Bridgett joined Watsi on December 2nd, 2014. Six years ago, Bridgett joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Bridgett's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Soriya, a 49-year-old cookie seller from Cambodia, to fund a mastoidectomy so she can hear clearly.
Bridgett has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 13 countries.
Bridgett has funded healthcare for 70 patients in 13 countries.
Soriya is a 49-year-old seller of children's cookies. She lives with her husband who is a policeman. Together they have two children: one son and one daughter. Her son is married, while her daughter still lives at home. She likes to cook, exercise, and watch Khmer movies on TV in her free time. Two years ago, Soriya had a severe ear infection. The infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Soriya experiences severe ear aches, ear discharge, and pain. She visited a private hospital and received ear drops, but her symptoms did not improve and it is difficult for her to hear and communicate. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Soriya to receive treatment. She traveled to visit CSC's care center where, on September 14th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Now, CSC is requesting $925 to fund her procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Soriya shared that she hopes that the ear infection will finally stop and her hearing will improve.
Noemi is a cheerful three-year-old girl from Venezuela. Her family moved to Colombia two years ago, and she will start school soon. Noemi loves playing with dolls and painting. Noemi has clubfoot of both feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Noemi's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 28th. Now, Clínica Noel, is requesting $1,500 to fund Noemi's bilateral clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk more easily and wear shoes. Her mother shared, "it breaks my heart when she tells me she wants to walk and I see that she is not able to... she is starting school soon and I would love to see her walk and play with her new friends."
Hong is a 27-year-old man who works as a truck driver. He is married and has one son. In July 2020, Hong was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a fracture of his left proximal ulna and his left femur. Now it is difficult for him to use his hand and he is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On June 18th, Hong will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will help him use the left hand easily again. Hong said "I hope I can use my hand better than before so I can return to work."
Robson is a friendly and calm baby. He is the youngest sibling of the family, and they all live in an urban settlement in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. Robson's mother takes care of their family and home while his father used to be a cook, but was laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While his mother was outside washing clothes, Robson was in his grandmother’s grass-thatched house in their village. Suddenly, a mattress caught fire, causing burns on Robson's face and fingers. The burns led to contractures on the fingers, so that Robson is unable to hold things and use his fingers well. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is helping Robson receive treatment. On July 17th, surgeons from the care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. Now, AMH is requesting $840 to help fund this procedure. “I hope and pray that with the assistance accorded to my son, he will be able to hold things and start crawling with support as he learns to walk,” Robson’s mother told us.
Panha is a 14-year-old student who needs spinal surgery. His parents are both farmers, and he has one younger sister. He loves to read stories at school, and wants to be a policeman when he gets older. Panha was born with scoliosis. This condition has made it difficult for him to walk or sit up for a long time, and he often feels discomfort before going to sleep. It is difficult for him to join his friends in sports such as volleyball or soccer. He also occasionally has difficulty breathing due to pain. Panha and his parents have come to Children's Surgical Centre, where doctors will be able to perform a spinal surgery to put in place implants that will correct the curve of his spine. He will undergo this procedure on May 25th. Once he has recovered, Panha will no longer experience pain or discomfort, and will be able to walk easily. Panha shared, "I want to play sports with my friends and I will practice running and getting stronger after I am healthy from my surgery."
Kayiok is a 33-year-old father from Kenya. He has four kids aged between 7 and 11 years of age. He is the sole breadwinner for his family, selling cattle in the markets around Narok to make an income. For the last three years, Kayiok has struggled with stomach pains and prolonged upsets that give him sleepless nights. It started off as a small pain in his stomach area that gradually worsened. He visited several facilities in his home area, which treated him for gastritis. The treatments were only occasionally effective at reducing the pain. In the last three months, Kayiok's condition has significantly worsened. He started having more pain in the right upper and lower quadrant of his epigastric region, with associated heartburn. The pains worsen when he is hungry, with slight relief after eating. He mainly eats porridge and milk, because his heartburn is worse with solid foods. When he came to the hospital on February 12th, doctors conducted several tests and diagnosed him with a duodenal ulcer. He needs to undergo an urgent laparotomy and gastrojejunostomy surgery to ease his stomach pains and distress. Unfortunately, Kayiok cannot afford the cost of his care. He does not have medical insurance coverage and has been paying for his medical bills with cash. Several trips to different health facilities for the last three months have depleted his small savings. He currently relies on well-wishers to buy medication. Kayiok is unable to afford the surgery and is requesting financial help. Kayiok will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo a curative laparotomy on April 23rd. African Mission Healthcare is requesting $616 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Once recovered, he will be free of pain and will be able to eat normally and go about his daily life activities as he used to. Kayiok shared, “I have been struggling with this stomach problem for years now. I have even lost a lot of weight and my condition is worsening. I need this surgery to get well.”
Angel is a beautiful 11-year-old girl from Kenya. Her family is from Nairobi county, and she is the only child in her family. She lives with her grandparents, as her mother is single and ill. Angel has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Angel to receive treatment. Angel traveled to visit AMH's care center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 22nd. Now, AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Angel's procedure. After surgery, Angel will be able to stand and walk like other children. Angel's grandmother shared, “we will be grateful if you can give Angel back her smile and she can enjoy life like other children. Thank you very much.”
Baby of Magdalena is a 1-month-old baby girl and the only child to her young parents. Both of her parents are small-scale farmers of maize and vegetables. Her father also seeks casual labour jobs on construction sites to help supplement their family's income. Baby of Magdalena was brought in as an emergency case seeking treatment at ALMC Hospital after being born with spina bifida and congenital malformation of her lower limbs. When she was delivered, the clinic doctors covered the spina bifida area with saline gauze, which led to wound contamination and put her at risk of infection. Once she arrived at ALMC Hospital, Baby of Magdalena was scheduled for spina bifida repair to help save her life and ability to use her lower limbs. Given the urgency of her situation, she was able to get funding to cover this surgery, and it was successful in preventing infection. However, Baby of Magdalena has now developed hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. This could potentially cause brain damage and cause physical and developmental delays. Now, she needs to have ETV surgery, but her parents cannot afford the treatment cost due to financial challenges. They appeal for financial assistance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Baby of Magdalena that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 15th and will drain the excess fluid from Baby of Magdalena's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Baby of Magdalena will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Baby of Magdalena's mother shared, "My baby’s head is increasing in size and she needs surgery, but we cannot get that amount of money. Please help us.”
Florence an 11-year-old girl from Kenya, and she is the firstborn in a family of three children. Florence was born with cerebral palsy, which is a condition that affects her muscles, primarily her legs. In addition, Florence also has clubfoot, and as a result she is not able to independently walk from one place to another by herself, so she currently uses a wheelchair to get around. The team from our Medical Partner's Care Center AIC Cure International Hospital met Florence at one of their mobile clinics near her home village. Florence needs to undergo triple arthrodesis surgery, which will relieve pain in her foot and provide her with more stability. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Florence to receive treatment and needs help raising $1,224 for her surgery. Florence's mother is excited that after the surgery, Florence will "be able to walk and continue with her life like other children." She added, “We are appealing to people of goodwill to help our daughter undergo surgery."
Than is a 42-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband, three daughters, three sons, son-in-law and granddaughter. Than and her family moved from Burma to Thailand ten years ago in search of better job opportunities. Her husband, her oldest daughter, one son, and her son-in-law work as day labourers on their employer’s farm, growing and harvesting tapioca, corn, and cabbage. Her two other sons go to school, while her youngest daughter and her granddaughter are too young to go to school. Than and her second oldest daughter are homemakers. On November 7th, 2020, Than discovered that she had an incisional hernia. Currently, Than experiences abdominal pain throughout the week and has to take pain medication to decrease her pain. She feels uncomfortable when she sits, and when she is in pain, she has to walk or lie down for the pain to ease. Fortunately, on January 28th, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Than's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 28th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and go about her daily activities normally. Than shared, “I was so happy when I learned that I was to go to Mae Tao Clinic [and later Mae Sot Hospital] for treatment. My children are also happy that I will receive treatment with help from donors.”
Jedidah was feeling very unwell while she met with our local Watsi representative. She is a 52-year-old woman from Machakos County in Kenya. Married with five children, she is a farmer along with her husband. Since 2018, Jedidah has had upper abdominal pains, a constant feeling fullness and heartburn, plus bitter saliva and regurgitation. Her symptoms make it hard for Jedidah to eat. She has visited many hospitals, but without help. They recently decided to come to Nazareth Hospital where our partner doctor ordered for an oesophagal-gastro-duodenoscopy, which finally showed that Jedidah has a hiatus hernia. The surgeon advised a laparotomy is needed to cure her condition, but Jedidah's family is not able to meet the cost. If not treated, Jedidah may have hernia strangulation, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or future lung problems as her stomach contents are moved up to the oesophagus. Jedidah said quietly, “This condition has made it difficult for me to work in our small farm, to interact with friends and even take care of my children. I plead for help and God will bless you.”
Mary is a 46-year-old woman from Kenya. She is a housewife and a farmer, and is a mother of four children. Despite having lost sight in her left eye, Mary has been taking care of her children and her family's small piece of land. Her husband works as a street vendor to support the family's financial needs. On November 23rd, Mary slipped and fell, bending her left knee directly onto a stone. An X-ray confirmed that she sustained a closed fracture of her patella. This injury makes it difficult for her to walk, and she is in chronic pain. Fortunately, Mary's husband was able to bring her to the hospital and now surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 26th, Mary will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help her walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Mary's husband shared while holding back tears, "Without support, my wife will never walk again and it will be hard for her take care of our children. Please help her so that at least she can walk again and continue supporting our family.”