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Gemma Crossan

UF MEMBER

United Kingdom

Gemma's Story

Gemma joined Watsi on February 4th, 2015. Two years ago, Gemma joined the Universal Fund and became the 892nd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 2,069 more people have joined! Gemma's most recent donation traveled 4,800 miles to support Malik, a baby boy from Tanzania, for brain surgery.

Impact

Gemma has funded healthcare for 20 patients in 8 countries.

All patients funded by Gemma

Ramadhani

“When I grow up, I would like to become a primary school teacher,” shares Ramadhani, a happy, hard-working, 13-year-old boy who lives with his grandparents in Tanzania. He loves going to school, where he is in class three and enjoys mathematics and science. Ramadhani was born with talipes equinovarus, a condition commonly known as congenital clubfoot. His right foot is twisted out of position due to short tendons in the foot and ankle, preventing him from stepping on the sole of his right foot as he walks. Even with his deformed right foot, Ramadhani likes to run and jump around with other children. Ramadhani’s parents are small-scale farmers who grow potatoes and cassava. They look after Ramadhani and his two younger siblings as well as their parents. For many years, they have not been able to get proper treatment for their son. It is through word of mouth that Ramadhani’s grandfather heard about The Plaster House and what it does and collected enough cash to transport Ramadhani to Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre for treatment. For $1,160, Ramadhani will undergo surgery to release the tendons in his foot and ankle. Doctors will then move his foot into the proper position and place it in a cast for up to two months. Funding also covers the costs of cast changes, braces, and a four-month stay at The Plaster House for recovery and rehabilitation after surgery. After receiving care, Ramadhani will be able to properly step on his right foot and wear shoes.

100% funded

$1,160raised
Fully funded
Di Par

Di Par is a 14-year-old boy who lives with his mother and three brothers in Burma. He enjoys playing marbles, snapping rubber bands with his younger brothers, listening to music, and visiting with his friends. Di Par enjoys school, but he is only in grade five since his health condition makes it difficult for him to keep up with his classes. Di Par did not present with symptoms until he was five years old. He was easily tired, especially after playing, but his mother did not think it was out of the ordinary and did not seek medical attention for him. When Di Par was 10 years old, the symptoms worsened as he began having difficulty breathing in addition to the fatigue. His mother took him to the clinic where they listened to his heart and detected abnormal heart sounds. He was prescribed medication that seemed to improve his condition, so his mother did not seek further evaluation. In March of 2016, Di Par appeared to go into shock and lost consciousness, and he was brought to the hospital. Although a definitive diagnosis was not made, the physicians thought Di Par might have meningitis and treated him medically. While he was in the hospital, he received a battery of exams: blood tests, urinalysis, CT scan, and X-rays. He also received an echocardiogram, which provided the diagnosis of congestive heart disease — severe tricuspid regurgitation with severe pulmonary stenosis. Di Par was in the hospital for 12 days, and family members helped his mother and brothers pay the hospital costs. Since his hospitalization, Di Par has been experiencing palpitations, fatigue, and difficulty breathing. He is at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in the children’s inpatient department. He is also cyanotic with a bluish tinge to his lips and fingers. After evaluation by the medics at MTC, he was referred to Burma Children Medical Fund for surgical consideration. Di Par and his family have lived in their current village for three months; they moved there to be closer to his mother’s sister and to improve chances for employment. Di Par's father passed away several years ago, so the family's financial support comes from his mother, who sells vegetables and flowers in the market, and his older brother, who works as a day laborer. Despite their hard work, the money they earn does not cover daily expenses, savings, or health care costs. His mother has to borrow money at 10 percent interest to meet those costs and is currently in debt. Di Par’s mother is very concerned about him, as he is falling further and further behind with his studies and, more importantly, his condition is becoming more severe. His mother and older brother alternate caring for Di Par, and his younger brothers help with family chores. This arrangement has not yet affected their work schedules, but Di Par's condition will only complicate the family's needs as further care is needed. For $1,500, Di Par will undergo surgery to replace the damaged heart valve and restore proper blood flow through his heart and lungs. Funding also covers the cost of 12 pre- and post-operative consultations, transportation to and from the hospital, and nine days of hospital care after surgery. Di Par's mother looks forward to a successful operation for her son. "My son enjoys teaching his brothers," she shares, "so when he grows up, he may become a teacher in the village."

100% funded

$1,500raised
Fully funded
Eh Htoo

Eh Htoo is a 17-year-old girl living on the border of Burma and Thailand with her sister’s family. Her sister and her husband have two children; a 3-year-old girl and 4-month old-boy. Her sister works as a teacher and her sister’s husband works as a social worker in a clinic. Their combined income every month is just enough to cover their living expenses. Eh Htoo's mother and father are living in Burma and work as farmers. Eh Htoo's sister says that the life in Burma was challenging. It was hard to find a job and the salary was not enough to feed the whole family, so she decided to move to Thailand. Eh Htoo is studying 9th grade in school. In her free time she likes to read the Bible, listen to music, and watch movies. Eh Htoo has a congenital deformity on her left foot. She went to a screening in her town with the hope of getting some medical treatment for her foot. The doctor examined her and when he was listening to her heart, he detected a cardiac problem. She was referred to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Watsi's medical partner, who told Eh Htoo that they could not help her with her foot until she had received cardiac surgery. Eh Htoo was very sad when she heard the news about her heart condition. She was not aware of any symptoms relating to her ventricular septal defect (VSD) diagnosis. Fortunately, we can help. $1,500 will cover the cost of life-changing heart surgery for Eh Htoo. After successful cardiac surgery, Eh Htoo will be able to have her planned foot surgery. She will not have to worry about future problems associated with her VSD diagnosis. Eh Htoo is thankful for the opportunity to receive surgery. "I want to continue my studies and in the future I want to be either a teacher or a doctor," she shares.

100% funded

$1,500raised
Fully funded
Carlito

Meet Carlito, a 37-year-old man from the Philippines. "In June of 2015, Carlito underwent an operation on his left eye that later became infected," our medical partner, International Care Ministries (ICM), reports. Since the operation, Carlito has developed a perforated corneal ulcer—one that typically occurs when an infection causes the cornea to thin. The infection has greatly impacted Carlito's vision, making it difficult for him to work. As a pig farmer and factory worker, Carlito is the sole source of income for his family. He is married with three daughters, and is concerned about what will happen to his family if he should fully lose his vision due to the infection. $1,500 will cover the cost of a corneal autograft transplant, a procedure in which doctors will replace Carlito's damaged cornea with healthy corneal tissue. As the hospital, Mount Elizabeth Orchard, is located overseas in Singapore, the cost of treatment will also include two round-trip plane tickets for Carlito to access his care. Four days of post-operative care in Singapore will also be provided. After the operation, Carlito's vision will be restored, and he will be able to continue working. In his free time, Carlito is an active participant at the local church, and has even begun studying to become a full-time preacher. With the autograft transplant, Carlito will be able to continue with his lessons and "his life of learning can take its course," shares ICM. "Seeing my wife and my children smile means so much to me, and without your help, that would not be possible," Carlito says. "I am excited to follow the doctor's orders so I will be able to see again."

100% funded

$1,500raised
Fully funded