Bryan Derr
Bryan's Story

Bryan joined Watsi on August 18th, 2014. 21 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Bryan's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Elizabeth, a 17-year-old girl from Haiti, to receive heart valve surgery overseas.

Impact

Bryan has funded healthcare for 21 patients in 7 countries.

All patients funded by Bryan

"I am happy that I can have this surgery so I will have more energy, and don't have to be as worried about my health anymore,” says Elizabeth, a 17-year-old from Haiti. Elizabeth does the best she can to pursue her interests, which include school, going to church, playing with her sisters, and listening to music. But a health condition sometimes makes it hard to do all of this without getting tired. Elizabeth is 17 now, but when she was 12, she fell ill with rheumatic fever. The disease infected the valves of her heart, and severely damaged one of them. This valve no longer opens and closes normally, which in turn means that blood backs up into her heart and does not circulate adequately through her body. This causes Elizabeth to feel fatigued much of the time. Furthermore, if left untreated, the condition could become fatal. There is a surgical procedure that can repair Elizabeth’s damaged heart valve. However, her parents, who are farmers, cannot afford to pay for this operation on her own. Fortunately, a hospital, Health City Cayman Islands, has offered to subsidize the $10,000 cost of the surgery itself. What we still need to raise is $1,500 to cover the diagnostic tests and transportation costs that Elizabeth needs in order to travel to the Cayman Islands for her surgery—including passports, airfare, and a stipend for the family that will host her there. Obtaining this surgery for Elizabeth now will help her pursue a bright future. She is a strong student, and would someday like to go on to college, then open a business.

$1,500raised
Fully funded

“We dream that our son will grow big and heathy, and be able to study when he is older,” shares Axel’s father. Two-month-old Axel is acutely malnourished because his mother cannot produce breast milk. She has been giving him water with sugar and rice. But he has still been losing weight steadily, and now weighs much less than when he was born. Recently, Axel has been crying and coughing a lot. With an immune system weakened by severe weight loss, even a simple cough or fever could be life-threatening. If Axel does not receive treatment soon, he could face the risk of seizures, permanent brain damage, and death. Axel is the youngest of four in his family. They live in a one-room house in a rural community in the mountains of Guatemala. His father works as a day laborer, making very little money when he finds work, and often having no source of income for days at a time. Axel’s mother spends her days caring for him and his siblings, cooking, and cleaning. Although Axel's life is in danger right now, treatment is simple and effective. For $1,016, he will receive formula for one year, until he is able to consume normal foods. This will help him gain weight, and develop normally both mentally and physically. His immune system will grow stronger, and his life will no longer be in danger. Furthermore, his mother and other family members will receive motivational nutrition classes in their home, so they will be able to know what foods to feed Axel so he can overcome his case of malnutrition and life a full and healthy life. Let’s help this family guide their son into a healthy childhood.

$1,016raised
Fully funded

Than Dar is a 27-year-old woman who lives in Burma with her parents, her eight-year-old daughter and three-year-old son, and her two sisters. She enjoys listening to music in her free time. Than Dar has been healthy her entire life. However, a month ago she began experiencing abdominal pain and excessive bleeding that prompted her to visit several clinics. Than Dar received a blood test and ultrasound, which she paid for herself, and these exams revealed a uterine mass. After her examinations in April, Than Dar was referred for further care, where another ultrasound confirmed previous reports of the presence of a mass close to the ovary. As a result of her mass, Than Dar is experiencing pain in her lower abdomen and back, tenderness upon pressing the area, and excessive bleeding. She hasn't been able to work for a month but she can help her mother with light household chores. Than Dar is scheduled for surgery to remove her mass, but she requires financial assistance to cover the $1,500 procedure that will eliminate her pain and rid her of future risks associated with the growth. She has been living and working as a shop vendor in Thailand for the past two years. Her work enables her to send money home to support her children and other family members. The family's total income is sufficient for their day-to-day needs and they can pay for minor medical expenses; however, they are unable to put any money away for savings. Than Dar hopes to get back to work to support her children after her surgery. "I want my children to go to school and become educated," she says. "I only completed third grade and I want them to do better. Whatever they decide to do with their lives is fine, as I only want them to be happy with their lives."

$1,500raised
Fully funded

"I hope to become a secondary school teacher when I grow up," says 15-year-old Sara. Sara just completed her primary education in Tanzania, and did very well. Her favorite subject is science. "Sara was born with congenital clubfoot," reports our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). This condition caused both of her feet to grow inward and with very high arches. Now, "she is using the lateral aspect of her feet for walking, which has badly affected her gait," AMHF tells us. "Sara will most likely develop early osteoarthritis if not treated." Sara needs surgery to correctly realign her feet. However, working as small scale farmers, Sara's parents are unable to pay for this treatment. They rely on growing and selling maize and sunflower seeds -- barely enough to support Sara and her three younger siblings, let alone additional medical expenses. $1,160 will fund Sara's medical treatment - an operation in which doctors will surgically release the overly tight tendons in her feet that are causing them to turn inward. Then her foot and ankle joints can be re-aligned, and casts will hold them in place while they heal. Sara will also receive inpatient care for about four months to ensure that these casts are properly cared for. After fully recovering from her operation, "Sara will no longer have to use the lateral aspect of her feet for walking," says AMHF, "that will improve her gait and reduce the risk of developing early osteoarthritis. She will then be able to continue her secondary education and work towards her future goals."

$1,160raised
Fully funded

Meet Carlos, a one-year-old baby from Guatemala and the youngest of four children. “He loves to play with his toy cars and make sound effects when he drives them along the floor of this house,” shares our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). “Carlos is suffering from malnutrition. His weight and height are far below the average for his age, and he is at for the risk for long-term negative effects of malnutrition,” WK explains. “If left untreated, Carlos will not develop to his full potential physically and mentally, and will hit developmental milestones later than his peers.” WK adds that, without intervention, “Carlos’ energy will decrease, and he will be unable to develop to his full mental potential, thus limiting his ability to concentrate and go far in school. His immune system will weaken, putting him at risk for infections, such as pneumonia, and later in life he will be at higher risk for chronic illness such as diabetes and hypertension.” For $535, we can fund a comprehensive acute malnutrition treatment that will get Carlos back on track. “He will receive micronutrient and food supplementation and his parents will undergo intensive nutrition education so they feel confident continuing his care even after treatment with WK is completed. Carlos’ immune system will strengthen and he will have more energy to play with others and learn from his surroundings,” reports WK. In the words of Carlos’ mother, “I am grateful to God and to the institution for the help that you are bringing to my baby Carlos, so that he can recover. I don’t feel capable of being able to give him all the nutrients necessary for his recovery.” Let’s help Carlos regain his energy and return to a stable course of growth!

$535raised
Fully funded