Alan joined Watsi on December 24th, 2013. Nine years ago, Alan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Alan's most recent donation traveled 4,200 miles to support Andy, a friendly 11-year-old boy from Bolivia, to fund cardiac surgery to patch a hole in his heart, so that he can grow strong and breathe easily.
Alan has funded healthcare for 105 patients in 14 countries.
Alan has funded healthcare for 105 patients in 14 countries.
Andy lives in a neighborhood of La Paz with his parents and younger sister; he is in the fifth grade and likes playing video games and spending time with his friends and family. Andy was born with a heart condition called ventricular septal defect: a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart, and blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. During surgery, doctors will sew a patch over this hole to close it. His surgery costs $1,500, and Andy's family needs help to pay for it. Andy's mother said, "Our family is very hopeful that after this surgery Andy will have more energy and will grow bigger and stronger!"
Gracious is three years old, and the only child in her family. She lives with her parents - her mother and father are small scale farmers, growing maize, beans and whey. Her father also works for Serengeti Balloon Safaris, a job to which he has only recently returned, after the disruptions in the tourist industry caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. In September of last year, Gracious was playing with a friend on the verandah of her home. She stumbled over a stool that was sitting next to a charcoal stove, where a pot of beans was cooking. As a result of her fall, Gracious' face, neck and chest were burned by hot steam from the pot of beans. She was rushed to the hospital, where she was treated, and sent home. However, as a result of the scarring from the burns, Gracious has developed contractures on her neck, making her unable to move her neck around, and causing her discomfort. Gracious will need surgery to release these burn contractures. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Gracious to access the care that she needs. On October 11th, she will undergo a procedure at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, that will enable her to move her neck more freely, and without pain. Now, her family needs your help to fund this $639 operation. Gracious’ mother says: "I hope my child recovers fully and lives a normal life.”
Meet Britney, a sociable, six year old girl, living in a village in rural Kenya. Britney is an only child, and is currently in school. Her mother is unemployed, and relies on family to support her and Britney. While Britney was born a healthy child, her legs began to bow out when she turned two. While her mother, who suffers from the same condition, brought her to various doctors, Britney's condition continued to deteriorate. Well wishers, who noticed Britney's condition, brought her to the AIC Cure International Hospital for further evaluation. Thanks to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Britney will undergo surgery on September 27th, to help correct her bowed legs. This procedure will enable Britney to walk more easily, and to live without pain. Britney and her family are seeking $1,224 to fund the operation. "I will be grateful to see my daughter growing and walking well like other children,” Britney’s mother told us.
Samuel is a nine-year-old student who lives with his parents and three siblings in Haiti's capital city, Port-au-Prince. He is currently in third grade and enjoys studying history and science. Samuel has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which is a combination of four different congenital heart defects, including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Fortunately, Samuel is scheduled to travel to the United States where he will undergo cardiac surgery on September 14th at Akron Children's Hospital. During the procedure, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart and remove the blockage from his valve. A portion of the cost of Samuel's treatment is being supported by Akron Children's Hospital. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is raising the remaining $1,500 to cover the costs of his surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA’s social workers to accompany Samuel and his family overseas. Samuel's mother says, "I have been very worried about my son's health for many years. I am looking forward to being able to stop worrying so much after this surgery!"
Alejandro is a tech-savvy 11-year-old boy from western Bolivia who just finished fifth grade. He loves everything related to computers and video games. He lives with his parents, who are both schoolteachers, and his two younger brothers. Alejandro was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him feeling weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Alejandro is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 27th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through his body and improving his quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Alejandro's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Alejandro and his family can travel to receive his life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Alejandro shares, "I am excited to be allowed to play soccer once I have recovered from my surgery!"
Nedjee is a 17-month-old baby girl from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and three siblings in a neighborhood outside of the capital city, Port-au-Prince. Nedjee has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. The surgery that Nedjee needs for her birth condition is not available within her country. Fortunately, Nedjee will be able to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 25th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Nedjee's family is requesting assistance to cover the costs of Nedjee's surgery prep, as our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is contributing the funds needed to cover the cost of surgery. HCA is requesting $1,500 to cover the surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Nedjee and her family overseas. Nedjee's mother shared, "Our family is all praying that this surgery will go well and that our daughter's heart will be stronger afterward."
U Tin is a 36-year-old man, living with his mother on the western coast of Burma. U Tin’s mother is retired and helps with household chores. U Tin works in a photo studio, printing photos and wedding invitations. Through this, his monthly income is just enough to pay for their basic living expenses. One year ago, U Tin started to experience pain in his lower left abdomen. Thinking that the pain would go away, U Tin relied on traditional medicine and pain medication. In February, the pain increased, but U Tin could not afford to seek treatment at a hospital. Instead, he purchased more pain medication from a pharmacy, which helped ease his discomfort somewhat. However in April, the pain became so severe that he could no longer work. He borrowed money from his friend, and went to a hospital. The doctor examined him, and diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia. When the doctor told him the surgery would cost 1,200,000 kyat (approx. $1,200 USD), U Tin told the doctor he could not afford to pay such a sum, and he returned home still feeling unwell. A few days later, U Tin told his neighbour about his problem, and she suggested that he seek treatment at Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where care is more affordable. He followed his neighbour’s advice, and went to MCLH, where the doctor confirmed his diagnosis and the need for surgery. When U Tin explained that he could not afford to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, for assistance in accessing the treatment he needs. Currently, U Tin is experiencing severe pain, and he cannot sit or stand for any length of time. Fortunately, he is now scheduled for surgery on May 24th, and Burma Children Medical Fund is requesting $807 to cover the cost of U Tin's hernia repair treatment. U Tin said: “I would like to recover. I am worried that I will not be able to work and take care of my mother. When I recover, I will go continue to work [at the shop] and pay back the money I borrowed from my friends.”
Dar is a 21-day-old baby girl who lives with her parents and her brother in a village in the border area of Karen State in Burma. Dar was born at home with the help of a traditional birth attendant. Two days after she was born, Dar's mother noticed a problem when Dar was passing stool. She told Dar’s father to call a medic from the clinic to their home. The medic realized that Dar was born with a anorectal condition and shared with Dar’s mother that baby Dar would urgently need surgery to receive a colostomy. Dar’s parents are subsistence farmers who grow rice and raise chickens. They also forage for vegetables in the jungle and go fishing when they want to eat fish. To purchase staples that they cannot produce such as salt and oil, Dar’s father works as an agricultural day labourer during the rainy season. However, since the rainy season has not yet begun, they currently have no income. However, their daily needs are fulfilled from living off the land. If they are sick and need to seek treatment, they go to the free clinic in their village run by Burma Medical Association (BMA). Fortunately our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund is helping Dar's family access the medical care she needs. They need help raising $1,500 to fund the treatment she needs. “We had to borrow money so far for Dar’s treatment and my husband cannot work,” said Dar’s mother. “I want to send my baby to school until she graduates so that she can become educated. I want this for her future because I only went to school until grade four. After she completes her studies, she can become whatever she wants one day.”
Laizer is 17 years old and a happy guy who loves to play with his siblings. He is the fourth born of his mother's eight children and does not attend school yet due to his disability. Laizer was diagnosed with a condition called Right Varus that affects the alignment of bones in his legs. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Laizer experiences pain at the end of the day and cannot walk for a long distance, including to school. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help him finally heal. On March 22nd, Laizer will undergo corrective surgery that will restore his mobility, allow him to participate in various activities, and significantly decrease his risk of future complications. AMH is requesting $880 to fund this life-changing procedure. Laizer's mother shared, "I am happy to know that his leg can be corrected. This will help him walk well and stop having pain."
Pai is a 63-year-old woman who lives alone in a refugee camp in the border region of Thailand and Burma. She receives 350 baht (approx. $12 USD) each month on a cash card from The Border Consortium, to purchase food in the refugee camp. This support is just enough to cover her daily needs, since she sometimes shares meals with her sister. In June 2019, Pai first notice that the vision in both of her eyes was blurry. By late 2021, she could no longer see with her left eye. She then went to the hospital in the refugee camp, run by the International Rescue Committee (IRC). A medic checked her eyes, gave her some eyedrops, and told her that they would refer her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further follow up. IRC staff brought Pai to the hospital in January where the doctor completed a vision test and also checked her eyes with specialized equipment. The doctor diagnosed her with cataracts and shared that she would need surgery to be able to see clearly again. Currently, Pai can only see objects near to her with her right eye and even then, she cannot see objects clearly. She can only perceive light with her left eye. When she walks, she has to do so slowly to avoid stubbing her toes on stones and other objects. At night, she now needs someone to assist her to get around at all. She also has difficulty cleaning her house and doing other household chores like washing her clothes or cooking. She shared that when she tries to cook on her own, she will sometimes mixed up the ingredients now. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Pai. On February 22nd, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Pai's natural lens and replace this with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Pai said, “I do not want to depend on my sister as she has to look after her family too. However, now I have to depend on her for many things and I feel sad about this.” Pai is thankful to the donors who can help pay for her treatment cost. She is very happy that there will be a donor for her. She said, “I hope that I can see again, and I really want to see the donors and everyone at BCMF’s organisation who was willing to help me. Thank you so much for your kind support.”
Ray is a 2-year-old boy who lives with his four brothers and parents in a refugee camp. His siblings go to school and his mother weaves traditional Karen skirts for sale at their home. Unfortunately, his father has been unable to leave the refugee camp to search for work since August 2021, due to local COVID-19 restrictions. When Ray was eight months old, his mother noticed a worrying swelling. She brought him to the hospital in the refugee camp, where a medic examined Ray and advised his mother to come back if it increased in size. In July 2021, his parents brought him back to the hospital for a medical examination and he was referred to Mae Sariang Hospital for further treatment. With the help of the organization Malteser International (MI) staff, Ray and his mother were brought to the hospital, where a doctor examined Ray and diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia. Ray has little appetite and cries frequently, and the pain he feels often causes him to wake up during sleep. After completing a physical examination, the doctor scheduled him to be admitted to the hospital on January 12th so he can receive hernia repair surgery the following day. As Ray’s family cannot afford to pay for surgery, MI staff referred him to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, for assistance accessing treatment. This procedure will cost $1,486, and Ray and his family need help raising money. Ray's mother shared, “I will send Ray to school when he is older and I want him to become a doctor because I want my son to help the community and other families."
Jane is a strong 34-year-old woman from Zambezi in Kiambu County. She is married with 3 children. Jane began having abdominal pains and vomiting about four years ago. She visited various hospitals and was treated for ulcers but her symptoms persisted. At one point she was told she had an issue with her liver and was sent to a specialist. Jane had extensive lab tests done and several scans which showed she has cholelithiasis or gallstones. These are hardened deposits of digestive fluid that form in the gallbladder. She came to Nazareth Hospital and consulted the surgeon who recommended laparotomy to finally remove the gallstones. Jane’s husband, who runs a small shop to fend for his family, has registered with the national health insurance program but their coverage has not yet been approved. On seeing his wife’s worsening pain and discomfort he decided he couldn’t wait any longer and came to the hospital to find out about the estimated cost of surgery so that he can organize a community fundraiser (Harambee). The family members are not able to raise the money required on their own and need support. Jane says, “I hope to be treated and get relieved of these symptoms so that my family can stop being in a constant state of worry and uncertainty.”