Gabi joined Watsi on March 3rd, 2021. One year ago, Gabi joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Gabi's most recent donation traveled 5,400 miles to support Guerdina, a 15-year-old girl from Haiti, to fund prep and overseas transport so she can receive life-saving cardiac surgery.
Gabi has funded healthcare for 18 patients in 7 countries.
Gabi has funded healthcare for 18 patients in 7 countries.
Guerdina is a 15-year-old girl who lives in the mountains of central Haiti with her parents and four siblings. When she was 10 years old, Guerdina suffered from rheumatic fever. Her illness severely damaged one of the valves of her heart, making it unable to adequately pump blood through her body. In 2019, she underwent a surgery to repair her damaged heart valve. That procedure helped for several years, but her repaired valve is becoming less functional and now needs to be replaced with an artificial valve. After surgery, Guerdina's heart should be able to pump more normally and her doctors share that she should be able to lead a full and active life. Because the surgery she needs in not available in Haiti, Guerdina must travel overseas to receive surgery. On June 2nd, she will undergo heart surgery with the Cardiac team at the Cleveland Clinic, where surgeons will replace her mitral valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) is helping Guerdina's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medication, and follow-up appointments. This will also support her family to obtain passports and the HCA social workers who will accompany Guerdina's family during their travels. Guerdina shared, "my entire family and I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been helping me!"
Marc is a 16-year-old boy who lives in an urban neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, with his parents and four younger siblings. He is in his first year of high school and would like to eventually become either an engineer or a teacher. Marc was born with a condition called atrial septal defect. The birth defect means there's a hole between the two upper chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole, which often leaves Marc weak and short of breath. Fortunately, the condition is highly treatable with surgery. There is not a local pediatric cardiac surgical team in Haiti, but our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged to accompany Marc to the Dominican Republic. There, on May 25th, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole in his heart. "I have been waiting for this chance for many years," Marc said, "and I am very happy the time is almost here!" The Rotarian-based organization Gift of Life International is contributing $5,000 toward Marc's surgery. His family needs to raise $1,500 to help cover remaining medical costs and travel for Marc.
BB Mireille is a one-month-old baby from Haiti and her parents' first child. BB Mireille was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, BB Mireille has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, BB Mireille will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for BB Mireille at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat her hydrocephalus. Hospital Bernard Mevs is the only facility in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure will take place on March 22nd. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from BB Mireille's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, BB Mireille will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Her parents are grateful for the opportunity for this surgery. They have hope that the procedure will allow BB Mireille to grow up healthy.
Ezekiel is a two-year-old boy from the Philippines. He loves learning the alphabet and playing with cars. Ezekiel's mother is a stay-at-home mom and his father works at a fast food restaurant earning just enough to sustain the family's daily needs. Ezekiel was born with a congenital abnormality that causes intestinal blockage and requires a series of corrective procedures. Ezekiel's parents shared that they "prayed long and hard for a miracle" to get their child the healthcare he needs. Fortunately, Ezekiel is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 2nd and our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping his parents raise $1,279 to cover the cost of Ezekiel's procedure and care. After his recovery, Ezekiel will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of further health complications. Ezekiel's mother shared, "First and foremost, we are eternally grateful to everyone who has made a difference in our son's life. Second, we are excited and hopeful that after this treatment Ezekiel will be healthy and active just like the other children his age."
Hezron is a talkative 26-year-old and hard working man. He gets work where ever he can and rents a small house in someone else's compound. When he doesn't have work to do, he helps care for the cattle on the farm or runs errands for his landlord. In August of last year, Hezron was attacked while transporting farm equipment. His leg was cut badly and his lower fibula was broken in the attack. He is at risk of infection and cannot walk like he used to. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On January 31st, Hezron will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. After treatment, Hezron will hopefully be able to return to his normal life. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. Hezron shared, "I’m really looking forward to this surgery as it might be the last one in my treatment."
Margaret's smile lights up the room. She is a 41-year-old small scale farmer who is married and has one child. Her husband worked as a taxi driver, but, unfortunately, he lost his job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Three years ago, Margaret began experiencing troubling symptoms including difficulty swallowing, throat soreness and voice changes. Over time, her symptoms worsened, so she visited a local hospital for further evaluation. She was diagnosed with a multinodular goiter, or an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. A thyroidectomy was recommended to treat her condition. If left untreated, the goiter will continue to grow, which could lead to troubling complications like difficulty breathing, heart problems, thyrotoxicosis, or trachea obstruction. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Margaret receive treatment. On December 28th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH's care center, where surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. Now, she and her family need help raising $657 to fund her procedure and care. Margaret shared, "this problem has affected my daily work and life for a long time, and now I worry I am becoming a bother even to my husband. I am therefore kindly asking for assistance to have this surgery so that I can regain my health."
Bernard is a 6-month-old baby and the youngest in his family of four. His mother is a homemaker, while his father works as a businessman selling fruits at a local market in Nairobi. The family shared that they live in a two-room rental house and rely on Bernard’s father’s income for their needs. About two months ago, Bernard began experiencing an inguinal hernia. Without treatment, there is a risk that the hernia can swell or block blood flow to the intestine. Fortunately, on November 24th, Bernard will undergo repair surgery at our medical partner’s care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $585 to fund Bernard’s surgery. Once completed, this procedure will allow him to live more comfortably. Benard’s father shared, “My son looks jovial and happy, but I am afraid this condition will affect his growth and future.”
Phally is a 41-year-old vegetable farmer. She is the oldest in a family of five children, including two sisters and two brothers. Phally lives with one of her sisters. When she is at home, she likes to watch movies on TV. Over ten years ago, Phally had an ear infection that caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Phally experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Phally receive treatment. On October 28th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure at CSC's care center. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Now, CSC is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Phally shared, "I hope my ear infections and pain will stop. I want to return to the rice field to earn money and be able to hear people well."
Hong is a 15-year-old student and the oldest of four children. His father is a construction worker, while his mother is a homemaker. Hong's favorite subjects in school are Khmer and English. When he grows up, he would like to be a physician. When he is not studying, he likes to play football, play games on his phone, and listen to music. Since he was born, Hong has experienced intermittent ear discharge with fever, swelling, and pain in his right ear. He had surgery in 2018 at a local hospital, but unfortunately he continues to have recurrent infections. Oral medications have not helped, and his condition makes it difficult for him to attend school. He has been diagnosed with preauricular sinus, which is a small hole or cyst in front of the ear above the ear canal. This hole marks a sinus tract under the skin that frequently becomes a pus-filled abscess. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Hong to receive treatment. His family traveled to CSC’s care center and on September 14th, surgeons will repair the sinus. Now, his family needs help to raise $296 to fund this procedure. Hong’s parents shared that they hope the infection will finally go away and their son will be free of pain and return to school.
Fredrick is a hardworking student and the third born in a family of four siblings. His family comes from a town called Maua in Kenya. Fredrick is deaf and attends a special school named Ntoruba. He comes from a humble background: sadly, his mother passed away in July 2017 due to prolonged illness. His father also suffers from an illness and is currently under treatment. A neighbor expressed, “The family depends on well-wishers for their daily living.” Fredrick has clubfoot on his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Fredrick traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Fredrick's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily again. Fredrick signed that he will be happy if his leg will be corrected and able to walk normally. His brother Dennis told us, "Any help to make him happy and walk normally will be highly appreciated.”
Paw is a 59-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters in a refugee camp. In her free time, Paw like to feed her three chickens and sing gospel songs. She also loves looking after her granddaughters at home when their mother is teaching. On a late evening earlier this month, Paw was walking home in the rain when she slipped and fell on the muddy road. She accidentally hit her forehead against a tree stump and tried to break her fall by sticking out her right arm. Right after she fell, Paw experienced a sharp pain in her right arm and forehead. Her son and daughter-in-law brought her to the camp hospital, where Paw was given stitches for her forehead as well as pain medication, and her arm was put in a splint and a sling. The medic then referred her to another hospital, where she was finally admitted at two days later when a car became available to take her. At the hospital, Paw received a X-Ray and was told that her right wrist is broken and requires surgery. With her hand wrapped in a bandage, she was referred to our medical partner's care center, Chiang Mai Hospital, for further treatment. Currently, Paw cannot move her right wrist, not even to lift her hand. Without more pain medication, her hand and forearm experience severe pain with any movement, so Paw has to be careful to keep her right hand straight. Because of this, Paw cannot complete her daily chores nor look after her grandchildren. Fortunately, with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Paw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 23rd and will cost $1,500. This surgery will help Paw move her hand around and resume her daily activities again with ease. “I want to get well soon so that I can go back to taking care of my grandchildren,” Paw said. “They are waiting for me at home to go back to my daily life. Now, I have to come for my treatment and there's nobody look after them. It is hard for my daughter in-law.”
Baby Nejat is a sweet six-month-old boy from Ethiopia. He has one brother, a father who works as a laborer, and a mother who is a homemaker raising their two children. Baby Nejat loves playing and spending time with his parents and brother. Baby Nejat was born with an abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage, and needs to undergo a series of procedures to correct his condition. Baby Nejat's surgery is scheduled to take place on June 24th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Baby Nejat's procedure and care. After his recovery, Baby Nejat will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing serious health complications in the future. His mom is optimistic, “After the operation, I believe my son will grow healthy. And I hope I will educate him and help him reach higher in life."