Caitlin joined Watsi on February 4th, 2021. One year ago, Caitlin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Caitlin's most recent donation supported Vania, a studious 14-year-old girl from Haiti, to fund heart surgery so she can finally return to school.
Caitlin has funded healthcare for 16 patients in 9 countries.
Caitlin has funded healthcare for 16 patients in 9 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."
Angelica is a hard-working young mom with a three-year-old son. She and her partner work in construction, earning just enough to support their daily needs. Angelica was diagnosed with external hemorrhoids. Because of her financial situation, even though she experiences pain, she is not able to get the medical care she needs to heal. Fortunately, Angelica is scheduled to undergo surgery to treat her condition on March 5th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,163 to cover the total cost of Angelica's procedure and care. After her recovery, Angelica will no longer experience severe pain and other complications in the future. "I want to be able to take care of my child without worrying about my condition," Angelica explained. "I am fortunate to have been referred for surgery with World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi; without them, I'm not sure where we would be able to get help for my treatment."
Caleb is a jovial and funny six-year-old student. Caleb's mother shared that Caleb likes to play and is always happy both at school and at home. Caleb has a twin brother and one older sibling. Caleb's mother takes care of their home and family while his father is a farmer. Caleb has a clubfoot, a condition that causes his foot to be misshapen making it difficult for Caleb to walk and wear shoes. Surgeons at our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital will perform corrective surgery on March 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMF), is helping Caleb's parents raise $1,286 to fund the procedure. After treatment, Caleb will be able to walk well, play with his friends at home and school, and continue with his studies without any interruption. Caleb's mother shared, "I would love to see my son walking like other children without difficulties. I would greatly appreciate any assistance."
Hezron is a talkative 26-year-old and hard working man. He gets work where ever he can and rents a small house in someone else's compound. When he doesn't have work to do, he helps care for the cattle on the farm or runs errands for his landlord. In August of last year, Hezron was attacked while transporting farm equipment. His leg was cut badly and his lower fibula was broken in the attack. He is at risk of infection and cannot walk like he used to. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On January 31st, Hezron will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. After treatment, Hezron will hopefully be able to return to his normal life. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. Hezron shared, "I’m really looking forward to this surgery as it might be the last one in my treatment."
Lesina is a married mother of two. Her firstborn was born in 1995 and has special needs that require a lot of support from Lesina. Lesina likes spending a lot of time with her and ensures her safety all the time. Her other child is 13 and is a 5th grade student. Lesina sells tomatoes at a nearby market while her husband is a driver. They own a three-bedroom iron sheet-roofed house for shelter. She also raises some local chickens with free-range farming, but shared that most of them were stolen. Currently, her family has no land where they can do farming and usually has to buy food from the market. Lesina was well until 2019 when she started having a lot of abdominal pains and other symptoms. She went to a clinic and was given medication which helped for while. But, her condition kept recurring. In 2020, she started feeling a hard mass on the left side of her abdomen and when she came to the hospital again the clinician ordered a cancer screening for her. During the procedure, the nurse felt a mass that is suggestive of uterine fibroids. She was referred to a gynecologist who after scanning and examination confirmed the diagnosis of uterine fibroids and ordered surgical intervention of a procedure called total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) which is the full removal of the uterus. Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman's uterus. Sometimes these growths become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding. If left untreated, fibroids can continue to grow, both in size and number and the symptoms will become worse. The fibroids' pain may increase and the heavy bleeding may become worse leading to anemia which may be fatal. After the surgery, it is expected that Lesina will stop having abdominal pains and heavy bleedings and will lead a full, healthy life. She is scheduled for surgery on January 3rd and is appealing for financial support. Lesina says, “I have heard that some uterine fibroids can burst and cause serious problems, I don’t want that to happen to me. My handicapped firstborn needs me in sound health to continue caring for her. Kindly support my surgery.”
Alex is a bright and active 2-year-old. He never stops moving as we talk with his parents about their story. Alex is youngest in a family of two children. His sibling is five years. His father and mother are fruit vendors in Githurai Market in Nairobi, Kenya. Alex was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Alex has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Alex will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on November 11th. AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Alex’s mother says, “I am afraid this condition will affect his confidence and his self-esteem in the future if not treated.”
Daw Tin is a 59-year-old farmer from Burma. She lives with her husband, son and daughter-in-law in Mon State. She and her husband are tenant farmers, but since she hurt her right toe, she cannot work. In her free time, she enjoys growing flowers and vegetables. Seven years ago, Daw Tin was diagnosed with diabetes but was unable to access regular treatment for her condition. One month ago, she noticed that she had a blood blister on the big toe of her right foot. Her toe was also achy, and she decided that she would prick the blister with a needle to drain it. Over the next couple of days, the drained blister turned into an ulcer. Currently, Daw Tin’s right big toe is swollen and discoloured, and she is in pain. She cannot farm and she cannot help with household chores. At night, she cannot sleep because she is constantly worried about her right foot and their financial problems. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Daw Tin receive treatment. On October 28th, surgeons will perform a debridement to help her go back to work and stop her from being in pain. Now, Daw Tin needs help to fund this $694 procedure. “I want to have my own farm in the future,” said Daw Tin. “Thank you so much to the donors.”
San is a 41-year-old woman who lives with her husband, daughter, and son in Burma. Her children are students, but the schools are closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak and teachers' strike against the military coup earlier this year. San and her husband rent land and grow sesame and sunflowers. They shared that their income last year from selling their harvest was about 1,500,000 kyat (approx. $1,500 USD) for the year, which is only enough to cover their daily expenses and basic health care. Unfortunately, the rainy season was late this year, and they could not grow any sesame as a result. San's family is worried about the impact this will have on their income and their family. Starting in May, San felt tired and developed a fever, so she visited the local clinic and received medication for her symptoms. While her fever reduced, she still felt tired, and her heartbeat increased. Three days later, her son developed a fever and also went to the local clinic. While there, San was able to share more about her condition with the clinicians. The doctor listened to her heart, gave her an injection and medication, and told her to come back if she continued to feel unwell. That night, San experienced heart palpitations and could not sit or lie down for long periods. On May 29th, she visited the Magway General Hospital, where she received oxygen, an injection, a blood test, and an electrocardiogram (ECG). Doctors also recommended an echocardiogram and a chest x-ray, which she received in follow-up care on May 31st. After reviewing the results of her tests, the doctors shared that San's heart valve does not work well and suggested meeting with a cardiologist for further testing. While the military coup made it challenging to find a cardiologist, San visited her brother's town for treatment. After further testing, a cardiologist diagnosed San with mitral valve stenosis and told her that she needed surgery to replace a damaged heart valve. Currently, San feels tired and suffers from heart palpitations when she walks short distances and cannot lie down for long periods. Fortunately, San was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), to help afford her surgery. On October 3rd, San will receive treatment, and BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help directly fund her procedure. San said, “I would like to get better soon because my family had to try hard to borrow enough money for my treatment. This year, we will not be able to earn a profit from our farm. This year is very difficult for everyone. I would like my daughter and son to finish their studies. I would like to work hard for my family’s future. After I recover from my operation, I want to open a shop in my village to earn more money. I will try to send my daughter and son to school until they graduate. Thank you so much for supporting the cost of my surgery.”
Fredrick is a hardworking student and the third born in a family of four siblings. His family comes from a town called Maua in Kenya. Fredrick is deaf and attends a special school named Ntoruba. He comes from a humble background: sadly, his mother passed away in July 2017 due to prolonged illness. His father also suffers from an illness and is currently under treatment. A neighbor expressed, “The family depends on well-wishers for their daily living.” Fredrick has clubfoot on his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Fredrick traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Fredrick's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily again. Fredrick signed that he will be happy if his leg will be corrected and able to walk normally. His brother Dennis told us, "Any help to make him happy and walk normally will be highly appreciated.”
Ma Htun is a 60-year-old woman from Thailand who lives with her son. She and her family moved to Thailand from Burma about 17 years ago in search of better job opportunities. Since early 2020, Ma Htun has been retired. She is now a homemaker and takes care of the household chores. In her free time, she forages for vegetables in the forest. She has a daughter who is married and a son who works as a day laborer. On July 27, Ma Htun was walking home in the rain after visiting a shop to buy food. She slipped and fell and experienced a sharp pain in her right leg. Her son and her neighbor took her to the hospital where an x-ray confirmed that Ma Htun had fractured a bone in her thigh. Currently, she is unable to move her right leg or walk due to pain, and she has difficulty sleeping. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ma Htun will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 30th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Ma Htun to be free from pain and to walk again. Ma Htun's son shared, “I want my mother to receive surgery and get well soon. I feel bad that I cannot afford to pay for her surgery.”
Rady is an 11-year-old, sixth grade student. He is the only child in his family. Rady's father works in construction, and in the future Rady wants to become a policeman. One year ago, Rady had an ear infection that caused cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. The growth made Rady experience hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. It is difficult for him to hear at school and communicate with his friends Rady traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 1st, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Rady would like his life to return to normal, "I hope my ear will improve soon so I can return to school and see and hear my friends."
Julieta is a five-month-old baby girl from Colombia with an infectious smile and laugh. When she was born, she was diagnosed with amniotic band syndrome, which has limited functionality in her hands and feet. Fortunately, our medical partner, Clínica Noel, is helping Julieta to receive treatment. On June 28th, she'll undergo corrective surgery at Clínica Noel's care center. After surgery, the functionality of Julieta's hands and feet will improve, and the procedure will prevent vascular congestion in her fingers. Now, Clínica Noel is requesting $1,500 to fund her procedure. Julieta's mother shared, "as a mother, you wish your kids never suffer from any problems, but knowing they need treatment and you can't pay for it just kills you. When I visited Clínica Noel and they told me that Watsi could help us get the money to pay for her surgery, I felt my prayers were heard."