Melissa joined Watsi on August 12th, 2014. One year ago, Melissa joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Melissa's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Angel, a baby girl from Haiti, to fund surgery to place a shunt in her brain to treat her condition.
Melissa has funded healthcare for 31 patients in 7 countries.
Melissa has funded healthcare for 31 patients in 7 countries.
Angel is a one-year-old girl from Haiti. She is her parent's first child. Her dad works as a taxi driver to support the family. Angel 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, Angel's head has been increasing in circumference. Without treatment, Angel will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery that will treat her hydrocephalus at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on April 26th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Angel's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Angel will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Angel's parents are looking forward to her being able to grow up and play like other children.
Sreyda is a 26-year-old grocery seller with five siblings. She currently lives with her parents and her sister. Sreyda enjoys watching movies and spending time chatting with her relatives. Three years ago, Sreyda had a severe ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. This has now caused Sreyda to experience hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. Sreyda traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 19th, Sreyda will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear where ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is helping Sreyda and her family raise $926 to cover her procedure, medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sreyda says, "I'm really hoping all of the ear discharge will stop and my hearing will improve."
Joy is a curious, active, and happy six-year-old girl. Joy's father works at a construction site, and her mother is unwell and unable to work. She also has a twin sister, and both girls attend school. The family lives in their ancestral home. Joy has been diagnosed with severe to profound bilateral hearing loss and needs to be fitted for a hearing aid so that she can hear well. She is currently unable to speak and while she is able to attend school, she is unable to sit for exams due to her hearing loss. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Joy to get treatment and fitted for hearing aids. On April 8th, she will undergo the fitting and afterwards, her hearing should improve. Now, she and her family need help raising $1,171 to fund her care. Joy's mother shared, "our baby is so curious and anxious to go to school. Although she is unable to hear, she insists on accompanying her twin to school."
Daniel is a smart sixteen-year-old boy. He is the eldest in a family of three children and has been living with his aunt ever since he was a little boy. He joined the primary school at the age of nine and he passed his class 7 exams with flying colors. It is now getting difficult for him to walk to school due to a condition that started when he was in class six. He dreams of becoming an orthopedic doctor in the future. Daniel's aunt works as a security guard in a hospital in Arusha and her husband is a driver. They have four children of their own and they are also looking after Daniel. Daniel was diagnosed with genu valgus. His legs bow so that his knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. He used to enjoy playing soccer, but now he can no longer run as well as he used to. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Daniel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 17th. Treatment will hopefully restore Daniel's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Daniel shared, “There were lots of things I enjoyed doing like playing football and being able to walk and run easily, but due to my legs bending it is hard now.”
Yousos is a 26-year-old rice farmer who is married with has a four-year-old son and an eight-month-old son. Yousos enjoys reading and playing chess. In May 2019, Yousos was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a right hip fracture. Yousos sought treatment at a local hospital and was diagnosed with avascular necrosis. Yousos was also seen by a Khmer traditional healer, but his hip pain has persisted. Now Yousos's hip pain is so great, he can no longer walk. Fortunately, a neighbor told Yousos about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Yousos of his pain and allow him to walk easily. CSC is helping Yousos raise the $1,087 to cover the cost of the procedure scheduled for February 16th. Yousos is now hopeful to be more active and feel well again. He shared, "I hope I can walk easily again without pain."
Tabitha is a mother of four children and shared that her husband passed away few years ago. She works hard to find jobs, mostly doing laundry for people, to provide for her family. Over the years, she has managed to take care of her four children with the limited income she gets from her work. Last November, Tabitha noticed a worrisome bump and consulted with her daughters who advised her to visit a hospital. She gathered some funds and visited a hospital nearby, but was not able to receive any help. She went to another facility that referred her to our Medical Partner's care center Kijabe Hospital. There doctors have told Tabitha that she needs an urgent surgery. Tabitha has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been advised to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Tabitha. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 14th. After treatment, Tabitha will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Tabitha says, "I was very shocked when I learned about my condition and up to now, I do not know what to do as I cannot afford the surgery.”
Mu is a 17-year-old boy who lives with his sister in Mae Sot, Thailand. Before that, he lived with his parents, one older sister, two younger brothers and one younger sister in a refugee camp. His sister works at a non-governmental organisation helping others in need. Around mid-August, Mu woke up one morning with pain in his left knee. At first he thought that the pain would go away on its own and that it was nothing serious. However, when the pain remained a few days later, he told his sister about it. His sister bought him a type of Burmese pain reliever balm to apply on his knee. He applied the balm for a week, but he did not feel any better. When he and his sister noticed that his left knee had become slightly swollen his sister called their father. Mu’s father told them that it could be an ulcer and suggested that they go to a hospital or buy him pain medication to reduce swelling. His sister bought the medication their father had suggested at a pharmacy, and Mu took it for a week. However, he did not feel better, and the swelling did not decrease. Mu was able to have an MRI at Chiang Mai Hospital and now the doctor recommends he undergo surgery to remove a tumor on his left knee. Mu sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund and is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on December 17th. He is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care which will enable him to get off of using crutches and back to feeling well again. Mu said, "After I heard from the doctor that my leg does not need to be amputated, I feel so happy."
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.”
Scovian is a quiet 6-year-old student and the firstborn in a family of two. She was brought to our clinic by her grandmother who takes care of her. She shared that Scovian's mother is a hawker in a town near her home while her father left the family because of her birth condition. Scovian has clubfoot of both feet. The condition has seriously affected her mobility. Balancing and maintaining her posture is a challenge. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Scovian is stigmatized due to this condition in the village and at school. At school, Scovian is often mocked by other pupils. Due to that, her grandmother escorts her to school every day. Fortunately, Scovian traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on November 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Scovian's clubfoot repair. After treatment, her self-esteem will be boosted, she will be able to put on shoes, walk well, and engage with friends. Also, she will be able to continue with her studies well. Scovian's grandmother says, “If the surgery is done and is successful, I will be grateful to God.”
Naw Day is a 31-year-old pregnant woman who lives with her husband and three-year-old son in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Naw Day works as a high school teacher, however since August 2021, schools have been closed in the refugee camp due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. She currently only works one day a week, where she helps clean the school. Naw Day and her husband are expecting their second child. Her doctor has recommended that she give birth through a scheduled Caesarean section to ensure a safe arrival for her baby. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Naw Day to receive labor and delivery care. On October 8th, she will deliver her baby via C-Section. Now, their family needs help raising $1,500 to fund a healthy and safe delivery for her and her baby. Naw Day shared, "Thank you for helping me."
Ndaanya is a five-year-old boy and the youngest child in a family of three children. His mother is not married and works as a farmer to support her family growing maize, sunflowers, groundnuts and vegetables. Ndaanya has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Ndaanya traveled to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), to receive treatment. On September 14th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Ndaanya's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and start schooling. Ndaanya’s mother shared, "I had lost hope... I knew this problem could only be corrected when he was a small baby and because his treatment was not successful I thought he would live with this disability for the rest of his life. I will be so happy and grateful if you help correct my son’s feet.”
Deth is a 37-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He lives in the Kampong Cham province with his wife and two children. His wife works on a farm alongside him, while his children are both in primary school. They also have another son who recently became a monk. Deth works seasonally, and when he is not working he likes to spend a lot of time playing soccer, growing vegetables, and watching movies. One year ago, Deth had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Deth experiences hearing loss, pain and ear discharge. He cannot communicate clearly with others. Deth traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On August 17th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations and relieve Deth's pain. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and in-patient care. Deth said, "I am hopeful that my ear will get better soon, so I can work in peace and enjoy talking to my family."