karen joined Watsi on February 22nd, 2016. Six years ago, karen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. karen's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Jayden, a sweet baby from Kenya, to fund life-saving spina bifida surgery.
karen has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 13 countries.
karen has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 13 countries.
Jayden is a sweet baby and the last born in a family of 5 children. His parents separated before he was born and his mother does laundry for neighbors to provide for the family. Shortly after Jayden was born, his mother noticed a large swelling on his back. She did not have the money to take him to a doctor at the time but, when he was seven months old, she took him to the hospital where Jayden was examined and was sent to another facility for a scan. Unfortunately, the scan was not done because Jayden's mother could not raise the required amount of money. She shared her plight with her boss who got in touch with one of the ambassadors from BethanyKids hospital in their village. The ambassador reached out to her the following day and helped bring Jayden to the hospital. Upon examination, he was diagnosed with spina bifida and urgent surgery was recommended. Spina bifida is a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Jayden is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Jayden's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 21. This procedure will hopefully spare Jayden from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Jayden’s mother says, “I have been praying for a long time for Jayden’s healing and I now believe that he will be treated.”
Christian, who lives in the Philippines, is a hardworking father with a 7-month-old daughter. He works as an on-call waiter, while his wife is currently a student. With Christian’s limited income, he is worried about supporting all of his family’s needs and financing his medical treatment. In April, Christian was diagnosed with a hernia which requires surgery. Correcting the hernia will better enable Christian to find a new job and higher pay, and improve his ability to care for his family. With the help of our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, Christian is scheduled for surgery at Our Lady of Peace Hospital on May 3rd, for which they are requesting $1,130 to fund his procedure and care. “I always fail my physical exams because of my condition, and I'm burdened by it because, as a father, I need to support my family,” Christian shared. “This surgery will be a big help to our family so thank you so much World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for helping,” he added.
Esther is a sweet 2-year-old from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and several siblings and cousins in a neighbordhood of Port-au-Prince. Esther's parents are both market vendors. Esther was born with down syndrome and later diagnosed with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. This means there is a hole between the two lower chambers of Esther's heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. On April 20th, Esther will fly to Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery to close the hole in her heart using a patch. This surgery is not available in Haiti and her family has been waiting for her to be able to travel for this life-saving care. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for her surgery. Esther's family needs additional assistance covering $1,500 for labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This amount also supports passport obtainment and the social workers who will accompany Esther's family overseas. Esther's mother shared, "We are very hopeful that after the surgery, our daughter will have more appetite and less weakness."
Rachhan is a 12-year-old student with five siblings. His parents are construction workers in their province. Rachhan enjoys playing football and riding bikes with his friends. Six years ago, Rachhan had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Rachhan experiences ear fullness, headaches, hearing loss, and ear discharge. He shared that he does not want to go to school because he is ridiculed by his friends when the teacher scolds him for not listening. As a result he has poor grades and it is difficult for him to communicate with other people. His parents are worried, but cannot afford expensive treatment for him. Rachhan traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 10th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Rachhan was excited that he will start to feel better soon. He told us, "I hope that I can hear well and go back to school."
Debash is an adorable two-year-old boy from Ethiopia. His dad shared that although he can be a bit shy in front of new people, his playfulness comes out whenever he's around his siblings. He has three sisters and one brother. Debash's parents are farmers on their own land, however the weather in their environment is dry most of the year, which causes their harvest to be limited. The amount of fruit they yield is frequently not enough to meet their family's needs, in turn causing them to spend money on purchasing food, after consuming their own, for the rest of the year. During the months of the year when they are not farming, they work in a factory to earn additional income. Even so, their income is limited and supports the basic needs of the family. Debash has a condition called Hirschprung's Disease. This is a birth condition that affects the large intestine and causes problems with passing stool. As a result, Debash has needed a series of treatments to remove an abnormally functioning segment of his bowel. Now he has returned for a follow-up procedure to a colostomy operation he had when he was younger. Because of COVID-19, financial limitations, and social unrest in his region they weren't able to follow up for his second surgery a quickly as they'd hoped and have been waiting a long time. A social worker met with their family and informed them of the services at our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Mygungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM), and recommended they take Debash there to proceed with his needed treatment. Due to Debash's condition, his parents are under a lot of psychological and financial stress. They cannot afford the medical bill for their son's treatment, and appeal for help. Fortunately, on February 17th, Debash will receive treatment at BKMCM. There, Debash will undergo hirschprung pull through surgery to remove the diseased portion of his intestine. With treatment, Debash will grow up to hopefully lead a happy life, and will no longer be in a constant state of discomfort. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, asks for $1,500 to help fund Debash's medical bill. His dad said, “We hope he will heal about his second surgery now. That will be great and it will make us happy. I want to educate my child. I hope he will get a good job after that. Either being a government worker or a doctor or a teacher or a trader or a farmer, I hope he will lead a good and healthy life in his future.”
Mishel is a new baby and the youngest in her family of three children. She is less than a week old. Her family was referred to our medical partner from western Kenya where she was born. Her mother is dedicated full time to raising their kids and taking care of the family and her father is the sole breadwinner who works whenever he can find jobs at construction sites. Their family has a small farm where they tend food crops for home use. They depend on the produce from the farm and the income from her father’s work for survival. They don’t have medical insurance coverage and need support for an urgent procedure for Mishel. Mishel is only four days old and delicately sleeps in her mother’s hands while talking with our local Watsi representative. Mishel was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Mishel is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. She was immediately referred to BethanyKids Hospital for review and possible treatment. She is currently scheduled for surgery to avert the risks she faces without treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Mishel's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 19th. This procedure will hopefully spare Mishel from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Mishel mother says, “Look at the peaceful beauty sleeping, she deserves to grow up as healthy baby.”
Dah is a 28-year-old man who lives with his mother and sister in Mae Sot District, Tak Province. Originally, Dah’s family moved to Thailand 10 years ago due to the armed conflict in their home area. Dah is unemployed and his mother is a homemaker. They are supported by Dah’s sister who works as an agriculture day labourer. Currently, Dah needs someone to hold his hand and guide him when he walks. His mother helps to feed him because it is difficult for him to do on his own without his eyesight. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund eye surgery for Dah. On December 21, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Dah's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, their family needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Dah’s sister said, “Sometime Dah will shout. He seems like he has a short temper since he cannot see. Our mother and I feel so sad when we see Dah using his hands to feel his way and objects. When I give him food, he can’t put the food into his mouth. It makes me feel sad seeing him suffer.”
Rosaline is a 49-year-old woman. She is the mother of three children aged between 30 years old and 16 years old. Rosaline used to work as a mobile clothes vendor but has not been able to work since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived. Her husband works as a lorry truck driver, but they shared that the income is inconsistent due to the nature of the work. Over a year ago, Rosaline began experiencing pain, bloating, and lack of appetite. She was diagnosed with multiple intrauterine myomas. Rosaline needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. On November 16th, Rosaline will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Rosaline will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1260 to fund Rosaline's surgery. Rosaline shared, "I am uncomfortable and in so much pain. These swellings are worrying me a lot and have even started to compromise my marriage life."
Rosemary is a 38-year-old small scale tea farmer. She is married and has four children. Together, she and her husband tend to a half-acre piece of land. In June 2020, while pregnant, Rosemary began experiencing troubling symptoms. She was able to have her baby and has now been diagnosed with cervical cancer. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Rosemary receive treatment. On September 24th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Rosemary will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and her risk of cancer spreading with will be greatly reduced. Now, she needs help raising $1,260 to fund her procedure and care. Rosemary shared, "the cancer has put my life under threat. I almost lost my little baby because of the disease. I need this surgery to raise my kids and be well in health."
Halima is a charming two-year-old girl and the youngest child of two children in her family. Halima's mother sells fruits while her father works as a mechanic. Halima was diagnosed with bilateral Genu Varus, meaning that her legs bow outward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she has difficulty walking and experiences pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Halima to receive treatment. On September 14th, she will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. Treatment will hopefully restore Halima's mobility, allowing her to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing her risk of future complications. Now, her family needs help raising $880 to fund her procedure and care. Halima’s mother shared, "money has been our biggest challenge in seeking treatment for our daughter. Please help us."
Deth is a 37-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He lives in the Kampong Cham province with his wife and two children. His wife works on a farm alongside him, while his children are both in primary school. They also have another son who recently became a monk. Deth works seasonally, and when he is not working he likes to spend a lot of time playing soccer, growing vegetables, and watching movies. One year ago, Deth had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Deth experiences hearing loss, pain and ear discharge. He cannot communicate clearly with others. Deth traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On August 17th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations and relieve Deth's pain. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and in-patient care. Deth said, "I am hopeful that my ear will get better soon, so I can work in peace and enjoy talking to my family."
Ra is a married 32-year-old metal worker from Cambodia. Ra's wife works in a factory, and they have two school-aged daughters. Eight months ago Ra fell and developed severe lower back and left hip pain, leading to difficulty walking. Ra was diagnosed with avascular necrosis, which is the death of bone tissue due to lack of blood supply. Fortunately, Ra learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Ra of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for June 24th, and Ra needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Ra looks forward to his recovery, "I am happy that I can get an operation here. After surgery I hope I heal and can return to work without pain."