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Foster is a 70-year-old farmer and grandfather from Malawi who needs $500 to fund hernia repair surgery.

Foster
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  • $280 raised, $220 to go
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$220
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September 27, 2022

Foster is a 70-year-old father of nine, from Makwenda Village in Malawi. He lives with his wife and grandchildren. To support his family, he solely depends on farming where he grows maize, groundnuts, and soya beans. Foster is a village headman and he is a member of the Church of African Presbytery.

Foster was well until 2020 when he noticed a swelling on the right side of his groin. The swelling was very painful and made passing stool and urine very difficult. The swelling would disappear and reappear after a while, especially when it is cold, and when he coughs or strains himself.

Foster decided to seek medical help at a health center in his area where he was referred to Nkhoma Hospital, but at the time surgeries were limited due to the coronavirus pandemic. He was told to come back another time. As the condition persisted, Foster went to seek medical help at Dedza District Hospital where he has been visiting up to now and had been given pain medication.

Last week, Foster visited Nkhoma Hospital once again, and he presented that the swelling has now been appearing on both sides. After assessment in the surgical clinic, Foster was diagnosed with Bilateral Inguinal Hernia. The doctor advised that he needs to undergo Hernia Repair surgical procedure and this was scheduled for October 5th.

This hernia condition has impacted Foster’s life negatively. Since the condition surfaced, he experiences pain that hinders him from doing his daily activities and he fails to work on his farm. Additionally, he cannot walk a long distance or ride his bike as the swelling appears when he strains himself.

Treatment will be a welcome development in Foster’s life. He will be able to work on his farm and continue taking care of his family as he is the sole breadwinner. In addition to that, treatment will prevent Foster from developing complications that a hernia can cause, such as enlargement, incarceration, small bowel obstruction, and strangulation of the hernia, which can be fatal.

Foster shared that he does not have enough money to pay for his surgery and other expenses so the medical team referred him to Watsi and our medical partner African Mission healthcare. He has been able to contribute $15 to his care and our medical partner is requesting $500 to cover the cost of Foster’s surgery.

Foster says, “I was afraid that this condition will start affecting my duties as a village headman, I am thankful that there is hope for me through my donors.”

Foster is a 70-year-old father of nine, from Makwenda Village in Malawi. He lives with his wife and grandchildren. To support his family, he...

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Foster's Timeline

  • September 27, 2022
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Foster was submitted by Beatrice Njoroge, Curative Medical Support Program Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • September 30, 2022
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Foster's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • October 5, 2022
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    Foster was scheduled to receive treatment at Nkhoma Hospital in Malawi. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Foster is currently raising funds for his treatment.

  • TBD
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Foster's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 5 donors

Funded by 5 donors

Treatment
Hernia Repair with Mesh
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $500 for Foster's treatment
Hospital Fees
$77
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$128
Supplies
$234
Labs
$17
Other
$44
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

A hernia occurs when a portion of the intestine protrudes through the lower abdominal wall, usually for one of two reasons. The first is a congenital abnormality in which the tissues did not close. The second is excessive stress in an adult, often due to heavy physical labor or pregnancy. Patients experience a bulge or lump in the affected area. The hernia may cause the patient to feel pain, discomfort, weakness, pressure, and sensations of heaviness or aching. These symptoms are often exacerbated when the patient coughs, bends over, or lifts heavy objects. In some cases, hernias have no symptoms and are only detected during routine medical exams.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

Patients with uncomplicated hernias may experience only annoyance or discomfort. As the hernia opening expands, the discomfort will increase. Small openings are more likely to trap the intestine, potentially leading to intestinal damage or death.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

Hernias are common in Africa. People often do very hard physical labor and lift heavy objects. Women tend to have more children than those in developed countries. It is possible that some hernias have infectious or genetic causes.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

Surgery lasts for three to eight hours, depending on the age of the patient and the severity of the hernia. The patient will stay in the hospital anywhere from two days to eight weeks, again depending on the age of the patient and the severity of the hernia. The patient is continually monitored.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

Treatment is curative. The chance of intestinal strangulation or bowel obstruction reduces significantly.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Hernia repair is not a risky procedure, and it comes with few side effects.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

Many patients will ignore a hernia until it becomes uncomfortable and seek care at that time. Some people will wear tighter pants or a tight band around the waist to prevent the intestine from protruding.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

If a hernia is not “stuck,” patients tend to ignore it and adapt to living with it. However, this could lead to future complications.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Ferdinand

Ferdinand is a father of two from the Philippines. He has one son and one daughter. Both he and his wife both work as public school teachers. Their income is still insufficient for their needs, however and, in addition to supporting their children, part of their salary goes to their medication for diabetes and hypertension. In September, Ferdinand began to experience several troubling symptoms, including severe abdominal pain. He was rushed to an emergency room to be treated. The ultrasound test showed that he has gallstones. Ferdinand has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy which is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, his symptoms will continue to worsen and will put him at risk of further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Ferdinand is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on December 3rd. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $826 to cover the cost of Ferdinand's surgery and care. "Because of my condition, I'm in constant pain which hinders me from doing my usual activities. I've tried to reach out for help to our local government but was unsuccessful," Ferdinand shared. "I am glad there are foundations like Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines that exist. I'm forever grateful for the help that you've given me," he added.

55% funded

55%funded
$459raised
$367to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.