Melissa joined Watsi on May 11th, 2018. Two years ago, Melissa joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Melissa's most recent donation supported Savong, a 28-year-old hairdresser from Cambodia, to fund a mastoidectomy.
Melissa has funded healthcare for 34 patients in 6 countries.
Melissa has funded healthcare for 34 patients in 6 countries.
Savong is a 28-year-old hairdresser from Kampong Thom province in Cambodia, where she lives with her husband and their two daughters and son. Savong's husband works on a nearby rice farm while Savong works in the local market at a hairdressing stall. Her favorite hobby is cooking for her family. Fifteen years ago, Savong had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. As a result, Savong experiences hearing loss, ear pain, and discharge. Savong traveled to seek help from our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. On April 27th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre. During this procedure, surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma, restoring Savong's hearing, and ridding her of the distressing discharge she has been living with. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $926 to fund this procedure. The money raised will cover the cost of medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Savong shared: "I hope I can help my hearing and be able to do my job and care for my kids better."
Wedstanley, who is 10 months old, lives in a small village in northern Haiti, with his parents and three older siblings. Both of his parents are farmers. Wedstanley was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which blood leaks between two major blood vessels next to his heart. As a result of this condition, Wedstanley is weak and short of breath. Surgical intervention is required in order to restore him to good health. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is requesting $1,500 to fund Wedstanley's interventional heart catheterization. The procedure, during which surgeons will close the leak in his heart - allowing for normal blood flow - is scheduled for April 17th, at Clinica Corominas. Wedstanley's mother said: "Our family is praying that this surgery will go well and that our son will be normal and healthy!"
Peterson is a 24-year-old man from Haiti. He lives with his parents and younger sister in a city on the southern coast of the island. When he feels well enough, he helps his family with their market stand. Peterson has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Peterson urgently needs surgery, but this is not available within Haiti. So Peterson will fly to United States to receive treatment. On March 2nd, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing $15000 to pay for surgery. Peterson's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Peterson overseas. "I would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to fix my heart," said Peterson.
Benedister is a 45-year-old single mother and small-scale farmer from Kenya. She plants maize and millet for her family's consumption and for sale. Benedister has seven children between 11 and 23 years old. When she is done with her farm work, Benedister always looks for casual jobs in order to earn extra wages. She is very hardworking, as she is her family’s sole breadwinner. One day, while walking around her compound, Benedister fell and injured her right lower limb. She was unable to walk, so she was carried by some of her relatives to the hospital. Her pain was so intense that she was given some pain medication, then sent for an x-ray. The x-ray revealed that she had a bimalleolar fracture with a joint dislocation, which means that in addition to a bone being broken, the ligaments on the inside of her ankle were injured as well. She was treated, and then her ankle was immobilized with a bulky jones splint. She is not able to walk on her own and is in a lot of pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 7th, Benedister will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Afterward, she will be able to walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Benedister says, “It’s really sad that I cannot walk without support. My children look up to me for all their needs and here I am now with a broken leg and cannot offer any help to them. Please help me get my bones fixed so that I will be able to work and live normally as before.”
David is a sharp and talkative seven-year-old boy from Kiambu county. David is quick to help answer some of the questions we asked: He has one sibling who he proudly shared is five years old. David's mother is separated from his father and is currently unemployed picking up odd jobs like washing clothes to provide for her children. David loves to play football and was playing with his friends on December 19th when he fell and sustained a fracture. David is experiencing pain and is unable to use his left hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On January 12th, David will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Thanks to this procedure, David will no longer be in pain and will be able to use the left hand for school and play. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping David's family raise $1,049 to fund this procedure. David's mother share, "I hope my son is treated and gets back to school and playing.”
Mary is an eight-year-old girl. She is a talkative and playful young girl. She is the last born in a family of seven children and the family is not well off financially. Both of her parents do casual jobs like ploughing people's farms for a living and such jobs are not easy to find where they live. Sometimes the church members chip in to help them where they can. When Mary was one year old, she was involved in an accident where she sustained burns to her head, some parts of her face and neck. She was rushed to the hospital and was admitted for better care. While in the hospital, a surgery was done on her head where she had sustained more burns. She was then discharged and booked for wound dressing clinics. The wounds were healing well as per the doctors’ plan. Her parents managed to take her for the clinics for a few months but later stopped because of finances. While at home, the wound got infected but due to lack of funds, she was not taken to hospital at that time. Time went by and the infection spread to most parts of the head. When she was three years old, the family met up with a local pastor who started helping them. He started financing Mary’s hospital visits with the help of some church members where he ministered. The wound was dressed again but the recovery process was very slow. In mid this year, the pastor brought them to Kijabe Hospital, she was examined, and the wound was dressed properly. Since then, the wound has been healing as expected. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Mary receive treatment. On December 9th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help the remaining wound to heal properly. Now, Mary's family needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Mary’s father says, "Since the accident, we have been struggling a lot to make her get the required treatment but have failed to some extent. Coming to Kijabe, our hopes have been boosted greatly with the improvement she has experienced, and we hope that she will go through with the surgery and be well again.”
Ivan is an 11-month-old baby who is very energetic. He is now at the crawling stage, and from the moment he arrived at our medical partner's care centre, Ivan has not stopped crawling from one point to another. Ivan lives with both his parents. His father is a small-scale farmer, and the sole provider for the family, while his mother stays at home taking care of household chores. He is very close to his mother, but also not afraid to meet new people. His mother enjoys watching him move around. She has struggled to find treatment for him since he was a newborn baby. When Ivan was born, his parents tried their best to pay for his treatment, but halfway through the treatment plan, they could not afford to pay anymore. Ivan has clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and wearing shoes as he grows. Fortunately, Ivan's family came to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on November 8th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Ivan's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily when he grows up. Ivan’s mother says, “my biggest wish is to see my son learn how to stand and eventually start walking.”
Thet is a 35 year old husband and father, who lives with his wife, son and in-laws in Mon State in Burma. Both Thet and his wife work in his uncle's grocery store, while his in laws are farmers. When he isn't working, Thet enjoys spending time with his son and reading. In November 2018, Thet started to experience tiredness when working, and frequent headaches. He also had a rapid heartbeat, and he couldn't sleep well. He went to a hospital in Mawlamyine, where he was referred to a different hospital in Yangon for further treatment. At the hospital in Yangon, Thet was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation and stenosis, which would require surgery to correct. Thet was sent home with medications to manage his condition. In March 2022, Thet went back to the hospital in Yangon, because of continuing fatigue, headaches, coughing and fever. The doctor told him they would contact him to schedule his surgery in May, but Thet never heard back from the hospital. When Thet told his neighbor about this, his neighbor gave him the phone number of a heart patient who had been helped by our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Thet followed up, and thanks to the assistance of Burma Children Medical Fund, he is finally scheduled for surgery to replace the valve in his heart on October 13th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Now Thet needs your help to fund the $1,500 to cover the cost of this surgery. "I have sold all my jewelry to pay for the cost of traveling to the hospital. I feel less stressed since I met the BCMF staff,” said Thet.
Primer is a father of three from Haiti. He lives in a small village in southwestern Haiti with his wife and three children; he is a farmer and sells produce in the local market. Primer has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of his heart is severely damaged as the result of a rheumatic infection he suffered a number of years ago, and cannot adequately pump blood through his heart and body. The surgery that Primer needs is not available anywhere in the country so he will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On September 13th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove the damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $9000 to pay for surgery. Primer's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also covers travel expenses for the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Primer's family overseas, as well as the cost of obtaining Prince's passport. Prince says: "I am very grateful to be having this surgery so I can take care of my family and see my children grow up."
Tin is a 45-year-old man. Originally from Burma, he fled to Thailand over 20 years ago due to civil war. He currently lives with his wife, who works as a street vendor selling various snacks and vegetable, and one of his daughters, who is currently in school. His family also raises chickens, which they sell when they need cash. Tin previously worked as a farmer and a construction worker, but he has recently been unable to work due to his condition. In the future, he hopes to go back to work and help support his family. After an incident that occurred this past April that caused him to be hit in the left eye by a mango, Tin lost his vision in that eye and began to experience headaches, swelling, severe eye pain, and dizziness when attempting to stand. Tin eventually sought medical attention at a clinic. There, a medic checked his left eye, gave him a bottle of eye drops, and told him to seek treatment at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) since they could not treat him there. However, he did not go to MTC right away due to financial constraints. He instead hoped that his eye would recover over time with the help of eye drops. Although his pain was temporarily reduced, the bruising disappeared, and the swelling went down over time, he never regained his vision. The pain in his eye eventually returned, and he noticed that he had a white spot on his left pupil. As the white spot increased in size, his eye progressively became more painful and began to itch. He now experiences discharge and watering in his eye, as well as difficulty sleeping. At the beginning of this month, a small lump appeared near the white spot on his left pupil. The lump gradually increased in size until it bursted on August 13th. After the discharge and bleeding from the lump stopped, he asked his friend to take him to MTC right away. When he arrived at the clinic, he was told to come back on Monday since there were not any eye specialist medics working on the weekend. When Tin returned on Monday, a medic examined his left eye, and he was diagnosed with corneal perforation, a condition resulting from the cornea being penetrated and damaged. Tin was also told that his eye is infected. He now must undergo surgery at our medical partner's care center, Mae Sot General Hospital, to remove his left eye as quickly as possible before the infection spreads to his right eye. Fortunately, Tin was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for financial assistance accessing treatment. On August 17th, surgeons at our medical partner's care center will perform an enucleation to remove his left eye. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Tin's life-changing procedure. Tin shares, “I feel very depressed and worried about my eye. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I lost vision in both of my eyes. I want to receive surgery quickly to prevent my right eye from becoming infected. Without your help, I don’t think I would be able to receive further treatment. Therefore, I want to say thank you to the donors and the organization for agreeing to support my treatment costs.”
Elkana is a cheerful and friendly man from Kenya. He is the fourth born in a family of seven. He attended school up until class seven but had to end his studies due to financial constraints. He now works as a farmer and has a small piece of land on which he plants maize and potatoes, primarily to feed him and his family. To earn money, he works as a casual laborer, working on people's farms, as well as doing work such as clearing bushes and carrying loads. Until now, his wife has worked alongside him, but she has stopped working because she is currently pregnant. On July 16th, Elkana was brought to our medical partner's care center after being involved in a road traffic accident involving a lorry, or large truck, and a tractor. This accident left many people injured, including Elkana. He experienced a fracture of his left femur and is now experiencing pain. He is also unable to walk or stand. Without treatment, he will not be able to return to work and provide for his family. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 19th, Elkana will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After surgery, he will be able to use his leg again, return to work, and continue providing for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Elkana shares, ”My family depends on me for their daily needs, so it is really difficult for them. Kindly help me so that I may lead a normal life once again.”
Meet Tessy, a beautiful 4-year-old girl, living in Kenya. In March 2022, Tessy and several of her family members were involved in an accident. Her grandparents and an uncle did not survive this event, and Tessy's parents and her sister - and Tessy herself - were all hospitalized with traumatic injuries. Her parents and her sister have all since recovered. Tessy sustained injuries to her head, chest, hand and legs, and she remained in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital for several months. While Tessy has a visible deformity of her left arm and her right thigh, her doctors shared that her overall progress since the accident is impressive. Some of her fractures are healing well, but the fracture of her right femur requires surgical intervention. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help Tessy access the care that she needs. On June 10th, Tessy will undergo an open reduction and internal fixation at AIC Kijabe Hospital. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is seeking $1,500 to fund this procedure, without which Tessy would find it difficult to walk, and would live in chronic pain. Tessy’s father says: “Her condition has greatly improved. She was in the ICU for almost two months and responded well to treatment. She needs the surgery to help with the healing and to be able to walk again.”