Peter joined Watsi on March 27th, 2014. 12 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Peter's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Sokhim, a weaver from Cambodia, for a mastoidectomy surgery to restore her hearing.
Peter has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 8 countries.
Peter has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 8 countries.
Sokhim enjoys cooking and taking care of her two sons at home. The 38-year-old weaver from Cambodia traveled two hours with her nephew to reach Watsi's medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for treatment. Since she was a child, Sokhim has experienced right ear discharge caused by chronic otitis media, or ear infection. She received an operation on her right ear in 2003, but it was unsuccessful. Sokhim still experiences discharge, hearing loss, and pain. Recently, doctors at CSC discovered a cholesteatoma in her right ear. A cholesteatoma is an abnormal growth that occurs in the middle ear behind the eardrum. Sokhim now requires surgery to remove the growth and treat the infection. For $809, Sokhim will receive a mastoidectomy surgery, during which surgeons will open up the mastoid bone to remove diseased cells and drain the middle ear. After her surgery, Sokhim's discharge will stop and she will be pain-free once again.
Meet Boniface, a 26-year-old who lives in Kenya with his mother and five siblings. His father and brother passed away a few years ago, so Boniface works in a vehicles' spare shop to help support his mother's income working on their small farm. Last year, Boniface began experiencing painful head migraines. He took over-the-counter medicines to try and alleviate the pain, but when he recently went to the doctor he was diagnosed with both hydrocephalus and a brain tumor. Hydrocephalus is an accumulation of water in the brain that causes increased pressure in the skull. In conjunction to this condition, the tumor has made it difficult for Boniface to see, and he needs assistance with walking because he cannot keep his balance very well. He also had to stop going to work. Boniface already received surgical treatment to drain the accumulated fluids and reduce the cranial pressure, but now surgeons recommend a crainiotomy to remove his tumor. If not treated, Boniface will continue experiencing migraines and risk complete blindness. Furthermore, he will be at risk of the tumor growing and causing more severe complications, even resulting in death. After his operation, Boniface will be able to return home to his family and continue supporting his mother and siblings. "I want to be free from the migraines and continue helping my mother," Boniface shares.
Sela is an eight-month-old baby girl from Cambodia. Sela is living with syndactyly--she has webbed fingers and an extra digit on her left hand. Due to these abnormalities, it has been very difficult for Stela to use her hand. Thus, she and her mother traveled three hours to seek the help of our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC). Under normal conditions, the webbing dissolves, leaving five independent digits on every extremity. With syndactyly, on the other hand, the degradation of the tissue between fingers or toes is left incomplete during gestation and, in a few cases, like Sela’s, the webbing also covers an extra digit wedged in between. This specific situation, known as “polysyndactyly,” is a very rare occurrence, but when treated early in life it does not present lasting complications. However, if left unaddressed, Sela will lose significant functionality in her left hand. For $321, Sela will undergo a syndactyly repair, which will include a release to separate her fingers and a procedure to remove her extra digit. She will have also receive a skin graft to help heal her remaining digits. The funds will also cover supplies, inpatient care for ten days, and follow up visits for up to one year after the procedure. Because of the skin graft, this operation can be slightly more complicated than other surgeries, but CSC’s medical team says that the benefits of surgery (releasing Sela’s digits and allowing her to live a comfortable life) outweigh the minor risks. Sela’s parents are grateful and eager to have her surgery done. “I hope my daughter will have a normal hand like other people after surgery,” shares Sela’s mother.
“Lencer is a young child with a long medical history,” reports our medical partner in Kenya, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). When he was nine months old, he fell sick with meningitis; he has contracted pneumonia six times since his birth; and now, at three years old, Lencer has contracted tuberculosis. “Lencer has battled his previous medical complications with zeal,” AMHF tells us. However, fighting these near-constant illnesses “has drained his family’s income,” leaving them unprepared to cope financially with the most recent medical problem that has beset Lencer: severe hearing loss in both ears. Lencer’s hearing problems are sensorineural, meaning they originate in his inner ear, and could have been caused by a variety of factors, from disease to head trauma. According to AMHF, “if not assisted with the hearing aids, Lencer may not be able to communicate effectively”—a deficiency that could have profound implications for the child’s social life, language learning, academic abilities, and career. $920 will purchase two hearing aids—one for each of Lencer’s ears. With these devices in place, “Lencer will be able to use speech and hearing for communication,” AMHF tells us. “I feel emotionally weak that my child has to pass through all these medical complications,” shares Lencer’s father. “My only wish is to have God heal him and for him to grow as a healthy child.” Let’s help make that wish a reality for this family.
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.
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."
Two-month-old Whithines is a quiet, active baby girl who lives in Tanzania. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us, “Whithines was born without problems and was feeding and growing well until two weeks ago, when her mother noticed her daughter’s forehead was increasing in size. Her head was getting heavier and softer.” Whithines’s increasing head size is the result of hydrocephalus, a condition in which there is an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. In an infant, too much fluid—the result of infection, trauma, malformation of the central nervous system, or genetic defect—can increase pressure on the brain and inside the skull, leading to an enlarged head and developmental issues. Treatment for Whithines is a shunt to drain the excess fluid from her brain. In this procedure, doctors place a shunt into the ventricles and connect it to a tube that runs under the skin and empties into the abdomen, where the excess fluid can be resorbed by the body. Whithines’s grandparents support her and her young parents financially, but they do not earn enough money as small-scale farmers to pay for the procedure that Whithines needs. $775 will fund surgery to place the shunt, as well as five days of hospital care and two weeks’ accommodations at The Plaster House, a home where children can recover after surgery. AMHF says, “Whithines’s head will no longer continue to increase in size, and she will no longer be at risk of losing her vision.” “We love her dearly,” says Whithines’s mother. “We hope she will get better and later on have the ability to go to school and get a good career.”
Three-year-old Love Faela lives with her parents, grandparents, and two older siblings in Haiti. She likes wearing frilly dresses and listening to her mother sing. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), tells us, “Love Faela was born with a congenital heart condition called tetralogy of Fallot.” The condition accounts for one third of all cases of congenital heart disease in patients younger than 15 years old. “[Tetralogy of Fallot] involves several related defects, including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the heart's valves,” HCA continues. “As a result, Love Faela's heart cannot deliver enough oxygen to her body, and she is sickly and weak. If untreated, the condition would be fatal.” Treatment for Love Faela is surgery to close the hole between the chambers of her heart and open the obstructed heart valve. “Following surgery,” HCA explains, “normal circulation should be restored to Love Faela's heart, and she should be able to lead a normal life.” For $1500, HCA will provide the overseas preparation and transportation required for Love Faela’s treatment. Gift of Life International is donating $5000 to cover the remaining treatment costs. "We are praising God that Love Faela can have surgery for her heart problem," her mother shares.
“Florence is the last-born in a family of five children,” says our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). The four-month-old baby girl lives in Kenya with her mother and siblings in a single mud-walled house. Due to hydrocephalus, Florence’s head began to increase one month after she was born. This congenital neurological condition causes an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain--making the head swell. “[Hydrocephalus] leads to blockage of the return-flow channels, chronic headaches and irritability. If not treated, accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid may cause brain damage,” AMHF tells us. A single parent, Florence’s mother works on a local farm to support her children. However, her income alone is not enough to cover the cost of Florence’s surgical needs. For $980, a shunt will be inserted into Florence's head to remove the excess fluid. AMHF explains that this procedure will help stabilize intracranial pressure and prevent Florence from having long-term health issues. “It has been hectic for me and at times I feel like giving up but the urge to give my children the best keeps me moving,” Florence’s mother shares. “I really hope that Florence will get treatment.”
Meet Tin, a 59-year-old wife and mother from Burma who raises cows, chickens, and pigs and plants vegetables near her house. Tin came to our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP) with an ovarian mass. “Six months ago, Tin noticed her first symptoms,” explains BBP. “At that time, she thought she had a stomachache.” Since then, Tin's abdominal pain has persisted, and she has begun to lose weight and feel nauseous whenever she eats. “Currently, Tin experiences pain in her abdomen and back, so she finds it difficult to walk,” says BBP. “She also experiences body pain and headaches, and sometime she gets tired and has difficulty breathing.” The combined income from Tin, her husband, and their adult daughter is enough to cover the family’s daily expenses, but they do not earn enough money to save, and they must borrow funds for health care. Tin’s five married children live in the same village and provide financial help whenever they can. The recommended treatment for Tin is an oophorectomy to remove the affected ovary. $1,500 covers the cost of the surgery as well as a seven-day hospital stay and one outpatient appointment post-surgery. After surgery, “Tin will not be in constant pain and will be able to work again and care for her family,” shares BBP. “I want to be well so that I can work for my family, save money, and have a happy family,” says Tin.
Meet Carlos, a one-year-old baby from Guatemala, and the youngest of four children. “He loves to play with a toy car and little bear that was given to him for his birthday,” shares our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). He also enjoys eating fruit, especially watermelons and oranges. Carlos, unfortunately, is not growing well. He is suffering from acute malnutrition and “diarrhea likely caused by a parasitic stomach infection.” According to WK, “Carlos’ mother has been treating his diarrhea with Alka-Seltzer as it is all she can afford.” For $535, we can give Carlos a comprehensive treatment for his malnutrition. The treatment will include “micronutrient and food supplementation to ensure Carlos’ caloric intake increases, and he is able to reach his full potential,” explains WK. Funding will also cover nutrition education for Carlos’ mother, so she can keep him healthy even after the immediate treatment, as well as deworming medication to rid Carlos of his parasitic infection. His mother says, “I am grateful with all my heart for the help that I will receive. I pray to God that he gives many blessings to Watsi and Wuqu’ Kawoq.” Let’s fund this treatment and help Carlos get back on the right growth trajectory!
Meet Su Su, a 38-year-old woman from Thailand. Su Su works in a clothing factory with her husband, working as a seamstress. Two years ago, Su Su began to experience a lot of pain. “She went to a clinic and the attending doctor informed her that she might have a mass,” shares our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP). When the pain did not subside with medication, doctors confirmed she had a pelvic mass. A pelvic mass is a non-cancerous tumor caused by abnormal development of muscle cells in the uterus. These growths can cause a combination of prolonged menstruation, abdominal pain, backache, or leg pains. The pain is severe enough that Su Su is unable to work. BBP adds, "Since she has been ill, she has had to borrow money." $1500 will fund the treatment Su Su needs for her condition. Her treatment involves a total hysterectomy and oophorectomy to remove the uterus and ovaries. These procedures will prevent the tumors from multiplying and spreading, and redeveloping in the future. BBP reports, “After surgery, Su Su will be able to return to her work and earn a living. She will no longer suffer pain and will be able to live with dignity.”