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.
Felix has funded healthcare for 18 patients in 8 countries.
Nine-month-old Konjit was born with a birth defect called anorectal malformation. "She has only one functional hole," shares our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). "As a result, she cannot pass stool and urine in a normal way. Both come through only one hole." Due to the absence of her anus, Konjit is also exposed to infection and irritation. Konjit’s parents are from the southern part of Ethiopia. Both her parents are farmers with low income that can’t cover much more than food. For this reason, they don’t have the capacity to get their child the treatment she needs, and to pay her medical bill. Konjit is very beautiful and enjoys playing and laughing with her mom. This condition is causing her parents a lot of worry. Treatment for Konjit is a three-part surgery. Konjit may or may not need a colostomy - doctors will determine this after the first surgery. If in case colostomy is done, she will have a colostomy closure in 2-3 months after the anorectoplasty procedure. AMHF expects that after treatment, Konjit will be able to pass stool and urine normally, and the risk of infection and irritation will be reduced. “I have been in different hospitals but I couldn’t get any solution because of my low financial status," shares Konjit's mother. "When we come here all we have is a glimpse of hope for our baby to get the treatment. And it is our prayer for our hope to come true."
Four-year-old Clarens lives in Haiti with his mother and grandmother. He was born with cerebral palsy and cannot yet walk on his own. However, he is slowly learning to walk with braces and crutches. “He is a very intelligent child and has already learned to read and write well,” says our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA). HCA continues that in addition to cerebral palsy, Clarens has heart disease. “Clarens was born with a cardiac condition called valvar pulmonic stenosis, in which one of the valves of his heart is too small to allow blood to adequately pass through. As a result, oxygen does not reach his body in sufficient quantities, leaving him sickly and weak.” Heart surgery can correct Clarens' condition. Health City Caymen Islands has raised $5,000 to cover the cost of his surgery, and another $1,500 from Watsi donors will pay for Clarens' surgery preparation, transportation, and travel funds so he can receive the surgery he needs. “Following surgery, normal blood flow should be restored to Clarens's heart and he should not have any further cardiac symptoms,” HCA says. "I am so happy that this surgery will be possible for Clarens, and I thank God and everyone who is helping to fix my son's heart," says Clarens’ mother.
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."
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.”
Meet Wily, a 17-month-old boy from Guatemala. “Wily lives with his parents and five siblings,” says our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). “He is a happy child that loves to dance and play with toy cars. He likes to play with his oldest sister while his mother weaves and embroiders textiles to sell at the market.” Due to a lack of resources and food education, Wily is malnourished. He is far below the average height and the average weight for his age. “His father works as a farmer but between him and Wily’s mother they do not make enough money to afford enough food for their children,” says WK. “As a result Wily is eating very little solid food and relying heavily on breast milk. Without intervention he will continue to loose weight and not grow, and we worry that he is at risk of the long-term effects of malnutrition, as well as at risk of acquiring acute illnesses such as pneumonia.” For $535, Wily will receive supplemental nutrition to remedy his condition. His parents will also receive nutritional education to help them care for Wily in the future. “Intervention now will prevent the future effects of malnutrition, and give Wily the chance to live a healthy and productive life,” says WK. “He cries so often now, and his energy is low. I worry about my baby but am surprised and grateful that you want to help us,” shares Wily’s mother.
"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.
Ruth is a 29-year-old single mom from Kenya with a seven-year-old and four-year-old. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us Ruth was referred to them for treatment for an ovarian cyst with ascites. "In 2011, Ruth noticed that her menstrual cycle was getting irregular with increased bleeding and pain. Then Ruth observed swelling of her abdomen and she went to the hospital and was diagnosed with ovarian cysts," AMHF explains. "This year, the condition started getting worse and she already has ascites (abnormal accumulation of fluid in the abdomen)." AMHF continues, "If not operated, the condition could easily progress to cancer since Ruth has already delayed receiving treatment and this may lead to death." $790 covers the cost of a total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) for Ruth. AMHF expects, "after a TAH Ruth will recover fully. When she is fully recovered, she will be able to work and provide for her children." "I believe what the doctor has said and I just hope to get well and be able to work again for my children," Ruth says.
“The symptoms make it difficult to focus on my studies and that upsets me. My mind wants to study, but my body will not allow it,” says Mu Eh. Meet Mu Eh, a 19-year-old woman who lives in a refugee camp in Thailand with her parents and three younger siblings. “Mu Eh was 15 years old when she first noticed the symptoms of her condition,” shares our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP). “She has made multiple visits to health clinics and hospitals over the past four years and been prescribed several different types of medication, however her symptoms have become more severe over time.” Mu Eh has nasal poylps. Nasal polyps are soft, sac-like growths on the lining of the nose or sinuses. BBP tells us they cause her pain and “make it difficult for her to breathe through her nose.” The growths also lead to “frequent headaches and her nose will sometimes swell and turn red.” Mu Eh passed grade 10 and is about to begin her post-term education. “She enjoys school and is interested in studying medicine,” BBP continues. “She occasionally misses school because of her condition and the pain makes it difficult to concentrate when she is studying.” $1500 will fund the procedure to remove the polyps along with transportation to and from the hospital. "With treatment, Mu Eh can be expected to make a full recovery and live symptom-free. She will able to return to her studies and work toward her dream of becoming a doctor.”
“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..
"Since Phedia started getting sicker, I have been very worried about her and I prayed a lot,” says Phedia’s mother. “I am glad that God has heard my prayers!" Say hello to Phedia, a four-year-old girl from Haiti! “Phedia is a sweet but very shy girl who likes to spend time with her mother and her older sister,” according to our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA). “She also likes braiding hair and coloring.” “Phedia was born with a congenital heart disease, tetralogy of fallot, which involves multiple heart defects that together prevent the body from getting the oxygen it needs,” explains HCA. “Phedia’s case is especially serious and she has been passing out frequently from lack of oxygen.” For $1,500, Phedia will receive the heart surgery required to correct this condition. Following surgery, Phedia will no longer have symptoms and she will be able to lead a normal life. Let’s help repair Phedia’s heart!
“Pala dreams of remaining a monk for the rest of his life and hopes that with experience and lots of hard work, he can eventually become a teacher one day,” says our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP). Meet Pala, a 23-year-old man from Burma who has Rheumatic heart disease. “Pala experiences joint pain, swelling and fatigue. He also suffers from bouts of fever and cannot walk long distances. His health problems forced him to drop out of school at the age of 15,” reports BBP. Pala’s love of learning, though, led him to continue his education at a monastery. Pala’s uncle, a construction worker, financially supports him and his mother. “Pala’s mother is unable to work due to suffering a stroke several years back. His uncle doesn’t earn much money, about $3 a day, so the family is not able to pay for Pala’s heart surgery on his uncle’s income,” continues BBP. For $1500, we can provide cardiac surgery to Pala. BBP concludes, “Treatment will allow Pala to live a more fulfilled life without pain. He can expect to have more energy, allowing him to focus on his religious duties. Pala will not have to visit the doctor so frequently so the family can save money for the future.” Let’s help Pala follow his dream of becoming a teacher!
"I want to be able to be the person I was years ago, once again,” says Rolando. This is Rolando, a 34-year-old man from Guatemala. “Before this illness came on, Rolando was one of the brightest people in his community. He earned many scholastic prizes in school and was regarded as a ‘really smart person’,” our medical partners at Wuqu’ Kawoq tell us. But for the past few years, Rolando has been experiencing seizure-like symptoms. "We are concerned that he is in a constant seizure state which is causing these symptoms,” explains Wuqu’ Kawoq. Due to his condition, Rolando’s social functioning abilities have decreased. He is unable to take care of himself and must rely on his hardworking, aging parents. Rolando is in need of careful neurological examination and treatment in order to regain his ability to care for himself. For $745, Rolando will receive the neurological care he needs to set him on the path to recovery.