Elena Dimitrova

Elena's Story

Elena joined Watsi on July 16th, 2014. 24 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Elena's most recent donation supported Felis, a boy from Tanzania, to fund clubfoot repair.


Elena has funded healthcare for 13 patients in 8 countries.

All patients funded by Elena


Meet Caleb, a two-year-old boy who lives with his parents and elder sibling in a single roomed house in Central Kenya. Caleb’s father works odd jobs, and his mother spends her days caring for Caleb and his sister. The couple’s unsteady income has made it difficult for them to financially support their son through his medical complications. Caleb was born without an anus, making it impossible for him to pass stool. Despite their financial straits, Caleb’s parents made sure that “right after birth he got a colostomy,” says our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). A colostomy is a procedure during which an incision is made in the abdomen and the intestine or colon is routed to that opening, allowing the patient to relieve him or herself. However, colostomies are typically only temporary fixes for patients with Caleb’s condition. In order to achieve a more permanent means of passing stool, Caleb must undergo a procedure known as an anorectoplasty, or “pull-through” surgery. This operation will separate the urinary tract from the rectum, and create a new opening called a stoma, through which Caleb will be able to pass stool. AMHF reports that Caleb has already developed “inflammation around his colostomy site and is at a high risk of getting infections.” Thus, he needs this next surgery as soon as possible. Caleb’s parents have managed to raise $215 for their son’s operation, but need our help; their seven-year-old daughter recently fell and burned herself, so much of their money has gone towards her treatment. With an additional $1,260 Caleb will undergo his crucial “pull-through” operation, after which “he will be able to relieve himself normally and escape the risk of infection to which the colostomy site is prone,” explains AMHF. “We have only been able to raise a small amount of money, but without the whole amount, Caleb can't get treated. Please help make this treatment possible,” shares Caleb’s mother.

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Ivan is a two-year-old boy, and the son of subsistence farmers in Uganda. He currently lives with severe malnutrition. Ivan lives with his parents and newborn sister, who is only three weeks old. His parents grow millet, sweet potatoes, cassava and ground nuts. Ivan’s favorite food is bread, and he loves to sing along to music on the radio. Last year, Uganda went through an unusual harvest season, with a prolonged dry season followed by torrential downpour. The result was the widespread destruction of crops. Ivan’s family is one of many families who are feeling the strain of low crop yield and the associated malnutrition. Ivan has common symptoms of malnutrition, such as skin lesions, edema, and diarrhea. There is also an increased risk of stunting and cognitive impairment if he does not receive the nutrition needed. Our medical partner, The Kellermann Foundation, tells us that for $375 Ivan will receive IV fluids with therapeutic nutrition for 10 days, which is enough for Ivan to return to normal development and investigate for other causes of his symptoms. Ivan's mother will also receive nutritional education to give her the confidence she needs to provide her children with the nutrition they need on their budget and with the foods they have available. The treatment will help Ivan overcome these obstacles to development, and help him reach his full mental and physical potential. “I was worried about the hospital bills so I thank you very much," Ivan's mother shares. "May God bless you.”

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“Thu is a 42-year-old Burmese woman who lives with her two daughters, ages 19 and nine,” our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP), tells us. “Her elder daughter is recently married and her husband lives with the family. Her youngest daughter is a student in grade three. Thu also has two sons who have moved away to start their own families.” Thus has congenital circulatory malformations and heart defects. “Thu first experienced her symptoms, which include chest pain, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and high blood pressure, two years ago,” BBP explains. “Prior to the onset of her symptoms, Thu and her oldest daughter worked together selling flowers in the market,” BBP continues. “Their combined income was sufficient for the family’s expenses, but Thu hasn’t been able to handle the physical activity of her work, so her daughter as assumed all work responsibilities.” Complex cardiac treatment and surgery for Thu costs $1,500 and will be performed in Thailand. Burma Children's Medical Fund, an organization that has a strong enough relationship with the relevant Thai authorities to facilitate the transportation to, and treatment of, Burmese people at Thai hospitals, is subsidizing the treatment with an additional $13,525. “Following successful treatment, Thu will be able to return to her family and recommence work so that she can contribute to the family finances,” BBP says. “If I can regain my health, our family situation will improve greatly,” shares Thu.

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“Akanyijuka is very grateful for any help you can give him and looks forward to getting well and helping others as you have helped him,” shares our medical partner, The Kellermann Foundation (KF). Akanyijuka is a 27-year-old man from Uganda. KF tells us, “Akanyijuka and his sister were orphaned at a very young age and have been on their own since then. Because they were orphaned, they were unable to afford school fees to obtain an education. Akanyijuka has been supporting his sister as a laborer but has been unable to work for a while.” Akanyijuka was sidelined by a hernia—a condition in which an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in a surrounding muscle or connective tissue. Untreated for a long period of time, Akanyijuka’s hernia led to a blockage in his intestine. This blockage prevents the passage of fluid or digested food through his intestine, causing severe bloating, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. After living with the blockage for a period of time, Akanyijuka has become severely malnourished. KF explains, “Akanyijuka has been unable to absorb nutrients properly and is unable to work.” With $227 in funding, Akanyijuka will receive surgery to repair the tear in his tissue, thus treating his hernia. The funding will cover surgery, medication, and Akanyijuka’s 14-day hospital stay. Following surgery, Akanyijuka will be able to return to work and continue to support himself and his sister.

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