Parham joined Watsi on May 27th, 2014. Eight years ago, Parham joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Parham's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Dawentz, a teenage student from Haiti, to fund cardiac surgery to replace his damaged heart valve.
Parham has funded healthcare for 96 patients in 14 countries.
Parham has funded healthcare for 96 patients in 14 countries.
Dawentz is a student from Haiti. He lives in a small town in the mountains of central Haiti with his parents and siblings. He is in his last year of high school, and would like to go on to university to study law or business. Dawentz has a cardiac condition called severe rheumatic aortic regurgitation. One of the four valves of his heart was severely damaged by a rheumatic fever he suffered earlier in childhood. As a result, his heart can no longer adequately pump blood through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. The surgery that Dawentz needs is not available within Haiti due to limited cardiac care. He is scheduled to fly to the United States to receive treatment. On November 18th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove his damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000 to help pay for surgery. Dawentz's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports the costs of obtaining his passport and the expenses of the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Dawentz's family overseas. Dawentz says: "I am very glad to know that so many people are helping me to get my health back."
Ma Win is an 18-year-old girl who lives with her parents, sister and brother-in-law in Yangon, Burma. Ma Win’s sister works at a clothing factory, while her brother-in-law works as a day laborer. Her parents are homemakers. Before Ma Win's current illness, she also worked at a factory. When Ma Win was four years old, she experienced a bout of high fever, and was brought to the local clinic. She received an injection, and the doctor informed her parents that she was born with a heart problem. However, she was too young at the time for corrective surgery. Instead, she was sent home with medication, and appeared to be doing well until this past year. In April, Ma Win began experiencing chest pains, high fever and difficulty breathing. She went to a clinic, and received an x-ray and an echocardiogram. After the doctor checked her results, she was diagnosed with an opening between two major blood vessels leading from the heart. The doctor told her and her family that she would need to have surgery. When Ma Win explained to the doctor that her family could not afford to pay for the surgery, she was referred to the abbot of a local monastery, who provided the family with information about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Now Ma Win is scheduled for cardiac surgery on October 23rd at Pun Hlaing Hospital. After she has recovered, she should no longer experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, and she won't have to worry any longer about her condition. She will also be able to return to work, which will help ease her family's financial burdens. Now she needs your help to raise $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure. Ma Win said: “I am scared to receive surgery, but my mother tries to encourage me. However, I am very happy that I will be able to receive treatment with your help. I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors.”
Stevenson is a 26-year-old man from Haiti. He lives in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince with his parents and several siblings. Stevenson had been attending university, studying for a business degree, when poor health forced him to leave school. When he was a child, Stevenson developed rheumatic fever, which has resulted in rheumatic mitral valve prolapse. This condition has meant that one of Stevenson's heart valves is unable to pump sufficient blood through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. Thanks to our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, Stevenson will fly to the Dominican Republic, where on September 27th, surgeons at Hospital CEDIMAT will perform surgery to remove the damaged valve, and implant an artificial one. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for Stevenson's surgery. But Stevenson's family also needs your help to fund the $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medicines, and follow up appointments, as well as for the passports and the social workers, who will accompany the family to the Dominican Republic. Stevenson shared, "I feel very lucky to have this chance to finally have my heart healed!"
Ei is a 15-year-old girl from Thailand who enjoys reading books and playing soccer! She lives with her grandparents, her parents, and her two brothers. She and her younger brother are both students. Her father is a construction worker, her mother is a homemaker, and her grandparents are both retired. On August 11th, Ei broke her right lower leg while playing soccer with her friends at school. As she went to kick the ball, she unfortunately slipped on the wet, muddy ground. She is currently experiencing a lot of pain, cannot put any weight on her leg, and is unable to stand up. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ei will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for August 11th and will cost $1,500. The goal of this treatment is to allow her leg to heal in the proper position and help her walk again. Her father says, "I want to say thank you so much to the donors for agreeing to support my daughter's treatment cost."
Santiago is a charming four-year-old boy from a mining community in the mountains of central Bolivia. His parents both work in office roles at a local mining company. Santiago enjoys watching cartoons and making new friends. He also loves to dress up as his favorite superheroes like Spiderman, who he aspires to be when he grows up! Santiago was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Santiago is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 26th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through his body and improving his quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Santiago's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Santiago and his family can travel to receive his life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Santiago shares, "I hope that after my surgery, I will grow up to be Spiderman!"
Caleb is a sweet one-month-old baby boy. Immediately after his birth, the doctors noticed a small growth on his back, which they attempted to prick. This only made the growth increase in size, and to begin leaking fluid. Recognizing that they could not treat Caleb, the local doctors referred the family to our medical partner BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. A neighbor provided the family with the funds to travel to BethanyKids. Caleb was diagnosed with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect, in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without surgery, Caleb is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delay. As the family has very little income and no national health care insurance, they cannot cover the costs of Caleb's surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. Caleb is scheduled to undergo spina bifida closure surgery on June 16th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. Their family needs $1,151 to fund this life saving procedure, which, it is hoped, will spare Caleb from the risks associated with his condition, allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Caleb’s mother says: “I was very worried about my son’s condition but now I am happy that I know that he can be treated.”
Bo is an eighth grader who lives in the school dormitory during the school year. During his free time, he likes to play the guitar, cook, and garden. He recently had his arm is amputated to help treat his bone cancer condition, so he is no longer able to play guitar anymore. His parents and his siblings live on the Thai-Burma border. His brother and his mother are day labourers while his father is retired. In May 2021, Bo began to experience pain in the top of his left forearm, close to his shoulder. In June 2021, the top of his left forearm began to swell until it spread towards his shoulder. The swelling grew very large, encompassing his left shoulder and upper forearm. Bo was in a lot of pain and could not use his left arm. Doctors diagnosed him with bone cancer and amputated his left arm to help stop his cancer from spreading further. He has also undergone chemo treatment after his amputation and now his doctor wants to do an MRI to assess his prognosis and plan for any further treatment that may be needed to protect his health. An MRI is an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $814 to cover the cost of Bo's MRI and care, scheduled for March 11th. Bo said, "Since I finished my surgery and finished chemo injection, I am able to continue my studies without any pain. I hope that I will be able to continue my studies until I gradate from school."
Paul is 51-year-old, outgoing farmer from a small village in the highlands of Kenya. Paul survives on daily work in his neighbors' farms to gather for the needs of his family. He is married with two children, and together they live in a semi-permanent house. His family relies on him for their daily needs as Paul is the only family bread winner. Paul arrived to the hospital with a fracture on his left knee after a fall at his home. He now has a lot of pain, swelling, and inability to flex his left knee. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 22nd, Paul will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Once he heals, he'll be able to walk well with no difficulties and pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,145 to fund his procedure. Paul says, "I am really uncomfortable when my children need me and I cannot be there for them. Please help me so that I can heal and be able to raise them well."
Samuel is a hard working and handsome young 17-year-old. He is the second born in a family of four children. As his mother puts it, Samuel is a very obedient, hardworking, and kind boy. Samuel left high school after seeing how his mother was straining with his father being sick, so he started doing any casual work available to try and support his mother's efforts. Their family has encountered many challenges leaving Samuel's mother feeling helpless and frustrated. They shared that this is a hard moment for their family as Samuel's grandmother recently passed away and now Samuel has been in an accident. On January 15th, as Samuel was walking along the side of the road, a car hit him and the driver ran away. Samuel is experiencing pain from the fracture injury that resulted from the accident. If not treated, he may have malunion, where his leg may be permanently impacted and he may never be able to fully use his leg again. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 27th, Samuel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Following surgery, Samuel will no longer be in pain. His leg will heal and he will be able to walk. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I left school to assist my mother, and now this has happened. I feel very frustrated and hope someone can assist me so that as soon as I get well, I can start working again to support my mother and our family,” said Samuel looking very concerned.
Marigarita is a four-year-old girl and the youngest in a family of four children. Both of her parents are farmers, growing maize for food. They get some money from doing manual labor jobs such as harvesting and looking after other people's farms. Marigarita was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus. Her legs bow inward so that her 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, she feels pain after walking a long distance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Marigarita. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 3rd. Treatment will hopefully restore Marigarita's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Marigarita’s mother says, “Please help treat my daughter so that she can walk well without difficulty.”
Dolla is a 47-year-old woman who has been married for 25 years. She has four children between the ages of 19 and 24 years. Her first and second-born are in college and the last-born children are twins, currently in form 4 of school. Her husband works as a carpenter, while Dolla sells Thobwa drinks, freezers, and second-hand clothes. She shared that business is now slow due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so it is a hard time to earn money. Dolla started having difficulty swallowing 2 years ago. She went to a healthcare facility near her home where she was referred to a bigger facility for diagnosis. The healthcare givers there told her to avoid taking certain foods which might have been a result of her having a hard time swallowing food. After a year, she noticed swelling around her neck. She returned to the hospital and had an ultrasound which revealed an enlarged right side of her thyroid. It was diagnosed as goiter. A goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland; a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. Although goiters are usually painless, a large goiter can cause a cough, irritation, and may also cause difficulty in swallowing and breathing. Dolla has been unable to eat well and constantly reports feeling like there is a foreign body in her throat. She is afraid of the goiter continuing to grow as she believes it may cause serious problems. She sought care at Partners In Hope Medical Center because she believes the surgery will prevent future complications and significantly improve her quality of life. Upon review at Partners in Hope, the surgeon confirmed a multi-nodular goiter and recommended a total thyroidectomy to remove it and heal her condition. It is expected that after the surgery the chronic sensation of choking and the feeling of having something ‘stuck’ in her throat will go away. This will allow her to eat and breathe without feeling uncomfortable. Dolla is not in a financial position to cater for surgery and is appealing for financial assistance. Dolla says, "I hope the surgery will prevent future complications and give me a chance to continue meeting my responsibilities as a parent like raising school fees for my children.”
Winnie is a dedicated and bright student. She goes to the local university in Kenya and studying advertisement and public relations. Winnie aspires to be a renowned media personality in the future. She stays with her parents in Ruiru and relies on them for school fees and upkeep while she is in school. Last month, Winnie was a passenger on a motorbike heading to get the Covid vaccine at a nearby center in their home in Ruiru. Unfortunately, she was hit by another vehicle, thus sending her flying into the air and she landed hard causing serious injuries. She was rushed to a nearby facility with a serious injuries. Her wound is so dire that it requires several debridements under the general surgery team and later grafting with the plastic surgery team. She has so far undergone 8 surgeries (1 colon - colostomy and 7 debridements). She is in pain and cannot sit yet. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Winnie receive treatment. On October 26th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure so that she will be able to sit again and the risk of infection would be reduced. Now, Winnie needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Winnie says, "I just joined college to pursue my dream career. I am missing classes because of the injuries and I am afraid it will affect my future. I cannot even sleep well since I only sleep on my belly. I really hope to get well soon.”