catherine joined Watsi on November 24th, 2016. Five years ago, catherine joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. catherine's most recent donation supported Veronica, a 50-year-old small-scale farmer from Kenya, to fund a thyroidectomy.
catherine has funded healthcare for 59 patients in 11 countries.
catherine has funded healthcare for 59 patients in 11 countries.
Veronica is a 50-year-old small-scale farmer. She has a contagious smile and an optimism for life despite the challenges she has encountered. She is a mother of six children and lives with her husband who is a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) driver. She grows maize for home consumption and sells the surplus for additional income. 10 years ago, Veronica began experiencing troubling symptoms, including a small mass on her neck. She visited several hospitals for lab tests and medication, but nothing seemed to help and the mass has grown. She has also gained weight and experiences shortness of breath and a fast heart. A friend told her about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) and she visited AMH's care center hoping for a clear diagnosis and treatment. She was diagnosed with an enlarged thyroid and surgery is recommended to prevent her symptoms from worsening. On October 19th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH's care center, where surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money. Veronica shared, "this condition is making me weak and I can’t work like before. I want to be strong for my children so that they can receive education and get their daily needs."
Angel is a three-year old girl and the firstborn in a family of two. Her younger sister is only three months old. Her mother is a homemaker without a source of income and her father is a driver at a local tea plantation. They live in a two-room house costing $50 a month and have been relying on her father's employer to help pay their bills. On September 17th, Angel suffered 2nd-degree burns. Angel's mother was preparing bathing water for her and her little sister. Her mother poured hot water into a basin and had gone to get cold water to cool the bathing water. While away, Angel unknowingly stepped into the basin with the hot water and got burnt. Angel sustained burns on about 12% of her total body surface area (TBSA), including to her gluteal region, her feet, and her right hand. Due to these injuries she is unable to sit and she sleeps on her belly. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Angel receive treatment. On September 23rd, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help her heal well and be able to sit again. Now, Angel's family needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Angel’s mother says, “I want to see my little angel grow into a successful lady. She is constantly crying because of the pain and discomfort. I hope this surgery relieves her of these predicaments.”
Kyarimpa is a 45-year-old farmer and mother of two from Uganda. Kyarimpa currently takes care of her two children and her 103-year-old mother. Two years ago, Kyarimpa began experiencing severe lower abdominal pain and heavy bleeding. She has been diagnosed with multiple uterine fibroids. She is experiencing pain that is preventing her from working and taking care of her mother and her children. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, to ensure she doesn't experience any other future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $319 to fund Kyarimpa's surgery. When the surgery is completed, Kyarimpa will be able to resume her day-to-day responsibilities free of pain. Kyarimpa shares, “I have stopped farming completely because I am in severe pain. My family solely survives on farming. I pray that I may be considered for treatment to be able to continue with farming and take care of my family.”
Paw is a 59-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters in a refugee camp. In her free time, Paw like to feed her three chickens and sing gospel songs. She also loves looking after her granddaughters at home when their mother is teaching. On a late evening earlier this month, Paw was walking home in the rain when she slipped and fell on the muddy road. She accidentally hit her forehead against a tree stump and tried to break her fall by sticking out her right arm. Right after she fell, Paw experienced a sharp pain in her right arm and forehead. Her son and daughter-in-law brought her to the camp hospital, where Paw was given stitches for her forehead as well as pain medication, and her arm was put in a splint and a sling. The medic then referred her to another hospital, where she was finally admitted at two days later when a car became available to take her. At the hospital, Paw received a X-Ray and was told that her right wrist is broken and requires surgery. With her hand wrapped in a bandage, she was referred to our medical partner's care center, Chiang Mai Hospital, for further treatment. Currently, Paw cannot move her right wrist, not even to lift her hand. Without more pain medication, her hand and forearm experience severe pain with any movement, so Paw has to be careful to keep her right hand straight. Because of this, Paw cannot complete her daily chores nor look after her grandchildren. Fortunately, with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Paw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 23rd and will cost $1,500. This surgery will help Paw move her hand around and resume her daily activities again with ease. “I want to get well soon so that I can go back to taking care of my grandchildren,” Paw said. “They are waiting for me at home to go back to my daily life. Now, I have to come for my treatment and there's nobody look after them. It is hard for my daughter in-law.”
Paulo is a 5-year-old boy boy and the third born in a family of five siblings. He is yet to start formal schooling and his father has been taking him out with him grazing their cattle. His parents are livestock keepers from a pastoralist community. Paulo was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, or knock knees. His parents noted that he would complain of fatigue after walking for a shorter distance. They also started noting changes in how his legs looked, as they started bowing inward so his knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Paulo is not able to sustain lengthy walks. His relative referred them to a local dispensary providing health services, where a team from Watsi's medical partner's care center was conducting outreach. Paulo was reviewed and had surgery recommended to heal his condition. However, his family is not able to raise the cost of surgery required and thus appeals for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Paulo. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Paulo's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Paulo’s father shared, "Please help my son; his legs are really bad and we cannot afford the treatment cost. Thank you for your support."
Pascalina is a charming and friendly four-year-old girl. She is the youngest child in a family of four children, and her mother is currently pregnant and ready to welcome a new baby. Last year, Pascalina stayed home with her aunt while her mother went to sell vegetables at the market. Her aunt had a pot of porridge on the charcoal stove and when Pascalina ran into the house, she tripped over the pot sustaining burns. Her wounds have healed, but the skin around her elbow has contracted limiting her ability to straighten and use her left hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Pascalina receive treatment. On May 21st, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. Now, her family needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Pascalina’s mother shared, "the accident has left my daughter with a deformed left hand which she is having difficult using. Please help us."
Titus is a shy 12-year-old boy and the oldest of three siblings. His mother is a single mother who works in the laundry business. His mother's work has unfortunately been affected by the pandemic, so recently Titus has been staying with his aunt as she is able to provide the family with some extra support. On Wednesday, April 14th, Titus sustained a severe injury to his left fingers after a machete fell while he was fetching firewood from the forest with his friends. His aunt brought him to the hospital where he received an X-ray, which revealed a fracture. A cast was placed to stabilize the fracture and realign the normal position of the bone as he waits for surgery. Titus requires help so that he can undergo surgery. His family is asking anyone reading his son’s story to support her raise the amount needed for his treatment. Titus's aunt said, “Titus is in a lot of pain, I hope he gets treated and feels better and is well again.”
Alex is a 20-year-old high school student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and younger brother in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. When he's healthy, he enjoys dancing and playing drums in church. Before his most recent illness, he was in his final year of high school. Alex has a cardiac condition called mitral regurgitation. When Alex was a child, he became infected with rheumatic fever which severely damaged one of his heart valves so that it could no longer pump blood through his body. Four years ago, surgeons in the Cayman Islands repaired Alex's existing heart valve in order to avoid replacing it with an artificial valve. This repaired valve worked well for three years, but then began to have difficulty pumping blood as well. Doctors now need to implant an artificial valve to replace the valve that is no longer working well. Alex will fly to the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On April 7th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove Alex's damaged valve and implant a mechanical replacement valve. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman Islands, is contributing $20,000 to pay for surgery. Alex'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 passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Alex's family overseas. Alex shared, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can get back to attending school and going to church."
Ye is a 48-year-old man from Thailand. Ye lives with his wife and daughter on the Thai-Burma border. He used to work as a carpenter, but had to stop working two years ago when his health deteriorated. Ye's wife is a homemaker, and his daughter works as a vendor selling mobile phones. His family income is just enough to cover their daily needs. Currently, Ye experiences back pain and also a strong discomfort when using the bathroom. He sometimes has a slight fever if his pain is more severe. To remedy this, Ye underwent laser treatment for kidney stones, which helped relieve some of his pain, but the doctors have determined that his case is severe and surgery has now been advised. If left untreated, Ye's symptoms will continue to worsen and put him at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ye is scheduled to undergo his cholecystectomy on February 22nd. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Ye's procedure and care. Once recovered, he will be able to be more active and hopefully be pain-free. Ye shared, "I have been experiencing this condition for many years and I hope that after surgery I will be freed from pain and I will be able to work again."
Isaya is a 16-year-old teenager from Tanzania. He is the firstborn child in a family of three children. Isaya never had the chance to join school due to his parent’s financial challenges. Despite not going to school, Isaya has been a very hardworking young man who helps his father look after the cattle. Isaya was born healthy and his growth has been normal, until last year when he noticed his right leg was bending inwards. He says the bend was very slight but over time it has increased significantly. Isaya has been walking over a long distance in search of green pasture for his father's cattle. However, due to his leg, Isaya can no longer go out with the cattle. Isaya was diagnosed with right genu valgus, or bowleggedness. His leg is bowed inward so that his knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he is in pain and discomfort after walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Isaya. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Isaya's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Isaya shared, “I am unable to carry out my daily chores because of my leg. Please help me get this treatment so that I can return home and help my parents.”
Khaing is a 27-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and a three-year-old son in a village in Tak Province. Originally from Karen State, Burma, they moved to their current home three years ago in search of better job opportunities. Her husband is a day laborer and she is homemaker. Ten years ago, Khaing started feeling like her nose was blocked and that she could not breathe well. She also had a runny nose and saw a small mass in her nostril while looking at her reflection in the mirror. At the time, Khaing did not go to see a doctor because she could not afford to pay for treatment, and she thought that she would feel better over time. However, four years ago she noticed that the mass had grown. Khaing went to her local hospital in Burma, where the doctor confirmed she had a mass in her nostril and gave her medication for a week. She did not go back to her follow-up appointment as she had run out of money. She then tried to treat herself with traditional medicine unsuccessfully as the mass continued to increase in size. In the beginning of May 2020, Khaing developed a severe headache and pain in her nose. The area around her nose also became swollen. She went to Mae Tao Clinic for treatment, where the medic found large masses in both of her nasal cavities. She was then taken to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. At MSH, she received an x-ray of her nose and the doctor told her that the masses were large and surrounded by a lot of pus. After a CT scan, the doctor diagnosed her with a nasal polyp and scheduled her for surgery on December 28th, 2020. Currently, the area around her nose is swollen and painful. Her nostrils feel itchy, her nose is blocked, and has to breathe through her mouth. She still has a headache, though since she received pain medication from the doctor at MSH, this has been less severe. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 28th, Khaing will undergo an endoscopic sinus surgery. Once recovered, she will be able to breathe normally again and her quality of life will significantly improve. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Khaing shared, "I really want to have surgery and feel better. I am not scared because I believe that the surgery will help me be free from headaches and breathe well again."
Samrith is a 27-year-old delivery man from Cambodia. He is the eldest ins his family and has two brothers and one sister, all of whom are students. Samrith's mother works as a clothing seller and his father is a taxi driver. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music, playing on his phone, and meeting up with friends in the evening. On September 23rd, Samrith was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a fracture and paralysis of his right arm. His family took him to a private clinic to treat the fracture, which has now healed. However, the nerve damage remains. Samrith has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He has no sensation or mobility in his right arm, which prevents him from working. Samrith traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 12th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will regain full range of motion of his arm. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Samrith shared, "I hope after my surgery I am able to use my right arm again and return to working without pain."