Melanie joined Watsi on June 6th, 2016. Five years ago, Melanie joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Melanie's most recent donation supported Immaculate, a baby girl from Kenya, to fund removal of a brain abscess.
Melanie has funded healthcare for 41 patients in 11 countries.
Melanie has funded healthcare for 41 patients in 11 countries.
Immaculate is fast asleep on her mother’s lap. She was woken quite early to come to the hospital. A little bump, almost invisible, sits on her fontanel. Following results from CT scan, little Immaculate has been diagnosed with a dermoid cyst, a sac-like growth, that is present at birth and a craniotomy surgery is recommended. According to the doctor, the cyst sits on a very sensitive vein and if it ruptures Immaculate risks death. Surgery to close it will minimize such risks especially as she grows older, is more active, and playing with children who may accidentally hit the bump and cause the rupture. Immaculate lives with her parents and siblings in a one-room house in Central Kenya. The surgery is a cost that Immaculate’s parents cannot bear. They both are employed casually in a neighbor’s farm with an irregular daily wage of around Kes200 each. Immaculate’s elder brother is a student in class one and doing fine. With a very menial income, they are not able to raise the funds needed. “I will be glad if we get help,” says Immaculate’s mother.
Savin is a 31-year-old rice and vegetable farmer from Cambodia. She has two daughters, and in her free time she enjoys doing the housework and preparing meals for her family. Seven years ago, Savin 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, Savin experiences hearing loss, ear drainage, headache, and tinnitus. She is unable to hear other clearly and has a difficult time communicating with her family. Savin traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On November 18, 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 $842 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Savin said, "I hope that after surgery, I will no longer have any ear infections and the discharge will stop so I can hear clearly again."
Modesta is a beautiful and playful 5-year-old girl from Tanzania who struggles to walk due to genu varum, a condition where the legs curve outward at the knees. She falls often when she tries to run. The curving has increased as she has grown. Her parents did not think its a treatable condition, but during an outreach program, her father learnt of the treatment option and hopes to have Modesta treated. With successful surgery, Modesta will be able to walk with ease and less pain. She will also walk to school easily when she joins. Modesta's parents are peasant farmers relying on maize, sorghum and vegetable plantations to meet their daily needs. They have limited income to pay for the cost of surgery. Modesta lives with her parents and 8 siblings. The family appeals for financial assistance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Modesta. Treatment will hopefully restore Modesta's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Modesta’s father says, “The treatment cost is too expensive for us to afford please help.”
Mary walks into my office with the top of her cardigan covering her chin. She sits on the chair opposite me with one hand clasping the top of her black cardigan to veil the swell running from her jawline to her neck. The lower lip protrudes with a peeping swelling attached in so that her upper lip cannot touch the lower one. This has been Mary’s life for over 6 months. Late last year, Mary developed a small swelling on her jaw. It was not painful and therefore she did not think of it as serious. As time passed, the swell grew in size. Mary who could eat just about anything now has restrictions on what she can eat. There is pain when she bends and this has also obstructed her working. Mary is married with two children. She was a subsistence farmer before the condition restricted her activities. Mary and her husband depend on one of their daughter who sells second-hand clothes. Besides helping her parents, she has four children under her care. Mary says, “Please help me because I can barely eat."
Judith is a middle-aged woman with lower back pain problem that has persisted for over 8 years. Judith has tried managing the condition with injections, medical pills and physiotherapy sessions. The interventions have not been fruitful as she recently started using a walking stick to attain balance. Judith was referred to our facility by a neighbour and upon MRI imaging, she had spinal fusion surgery recommended. If not treated, the pain will persist which might weaken her walking gait further. Judith is a mother of three children and used to work on their farm for subsistence farming but has since stopped. Her husband is employed as a timber yard operator. The family is not able to raise the total funds needed for her surgery and they appeal for financial assistance.
Yun is a mother of three from Cambodia. She is 33 years old and has three daughters, and enjoys cooking food and watching romantic movies on television. When she was nine years old, Yun 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, Yun experiences ear drainage, hearing loss, and itchiness. She is unable to hear clearly and struggles to find work. Yun traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On September 2nd, 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 $842 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. "I hope that my wife'ss surgery will go well so she can feel better and I won't have to worry about her condition anymore." - Yun's Husband
Obed is a child from Kenya. Two years ago, Obed accidentally dipped his hand into hot water while crawling. Obed cannot hold anything with his right hand because his fingers are folded. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Obed receive treatment. On August 5, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,006 procedure. His grandmother says, “Obed is joining school next year. He will need his right fingers so that he can be able to hold a pen. I wish that he can be treated this year so that he can join kindergarten with his age mates."
Cherenet is a toddler from Ethiopia. He loves to play and laugh with kids in his age. His mom is a single mother. Cherenet was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Cherenet has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Cherenet will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on May 2. AMHF is requesting $1,021 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His mothers says, “All I want is for him to be cured. I hope my child will get the treatment and be healed.”
Kensley is a student from Haiti. He lives with his aunt and uncle in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince; he reached the sixth grade before he stopped attending school due to his illness. Kensley has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect and severe tricuspid regurgitation. He suffers from two different defects: a hole between the two upper chambers of his heart, and one of the four valves of his heart which is malformed and cannot open and close properly. Kensley will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On April 26, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch, and repair or replace his tricuspid valve. Another organization, Fundacion Heart Care Dominicana, is contributing $10,000 to pay for surgery. Kensley's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. 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 Kensley's family overseas. He says, "I am excited for my surgery so that I can enroll in school again."
Michael is a teenager from Kenya. He has five siblings. He hopes to become a teacher in the future. Michael was born with the hearing loss and has not been able to access medical care. He was brought by a neighbor to our medical partner's facility after learning about thei audiology services. Upon testing, he had hearing aids recommended. Now, he is scheduled to receive hearing aids on March 5. His family needs help raising $929. Michael says, “My prayer is to complete school and become a teacher. I am hopeful that the hearing aids will help me improve on my studies."
Maureen is a baby from Kenya. She is the youngest in a family of three children. The family resides in the central region of Kenya. Maureen’s mother is employed casually as an hotelier, while he father is a subsistence farmer. Maureen has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Maureen has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Maureen will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $685 to cover the cost of surgery for Maureen that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 7 and will drain the excess fluid from Maureen's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Maureen will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. “I am sad to find out that my daughter has hydrocephalus. It is a good thing though that it has been discovered early enough,” says Maureen’s mother.
Mi is a 47-year-old woman who lives with her husband and elderly mother in a village in Hpa-an Township, Karen State, Burma. While she looks after her mother and their house, her husband works as a subsistence farmer on their small piece of land. Mi also has a daughter who works in a textile factory in Bangkok. Around three years ago, Mi started to experience what she thought were muscles aches. Later, the muscle aches developed into back pain in the area around her left kidney. For one year, she took pain killers. Later, an x-ray indicated that she had a renal stone in her left kidney. Mi decided to visit our medical partner's care center. Now, she needs surgery to remove her kidney. Surgery is scheduled for February 4 and will cost $1,500. “I just want to recover, go back and look after my mom and the house,” says Mi.