Iris joined Watsi on September 4th, 2014. Eight years ago, Iris joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Iris' most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Oo, a 52 year old husband and father from Burma, to fund surgery on his arm.
Iris has funded healthcare for 93 patients in 12 countries.
Iris has funded healthcare for 93 patients in 12 countries.
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."
Nancy is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. Together with her elderly husband, they grow food crops for home use on their half-acre piece of land. She is a mother of eight children who are all adults. All her children don’t have a stable source of income at the moment. She needs care but does not have medical coverage and hasn't been able to raise the required amount for treatment. In early July this year, Nancy was tripped by her dog and fell on a stone, hurting the left side of her hip. She sustained a left sub-trochanteric fracture that is making her immobile. This is a fracture of the proximal femur located a few centimeters from the hip. She was taken to a nearby health facility and had an x-ray done after review. She was then referred to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital for surgery. She is unable to walk and is currently using a wheelchair and although jovial and smiling, she is in pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 30th, Nancy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will relieve her of her pain and help her walk easily again. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Nancy says, “I am unable to walk. I am desperate, and also struggling to pay for my treatment. I need this treatment to be able to get out of this wheelchair.”
Alvin is a beautiful 10-month-old baby from Tanzania. He is his single mother's only child. Since his mother is still young, she depends on her parents to provide for her and her son. Alvin was born with clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, causing him difficulty standing, walking, and even wearing shoes. His mother was unable to seek treatment for her son immediately due to financial challenges. She shares that she felt so ashamed of her son’s condition that she kept it a secret, covering Alvin's legs to keep people from seeing them. However, a neighbor saw his feet once, and she advised his mother to seek treatment for him because she knew his condition was treatable. Fortunately, his mother eventually traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Alvin's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to stand and to walk without difficulty. Alvin's mother says, “The shame I had for my son's disability is what kept me from seeking help. I hope he gets the necessary treatment."
Abigaelle is an 18-month-old infant from Haiti. She has two siblings: one brother and one sister. She is a happy and cheerful baby who loves to smile and play! Abigaelle has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Abigaelle has been experiencing an increase in head circumference. Without treatment, Abigaelle will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Abigaelle at Hospital Bernard Mevs to treat her hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 13th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Abigaelle's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, she will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Abigaelle's family shares that they are looking forward to their child being healthy.
Abegaelle is a five-year-old girl from Haiti. She lives in the capital city of Port-au-Prince with her parents and older brother. Some of her favorite activities include going to preschool and attending church with her family. Abegaelle was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through, leaving her weak and short of breath. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Abegaelle receive treatment. She will travel to the Dominican Republic to undergo surgery on July 26th, during which surgeons will insert a catheter to plug the hole in her heart and restore a healthy blood flow. Abegaelle's family is raising $1,500 to cover the costs of her surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Abegaelle and her family overseas. Abegaelle's mother shared, "Our family is all very thankful that Abegaelle will have this chance to have her heart fixed!"
Helena is a teenage girl and the fourth of six children. She is a friendly and social girl who loves sports and helping with home chores. Helena is in class two and her best subjects are writing skills and mathematics. Most children around Helena's age have finished their primary school education, but Helena's delay in her studies is caused by a foot disability she was born. Helena has clubfoot of both feet and her parents could not afford any form of medical treatment as small-scale farmers and livestock keepers. Learning to walk was very difficult for Helena. She can only stand or walk with crutches at this time, but it is still very painful. Therefore, Helena relies on a wheelchair to move from one place to another. Fortunately, Helena traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Helena's life-altering surgery. After treatment, she will be able to stand unassisted, walk and wear shoes like the other kids she knows. Helena shared, “I will be very happy if my feet can be treated and help me to stand and walk."
Ruth is a two-year-old girl who lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, which is the capital of the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. She is her parent's first child. Ruth was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus, which causes blood to leak through a hole between two major blood vessels near her heart. The condition makes it difficult for Ruth's small heart to fully function. Fortunately, her condition is highly treatable with surgery. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, so our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged to take Ruth and her mother to the Dominican Republic, where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole near her heart. The treatment, scheduled for May 25th, will stop blood from leaking into her blood vessels and should allow her to live a full life ahead. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 toward the surgery cost. Her family is raising $1,500 to help cover the rest of her treatment and related care, including travel for Ruth and her mother. Her mother shared, "Our family is very hopeful that after the surgery, our daughter will have more energy and a better appetite."
Ni lives with her mother & four siblings in Yangon, Burma. Her two younger sisters work in a clothing factory, while her mother and one brother are homemakers. Her other brother works as a driver assistant. Ni works in a factory that produces alcohol and in her free time, she enjoys watching television with her family. She also enjoys teaching English to their neighbor's children on the weekends. In July 2019, Ni started to experience chest pain and difficulty breathing. She went to a hospital in Yangon and was told she might have a problem with her kidney. When she did not feel any better after taking medication for a month, she went to another hospital in Yangon. She received multiple diagnostic tests and was told that her kidney is healthy but she has a heart condition. After receiving an echocardiogram, she was diagnosed with atrial septal defect (ASD). The doctor told her she would need heart surgery, but Ni told the doctor she could not afford to pay for it. Ni received medication and went back home. Unfortunately, she was unable to go back to the hospital for follow up because the hospital closed after the country's military coup. Due to the deteriorating security condition in their area, Ni’s family decided to go back to their village near Mandalay. Around her village, she could not find a pharmacy that sold her medication. When her family finally traveled back to Yangon she was feeling better and decided not to purchase more of the special medication she needed. Then in January, Ni felt like she could not breathe well, and experienced chest pain and rapid breathing again. She went to a hospital, where the doctor referred her to Pun Hlaing Hospital. After she undergoing more diagnostic tests, the doctor told her she would need to receive surgery costing 9,000,000 kyats (approx. $9,000 USD). When she told the doctor she could not afford to pay for it, the doctor gave her the phone number of a nurse who may be able to help. When Ni called the nurse, the nurse told her about our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) who is now helping Ni access treatment. On March 13th she will undergo cardiac surgery to close the Atrial Septal Defect. Currently, Ni has chest pain and difficulty breathing. Sometimes, she has rapid breathing at night. She cannot sleep well because she is always worried about her condition. Ni shared, "I am very scared to receive surgery but if I do not receive this treatment, I will not live a long life. I am so happy to receive treatment and I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors."
Daw Moo is a 58-year-old woman. She moved to Thailand from Burma and lives with her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. She helps with household chores and looking after her granddaughter. She has three other children that study in schools in Burma. In her free time, Daw Moo loves to meditate and pray for her children and her family. In late December, Daw Moo was diagnosed with a cataract in her left eye. She has blurry vision and it is difficult for her to do her daily activities, like cooking, cleaning and washing clothes. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Daw Moo receive treatment. On March 2nd, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Daw Moo's natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly and go about her daily activities. Now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. Daw Moo shared, "I feel uncomfortable seeing with only one eye. I will be very happy to do my daily chores after I have regained vision in my left eye. Thank you to the organizations who found donors for me. Without your help, I could never afford to pay for my surgery. My daughter also cannot pay for me as she has to support her younger siblings’ school fees."
Marimar is from Samar, an island approximately 530 km away from the capital city of Manila. She's been diagnosed with cholelithiasis, also known as gallstone disease. She saw several doctors in her province after experiencing shooting pains in her stomach whenever she walked. Eventually, her condition has gotten severe to the point that she had to stop working due to her worsening symptoms. Due to the lack of equipment and specialists in their province, she has needed to travel to Manila to get the surgery she needs to heal. If left untreated, her condition may lead to tissue damage, tears in the gallbladder, and infection that can spread to other parts of her body. Luckily, her brother who works in construction in Manila is able to host her to stay with him until she undergoes surgery and afterward as she heals. Her surgery is scheduled for February 1st and our medical partner World Surgical Foundation Philippines is raising $1,253 to fund her procedure and care. After recovering, Marimar will be able to work again to support her family in Samar. Looking forward to a better future, Marimar shared, "after the surgery, I hope to be able to live and work again without the excruciating pain."
Gideon is four years old and the last-born in his family of six children. He is a playful, charming, friendly, and happy boy. Gideon comes from the southern highlands of Tanzania close to Katavi National Park. Gideon has not yet started school, but his father says when he gets to be six years old, he will enroll him. Most children in this region join school starting at the age of six due to the long distance they must walk to school. Parents must wait for their children to grow strong enough to walk to and from school before enrolling them. Gideon’s parents are small-scale farmers of maize, beans, and vegetables and only sell a few of their harvests to get money to buy other basics for their family. Gideon has been diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, where his legs bow inward so that they touch. 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 experiences pain and discomfort. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Gideon. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 4th. Treatment will hopefully restore Gideon's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, including school in the future, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Gideon’s father says “My son walks with a gait and falls down a lot. He also complains of pain after a long day of play.”
Baraka is a very active and jovial 7-year-old boy. Baraka and his twin brother are the only children in the family. His parents separated when they were still young babies and left them under the care of their grandmother. When Baraka was 1 year old, his grandmother noticed that she could not feel both of his testes. She took Baraka to the hospital where he was examined and diagnosed with bilateral undescended testes. Due to lack of finances, she went home and never returned to the hospital. A few weeks ago, a friend referred her to a medical camp that was visiting the neighborhood. She rushed Baraka to the clinic, he was examined and referred to BethanyKids Hospital. Upon arrival, he was examined again and booked for the surgery he needs. Baraka's grandmother does casual laundry work or any house chores she comes across to raise a living for her grandchildren; their parents are out of reach and do not support them financially. She can not raise the required amount of money to cater for Baraka’s hospital bill and is seeking financial aid. Baraka was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Baraka has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Baraka will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on November 16th. AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Baraka’s grandmother says, “It is very difficult for me to even provide for them as work is hard to come by. Any help offered to us will be highly appreciated.”