Nancy joined Watsi on December 29th, 2013. Eight years ago, Nancy joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Nancy's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Gemechu, a cheerful 9-year-old from Ethiopia, to fund reparative surgery to finally heal a condition he has had since birth.
Nancy has funded healthcare for 76 patients in 13 countries.
Nancy has funded healthcare for 76 patients in 13 countries.
Meet Gemechu, an adorable and cheerful nine-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He lives with his parents and five siblings. His father is a farmer, and his mother is a homemaker. Gemechu loves imitating others and trying to do what he observes others doing. He also loves to play with toy cars and with his siblings. Gemechu was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. His parents share that at one point, Gemechu's condition left him unable to talk, as well as unable to move his head and body. Although he has received a colostomy insertion procedure, he still needs further treatment in order to fully heal his condition. Fortunately, Gemechu is scheduled to undergo surgery to help correct his condition on August 9th at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Gemechu's procedure and care. After his recovery, he will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Gemechu's father shares, "Our hope grew a lot, even now. The colostomy changed his life. He is healthy, he eats well, and we hope for a lot more after this planned surgery, specifically for him to get better and to live a normal life. We hope his life will change after this surgery."
Martin is a playful and friendly young boy and the last-born in a family of six children. Martin has not started going to school yet, but his father plans to enroll him in two years. Martin's father says life has been tough for him and his family since he fell sick for most of 2020, something that he says made life for his family tough. Prior to falling ill, Martin's father was a hardworking man practicing small-scale farming to provide food for his family and was also a catechist at their local catholic church. For over a year Martin's father was moved from one hospital to another seeking treatment. Martin's parents were forced to sell most of their property to cover the resulting medical bills. In 2021, Martin's father's health returned and he was able to grow his strength back. Martin's father moved their family to another village for a fresh start. They are now slowly rebuilding their life with the hope of restoring their livelihood once more. Since then, Martin has been diagnosed with Left Genu Varus meaning his leg is bent at the knee so that they do not touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, it is difficult for him to walk. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is raising $880 to fund corrective surgery for Martin. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 5th. Treatment will hopefully restore Martin's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Martin’s father says, “Because of the long period I was sick I was not able to provide for my family. My son now needs treatment, but I still can’t afford the cost.”
Catherine works hard to care for her two children. She currently lives with her partner who works different part-time jobs to help make ends meet for their family. A month ago, Catherine began experiencing abdominal pain. She got checked at her local health center and was advised to undergo an ultrasound. The test showed that she is suffering from Cholecystolithiasis, a condition where there are one or more gallstones in her gallbladder. Their family already finds it hard to sustain their day-to-day needs, so didn't know where to find the money for her needed surgery. Fortunately, a health center worker knew about our partner care facility, the Our Lady of Peace Hospital, and was able to reach out to World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for support. Catherine is now scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on April 7th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,253 to cover the total cost of Catherine's procedure and care. After her recovery, Catherine will no longer experience severe abdominal pain or be at risk of developing severe health complications in the future. “My maintenance medicine costs more than our daily meal budget. I’m grateful to WSFP and WATSI for helping us. Aside from the fact that I’ll be free from pain, I can now take good care of my children,” she shared.
Christian, who lives in the Philippines, is a hardworking father with a 7-month-old daughter. He works as an on-call waiter, while his wife is currently a student. With Christian’s limited income, he is worried about supporting all of his family’s needs and financing his medical treatment. In April, Christian was diagnosed with a hernia which requires surgery. Correcting the hernia will better enable Christian to find a new job and higher pay, and improve his ability to care for his family. With the help of our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, Christian is scheduled for surgery at Our Lady of Peace Hospital on May 3rd, for which they are requesting $1,130 to fund his procedure and care. “I always fail my physical exams because of my condition, and I'm burdened by it because, as a father, I need to support my family,” Christian shared. “This surgery will be a big help to our family so thank you so much World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for helping,” he added.
Lani is a 61-year old widow who lives with her daughter in the Philippines. Her daughter works as part of a fast-food restaurant crew and is their sole source of income. Lani has been diagnosed with cholelithiasis, also known as gallstone disease. Because of her financial situation, even though she experienced shooting pains in her stomach, she saw a doctor only after a year, when the pain already extended to her back. Eventually, her condition got severe to the point that she could no longer stand up and walk due to her worsening symptoms. Now, if left untreated, her condition may lead to tissue damage, tears in the gallbladder, and infection that can spread to other parts of her body. Lani is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on March 5th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,253 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After her recovery, Lani will no longer experience severe pain in her abdomen or other complications in the future. She shared, "I have had this disease for a long time, but I have been putting up with the pain for far too long because I really cannot afford medical treatment," Lani added, "I am eternally grateful to the World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for being able to provide assistance to individuals like me who simply cannot afford the procedures."
Sina is a 36-year-old security guard. He has one brother and one sister, and his father works as a tuk-tuk driver to help support their family. Sina works as a security guard for a non-governmental organization, and enjoys listening to music, watching TV, playing games on his phone, meeting up with friends, and helping his mother in his free time. Three years ago Sina developed pain on his right hip. He has a history of leukemia and psoriasis, which he receives treatment for at Mercy Medical Center Cambodia. It was when Sina came in with hip pain that they referred him to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). He was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and now cannot walk due to the pain and instability of his hip. Fortunately, on February 23rd, Sina will undergo a total hip replacement at CSC which will relieve his pain and allow him to walk and work more easily. Our medical partner is asking for $1,087 to help Sina in paying for his procedure. Sina said, "I am thankful that I can return to work once I am healed. I look forward to being free of pain."
Daw Khin is a 45-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her parents, who are retired and supported by Daw Khin's sister, who earns an income from renting out their land. Daw Khin used to work as a teacher before her condition made it difficult for her to continue teaching her students. Around June 2020, Daw Khin began to feel very tired and experienced heart palpitations. She shared that it felt like she could not breathe while teaching. Because these episodes happened infrequently, she did not seek treatment at the time; however, in December 2020, her condition worsened, and she went to a local hospital. After receiving an electrocardiogram, doctors determined she has an enlarged heart and an abnormal heartbeat and prescribed medication to help Daw Khin feel better. Since Daw Khin's symptoms continued, her sister brought her to a cardiologist in April 2021. Upon review, Daw Khin's condition was diagnosed as an atrial septal defect, a birth condition in which there is a hole in the wall that divides the upper chambers of the heart. The cardiologist informed her that she would need surgery, but the cost was too high for Daw Khin's family, so they returned home with medications. Daw Khin currently experiences headaches, difficulty sleeping, and fatigue and heart palpitations when talking or walking short distances. Fortunately, a friend visited Daw Khin in June and told her about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Daw Khin contacted BCMF and learned that BCMF will be able to help her finally heal. On February 6th, she will undergo an atrial septal defect (ASD) closure. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund her procedure. Daw Khin shared, "I would like to teach all my students again in the future. I like teaching students."
Rorng is an elderly rice and vegetable farmer. Rorng lives in Kampon Speu province in Cambodia. He and his wife have 5 children; 3 daughters and 2 sons. All of their children are now married. In his free time, Rorng likes to watch the news and Khmer boxing on TV. In October, Rorng was in a bicycle accident that caused a fracture in his left humerus. He received a Khmer traditional treatment but his hand has not improved. He is in chronic pain; it is swollen and difficult to use now. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On November 25th, Rorng will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will help him to use his hand again. Rorng says, "I hope that I can use my hand without pain. I want to return to farming."
Dennis is a nine-year-old student. He's the youngest of four children in his family and is in grade six at school. Sadly, his mother passed away several years ago and his father was unable to take care of him. He now lives with a neighbor, who is his guardian. He enjoys playing football and other games in school, although his condition makes it difficult. Dennis was born with clubfoot of both feet, a condition in which the feet are twisted out of shape causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. He experiences pain and difficulty walking, and cannot wear shoes. He is unable to play games, like football, which he enjoys. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Dennis receive treatment. On November 22nd, he will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, he will be able to walk well, wear shoes, play with friends and continue with his studies. Now, they need help raising $1,286 to fund his procedure and care. Dennis shared, "I would love to have my feet corrected so that I can walk well and play with my friends."
Chivorn became an orphan when his parents divorced and abandoned him. A tuk tuk driver met him and took him to a pagoda where he could study and grow up with more support. For the past month Chivorn has experienced redness, pain, and swelling on his left ear. Last week he began experiencing pus discharge from behind the ear as well. A tricycle rider saw him and brought him to our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) for treatment. ENT surgeons will treat the preauricular sinus with an incision and drainage procedure. The medical team is confident that his symptoms will subside after the surgery and he will be free of pain. Chivorn shared, "I hope that the ear pain and discharge can stop."
Elizabeth a charming and very happy 4-year-old girl. She's the only born child to her mother who passed away after giving birth to Elizabeth. She was then taken in by her grandmother who has raised her since she was quite young. Elizabeth has not started school yet but her grandmother hopes to enroll her next year for school. Elizabeth has been diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. Her legs bow outward so that her knees do not touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she feels pain after walking for a while and it is keeping her from being as active as she'd like to be. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Elizabeth. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Elizabeth's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Elizabeth’s grandmother says: “She plays and does most children's activities despite her legs being curved. But it hurts me to see her fall down every time she tries to run and how she walks with a gait. If I had enough money I would have tried to seek treatment for her.”
Kidus is a cute baby boy who loves to walk. His dad enjoys walking with him and holding his hand, and Kidus loves it when his mom carries him on her back. He also loves to watch cartoons. Kidus's dad and mom love each other so much and have a happy life together. Kidus's father is a tailor. His income is very limited and barely enough to sustain the family through the month, but love fills their home, and their lives, with happiness. When Kidus was born his parents learned that he had bladder exstrophy, a rare condition where children are born with an open bladder. His parents faced a challenge that they did not expect in their life, but they are facing it with courage. Kidus needs surgery to perform a procedure to divert his urination to the anal opening & make a pouch bladder from the bowel. He will undergo this surgery on September 28th with our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) and his family needs $1,500 for the procedure. Kidus's dad said, “For thirteen days after his birth we worked hard to get him treatment but no one in the health centres could help us. Some health workers gave us hope and some health workers did not give us any hope." He is hopeful for after surgery, “After he gets his surgery and recovers I want to tell him the truth about his condition and what we went through as a result of it when he grows up. Also, I want to tell him how he got the treatment, about the people who helped him, how God helped him and gave him this healthy life. I will tell him this so he grows up grateful and he lives to support and help others. I want him to be good and caring and God-fearing. I want him to be there for others. I believe kindness is contagious.”