Ian joined Watsi on July 2nd, 2021. One year ago, Ian joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ian's most recent donation supported Gianna, a 4 year old girl from Kenya, to fund surgery to help her birth condition so she can grow up stronger.
Ian has funded healthcare for 21 patients in 8 countries.
Ian has funded healthcare for 21 patients in 8 countries.
Meet Gianna, a lovely, four year old girl from Kenya. Gianna lives with her grandmother, while her mother works at a local hotel, and her father is a casual laborer on construction sites. Gianna was born with Osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease. A child born with this condition has soft bones that break easily. Gianna has never walked, and lives in near constant pain. When she did try to walk using support, she fractured some bones. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help Gianna access the care that she needs. On January 16th Gianna will undergo a procedure at AIC Cure International Hospital, that will provide greater support for Gianna's bones, and which may even enable her to gain sufficient strength to walk. Gianna's family is seeking your support to fund the $1,224 needed to pay for the surgery. Gianna's grandmother said: "Gianna has never walked, and my desire is to see her walk like other children. Your financial support to help her undergo surgery will be greatly appreciated."
Irenea is a 60-year woman from the Philippines. She takes care of her grandchildren and helps with household chores. Her daughter, a vendor, and her son-in-law, a baker, support the family financially. In February 2022, Irenea began to experience troubling symptoms, including intermittent fever and episodes of blood in the urine. She sought a medical checkup and underwent an ultrasound test. The test revealed that she was suffering from gallstones. She opted to take medicine in the hopes that it would cure her condition. Unfortunately, her condition seemed to worsen over time. Irenea has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, her 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), Irenea is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on December 16th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $826 to cover the cost of Irenea's surgery and care. "This treatment is almost impossible for our mother to receive. Our financial resources are insufficient, so we're incapable to pay for her hospital bill," Irenea's daughter shared tearfully. "To WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines, thank you for this early Christmas gift! Our family is so happy to be one of your beneficiaries," she added.
Swe lives with her parents and her son in a village in northern Burma. Her father is subsistence farmer, her mother owns a small weaving business where traditional Burmese blankets and sarongs are hand woven. Her son goes to school and Swe is a homemaker. In her free time, she enjoys visiting and talking to her friends in their village. In December 2021, Swe began to experience fatigue, sweatiness, vomiting and difficulty breathing. She also had a headache and a stiff neck. At first she could not travel due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, but eventually went to Mandalay in August to seek help. At a hospital, she received an echocardiogram and was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis and aortic valve regurgitation. She was told she would need surgery costing 15 million kyat (approx. $15,000 USD), but she could not afford to pay for it. She then went to Yangon with her son, in the hopes of finding another hospital that cost operate on her for less money. While in Yangon, her condition deteriorated and her son rushed her to a hospital. The doctor there confirmed her diagnosis and her need for surgery, but told her it would cost 20 million kyat (approx. $20,000 USD). When Swe told the doctor that she could not afford to pay such a large sum, the doctor referred her to an abbot, who in turn referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial assistance accessing treatment. Currently, Swe cannot walk for more than 10 minutes or she feels very tired and short of breathe. She has a rapid heartbeat, dizziness and headache. She said, "I want to say thank you so much to BCMF and all the donors to help me with my treatment cost.”
Priscillar is a 50 year old single mother, living in Kenya. She has a small area in her ancestral home where she does small scale farming for personal use, and can occasionally sell extra produce at the local market. For ten years, Priscillar has been experiencing heavy bleeding. She has been diagnosed with uterine fibroids, a condition that usually develops during a woman's childbearing years. Fortunately, the condition is benign, but it has made Priscillar uncomfortable about being in public places. Priscillar will need to undergo a hysterectomy, to have her uterus removed and fully heal. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,260 to fund Priscillar's surgery, scheduled for October 27th, at AIC Kijabe Hospital. After she has recovered, Priscillar should be able to resume her life free from pain, and free of the constraints that have kept her from going out in public without discomfort. Priscillar says: “I have been experiencing heavy bleeding for the last ten years. It is really uncomfortable and makes me ashamed. I hope to get the problem solved.”
Samuel is a 38 year old casual laborer and single father of one son, who is six years old. As Samuel's income is modest, both he and his son live with Samuel's parents in Malawi. Samuel enjoyed good health until April 2022. He was visiting relatives at a distance from his home, when he developed a cough and lost his voice. He was treated for his cough, but in June, he noticed a small, painful swelling on the right side of his neck. Although he went to a local hospital, nothing was done, and the swelling continued to grow, causing Samuel more pain, difficulty swallowing, and occasional breathlessness. After visiting numerous hospitals, Samuel finally went to Partners in Hope Medical Center, where tests revealed the existence of a goiter on his thyroid gland. As the goiter was fast growing, the surgeons informed Samuel that he would need to have a thyroidectomy, to remove all or part of the thyroid gland. Thanks to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Samuel is scheduled to have surgery on October 4th, at Partners in Hope Medical Center. After the procedure, Samuel will be able to return to his work, and to caring for his child, which he has been unable to do since falling ill. Samuel and his family are seeking $1,015 to help fund Samuel's care. “I wish to get better and look after my child,” said Samuel while looking worried.
Naw Ta is a 54-year-old woman who lives with her retired husband in a refugee camp in Thailand. Originally from Burma, she and her husband fled to Thailand in 2010 due to conflict in their area. She now works selling snacks and sweets from her home. Naw Ta has developed cataracts in both eyes, causing her to experience blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about tripping on stones or the uneven road when walking. Because of this, she is not able to go places on her own. She also cannot sew clothing anymore or see the rice grains clearly when cooking. Fortunately, doctors will perform a lens replacement on September 1st. During this procedure, surgeons at our medical partner's care center, Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, will remove Naw Ta's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Naw Ta's surgery. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly again and return to doing her daily tasks without difficulty. Naw Ta shares, “I will be happy when I can see clearly again. I am grateful for having the chance to receive eye surgery.”
Khristopher is a six-year-old boy from Malawi who attends primary school. He is the fourth born in a family of five children. To support their family, his parents work as small-scale farmers. When Khristopher was one year old, he began to experience frequent stomachaches. Although his parents thought they would go away, the stomachaches persisted. At three years old, his condition worsened and swelling began to occur in a sensitive area every time Khristopher cried, coughed, or did anything strenuous. His parents shared that these symptoms worry them as they helplessly watch their child in pain due to this condition. He was eventually diagnosed with a right inguinal hernia, and his doctor referred him to a different hospital for surgery. However, due to financial constraints that prevented their family from being able to pay for transportation and medical expenses, Khristopher’s father decided to continue trying to heal Khristopher using traditional methods. For another three years, Khristopher was treated with traditional herbs. Unfortunately, these methods were not successful, and his condition persisted. His father decided to seek medical care once more, so he brought Khristopher to our medical partner's care center, Nkhoma Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is helping Khristopher receive treatment. On August 4th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at Nkhoma Hospital. AMHF is requesting $846 to fund Khristopher's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and prevent future complications. Khristopher’s father says, “I have prayed and hoped for a solution to my son’s condition, and I now have faith that he will be cured.”
Julbert is a hardworking 41-year-old tricycle driver from the Philippines. He is the sole provider for his family. With the recent rise of fuel prices, Julbert's income is being severely affected, making it more difficult to provide for his family. In November 2021, he began experiencing right abdominal pain, which compelled him to get himself checked. Later on, he was diagnosed with a gallbladder stone, which needs to be extracted surgically. After reaching out to our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Julbert is now scheduled to undergo surgery on June 30th to treat his condition. After his recovery, Julbert will no longer be in pain or at risk of developing severe health complications in the future, allowing him to continue providing for his family. A portion of the cost of his care is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and WSFP raising the remaining $826 to cover the cost of Julbert's procedure and care. "Times have been extra challenging, but thanks to the kind hearts and generous pockets of people from all over the world, I know I'll be able to continue to provide for my family," he shared. "Thank you World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi. Your help means a lot to us who have no capacity to afford treatments like this."
Christmaelle is a beautiful toddler from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and three older siblings in a small fishing village in southwest Haiti. The adults in her family all fish and raise livestock for a living. Christmaelle has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart; blood leaks through this hole without first passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. The surgery Christmaelle needs is not available in Haiti, so she will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On June 28th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in her heart with a patch so that blood can no longer leak through it. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $7,000 to pay for her surgery. Christmaelle's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and followup. 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 Christmaelle's family overseas. Christmaelle's mother said: "Our family is praying for everyone who is helping our daughter to become healthy again!"
Samir is a beautiful 12-day-old baby boy and the first-born child of his young parents. Both parents are very happy having had their first-born child, but they were became very concerned when they were informed that their son was born with a medical condition that need surgery to be corrected. Samir was born with clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. As he grows older, this condition will cause difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Samir’s father works as a mechanic, and he says he spent all his savings during the delivery, and he no longer has any money to be able to cover treatment for their son’s clubfoot treatment. Fortunately, Samir's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Samir's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to grow up healthy and walk well as he grows. Samir’s mother shared, “I don’t want our son to grow up with a disability of the foot just because we don’t have the money to treat him. Thank you for helping.”
Thein is a 56-year-old man who lives with his family in a refugee camp. Two of his daughters and his son-in-law work as seasonal workers outside of the camp, while Thein and his wife look after their three grandchildren, send them to school, and care for the household chores. In January, Thein was diagnosed with a cataract in his right eye and an early cataract in his left eye. Currently, he cannot see with his right eye, as his vision is blurry, and the vision in his left eye is also beginning to blur. As a result, Thein cannot walk easily and relies on a bamboo staff to help stabilize him as he tries to avoid tripping on any objects in his path. He shared that he feels discomforted and like he is living in darkness. Fortunately, Thein was able to visit our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), and they can help him heal. On March 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Thein shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will help my family plant and water vegetables around the house. It can save us money from buying the vegetables. I can help send my grandchildren to school and pick them up in the evening. I will also be able to visit my friend.”
Guy is an 8-year-old student from Haiti. Her lives with his parents and younger brother and sister in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. He likes going to school and dressing up for church. Guy has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without properly circulating through his body, leaving him sickly and weak. Guy will fly to nearby Dominican Republic to receive treatment as the care he needs is not currently available in Haiti. On February 28th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is contributing $8000 to help pay for his surgery. Guy's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and his check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner who will accompany Guy's family overseas. His mom is relieved that his surgery is finally happening and shared: "I am looking forward to seeing my son gaining weight and strength after his surgery!"