Sonia Joseph

Sonia's Story

Sonia joined Watsi on January 1st, 2014. 9 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Sonia's most recent donation supported Justin, a first-grader from Kenya, to fund clubfoot treatment.


Sonia has funded healthcare for 21 patients in 7 countries.

All patients funded by Sonia


Ainembabazi is just 5 years old and currently in preschool. His father noted that he could not feel his son's right testis and initially, they ignored it because the boy was young but as time went on, Ainembabazi started complaining of pain. In September, Ainembabazi complained of being swollen after coming home from school. His parents thought it would heal on its own however in March, the swelling became prominent and they decided to go to the regional hospital in their area of Uganda. They got several appointments from the doctors but they were constantly postponed over and over again due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. After postponing three times, their family decided to come to Rushoroza Hospital. Doctors there said if he is not treated through a herniorrhaphy, he risks intestinal obstruction, strangulation, and gangrenous. Ainembabazi's mother is a small-scale farmer who grows beans and sorghum for home consumption. She is happily married to his father who is a primary teacher and who does all he can to provide for the family despite his low salary. They own a three-room semi-permanent house on their ancestral land. Ainembabazi is the fourth born in their family of five children. Ainembabazi’s mother says, “My son is active in class despite the prevailing challenges. We have a lot of hope in him. After the surgery, he may be able to comfortably carry on his studies to the highest level we possibly can take him, no doubt about that. May God make everything possible.”

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Meet Sindy, a baby girl from Guatemala. Sindy's mother is unable to produce breast milk, and cannot afford to buy formula as a substitute. She has been giving her daughter boiled water with sugar and white rice bits to help her stop crying, but she is worried because her daughter has not grown since she was born two months ago. Sindy is losing weight since she is not receiving the protein and nutrients she needs to grow—making her immune system weak and her body unable to fight off sicknesses. At such a young age, malnutrition is life-threatening. 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 deficiencies. Sindy lives with her parents and two older siblings in a one-room house made of cinderblocks with a tin roof. Her mother works taking care of Sindy, cooking, and cleaning, as well as looking for firewood on the mountains near their home to sell when she has time. Her father works as a farmer, only making a couple dollars per day by harvesting crops and selling them. Although they want the best for her, even if they spent every sent they had, they would not be able to afford live-saving formula for their daughter. Lactation failure, while dangerous, is easy to treat. By supplying the baby with formula and the mother with health education, Sindy will receive the calories she needs to grow and thrive. One-on-one education with Sindy’s mother will prepare her for when she needs to start eating solid food, as well as help her watch for further signs of malnutrition and other illness. Sindy’s immune system will strengthen and she will grow up to be a healthy energetic baby. “I dream that my daughter will study and become a teacher," Sindy's mother shared.

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Angelica is a newborn baby girl from rural Guatemala. She was born one month prematurely. She was small and weak when she was born, and acquired an infection in her eyes and now her lungs. When she came to see us at the clinic, she was very sick, but now she is doing much better after receiving hospital care. Unfortunately, her mother had to receive antibiotics that are unsafe for breastfeeding. Since her mother had to stop breastfeeding while taking the medications, she lost her ability to make milk and now Angelica is acutely malnourished. Her mother says her heart breaks because she is unable to give her daughter enough milk to make her stop crying. Angelica lives with her parents and her older siblings in a humble one-room wood house with a tin roof. Her mother is worried because she can see her daughter losing weight, and she does not have enough milk to feed her. Since she spends so much time caring for Angelica and her father works as a day laborer in the coffee fields, barely making enough money to support basic living costs, they cannot afford the extremely expensive formula Angelica needs to survive. Although Angelica's life is in danger now, the treatment she needs to be a healthy and happy baby is simple. She will receive formula with the protein, calories, and nutrients she needs to grow and develop. Her immune system will grow stronger with the formula, and she will no longer cry from hunger. This treatment will not only save Angelica's life, but will mean she is no longer at risk for seizures, diarrhea, and long-term developmental delays due to her lack of milk. "My desire is that my daughter gets better and can grow healthily," her mother said. "I want to see her get big so that she can go to the school and study and be a person like you all that helps the people that need it."

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