Bethany Ridley
Bethany's Story

Bethany joined Watsi on January 23rd, 2015. 12 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Bethany's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Byamukama, a casual laborer from Uganda, for hernia repair.


Bethany has funded healthcare for 20 patients in 10 countries.

All patients funded by Bethany

Even though Jose is five months old, he is currently the size of a one-month old. This is because he has acute malnutrition, a condition that results from not receiving a sufficient amount of breast milk. His mother could not breast feed for two months, leaving Jose with only sugar water to eat during that time--and now she is unable to produce milk. At such a young age, proper nutrition is especially important. Lactation failure can lead to the child becoming starving, dehydrated, and provoke electrolyte imbalances that can cause seizures. Brain development occurring during this delicate time is compromised and the baby is at risk of long term damage. Jose is the the only child and he lives with his parents and grandparents in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof and dirt floor in Guatemala. Jose loves to play with his one toy--which is a stuffed fish, and his mother says that he loves to babble and laugh whenever anyone talks to him. His mother is a minor, and thus does not work, and his father works as a day-laborer, getting paid about $3 per day when there's work. Lactation failure, while dangerous, is easy to treat. By supplying the baby with formula and the mother with health education, Jose will receive the calories he needs to grow and thrive. One-on-one education with Jose’s mother will prepare her for when he needs to start eating solid food, as well as help her watch for further signs of malnutrition and other illness. Jose’s immune system will strengthen and he will grow up to be a healthy and energetic baby. "I hope that my son grows healthy and that when he is big he can study and become a nurse and help others," his mother shared. "I have this hope because he can have the support from you."

Fully funded

Nancy is a 20-month-old baby girl who lives with her parents in a remote village in Kenya. Nancy’s mother is a housewife, and her father sells khat to sustain the needs of the young family. Nancy was born with a small anal opening. During the first six months of her life, while she was only feeding on breast milk, she did not have trouble passing stool. When she started eating solid foods, she began to have a difficult time passing stool, and her stomach started to swell. Nancy was taken to several hospitals by her parents, and eventually, she had a colostomy done to create an opening on her upper abdomen for passing stool. Her parents were able to pay for the surgery through financial contributions from friends and family, but as time passed, it became more and more expensive for them to cater to their child’s medical expenses. To prevent infections, Nancy's parents must keep the area around the colostomy clean. “This is really hard for us—very hard,” says Nancy’s father. Keeping the area clean has also been expensive, making it more difficult for the family to raise the funds required for the next phase of Nancy's medical care. Now, Nancy needs a pull-through surgery—an anorectoplasty—to create an anal opening through which she can pass stool normally. $1,260 pays for the surgery, and Nancy's parents are contributing $21 to cover additional costs associated with her care. “Please help my daughter get treated, as we have exhausted funds in trying to get her treated," shares Nancy's father. "My prayer is to have her treated. I really understand her condition, and I am desperate to make life easier for her."

Fully funded

Meet Carlito, a 37-year-old man from the Philippines. "In June of 2015, Carlito underwent an operation on his left eye that later became infected," our medical partner, International Care Ministries (ICM), reports. Since the operation, Carlito has developed a perforated corneal ulcer—one that typically occurs when an infection causes the cornea to thin. The infection has greatly impacted Carlito's vision, making it difficult for him to work. As a pig farmer and factory worker, Carlito is the sole source of income for his family. He is married with three daughters, and is concerned about what will happen to his family if he should fully lose his vision due to the infection. $1,500 will cover the cost of a corneal autograft transplant, a procedure in which doctors will replace Carlito's damaged cornea with healthy corneal tissue. As the hospital, Mount Elizabeth Orchard, is located overseas in Singapore, the cost of treatment will also include two round-trip plane tickets for Carlito to access his care. Four days of post-operative care in Singapore will also be provided. After the operation, Carlito's vision will be restored, and he will be able to continue working. In his free time, Carlito is an active participant at the local church, and has even begun studying to become a full-time preacher. With the autograft transplant, Carlito will be able to continue with his lessons and "his life of learning can take its course," shares ICM. "Seeing my wife and my children smile means so much to me, and without your help, that would not be possible," Carlito says. "I am excited to follow the doctor's orders so I will be able to see again."

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Four-month-old Davina lives with her mother and grandparents in small three-room house in Kenya. Davina’s family brought her to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), after noticing that her head was growing larger. Davina’s increasing head size is the result of hydrocephalus, a condition in which there is an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain due to infection, trauma, malformation of the central nervous system, or genetic defect. AMHF explains, “Davina is at risk of having delayed development and increased intracranial pressure due to the extra fluid in the brain, which can result in brain damage and eventually death.” To drain the excess fluid, doctors will place a shunt in Davina’s brain and connect it to a tube that runs under the skin and empties into the abdomen, where the excess fluid can be resorbed by the body. AMHF tells us, “Davina’s surgery will help eliminate the pressure impacted on her brain by the excess fluid in her head and reduce the risk of brain damage and blindness.” Davina’s grandparents work as small-scale farmers to support themselves, their seven children, and baby Davina. They have no other source of income and cannot afford to pay for the surgery that Davina needs. For $980, Davina will undergo surgery and spend five days in the hospital as she recovers. Funding also covers the costs of imaging, blood work, and medicine. “I am glad to have found a place where Davina can be treated,” says Davina’s grandmother. “Please help her live a long, quality life.”

Fully funded

Hannah is 47 years old and lives with her mother and brother in Kenya. She works to support herself farming potatoes and selling bananas. “Two months ago, Hannah felt a lump in her breast,” explains our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). “She didn't think it was serious, so she continued with her life as usual. However, after two weeks, the lump had grown a lot and Hannah decided to seek a medical opinion.” After speaking with doctors at two different hospitals, they were able to confirm that the lump is cancerous. While it has not spread yet, the doctors have recommended that Hannah undergo a mastectomy and chemotherapy and radiation to prevent the cancer from spreading to other vital organs and becoming fatal. “Hannah is a single mother to a 22-year-old daughter,” shares AMHF. “She has worked very hard to ensure that her daughter has a better life and a good education. Currently, Hannah’s daughter is a third year Bachelor of Commerce student at a local public university.” With living expenses and her daughter’s tuition, she is not able to raise the funds necessary to afford the treatment on her small income. With $740, Hannah will receive the care she needs. In performing the mastectomy, surgeons will remove Hannah’s entire breast. This operation will be followed by a few rounds of chemotherapy and radiation to ensure the cancer is entirely removed. The funds will ensure Hannah and her family do not have to worry about the risks of the cancer spreading. “I have worked hard to ensure that my daughter gets a good education and a better chance in life,” shares Hannah. “My only dream is to see her finish school and live a good life.”

Fully funded