Nigeria • Born on February 2nd
Works at Andela
Stephen joined Watsi on February 2nd, 2016. Six years ago, Stephen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Stephen's most recent donation traveled 2,100 miles to support Victor, a sweet three-year-old boy from Kenya, to fund corrective surgery to help avoid future complications, including cancer.
Stephen has funded healthcare for 47 patients in 8 countries.
Stephen has funded healthcare for 47 patients in 8 countries.
Victor is a sweet and quiet three-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the secondborn in a family of three children. Victor's mother was recently diagnosed with arthritis and can no longer keep her previous job doing laundry for people. She is currently looking for another job. Victor's father makes and sells mandazi, a form of fried bread, by the roadside to help support their family. When Victor was two weeks old, his mother noticed that both testes were undescended. She took him to the hospital, where he was examined and diagnosed with bilateral undescended testes. He was referred to another facility in Nairobi for treatment. On arrival, he was examined and booked for a clinic. Victor attended clinics for a few weeks. Fortunately, all worked out well for him. In one of the clinic reviews, the testes were found to have descended, and his parents stopped going to the clinics. However, when he was two years old, his mother noticed that one testis was not detectable. After seeking medical attention, Victor was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Victor has an increased risk of developing testicular cancer and fertility problems in the future. Due to his condition, he is also at risk for hernias. At his appointment, it was found that he has already developed a right inguinal hernia. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo surgery to rectify both of the conditions. Victor will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). He is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 25th. AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Victor’s mother says, “I feel bad that I cannot raise the required amount of money to cater for my son’s treatment.”
Reach is an inquisitive two-year-old toddler from Cambodia who loves playing with toy cars and eating his favorite meal: fried meat with milk! He has an older sister, who is in primary school. His father works as a policeman, and his mother works as a seller at the local market. When Reach grows up, he wants to be a policeman just like his father! For about a year, Reach has been experiencing fevers, snoring, a sore throat, and difficulty swallowing and drinking. Despite his mother taking him to multiple medical clinics, his condition has not improved. Reach was recently diagnosed with enlarged tonsils and adenoids. If not treated, his symptoms will persist and possibly intensify over time. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $265 to fund a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy for Reach. On August 8th, surgeons will remove his tonsils and adenoids, hopefully relieving him of his symptoms and helping him live much more comfortably. Reach's parents share that they hope he will feel better soon and sleep easily at night.
Ath is a 54-year-old rice farmer. He is married and has two daughters, three sons, and six grandchildren. He lives with his wife, who farms the ancestral land with him. At home, he likes to listen to the news and boxing matches. Two years ago, Ath developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him photophobia, tearing, and blurry vision. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so is not able to go places on his own. When Ath learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On October 17th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and place an intraocular lens implant in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Ath says, "I hope after surgery my vision can improve so I can go back to working in the rice fields again. I want to be able to see the faces of my grandchildren and walk them to school."
Theary is a six-year-old student in first grade. She has a new younger sister who is three months old. Her father is a garment worker and her mother stays home to care for the new baby. She loves the alphabet and wants to be a teacher when she grows up. When not in school, she enjoys playing with toys with her friends, watching cartoons on TV, and drawing pictures. She enjoys drinking fresh milk and when her mom makes fried vegetables with meat to eat. A couple of years ago, she was playing with friends near a fire and was burned on her right thigh and leg. Although Theary's wounds healed with treatment, she was left with scar contractures on her right knee, making it difficult for her to walk and to sleep at night. She was referred to Children's Surgical Centre for specialty surgery. Surgeons determined she needs a release of the contracture of her right knee along with a skin graft to help her heal. On May 10th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her walk easily again. Now, her family needs help to fund this $495 procedure. Her mother said: "I hope after surgery Theary can walk and can go to school again."
Jamesly is an 11-year-old boy who lives with his parents and older brother in Haiti. He shared that he likes to play with his friends. Jamesly has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain, increasing intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Jamesly has developed headaches, and he is unable to walk. Without treatment, Jamesly will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Jamesly at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only hospital in the country where Jamesly can receive the treatment that is critical to resolving his hydrocephalus. This life-changing surgery is scheduled for May 12th, and it should allow Jamesly to develop into a strong and healthy young man. His family is hopeful the surgery will enable Jamesly to go back to school, and be able to play with his friends.
Joan is a 36-year-old woman and a mother of three teenage children. Joan used to help tend a farm, but the work availability was inconsistent and could not support her family's needs. Her fracture makes it impossible for her to work at this time, and she is currently staying with her mother. Joan's husband works on a construction site. In January, Joan slipped while doing chores outside her home and broke her hand. She was rushed to a local hospital, where she was given a cast for six weeks, followed by an arm sling. Since her pain never subsided, she visited Kijabe Hospital for further review. The doctors noticed a deformity at the fracture site and conducted an X-ray, which revealed a fracture in her upper arm. They determined that Joan will need to undergo surgery to heal. Currently, Joan cannot use her left arm, and it's affecting her family's livelihood. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Joan receive treatment. On April 13th, she will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, that will allow her to use her arm again. AMH is requesting $1,500 to help fund this procedure. Joan shared, "I have been in prolonged pain for a lengthy period of time. My hand is broken, and I can no longer use my hand to work. This surgery will help me get back to my work and raise my family."
Makara is a 14-year-old seventh grade student. He is the youngest in his family, and has two brothers and four sisters. His parents are rice farmers, and they also raise chickens and cows. In his free time, Makara enjoys playing football with his friends. His favorite meal is kari soup and Coca-Cola. In the future, he wants to be a lawyer. When he was three years old, Makara was burned by a fire on his right hand. Burn scar contractures have developed on his index, middle, and ring fingers, tightening the skin near the burns. He has limited use of the fingers on his right hand. When Makara's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled for six and a half hours seeking treatment. On February 11th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him use his right hand easily again. Now, he needs help to fund this $477 procedure. Makara shared, "I really hope my hand heals and I can use it normally."
Ko Ko is a three-year-old boy who lives with his parents and his siblings. His father and oldest brother are agricultural day labourers while his mother looks after him. Ko Ko enjoys playing with his toys and playing football with his brothers. He also enjoys watching movies on his mother's phone. When Ko Ko was one year old, his mother noticed a small white spot on his right pupil. She did not know what had caused the spot, but did not think it was serious. In December, Ko Ko’s mother asked him to give her a cup of water, but when he stood up he called out that he could not see where the water was, while trying to feel his way with his hands. Currently, Ko Ko is only able to recognize light. He needs his mother to guide him, and help him with tasks such as eating and showering Doctors want Ko Ko to undergo a CT scan. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Ko Ko's CT scan and care, scheduled for February 3rd. Ko Ko's mother said: "As a mother, I worry about him and I want to give him everything so that his vision can return, but I do not have money to pay for his treatment. Thank you so much for your kindness and for helping my son. May the goodness you have shown us return to you and may you be successful.”
Meet Jonah, a 31-year-old quiet man. Jonah is the 2nd eldest in a family of three. His siblings and him were raised by a single mother who makes a modest living as a farmer. Earlier, Jonah left secondary school studies to find work to help support his family. Jonah has a history of a growing cheek mass that has recently increased in size. Jonah's condition is uncomfortable and often causes people to stare, which Jonah finds upsetting and is impacting his self esteem. Jonah received a scan of his cheek at AIC Kapsowar Hospital and was subsequently diagnosed with a submandibular tumor. Doctors recommended that the mass be removed and the procedure is scheduled for February 14th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare is helping Jonah raise the $1,196 he needs to undergo this life altering surgery. Jonah shared, “I have waited for this moment in my life for so long. My mother has tried to take me to so many hospitals but we lacked means because they requested too much from us.”
Nelson is a friendly two-year-old boy. He is the last-born child in a family of two children. Nelson's father works at a construction company while his mother has a kiosk where she sells commodities like sugar, salt flour, and cooking oil. Their income is not enough for them to care for and provide for the family and at the same time pay for Nelson's needed surgery. Nelson was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, meaning his legs 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, he cannot walk easily. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Nelson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 11th. Treatment will hopefully restore Nelson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Nelson’s mother says, “He complains of pain a lot and you can see how much he struggles to stand.”
Panna is an 11-year-old student in fourth grade. He's an only child; his mother is a factory worker, and his father is a tuk-tuk driver. One year ago, Panna had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the eardrum, in his right ear to perforate. For this reason, Panna experiences pain, hearing loss, and ear discharge. He cannot attend school due to infections and pain. He also has difficulty hearing and communicating clearly with others. Panna traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On September 13th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $464 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. This support will help him feel confident and participate in class once he returns to school. Panna hopes that his ear will stop the infection and improve his hearing loss.
Emily is a kind 26-year-old woman who recently got engaged to her childhood friend. She is the fourth born in a family of 7 and lives with both of her parents. One day in 2008, Emily started to experience severe abdominal pains. The pains kept increasing and she could not pass stool. On the third day, her parents rushed her the hospital where a diagnosis of bowel obstruction was made. She was taken to the operating room and had an ileostomy done as a temporary treatment for the bowel obstruction. An ileostomy is an opening in the abdominal wall that is made during surgery, part of the small intestines are diverted through an opening in the abdomen called a stoma. A special bag is placed over the stoma to collect fecal matter that are unable to pass through the colon out of the body. An ileostomy is reversible since it is only made to provide a temporary passage for the release of stools out of the body while allowing healing of the operated part of the intestines/ bowels. Emily was scheduled for ileostomy reversal in July 2008 and the parents took her back to the hospital where she was admitted. She was later discharged home and the surgery rescheduled since the there were many patients in the waiting list. She has since had more than 7 admissions for the procedure but each time she is discharged and the surgery rescheduled. They kept going to the hospital and in 2011 they gave up since they were not getting help and had already spent a lot on transport and meals. Emily eventually dropped out of school due to discrimination and the stigma associated with the condition. She now uses cheap thin plastic papers as stoma bags as the family cannot afford to buy the all the bags due to financial constraints. She has grown to live with this condition. Despite all that has been in her way, Emily is still very hard working and earns a living from washing clothes at people's homes. This enables her to buy the plastic bags for the stoma. Often, she runs out of money to buy the bags and is forced to stay indoors. Recently, one of their neighbors had a thyroidectomy done at Partners in Hope Hospital under a special program and urged her parents to bring her for assessment. The surgeon reviewed her and indicated that the condition can still be corrected through laparotomy where an ileostomy reversal will be done. This surgery will greatly improve Emily’s life, restore her dignity as a human being and remove the emotional pain and torture that Emily has lived with the past 13 years. Her parents are seeking financial support to help their daughter undergo the surgery. “I remember that when I was young, I used to use the bathroom normally in the pit latrine. I pray that one day I will be able to use the toilet again. I hope that when I get married I will be like all other women and will not have to embarrass my husband with this condition," shared Emily with a shy smile on her face.