Federica joined Watsi on September 29th, 2013. Six years ago, Federica became the 365th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,643 more people have become monthly donors! Federica's most recent donation traveled 3,300 miles to support Bernice, a 2-year-old from Kenya, to fund congenital umbilical hernia surgery.
Federica has funded healthcare for 84 patients in 13 countries.
Bernice is a two and a half year old and the firstborn to her mother, who is raising Bernice on her own. Bernice’s mother is the fifth born in a large family of seven siblings. Bernice’s mother completed Form Four schooling two years ago, however, she was not able to continue with her studies due to financial pressures. However, since she had performed well, a well-wisher supported her to join a nursing college in Nakuru. She lives with her mother (Bernice's grandmother) who is chronically sick from a spinal injury. During the school holiday’s Bernice’s mother does clothes washing for people, in order to support her baby. Bernice was born with a congenital umbilical hernia. Her mother assumed that it would to heal, but the condition progressed. She was taken to a general hospital, where she was referred to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center. During our interview, Bernice's mother said that she has been looking for funds to bring her baby for the treatment, however, it has been very difficult. Bernice’s mother shared, "I wish I can get help for my baby."
Buntin is a six-year-old student in grade two. He lives with his parents and his younger brother. His father has been blind for ten years and is not able to work. His mother supports the family working as a noodle seller at their local market. Buntin likes reading books to his brother and watching TV cartoons. He shared that he wants to be a police officer when he grows up. Since he was born, Buntin has had a condition called torticollis in which his head has been tilted due to contracture on the left side of his neck. Since the left side of his neck is shorter than the right, he cannot tilt it normally and has trouble rotating his head. He has difficulty doing normal everyday tasks and experiences occasional ostracization from other kids due to his condition. Surgeons at our partner CSC will perform a tenotomy procedure to release tension in the muscles of his neck. Once the surgery is completed, Buntin will have increased range of motion and will be able to enjoy increased confidence. Buntin's mother said, "I hope my son will have an easier time playing once his surgery is successful, and his neck will be stronger."
Sarith is a 14-year-old student from Cambodia. She is the oldest child in a family of five who live in Siem Riep. Her family farms and sells crops, but they also do daily wage labor when they are not farming. Sarith is in grade six, and her favorite subject of study at school is mathematics. She wants to run the farm business and improve it when she grows up. One year ago, Sarith had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Sarith experiences hearing loss, infection, occasional tinnitus, and constant irritation. Her family has spent a considerable amount of money paying for treatments for Sarith's ears, but nothing yet has been effective. She has found it difficult to participate in schooling with her reduced hearing, and her parents are worried that her condition will worsen. Sarith traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On June 2nd, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sarith said, "The itchy feeling in my ears is always there and it makes me crazy, I hope that it will go away soon and I can feel calm."
Theav is a 24-year-old Khmer teacher from Cambodia. She has six siblings and is the third child. Since finishing high school, she has gone to teach Khmer language in her community everyday. She enjoys listening to music and planting flowers around home in her free time. When Theav was just a child her leg had a swelling and redness that caused her mom to take her to a Khmer traditional healer. They were able to improve the condition of her leg so she could walk, but about 14 years later she noticed problems with the same leg. It became painful and she had to start walking with a crutch. Doctors have examined her leg and discovered a non-union tibia fracture. Going in public with her condition is upsetting to her and makes her shy. Presently, the pain is bad enough to prevent her from walking at all. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On April 28th, Theav will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. The procedure will help her leg straighten allowing her to walk without any pain in the future. "I hope that I will be able to walk better. I will continue my study at university and want to become a teacher of Khmer literature when I graduate," Theav said.
Sarorn is a 60-year-old mother of five from Cambodia. She has three sons and two daughters, and likes to make desserts and look after her family when she is not working. Three year ago, Sarorn had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Sarorn experiences headaches, dizziness, ear discharge, infection, and hearing loss. She is not able to hear others clearly, and this makes her husband and children worry about her alot. Sarorn traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On March 10th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. "I hope that once my surgery is over, the ear infection will stop and I will be able to hear again," Sarorn shared.
Starlex is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and two younger brothers in Cap Haitien, a city in northern Haiti. His father is a taxi driver. He is in the second grade and likes going to school and playing with his friends. Starlex has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Starlex will fly to Canada to receive treatment. On April 1st, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage from his valve. Another organization, The Herbie Fund, is contributing $25,000 to pay for surgery. Starlex's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and transport. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Starlex's family overseas. Starlex's father shared, "My family is looking forward to the day when our son can be healthy and normal!"
Myint is a nursery school teacher from Burma. She lives with her husband, son, and daughter in Burma. Her husband is a homemaker while her children go to school. Myint also cooks Burmese Moh Hin Kar, a type of fish soup, during the weekend, to earn extra money. Since June 2018, Myint has been experiencing abnormal bleeding on a weekly basis and she can feel a mass in her lower abdomen. She used to experience very bad cramps, but since she received oral medication from Mae Sot Hospital she no longer has cramps. She has been diagnosed with a uterine mass. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Myint's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Myint is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on January 31st. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience abnormal bleeding and discomfort. "Once I recover fully, I would like to continue to work as a nursery school teacher and earn money from making and selling Moh Hin Kar," said Myint.
Tun is a 33-year-old man from Burma. He used to work as a day laborer at a construction site until he fell sick. During his free time, he enjoys playing billiards with his friends. Tun was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Tun is experiencing tiredness, fast heartbeats, sharp chest pains, and he is unable to sleep well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Tun. The treatment is scheduled to take place on December 16th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Tun said, "I am very happy that I received this chance of getting treatment. It is impossible if I must fund my own treatment. Thank you very much for your support.”
Regina comes from central Kenya, where she lives together with her grandmother. She is an orphan, having lost her mother nine years ago. She suffered TB of the spine in 2007 but due to lack of finances, she could not access medical care. She has a congenital club foot and is planned to undergo surgery in our facility. Regina is usually mocked by other children who imitate her limping. She sat her final primary school examinations and hopes to join high school and excel. Regina's grandmother is a peasant, relying on small scale farming to make ends meet. With all the demands of raising Regina and her elder sibling, their grandmother is financially limited. The family appeals for help. Fortunately, Reginah traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on November 13th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund Reginah's clubfoot repair. After treatment, Regina will be able to walk easily and with little limping. “My desire is to walk like my friends and continue with my studies” Regina expressed.
Mursale is a child from Tanzania. Mursale is a three year old little boy and a third born child in his family, he is a calm but happy baby. Mursai’s father does small business in his hometown where by he sells construction sand and his mother is a small business woman, she own a small restaurant. Mursale was diagnosed with windswept deformity. His legs bow in a way to seem as though they are blown by the wind. 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 difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Mursale. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 19. Treatment will hopefully restore Mursale's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Mursale’s father says, “Please help my son get this treatment so that he is able to walk without difficulty.”
Cynthia is a five year old sweet and talkative girl. On Tuesday evening, Cynthia came to our hospital accompanied by her mother with complaints after sustaining a fall one week ago. She sustained an injury on her left hand now she is unable to flex her elbow. On arrival, an x-Ray was done that confirmed that Cynthia has a completely displaced supracondylar fracture. Cynthia has been admitted into the pediatrics ward awaiting OREF surgery. Cynthia’s father is a shopkeeper and her mother is a housewife. Her father earns an average of $52 in a month. Having been blessed with three children, this gross income is too little to meet the needs of his children. He is unable to raise the funds for Cynthia's surgery bill causing him alot of fear and anxiety. Doctors suggest that her fracture need to be fixed urgently to avoid healing badly.
Michael is a motorcycle taxi operator from Kenya. He is a hardworking and entrepreneurial man. In July, Micheal was involved in an accident with another motorbike. He was brought to the hospital, where it was confirmed that he had sustained a fracture of the left femur. He is not able to walk and is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 25, Michael will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $998 to fund this procedure. “I cannot afford the cost of surgery. I will be eternally grateful if you can find a way to help,” Michael says.