UNIVERSAL FUND MEMBERI love dogs, cats & helping those who need a hand up in life
Sandra joined Watsi on May 1st, 2013. Eight years ago, Sandra joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Sandra's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Elenita, a 60-year-old midwife and mother of four from Philippines, to fund surgery to remove her gallbladder and heal her pain.
Sandra has funded healthcare for 107 patients in 10 countries.
Sandra has funded healthcare for 107 patients in 10 countries.
Elenita is a 60-year-old woman from Philippines. She previously worked as a Registered Midwife but lost her job during the pandemic's peak. She's now reliant on her four children for her daily basic needs. In January, Elenita began to experience troubling symptoms, including lower back pain that's radiating down to her lower extremities. She sought a medical checkup and was told to have an ultrasound and CT scan. The tests revealed that she was suffering from gallstones. These are small stones that are usually made of cholesterol that causes inflammation of the gallbladder. Elenita has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put him at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Elenita is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on February 17th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,128 to cover the cost of Elenita's surgery and care. Elenita shared, "Thank you, WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines! You are such a blessing and I will never forget how you save my life. If in the future you will need my service as a midwife, I'm more than willing to help out."
Peter, who is 45 years old, lives with his wife and five young children in Pokot county in Kenya. Peter was a successful dairy farmer until drought and famine decimated his herd of cows, rendering it impossible for him to earn sufficient money to provide for his family. Currently, he works as a small scale potato farmer, while his wife is a homemaker, caring for their children. Not too long ago, Peter was involved in a road traffic accident, while heading to the farm. He lost control of his motorbike, and fractured his tibia. In order to heal, Peter needs surgery on his leg, a procedure that he cannot afford with his limited earnings from the farm. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On March 28th, Peter will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. After this procedure, Peter will no longer be in pain, and once he has fully recovered, he will be able to return to work and to provide for his family. African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,145 to fund his surgery and medical care. Peter says: "I am the only person who works to provide for my family. My wife looks after the children at home as they are still young and need more attention. I feel bad when I cannot help them. Kindly help me so that they may not suffer."
Kyi is a 57-year-old woman, living with her husband in Burma. They shared that together they do not have children and they love to dedicate their time to helping others in their community. Kyi's husband volunteers with the Karen Forestry Department, helps with household chores, and grows rice and vegetables, while also raising chickens for them to eat. Kyi works in a medical clinic helping patients and is training in emergency obstetric care in Thailand. Kyi experiences back and abdominal pain, fatigue and weakness, and other symptoms. Doctors determined that Kyi suffers from gallstones; she has been advised to have her gallbladder removed to heal her symptoms and prevent further complications with her health in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Kyi is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on April 7th, at Mae Sot General Hospital. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Kyi's procedure and care. Kyi is determined to have a big impact in her community and shared: "I want to be healthy so that I can devote my mind, body, and work to fully serving my people until my last breath.”
Denis is a 22-year-old motorbike driver - the third born in a family of six. His parents separated and now he lives with his mother. He shared that he dropped out of school in grade seven because his parents were not in a position to provide for all of them. His other siblings have been adopted by family members. Denis is single and is hoping to marry when he has a stable income. Currently, he is employed riding a motorbike as a taxi and his daily income is not always guaranteed. Denis needs to undergo surgery so that he can continue doing his normal activities and also reach his desired life of having a stable income and a family. When Denis visiting our medical partner's hospital, he was walking with a crutch and could not put any weight on his left leg. He had an x-ray film that showed a complete fracture of his left femur. His condition causes him pain and he is unable to continue with his work. Denis' family is not in a position to pay the medical fees, and his treatment will be a big financial burden to them. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On April 13, Denis will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Denis needs to undergo surgery so that he can continue doing his normal activities and also reach his desired life of having a stable income and a family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Denis says, "It has been hard to carry out my normal duties. I really look forward to getting well so that I can fully depend on myself as before.”
Hana is a cute and happy baby who loves playing with toys and interacting with the people around her. Her favorite foods are porridge with bread and pasta. She is the only child of her parents. Her mother used to sell candles at church gates, and her father is in the military, though he currently has no contact with the family. Last year, Hana started refusing her mother’s milk, and her abdomen began to swell. Her mother was extremely concerned about her baby's condition and immediately took Hana to the clinic. Hana was diagnosed with Hirschsprung's Disease, a condition in which missing nerve cells in the large intestine cause intestinal blockage. Further referrals led her to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, who will help Hana and her mother with a treatment plan. Now, African Mission Healthcare is asking for $1,500 to help fund Hana's Hirschsprung's pull-through surgery scheduled for March 16th. Hana's mother said, “After her surgery, I want her to be well and to grow healthy. I will send her to school. I will try my best to give her a better life, and I don’t want her to suffer as I did. I hope she will be wise and independent in her future.”
Khin is a 65-year-old woman who lives with her daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren in Tak Province, Thailand. Three years ago Khin, who is retired, moved to Thailand from Burma in order to live with her daughter. Currently, the vision in Khin’s right eye is blurred as a result of a cataract. Khin finds it difficult to help with household chores, as she has to rely on her left eye alone. She finds that if she tries to focus on something, she develops a headache. She worries she might lose the vision in her left eye. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Khin. On February 23rd, doctors at Mae Sot General Hospital will perform cataract surgery, implanting an intraocular lens in Khin's eye, restoring her vision. Khin said: “I feel like I am losing an eye since I cannot see with my right eye. I am also worried about losing vision in my other eye. I am afraid to undergo surgery, but I want my vision back so that I can see people’s faces again. I feel sorry for my children, and I pity them since they need to help me with everything. I felt really happy when I learned that a donor will support my treatment cost.”
Saw Tha is an 11-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his parents, a younger brother, and a younger sister in a village in Karen State. His father is a Karen soldier and his mother is a homemaker. Their family does not have a stable income, but sometimes his father will work as a day laborer when he has free time. Saw Tha's family also raises chickens for their own consumption and his mother plants vegetables around their house. During his free time, Saw Tha likes to play football with his friends. On February 3rd, 2023, Saw Tha climbed a plum mango tree to pluck the fruit. He suddenly fell down from the tree and broke his left femur bone. Currently, he cannot walk as he is in severe pain and his left leg is swollen. Despite taking painkillers, he cannot sleep as the pain worsens through the night. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Saw Tha will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 4th and this treatment will help Saw Tha to be free from pain and walk again. Saw Tha and his family need help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure. Saw Tha's mother said, "I do not know where to look for help for my son. I just know that I am [worried] for him. I am very thankful to the kind donors and organization [BCMF] for helping my son."
Boramey is an adorable 2-year-old toddler from Cambodia. She has an older sister, who is seven and in the 1st grade, and an older brother, who is four and not in school yet. Her father works as a driver for a construction company, and her mother sells groceries at a local market. Boramey's favorite activities include playing with the other children in her neighborhood and snacking on bread. When Boramey was born, she experienced an injury called shoulder dystocia, which occurs when one or both of a baby's shoulders become stuck inside the pelvis during childbirth. As a result, the nerves responsible for providing feeling and movement in her shoulder and arm were stretched. Boramey cannot move her left arm and has no shoulder abduction or elbow or wrist flexion. She has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on her 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. Our medical partner's care center is the only center in Cambodia where the treatment Boramey needs is available. On January 3rd, she will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $709 to fund this procedure. Boramey's parents were able to gather $100 to contribute to her care. Boramey's mother said: "I hope the doctors can fix her arm so she can use it like other children and be able to go to school when she is old enough."
Jaebets is a 13-year-old, eighth grade student from Haiti, who aspires to study medicine when he is older. He lives with his parents and two sisters in Port-au-Prince. Jaebets has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, which means that a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is paying for the cardiac surgery that Jaebets needs to correct the defect. However, Jaebets' family also needs to be able to cover the $1,500 that it will cost for pre-surgical preparation, laboratory tests, medicines and follow-up appointments. The money is also needed to pay for the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Jaebets and his family when they travel to the Cayman Islands for Jaebets' surgery, which is scheduled for November 17th. Jaebets said: "I am excited to have this surgery so that I can focus on school instead of on my heart."
Neang is a cheerful 14-year-old student from Cambodia. She is the oldest child in her family and has one brother and two sisters. Her parents are farmers in Kratie province, one of the less-populated eastern provinces in Cambodia. She is in the 6th grade and likes to help her siblings with their homework. In the evenings, she and her siblings like to watch funny shows on the television. Two years ago, the retina of Neang's left eye detached, causing her partial blindness and tearing. She has flashes of light in her affected eye and it is difficult for her to read. When she is outside, she is afraid she will trip and fall due to reduced peripheral vision. When Neang learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for six and a half hours seeking treatment. On November 1st, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, Neang's family needs help to fund this $649 procedure. Neang says, "I hope after surgery I will see well again. I want to do well in school and have a good job one day to help my family."
Prince is a 4-month-old baby from Kenya and his parents' only child. Prince and his family live in their ancestral home. To support their family, his parent work on a farm, as well as do casual jobs like plowing farms for neighbors. When Prince was born, his mother noticed that his head was larger than expected. When his head continued to increase in size, she took him to a nearby hospital. There, he was examined and referred to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. Prince has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. This condition is the reason Prince has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, he will experience severe physical and developmental delays. However, his parents shared that they do not have insurance and cannot fund Prince's needed treatment. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is helping Prince receive treatment. On July 20th, he will undergo surgery to drain the excess fluid from his brain and reduce intracranial pressure. With treatment, he will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. AMHF is requesting $720 to cover the cost of Prince's surgery. Prince's mother says, “I feel bad that my child has to go through this and that I’m not able to take control of the situation.”
Yi is a 67-year-old woman from Bruma who lives in a monastery with 40 other monks, nuns, and villagers. Although she does not have an income, all of her basic needs are met by the monastery. Yi enjoys spending most of her time reading religious books. Over 15 years ago, Yi's vision in her right eye became blurred, but she did not seek treatment because she thought it was simply something that was destined to occur due to her aging process. However, she eventually sought medical care at a hospital with the support of donors because her vision progressively worsened. There, she was diagnosed with a cataract and was scheduled to undergo repair surgery. On the day she was supposed to receive treatment, her son unfortunately passed away, so she did not return to the hospital for the procedure. Over the next couple of years, Yi began to also experience blurred vision in her left eye. The vision in both of her eyes deteriorated to the point where she could no longer recognize people. Fortunately, she was able to undergo cataract surgery of her left eye two months ago with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Now, she is scheduled to undergo cataract surgery on August 10th. During this procedure, surgeons will perform a lens replacement on her right eye. BCMF is requesting $769 to cover the total cost of Yi's procedure and care. Yi shares, "As long as I am alive, I want to see and I do not want to depend on others to help me. I felt so happy when I learned that donors will pay for the cost of my surgery. Thank you so much to all the donors.”