Monica joined Watsi on September 6th, 2013. Eight years ago, Monica joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Monica's most recent donation traveled 8,100 miles to support Stephen, a hardworking young man from Kenya, to fund hydrocephalus treatment.
Monica has funded healthcare for 101 patients in 13 countries.
Monica has funded healthcare for 101 patients in 13 countries.
Stephen is a young man from Kenya. He is the firstborn in a family of 3 children. Their family has relied on their mother to provide for them as his father passed away when he was young boy. His mother does deliveries for different shop owners around their town. Stephen had to drop out from college do to inability to pay his school fees, and he now helps around the house and helps his mother with the deliveries, which is the how the family makes ends meet. Stephen has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Stephen has been experiencing severe headaches since this past July. He visited a hospital where a CT scan was done that revealed that he had a cyst that was obstructing the normal flow of fluid in and out of the head. An urgent surgery was recommended to remove the cyst, but he did not undergo it due to not having the funds for the procedure. A shunt insertion surgery has been recommended along with a craniotomy that will be performed later to remove the cyst. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Stephen that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 23rd and will drain the excess fluid from Stephen's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Stephen will hopefully continue to develop into a strong, healthy man. Stephen says, “I really want to be treated so that I can help my mom provide for us.”
Rin is a 43-year-old mother of one. She is a construction worker and divorced from her husband. She has one son who lives with her. In her free time, she likes to listen to Khmer songs and do things around the house. Earlier this month, she was working on a roof near a high-voltage wire and suffered multiple electrical burns on her hands, feet, and head. She was taken to a referral hospital, but only received minimal dressing for her burns. The tissue damage is extensive, and she is in pain and unable to use her hands. When Rin learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On September 15th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft surgery to to help regenerate the damaged skin. Now, she needs help to fund this $805 procedure. Rin is hopeful that after surgery her hands will be better and she will be able to work again.
Samuel is a hard working man from Kenya who gets jobs at a construction site in Narok town. He lives in his ancestral home with his siblings - his parents passed on several years ago. Six days ago, Samuel was attacked by unknown people on his way home in the evening. He has a swollen face, is unable to chew, and is also unable to use his right hand. He was taken to a nearby health center by well-wishers for emergency care from where he was referred to a government facility, and thence to Kijabe Hospital. Kijabe doctors have recommended two surgeries to heal his fractures. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help him to get the care he needs. On September 30th, Samuel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, to fix the fractures in his jaw and hand. Samuel's income is inconsistent, and is not enough to pay for the surgery. He does not have medical coverage and has been depending on well-wishers to pay for his medical bill. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Samuel shared with us, “I can only take liquid meals. My mouth is painful and swollen. I am also unable to use my right hand. I cannot work to buy food, and I cannot even eat the food I struggle to get because of the injuries.”
Josephine is a 70-year-old mother of eight children who lives with her husband in Kenya. Although she and her husband both do some small-scale farming in her community, they depend on their children to support them. However, Josephine has recently been unable farm due to her current medical condition. Since January, Josephine has been experiencing troubling symptoms, including uncontrolled bleeding. She visited a nearby health facility in her hometown to be evaluated and was referred to a hospital for additional tests. There, she received a CT scan and a biopsy, which revealed that she has uterine cancer. Her doctor recommends that she undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the uterus, to help remove the cancer from her body and hopefully stop its spread. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is requesting $1,260 to fund Josephine's surgery. Josephine has gathered funds to help with a copay, but the full cost of the specialist procedure is out of reach. On August 25th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMHF's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital. After this procedure, she should be able to resume her life free from discomfort and bleeding. Josephine says, “Struggling with cancer at my age is scary. I can’t believe it! I hope the surgery will help to get rid of the disease.”
Katelyn is an eight-year-old girl from Kenya. She is the middle child, with her older sibling being 11 years old and her younger sibling being two. Her father previously worked as a butcher in their hometown, but he has since stopped and currently does not have a source of income. Her mother is a homemaker and takes full-time care of the children. They all live together in a rental house. Katelyn was born with an ear condition, which has caused her to experience hearing loss. She eventually had to stop attending school due to her condition. She is currently unable to communicate with others despite her having some speech. Last month, Katelyn's parents took her to Kenyatta National hospital to receive medical care. After undergoing an audiogram scan, it was confirmed that Katelyn has moderate to profound hearing loss. Her doctor recommends that she receive hearing aids since this would help with her hearing and likely her speech as well. However, her family is not able to pay for them due to financial constraints. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Katelyn receive treatment on August 5th. Now, Katelyn's family needs help funding these $1,171 life-changing hearing aids. Katelyn's mother shares, “We didn’t know that she could not speak because she is unable to hear! Doctors have said that it’s possible for her to both hear and speak if she gets the aids.”
Alison is a sweet 6-year-old from Bolivia who loves princesses and coloring in coloring books! She lives with her parents in a small town on the border between Bolivia and Argentina. Her father is a minibus taxi driver, and her mother is currently finishing her university studies. Alison also attends school and recently finished first grade. Alison was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her feeling weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Alison is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 26th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through her body and improving her quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Alison's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which funds surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Alison and her family can travel to receive her life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Alison's mother shares, "Our family is so grateful for this opportunity to save our daughter's life!"
Verena is a small-scale farmer and a mother to eight children. Verena happily shared that all of her children are in school and that she and her husband work as farmers to help pay for their school fees. They also built a 4-room home for their family through their work selling their farm produce. Ten years ago, Verena began to experience troubling symptoms, including a swelling on her neck. Although initially painless, the swelling increased over time. Recently, Verena's airway is becoming obstructed, making it especially challenging for her to sleep, and she also becomes easily fatigued. She visited Rushoroza Hospital, our medical partner's facility, for review. The doctors diagnosed her condition as a non-toxic nodular goiter, which is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. Verena needs to undergo surgery to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Verena receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on May 14hth at AMH's care center. During this procedure, surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $333 to fund the cost of this surgery. Verena says, "I hope to live a normal and free life again through the surgery. My family and I cannot afford the surgery currently due to many unavoidable family activities that require funding, especially school fees. I will continue with farming after recovering completely."
Elka is a 13-month-old baby who lives in Haiti with her parents. Both of her parents are hardworking vendors in their local market. Elka was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, meaning blood leaks through a hole between two blood vessels located near her heart. This leaves her feeling weak and short of breath. Since the required treatment is not available in Haiti, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Elka travel to the Dominican Republic where she will be able to access the care she needs. On July 28th, she will undergo a procedure where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole so blood can flow without issue through her body. Elka's family is looking to raise $1,500 to fund her necessary care, treatment, and travel. Elka also has a cleft lip and palate, so once her heart condition is treated, a team of doctors will soon be able to perform another surgery to repair this condition and help her have a healthier future and a full life ahead. Her mother says, "I am looking forward to my daughter growing up as a normal healthy child!"
Vania is a hardworking 14-year-old student from Haiti. She lives in an urban area of the island nation's capital, Port-au-Prince, with her parents and three younger brothers. She enjoys studying, especially science and literature. Unfortunately, Vania has not been able to attend school for two years because of her heart condition. She suffered from rheumatic fever early in her childhood. The illness damaged one of the four valves in her heart, leaving her with a condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. Her heart cannot pump blood adequately through her body, which leaves her weak and short of breath. The good news is that surgery can help. Vania will fly to the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On May 16th, surgeons will remove her damaged valve and implant an artificial valve in its place. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for the procedure. But Vania's family also needs help to fund other medical and travel costs, which is where our Watsi donors come in. They are raising $1,500 to cover lab work and medicine for Vania, along with checkup and followup appointments. It also will help pay for her to get a passport and support social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Vania and her family overseas. Vania says, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can feel more normal and go back to school."
Elinipa is a beautiful two-year-old girl. She is an incredibly friendly child who loves to play with her five older siblings. At birth, she was a healthy child. It wasn't until she was learning to walk however, that her mother noticed that her legs were slightly curved, yet even so they did not seek treatment assuming it was a minor problem that she would outgrow. Elinipa has now been diagnosed with bilateral valgus, which is a condition caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result of her condition, Elinipa's legs bow inward to the point that her knees touch. This makes walking persistently more difficult as she continues to grow. Through our medical partner's outreach program her parents learned that their daughter needs surgery to correct her legs. Elinipa's parents are small scale famers who depend entirely on what they harvest to make a living. As a result, their income is not enough to afford to take Elinipa to the hospital to treat her condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Elinipa. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 13th at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. With this treatment Elinipa's mobility will hopefully be restored, thus allowing her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing her risk of future complications. Elinipa’s father says, “I am worried with how her legs continue to bend inward. Please help us.”
Costance is a 77-year-old farmer and a mother of seven children. Her husband passed away 18 years ago and left her their small banana farm, which Costance farms for her livelihood. She shared that her children, all of whom have families of their own now, also provide her some support from time to time. Costance has been experiencing lower back pain, discomfort, difficulty standing or walking for long distances, and other worrisome symptoms for many years. She was diagnosed with uterine prolapse. She shared that she desires to age gracefully, but with her condition, she cannot lead a comfortable life. To finally heal, she needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Costance receive treatment. On April 5th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center to help her resume her daily activities free of pain. AMH is requesting $219 to fund this procedure. Costance says, “I really need your support since I need surgery, but I can’t raise the money needed.”
Kai is an adorable baby boy from the Philippines who loves to listen to nursery rhymes. Kai's mother is a stay-at-home mom, while his father works as a construction worker. Kai's father's income helps to meet their day-to-day basic needs. Kai was born with a birth condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo surgery to help him heal on May 4th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to help cover the total cost of Kai's procedure and care. After his recovery, Kai will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing severe health complications in the future. Kai's mother shared, "This surgery is a big help for our family. The bigger portion of my husband's income goes to Kai's colostomy supplies. Now, we do not have to worry about it anymore. Thank you so much, World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for helping us."