Christina joined Watsi on April 25th, 2015. Seven years ago, Christina joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Christina's most recent donation traveled 8,100 miles to support Silvia, a hairdresser from Kenya, to fund bladder surgery.
Christina has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 11 countries.
Christina has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 11 countries.
Silvia is a 38-year-old woman, living with her husband and two children. Today, Silvia sits in a hospital bed, awaiting surgery. But this story begins in December 2020, when she suffered a stroke. Because of the stroke, Silvia had to give up her work as a hairdresser, so she now relies on her husband, a freelance electrician, to provide for their family. After recovering from her stroke, Silvia began to notice worrying symptoms. The doctors at Kijabe Hospital continued to follow Silvia, but it wasn't until 2022 - after undergoing a scan - that her doctors realized that Silvia had a tumor in her bladder. Silvia underwent surgery to have the tumor removed, but developed post operative complications that required another operation. Subsequently, Silvia was found to have a bladder leakage, which now requires urgent surgical repair. Silvia and her family have no medical coverage, and in the past, they have relied on friends and family to help pay for all of her medical bills. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is here now to help Silvia access the care that she needs. They are requesting $1,074 to fund the surgical repair of Silvia's bladder perforation, which is scheduled for June 20th at AIC Kijabe Hospital. Silvia says: “I can't believe I am scheduled for another surgery again. I have been going through a lot. It is tough but I hope to be better soon.”
Woldegibreal is a 10-year-old boy, living with his parents and two younger siblings in Ethiopia. He is an intelligent and loving boy, who helps his parents around the house, and with looking after his two siblings. He also loves music and playing football. Woldegibreal was born with a congenital abnormality, which leaves his bladder exposed to the open air, and leaking urine directly into his abdomen. Because of this, Woldegibreal is prone to infections and injury to his bladder, and suffers from constant pain and discomfort. There is a surgical procedure which can correct Woldegibreal's condition. However, even though his parents work hard on the land that they have, they are unable to sustain their family, due to the poor harvests which result from the hot and dry area where they live. They survive with support from others and are unable to cover the costs of Woldegibreal's surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of the life-changing procedure for Woldegibreal, scheduled to take place at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre on May 24th. This procedure will enable Woldegibreal to heal, and to enjoy a full and healthy life. His father shared: “If he gets the surgery we will faint in happiness. We will bless all who helped him. We will send him to school. And we will lead our life with thanksgiving and gratitude.”
Melodie is an 11-month-old baby from Haiti. She lives in Port-au-Prince with her mother, father, and two older sisters. Her father is a school principal, and her mother is a homemaker. Melodie has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. There is a hole between the two lower chambers of Melodie's heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Melodie also has Down Syndrome. Since the care she needs is not available in Haiti, Melodie will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On April 18th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in Melodie's heart using a patch. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for the surgery. Melodie's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Melodie's family overseas. Melodie's mother shared: "Our family has been very scared about whether our daughter will have surgery in time. We are very happy to know that the date is almost here!"
Grace is a bright and hardworking student who is ready to sit for her government-mandated national exams for high school students in just two days. She is the youngest in her family of four. Grace's family came to Kenya as refugees from Rwanda to escape the 1994 genocide. Her parents started a small cereal shop after they settled. They don’t have medical insurance so are requesting help for Grace. She has had many ear infections that have now caused difficulty for her to hear and she strains to pick up voices. This has been affecting her classwork and she's even worried she may not be able to hear during her final exams on Monday. Grace urgently needs hearing aids on both ears and our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping her receive this treatment and care. AMH is raising $1,171 to fund the full cost. Grace father shared, "Grace has been struggling with her studies because of her hearing. She is now supposed to sit for her final exams in two days and will need the hearing aids so as not to miss the instructions during the exams.”
Daychai is a 52-year-old man from Thailand. He lives alone in a village where he works as a gardener, growing fruits and maintaining the garden. From his work, he earns 3,000 baht (approx. 100 USD) per month. On February 23rd, Daychai was driving home from work and, suddenly, he lost control. He ran into a post beside the road and was knocked unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he found himself admitted at a hospital with pain in his right ankle. The doctor came to see him and told him that his right ankle is fractured. He would need surgery at nearby Mae Sot Hospital for his ankle to heal properly. Currently, his right lower leg is swollen and he cannot walk without crutches. He is in severe pain though he feels better after he takes pain medication. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Daychai will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 25th and will cost $1,500. This surgery will help his ankle heal properly so that he can walk again and he can go back to work. He said, "I am all alone and if I do not work, then I have no income and no money to eat. I need to recover to be able to walk and work again. I will be more careful next time while driving."
Natinael is a sweet toddler who loves to play with toys. He loves birds especially looking at the doves where he lives with his mom. Natinael's mom shared that he is shy and always wants to be at her side. She is a single mom and has been raising Natinael on her own with help from her family. Natinael was born with birth condition called Bladder Extrophy, which means that his bladder is open to air and at great risk of infections and injury. He needs surgery to help heal his condition, but his mother is unable to afford the cost. She is very much worried and concerned by his health and wants to do whatever she can to make sure he grows up healthy. She shared, “At first I did not know about the gravity of his condition. Then when I went to the hospitals they said they can’t do the surgery and they referred me to another hospital. I was in so much distress. I thought ‘what is this disease that the doctors refer it to another hospital.’ One doctor explained the condition to me and that was my lowest time of my life. I couldn’t eat or drink or sleep. All I could do was cry. I asked God why this happened to me." Fortunately someone referred her to an organization that knew our medical partner's care center BKMCM Hospital where doctors can perform the surgery he needs. Natinael's mom says, "If he heals, I hope I will work hard and raise him well and give him good education. I did not go to school and that makes me to want to send Natinael to school more. I'd like to spend the rest of my life with him protecting him.”
Jackson is a 48-year-old married man and the father of three children. His oldest child is in high school and his youngest has not yet joined school. Jackson works as a welder, but he shared that work is hard to come by. His wife works as a teacher in a small private school. On Monday, December 20th, Jackson was riding as a passenger on his friend's motorbike when they were in an accident. They were going to plant some tomatoes on a farm they both owned. They arrived safely and went ahead to plant the tomatoes. When they were done, they decided to go back home and took off on Monday evening. Along the way, they were involved in an accident. Jackson was badly injured and rushed to the emergency room. Later, he was evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon where he was told he had a fractured femur and surgery is recommended. Jackson is bedridden and in pain, and he worries that without treatment, he might not be able to walk again. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On December 23rd, Jackson will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After a successful surgery, he will be able to move around easily and resume his work to provide for his family. Now, Jackson needs help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. Jackson shared, "it is very hard to comprehend what happened and how I’m going to clear the hospital bill but despite the situation I’m in right now, I’m very happy that I’m receiving treatment."
Hannah is a farmer and the 62-year-old mother of four kids. All her children are now grown. She lost her husband in 2014 who was the sole breadwinner for their family. Hannah does not have a job and grows food crops for home use. She depends on her children and some relatives to help pay for her medical bills. Hannah was using her husband's medical insurance but since his death, she has no medical coverage. She recently registered for a national insurance program, but it will be not be eligible for funding for at least a month or longer and her surgery is urgent. Hannah first started feeling a painless lump on her left breast in early 2020 but she did not feel alarmed. She felt better but seven months ago, the painful swelling recurred. She went to a government facility and then Hannah recently visited Kijabe Hospital. Doctors their ordered several tests including a CT scan and core biopsy which revealed cancer of the left breast. She needs surgery to control the spread of the cancer. Hannah has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $,1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Hannah. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 24th. After treatment, Hannah will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Hannah says, “I worry I have nothing to smile about. I am scared and in pain. If left untreated, this cancer will spread and even cause death. I need this surgery urgently to stop this.”
Damaris is a shy six-year-old from Kenya and the youngest child in a family of four children. Damaris's mother is a single parent and the sole breadwinner of the family. She sells maize in a local market to support the family. Damaris has been diagnosed with an anorectal malformation and is unable to pass stool. Damaris needs to undergo a colostomy, or a procedure where the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Damaris to receive treatment. On October 14th, the medical team will perform a colostomy procedure at AMH's care center. Once complete, Damaris will hopefully be able to live more comfortably and confidently. Now, their family needs help raising $1,152 to fund the procedure and care. Damaris’s mother shared, "having come to this point where we are looking forward to our last surgery, we give God all the glory. We are still hopeful that He will work out a way for us."
Jane is a 49-year-old farmer and a married mother of four children. She takes care of their home and along with her husband they do small-scale farming. Neither of them are formally employed. About one year ago, Jane began to experience troubling symptoms, including on-and-off severe headaches and, as of two months ago, neck swelling. She was diagnosed with multinodular goiter and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is helping Jane receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on September 27th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $657, and she and her family need help raising money. “I am so worried because the swelling on my neck is increasing and this may affect my life more. I kindly request to be helped; we cannot get that kind of money required for surgery. I will be very grateful if I am assisted so that I can continue with my normal life and continue serving my family and be out socializing with friends,” said Jane.
Saroh is a 17-year-old girl who lives with her parents, two younger brothers and a younger sister in a village in Burma. Her sister and brothers attend school while Saroh has never gone to school due to her health. Saroh’s parents are farmers and they grow rice. Saroh was around five or six months old, when her mother noticed that when Saroh tried to roll over, her lips, toes and fingers would turn blue. Saroh's mother was unable to take Saroh to a clinic or hospital because they did not have enough money to do so. When Saroh was 5 years old she would often become tired when playing with her friends. Her lips, toes and fingers were also still blue. On a recommendation from a family friend, Saroh’s mother brought Saroh to a free clinic where she was referred to a hospital for further investigation. Following diagnostics exams, Saroh’s mother was told that Saroh was born with a heart condition. In order to get treatment Saroh would have to be transferred to a hospital that was very far. Without enough information or money to travel and pay for treatments, Saroh and her mother traveled back to their village. Saroh was then treated with traditional medicine which according to Saroh’s mother seemed to stabilize her condition. In the middle of 2019, Saroh started to experience back pain. She also felt more tired and had difficulty breathing. Her mother did not know what to do as they had no money to bring her to a hospital or a clinic. Saroh’s mother asked their friends if they knew of a way that Saroh could receive treatment. In May 2020, Saroh’s uncle told his friend about Saroh’s condition. That friend happened to be a former staff member of our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and told Saroh’s uncle about how BCMF could help. BCMF agreed to help Saroh access the treatment she needs, and is requesting $1500 to fund her cardiac surgery. Now staying at the patient house in Chiang Mai, Saroh is learning how to read and write with the help of BCMF staff who teaches here during her free time while waiting for her treatment. Saroh said, “If I feel better, I want to help my mother with household chores. In the future, I think I want to go to Bible school and become a missionary. I am very thankful to all the donors who are willing to help pay for the cost of my treatment.”
Jackson is a three-year-old boy and loving big brother. His father's work at the welding shop provides the main source of income for the family. His earnings are just enough to support the household. Jackson's mother is not working so she can take care of Jackson and his very young sibling. The family currently lives in a small rented house. Jackson was born with hypospadias, which causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Jackson is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 27th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $735 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Jackson’s mother says, “It is difficult for us to raise the money for his treatment as we always rely on the National Insurance, which has turned us down.”