Ruwan joined Watsi on March 10th, 2015. 17 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Ruwan's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Baluku, a fisherman from Uganda, for hernia repair surgery.
Ruwan has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 13 countries.
Ruwan has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 13 countries.
Baluku is a 46 years old married man from Uganda. He had two children but, unfortunately, both of them passed on due to malaria. Baluku is a fisherman, but usually doesn’t catch enough fish to sell because the lake is small and the fishermen are many. He would like to be a farmer, but he doesn’t have a piece of land. Baluku developed a painful swelling that is on and off in his inguinal (groin) area three months ago. He feels pain in that area, which sometimes spreads to his back as well. Due to the pain, he is unable to lift heavy objects. This worries him because his work involves lifting items. Baluku had never reported his condition to any hospital because of lack of money. If not treated, the inguinal hernia (part of the intestine protrudes the inner groin) could become stuck, leading to damage to the intestine or even the stomach. $249 will cover the costs of the surgery and care Baluku needs. After surgery he hopes to look for a job or at least work as a casual laborer so that he can get money to support himself and his wife.
This is Vanny, a 43 year old man who works in a factory in Cambodia. He is married with four sons and two daughters. Vanny enjoys listening to the radio, doing work at home, and watching the news on television. A few months ago, Vanny fractured his left elbow when he fell. This caused him elbow pain, and ever since then, he has been unable to bend his arm. He traveled three hours with his wife to reach Watsi's medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), to seek treatment. With $405 in medical expenses, surgeons at CSC will perform an ORIF procedure (open reduction and internal fixation) to reduce the broken bones and reattach them in the correct position using screws or rods. Slow mending should heal his fractured elbow and allow him to use his arm free of pain again. After treatment, Vanny can soon return to work in good health and in no pain.
Matabwa is a 30-year-old father of four from a village in Malawi's Central Region. He supports his family through farming a variety of crops. He also assists his wife with cooking, cleaning, and collecting water. In his free time, Matabwa likes playing soccer with his friends and neighbors. Two years ago, Matabwa started experiencing pain from an inguinal hernia-- a condition in which intestinal tissue protrudes through a weakness in the lower abdominal wall. The pain has started to interfere with his ability to work and conduct household tasks, and he has been unable to receive medical treatment until now. Matabwa's condition is entirely treatable with a $613 surgery to return the herniated tissue to his abdominal cavity. After the surgery and a three-day hospital stay, Matabwa is expected to make a full recovery. He and his family are very excited for him to return to his normal life. "I feel very happy to have the operation," says Matabwa.
Wilmer was referred to Watsi's medical partner in Guatemala, Wuqu' Kawoq, by a government-run health care center where they cannot afford to buy formula for patients. Wilmer has not had any breastmilk for five days now, since his mother has been unable to produce milk. Wilmer has lost a significant amount of weight, and is now a pound smaller than he was when he was born less than three weeks ago. His grandmother has been giving him sugar water with anise to try to calm him down, since he cries almost constantly. Without treatment, Wilmer will not survive, and will face risks of permanent brain damage, seizures, and diarrhea if he does not receive treatment soon. Wilmer is the only child to a single mother that has special needs. Since his mother cannot care for herself, Wilmer's grandmother takes care of him. Wilmer's family has few resources, and they depend on Wilmer's grandfather to provide for the family. Many days they do not even have money to buy tortillas to eat, let alone one tin of formula that costs more than their monthly income. The treatment that Wilmer requires is simple and will save his life. For $1,016, Wilmer will receive milk formula and micronutrient supplementation to nourish his body. This will allow him to grow normally, gain weight, and avoid permanent brain damage. "I dream that my grandson will be able to grow and one day can study and pursue a profession," said Wilmer's grandmother.
Snow is a ten-year-old Burmese girl who lives in a refugee camp with her parents and older sisters. For the past eight years they have lived in the camp. Snow's family moved to the camp as they didn’t own their own home or land, and they were living with Snow’s grandmother and other members of the extended family. This situation influenced their decision to migrate to the refugee camp in Thailand. Snow and her family would like to relocate to a third country but they are uncertain whether the opportunity will present. In the camp, Snow’s mother does laundry for others for a small income. Previously her father worked as a carpenter but is unable to work now because of hemorrhoids. Their monthly income is insufficient for daily expenses, savings or health care expenses. Living in the camp, they receive food rations which offset the burden. At times the family has to borrow small amounts of money, which they repay when they can. Snow and her two sisters attend school. Symptoms first appeared with Snow when she was seven-years-old. She had severe pain in her abdomen when she was just sitting, and she was uncomfortable walking. After an examination at the camp's medical clinic, she was diagnosed with rectal polyps. On January 28th, the surgeon excised a rectal polyp. Snow’s mother didn’t receive information from the hospital regarding Snow’s diagnosis or treatment due to the language barrier. Snow was symptom-free for eight months but she had to return to the clinic on several occasions with the same symptoms. She was finally given a diagnosis of juvenile polyposis - marked by frequent recurrence of polyps in the colon and rectum with third degree internal hemorrhoids. $1500 will cover the cost of Snow's surgery to remove the additional polyps she now has. Although she is still going to school, Snow is unable to engage in active play and her appetite and sleep patterns have been disturbed. She likes to play with her dog and she enjoys singing and listening to music. "I would like to be a singer when I am older," Snow said. Let's help make it possible!
"I am unhappy that I have right ear pain, and it is difficult to communicate with other people," shares Sao, a 39-year-old wife and mother. She works as a cook and cares for her parents in her home in Cambodia. “For two years, Sao has experienced discharge from her right ear every day as well as hearing loss,” our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC), tells us. “She has been treated with antibiotics at another hospital, but her condition did not improve.” Doctors at CSC have discovered a cholesteatoma—an abnormal skin growth located behind the eardrum—in Sao’s right ear. A cholesteatoma initially develops as a cyst after chronic ear infections or perforation of the eardrum. Over time, the cyst sheds layers of old skin that collect within the ear. Without treatment, a cholesteatoma can grow large enough to cause hearing loss, dizziness, or facial paralysis. Treatment for Sao is a mastoidectomy, a surgical procedure in which doctors remove the diseased cells in the hollow, air-filled spaces in the skull behind the ears. The cells—known as mastoid air cells—are diseased as a result of the chronic ear infections that spread to the skull structures near Sao’s right ear. Doctors will also remove the cholesteatoma that has grown behind her right eardrum. $809 pays for surgery for Sao as well as two hearing tests, one night in the hospital, one day of inpatient post-operative care, and three outpatient follow-up visits in the month following surgery. “Sao’s ear discharge and pain will stop after the surgery,” says CSC. Sao’s uncle, who accompanied her to the appointment at CSC, looks forward to a successful procedure for his niece. "I hope after the operation is done, Sao's ear discharge will stop, and she can have good hearing and health,” he shares.
27-year-old Maryam lives with her mother in Nigeria. She loves to knit, and has just started a business as a trader. Recently, Maryam was found to have uterine fibroids, or noncancerous growths of the uterus that typically form during child-bearing years. "Maryam experiences heavy menstrual bleeding, excessive pain, and frequent urination," our medical partner, Hope for West Africa (HWA), reports. Though fibroids are not cancerous, they do cause great discomfort and can lead to other conditions, such as anemia. For Maryam, they have impeded her ability to work and help her mother with the family business. To cure Maryam of the fibroids, she will need to undergo surgery. $1,500 will pay for her surgery and a seven-day stay in the hospital for follow up appointments. After the procedure, "Maryam will be able to work and improve her business," HWA tells us. A vibrant young woman, Maryam is most excited to no longer experience pain or a prolonged menstrual flow. "I am looking forward to when I can assist my mother without complaining of pains and to not feel self-conscious," Maryam shares.
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."
"I am always thinking about my condition and really worry about it," shares 46-year-old Aye. "I can't eat and sleep well. I want to get better soon and want to help my family." Aye lives in Burma with her husband, who works as a day laborer. Aye currently lives with a leiomyoma - or benign mass - on her cervix. This causes her pain, bleeding, and discomfort. “Aye and her husband didn't have enough income [to pay for Aye's treatment] so they tried to go and work in Bangkok to be able to support their two sons, and they left their two sons with their grandmother,” shares our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP). BBP continues, “Aye couldn't work anymore because of the pain so she came back to Burma. She said she doesn't have medical card and the cost of the treatment is so expensive for her in Bangkok. She then heard about a local clinic through her friend and made a trip there. The midwife there examined her and told her that she has a mass in her uterus that need to be removed.” Surgery to remove Aye's mass will cost $1,500. With this procedure, BBP says, “Aye should be able to go work to her work and can help her family. She should be able to generate income and support her two sons.”
Ruth lives in the mountains of Haiti with her mother, grandmother, and four siblings. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), tells us that eight-year-old Ruth "does not attend school, but likes helping her mother around the house, playing with her brothers and sisters, and singing." Ruth loses her breath and energy quickly, however, because she was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. "A hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart," HCA says. "Ruth also has down syndrome." Ruth's heart condition makes it difficult for her body to circulate and process her blood efficiently. HCA explains that "because she has lived for so long with this condition, there is a chance it may no longer be repairable, but the only way to determine this is by inserting a catheter into the chambers of her heart. Since this is not possible in Haiti, arrangements are being made to bring her to Dominican Republic to perform this extremely important test in the hopes that she can have heart surgery soon." For $1500, Ruth will be taken to the Dominican Republic for the catheterization procedure that will determine whether she is a candidate for heart surgery. If she is operable, she will be prepared for surgery as soon as possible. "We are very happy that there is hope for Ruth, and hope that she will be able to have surgery," her mother says.
Joshua is an eight-month-old baby boy who lives with his parents and older brother in Guatemala. His older brother loves playing with Joshua whenever he can. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), tells us, “Joshua was born with Noonan syndrome, which is a congenital disorder that can lead to a plethora of physical and mental defects, including various heart murmurs, restrictive lung function, gastrointestinal issues and difficulty feeding, motor delays, learning disabilities, cryptorchidism, bleeding disorders, severe joint and skeletal pain, and neurological defects.” “Joshua has obvious physical deformations and cryptorchidism (an undescended testicle), but overall, he is a happy, calm child,” WK continues. “He currently has issues eating and could benefit from supplementation, as well as from physical therapies to help his muscular development.” Joshua’s father works as a grain trader to support the family, while his mother tends to the household. Joshua’s brother has a condition that required surgery by specialist, leaving very little money to pay for Joshua’s care. For $1,385, Joshua can undergo a thorough diagnostic work-up, which, WK explains, will “identify other potentially dangerous conditions Joshua may have, and allow us to coordinate critical care before it is too late.” Funding also covers the cost of treatment, therapy, and a case manager to help Joshua’s family manage his appointments and monitor his progress. “Therapy will help him to develop strength and be able to move more easily,” says WK. “This will increase his quality of life as he grows and ensure he can have the best future possible.” “We just want what is best for our boys,” shares Joshua’s father.
Meet Daniel, an eight-year-old boy from Ethiopia. Daniel lives with his mother and his younger brother. Daniel has a condition called Hirschprung’s disease, which makes it hard for him to pass stool normally. Several years ago “Daniel developed an obstruction and a colostomy (stool diversion) was done," shares our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Although Daniel’s previous surgery relieved the symptoms from the obstruction, it is not a long-term solution for his condition. However, as a single parent of two children, Daniel’s mother’s income is not enough to cover the cost of Daniel’s second operation. For $1,500, Daniel will receive surgery to correct his condition. AMHF states that after treatment, Daniel will be able to pass stool normally. “Despite everything, Daniel is a very happy boy and he has a very positive outlook on life,” AMHF shares. “He is dreaming that if he gets well from this condition, he can go to school and become a big government officer.”