Dónal joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Dónal joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Dónal's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Marissa, a 48-year-old vegetable vendor from Philippines, to fund a cholecystectomy.
Dónal has funded healthcare for 84 patients in 12 countries.
Dónal has funded healthcare for 84 patients in 12 countries.
Marissa, who is 48 years old, is a hardworking vegetable vendor from the Philippines. In 2022, Marissa began to experience troubling symptoms, including excruciating abdominal pain, which have made it difficult for her to continue with her daily activities. After several months of enduring the pain, Marissa finally consulted a doctor, who diagnosed her with chronic calculous cholecystitis- an inflamed gallbladder complicated by gallstones- which needs to be treated surgically. Unfortunately, even with financial help from her sons, Marissa could not afford the cost of the surgery. As a result, she deferred her treatment, hoping that her condition would improve over time. However, the pain has persisted, making it increasingly difficult for her to continue working and providing for her family. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Marissa is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on April 18th, at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, but Marissa and her family still need help raising the remaining $1,128 to cover the cost of Marissa's surgery and care, which will prevent her condition from deteriorating. Marissa shared: "We are incredibly grateful to World Surgical Foundation Philippines and WATSI for the support they are providing. Without their help, I may have continued to suffer in silence."
Zerubabel is a 17-month-old, energetic baby boy from Ethiopia. He is the only child of his mother. He already loves to run and play football with other children. Bread is his favorite food. Both of his parents currently have no income. His father used to work at Mekele University at the student's café, but lost touch with their family after the war broke out. Zerubabel's mother has no income and has moved to Addis Ababa where she stays with relatives. Zerubabel was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of cancer and infertility. A year ago, Zerubabel's mother noticed his condition but was unable to take him to the hospital sooner. The neighbor of her relatives told her about our medical parter at BKMCM and she came to the hospital with hope. The doctors have recommended surgery to treat Zerubabel, his mother is appealing for financial assistance. Fortunately, Zerubabel is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on April 4th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Zerubabel's mother said, “I look forward to seeing him completely healthy. I want to see him grow up. I hope he will be a professional football player. ”
15-year-old Min, whose parents passed away five years ago, lives with his uncle and his cousins in a village on the border of Burma and Thailand. He helps his uncle with his work as a farmer. On March 19, 2023, Min accidentally hit a stopped tractor-trailer with his motorcycle while driving at night. He was unable to move due to his pain, but people who were nearby brought him to the hospital. Currently, Min continues to live in pain and is unable to move his legs. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Min will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones, and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for March 19th at Mae Sot General Hospital and will cost $1,500. Now Min and his family need your help to raise the money for Min's surgery, which will enable him to walk again. Min said: "I feel sorry for the accident. I want to thank you [BCMF and the donor] for helping me get treatment. I hope for full recovery. After I get treated, I will try to help my uncle who has been raising me and taking care of me all the time.”
Queen is a sweet 11-month-old from Tanzania. She is the youngest child in her family of eight children. Queen is very curious and charming; when she was at our medical partner’s care center, she could not stop playing with the other children. Her family is from a remote part of Western Tanzania, and her parents farm maize and beans. Queen’s mother shared that the recent weather changes made it hard for them to cultivate maize, and they are now dependent on their cultivation of beans. The low harvest also means there are not enough surplus crops to sell and earn money to support the family’s basic needs. Queen has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Queen’s family was able to travel to our medical partner’s care center for assistance. On February 7th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery that will allow Queen to walk easily and wear shoes as she grows up. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Queen’s mother says: “I am worried that my daughter will be so limited when she grows up. I hope she gets the treatment for her condition.”
Luz is a sweet baby from Bolivia, where she lives with her parents and two older brothers in a small mountain village. Her parents work as farmers to support their family. Luz, in addition to being diagnosed with Down Syndrome, was born with a ventricular septal defect, a heart condition where a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through the hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance who is expanding their work in Bolivia, is helping Luz receive treatment. On January 19th, Luz will undergo surgery where doctors will sew a patch over the hole, allowing for blood to flow completely through her heart and reach her lungs, obtaining oxygen and, ultimately, allowing her to grow as a healthy baby girl. Luz's family needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. From Luz's mother: "Our family is all praying that after the surgery our daughter will be stronger and healthier."
Festus is a cheerful boy who always has a friendly smile and a joyful, resilient spirit. The fifth born of six children, he is a third grader at a nearby primary school. His parents are small scale farmers who plant maize and beans for consumption and sale. Two of his siblings are in high school and the others are in primary school. His parents sell their farm produce in order to pay their school fees and manage their daily needs. Festus has had a long stay in hospital with an infected wound and multiple surgeries, two debridement surgeries and nerve repair after he sustained a deep cut in his left hand. He now needs a skin graft to cover the damaged area. The decision to perform the skin graft was recommended by his doctors because his wound has not healed after a long time. After undergoing three surgeries, Festus feels traumatized when he enters the operation theatre. His mother is worries that he might lose his hand if not treated. Their family has had to undergo counselling to promote resilience and assurance that everything will be okay, and that Festus will be able to use his hand again. After all this, the family is looking forward to the results of the surgery with excitement. His family is asking any well-wisher to support them in this time of need, as they need $1,089 to fund the skin graft. Festus's mother says, “It’s been a long journey for my son. For the last one week I haven’t slept well just thinking of his health. I hope he gets treated and will be well again.”
Aung is a six-year-old student from Thailand. He lives with his parents and brother. His mother works at a factory, his father is a homemaker, and his brother goes to school. In his free time, Aung likes to play with his toys and watch cartoon movies on the television. Aung has cataract in his right eye. As a result, he can only see light with that eye, and his eye is very sensitive and irritated. Fortunately, on November 15th, Aung will undergo lens replacement surgery, during which surgeons will remove Aung's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to this surgery for Aung. Aung's mother shared: “We do not have money to treat him ourselves. My son is so lucky to be treated through the help of donors."
Naanyo is a nine year old girl who lives with a small and loving family, consisting of her parents and two siblings. When she is not in school, she enjoys watching television and helping her mother to cook, wash and fetch water. She told us that also has fun playing with her school friends, especially when she pretends to be a police woman. When Naanyo was two years old, she was in an accident that resulted in burns on her left hand. She was treated at a local dispensary, and was sent home. However, after the burns healed, Naanyo developed burn scar contractures, which make it difficult for her to move her hand. Her parents were unaware that the contractures could be treated, until on a recent visit to a doctor, they were informed that surgical intervention could resolve Naanyo's condition. The doctor helped the family travel to Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, where Naanyo was assessed and scheduled for surgery, which will take place on October 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help Naanyo access the care that she needs, despite the fact that her parents can't afford the $874 required for the surgery. They are appealing to you to help cover the cost of this procedure, which will make such a difference in Naanyo's life. Naanyo’s mother says: "We did not know that our child’s condition is treatable, but it is better being late than never.”
Linda is a two-month-old baby girl. She was born in a public hospital in Mai Mahiu town where her mother was living with a friend. At birth, she was diagnosed with spina bifida. Her mother was referred to another facility more familiar with this diagnosis, and upon further examination referred Linda to our medical partner's care center BethanyKids Hospital for treatment. On arrival at the hospital, Linda was found to be in critical condition and had to be admitted and put on medication. She stayed in the hospital for more than two weeks. When she got better, she was discharged home and scheduled to undergo spina bifida repair surgery with support from Watsi. Last week, Linda reported back to the hospital for her surgery, but arrived with a fever. She was admitted to the High Dependency Unit. While in hospital, she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, or a build-up of fluids in the cavities of the brain, which required urgent surgical intervention. The spina bifida surgery was postponed to a later date while she recovers from the shunt insertion surgery to heal her hydrocephalus. Linda is the youngest in a family of three children. Her father left the family one month before she was born. He used to do casual jobs and had not been supportive. During the last few months before Linda was born, her mother was very sick and lost her job as a security guard, thus losing the family's only source of income. Having come from Uganda, they did not have many people to help them. Her Ugandan friend heard of her suffering and offered to accommodate her as she was pregnant. Since then, this friend has been facilitating their hospital transport and helping with financial support as much as possible. Linda’s mother cannot raise any money to pay for her daughter’s surgery and is appealing for support. Hydrocephalus is a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Without treatment, Linda will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Linda to treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 14th, and will drain the excess fluid from Linda's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Linda will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Linda’s mother says, “I am still confused with all that is going on, and I hope that she will be okay.”
Ronald is a middle-aged farmer from Kenya who is the thirdborn in a family of six. He and his family all live in semi-permanent houses and work as small-scale farmers. His father passed away years ago, so his mother, who is diabetic, was left to care for the children alone. Ronald studied up to the college level, but he could not secure a job in his field, so he now works as a casual laborer. He also helps his mother with house chores since she is sick and on medication, making it difficult for her to do them alone. With the income he earns through doing casual labor, Ronald helps support his family's basic day-to-day needs. Ronald was recently involved in a road traffic accident while traveling as a passenger on a motorbike. After his driver lost control due to being hit by another motorbike, they both fell on the tarmacked road, and the motorbike landed on Ronald's lower limbs. Fortunately, there were people around who helped them, but he could not manage to stand. He had to be lifted onto a passenger service vehicle, which took him to the hospital. Since he sustained an open fracture to his foot during the accident, it was treated as an emergency, and he was immediately taken to the operating room for cleaning and debridement. He was then admitted to the ward and is now waiting to undergo fracture repair surgery. He is currently in pain and unable to use his limb Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 12th, Ronald will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. After the procedure, he will no longer be in pain and will be able to walk and work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Ronald says, "I earn a living through casual jobs, which some are near and some are far from home. This state has actually brought me down. Please help me so that I may not be a burden once I am able to work.”
George is a brave boy from a village in southern Kenya. He is the third born in a family of four children. He is in pre-kindergarten and likes to play a lot. His mother does house work when available while his father does any jobs he can find. The family faces a lot of financial challenges which made it hard for them to bring George to the hospital for help. On June 30th, George accidentally fell and fractured both the radius and ulna bones in his right hand. The surgeon found that he needs a fracture repair surgery, but George's family cannot raise the money for it. George is in pain and cannot use his hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 7th, George will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help reduce his pain and be able to use the hand once he recovers. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1049 to fund this procedure. “I am desperate and have no way to help my son. I ask for help so that he can be treated, be able to use his hand, and continue with his education. I will appreciate this help,” said George’s mother.
Eddys is a farmer and tailor who hails from the highlands of Elgeyo Marakwet County in a small village well known for potato farming. She is a calm and conversational woman. Eddys is a mother of two aged between 5 and 9 years. She separated from her husband due to domestic violence at home. She returned to her homeland after the separation and now lives with her parents and her children in a semi-permanent house in their village. Before the incident, Eddys used to earn her wages through tailoring, a skill she learned in a polytechnic program. Eddys presented to our medical partner's hospital with a five-month-old fracture following a road traffic accident, which left her with severe injuries and a broken leg. Before they came to our hospital, Eddys was managed in a local health facility near her home. She had a cast applied and was told that she will heal without surgery. However, two months later, she started having pain in her leg. One of her relatives referred her to our facility where an X-Ray revealed a closed fracture of the shaft of her tibia. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On June 21st, Eddys will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Eddy will be able to walk, work and provide for her children once she heals. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Eddys has been surviving on her friend’s contributions and relies on her mother because she has not been working since the accident. She appeals for financial assistance so that she can be well again. Eddys says, “My children need my motherly support which I am unable to give them since I broke my leg, it has been a nightmare for us. My hope is to get my leg treated and be able to walk again.”