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 Sam, a cleaner from Cambodia, to fund pterygium eye surgery.


Sonia has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 7 countries.

All patients funded by Sonia


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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Mayda, a 10-year-old girl from Guatemala, is the fourth of seven children. "Mayda's father works as a farm hand, harvesting coffee on their neighbor's plantation," our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), tells us. “Mayda’s mother cooks, cleans, takes care of the children, and helps harvest coffee.” Two years ago, Mayda underwent successful surgery for a heart murmur, which was funded by Watsi. Recently, she was also diagnosed with epilepsy. Mayda was doing well until last December. "She came home one day from school with a note from the school nurse saying that she had a seizure that lasted several minutes,” WK explains. “She had lost consciousness and did not remember anything. Since then she has had two more seizures at home." Because of these seizures and the resulting symptoms, Mayda has been unable to attend school. With $967, Mayda can receive the medical care and anticonvulsant medications that she requires for a healthier life. She will receive a brain MRI and other diagnostic workup for preliminary testing. She will also receive anti-epileptic medication to control her spastic episodes and to improve her mobility and independence. With treatment, “Mayda will gain control of her body,” WK continues. “This will increase her quality of life and put her on track to receive the education she deserves and live a healthy and productive life.” "We want her to grow well and be healthy,” Mayda’s parents share. “She has already been through so much with her surgery and now her seizures. We just want her to get better."

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