory worker from Cambodia. His father is a rice farmer and his mother is also a garment factory worker. He has one brother and two sisters. Bunsey's older brother and older sister are both married, while his younger sister is a 10th grade student. In June 2022, Bunsey was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of his right shoulder. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He is unable to lift his arm and he cannot work. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Bunsey receive treatment. He traveled to CSC's care center, which is the only center in Cambodia where this treatment is available. On November 17th, he will undergo brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his right arm again. Now, he needs help raising $709 to fund his procedure and care. Bunsey shared, "after surgery, I hope I can use my right arm again so I can return to work and support my family."
Josephina is a young woman from Tanzania. She is the last-born child in a family of seven children, and lives with most of her siblings and both parents. Her parents are small-scale farmers who depend on agriculture to meet their basic needs. Though times have been hard, they are trying to manage. Josephina is hard-working and enjoys helping her mother with home chores like cooking, cleaning dishes, and washing clothes. She completed her primary school education, but unfortunately, she has not been able to continue with further studies because of financial challenges. In 2011, as she was helping her mother in the kitchen, her dress caught fire, burning her around the thighs. She was taken to the hospital where she received treatment for the open wounds. All the wounds healed, leaving her pain free for some time. She has now developed contractures and has pain and discomfort. Josephina came to our health center seeking treatment, but her parents cannot afford to pay for it. They appeal for support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Josephina receive treatment. On October 19th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her be pain free and live a comfortable life. Now, her family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Josephina’s mother says, “My child has had to endure pain for a while because we did not know that her condition can be treated. We hope that she won’t have any pain after this.”
Saw Tha is an 11-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents, a younger brother, and a younger sister in a village in Karen State. His father is a Karen soldier and his mother is a homemaker. Their family does not have a stable income, but sometimes his father will work as a day laborer when he has free time. Saw Tha's family also raises chickens for their own consumption and his mother plants vegetables around their house. During his free time, Saw Tha likes to play football with his friends. On February 3rd, 2023, Saw Tha climbed a plum mango tree to pluck the fruit. He suddenly fell down from the tree and broke his left femur bone. Currently, he cannot walk as he is in severe pain and his left leg is swollen. Despite taking painkillers, he cannot sleep as the pain worsens through the night. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Saw Tha will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 4th and this treatment will help Saw Tha to be free from pain and walk again. Saw Tha and his family need help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure. Saw Tha's mother said, "I do not know where to look for help for my son. I just know that I am [worried] for him. I am very thankful to the kind donors and organization [BCMF] for helping my son."
Yves is a young man from Haiti. He lives with his parents and sister in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince; they have been caring for him since he fell ill about five years ago. Prior to his illness, he worked as a clerk for a local business. Yves has a cardiac condition called severe rheumatic mitral insufficiency. One of the four valves of his heart was severely damaged by a rheumatic fever that he suffered a number of years ago, and cannot adequately pump blood through his heart and body. The care Yves is not available anywhere in Haiti, so Yves will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On September 12th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove his damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $9000 to pay for surgery. Yves's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It will also pay for the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Yves's family overseas, and the cost of obtaining Yves' passport. Says Yves: "I am hopeful that I can get back to a healthy and independent life once my heart problem is fixed!"
Malaika lives on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince in Haiti with her parents and four siblings; she is in the third grade and likes her science and reading classes. She was both with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. The surgery she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately for Malaika, doctors at the Clinica Corominas in the Dominican Republic will be able to perform an interventional heart catherization procedure to fix her condition. During the procedure, doctors will insert a catheter into her heart to plug the hole with a device. Now, her family needs $1,500 to help pay the costs of the procedure and travel. Another organization Gift of Life International is also contributing to her life-saving care. Malaika's mother says: "Our family is very hopeful that our daughter will be healthier and happier after her heart is fixed."
Mbula is a young girl from Tanzania. She has one sibling and lives with her family in a remote area far from the city; it’s hard for them to access basic social services. Mbula is raised by two loving parents who are farmers. They depend on their harvest to provide for their family. With the recent years' weather changing and droughts, it has been hard for them because they cannot depend on the rainy season for agriculture. This has made it difficult to sustain food at home. Mbula was diagnosed with genu varus, which causes her legs to 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 has difficulty walking and running.. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is asking for $880 to fund corrective surgery for Mbula. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 2nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Mbula's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Mbula’s mother says, “I feel sorry for my daughter, she has to go through pain almost every day.”
A couple from Tanzania visited our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), with their adorable newborn baby boy. Their two-day-old baby was born with clubfoot of both feet, which is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This condition can cause difficulty walking or wearing shoes. The couple is concerned that their son may have difficulty walking in the future as he grows, and they are seeking assistance with surgery. The baby's father works full-time at a timber factory and shared that his income only covers their basic needs. They are overjoyed with their new son and are hopeful he'll receive the care he needs. Fortunately, AMH can help! On November 4th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery that will allow the baby to walk easily and wear shoes as he grows up. AMH is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Rebecca, the baby's mother, shared, “I am glad to know that my baby’s condition is treatable.”
Deborah's baby is a newborn - only a few days old. Deborah and her husband have two more children. Deoborah's husband is the breadwinner of the family, working as a small business operator while Deborah is a stay-at-home parent for their family. Her husband's income provides for their basic needs and school fees. Deborah's baby was born with clubfoot of his right leg. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. His parents are greatly concerned about their baby’s condition. They are worried, but also holding hope that their newborn baby will be ok. Fortunately, the parents brought their newborn to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is raising $935 to fund the baby's clubfoot repair. After treatment, his leg will be aligned correctly and he will be able to walk easily as he grows. His father shared, “It has been so hard living in doubt for the past three days. I'm grateful my baby will now get help."
Zion is an adorable four-month-old baby boy from the Philippines. Despite being so young, Zion loves interacting with people and already responds when his name is called. Zion's mother is a full-time mom, while his father is a contract-of-service worker. Zion's father's income helps to sustain their family's daily needs. In March, Zion's family brought him to the hospital as he has skin tags on his body and they were concerned for his future health and development. This condition can be severe, especially at his age as it may cause discomfort that leads to itching, wounds, and infections. On May 4th, Zion is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Zion's parents raise $1,196 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. After recovery, Zion will no longer have multiple skin tags or be at risk of developing related health complications in the future. "Once this surgery is done, we don't have to worry about his condition, and we can focus on taking care of Zion," his father shared. "Thank you so much World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for your help. May you help other people in need like us," he added.