Laurence joined Watsi on December 9th, 2014. Eight years ago, Laurence joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Laurence's most recent donation traveled 4,300 miles to support Katweensly, a 16 year old student from Haiti, to fund prep and travel for heart surgery.
Laurence has funded healthcare for 89 patients in 12 countries.
Laurence has funded healthcare for 89 patients in 12 countries.
Meet Katweensly, a 16 year old student, living with her mother and siblings in a small town in Haiti, near the border with the Dominican Republic. Katweensly, who is a junior in high school, particularly enjoys her math and science classes. As a young child, Katweensly suffered a bout of rheumatic fever, which damaged one of the four valves in her heart. As a result, her heart cannot pump blood efficiently through her body, leaving her feeling weak and short of breath. Thanks to the help of our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, Katweensly is scheduled to travel to the Dominican Republic for surgery, which is scheduled for November 10th, at Hospital CEDIMAT. There, doctors will first try to repair the damaged valve. If they are unable to do this, they will implant an artificial valve. Another organization, Mitral Foundation, is helping supporting the cost of the surgery, but Katweensly's family needs an additional $1,500 to pay for lab tests, medicines, and follow up appointments that are a part of her overall treatment. In addition, support will help cover the travel costs and ensure a social worker from Haiti Cardiac Alliance can support the family during treatment in the Dominican Republic. Katweensly said: "I am feeling very happy to finally have the chance to have my heart repaired after waiting for so long."
Nevid is a curious and playful two year old boy, living with his parents in Tanzania. His father is a motorcycle taxi driver, while his mother is a homemaker. Earlier this year, Nevid was outside the house playing with his friends, when he fell on a pot of hot water. His right arm was badly burned, leaving him with contractures when the wound healed. He has pain when he tries to straighten the affected arm. He has also developed a fear of doctors, because of the many times he had to go for injections, and it is difficult for him to allow anyone to examine his arm. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Nevid receive treatment. On October 17th, surgeons at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help Nevid straighten his hand easily without causing any pain. Now, his family needs your help to fund this $639 procedure. Nevid’s mother says: “The entire treatment period has been so traumatizing to my son. I hope this will be the last time his arm has a problem.”
Kay is 43-year-old woman and garment factory worker. She lives alone on the border of Thailand and Burma. Kay supports her parents in Burma by sending them money every month. In her free time, she enjoys reading books about Buddhism. In the middle of 2021, Kay began experiencing pain and abnormal bleeding. By September of 2022, the pain and symptoms had worsened. Kay has been diagnosed with myoma, or a noncancerous growth in the uterus. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, which would surgically remove her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Kay's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Kay is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on September 19th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain or abnormal bleeding. She will be able to go back to work, and to continue supporting her family. “When I recover fully, I will continue to work in the garment factory. I will save my money and I will pay back my debt. I will try to continue supporting my parents,” said Kay.
Ronald is a middle-aged farmer from Kenya who is the thirdborn in a family of six. He and his family all live in semi-permanent houses and work as small-scale farmers. His father passed away years ago, so his mother, who is diabetic, was left to care for the children alone. Ronald studied up to the college level, but he could not secure a job in his field, so he now works as a casual laborer. He also helps his mother with house chores since she is sick and on medication, making it difficult for her to do them alone. With the income he earns through doing casual labor, Ronald helps support his family's basic day-to-day needs. Ronald was recently involved in a road traffic accident while traveling as a passenger on a motorbike. After his driver lost control due to being hit by another motorbike, they both fell on the tarmacked road, and the motorbike landed on Ronald's lower limbs. Fortunately, there were people around who helped them, but he could not manage to stand. He had to be lifted onto a passenger service vehicle, which took him to the hospital. Since he sustained an open fracture to his foot during the accident, it was treated as an emergency, and he was immediately taken to the operating room for cleaning and debridement. He was then admitted to the ward and is now waiting to undergo fracture repair surgery. He is currently in pain and unable to use his limb Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 12th, Ronald will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. After the procedure, he will no longer be in pain and will be able to walk and work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Ronald says, "I earn a living through casual jobs, which some are near and some are far from home. This state has actually brought me down. Please help me so that I may not be a burden once I am able to work.”
Hiram, an eleven year old boy, lives in Mombasa county in Kenya. He is the lastborn in a family of three and has two sisters. He is raised by a single mother who sells fish for their daily living. Hiram is in grade five and was born with club feet, which he lived with until this year. He had never been to any hospital for help until they heard about CURE hospital's mobile clinic in Mombasa. Fortunately, Hiram was able to undergo treatment for his right foot last September and the surgery was successful. Hiram is so happy to have undergone the first surgery on his right foot and is optimistic that even his left foot will be corrected well now too. Hiram is scheduled to undergo surgery for his left foot at our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital on July 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Hiram's clubfoot repair. The treatment will be of great impact to him because he will finally be able to put on both shoes, walk confidently, play football (which he is very excited for) and continue with his studies uninterrupted. “I am grateful to the donors for providing support to pay for my right foot which has healed well. I am looking forward to walking, playing with my friends, and continuing with school,” Hiram told us.
Jayden is a sweet baby and the last born in a family of 5 children. His parents separated before he was born and his mother does laundry for neighbors to provide for the family. Shortly after Jayden was born, his mother noticed a large swelling on his back. She did not have the money to take him to a doctor at the time but, when he was seven months old, she took him to the hospital where Jayden was examined and was sent to another facility for a scan. Unfortunately, the scan was not done because Jayden's mother could not raise the required amount of money. She shared her plight with her boss who got in touch with one of the ambassadors from BethanyKids hospital in their village. The ambassador reached out to her the following day and helped bring Jayden to the hospital. Upon examination, he was diagnosed with spina bifida and urgent surgery was recommended. Spina bifida is a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Jayden is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Jayden's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 21. This procedure will hopefully spare Jayden from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Jayden’s mother says, “I have been praying for a long time for Jayden’s healing and I now believe that he will be treated.”
Thay is a one-year-old girl from Burma. She lives with her parents, grandfather, three sisters and a brother in a village. Thay's mother looks after her and her brother at home, her grandfather is retired, and her sisters go to school. Thay's father works as a porter, but has has difficulty finding work for over a month. With the increasing number of internally displaced people settling in their village due to the humanitarian crisis, there are now many individuals competing for the same work. When Thay was around eight months old, her parents noticed that her head was increasing in size. As a result, Thay cannot yet sit up or crawl. She is only able to turn her head, and will cry if she cannot see her parents. Thay was recently diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which has causes fluid to build up in her brain. Without immediate surgery to alleviate the intracranial pressure, Thay is at risk of developing severe, potentially fatal medical complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for Thay, which will drain the fluid that has accumulated in her brain. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 20th and, once completed, will greatly improve Thay's quality of life as she grows up. Thay's father said, "I am thankful to every organisation and everyone for supporting my daughter’s treatment cost. Because of you, I believe that my daughter will receive surgery and be healthy and live a normal life after treatment."
BB Martine is a 10-month-old baby from Haiti. He is his parent's only child. They shared how much he likes to smile and the joy this brings to them. BB Martine has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, BB Martine has been experiencing an increasing head circumference, which is very worrisome for their family. Without treatment, BB Martine will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for BB Martine at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on April 13th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from BB Martine's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, BB Martine will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. BB Martine's family is hopeful that with treatment, their son will have a chance at a healthy childhood.
Rachhan is a 12-year-old student with five siblings. His parents are construction workers in their province. Rachhan enjoys playing football and riding bikes with his friends. Six years ago, Rachhan had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Rachhan experiences ear fullness, headaches, hearing loss, and ear discharge. He shared that he does not want to go to school because he is ridiculed by his friends when the teacher scolds him for not listening. As a result he has poor grades and it is difficult for him to communicate with other people. His parents are worried, but cannot afford expensive treatment for him. Rachhan traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 10th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Rachhan was excited that he will start to feel better soon. He told us, "I hope that I can hear well and go back to school."
Soro is an 18-year-old who works as a rice and vegetable farmer. He also has an older sister. In this free time, Soro enjoys playing football, going out with his friends, and listening to music. In January, when Soro was traveling, he was assaulted and stabbed on the left side of his neck. He went to a local hospital, where doctors cleaned and closed the wound. However, he has not regained movement in his left arm since returning home. Doctors diagnosed his condition as a brachial plexus injury on his left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in a loss of function and sensation. Currently, Soro cannot lift his arm, which means he is unable to work. Soro traveled to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for treatment, as CSC's care center is the only center in the country that provides the surgery he needs to heal. On February 15th, Soro will undergo brachial plexus repair surgery. Upon recovery, he will be able to use his left arm again. CSC is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Soro says," After surgery, I hope I can return to work and be free of pain."
Ravuth is a bright student in the 4th grade. He's the youngest in his family and has three older siblings. When not studying, Ravuth likes to play football, watch TV and play games with his friends from school. Six weeks ago, Ravuth had a severe ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. Ravuth now experiences ear discharge, pain, fevers, and hearing loss. It is difficult to listen and he feels shy because he doesn't understand the conversation. He has frequently been absent from class and his mother is worried that he might be held back in school. Ravuth's family traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 18th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Ravuth said: "I hope my hearing will improve and I can go back to school!"
Yasin is a 9-year-old student and the third born in a family of five children. Yasin is a social, talkative, and playful boy despite his challenges in walking due to his clubfoot condition. Yasin loves math and English. When asked if there are any sports, he loves he said “I love football, but my friends play better than me because of my feet, I cannot run as fast as them. So, I lose most of the time.” Yasin’s father sells vegetables at a local market and their income is not enough to care for the family and pay for Yasin’s needed treatment cost. Yasin has clubfoot of both his feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Yasin traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 14th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Yasin's clubfoot repair. After treatment, He will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. Yasin’s class teacher says “I felt I had to do something because it made me very sad seeing Yasin walking around school with no shoes on. It was even worse when I realized that he also went to a pit latrine toilet with no shoes on something that is a danger to his health. Please help him.”