Grace joined Watsi on June 22nd, 2012. Eight years ago, Grace joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Grace's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Thay, a baby girl from Burma, to fund brain surgery to heal her hydrocephalus.
Thay is a one-year-old girl from Burma. She lives with her parents, grandfather, three sisters and a brother in a village. Thay's mother looks after her and her brother at home, her grandfather is retired, and her sisters go to school. Thay's father works as a porter, but has has difficulty finding work for over a month. With the increasing number of internally displaced people settling in their village due to the humanitarian crisis, there are now many individuals competing for the same work. When Thay was around eight months old, her parents noticed that her head was increasing in size. As a result, Thay cannot yet sit up or crawl. She is only able to turn her head, and will cry if she cannot see her parents. Thay was recently diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which has causes fluid to build up in her brain. Without immediate surgery to alleviate the intracranial pressure, Thay is at risk of developing severe, potentially fatal medical complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for Thay, which will drain the fluid that has accumulated in her brain. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 20th and, once completed, will greatly improve Thay's quality of life as she grows up. Thay's father said, "I am thankful to every organisation and everyone for supporting my daughter’s treatment cost. Because of you, I believe that my daughter will receive surgery and be healthy and live a normal life after treatment."
Guerdina is a 15-year-old girl who lives in the mountains of central Haiti with her parents and four siblings. When she was 10 years old, Guerdina suffered from rheumatic fever. Her illness severely damaged one of the valves of her heart, making it unable to adequately pump blood through her body. In 2019, she underwent a surgery to repair her damaged heart valve. That procedure helped for several years, but her repaired valve is becoming less functional and now needs to be replaced with an artificial valve. After surgery, Guerdina's heart should be able to pump more normally and her doctors share that she should be able to lead a full and active life. Because the surgery she needs in not available in Haiti, Guerdina must travel overseas to receive surgery. On June 2nd, she will undergo heart surgery with the Cardiac team at the Cleveland Clinic, where surgeons will replace her mitral valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) is helping Guerdina's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medication, and follow-up appointments. This will also support her family to obtain passports and the HCA social workers who will accompany Guerdina's family during their travels. Guerdina shared, "my entire family and I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been helping me!"
Klyn is a 12-year-old boy who lives in a small town in central Haiti with his parents, grandparents, and several other relatives. He likes school, especially science and math. Klyn was born with a condition called atrial septal defect. The defect means there is a hole between the two upper chambers of Klyn's heart. Blood leaks through this hole, which leaves him often weak and short of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, has arranged for Klyn and his mother to travel to the Dominican Republic for surgery since this treatment is not available within Haiti. On May 24th, doctors will first attempt to use a catheter to close the opening between Klyn's upper cardiac chambers. If that's not possible, they will need to perform open-heart surgery and use a patch to close the hole in Klyn's heart. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 for Klyn's care. His family is raising $1,500 to help cover remaining costs of the procedure and related care, including travel expenses for Klyn. Klyn's mother says, "We are very thankful to everyone who is making this surgery possible for our son!"
Dav is a 25-year-old construction worker. Dav's wife is a garment worker and together they have a one-year-old son, who they adore. In January, Dav was in a motorcycle accident, causing trauma to his right shoulder. Dav was treated at a local clinic, where surgeons placed screws and plates to repair his broken arm, but he has experienced paralysis from extensive nerve damage. Dav has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury that impacts the nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. Dav is unable to lift his right arm, abduct his shoulder, or have any sensation in his fingers. Dav cannot work to support his family so Dav, his wife, and child live with Dav's parents. Dav traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. This is the only center in the country where this treatment is available. On March 7th, Dav will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, the nerves that have been damaged will be able to regenerate, allowing Dav to have use of his arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is helping Dav raise $696 to fund this procedure. Dav is hopeful that with this care, he can use his arm again to lift up his son and return to work to support his family.
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."
Vincent is a jovial and playful five-year-old boy. He is the third of four children in his family. Vincent's parents plough farms and fetch water to earn a living. Work is hard to come by where they live, in turn forcing his father to go to neighboring communities to look for employment. About a year ago, Vincent had a left inguinal hernia with pain in his abdominal area. His father noticed that there was swelling, and applied some ointment on the spot, which made the swelling and pain disappear. Vincent never experienced the pain again until two months ago. His family has been seeking help so that he can feel well again. Fortunately, on February 4th, Vincent will undergo a hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $585 to fund Vincent's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will allow him to live a more comfortable life. Vincent's father says, “It has been a stressful time for us as a family. I feel sad for my son that he has to undergo this.”
Rady is a 58-year-old farmer who is married and lives in a rural province of Cambodia. Seven years ago he went to a government hospital where they diagnosed him with bilateral perforated ear drums and suggested surgery. His family could not afford surgery so instead his wife purchased him hearing aids, but they are now broken. His conditioned has worsened over the years. Rady traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 3rd, he 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. Rady says, "I really hope my hearing will improve and all the ear discharge will stop."
Clarkson is a 9-year-old jovial and social boy. He's the fourth and last born in his family. Together his family lives in a two-roomed mud house in a village in rural Kenya. Clarkson was accompanied to our clinic by his mother. His mother shared that at the age of 2, Clarkson suffered from malaria and went to get an injection. The injection is assumed to have been the cause of his condition. Now he walks with discomfort and cannot play with friends. His mother shared that his friends make fun of how he walks which causes him to have lower self-esteem. Clarkson's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Clarkson's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk like other friends, be in less pain, and even play football (which he is excited for!). His family is not financially able to fund the surgery and is appealing for financial assistance. Clarkson says, “I would love my feet to be corrected so I can walk confidently.”
Rathana is a 25-year-old microfinance credit officer. He is the only child in his family, and his parents passed away when he was young. Now he lives with his uncle, who works as a farmer. In this free time, Rathana likes to play football with his friends. In October, Rathana was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a closed fracture of his left forearm. After the accident, he received a bamboo splint from a Khmer traditional healer. Rathana continues to experience chronic pain and difficulty moving his arm, so his neighbor recommended visiting our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC). On November 2nd, Rathana will undergo a fracture repair procedure at CSC. After surgery, he will be able to move his arm easily again. CSC is requesting $465 to help fund this procedure. Rathana shared, “I hope my left arm heals soon so I can return to work and be free of pain.”
Lomayani is a 4-year-old boy and the fourth child of his mother. Lomayani has not started school yet, but his parents hope to enroll him once he is older and healthy. They shared that Lomayani is a shy, quiet boy who often likes to spend his time playing and listening to his older sibling’s stories. Lomayani’s parents sell milk from their cows and goats to provide for the family’s daily needs. Lomayani was born with clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Lomayani’s family traveled to visit the care center at our medical partner’s care, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). On November 16th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery. AMH is requesting $935 to fund Lomayani’s procedure. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes. Lomayani told us, “I would like to be able to walk like my friends or other kids, please help me get this treatment. I have never played football because I am scared I will get hurt, but it looks like a fun game. I would really like to try playing too.”
Savoeun is a 55-year-old mother of three. She has one daughter, two sons, and three grandchildren. For a living, Savoeun makes and sells Khmer-style dessert cakes from home. Her husband is a construction worker and has been teaching their sons about construction work too. In her free time, Savoeun likes to travel and take part in religious ceremonies. Three years ago, Savoeun developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision, tearing, and sensitivity to light. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Savoeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On July 19th, doctors will perform a cataract surgery and an implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, CSC is requesting support to help fund this $229 procedure. Savoeun shares, "When my eye gets better I can make and sell cakes more easily, and I will enjoy being with my family. I want to start traveling again too."
Aurelia nervously looked around the room and tightly clinged to her mother as our local Watsi rep met with her family at the hospital. Aurelia is the only child in her family. Her mother stays at home with her and has no source of income. Her father works as a volunteer cleaner at a local parish. The catholic priest heading the parish gives him $50 for upkeep and food. Aurelia's father lives in a single room provided for by the church, while her mother lives with Aurelia in their ancestral home in Shinyalu, Kenya. Aurelia does not have a medical insurance coverage and relies on support from friends and well-wishers. Aurelia is an 8-month-old baby and has been unable to pass stool normally since her birth. Doctors have diagnosed her with congenital condition and she needs a colostomy surgery to help treat her condition. If left untreated, the condition may cause complications with her spine, anus, heart, trachea, esophagus, kidneys, arms and legs, and digestive and urinary systems. When the beautiful bouncing baby girl was born in February, her parents and doctors realized that she could not pass stool. She was attended to and advised to visit the health facility in Shinyalu after three months. She went to the hospital but they didn’t have a pediatric specialist. They were referred to a bigger facility with pediatric surgery services. Their family went back home since they could not afford it. For several months, Aurelia has been straining to pass stool until a local priest intervened. The parish raised some amount for fare and consultation and they referred them to our medical partner's care center BethanyKids Hospital where similar services are offered. Aurelia's family visited the hospital on November 1st and doctors have recommended urgent surgery. Aurelia's father says, “My baby is jovial and active. But this condition is causing her a lot of strain especially when going to the bathroom. We are hopeful she will recover and be well.”