JoAnn joined Watsi on October 1st, 2015. Seven years ago, JoAnn joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. JoAnn's most recent donation supported Grace, a happy 9-year-old from Kenya, to fund clubfoot repair surgery so she can walk easily.
JoAnn has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 12 countries.
JoAnn has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 12 countries.
Grace is a happy 9-year-old from Kenya and the fifth born in her family of six. Grace is close with her mother and helps care for her younger brother. Grace's mother works as a farmer to support her family. Grace is experiencing clubfoot of both her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Fortunately, Grace's family was able to travel to our medical partner's care center for support. On September 26th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery that will allow Grace to walk well upon her recovery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,286 to fund Grace's surgery. Grace's family shared, "I am so grateful to Watsi for the support. May you be blessed and continue helping needier patients.”
Khin is a 40-year-old woman who enjoys growing flowers and vegetables in her free time. She lives with her husband, son, and four daughters in Burma. She is a homemaker and takes care of her youngest daughter while her husband sells snacks in front of their home. Her son works in a teashop and her three oldest daughters currently attend primary school. Khin shares that she hopes to run a fruit shop to further support her family once she recovers. When Khin was 22 years old, she developed an ulcer on her right heel that made it difficult to put weight on her foot and walk. Fortunately, she received multiple skin grafts and the ulcer eventually healed. However, the ulcer returned in 2019, and despite receiving the same treatment as before, she was only able to walk with a limp after surgery. Last April, Khin began experiencing severe pain on her right heel once again. She eventually sought medical attention and was told by her doctor that she has cancer in her right lower leg. Her doctor advised that she have her leg amputated below her knee, but due to financial constraints, she could not proceed with the surgery and returned home. After three months, the pain continued to worsen and Khin visited our medical partner's care center, Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), to request painkillers. After examining her leg, the doctor at MCLH told her that she would have to have her lower right leg amputated to prevent the spread of the cancer. Just as before, Khin refused the amputation. The doctor then referred her to the oncology department of Mawlamyine General Hospital and recommended that she receive a biopsy to confirm her diagnosis and need for surgery. The biopsy revealed that she has skin cancer. Khin decided that she wanted to proceed with the amputation despite being unable to fund the cost. The doctor admitted her that same day and fortunately referred her to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for financial assistance accessing treatment. On September 1st, surgeons at MCLH's care center will perform a leg amputation. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Khin's life-changing procedure. Khin shares, “I just came to MCLH for painkillers, and I did not know that the doctor would help me through donors. When I heard that I could have surgery with the help of donors, I felt so happy and my stress was relieved. My family also encouraged me to have the amputation so I can live a longer life with my children. I would like to say thank you to the donors for giving me a chance to live longer with my children.”
Rozaleny is a 70-year-old woman from the Philippines. She lives with her husband, who is a tricycle driver. For the past few months, Rozaleny has been experiencing pain and difficulty sitting. After three months of enduring this pain and discomfort, she decided to seek medical care. She was diagnosed with external hemorrhoids and was advised to undergo surgery to prevent her condition from worsening. However, Rozaleny and her husband could not fund her needed treatment due to financial constraints. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Rozaleny receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a hemorrhoidectomy on July 30th at WSFP's care center. During this procedure, surgeons will remove her external hemorrhoids. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $1,137 to cover the cost of Rozaleny's procedure and care. After her recovery, she will no longer experience pain and will avoid future complications. Rozaleny's husband shares, "This free surgery will really be a big help to us. We can't afford to pay for her treatment. We're eternally grateful to Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for all their help."
Agnes is a quiet, 49-year-old farmer and mother of six, living in the Rift Valley region in Kenya. Currently, her family lives on a small piece of land that was given to them, after they were displaced from their original home. The family depends on Agnes, as her husband is unable to work. In order to provide for her family, Agnes does casual jobs within the community, and also travels to neighboring villages to do farm work. While carrying a heavy load on one of her jobs, Agnes fell, fracturing a bone in her ankle. She suffers from joint pain and swelling, and is unable to bear weight on her right leg. This injury prevents Agnes from being able to work, which jeopardizes the well being of Agnes and her family, as she is the sole breadwinner for them all. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On June 28th, Agnes will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure, which will enable Agnes to continue to support her family, and to resume her life as it was prior to her injury. Agnes says: "I am living because of my children. They always look up to me for their needs. My hope is to be well again and continue supporting my family.”
Guerdina is a 15-year-old girl who lives in the mountains of central Haiti with her parents and four siblings. When she was 10 years old, Guerdina suffered from rheumatic fever. Her illness severely damaged one of the valves of her heart, making it unable to adequately pump blood through her body. In 2019, she underwent a surgery to repair her damaged heart valve. That procedure helped for several years, but her repaired valve is becoming less functional and now needs to be replaced with an artificial valve. After surgery, Guerdina's heart should be able to pump more normally and her doctors share that she should be able to lead a full and active life. Because the surgery she needs in not available in Haiti, Guerdina must travel overseas to receive surgery. On June 2nd, she will undergo heart surgery with the Cardiac team at the Cleveland Clinic, where surgeons will replace her mitral valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) is helping Guerdina's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medication, and follow-up appointments. This will also support her family to obtain passports and the HCA social workers who will accompany Guerdina's family during their travels. Guerdina shared, "my entire family and I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been helping me!"
Samir is a beautiful 12-day-old baby boy and the first-born child of his young parents. Both parents are very happy having had their first-born child, but they were became very concerned when they were informed that their son was born with a medical condition that need surgery to be corrected. Samir was born with clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. As he grows older, this condition will cause difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Samir’s father works as a mechanic, and he says he spent all his savings during the delivery, and he no longer has any money to be able to cover treatment for their son’s clubfoot treatment. Fortunately, Samir's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Samir's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to grow up healthy and walk well as he grows. Samir’s mother shared, “I don’t want our son to grow up with a disability of the foot just because we don’t have the money to treat him. Thank you for helping.”
Thein is a 56-year-old man who lives with his family in a refugee camp. Two of his daughters and his son-in-law work as seasonal workers outside of the camp, while Thein and his wife look after their three grandchildren, send them to school, and care for the household chores. In January, Thein was diagnosed with a cataract in his right eye and an early cataract in his left eye. Currently, he cannot see with his right eye, as his vision is blurry, and the vision in his left eye is also beginning to blur. As a result, Thein cannot walk easily and relies on a bamboo staff to help stabilize him as he tries to avoid tripping on any objects in his path. He shared that he feels discomforted and like he is living in darkness. Fortunately, Thein was able to visit our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), and they can help him heal. On March 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Thein shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will help my family plant and water vegetables around the house. It can save us money from buying the vegetables. I can help send my grandchildren to school and pick them up in the evening. I will also be able to visit my friend.”
Sa is a 36-year-old woman who likes to sew clothes. She also enjoys doing household chores and making delicious curries. Her husband is a nightguard at a hospital. Since 2015, Sa started to experience pain in her back and her pelvic area. Since December, her pain has worsened which makes it hard for her to sleep. She shared that she is feeling increasingly worried and depressed since she first experienced the pain and realized that she was unwell. Watsi donors helped support a CT scan and doctors have now diagnosed her with bilateral ovarian cancer. To help treat her condition, her doctors advised Sa to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Sa's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Sa is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on February 25th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she is hopeful that she'll no longer be in pain and will have a better shot at recovering from cancer. Sa said, "I was very worried when I heard that I needed surgery and that it would cost a lot of money. I was worried that if the donors stopped helping me, where would I come up with enough money to pay for my surgery. I could not sleep last night, constantly worrying about my treatment cost. When I called BCMF's staff and they told me that donors could pay for my surgery, I felt so much better. Thank you everyone for helping me."
Hezron is a talkative 26-year-old and hard working man. He gets work where ever he can and rents a small house in someone else's compound. When he doesn't have work to do, he helps care for the cattle on the farm or runs errands for his landlord. In August of last year, Hezron was attacked while transporting farm equipment. His leg was cut badly and his lower fibula was broken in the attack. He is at risk of infection and cannot walk like he used to. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On January 31st, Hezron will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. After treatment, Hezron will hopefully be able to return to his normal life. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. Hezron shared, "I’m really looking forward to this surgery as it might be the last one in my treatment."
Velonica is a 43-year-old woman and a mother of three living children. She shared that she lost a set of twins just a few days after birth some 15 years ago but still holds fond memories of her lovely tiny twins. Her children are aged between 25 and 8 years old and they are all in school. The oldest daughter is at a teachers' training college and the youngest in 4th grade in primary school. Velonica lives with her children and husband in Dowa about 40 kilometers away from the city of Lilongwe in Malawi. She and her husband are subsistent farmers, although they usually don’t have enough food for the year and they seek support from her husband’s relatives that live in the same village. In 2013, Velonica developed a swelling on her neck. She visited different hospitals and finally was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where a diagnosis of goiter was made. A partial thyroidectomy was done at the facility in 2014. However, in 2019 her neck swelling resurfaced again. She started feeling pain, having sleepless nights, difficulties in swallowing, feeling neck tightness, and headaches. She reported again to Kamuzu Central Hospital and a rescan was recommended but unfortunately, it was not done at the time. While seeking alternatives, Velonica came to Partners in Hope Medical Center. She was seen by a surgeon who, after laboratory tests and a scan, concluded that her goiter has recurred. He recommended surgery to remove the enlarged thyroid gland in a procedure called a total thyroidectomy. Velonica is currently unable to help her husband on the farm and has challenges in performing daily duties. She is unable to lift water on her head or to carry other heavy loads. Velonica feels the condition is interfering with her life and is looking forward to living her normal life again soon. Velonica said, “I live at my husband’s village among my in-laws and it has been about 2 years now of failing to do the things that every woman does, this is threatening my marriage and makes me feel bad. I hope this operation will bring an end to all this and I will be able to do my household chores again.”
Greyson is a 2-week-old baby boy. Greyson’s mother is a stay-at-home mother, and his father is a salesman employed in a small motorcycle spare shop. Greyson was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Greyson is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Greyson's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 29th. This procedure will hopefully spare Greyson from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Greyson’s mother says, “Please help us save our child’s life. I have never seen a child with spina bifida before and I am scared for my son. Please help us.”
Bekalu is a 5-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He loves sweets and playing football. He also loves his dad very much and is a good listener to him. Bekalu is the first child of his parents and he has a younger sister. His dad works as a health information technician in a government clinic. Bekalu’s mother ran a small vegetable business in the neighborhood before she gave birth to their second child. His dad’s income is significantly lower than the needs of the family so having money for healthcare costs is very challenging. Bekalu has been diagnosed with a condition called cryptorchidism. If left untreated, Bekalu has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Bekalu will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 28th. AMHF is requesting $754 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Bekalu's dad said: “I am so happy for him getting such a medical chance. I lost my hope before I came to this hospital. I was thinking ‘What will happen to this boy?’ We couldn’t get him to school as a result of this condition. But it was beyond our expectation to get this service. Once the treatment is finalized and he is as any other boy, me and his mom will have renewed hope and we will educate him well.”