Ronnie joined Watsi on January 3rd, 2021. Two years ago, Ronnie joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ronnie's most recent donation supported Clerize, a joyful 4-year-old from Kenya, to fund clubfoot repair surgery so she can grow up active.
Ronnie has funded healthcare for 27 patients in 9 countries.
Ronnie has funded healthcare for 27 patients in 9 countries.
Meet Clerize: a beautiful and bright 4-year-old. She is the 1st born in a family of two and her family hails from a small village in rural Kenya. We met her at our Nyandarua medical camp outreach accompanied by her grandmother. Clerize's grandmother is a farmer while her father, who is separated with his wife, works as a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) driver. Clerize was born healthy however at the age of three, her grandmother noticed an unusual walking style. She stared tiptoeing and would fall every time she tried to walk. For lack of information and because of the distance, they didn’t take her to the hospital. Later their family heard about CURE hospital medical camp in Nyandarua and brought her to be seen by the doctors. The medical team diagnosed Clerize with clubfoot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Clerize's family has now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 26th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Clerize's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk more easily and is looking forward to attending school. “I am pleading for help to help my granddaughter undergo surgery so that she can resume with her normal life and walking,” Clerize's grandmother told us.
Chit Htun is a 21-year-old man from Burma who lives with his mother, two sisters and a brother. His mother is a homemaker, while Chit Htun and his siblings are students. They are supported financially by two aunties and Chit Htun's former teacher. Chit Htun was born with spina bifida as well as hydrocephalus. When Chit Htun was just over a month old, he had a shunt inserted in his brain to control hydrocephalus. In October 202, Chit Htun fell down the stairs in his home and hit his head during the fall. Since that time, he has been experiencing headaches and dizziness with occasional loss of consciousness. Chit Htun's mother brought him to a hospital in Yangon, where he received a CT scans showing that the original shunt was in place. A second shunt was inserted to help with the loss of consciousness, but the headaches and dizziness continued to be a problem. In October 2022, Chit Htun had a seizure, accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Chit Htun's mother brought him to Mae Sot Hospital, where he received a CT scan on November 28th, 2022 with the help of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). The doctor diagnosed Chit Htun with severe chronic hydrocephalus and suspected shunt malfunction. BCMF is now fundraising $1,500 to help cover the cost of surgery to replace Chit Htun's current shunt. Chit Htun's mother shared, "My son and I have been in Mae Sot for the past two months and we are homesick already. I hope that he will receive surgery soon and recover from his symptoms."
Marivel is a hardworking and loving daughter from the Philippines. She is a 2nd-year college student. While studying, she tried to look for jobs to support her family. Unfortunately, to date she has been unable to pass the medical (health) requirements. The only breadwinner in the family is her father who works as a pedicab driver. Her father's income is often not enough to bring food to the table. In 2018, Marivel began to experience troubling symptoms, including a mass on her neck that is growing in size, and episodes of difficulty breathing. Due to the inadequate family resources, she did not seek treatment. By the time she finally had a chance to be checked by a doctor, her condition had worsened. She was diagnosed with Nodular Non-Toxic Goiter, a thyroid gland enlargement with no disturbance in the thyroid function. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Marivel receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on December 10th at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $890 to cover the cost of Marivel's procedure and care. Marivel shared, "I'd like to thank Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines. You're not just giving me surgery, but also a chance to support my family. After my treatment, I'd be able to find a decent job and provide for our needs."
Francklin is a loving husband and father from Haiti. He lives with his wife and two children in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He works as a security guard for a private security company. Francklin has a cardiac condition called severe mitral stenosis which resulted from a rheumatic fever that he suffered when he was young. Blood cannot pass through a valve in his heart properly, leaving him weak and short of breath. The cardiac surgery that Francklin's condition requires is not available in Haiti, so he needs to fly to the United States to receive treatment. On November 18th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair the damaged valve; if they are unable, they will need to implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, the Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000 to pay for his surgery. Francklin's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep, travel, and follow-up care while he heals. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Francklin overseas. Francklin says, "My family and I will pray for God's blessings on everyone who is helping us."
Mu is a 34-year-old wife and mother, living in Thailand. Mu lives with her husband, son, and two daughters in Mae Sot, Tak Province. Their family moved from Yangon, Burma to Thailand 14 years ago, in search of better job opportunities. Today, Mu is a homemaker, her son is a student, while her two daughters are still too young to study. Her husband is a dockworker in Mae Sot. Because their income is insufficient to cover their daily expenses, they sometimes have to borrow money from a neighbor. About two years ago, Mu developed a femoral hernia. Because of the hernia, Mu experiences severe pain in her left groin area, and she also has a lump that has been increasing in size, and which hangs down when she walks. Mu is very stressed about her condition, and because of chronic discomfort, she has been unable to keep up with her daily tasks. Fortunately, with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Mu is scheduled for hernia repair surgery on October 27th, at Mae Sot General Hospital. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of Mu's surgery and care, which should enable Mu to return to a life without the hardship she experiences now. Mu said: “I feel like I have to hold myself so this will not fall down when I walk, which makes me feel very uncomfortable. I want to receive surgery soon so that I can work to earn more money in the future. Now, my baby—our youngest daughter—is older so I will find a job after I have fully recovered from surgery.”
Stevenson is a 26-year-old man from Haiti. He lives in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince with his parents and several siblings. Stevenson had been attending university, studying for a business degree, when poor health forced him to leave school. When he was a child, Stevenson developed rheumatic fever, which has resulted in rheumatic mitral valve prolapse. This condition has meant that one of Stevenson's heart valves is unable to pump sufficient blood through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. Thanks to our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, Stevenson will fly to the Dominican Republic, where on September 27th, surgeons at Hospital CEDIMAT will perform surgery to remove the damaged valve, and implant an artificial one. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for Stevenson's surgery. But Stevenson's family also needs your help to fund the $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medicines, and follow up appointments, as well as for the passports and the social workers, who will accompany the family to the Dominican Republic. Stevenson shared, "I feel very lucky to have this chance to finally have my heart healed!"
Khin is a 40-year-old woman who enjoys growing flowers and vegetables in her free time. She lives with her husband, son, and four daughters in Burma. She is a homemaker and takes care of her youngest daughter while her husband sells snacks in front of their home. Her son works in a teashop and her three oldest daughters currently attend primary school. Khin shares that she hopes to run a fruit shop to further support her family once she recovers. When Khin was 22 years old, she developed an ulcer on her right heel that made it difficult to put weight on her foot and walk. Fortunately, she received multiple skin grafts and the ulcer eventually healed. However, the ulcer returned in 2019, and despite receiving the same treatment as before, she was only able to walk with a limp after surgery. Last April, Khin began experiencing severe pain on her right heel once again. She eventually sought medical attention and was told by her doctor that she has cancer in her right lower leg. Her doctor advised that she have her leg amputated below her knee, but due to financial constraints, she could not proceed with the surgery and returned home. After three months, the pain continued to worsen and Khin visited our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), to request painkillers. After examining her leg, the doctor at MCLH told her that she would have to have her lower right leg amputated to prevent the spread of the cancer. Just as before, Khin refused the amputation. The doctor then referred her to the oncology department of Mawlamyine General Hospital and recommended that she receive a biopsy to confirm her diagnosis and need for surgery. The biopsy revealed that she has skin cancer. Khin decided that she wanted to proceed with the amputation despite being unable to fund the cost. The doctor admitted her that same day and fortunately referred her to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for financial assistance accessing treatment. On September 1st, surgeons at MCLH's care center will perform a leg amputation. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Khin's life-changing procedure. Khin shares, “I just came to MCLH for painkillers, and I did not know that the doctor would help me through donors. When I heard that I could have surgery with the help of donors, I felt so happy and my stress was relieved. My family also encouraged me to have the amputation so I can live a longer life with my children. I would like to say thank you to the donors for giving me a chance to live longer with my children.”
Meet Gemechu, an adorable and cheerful nine-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He lives with his parents and five siblings. His father is a farmer, and his mother is a homemaker. Gemechu loves imitating others and trying to do what he observes others doing. He also loves to play with toy cars and with his siblings. Gemechu was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. His parents share that at one point, Gemechu's condition left him unable to talk, as well as unable to move his head and body. Although he has received a colostomy insertion procedure, he still needs further treatment in order to fully heal his condition. Fortunately, Gemechu is scheduled to undergo surgery to help correct his condition on August 9th at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Gemechu's procedure and care. After his recovery, he will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Gemechu's father shares, "Our hope grew a lot, even now. The colostomy changed his life. He is healthy, he eats well, and we hope for a lot more after this planned surgery, specifically for him to get better and to live a normal life. We hope his life will change after this surgery."
Elisa is a hardworking 37-year-old from the Philippines. She works as a coconut juice vendor, and her partner works different part-time jobs, both working to provide for their family. Elisa has been experiencing abdominal pain and vomiting since 2018, but she decided to take herbal medicines as an alternative to provide temporary relief. However, her pain continued to intensify, so she checked herself into a nearby hospital. Her ultrasound test revealed that she has gallstones that need to be surgically removed. Due to financial constraints, her needed treatment was delayed, resulting in further damage to her health. Fortunately, Elisa was referred to our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), and is now scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on June 29th. A portion of the cost of her care is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and WSFP raising the remaining $826 to cover the cost of Elisa's procedure. "Every episode of pain hinders me from working and providing for my family. This surgery will be very beneficial to me," Elisa shared. "Thank you, Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines, for choosing me as one of your beneficiaries."
Christmaelle is a beautiful toddler from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and three older siblings in a small fishing village in southwest Haiti. The adults in her family all fish and raise livestock for a living. Christmaelle has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart; blood leaks through this hole without first passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. The surgery Christmaelle needs is not available in Haiti, so she will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On June 28th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in her heart with a patch so that blood can no longer leak through it. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $7,000 to pay for her surgery. Christmaelle's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and followup. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports the cost of getting passports and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Christmaelle's family overseas. Christmaelle's mother said: "Our family is praying for everyone who is helping our daughter to become healthy again!"
Bradley is a six-year-old boy who lives with his grandmother in a small town in western Haiti, which an island nation in the Caribbean Sea. Bradley's parents work in the capital of Port-au-Prince and visit him regularly. He's happy to have started school and is in the first grade. Bradley was born with a condition called atrial septal defect. The condition means a hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole, which means Bradley often feels weak and short of breath. This condition is highly treatable with surgery, but the surgery he needs is not available within Haiti. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged to bring Bradley to the Dominican Republic for treatment. There, on May 26th, doctors will use a catheter to close the hole in his growing heart. He should then be able to go on to live a full and healthy life. "Our family is looking forward to this surgery so we no longer have to worry so much about Bradley's health," his grandmother says. The Rotarian-based nonprofit Gift of Life International is contributing $5,000 toward Bradley's surgery. The additional $1,500 will help cover his medical bills and related care, including travel expenses for Bradley. His grandmother shared: "Our family is looking forward to this surgery so we no longer have to worry so much about Bradley's health."
Saumu is a three-year-old girl from Tanzania. Saumu is the second born child in a family of three children. She has a twin brother by the name of Ramadhani. They love playing together though Saumu's mother shared that Saumu has a hard time keeping up with her brother due to her health condition. Both of Saumu's parents are small-scale farmers who get their daily food from what they harvest. Her father also seeks day jobs which helps to get a little additional money to support his family. Saumu has been diagnosed with Genu Varus, where her legs are bowed outward so that her knees do not touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she cannot walk well. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Saumu. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 15th. Treatment will hopefully restore Saumu's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Saumus’s mother says, “Please help my daughter she is struggling to walk.”