Donatello joined Watsi on November 5th, 2015. Nine months ago, Donatello joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Donatello's most recent donation traveled 5,900 miles to support Israel, a curious baby and animal lover from Colombia, to fund a polydactyly procedure so he can learn to walk.
Donatello has funded healthcare for 9 patients in 5 countries.
Donatello has funded healthcare for 9 patients in 5 countries.
Israel is a one-year-old baby from Colombia who loves animals. His mother came to Colombia from Venezuela to seek better opportunities, where she fell in love with a Colombian man who became Israel's father. Israel loves to play with cars and his dog. Even though he doesn't speak a lot yet, he is constantly looking for a phone to call his grandmother. Israel was born with polydactyly of both feet. This means that he has an extra toe on each foot, which prevents him from wearing shoes and walking normally. On August 17th, surgeons from our medical partner will perform a polydactyly repair procedure to remove the extra digits. Our medical partner, Clínica Noel, is requesting $799 to fund this procedure. After surgery, Israel will be able to start wearing shoes and learn to walk and run. His mother offered advice for other mothers in a similar situation to stay hopeful: “The only thing that worried me was to know if he was going to be able to walk normally and wear shoes. I would tell a mother whose son was just diagnosed with polydactyly to just calm down and let the doctors help her, fortunately, this is not a complex pathology and the treatment already exists.”
Saray is a 16-year-old student who with his mother and his five older siblings. His father passed away a few years ago. His mother and older brothers work as farmers. When he is not at school, Saray likes to help with household chores or go for walks with one of his brothers. About five years ago, Saray had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Saray experiences pain, hearing loss, tinnitus and ear discharge. It is difficult for Saray to hear his family members, listen to the teacher at school, and in the past few months he has had to take time away from school. Saray traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 25th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Saray said, "I hope that this ear pain will be gone after surgery. I want to hear well at school and also listen to music on the radio when I am at home."
Melvin is a 3-year-old boy and the third and last born child in his family. His father is a security guard at local gas station and makes a humble income. To supplement his earnings, Melvin’s mother does laundry and farming for their neighbors. Occasionally, she's able to sell some farm produce she gets from their small farm. When Melvin was born, he was not able to breastfeed. After some referrals and unsuccessful treatments, Melvin went to the national hospital and was diagnosed with Hirschprung disease, a birth condition affecting his digestive system. He had several surgeries to correct the condition, which were fortunately covered by his family's National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) coverage at the time. One of the surgeries Melvin underwent was a colostomy, in which the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Melvin's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. However, to undergo the colostomy closure at the national hospital, he and his mother had to take COVID-19 tests, which were too expensive for their family. Fortunately, a family friend referred them next to our Medical Partner's Care Center BethanyKids Hospital, where doctors conducted tests and scheduled Melvin for the colostomy closure. Melvin's family normally has NHIF coverage, but they have depleted their yearly surgical allocation so this procedure is not supported. Melvin’s parents appeal for financial support for their son. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $650 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Melvin. The surgery is scheduled to take place on April 27th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Melvin’s mother shared, “We have been through a lot with Melvin and stopping now is not an option for us. We would like Melvin to live a healthy life just as our other children but our financial state has been a big hindrance for us.”
Victor is a student and the oldest of six in his family who live together in a grass thatched house. His parents are farmers in the village, and they grow maize and beans for their family’s upkeep. Victor was born with a complete absence of fingers on his left hand, which has forced him to learn how to do all tasks with his right hand including cooking and laundry. On March 11th, 2021, eighteen-year-old Victor was injured in a motorcycle road traffic accident. He was a passenger when the motorcycle slid on mud and fell. He sustained an injury on his lower leg, and his leg was placed in a cast shortly after the accident. A few weeks later, his condition worsened and his wounds started having signs of infection. His parents brought him to the hospital, where doctors conducted an X-ray which revealed a left tibia-fibula fracture. Victor is in pain and unable to walk. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 25th, Victor will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After healing, Victor will be able to walk again and engage in his normal activities. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,014 to fund this procedure and his family has been able to contribute $100. Victor is a diligent student, and he scheduled his surgery to begin after he sits for his final exams. He says, “I would have wished to undergo the surgery as soon as possible but I am sitting for my exams this coming week. My prayer is that I won’t be in so much pain so that I can sit for my exams comfortably.” Victor’s mother is appealing to anyone reading his son's story to help her raise money for a successful surgery.
Lai is a 59-year-old with six children and four grandchildren. She is widowed and lives with a daughter and helps her with the children. One month ago, Lai slipped and fell in the bathroom. She is not able to walk and experiences constant and severe pain in her left hip due to a femoral neck fracture. Fortunately, Lai learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). At CSC, surgeons will perform a total hip replacement to relieve Lai of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for February 17th, and Lai needs help raising $1,087 to pay for the procedure. Lai shared that she really wants to walk again and be free of the terrible pain she's feeling.
Rebecca is a 1-year-old girl from Tanzania. She is the last born in a family of two children and has started to grow into a strong and beautiful girl. Both of her parents depend on small scale farming to support their family. Rebecca was initially brought to the hospital by her parents seeking treatment to help correct her spina bifida condition. Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord fail to form properly. This puts a child in danger of limb paralyses or death in case of a severe infection. At the time, Rebecca's parents could not afford the proposed surgery. Luckily, one of their friends advised them to seek help at our medical partner's care center, ALMC Plaster House. Through Watsi funding, Rebecca’s life was saved and she has been growing well since then. However, a few weeks ago, Rebecca's mother noticed her daughter's head was increasing in size at a very fast rate and she was complaining of headaches. Her parents had worked hard to save some money and got a health insurance card for their baby, so they decided to take her to the hospital to seek treatment. There, Rebecca was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. She needs to have an ETV surgery that will help relieve her of the pressure build-up, which would otherwise lead to brain damage. Unfortunately, their insurance has not matured enough to cover this kind of major surgery, so Rebecca's parents are appealing for financial support to help her. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Rebecca that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 25th and will drain the excess fluid from Rebecca's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Rebecca will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Rebecca’s mother shared, “My daughter’s head is increasing in size and it is making her sick. She needs surgery but the insurance we got for her cannot cover the cost. Please help once more if it is possible because we don’t know where to run to for help besides all of you.”
Meakea is a 20-year-old construction worker with one brother and one sister. Meakea is the middle child in his family. His brother is also a construction worker and his sister works in a factory. Their parents are farmers. In his free time Meakea enjoys listening to music, playing games on his phone, meeting up with friends, and playing football. On December 4th, Meakea was electrocuted at work and sustained electric burns on his hands and feet. After the accident he went to a provincial hospital for 10 days for treatment. He still has bad wounds on his hands and feet. It is difficult for him to use his hands and he is in pain. When Meakea learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On December 23rd, surgeons at CSC will perform a debridement procedure to help him recover on both hands and both feet. Now, he needs help to fund this $787 procedure. Meakea said, "I hope after my surgery my hands and feet are stronger and healed so I can be finally free of pain."
Mary is a 46-year-old woman from Kenya. She is a housewife and a farmer, and is a mother of four children. Despite having lost sight in her left eye, Mary has been taking care of her children and her family's small piece of land. Her husband works as a street vendor to support the family's financial needs. On November 23rd, Mary slipped and fell, bending her left knee directly onto a stone. An X-ray confirmed that she sustained a closed fracture of her patella. This injury makes it difficult for her to walk, and she is in chronic pain. Fortunately, Mary's husband was able to bring her to the hospital and now surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 26th, Mary will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Mary's husband shared while holding back tears, "Without support, my wife will never walk again and it will be hard for her take care of our children. Please help her so that at least she can walk again and continue supporting our family.”
Wai is a 33-year-old homemaker from Thailand. She lives with her husband, son, and daughter on the border of Thailand. She is a homemaker, and her husband is a day laborer. Since Wai injured her left eye, her husband had to stop working to look after their children, since her son has a heart condition and her daughter has asthma. Since a young boy accidentally shot her in the left eye with a slingshot, Wai's left eye has been in pain. Her left pupil is covered by a white spot, and she also cannot see clearly. Wai feels stressed and depressed about her eye, and she has lost her appetite. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a lens replacement surgery for Wai. On October 27th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Wai's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Wai shared, “I will try to be a good mother and make sure my children receive an education because I do not want my children to be uneducated like me. If I get better, I will always bring and pick up my children from school. I will look after them full time so that my husband can go back to work and save money.”