Van joined Watsi on April 9th, 2015. Eight years ago, Van joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Van's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Princesse, a second grade student from Haiti, to fund overseas prep and transportation for heart surgery to fix a damaged heart valve.
Van has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 11 countries.
Van has funded healthcare for 98 patients in 11 countries.
Princesse is a 7-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three siblings in a small city in northwest Haiti. Princesse has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves in her heart was severely damaged by an infection she suffered earlier in childhood; as a result, it cannot adequately pump blood through her body. Princesse will fly to the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On April 29th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will first try to repair her existing valve if possible; if not, they will remove it and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $14,000 to pay for surgery. Princesse's family needs help raising an additional $1,500 for surgery prep. The bill covers labs, medicines, checkups, and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Princesse's family overseas. Her mother said: "Our family is very hopeful that this surgery will save our daughter's life and allow her to become healthy."
Beatrice is a one-month-old baby from Kenya. She is the youngest in a family of nine children. Due to the ongoing rain shortage, the parents have had to go out of their way to do casual jobs to provide for the family. The family has no insurance and cannot raise the required funds for her surgery. Beatrice was born at home, and immediately, her mother noticed she had swelling on her back. Referred by a friend to BethanyKids, her family traveled for two days and brought her in for an examination. Beatrice was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Beatrice is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Beatrice's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 8th. This procedure will hopefully spare Beatrice from the risks associated with her condition, allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Beatrice’s mother says, “I was confused when I first saw the condition my child has, and I did not know what to do. I’m really looking forward to her surgery.”
David is a 24-year-old male from Kenya. He is the last born in a family of four children raised by his mother. He works at a timber workshop near his home. In June 2020, David was involved in an accident where he was hit from the side by a motorbike. He was taken to the nearest public hospital and received emergency care. An x-ray revealed that he had an open right tibia fracture that needed surgery. Following his initial surgery, he has since had several additional surgeries due to the severity of the injury. In October 2022, he was referred to the care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital, run by our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for specialized review and care. His doctors quickly realized that he still walks with a limp, and his ankle is stiff with bloody discharge from the incision site. His doctors determined that a deeper examination was needed, and he ended up having a hardware removal surgery. However, the region where the fracture occurred is still severely infected, and he risks losing his right leg due to the infection. The doctors have recommended an additional procedure to remedy the remaining issues and clean the infection. Fortunately, AMH has scheduled David for a second-stage bone transport in hopes of avoiding amputation and helping him walk again. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund the procedure and provide for David's post-operative care. David says, “I feel exhausted and worried. I am unable to walk despite having several surgeries. I hope this surgery [helps] to save my leg.”
Nine-year-old Thiri is a first-grader, living with her mother and two brothers in Burma. Her mother sells vegetables in a local shop, while Thiri and her brothers attend school. While playing with her friends in front of her house in early January 2023, Thiri tripped, and fell into a pile of rice sacks, injuring her left eye in the process. Immediately, she realized that she could not see out of her left eye. Over time, her eye injury became more painful, red, and sensitive to light. Eventually, when her eye did not heal, her mother brought her to Mae Sot Hospital, where she was diagnosed with traumatic glaucoma. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Thiri. On February 1st, doctors at Mae Sot General Hospital will remove the natural lenses from both of her eyes, and replace them with intraocular lens implants. Once she has recovered. Thiri will regain her ability to see clearly. Now she needs your help to fund this critical procedure. Thiri's mother said: "I want her to receive surgery and recover soon so that she [Thiri] can go back to school and I can go back to work. I want her to be rich in the future, not like me, and own her own shop, because she likes to cook."
Meet Night, a jovial and playful five year old girl. Night lives with her parents and two younger siblings in a traditional home in Kenya. Her father works selling second hand clothing, while her mother stays home to take care of the children. Shortly after she was born, Night's parents realized that something seemed wrong. They brought Night to a health facility in Turkana County where they lived, and were referred on to BethanyKids Hospital. There she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which meant that fluid was collecting in her head. Surgery was performed, and a shunt was placed to continuously drain the fluid from Night's head. A year later, however, Night's head began to increase in size, and she developed weakness on the right side of her body. The doctors at the local health facility urged Night's parents to take her back to BethanyKids Hospital for additional treatment, but Night's parents didn't have enough money to do this. With the help of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Night is now scheduled to undergo a craniotomy on January 5th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, when surgeons will drain excess fluids from Night's brain. Night's father is providing as much of a co-pay as possible for this procedure, but the family needs your help to raise the remaining $1,500 required to cover all of the costs of Night's surgery and care. Night’s father said: “Night is not able to communicate well because of her condition. This surgery will help her to be able to speak.”
Emmanuel is a 17-year-old student from Haiti who hopes to become a doctor. He lives with his aunt and uncle in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince so that he can more easily attend school, as his parents live in the countryside. Emmanuel has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation, which means one of his heart valves was severely damaged from an infection he experienced in early childhood. In 2017, Emmanuel underwent heart surgery to repair his existing valve. This surgery stabilized his heart for several years, but the valve remains unable to pump blood adequately throughout his body. Emmanuel needs to undergo a second surgery to replace the valve with a prosthetic heart valve. Emmanuel will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment, as this surgery is unavailable in Haiti. On November 10th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove the damaged heart valve and implant a replacement valve. An organization called Mitral Foundation is contributing $8,000 to pay for help pay for surgery. Emmanuel's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Emmanuel's family overseas. Emmanuel shared, "I am looking forward to growing stronger and having much more energy after my surgery!"
Lynemandy is a 28 year old woman from Haiti, who is studying for a business degree at a local university. She lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Lynemandy has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation, which is a result of a bout of rheumatic fever that she suffered as a child. One of the four valves in her heart was severely damaged as a result of this illness, and in 2018, Lynemandy underwent surgery to repair the damaged valve. The valve functioned well for four years, but now it needs to be replaced so she can live healthy in the future. The care she needs is unfortunately not available within Haiti, so Lynemandy will need to travel to undergo cardiac surgery in the United States on November 17th. Her surgery, during which a new valve will be implanted, is being funded by Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital. Now Lynemandy and her family need to raise $1,500 to cover the costs of pre and post operative treatment, and for the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Lynemandy when she travels to the United States. Lynemandy said: "I am very grateful to everyone who is working so hard to keep me alive and healthy."
Ryan is a 3-month-old baby from Kenya. He is the secondborn in his family of two children. His father is a farmer and does casual labor to provide for their family, and his mother is a stay-at-home mom, caring for her two children. Ryan and his family previously lived in a village in Juja, which was later demolished, leaving them without a home. Fortunately, a well-wisher, who also accompanied them to the hospital today, managed to help them relocate. One day, Ryan's family began to notice that the size of his head was increasing. Although his family took him to a hospital seeking medical treatment and a CT scan was ordered, the CT scan was never actually performed. Fortunately, a pastor from their local church recommended that they seek treatment at our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. Upon arrival, a CT scan was done and Ryan was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, he has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, he will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Ryan, which will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 4th and will drain the excess fluid from Ryan's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Ryan will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Ryan's mother says, “I love my baby so much and I know he will get the treatment he deserves."
Exavier is an adorable 5-month-old baby from Haiti who has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Exavier's head circumference has increased. Without treatment, he will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Exavier at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available, and the procedure is scheduled to take place on August 26th. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from his brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Exavier will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Exavier's family shares that they hope the surgery with allow him to grow, attend school, and play with the other children.
Faustin is an adorable one-month-old baby from Tanzania who is the third child in her family. To support their family, her father is a small-scale subsistence farmer, and her mother is a homemaker. Her parents share that the income they earn is enough to sustain their basic needs. Since Faustine was born, her mother has been to several hospitals seeking medical care for her condition. Faustin was born with clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. Her left foot is twisted inward, making it difficult for her to straighten it. If not treated, she will experience difficulty walking and wearing shoes when she grows up. Fortunately, Faustin's family traveled to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, to seek medical treatment. On August 9th, surgeons there will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Faustin's clubfoot repair, which will allow her to grow up in good health. Faustine's mother says, "I feel so blessed knowing that my daughter will get treatment and grow up to have a normal life."
Nchambi is a bright and creative 8-year-old student. She is the fifth born in a family of seven children from her mother. She is currently in class six, but she unfortunately had to stop her studies to seek treatment for her condition. Some of her favorite subjects in school are arts and crafts, social studies, and mathematics. Nchambi was diagnosed with left genu varus, meaning her left leg is bent at the knee, making it difficult to walk. 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 struggles with walking to school and carrying out her daily life activities, such as helping her mother with small home chores like cleaning cloths, washing plates, and sweeping. They shared that fetching water is now something she cannot do at all due to her leg condition. Recently, every morning before school, Nchambi has had to wake up extra early to prepare because it takes her a long time to make the one-kilometer walk to her school. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Nchambi. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 5th. Treatment will hopefully restore Nchambi's mobility, allowing her to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Nchambi shares, “I can’t catch up with my friends when walking to school because I am slow. I can’t walk as fast as them because of my leg.”
Debora is a young student and the last-born child to a single mother of two. She is charming and friendly. Her father left her family when Debora was very young. Debora’s mother has worked hard to raise her two children by herself ever since. She practices small-scale farming and grows bananas, maize, beans, and other vegetables as food for her children and to sell to others for money. Debora has clubfoot on her right leg. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Debora and her mother traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC). There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Debora's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily when she heads back to school. Debora’s mother shared, “I have watched my daughter turn from a normal child to a disabled child and all because I cannot afford her treatment cost. Please help.”