Iris joined Watsi on September 4th, 2014. Seven years ago, Iris joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Iris' most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Ruth, a sweet two-year-old girl from Haiti, to fund surgery that will heal her heart condition.
Iris has funded healthcare for 87 patients in 12 countries.
Iris has funded healthcare for 87 patients in 12 countries.
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.”
Kyaw is a seven-year-old boy who lives with his mother and two older brothers in a refugee camp in Tak Province, Thailand. Kyaw is a student in grade two but unfortunately, due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in camp, all schools in the camp have been closed since July 1st. His oldest brother is unemployed and his mother is homemaker. Kyaw’s family receives 1,240 baht (approx. 41.30 USD) per month which is just enough for their monthly expenses. Kyaw’s mother also grows vegetables in a small garden just for themselves. In his free time, Kyaw like to watches movies and play with his friends. Kyaw also like to watch and listen to fairy tales before he falls asleep. At noon on October 24th, Kyaw climbed a tamarind tree to collect its fruits, carrying a bag with his favorite toy inside. He hung the bag on a tree branch, but his toy fell out when he accidentally bumped into his bag with his shoulder. While climbing down to retrieve his toy, his foot slipped, and he fell out of the tree onto his right arm. He immediately experienced severe pain in his right wrist and saw that it looked deformed. The next day, International Rescue Committee (IRC) referred Kyaw and his mother to nearby Mae Sot Hospital. There Kyaw received an x-ray and a doctor told Kyaw and his mother that Kyaw’s right wrist was fractured and that he would need to undergo surgery for it to heal properly. Currently, Kyaw is experiencing severe pain in his right hand, and his right wrist is swollen and looks deformed. He cannot grab anything with his right hand, and he cannot raise his arm above his head. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Kyaw will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for October 27th and will cost $1,500. This treatment will help Kyaw be able to use his hand again and he will no longer be in pain after surgery. Kyaw said, “I am so happy to receive support from the organization and I am thankful to the donors who will support me. I am so happy to have a chance to undergo surgery to repair my wrist. I want my hand to heal and be like before so that I can grab anything I want to.”
Taw is a 43-year-old teacher who lives with her family in the refugee camp. Taw and her husband work at the same school and their daughter is also enrolled there in the nursery program. In her free time, Taw enjoys singing and reading with her students. Taw also loves to grow vegetables around her house, and she is very proud that the vegetables she grows are organic. Growing her own vegetables also helps to reduce her household expenses. Last month, Taw was walking home with a branch from a banana tree she had just cut down to cook for dinner. That afternoon it was drizzling and the dirt road was slippery. Taw slipped and fell onto her left arm, breaking both bones in her left forearm. With the help of Watsi donors, she underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into her forearm at the end of August at Chiang Mai Hospital. A few days after her surgery, Taw's wound got an infection and the doctor had to perform another surgery to remove the rod from her arm. Once the infection cleared up with the help of antibiotics, the doctor scheduled another surgery to have the rod reinserted into Taw's arm to finally help her heal. Taw’s left arm is still in pain. She is in pain whenever she sits down, and the pain increases when she moves her arm. If she lies down and puts her left arm on a pillow, she feels better. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Taw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for September 7th and will cost $1,500. After the procedure, Taw will no longer be in pain and she will be able to go back home and see her family. She will be able to teach again and garden like before. Taw said, "I really miss my family and my daughter. I hope that I will receive proper treatment and be able to go back home again soon."
Naw Eh is a 11-year-old girl who lives with her mother, five brother and two sisters in a refugee camp. She and her siblings study in the refugee camp while her mother weaves traditional indigenous Karen shirts to earn extra income for their household. In her free time, Naw Eh loves to play with her younger brother at home. Sometimes, she will play with her friends close to her house. She wants to be an English teacher at a primary school in the future. In late July 2021, Naw Eh went out to buy some snacks from a shop. On the way to the shop, she slipped and fell on the muddy road. When she fell she hurt her left leg. Since she was able to walk slowly, the medic in the camp did not think her leg was broken and only gave her pain medication. On 19 August 2021, Naw Eh lost her grip when she was sitting down in a chair and fell down. This time she could not stand up or walk. After a doctor at Mae Sariang Hospital diagnosed her with a fractured femur, she was referred to Chiang Mai Hospital for further treatment. At that hospital, the doctor told Naw Eh's brother that they want to do an MRI of her leg to check if she has any underlying conditions that caused her to break her femur so easily. With support from Watsi, the MRI was possible and now the surgeon has determined that surgery is required to help her leg heal properly. Currently, Naw Eh suffers from pain in her left leg and she cannot move or put weight on that leg. If she moves her leg, the pain increases. Her brother needs to help her use the bedpan as she cannot walk to the toilet. He also needs to help her get dressed. She is taking pain medication to help her sleep at night. She is worried that if her condition is not treated properly, she will never be able to walk again. She misses going to school and wants to continue her studies in grade four once her school reopens. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Naw Eh will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for September 2nd and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Naw Eh will no longer experience pain in her leg and she will be able to get herself dress and be able to walk to the toilet. Naw Eh said, "I am worried that if I do not receive surgery and receive proper treatment, I will not be able to walk again."
Mbabazi is a 30-year-old mother of two who hopes to deliver her third child at our medical partner's care center, Nyakibale Hospital. As the sole provider for her family, Mbabazi is a trained nurse and who works at a local clinic but shared that she earns only a minimal income. Her husband lost his job and has yet to secure another. Together, the family lives in a single-roomed rental house. Mbabazi received antenatal care at Nyakibale Hospital. She was advised to deliver via a C-Section to reduce risk of uterine rupture, haemorrhage, and possible fetal and maternal death. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $252 to fund Mbabazi's procedure. The expecting mother shares, “I am praying so hard that God blesses my delivery to come out successful. I do not have the money required and appeal for your support."
Jesca is a hardworking, friendly, and sociable girl who loves music and singing in the choir at church. She's an 18-year-old teenager, born as the third child in a family of nine. Jesca was only able to study until seventh grade because she was experiencing mobility issues due to clubfoot, making going to school particularly challenging. Jesca's father tried to encourage his daughter to continue with school by discussing with her the the importance of education. However, Jesca was too concerned about going to secondary school, which is located even further away and thereby posing an even bigger challenge for her. Jesca has clubfoot on her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Jesca has now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform a clubfoot repair surgery on June 29th, and requests support of $935 for her treatment costs. After treatment, Jesca will be able to walk normally and is hopeful for a better life ahead. Jesca describes her previous decisions about school with regret but turns an optimistic outlook for her future: "If it wasn’t for my foot I would have probably continued with school and maybe today I would be in a better position. I am now working but my foot is still limiting my work. Please help me have my foot corrected."
Kennedy is a 23-year-old high school graduate and the second born of four children in his family. Kennedy shared that his father sadly passed away in 2006, and his mother works as a house helper in Nairobi. His older brother works as a watchman in the city and his younger siblings are still in school. He is not working currently, and he lives alone in his family home on a quarter-acre of land. On May 22nd, while training to drive a motorbike so that he may be able to do this for an income, he was hit by a speeding vehicle and lost control. He fell along the roadside and fractured his right leg. It is difficult for him to walk and he is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 2nd, Kennedy will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Kennedy shared, “I recently finished my form four and I have my future to think of. I need to be able to walk well but first I need the surgery to help me.”