Tapani joined Watsi on March 18th, 2014. Seven years ago, Tapani joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Tapani's most recent donation traveled 5,300 miles to support Vania, a studious 14-year-old girl from Haiti, to fund heart surgery so she can finally return to school.
Tapani has funded healthcare for 81 patients in 10 countries.
Tapani has funded healthcare for 81 patients in 10 countries.
Vania is a hardworking 14-year-old student from Haiti. She lives in an urban area of the island nation's capital, Port-au-Prince, with her parents and three younger brothers. She enjoys studying, especially science and literature. Unfortunately, Vania has not been able to attend school for two years because of her heart condition. She suffered from rheumatic fever early in her childhood. The illness damaged one of the four valves in her heart, leaving her with a condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. Her heart cannot pump blood adequately through her body, which leaves her weak and short of breath. The good news is that surgery can help. Vania will fly to the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On May 16th, surgeons will remove her damaged valve and implant an artificial valve in its place. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for the procedure. But Vania's family also needs help to fund other medical and travel costs, which is where our Watsi donors come in. They are raising $1,500 to cover lab work and medicine for Vania, along with checkup and followup appointments. It also will help pay for her to get a passport and support social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Vania and her family overseas. Vania says, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can feel more normal and go back to school."
Joseph is 15-year-old student and the oldest in a small family of two kids. Joseph is a shy and reserved teenager. He was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Joseph's mother worries that this condition has caused Joseph to have low self-esteem. Joseph has been examined and scheduled for a corrective surgery at our partner facility Bethany Kids Kijabe Hospital on March 31st. Joseph's parents separated last year and his father does not offer financial support. Jospeh's mother picks up jobs doing laundry or selling food to make ends meet. Joseph's family does not have medical insurance to afford the necessary surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Joseph and his family raise $847 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Joseph says, “For a long time, I have been praying and wishing my parents to get money so that I can be treated.”
Myo Myint is a 34-year-old woman who is married with two sons and a daughter. Myo Myint, her husband, and her oldest son work as day laborers, but since April 2020, they have had difficulty finding work due to COVID-19. She proudly shared that her younger son and daughter are both students. In her free time, Myo Myint likes to listen to the news on the radio and walk around to collect sticks and branches that she uses for her cooking. Myo Myint has been experiencing difficulty with her vision in her right eye. She can only read for a few minutes before her eye begins to hurt and her vision becomes doubled. She visited a local hospital, where the doctor determined she has a cataract in her right eye and recommended lens replacement surgery. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Myo Myint receive treatment. On March 1st, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Myo Myint's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund this procedure. Myo Myint shared, "I want to see clearly and find extra money to support my children to finish their education."
Mary is a 33-year-old woman and arrived to meet with our local Watsi rep having a lot of pain. She has a cancerous tumor in her abdomen that requires surgery. Over the past year she has been through a lot and, while she has insurance coverage, they will no longer cover her treatment. She is currently scheduled for a laparotomy surgery to help with the removal of the tumor and relieve her stomach pains. Mary is a mother of one child who is six years old. She used to work as a shop steward but stopped due to her condition so no longer has a source of income. Her husband works as a motorbike ‘boda-boda’ driver and income from this venture is inconsistent and can't cover the cost of her surgery. She has been relying on friends and relatives to raise money for travel fare and medication. Mary says, “I have been through a lot. My stomach keeps swelling and it is very painful. I need to get better so as to raise my little kid and family.“
Asbel is a young farmer and the firstborn in a family of six. Asbel lives with his mother and siblings since their father passed away. The 28-year-old does farming to earn a living and sometimes is able to do other casual work in people’s farms. His siblings are young and his mother has no income-generating activity to support the family. He was forced to drop out of high school due to lack of funds to support his education. On arrival at the hospital, Asbel was checked by the doctors who also did an x-ray. This confirmed that he had sustained a metatarsal fracture with a dislocation on his right lower limb. Due to his condition, Asbel was taken to the operating theater for an urgent washout procedure to clean out his wound and then admitted to the hospital for pain management. He was also told that he would need surgery to fix the fractured bones. The condition has caused Asbel pain, swelling, and an open wound after a prick by a sharp object on his right foot while working on the farm. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 24th, Asbel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and external fixation. He will be able to go back to farming and continue supporting his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $853 to fund this procedure. Asbel says, “My hope is to get treated so that I can resume all my daily duties and provide for my family and my siblings.”
Taw is a 30-year-old woman who lives with her family in a refugee camp in Thailand. Originally from Burma, Taw fled to the refugee camp with her father in 2008 due to a civil war in her village. She used to work as a midwife in the hospital in the refugee camp but became a homemaker after getting married in 2017. Her father is unemployed, while her niece, nephew, and son go to school. Her husband worked as a day laborer outside the refugee camp. However, since COVID-19 cases were detected in the camp and there was an increase in cases in Thailand, schools were closed, and her husband can no longer leave the camp for work. The family shared that they rely on support from a local organization called the Border Consortium, which is not enough for their daily needs, so they must stretch the income until the end of each month. In her free time, Taw loves to play with her son and cook her favorite foods. Taw is expecting her second child soon. Due to her first delivery via Cesarean section and complications during birth, Taw’s doctors recommended that she deliver by a Cesarean section to ensure her and the baby’s safety. On November 15th, Taw will undergo a Cesarean section at our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). BMCF is requesting $1500 to fund this procedure. Taw shared, “I have one son now, so I would like to have a girl this time. After I have weaned my baby, I want to work as a midwife again at the hospital.”
Naw Blut lives with her husband, toddler son, and parents in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. She is a homemaker, her parents are retired, and her husband works at the Water and Sanitation Department in the refugee camp. Their family's monthly income of 2,694 baht ($89.80 USD) is just enough to cover their daily needs as they currently have to buy formula milk for Naw Blut's toddler. Naw Blut has been receiving a antenatal care at the clinic at the refugee camp. Earlier this month, Naw Blut went for her follow-up appointment and since she was 37 weeks pregnant and had previously had an emergency C-section, she was told she would need to see a specialist about her delivery. The next day, staff from the organization that helps run the camp (Malteser International (MI) Thailand), brought her to Mae Sariang Hospital. After she met the doctor, the doctor said she could not give birth vaginally because of the status of her pregnancy and her last delivery. The team has scheduled her to undergo a c-section to safely delivery her baby. As Naw Blut cannot afford to pay for the procedure, MI staff referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for financial support.
Dinavence is a small scale farmer. She is married but lives alone and her husband, who is also a small-scale farmer, lives in another district with their children. Dinavence is a mother of seven, with only three living children. 30 years ago, Dinavence began to experience troubling symptoms, including a painless neck swelling that has progressively been increasing in size. She has never visited a doctor for medical attention because she never knew that the condition was treatable. Currently, Dinavence can no longer carry a heavy load on her head such as agricultural produce, and feels uncomfortable while climbing steep slopes and hills. She experiences severe airway blockage while sleeping. One of her friends recently got treated for a similar issue and was able to refer her to Rushoroza Hospital. There Dinavence was diagnosed with a non-toxic goitre and after a review by the surgeon, a thyroidectomy is recommended. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse, but her family cannot afford the cost. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Dinavence receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on October 5th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $333, and she and her family need help raising money. Dinavence says, "I had lost hope of living a normal life again. I pray that I may be considered for treatment so that I may have another chance to live comfortably like others and be able to continue farming.”
Barkot is a nine-month-old baby boy from Ethiopia who loves to play with his parents and with toys. He is his parents' first child. Barkot's father is a salesperson in an electronics shop. The family lives in a rented house, and other relatives help support the family's needs. Barkot underwent a colostomy, where a piece of the colon was diverted to an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may require closure. Barkot's colostomy will require closure in order to restore his bowel function and to prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,009 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Barkot. The surgery is scheduled to take place on September 14th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Barkot’s father shared, “Barkot’s mother is not working now. When Barkot finishes the surgery and when he can make a stool normally, we hope she will start working. We hope psychologically we will be stable just like before. We hope he can socialize now. We feared socializing with Barkot because of facing stigma and discrimination. We feared people might pick on him when he grows up and we hid him from others to protect him.”
Ny is a 61-year-old rice farmer with one son, one daughter, and four grandchildren. Currently, Ny lives with her husband and her grandchildren. Her husband recently became unable to work, so she and her daughter are working to support the family as a rice farmer and selling food. In her free time, Ny likes to listen to the news on the radio and play with her grandchildren. Three years ago, Ny developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurry vision, sensitivity to light, and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Ny learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for over three hours seeking treatment. On July 19th, doctors will perform a cataract surgery and a lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, CSC is requesting support to help fund this $229 procedure. Ny shares what this surgery means for her, "I hope after surgery I will be able to see my field well and work in an easier way. I can enjoy life with my family."
Hilowie is a social 13-year-old girl, and she is the fourth born in a family of five children. Hilowie is a sixth grade student and likes to read storybooks. Her favorite subjects are English and Kiswahili. Her mother is a businesswoman who has a small shop which she operates in the village, and her father passed away 12 years ago when Hilowie was very young. Hilowie suffered burns when she was only four months old in a house fire. She sustained joint injuries known as contractures on her left hand, and until today the contractures have never improved. Currently, she cannot raise her hand or work at home, and this has greatly affected her studies. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Hilowie receive treatment. On June 28th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery so Hilowie will be able to use her hand, help around the house, and concentrate on her studies. Now, her family needs help to fund this $840 procedure. “I would love my hand to be straightened so that I can continue with my studies and as well help my mother at home,” Hilowie told us.
Phalla is a 29-year-old construction worker, who is married and has two daughters. His nine-year-old daughter is in 3rd grade and his six-year-old daughter just started school. Phalla's wife works as a farmer. On April 29th, 2021, Phalla was in a motorcycle accident that injured and dislocated his right elbow. He is in pain and unable to move or use his right arm. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help him. On June 2nd, Phalla will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will restore mobility to his arm so that he can use it normally again. Phalla shared, "I'm hoping I can use my arm better so I can return to work as soon as possible."