Brigitte joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Five years ago, Brigitte became the 831st member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,627 more people have become monthly donors! Brigitte's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Joan, a one-year-old from Tanzania, to fund surgery for her hydrocephalus condition.
Brigitte has funded healthcare for 58 patients in 11 countries.
Joan is a one-year-old from Tanzania. Joan is a beautiful girl and the youngest child in a family of four children. Joan’s father works as a motorcycle driver commonly known as “bodaboda” driver while the mother does tailoring in their neighborhood. Joan has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Joan has been experiencing fevers, vomiting and her head is increasing in size. Without treatment, Joan will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,238 to cover the cost of surgery for Joan that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 24 and will drain the excess fluid from Joan's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Joan will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Joan’s mother says, “We have struggled so much to make sure our daughter gets all her disabilities corrected, something that has left us with no savings of any kind and only debts. She needs another surgery as soon as possible and we have nowhere to get the money from, please help us.”
Israel is a seven-year-old boy from Tanzania. He has a twin brother and is the last born in a family of four children. Israel is a little shy and likes to keep to himself most of the time. Israel’s parents separated when Israel was just a little baby and he and his twin brother stayed with their father. Israel’s father is a subsistence farmer who grows cabbages, tomatoes, and maize. They live in a two-bedroom wooden house and especially lately it has been difficult for Israel’s father to make ends meet because he is growing older and weaker. Israel was diagnosed with genu varus. his legs are bowed so that his knees do not 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 has difficulty walking and has to drag his left foot which causes pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund mobility-restoring leg surgery for Israel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 23rd. Treatment will hopefully restore Israel's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Israel’s father shared, “When my son gets well I will make sure he goes to school. I really want him to have a good and successful life.”
Joseph is a father of 9 children, now all grown up and working in small-scale businesses. He lives on his subsistence farm in Nakuru. Joseph started to experience hearing problem 20 years back but he could still hear with difficulties. The condition become severe about four years ago where he was forced to go to a provincial hospital. He was checked and the plan was to wash his ears. Since then he has been going for ear washing regularly when his family heard of our facility through the social media. This is when we had a free clinic for patients with a hearing problem. Joseph was diagnosed with mild to moderate-severe hearing loss. The plan is for him to have hearing aids for both ears so that he can return to a higher quality of life and independence. Currently, Joseph is not working due to his health and is fully depended on his children. He lives with his wife who is also elderly and can’t work either. "I will really appreciate if I can be able to hear clearly and communicate with my family," Joseph said.
The world welcomed a new baby boy, he has not yet been named, so goes by baby of Hawa Hassan. He is a first-born child to his mother who moved to Arusha, Tanzania four years ago looking for work. She was able to find work locally and has been earning income as a housemaid for two years now. Baby of Hawa was born in the hospital and was directly referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center ALMC when the doctors noticed he had a birth defect. At ALMC Hospital, he was admitted to the NICU and his mother was informed that her baby needed surgery as soon as possible to correct this birth defect. His mother could not afford surgery for her son for she does not earn enough to be able to afford the treatment. His father is a shop keeper and he is also not able to afford his son’s needed surgery, they had just enough savings for their baby’s birth costs. This surgery will enable Hawa's baby to be able to pass stool normally, if not treated this condition will cause discomfort for the baby as he cannot pass stool, and he may stop feeding properly. If not treated, his condition may even result in death. Hawa shared, “Please help my son get this treatment so that he can continue to feed well, I am worried about him. He looks very sick and discomforted.”
Robert is a casual laborer from Kenya. Robert works as a construction site worker in the capital while his wife takes up jobs such as laundry services. The father of two lives in a two-roomed house, paying $31 per month. They share bathroom amenities in a pro-poor home of the city. Robert walked to our facility in the late hours of 22 April 2020, with complaints of Achilles tendon injury. A week ago, he was bathing in their shared bathroom when he slid and his right foot got stuck by the toilet bowl sustaining the injury. Without treatment, Robert might not be able to walk with ease again and risks further wound infections. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Robert receive treatment. On April 23rd, surgeons will treat his Achillies injury and perform a debridement and skin graft procedure. Following treatment, he will be able to walk so he can return home and care for his family. Now, Robert needs help to fund this $1,129 procedure. Robert says, “Thank you for expressing a wish to support me. I did not have money for the motel lodge last night and do not have any money for the planned surgery. God bless you.”
John is a baby from Kenya. John’s father, the family's sole breadwinner, is employed casually to cut trees. His mother on the other hand is a full-time mom. His family lives in a single-rental house in Central Kenya. With limited income of $120 on average per month, John’s father is not able to raise the funds needed for his son’s treatment. John 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 future infertility. Fortunately, John is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 10th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $700 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “If only I can see him urinate normally, I’ll be very happy,” says John’s mother.
Sandar is is a 48-year-old pastor from Burma. She lives with her husband, daughter, and seven children who she is sheltering. In her free time, Sandar likes to prepare for her sermons, read the Bible, and pray for others in need. Since 2017, Sandar has been experiencing high blood pressure and heavy abnormal vaginal bleeding. She has been diagnosed with pelvic mass and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Sandar's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Sandar is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on February 24th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience abnormal bleeding or discomfort. "I worry about the children I shelter," said Sandar. "Currently, I have to buy a lot of sanitary pads and my daughter borrowed 500,000 kyat (approx. 500 USD) from her boss to support me, which she will pay back in installments.”
Dina is a 69-year-old mother of seven from Kenya. She plants maize and beans on her farm left by her late husband. She lost her husband in the year 2014 after suffering from stomach cancer. Despite all the challenges she faced, Dina has been a strong woman for her children. She has worked hard to educate her children and provide basic needs for them through farming. The family stays together in a grass-roofed house. Dina came to our hospital recently with a severe fracture on her right femur. X-ray imaging confirmed a closed femur fracture. Dina, who is unable to walk and has severe pain, was admitted for skin traction and requires an ORIF surgery with a plate to heal her broken femur. Dina is unable to attend to her daily duties because of her broken leg. She is worried about being dependent on her children who also need her. She is requesting anybody reading her story to support her raise funds for her surgery of $968.00. On January 22nd, Dina will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow Dina walk with ease and reduce chances of further complications. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. Dina says, “I want to get back on my feet and resume my normal duties farming so that I can be able to raise school fees for my son who is in college.”
On May 28th 2019, Min was playing tag with his friend in front of his house, when he decided to climb up a tree. Unfortunately, the tree was slippery due to the rainy season, and Min slipped and fell out of the tree. At first, he was able to stand on his right leg, but he was not able to walk. When Min’s mother heard the news, she immediately came to see him. In the morning, his mother and grandmother rented a car and brought him to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). The staff at MTC then sent him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for an X-ray, which indicated that his left femur was broken. After they received the results of his X-ray, MTC referred Min to Watsi partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for help in accessing the treatment he needed. On May 31st, Min underwent surgery to place a metal rod into his leg. He was discharged from the hospital on June 5th. Within the past two months, Min returned to MSH for three follow-up visits. At his most recent follow-up, he was told his prognosis was good, and he was scheduled for surgery to remove the metal rod on January 2nd, 2020. “I feel normal again,” he said. “I’m no longer in pain. I can walk, sit, and take a shower by myself again. Before, I couldn’t do anything. I could only lay on my back and watch as people around me had to do everything. After my second surgery I want to work with my older brother in the factory.”
Lucito is a boy from Haiti. He was born with a cardiac condition called double outlet right ventricle, in which the aorta connects to the wrong chamber of the heart, causing the heart to pump oxygen-depleted blood to his body. He will require an open-heart surgery to correct this condition. Lucito lives in a small city in western Haiti with his parents and four siblings. He has not yet started school because of his cardiac problems, but is studying at home with his mother. Lucito will fly to India to receive treatment. On August 7, he will undergo cardiac surgery. Another organization, Rotary International, is contributing $8,000 to pay for surgery. His family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany his family overseas.
Deria is a mother of three from Malawi. She lives with her husband and children, and she works in a small shop selling groceries to support her family. She enjoys working around the house in her free time. Since March of this year, Deria has been experiencing severe abdominal pain. She has been diagnosed with fibroids. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, World Altering Medicine, is requesting $650 to fund Deria's surgery. On May 23, she will undergo gynecological surgery at Nkhoma Hospital, our medical partner's care center. The requested money pays for supplies, medications, and seven nights of hospital stay. She looks forward to returning to work and caring for her home and family upon recovery. She says, "The price was very high for surgery, so this program has provided a very good assistance. Thank you!"
Nam is a 16-year-old student from Burma. She lives with her family in Mae Sot. She likes reading in her free time. Nam was born with a meningocele, a birth defect in which the spinal cord fails to form properly. Meningocele is characterized by a sac-like protrusion of the membranes surrounding the spinal column. If left untreated, it can result in extreme neurological impairment due to the continued exposure of the spinal tissue. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to help cover the cost of meningocele repair surgery for Nam. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 25. Nam says, "I want to finish my high school and after that I will join the university in Thailand."