Merry joined Watsi on July 23rd, 2015. 16 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Merry's most recent donation traveled 11,000 miles to support Roberto, a student from Dominican Republic, to fund prep for cardiac surgery.
Merry has funded healthcare for 25 patients in 8 countries.
Merry has funded healthcare for 25 patients in 8 countries.
Roberto is ten years old and lives in the outskirts of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic with his mother and two sisters. He is in the fourth grade and would like to be a pilot when he grows up. Roberto was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sickly and weak. Although Roberto is not Haitian, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is collaborating with their partners in the Dominican Republic to offer treatment to Dominican children. He will undergo cardiac surgery at our medical partner's care center. First, Roberto will undergo a full cardiac assessment on February 13. This assessment will include physical exams, labs, and an overnight stay at the hospital. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is requesting $1,500 to fund these procedures. Funding for Roberto also covers the cost of medications and social support for him and him family. Gift of Life International is contributing $7,000 to cover additional costs associated with Roberto's surgical care. "I want to say thank you to everyone who is helping me to get my heart fixed," says Roberto.
Samuel is ten years old and lives with his mother in La Romana, a city in eastern Dominican Republic. He is an excellent student and would like to grow up to be a pediatric cardiologist. Samuel was born with a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which involves several related defects. There is a hole between two chambers of his heart and a muscular blockage in one of his heart's valves. This condition prevents oxygen from fully circulating through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. Although Samuel is not Haitian, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is collaborating with their partners in the Dominican Republic to offer treatment to Dominican children. He will undergo cardiac surgery at our medical partner's care center. First, Samuel will undergo a full cardiac assessment on February 13. This assessment will include physical exams, labs, and an overnight stay at the hospital. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is requesting $1,500 to fund these procedures. Funding for Samuel also covers the cost of medications and social support for him and him family. Gift of Life International is contributing $7,000 to cover additional costs associated with Samuel's surgical care. After his treatment, Samuel will be able to grow normally and be free from his condition. He will also be able to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor. "I am excited to be a doctor when I grow up so that I can help other kids who have the same problem I have now," says Samuel.
Olivier is a three-year-old boy from Haiti. He lives with his mother, father, grandparents, and three older siblings. He likes to dress up and to go to church with his mother. Olivier was born with a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which means there is a hole between two chambers of his heart and a muscular blockage of one of his heart valves. This condition prevents oxygen from fully circulating through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. Olivier will fly to the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On January 27, he will undergo cardiac surgery. This $12,000 surgery is subsidized by Have a Heart Cayman Islands. Olivier's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Olivier's family overseas. His mother says, "We have been praying ever since we learned about Olivier's heart problem that one day he could have surgery. We would like to thank everyone who has helped answer our prayers!"
Lynn is a five-year-old girl from Kenya. She is a very smiley child. She lives with her mother, brother, and grandparents. Lynn is currently in nursery school, and her mother works as a secretary at a high school. In June 2015, Lynn and her brother were sleeping when they were both bitten by a red spitting cobra. Both were taken to the hospital and treated, but Lynn's case was worse. The venom had spread to her hand, leaving her unable to properly use it. Lynn has undergone previous [surgery](https://watsi.org/profile/1a0ddff4f01d-lynn) funded by Watsi, but she needs more treatment. On March 1, Lynn will undergo tendon and nerve repair surgery at our medical partner's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is asking for $1,064 to cover the cost of Lynn's treatment. Lynn's family has already raised $206 to contribute to her surgery. “I want to be a teacher when I grow up,” says Lynn. After surgery, Lynn will regain use of her right hand, putting her closer to achieving her dream!
Muon is a 58-year-old cook from Cambodia. She is married and has five children and seven grandchildren. She enjoys watching TV dramas and going to church to learn and listen to the pastor. About 20 years ago, Muon developed a painful growth called a pterygium in each eye, impairing her vision. Not being able to see things clearly makes doing any type of work difficult, and Muon worries about going blind. "I hope to feel more comfortable because I want to continue my work at the church and I want to be able to go anywhere by myself," says Muon. Muon and her daughter traveled for one hour to reach our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for treatment. On January 12, eye surgeons from CSC will remove the pterygium from each of Muon's eyes, allowing her to see clearly again! CSC is requesting $148 to fund this procedure.
Bulemu is a 67-year-old woman and mother of eight. She grows and sells food to provide for her three youngest children, who still live at home. She cares deeply for her children’s education and works hard to pay for their schooling. In July of 2016, Bulemu began to feel discomfort in a sensitive area, which worsened over time. She began to experience abdominal pain and lose her appetite. “I feel strange, and I am not comfortable going in public places,” she says. After visiting a local health center, she was referred to our medical partner's care center, Holy Family Virika Hospital, for diagnosis and treatment. Upon admittance, Bulemu was diagnosed with an abnormal uterine condition. Bulemu is scheduled to undergo a repair surgery on December 15. Our medical partner is requesting $287 to cover the cost of medication, surgical supplies, and five nights of hospital stay. After surgery, Bulemu hopes to continue working hard to support her children’s education.
Kusemererwa is a 38-year-old father living in Uganda with his wife and children. Three of his children are in primary school. Both Kusemererwa and his wife are farmers who grow beans, potatoes, and groundnuts for their family. Whenever possible, they grow cabbage and eggplants to sell. Five years ago, Kusemererwa developed a swelling in his left groin region. The swelling causes him back pain and tightness, which makes it difficult for him to bend over or work. “I have a big swelling that is on and off, and sometimes I feel backache,” he says. He has been unable to afford treatment in the past, but recently he learned about Watsi and visited our medical partner's hospital, Holy Family Virika Hospital. At the hospital, Kusemererwa was diagnosed with a left scrotal hernia. A hernia occurs when an internal organ pokes through the muscle wall, causing severe pain. Left untreated, a hernia can cause intestinal blockage or prevent blood from reaching vital parts of the intestines. Kusemererwa's doctors recommended surgical intervention to remove the bulging tissue in his abdomen and reposition his herniated tissue. This procedure is scheduled for December 28, 2016. The total cost of the procedure is $249, which covers supplies, medications, and three days of inpatient care. After surgery, Kusemererwa hopes to continue farming to pay for the education of his children. He will be able to work without pain or discomfort.
Zuleina is an 11-month-old girl from Guatemala. She loves to eat papaya and scrambled eggs. She has been diagnosed with acute malnutrition. This means she has little energy to grow, and her immune system is weak and vulnerable to illness. She is also at risk of chronic disease and delayed development. Fortunately, Zuleina began malnutrition treatment on October 27, 2016. Zuleina lives with her family in a cinderblock house with a tin roof. Her father works as a bricklayer, and her mother weaves traditional Mayan textiles. While Zuleina's parents want the best for their daughter, their resources are already stretched thin. They cannot afford to pay for Zuleina's $512 treatment. While malnutrition can have devastating effects, it is also very treatable. Growth monitoring, micronutrients, and food supplementation will help Zuleina recover. She will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children her age, and her immune system will grow stronger. Community health workers will teach her mother about creating a nutrient-rich diet from limited resources. Treatment will give Zuleina a chance to grow healthy and strong. "I am hoping for my daughter's development to improve," says her mother. "I want to see her in the future as a healthy student." She also hopes that Zuleina graduates "so she can have better opportunities than we had."
"Horn is a 45-year-old woman who works in a cement factory," shares our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). She lives in Cambodia and is married with two sons and one daughter. About two years ago, Horn developed a noncancerous growth, or pterygium, in each eye. Also known as "surfer's eye," these growths occur on the conjunctiva of the eye. They cause burning pain, tearing and blurred vision. Pterygiums are caused by exposure to sunlight and are more common in countries near the equator. Treating them requires a simple, $148 surgery to scrape the growth from the conjunctiva and graft new tissue on to prevent them from recurring. Horn travelled three hours with her daughter to reach CSC for treatment. With our help, she'll be able to undergo surgery and regain her full vision.
"We are all looking forward to the day when we don't have to worry about Medjina's heart anymore," shares Medjina's mother. Medjina lives in Port-au-Prince, Haiti with her mother, father, and younger brother. She is four years old, and she enjoys going to preschool and coloring with crayons. Medjina was born with a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which involves several related defects including a hole between two chambers in the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves that leads to her lungs. In 2014, when she was two years old, she underwent a surgery to allow blood to flow more freely to her lungs, making her body more healthy and giving her heart time to grow so that a complete repair could be done later. Medjina is now ready for her second surgery, to completely repair her heart and allow her to lead a near-normal life. As a result of this condition, she is constantly sickly and weak. If untreated when she was two years old, it would have been fatal. $1,500 in Watsi funding, and an additional $10,000 subsidy from Have a Heart Cayman Islands will fund the life-saving heart surgery that Medjina needs to grow up healthy.
Pablo's vision has been slowly deteriorating for several years. He was told by a doctor that he likely had cataracts, which are complicating his vision and could make him blind if he does not receive surgery. He lives in an incredibly rural Guatemalan community - 12 hours away from the only hospital in the country capable of giving him the specialized care he needs. 54-year-old Pablo is a friendly and hardworking father - he drives a pickup truck transporting wood from the fields into the city to support his four children. He lives with his family in a one-room house with a tin roof in the northern jungle of Guatemala. He makes only a couple dollars per day and, until his evaluation with the eye specialist, had never been out of his home community. His favorite thing to do when he is not working is to go out and visit his neighbors. Recently, because his vision has gotten so bad, Pablo has been having a hard time at work is worried that he will have an accident if he does not get surgery soon. This surgery, which costs $1500 and will be done with doctors from Watsi's medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq, will give Pablo clear lenses so he will be capable of seeing, giving him the ability to work safely without fear of accidents. This surgery will prevent him from becoming blind, and allow him to live a full and happy life in which he is able to provide for his family. "I have been looking for support for one year and so I am so appreciative for the help that I will now get," shares Pablo.
Twelve-month-old Lomayani is a happy baby boy who lives with his family in Tanzania. When he turned five months old, Lomayani got very sick. He had a high fever, which took a while to control. When he recovered from the fever, his head slowly started to increase in size. "He used to be very active and growing well," shares Lomayani’s mother, "but now he is slowly losing his activeness." Lomayani has hydrocephalus, a condition in which there is an accumulation of fluid in the brain as a result of infection, trauma, malformation of the central nervous system, or genetic defect. Too much fluid can increase pressure on the brain and inside the skull, leading to an enlarged head and developmental issues. Lomayani had been able to control his neck, but he no longer can do so because his head is too heavy to hold up. He can still see properly, and he is able to use his hands to hold toys and his mother’s beaded earrings and necklaces, which he enjoys playing with. Lomayani needs surgery to manage the hydrocephalus so that further brain damage will not occur. Lomayani’s parents are small-scale farmers, and they also keep a few livestock. With five children to look after as well as other extended family members who depend on them, it has been difficult to come up with enough cash to cover the cost of the care that Lomayani badly needs. For $775, Lomayani will undergo an operation to place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from his brain and transport it to his abdomen, where it can be resorbed by the body. Funding also covers the costs of five days of hospital care, including imaging, blood work, medicine, and dressing changes for his wound, as well as two weeks' accommodations at The Plaster House for recovery and rehabilitation after surgery. “I worry about my baby’s health," Lomayani’s mother says. "I hope he will get well and continue with normal growth."