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Annie Calies

United States

Annie's Story

Annie joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. 1,776 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Annie's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Sky, a baby boy from Uganda, to fund corrective surgery.

Impact

Annie has funded healthcare for 52 patients in 15 countries.

All patients funded by Annie

Lorens

Three-month-old Lorens is the only child to his young parents. He was born with a swollen mass on the back of his neck. Due to a lack of knowledge, his parents took the situation lightly. Little did they know that the mass was spina bifida and that, if left untreated, it would lead to further complications. A friend who noticed the swelling noted that it was not normal. Unfortunately for Lorens' parents, by this time it was a little too late; Lorens had already developed tethered spinal cord syndrome, a condition involving the fixation of tissue to the spinal cord. Surgery is required to release the tethered cord as soon as possible, but Lorens' parents are unable to raise the necessary funds. They did manage to fund $104 of their son's treatment, but the little income they receive from casual employment in their neighborhood has left them in need of financial support. Lorens' father is a casual laborer and will settle for any task, whether it is construction or transporting hand-driven carts, to meet the needs of his family. His wife is a stay-at-home mother. The family resides in a single-rental house in the suburbs. With $1,165 in funding, Lorens will finally be able to undergo a tethered cord release, thus eliminating pain, allowing fuller range of motion, and reducing other risk factors associated with the condition. Surgery will greatly improve Lorens' quality of life and allow him to grow up a healthy young boy. “I wish I could do more to make my son’s life easier," shares Lorens' mother. "I will do any job assigned to me just to have this pain eliminated from Lorens."

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$1,165raised
Fully funded
Jose

Two-year-old Jose lives with his four siblings and parents in a one-room adobe house in Guatemala. He is curious and happy, and he will play with anything he sees. His father has an inconsistent income as a day worker, and his mother takes care of the household. His parents do not have the resources to give him the healthy and nutritious foods he needs. “Jose is malnourished,” our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), shares, “meaning that he is far below a healthy height and weight for his age. He has not had access to the protein, calories, and nutrients that he needs to grow normally. Jose could be at risk of stunted neurodevelopment, difficulty focusing, and a greater risk of chronic diseases.” $512 will cover the cost of the treatment Jose needs to get back on a positive growth trajectory. “Growth monitoring, food supplements, and deworming medication will help Jose gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children his age,” WK explains, “Treating him now will have a large impact—he will likely be able to reach developmental milestones. This will help him start to develop better both physically and mentally, giving him the chance to live a healthy and productive life, escaping the cycle of poverty and malnutrition that is making him sick.” Jose's mother will also receive nutrition classes to learn how to provide Jose with the best diet possible. “This is going to help us a lot, because we have so few resources," his mother said.

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$512raised
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Julio

“Julio had his first seizure when he was 13,” explains our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). “At first, he only had them once a month, then once every two weeks, then every week. Lately, he has been having seizures three times per day.” These epileptic seizures can be frightening for Julio, a 15-year-old from Guatemala. “When he has a convulsion, he falls, begins to shake, and his eyes roll in the back of his head,” reports WK. “It normally lasts fifteen minutes, and afterwards he is usually weak and dizzy.” These now-daily interruptions often force Julio’s mother to keep her son home from school so that she can care for him. This has substantially slowed Julio’s education: even though he is in his mid-teens, and seems to have no learning difficulties, he has only reached fifth grade. His mother has also had to quit her job so that she can stay home with Julio, putting the family in financial strain. Despite these setbacks, Julio is an outgoing, academically ambitious boy. “Julio loves to study and talk with his classmates,” says WK. “His favorite things to do are to play soccer, and practice math.” He dreams of becoming a teacher one day. Without intervention, though, that dream will be difficult to achieve. Fortunately, Julio’s doctors believe his epilepsy is not intractable. For $966 we can connect Julio with the combination of medications he’ll need to get his seizures under control. This cost will also pay for diagnostic lab tests and a brain MRI, so doctors can make sure they are treating him correctly. “This treatment will allow Julio to be much more independent, as he will be healthy enough to leave the house on his own,” WK tells us. This means that Julio will be able to aim high in his own education, and someday, to help others do the same by becoming a teacher.

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$967raised
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Torteliana

“I am looking forward to doing chores at home without experiencing chest pain, difficulty breathing, and difficulty swallowing,” shares Torteliana, a 50-year-old farmer who lives with her family in a nipa hut in the Philippines. For the last 15 years, Torteliana has had an enlarged thyroid, commonly known as a goiter. Typically presenting as a lump or swelling at the front of the neck, a goiter can become large enough to obstruct nearby structures and cause difficulty swallowing or breathing. Most goiters are due to a deficiency of iodine, an important element in the body’s production of thyroid hormones that regulate the body's metabolism. Because of the goiter, “Torteliana cannot carry heavy objects and cannot do heavy tasks at home,” explains our medical partner, International Care Ministries (ICM). “And because it is visible enough due to its size, it really gets people's attention when she passes by, and she is embarrassed by it.” Despite her worsening symptoms, “Torteliana was not examined by a doctor because of lack of finances,” ICM continues. In addition to working on her farm, she sells local goods at the market, but “she cannot afford the treatment needed because her income is barely enough for the everyday needs of her family.” Doctors recommend that Torteliana undergo a thyroidectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the thyroid gland. $1,500 covers the cost of the surgery, transportation to and from the hospital, 10 days of hospital care—including medicine, imaging, and blood tests—and medication to take after she returns home. “After the treatment, Torteliana will not experience difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, or chest pain,” ICM tells us. “She can do her activities of daily living with confidence. She can be productive and boost her self-esteem.” “I am very thankful that somebody could help me to have this operation for free,” says Torteliana. “I am hopeful that after this, I can work with less difficulty to sustain my family's needs."

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$1,500raised
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Tonk

In late 2015, Tonk was born prematurely in Thailand and immediately admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. His mother passed away a day later due to a congenital heart problem. The doctors suspected that Tonk had an accumulation of fluid surrounding his brain, and recommended surgery to insert a shunt to divert the excess fluid away from his brain. Tonk’s father could not afford the surgery, and they left the hospital. Two weeks ago, Tonk’s father noticed that Tonk’s head size was increasing. The doctors diagnosed him with hydrocephalus and again recommended surgery, but Tonk’s father could not afford the cost. Tonk’s father constantly worries about his son and cannot concentrate on work. “If I was to pay the amount the first hospital asked for, I would have to save money for 2 years without eating," he shares. $1485 will fund the cost of Tonk’s surgery. Our medical partner, Burma Border Projects, explains, “This will alleviate the pressure on his brain from fluid accumulation and help Tonk develop normally.” Tonk's father shares, "Tonk is the only treasure left by my wife. I really want him to grow up well. I always pray for Tonk. I wish that Tonk will have normal development. I will try my best to look after him, acting like both a mother and a father. I want him to be able to study in a good school someday so he will become a successful person when he grows old. I always think about a possible way to find treatment for my son.”

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$1,485raised
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Shekina

"Shekina has been very sick since she was born, and I want her to be healthy and happy," says Shekina's mother, "I pray for a good result from this test." Her daughter Shekina, a three-year-old Haitian girl, needs a diagnostic heart catheterization procedure to determine her eligibility for heart surgery. Shekina's mother has stopped working as a market vendor to take care of her. "Shekina was born with a cardiac condition called complete atrioventricular septal defect, in which multiple holes exist between the upper and lower chambers of her heart," explains our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA). "Blood flows through these holes in her heart without first passing through the lungs to get oxygen, leaving her sickly and short of breath." Due to the severity of Shekina's condition, a surgical solution may not be available. However, the only way to determine this is through imaging done with catheterization. "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 later in the year," shares HCA. $1,500 covers the cost of the catheter procedure and travel arrangements such as visas and a place to stay. Following the catheterization test, Shekina's family will know with certainty whether her condition is operable or not. HCA tells us that if operable, plans will then be made to move forward with her surgery as soon as possible.

100% funded

$1,500raised
Fully funded