Beth's body tells you that she is well-nourished, but her head isn't proportional to the rest of her body. Her head is larger than that of the average three-month-old baby because she has hydrocephalus, a condition associated with excessive fluid buildup in the head. This puts little Beth at risk of increased intra- cranial pressure and subsequent brain stem compression. Beth’s head began increasing in size at the age of one month. Her family took her to a local hospital where they were referred to someone else for specialized treatment. The situation was complicated further by the issue of money; the funds required for Beth's treatment were beyond what her parents had anticipated. Beth, her parents, and her four siblings live in a two-room house in eastern Kenya. Beth’s siblings are enrolled in school and doing well. Her mother is a housewife while her father, the sole breadwinner, is a security guard at a company near their home. The family managed to subsidize $52 of the treatment, but are not able to raise the rest of the funds required for Beth to get a shunt insertion. For $615, the shunt insertion will be possible. The shunt will drain excess cerebrospinal fluid from Beth's brain cavities into other areas of her body and thus will reduce the health risks associated with hydrocephalus. “I can’t even begin to express how depressing this is for our family," shares Beth's mother. "I just wish I can get someone to contribute towards Beth’s treatment and have it all behind us. She is such a jewel and giving up on her is not and will never be an option."
Since she was five years old, Sas has been dealing with the painful aftermath of a serious ear infection. Sas is a married 30-year-old woman from Cambodia who has two sons and farms to make ends meet. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), explains that her childhood ear infection "caused hearing loss, a perforated tympanic membrane, discharge, and pain. The infection developed into a cholesteatoma and she still experiences these symptoms." A cholesteatoma is an abnormal skin growth in the middle ear which causes unpleasant symptoms like the ones Sas is experiencing. Removing it requires surgery, which Sas cannot afford. "I am unhappy that I have daily ear pain and it is difficult to communicate with other people. Sometimes I can't do anything because of the pain," Sas says. In hopes of receiving care, Sas traveled for five hours with her mother to reach CSC for surgery. With our help and $809, Sas will receive surgery to remove the growth and treat the underlying ear infection. As a result of this surgery, CSC says, "her pain and discharge will stop and over time her hearing can improve."
Two-week-old Peter is the first born son to his parents who live in a single-rental house in Kenya. His mother is a housewife and his father is a public transport driver. Peter was diagnosed with a condition called hyrdocephalus. This blockage of the pathways of cerebrospinal fluid causes water accumulation within the brain, resulting in increased pressure in the head. Although the term was new to Peter's parents, on the news they had seen other children who have large heads-- the primary symptom of hydrocephalus. They never thought that this would happen to their first and only child. Peter needs surgery in order to prevent the pressure in his head from continuing to build up and causing his head to grow. Unfortunately, despite attempts to raise enough money for the operation, the costs of treatment are more than Peter's family's income can support. The little income they have is just sufficient to cater for the few basic needs of the family. Furthermore, conditions like Peter's are often associated with witchcraft in the culture of their village. His parents are worried that if he does not receive treatment, they will be ostracized and alienated within their community. Let's help Peter's parents raise $615 to cover the costs of his surgery where doctors will use a shunt to divert the excess fluid in his head to his abdomen. There the fluids can be easily reabsorbed, which will relieve the pressure in Peter's brain and prevent future swelling. “Sacrifice is giving up something good for something better. That is something I have learnt from Watsi," Peter's mother shares. "I am comforted to know that all will be well and we are in the right place for this to happen.”
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Watsi, based in San Francisco, connects medical patients who can't afford the procedures they need with donors via the Web. The funds it collects go entirely to the patients, as the organization's own costs are covered separately.
Watsi lets people donate as little as $5 toward low-cost, high-impact medical treatment for patients in third-world countries. Watsi represents the next generation of charities...profiles of the patients are posted on the Watsi site, and the online community begins donating.
Watsi — one of the fastest growing non-profits in web history — puts up pictures and profiles of people around the world who need money for medical care. 'Anyone can go on our website, donate as little as $5, and 100 percent of that donation will directly fund medical care for a specific person.'
A pioneering way for individuals to donate money to one-off medical treatments in the developing world. The non-profit website allows visitors to make personal donations for as little as $5 to fund the treatment of their patient of choice.
The dollar amounts may seem small, but the way Watsi handles transparency could revolutionize nonprofits. All the money donated -- more than $200,000 so far -- goes directly to the treatment, from doctors' fees to transportation and referral costs.