Nick joined Watsi on December 9th, 2014. Seven years ago, Nick joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Nick's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Poe, a hardworking 43-year-old father from Thailand, to fund mitral valve replacement for his heart.
Nick has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 13 countries.
Nick has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 13 countries.
Poe is a 43-year-old man who lives alone in Bangkok and works as a construction contractor. He supports his wife and son in Burma, but has been unable to work for the past four months since his health deteriorated. Currently, he is getting by on money his friends have given him. Poe was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, he has edema (swelling) in both of his legs. If he walks short distances, he feels tired, experiences shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. He cannot sleep if he lays down and has to sleep in a sitting position. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Poe. The treatment is scheduled to take place on May 6th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. "After I recover from surgery, I will go back to work. I will save the money to pay back my debts. After that I will save money to support my son and wife. I want my son to go to school, and I want him to become an educated man," said Poe.
Eden is a 15-month-old baby boy from Haiti. He lives with his mother, father, and two older brothers in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Eden's father is a teacher and his mother takes care of their family and home. Eden was born with a cardiac condition called complete atrioventricular canal defect. A large hole exists in the center of Eden's heart that causes blood to leak between all four chambers. This condition puts a strain on his heart and makes it difficult for oxygen to circulate through his body. The treatment and diagnostics he needs is not available in Haiti so on April 20th, Eden will fly to the Dominican Republic to hoping undergo cardiac surgery. Upon arrival at the hospital, doctors will perform advanced diagnostics to determine the best way to treat Eden's condition. Depending on the results of the exams, the doctors will determine if they recommend Eden undergo surgery or have his condition closely managed through medication and other care. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $4,000 towards Eden's medical care, but his family also needs assistance covering an additional $1,500 for labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This also supports passport obtainment and the social workers who will accompany Eden's family overseas. Eden's mother shared, "We are very hopeful that the doctors will have good news to share with us about Eden's heart problem!"
Shisena is a fun-loving 8-year-old girl from Haiti. She lives with her parents and four older brothers and sisters in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Shisena likes playing with her older siblings and listening to music. She goes to a special school program that she enjoys very much. Shisena was born with Down Syndrome and a condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which a hole exists between two major blood vessels near the heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) is helping Shisena undergo the cardiac surgery she needs for a healthy life ahead. During the procedure, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole with a small device. HCA is contributing $5,000 to make her treatment possible and needs to raise $1,500 to fully cover her medical care. Shisena's mom told us, "We are very thankful to everyone who is making this miracle possible for our daughter!"
Sioni is a 17-month old girl and the only child to her young mother. Sioni's mom never had a chance to go to school herself, and is the second wife to her husband, who has two wives and seven children. Sioni's father is a livestock keeper and a small-scale farmer. They come from a Maasai community where health facilities are a long distance away, and frequently are unable to go to hospitals due to financial challenges. Due to this reality, Sioni was born at home through the help of midwives. Sioni was born with clubfoot on both feet. Clubfoot is a congenital musculoskeletal condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes patients to have a great deal of difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Fortunately, Sioni's family traveled to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, where she will receive treatment for her condition. There, on February 18th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on both of Sioni's feet. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Sioni's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily, and grow up to run and play like other children. Sioni’s mother says, “I would like my daughter to be like other children.”
Mishel is a new baby and the youngest in her family of three children. She is less than a week old. Her family was referred to our medical partner from western Kenya where she was born. Her mother is dedicated full time to raising their kids and taking care of the family and her father is the sole breadwinner who works whenever he can find jobs at construction sites. Their family has a small farm where they tend food crops for home use. They depend on the produce from the farm and the income from her father’s work for survival. They don’t have medical insurance coverage and need support for an urgent procedure for Mishel. Mishel is only four days old and delicately sleeps in her mother’s hands while talking with our local Watsi representative. Mishel was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Mishel is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. She was immediately referred to BethanyKids Hospital for review and possible treatment. She is currently scheduled for surgery to avert the risks she faces without treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Mishel's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 19th. This procedure will hopefully spare Mishel from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Mishel mother says, “Look at the peaceful beauty sleeping, she deserves to grow up as healthy baby.”
Susan is a mother of three, with her eldest child now 23 years, and two twins who are 17. She used to work at a salon in Nairobi, but the owner closed the business at the beginning of the year. She has been out of work since then and husband works as a casual laborer in a pharmaceutical firm, which recruits them in intervals depending on the availability of funds. She has applied for national health insurance coverage, but it is not yet approved and her doctors have recommended that she undergoes her surgery as soon as possible. Susan first noted a lump in July so she visited a facility in Nairobi and was treated with pain medication and an ointment. She felt better, but the pain recurred after two months. Due to the pain, she went to a government clinic and was advised to visit a higher-level facility. She opted to visit our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital after a recommendation by a neighbor. However, Susan is not in a financial position to pay for the surgery and is appealing for financial assistance. Susan has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Susan. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 6th. After treatment, Susan will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Susan says, "My family and my kids are my motivation. This lump is just increasing in size and pain. I hope I get the treatment I need.”
Dortensley is a 14-month-old baby from Haiti who is loved and cared for by his mother. Dortensley has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases pressure within the skull. As a result of his condition, Dortensley's head grew beyond his expected development and he experiences seizures. Without treatment, Dortensley will experience severe physical and developmental delays. On November 9th, Dortensley will undergo surgery at the care center of our medical partner, Project Medishare. Surgeons will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Dortensley's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. Upon recovery, Dortensley should develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Project Medishare is currently the only site in the country to offer this critical care and is requesting $957 to help fund Dortensley's procedure. Dortensley's mother shared that she could not afford surgery for her child, but is now feeling hopeful. She said: "There is a God after all. God bless everyone that is helping my child."
Joshua is a very jovial 3-year-old boy. He's the firstborn in a family of two children. His father, who is the breadwinner of the family works to sell property. Since the onset of the covid-19 pandemic, there has been low income and he gets just enough for their family's basic needs. His mother had a printing shop that she had to shut down last year. Joshua was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, he has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Joshua will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 12th. AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Joshua’s father says, “I would like Joshua to enroll to school without any health issues hindering his studies.”
Sitha is a 40-year-old car mechanic. He's been married for four years and lives in the city with his wife. In addition to repairing cars, Sitha works in a garment factory. In his free time, he enjoys playing football, listening to music, and fishing. Two years ago, Sitha was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of his left shoulder. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He is unable to lift his left arm and he hasn't been able to work. Sitha traveled to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) to receive treatment. On September 9th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his left arm again. Now, CSC is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Sitha shared, "I really hope I can regain full function of my left arm and be independent again."
Lemayan is a young three year old boy and the last born child to his mother of five. His father has two wives and a total of seven children in their family. Lemayan's parents are livestock keepers who depend on the sale of milk for their livelihood and once in a while, they are able to sell cattle, however their income is limited. Lemayan was diagnosed with Bilateral Varus. He is having difficulty walking and has pain when he stands or walks for a short distance. His mother noticed the condition when he learned to stand and walk. It began as a slight curve, but over the years the curve has increased significantly. His condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, it has led to Lemayan not wanting to stand or walk by himself, thus forcing the mother to carry him on her back most of the time. Through a visit of doctors to their village, his parents learned that he could get treated at Watsi's medical partner's care center. Lemayan's parents cannot afford the treatment cost and are asking for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Lemayan. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 19th. Treatment will hopefully restore Lemayan's mobility, allow him to participate in all kinds of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Lemayan's mother says, “It was a slight curve back then when he learnt to stand but over the years the curve has increased significantly and now he is scared of walking. Please help.”
Venance is a five year old boy and the second born child in a family of four children. Venance is a friendly boy who is currently in kindergarten. Venance and his siblings are being raised by their mother, who does small scale farming where she gets most of the food her children need. She also seeks day laboring jobs like working on other peoples farms or laundry to help make ends meet. Venance was diagnosed with Bilateral Genu Valgus, a condition that causes bones to bend. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Venance now has pain after a long day of play and walks to and from school. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Venance. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Venance's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Venance mother says, "Please help my son."
Guadalupe is an one-year-old baby from Colombia. She is an only child, so she is regarded as the little princess of the family, which consists of her mother, grandma, and uncle. She is already sympathetic and friendly, and loves to play with stuffed toys and with other kids. Guadalupe has clubfoot on her right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Guadalupe's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel, where they can offer treatment. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 13th. Our medical partner is requesting $1,422 to fund Guadalupe's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to start walking and running without pain. Her mother shares a story and her hopes for Guadalupe, "I would really love to see her walk and run normally, she is not the first person with this condition in our whole family, I have a cousin who received treatment when he was 8 years old and it was really hard to see him asking why he couldn't run like the other kids."