Erica joined Watsi on April 7th, 2015. Six years ago, Erica joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Erica's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Linda, a beautiful baby girl from Kenya, to fund hydrocephalus treatment to ensure healthy development.
Erica has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 12 countries.
Erica has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 12 countries.
Linda is a two-month-old baby girl. She was born in a public hospital in Mai Mahiu town where her mother was living with a friend. At birth, she was diagnosed with spina bifida. Her mother was referred to another facility more familiar with this diagnosis, and upon further examination referred Linda to our medical partner's care center BethanyKids Hospital for treatment. On arrival at the hospital, Linda was found to be in critical condition and had to be admitted and put on medication. She stayed in the hospital for more than two weeks. When she got better, she was discharged home and scheduled to undergo spina bifida repair surgery with support from Watsi. Last week, Linda reported back to the hospital for her surgery, but arrived with a fever. She was admitted to the High Dependency Unit. While in hospital, she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, or a build-up of fluids in the cavities of the brain, which required urgent surgical intervention. The spina bifida surgery was postponed to a later date while she recovers from the shunt insertion surgery to heal her hydrocephalus. Linda is the youngest in a family of three children. Her father left the family one month before she was born. He used to do casual jobs and had not been supportive. During the last few months before Linda was born, her mother was very sick and lost her job as a security guard, thus losing the family's only source of income. Having come from Uganda, they did not have many people to help them. Her Ugandan friend heard of her suffering and offered to accommodate her as she was pregnant. Since then, this friend has been facilitating their hospital transport and helping with financial support as much as possible. Linda’s mother cannot raise any money to pay for her daughter’s surgery and is appealing for support. Hydrocephalus is a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Without treatment, Linda will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Linda to treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 14th, and will drain the excess fluid from Linda's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Linda will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Linda’s mother says, “I am still confused with all that is going on, and I hope that she will be okay.”
Nana is an adorable 18-month-old baby. Her father works as a farmer, and her mother works selling food. Nana is the only child in her family. She enjoys playing with toys, and her favorite meal is fried noodles with fresh milk! Ten months ago, Nana's left-hand fingers were severely burned from a pan of boiling oil. Her mother took her to a local clinic for medications, but her fingers did not heal. She has since developed scar contracture on three of her fingers. This means the scar from the accident is pulling together and tightening the skin surrounding it, leaving Nana unable to hold objects. In order to help her condition, she will need to undergo a contracture release surgery, as well as a skin graft surgery to repair the scar tissues. When Nana and her family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), they traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On July 4th, surgeons at CSC will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help Nana use her fingers again. Now, she needs help to fund this $495 procedure. Her mother expressed, "I hope after this surgery my daughter can use her hand like other children."
Tin is a 45-year-old man. Originally from Burma, he fled to Thailand over 20 years ago due to civil war. He currently lives with his wife, who works as a street vendor selling various snacks and vegetable, and one of his daughters, who is currently in school. His family also raises chickens, which they sell when they need cash. Tin previously worked as a farmer and a construction worker, but he has recently been unable to work due to his condition. In the future, he hopes to go back to work and help support his family. After an incident that occurred this past April that caused him to be hit in the left eye by a mango, Tin lost his vision in that eye and began to experience headaches, swelling, severe eye pain, and dizziness when attempting to stand. Tin eventually sought medical attention at a clinic. There, a medic checked his left eye, gave him a bottle of eye drops, and told him to seek treatment at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) since they could not treat him there. However, he did not go to MTC right away due to financial constraints. He instead hoped that his eye would recover over time with the help of eye drops. Although his pain was temporarily reduced, the bruising disappeared, and the swelling went down over time, he never regained his vision. The pain in his eye eventually returned, and he noticed that he had a white spot on his left pupil. As the white spot increased in size, his eye progressively became more painful and began to itch. He now experiences discharge and watering in his eye, as well as difficulty sleeping. At the beginning of this month, a small lump appeared near the white spot on his left pupil. The lump gradually increased in size until it bursted on August 13th. After the discharge and bleeding from the lump stopped, he asked his friend to take him to MTC right away. When he arrived at the clinic, he was told to come back on Monday since there were not any eye specialist medics working on the weekend. When Tin returned on Monday, a medic examined his left eye, and he was diagnosed with corneal perforation, a condition resulting from the cornea being penetrated and damaged. Tin was also told that his eye is infected. He now must undergo surgery at our medical partner's care center, Mae Sot General Hospital, to remove his left eye as quickly as possible before the infection spreads to his right eye. Fortunately, Tin was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for financial assistance accessing treatment. On August 17th, surgeons at our medical partner's care center will perform an enucleation to remove his left eye. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Tin's life-changing procedure. Tin shares, “I feel very depressed and worried about my eye. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I lost vision in both of my eyes. I want to receive surgery quickly to prevent my right eye from becoming infected. Without your help, I don’t think I would be able to receive further treatment. Therefore, I want to say thank you to the donors and the organization for agreeing to support my treatment costs.”
Anjelina is a beautiful two-year-old baby from Tanzania. She is the youngest of three children in her family. Both of her parents do small-scale farming of maize, beans, and other vegetables, which they grow to feed their family. To help earn money, her father sometimes works as a casual laborer. Anjelina was born at a local hospital where her parents were informed that their daughter has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition where the foot is twisted out of shape, causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Although the doctor notified them that their daughter's condition could be corrected at a referral hospital, the hospital was over an eight-hour bus ride away, and they could not fund the transportation due to financial constraints. Fortunately, Anjelina's family was able to travel to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Anjelina's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Anjelina’s mother shares, “We tried to correct her feet using a local doctor, but there was not much improvement, and we couldn't afford to go to the referral hospital.”
Eddys is a farmer and tailor who hails from the highlands of Elgeyo Marakwet County in a small village well known for potato farming. She is a calm and conversational woman. Eddys is a mother of two aged between 5 and 9 years. She separated from her husband due to domestic violence at home. She returned to her homeland after the separation and now lives with her parents and her children in a semi-permanent house in their village. Before the incident, Eddys used to earn her wages through tailoring, a skill she learned in a polytechnic program. Eddys presented to our medical partner's hospital with a five-month-old fracture following a road traffic accident, which left her with severe injuries and a broken leg. Before they came to our hospital, Eddys was managed in a local health facility near her home. She had a cast applied and was told that she will heal without surgery. However, two months later, she started having pain in her leg. One of her relatives referred her to our facility where an X-Ray revealed a closed fracture of the shaft of her tibia. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On June 21st, Eddys will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Eddy will be able to walk, work and provide for her children once she heals. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Eddys has been surviving on her friend’s contributions and relies on her mother because she has not been working since the accident. She appeals for financial assistance so that she can be well again. Eddys says, “My children need my motherly support which I am unable to give them since I broke my leg, it has been a nightmare for us. My hope is to get my leg treated and be able to walk again.”
We met Thomas, a 9-year-old jovial and social boy at Cure Hospital's Nyeri satellite clinic. He is the second born in a family of four children. His family hails from a village in Muranga County. Thomas is a third grade student and a very bright boy who aspires to be a pilot in the future. His mother is a small business lady while his father is a mason. Thomas lives with his grandmother. Thomas was born healthy, however at the age of three his grandmother noted an unusual bowing of his legs. He was taken to a hospital in Muranga, however, the condition has never improved and instead has continued to worsen. Fortunately our medical partner can help. Thomas is now scheduled to undergo surgery to heal his condition. The treatment will be impactful to him because he will be able to walk and play more easily. The severe pain he has been experiencing from straining when walking will be alleviated and he will be able to continue with his studies uninterrupted. We can't wait to see him flying in the skies one day! "I would request the hospital to help me undergo surgery so that my legs can be corrected and I can continue with my education," Thomas expressed.
Samuel is a 52-year-old small-scale farmer and a father of four. He grows cereals for his family to eat, but the lack of rain in the area has dramatically affected his crop yield. Samuel shared that his family was able to fundraise for his medical consultation and testing, but they request assistance for the cost of his surgery. A year and a half ago, Samuel noticed an itch at the back of his throat that gradually became painful. Although his symptoms were on-and-off, the pain increased over time, and his jaw began to swell. A local dentist referred Samuel to our medical partner’s hospital, Kijabe Hospital, for review. The doctors conducted a biopsy and found cancerous cells in his tonsils and throat. He needs to undergo urgent surgery to stop the spread of the cancerous cells. Currently, Samuel is struggling to talk due to the pain and the way the tumor affects his speech. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Samuel receive treatment. On April 20th, he will undergo surgery to remove the mass. AMH is requesting $1,500 to help fund the cost of this procedure. Samuel says, “This tumor is painful, and I have been told it is cancerous. If it is not removed, it may result in the spread of the fatal cells. I am hopeful the surgery will be helpful because at the moment I am even struggling to eat.”
Thein is a 56-year-old man who lives with his family in a refugee camp. Two of his daughters and his son-in-law work as seasonal workers outside of the camp, while Thein and his wife look after their three grandchildren, send them to school, and care for the household chores. In January, Thein was diagnosed with a cataract in his right eye and an early cataract in his left eye. Currently, he cannot see with his right eye, as his vision is blurry, and the vision in his left eye is also beginning to blur. As a result, Thein cannot walk easily and relies on a bamboo staff to help stabilize him as he tries to avoid tripping on any objects in his path. He shared that he feels discomforted and like he is living in darkness. Fortunately, Thein was able to visit our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), and they can help him heal. On March 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Thein shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will help my family plant and water vegetables around the house. It can save us money from buying the vegetables. I can help send my grandchildren to school and pick them up in the evening. I will also be able to visit my friend.”
Deriy is a four-month-old charming, beautiful girl. She's the youngest of four children in her family. Deriy and her parents come from north-central Tanzania, where Serengeti National Park is located. Their income is very modest and mostly comes from Deriy's father seeking day jobs on construction sites and farms. Deriy was born with clubfoot of her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Deriy was brought to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 18th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Deriy's surgery. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when she grows up. Deriy’s mother says, “I am worried about how my daughter is going to walk when the time comes. Please help correct her foot.”
Ravuth is a bright student in the 4th grade. He's the youngest in his family and has three older siblings. When not studying, Ravuth likes to play football, watch TV and play games with his friends from school. Six weeks ago, Ravuth had a severe ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. Ravuth now experiences ear discharge, pain, fevers, and hearing loss. It is difficult to listen and he feels shy because he doesn't understand the conversation. He has frequently been absent from class and his mother is worried that he might be held back in school. Ravuth's family traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 18th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Ravuth said: "I hope my hearing will improve and I can go back to school!"
Jayron is a three-year-old boy from the Philippines. His father is a vendor, while his mother is a stay-at-home mom. They shared that their income is just enough to meet their minimum needs. Jayron was born with an anorectal malformation, which is a congenital abnormality that leads to complete or partial intestinal blockage. To address this condition, he needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Fortunately, Jayron will undergo surgery to correct his condition on December 20th at our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP). After his recovery, Jayron will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. WSFP is requesting $1,279 to cover the total cost of Jayron's procedure and care. Jayron's mother shared, "The surgery will be a big relief to our family as it will help Jayron live a better life without worrying about his condition."
Im is a 38-year-old construction worker. He is married and has one son and one daughter. Four years ago, his family moved to the city. His son works at a gasoline station and his daughter is an 11th grade student. Im's wife sells fried bananas. In August 2021, Im was in an accident while working and developed an open fracture and skin infection on his right big toe. After the accident, he received wound care and sutures at a clinic, but he still experiences pain, swelling and discharge from the wound. He's worried about it worsening and continue to impact his day-to-day life. When Im learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for thirty minutes seeking treatment. On October 19th, surgeons at CSC will perform a debridement procedure to remove damaged and infected issue from the wound. Now, Im needs help to fund this $273 procedure. Im shared, "I hope the wound heals quickly and my pain will stop."