Martin ZieglerUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Martin's Story

Martin joined Watsi on April 8th, 2015. Nine years ago, Martin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Martin's most recent donation traveled 5,100 miles to support Noelanie, a four-year-old girl from Haiti, to fund life-altering heart surgery.

Impact

Martin has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 11 countries.

Patients funded by Martin

Abnet, a precious 9-month-old baby girl from Ethiopia, has captured our hearts with her beauty and spirit. She is the only child of her young 20-year-old parents. Her father works alongside his own father as a coffee farmer, while her mother lovingly tends to their home. Despite not having had the opportunity for formal education, they pour their efforts into providing for their family through the limited farming they do, though it yields barely enough to sustain them. From the very beginning, Abnet's parents demonstrated their determination to seek medical care for their daughter, even in the face of financial challenges. Abnet was born with a congenital anorectal malformation, a condition that disrupts bowel function due to a partial or complete blockage of the intestines. In order to alleviate her suffering and restore her health, she must undergo a series of intricate procedures. Their family initially went to a government hospital, where they were referred to another medical facility. Sadly, their hopes were dashed as they were asked to return two years later. Recognizing the worsening state of Abnet's health, they reached out to a local social worker, sharing their child's condition. Fortunately, the social worker was able to introduce them to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Abnet underwent a thorough evaluation leading to a recommendation for the necessary surgery. Abnet is now scheduled for surgery on August 15th. AMH is requesting $1500 to help fund her procedure. Following her successful recovery, Abnet will be a healthy little girl, able to resume normal activities. Abnet's mother shared, "When we first learned of our daughter's condition, a sense of worry and helplessness engulfed us. The path forward seemed uncertain and daunting. Despite the challenges we faced, we relentlessly pursued treatment for our beloved child. Though previous avenues turned us away, the administrative office introduced us to this lifeline of support. We embraced it with hope, and it has brought us to this moment, filled with gratitude and anticipation."

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Vanila is a 17-year-old girl. She comes from a sizable family that includes five siblings, with her being the second-to-last born. She is a student and recently completed her secondary education with the hope of going further in her education. Her parents work as farmers, relying on their harvest for sustenance. Additionally, her father engages in casual day-to-day jobs to supplement their income. Three of Vanila’s siblings are independent and working, and they occasionally assist their parents in covering household expenses. Vanila’s journey began when, as a baby, her parents noticed both of her legs twisting inward and downward. Unfortunately, financial constraints prevented them from addressing her medical needs. In September 2023, Vanilla’s family learned about Kafika house, and the services offered. They visited, and she was diagnosed with bilateral clubfoot, a condition that significantly limited her mobility. With both legs affected, she commenced treatment for her left foot first, starting with manipulation and casting. In October 2023, she underwent surgery, and her treatment progressed well, showing positive results. Currently, Vanila is on the verge of beginning treatment for her right foot. She will undergo a similar process to correct the defect in her right foot. The team will begin clubfoot treatment for Vanila on December 29th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Vanila's clubfoot repair. After treatment, her mobility will significantly improve. Vanilla says: “I’m looking forward to the day that I will be walking comfortably.”

$935raised
Fully funded

Emelita is a loving grandmother from the Philippines. Emelita has five children and is currently living with one of them. When she was younger, she worked hard as a laundrywoman to make ends meet for her family. Now that she is physically weaker due to her age, she takes care of her grandchildren and helps her daughter with the household chores. Three years ago, Emelita began to experience troubling symptoms, including severe stomach pain, upper back pain, fatigue, and rapid exhaustion. Whenever she feels her symptoms, she cannot perform her day-to-day tasks. She also knows that her daughter and grandchildren worry about her condition and are affected whenever she is in pain. After seeking treatment, Emelita 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. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Emelita is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on October 14th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,128 to cover the cost of Emelita's surgery and care. Emelita says, "I am very grateful for this surgery opportunity because it will help me and my family. I feel like I have been a burden to them, especially when my symptoms act up. This surgery will enable me to regain my ability to do my day-to-day tasks and household activities to help my family."

$1,128raised
Fully funded

Yi is a 52-year-old mother who lives with her husband, two sons and a daughter in a conflict area called Rakhine State. Her husband, daughter and younger son are unemployed while she is a homemaker. Her older son works as a taxi driver but does not always have work. They are financially supported by Yi's third son, who is also a taxi driver and lives separately. In her free time, she like to meditate and read Facebook posts relating to health. Yi first felt unwell in 2010 when she experienced severe joint pain. Later on, she also developed difficulty breathing and heart palpitations. She was diagnosed with a heart condition requiring surgery, but she could not afford to pay for it. Over the years, she tried to manage her symptoms through medication, but they would only help her feel better temporarily. Currently, Yi tires easily and does not have energy to do anything. She cannot walk long distances, and she cannot walk downstairs. If she does, she experiences chest pain and difficulty breathing. When she talks a lot, she feels tired. She has no appetite and cannot breathe well. She also has chest pain and cannot sleep at night. In May, she went to Pun Hlaing Hospital in Yangon, where the doctor diagnosed her with mitral valve stenosis and tricuspid valve regurgitation. She now needs to undergo surgery to have two valves in her heart replaced. Yi is scheduled to have this surgery on July 20th with our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). They are requesting $1,500 to fund her procedure. Her son said, “Thank you so much to the donors and the organization [BCMF] for helping with the cost of my mom’s surgery. I worry about my mom and want her to get surgery as soon as possible.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded