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Sam Rizzi

Co-Founder @theStartuprr

United States   •   startuprr.com

Sam's Story

Sam joined Watsi on September 5th, 2015. 11 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Sam's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Sokhorn, a nun from Cambodia, for vision-restoring cataract surgery.

Impact

Sam has funded healthcare for 9 patients in 5 countries.

All patients funded by Sam

Heydy

“Heydy likes to play and imitate her mother’s singing voice,” our medical partner, Wuku’ Kawoq (WK), tells us. “She also likes to look at picture books.” At 21 months old, Heydy is the youngest of her three siblings. Her parents support the family through farm labor and weaving. Heydy often has night sweats and suffers from allergies, her mother explains. Her height and weight are far below the average for her age, indicating acute malnutrition. The family has a limited ability to afford healthy, nutritious meals and the calories Heydy does absorb are being lost as a result of her diarrhea. Malnutrition has serious consequences for children like Heydy in Guatemala. Without treatment, she will continue to miss major mental and physical developmental milestones that are important for her to reach her potential. Her immune system will suffer, exposing her to chronic illness, and her energy and concentration levels will suffer. To get her health back on track, Heydy needs intervention by doctors and nutritionists. WK is confident in the difference this treatment will make on Heydy’s health. “She will receive micronutrient and food supplementation as well as medication to treat her fever and the gastrointestinal infection causing her diarrhea. This will help her to absorb the calories she consumes and increase her appetite,” they explain. “We believe this treatment will help her to gain both weight and height, strengthen her immune system, and help her get back on track to develop her full potential.” In addition to Heydy’s treatment, her mother will receive education nutritional classes to give her the tools to support the family’s nutritional health in the long-term. For $535 Heydy will receive the care she needs. These funds will cover the costs for the family to travel to the treatment center, afford the medicines and nutritional supplements as well as the nutritional education. Her mother is grateful for the opportunity to have Heydy treated. “This is going to help us because buying what Heydy needs is very difficult,” she shares. “I’m so happy to have her entered in this program.”

100% funded

$535raised
Fully funded
Kyomugisha

Meet Kyomugisha, a 29-year-old mother of four living in Uganda. Kyomugisha works as a farmer, and her husband works as a taxi driver. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), shares that Kyomugisha has had a supraumbilical hernia since 2011 -- causing her to have recurrent abdominal swelling and pain. An umbilical hernia occurs when part of the intestine or fatty tissue bulges through the muscle near the belly button, creating a hole in the abdominal wall. The incidence of an umbilical hernia is higher for women who have had multiple pregnancies. “Kyomugisha first thought they were ulcers but the pain kept on increasing,” AMHF explains. “She went to the hospital for treatment and was told she had a hernia that needed repair by operation. Since Kyomugisha did not have the money, she decided to go back home.” If Kyomugisha does not have surgery, she risks having an intestinal obstruction and acute abdominal pain. Her husband’s income alone cannot support their family. “Kyomugisha has to toil to sustain the family and pay the school fees for their children,” AMHF says. “Kyomugisha cannot therefore afford to pay for the surgery required to be well again.” For $120, Kyomugisha can undergo a herniorrhaphy, in which the weak spot in the abdominal wall is repaired by sewing together edges of healthy muscle tissue. After the procedure, AMHF expects that she will no longer be in pain and will be able to work again. “When I get the surgery,” shares Kyomugisha, “I shall be able to work harder and continue to pay the fees for my children.”

100% funded

$120raised
Fully funded
Anibal

Meet Anibal, a 13-month-old boy from Guatemala who has acute malnutrition. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), introduces him as, “the youngest of five children. The children live together with their parents in a small adobe mud house.” Unfortunately, WK reports, the family does not “have the resources to feed Anibal properly.” As a result, Anibal’s growth has been stunted and he must face other negative consequences. WK explains, “Anibal is suffering from malnutrition and resulting throat and respiratory infections. When Anibal was born he was small and has struggled to grow well ever since. He cries often and used to suffer from bowel spasms.” Furthermore, WK says, “Without intervention, Anibal will continue to lose height and weight, his immune system will become extremely fragile, his physical and brain development will be stunted, and he will be at increased risk of problems such as chronic disease and infections and decreased economic productivity later in life.” With $535 in funding, not only Anibal’s, but also his entire family’s health and quality of life will improve. WK explains, “This treatment will provide Anibal with micronutrient and food supplementation and he will start to recoup the height and weight he has lost. His risk of chronic disease will decrease and his mother will receive the education she needs to supply the best nutrition possible. She will feel confident in her abilities, and perhaps be able to apply what she learns to the health of her next child, thus preventing malnutrition all together.” Treatment will allow Anibal to grow up and pursue the things that he enjoys. WK tells us, “Anibal loves to play with plastic balls and watch his brothers play soccer, which is his family’s favorite sport. His sisters love to play with Anibal too, and they often carry him around on their backs and dance with him in their arms. Anibal’s favorite food is peaches (it’s peach season here!) and his sisters often climb into the trees to pick fruit, so they can all share it.” Anibal’s mother shares, “I am so happy! I want to do all that I can to improve what I can afford and what I can give him.”

100% funded

$535raised
Fully funded
Bwanakei

Meet Bwanakei, a three-month-old baby boy from Kenya. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us, “Bwanakei has an abnormal head size due to accumulation of cerebral spinal fluid in the brain.” Bwanakei’s swelling is caused by a condition called hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a condition in which an excess of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) builds up, creating heavily pressurized areas in the brain. As Bwanakei grows and develops throughout his childhood, this condition could pose serious health complications, including vision loss and limited physical mobility. AMHF tells us, if Bwanakei “is not treated, the accumulation of cerebral spinal fluid may cause brain damage.” Bwanakei’s Parents are subsistence farmers who not only provide for their eight children, but also for Bwanakei’s grandparents. AMHF explains that, Bwanakei’s parents have a hard time “harvesting crops from their small piece of land because there are wild animals nearby that destroy their crops.” AMHF adds, “They are therefore not able to raise funds for Bwanakei’s treatment.” With $980 in funding Bwanakei will receive a surgery where a stunt will be put in his head to reroute the cerebral spinal fluid to the abdomen, where it can be more easily absorbed. AMHF believes this surgery will prevent brain damage. Bwanakei’s father shares, “I came here in faith with nothing but bus fare for my wife and child. I am hopeful that Bwanakei will get treated.”

100% funded

$980raised
Fully funded