Terri joined Watsi on December 17th, 2015. Seven years ago, Terri joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Terri's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Gianna, a 4 year old girl from Kenya, to fund surgery to help her birth condition so she can grow up stronger.
Terri has funded healthcare for 90 patients in 12 countries.
Terri has funded healthcare for 90 patients in 12 countries.
Meet Gianna, a lovely, four year old girl from Kenya. Gianna lives with her grandmother, while her mother works at a local hotel, and her father is a casual laborer on construction sites. Gianna was born with Osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease. A child born with this condition has soft bones that break easily. Gianna has never walked, and lives in near constant pain. When she did try to walk using support, she fractured some bones. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help Gianna access the care that she needs. On January 16th Gianna will undergo a procedure at AIC Cure International Hospital, that will provide greater support for Gianna's bones, and which may even enable her to gain sufficient strength to walk. Gianna's family is seeking your support to fund the $1,224 needed to pay for the surgery. Gianna's grandmother said: "Gianna has never walked, and my desire is to see her walk like other children. Your financial support to help her undergo surgery will be greatly appreciated."
Gebre is a ten-year-old boy who lives with his family in Ethiopia. He loves playing football with his friends, and eating injera (a traditional Ethiopian food.) Gebre's father is a farmer, but as he is currently unwell, he can no longer work and maintain his family financially. Instead, Gebre’s two older brothers support the family. One brother works as a teacher, while the other brother manages the family farm. However, the area of Ethiopia where the family lives is significantly affected by war and poor climate, and their whole community currently needs support the government and from local NGOs for survival and basic needs. Gebre was born with an anorectal malformation, which is a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. In November 2022, Gebre had a colostomy, to prepare him for the additional procedures he will need to resolve his condition. Gebre is now scheduled to undergo surgery on December 6th, at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Gebre's procedure and care. After his recovery, Gebre will no longer experience bowel dysfunction, or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Gebre's brother says: “I hope my brother gets as normal as other boys. I hope he will be educated and have a bright future.”
Lynemandy is a 28 year old woman from Haiti, who is studying for a business degree at a local university. She lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Lynemandy has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation, which is a result of a bout of rheumatic fever that she suffered as a child. One of the four valves in her heart was severely damaged as a result of this illness, and in 2018, Lynemandy underwent surgery to repair the damaged valve. The valve functioned well for four years, but now it needs to be replaced so she can live healthy in the future. The care she needs is unfortunately not available within Haiti, so Lynemandy will need to travel to undergo cardiac surgery in the United States on November 17th. Her surgery, during which a new valve will be implanted, is being funded by Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital. Now Lynemandy and her family need to raise $1,500 to cover the costs of pre and post operative treatment, and for the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Lynemandy when she travels to the United States. Lynemandy said: "I am very grateful to everyone who is working so hard to keep me alive and healthy."
Mark is a primary school student in a special need school in Nairobi. Mark wears a broad smile and is feeling proud to take his photo and share his story. Mark is the firstborn in a family of two children. Mark's parents are both hawkers at a local market in Githurai. His father sells second-hand shoes famously known as Mitumba and his mother sells t-shirts at the same market. This work results in inconsistent income for their family. Mark has a fracture and dislocation of the shoulder joint and the upper part of the bone of the arm (humerus). As a result of his disability, Mark is unable to communicate the cause of the injury, but his mother suspects he fell a couple weeks ago and injured himself. Mark is unable to use his arm and hand as a result of the fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 5th, Mark will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal well and he will be able to use his arm and hand again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Mark's family raise $1,500 to fund this procedure. Mark's mother shared, “Mark is struggling to use his hand. He is in constant pain and it is written all over his face. Normally, he is a jovial kid but the pain is making him frown constantly.”
Naing is a 27-year-old man who lives with his parents, brother and two sisters in Burma. He enjoys playing cane ball and reading. His parents are retired and grow vegetables in their garden. Naing's brother is a day laborer, but he has been unable to find regular work since the Covid-19 pandemic, so he cannot contribute towards household expenses. One of Naing's sisters works as a government officer, while the other is a shop worker. Naing used to work in his uncle’s shop selling groceries and flowers, but he was forced to stop working when his health began to decline. Naing first developed a cough and a fast heartbeat in November 2021. At a clinic in Dawei, Naing was diagnosed with high blood pressure, provided with medication, and sent home. In December 2021, because of his rapid heartbeat, Naing traveled to the hospital in Dawei, where he underwent a series of tests. Doctors at the hospital told Naing that there were problems with the valves in his heart. Once again, Naing was given medication, and sent home. Last February, Naing vomited, could not sleep, and felt tired when he stood or sat. He went to Dawei General Hospital, and showed the doctor his previous echocardiogram result. The doctor told him to continue taking his medication from Yangon, and gave him some vitamins. A few days later, Naing felt better. Then in March, Naing and his sister went to Yangon General Hospital, where he underwent more testing. This time the doctor told him that he might need to have two of his heart valves surgically replaced. Naing’s sister told the doctor that Naing had been to several hospitals over the past year, and the family had no more money left. Naing's health continues to decline, and he has lost five kilograms; he needs to have surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is here to help Naing access the care that he needs. They are requesting $1,500 to cover the costs of Naing's valve replacement surgery, scheduled to take place on August 9th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Naing said: “I am so tired of visiting several hospitals and hoping to receive surgery. My sister has had to take leave [from her work as a government officer] several times, and now she has had to take leave without pay [to accompany me as my caregiver]. I feel embarrassed that my family has used up all their money, sold all their jewelry, and made sacrifices for me. Finally, I have met your organization BCMF, and I will have the chance to receive surgery with the help of donors. I feel less stressed that I will not have to wait so long to receive surgery, and that my sister will be able to go back to work. Thank you so much.”
Gedion is a happy and talkative 16-year-old from Kenya who is currently a student in standard eight. He is the thirdborn in a family of six. Since their mother left them a few years ago, he and his siblings live with their father in their rural home on a small piece of land. Gedion's father works as a casual laborer and burns charcoal for sale to provide for their family's basic needs, as well as to pay for the children's school fees. His family also plants maize and beans on their small piece of land to feed themselves. During holidays and on the weekends, Gedion and his siblings usually work on other people's farms to provide additional income. He shares that life for his family has been very difficult, but they have been working hard in order to fight poverty together. This past Saturday, Gedion was brought into our medical partner's care center, AIC Kapsowar Hospital, via an ambulance from a facility near his home after being involved in a road traffic accident. While Gedion was on his way home from a nearby shopping center, a tractor passed by. He hopped onto it in order to reach home faster since he was still far from home and it was already beginning to become dark. There were some people already on the tractor, so they continued with their journey together. While they were on their way, the tractor lost control and fell down. The people riding were all rushed to a nearby facility. While those with minor injuries were able to be treated at the local facility, three of the riders, including Gedion, had to be referred to our medical partner's care center. During the accident, he sustained a fracture of his right femur and is currently experiencing a lot of pain. He is also unable to use his leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 12th, Gedion will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which is called an open reduction and internal fixation. After treatment, he will be able to use his leg again, attend school, and help out at home. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Gedion shares, "This state has really pulled me down. I don’t know what to do. Kindly help me so that I may be able to pursue my dreams and change the state of my family.”
Adonai is a one-month-old baby boy and the last-born child in a family of five children. Adonai's parents are small-scale farmers of maize, vegetables, beans, and a bit of tobacco. Through farming, they can get their food while the tobacco is usually sold to get money to pay for daily necessities. Adonai was diagnosed at birth with a congenital disability of the left clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape causing difficulty in walking and wearing shoes. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 5th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is raising $935 to fund Adonai's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when he grows up. Adonai’s father shared, “Things are really tough, and money has become hard to get. I depend on farming which has been very poor this season. Please help treat my son.”
Poeun is a 70-year-old grandfather with two daughters, five sons, and six grandchildren. He takes care of his grandchildren when his children go to work. Eight years ago, Poeun developed a severe ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membranes, or the ear drums, in both of his ears to perforate. As a result, Poeun experiences hearing loss, pain, and discharge, and it is difficult for him to communicate clearly with others. Poeun traveled to Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre, the care center of our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, to seek treatment. On June 7th, he will undergo a procedure on both ears, during which doctors will close the perforations. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $914 to fund this procedure, and to cover Poeun's medications, supplies and inpatient care. Poeun says: "I hope after surgery my hearing improves and the pain stops."
Abdunasir is beautiful toddler from Ethiopia. He loves to play with his mom and dad. They shared that he is already smart and fast, and loves to run and play. Abdulnasir is the first child to his parents. Abdunasir's mom is a homemaker but sometimes she helps washing people’s clothes for income. His dad is a traditional farmer. Their home area has been drought-affected for many years and shared that they can’t sustain the family from their harvest. Their basic needs are supported by well-wishers and support from the government. Abdunasir was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of future complications. His mom is worried and concerned because of his condition. She said “I showed friends and family the case seeking explanation and help. Then I took him to many hospitals. Finally, I found out about BKMCM and brought him here.” Fortunately, Abdunasir is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on May 10th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His mom told us, “After the treatment I hope my boy will heal. I will feed other poor people if my child heals. And I will bless all those who support us.”
Gebreegziabher is a brave, young, and fun boy who loves to hangout with his friends. He loves to play chase and other games with his friends and brothers. He has five siblings and shared with us that he loves goats! Gebreegziabher never went to school because of his condition. He is a shepherd and helps to keep the sheep and goats of his parents. Because of his condition, he has endured bullying, but he continues to be brave and his dad shared: “He is so strong despite his sickness. When others pick on him and speak bad things about him and things related to his disease he even gets in to fights.” Gebreegziabher's mom and dad counsel him and comfort him and help him to bring out self-confidence and strength. His dad and his mom are farmers and his mom takes care of all the household chores. Dad said: “Our area is dry. We work hard and farm but the harvest is poor with lack of rain. We purchase food because our harvest is not enough to support the family.” They also raise animals to support themselves. The community survives with the dry land and the scarcity of food by donations from the government and NGOs. But the past two years they couldn’t get the donation since they are in the war zone. For these reasons they can’t afford the medical bill for their son. Gebreegziabher was born with congenital anomaly called bladder extrophy. That is an abnormally where the bladder is open to air. Given the pain and risk of infection, he just ties clothes around the wound. His mom is very much worried and concerned because of his condition. She shared that she has excluded herself from the community for years in taking care of him and raises him and recalls that when growing up, he would sit faraway from others and boys in his age. They keep up hope for better days ahead and are a loving family who support each other the best they can. His Dad said: “He learned to exclude himself from others growing up. We are sad as a family because of his condition. The neighbor insults us, discriminate us and we feel so sad about this. We couldn’t tell what will happen to him. And we bring him to God always.”
Thein is a 56-year-old man who lives with his family in a refugee camp. Two of his daughters and his son-in-law work as seasonal workers outside of the camp, while Thein and his wife look after their three grandchildren, send them to school, and care for the household chores. In January, Thein was diagnosed with a cataract in his right eye and an early cataract in his left eye. Currently, he cannot see with his right eye, as his vision is blurry, and the vision in his left eye is also beginning to blur. As a result, Thein cannot walk easily and relies on a bamboo staff to help stabilize him as he tries to avoid tripping on any objects in his path. He shared that he feels discomforted and like he is living in darkness. Fortunately, Thein was able to visit our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), and they can help him heal. On March 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Thein shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will help my family plant and water vegetables around the house. It can save us money from buying the vegetables. I can help send my grandchildren to school and pick them up in the evening. I will also be able to visit my friend.”
Angel is 10-month-old baby girl. She lives in a small rental house in Nairobi, Kenya with her parents and older sibling. Angel’s parents do not currently have stable jobs. Her mother used to sell fruits, however had to stop to take care of Angel. Her father, now the sole wage earner of the house, is a tailor but does not earn much. The earnings they receive are just enough to take care of the family. As a result, they can not raise the money that is needed to cater for Angel’s hospital bill. Angel has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Over the December holidays, Angel and her family visited her grandparents, however during this time she became persistently unwell, which caused her parents' concern to grow. They took her to a facility nearby and along the way her grandmother noticed that her head looked bigger than normal, and her eyes were not as they used to be. Upon arrival, the doctor immediately referred them to another specialist. facility in Nairobi. She was then examined and booked for surgery in April of this year. After returning home, the parents continued to watch as Angel grew weaker day by day. A family friend heard about their child’s condition and referred them to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Hospital. On arrival, she received another examination and was promptly scheduled for a shunt insertion surgery. If not treated, Angel will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of Angel's surgery to treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 9th, during which surgeons will drain the excess fluid from her brain. This will relieve the pressure inside her head, and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Angel will have the chance to develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Angel’s father says, “This is a condition that we have never heard of before and didn’t know how to go about getting her care. It is very difficult for a parent to see their child in a situation when they do not have finances to help them.”