Van joined Watsi on August 23rd, 2016. Seven years ago, Van joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Van's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Bakari, a cheerful six-year-old boy from Tanzania, to fund clubfoot treatment.
Van has funded healthcare for 81 patients in 13 countries.
Van has funded healthcare for 81 patients in 13 countries.
Bakari is 6-year-old boy from Tanga, Tanzania. He is known for his charm, sociability, and outspoken nature. He is the first child to his mother, with his father having passed away. His mother, due to remarriage and relocation to another region, Mwanza, had to leave him in the care of his grandmother and uncle. Currently a student, Bakari recently embarked on his primary education, finding joy in the time spent at school with his peers, though limited in activities due to the condition he was born with. Bakari faces a physical challenge as he was born with a condition affecting both of his feet, causing them to twist inward and downward, significantly impacting his mobility. Early in his life, he had an opportunity for treatment in Tanga, but unfortunately, his father’s demise led to a lack of follow-up post-operative care, resulting in a relapse. At the age of two, his grandmother took him to the hospital for treatment, but insufficient financial resources prevented them from completing the necessary procedures, leading to yet another relapse. Determined to secure proper treatment for Bakari, his grandmother patiently gathered savings and, in late 2023, brought him to Arusha, specifically to Nkuaranga Hospital. During their visit, the doctor informed them that, due to Bakari’s age, he required more complex surgery, which the grandmother couldn’t afford. The doctor then directed them to Kafika house. Upon arrival, he was assessed by the team there. Bakari has clubfoot of both feet. His treatment plan will start with manipulation and casting, followed by corrective surgery. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. The team at Kafika House will begin clubfoot treatment on January 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Bakari's clubfoot repair. After treatment, his mobility will significantly improve. Bakari’s grandmother says: “I really hope my grandson's feet will be okay. I have struggled to see him get treatment hoping his future will be okay.”
Shane is a four-year-old toddler from Bolivia. She is the middle of three children and lives in a jungle valley in northern Bolivia where her parents are both farmers. When Shany began to walk, her parents noticed that she would become out of breath very easily. After several doctor visits she was diagnosed with a condition called pulmonary valvar and subvalvar stenosis, in which the area in and near one of the four valves of her heart is too narrow. Blood cannot pass easily through this valve, leaving her weak and short of breath. Surgery is recommended to repair her heart. Our medical partner International Cardiac Alliance is requesting $1,500 to fund Shane's surgery. During surgery, doctors will open the valve to a more normal size so that blood can circulate normally through her body. Her mother shares: "Our family is hopeful that after this surgery our daughter will be healthy and strong enough to start school."
Maria Gorrety is a 56-year-old single mother from Ongata Rongai near Nairobi. Maria does works washing clothes for her neighbors, work that is just enough to sustain her. Her daughter recently secured a job with a company in Nairobi as is happy to be able to get work when it is available. Their income is only sufficient to maintain them for basic needs. While working, Maria slipped while stepping on a stool to clean, and she fell and broke her leg. An x-ray showed she had a closed fracture tibia on her left leg. Her family has been unable to raise the money for treatment and needs help. She is experiencing pain and cannot use her leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner could help. On October 12, Maria will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Maria will no longer be in pain; she will heal and be able to use her leg and work. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I am used to doing my own things and caring for myself and my daughter. I am worried about my leg and kindly request help so that my leg can heal soon and I can get back on my feet,” said Maria.
Dinah is a 3-year-old girl from Kenya. She is the second born in a family of three children. Her family hails from the interior part of North Pokot. Our medical partner met Dinah, accompanied by her grandmother, at a mobile community clinic in Kacheliba. The grandmother has nine children and is raising Dinah. She is a farmer and a herder and shared that she separated from her husband after he married several wives. Dinah was left by her parents, who are pastoralists and migrated to a different region. Because of the deformity, she could not walk for long distances. Dinah has clubfoot of right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Dinah and her grandmother visited our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on October 17th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Dinah's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will no longer be in pain and will be able to walk much more easily. “I am appealing for your support to help my grandchild undergo surgery so she can walk normally,” Dinah's Grandmother told us.
Phaneat is a 23-year-old student who lives in Phnom Penh City with her parents. She has 3 siblings - 2 older brothers who are married and a younger sister. Her parents have a small grocery store. In school, Phaneat is studying to be an accountant. When she has free time, she likes to read books and do research. Since Phaneat was 10 years old, she has had frequent sore throats. It is often difficult for her to swallow and breathe. She has tried many medications from their local pharmacy, but her illness always returns. For the past 3 months, Phaneat has had a chronic sore throat, difficulty swallowing and has lost her appetite. She was recently diagnosed with enlarged tonsils and adenoids, which, if not treated, will cause her symptoms to persist and possibly intensify over time. Fortunately, our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) is able to help. Phaneat is scheduled for a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy on September 4th. Surgeons will remove her tonsils and adenoids, hopefully relieving Phaneat of her symptoms and helping her live much more comfortably. She is able to contribute $50 towards the cost of surgery and needs help raising $265 to fund the procedure. She said, "I hope my sore throat goes away, it will be easy to breathe and easy to eat."
Sai is a 26-year-old veteran from Burma. He lives at a dormitory for people with disabilities in the Internally Displaced Person (IDP) Camp in Shan State, Burma. He has been unemployed since his injury. In his free time, Sai likes to exercise and garden. However, he is currently unable to do these activities because of his health. In 2019, Sai was shot in his right upper thigh. Following the event, he underwent an X-ray examination which confirmed a fractured hip. A doctor immobilized his right thigh and hip by applying a cast. Nevertheless, he has been grappling with persistent discomfort in his right leg and hip. On July 11th, with the assistance of Watsi, he underwent a CT scan of his hip, revealing a malunion of the hip fracture. Sai's right hip and leg continue to be a source of pain for him, despite his regular use of pain-relief medications. Due to the pain, he cannot stand or walk on his right leg without the support of crutches, and his sleep is often disturbed at night as the pain intensifies during colder weather and nighttime hours. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Sai will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for August 10th and will cost $1,500. The procedure will help him walk easily again without crutches and resolve pain. Sai said; "I feel very happy to receive treatment in an advanced hospital with your help BCMF, Watsi, and my donors. I cannot wait to walk with my leg and become healthy again. Thank you very much."
Meet 42-year-old Khin who lives with her husband in Thailand. Both Khin and her husband work in a wool factory. In March 2023, Khin felt overwhelmingly tired. She received an injection at a local clinic, but she didn't feel any better. A few days later she became dizzy, and fainted. Subsequently, she developed back pain and gastrointestinal issues. She has now been diagnosed with a myoma - or uterine fibroid - and advised to have her uterus and cervix surgically removed, to prevent future health complications. Khin is scheduled to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy on May 25th, at Mae Sot General Hospital. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once she has recovered, Khin's overall health should improve, and she will be free of the pain that currently lives with. Khin said: “When I first heard that I would need surgery, I felt stressed because I have no money. But when I learned that I have a donor, I felt relieved. In the future, I will continue to work in the factory.”
Kaung is a 2-year-old baby boy who lives in Burma with his grandmother, uncle, aunt, and five-month-old cousin. His grandmother is retired, his uncle is a motorbike taxi driver and his aunt is a homemaker. Kaung was born with a condition called Congenital Hydrocephalus. Congenital Hydrocephalus is caused by a brain malformation or birth condition that causes excessive cerebrospinal fluid to accumulate in brain cavities. Cerebrospinal fluid is a clear, colorless liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, protecting them from injury. It carries nutrients to the brain and spinal cord and takes away waste. In a healthy person, the amount of this fluid produced by the brain is absorbed by the body. In hydrocephalus, the fluid fails to drain and accumulates, leading to pressure on the brain. Kaung's symptoms include intensifying nasal congestion and coughing with mucus. Additionally, his head is gradually increasing in size as the fluid continues to put pressure on his brain. The condition is most often treated by inserting a shunt. The shunt diverts excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the brain to another part of the body where the fluid can be reabsorbed. Kaung's family visited a doctor when he was born to address the issue. At the time, the doctor advised the family to seek further treatment. However, Kaung was never brought to a hospital or clinic due to the financial difficulties of the family. Fortunately, Kaung was able to meet with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). With the help of BCMF and Watsi, Kaung received a CT scan at Mae Sot General Hospital. The doctor was able to diagnose his condition and scheduled Kaung to undergo surgery immediately. Kaung is scheduled for surgery on May 26th. Kaung's aunt said, "My nephew becomes cuter by the day, and he is always smiling. I tried to save money to treat him, but I could not. But now, we are so happy to have met you all at BCMF. We are happy to know that Kaung will have the opportunity to get treated because of your support.”
Ann is a 45-year-old woman from Kenya and a mother of four children aged between 23-27 years old. Her husband passed away in 1999. Her children have been unable to secure steady jobs, and Ann works as a casual laborer washing clothes to provide a living. However, she shared that her income is inconsistent, as it depends on the availability of work. She lives alone in a single room. Ann does not have medical coverage and is requesting assistance with her treatment costs. In April 2023, Ann slipped and fell on the road causing a fracture in her right wrist. She went to a local pharmacy for first aid and has since been using hot water and salt to treat the fracture due to a lack of medical coverage. However, her hand has continued to swell, and she is in chronic pain, making it challenging to use her right hand. A church member recommended Ann visit Kijabe Mission Hospital for review. Through church members’ contributions, Ann received an X-ray, and the doctor recommended she undergo surgery to treat the fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 15th, Ann will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will heal the broken bones and enable her to use her hand again. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Ann says: “I can’t use my hand because it is broken. I am unable to work and sometimes sleep hungry because I depend on my hand to work and earn a living. I need the surgery to earn a livelihood.”
Isaac is a 37-year-old husband and father to three young children ranging from 2-8 years old. He works as a laborer at a construction site in Nairobi. However, income is tight, as Issac's job has an inconsistent need for laborers and his wife is a stay-at-home mom. On the 13th of April, Isaac was involved in a bad car accident and rushed to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital for emergency care. The car Isaac was in swayed off the road and hit a wall that caused a severe fracture in his right leg. The fracture has made it difficult for him to walk and causes him pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On April 14th, Isaac will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him regain the ability to walk. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund his medical procedure. Isaac says, “My family depends on me. I am scared of how to fend for them with this condition. I need the treatment since I cannot work with a broken leg."
Austin is seven years old and a pupil in pre-primary two in Kenya. His father sells household items in Mwiki, while his mother is a homemaker. Austin also has one sibling. Austin has suffered from developmental delays in his growth and ability to speak. He also suffers from a heart condition, for which he is receiving treatment. Additionally, Austin has been diagnosed with significant hearing loss in both of his ears. As a result, his father reports that Austin performs poorly in school and has difficulty pronouncing words. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, wants to help Austin procure hearing aids. After being evaluated, Austin will receive his hearing aids- which will cost $1,171- on March 21st, at AIC Kijabe Hospital. Austin and his family need your help to raise the necessary funds. Austin's father says: “Austin is struggling to study in school. He is unable to pronounce words and do sums in class.”
Elenita is a 60-year-old woman from Philippines. She previously worked as a Registered Midwife but lost her job during the pandemic's peak. She's now reliant on her four children for her daily basic needs. In January, Elenita began to experience troubling symptoms, including lower back pain that's radiating down to her lower extremities. She sought a medical checkup and was told to have an ultrasound and CT scan. The tests revealed that she was suffering from gallstones. These are small stones that are usually made of cholesterol that causes inflammation of the gallbladder. Elenita has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put him at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Elenita is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on February 17th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,128 to cover the cost of Elenita's surgery and care. Elenita shared, "Thank you, WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines! You are such a blessing and I will never forget how you save my life. If in the future you will need my service as a midwife, I'm more than willing to help out."