Matthew joined Watsi on August 19th, 2015. 8 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Matthew's most recent donation supported Efrein, a baby boy from Guatemala, to fund malnutrition treatment.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 17 patients in 7 countries.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 17 patients in 7 countries.
Efrien is a 13-month-old boy from Guatemala, but he is only the size of a healthy nine-month-old. He is behind in his motor and cognitive development. He has been diagnosed with acute malnutrition. This means he has little energy to grow, and his immune system is weak and vulnerable to illness. He is also at risk of chronic disease and delayed development. Fortunately, Efrien began malnutrition treatment on November 24, 2016. Efrien loves to play with his toy car. His favorite food is chicken. He lives with his mother and older sister, Tomasa, in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof. His father works as a day laborer on a local plantation, and he has difficulty providing for all of the family's needs. He cannot afford this $512 treatment. While malnutrition can have devastating effects, it is also very treatable. Growth monitoring, micronutrients, and food supplementation will help Efrien recover. He will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children his age, and his immune system will grow stronger. Community health workers will teach his mother about creating a nutrient-rich diet from limited resources. Treatment will give Efrien a chance to grow healthy and strong.
Meet Neema, a one-week-old baby girl. When she was born, her doctor noticed an opening on her back. He referred her family to a bigger hospital, where she received a diagnosis of hydrocephalus and myelomeningocoele––birth defects affecting the brain and the spinal cord. Treatment was required immediately to limit the risk of infection and spinal cord damage. On November 7, 2016, Neema underwent surgery at our medical partner's hospital, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. Surgeons planned to close the opening on her back and to insert a device to limit pressure on her brain. Neema is the first born to her mother. They live in a remote part of Tanzania where herding is the main economic activity. Neema's mother and grandmother traveled for three hours to reach the hospital. They need help to pay for her $1,200 treatment. "We have traveled very far after hearing she could get treated here," says Neema's mother. "We hope she will be okay."
Ally is a 20-month-old boy from Tanzania. He is the precious first born child of his parents, who were married in 2014. They sought treatment as soon as they saw that Ally's right foot was clubbed. They were treated at a regional hospital , but could not stay until the end of the treatment, so the foot returned to a fully clubbed position. The outreach program from The Plaster House (a Watsi partner center) identified Ally and referred him in for complete treatment for his club foot, including corrective surgery. It is expected that this treatment will be successful and that Ally will heal fully. After the treatment, he will be able to continue growing and developing like other children. $1,160 will cover the costs of the surgery and care Ally needs to correct his club foot. Let's help raise the funds!
Gloria is a baby girl from Guatemala who is far too small for her age. Despite being eight months old, she is the size of an average four-month-old. Gloria is severely malnourished due to consuming too little protein and too few calories and nutrients. Her poor diet is not only affecting her size but is also weakening her immune system, causing to her almost constantly have a cold, fever, or diarrhea. If Gloria does not receive treatment, she could face long-term consequences such as increased risk of chronic diseases, low IQ, and a higher likelihood of dropping out of school. Gloria lives with her parents and four older siblings in a one-room house made of cinderblocks with a tin roof. Her father works as a day laborer, earning only a couple of dollars per day harvesting beans, corn, and squash. Her mother takes care of Gloria and her siblings. She also wakes most mornings before dawn to look for firewood to sell while carrying baby Gloria on her back. Although the family wants the best for Gloria, they cannot afford to give her even one piece of fruit, vegetable, or egg per day. This makes it impossible for her to overcome malnutrition without medical treatment. For $512, Gloria will receive growth monitoring, micronutrients, and food supplementation to help her recover from malnutrition. Her parents will receive the support they need to feel empowered to give Gloria the diet she needs to grow and develop normally, even with their limited resources. With treatment, Gloria will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children her age. Her immune system will grow stronger with the increased caloric intake. This will further increase her appetite and help her use the extra calories for healthy growth and development instead of for recovery from frequent bouts of diarrhea. Intervention now will prevent the future devastating effects of malnutrition and give Gloria the chance to live a healthy and productive life, finish school, get a good job, and escape the cycle of malnutrition and poverty that made her sick in the first place. “I dream that my daughter grows healthy," shares Gloria's mother. "And when she’s big, she can study to be a teacher in the community."
Sainani is a farmer from Malawi's Central Region. He and his wife have seven children and six grandchildren. When Sainani isn't busy farming, he enjoys crafting and going to church. Nine months ago, Sainani started experiencing urinary symptoms related to an enlarged prostate. Benign prostatic hyperplasia causes the prostate to squeeze or partly block the urethra, leading to problems urinating. Until now, he has not been able to access medical treatment, and is feeling very excited that he will be able to receive surgery. He will undergo surgery to remove part of the prostate. The treatment will cost $742, and will greatly improve the urine flow through the urethra. His family is happy and has accepted that he will be undergoing an operation. He hopes to return home quickly so he can go back to work to provide for his family.
Nine-month-old Kenneth is far below the healthy height and weight for his age. His parents do not have the resources to buy him the varied and nutritious diet he needs to grow. His diet lacks fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods, leaving his immune system weak. This means that diarrhea, fevers, and respiratory illness can be life-threatening if he does not receive treatment. In the long term, he could face stunted neurodevelopment, increased risk of chronic diseases, and subsequent low earning potential as an adult. Kenneth lives in a one-room adobe house in Guatemala with his family. He is a twin, and his parents have been unable to afford to feed their two children the foods they need. This is because they live on only a couple of dollars a day--his father works as a day-laborer who often doesn't have work and his mother works at home, taking care of him and his brother. For $512, Kenneth will receive growth monitoring, micronutrients and food supplementation, which will help him recover from malnutrition--saving his life and putting him on track to live a better life in the future. He will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children his age. His immune system will grow stronger with the increased caloric intake, preventing him from having any life-threatening situations with diarrhea and fevers. This will further increase his appetite and help him use the extra calories to develop mentally instead of those calories being wasted on getting over frequent illnesses. His parents will also receive the support they need to feel empowered to give Kenneth the diet he needs to grow and develop healthily. Intervention now will prevent the future devastating effects of malnutrition, and give Kenneth the chance to live a healthy and productive life, finish school, get a good job, and escape the cycle of malnutrition and poverty that made him sick in the first place.
Jonalyn is a happy, 13-year-old student who loves to study and play a game similar to kick-the-can. She lives with her parents and two siblings in the Philippines, where their one-room house has a cement floor and a thatched roof made of nipa leaves. Jonalyn noticed a mass on the right side of neck when she was 12 years old. She told her mother about it, but they did not seek help since they did not have money to spend on medical consultations or medicine. After a few months, she complained of pain when swallowing and difficulty breathing and also noticed that the mass on her neck was getting bigger. She has been unable to concentrate during her classes because of the on-and-off throbbing pain in her neck. During a church activity in May of 2015, Jonalyn felt a throbbing pain in her neck and was examined by a doctor. She was diagnosed with a goiter—an enlarged thyroid gland usually caused by a deficiency of iodine, an important element in the production of thyroid hormones that regulate the body's metabolism. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic for seven days and iron supplements for 10 days and referred Jonalyn to another care facility to undergo tests to determine the type of goiter. Unfortunately, the family was unable to seek further care for Jonalyn until now. She was screened by a health trainer in one of our sponsored communities, consultation was facilitated, and she was advised to undergo a thyroidectomy to remove the thyroid gland. Jonalyn's mother is a housewife, and her father raises pigs. They cannot pay for surgery for Jonalyn because their income is barely enough to sustain the family's daily needs. $1,500 covers the cost of Jonalyn's surgery, transportation to and from the hospital, 10 days of hospital care—including medicine, imaging, and blood tests—and medicine to take after she goes home. The surgery will lessen Jonalyn's discomfort due to her condition. "I am very thankful to you for helping people like me in my condition, especially those who are not financially capable in terms of health treatment," shares Jonalyn. "I was truly blessed because I was given an opportunity to be treated. After the surgery, I plan to continue my schooling to reach my dreams and help my family someday."
Esupat is a very sweet two-year-old girl from Tanzania. Her mother is a housewife and her father a janitor. Esupat's legs are deformed due to a condition known as genu valgus, a condition in which the knees angle in and touch one another when the legs are straightened. Due to her condition, Esupat experiences pain when walking and her legs have become progressively bent inward. Genu valgus is a condition common to the region due to the excessive flouride in the drinking water. Esupat loves to play with her friends and her siblings, but her condition makes it difficult to keep up with other children her age. Her father heard about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF) through work. AMHF determined that Esupat is in need of corrective surgery and rehabilitation in order to allow her to walk properly. For $940, doctors will perform a procedure to straighten her knees and afterwards Esupat will participate in physical therapy to learn to walk again. Without this surgery, Esupat's gait may worsen and she will be very limited in where she can walk. Esupat is expected to make a full recovery and be able to play and keep up with other children her age. "I want my child to heal and study to become a nurse when she is older," says Esupat's mom.
Meet Ana, a 23-month-old girl from Guatemala. Ana and her four siblings live in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof in a rural mountainous community. She loves to play with her doll with her older siblings, and sing to her little brother. Her parents are farmers, and they cultivate cabbage, cauliflower, and green beans which they sell at the market, and eat what does not sell. Although her parents work hard, they do not make enough money to support a healthy diet for Ana and need support to help her get well—they cannot afford to give her even one egg or piece of fruit per day. Ana is not growing like she should because she has acute malnutrition. She is nearly three and a half standard deviations below the normal size for her age. This is because she has not had access to a healthy diet—her body has not gotten the protein, calories and nutrients that it needs to grow normally. Her energy is low, she has little appetite, and she has been getting sick more often than the other kids that live in the neighborhood—in the past two weeks alone she has had a fever and cough. Diarrhea, cough, and fevers can be life-threatening for children like Ana, whose immune systems are weak due to their poor diet. Her mother is worried about her, since she has noticed that she is not growing as well as her older kids. In the long term, Ana could be at risk of stunted neurodevelopment, behavioral problems, and a greater risk of chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. Growth monitoring, micronutrients, food supplementation, and deworming medication will help Ana gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children her age. All of this can be accomplished with treatment, which costs $512. Treating her now will have a large impact—she will likely be able to reach developmental milestones just like healthy kids her age. This treatment will strengthen her immune system, increase her overall caloric intake, and allow her to have more energy to play and learn. Her parents will receive the support they need to feel empowered to give her the diet she needs to grow and develop--they will receive intense and motivational nutrition classes to learn what, when, and how to feed Ana the best diet possible. This will help her start to develop better both physically and mentally, giving her the chance to live a healthy and productive life, escaping the cycle of malnutrition that is making her sick. "I hope that one day she can graduate and become a teacher," Ana's mother shared.
30-year-old Savann lives in Cambodia with her son and daughter. "Savann began having ear discharge when she was 10 years old from an ear infection," our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) reports. Her condition, cholesteatoma, has continued to cause her to experience daily ear discharge, pain, and hearing loss in her left ear over the past 20 years. As a factory worker, she often is unable to go to work due to her ear pain. She then spends her time working around the home and listening to the radio. She's hopeful that after being treated her hearing will improve so she can go back to work. After a fellow villager told her about CSC, she traveled with her father for two hours to reach the centre. In order to treat cholesteatoma, Savann will undergo a mastoidectomy surgery on her left ear. The surgery will remove the diseased mastoid air cells, which are behind the ear in a hollow section of the skull. The procedure will cost $809. After treatment, Savann's hearing is expected to improve, and her ear discharge and pain will stop. Her father shared in their pre-operative interview: "I hope that after the operation is done, my daughter will have better hearing and health."
“Taina is an intelligent and cheerful girl who enjoys going to school and is in the third grade,” says our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA). Taina also likes to play with dolls and make new friends. Taina was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. "A hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart," explains HCA. "Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her sickly and weak.” Taina requires surgery to repair the opening between the atria in her heart. “Following surgery, normal blood flow should be restored to Taina’s heart and body,” says HCA, “and she should no longer have symptoms from this condition.” However, Taina needs help securing funding for her operation. “Her mother passed away when she was young, and she lived in the streets for some time before being enrolled into an orphanage,” says HCA. Gift of Life International has contributed $5,000 towards her surgery, and an additional $1,500 in Watsi funding is needed to cover preparation and transportation costs, as this surgery is not readily available in Haiti. With our help, Taina can receive the medical care she needs to restore her health. “I am very excited to have my surgery so that I can play with my friends without getting tired,” she shares.
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."