Rachel joined Watsi on December 9th, 2014. 405 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Rachel's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Shawali, a baby boy from Tanzania, for clubfoot treatment to help him walk.
Rachel has funded healthcare for 14 patients in 6 countries.
Rachel has funded healthcare for 14 patients in 6 countries.
Shawali was identified through the outreach program at Arusha Lutheran Christian Medical Centre (ALMC) when his mother presented him with a "problem with his feet." He has been diagnosed with bilateral club feet, which means that both of his feet are twisted out of shape or position. Shawali, a 20-month-old boy, is the fourth born child to subsistence farmers from Tanzania. Education is important to his parents, and his older siblings all attend school. Because his condition makes it difficult for him to walk properly, Shawali requires treatment to straighten them out and restore him to proper mobility. Shawali's parents need assistance to cover their son's $1,160 procedure. He will have plaster casts on his feet and then an operation to straighten them. After his operation, Shawali will recover at the Plaster House, which is a facility in Tanzania that houses and rehabilitates children after corrective surgery. It is expected that Shawali's feet will achieve full correction and that he will never know that he was born with the club foot condition. His mother tells us, "I hope that Shawali will look normal and go to school like his siblings."
In November 2013, Leang was in a bicycle accident. Now, over two years after the accident, Leang is still unable to bear full weight on his left hip,” shares our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC). Leang is a 16-year-old student in ninth grade. He has three brothers and one sister. In his spare time he enjoys reading and watching Thai movies on TV. Leang also likes drawing pictures. Leang and his mother traveled three hours to reach CSC. He is in need of a hip replacement, which will cost $430. Unfortunately, his family is unable to afford the procedure he needs to regain full mobility. Funding includes a stay in the hospital for up to two weeks, and post-operative physiotherapy. "I hope I can walk without pain after my surgery. I will go home and continue my studies once I am healed," Leang said.
A six-year-old boy, Ayubu likes to skip rope and play football with the other children in his village in Tanzania. Despite his love for being active, Ayubu has been diagnosed with bilateral congenital clubfoot. He was treated as a baby, but it has since relapsed. He needs proper medical treatment to ensure he can recover permanently. "If not treated, Ayubu will be at risk of developing osteoarthiritis at a young age," our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), reports. Clubfoot is a developmental disorder that results in the feet turning inwards and with very high arches. To treat his condition, Ayubu will undergo a surgical procedure called a tenotomy, which is the release of of an overly tight tendon, and will also have to wear casts to realign the foot and ankle joint. $1,160 will cover the cost of the surgical and casting procedures, along with a four-month stay in Plaster House, a home where children can recover after surgery. After treatment, "Ayubu's gait will improve and he won't be feeling pain in his ankles when walking," AMHF explains. "I hope my son will be able to walk properly so that he can walk to school with ease," Ayubu's father shares.
“Taina is an intelligent and cheerful girl who enjoys going to school and is in the third grade,” says our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA). Taina also likes to play with dolls and make new friends. Taina was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. "A hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart," explains HCA. "Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her sickly and weak.” Taina requires surgery to repair the opening between the atria in her heart. “Following surgery, normal blood flow should be restored to Taina’s heart and body,” says HCA, “and she should no longer have symptoms from this condition.” However, Taina needs help securing funding for her operation. “Her mother passed away when she was young, and she lived in the streets for some time before being enrolled into an orphanage,” says HCA. Gift of Life International has contributed $5,000 towards her surgery, and an additional $1,500 in Watsi funding is needed to cover preparation and transportation costs, as this surgery is not readily available in Haiti. With our help, Taina can receive the medical care she needs to restore her health. “I am very excited to have my surgery so that I can play with my friends without getting tired,” she shares.
“I hope to become a primary school teacher when I grow up,” says Lucy, a 17-year-old student from Tanzania who is the sixth of seven children in her family. At school, Lucy works hard in her classes and enjoys playing netball, and at home, she helps her mother with the evening chores. “Lucy has a mass on her left radial bone which became visible when she was nine years old,” our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us. “Very slowly, the mass has been increasing in size, and it is now painful when she goes about her activities such as lifting a bucket of water or washing clothes.” Treatment for Lucy entails surgery to remove the mass to prevent further growth and relieve the pain that she experiences with activity. “If not treated,” AMHF explains, “the mass may become cancerous as it continues to grow.” Lucy’s father owns a small shop where he sells spare parts for bicycles and motorcycles, and her mother makes soap to sell. They also maintain a small farm to raise food to feed their family. Despite their hard work, they are unable to afford the surgery that Lucy needs. For $920, Lucy will undergo surgery to remove the mass on her arm. Funding also covers the costs of pre and post-operative consultations, six days of hospital care, lab work, imaging, medicine, and six weeks of accommodations at the Plaster House for recovery and rehabilitation. After surgery, “The pain and swelling on the radial bone will be gone, allowing Lucy to perform various activities comfortably,” says AMHF.
"Neema was born at home on December 14th, 2015," says our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). "She is the fourth born in the family. Neema’s parents moved away from their village three years ago due to severe drought. They managed to move with a few cows and goats and currently they are living with Neema’s grandparents (mother’s side)." "Neema has a lesion on her lower back, which can easily burst – leaking cerebral spinal fluid," AMHF says. "If not treated, Neema can easily contract infections, causing other bigger health problems." Neema's open mass is due to a condition called spina bifida. "Neema’s mother is a homemaker and his father is a livestock keeper," AMHF says. "Their two children are in primary school and they hope to be able to send all of their children to school. Currently they do not have sufficient funds to cover the cost of operation which Neema badly needs. Neema is getting on and off fevers and sometimes she vomits after breastfeeding." For $1,200, we can fund a life-saving spina bifida closure procedure for Neema. "The lesion on Neema’s back will be closed preventing her from losing CSF and easily contracting infection," says AMHF. “I hope my baby will get well, grow up like her siblings and later on go to school,” shares Neema’s mother.
Two-month-old Maritu lives with her family in Ethiopia. She was born with no anal opening—a condition known as anorectal malformation. Due to this, she is unable to pass stool normally. “Maritu presented with partial bowel obstruction at the age of one week,” our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), explains. “A colostomy was performed urgently. Maritu has recovered both from the surgery and the obstructive symptoms but still has a colostomy and an imperforate anus. Now, she needs a definitive surgery for the correction of her anomaly.” Maritu’s father works as a farmer to provide for his six children, but he does not earn enough money to pay for the surgery that Maritu needs. For $1,500, Maritu will undergo an anorectoplasty to create a new anal opening so that she can pass stool normally. AMHF tells us that after surgery, “Maritu is expected to live a normal life.” Maritu’s father hopes that one day his daughter will be well enough to go to school.
Meet 19-year-old Lay. Originally from Burma, Lay now resides in Thailand and works as a waiter. He lives with his father, a construction worker, and his mother, a homemaker. Lay's favorite sport is football. Referred to our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP), from the Mae Tao Clinic in Thailand, Lay has been diagnosed with a heart condition known as a ventricular-septal defect. This congenital heart defect results in a hole in the wall separating the two lower chambers of the heart. As a result of Lay's condition, BBP reports, "he feels tired and has heart palpitations. He sweats a lot while he runs and plays football or caries something heavy." $1,500 will fund a complex cardiac surgery to correct the ventricular-septal defect in Lay's heart. "After surgery, Lay should be able to go back to his work and generate money for his family," BBP explains. "He should not feel tired nor have heart palpitations. He should not have fatigue when he plays and runs or carries heavy things." "I am really worried for my son’s condition after I heard the news from the doctor," Lay's mother adds. "I have only one son and one daughter so I do not want to see his condition get worse – I am afraid to lose him. I hope he will recover and I want him to stay with me in the future." "I want to recover and work again to support my family," Lay tells BBP
Meet Gideon, a three-month-old boy living in Kenya. Gideon was found wrapped in a towel as a newborn alongside a road, and he now resides in a foster home where he has been generally doing well. “Gideon had no major health issues until recently when he became quite irritable,” says our medical partner, American Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Gideon has craniosyntosis, a birth defect in which the plates of his skull fused prematurely. This prevents Gideon’s brain from growing naturally and often results in a misshapen skull. If left untreated, the intracranial pressure may increase, resulting in potential brain damage and/or death. “His condition has been deteriorating,” AMHF shares, “and unfortunately…the home that Gideon lives in is not able to raise the funds for his treatment.” With $1,260, Gideon can undergo a craniotomy to surgically remove a portion of the skull and release the intracranial pressure. “We love Gideon so much,” says Grace, a well-wisher from Gideon's foster home. “It will not be easy for him to grow up knowing that his parents abandoned him. We will give him the best we can to make him feel loved.”
Soloman, a 4-year-old boy living in Kenya with his parents and two older siblings, has bilateral undescended testis. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), explains,“Soloman’s testes cannot be felt in the frontal sac. If Soloman is not treated, he is likely to develop testicular cancer and/or hernia. He will also be at risk of infertility in the future.” Soloman's condition was discovered three years ago. “Soloman’s mother noticed that both Soloman and his elder brother had undescended testes,” AMHF tells us. “She got concerned and took them for a medical checkup and they were later referred for specialized treatment. Attempts to have both Soloman and his elder brother treated did not bear any fruit as the parents could not raise the funds required for the surgery. Soloman’s mother hopes to bring her elder son for treatment once Soloman is well.” $570 covers the costs of Soloman’s double orchidopexy, a procedure which will place the undescended testes inside his scrotum. This will decrease the risk of him developing testicular cancer, a hernia or infertility in the future. “Mom told us that my brother and I are unwell,” shares Soloman. “I will be very happy if my brother and I got treated.”
Meet Samnang, a 14-year-old boy from Cambodia. Our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC), shares, “Samnang is a young monk who has two sisters and three brothers. He enjoys eating all kinds of food.” Samnang has been diagnosed with a meningoencephalocele (MEC). CSC explains, “Samnang’s MEC causes brain tissue to push through a bone defect in the skull at the bridge of the nose and causes a pretty severe bump.” This bump causes Samnang to feel “very self-conscious, even in a place as tolerant as his pagoda. He says he just wants to have a face like kids his age,” CSC reports. “In addition to looking abnormal, the MEC, left untreated, could cause a litany of medical complications for Samnang in the future.” Some of these potential medical issues involve hindered vision and respiratory problems. For $390 we can fund Samnang’s surgery. Samnang’s protruding brain tissue will be removed, and the opening in the scull will be repaired with a bone graft. A few months later, he will receive a reconstructive surgery to eliminate any remnants of the bump. After surgery, CSC predicts, “Samnang’s bump will become much smaller and likely fully go away after minor plastic surgery later.” Let’s fund surgery for Samnang!
Meet Maureen, a 23-year-old woman from Kenya, and the oldest of four children. “Maureen is a casual worker at the local supermarket,” says our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). A year ago, Maureen accidentally hit her toe on a door. Since the pain quickly ceased, she assumed that she was not badly hurt. AMHF explains, “After some time, Maureen noticed that the toe was getting bent. Last week, after she started experiencing the pain again, Maureen came to hospital and an X-ray showed the toe had a fracture, which healed improperly.” Maureen needs an open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) surgery so her toe can properly heal. Unfortunately, Maureen's income from her supermarket work is not sufficient to cover the cost of the surgery. With $1,125 in funding Maureen will receive the ORIF—a procedure in which the doctor makes an incision to reach the bones and then moves them back into their normal position. Metal screws, plates, sutures, or rods are then placed on the bone to keep it in place while it heals. Funding will also cover lab costs, two weeks in the hospital, and ten days of physical therapy. After surgery, AMHF explains, “Maureen's toe will be treated and she will no longer be in pain, she will be able to wear shoes, concentrate on work and also achieve her dream of marriage.” "I hope I will have a successful surgery so that I can meet my dream of having my own family," shares Maureen.