Ruy Ismael Nunes Fortini


Brazil   •   Born on March 25

Ruy's Story

Ruy joined Watsi on April 2nd, 2013. Four years ago, Ruy became the 426th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,841 more people have become monthly donors! Ruy's most recent donation traveled 6,200 miles to support Boniface, a young man from Kenya, to remove his brain tumor.


Ruy has funded healthcare for 22 patients in 7 countries.

All patients funded by Ruy


"Dina, a 16-year-old girl from Tanzania, is the fifth-born in a family of eight children," our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us. "She barely managed to complete the last year of her primary school education due to the condition of her legs." Dina has a condition commonly known as knocked knees. Despite the pain, she "did well in her final exams and was chosen to continue with secondary education," continues AMHF. "Dina had no problems with her legs at all until two years ago when her limbs slowly started to bow inwards causing her to knock her knees when walking." Dina currently walks with difficulty, and is unable to run. "She complains of feeling pain on the knees after walking a long distance," AMHF explains. "If not treated, Dina will be at risk of developing osteoarthritis at an early age." Dina will need surgery to treat her knocked knees, but her parents are small-scale farmers and can only afford supporting their family's basic needs. "Dina’s mother also buys and sells charcoal, but still what they earn is not enough to cover the cost of corrective surgery which their daughter needs," says AMHF. $940 will enable Dina to undergo surgery to correct the alignment of her legs so that they no longer hit one another when she walks and runs. This will eliminate her discomfort and prevent her from prematurely developing osteoarthritis. "My wish is to one day become a secondary school teacher," Dina said.

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25-year-old Kristine has a happy and outgoing personality. She lives in the Philippines with her mother, and she is loved by her family and fellow church members. She also loves to sing and dance with the other children in their church and community. If the church has an activity, she eagerly offers herself to help with any chores in the activity area. Kristine was born with congenital clubfoot, a condition that impacts her gait. Our medical partner, International Care Ministries (ICM), explains: "Kristine has difficulty in walking because of her left foot deformity. She also has seizure disorder but it is currently managed with medication. Her mother said that she was frequently teased by her classmates when she was still in elementary school because of the way she walked. Since then, she has not joined school; and everyday, she wishes that she could go back even in her age." Treatment for Kristine will cost $1,211, and consists of a surgery to correct her deformity give her a balanced gait, as well as boost her self esteem. It will also fulfill her wishes to go back to school if time and situation permits. Kristine's family was unable to have Kristine undergo surgery earlier because of lack of finances. At their pre-operative interview with ICM, Kristine's mother shared: "I really hope that my child can get treatment. We want to see her well and live normally, but we could not make it happen. She even stopped schooling to avoid bullies because we don't want to see her have emotional pains. We are praying that there could be someone that could help her."

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40-year-old Taw is a farmer who lives with her husband, son, and four daughters in Burma. Her family practices swidden agriculture—a rotational farming method in which different plots of land are cleared for cultivation each year—to grow rice, green beans, and cucumbers to feed themselves. Taw spent several months away from her husband and children while receiving treatment for choriocarcinoma, a cancer of the uterus that occurs during pregnancy. The fast-growing cancer cells develop within the tissue that becomes the placenta. Costs associated with Taw’s previous medical care have left the family with a large amount of debt. With no income from the farm and no external sources of financial support, they have no means of paying for additional treatment for Taw or even education fees or clothes for the children. In addition, the shifting of roles within the family has decreased productivity on the farm and puts them at risk of not producing enough food to feed themselves. “Taw’s current symptoms include gripping abdominal pain and tight muscle spasms in her lower back that force her to lie down,” our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP), tells us. “She experiences ongoing bleeding, has spells of dizziness and headaches, and is easily fatigued.” “Taw has been unable to work, and her husband has taken time off to care for her and their sick daughter,” BBP continues. “This has forced their 14-year-old daughter to drop out of school and to take up considerable responsibility to support the family.” For $1500, Taw will undergo a hysterectomy to remove her uterus. Funding also covers the costs of pre- and post-surgical consultations, seven days of hospital care, and transportation to and from the hospital. “It is hoped that surgery will improve the health condition and comfort of Taw so that she can return to her family,” says BBP. “When I recover, I will work hard to provide for my children," Taw shares.

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Mercy is a six-month-old girl from Kenya. She was brought to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), by her parents and her uncle. Mercy lives in a two room house with six other siblings where her mother watches over the family at home and nearby, her father works in a tea factory. When Mercy was born, she developed a sac-like protrusion on the lower backbone. This open defect on her spine, a condition called spina bifida, has already been hindering her normal development for the last few months. The congenital deformity is often a consequence of fetal hydrocephalus where cerebrospinal fluid adds pressure to the spinal cord. “Mercy came to the hospital with a leaking mass, so surgery must be done [promptly] to avoid severe infection and other complications,” explains AMHF. If her condition goes untreated, tethered cord syndrome is likely to develop, resulting in a permanently hunched back or a spine bent sideways. Mercy requires $805 for a spina bifida closure surgery, in which a surgeon will correct, reconstruct, and close the deformity. Long term monitoring and braces are part of the treatment process to observe her walking ability and gauge surgery success. AMHF believes the surgery will eliminate infections, prevent more nerve damage in the future, and decrease her chances of developing tethered cord syndrome. Mercy's father says, "I hope Mercy will get treatment and this condition will be past us. Please help us make her treatment possible."

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Henry, a 52-year-old man from the Philippines, is a father who provides for his family through his job as a construction worker. According to our medical partner, International Care Ministries (ICM), Henry was diagnosed with a perforated typhoid ileitis after suffering from typhoid fever four years ago. This condition is marked by a hole in the patient's intestine that causes intestinal contents to leak into the abdominal cavity. Drainage of Henry's intestinal contents occurs through an external pouch—one which "is making Henry uncomfortable in a way that it needs to be changed from time to time for it may spill at any moment and make him odorous," ICM explains. “He can’t sleep well at night and is unable to perform his duties as a breadwinner of the family,” ICM explains. “Just recently, because life has been really difficult for them without any income, Henry was forced to work in a construction site in spite of his condition to somehow meet some of the family’s basic needs.” $760 covers the cost of an ileostomy closure, a procedure that will close the hole in Henry’s intestine. In addition to support from generous Watsi donors, PhilHealth is subsidizing Henry’s treatment with a $110 donation. “If his ileostomy were closed, Henry would be able to be free from the suffering it brings him and would also be able to do his usual activities as being the father and breadwinner of his family,” continues ICM. “I thank God for everything, especially those who are willing to help,” shares Henry. “My family is very much thankful and hoping that I can be operated sooner.”

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