Sonia joined Watsi on January 1st, 2014. Nine months ago, Sonia joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Sonia's most recent donation supported Lwin, a 37-year-old woman from Thailand, to fund heart surgery.
Sonia has funded healthcare for 38 patients in 9 countries.
Sonia has funded healthcare for 38 patients in 9 countries.
Lwin is a 37-year-old wife and mother who lives with her husband and son on the Thai-Burma border. Lwin and her husband work as day labourers in a temple as a cook and gardener. In her free time, Lwin likes to garden and enjoys growing vegetables to eat and to donate to the temple. Lwin also likes to watch Thai movies. One night in March 2021, Lwin had a rapid heartbeat and felt dizzy. Lwin could not sleep that night so her husband brought her to a clinic the next day. The doctor referred her to Mae Sot Hospital in an ambulance, where she underwent diagnostic tests, but never received a diagnosis. Lwin was given medication to stabilize her condition. During her follow-up appointment in June 2022, Lwin received an echocardiogram and was diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis. The doctor then referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital for further treatment. Currently, Lwin suffers from shortness of breath and heart palpitations. Lwin reports her arms and legs feeling heavy and trouble sleeping. Lwin has little appetite and she has to sleep propped up on pillows. On January 13th, Lwin with receive surgery to improve her condition. Our medical partners, Burma Children Medical Fund, are helping Lwin raise $1,500 to cover the cost of this life altering surgery. Lwin shared, "I will never forget the donors who will help pay for my treatment cost. When I recover fully, I want to learn how to sew so that I can open a shop from my home and work as a seamstress."
Silvanus is a 2-month-old baby boy who has brought much joy to his family. His father is a boda-boda (motorcycle for hire) driver, and his mother is a local food vendor. Silvanus was born with 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. Silvanus's parents did not seek treatment when he was born because the doctor who delivered him told his parents that the condition usually corrects with time. They have been waiting for his legs to improve as he gets older, but they see no improvement and are worried. They started talking to people in their community about how they can help their child, and were advised to take Silvanus to another hospital for diagnosis. They have tried their best to save money for their son’s treatment, but meeting the family's basic needs make it challenging. Fortunately, Silvanus traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 13th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Silvanus's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will heal and be able to walk normally and wear shoes as he grows up. Silvanus's mother says, “I wish my son's feet will be like other babies’ feet and he will grow up to have a normal life."
Elia is a playful 17-month-old baby from Tanzania who loves to smile. He is the youngest in his family of four children. Elia's father is a small-scale farmer and primarily grows food for the family's sustenance, while his mother cares for children. They shared that their income is limited to cover their basic needs. Elia's mother noticed that his leg was twisted downward and inward, affecting his ability to begin walking. She took him to a local clinic, but there were no improvements in his physical condition. When Elia's mother learned about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), she brought him to AMH's care center. As soon as he arrived, Eila's charming personality emerged, and he made friends with the other children and played many games. Upon examination, the doctors at AMH diagnosed the condition as clubfoot of the right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. On November 18th, Elia will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and start wearing shoes. AMH is requesting $935 to fund Elia's procedure. Elia’s mother says: "I appeal for your financial support, and I will be glad to see my son start walking normally."
Brenda is a student from Tanzania who has had epileptic seizures since childhood. This has continued until now, though she is taking medication that is helping her manage the condition. She shared that she is not close to her parents as they are verbally abusive. She tries to keep her distance, but with her condition, it has been hard to depend on herself. After hearing about our health center and the work we do, she was hopeful that she is could get help. She had to take more than three buses to get to our center. “I am lucky. I did not have any seizure episodes during my journey," she says. She is at our center ready to receive treatment, but she cannot afford it. Earlier this year, Brenda had a seizure and fell on a hot stove. Her face was badly burned. Brenda received treatment, but after healing her face was left impacted. She has been living this way for four months now, hiding her face whenever she goes out. Her neighbor saw her one day and noticed that she was hiding her face. Thankfully, he told her about our health center and informed her that she could get help. It is hard for her to open her eyes fully, and due to the disfiguration, her self-esteem is affected. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Brenda receive treatment. On October 13th, surgeons there will perform a burn contracture release surgery, which will allow her to open her eyes fully, and will hopefully help improve her self-esteem. Now, she needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Brenda says, “I am a spiritual person. I know it was God’s will for me to get here and get help. Thank you.”
Primer is a father of three from Haiti. He lives in a small village in southwestern Haiti with his wife and three children; he is a farmer and sells produce in the local market. Primer has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of his heart is severely damaged as the result of a rheumatic infection he suffered a number of years ago, and cannot adequately pump blood through his heart and body. The surgery that Primer needs is not available anywhere in the country so he will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On September 13th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove the damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $9000 to pay for surgery. Primer's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also covers travel expenses for the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Primer's family overseas, as well as the cost of obtaining Prince's passport. Prince says: "I am very grateful to be having this surgery so I can take care of my family and see my children grow up."
Shee is a bright and caring 12-year-old girl from Thailand who likes to play the piano, listen to music, and help her caregiver garden with her friends. She lives with 30 students, including her younger brother, in the dormitory of Has Thoo Lei Learning Centre. She is currently in fifth grade, and her brother is in third grade. Both her and her brother's dormitory fees, including food and accommodations, are funded by a Christian nonprofit organization called Compassion Thailand. Both of her parents currently live in Burma and work as subsistence farmers. Her father also works as a day laborer. Shee's parents support her and her brother with their school fees and pocket money. For the past two years, Shee has dealt with femoral hernias. As a result of her condition, she experiences pain in her right groin, as well as pain and discomfort when she sits for a long period of time. When she plays with her friends or is active, the bulge increases in size. Her condition has progressively worsened, and she has had to miss school frequently as a result. Fortunately, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Shee's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 22nd. Once completed, she will hopefully be able to live more comfortably. Shee says, “I want to become a nurse when I grow up one day and help people in my community who are sick and need my help.”
Jean Pierre is a 45-year-old father from Haiti who lives with his wife and daughter. To help support his family, he works at the local city hall. His daughter was a previous Watsi patient and received life-changing surgery with the help of amazing donors. When bringing his daughter in a few months ago for a post-op checkup, he mentioned that he has been experiencing the same symptoms as his daughter for many years. After further examination, doctors found that Jean Pierre has the same life-threatening condition as his daughter and has somehow survived to his age! He was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, a condition in which blood leaks through a hole between two large blood vessels near the heart. After years of feeling weak and experiencing poor health, Jean Pierre's heart condition will finally be treated. On July 14th, doctors will use a catheter to insert a device into the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is raising $1,500 to pay for Jean Pierre's life-saving procedure. Jean Pierre shares, "My family and I are very grateful that so many people are making it possible for me to have this surgery!"
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.”