Danielle Ventimiglia
Danielle's Story

Danielle joined Watsi on September 29th, 2015. 21 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Danielle's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Seneu, a baby girl from Tanzania, for clubfoot treatment to help her walk.

Impact

Danielle has funded healthcare for 9 patients in 6 countries.

All patients funded by Danielle

Meet Seneu, a 10-month-old girl from Tanzania. She comes from a polygamous family where her father married five wives. Seneu is the second baby to her mother. She is a happy baby and enjoys crawling and picking up what catches her eyes. Seneu was born with congenital unilateral clubfoot – a condition which will force her to use the lateral aspect of her left foot for walking if not treated. That will also affect her gait and increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis at a young age. She is the only child with clubfoot in the whole extended family and Seneu’s mother does not feel good when people stare and pass comments about her baby’s condition. Seneu’s mother is a homemaker and her father is a livestock keeper. None of the children are going to school because there is no school close by their village. Seneu’s father had many cattle, but he lost many of them to diseases. As much as they want their baby to get the right treatment, they do not have enough to cover the cost of treatment which their daughter needs. Seneu needs surgery to re-align her foot and ankle joint with surgery and casting to have the chance to walk normally again. This procedure will cost $1,160 and with it, Seneu will be able to walk on the soles of her feet and will also have a reduced risk of developing osteoarthritis at an early age. “I will be so happy when my daughter’s foot is straight. I want her to be able to walk and play like other children,” said Seneu’s mother.

$1,160raised
Fully funded

Five-month-old Abdulkerim loves playing and laughing in the home he shares with his parents and seven siblings in Ethiopia. “Abdulkerim was born with a birth defect called anorectal malformation,” our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us. This defect is characterized by the absence of an anal opening and an inability to pass stool. “Abdulkerim developed a bowel obstruction because of this condition,” explains AMHF. “An emergency colostomy was [performed] when he was three days old.” During the colostomy procedure, doctors pulled an end of the colon through a cut in the abdominal wall and sutured it in place to create an opening for passing stool. To complete his treatment, baby Abdulkerim needs two additional operations. The first surgery is an anorectoplasty to create an anal opening, followed by a colostomy closure three months later. Abdulkerim’s father, a farmer, is the sole provider for the family. “I decided to sell the one cow I have because nothing is more important than my child,” he shares. “The [other] hospital [couldn’t] do the surgery because what I had was not enough. I was broke and worried.” $1,500 covers the costs of the final two surgical procedures and inpatient care, including labs, imaging, pain medicine, and antibiotics. “We expect that after an anorectoplasty followed by a colostomy closure, Abdulkerim will be able to pass stool on his own,” says AMHF. “Coming [to AMHF] and seeing the hope through this sponsorship program, I am now full of hope, praying for the opportunity,” says Abdulkerim’s father.

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Meet Angela, a two-month-old girl from Guatemala. Angela has two older brothers, ages seven and 10. Her father works as a day laborer who picks crops, cuts firewood, and plants beans and seeds. Angela’s mother used to weave traditional Mayan textiles but now spends all of her time caring for her children. “Angela's mother cannot produce breastmilk to feed her child,” our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), tells us. Access to maternal milk is critical for newborn babies to reach their physical and mental developmental potential. Without it, Angela must rely on milk formula which is extremely expensive. “Angela’s mother could afford to buy one container of formula, but she has been watering it down with sugar water, making Angela gain a lot of weight but putting her at risk of many serious health complications due to the lack of vitamins, minerals, and antibodies she is not receiving enough of,” explains WK. Without enough of the proper nutrients, Angela is at risk of stunted growth, poor mental development, and chronic illness. $1,016 will fund medical care to treat Angela’s nutritional deficiencies. She will receive milk formula, vitamin supplements, and visits with a nutritionist over the course of 12 months to get her nutritional health back on track. “Angela’s parents will also receive nutrition education to ensure that she has a chance to reach all her developmental milestones, have normal intellectual development, and be more successful in school,” shares WK. “I just want my daughter to grow and not get sick,” says Angela’s mother. Let's support Angela and her family and help fund the treatment Angela needs.

$1,016raised
Fully funded

Carlos is a one-year-old boy who lives with his parents, grandparents, and older brother in Guatemala. He likes eating soup made from beans and eggs and enjoys playing with his toy ball. About two months ago, Carlos began having multiple seizures daily. Doctors at our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), diagnosed Carlos with epilepsy, a seizure disorder resulting from abnormal electrical activity in the brain. An estimated 65 million people in the world have epilepsy, and in most cases the cause is unknown. “Carlos is also a little low in both weight and height for his age,” explains WK. “Our staff believe anti-convulsion medication will also help him maintain those calories he has been expending while seizing, and will therefore help him gain some weight and grow better as well.” Carlos’s mother weaves blouses to sell at the market, but she has stopped leaving home for fear of Carlos having a seizure. The family must depend on the income his father earns from cutting and selling wood and working as a helper on a public bus. The family does not own any land and can barely afford their basic necessities, leaving no money to pay for Carlos’s care. For $967, Carlos will receive medication to control his seizures and blood work to identify other potential health issues. “He will start to gain some more weight, because he will be able to preserve the calories he is currently using during convulsions,” says WK. “His mother will not have to worry about working while he is around, because he will not be at risk for seizing often.” “My dream for the future is that he grows healthy and strong,” shares Carlos’s mother. “He is my reason to live.”

$967raised
Fully funded

Joshua is an eight-month-old baby boy who lives with his parents and older brother in Guatemala. His older brother loves playing with Joshua whenever he can. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), tells us, “Joshua was born with Noonan syndrome, which is a congenital disorder that can lead to a plethora of physical and mental defects, including various heart murmurs, restrictive lung function, gastrointestinal issues and difficulty feeding, motor delays, learning disabilities, cryptorchidism, bleeding disorders, severe joint and skeletal pain, and neurological defects.” “Joshua has obvious physical deformations and cryptorchidism (an undescended testicle), but overall, he is a happy, calm child,” WK continues. “He currently has issues eating and could benefit from supplementation, as well as from physical therapies to help his muscular development.” Joshua’s father works as a grain trader to support the family, while his mother tends to the household. Joshua’s brother has a condition that required surgery by specialist, leaving very little money to pay for Joshua’s care. For $1,385, Joshua can undergo a thorough diagnostic work-up, which, WK explains, will “identify other potentially dangerous conditions Joshua may have, and allow us to coordinate critical care before it is too late.” Funding also covers the cost of treatment, therapy, and a case manager to help Joshua’s family manage his appointments and monitor his progress. “Therapy will help him to develop strength and be able to move more easily,” says WK. “This will increase his quality of life as he grows and ensure he can have the best future possible.” “We just want what is best for our boys,” shares Joshua’s father.

$1,385raised
Fully funded

Seven-year-old Khin is a first grade student at her school in Burma. She enjoys learning and wants to be a medic when she grows up. “Approximately five months ago, Khin’s father noticed that she was having vision problems and that her left eye was not focusing on the object of sight,” our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP), tells us. “Problems with her vision have affected her ability and attendance at school.” Diagnostic testing revealed that Khin has an optic glioma, a tumor in the nerve that carries visual signals from the eye to the brain. Khin’s vision loss is a result of the tumor growing and pressing on the nerve and nearby structures. Treatment for Khin is surgery to remove the tumor. Khin’s father farms rice and vegetables on the family’s two acres of land. He also works as a day laborer to supplement their income from vegetable sales, but the work is irregular. Medical care for Khin’s mother has left the family in debt, leaving no money to pay for Khin’s surgery. With $1,500 in funding, Khin can undergo surgery to remove the tumor. Funding also pays for outpatient visits before and after surgery and 15 days of hospital care. “With treatment,” shares BBP, “Khin will be able to return to school, which she enjoys very much.” “I hope that my daughter will be able to have surgery and then will go on to finish her schooling and eventually attend higher education,” says Khin’s mother. Let’s help make that happen!

$1,500raised
Fully funded