Don joined Watsi on May 10th, 2016. Two years ago, Don joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Don's most recent donation traveled 3,100 miles to support Michael, a precious 20-month-old baby from Haiti, to fund the costs for heart surgery.
Don has funded healthcare for 99 patients in 12 countries.
Don has funded healthcare for 99 patients in 12 countries.
Michael is a beautiful baby who likes playing with blocks and waving his arms in time to music. Michael has a cardiac condition called tricuspid atresia: he was born without one of the four valves that is normally present in the heart. As a result, blood cannot flow through his lungs and body normally, leaving him sick and short of breath. On March 1st, Michael will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will perform a technique called a Glenn procedure to create a conduit to allow blood to bypass the missing valve and more easily circulate through Michael's body. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 to pay for surgery, but Michael's family is still in need of $1,500 and have turned to the Watsi community for support. Michael's mother says: "It has been very frightening to see my son have such difficulty breathing, and I am so glad we can finally find a way to help him."
Olosirian is a 13-month-old baby boy from Tanzania and the youngest child in a family of four children. His parents are from a small remote town. They breed and sell cattle to make a living, but unfortunately drought conditions have made their work difficult and they have lost most of their cattle. Olosirian has clubfoot of both feet, a condition in which his feet are twisted out of shape. In the future, this may cause him difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Olosirian receive treatment. On January 20th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Now, he and his family need help raising $935 to fund his procedure and care. Olosirian’s mother shared, "our lack of knowledge is what kept us from seeking treatment. I hope it is not too late."
Anthonie is a student from Haiti. He lives with his aunt and uncle and their family in a small town in northern Haiti. He enjoys going to school and church. Anthonie has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between two chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These prevent blood from flowing normally through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. The care Anthonie needs is not available in Haiti so he needs to travel for surgery. He will fly to the Cayman Islands and on January 9th will undergo cardiac surgery. During surgery, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole to close it, and remove the muscular blockage in his heart. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is also contributing $16,000 to pay for his treatment. Anthonie's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep, travel, and follow-up care. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also pays for obtaining his passport, and for the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Anthonie's family overseas. Anthonie's aunt says, "Anthonie has been very sick for a long time, we are all praying that this is the miracle that will make him better!"
Nigel is a beautiful 9-month-old baby girl. She and her twin sibling are the firstborn in their family. Her father works as a day laborer at construction sites earning daily wages that enable him to provide for his family, but are limited to basic needs. Nigel's mother says it has been hard balancing paying for basic needs, and paying for medical bills. Nigel was born with clubfoot of both her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Nigel's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Nigel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily and to wear shoes as she grows up. Nigel’s father says, “It hurts me seeing her twin crawl while Nigel is struggling. I hope she will soon be able to play with her sibling.”
Oo is a 52-year-old man from Burma, living with his wife and daughter. Oo's wife is a day laborer, while his daughter works as a salesperson in a store. Oo is unemployed because of health issues, but he enjoys growing vegetables, and guarding the entrance gate of the village. In the midst of the rainy season in July, Oo placed his belongings on a friend's bullock cart, and went to climb on top of the cart to ride. As he was preparing to climb onto the cart, it suddenly jerked forward, throwing Oo to the ground, and injuring his right arm. After a week had gone by, Oo, who was experiencing significant pain in his arm, traveled to a local free clinic, where he was given a shot to ease the discomfort. He was told that he would need to have the injury investigated further at a hospital in Yangon. In October, Oo's arm was X-rayed at the Karen Baptist Convention Hospital in Yangon, and it was determined that the bone in his arm had been broken, and had never healed properly. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Oo will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones on October 25th, at Karen Baptist Convention Hospital. This surgery will promote the complete and correct healing of the fracture, enabling Oo to lift his arm without pain, and to return to work. Oo needs your help to raise the $885 for this procedure. Oo said: “I am very worried that the doctor will not be able to treat me because I sought treatment so late. It is so difficult to go to Yangon because I live in a conflict area and there are a lot of travel restrictions."
Saw Hsar is a 21-year-old man who lives with his mother, stepfather, and sister in a refugee camp in Hong Son Province. He used to live with his father in Burma, but he moved back to live with his mother in 2018 and hoped to receive treatment for an eye injury. His stepfather is a homemaker, while his mother weaves traditional Karen sarongs to sell. Saw Hsar stopped studying after he graduated from grade four, when he injured his eye. Currently, he is unemployed. In 2018, Saw Hsar began to experience blurry vision, and an inability to clearly see the objects around him. While he is comfortable moving around in his home, he needs someone with him when he leaves home, as he is afraid of tripping over unseen objects in his way, given his increasing inability to see clearly. Saw Hsar was diagnosed with a detached retina, which means that his retina has pulled away from the supporting tissue in his eye. Without the proper treatment, Saw Hsar could completely lose the vision in his eye. Saw Hsar is scheduled to undergo surgery to reattach his retina on September 3rd, at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Saw Hsar's procedure and care. After surgery, Saw Hsar's vision will hopefully be restored, and he will be able to resume his daily activities without his current limitations. He said, “I would like to see clearly like before. In the future, I will find a job and earn a living. I want to grow rice or vegetables on a farm, save money and support my family.”
Ryan is a 3-month-old baby from Kenya. He is the secondborn in his family of two children. His father is a farmer and does casual labor to provide for their family, and his mother is a stay-at-home mom, caring for her two children. Ryan and his family previously lived in a village in Juja, which was later demolished, leaving them without a home. Fortunately, a well-wisher, who also accompanied them to the hospital today, managed to help them relocate. One day, Ryan's family began to notice that the size of his head was increasing. Although his family took him to a hospital seeking medical treatment and a CT scan was ordered, the CT scan was never actually performed. Fortunately, a pastor from their local church recommended that they seek treatment at our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. Upon arrival, a CT scan was done and Ryan was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, he has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, he will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Ryan, which will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 4th and will drain the excess fluid from Ryan's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Ryan will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Ryan's mother says, “I love my baby so much and I know he will get the treatment he deserves."
Gebreegziabher is a brave, young, and fun boy who loves to hangout with his friends. He loves to play chase and other games with his friends and brothers. He has five siblings and shared with us that he loves goats! Gebreegziabher never went to school because of his condition. He is a shepherd and helps to keep the sheep and goats of his parents. Because of his condition, he has endured bullying, but he continues to be brave and his dad shared: “He is so strong despite his sickness. When others pick on him and speak bad things about him and things related to his disease he even gets in to fights.” Gebreegziabher's mom and dad counsel him and comfort him and help him to bring out self-confidence and strength. His dad and his mom are farmers and his mom takes care of all the household chores. Dad said: “Our area is dry. We work hard and farm but the harvest is poor with lack of rain. We purchase food because our harvest is not enough to support the family.” They also raise animals to support themselves. The community survives with the dry land and the scarcity of food by donations from the government and NGOs. But the past two years they couldn’t get the donation since they are in the war zone. For these reasons they can’t afford the medical bill for their son. Gebreegziabher was born with congenital anomaly called bladder extrophy. That is an abnormally where the bladder is open to air. Given the pain and risk of infection, he just ties clothes around the wound. His mom is very much worried and concerned because of his condition. She shared that she has excluded herself from the community for years in taking care of him and raises him and recalls that when growing up, he would sit faraway from others and boys in his age. They keep up hope for better days ahead and are a loving family who support each other the best they can. His Dad said: “He learned to exclude himself from others growing up. We are sad as a family because of his condition. The neighbor insults us, discriminate us and we feel so sad about this. We couldn’t tell what will happen to him. And we bring him to God always.”
Dar is a 21-day-old baby girl who lives with her parents and her brother in a village in the border area of Karen State in Burma. Dar was born at home with the help of a traditional birth attendant. Two days after she was born, Dar's mother noticed a problem when Dar was passing stool. She told Dar’s father to call a medic from the clinic to their home. The medic realized that Dar was born with a anorectal condition and shared with Dar’s mother that baby Dar would urgently need surgery to receive a colostomy. Dar’s parents are subsistence farmers who grow rice and raise chickens. They also forage for vegetables in the jungle and go fishing when they want to eat fish. To purchase staples that they cannot produce such as salt and oil, Dar’s father works as an agricultural day labourer during the rainy season. However, since the rainy season has not yet begun, they currently have no income. However, their daily needs are fulfilled from living off the land. If they are sick and need to seek treatment, they go to the free clinic in their village run by Burma Medical Association (BMA). Fortunately our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund is helping Dar's family access the medical care she needs. They need help raising $1,500 to fund the treatment she needs. “We had to borrow money so far for Dar’s treatment and my husband cannot work,” said Dar’s mother. “I want to send my baby to school until she graduates so that she can become educated. I want this for her future because I only went to school until grade four. After she completes her studies, she can become whatever she wants one day.”
Stefano is a 5-year-old child from Tanzania. Stefano’s parents are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers. They are not able to afford their son’s treatment costs thus they are asking for help. When we first met Stefano he was having difficulty walking and it was challenging for him to do day-to-day tasks. He looked tired despite being carried on her mother’s back. Stefano has needed support from the hospital to get healthy enough for surgery and has been receiving care since last November. He now is healthy enough to undergo surgery for his leg condition. Stefano was diagnosed with windswept deformity. His legs bow so that the knees appear windswept. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has a difficult time walking and experiences pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Stefano. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Stefano's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Stefano’s mother shared in her language, “Mchugaji alituambia tunaweza kupata msaada wa matibabu kwa ajili yam toto wetu hapa.” Meaning: "The pastor told us our son could get treatment help from here."
Srors is a student and the only child in her family. Her parents are divorced and since childhood she has been living with an NGO in Kandal Province. She enjoys reading books, exercising, watching TV, swimming, and listening to music. She is completing 12th grade in public school and her best subject is math. Srors was burned all over the body by an oil lamp when she was three years old. After the accident her family took her to a hospital in Phnom Penh for one year of treatment. When she was 17, she was operated on again for related skin contractures. Now, she has come to our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) because of unhealed tissue on her left knee. It is difficult for her to walk, and she is in pain. On April 5th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft procedure to to help her walk easily again. Now, Srors needs help to fund this $474 procedure. Srors says, "I hope I can heal quickly and return to school."
Victor is a 9-year old boy and the oldest of two children in his family. Victor's mother is a single parent working as a housekeeper. While his mother is at work, Victor often spends time with his grandmother who is a farmer. Victor was born with cerebral palsy and his grandmother shared that he has a lot of energy! Victor was brought to Cure International Hospital's outreach clinic by his grandmother. His condition makes it challenging for Victor to walk without falling. Now he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 28th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Victor and his family raise the $1,224 necessary to fund this surgery so that Victor will be able to live a full, healthy live as he grows up. Victor's grandmother said, "I would love to see my grandson’s feet fully corrected and walking well like other children."