Arturo joined Watsi on March 26th, 2013. Seven years ago, Arturo joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Arturo's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Ronald, a 47-year-old man from Kenya, to fund fracture repair surgery so he can regain his ability to walk.
Arturo has funded healthcare for 106 patients in 13 countries.
Arturo has funded healthcare for 106 patients in 13 countries.
Ronald is a middle-aged farmer from Kenya who is the thirdborn in a family of six. He and his family all live in semi-permanent houses and work as small-scale farmers. His father passed away years ago, so his mother, who is diabetic, was left to care for the children alone. Ronald studied up to the college level, but he could not secure a job in his field, so he now works as a casual laborer. He also helps his mother with house chores since she is sick and on medication, making it difficult for her to do them alone. With the income he earns through doing casual labor, Ronald helps support his family's basic day-to-day needs. Ronald was recently involved in a road traffic accident while traveling as a passenger on a motorbike. After his driver lost control due to being hit by another motorbike, they both fell on the tarmacked road, and the motorbike landed on Ronald's lower limbs. Fortunately, there were people around who helped them, but he could not manage to stand. He had to be lifted onto a passenger service vehicle, which took him to the hospital. Since he sustained an open fracture to his foot during the accident, it was treated as an emergency, and he was immediately taken to the operating room for cleaning and debridement. He was then admitted to the ward and is now waiting to undergo fracture repair surgery. He is currently in pain and unable to use his limb Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 12th, Ronald will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. After the procedure, he will no longer be in pain and will be able to walk and work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Ronald says, "I earn a living through casual jobs, which some are near and some are far from home. This state has actually brought me down. Please help me so that I may not be a burden once I am able to work.”
Jackson is a loving 4-year-old child. His father is a small-scale farmer who grows mainly food crops for his family to eat. His income is very limited because he must work on other people's farms in addition to growing his own crops. Jackson was diagnosed with windswept deformity. He learned to stand and walk at the age of one year. He was walking and playing without any challenges. But after a few months, his parents noticed his left leg was slightly bent inwards at the knee. Over a few months, his left leg became worse making him walk with a limp. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Jackson has pain when he walks even for a short distance, making him not want to walk at all in fear of the pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Jackson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 8th. Treatment will hopefully restore Jackson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Jackson’s mother says, “At the dispensary, they told us to feed him with foods containing calcium, but it never helped him. He was suffering but I could not afford to take him to a bigger hospital.”
Cleophas is a 23-year-old farmer and student from a Kenyan family of eleven. He is studying at a technical training institute, and grows potatoes to help him pay his school fees. His wife is also a student taking an information technology course at the same institute, and they have a 2-year-old son. When schools are in session, they live in a rental house near their school, but during the holiday they stay at home and focus on farming as it is their main source of income. Cleophas was preparing timber for repair of their maize store, when one of the timbers fell on his leg and injured him. The heavy timber broke his leg, and when he was examined, he had a large wound on his left leg with tendons and proximal tibia exposed. He was rushed to theatre for incision and drainage and his fracture was stabilized with a long leg posterior splint. Now Cleophas is unable to use his swollen and painful leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 8th, Cleophas will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Cleophas will no longer be in pain, he will be able to use his leg and work to provide for family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this medical procedure. Cleophas says, "I am the sole bread winner in the family. Sometimes I give a helping hand to my parents so that my siblings can study. I feel so sorry for myself now that I cannot use my limb. Please help me so that my family may not suffer.”
Khu is a 42-year-old who lives with his three sisters and two nieces in a refugee camp. In February, he had to flee across the border from Karen State in Burma due to fighting around his village. His two younger sisters are students, while his other sister is currently working as an agricultural day laborer since Khu cannot work since his accident. He looks after his two nieces who are too young to go to school. In March, Khu was working on a local farm and was struck on the right forearm by a tire chain from an exploding tractor tire he was filling. After unsuccessfully trying for two months to heal his arm with blessed oil and turmeric paste, he sought medical help and was referred to Mae Sot hospital, where it was determined that he needs surgery for a broken forearm bone. Currently, Khu cannot lift up his right arm and cannot grab any objects with his right hand. He cannot move his right arm because of the pain. He has taken pain medicine since his accident to control the pain and he is not able to work. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Khu will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for June 1st and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help him regain use of his right arm so that he can go back to work and earn a living to support himself and his family. Khu said, “Everyone told me that I am very lucky that only my arm was injured. I feel very sad that I cannot work and that I have to depend on my sister’s income. She has to work hard since my accident. I hope I will get better soon so that I can find work again.”
Thanh is from Kampot province in Cambodia, and he and his wife are durian fruit farmers. They have a three-year-old daughter. In his free time, Thanh enjoys exercising, playing chess, and fishing. He also enjoys taking walks with his wife and daughter along the river. In January 2020, Thanh was in a motorbike collision and fractured his right tibia. He had an open reduction with an external fixation device at a local hospital, which was removed several months later. Unfortunately, the surgical site has become infected, with an exposed tibial bone. Thanh has chronic pain and cannot rid himself of the infection. He is unable to walk and feels ashamed that his wife must do much of the management of their small farm that supports their family. Thanh and his family traveled three hours to Children's Surgical Centre, where surgeons recommended debridement of the infected wound and a reverse sural flap. This technique is used to reconstruct defects in the lower part of the leg. Now, Thanh needs help with the $991 cost of this treatment. The cost includes surgery, medications, hospital care, and post-op rehabilitation. Thanh's wife shared: "My husband has been unable to walk or work for more than two years, which has been hard on our family. I hope that the doctors can fix his leg so he can walk well again and help manage the farm."
Shedrack is a 17-year-old teenager and the fourth born child in a family of seven. He had to drop out of school last year, but hopes to learn masonry at a local technical school so that he can work and make a living for himself. He is currently helping in looking after his family's cattle. His parents are small scale farmers, and his father also works as a night guard. His father shared that he can't yet afford to send Shedrack to the technical school. Shedrack was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus. His legs bow inward at the knees. 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 has had difficulty walking for four years now. His father says the problem started with a slight curve but over the years the curve has increased in size. Shedrack's aunt learned about Plaster House - a special site that provides a home to patients undergoing treatment at our medical partner's care center in Arusha, Tanzania. She informed Shedrack's father who brought him there seeking treatment. Unable to raise the funds needed for surgery, their family is asking for support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Shedrack. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 6th. Treatment will hopefully restore Shedrack's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Shedrack says, “My legs hurt at the knees and carrying out daily life activities is now a big challenge.”
Gatguon is an 8-week-old baby girl from a remote area of South Sudan. The civil war in South Sudan has made it difficult for many to access healthcare and treatment, including Gatguon's family. Gatguon was born with swelling in the back of her head. Upon referral to Old Fangak Clinic, the doctor diagnosed Gatguon with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Gatguon is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Gatguon urgently needs spina bifida repair surgery to correct the condition and reduce risk of infection. Unfortunately, this treatment is not available for her in South Sudan. Dr Jill Seaman and her team at Old Fangak Clinic facilitated Gatguon’s travel to Kenya – a long and difficult journey for a sick baby. Now, doctors at our medical partner's care center in Kenya will perform the surgery she needs. Gatguon’s parents have two kids. Her mother is a stay-at-home mom and her father is a vegetable farmer. They are hopeful that baby Gatguon will be treated and that they will continue taking care of her and loving her unconditionally. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Gatguon's family raise $1,151 to cover the cost of spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 20th and will hopefully spare Gatguon of further complications and allow her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Gatguon’s mother shared, “We hope that our child will be treated.”
Meet Hour! He lives in Cambodia with his parents, who both work as farmers. His 26-year-old brother works as a seller at a local market. Hour completed school up to 6th grade, but he no longer attends. He enjoys spending time listening to music, playing games, and meeting friends. When he was a toddler, Hour was diagnosed with hemophilia, a medical condition that severely reduces the ability of blood to clot. This causes him to bleed heavily from even slight injuries. Four months ago, Hour began experiencing pain in his hips. He was diagnosed with bilateral hip necrosis, a painful condition that occurs when the blood supply to the head of the femur, or thighbone, is disrupted. Because bone cells need a steady supply of blood to stay healthy, his condition can ultimately lead to the destruction of his hip joint. Hour is currently unable to walk without support, has anemia, and is in chronic pain. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping him receive treatment. On August 10th, he will undergo a joint replacement, called an uncemented hip arthroplasty. CSC is requesting $1,500 to fund Hour's treatment and care. Hour shares, "I am thankful that I have a chance to have a new hip. This treatment will help me be able to work to help my family in the future."
Sai Nal is a 25-year-old father of one. He works in sales at a company in the capital city of Phnom Penh, while his wife takes care of their four-year-old daughter. In his free time, Sai Nal enjoys listening to music, exercising, and playing football. In November, Sai Nal was in a motor vehicle collision that injured his left knee and right hand. Although he went to a traditional healer for a while, he still experiences pain and tenderness in his leg. As a result, he cannot walk easily, exercise, or ride his motorbike, which means he often misses work because he has to rely on others for transportation. His family's income has been affected, and Sai Nal is worried about his ability to provide for them unless his knee is healed. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), can help. On April 4th, Sai Nal will undergo a fracture repair procedure to help him walk easily again. CSC is requesting $465 to help fund this procedure, which is also subsidized by Sai Nal's contribution of $100 that he was able to gather. Sai Nal said, "After surgery, I want to get better and have no pain so I can go back to my normal life again and support my family."
Naw Eh is a 32-year-old woman who lives with her parents, her husband, and her children in a refugee camp. She supports her family by caring for her children and managing their home. Her husband is currently unemployed. Three of her children are enrolled in primary school, but her fourth child is too young to attend. During her free time, Naw Eh enjoys sewing clothes. Naw Eh is currently expecting a new baby and her doctors recommend that she undergoes a caesarean section to deliver her child because she is already 40 weeks pregnant and her baby is still in the wrong position, laying horizontally instead of vertically. With a C-section, doctors will be able to ensure the safety of both Naw Eh and her baby during the delivery. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Naw Eh undergo a C-Section on July 7th. This procedure will cost $1,500, and Naw Eh's family needs your support to help fund her care. Naw Eh shares, “In the future, I will search for a job in the refugee camp, and I will also take good care of my children.”
Darensky is a 10-year-old student from Haiti. He lives with his mother and grandparents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He is in the third grade and likes building things and making crafts. Darensky has a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus and tracheal ring. Two holes exists between two major blood vessels near his heart; blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs, leaving him weak and oxygen-deprived. The treatment that Darensky needs is not available in Haiti, so he will fly to United States to undergo surgery. Many years ago he had one hole closed so this is the second surgery he needs, and his family has been waiting for this moment for a long time. Fortunately, on March 10th, Darensky will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the remaining hole that leaks blood between his two main blood vessels at the same time. During the surgery, he will also have a muscular blockage removed from his trachea that affects his ability to breathe. Another organization, Akron Children's Hospital, is contributing $12,000 to help pay for surgery. Darensky's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Darensky's family overseas. HIs mother told us: "I am very happy to know that after this surgery my son will finally be able to run and play normally!"
Meng Thong is an 11-year-old student with one younger sister. Meng Thong's parents are rice and vegetable farmers. Meng Thong is in the 5th grade and is an outstanding student, in the top 5 in his class! His best subjects are Khmer and math. After school he likes to play football with friends. Thong fell playing football last October and injured his left forearm. Now he has limited mobility in his left wrist and decreased sensation whenever he used his hand. He has been diagnosed with a volkman's contracture of the left forearm. Surgeons will perform a wrist contracture release to heal the bone. When Meng Thong's parents learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, they traveled for four hours seeking treatment. On March 1st, surgeons at CSC will perform a contracture release surgery to to help him move his arm easily again. Now, his family needs help to fund this $477 procedure. His father says, "I hope he can heal quickly and return to school."