Marvins is a five-year-old boy from Haiti. He lives in Port-au-Prince with his mother and grandparents, and he likes drawing and playing with toy cars. Marvens was born with a heart condition that, while not requiring surgery, requires him to visit his cardiologist and pediatrician regularly. During one of these recent visits, they discovered that Marvens has an aneurysm in his brain that could be very dangerous if not treated. Luckily, doctors in Haiti can perform a small surgical procedure to prevent the aneurysm from growing, and keep Marvens safe so his family no longer needs to worry about this condition. Marvens' mother is hopeful about this surgery and would appreciate any support. She says, "We will be very happy and relieved once this is over and we know that Marvens will be okay!"
Yves is a five-year-old boy who lives in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He lives with his parents and has an older brother. Yves loves to eat. His father says that he "eats everything and anything." He particularly loves milk and milkshakes. Last June, Yves was burned while playing with a perfume bottle near a candle. He sprayed the perfume on the candle, which then created a flame and set his clothes on fire. As soon as he felt the flames on him, Yves left the house and ran outside. Unfortunately, the entire house burned down. He was burned on his face, arms and legs. Yves is currently not in school because of his family's financial difficulties. He also cannot move his arms properly, and his scars often itch. He has difficulty writing and stretching his fingers. Yves will undergo surgery on both arms on March 5. Our medical partner, Innovating Health International, is requesting $1,095 to fund this operation. After the surgery, Yves will have more control of his arms. His range of motion will increase, and he will be able to be more active. "I love this initiative, and I am thankful for this opportunity to change my son's life," says Brunot, Yves's father.
Meet Paola, a fifth grade student from Port-au-Prince in Haiti. She is an only child, and she lives with her mother, Natalie. Paola loves school. Her favorite subject is Creole, and she really likes to read. She also likes to play a lot of games, and she loves to eat. Her favorite meal is vegetable stew with rice and a glass of Haitian cherry juice. When Paola was 11 months old, she sustained burns to her face from an oven fire. Even though she went to the hospital, she did not receive any treatment. Paola cannot close her eyes properly, as this puts strain on her eyelids. Her eyes water a lot, and she occasionally experiences a bit of bleeding. On March 4, Paola will undergo a skin graft surgery to repair her burn injury. This surgery will help Paola's eyes become more functional and allow her to close them. Our medical partner, Innovating Health International (IHI), is requesting $1,095 to pay for Paola's surgery. Paola hopes the surgery will improve the way she looks. She shares with IHI that she wants to be a doctor when she grows up so that she can help and heal those who are sick.
Robensley is four years old and is in preschool. He has a younger brother and lives with his parents in a town in the western province of Haiti. His father is a small farmer who grows peanuts, corn, yams, and other types of legumes. Robensley likes to play soccer. His mother says that he loves school. Whenever he gets home from school, he takes out a pen and paper and shows her what he learned. He is always eager to learn new things. In 2014, Robensley had just started to walk on his own and was in their backyard. He was not paying attention and fell into a boiling pot of beans. He went to a clinic close to his home. He was referred to multiple hospitals and underwent surgery. The burns hinder Robensley and his movements. He cannot sleep at night because the scars itch, and he cannot use his left arm fully. Robensley will undergo surgery to repair his arm on March 5 at our medical partner's care center, St. Damien Hospital. After the operation, he will experience increased functionality in his arm. He will be able to use his arm for different tasks and become more independent. Robensley's family cannot afford this surgery, so they appeal to Watsi to help raise $1,095. "I don't want anything to stand in his way. This operation can help him have a brighter future," says Robensley's mother.
Tamarre is a 14-month-old little girl living in Haiti with her parents and older brother. Her father works at a hospital, and her mom is a homemaker who takes care of the house and the children. Tamarre loves to eat. She loves to eat rice and beans, and her favorite cuisine is Haitian food. She likes to dance a lot, and plays around with her older brother. She often teases him, and always wakes him up to play with her. Her mother describes her as a fearless and curious little girl. Tamarre was born with a cleft lip. A cleft palate is when the roof of the mouth has an opening into the nose, and sometimes is accompanied with a cleft lip, which is an opening in the upper lip. The disorder can result in feeding, speech, or hearing problems. The cause of the condition is unknown, but happens to about one to two births in every one thousand. Tamarre can’t make clear sounds when speaking, and her articulation is muffled. Her mother also gets constantly asked about Tamarre's condition, which can be stressful at times. Tamarre's doctors recommended she have surgical repair of the cleft palate. To repair her cleft lip, the surgeon will connect the muscles of the soft palate and rearrange the tissues to close the cleft. The total cost of the procedure, including medications, imaging, and two days of inpatient care, costs $930. She will have her surgery on March 4th, 2017. Her mother hopes that Tamarre's face and true beauty will be able to shine through after the operation. Tamarre will be able to talk properly, and articulate clear sounds. "I want her to grow up without shame of her appearance, and not feel inferior to her peers," shares Tamarre's mother.
Christelle is a 14-month-old girl living in Haiti with her mother and two older brothers. She likes to dance and play. She loves cold drinks, and her favorite drink is milk. Christelle was born with a cleft lip, which is an opening in the upper lip. This disorder can result in feeding, speech, or hearing problems. Currently, Christelle experiences difficulty breathing. Christelle's mother worries that she will face stigma while growing up. Christelle's doctors have recommended surgical intervention to repair her cleft lip. A surgeon will connect the muscles of the soft palate and rearrange the tissues to close the cleft. The total cost of the procedure, including medications, imaging, and two days of inpatient care, is $930. Christelle will have her surgery on March 4. After the surgery, Christelle will be able to go to school and play with her friends without any worries. She will be able to breath more easily, and her quality of life will improve.
Ezekiel is a three-month-old baby boy living in Haiti with his parents and older sister. His mother used to sell fabrics as a street merchant, and his father is a woodworker that specializes in furniture making. Ezekiel loves to eat, sleeps normally, and enjoys a good tummy rub. He is always happy, and loves being social. Ezekiel was born with a cleft lip. A cleft palate is when the roof of the mouth has an opening into the nose, and sometimes is accompanied with a cleft lip, which is an opening in the upper lip. The disorder can result in feeding, speech, or hearing problems. The cause of the condition is unknown, but happens to about one to two births in every one thousand. Ezekiel also experiences a lot of unwanted attention because of his fascial appearance. Ezekiel's physicians recommended surgical intervention to repair his cleft palate. To repair his cleft lip, the surgeon will connect the muscles of the soft palate and rearrange the tissues to close the cleft. The total cost of the procedure, including medications, imaging, and two days of inpatient care, costs $930. Ezekiel will have his surgery on March 4, 2017. Following this surgery, he will be able to to eat well and get all his nutrients. His mother will no longer worry about his appearance, and he will not be stared at anymore.
Meet Rose, an eight-year-old student from Haiti who loves to play. She has a very creative imagination, and loves to eat sweets and other Haitian cuisine. Rose was born with a cleft lip—a birth defect that occurs when a baby's lip or mouth do not form correctly during pregnancy. As an infant, she was not able to breastfeed properly and had an initial operation when she was just three months old. Now Rose has developed spacing problems with her teeth and gums. She also has some difficulty pronouncing words. Her classmates often ask questions about her lips, making Rose very self-conscious about her appearance. On March 6, Rose will have an operation to repair her cleft lip. The surgeon will connect the muscles of her soft palate and rearrange the tissues in her lip to close the cleft. She needs $930 to cover these surgery costs, as well as her additional hospital care before and after the operation. Rose's mother used to be a kindergarten teacher but now stays at home to take care of the family. With only one income to support Rose and her three siblings, the family does not make enough income to pay for these medical expenses. With this operation, Rose's lip will be better aligned. Her speech will improve and she will not feel self-conscious about the appearance of her lips. Rose will be able to continue her education and pursue her hopes to become a surgeon.
Meet Woodmala, a ten-year-old girl from the northern province of Haiti, where she lives with her four other siblings and their grandparents. Woodmala is currently in the third grade, where she loves to learn about different subjects and play with her friends. Woodmala also likes to dance, sing, and play with her siblings. Woodmala was born with a cleft lip, a birth defect that occurs when the lip and mouth does not form properly during pregnancy. Although the cleft lip does not cause her any pain, it presents challenges in her daily life and activities, such as talking and socializing. Our medical partner, Innovating Health International, is requesting $930 to help fund a reparative surgery for Woodmala. The raised funds will cover her travel costs, hospital fees, procedural supplies, and medications. On March 6, Woodmala will be undergoing surgery. Surgeons will connect her soft palate muscles and rearrange the tissues to close the cleft. With the surgery, Woodmala will be able to smile more often, better articulate and enunciate her words, and fully pursue her dreams without hesitation. “I would like for her to feel normal and not feel discriminated against," says her cousin.
Vernado is a one-year-old boy living in Haiti with his mother and great-uncle. He loves drinking juice, and likes to play with his soccer ball and other toys. He is very curious, and likes to touch things and explore his surroundings. His mother says that she cannot take him to the grocery store anymore because he touches everything. Vernado was born with a cleft lip. A cleft lip is a birth defects that occurs when a baby's lip or mouth do not form properly during pregnancy. As he has grown, his cleft lip has become more of a hinderance. He has trouble eating well, and the cleft causes him pain from time to time. He drools incessantly, and it can sometimes be frustrating for him. His mother feels anxious about his ability to eat safely, and has to watch him attentively in case food gets into his nose. Vernado's doctors recommended he have surgical intervention to fix his cleft lip. To repair, the surgeon will connect the muscles of the soft palate and rearrange the tissues to close the cleft. The total cost of the procedure, including medications, imaging, and two days of inpatient care, costs $930. Vernado will have his cleft lip repaired on March 4, 2017. After his surgery, Vernado will be able to eat more consistently and easily, and improve his overall health. His mother looks forward to not being as anxious about his health. She will be more comfortable going out of the house with him, and she hopes it will be easier for him to play with other kids. "I want him to be a doctor or a pastor," she shares, "Now there will be nothing holding him back."
Nineteen-year-old Jeff lives with parents and two sisters in Haiti, and he enjoys singing in his church choir. Currently in the ninth grade at his high school, Jeff would like to become a doctor or engineer. “Jeff was born with a condition called atrial septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart,” our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), tells us. “Blood flows through this hole without passing through the lungs to get oxygen, leaving him sickly and out of breath. This condition could become fatal if not treated.” To repair the heart defect, Jeff will undergo cardiac catheterization. In this surgical procedure, doctors use imaging to thread a catheter from the groin to the hole in the heart. They position a mesh patch contained within the catheter to close the hole and then remove the catheter. Over time, heart tissue grows into and around the mesh to permanently close the hole. With $1,500 in funding, HCA will provide the overseas preparation and transportation required for Jeff’s surgery. International Children’s Heart Foundation has donated $5,000 to cover the cost of surgery and post-operative hospital care. HCA shares, “Following closure of the hole in his heart, Jeff should be able to lead a healthy life with no further cardiac symptoms.”