Sonia joined Watsi on January 1st, 2014. One month ago, Sonia joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Sonia's most recent donation supported Melodie, a sweet baby girl from Haiti, to fund surgery prep and transportation overseas to treat her heart defect.
Sonia has funded healthcare for 31 patients in 8 countries.
Sonia has funded healthcare for 31 patients in 8 countries.
Melodie is an 11-month-old baby from Haiti. She lives in Port-au-Prince with her mother, father, and two older sisters. Her father is a school principal, and her mother is a homemaker. Melodie has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. There is a hole between the two lower chambers of Melodie's heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Melodie also has Down Syndrome. Since the care she needs is not available in Haiti, Melodie will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On April 18th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in Melodie's heart using a patch. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for the surgery. Melodie's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Melodie's family overseas. Melodie's mother shared: "Our family has been very scared about whether our daughter will have surgery in time. We are very happy to know that the date is almost here!"
Emmanuel is a talkative and social 10-year-old and the older brother in his family of two children. Emmanuel's mother used to help people care for their homes until she fell ill a few years ago and can no longer work. Now, Emmanual's family relies on his father's income as he sells clothes and works on farms to help provide for their needs. Emmanuel was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Emmanuel has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility challenges in the future. His parents took him to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), where the doctors determined he will need to undergo surgery. On April 21st, Emmanual will undergo corrective surgery to remove the risk of any future complications. AMH is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Emmanuel’s mother says, “I waited for a long time in the hope that he will be well, but it has not gone our way. All we pray for is for him to be treated soon.”
Lazaro is a 7-month-old baby and the first child of his parents. Lazaro's parents are small-scale farmers who grow maize, beans, and vegetables for their income. His father also seeks out labor work to create extra income for the family's expenses. Lazaro was born with clubfoot in both of his feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape and causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Lazaro's mother experienced this same condition growing up and received treatment through Watsi's medical partner in 2019. As a result, she has first-hand experience regarding the challenges of living with this condition and shared that, before treatment, she experienced discrimination and difficulty walking and carrying out daily activities. However, after her surgery, her self-esteem improved, and she could engage in everyday activities. Lazaro's family traveled to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. On October 26th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery, which will enable Lazaro to walk easily. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $890 to fund this procedure. Lazaro's mother says, "I was sad that he was also born with clubfoot just like me, but I had hope that if I traveled here, you would help correct his feet. Please help."
Hiram is a student from Mombasa county in Kenya. He is a lastborn in a family of three and the only boy. He has no father and his mother sells fish to make a living. Hiram is in class five at school. He was born with clubfeet and has never been to any hospital for correction until his family heard about the CURE Hospital mobile clinic in Mombasa. His condition has greatly affected Hiram's mobility. He feels pain on his feet as he walks, so he cannot put on his shoes or play with his friends. This has affected his studies. Fortunately, Hiram's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Hiram's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to put on shoes, walk comfortably and improve his self-esteem. “I would like to be treated so that I can walk like my friends, play with them and continue with my studies,” Hiram told us.
Owakubariho is an 18-year-old student and the sixth born in a family of seven children. All of his other siblings are still in school studying and in different grades. His father is a builder, while his mother is a small scale farmer. For two years, Owakubariho has had a hydrocele, or swelling in a sensitive area. At first, the swelling wasn’t painful, but over the last six months he has experienced pain when urinating and even while he is walking. Fortunately, on April 1st, he will undergo hydrocele repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $146 to fund Owakubariho's surgery. Once complete, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Owakubariho shared, “I hope that my surgery goes on successfully. I will be healthy once again and continue with my education without any problems.”
Phanith is a 5-year-old boy from Cambodia. He likes playing with toys and watching cartoons on TV. Phanith's favorite foods are fried rice with fried eggs. Currently, his parents work in Thailand, so he lives with his grandmother. When he was two years old, Phanith had an accident where he fell into burning waste, as a result has a burn contracture on his left hand. At the time, his family did not seek medical care and hoped his wound would healed by itself. Now, Phanith has a contracture of his left middle finger and needs a contracture release. When using his hand, he cannot extend his finger and it is difficult for him to hold anything. When Phanith's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, they traveled for four hours seeking treatment. On February 16th, surgeons at Children's Surgical Centre will perform a skin graft procedure to to help him to use his hand again. Now, Phanith needs help to fund this $474 procedure. Phanith's parents shared, "We hope that our son's finger will become normal, and he can use it and it will look nice after the surgery."
Niwabiine is a 46-year-old farmer from Western Uganda. She has four children and is solely in charge of providing for them since she lost her husband in 2010. Through farming passion fruit, carrots, and cabbage, she is able to provide for her family. For over 15 years, Niwabiine has had a lipoma on her left hand. Initially, it was growing gradually and was painless. Recently though, she has experienced pain and swelling, limiting the use of her left hand. Efforts to seek treatment were difficult initially and Niwabiine managed with medicine. When she was examined at a local hospital, she was diagnosed with a left axillary lipoma that requires excision. Without treatment, she will continue to have persistent pain and the lipoma will continue to grow. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Niwabiine to receive treatment. Niwabiine traveled to AMH's care center and on March 9th, surgeons will remove the mass. Now, she needs help to raise $196 to fund this procedure. Niwabiine shared, “I always found it hard to have surgery since I never had the money, but now I kindly request for your support to make my surgery possible so that I can keep up with farming.”
Tumuhirwe is a 75-year-old farmer from Uganda. She is a widow and a mother to eleven children. Tumuhirwe has four boys; two are small scale farmers, one is a nurse and another one is a teacher. She also has seven daughters; all whom are married and are small scale farmers. Tumuhirwe earns a living from her banana plantation and coffee plantation, and sometimes grows food crops like beans, potatoes, and maize at a small scale. She sells off the surplus to generate an income. For the last three years, Tumuhirwe has been experiencing persistent lower abdominal pain accompanied by on and off bleeding. She has been diagnosed with a premalignant cervical lesion. Tumuhirwe needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $219 to fund Tumuhirwe's surgery. On December 8th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Tumuhirwe will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Tumuhirwe shared, “I hope to get a new life after my surgery and hope to continue with farming to support my family.”
Han is a 48-year-old mother-of-two from Cambodia. She is a rice farmer and has two daughters. Han lives with her husband who is also a farmer and their youngest daughter. Han enjoys listening to the monks pray on the radio when she has the time. Two years ago, Han developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurred vision, photophobia, irritation, and pain. This has made life and independence more challenging for her. When Han learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three hours with her husband seeking treatment. On December 21st, doctors will perform a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Han said, "I want to have clear sight to help my husband in the rice field, earning more money to support our family."
Bondit is a nine-year-old student from Cambodia. His mother is a farmer and his father sells bread he bakes himself. Bondit enjoys school and works hard in mathematics. His sister helps him with his work and they watch TV together after school. About ten months ago, Bondit was in a motor accident in which he suffered a fracture to his right femur. His family took him to a provincial hospital where he received two operations, one implanting hardware. His surgical wound became infected, however, and over time he has lost mobility in his knee. Now he can no longer attend school and his family has had to spend above their income in order to pay medicine for his leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On June 3rd, Bondit will undergo a hardware removal procedure, which will cost $230. This procedure will clean his wound and the problematic hardware, and fix the fracture so that it can heal normally. He will be able to walk normally after recovery. Bondit said, "I can't wait to get better and go back to playing soccer with my friends at school."
Justin is a jovial 7-year-old girl from Kenya. She is a class 1 pupil at Kisisi Primary School and her family hails from Igoji village in Meru County. Justin is an only child, her mother stays at home with Justin’s elderly grandmother while their aunt is a peasant farmer. Justin has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Justin traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Justin's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily without the deformity. “My joy is to see Justin walking like other children. I am pleading for support that will make her undergo surgery and continue with her studies uninterrupted.” --Joyce, Justin’s aunt told us.
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.”