gail gettler
gail's Story

gail joined Watsi on June 25th, 2015. 25 other people also joined Watsi on that day! gail's most recent donation supported Waily, a student from Dominican Republic, to fund prep for cardiac surgery.


gail has funded healthcare for 13 patients in 7 countries.

Patients funded by gail

Six-month-old Cristhofer is the youngest of two children. He lives with his family in a one-room cinderblock house in Guatemala. His mother is raising him alone, and works cooking, cleaning, and taking care of him and his siblings, as well as washing neighbors’ clothes to earn a little money. Although his mom wants the best for him, she does not have the resources to feed him even one vegetable, piece of fruit, or egg—the minimum that he needs to be able to overcome malnutrition. When he was born, Cristhofer had to spend the first weeks of his life hospitalized for pneumonia. Since then, he has not been able to catch up to a normal weight. His mother says that he is almost always sick and never has an appetite—that is because he hasn’t had a healthy diet filled with protein, calories, and nutrients. If he does not receive treatment, Cristhofer could face the consequences of malnutrition for the rest of his life—he could have a low IQ, trouble focusing in school, and a greater risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension as an adult. All these consequences make it less likely he will have a well-paying job as an adult, meaning the cycle of poverty and malnutrition would continue if he decides to have kids. Growth monitoring, micronutrient and food supplementation, and deworming medication will help Cristhofer recover from malnutrition. 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. This will further increase his appetite and help him use the extra calories to gain motor skills and learn new words instead of those calories being wasted on getting over frequent illnesses. His mother will receive the support she need to feel empowered to give Cristhofer the diet he needs to grow and develop healthily, even with limited resources. Intervention now will give Cristhofer the chance to live a healthy and productive life and escape the cycle of malnutrition and poverty that made him sick in the first place.

Fully funded

Meet Ezekiel, a 31-year-old man from Kenya with a wife and three young children. Ezekiel and his family live on ancestral land where they plant tea. Ezekiel has a brain tumor and is a patient with our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). “Ezekiel began experiencing severe headaches in January this year. The headaches would persist for about a month and then go away for another month before he would have another severe headache," AMHF explains. "After a few months, Ezekiel started experiencing shaking in his right hand and losing his sight gradually. Currently Ezekiel is not able to hold anything steady with his right hand and can only make out shapes but has no ability to identify people or things. This has forced him to stop working and he has to be constantly accompanied by a family member wherever he goes.” They continue, “if not treated, the tumor could cause brain damage and total blindness. The pressure on Ezekiel’s brain may also result in death.” For $1,205, we can fund a surgery called a craniotomy, which will temporarily remove a bone flap from the skull in order to access the brain. This will allow a surgeon to find the brain tumor and remove as much of it as possible. Ezekiel's friends have kindly come together and agreed to fund $300 of the cost of treatment. “We expect that after the treatment and recovery, Ezekiel will be able to see again and the shaking will stop so he can get back to work,” says AMHF. In Ezekiel's words, “I can no longer see. My life has changed drastically over the last couple of months. I thank God that my condition can be treated and I can go back to work to support my family.”

Fully funded

“Eric is shy,” shares our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). “He likes to play with mud - building some houses and shapes of people and other things.” This is Eric, an adorable, three-year-old boy from Tanzania. “Eric is the only child to his mother, who is a single parent. She loves her son very much and works very hard to take good care of him,” continues AMHF. “She sells some vegetables and fruits at an open market in their village. The little that she earns is not enough to cover the cost of operation which her son needs.” Eric has bilateral genu valgus, a condition in which the knees angle inward and touch one another when the legs are straightened. “Eric is unable to walk without knocking his knees. It is difficult for him to run or walk fast and compete with other children when playing,” reports AMHF. “If not treated, Eric’s gait will continue to be affected and chances of developing osteoarthritis at an early age will increase.” Eric’s mother remarks, “I am worried that my son may fail to walk later on if the condition keeps getting worse.” With $940 in funding, Eric will undergo a combination of casting and surgery that will realign his knee joint and thighbone, straightening his legs. This cost includes the procedure, hospital stay, cast change, medication, labs, outpatient physiotherapy, and a stay at the Plaster House (a recovery center for kids). “Eric’s gait will improve, he will be able to walk without knocking his knees, and chances of developing osteoarthritis will also decrease,” explains AMHF. “I dream of seeing him as a successful, influential young man in the future,” Eric's mother shares. “I want him to live a better life than mine.”

Fully funded