karen joined Watsi on February 22nd, 2016. Seven years ago, karen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. karen's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Jayden, a 10-month-old boy from Tanzania, to fund clubfoot treatment so he can grow up healthy and active.
karen has funded healthcare for 75 patients in 13 countries.
karen has funded healthcare for 75 patients in 13 countries.
Jayden is a 10 month old baby boy, living with his single mother in Tanzania. Jayden was born with a right clubfoot, and with the fingers on both of his hands fused together. Jayden's father has left the family, so Jayden's mother moved to live with her parents. Her parents have suddenly passed away, leaving Jayden's mother alone to care for her child. Because she is only able to work intermittently - taking care of other people's homes - Jayden's mother is unable to pay for the full, necessary treatment for Jayden's clubfoot. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, will be able to help Jayden access the care that he needs to correct his twisted right foot. On November 4th, Jayden will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, which will enable him to wear shoes, and to walk with ease as he grows. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is seeking $935 to cover the cost of this procedure and his care. Jayden’s mother says: “I am so grateful that you are willingly helping my son to have a better life.”
Meet Su, a 10-year-old girl, living with her mother in Thailand. Because her parents are no longer together, Su sometimes also goes and stays with her father. Both of her parents work for local community organizations. When Su has free time, she enjoys drawing pictures, and playing with her friends. Su was born with clubfeet and a dislocated hip. After her birth, she received corrective surgery in Chiang Mai, with the help of our medical partner, BCMF. During her last visit to the hospital after her surgery, the doctor told her mother that she would need to bring Su back to the hospital after she had outgrown the special, corrective shoes she wore for her clubfeet. Due to financial constraints, issues with documentation, and the Covid pandemic, Su's parents were never able to bring her back to the hospital. In June 2022, Su started to experience pain in her right foot, whenever she walked for longer than 10 minutes. And, for the first time, she also began to feel pain in her right hip when she walked. The doctor at Mae Sot Hospital diagnosed her with a dislocated hip, and referred her to Chiang Mai for further treatment. Doctors in Chiang Mai want Su to undergo an MRI, which will help them to reach a definitive diagnosis, and to formulate a plan of treatment. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting your help to cover the $814 cost of Su's MRI and care, scheduled for October 18th, at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. "I want my daughter to become a doctor in the future so that she can help others who also suffer from clubfeet," said Su's mother.
Meet Venesa, a beautiful two year old girl. She was born at home with a swelling at the lower part of her back, and with legs that were not straight like other babies their family knew. The day after she was born, Venesa's parents took her to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with spina bifida and clubfoot. The family was advised to wait until Venesa turned nine months old, before having her undergo the surgery that she needs. Although surgery was deemed urgent, when Venesa was finally old enough, her parents couldn't afford to pay for it. Then, about a year ago, Venesa was diagnosed with hydrocephalus. Venesa's mom shared that shortly after this last diagnosis, Venesa's father abandoned the family and is not involved in helping support them any more. Venesa's mother used to work at a salon, but after Venesa's birth, she has been unable to work. They are now living with Venesa's grandmother, who does what she can to help. Without surgery for her spina bifida, Venesa risks paralysis of her lower limbs, infection of the exposed nerve tissue, and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Venesa's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 14th, at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. This procedure will hopefully spare Venesa from the risks associated with her condition, allowing her to experience a strong and healthy life. Venesa’s mother says: “Since she was born, I have no peace knowing that I can’t afford her treatment.”
Shee is a bright and caring 12-year-old girl from Thailand who likes to play the piano, listen to music, and help her caregiver garden with her friends. She lives with 30 students, including her younger brother, in the dormitory of Has Thoo Lei Learning Centre. She is currently in fifth grade, and her brother is in third grade. Both her and her brother's dormitory fees, including food and accommodations, are funded by a Christian nonprofit organization called Compassion Thailand. Both of her parents currently live in Burma and work as subsistence farmers. Her father also works as a day laborer. Shee's parents support her and her brother with their school fees and pocket money. For the past two years, Shee has dealt with femoral hernias. As a result of her condition, she experiences pain in her right groin, as well as pain and discomfort when she sits for a long period of time. When she plays with her friends or is active, the bulge increases in size. Her condition has progressively worsened, and she has had to miss school frequently as a result. Fortunately, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Shee's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 22nd. Once completed, she will hopefully be able to live more comfortably. Shee says, “I want to become a nurse when I grow up one day and help people in my community who are sick and need my help.”
Biniayam is a musically-inclined 17-year-old from Ethiopia. Some of his favorite activities include playing football, the piano, and the keyboard, as well as eating his favorite dish: meat! He comes from a family of seven children. To support their family, his father works as a farmer, and his mother manages their home and cares for her children. Two of his siblings are currently working, and the rest attend school. Biniayam himself finalized his national grade eight examination last summer and passed well! Biniayam was born with hypospadias, a congenital condition that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and be at risk of infertility. His parents sought medical care for him after he was born, but due to financial constraints, he was not able to receive any treatment. They have since visited other hospitals but have still been unable to receive any help. Biniayam shares that he is worried and concerned about his condition. He mentioned that it not only affects him physically, but also psychologically, causing him to experience stress in many situations. Fortunately, Biniayam is now scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Biniayam shares, “After the surgery, I hope this will be corrected and I will be confident to bathe in front of other members of the family without any fear. I also hope I won’t fear going to the restroom in public toilets. I hope I will be happy and have children in the future.”
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.”