Gary joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven years ago, Gary joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Gary's most recent donation supported Margaret, a middle-aged single mother from Kenya, to fund a hysterectomy surgery to treat cancer.
Gary has funded healthcare for 54 patients in 10 countries.
Gary has funded healthcare for 54 patients in 10 countries.
Margaret is a single mother of two children. She moved from Uganda to Kenya in search of a better livelihood. She works as a house help in Loresho area in Nairobi and lives in a one-room rental house costing about $35 a month. She has an immigrant identification card and cannot get national health insurance coverage within Kenya. Since two months ago, Margaret has been experiencing lower abdominal pains. She visited a nearby health facility and was treated for typhoid and ulcers. The pain did not end and she could feel a painful lump on her abdomen. She was forced to go back for a checkup and advised to visit Kijabe Hospital for a cancer review. Early this month a biopsy was ordered and results revealed a vaginal mass and squamous cell carcinoma. She urgently needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1260 to fund Margaret's surgery. On September 22nd, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Margaret will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Margaret says, “This news is tough but I am determined to battle the cancer.”
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.”
Jeremy is a beautiful five-year-old boy from Kenya who has autism. To support their family, his mother manages their home and cares for her children, and his father currently works as a mechanic. His parents share that their income is just enough to sustain the basic needs of their family of six. On July 7th, Jeremy was playing with his brother when he fell and broke his leg. An X-ray scan showed that he has a fracture of his femur bone on his right leg. Since the incident, he has been experiencing severe pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. On July 12th, Jeremy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will allow his injury to heal and help him walk again. Now, our medical partner is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Jeremy’s mother expressed, “I am desperate and worried...I am pleading for assistance so that soon he can be treated. I thank God in advance."
Misgana is a 15-month-old girl from Ethiopia. She is a happy and friendly baby. She has one older sister she loves to play with, and she also loves playing with her dolls. Her mom makes injera (a traditional Ethiopian food) for a living. She brings her two daughters along with her to work because she has no one to look after them while she is away. Misgana's dad is a farmer and they live in a rented house. Misgana 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. Misgana underwent emergency colostomy surgery at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM) and now needs to have her next stage of treatment to fully heal. Her mom shared how difficult this has been on their family psychologically and that they cannot afford Misgana's medical bill. Fortunately, Misgana is now scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on July 7th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Misgana's procedure and care. After her recovery, Misgana will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing related health complications in the future. Her mom says “I hope my child will heal and grow. I want her to learn about God. And I wish she will get a good education and become a teacher.”
Rayvan is a 1 month old baby boy living with his parents and three siblings in Kenya. Rayvan's mother used to plough her neighbors' farms, while his father herds cattle and ploughs farms to earn a living for their family. Rayvan parents shared that he was born at home because they could not afford to pay for his delivery at a hospital. After his birth, his mother noticed that Rayvan had a large swelling on the lower part of his back. She immediately took him to a nearby hospital to be examined. Rayvan was given some medication, and sent back home. After using the medication for a few weeks, there was no change in his condition. His mother shared her concerns about Rayvan with her friends, and one of them referred her to our medical partner's care center BethanyKids Hospital in Kijabe. On arrival, he was examined and diagnosed with spina bifida, a condition that requires surgical intervention to heal. Without surgery, Rayvan is at risk of developing paralysis of his lower limbs, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, and possible developmental delays. His parents do not have health insurance, and are unable to pay for the surgery he needs. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Rayvan's spina bifida closure surgery, which is scheduled to take place on May 18th at BethanyKids Hospital. This procedure will hopefully spare Rayvan from the risks associated with his condition, and enable him to grow up strong and healthy. Rayvan’s mother says: “I have never seen such a condition before and I was very much worried about my child. Now I’m happy to hear that he can get treated. The sad part is that I cannot afford the treatment but I believe that God will make a way.”
Juvens is a sweet 2-year-old boy from Haiti. Juvens is his parent's first child. His parents have been happy to see Juvens starting to play, but his condition makes it difficult for him to control his head and his body. Juvens has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain increasing intracranial pressure. Without treatment, Juvens will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Juvens 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 April 19th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Juvens's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Juvens will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Juvens's family is hopeful that the surgery will allow him to be able to walk and talk and be able to play as he grows.
Aljahnie is a four-year-old boy from the Philippines. He loves to play with toy cars, to sing nursery rhymes, and to listen to songs. His mother is a stay-at-home mom, and his father is a jeepney driver. Despite working hard, they are unable to finance his medical needs. Aljahnie was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Aljahnie is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on March 17th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to cover the total cost of Aljahnie's procedure and care. After his recovery, Aljahnie will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. "By the grace of God, and extra caution, we hope that his condition will be much better after this treatment. We are very grateful to World Surgical Foundation and WATSI for helping us," shared Aljahnie’s mother.
Srey Ne is a 32-year-old woman who is married with two young daughters, aged 5 and 7-years-old. Srey Ne works in a factory, while her husband works in construction. She shared that she enjoys swimming and cooking for her family in her free time. For six months, Srey Ne has been experiencing knee pain. She managed the condition with medication at first, but in December, the pain became so severe that she went to a government hospital. Doctors diagnosed her condition as osteoporosis, but Srey Ne was unable to afford the recommended treatment. When she learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled to there for review. Doctors at CSC conducted a biopsy and histology and determined she has a giant cell tumor on her left knee that is growing. Currently, Srey Ne experiences pain and discomfort. Fortunately, surgeons at CSC can help Srey Ne finally heal. On February 18th, she will undergo excision and fibular flap surgery to remove the tumor and heal the wound. CSC is requesting $657 to fund this procedure, which is also subsidized by Srey Ne's co-pay that she was able to gather. Srey Ne says, "This treatment will help me return to work so I can support my family. I am looking forward to being free of pain and walking easily."
Nervin is almost two years old and is a playful and charming boy. He has a twin brother by the name of Navin. Nervin's father works as a phone repair person while the mother is a housewife. Over the December holidays, Nervin's mother visited her parents in Arusha, where Watsi's medical partner is located. When his grandparents saw the condition of Nervin's legs, they advised his parents to seek treatment. Nervin has been diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, where his legs bow outward. 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 a hard time walking and doing all the things he wants to do. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Nervin. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 11th. Treatment will hopefully restore Nervin's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Nervin’s mother says, “Please help my children, they are struggling to walk and their legs keep worsening.”
Aziza is 14-year-old girl and the second born child in a family of three children. She has just completed her class seven exams and looks forward to joining secondary school once the national examination results are out. She would love to be a teacher when she grows up. Aziza was involved in a fire accident when she was just three years old and she had not been able to use her left hand to hold things or be able to participate in many home chores. Aziza had surgery in February 2020 to release the burn contracture on her hand, which went a long way to enable her to use her hand more. Now, Aziza also needs an amputation of the small finger of her left hand. Her small finger has significant flexion contracture with severe damage to the joint capsules. Aziza is being raised by one of her aunts while her other siblings are being raised by other relatives after their mother passed away three years ago. Their father is not reliable in taking care of the children, and that’s when relatives decided to come in to help since they would miss meals and they didn’t have anyone to wash their clothes or provide them with other needs. Aziza’s aunt has three children of her own and including Aziza she has a total of four children. Aziza’s aunt is a stay at home wife while the husband sells bicycle spare parts and repairs them for a living. The income is not much but just enough to help support the family. Aziza says, “I am scared to lose a part of my hand but I agree with the surgeons that it is necessary and I hope it will help me be able to use my hand more. Please help me get this treatment.”
Sambath is a 42-year-old soldier who now lives in a rural province of Cambodia with his mother. In his free time Sambath enjoys reading books, watching TV, listening to music, and meeting with friends. One year ago Sambath began experiencing pain in both hips. Now he has difficulty walking. Sambath was evaluated by doctors and due to the osteonecrosis in his hips, where his bones break down due to lack of blood flow, a total hip replacement surgery is recommended to restore his mobility. Fortunately, Sambath learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Sambath of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for November 23rd, and Sambath needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Sambath says, "I really hope that the pain will go away and I can walk easily again."
U Ghwe is a 70-year-old man who lives with his wife and granddaughter in Burma. His wife is ill and not able to look after household chores most of the time. His granddaughter is a student in grade 12, but since her school is closed right now, she looks after the household chores. U Ghwe is a weaver and primarily makes bamboo baskets used to carry materials for construction. The family also fishes and raises chickens. Four years ago, U Ghwe had a stroke which left the muscles in his right foot very stiff. Although he can walk, he cannot wear sandals comfortably and instead goes barefoot. About a month ago, while cutting bamboo for weaving, he felt something bite the sole of his right foot. When he got home that evening, his foot was painful, itchy, red and swollen. Unfortunately, he did not have money to seek treatment at a clinic and eventually, the wound developed into an abscess filled with pus. A family member finally recommended that he visit our medical partner's care center for further examination and treatment. After examination, a doctor diagnosed him with an ulcer and told him that he has diabetes. The doctor shared with him that any injury U Ghwe sustains will not heal easily. His doctor has recommended surgery to clean the ulcer and help it to heal. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping U Ghwe receive the recommended treatment. On October 7th, he will undergo a wound debridement procedure at BCMF's care center to help his wound heal. Now, he needs help raising $694 to fund his procedure and care. U Ghwe shared, "I do not know how long my daughter will not be able to [give] me money. Today, my daughter called me and said that my son-in-law will need to have surgery so she cannot send me money. I am the only one who can earn an income, so if I do not feel better, I will not be able to work. I am interested in working with wood. If was younger, I would learn and become a carpenter but now I feel I am too old."