AJ joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Eight years ago, AJ joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. AJ's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Shantel, a 5-year-old girl from Kenya, to fund fracture repair surgery.
AJ has funded healthcare for 120 patients in 13 countries.
AJ has funded healthcare for 120 patients in 13 countries.
Shantel is a 5-year-old cheerful girl from Elgeyo Marakwet County in western Kenya. Shantel is the eldest child in her family and lives with her grandmother in a semi-permanent house. Shantel's family grows maize on their small piece of land as their source of food along with casual jobs working on other farms and doing laundry to earn a living. Shantel recently visited AIC Kapsowar Hospital for an x-ray of an elbow fracture and a posterior splint for her right arm. She sustained the injury after falling from a tree while playing with other children. They visited another hospital near their home where she was stabilized with the splint, but was asked to wait to be seen by a surgeon. Shantel is right-handed and this injury has impacted her performance at school since she cannot write. An orthopedic surgeon determined that Shantel needed percutaneous pinning urgently to help restore the normal functioning of her limb and to be able to continue with her education. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $679 to cover Shantel's surgery on May 24th. Shantel's mother shared, "It hurts when my child needs help that I cannot offer her. Kindly help her so she may be able to go to school like other children.”
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.
Phoeun is a 64-year-old rice farmer. He has one son, two daughters, six grandchildren, and lives with his wife who is also a farmer. Phoeun likes to listen to the news and the monks praying on the radio. Two years ago, Phoeun developed a cataract in his right eye, causing him photophobia and blurry vision. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces. He is worried about falling when walking, so is not able to go places on his own. When Phoeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On April 19th, doctors performed a cataract surgery and implanted an intraocular lens in his right eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Phoeun says, "I hope after surgery my eye can see clearly. I want to get back to working more easily in the rice field."
Joan is a farmer and a mother from Rukungiri district in southwest Uganda. She is married and is a mother of six, with two sons, both studying in school, and four daughters, all of whom are married and small-scale farmers. She managed to complete seventh grade in primary school but never proceeded due to a lack of money for school fees. Joan and her husband do farming and grow food crops for home consumption, but often sell off the surplus to generate an income for their family. Five years ago, Joan began to experience troubling symptoms, including a lot of pain; she can’t turn her head sideways; she feels congested with difficulty breathing; she gets fatigued easily and has shortness of breath whenever she lies down to sleep. She first went to Kisiizi hospital, where she was diagnosed and was asked to first pay for her surgery, which she couldn’t raise, but when she was oriented about a surgical support program, she decided to come to see if she could be supported. She was diagnosed with a goiter and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Joan receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on March 29th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $252, and she and her family need help raising money. Joan says, "I am really in deep pain, but I hope to get healed once I receive this surgery."
Chhon is a 51-year-old fisherman. He is married and has two sons, two daughters, and three grandchildren. His wife helps take care of their grandchildren. He enjoys Thai boxing matches. One year ago, Chhon developed a cataract in his left eye, causing him photophobia and blurry vision. For most of his adult life, he has fished the rivers near his home but has had to stop because, due to his declining vision, he cannot manage his boat or nets in the bright sun. He and his wife have to be supported by their children, and he shared that he's feeling depressed that he can no longer sell fish to support their living. When Chhon learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On March 9th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery, and an intraocular lens implant in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $229 procedure. "I hope after surgery I can go back to fishing again to support my living," Chhon shared.
Sa is a 36-year-old woman who likes to sew clothes. She also enjoys doing household chores and making delicious curries. Her husband is a nightguard at a hospital. Since 2015, Sa started to experience pain in her back and her pelvic area. Since December, her pain has worsened which makes it hard for her to sleep. She shared that she is feeling increasingly worried and depressed since she first experienced the pain and realized that she was unwell. Watsi donors helped support a CT scan and doctors have now diagnosed her with bilateral ovarian cancer. To help treat her condition, her doctors advised Sa to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Sa's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Sa is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on February 25th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she is hopeful that she'll no longer be in pain and will have a better shot at recovering from cancer. Sa said, "I was very worried when I heard that I needed surgery and that it would cost a lot of money. I was worried that if the donors stopped helping me, where would I come up with enough money to pay for my surgery. I could not sleep last night, constantly worrying about my treatment cost. When I called BCMF's staff and they told me that donors could pay for my surgery, I felt so much better. Thank you everyone for helping me."
Tol is a 51-year-old rice farmer with one son, one daughter, and five grandchildren. Tol lives with her eldest daughter who also works as a farmer. In her free time, she enjoys watching the news on television and listening to the monks pray on the radio. Two years ago, Tol developed a cataract in her left eye causing her blurry vision, sensitivity to light, and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces. She is also worried about falling when walking, so she is not able to go places on her own. When Tol learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled far across her country for eight and a half hours seeking treatment. On February 9th, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Tol shared, "I hope I can see well again so I can return to planting rice and crops and playing with my grandchildren."
Lek is a 68-year-old who is married with three sons, three daughters, and many grandchildren. She lives with her husband and one of their sons, and they are vegetable farmers in Kampot Province in rural Cambodia. When she is not cooking, cleaning, or selling vegetables at the local market, Lek finds it calming to listen to the local monks pray on the radio. Two years ago, the retina of Lek's left eye detached, causing her deteriorating vision. She noticed a change in her eye, but could not afford to see anyone to help fix it. When Lek learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and half hours seeking treatment. On January 12th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $648 procedure. "I hope after surgery my eye will get better. I can look after my grandchildren, cook for them, and walk them to school," shared Lek.
Deborah is a nine-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her parents, several siblings, and her grandparents. She enjoys singing and listening to music in her free time. Deborah has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, where a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. Blood leaks through this hole without properly circulating through her body, leaving her feeling sick and weak. To receive treatment, Deborah will fly to Dominican Republic. On March 2nd, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in her heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is also contributing $8,000 to pay for her surgery. Deborah's family needs help raising money to fund the costs of her surgery prep. The $1,500 prep bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner who will accompany Deborah's family overseas for her surgery. Deborah's father shared, "our family has been praying for years for this surgery to happen, and would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping!"
Audrey is a three-year-old toddler from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three older siblings in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, and has fun playing dress up and going to church with her family. Audrey has Down Syndrome and a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. This entails a hole in the wall of her heart that separates the two lower chambers. Audrey is traveling to receive treatment at our medical partner's care center, Hospital CEDIMAT, in the Dominican Republic. On February 22nd, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will sew a patch over the hole in her heart. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is also contributing $5,000 to help pay for her surgery. Audrey's family needs help funding her pre and post operation costs. The $1,500 bill will cover her labs, medications, checkups, and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment for the social workers from Haiti Cardiac Alliance who will accompany Audrey's family as they travel overseas where she can finally access the surgery she needs. Audrey's mother says, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to heal our daughter."
Srey Nath is a bright young student who loves to read books and wants to be a teacher when she grows up. She has two older brothers and lives with her parents who are rainy day rice farmers. They also grow vegetables and keep cows and chickens to feed their family and make extra money at the local market. Over the past several years, Srey Nath's back has curved which limits her movement and lung expansion. She has trouble standing up straight or walking, and is easily winded when she is active due to difficulty expanding her lungs. She shared that she feels embarrassed with her friends and very shy about how her back looks. She loves school but doesn't want to attend now because of the abnormal curvature of her spine, and the chronic pain it causes. Srey Nath's neighbors told her family to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre for a diagnosis and treatment. Surgeons have diagnosed her with scoliosis of the thoracic spine. She needs expanding rods in her back to straighten her spine as she grows to avoid any further medical problems. Srey Nath and her parents traveled two and a half hours to seek treatment and need help raising $1,500 for this specialty surgery. Srey Nath's mother said: "My daughter needs this surgery to grow normally and become a teacher. I hope we can raise the money so she can fulfill her dream someday."
Pary is a 30-year-old food seller. She has seven siblings, who are all married, and lives at home with her parents. Her mother works as a food seller as well, while her father works as a farmer. Pary's favorite hobbies are reading books, searching to learn new things on Google, and being active and getting exercise. Since she was young, Pary has had a mass on her lower right jaw. She had a biopsy, underwent surgery at a local hospital, and saw a specialist surgeon. However, she still feels unwell and experiences discomfort and low self-esteem as a result of the condition. When Pary learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled there seeking treatment. On December 1st, she will undergo a mandible reconstruction to remove the mass on her lower jaw. CSC is requesting $657 to fund Pary's procedure. Pary shared that she hopes her right mandible will get better and her self-esteem will improve as a result of her surgery.