Tapani joined Watsi on March 18th, 2014. Eight 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 Exavier, an adorable 5-month-old baby from Haiti, to fund life-changing surgery to drain excess fluid from his brain.
Tapani has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 10 countries.
Tapani has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 10 countries.
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.
Linda is a beautiful three-week-old baby from Kenya who is the youngest of three children. A few months prior to Linda's birth, her mother became very sick and lost her job as a security guard. Her mother shares that this created many challenges for their family because she was their sole source of income after Linda's father left them. Additionally, they have not had many people nearby to help them since they came from Uganda. Fortunately, a Ugandan friend of Linda's mother heard about her condition and offered to accommodate her. This good Samaritan has since been facilitating hospital transportation and providing Linda’s family with financial support where possible. Shortly after her birth, Linda was diagnosed with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Linda is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. The public hospital where she was born was unable to offer her any treatment and instead referred her to our medical partner's care center, Bethanykids Kijabe Hospital. Upon arrival, Linda was found to be in critical condition. She was immediately admitted and put on medication. She stayed in the hospital for more than two weeks under the care of the medical team. Once she got better, she was discharged and scheduled to undergo spinal repair surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Linda's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 25th. This procedure will hopefully spare Linda from the risks associated with her condition and allow her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Linda’s mother says, “I was shocked when I saw her at birth and did not know if she would ever be treated. Now, I have courage to face the future, as I have been told that she will be treated.”
Sai lives with his parents and sister in a village in Karen State in the border region of Burma where there is currently a lot of violence and instability. His sister is a teacher, while both he and his parents run a shop from their home, selling various items such as snacks, drinks, dry goods, and cement. In his free time, he loves to play cane ball with his friends. In early November 2021, Sai received treatment for COVID-19. While getting treatment, doctors also discovered that he was born with a hole in his heart, and he was diagnosed with atrial septal defect. A doctor in Yangon confirmed his diagnosis and told him that he needs surgery. He recommended he go to Thailand as the only other option was to receive surgery at a military hospital in Burma, which have been impacted in the recent humanitarian crisis. Sai's aunt suggested he seek treatment at a clinic in Thailand and he was referred to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial support to make his care possible. Now, Sai is raising $1,500 for his Atrial Septal Defect Closure procedure, which is scheduled for July 12th. Sai said, “I would like to receive surgery as soon as possible so that I can help my parents like before. Now, my father has to do all the hard and heavy work, which is not good for him as he is getting old.”
Abegaelle is a five-year-old girl from Haiti. She lives in the capital city of Port-au-Prince with her parents and older brother. Some of her favorite activities include going to preschool and attending church with her family. Abegaelle was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through, leaving her weak and short of breath. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Abegaelle receive treatment. She will travel to the Dominican Republic to undergo surgery on July 26th, during which surgeons will insert a catheter to plug the hole in her heart and restore a healthy blood flow. Abegaelle's family is raising $1,500 to cover the costs of her surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Abegaelle and her family overseas. Abegaelle's mother shared, "Our family is all very thankful that Abegaelle will have this chance to have her heart fixed!"
Brice is a toddler from Haiti who was born with a heart condition. He lives with his parents and older brother in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince; his father is an accountant and his mother is a homemaker. Brice has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Unfortunately the cardiac care Brice needs is not available at any hospital in the country, so he will be flying to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On June 29th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch so that blood can no longer leak through it. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $7000 to help pay for surgery, but Brice's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports the cost of getting passports, and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Brice's family overseas. Brice's mother said: "Our family will be very happy and relieved once our son's heart is fixed and he can run and play like other children!"
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.