Stephen joined Watsi on November 7th, 2014. Nine years ago, Stephen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Stephen's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Wayen, an 8-month-old baby from Haiti, to fund heart surgery so he can grow up to be a healthy child.
Stephen has funded healthcare for 96 patients in 13 countries.
Stephen has funded healthcare for 96 patients in 13 countries.
Wayen is an 8-month-old baby from Haiti. He lives with his mother, grandmother, and two older siblings in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. His mother works as a market vendor. Wayen has a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, which means that a hole exists between two major blood vessels near his heart. Blood leaks through this hole, leaving him weak and short of breath. The surgery he needs is not available in Haiti, so Wayen will travel to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On September 13th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will insert a catheter into the hole and expand a device to plug it, so that blood can no longer leak through it. Gift of Life International is contributing $3,000 towards the cost of the surgery, and Wayen's family needs help with the remaining $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. This money will also support passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner International Cardiac Alliance who will accompany Wayen's family overseas. Wayen's mother shared, "I will be praying for everyone who is helping my son to become healthy."
Peter is a 28-year-old artisan from Kenya. He creates and sells lampshades made from recycled materials to support his family. Peter's wife stays at home with their three-year-old daughter. In his free time, Peter and his friends run a boxing group that helps keep unemployed youths around his home area busy. One month ago, Peter sustained a fracture to his right pinky while boxing. He went to a local health facility where he received pain medication. However, Peter saw no improvement in his pain. He currently can't work or grip using his right hand and is at risk for future complications. Peter sought out care again, and his doctors recommended he undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. However, Peter's medical coverage is not currently active and he can't afford the surgery on his own. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 21st, Peter will undergo surgery to repair his fracture. After surgery, he will be able to grip objects again and resume work. Now, AMH is requesting $979 to fund this procedure. Peter says, “I use my hand to work. I am unable to make the lampshades because my hand is injured, this is what I use to earn a living. I hope to get treatment to be able to go back to my Jua-Kali work and feed my family
Darwin, a two-year-old toddler, resides with his parents and older sister in a small mining community nestled in the mountains of central Bolivia. Darwin was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and in need of supplemental nasal oxygen. The only way to treat his condition is through Congenital Cardiac Surgery. Skilled doctors at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría aim to close this hole using a patch, enabling blood to flow more naturally. Presently, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking assistance in raising the necessary funds of $1,500 for this crucial procedure. Your support would have a profound impact on Darwin's life and well-being. Edwin's mother said: "I am hopeful that Darwin will be able to be a normal and healthy child once his surgery is over."
Sophea is a 27-year-old father of two from Cambodia. He lives in a small village with his wife and two sons. Sophea and his wife plant and harvest vegetables to sell from their street cart and provide food for their family's consumption. Twelve years ago, Sophea developed an ear infection that caused a cholesteatoma, or abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind his ear drum. As a result, Sophea experiences hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. It is difficult for him to hear at home and with his customers. Sophea traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 6th, 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 (CSC), is requesting $926 to fund this procedure, which covers all medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sophea also contributed $100 towards his care. Sophea shared that he hopes this surgery will relieve him of symptoms and allow him to finally be able to hear again.
Sayuni, who is 4 years old, lives with her mother and two siblings in Tanzania. Sayuni's mother sells local bites like buns and Vitumbua- coconut rice pancakes- by the roadside to try and make ends meet. Sayuni was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, which causes her legs to bow outward at the knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, stemming from the consumption of contaminated drinking water. As a result of her condition, Sayuni has a difficult time walking and playing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Sayuni. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 17th, at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. Treatment should restore Sayuni's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Sayuni’s mother says: “I have hope that my daughter will be able to walk better after the treatment.”
Wideline is a 27 year old woman from Haiti. She lives in Port-au-Prince with her sister and her sister's family. She has not been working because of her illness, but would like to return to school to study business once she is able. Wideline has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect and ventricular septal defect. Wideline was born with two holes in her heart, one between the upper chambers and another between the lower chambers. Blood leaks through these holes without passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. It is extremely rare for someone to live to Wideline's age with this untreated condition. Because the care that she needs is not available in Haiti, Wideline will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On March 1st, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will use patches to close the holes so that blood can no longer leak through them. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing $15,000 to help pay for surgery. Wideline'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 Wideline overseas. Wideline shared: "I am so excited to finally be able to live a more normal life!"
Emmanuel is a 39-year-old father of two from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He lives with his wife and children and works in sales at an electronics store. He has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. There is a hole between the two upper chambers of his heart, which causes blood to leak out without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Because the care he needs is not available in Haiti, Emmanuel will fly to the United States to undergo cardiac surgery on February 27th. Doctors will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital is contributing $10,000 to help pay for this surgery. His family now needs $1,500 to help fund costs of the surgery preparations, including labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments, and travel expenses. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance will accompany Emmanuel overseas and ensure he safely undergoes treatment. Emmanuel says, "I am excited for this surgery so that I can focus on taking care of my family without worrying about my health."
Meet Night, a jovial and playful five year old girl. Night lives with her parents and two younger siblings in a traditional home in Kenya. Her father works selling second hand clothing, while her mother stays home to take care of the children. Shortly after she was born, Night's parents realized that something seemed wrong. They brought Night to a health facility in Turkana County where they lived, and were referred on to BethanyKids Hospital. There she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which meant that fluid was collecting in her head. Surgery was performed, and a shunt was placed to continuously drain the fluid from Night's head. A year later, however, Night's head began to increase in size, and she developed weakness on the right side of her body. The doctors at the local health facility urged Night's parents to take her back to BethanyKids Hospital for additional treatment, but Night's parents didn't have enough money to do this. With the help of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Night is now scheduled to undergo a craniotomy on January 5th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, when surgeons will drain excess fluids from Night's brain. Night's father is providing as much of a co-pay as possible for this procedure, but the family needs your help to raise the remaining $1,500 required to cover all of the costs of Night's surgery and care. Night’s father said: “Night is not able to communicate well because of her condition. This surgery will help her to be able to speak.”
Emmanuel, who is 19 years old, is the third born in a family of five children. He lives in Kansau village in Kenya. While Emmanuel was healthy at birth, when he was four or five years old, he began to experience convulsions. His parents brought him to Kenyatta National Hospital, where he was diagnosed with hemiplegic CP, a condition where the brain has been impacted and results in the paralysis of one side of the body. In addition, Emmanuel has clubfoot of his left foot, which makes it difficult for him to wear shoes and to walk easily. Fortunately, Emmanuel traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Emmanuel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk more easily, and to resume his vocational studies classes at Machakos School, which he so enjoys. Emmanuel said: “I would love to see my foot corrected so that I can continue with my studies and start my business in the future.”
Saw Myo is a 14-year-old from Burma. He lives with his grandparents, parents, two sisters, and brother. His grandparents are retired. His father farms paddy and rubber trees on their land, while his mother is a homemaker. Saw Myo and his siblings are all in school, but Saw Myo recently had to stop attending due to a medical condition. Saw Myo has had a lump on his lower spinal cord since he was nine years old due to an injury from a slingshot. He received medicinal ointment from a traditional healer that helped with the stiffness and prevented further growth. However, Saw Myo fell off his bicycle a few years later, and the lump grew in size. His family took him to several clinics, and an X-ray indicated a potential spinal cord problem. The doctors recommended a computerized tomography (CT) scan, but due to COVID-19 policies, Saw Myo could not receive the scan. His parents continued to try and help Saw Myo receive treatment but learned that his condition could not be treated locally. Saw Myo's mother then contacted a neighbor who worked as a medic at a clinic in Burma and began raising money for his care. The doctors want Saw Myo to undergo an MRI, which is an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Saw Myo receive this treatment. On November 15th, he will undergo an MRI. BCMF requests $814 to cover the cost of Saw Myo's MRI procedure and care. Saw Myo's mother said: “We have been so worried since we saw the mass increasing in size. It was tiring to seek treatment in Burma, and we now have borrowed a lot of money without Saw Myo having received treatment."
Noah is a young boy from Ngarenanyuki, a small village in the rural parts of Arusha, Tanzania. He is a member of a big family with seven siblings. His father is a livestock keeper and at their home, the young children are responsible for helping around with light house chores. In 2021, Noah was in the kitchen with some of his siblings, and he accidentally fell into a pot of boiling water. He was badly burnt on his left side of the elbow near the chest. His parents provided first aid to Noah, because they live in a remote area, and it was hard for them to get to the nearest hospital. Noah’s wounds healed eventually, but left him with a burn scar contracture. The contractures tighten the skin around the burn area, and it is difficult to move his arm. Noah came to our center during a medical camp and was assessed to find out if he was fit for the required treatment to help with the burn scar contracture. Noah's parents cannot afford treatment and are appealing for help. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Noah receive treatment. On October 12th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to release the tightening and help him move his hand easily. Now, he needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Noah’s mother says, "I was worried that that my boy will grow up with that deformity but with what I have seen here, he is going to be better.”
Tracey is a sweet and adorable newborn baby from Kenya who was born just over a week ago at a local government hospital. She is the youngest in a family of three children. To support their family, her parents both do casual labor for their neighbors. Tracey was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube condition in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Tracey is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and developmental delays. Her parents share that they do not have insurance and are unable to pay for their daughter's needed treatment due to financial constraints. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Tracey's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 8th. This procedure will hopefully spare Tracey from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Tracey’s mother says, “When I got more informed about her condition, I felt bad. I just want her to be treated and be well.”