Amanda joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Eight years ago, Amanda joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Amanda's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Kaptuya, a 47-year-old widow and mother from Kenya, to fund thyroid surgery so she can find relief and provide for her family.
Amanda has funded healthcare for 107 patients in 13 countries.
Amanda has funded healthcare for 107 patients in 13 countries.
Kaptuya is a widow and a happy mother of three sons and a daughter from the semi-arid area of Baringo County in Kenya. Her husband passed away some years back after a short illness. Kaptuya and her children live in a semi-permanent three room house on her late husband's piece of land in an area well known for insecurity and cattle rustling. During the rainy season, they plant maize and millet that sometimes yields enough for both her school-aged children, and for her to sell. Currently, the area is faced with drought and famine, so they depend on relief food from the government and from well-wishers due to the lack of rain experienced this year. Six months ago, Kaptuya applied for a job as a housekeeper at a nearby health center. She was happy knowing that she would earn some money, and that the facility would pay for her medical coverage, but unfortunately that did not happen. The salary was also inconsistent and, thus, unreliable. In 2013, when Kaptuya was expecting her last born, she developed a growth at her neck which gradually increased in size. Kaptuya began to experience troubling symptoms, including neck swelling, which is most visible on the right side. She currently experiences shortness of breath, especially at night, and she sleeps with difficulty. She also has a fast heart rate, and easily gets tired, which affects her daily duties. She was diagnosed with non-toxic goiter, or an irregular growth of the thyroid. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Kaptuya receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on November 22nd. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money. Kaptuya says, “I am the only hope for my dear children. I live because of them, and my well-being keeps them going. I would like to get well so that I may continue working in order to support them to pursue their dreams. Please assist me.”
Sharon is a 23-year-old small-scale farmer from Kenya. She is married with two children, aged four years and one year old. Sharon and her husband grow and sell vegetables and take on casual labor jobs to help supplement their income. They have a three-room house for their family. A week ago, Sharon was grazing her sheep when she tripped on a root. She was located on a hill and fell from a high distance causing her to fracture her right leg. Unable to walk or stand, some neighbors heard her call for help and rushed her to the hospital. Sharon was experiencing severe pain, swelling, and skin traction on her right lower leg. She underwent an x-ray, which showed that she had a fracture on her right femur. She also underwent skeletal traction to realign the bone and keep it in place until she could undergo surgery. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On November 29th, Sharon will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, to mend her right femur and allow her to move again. AMH is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Sharon says: “It’s so unfortunate that I broke my leg at a time when my children needed me the most. I am now forced to stop breastfeeding my son, who is still young, but I am grateful as I am still alive. I need your help, and I believe that someday things will get back to normal, and I will be able to be there for my family.”
Medard is a three-year-old boy from Tanzania. He is his mother's only child, but he lives with his grandmother because his mother's health is currently compromised. While she was pregnant, his mother experienced a difficult pregnancy and was constantly on medication to help ensure healthy brain growth for Medard. He arrived before his due date and had to spend a few weeks in nursery. As he grew older and began walking, his grandmother noticed his leg bowing. Medard was diagnosed with genu valgus, a condition that causes his right leg to bow inward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Medard struggles to walk. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Medard. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 4th. Treatment will hopefully restore his mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. His grandmother shares, “I believe that by helping Medard I will be helping his mother heal too."
Hellen is a soft-spoken, 23 year old student, living with relatives in Gilgil Town in Kenya. Hellen's parents are elderly, and as neither they nor Hellen have a stable source of income, Hellen's relatives are paying for her studies in food and beverage. Just two weeks ago, after undergoing an MRI because of abdominal pain, Hellen learned that she has a fast growing mass in her abdomen, that has displaced her uterus. Hellen was told that she needs surgery urgently in order to remove the mass. If left untreated, the mass could become cancerous, and threaten Hellen's ability to bear children. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help Hellen access the care that she needs. On September 9th, Hellen will undergo a laparoscopic procedure at AIC Kijabe Hospital, at which time the mass will be removed. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is seeking $1,074 to fund Hellen's surgery. Hellen says: "The swelling in the stomach is growing so fast. I am scared it might be cancerous. It might also affect my ability to get kids if not treated.”
Meet Agnes, a hardworking 39-year-old farmer and strong single mother. Two of her children live with her brother in a rural area of the country, while her other children live with Agnes in a house in a small shopping center. Agnes works hard to sustain her family. She does laundry in her neighborhood during the day, while selling vegetables in the evening. During the planting, weeding and harvesting seasons, Agnes goes to the village and works on people's farms. Sometimes she is paid with money, and sometimes she is given food in return for her work. Nine months ago, she was pricked by a maize stalk on her lower left limb. She was walking with difficulty because of the pain that resulted from the wound, and she ended up falling. Agnes traveled to a local facility because of pain and swelling in her leg, and was provided with pain medication and bandages. However, Agnes was referred on to another hospital, where her leg could be X-rayed. The X-ray revealed that Agnes had sustained a fracture in her lower leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. On September 1st, Agnes will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. After this procedure, Agnes will be able to walk without pain and swelling, enabling her to return to her daily activities, and the work that she needs to do in order to earn an income. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is seeking $941 to fund her procedure and medical care. Agnes says: "My family depends on me in everything. With my condition, I cannot work and am afraid that my children will suffer. Kindly help me get through my treatment and be able to provide for them.”
Katelyn is an eight-year-old girl from Kenya. She is the middle child, with her older sibling being 11 years old and her younger sibling being two. Her father previously worked as a butcher in their hometown, but he has since stopped and currently does not have a source of income. Her mother is a homemaker and takes full-time care of the children. They all live together in a rental house. Katelyn was born with an ear condition, which has caused her to experience hearing loss. She eventually had to stop attending school due to her condition. She is currently unable to communicate with others despite her having some speech. Last month, Katelyn's parents took her to Kenyatta National hospital to receive medical care. After undergoing an audiogram scan, it was confirmed that Katelyn has moderate to profound hearing loss. Her doctor recommends that she receive hearing aids since this would help with her hearing and likely her speech as well. However, her family is not able to pay for them due to financial constraints. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Katelyn receive treatment on August 5th. Now, Katelyn's family needs help funding these $1,171 life-changing hearing aids. Katelyn's mother shares, “We didn’t know that she could not speak because she is unable to hear! Doctors have said that it’s possible for her to both hear and speak if she gets the aids.”
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. ”
Jess is a sweet 2-year-old from Haiti. He lives with his parents on a small island off the western coast; his parents are both farmers. Jess has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between two chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. The life-saving care that Jess needs is not available in Haiti, so he'll need to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. There, on June 28th, he will undergo cardiac surgery during which doctors will close the hole in his heart with a patch, and remove the blockage from the valve. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for surgery. Jess's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and follow up. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports the cost of getting passports and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Jess's family overseas. Jess's mother shared: "Our family is praying that our son can have surgery as soon as possible!"
Augostino is a playful boy in kindergarten, who hails from Samor village in Western Kenya. One year ago, Augostino suffered severe burns to the left side of his face when he was trying to fetch food. As a result of his injury, Augostino developed scar contractures, which have tightened the skin around the burns. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Augostino receive treatment. On May 1st, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him heal. Now, his family needs help to fund this procedure, which will cost $1,478. Augostino's father says, “I want my child to have a good look just like other children. I always ask myself why this happened to him."
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!"
Langeda is a charming 23-month-old boy and the only child to his mother. Langeda’s parents work as livestock keepers who sell cattle to provide for their family. When he was five months old, Langeda was in bed while his mother was outside doing chores. He woke up and rolled off the bed, and his hand went into a bedside fire. He sustained severe burns and was treated at home using traditional medicine, however, he now has limited use of his hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Langeda receive treatment. On March 2nd, surgeons will perform a burn contracture release surgery so that he can use his hand freely. Now, he and his family need help raising $874 to fund his procedure and care. Langeda’s mother was grateful that support for her son was now possible and shared, "we have never sought treatment for our son due to lack of money."
Marimar is from Samar, an island approximately 530 km away from the capital city of Manila. She's been diagnosed with cholelithiasis, also known as gallstone disease. She saw several doctors in her province after experiencing shooting pains in her stomach whenever she walked. Eventually, her condition has gotten severe to the point that she had to stop working due to her worsening symptoms. Due to the lack of equipment and specialists in their province, she has needed to travel to Manila to get the surgery she needs to heal. 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. Luckily, her brother who works in construction in Manila is able to host her to stay with him until she undergoes surgery and afterward as she heals. Her surgery is scheduled for February 1st and our medical partner World Surgical Foundation Philippines is raising $1,253 to fund her procedure and care. After recovering, Marimar will be able to work again to support her family in Samar. Looking forward to a better future, Marimar shared, "after the surgery, I hope to be able to live and work again without the excruciating pain."