Erik joined Watsi on November 6th, 2014. Eight years ago, Erik joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Erik's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Francklin, a father of two from Haiti, to fund overseas transportation and preparations for heart surgery.
Erik has funded healthcare for 96 patients in 12 countries.
Erik has funded healthcare for 96 patients in 12 countries.
Francklin is a loving husband and father from Haiti. He lives with his wife and two children in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He works as a security guard for a private security company. Francklin has a cardiac condition called severe mitral stenosis which resulted from a rheumatic fever that he suffered when he was young. Blood cannot pass through a valve in his heart properly, leaving him weak and short of breath. The cardiac surgery that Francklin's condition requires is not available in Haiti, so he needs to fly to the United States to receive treatment. On November 18th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair the damaged valve; if they are unable, they will need to implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, the Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000 to pay for his surgery. Francklin's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep, travel, and follow-up care while he heals. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Francklin overseas. Francklin says, "My family and I will pray for God's blessings on everyone who is helping us."
Shwe is a 24-year-old woman who lives with her family in Burma and enjoys listening to Burmese pop music! Shwe previously worked in a factory, but she had to stop working last December when her health began to deteriorate. Her brother and stepfather both work as agricultural day laborers, and her sister-in-law and mother are both homemakers. The rest of her siblings are all waiting for schools to reopen so they can return to their studies. The schools were closed in February of 2021 following the Mayanmar military coup. About a year and a half ago, Shwe began to experience pain in her chest, as well as fatigue. She initially did not think that her symptoms were serious, but this changed after she fainted at work a few months later. After receiving an echocardiogram, she was diagnosed with mitral valve, aortic valve, and tricuspid valve regurgitation, which are all cardiac conditions that occur when the specified valve does not close properly. As a result, she experiences difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, a lack of appetite, and trouble sleeping. She also feels very tired when walking longer distances. Shwe now needs cardiac surgery to help alleviate her symptoms and allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. However, once the doctor told her and her family the cost of surgery, they left the hospital because they could not pay for Shwe's needed procedure. Fortunately, they happened to meet a taxi driver who kindly told them about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). BCMF is now helping Shwe undergo cardiac surgery on August 12th at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Shwe and her family need your support to fund this $1,500 procedure. Shwe says, “When I recover fully, I will go back to work and work hard. I will save my money and support my family.”
Kwan is a sweet and charming one-year-old girl who loves to dance whenever she hears music! She also likes to play with coconut leaves and pretend she is cooking with them. She lives with her parents and four brothers in Thailand. Kwan’s family fled from Karen State, Burma in 2016 due to armed conflict in their area. Her two oldest brothers and her father all work as agricultural day laborers, her other two brothers currently attend school, and her mother works as a homemaker. Her parents share that their monthly income is enough for their basic day-to-day needs, and when they feel sick, they typically use traditional medicine to manage their symptoms. One year ago on March 1st, Kwan was born at Tha Song Yang Hospital. Immediately after birth, her mother noticed that she had a small lump between her eyes. The doctor diagnosed her with encephalocele, a condition that occurs when the neural tube does not close and causes a sac-like bulge with brain tissue and spinal fluid to poke through the skull. The mass is currently increasing in size and pressing on her nostrils. Doctors want Kwan to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which X-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $693 to cover the cost of Kwan's CT scan and care, which is scheduled for August 8th. Kwan's mother says, “I was so happy when I heard my daughter has donors who will help support her treatment. Every night I have prayed to God to help my daughter. I want to thank the organization and the donors so much for their kindness. I want my daughter to grow up the same as other people and go to school. I want her to become an educated person. I also want her to help poor communities.”
Gedion is a happy and talkative 16-year-old from Kenya who is currently a student in standard eight. He is the thirdborn in a family of six. Since their mother left them a few years ago, he and his siblings live with their father in their rural home on a small piece of land. Gedion's father works as a casual laborer and burns charcoal for sale to provide for their family's basic needs, as well as to pay for the children's school fees. His family also plants maize and beans on their small piece of land to feed themselves. During holidays and on the weekends, Gedion and his siblings usually work on other people's farms to provide additional income. He shares that life for his family has been very difficult, but they have been working hard in order to fight poverty together. This past Saturday, Gedion was brought into our medical partner's care center, AIC Kapsowar Hospital, via an ambulance from a facility near his home after being involved in a road traffic accident. While Gedion was on his way home from a nearby shopping center, a tractor passed by. He hopped onto it in order to reach home faster since he was still far from home and it was already beginning to become dark. There were some people already on the tractor, so they continued with their journey together. While they were on their way, the tractor lost control and fell down. The people riding were all rushed to a nearby facility. While those with minor injuries were able to be treated at the local facility, three of the riders, including Gedion, had to be referred to our medical partner's care center. During the accident, he sustained a fracture of his right femur and is currently experiencing a lot of pain. He is also unable to use his leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 12th, Gedion will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which is called an open reduction and internal fixation. After treatment, he will be able to use his leg again, attend school, and help out at home. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Gedion shares, "This state has really pulled me down. I don’t know what to do. Kindly help me so that I may be able to pursue my dreams and change the state of my family.”
Stephen is a hardworking 29-year-old from Kenya. He lives with his single mother and his ten-year-old son. To support his mother and son, he works at a barber shop. Four months ago, Stephen fell from a tree while he was fetching firewood for his mother. This fall caused a closed fracture of his right hand. This condition has profoundly affected Stephen, not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. He currently experiences a lot of pain and can no longer work. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 8th, Stephen will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The procedure will heal his fracture and alleviate his pain. After receiving treatment, he will be able to return to his barber shop business and generate income for his mother and son. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Stephen shares, "Already my mother has been taking care of me and my son. I desperately need help so that I can regain my own self, start working to support my son, and not be dependent on my mother.”
Elka is a 13-month-old baby who lives in Haiti with her parents. Both of her parents are hardworking vendors in their local market. Elka was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, meaning blood leaks through a hole between two blood vessels located near her heart. This leaves her feeling weak and short of breath. Since the required treatment is not available in Haiti, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Elka travel to the Dominican Republic where she will be able to access the care she needs. On July 28th, she will undergo a procedure where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole so blood can flow without issue through her body. Elka's family is looking to raise $1,500 to fund her necessary care, treatment, and travel. Elka also has a cleft lip and palate, so once her heart condition is treated, a team of doctors will soon be able to perform another surgery to repair this condition and help her have a healthier future and a full life ahead. Her mother says, "I am looking forward to my daughter growing up as a normal healthy child!"
John is a young student from Haiti who lives with his mother and two older brothers in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He already loves going to kindergarten and enjoys playing with puzzles. John has a cardiac condition called double outlet right ventricle meaning the major arteries connect to the heart in an abnormal location making it difficult for blood to properly flow through his body. Unfortunately the treatment John needs to heal is not available anywhere in Haiti. So, John is flying to the Cayman Islands to receive cardiac surgery. On May 25th, surgeons will detach the arteries from John's heart and reconnect them in their anatomically correct locations. Have a Heart Cayman is contributing $17,000 to pay for this surgery. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, needs $1,500 to help John's family cover labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from Haiti Cardiac Alliance who will accompany John's family overseas. John's mother shared, "Our family all looks forward to our son having a more normal life after this surgery!"
Kai is an adorable baby boy from the Philippines who loves to listen to nursery rhymes. Kai's mother is a stay-at-home mom, while his father works as a construction worker. Kai's father's income helps to meet their day-to-day basic needs. Kai was born with a birth condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo surgery to help him heal on May 4th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to help cover the total cost of Kai's procedure and care. After his recovery, Kai will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing severe health complications in the future. Kai's mother shared, "This surgery is a big help for our family. The bigger portion of my husband's income goes to Kai's colostomy supplies. Now, we do not have to worry about it anymore. Thank you so much, World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for helping us."
Cornelius is four-month-old baby boy. He is the youngest in a family of eight children. Cornelius's older siblings are still school ranging from high school to primary school. Cornelius's parents are laborers on a tea farm making enough to meet the essential needs of the family. Without medical insurance, Cornelius's family cannot afford the cost of necessary medical treatments. Cornelius has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of this condition, Cornelius has experienced swelling in his head. Cornelius's parents took him to a hospital where he was examined and sent for a brain scan. Cornelius's parents could not afford the scan at that time, but soon after, friends of the family referred them to BenthanyKids Hospital. It was there Cornelius was was examined and scheduled to undergo a shunt insertion. This treatment will decompress the excess pressure in Cornelius's head, alleviate the swelling, and give Cornelius a chance at a better life. Without treatment, Cornelius will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Cornelius and his family raise $720 to cover the cost of the surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 31st and is expected to greatly improve Cornelius's quality of life. With proper treatment, Cornelius will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Cornelius’ mother says, “We have faith that Cornelius will be healed.”
Agai is a nine-month-old baby boy and the youngest child of his mother's five children. Agai's father lives in a remote village where most people are Maasai and keep livestock for a living. His parents sell milk and cattle to support the family. Agai has clubfoot of his left foot, a condition in which his foot is twisted out of shape. His condition may cause him difficulty walking and even wearing shoes in the future. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Agai receive treatment. On March 1st, he will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. A successful treatment will ensure that he is able to walk easily when he gets older. Now, he and his family need help raising $935 to fund Agai's procedure and care. Agai’s mother shared, "when my stepdaughter told me there is a place where my son can have his foot corrected it was hard to believe. But after seeing other children with a similar condition, I realized it is not just my son."
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."
Jane is a strong 34-year-old woman from Zambezi in Kiambu County. She is married with 3 children. Jane began having abdominal pains and vomiting about four years ago. She visited various hospitals and was treated for ulcers but her symptoms persisted. At one point she was told she had an issue with her liver and was sent to a specialist. Jane had extensive lab tests done and several scans which showed she has cholelithiasis or gallstones. These are hardened deposits of digestive fluid that form in the gallbladder. She came to Nazareth Hospital and consulted the surgeon who recommended laparotomy to finally remove the gallstones. Jane’s husband, who runs a small shop to fend for his family, has registered with the national health insurance program but their coverage has not yet been approved. On seeing his wife’s worsening pain and discomfort he decided he couldn’t wait any longer and came to the hospital to find out about the estimated cost of surgery so that he can organize a community fundraiser (Harambee). The family members are not able to raise the money required on their own and need support. Jane says, “I hope to be treated and get relieved of these symptoms so that my family can stop being in a constant state of worry and uncertainty.”