Matthew joined Watsi on November 5th, 2014. Nine years ago, Matthew joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Matthew's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Sobel, a 21-year-old engineer from Cambodia, to fund arm nerve surgery.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 110 patients in 14 countries.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 110 patients in 14 countries.
Sobel is an unemployed 21-year-old who lives in Phnom Penh province with six other members of his family - his father and five siblings who all live together at home. His father is retired. Before his injury, Sobel had an engineering job and enjoyed playing volleyball with friends. In July 2023, on his way home from work, Sobel's motorcycle skidded on the rain-soaked surface, sending him crashing onto the pavement. He lost consciousness for several hours. His sister took him to a local hospital with a skull fracture, broken collarbone, and broken upper arm. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left 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. Sobel is unable to lift his shoulder or hand, consequently stripping away his ability to work. The thought of navigating life with only one arm is hard for him to imagine. Sobel traveled to Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre to receive treatment. This is the only center in the whole country where this treatment is available. On January 2nd, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he hopes to restore function in his arm and hand and find a job to help his family. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $709 to fund this procedure. Sobel said: "I want to work like before and hope the surgeons can help me."
Three month old Keziah lives with her parents and two older siblings in Kenya. Her father, who works as an artist, is the sole breadwinner for the family. Keziah was born with open spina bifida and bilateral club feet. Spina bifida is a type of neural tube defect, in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. While she has undergone some therapy for her condition, without additional treatment, Keziah is at risk of lower limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Keziah's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 5th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. This surgery will hopefully spare Keziah from the risks associated with her condition, allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Keziah's father says: “She is a jovial kid. We are sad that she is unwell. I hope that she is treated, and she can walk in the future.”
Naiduka is a 14-year-old boy from a large family in Ngorongoro, Tanzania. His father, a livestock keeper and being the eldest child of his family, Naiduka has always harbored a strong desire to attend school. Unfortunately, his aspirations have been thwarted, as most of his siblings were fortunate enough to receive an education, while he was left behind to care for the family’s livestock. At the tender age of 4, Naiduka’s legs began to bow inward, marking the onset of a mild condition that has since worsened as he grew older. While attending church, Naiduka received news of an upcoming clinic for children with treatable disabilities, which would be staffed by visiting doctors and nurses. He was excited to hear of this clinic and hopeful for a chance at receiving the treatment he needed. On July 6th, a kind priest facilitated his transportation to our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Naiduka was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, meaning that his legs bow inwards. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, this condition severely limits his purpose and role in his Maasai community, preventing him from undertaking the crucial task of herding cattle over vast distances in search of nourishing green pastures. He was also diagnosed with malnutrition and has been undergoing treatment and the implementation of a feeding plan to address this issue before he undergoes surgery. Our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is requesting $880 to fund surgery for Naiduka, which is scheduled for June 27th. Treatment will hopefully restore Naiduka's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Naiduka says, "I wish to get better and for my legs to look normal. Hopefully, after this treatment, my legs will be fine."
Saw Eh is a three-year-old boy who lives with his parents and younger brother in a refugee camp in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. His father works in the refugee camp as a water supply staff and he occasionally works as a day labourer. Saw Eh’s mother is a homemaker. Saw Eh used to go to preschool but stopped in March 2023 due to his condition. Saw Eh’s parents noticed a concerning swelling last March so his mother took him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. Over the next couple of months, Saw Eh returned for two follow-up appointments. In September, Saw Eh’s condition became more swollen and painful. The size and pain increased especially while he plays. When his father brought him back to the hospital in the refugee camp, the doctor referred him to Mae Sariang Hospital for further treatment. There, doctors confirmed his diagnosis and scheduled Saw Eh's surgery for October 5th. His parents are concerned that he had to stop going to school due to his condition and he cannot play or run around with his friends. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund is requesting $1,486 to fund hernia repair surgery. This will hopefully allow Saw Eh to play and live more comfortably. Saw Eh's father shared: "I am worried about my son's condition, and I am concerned about his pain and discomfort."
Steeve is a 14-month-old toddler from Haiti. He is an only child and loved deeply by his mom and dad. Steeve has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Steeve has been experiencing increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Steeve will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Steeve at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on September 19. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from Steeve's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Steeve will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Steeve's family is hoping that the surgery will stop the progression of brain damage from hydrocephalus. They are looking forward to watching their toddler grow older and are hopeful for healthier days ahead.
Ed is a 39-year-old father from Burma who lives with his wife and two sons. His sons are students, while his wife is a homemaker and volunteer at their church. In his spare time, Ed loves listening to gospel songs, reading the Bible, and preparing sermons for his congregation. In March 2023, Ed began passing blood in his urine and experiencing back pain in his left side. When medication from a pharmacy did not help, he sought treatment at a hospital, where he was diagnosed with a left ureter stone. Doctors want Ed to undergo Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL), a procedure where high energy shock waves are passed through the body and used to break stones into pieces as small as grains of sand. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help. On August 11th, Ed will undergo ESWL at BCMF's care center. BCMF is requesting $1,125 to fund the treatment and Ed's care. Ed said, "Because of my condition, I have not gone to church for two weeks. The church members are worried about me and pray for me".
Khin is 28-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife, two children, parents in-law, a brother-in-law, and a sister-in-law in a village in Karen State. Khin, his parents, and his sister-in-law are subsistence farmers, while his daughter and brother-in-law are students. His son is too young to enroll in school. They also raise chickens and pigs for their own consumption, forage for vegetables and go fishing. To pay school fees, Khin sometimes is able to get work as a day labourer. On July 10th, Khin was picking dog fruit when suddenly the branch he was standing on broke. He fell out of the tree on to a wooden dwelling and broke his spine. With the help of Watsi donors, he received a CT scan of his back which showed that he had indeed fractured his spine, and he was told that he would need to undergo surgery to heal. He is in pain, and he cannot walk. With the help of our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BMC), Khin will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 19th and Khin needs help raising $1,500 to fund the surgery. This procedure will help him walk again. Khin shared, "I am not scared to receive surgery because I know I need to undergo it to recover."
Pendo, a baby girl, resides in the Ngorongoro region of Tanzania. Her family follows the Maasai tradition and sustains themselves primarily through subsistence farming and livestock rearing. Pendo was born with clubfoot, a congenital condition that causes her foot to be twisted inward and downward, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Unfortunately, due to limited medical facilities and awareness in her village, the condition went unnoticed by doctors at birth. Pendo's mother noticed her bent leg a few days later. Despite the concern of the village grandmothers, her father initially believed it was part of God's plan and resisted any intervention. However, during an outreach program conducted by our medical team in her village, Pendo's mother learned about the treatment options available for her daughter. Realizing the potential for improved quality of life for Pendo, she sought medical assistance and brought her to our partner's center. Fortunately, Pendo is now being seen by our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, requests $935 to fund Pendo's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she'll be able to walk easily as she grows and live a full life ahead. Pendo's mother says, "Thank you for the chance to receive the treatment for my daughter. I hope her future will be good."
Raymond is a 2-year-old toddler from Kenya and the only child in his family. A few months back, his mother lost her job at a clothing store because she must be at the hospital most of the time attending to her son. She works more flexible jobs like washing clothes for people in her neighborhood to help provide for the family. Raymond has been in and out of the hospital since birth. He was diagnosed with Hirschsprung's disease, a condition where the ganglion cells in the colon responsible for pushing food through are inactive or dead. He has undergone a series of surgeries through the family's health insurance fund. After a long journey, Raymond has one procedure left, but their insurance coverage has been exhausted, and they request financial assistance for his final procedure. Raymond underwent a colostomy, a procedure in which the end of the colon was brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. Raymond's colostomy requires closure in order to restore his bowel function and prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,084 to cover the cost of his colostomy closure. The surgery is scheduled to take place on March 14th and, once completed, will allow Raymond to live more comfortably and confidently moving forward. Raymond's mother said: "We have come a long way with his treatment, and I have been waiting for this moment for a long time. I really hope that it will go as planned."
Laurecia is a 19-year-old tailor living in Tanzania. When she was about two years old, her parents noticed her legs bowing outwards. They did not seek treatment, however, due to financial challenges. Laurecia, who is a very determined young woman, was able to complete her Form 4 studies and pursue her passion for tailoring, enrolling in a vocational school where she could hone her skills. Laurecia was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, a condition typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, stemming from the consumption of contaminated drinking water. As a result of her condition, Laurecia has a difficult time walking and doing the work of a tailor. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Laurecia. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 17th, at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. Treatment will restore Laurecia's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Laurecia says: “I have lived with this condition for too long. I’m hopeful for the future now that I am about to start treatment.”
Omega is a five-year-old boy. He lives with his parents and two siblings, and enjoys playing with them. As the last born, he is spoiled and loved so much by his mother. They live in Hai, a small town in the Kilimanjaro Region. The parents are cattle breeders, who breed cattle for meat and milk. The cattle breeding business has been hard in the past few months because of drought. The green pastures and rivers they used to depend on to feed their cattle are now dry. Cattle are not producing enough milk, and the meat they produce is not preferred by most of the consumers around their area. In 2019, while Omega was playing with his brother, he got into an accident and fell into a pot of boiling tea. After the open wound healed, his right arm could not extend fully, making it hard for him to fully use his arm. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Omega receive treatment. On February 28th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him use his arm freely. Now, his family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Omega’s mother says, “I hope this treatment will give him a room of new possibilities in the future because his hand will limit him so much in his life.”
Nashon is a farmer, a husband, and a father of one. He grows potatoes while his wife is a hair salonist. Nashon dropped out of school in grade 8 because of lack of funds at home. The young family is hardworking but since Nashon fractured his leg, he hasn’t been able to work in his farm and he is relied on as the breadwinner of his family. His wife says “It has not been easy for me since he broke his leg. I have to work extra hard to feed my family since he is the pillar of our family.” Their family lives in a single room house with grass as its roof. One month ago, Nashon experienced a severe road traffic accident that costed him a right tibia fracture. Nashon was a passenger in a motorbike which lost control and clenched into a ditch. He sustained an open fracture in his right leg. He was rushed to Kapsowar Hospital where he needed emergency surgery to clean his wounds. He was discharged with a cast to recover at home. Three weeks later, Nashon returned to hospital for a normal checkup. During the visit, It was recognized that his fracture had not healed and he needs a surgery to heal and stabilize a broken bone. Nashon is unable to use his leg, work, and provide for his family. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. If Nashon undergoes a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation, Nashon will be able to use his leg, work and provide for his family. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Nashon says, "It has been hard to carry out my normal duties especially going to my farm. I look forward to getting well so that I can support my family.”