Felix's Story

Felix joined Watsi on August 19th, 2014. Eight years ago, Felix joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Felix's most recent donation traveled 2,700 miles to support Konjit, a baby girl from Ethiopia, to treat an anorectal malformation.


Felix has funded healthcare for 18 patients in 8 countries.

All patients funded by Felix

Mercy is a six-month-old girl from Kenya. She was brought to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), by her parents and her uncle. Mercy lives in a two room house with six other siblings where her mother watches over the family at home and nearby, her father works in a tea factory. When Mercy was born, she developed a sac-like protrusion on the lower backbone. This open defect on her spine, a condition called spina bifida, has already been hindering her normal development for the last few months. The congenital deformity is often a consequence of fetal hydrocephalus where cerebrospinal fluid adds pressure to the spinal cord. “Mercy came to the hospital with a leaking mass, so surgery must be done [promptly] to avoid severe infection and other complications,” explains AMHF. If her condition goes untreated, tethered cord syndrome is likely to develop, resulting in a permanently hunched back or a spine bent sideways. Mercy requires $805 for a spina bifida closure surgery, in which a surgeon will correct, reconstruct, and close the deformity. Long term monitoring and braces are part of the treatment process to observe her walking ability and gauge surgery success. AMHF believes the surgery will eliminate infections, prevent more nerve damage in the future, and decrease her chances of developing tethered cord syndrome. Mercy's father says, "I hope Mercy will get treatment and this condition will be past us. Please help us make her treatment possible."

Fully funded

Carlos is a one-year-old boy who lives with his parents, grandparents, and older brother in Guatemala. He likes eating soup made from beans and eggs and enjoys playing with his toy ball. About two months ago, Carlos began having multiple seizures daily. Doctors at our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), diagnosed Carlos with epilepsy, a seizure disorder resulting from abnormal electrical activity in the brain. An estimated 65 million people in the world have epilepsy, and in most cases the cause is unknown. “Carlos is also a little low in both weight and height for his age,” explains WK. “Our staff believe anti-convulsion medication will also help him maintain those calories he has been expending while seizing, and will therefore help him gain some weight and grow better as well.” Carlos’s mother weaves blouses to sell at the market, but she has stopped leaving home for fear of Carlos having a seizure. The family must depend on the income his father earns from cutting and selling wood and working as a helper on a public bus. The family does not own any land and can barely afford their basic necessities, leaving no money to pay for Carlos’s care. For $967, Carlos will receive medication to control his seizures and blood work to identify other potential health issues. “He will start to gain some more weight, because he will be able to preserve the calories he is currently using during convulsions,” says WK. “His mother will not have to worry about working while he is around, because he will not be at risk for seizing often.” “My dream for the future is that he grows healthy and strong,” shares Carlos’s mother. “He is my reason to live.”

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"It has been difficult for my wife to support our family alone over the past year,” says Julius, a 37-year-old man who lives with his wife and two young children in Kenya. “Julius first began having back problems in 2009,” our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us. “His limbs often become numb, and he cannot bend or lift anything. If not treated, Julius could suffer permanent nerve damage, and this might render him disabled.” Julius has a condition known as spinal disc prolapse, commonly known as a slipped disc or herniated disc. Spinal discs sit between adjacent bones (vertebrae) of the spine. When the fibrous outer covering of the disc weakens, the gel-like core expands and contacts a nerve from the spinal cord, causing pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling in the legs. Julius has not been able to work as a driver since last year because of his condition. To support the family, his wife farms arrowroot to sell and use at home and also works on other farms for additional income. Doctors recommend surgery—laminectomy, discectomy, and spinal fusion—to cut away a portion of the vertebrae and the prolapsed disc and join the adjacent vertebrae. With $1,500, Julius can undergo back surgery and receive 10 days of hospital care and physiotherapy. “We expect that after treatment and recovery,” says AMHF, “Julius will no longer be in pain or suffer numbness. He will be able work again.” “I hope to get well soon so that I can work again and provide for my family," says Julius.

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“I love working on the farm with my husband,” Jane says. “I am also taking care of our oldest son and I need to be in good health to ensure that I can support him as he goes through recovery.” This is Jane, a married mother of five from Kenya. Jane’s husband was a driver for a company but has stopped working due to vision problems related to his diabetes. He now helps Jane on their farm where they have planted beans and vegetables. Their eldest son is recovering from drug and alcohol addiction and requires a great deal of their attention and care. One daughter works as a nurse and the other three children work odd jobs to support themselves. “Jane has been experiencing abdominal pain for more than two months,” her doctor at African Mission Healthcare Foundation tells us. “She is also experiencing sporadic bleeding and spotting after attending any call of nature. Jane has not been able to work in her farm for the past few months. If not treated soon, the bleeding could lead to development of anemia. The hernia could result incarceration of the intestine and this would further complicate her treatment.” A total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) and hernia repair are necessary to treat Jane’s uterine fibroids and umbilical hernia. However, Jane and her family have not been able to raise the money for her treatment. For $800, we can make sure Jane has access to the care she needs. “We expect that after the surgery and recovery, Jane will be able to once again join her husband to work on their farm," AMHF adds..

Fully funded