Topher joined Watsi on August 12th, 2016. Six years ago, Topher joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Topher's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Bianchor, a baby from Kenya, to fund brain surgery.
Topher has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 8 countries.
Topher has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 8 countries.
Bianchor is an infant from Kenya. She has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Bianchor has been experiencing frequent vomiting and irritability. Without treatment, Bianchor will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $685 to cover the cost of surgery for Bianchor that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 28 and will drain the excess fluid from Bianchor's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Bianchor will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. “I am looking forward to my daughter’s treatment. Her head has really grown over time and she may not be able to hold it up any longer,” shares Bianchor’s mother.
Upendo is a young girl from Tanzania. She is an only child in her small family. Upendo is currently in kindergarten, and she hopes to enroll to primary school next year. Upendo is a happy child who loves her friends and enjoys singing. Her mother sells cloths, and her father is drives a motorcycle. For three years, Upendo has been experiencing difficulty breathing and frequent fever. This has caused her to miss school often. Upendo was recently diagnosed with enlarged tonsils, which, if not treated, will cause her symptoms to persist and possibly intensify over time. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $633 to fund a tonsillectomy for Upendo, which is scheduled to take place on May 3. Surgeons will remove her tonsils, hopefully relieving Upendo of her symptoms and helping her live more comfortably. Upendo says, “Please help me get treatment so that I can be able to breath okay.”
Jameson is a young student from Haiti. He lives with his mother, father, and siblings in the mountains of central Haiti. He previously attended elementary school but has not gone this year due to his heart illness. Jameson has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This involves several related conditions including a hole between the two lower chambers of his heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These defects prevent his body from getting enough oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Jameson will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On April 12, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage.. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $22,000 to pay for surgery. Jameson'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 Jameson's family overseas. His father says, "Our family thinks it is a miracle that Jameson will have a chance for this surgery!"
Abdala is a boy from Tanzania. He is an eight-year-old who loves school and enjoys teaching his friends how to read. His father earns a living by fixing machines, and his mother sells mandazi (Tanzanian donuts) on the side of the road. In August 2016, Abdala was burned in an accident with a cooking fire. He is not able to use his right hand at all. This means he cannot wash, write, or flex his fingers. For this reason, he is unable to keep up with his classmates at school. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Abdala receive treatment. On March 5, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to to allow Abdallah to have full flexion of his arm. Now, he needs help to fund this $832 procedure. Abdallah says, “I hope I will be able to write again with my right hand once my surgery is done. I love school and I cannot wait to go back. Thank you for helping me get this treatment.”
Myint is a 34-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, and daughter in a village in Burma. Her son is in seventh grade, and her daughter is in third grade. Myint and her husband work as day laborers on a chili farm. Currently, however, Myint's health is preventing her from working. Myint first noticed symptoms when she was 16. She felt very tired and often had difficulty breathing. Myint could not afford to visit a clinic, so she relied on traditional medicines. By the time she was 20, Myint’s health condition had grown much worse. She visited a clinic, where a doctor examined her. She learned that she had a heart condition but did not receive any treatment. In October of 2017, Myint's abdomen swelled, and she felt very tired and had difficulty breathing. She traveled to Mandalay, where she underwent a blood test and an echocardiogram and was diagnosed with atrial septal defect. She learned she would need surgery, which was prohibitively expensive. Fortunately, Myint was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo a corrective heart surgery on January 22. She needs help raising $1,500 to pay for surgery. After treatment, Myint hopes to return to work to support her children.
Emmanuel is seven years old and the fourth child in a family of five children. Emmanuel’s parents rely on subsistence farming. They mostly grow rice. Emmanuel wishes to go to school like his brothers, but due to the severe condition of his lower limbs he is unable to walk the long distance to school. Emmanuel’s left leg is bent inwards and his right leg is bent outwards, a condition known as windswept deformity. He feels pain when walking or running. He visited our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, and learned that he would need surgery. Corrective surgery will restore Emmanuel’s ability to walk properly and allow him to go to school and do other things with ease. He is scheduled for treatment on October 17. The surgery will cost $838. What his father earns is not enough to cover the cost of surgery, so the family needs help raising money. Emmanuel says, “I would like to work in the farm like my father when I grow up."
Yeimy is a fun-loving 11-year-old girl from Guatemala. She lives with her parents and sister. Yeimy loves playing with her little sister and going to school. At school she enjoys playing with friends and pretending to be a ballerina. She hopes to one day become a nurse. When Yeimy was a newborn, she sustained an injury that caused the loss of one of her legs. On July 19, Yeimy will be fitted for a custom prosthetic leg at our medical partner's care center, Hospital Regional de Zacapa. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, is asking for $1,166 to cover the cost of her prosthetic leg. Having a prosthetic will allow Yeimy to dance like she's never danced before! “I am so excited to receive this prosthetic because then I won’t get tired anymore," says Yeimy. "Now I know that I will achieve my dreams.”
Meet two-year-old Gustavo. He lives with his mother, grandmother, and aunts and uncles in rural Guatemala. Gustavo loves eating vegetables and porridge. Gustavo has been diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a medical condition in which the testes remained undescended. Without surgery, Gustavo is at risk of developing a hernia, infertility, or testicular cancer. On September 6, Gustavo will undergo an orchidopexy surgery to correct his condition. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, is asking for $1,500 in donations to fund Gustavo's surgery and hospital stay. This amount will also cover travel and accommodation costs for his mother. "I have no doubt that Gustavo will feel better after his surgery. I thank you with my entire heart for all this help you have given us. May God bless you all," says Gustavo's mother.
Queen is an 11-month-old baby from Tanzania. She is the first and only child to her mother, who has been raising Queen as a single parent. Queen and her mother live with her grandmother, who is a subsistence farmer and the primary provider for the family. Queen was born healthy, but a few months ago, her head began swelling and she started becoming irritable and losing vision. Concerned, her mother took Queen to a local hospital, where doctors diagnosed Queen with acquired hydrocephalus, a condition where cerebral spinal fluid doesn't properly drain from the brain. If left untreated, hydrocephalus can cause brain damage and even become life-threatening. On July 12, doctors at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, will perform an endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) surgery on Queen to help drain the cerebral spinal fluid from her brain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to fund the treatment. “Please help my daughter get well," says Queen's mother.
Ronaldo lives with his family in Guatemala’s rural highlands. He loves to play with his older sister and eat his favorite foods, which are rice and potatoes. Ronaldo’s father works as a day laborer, and his mother takes care of the household and weaves traditional Mayan textiles to help support the family’s income. Ronaldo is only ten months old but already has malnutrition, a dangerous condition that results from consuming too little protein, calories, and nutrients. In the short term, malnutrition means Ronaldo has little energy to grow and that his immune system is weak. He may also face malnutrition’s long-term consequences, such as increased risk of chronic diseases, low IQ, and higher likelihood of dropping out of school. While malnutrition can have devastating effects, it is also very treatable. Growth monitoring, micronutrients, and food supplementation will help Ronaldo recover. Treatment will give him an opportunity to play, grow, and participate in his family’s lives supported by a healthy brain and body. Ronaldo’s parents wish to see their son grow to be big and strong, but they do not have the resources to pay for Ronaldo’s $492 malnutrition treatment, scheduled to begin on May 25 . Ronaldo’s mother says, “I am very grateful for the support we will receive, because for our lack of resources I often cannot afford enough food for my children. I will do all I can so that Ronaldo grows and gets better.”
Erick is a one-month-old from rural Guatemala. His father works at a construction site and his mother cares for the family at home. Due to his mother's inability to produce breastmilk, Erick is already suffering from malnourishment. Underweight and small for his age, Erick often cries from hunger. His mother can only afford warm sugar water to soothe him, however this diet has dangerous implications for Erick’s health. Lactation failure can lead to starvation, dehydration, and seizures caused by electrolyte imbalances. Brain development is compromised, and the baby is at risk of long-term damage. In order to help stabilize Erick's condition, our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq, is requesting $1,162 to fund Erick's formal nutrition treatment. Scheduled to be administered by our medical partner's care center, Clinic Panajachel, on June 9, this treatment entails the distribution of formula, provision of micronutrient supplements, and health education for Erick's mother that will teach her to provide a nutritious, inexpensive diet for her son and monitor his health. Erick's mother says, “I am worried about my son because I do not have maternal milk." With formula and nutritional supplements, Erick's immune system will strengthen, and he will grow up to be a healthy, energetic baby.
This is Saroeun, a father of four from Cambodia. The 57-year-old earns his living as a farmer. When he isn’t working, he likes to tend his garden and listen to the news on the radio. For ten years, Saroeun has been living with a cyst on his right ankle. The lump causes him pain and makes it difficult for him to walk. Both of these symptoms impact his ability to do his farm work. Although Saroeun would normally not be able to afford treatment for his cyst, he heard from a relative about the subsidized medical care available at our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC). He and his wife traveled for four hours to reach CSC, where doctors told him that the best option for relieving his pain would be to surgically remove the cyst. This procedure is set to take place on March 24, and we can sponsor it for $224. This sum will also cover the cost of Saroeun's lab tests and week-long hospital stay. After undergoing treatment, Saroeun will be able to return pain-free to his work and his pastimes.