Brigitte joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Eight years ago, Brigitte joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Brigitte's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Tay, a 6-year-old girl from Burma, to fund atrial septal defect closure.
Brigitte has funded healthcare for 92 patients in 11 countries.
Brigitte has funded healthcare for 92 patients in 11 countries.
Six-year-old Tay lives with her mother, sister, and brother in a village in Shan State in Burma. Tay's mother is a teacher. When Tay was three years old, she was frequently ill with a rapid heartbeat and fingertips that would turn blue. Her mother brought her to a nearby hospital, where the doctor told them that Tay had congenital heart disease and would need to be treated in Yangon. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Tay's mother did not feel it was safe to take Tay to Yangon. When she turned five, Tay's symptoms worsened, and her mother brought her to a hospital in Yangon in August 2022. At the hospital, Tay was diagnosed with an atrial septal defect, and her mother was told that Tay would require surgery- which the family could not afford to pay for. Fortunately, Tay's aunt referred her to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, for help. Now Tay is scheduled to undergo atrial septal defect closure at Pun Hlaing Hospital on May 13th. As Tay is becoming progressively more ill- with episodes of rapid breathing and weight loss due to a lack of appetite- this procedure is critical for her health and well-being. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of Tay's care. “When I learned that my daughter [Tay] needs surgery, I felt very sad and I cried because I cannot afford to pay for her surgery. But when I learned that the organization [BCMF] will support the cost of my daughter’s surgery, I felt very happy and thankful to all the donors and that organization. I want to see her healthy,” said Tay's mother.
Zaw, who is 29 years old, lives with his wife and extended family members in Karen State, Burma. He and his wife are currently unemployed, although Zaw hopes to work as a second-hand motorbike seller. Zaw has had an irregular heartbeat since he was 10 years old. Although he visited a local clinic as a child, he was never provided a definitive diagnosis. By January 2022, he began to experience fatigue. His back and neck were stiff, and he lost his appetite. He also had difficulty sleeping, experienced a persistent cough and body aches, and his lips turned blue. After multiple hospital visits, Zaw was told he had a heart condition that required surgery. Unable to afford surgery in Burma, Zaw sought affordable care at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, he received a free echocardiogram, which revealed he had mitral valve regurgitation, atrial valve regurgitation, pulmonary valve regurgitation, and patent ductus arteriosus. He is now scheduled for a procedure at Kasemrad Prachachuen Hospital in Bangkok on April 18th to repair or replace three of his valves and address any other issues with his heart. Currently, Zaw continues to experience fatigue, thus he is unable to work. He experiences shortness of breath and a racing heartbeat, for which he requires oxygen therapy three times a day. He needs your help to raise the $1,500 to fund his life-changing surgery. Zaw said: “I want to be free from this disease as soon as possible. Thank you all for helping with my treatment cost.”
Douby is a 17 year old student, living with his Godmother and her family in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Douby enjoys going to school, and aspires to attain a PhD in agronomy, and to become a professor. As a result of rheumatic fever that he suffered as a child, Douby has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral and tricuspid regurgitation. Two of his four heart valves were severely damaged by the rheumatic fever, and his heart cannot adequately pump blood through his body, leaving him sick and short of breath. The care Douby needs is not available in Haiti so he urgently will fly to the United States to receive treatment on February 28th at Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital. He will undergo emergency cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair both damaged valves; if the valves cannot be repaired, they will be removed, and artificial valves will be implanted in their place. While another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000.00 to help pay for Douby's surgery, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs for the surgery prep and transport support, including lab tests; medicines, and follow up appointments. The money will alsosupport the passport and travel expenses for the social workers that will accompany Douby and his family to the U.S. Douby was able to share: "I am looking forward to being stronger and healthier once my heart can be repaired!"
Marion is a 6-year-old student from the highlands of Elgeyo Marakwet county in Kenya. She is the second born in a family of three girls and currently attending preschool near her family home. Her parents are small-scale potato farmers. One day Marion's mother went to the river to fetch water. While she was gone, her children were sitting near an open fireplace at home making breakfast. Unfortunately, Marion's dress caught fire on the open flame, and as a result, she sustained severe burns on her back, abdomen and thighs. It has been difficult for her to walk, and the wounds are causing extreme discomfort. She especially needs a third surgery to treat the severity of her burns contractures. Despite Marion's parents having medical insurance, due to previous surgeries that she has had to treat the injuries, the insurance (a monthly subscription) has run its course and is no longer an option. Her parents do not have the funds to pay for Marion's surgery and need support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Marion receive treatment. On January 25th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery that will allow her to walk with greater ease and resume her normal life at home and school. Now, she and her family are requesting $1,478 to help fund this procedure. Marion's mother says, “I am really looking forward to seeing my daughter live and walk in a normal way. I worked hard to pay for insurance coverage, but unfortunately, it cannot fund the upcoming procedure. I am disappointed, but I will not lose hope. Kindly help her.”
Meet Andy, a playful two year old boy, living in Kiambu county in Kenya. Andy likes to play, and while on his daily routine, he fell, and injured his right arm. He was taken to a nearby hospital, and was given antibiotics. Later, he was referred to a different hospital for further investigation. The X-rays that were done showed that Andy sustained a fracture of his right arm, and requires surgery urgently. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,224 to fund Andy's surgery, which will enable him to use his arm and hand again. The fracture repair procedure is scheduled to take place on January 19th at AIC Cure International Hospital. “I am appealing for support from well-wishers to help my son undergo surgery and continue with his normal life,” Andy's mother told us.
Meet Kyar, a 4-year-old boy who lives with his parents, two brothers, and one sister in Tak Province. Kyar and his siblings are students at a Thai school, while their parents raise pigs and ducks and grow some vegetables for their own consumption. Kyar's mother is a homemaker, and his father makes charcoal to earn a living. He will also work as a day laborer to supplement his income, and goes fishing to put additional food on the table. The family income is just enough for their basic needs. In early December 2022, Kyar was playing with rubber bands with his friends, when one accidentally hit his left eye, which turned red and became painful. Kyar’s mother brought him to a nearby hospital, where he was admitted right away. After two days, Kyar's mother was told that he needed to be transferred to another hospital, but after eight days there, Kyar was referred to a hospital in Chiang Mai, because of the nature of the injury. Currently, Kyar experiences severe pain, swelling, and tearing from irritation in his left eye. He cannot open his eye because it is too painful. With the assistance of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Kyar is now scheduled to undergo a surgical procedure on December 20th at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, that will resolve his injury, enabling him to see clearly again. Kyar and his family need your help to fund the $1,500 needed for the surgery. "I honestly feel sad to see my son's condition and also worried about financial difficulty, but after learning this organization BCMF and donors will support my son's treatment, I am relieved and happy," said Kyar's mother.
Murumba is a primary school teacher from Uganda. It is tough for him to raise school fees for his four children since he does not earn much from the job. His wife is a small-scale farmer, and they own a two room semi-permanent house for shelter. Since 2013, Murumba has had a recurrent bilateral inguinal hernia. It started with on and off abdominal pain. Later, he developed an inguinal swelling. He had a herniorrhaphy surgery in 2016 but a year later, the condition reappeared. He feels very uncomfortable most of the time and the pains stop him from carrying out his teaching duties and this has affected his productivity negatively. Fortunately, on December 9th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $170 to fund Murumba's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Murumba says, “I hope and pray that I may be considered for surgery after suffering with this hernia for a long time. I believe I will live a normal life again after surgery. I want to continue with teaching after recovery.”
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."
Ma Win is an 18-year-old girl who lives with her parents, sister and brother-in-law in Yangon, Burma. Ma Win’s sister works at a clothing factory, while her brother-in-law works as a day laborer. Her parents are homemakers. Before Ma Win's current illness, she also worked at a factory. When Ma Win was four years old, she experienced a bout of high fever, and was brought to the local clinic. She received an injection, and the doctor informed her parents that she was born with a heart problem. However, she was too young at the time for corrective surgery. Instead, she was sent home with medication, and appeared to be doing well until this past year. In April, Ma Win began experiencing chest pains, high fever and difficulty breathing. She went to a clinic, and received an x-ray and an echocardiogram. After the doctor checked her results, she was diagnosed with an opening between two major blood vessels leading from the heart. The doctor told her and her family that she would need to have surgery. When Ma Win explained to the doctor that her family could not afford to pay for the surgery, she was referred to the abbot of a local monastery, who provided the family with information about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Now Ma Win is scheduled for cardiac surgery on October 23rd at Pun Hlaing Hospital. After she has recovered, she should no longer experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, and she won't have to worry any longer about her condition. She will also be able to return to work, which will help ease her family's financial burdens. Now she needs your help to raise $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure. Ma Win said: “I am scared to receive surgery, but my mother tries to encourage me. However, I am very happy that I will be able to receive treatment with your help. I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors.”
Naima is a smiley and playful baby girl from Ethiopia. She loves to breastfeed and play with her seven older siblings and her mother. Her dad is a retired driver and the community elder, and her mother stays home to care for the children. Because Naima's father has no source of income, their older children support them financially. Naima 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. Naima developed bowel obstruction because of her condition and an emergency colostomy was done. She has had multiple issues with her colostomy care and associated complications. As a result, she cannot make stool in a typical way. Her parents have been very troubled because of her condition and are asking for support. Naima is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on September 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Naima's procedure and care. After her recovery, Naima will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Naima's father says, “I hope my child will get the treatment and heal. Once she finishes her treatment, I hope she will be relieved from her pain and suffering and lead a healthy life.”
Samuel is a nine-year-old student who lives with his parents and three siblings in Haiti's capital city, Port-au-Prince. He is currently in third grade and enjoys studying history and science. Samuel has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which is a combination of four different congenital heart defects, including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Fortunately, Samuel is scheduled to travel to the United States where he will undergo cardiac surgery on September 14th at Akron Children's Hospital. During the procedure, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart and remove the blockage from his valve. A portion of the cost of Samuel's treatment is being supported by Akron Children's Hospital. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is raising the remaining $1,500 to cover the costs of his surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA’s social workers to accompany Samuel and his family overseas. Samuel's mother says, "I have been very worried about my son's health for many years. I am looking forward to being able to stop worrying so much after this surgery!"
Faith is a bright and ambitious 18-year-old from Kenya. She is the firstborn in a family of three children. Her mother works as a tailor, and her father is a pastor. Her favorite hobby is singing, especially singing gospel songs. She completed her O-level this year and aspires to continue her education and complete a course in beauty and therapy, which are other passions of hers. Faith has clubfoot of her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Faith traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Faith's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Faith shares, “I am appealing for support from Watsi to help me undergo surgery so that I can resume a normal life like other people, as well as continue with my studies and achieve my passion.”