Bridgett joined Watsi on December 2nd, 2014. Seven years ago, Bridgett joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Bridgett's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Saw Myo, a 14-year-old boy from Burma, to fund surgery to remove a spinal tumor so he can live without pain and go to school.
Bridgett has funded healthcare for 84 patients in 14 countries.
Bridgett has funded healthcare for 84 patients in 14 countries.
Saw Myo is a 14-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his grandparents, parents, two sisters and a brother in a village in Karen State in eastern Burma. His grandparents are retired, and his father is a farmer who grows paddy and rubber trees on their own land. Saw Myo’s mother is a homemaker, while his two sisters and his brother go to school. The family income is just enough to cover their daily expenses. They cannot afford to pay for basic healthcare. Saw Myo used to go to school but stopped attending since his condition worsened in 2021. Saw Myo has had a lump at his lower spinal cord since he was nine years old, when he was hit by a slingshot in that area. He was given a medicinal ointment by a traditional healer which appeared to stop the lump from growing and helped with the stiffness temporarily. When Saw Myo was 12 years old, he fell off of his bicycle. He did not have any cuts or bruises but felt stiffness along his spinal cord. Afterwards, the lump appeared to be growing in size again. He was seen at a local clinic and then at a clinic in Hpa-An in January 2021, where he had an X-ray. The doctor suspected a spinal cord problem, so they encouraged Saw Myo and his mother to follow up with a computerized tomography (CT) scan at the Yangon Orthopedic Hospital in Yangon. Due to Covid-19, Saw Myo was unable to get in for a CT scan. Saw Myo’s parents did not want to give up, so they went to the Asia Royal Hospital, also in Yangon. Again, they were told that Saw Myo’s condition could not be treated locally. Finally, they returned to their home without receiving treatment. Saw Myo’s mother then contacted a medic who works at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot, Thailand, who is originally from their village. The medic told her to bring Saw Myo to the clinic as soon as possible. They spent the next few months trying to raise money, borrowing from family and neighbours. Doctors recommended Saw Myo to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. After analyzing the MRI, the doctors recommended Saw Myo undergo surgery to remove the tumor on his back. The tumor is cancerous, and Saw Myo will need to undergo chemotherapy after his surgery. Currently, Saw Myo is suffering a lot. He has to be careful when sitting because his whole back along his spinal cord is painful if he does not sit down slowly, and he can only sit for short periods of time before his back begins to ache. The lump is not painful to touch, but when he lays down on his right side, he has to support the lump with a pillow, making it difficult for him to sleep. He also has backpain if he has to walk for more than 15 minutes. Saw Myo sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on November 24th and his family needs $1,500 to cover the cost of his procedure and care. Saw Myo said, "I enjoy going to school and my favourite subject is mathematics. I hope that I will be able to go to school after my treatment. I would also like to raise chickens and cows to help my family in the future."
Janeth is a two-year-old girl and the youngest in a family of two children. Her father is a small-scale farmer, while her mother has a few cattle whose milk she sells to buy food and other commodities. They also harvest and sell some of their crops to earn money. They are living in a harsh environment, but they try to manage on a day-to-day basis. Janeth was involved in an accident last year where she sustained severe burns. Her mother had made porridge for breakfast. She took the pot off the fire and placed it at a corner to cool down so that she could feed Janeth. As she went out to clean the plates Janeth took a cup and tried to take porridge by herself from the pot. She dipped her hand in the pot of hot porridge and while pulling her hand out, some of the porridge spilled on her left foot. Her mother ran inside when she heard Janeth crying, but she had already been badly burned. Her mother gave her first aid and rushed her to the nearest clinic where she got treatment that helped with the open wounds. The wounds have healed, but left her with scars that make her left-hand fingers hard to use, and the toe on her left food was disfigured. A relative who saw Janeth advised her mother to seek treatment at our medical partner's care center ALMC (The Plaster House). Janeth was diagnosed with burn scar contracture on her left hand and left foot. Her hand needs a release surgery with skin grafting because her fingers are webbed, and the fifth toe of her left foot needs to be amputated because it causes pain when she tries to wear shoes. Her mother cannot afford the $1,088 cost of treatment and is asking for help. Janeth’s mother says, "I had to convince my husband to let me come and seek treatment for our daughter. I am not at peace every time I think of her.”
Titus is a hardworking 24-year-old from Kenya. He is the only child to his single mother, who sells tea and porridge at the market. Due to their financial situation, Titus was compelled to drop out of high school and do casual labor jobs to support his mother. Together with his mother, they live in his uncles’ home who is a small-scale farmer. Titus also helps his uncle with farm work. A month ago, Titus fell at work and his hand was cut by a sharp object. Titus went to a nearby facility where his wound was sutured because the fracture was open, and a splint was applied in order to stabilize the fracture. Now he cannot work using his hand and therefore he depends entirely on his mother. When he realized that there was no improvement of his injury, Titus visited a nearby facility where he was referred to our medical partner's care center Kapsowar Hospital. On physical examination, the surgeon told him that he required an urgent surgery in order to repair his tendon and fix his fracture which had taken time to heal. Titus has no medical insurance and is worried about how he can pay for the care he needs. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 27th, Titus will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Titus will be able to go back to his work and continue to earn a living. He will be able to assist his mother. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $941 to fund this procedure. Titus says, “I get my income through working with my hands. Now that I cannot use them, I feel so bad. I don’t want to burden my mother who is also struggling. Kindly help me.”
Meet Ann, a very bright, friendly, and cheerful 14-year-old girl who lives with her mother in Kenya. She is currently in class six and aspires to be a surgeon after completing her studies. One of her favorite activities is reading. Her mother is a single parent who works selling samosas, a fried or baked pastry, in their hometown. Ann was born with a bow-legged impairment. She began therapy at the age of two, but she had to stop attending her sessions due to financial constraints. As a result, her condition has worsened. She shares that this has affected her mobility, studies, and self-esteem. A year ago, Ann underwent a successful multiple osteotomy surgery, which cut and reshaped her leg bones, with the help of amazing Watsi supporters. Now, she requires a second procedure to fully treat her condition in both of her legs. Ann is scheduled to undergo an angular deformity correction procedure on August 29th at our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,224 to fund this surgery. This procedure will allow Ann to walk easily, engage with her friends more comfortably, and continue on with her studies. Ann's mother says, "I wish to thank the donors for their great support towards my daughter's treatment. We were desperately looking for funds for her surgery. May the almighty God bless you. After her treatment, Ann will be able to walk comfortably."
Alejandro is a tech-savvy 11-year-old boy from western Bolivia who just finished fifth grade. He loves everything related to computers and video games. He lives with his parents, who are both schoolteachers, and his two younger brothers. Alejandro was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him feeling weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Alejandro is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 27th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through his body and improving his quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Alejandro's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Alejandro and his family can travel to receive his life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Alejandro shares, "I am excited to be allowed to play soccer once I have recovered from my surgery!"
Agnes is a quiet, 49-year-old farmer and mother of six, living in the Rift Valley region in Kenya. Currently, her family lives on a small piece of land that was given to them, after they were displaced from their original home. The family depends on Agnes, as her husband is unable to work. In order to provide for her family, Agnes does casual jobs within the community, and also travels to neighboring villages to do farm work. While carrying a heavy load on one of her jobs, Agnes fell, fracturing a bone in her ankle. She suffers from joint pain and swelling, and is unable to bear weight on her right leg. This injury prevents Agnes from being able to work, which jeopardizes the well being of Agnes and her family, as she is the sole breadwinner for them all. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On June 28th, Agnes will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure, which will enable Agnes to continue to support her family, and to resume her life as it was prior to her injury. Agnes says: "I am living because of my children. They always look up to me for their needs. My hope is to be well again and continue supporting my family.”
Rayvan is a 1 month old baby boy living with his parents and three siblings in Kenya. Rayvan's mother used to plough her neighbors' farms, while his father herds cattle and ploughs farms to earn a living for their family. Rayvan parents shared that he was born at home because they could not afford to pay for his delivery at a hospital. After his birth, his mother noticed that Rayvan had a large swelling on the lower part of his back. She immediately took him to a nearby hospital to be examined. Rayvan was given some medication, and sent back home. After using the medication for a few weeks, there was no change in his condition. His mother shared her concerns about Rayvan with her friends, and one of them referred her to our medical partner's care center BethanyKids Hospital in Kijabe. On arrival, he was examined and diagnosed with spina bifida, a condition that requires surgical intervention to heal. Without surgery, Rayvan is at risk of developing paralysis of his lower limbs, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, and possible developmental delays. His parents do not have health insurance, and are unable to pay for the surgery he needs. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Rayvan's spina bifida closure surgery, which is scheduled to take place on May 18th at BethanyKids Hospital. This procedure will hopefully spare Rayvan from the risks associated with his condition, and enable him to grow up strong and healthy. Rayvan’s mother says: “I have never seen such a condition before and I was very much worried about my child. Now I’m happy to hear that he can get treated. The sad part is that I cannot afford the treatment but I believe that God will make a way.”
Said is a talkative, friendly and playful 4-year-old boy who loves to play football and to watch movies. Said's family consists of three other siblings, his mother, who is a housewife, and his father, who is a day laborer getting work whenever he can. Because of a medical condition, Said's legs bow outward and his knees don't touch, which caused difficulty walking. Our medical partner African Mission Healthcare is requesting $880 to fund a procedure that will take place on April 22nd to restore Said's mobility. This treatment will enable him to participate in a variety of activities as he grows and also decrease his risk for future complications. Said’s mother says, “The economy is not good and finding work is getting hard. The little money I get goes to food. If you can help my son have this treatment, I would be very grateful.”
Aljahnie is a four-year-old boy from the Philippines. He loves to play with toy cars, to sing nursery rhymes, and to listen to songs. His mother is a stay-at-home mom, and his father is a jeepney driver. Despite working hard, they are unable to finance his medical needs. Aljahnie 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. Aljahnie is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on March 17th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to cover the total cost of Aljahnie's procedure and care. After his recovery, Aljahnie will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. "By the grace of God, and extra caution, we hope that his condition will be much better after this treatment. We are very grateful to World Surgical Foundation and WATSI for helping us," shared Aljahnie’s mother.
Erlando is a playful three-year-old boy from the Philippines who loves to giggle and watch Tik Tok videos. Erlando was born with a congenital abnormality that leads to intestinal complications. This condition requires Erlando to go through a series of corrective procedures to eliminate the abnormality and reduce the risk of life-threatening complications. Erlando's parents sew uniforms for a living and work hard to earn enough to sustain their daily needs. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Erlando's parents raise $1,279 to cover the total cost of Erlando's procedure and care. He is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 16th and after his recovery, Erlando will be able to live a happier and healthier life. Erlando's mother shared," This surgery will be the biggest blessing our child will ever receive given our economic situation. It will be a such a relief to see him grow up healthy."
Twel Tar is a two-year-old girl who lives with her parents in northern Thailand. Their family is originally from across the border in Burma, but moved to Thailand for a better job opportunities. Her parents are both factory workers. Twel Tar was recently diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which has caused fluid to build up in her brain. Without immediate surgery to alleviate the intracranial pressure that the excess fluid is causing, she 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 Twel Tar, which will drain the fluid that has accumulated in her brain. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 30th, and, once completed, will greatly improve Twel Tar's quality of life. “When my daughter recovers from surgery, I want to send her to school like other children. I want her to become an educated woman,” shared Twel Tar’s mother as she hoped for a better future for her daughter.
Zin is a 15-year-old boy who lives with his parents and two younger sisters in Tak Province in Thailand. He and his sisters are all students. His father is an agriculture day laborer and his mother is a homemaker. In his free time, Zin likes to play football with his friends. He also helps his father with his work when he has time to earn pocket money. Early morning on December 28th, Zin and his friend rode out on his friend's motorcycle to the field to help Zin's father. While driving on the dirt road, Zin's friend suddenly lost control and their motorcycle slide off the road. Zin, who was sitting behind his friend, hit his leg against a metal post beside the road andthey both fell off the motorcycle. Currently, Zin is experiencing a lot of pain in his left thigh and hip. He cannot move his leg, walk, nor go to the bathroom by himself. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Zin will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The emergency procedure is scheduled for December 28th and will cost $1,500. This treatment will help Zin heal, regain mobility in his left leg, and live pain free. He will be able to take care of himself again without requiring help from others. Zin's mother said, "I was very worried when I learned that I would need to deposit a large amount of money so that my son could receive surgery. We do not even have enough money to buy enough food to last us until the end of the month. I really needed your help and I was extremely happy when I saw your staff and was told that donors could help pay for my son's treatment! Thank you in advance to all the donors and the organization for helping my son!"