Olaf joined Watsi on March 22nd, 2014. Eight years ago, Olaf joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Olaf's most recent donation traveled 6,600 miles to support Ann, a determined and resilient 16-year-old student from Kenya, to fund surgery to heal her hand.
Olaf has funded healthcare for 94 patients in 12 countries.
Olaf has funded healthcare for 94 patients in 12 countries.
Ann is a 16-year-old student from Kenya. Ann was orphaned when her father took his and her mother's life. Fortunately, Ann, who aspires to become an architect, now lives with relatives who adopted her. In October 2022, Ann was also in a horrible incident and one of her fingers was cut in half. She was rushed to the hospital for treatment, where she underwent surgery. While the right middle finger has healed, it developed a contracture during the healing process. The contracture is causing Ann to experience difficulties when she uses her hand - keeping her from writing and drawing. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Ann receive treatment. On May 3rd, surgeons at AIC Kijabe Hospital will perform contracture release surgery, which should improve Ann's grip and her ability to hold things, aiding in her aspirations to become an architect. Now she needs your help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Ann says, “Architects draw building designs; this is what I want to do. I have been through a lot, but I am determined.”
Caleb is a playful and talkative 3-year-old boy from Kenya. He is an only child, and his mother works as a casual laborer at a local hotel. Currently, due to his clubfoot, Caleb cannot stand without assistance. He can roll over, but cannot yet walk or crawl. Caleb has clubfoot in both feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This can cause difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Caleb traveled to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, for treatment. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on March 14th. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,286 to fund Caleb's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to stand, walk and continue playing with other children. “I am appealing to people of goodwill to help my son undergo surgery to gain strength and walk on his feet,” Caleb's mother said.
Festus is a lively 6-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the third born in a family of five children. His parents own a small corn farm, which they use to earn a living by selling produce. Festus was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience discomfort and will be at risk for infertility. Fortunately, Festus’ father was introduced to a social worker who brought the family to the care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital (BKKH). BKKH is run by our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). As a result, on February 16th, surgeons at AMH will perform the corrective surgery. AMH is requesting $847 to fund the total cost of his procedure and care. Festus’ father says, “I want Festus to be treated and grow up like other children.”
Ohn, who is 52 years old, lives with her husband in a village in Tak Province in Thailand. While Ohn's husband no longer works because of pain in his lower legs, Ohn earns money as a day laborer on a local farm. In the middle of 2021, Ohn began experiencing lower left abdominal pain, and discomfort when she urinates or has a bowel movement. She has been diagnosed with myoma, a uterine fibroid, and has been advised to have a total hysterectomy. Left untreated, Ohn's symptoms will worsen, and she will be at risk for additional medical complications. Ohn's income barely covers her and her husband's daily living expenses. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of Ohn's procedure and care. Ohn is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on February 1st, at Mae Sot General Hospital, where both her uterus and cervix will be removed. After she has recovered, Ohn should be able to resume her life, free from pain. Ohn said: “I cannot sleep well because I am worried and feel depressed about my condition. When I learned that the organization [BCMF] would pay for the cost of my surgery, I felt very happy. I am very thankful to all donors and to BCMF for paying for my investigation and treatment. When I recover, I will try to work and save money, so I can pay back my debt."
Emmanuel, who is 19 years old, is the third born in a family of five children. He lives in Kansau village in Kenya. While Emmanuel was healthy at birth, when he was four or five years old, he began to experience convulsions. His parents brought him to Kenyatta National Hospital, where he was diagnosed with hemiplegic CP, a condition where the brain has been impacted and results in the paralysis of one side of the body. In addition, Emmanuel has clubfoot of his left foot, which makes it difficult for him to wear shoes and to walk easily. Fortunately, Emmanuel traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Emmanuel's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk more easily, and to resume his vocational studies classes at Machakos School, which he so enjoys. Emmanuel said: “I would love to see my foot corrected so that I can continue with my studies and start my business in the future.”
Ferdinand is a father of two from the Philippines. He has one son and one daughter. Both he and his wife both work as public school teachers. Their income is still insufficient for their needs, however and, in addition to supporting their children, part of their salary goes to their medication for diabetes and hypertension. In September, Ferdinand began to experience several troubling symptoms, including severe abdominal pain. He was rushed to an emergency room to be treated. The ultrasound test showed that he has gallstones. Ferdinand has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy which is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, his symptoms will continue to worsen and will put him at risk of further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Ferdinand is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on December 3rd. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $826 to cover the cost of Ferdinand's surgery and care. "Because of my condition, I'm in constant pain which hinders me from doing my usual activities. I've tried to reach out for help to our local government but was unsuccessful," Ferdinand shared. "I am glad there are foundations like Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines that exist. I'm forever grateful for the help that you've given me," he added.
Kasotot is a cheerful 68-year-old woman from the arid region of Baringo County in Kenya. She is a widow and mother of seven children who are all grown. She lives with her youngest son and grandson. The main economic activity in the area is livestock herding of cattle, sheep, and goats. It is a challenging life, affected by insecurity, cattle rustling, and a lack of schools and other services. Most people barter with their neighboring communities for food and/or sell their animals in order to get money for food. Kasotot has no knowledge of medical insurance, and lives in a place full of hardships with no opportunity to do any saving. Kasotot suffers from epilepsy and last month she had a seizure that made her fall into the fire and burn her foot. She went to the closest hospital for treatment. Her wound condition worsened with time and when she went back to the hospital it was already infected. The facility was small, and was unable to provide the needed treatment, so she was referred to Kapsowar Hospital. Upon examination, she was admitted for urgent debridement, or deep cleaning of the wound. Kasotot is currently confined to a wheelchair, thus not able to work. Her wound is now clean after a successful wound debridement, but she requires a free tissue flap in order to reconstruct her burned foot and quicken her healing. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Kasotot receive treatment. On November 7th, surgeons will perform surgery so Kasotot will be able to walk, work and provide for herself so as to not overly burden her son and grandson. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,478 procedure. Kasotot says, “I have really burdened my son and grandson now that I cannot walk on my own. It really hurts when all they can do is look after me while I cannot help them as I did before. Kindly help me so that we can be together in order to bring food to our table and strive together to get our basic needs.”
Stevenson is a 26-year-old man from Haiti. He lives in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince with his parents and several siblings. Stevenson had been attending university, studying for a business degree, when poor health forced him to leave school. When he was a child, Stevenson developed rheumatic fever, which has resulted in rheumatic mitral valve prolapse. This condition has meant that one of Stevenson's heart valves is unable to pump sufficient blood through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. Thanks to our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, Stevenson will fly to the Dominican Republic, where on September 27th, surgeons at Hospital CEDIMAT will perform surgery to remove the damaged valve, and implant an artificial one. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for Stevenson's surgery. But Stevenson's family also needs your help to fund the $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medicines, and follow up appointments, as well as for the passports and the social workers, who will accompany the family to the Dominican Republic. Stevenson shared, "I feel very lucky to have this chance to finally have my heart healed!"
John is an adorable 1-month-old infant from Haiti. He lives with his parents and older sister John has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, John has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, John will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of John's surgery at Hospital Bernard Mevs, which will treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 11th. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from John's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, John will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. His family share that they are happy to have this early intervention to prevent brain damage from the hydrocephalus.
Faustin is an adorable one-month-old baby from Tanzania who is the third child in her family. To support their family, her father is a small-scale subsistence farmer, and her mother is a homemaker. Her parents share that the income they earn is enough to sustain their basic needs. Since Faustine was born, her mother has been to several hospitals seeking medical care for her condition. Faustin was born with clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. Her left foot is twisted inward, making it difficult for her to straighten it. If not treated, she will experience difficulty walking and wearing shoes when she grows up. Fortunately, Faustin's family traveled to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, to seek medical treatment. On August 9th, surgeons there will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Faustin's clubfoot repair, which will allow her to grow up in good health. Faustine's mother says, "I feel so blessed knowing that my daughter will get treatment and grow up to have a normal life."
Chrismarlie is a 13-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three siblings in a city on the northern coast of Haiti. Her father is a school administrator, and her mother is a homemaker. Chrismarlie shared that she enjoys going to school and listening to music with her friends. Chrismarlie has a cardiac condition called pulmonic stenosis, which means one of her heart valves is too tight, making it difficult for blood to pass through and leading to heart failure. The surgery that she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately, Chrismarlie will be able to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 29th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which the surgeons will widen the heart valve so that blood can flow through it more easily. Chrismarlie's family is raising funds to cover the costs of her surgery prep, as our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is contributing funds to help cover the cost of surgery. The $1,500 will support her surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-ups and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Chrismarlie and her family overseas. Chrismarlie said, "I would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to fix my heart problem!"
Ko Kyaw lives with his wife and two daughters in the border region of Tak Province in Thailand. He is a homemaker while his wife works as a day laborer. He plans to send his older daughter to a Thai school in the new school year, but his younger daughter is still too young to go to school. In early 2021, Kyaw was still living in his village in Myawaddy Township in Burma but it has been a very challenging time for his community ever since the military coup. He and his wife were injured in an emergency involving the local soldiers who came to their area. Luckily other villagers came to their rescue and Kyaw was treated for fractures on both his upper and lower leg, where a metal rod was inserted to help him heal. Now the bone in his thigh is misshapen and doctors have diagnosed osteomyelitis (infected bone). His doctor told him that in order to heal, he would need to have the metal rods replaced in both his upper and lower leg. Currently, Kyaw’s left leg is in a lot of pain. He can only bend his leg slightly and needs to use crutches to get around. With his leg in pain, Ko Kyaw spends most of his time helping out with household chores he can do and teaching his oldest daughter how to read and write in Burmese. He feels frustrated that since his leg was broken, he cannot support his family. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund is helping to pay the cost of his treatment and is raising $1500 to cover his surgery, which will take place on May 10th. “I feel upset that I cannot support my family as the head of the house,” he said. “We only have my wife’s income. We do not have our own house to live in. I want to say a lot of things but I cannot express what I want to say. I never thought that I would lose my house, my possessions and that my leg would be in pain.”