Erica WertheimUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Erica's Story

Erica joined Watsi on April 7th, 2015. Seven 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 Festus, a three-month-old infant from Kenya, to fund spina bifida surgery.

Impact

Erica has funded healthcare for 105 patients in 13 countries.

Patients funded by Erica

Kalar is a 53-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her mother and daughter in Htantabin Township, Yangon Division village. Kalar used to sell vegetables, but she stopped in October because her condition was worsening. Kalar's mother is a homemaker. Kalar's daughter left school three years ago because she couldn't afford the school fees. Currently, she is working in a restaurant. Their monthly income is not enough for their daily expenses, and they have to borrow money from their friends to make ends meet and pay for basic medical costs. In 2017, Kalar's upper abdomen was in pain, and she went to a hospital in the village. There, she received an ultrasound, and the doctor told her that she had a small stone in her gall bladder and she would need medication to reduce the stone. She felt much better after taking the medication, and she didn't go to any clinic or hospital after that. In October 2023, Kalar's symptoms returned, and she visited the hospital in the town where she received the ultrasound. At the hospital, the doctor confirmed that Kalar had a large gallstone and would require surgery to heal. She could not afford to pay for the surgery, so she received medication and returned home. Her condition gradually got worse. Kalar has not been eating or sleeping well and is in pain. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Kalar will be able to undergo gallbladder removal surgery on November 18th. BCMF requests $1,487 to cover Kalar's procedure and care costs. Kalar said, "I was upset because I couldn't work and support my mother and daughter. Now, I am so happy! I want to say thank you to all of the donors for supporting my surgery."

$950raised
$537to go

Siek Meng is a 15-year-old who resides in the Prey Veng province of Cambodia with her parents and two younger brothers. Her parents make a living as rice farmers, and when Siek Meng returns home from school, she helps care for her siblings. During her free time, she enjoys learning English by watching English-language films and television shows. She aspires to pursue higher education in the capital of Phnom Penh and study medicine in the future. Around the age of 6, Siek Meng and her parents noticed something concerning about her back. However, they postponed seeking treatment until two years later due to the high cost of treatment and not considering it essential at that time. Unfortunately, the condition has since deteriorated, and she has been diagnosed with scoliosis, a deformity of the spine. In the past year, Siek Meng has experienced increased difficulty breathing as her rib cage presses on her lungs. Additionally, she occasionally feels numbness in her legs caused by her vertebrae compressing nerves. Thankfully, Siek Meng and her father undertook a challenging journey of two and a half hours to reach our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), seeking assistance for her disability. The medical team at CSC plans to perform a spinal fusion with implants on August 2nd, which requires financial support as the operation costs $1500. This amount will cover radiology, medications, surgery, and post-operative physiotherapy care. CSC is requesting $1500 to help fund this procedure for Siek Meng. Siek Meng shared, "I am feeling embarrassed about my back and I want to not have chest pain anymore. I hope after surgery I can go back to school and be able to walk around my village more easily."

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Jeremia is a nine-month-old baby boy from the Ngorongoro district in Tanzania. He lives with his mother and over 20 family members in a boma, a type of family-based communal living space where the community provides for each other's basic needs. Jeremia's father works in the production and sale of sandals in the city and sends money to his family. He has been away from home for over a year. Jeremia was born with a birth condition wherein his right leg and foot is twisted inward and downward. After Jeremia’s birth, his mother had little to no understanding of this condition, and she has since lived with concerns about her son’s future. Our medical partner visited Ngorongoro earlier this year to hold outreach clinics. Jeremia's mother attended one of these medical clinics and received education about her son’s condition. She was relieved to hear that treatment options were available to help her son. Jeremia's mother appealed to her church to arrange for transportation to African Mission Healthcare's (AMH) care center in Arusha. Doctors diagnosed Jeremia with clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. The medical team will begin clubfoot repair treatment for Jeremia on June 9th. After treatment and as he grows, he will be able to walk more easily, run, and play like any other children. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Jeremia's treatment. Jeremia’s mother says, "I am happy that there is a possibility of treatment. I hope that all will go well and my son will be fine."

$935raised
Fully funded