Laura joined Watsi on February 5th, 2021. Two years ago, Laura joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Laura's most recent donation supported Regina, a middle-aged farmer from Kenya, to fund a mastectomy to fight her breast cancer.
Laura has funded healthcare for 22 patients in 8 countries.
Laura has funded healthcare for 22 patients in 8 countries.
Regina is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. She rears cattle on a rented piece of land. She has two cows from which she gets milk for sale. Her husband is unemployed, and the income Regina earns is not sufficient to cater to all the family's needs. Regina first experienced a painful lump in her right breast in early August when she was taking a shower. She immediately went to a local health facility for a check-up and was later referred to a local government hospital in Olkalau town, situated several kilometers from her home. She has since had several tests including a mammogram and a CT scan. The result revealed the presence of cancerous cells. She opted to visit Kijabe Hospitals’s breast clinic after a referral by a friend. After a review, doctors recommended a partial mastectomy and she needs financial assistance to go through the surgery. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. The mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, aims to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Regina. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 2nd. After treatment, Regina will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Regina says, “This is shocking, but I know God will give me strength to overcome the cancer.”
Efraim is a 16-year-old high school student from Tanzania. Despite his difficulties walking, he loves playing football with his classmates! Efraim comes from a large family with 6 siblings. His parents are livestock keepers who also practice small-scale farming. They work hard to ensure that their family's day-to-day needs are able to be met. In 2020, Efraim sustained an injury to his leg while playing. On top of the pain he experienced, he noticed that his right leg began bending inward months later. He has since been diagnosed with genu valgus, a condition that causes the leg to bow inward and touch the opposite knee. As a result, he experiences difficulty working, playing, and doing any physically demanding activities. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Efraim, which is scheduled to take place on August 9th. The goal of this treatment is to restore Efraim's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Efraim's mother says, "It scared the whole family when his leg started having problems, but when we heard that he could get treatment, it brought joy to us."
Thomas is a sweet three-week-old baby from Kenya. He is the youngest in a family of four children. His father works as a luggage carrier, and his mother does laundry and other house chores for people to help provide for their family. Thomas was born at a hospital near their home. At birth, he was diagnosed with spina bifida, as well as clubfoot. Spina bifida is a type of neural tube condition in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Thomas 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 $1,151 to cover the cost of Thomas's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 31st. This procedure will hopefully spare Thomas from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Thomas’s father says, “Currently, we are very stressed because of our child’s condition. We are requesting for any help to see him become well.”
Tracey is a sweet and adorable newborn baby from Kenya who was born just over a week ago at a local government hospital. She is the youngest in a family of three children. To support their family, her parents both do casual labor for their neighbors. Tracey was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube condition in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Tracey is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and developmental delays. Her parents share that they do not have insurance and are unable to pay for their daughter's needed treatment due to financial constraints. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Tracey's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 8th. This procedure will hopefully spare Tracey from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Tracey’s mother says, “When I got more informed about her condition, I felt bad. I just want her to be treated and be well.”
Bonface is a 72-year-old gentleman, living alone in a remote area of Kenya. While Bonface works as a laborer on local farms getting small jobs whenever he can, his wife works in Nairobi, and lives with their four children. A week ago, Bonface was assaulted, sustaining injuries to his head and to his left arm. After the assault, Bonface was able to alert his neighbors, who brought him to a local clinic. He received stitches for the wound on his head, and an X-ray of his arm was ordered. The X-ray revealed a fracture of the humerus bone, which will require surgery to heal. Currently, as a result of the fracture, Bonface is unable to use his arm, and is in pain. Bonface visited AIC Kijabe Hospital, where he was scheduled to undergo surgery on June 28th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund his medical procedure, which will repair the fracture, and enable Bonface to use his arm without pain. Bonface says, “I am old and weak. I strain to work because of my age. It is now worse since one hand is broken. I need this treatment to be able to use my hand again.”
Lydiah is a 39-year-old woman, living with her husband and teenaged child in Kenya. While Lydiah works as a vegetable vendor - traditionally known as a mama mboga - her husband is employed as a clothing vendor. On her way to work in March 2021, Lydiah was hit by a motorcycle. She sustained a fracture of the right femur, necessitating three surgeries and multiple trips to the hospital. Despite the care that she has already received, an infection of the fracture has set in, and if Lydiah doesn't receive treatment soon, she risks losing her leg and becoming permanently disabled. Currently, Lydiah cannot walk, and is confined to a wheelchair. Lydiah is scheduled to undergo surgery for the infected fracture on May 24th, at the AIC Kijabe Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Lydiah's surgery, which will enable her to walk again. Lydiah says, “I haven’t been able to go to the market to sell my vegetables because of the fracture and multiple infections. I am afraid of losing my leg and being unable to walk. I am in constant pain and need support to get this treatment.”
Kai is an adorable baby boy from the Philippines who loves to listen to nursery rhymes. Kai's mother is a stay-at-home mom, while his father works as a construction worker. Kai's father's income helps to meet their day-to-day basic needs. Kai was born with a birth condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo surgery to help him heal on May 4th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to help cover the total cost of Kai's procedure and care. After his recovery, Kai will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing severe health complications in the future. Kai's mother shared, "This surgery is a big help for our family. The bigger portion of my husband's income goes to Kai's colostomy supplies. Now, we do not have to worry about it anymore. Thank you so much, World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for helping us."
Sudes is an adorable baby boy who loves to smile and play with his mother and his older brother. Sudes is a happy child, especially when he is taking a bath. Sudes is the youngest child with one brother five years older. Sude and his brother are being raised by their single mother with limited support from his father. He works as a security guard in a government building, occasionally sending financial support to Sudes's mother. Sudes was born with a congenital malformation that causes an abnormally functioning segment of the bowel. Sudes requires corrective surgery so that he can grow to be a healthy boy. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare is helping Sudes's mother raise $1,500 to fund this life altering surgery. Sudes's mother shared, "When I knew about his condition, I was so surprised and confused. I was scared and worried. Whenever I think about it I cry and cry.”
Liam is a playful four-year-old boy and the only child in his family. Liam and his young, single mother both live with Liam's grandmother, and depend on her farm for food. Liam was born with a condition known as quad cop, which is a subset of cerebral palsy that affects all four of his limbs (both arms/hands and legs). In addition, Liam has clubfoot on both of his feet. Clubfoot is a congenital musculoskeletal condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes him to have a great deal of difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Fortunately, on March 15th, Liam will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Liam's treatment. After treatment, Liam will be able to place his entire foot on the ground when he walks, compared to now where he can only walk on his tiptoes which makes it hard for him to get around freely and independently. In the future his mother hopes he will be able to run, play, and join school like other children. Liam's mother says, "We would like to request support because we have nothing in our pockets to facilitate the surgery he needs."
Steph lives with his parents and younger brother in a village in Burma. Steph's father works at a nursing home, where his brother also volunteers. Steph is a driver, and his mother is a homemaker. In his free time, Steph likes to grow vegetables and help to repair cars for others in his village. In July 2021, Steph felt pain in the right side of his abdomen, which he was able to treat with medicine from a local pharmacy. Last month, however, his pain returned while he was delivering supplies. He shared with us that he was unable to safely drive home due to nearby military conflict, and was trapped away from home and in pain for two weeks. When Steph finally made it to the hospital, he learned he needed surgery to remove several gallbladder stones. The stones interfere with Steph's breathing and cause severe abdominal pain. He also has jaundice and difficulty sleeping. Fortunately, his doctor was able to schedule a cholecystectomy to remove the stones on February 3rg. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is requesting $1,487 to fund his surgery. Once recovered, Steph will be pain-free and able to return to work and enjoying time with his family. Steph shared,"I prayed every day that I would get a donor to cover the cost of my surgery, and I feel like my prayers have been answered. I am so happy! I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors. I will never forget what you have done for me, and I hope that one day I can help and volunteer to drive [BCMF] staff in Burma.”
Lesina is a married mother of two. Her firstborn was born in 1995 and has special needs that require a lot of support from Lesina. Lesina likes spending a lot of time with her and ensures her safety all the time. Her other child is 13 and is a 5th grade student. Lesina sells tomatoes at a nearby market while her husband is a driver. They own a three-bedroom iron sheet-roofed house for shelter. She also raises some local chickens with free-range farming, but shared that most of them were stolen. Currently, her family has no land where they can do farming and usually has to buy food from the market. Lesina was well until 2019 when she started having a lot of abdominal pains and other symptoms. She went to a clinic and was given medication which helped for while. But, her condition kept recurring. In 2020, she started feeling a hard mass on the left side of her abdomen and when she came to the hospital again the clinician ordered a cancer screening for her. During the procedure, the nurse felt a mass that is suggestive of uterine fibroids. She was referred to a gynecologist who after scanning and examination confirmed the diagnosis of uterine fibroids and ordered surgical intervention of a procedure called total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) which is the full removal of the uterus. Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman's uterus. Sometimes these growths become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding. If left untreated, fibroids can continue to grow, both in size and number and the symptoms will become worse. The fibroids' pain may increase and the heavy bleeding may become worse leading to anemia which may be fatal. After the surgery, it is expected that Lesina will stop having abdominal pains and heavy bleedings and will lead a full, healthy life. She is scheduled for surgery on January 3rd and is appealing for financial support. Lesina says, “I have heard that some uterine fibroids can burst and cause serious problems, I don’t want that to happen to me. My handicapped firstborn needs me in sound health to continue caring for her. Kindly support my surgery.”
Somaly is a 27-year-old woman who is married and lives in Banteay Mean Chey Province in Cambodia. Her husband is a construction worker, and they have two active sons. The first is 10 years old and in grade 5, and their second is 2 years old. When she is not cooking or cleaning for the family, she likes to watch TV and listen to the radio. When Somaly was 14, she noticed a small tumor on her face that has now grown. She has had surgery twice, and was scheduled for a mandible resection, but did not have the money. It has continued to grow and she now has an abscess that is causing more symptoms. In March 2021 she went to a government hospital and fortunately, they referred her to our Medical Partner Children's Surgical Centre. Doctors diagnosed her with ameloblastoma of the mandible and left maxilla. She feels very poorly most of the time. She experiences pain, has discharge from her mouth, and cannot eat. When Somaly learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for ten hours seeking treatment. On November 30th, surgeons at CSC will perform a mandibulectomy and maxillectomy to to allow her face to return to finally heal, and have no more pain or embarrassment. Now, she needs help to fund this $657 procedure. Somaly shared, "I hope the tumor will be removed, and I won't have to hide from people and be ashamed of how I look."