Sonja joined Watsi on November 20th, 2016. Six years ago, Sonja joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Sonja's most recent donation supported Natalia, a 13 year old girl from Bolivia, to fund heart surgery.
Sonja has funded healthcare for 29 patients in 10 countries.
Sonja has funded healthcare for 29 patients in 10 countries.
Natalia, who is 13 years old, lives in the mountains above La Paz with her parents and two younger brothers. Natalia was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. Because of this hole, blood leaks out without passing through the chambers of her heart to gather oxygen, leaving Natalia weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Natalia's family sought care through our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, and Natalia is now scheduled for corrective surgery on January 17th, at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría. During the surgery, doctors will sew a patch over the hole in Natalia's heart, enabling her to live a healthy life. Another organization Gift of Life International has contributed $3,000 and our medical partner is seeking your help to fund the remaining $1,500 needed for this life-saving procedure. Natalia said: "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can go to school without feeling tired."
Kenenitu is a young child from Ethiopia. She is a beautiful baby who loves playing with other children. She developed bowel obstruction and an emergency colostomy surgery was done at our medical partner's care center BKMCM. The condition and care has been challenging for Kenenitu and her mother who has been affected psychologically. Kenenitu's mother is a single mom with four children. Her brother stepped in to help raise the children as her husband has left without support. Before giving birth to Kenenitu, her mother used to make injera, an Ethiopian cuisine, for a living. Currently, she is not working. The family received logistical support from an NGO to arrive at the hospital and Kenenitu's mother is staying at another NGO in Addis Ababa for medical follow-up and accommodation. Due to their financial situation, the family cannot afford the medical bills for Kenenitu's treatment. Kenenitu's mother has struggled emotionally with her daughter's condition. She said, "I wondered what was going to happen to her. I used to cry a lot and I was not in my normal mental condition. But when I heard that she could be treated, my hope was restored and I felt better." Kenenitu was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Kenenitu is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on December 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Kenenitu's procedure and care. After her recovery, Kenenitu will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Kenenitu's mother said, "After receiving treatment, I hope she will start making stool... I want to take her to school and educate her."
Teresiah is a quiet but social mother of three children, who lives with her family in Kenya. She is a small-scale farmer while her husband works as a casual laborer. Teresiah's children are all in school and she has big hopes for their future. Teresiah started experiencing severe epigastric pains intermittently. She has visited many hospitals without much success. Finally, at Nazareth Hospital, an ultrasound scan examination was done, and it showed that Teresiah has Cholelithiasis - gall stones. In addition to the severe pain she is experiencing, Teresiah might also develop complications like inflammation of the pancreas, gall bladder, or gall bladder obstruction. The surgeons advised that she needs to undergo surgery to treat her condition. Teresiah is not in a position to fund her treatment and she therefore requests for help. She needs $788 to fund her surgery. Teresiah says, "Having kids in school and not being able to take care of them is very difficult. I humbly ask for assistance and medical attention. I want to take care of my family and return to my regular life."
Hellen is a soft-spoken, 23 year old student, living with relatives in Gilgil Town in Kenya. Hellen's parents are elderly, and as neither they nor Hellen have a stable source of income, Hellen's relatives are paying for her studies in food and beverage. Just two weeks ago, after undergoing an MRI because of abdominal pain, Hellen learned that she has a fast growing mass in her abdomen, that has displaced her uterus. Hellen was told that she needs surgery urgently in order to remove the mass. If left untreated, the mass could become cancerous, and threaten Hellen's ability to bear children. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help Hellen access the care that she needs. On September 9th, Hellen will undergo a laparoscopic procedure at AIC Kijabe Hospital, at which time the mass will be removed. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is seeking $1,074 to fund Hellen's surgery. Hellen says: "The swelling in the stomach is growing so fast. I am scared it might be cancerous. It might also affect my ability to get kids if not treated.”
Tin is a 45-year-old man. Originally from Burma, he fled to Thailand over 20 years ago due to civil war. He currently lives with his wife, who works as a street vendor selling various snacks and vegetable, and one of his daughters, who is currently in school. His family also raises chickens, which they sell when they need cash. Tin previously worked as a farmer and a construction worker, but he has recently been unable to work due to his condition. In the future, he hopes to go back to work and help support his family. After an incident that occurred this past April that caused him to be hit in the left eye by a mango, Tin lost his vision in that eye and began to experience headaches, swelling, severe eye pain, and dizziness when attempting to stand. Tin eventually sought medical attention at a clinic. There, a medic checked his left eye, gave him a bottle of eye drops, and told him to seek treatment at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) since they could not treat him there. However, he did not go to MTC right away due to financial constraints. He instead hoped that his eye would recover over time with the help of eye drops. Although his pain was temporarily reduced, the bruising disappeared, and the swelling went down over time, he never regained his vision. The pain in his eye eventually returned, and he noticed that he had a white spot on his left pupil. As the white spot increased in size, his eye progressively became more painful and began to itch. He now experiences discharge and watering in his eye, as well as difficulty sleeping. At the beginning of this month, a small lump appeared near the white spot on his left pupil. The lump gradually increased in size until it bursted on August 13th. After the discharge and bleeding from the lump stopped, he asked his friend to take him to MTC right away. When he arrived at the clinic, he was told to come back on Monday since there were not any eye specialist medics working on the weekend. When Tin returned on Monday, a medic examined his left eye, and he was diagnosed with corneal perforation, a condition resulting from the cornea being penetrated and damaged. Tin was also told that his eye is infected. He now must undergo surgery at our medical partner's care center, Mae Sot General Hospital, to remove his left eye as quickly as possible before the infection spreads to his right eye. Fortunately, Tin was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for financial assistance accessing treatment. On August 17th, surgeons at our medical partner's care center will perform an enucleation to remove his left eye. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Tin's life-changing procedure. Tin shares, “I feel very depressed and worried about my eye. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I lost vision in both of my eyes. I want to receive surgery quickly to prevent my right eye from becoming infected. Without your help, I don’t think I would be able to receive further treatment. Therefore, I want to say thank you to the donors and the organization for agreeing to support my treatment costs.”
Anjelina is a beautiful two-year-old baby from Tanzania. She is the youngest of three children in her family. Both of her parents do small-scale farming of maize, beans, and other vegetables, which they grow to feed their family. To help earn money, her father sometimes works as a casual laborer. Anjelina was born at a local hospital where her parents were informed that their daughter has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition where the foot is twisted out of shape, causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Although the doctor notified them that their daughter's condition could be corrected at a referral hospital, the hospital was over an eight-hour bus ride away, and they could not fund the transportation due to financial constraints. Fortunately, Anjelina's family was able to travel to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Anjelina's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Anjelina’s mother shares, “We tried to correct her feet using a local doctor, but there was not much improvement, and we couldn't afford to go to the referral hospital.”
BB Martine is a 10-month-old baby from Haiti. He is his parent's only child. They shared how much he likes to smile and the joy this brings to them. BB Martine has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, BB Martine has been experiencing an increasing head circumference, which is very worrisome for their family. Without treatment, BB Martine will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for BB Martine at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on April 13th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from BB Martine's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, BB Martine will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. BB Martine's family is hopeful that with treatment, their son will have a chance at a healthy childhood.
Ormnai is a young student from Tanzania. He was diagnosed with genu valgus. His legs bow inward so that his knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he cannot for long distances without pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Ormnai. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 4. Treatment will hopefully restore Ormnai's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Ormnai’s father says, “My son’s legs are worsening am afraid he won’t be able to walk if not treated please help my son am unable to afford the cost.”
Israel is a young boy from Kenya. He 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 infertility. Fortunately, Israel is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on May 3. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $700 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “I feel relieved that there is a possibility of getting help. I really am grateful to God,” says Israel’s mother.
Nafthali is a laborer from Kenya. He has four sons. Nafthali was injured in early April. He sustained fractures in both legs, and he is not able to walk. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 18, Nafthali will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. He says, "I am humbly requesting for assistance to cover my surgeries so that I can be able to provide for my children.”
Mu is 43-year-old farmer from Burma. She lives with her husband and five children. In her free time she likes to forage for vegetables in the forest with her friends. She has a gallstone and has burning pain in her lower right abdomen. She also suffers from back pain and sometimes she is not able to sleep or eat well due to the pain. Mu has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, Mu's symptoms will continue to worsen and put him at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Mu is scheduled to undergo her cholecystectomy on March 21. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Mu's procedure and care. She says, "I hope that I can get well again so that I can help my husband and my son on our farm."
Saw Shine is a 23-year-old student from Burma. He lives with his parents in Htee Thae Lay Village, Hpa-pun Township, Karen State. His parents work as farmers, planting beans, tobacco and vegetables on their small farm. In his free time, he loves to play football or help his parents on the farm. On April 27, 2018, a branch fell on Saw Shine’s right leg and broke it. At present, Saw Shine cannot walk without crutches. He feels a lot of pain when he tries to walk. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Saw Shine will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 20 and will cost $1,500. He will be able to walk properly and also able to study again. Saw Shine says, “I want to serve my community. I am especially interested in management of education systems.”