Dominick joined Watsi on April 7th, 2014. Nine years ago, Dominick joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Dominick's most recent donation traveled 4,200 miles to support Hatsumi, a 19-month-old baby from Bolivia, for heart surgery.
Dominick has funded healthcare for 108 patients in 15 countries.
Dominick has funded healthcare for 108 patients in 15 countries.
Hatsumi is a 19-month-old baby who lives with her parents and five older siblings. Her mother sells flowers in the market and her father takes care of her and her brothers and sisters at home. Hatsumi was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, where a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart, causing blood leakage. This often leaves her weak and short of breath. Hatsumi and her family traveled to our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, to seek treatment. On March 8th, Hatsumi will undergo a surgical procedure where doctors will sew a patch over the hole to prevent blood from leaking through. Now, Hatsumi's family needs help raising $1,500 to fund the procedure. Hatsumi's mother said, "Our family is praying that our daughter will be able to breathe more easily once her surgery is over!"
Sai Laung, who is 18 years old, lives with her parents and her younger sister in Shan State in Burma. Sai Laung used to be an agriculture day laborer, but she stopped working in July 2022 due to her illness. In her free time, Sai Laung likes to read Buddhist books and study English online. During the first week of July 2022, Sai Laung began to feel very tired and she developed a fever. At first, she thought it was because she was working a lot, but when she had difficulty breathing a few days later, her mother brought her to the hospital. She was told she might have a congenital heart condition, and the doctor recommended that she have an echocardiogram to confirm the diagnosis. Sai Laung had an echocardiogram at another hospital, confirming that she has a ventricular septal defect, or a hole in her heart. The doctor advised her to go to the Pun Hlaing Hospital in Yangon to see a cardiologist, which Sai Laung did towards the end of November 2022. During that visit, the doctor also diagnosed her with aortic valve regurgitation, and told her that she needs surgery. Currently, Sai Laung has difficulty breathing and is only able to walk short distances before experiencing fatigue. Performing ordinary household chores like cooking or cleaning is exhausting for her. Her lips turn blue, and she has sharp chest pain, fever, and difficulty sleeping. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, has stepped in to assist Sai Laung access the care that she needs. On March 7th, she will undergo surgery to repair her heart at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Now Sai Laung and her family need your help to raise the $1,500 to fund this life-saving procedure. “I have felt so sad since I was diagnosed with this [heart disease]. I need surgery and we have no money. I look at my parents and I pity them because they work so hard to help me get treatment. I want to recover quickly and go back to work so I can help my parents with the extra income. When I learned that there are donors who will help pay for my treatment cost, I felt so happy," said Sai Luang.
Michael is a beautiful baby who likes playing with blocks and waving his arms in time to music. Michael has a cardiac condition called tricuspid atresia: he was born without one of the four valves that is normally present in the heart. As a result, blood cannot flow through his lungs and body normally, leaving him sick and short of breath. On March 1st, Michael will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will perform a technique called a Glenn procedure to create a conduit to allow blood to bypass the missing valve and more easily circulate through Michael's body. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 to pay for surgery, but Michael's family is still in need of $1,500 and have turned to the Watsi community for support. Michael's mother says: "It has been very frightening to see my son have such difficulty breathing, and I am so glad we can finally find a way to help him."
Peter is a 5th grade student from Kenya. He is an only child being raised by his single mother, who works as a hotel waitress earning about $70 per month. The family also has a small tea plantation in their ancestral home, but are unable to raise the funds needed for Peter's surgery. Peter 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, Peter has been experiencing difficulty in holding things and walking. The condition has affected his appearance, with a change in the color of his eyes. Over time, he has developed urine and stool incontinence. His worried mom decided to seek treatment from several hospitals. Doctors determined that Peter needs a special surgery that will relieve pressure from the skull. Without treatment, Peter will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Peter. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 11th, and will drain the excess fluid from Peter's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Peter will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Peter’s mother says, “Peter has been sickly and has been missing school for almost a year now. This condition is affecting his school life. He needs this treatment to recover and go back to school.”
Malaika lives on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince in Haiti with her parents and four siblings; she is in the third grade and likes her science and reading classes. She was both with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. The surgery she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately for Malaika, doctors at the Clinica Corominas in the Dominican Republic will be able to perform an interventional heart catherization procedure to fix her condition. During the procedure, doctors will insert a catheter into her heart to plug the hole with a device. Now, her family needs $1,500 to help pay the costs of the procedure and travel. Another organization Gift of Life International is also contributing to her life-saving care. Malaika's mother says: "Our family is very hopeful that our daughter will be healthier and happier after her heart is fixed."
Bunsey is a 22-year-old garment factory worker from Cambodia. His father is a rice farmer and his mother is also a garment factory worker. He has one brother and two sisters. Bunsey's older brother and older sister are both married, while his younger sister is a 10th grade student. In June 2022, Bunsey was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of his right shoulder. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. He is unable to lift his arm and he cannot work. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Bunsey receive treatment. He traveled to CSC's care center, which is the only center in Cambodia where this treatment is available. On November 17th, he will undergo brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his right arm again. Now, he needs help raising $709 to fund his procedure and care. Bunsey shared, "after surgery, I hope I can use my right arm again so I can return to work and support my family."
Nancy is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. Together with her elderly husband, they grow food crops for home use on their half-acre piece of land. She is a mother of eight children who are all adults. All her children don’t have a stable source of income at the moment. She needs care but does not have medical coverage and hasn't been able to raise the required amount for treatment. In early July this year, Nancy was tripped by her dog and fell on a stone, hurting the left side of her hip. She sustained a left sub-trochanteric fracture that is making her immobile. This is a fracture of the proximal femur located a few centimeters from the hip. She was taken to a nearby health facility and had an x-ray done after review. She was then referred to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital for surgery. She is unable to walk and is currently using a wheelchair and although jovial and smiling, she is in pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 30th, Nancy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will relieve her of her pain and help her walk easily again. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Nancy says, “I am unable to walk. I am desperate, and also struggling to pay for my treatment. I need this treatment to be able to get out of this wheelchair.”
Hser is an 11-year-old student from Thailand who is in sixth grade. He lives with his parents and three brothers, all of whom attend school, in a refugee camp. His father is on the school committee at the camp, and his mother occasionally works as an agricultural day laborer outside of the refugee camp. Hser enjoys going to school, attending church, and praying. In his free time, he also likes playing games on his parents’ phone. This past June, Hser slipped on the mud under his house and landed on his left arm and shoulder. Although he initially felt fine, he developed pain and swelling in his left arm and shoulder a week later. He was diagnosed with a dislocated left shoulder and a fractured upper arm. However, after visiting another hospital, his doctor suspected he might have osteomyelitis, or inflammation of the bone, in his left upper arm. Doctors want Hser to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $814 to cover the cost of Hser's MRI and care, which is scheduled for August 4th. Hser shares, “I would like to become a pastor when I grow up.”
Kry Ya is a 26-year-old factory worker with three brothers and two sisters, all are married and live in other homes. Kry Ya's parents are vegetable sellers. In his free time, Kry Ya enjoys singing, listening to music, playing games, and playing football with friends. In July, Kry Ya was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of his left shoulder. Kry Ya has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. At this time, Kry Ya is unable to lift his left arm preventing him from working. Kry Ya traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. This is the only center in the country where this treatment is available. On September 5th, Kry Ya will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his hand again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is raising $709 to fund this procedure. Kry Ya shared, "I hope I can regain function of my arm as soon as possible."
Win is a 34-year-old mother of two from Thailand. She works as an agricultural day laborer to support her two children who live with her relative. Last month, Win was walking down the stairs in front of her home when she suddenly slipped and fell. This fall caused a fracture of her lower right leg, preventing her from both standing up and straightening her right leg. She first tried to treat herself with traditional medicine, but when she saw no improvement, she sought medical attention at a clinic. Win's lower right leg is currently swollen and in a lot of pain. She cannot straighten it nor put any weight on it. Because of the pain, she is experiencing difficulty sleeping and a loss of appetite. To get around, she is using a wheelchair provided by the clinic. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Win will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The treatment is scheduled for August 5th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help her walk again and return to work to support her children. She said, “I felt very happy when I learned that an organization will support the cost of my surgery. I am very thankful to all the donors and the organization for their support."
Lydiah is a 39-year-old woman, living with her husband and teenaged child in Kenya. While Lydiah works as a vegetable vendor - traditionally known as a mama mboga - her husband is employed as a clothing vendor. On her way to work in March 2021, Lydiah was hit by a motorcycle. She sustained a fracture of the right femur, necessitating three surgeries and multiple trips to the hospital. Despite the care that she has already received, an infection of the fracture has set in, and if Lydiah doesn't receive treatment soon, she risks losing her leg and becoming permanently disabled. Currently, Lydiah cannot walk, and is confined to a wheelchair. Lydiah is scheduled to undergo surgery for the infected fracture on May 24th, at the AIC Kijabe Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Lydiah's surgery, which will enable her to walk again. Lydiah says, “I haven’t been able to go to the market to sell my vegetables because of the fracture and multiple infections. I am afraid of losing my leg and being unable to walk. I am in constant pain and need support to get this treatment.”
Christmaelle is a beautiful toddler from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and three older siblings in a small fishing village in southwest Haiti. The adults in her family all fish and raise livestock for a living. Christmaelle has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart; blood leaks through this hole without first passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. The surgery Christmaelle needs is not available in Haiti, so she will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On June 28th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in her heart with a patch so that blood can no longer leak through it. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $7,000 to pay for her surgery. Christmaelle's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and followup. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports the cost of getting passports and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Christmaelle's family overseas. Christmaelle's mother said: "Our family is praying for everyone who is helping our daughter to become healthy again!"