Bruce joined Watsi on July 25th, 2014. Eight years ago, Bruce joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Bruce's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Kasotot, a cheerful 68-year-old woman from Kenya, to fund surgery to heal her burned foot so that she can walk without pain.
Bruce has funded healthcare for 101 patients in 11 countries.
Bruce has funded healthcare for 101 patients in 11 countries.
Kasotot is a cheerful 68-year-old woman from the arid region of Baringo County in Kenya. She is a widow and mother of seven children who are all grown. She lives with her youngest son and grandson. The main economic activity in the area is livestock herding of cattle, sheep, and goats. It is a challenging life, affected by insecurity, cattle rustling, and a lack of schools and other services. Most people barter with their neighboring communities for food and/or sell their animals in order to get money for food. Kasotot has no knowledge of medical insurance, and lives in a place full of hardships with no opportunity to do any saving. Kasotot suffers from epilepsy and last month she had a seizure that made her fall into the fire and burn her foot. She went to the closest hospital for treatment. Her wound condition worsened with time and when she went back to the hospital it was already infected. The facility was small, and was unable to provide the needed treatment, so she was referred to Kapsowar Hospital. Upon examination, she was admitted for urgent debridement, or deep cleaning of the wound. Kasotot is currently confined to a wheelchair, thus not able to work. Her wound is now clean after a successful wound debridement, but she requires a free tissue flap in order to reconstruct her burned foot and quicken her healing. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Kasotot receive treatment. On November 7th, surgeons will perform surgery so Kasotot will be able to walk, work and provide for herself so as to not overly burden her son and grandson. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,478 procedure. Kasotot says, “I have really burdened my son and grandson now that I cannot walk on my own. It really hurts when all they can do is look after me while I cannot help them as I did before. Kindly help me so that we can be together in order to bring food to our table and strive together to get our basic needs.”
Ma Win is an 18-year-old girl who lives with her parents, sister and brother-in-law in Yangon, Burma. Ma Win’s sister works at a clothing factory, while her brother-in-law works as a day laborer. Her parents are homemakers. Before Ma Win's current illness, she also worked at a factory. When Ma Win was four years old, she experienced a bout of high fever, and was brought to the local clinic. She received an injection, and the doctor informed her parents that she was born with a heart problem. However, she was too young at the time for corrective surgery. Instead, she was sent home with medication, and appeared to be doing well until this past year. In April, Ma Win began experiencing chest pains, high fever and difficulty breathing. She went to a clinic, and received an x-ray and an echocardiogram. After the doctor checked her results, she was diagnosed with an opening between two major blood vessels leading from the heart. The doctor told her and her family that she would need to have surgery. When Ma Win explained to the doctor that her family could not afford to pay for the surgery, she was referred to the abbot of a local monastery, who provided the family with information about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Now Ma Win is scheduled for cardiac surgery on October 23rd at Pun Hlaing Hospital. After she has recovered, she should no longer experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, and she won't have to worry any longer about her condition. She will also be able to return to work, which will help ease her family's financial burdens. Now she needs your help to raise $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure. Ma Win said: “I am scared to receive surgery, but my mother tries to encourage me. However, I am very happy that I will be able to receive treatment with your help. I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors.”
Naima is a smiley and playful baby girl from Ethiopia. She loves to breastfeed and play with her seven older siblings and her mother. Her dad is a retired driver and the community elder, and her mother stays home to care for the children. Because Naima's father has no source of income, their older children support them financially. Naima was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Naima developed bowel obstruction because of her condition and an emergency colostomy was done. She has had multiple issues with her colostomy care and associated complications. As a result, she cannot make stool in a typical way. Her parents have been very troubled because of her condition and are asking for support. Naima is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on September 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Naima's procedure and care. After her recovery, Naima will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Naima's father says, “I hope my child will get the treatment and heal. Once she finishes her treatment, I hope she will be relieved from her pain and suffering and lead a healthy life.”
Josephine is a 70-year-old mother of eight children who lives with her husband in Kenya. Although she and her husband both do some small-scale farming in her community, they depend on their children to support them. However, Josephine has recently been unable farm due to her current medical condition. Since January, Josephine has been experiencing troubling symptoms, including uncontrolled bleeding. She visited a nearby health facility in her hometown to be evaluated and was referred to a hospital for additional tests. There, she received a CT scan and a biopsy, which revealed that she has uterine cancer. Her doctor recommends that she undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the uterus, to help remove the cancer from her body and hopefully stop its spread. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is requesting $1,260 to fund Josephine's surgery. Josephine has gathered funds to help with a copay, but the full cost of the specialist procedure is out of reach. On August 25th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMHF's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital. After this procedure, she should be able to resume her life free from discomfort and bleeding. Josephine says, “Struggling with cancer at my age is scary. I can’t believe it! I hope the surgery will help to get rid of the disease.”
Thidar is a 30-year-old woman who lives with her son, husband, parents in-law, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law in Burma. She, her husband, and her mother-in-law grow rice, beans, and sesame on their farm. During her free time, Thidar enjoys growing flowers and vegetables around her house. Ten years ago, after Thidar gave birth to her son, she began to experience troubling symptoms. These included chest pains and a rapid heartbeat. When visiting a clinic, medics determined that she has a heart condition. To help her condition and alleviate her symptoms, Thidar took medication regularly. However, she ran out of oral medication at the start of this year. This was a problem because medics at her local clinic were protesting against the February 2021 coup, so the clinic was closed. She also could not go to a different clinic because the military had many checkpoints around the nearest town at the time, and she was too scared to pass them. Months later, after experiencing exhaustion, a rapid heartbeat, painful and swollen joints, and a loss in appetite, Thidar was able to seek medical care and receive medication. Following the advice of a medic at the clinic, she eventually visited a hospital. There, she received an X-rays scan and an echocardiogram, which determined that Thidar has a heart disease requiring surgery. Due to financial constraints, she and her husband could not fund the needed procedure and had to return home with Thidar still experiencing the same troubling symptoms as before. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Thidar finally receive treatment. On July 22nd, surgeons will perform double valve replacement cardiac surgery. This procedure will hopefully alleviate her symptoms and allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. Now, Thidar and her family need help funding this $1,500 procedure. Thidar says, “I feel very sad and I want to cry because I have no money to pay for my surgery cost. My mother and husband had to borrow money with interest [to pay for some of my medical fees]. I am also worried that I cannot work and support my son. Now, I am very happy that my surgery cost will be supported. I am thankful to all the donors and the organization.”
Nimo is a 3 year old girl, living with her grandmother in Ethiopia. When she was just a few months old, Nimo's parents gave her to her grandmother, as with four other children already at home and Nimo's medical condition, they were unable to take care of Nimo. Nimo's grandmother, who has a small business, was already supporting four other people, so she shared that it is hard for them to survive from day to day. Nimo was born with a congenital malformation, that led to a blockage in her intestines. At first, when Nimo began to show signs of this condition, her family didn't have the funds to take her to the hospital. By the time someone provided funds so that Nimo could get to the hospital, she was weak and underweight from malnourishment. An emergency colostomy was performed, and over time, Nimo gained strength, and is now able to run and play with her friends. However, she still has multiple issues that require medical attention and additional surgery to help her fully heal. Nimo is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on July 5th, at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nimo's procedure and care. After her recovery, Nimo will no longer experience bowel dysfunction, or be at risk of developing related health complications in the future. Nimo's grandmother says: “When she heals, I will go to my home and celebrate with my family. ”
Woldegibreal is a 10-year-old boy, living with his parents and two younger siblings in Ethiopia. He is an intelligent and loving boy, who helps his parents around the house, and with looking after his two siblings. He also loves music and playing football. Woldegibreal was born with a congenital abnormality, which leaves his bladder exposed to the open air, and leaking urine directly into his abdomen. Because of this, Woldegibreal is prone to infections and injury to his bladder, and suffers from constant pain and discomfort. There is a surgical procedure which can correct Woldegibreal's condition. However, even though his parents work hard on the land that they have, they are unable to sustain their family, due to the poor harvests which result from the hot and dry area where they live. They survive with support from others and are unable to cover the costs of Woldegibreal's surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of the life-changing procedure for Woldegibreal, scheduled to take place at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre on May 24th. This procedure will enable Woldegibreal to heal, and to enjoy a full and healthy life. His father shared: “If he gets the surgery we will faint in happiness. We will bless all who helped him. We will send him to school. And we will lead our life with thanksgiving and gratitude.”
La is a 36-year-old mother of three children. She is married and her husband works as a construction worker. To help support her family, she sells soft drinks and coffee from her home. The couple has one son and two daughters, who are all in public school. In her free time, La enjoys walking her children to and from school, cooking, and, after a long day, watching television. Five years ago, La injured her left knee and she has experienced intermittent pain since the injury. Unfortunately, in December 2021, she was involved in a motorbike accident where she re-injured the same knee. After an x-ray, she was diagnosed with an aneurysmal bone cyst, or a benign, blood-filled lesion in the bone that often expands or grows. She experiences severe pain and now has difficulty walking. To treat her condition, surgeons plan to remove the cyst from her left knee and help to heal the joint. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping La receive treatment. On April 9th, surgeons will perform a procedure to relieve La of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Now, she needs help raising $273 to fund her procedure and care. La shared, "I am thankful that I will be able to return to work and care for my children after this surgery."
Feven is a beautiful 7-month-old baby girl from Ethiopia. She has two older brothers and five sisters. She loves to play with her mom. Her dad is a farmer and he works hard, but his income is not enough to maintain the family so his brother often helps. All their children are in school and Feven's mom sometimes is able to sell items at the market. Feven was born with a birth defect called anorectal malformation. She developed bowel obstruction because of her condition and had an emergency colostomy surgery. Her parents shared that they are highly affected psychologically and are sad and worried about their baby. Feven now needs a follow up surgery to help her eliminate bowel dysfunction. She is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on March 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After her recovery, Feven will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing related health complications in the future. Her mom shared, “We were so worried. But thank God he gave us this opportunity.”
Daychai is a 52-year-old man from Thailand. He lives alone in a village where he works as a gardener, growing fruits and maintaining the garden. From his work, he earns 3,000 baht (approx. 100 USD) per month. On February 23rd, Daychai was driving home from work and, suddenly, he lost control. He ran into a post beside the road and was knocked unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he found himself admitted at a hospital with pain in his right ankle. The doctor came to see him and told him that his right ankle is fractured. He would need surgery at nearby Mae Sot Hospital for his ankle to heal properly. Currently, his right lower leg is swollen and he cannot walk without crutches. He is in severe pain though he feels better after he takes pain medication. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Daychai will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 25th and will cost $1,500. This surgery will help his ankle heal properly so that he can walk again and he can go back to work. He said, "I am all alone and if I do not work, then I have no income and no money to eat. I need to recover to be able to walk and work again. I will be more careful next time while driving."
Natinael is a sweet toddler who loves to play with toys. He loves birds especially looking at the doves where he lives with his mom. Natinael's mom shared that he is shy and always wants to be at her side. She is a single mom and has been raising Natinael on her own with help from her family. Natinael was born with birth condition called Bladder Extrophy, which means that his bladder is open to air and at great risk of infections and injury. He needs surgery to help heal his condition, but his mother is unable to afford the cost. She is very much worried and concerned by his health and wants to do whatever she can to make sure he grows up healthy. She shared, “At first I did not know about the gravity of his condition. Then when I went to the hospitals they said they can’t do the surgery and they referred me to another hospital. I was in so much distress. I thought ‘what is this disease that the doctors refer it to another hospital.’ One doctor explained the condition to me and that was my lowest time of my life. I couldn’t eat or drink or sleep. All I could do was cry. I asked God why this happened to me." Fortunately someone referred her to an organization that knew our medical partner's care center BKMCM Hospital where doctors can perform the surgery he needs. Natinael's mom says, "If he heals, I hope I will work hard and raise him well and give him good education. I did not go to school and that makes me to want to send Natinael to school more. I'd like to spend the rest of my life with him protecting him.”
Patrick is a 31-year-old laborer and the fourth born child in a family of eight children. He grew up with his mother and siblings, and sadly, his father passed away when he and his siblings were young. He is married and he and his wife have three children, including two children in public primary school and another who is not yet school aged. He makes a living by digging and weeding on farms. His wife works as a casual laborer, but currently stays at home with their youngest child. The family has a small piece of land where they grow maize, beans, and potatoes for the family's consumption. Recently, Patrick was hit by a motorbike. He injured his right foot in the accident and was taken to a local clinic where an x-ray was taken and a cast was applied. However, over the next few days, his leg became swollen and he was in pain, so he visited a hospital for further evaluation. He was diagnosed with a complex distal tibia fracture and requires surgery. He is currently using crutches because walking is difficult. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On December 23rd, Patrick will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help the fracture in his leg to heal properly. After his foot heals, he will be able to return to work. Now, he needs help raising $1,079 to fund his procedure and care. Patrick shared, "I kindly ask for treatment so that I can go back to my daily activities for I'm the breadwinner for my family."