Melissa Winkelman
Melissa's Story

Melissa joined Watsi on June 10th, 2015. 16 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Melissa's most recent donation supported Rehema, a baby girl from Kenya, to treat congenital hydrocephalus.


Melissa has funded healthcare for 4 patients in 1 country.

Patients funded by Melissa

Meet Rehema, a 10-month-old baby girl from Kenya. “Rehema is her mother’s only child,” shares our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Since birth, Rehema has faced health challenges due to congenital hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a condition in which cerebrospinal fluid builds up within the brain. This fluid causes an increase in intracranial pressure, which can contribute to long-term health complications and interfere with important stages of childhood development. “Rehema’s head has been progressively increasing in size,” says AMHF. “Rehema has been vomiting after meals and is therefore at a risk of dehydration. Increased intracranial pressure due to the excess fluid in her head may result in brain damage.” Rehema’s mother and siblings are financially dependent on Rehema's grandmother, who operates a small eatery. “Hailing from a poverty-stricken family, Rehema’s mother is not able to pay for the surgery that her daughter desperately needs to lead the normal, healthy life that she deserves,” says AMHF. For $980, Rehema will undergo surgery to drain the excess fluid from her brain, reducing the intracranial pressure in her head. As part of her treatment, Rehema will receive five days of hospital care in addition to all of the necessary medical examinations—including ultrasounds and CT scans—to facilitate a successful operation and recovery. “I hope she gets treated, goes to school, and grows to be an independent woman in the future,” says Rehema’s mother.

Fully funded

“I would like to be a pilot in the future,” shares Morris, a bright 11-year-old boy from Kenya. Coupled with his career aspirations is a love for mathematics. Morris enjoys attending school and learning from his teachers and peers. Severe headaches and blurry vision have affected Morris’ performance in school lately. According to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), Morris was diagnosed with a brain tumor and “is at high risk of increased intra-cranial pressure, which may cause brain damage or death.” If his condition goes untreated, Morris may lose his vision and face decreased cardiac respiratory function, as well as eventual loss of consciousness. The youngest of six children, Morris lives with his mother and two of his siblings in a single-roomed rental house. AMHF explains, “Morris’ father abandoned the family, taking no responsibility in providing for their needs.” Three of Morris’ older siblings have already fled from home due to harsh living conditions. “Morris’ mother does any work she can get,” but does not earn nearly enough income to raise funds for Morris’ surgical care. With $1,260, we can support Morris by funding a craniotomy—a surgical procedure that involves opening his skull and removing the brain tumor. The funding will also cover labs, medication, imaging and 10 days of hospital care. AMHF expects that, with this treatment, “Morris will be relieved from risks of experiencing high intra-cranial pressure. His risk of becoming visually impaired will also be minimized.” Let’s help fund this life-saving treatment for Morris—hopefully allowing him to resume classes and pursue his dream of becoming a pilot.

Fully funded