Brennan joined Watsi on September 13th, 2013. Eight years ago, Brennan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Brennan's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Aalyia, an adorable nine-month-old infant from Haiti, to fund surgery to treat her hydrocephalus.
Brennan has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 11 countries.
Brennan has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 11 countries.
Aalyia is an adorable nine-month-old infant who lives with her parents and two brothers in Haiti. Aalyia has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, the circumference of Aalyia's head has been increasing. Without treatment, she will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Aalyia at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available, and the procedure is scheduled to take place on September 1st. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from Aalyia's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, she will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Aalyia's family shares that they hope their child will live a great life.
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."
Saw Wah is a 14-year-old student who lives with his parents and five younger brothers. He is in grade six, but his youngest brother is too young to enroll in school and his four other brothers stopped going to school earlier this year. It has been a challenging time in their region and Saw Wah shared: “They do not want to attend school because fighting happens very often in this area. We have to run and hide in the jungle where we study and they do not like to study in the jungle." Saw Wah’s family raises chickens and two goats to help feed their family. They also go fishing and foraging for vegetables in the jungle. His father works as a day laborer when there is no work on the farm, and even though Saw Wah's family does not have a regular income, they have enough food and receive free basic healthcare at a clinic near their village. A few years ago, Saw Wah developed a runny nose with yellowish nasal discharge. At first, he thought this was normal and would go away on its own, but towards the end of April, Saw Wah's nose became entirely blocked. He could no longer breath through it and lost all sense of smell. He finally told his parents about his symptoms, and his father took him to the free clinic where the medic checked his nostrils and found a mass blocking the nasal passage in both of his nostrils. Saw Wah was told he would need to go to a larger hospital for further investigation. Doctors want Saw Wah to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $693 to cover the cost of Saw Wah's CT scan and care, scheduled for June 27th. Saw Wah said, “I cannot breathe well especially at night... I want to receive surgery soon so that I will be able to breath normally again.”
Helena is a teenage girl and the fourth of six children. She is a friendly and social girl who loves sports and helping with home chores. Helena is in class two and her best subjects are writing skills and mathematics. Most children around Helena's age have finished their primary school education, but Helena's delay in her studies is caused by a foot disability she was born. Helena has clubfoot of both feet and her parents could not afford any form of medical treatment as small-scale farmers and livestock keepers. Learning to walk was very difficult for Helena. She can only stand or walk with crutches at this time, but it is still very painful. Therefore, Helena relies on a wheelchair to move from one place to another. Fortunately, Helena traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Helena's life-altering surgery. After treatment, she will be able to stand unassisted, walk and wear shoes like the other kids she knows. Helena shared, “I will be very happy if my feet can be treated and help me to stand and walk."
Jane is a loving mother from the Philippines. She has an adorable 8-month-old baby boy. Jane works as as a municipal administrative aide, while her husband works as a contractual college teacher. However, even with their combined salaries, they still cannot afford to cover her medical treatment. In 2019, Jane began to experience troubling symptoms, including a painful, palpable mass on her neck. She was diagnosed with a nodular goiter, which is a solid or fluid-filled lump that forms within the thyroid. However, due to financial constraints, she opted to take the doctor’s prescribed medicine to alleviate the symptoms instead of having the surgery she needs. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Jane finally undergo treatment. She is scheduled for a thyroidectomy on May 3rd at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $1323, and she and her family need help raising money for this life-changing care. “Once this surgery is done, I won’t have to endure this pain. Thank you World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for this opportunity to be treated. Now, we don't have to worry about where to get the money for my treatment,” Jane shared with relief.
Kelvin is a shy, 14-year-old sixth grader. Kelvin was born to Ugandan parents who later abandoned him in Kenya. Kelvin was adopted by a potato farmer who gave him work on his farm and helped him enroll in school. Kelvin and his guardians live in a semi-permanent house in the West Pokot region of Kenya. Two weeks ago, Kelvin was struck by a motorbike in a hit and run accident. Kelvin was rushed to a nearby health facility for immediate care. Kelvin was then brought to Kapsowar Hospital for x-rays and further treatment. At this time, Kelvin is unable to walk and is in a great deal of pain. On April 1st, Kelvin will undergo a fracture repair procedure that will allow him to walk again and return to school. Our medical partners, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Kelvin raise $1,145 to fund this life altering procedure. Kelvin shared, “I miss home, I want to get treated and be well again.”
Nan Hla is a 65-year-old nun. She lives alone, as she is the only nun in her monastery of monks in Karen State in Burma. Nan Hla shared that she meditates daily, and the community supports her with meals. Her son, who also lives in Burma, can sometimes provide Nan Hla with extra money to buy additional snacks. On February 20th, Nan Hla began to experience severe stomach pains. She visited a local hospital the next day, where she received an ultrasound and x-ray, but her test results were not clear. As a result, she was referred to another hospital for a CT scan a few days later. The CT scan indicated she has common bile duct stones. Currently, Nan Hla is experiencing heartburn, jaundice, and a poor appetite, as she feels nauseous after she eats any solid food. Doctors have advised her to undergo a cholecystectomy, which is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, Nan Hla's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Nan Hla receive treatment. On March 1st, she will undergo a cholecystectomy. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nan Hla's procedure and care. Nan Hla shared, "I have never experienced these kinds of symptoms before. This is a very bad experience to go through. I pray that all the donors will be healthy. May all your work be successful."
Karen works as a guard at a secondary school in Cavite, Philippines. Her husband is a police officer, but even with their combined income to cost of the surgery she needs is out of reach. Five years ago, Karen began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty in swallowing and a swollen neck. She was diagnosed with goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Karen receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on February 4th at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $1,323, and she and her family need help raising money for this life-changing care. "This surgery will greatly improve my well-being, so I can continue working for my future without worry," Karen shared.
Lesina is a married mother of two. Her firstborn was born in 1995 and has special needs that require a lot of support from Lesina. Lesina likes spending a lot of time with her and ensures her safety all the time. Her other child is 13 and is a 5th grade student. Lesina sells tomatoes at a nearby market while her husband is a driver. They own a three-bedroom iron sheet-roofed house for shelter. She also raises some local chickens with free-range farming, but shared that most of them were stolen. Currently, her family has no land where they can do farming and usually has to buy food from the market. Lesina was well until 2019 when she started having a lot of abdominal pains and other symptoms. She went to a clinic and was given medication which helped for while. But, her condition kept recurring. In 2020, she started feeling a hard mass on the left side of her abdomen and when she came to the hospital again the clinician ordered a cancer screening for her. During the procedure, the nurse felt a mass that is suggestive of uterine fibroids. She was referred to a gynecologist who after scanning and examination confirmed the diagnosis of uterine fibroids and ordered surgical intervention of a procedure called total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) which is the full removal of the uterus. Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman's uterus. Sometimes these growths become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding. If left untreated, fibroids can continue to grow, both in size and number and the symptoms will become worse. The fibroids' pain may increase and the heavy bleeding may become worse leading to anemia which may be fatal. After the surgery, it is expected that Lesina will stop having abdominal pains and heavy bleedings and will lead a full, healthy life. She is scheduled for surgery on January 3rd and is appealing for financial support. Lesina says, “I have heard that some uterine fibroids can burst and cause serious problems, I don’t want that to happen to me. My handicapped firstborn needs me in sound health to continue caring for her. Kindly support my surgery.”
Consolata is a shy, eight-year-old girl. She is the third born in a family of three children. She loves going to school and proudly wears her school uniform. She lives with her single mother, two siblings, and her grandmother. Her grandmother works in a support staff role at a local hospital to support her family. For the last two years, Consolata has suffered from bouts of tonsillitis, pain, infections, and fevers that make it difficult for her to concentrate on her studies. After examination, an ENT surgeon recommended that she have a tonsillectomy. If left untreated, Consolata will continue to experience pain and fevers, and could be at risk of complications. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Consolata to receive treatment. On December 3rd, she will undergo an adenotonsillectomy at AMH's care center. Now, she and her family need help raising $565 to fund her procedure and care. Consolata's grandmother shared, "I love my grandchildren, especially Consolata. It pains me to see her struggle with this condition. I kindly request assistance so that she can live a normal life and continue with her education."
Edrian is an active and talkative 4-year-old boy. He is the youngest in a family of three children. Both of his parents work as teachers, and one of his parents secured a new job recently which they are feeling optimistic about. A few months after Edrian was born, his mother noticed a birth condition. She consulted with his father, and they decided to raise funds to take Edrian to a local hospital. After examination, Edrian was diagnosed with left undescended testes, and surgery was done to address this condition. However, his surgery was unsuccessful and the doctors referred their family to our medical partner’s care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital (BKKH) for additional care. At BKKH, Edrian was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Edrian has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, Edrian will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), and will undergo corrective surgery on November 1st. AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Edrian’s mother shared, “It has been a long and stressful journey for us since he was diagnosed with the condition, but we are still hopeful that all will be well.”
Lydia is a small-scale farmer and mother of ten children. Her oldest child is now forty years old and her youngest is eighteen years old. Her husband stays at home, as his old age keeps him from engaging in income-generating work anymore. Her children can only provide minimal support, so Lydia engages in small-scale farming to provide for her family. About thirty years ago, Lydia began to experience troubling symptoms, including swelling on her neck that was initially small and painless but has rapidly increased in size. Due to limited income, she has not been able to seek treatment before. However, Lydia recently visited our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for another health condition and shared more about her situation with the doctors. She shared that she experiences airway obstructions and has difficulty sleeping. Additionally, she experiences pain in her eyes and ears that affects her hearing and ability to light a fire in the kitchen which is needed for cooking. Upon review, doctors diagnosed her condition as a non-toxic goiter, and thyroidectomy surgery iss recommended to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. On October 5th, Lydia will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH's care center to remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $333 to fund this procedure. Lydia shared, “I have been for the majority of my life covering my neck whenever I go to the public because of the huge neck swelling and feeling uncomfortable. I pray that I may look normal again through surgery. I hope to comfortably continue with farming once I am stable.”