Joanna joined Watsi on November 12th, 2015. 14 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Joanna's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Smaha, a girl from Haiti, to fund prep for cardiac surgery.
Joanna has funded healthcare for 28 patients in 8 countries.
Joanna has funded healthcare for 28 patients in 8 countries.
Smaha is a young student from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three siblings in Cap Haitien, a city on the northern coast of Haiti. She attends kindergarten, and likes coloring and doing art projects. Smaha has a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus. A hole exists between two major blood vessels near the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her sickly and short of breath. On April 8, she will undergo cardiac surgery at St. Damien Hospital, our medical partner's care center. During surgery, Surgeons will use stitches to close off the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 to pay for surgery. Smaha's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 requested by our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, covers cardiac exams and medications. Her mother says, "We are very happy that Smaha can have this surgery, and would like to say thank you to everyone!"
Leleshwa is a child from Tanzania. Leleshwa’s father is a tour guide, and her mother is an accountant. Leleshwa was born a healthy and happy child at the regional hospital in northern Tanzania. After her birth, her mother noticed a tiny mole on her lower back with red mark around it. By the time she was nine months old, the small mole had grown and started to give her fevers. The hospital kept her on antibiotics, but they did not work as a permanent solution. Leleshwa traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 5, surgeons will remove the mole. Now, Leleshwa's family needs help to raise $689 to fund this procedure. Leleshwa’s mother says, “I am so happy that my daughter may be able to get the surgery that will allow her to live a healthy happy life. I am so grateful for this opportunity. God bless you.”
Abzeli is a farmer from Malawi. Abzeli lives with his wife, and they have ten children. Due to his advanced years, Abzeli's grown children do the labor-intensive farm work, and he focuses on raising goats to supplement the family income. In his down time, he likes to sit and spend quality time with his wife. Since 2015, Abzeli has been experiencing pain and urinary difficulty. These symptoms are caused by an enlarged prostate, a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia. He needs to undergo a prostate resection surgery, a procedure in which surgeons will remove part of the enlarged gland. Our medical partner, World Altering Medicine, is requesting $733 to fund Abzeli's surgery. On January 16, he will undergo prostate surgery at Nkhoma Hospital, our medical partner's care center. The requested money pays for supplies, medications, and two weeks of hospital stay. Abzeli and his family were very happy to find out his surgery would be funded. Because of a lack of funds, they were concerned that he would never get his procedure. He says, "Thank you Watsi for the support."
Stanley is a student from Haiti. He lives in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince with his mother, father, and brothers. He is in the third grade and likes listening to soccer games on the radio and playing with his friends. Stanley has a cardiac condition called severe valvar pulmonic stenosis. One of the four valves in his heart is too narrow, preventing enough blood from passing through it and leading to heart failure. Stanley will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On January 10, he will undergo cardiac surgery. During surgery, the team will insert a catheter with a balloon at the end into his heart, and inflate the balloon to stretch his valve open. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $14,000 to pay for surgery. Stanley'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 Stanley's family overseas. His mother says, "I am happy my son can have this surgery so that I don't have to be scared about his health."
Thu is a 16-year-old student from Thailand. He lives with his family in Umpeim Mai refugee camp. Thu was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. The doctor explained that Thu needs surgery even though he appears to be doing well right now. This condition will only get worse over time. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Thu. The treatment is scheduled to take place on December 11 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Thu said, “I am very worried about my health. Although I seem to be healthy, the doctor said I must have surgery. What if I get worse? I don’t want to suffer so I want to have surgery if I must.”
Sok Nheang is a sixth grader from Cambodia. He likes art and reading. Four years ago, Sok Nheang had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Sok Nheang experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. It's difficult for him to hear in school. He says, "I am thinking about my ear problem all the time." Sok Nheang traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On October 12, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $842 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care.
Eric is a nine-year-old student from the Philippines. He lives with his parents and three siblings. When he's not in school, Eric helps his mother with household chores and likes to play with his friends in the neighborhood. Also, as the eldest of four, he is often put in charge of his younger siblings when his parents are not around. Eric has difficulty walking because he was born with bilateral clubfoot. Clubfoot refers to the internal rotation of the feet and can only be corrected surgically. In order to help Eric receive the treatment he needs, our medical partner, International Care Ministries, is requesting $1,500 to fund Eric's surgery, hospital stay, and medication. He is scheduled to undergo clubfeet correction on August 8 at our medical partner's care center, Tebow Cure Hospital. Surgeons will re-align the ligaments and tendons that are affected by his condition. "We are looking for a very good result after the operation," says Rowena, Eric's mother. "Hopefully his both feet will be corrected after the operation and he will live a normal life."
Esther is a 27-year-old woman who currently lives in Thailand with her husband and their three children. The two older children are in kindergarten, and the youngest is a baby boy who is turning one next month. In 2010, Esther had an unusually painful backache while traveling in Bangladesh with her husband. She was diagnosed with a kidney stone, however, unable to afford surgery and unaware of the consequences of leaving the condition untreated, Esther did not receive treatment. Her symptoms worsened, and in June, after experiencing shortness of breath, Esther was transferred to the emergency department and administered oxygen. In critical condition, she requires surgery to have her kidney stone removed. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Esther's nephrolithotomy. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 30 and, once completed, will hopefully spare Esther from future medical complications and allow her to live much more comfortably.
Chhai Im is a 54-year-old tobacco farmer from Cambodia. She is married with one son and three daughters. In her free time, she enjoys watching the news on TV. Chhai Im developed a pterygium, a pink tissue growth, in each eye about three years ago, causing her blurred vision, redness, and burning. It is difficult for her to see things clearly or go anywhere outside by herself. Seeking treatment through our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), Chhai Im is scheduled to undergo eye surgery to remove the pterygium from her eyes on July 11. CSC is requesting $201 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After her recovery, Chhai Im will be able to see clearly again and resume her daily activities free of pain.
Elias is a two-year-old boy who lives with his parents and older brother in Tanzania. His father is a farmer, and his mother works as a seamstress. In his free time, Elias loves playing with other children. His mother hopes that he will become a doctor when he grows up. Elias was recently diagnosed with a post-burn contracture of the right elbow. A contracture is a shortening or hardening of a muscle or joint, which can often lead to deformity and rigidity. In order to restore function to Elias's elbow, our medical partner, Mission Restore, has scheduled a contracture release and skin graft for March 31. Mission Restore is requesting $1,469 to fund the treatment.
“I thank the donors for their generous support of my son,” shares Elias’s mother. “We have tried to get him help, but nothing has worked.” 17-year-old Elias has been living with osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone, for three years now. The affected bone—his right tibia—causes Elias intense discomfort, and he often has to miss school due to the pain. He is now lagging behind in his classes, and is only in fifth grade despite being in his late teens. Before his leg took a turn for the worse, Elias enjoyed playing soccer and other sports with the boys at school. Now, however, even walking is difficult for him. Although Elias’s family has sought medical attention in the past, the treatments he has been given have not worked. However, when he was recently brought to an orthopedic specialist at Bwindi Community Hospital (our medical partner's care center), Elias was told about a surgical procedure. This operation will remove the contaminated matter from his leg and disinfect the remaining tissue. This surgery is not within the financial means of Elias’s parents, whose farming salaries are already stretched thin by having brought up nine children (Elias is the youngest). But when we raise $1,205, we can connect Elias with the care he needs. This sum will cover his surgery—set to take place on April 27—as well as the associated lab tests, medications, and three-week hospital stay. Elias’s parents want desperately for their youngest son to be able to return once more to a normal adolescence—one that is pain-free. “I will ask God to bless the donors abundantly,” his mother says.
Jomrel is a 15-month-old boy from the Philippines. He lives with his parents in a bamboo house and loves to play with other kids in the neighborhood. Jomrel has been diagnosed with acute malnutrition. He has thin arms and legs and is smaller than other children his age. "I hope he will achieve a healthy weight," says his mother, who is very concerned for her son's wellbeing. Our medical partner, International Care Ministries, is requesting $268 to cover the cost of an in-home feeding program to treat Jomrel's malnutrition. This will pay for nutrient-enriched food packs, weekly visits from medical staff, and health education for family members. Jomrel is scheduled to begin treatment on February 21. After treatment, he will return to playing with his neighbors.