UNIVERSAL FUND MEMBERHowdy, world!
United States • Born on August 7th
Cecelia joined Watsi on December 3rd, 2015. Two years ago, Cecelia joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Cecelia's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Joemer, a hard-working 39-year-old street food vendor from Philippines, to fund surgery to remove his gallbladder.
Cecelia has funded healthcare for 47 patients in 10 countries.
Cecelia has funded healthcare for 47 patients in 10 countries.
Joemer is a hard-working street vendor from Philippines. He is the breadwinner in the family. He earns money by cooking and selling local delicacies and his earning of $4 daily is just enough to bring food to the table. In January 2020, Joemer began to experience troubling symptoms. He sought medical consultation and was told to undergo an ultrasound. The test showed that he has a 1.2cm gallstone. Due to the financial crisis, he decided to delay his treatment and opted to take pain relievers instead. His pain intensifies forcing him to be checked again by a surgeon. Joemer has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, his symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Joemer is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on March 7th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,128 to cover the cost of Joemer's surgery and care. Joemer shared, "I'm truly grateful to WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for being one of your beneficiaries. Your hearts are so kind for helping out people like me who are sick but not capable of paying for our needed surgery."
Valentina is a beautiful 2-year-old girl from Bolivia. She lives in La Paz with her parents, who are a teacher and a homemaker respectively, and two older siblings. Valentina was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. As a result blood leaks through this hole, leaving her weak and short of breath. Our medical partner HCA is helping Valentina access life-saving cardiac treatment so she can grow up healthy. During surgery, doctors will use a patch to close the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Her family is raising $1,500 to support her surgery and care. Valentina's mother shared: "Our family is very thankful that Valentina can have this opportunity for her heart to be healed."
Chit Htun is a 21-year-old man from Burma who lives with his mother, two sisters and a brother. His mother is a homemaker, while Chit Htun and his siblings are students. They are supported financially by two aunties and Chit Htun's former teacher. Chit Htun was born with spina bifida as well as hydrocephalus. When Chit Htun was just over a month old, he had a shunt inserted in his brain to control hydrocephalus. In October 202, Chit Htun fell down the stairs in his home and hit his head during the fall. Since that time, he has been experiencing headaches and dizziness with occasional loss of consciousness. Chit Htun's mother brought him to a hospital in Yangon, where he received a CT scans showing that the original shunt was in place. A second shunt was inserted to help with the loss of consciousness, but the headaches and dizziness continued to be a problem. In October 2022, Chit Htun had a seizure, accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Chit Htun's mother brought him to Mae Sot Hospital, where he received a CT scan on November 28th, 2022 with the help of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). The doctor diagnosed Chit Htun with severe chronic hydrocephalus and suspected shunt malfunction. BCMF is now fundraising $1,500 to help cover the cost of surgery to replace Chit Htun's current shunt. Chit Htun's mother shared, "My son and I have been in Mae Sot for the past two months and we are homesick already. I hope that he will receive surgery soon and recover from his symptoms."
Itzael lives in the mountains above La Paz, Bolivia with her parents, who are farmers, and her older brother. She was born with Down's syndrome and a cardiac condition called atrioventricular septal defect, in which a large hole exists in the center of the heart, causing blood to leak between all four chambers. This condition leaves her sick, short of breath, and unable to gain weight as her body needs to grow. Fortunately for Itzael, surgeons at our partner hospital will perform heart surgery to fix her condition. During the surgery, doctors will close the hole using a patch so that blood can flow normally through her heart. Her family needs to raise $1,500 for her surgery. Itzael's mother says: "Our family is very happy and thankful to have this chance to help our daughter."
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."
Hassan is a hardworking 37-year-old from Kenya who works as a casual laborer. He lives in a single-room rental house that costs about $10 per month. On July 25th, Hassan was working as a night guard when he was attacked by unknown people. During the attack, his left leg was hit with a sharp object. He was eventually taken to a nearby health facility for emergency treatment, where he received stitches and was discharged with pain medication. However, his condition did not improve, and he was still unable to walk. Community health workers in the area took Hassan to a nearby hospital, where an X-ray revealed a transverse patella fracture with some displacement. A doctor at our medical partner's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital, recommends that he undergo fracture repair surgery. Hassan shares that income from casual labor jobs in Kenya is inconsistent and is not enough to pay for the proposed procedure. He also does not have medical insurance and would need to pay for the surgery in cash. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 26th, Hassan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $979 to fund this procedure. Hassan says, “I am struggling to walk as a result of the fracture. I am unable to get any manual work to earn a living because I cannot use my legs. Surviving without a job is an issue. I need this surgery to be able to work.”
Teddy is a small-scale farmer from southwest Uganda. She is a mother of seven children, all of whom are still in school. Her husband also works as a farmer, and she shares that most of their income goes towards paying their children's school fees and meeting their family's day-to-day needs. Two years ago, Teddy began to experience troubling symptoms, including neck swelling, difficulty swallowing, and trouble breathing. She was diagnosed with nodular goitre, meaning she has an enlarged thyroid gland. She must undergo surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Teddy receive treatment. On August 9th, she is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy at our medical partner's care center. During this procedure, surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This treatment will cost $252, and she and her family need help raising money. Teddy says, “I hope to get well upon treatment, resume my good health, and continue with farming."
Aloysius is a 4-month-old baby boy, living with his parents and two siblings in a three room mud hut. His mother is a small-scale farmer, while his father is a driver around their village. Since June, Aloysius has had an umbilical hernia. He developed an umbilical swelling very soon after his birth, and his mother brought him to Maziba Health Centre, where the hernia was treated. In August the hernia reappeared, and began to rapidly increase in size. If the hernia is left untreated, strangulation could occur, jeopardizing Aloysius' health and future. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $170 to fund Aloysius's surgery, which is scheduled to take place on September 10th at Rushoroza Hospital. Once completed, Aloysius should be able to live more comfortably and grow up healthy. Aloysius' mother says: “My son is not well and needs treatment. I pray that he may get well through surgery so that he may grow well and live a better and healthy life.”
Shedrack is two years old, and lives in Tanzania with his parents and one sibling. His mother stays at home to care for the children, while his father is a small scale farmer, whose earnings cover the family's basic needs. Five months ago, when Shedrack was in the kitchen with his mother, he pushed over a pot of boiling water, burning his left arm and left leg. Shedrack's mother rushed him to a local dispensary, where they were sent on to the hospital. As the family lives in a remote area, Shedrack's treatment required extensive travel. And, while the burns ultimately healed, Shedrack developed contractures, which limit his ability to straighten his leg, or to use the fingers on his left hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Shedrack receive treatment. On October 13th, surgeons at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre will perform burn contracture release surgery, which will enable Shedrack to walk easily, and use his fingers again. Now, he needs your help to fund this $874 procedure. Shedrack’s mother says: “The burns were so bad that I thought I was going to lose my son. I am glad that now I am going to be able to help finish his treatment and all thanks to you.”
Chaw is 20-year-old who lives with his parents and three younger sister in a refugee camp. Chaw's sisters go to school, his mother is a homemaker and his father and brother work as agricultural day labourers. Chaw's brother lives on his employer's land and sends the family what money he can every month. After his accident, Chaw stopped working on the same farm as his brother. In his free time, before his accident, Chaw liked to play football with his friends and visit with them. In 2020, Chaw was carrying corn to the peeling machine where he worked and he slipped and hit his left lower leg against the fan of the machine. Chaw was in a great deal of pain and was brought to the hospital. Chaw was told that his left lower leg was broken, and underwent surgery to insert a steel rod into his leg. This past January, Chaw noticed a mass on his left lower leg, where he had received surgery. The mass was very painful and felt hot to the touch. Over time, the mass increased in size until his whole lower left leg became swollen. Although he received surgery to remove the mass, Chaw's leg never fully healed. Eventually he was diagnosed with osteomyelitis and was told the steel rod in his leg would need to be replaced. Chaw is in a lot of pain and his lower left leg continues to be swollen and red. He cannot sleep well and needs crutches and assistance to move around. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Chaw will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for September 6th and BCMF is raising $1,500 to cover the cost of this life-changing procedure that will help Chaw walk free of pain. Chaw shared, “I am happy that I will receive surgery with the help of the organisation [Burma Children Medical Fund] and I am thankful to all of the donors. In the future I want to get better quickly. I will find a new job and support my family.”
Naw Ywa is a 29-year-old woman who lives with her husband, sister-in-law, and three nieces in a refugee camp in Thailand. Naw Ywa is a homemaker, and she weaves and sells traditional Karen clothing in her spare time. Her husband also works as a homemaker and cares for his sister, who has a mobility impairment. Naw Ywa's three nieces all currently attend school in the refugee camp. This past March, Naw Ywa began to experience severe pain in her left pelvic area. This pain was accompanied by fatigue, dizziness, and trouble breathing. Although she did seek medical attention at the hospital in the refugee camp, she was only given painkillers, which temporarily alleviated her symptoms. After a few months of repeatedly being readmitted to the hospital without fully treating her condition, a doctor referred Naw Ywa to our medical partner's care center, Mae Sariang Hospital (MSH). On July 6th, she was brought to MSH and received an ultrasound. Her doctor diagnosed her with adenomyosis, a condition that occurs when the tissue that typically lines the uterus grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. She was also diagnosed with a five cm large myoma, which is a tumor that develops in or around the uterus. Her doctor has advised that she undergo a hysterectomy to remove her uterus and alleviate her symptoms. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Ywa’s total abdominal hysterectomy. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 17th. Once completed, she will hopefully be able to live more comfortably and confidently. Naw Ywa shares, “Me and my husband want to have children, but we agreed with the doctor’s plan. I do not want to experience this pain anymore, and my husband also does not want to see me in pain.”
Hiram, an eleven year old boy, lives in Mombasa county in Kenya. He is the lastborn in a family of three and has two sisters. He is raised by a single mother who sells fish for their daily living. Hiram is in grade five and was born with club feet, which he lived with until this year. He had never been to any hospital for help until they heard about CURE hospital's mobile clinic in Mombasa. Fortunately, Hiram was able to undergo treatment for his right foot last September and the surgery was successful. Hiram is so happy to have undergone the first surgery on his right foot and is optimistic that even his left foot will be corrected well now too. Hiram is scheduled to undergo surgery for his left foot at our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital on July 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Hiram's clubfoot repair. The treatment will be of great impact to him because he will finally be able to put on both shoes, walk confidently, play football (which he is very excited for) and continue with his studies uninterrupted. “I am grateful to the donors for providing support to pay for my right foot which has healed well. I am looking forward to walking, playing with my friends, and continuing with school,” Hiram told us.