Robert joined Watsi on April 7th, 2014. Nine years ago, Robert joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Robert's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Emmanuel, a 39-year-old loving father from Haiti, to fund the medical care and travel needed for specialized heart surgery.
Robert has funded healthcare for 109 patients in 12 countries.
Robert has funded healthcare for 109 patients in 12 countries.
Emmanuel is a 39-year-old father of two from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He lives with his wife and children and works in sales at an electronics store. He has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. There is a hole between the two upper chambers of his heart, which causes blood to leak out without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Because the care he needs is not available in Haiti, Emmanuel will fly to the United States to undergo cardiac surgery on February 27th. Doctors will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital is contributing $10,000 to help pay for this surgery. His family now needs $1,500 to help fund costs of the surgery preparations, including labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments, and travel expenses. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance will accompany Emmanuel overseas and ensure he safely undergoes treatment. Emmanuel says, "I am excited for this surgery so that I can focus on taking care of my family without worrying about my health."
Meet Zephania, a jovial, 34 year old farmer, living in the highlands of Kenya with his wife and three children. Zephania has a small piece of land, on which he plants maize and potatoes, mainly for his family's consumption. He dropped out of high school early because his family could not afford to cover the necessary fees. He has been a casual laborer working on people's farms, clearing bushes and carrying loads, in order to earn a living. His wife is not working currently, as she is expecting a child. Zephania was involved in an accident while riding his motorbike. When he arrived at the hospital, he was unable to stand or to walk, and he complained of a lot of pain in his left leg. Upon examination, it was revealed that his leg had been shortened, and there was also some swelling of the limb. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. On January 10th, Zephania will undergo a fracture repair procedure at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. As a result of this surgery, called an open reduction and internal fixation, Zephania will no longer be in pain; his leg will heal, and he will be able to return to work and to provide for his family. Now, African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Zephania says: "My family depends on me for their daily needs, so it is really difficult for them. I don’t want to see them struggle when I am living.”
Emmanuel, who is 19 years old, is the third born in a family of five children. He lives in Kansau village in Kenya. While Emmanuel was healthy at birth, when he was four or five years old, he began to experience convulsions. His parents brought him to Kenyatta National Hospital, where he was diagnosed with hemiplegic CP, a condition where the brain has been impacted and results in the paralysis of one side of the body. In addition, Emmanuel has clubfoot of his left foot, which makes it difficult for him to wear shoes and to walk easily. Fortunately, Emmanuel traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Emmanuel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk more easily, and to resume his vocational studies classes at Machakos School, which he so enjoys. Emmanuel said: “I would love to see my foot corrected so that I can continue with my studies and start my business in the future.”
Emmanuel is a 17-year-old student from Haiti who hopes to become a doctor. He lives with his aunt and uncle in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince so that he can more easily attend school, as his parents live in the countryside. Emmanuel has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation, which means one of his heart valves was severely damaged from an infection he experienced in early childhood. In 2017, Emmanuel underwent heart surgery to repair his existing valve. This surgery stabilized his heart for several years, but the valve remains unable to pump blood adequately throughout his body. Emmanuel needs to undergo a second surgery to replace the valve with a prosthetic heart valve. Emmanuel will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment, as this surgery is unavailable in Haiti. On November 10th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove the damaged heart valve and implant a replacement valve. An organization called Mitral Foundation is contributing $8,000 to pay for help pay for surgery. Emmanuel's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Emmanuel's family overseas. Emmanuel shared, "I am looking forward to growing stronger and having much more energy after my surgery!"
Meet Glory, a three year old girl living with her parents and one sibling in Tanzania. Her parents work hard at jobs that limit the time that they can spend with their children, but which enable them to provide for the family's basic needs. In 2021, Glory was enjoying tea with her sister, when the hot liquid spilled onto her arm, burning her. Glory's parents brought her to the nearest hospital, where she was treated and sent home. The burns healed, but contractures formed, making it impossible for Glory to straighten her arm. After a second evaluation, Glory's parents were told that she would need surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help. On October 13th, surgeons at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre will perform burn contracture release surgery, which will enable Glory to straighten her arm. Now, the family needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Glory’s mother says: “I am hopeful now that my daughter is going to get better.”
Hellen is a soft-spoken, 23 year old student, living with relatives in Gilgil Town in Kenya. Hellen's parents are elderly, and as neither they nor Hellen have a stable source of income, Hellen's relatives are paying for her studies in food and beverage. Just two weeks ago, after undergoing an MRI because of abdominal pain, Hellen learned that she has a fast growing mass in her abdomen, that has displaced her uterus. Hellen was told that she needs surgery urgently in order to remove the mass. If left untreated, the mass could become cancerous, and threaten Hellen's ability to bear children. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help Hellen access the care that she needs. On September 9th, Hellen will undergo a laparoscopic procedure at AIC Kijabe Hospital, at which time the mass will be removed. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is seeking $1,074 to fund Hellen's surgery. Hellen says: "The swelling in the stomach is growing so fast. I am scared it might be cancerous. It might also affect my ability to get kids if not treated.”
Alexia is a first-year student nurse from the Philippines. Alexia's mother is a stay-at-home mom, and her father works as a ride operator abroad. Despite working hard, her father's income is only enough for the family's basic needs. In March, Alexia began to experience troubling symptoms, including severe abdominal pain radiating to her back. Alexia was brought to a nearby hospital to be treated. Upon having her ultrasound test, it showed that she was suffering from a gallstone. Alexia has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put him at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Alexia is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on September 5th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $820 to cover the cost of Alexia's surgery make her care possible. Alexia's mother shared, "We are financially incapable to pay for her medical bills. With this surgery, we don't have to worry about it anymore. I'd like to thank WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines! We're so fortunate to be one of your beneficiaries."
Chris is an adorable 19-month-old baby from Tanzania. He is the youngest of two children in his family. Chris’s parents are both small-scale farmers of corn, beans, potatoes, and other vegetables, which they use to feed their family. However, they also sell whatever they do not eat in order to earn some income. When Chris was born, his mother immediately noticed that his right foot was twisted out of shape. This is because he has clubfoot of his right foot, which caused this to occur and makes it difficult to walk and wear shoes. When his mother took him to receive a vaccination, she was referred to another hospital for treatment, but she shared that he could not undergo it due to financial constraints. She then sought the help of a local traditional doctor, who tried to heal his condition through massages and herbal medications, but they saw no effective change. Fortunately, Chris's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Chris's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Chris's mother shares, “We couldn’t find the money to take him to the hospital, and that’s why he is still this way. We have no other means.”
Josiah is a curious and playful two-year-old. He lives with his parents and his sibling in a small, rented house. To support their family, his mother sells face masks at a local shopping area and his father does various jobs, depending on what work is available at the time. When Josiah was one years old, his parents noticed that one of his testes had not descended. After taking their son to a nearby hospital to be examined, they were told to wait a few months to see if the testes would descend. More than six months later, the condition had not changed, and Josiah was referred to our medical partner BethanyKids Hospital for treatment. His family managed to raise enough money to bring Josiah in for examination, and upon arrival, he was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, he would have an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Josiah's family could not raise the amount of money required for his surgery alone. Fortunately, he will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Josiah is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 4th. AMH is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Josiah’s mother says, “After hearing the consequences of his condition if not treated, I was very much worried for him since we cannot afford his treatment.”
Shantel is a 5-year-old cheerful girl from Elgeyo Marakwet County in western Kenya. Shantel is the eldest child in her family and lives with her grandmother in a semi-permanent house. Shantel's family grows maize on their small piece of land as their source of food along with casual jobs working on other farms and doing laundry to earn a living. Shantel recently visited AIC Kapsowar Hospital for an x-ray of an elbow fracture and a posterior splint for her right arm. She sustained the injury after falling from a tree while playing with other children. They visited another hospital near their home where she was stabilized with the splint, but was asked to wait to be seen by a surgeon. Shantel is right-handed and this injury has impacted her performance at school since she cannot write. An orthopedic surgeon determined that Shantel needed percutaneous pinning urgently to help restore the normal functioning of her limb and to be able to continue with her education. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $679 to cover Shantel's surgery on May 24th. Shantel's mother shared, "It hurts when my child needs help that I cannot offer her. Kindly help her so she may be able to go to school like other children.”
Ruth is a two-year-old girl who lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, which is the capital of the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. She is her parent's first child. Ruth was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus, which causes blood to leak through a hole between two major blood vessels near her heart. The condition makes it difficult for Ruth's small heart to fully function. Fortunately, her condition is highly treatable with surgery. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, so our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged to take Ruth and her mother to the Dominican Republic, where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole near her heart. The treatment, scheduled for May 25th, will stop blood from leaking into her blood vessels and should allow her to live a full life ahead. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 toward the surgery cost. Her family is raising $1,500 to help cover the rest of her treatment and related care, including travel for Ruth and her mother. Her mother shared, "Our family is very hopeful that after the surgery, our daughter will have more energy and a better appetite."
Jackson is a fifteen-year-old student and the last-born child to his mother. He has a large family, as is common in the Maasai community where he lives. Jackson is a very hard-working boy both at home and at school. He is social and self-driven. He shared that most boys his age don’t like school or don’t get the chance to attend school, but not Jackson! His favorite subjects are Physics, Swahili, and History. He wishes to be a teacher in the future to help educate his community. Jackson is a big football fan, but he had to stop playing because his legs started hurting and it has gotten difficult for him to walk. Jackson was diagnosed with Bilateral Genu Varus, where both of his legs are curving outwards. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he experiences pain and difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Jackson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Jackson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Jackson says, "My legs have made walking very difficult due to the pain. I would like to walk to school without difficulty and enjoy playing sports and helping my parents."