Bilal joined Watsi on January 22nd, 2014. Three years ago, Bilal joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Bilal's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Guerdina, a 15-year-old girl from Haiti, to fund prep and overseas transport so she can receive life-saving cardiac surgery.
Bilal has funded healthcare for 47 patients in 10 countries.
Bilal has funded healthcare for 47 patients in 10 countries.
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!"
Denis is a charming and friendly three-year-old boy. Denis's mother is a single mom, and she has a small business selling fruits and vegetables to support her family. Denis has a twin brother, along with another sibling. Denis has been diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, a condition in which the knees angle inward and touch one another when his legs are straightened. This is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Denis's gait is affected. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Denis receive treatment. On April 8th, he will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. Treatment will hopefully restore Denis's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Now, his family needs help raising $880 to fund his procedure and care. Denis’s mother shared, "now that my son’s insurance is not covering the surgery, I won’t have any means to raise the money. Please assist me."
Angelica is a hard-working young mom with a three-year-old son. She and her partner work in construction, earning just enough to support their daily needs. Angelica was diagnosed with external hemorrhoids. Because of her financial situation, even though she experiences pain, she is not able to get the medical care she needs to heal. Fortunately, Angelica is scheduled to undergo surgery to treat her condition on March 5th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,163 to cover the total cost of Angelica's procedure and care. After her recovery, Angelica will no longer experience severe pain and other complications in the future. "I want to be able to take care of my child without worrying about my condition," Angelica explained. "I am fortunate to have been referred for surgery with World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi; without them, I'm not sure where we would be able to get help for my treatment."
Guy is an 8-year-old student from Haiti. Her lives with his parents and younger brother and sister in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. He likes going to school and dressing up for church. Guy has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without properly circulating through his body, leaving him sickly and weak. Guy will fly to nearby Dominican Republic to receive treatment as the care he needs is not currently available in Haiti. On February 28th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is contributing $8000 to help pay for his surgery. Guy's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and his check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner who will accompany Guy's family overseas. His mom is relieved that his surgery is finally happening and shared: "I am looking forward to seeing my son gaining weight and strength after his surgery!"
Hezron is a talkative 26-year-old and hard working man. He gets work where ever he can and rents a small house in someone else's compound. When he doesn't have work to do, he helps care for the cattle on the farm or runs errands for his landlord. In August of last year, Hezron was attacked while transporting farm equipment. His leg was cut badly and his lower fibula was broken in the attack. He is at risk of infection and cannot walk like he used to. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On January 31st, Hezron will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. After treatment, Hezron will hopefully be able to return to his normal life. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. Hezron shared, "I’m really looking forward to this surgery as it might be the last one in my treatment."
Ibrahim is a playful three-year-old boy who is about to start kindergarten. His mother is a hardworking single parent of two children who works as a hawker selling goods. Since birth, Ibrahim has had a right inguinal hernia. On December 21st, his mother brought him to the hospital because he was experiencing frequent vomiting and periodic swelling in his inguinal area that worsens when he stands. Ibrahim can experience pain, vomiting, a reduced appetite, and discomfort while walking. Upon review, doctors recommended surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is helping Ibrahim receive surgery that will help him live more comfortably. On December 29th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at the care center. AMHF is requesting $631 to fund Ibrahim’s procedure. Ibrahim’s mother shared, “I am happy that his condition can be treated surgically. Ibrahim needs to be happy like other children and play with friends during this holiday.”
Taw is a 16-year-old boy who lives with his family in a village in Tak Province, Thailand. Everyone in his family works as a farmer and he's a student in the eighth grade. In September 2021, there was an outbreak of COVID-19 cases around his area and his school was closed. Since then, he helps out his family on the farm. Occasionally, he also helps out in their village to earn pocket money. On November 21st, Taw was riding a motorbike on a small dirt road to his family's fields. He was driving quickly, when suddenly another motorbike appeared driving straight towards him. He tried to move to the side of the road to let the other driver pass, but his motorbike slipped and his left ankle hit a stone beside the road, breaking his ankle in the process. At first he was in a lot of pain, but now the pain has lessened thanks to medication he is taking. However, the area around his left ankle hurts if he tries to move his left foot. Currently, Taw cannot put pressure on his left ankle and has to use crutches to do anything. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Taw will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for November 26th and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Taw will be able to walk again and he will no longer be in pain. Taw said, "I want to get better. My teacher told me that my school will reopen soon. Thank you so much to the donors and the organization who are willing to help me. Without your help, my family could never come up with enough money to pay for my treatment."
Mark Andrei is a five-year-old boy from the Philippines. Mark Andrei loves to draw and dreams of becoming a policeman someday. His father is a farmer—earning lower than the minimum wage that is approved by the Department of Labor in the Philippines; while his mother is a stay-at-home mom. Mark Andrei was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Mark Andrei is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on November 10th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to cover the total cost of Mark Andrei's procedure and care. After his recovery, Mark Andrei will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. “We are thankful that there are organizations like WSFP and WATSI who are providing surgeries like this. This surgery will help increase Mark Andrei's confidence to interact with his classmates without being afraid of getting bullied,” shared Donnalyn, Mark Andrei's mother.
Davis is a bright young student from a village in Kenya. He's a six-year-old playful boy and the fourth-born in a family of six. His family lives in a two-roomed iron-built house on their inherited small farm. His father is a farmer who plants maize and his mother is a housewife. Davis' parents do not have any other source of income and only depend on farming. Due to this, they are having a difficult time financially, especially amid the pandemic. Unfortunately, on September 27th, Davis sustained a severe injury to his right lower limb after falling from a Sheller machine (a machine for shelling maize cobs) after trying to climb it. After hearing his cries, his father brought him to our medical partner's care center. The doctors reviewed him and an X-Ray revealed a fracture to his right femur. Davis was admitted to the hospital for skin traction to stabilize his fracture and realign the normal position of the bone. Due to the severity of the injury, Davis is in a lot of pain and couldn't walk nor sit properly. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On October 1st, Davis will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. AMH is requesting $1,145 to help fund this procedure. After successful treatment, Davis will be able to walk and resume his normal life and playful activities. Davis' father says, “He has so much pain, I feel sorry for him. I hope he gets treated and feels better and will be well again.”
Salome is a jovial but very timid student. Her mother does most of the talking as she lovingly clings to her. Currently a fourth-grade student, and she aspires to be a teacher in the future. Salome is the second born in a family of four. Her older sibling is 17 years old, and the youngest is 8 years of age. Her father is a casual laborer who transports meat to butcheries around the Kagwe area in Kenya. Her mother is also a casual laborer and tends to farms for a living. They live in their ancestral home on a quarter an acre farm. Since birth, Salome has had an umbilical hernia. If not treated, the hernia could result in intestinal tissue damage and/or death. Fortunately, on August 26th, she will undergo repair surgery at our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $585 to fund Salome's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and to continue her studies. Salome’s mother says, “My baby has had this condition since birth. We have not been able to take her to a hospital because we are financially struggling. I hope her condition does not threaten her life.”
Ma Htun is a 60-year-old woman from Thailand who lives with her son. She and her family moved to Thailand from Burma about 17 years ago in search of better job opportunities. Since early 2020, Ma Htun has been retired. She is now a homemaker and takes care of the household chores. In her free time, she forages for vegetables in the forest. She has a daughter who is married and a son who works as a day laborer. On July 27, Ma Htun was walking home in the rain after visiting a shop to buy food. She slipped and fell and experienced a sharp pain in her right leg. Her son and her neighbor took her to the hospital where an x-ray confirmed that Ma Htun had fractured a bone in her thigh. Currently, she is unable to move her right leg or walk due to pain, and she has difficulty sleeping. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ma Htun will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 30th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Ma Htun to be free from pain and to walk again. Ma Htun's son shared, “I want my mother to receive surgery and get well soon. I feel bad that I cannot afford to pay for her surgery.”
Jayden is an active, curious 9-month-old baby. He is the only child in his family. His father is a laborer in a construction site, but work is hard to come by due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, his mother found a job as teacher in a private school but also lost her job as a consequence of the pandemic. The family currently lives in a rented house on the outskirts of Nairobi. When Jayden was born, his mother noticed that he was not passing urine properly. Before they were discharged home from the hospital, she shared her concern with the doctor who assured her that it was only a temporary condition. Despite the assurance from the doctor, she still had her own doubts. Five months later, there was no improvements in how Jayden was passing urine. So she took him to a local facility for examination and the doctor diagnosed him with hypospadias, or urinary dysfunction, and Jayden was referred to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Hospital, for treatment. Upon arrival, he was examined again and the doctor scheduled him for a hypospadias repair surgery. Jayden's parents have National Health Insurance (NHIF), but their request for coverage was rejected. The hospital's social worker then referred their family to Watsi to get help for his treatment. Jayden is now scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 28th to address his uncomfortable symptoms and possible future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $735 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Jayden’s mother shares her concern, “It was a hard time for us when NHIF rejected our request. We had started to learn to live with the fact that Jayden may stay for a long time before he could be treated as we are not financially stable.”