Chris joined Watsi on April 23rd, 2015. Seven years ago, Chris joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Chris' most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Thidar, a 30-year-old mother from Burma, to fund life-changing cardiac surgery to alleviate her symptoms and allow her to live more comfortably.
Chris has funded healthcare for 91 patients in 14 countries.
Chris has funded healthcare for 91 patients in 14 countries.
Thidar is a 30-year-old woman who lives with her son, husband, parents in-law, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law in Burma. She, her husband, and her mother-in-law grow rice, beans, and sesame on their farm. During her free time, Thidar enjoys growing flowers and vegetables around her house. Ten years ago, after Thidar gave birth to her son, she began to experience troubling symptoms. These included chest pains and a rapid heartbeat. When visiting a clinic, medics determined that she has a heart condition. To help her condition and alleviate her symptoms, Thidar took medication regularly. However, she ran out of oral medication at the start of this year. This was a problem because medics at her local clinic were protesting against the February 2021 coup, so the clinic was closed. She also could not go to a different clinic because the military had many checkpoints around the nearest town at the time, and she was too scared to pass them. Months later, after experiencing exhaustion, a rapid heartbeat, painful and swollen joints, and a loss in appetite, Thidar was able to seek medical care and receive medication. Following the advice of a medic at the clinic, she eventually visited a hospital. There, she received an X-rays scan and an echocardiogram, which determined that Thidar has a heart disease requiring surgery. Due to financial constraints, she and her husband could not fund the needed procedure and had to return home with Thidar still experiencing the same troubling symptoms as before. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Thidar finally receive treatment. On July 22nd, surgeons will perform double valve replacement cardiac surgery. This procedure will hopefully alleviate her symptoms and allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. Now, Thidar and her family need help funding this $1,500 procedure. Thidar says, “I feel very sad and I want to cry because I have no money to pay for my surgery cost. My mother and husband had to borrow money with interest [to pay for some of my medical fees]. I am also worried that I cannot work and support my son. Now, I am very happy that my surgery cost will be supported. I am thankful to all the donors and the organization.”
Nimo is a 3 year old girl, living with her grandmother in Ethiopia. When she was just a few months old, Nimo's parents gave her to her grandmother, as with four other children already at home and Nimo's medical condition, they were unable to take care of Nimo. Nimo's grandmother, who has a small business, was already supporting four other people, so she shared that it is hard for them to survive from day to day. Nimo was born with a congenital malformation, that led to a blockage in her intestines. At first, when Nimo began to show signs of this condition, her family didn't have the funds to take her to the hospital. By the time someone provided funds so that Nimo could get to the hospital, she was weak and underweight from malnourishment. An emergency colostomy was performed, and over time, Nimo gained strength, and is now able to run and play with her friends. However, she still has multiple issues that require medical attention and additional surgery to help her fully heal. Nimo is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on July 5th, at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nimo's procedure and care. After her recovery, Nimo will no longer experience bowel dysfunction, or be at risk of developing related health complications in the future. Nimo's grandmother says: “When she heals, I will go to my home and celebrate with my family. ”
Thon is a 62-year-old woman who collects recyclables around her community to earn a living. Sadly, her husband passed away over twenty years ago. She has four sons, who all work in construction. Thon lives with her niece, who helps her sort through refuse for recycling. When she is not working, she likes to watch movies on television. Things have gotten more difficult for her recently as two years ago, Thon developed a pterygium in her left eye, causing her constant eye irritation and tearing. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. When Thon learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled there hoping to have treatment. On March 3rd, she will undergo a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. The total cost of her procedure is $216, which covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. Thon shared, "after surgery, I hope my eye feels comfortable and won't burn or be irritated. I can continue my work outside with my niece and not worry about my eye anymore."
Dawiskenley is a toddler from Haiti who lives with his aunt, uncle and cousins in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Dawiskenley's mother and father live nearby and visit him regularly. Dawiskenley enjoys going to preschool and playing with his cousins. Dawiskenley has a cardiac condition called tricuspid endocarditis, one of the four valves of his heart has been infected and can no longer pump blood properly. The treatment that Dawiskenley needs is not available in Haiti, so he needs to fly to the Cayman Islands to undergo heart surgery. On May 25th, surgeons will attempt to repair the damaged valve so that it can pump blood more normally. Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for surgery. Our medical partners, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is requesting $1,500 to help Dawiskenley's family cover labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker who will accompany Dawiskenley's family overseas to support his treatment and care. Dawiskenley's uncle shared, "Our family is very grateful that so many people want to help Dawiskenley become healthy!"
Gatguon is an 8-week-old baby girl from a remote area of South Sudan. The civil war in South Sudan has made it difficult for many to access healthcare and treatment, including Gatguon's family. Gatguon was born with swelling in the back of her head. Upon referral to Old Fangak Clinic, the doctor diagnosed Gatguon with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Gatguon is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Gatguon urgently needs spina bifida repair surgery to correct the condition and reduce risk of infection. Unfortunately, this treatment is not available for her in South Sudan. Dr Jill Seaman and her team at Old Fangak Clinic facilitated Gatguon’s travel to Kenya – a long and difficult journey for a sick baby. Now, doctors at our medical partner's care center in Kenya will perform the surgery she needs. Gatguon’s parents have two kids. Her mother is a stay-at-home mom and her father is a vegetable farmer. They are hopeful that baby Gatguon will be treated and that they will continue taking care of her and loving her unconditionally. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Gatguon's family raise $1,151 to cover the cost of spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 20th and will hopefully spare Gatguon of further complications and allow her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Gatguon’s mother shared, “We hope that our child will be treated.”
Navann is an adventurous 15-month-old girl. She is the youngest child in her family, with one three-year-old sister, and lives with her parents who make a living working as garment workers in a clothing factory. She likes to play with her older sister, and enjoys drinking milk, and eating any soup her mother makes. When Navann started learning to walk, at around 12 months, her mother noted that her left hip seemed shorter than her right hip. Navann was brought to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with developmental dysplasia of her left hip, a condition where the "ball and socket" joint of the hip does not properly form in babies and young children. As a result, her gait is uneven and she has difficulty walking, which causes her to sometimes cry when trying to keep up with her sister. Navann needs surgery to repair her hip, and a SPICA cast to maintain proper hip position. If not treated, it can cause painful long term problems for her. Fortunately, Navann's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). There surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Navann of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Her treatment is scheduled for March 22nd. Navann and her family need help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Her mother said: "I hope that Navann will have a good result after surgery, and she will walk like other children."
Deriy is a four-month-old charming, beautiful girl. She's the youngest of four children in her family. Deriy and her parents come from north-central Tanzania, where Serengeti National Park is located. Their income is very modest and mostly comes from Deriy's father seeking day jobs on construction sites and farms. Deriy was born with clubfoot of her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Deriy was brought to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on February 18th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Deriy's surgery. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when she grows up. Deriy’s mother says, “I am worried about how my daughter is going to walk when the time comes. Please help correct her foot.”
Mishel is a new baby and the youngest in her family of three children. She is less than a week old. Her family was referred to our medical partner from western Kenya where she was born. Her mother is dedicated full time to raising their kids and taking care of the family and her father is the sole breadwinner who works whenever he can find jobs at construction sites. Their family has a small farm where they tend food crops for home use. They depend on the produce from the farm and the income from her father’s work for survival. They don’t have medical insurance coverage and need support for an urgent procedure for Mishel. Mishel is only four days old and delicately sleeps in her mother’s hands while talking with our local Watsi representative. Mishel was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Mishel is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. She was immediately referred to BethanyKids Hospital for review and possible treatment. She is currently scheduled for surgery to avert the risks she faces without treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Mishel's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 19th. This procedure will hopefully spare Mishel from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Mishel mother says, “Look at the peaceful beauty sleeping, she deserves to grow up as healthy baby.”
Florante is a 44-year-old father from the Phillippines. He has one daughter, and he volunteers as a driver in his local administrative district. In 2016, Florante developed a mass in his neck. He was diagnosed with a cyst in his preauricular sinuses and surgery was recommended to treat his condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Florante receive treatment. On December 9th, he will undergo a parotidectomy, where surgeons will remove his parotid gland, the largest of the salivary glands. Now, he needs help raising $1,323 to fund his procedure and care. After he has recovered, Florante will be able to lead a higher quality and pain-free life. Florante shared, "this will be the best Christmas gift of my life. I am very grateful to WSFP and Watsi."
Saray is a beautiful baby girl who lives in Colombia. Her parents moved from Venezuela two years ago seeking for a better place to raise a family. Even though Saray is only one year old, she is already really sympathetic and enthusiastic, she loves celebrating everything. Saray has clubfoot of her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This will cause difficulty walking and even wearing shoes as she grows older. Fortunately, Saray's family traveled to visit our Medical Partner Clínica Noel where they can offer life-changing treatment. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 6th. Our medical partner is requesting $1,422 to fund Saray's clubfoot repair. After treatment, She will be able to walk, wear shoes, and play like any other kid. "Thank you so much, being in a foreign country and finding out that our little girl needs surgery is really stressful for us. I was really sad because in this moment we can't pay for the surgery but finding out that there are people that can help me with this really gives me hope that my little girl will be okay."
Victor is a 4-year-old boy who is very playful and eager to learn. He wants to understand and know about all the things he comes across. Victor is the third born in a family of four children. He recently enrolled in school and he is loving it. Unforunately, Victor's parents are financially unstable. His father does casual jobs like ploughing for their neighbors or any other job he comes across to provide for his family. His mother does laundry work and any other house chores she comes across to help provide for the family. When he was young, Victor was diagnosed with a condition called cryptorchidism. If left untreated, Victor has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Victor will be able to receive assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 14th. AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Victor’s father says, “When I learnt about my son’s condition, I was not at peace and I wanted him treated despite the fact that I did not know where the funds would have come from. As a father, I would really like him to have a family of his own.”
Eh Eh is a 24-year-old woman who lives with husband, daughter, sister and parents in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. She got married three years ago and her husband works at the pharmacy in the refugee camp. He is able to earn 900 baht (approx. $30 USD) per month to support their livelihoods. Her parents are retired, and her sister is in school in grade 11. Eh Eh works for the Camp Information Team and earns 1,000 baht (approx. $30.33 USD) per month. Their household also receives 1,662 baht ($55.40 USD) per month on a cash card from an organisation called The Border Consortium. Eh Eh became pregnant soon after her wedding in 2018. When she went into labour, she was unable to give birth due to her daughter being too big to fit through her pelvis. Malteser International (MI) staff, who run the hospital in the refugee camp, rushed her to Mae Sariang Hospital, where the surgeon performed an emergency C-section to deliver Eh Eh's daughter. On 28 December 2020, Eh Eh found out she was pregnant again. Due to her previous complications during labour, MI staff referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital for further care while she wis in her 39th week. Knowing that she will need to undergo another C-section, and that she cannot afford to pay for it, Eh Eh was referred to our medical partner, the Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing the treatment she needs for a safe delivery for her and her new baby. Currently, although Eh Eh feels fine physically, she has mixed emotions about the surgery. She is worried and scared about undergoing the operation but she is excited to meet her baby. She shared: “I can cope with the worry because I have experienced this before, and because my husband will take care of me,” she said. “I just really hope that my operation will go well, and that baby will be safe."