Rafael joined Watsi on September 5th, 2016. One year ago, Rafael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Rafael's most recent donation traveled 11,000 miles to support Vicheka, a future teacher from Cambodia, to fund life-changing spinal surgery.
Rafael has funded healthcare for 51 patients in 9 countries.
Rafael has funded healthcare for 51 patients in 9 countries.
Vicheka is the eldest of two children in her family and loves her younger sister who is three years old. Their family lives in Preah Vihear near the Thai border of Cambodia. Her father is a soldier and her mother is a potato farmer. At school, she is fond of math and Khmer literature and would like to be a teacher when she is older. She likes reading books, painting, playing with her little sister, and taking walks with her parents. When Vicheka was five, she was diagnosed with scoliosis of the spine—a sideways curvature of the spine that most often is diagnosed in adolescents. She has uneven shoulders, a bump in her lower back, difficulty standing up straight, and shortness of breath. It has become difficult for her to breathe, she tires easily, and she is having difficulty walking. This can be very difficult for young girls, they are often hidden at home because other children make fun of the way they look. A neighbor told her parents about our medical partner Children's Surgical Centre, so they traveled over 10 hours for a diagnosis and surgery. Surgeons plan to put in expanding rods along her spine. The expanding rods will allow her to grow and keep her spine from curving further, which could cause her more health problems if left untreated. Their family needs $1,500 for the surgery, which will cover medications, implants, and post-operative care. Vicheka said, "I hope the doctors can fix my spine so I can play with my friends and my back will be straight. I want to continue in school but it is hard for me to keep up, and I miss school."
Vaughn is a three-year-old boy from the Philippines. He is the youngest sibling of three. He loves playing with his cousins just like any other child at his age. His father is a construction worker earning minimum wage; while his mother is a stay-at-home mom. Three months ago Vaughn's parents noticed a swelling around his belly button. They brought him to the hospital for care and Vaughn has been diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. This hernia causes severe stomachaches. Fortunately, on November 10th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner is requesting $1,130 to fund Vaughn's surgery at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. "After the surgery, we hope Vaughn will be able to enjoy his childhood and not ever hesitate to play," shared Edgar, Vaughn's father.
Faisal is a 5-year-old boy and the last born in a family of five children. He is a charming young boy and likes to play with his friends. Faisal has not yet started school. Faisal was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, where his legs bow outward so that his knees cannot touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has a difficult time walking for a distance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Faisal. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 18th. Treatment will hopefully restore Faisal's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Faisal’s mother says, “Please help my son be able to walk without difficulty.”
Salha is a three-week-old baby girl. She is a second child in a family of two children. Her mother sells vegetables at the market and her father helps in building construction. Salha was born with 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, Salha's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on November 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Salha's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when she grows up. Salha’s mother says, “Please help my daughter get the treatment she needs so she may be able to grow up like other children without being looked at as an outcast.”
Baraka is a very active and jovial 7-year-old boy. Baraka and his twin brother are the only children in the family. His parents separated when they were still young babies and left them under the care of their grandmother. When Baraka was 1 year old, his grandmother noticed that she could not feel both of his testes. She took Baraka to the hospital where he was examined and diagnosed with bilateral undescended testes. Due to lack of finances, she went home and never returned to the hospital. A few weeks ago, a friend referred her to a medical camp that was visiting the neighborhood. She rushed Baraka to the clinic, he was examined and referred to BethanyKids Hospital. Upon arrival, he was examined again and booked for the surgery he needs. Baraka's grandmother does casual laundry work or any house chores she comes across to raise a living for her grandchildren; their parents are out of reach and do not support them financially. She can not raise the required amount of money to cater for Baraka’s hospital bill and is seeking financial aid. Baraka was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Baraka has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Baraka will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on November 16th. AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Baraka’s grandmother says, “It is very difficult for me to even provide for them as work is hard to come by. Any help offered to us will be highly appreciated.”
Jacinta is a 38-year-old woman. She's the third born child in a family of four children, and has one child who is 15 years old. Jacinta is separated from her husband, and is the sole breadwinner of her family. She studied hotel management and was working in a big hotel, but unfortunately, she lost her job due to the pandemic. She now runs a small food kiosk to care for her family. In 2015, Jacinta began experiencing pain in her upper abdomen. She was diagnosed with gallstones and a partial cholecystectomy was performed. However, last year, she began experiencing pain again, which is sometimes severe. After an ultrasound, she was diagnosed with gallstones again and admitted to the hospital with severe pain. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Jacinta receive treatment. On December 7th, she will undergo a laparotomy to remove the gallstones. If left untreated, she could experience complications such as inflammation of the gall bladder, or obstruction or infection of the bile duct. Now, she needs help raising $788 to fund her procedure and care. Jacinta shared, "I am so worried this problem is back, but I know with surgery I will be okay. At this time, I am not able to raise the fees required and have not been able to get the national health coverage card. I request help so that with this treatment I can go back to my small business and at least be able to take care of my family."
Lim is an elderly woman with one son, six daughters, and 15 grandchildren. She lives with her youngest daughter who is a garment worker. Lim's husband passed away many years ago during the Khmer Rouge time in Cambodia. She likes to listen to the monks pray on the radio. Around five years ago, Lim developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurry vision and tearing. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Lim learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On November 1st, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Lim says, "After surgery I hope my eye can see better so I can go outside easily and I want to see the faces of all my grandchildren when I take care of them."
Seng is a 75-year-old widow with two sons, three daughters, and ten grandchildren. They are all rice farmers, but Seng is now retired and stays at home to care for her grandchildren. Four years ago, Seng developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurry vision with frequent tearing. There are only traditional healers in her village, and she can no longer walk by herself due to poor balance. When Seng learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. On December 14th, doctors will perform small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. "I like to play with my grandchildren and cannot see their faces now. I hope after my eye is fixed, I can recognize their faces clearly, go outside by myself, and visit the pagoda in my village."
Generoza is a 66-year-old mother of eight children; her children, along with Generoza and her husband, are farmers. They earn a small income from their farming and live in a three-room mud-built house. Her children are all mature now and with families of their own to support, and so are not able to help with extra costs like their mother's medical care. For the past 7 years, Generoza has had a left inguinal hernia. She initially had pelvic pain, which worsened with time. She tried treating the pain on her own, without success. Recently, she heard about the surgical program at Rushoroza Hospital on a radio program and she opted to visit. Generoza was diagnosed with a left inguinal hernia that needs surgery. She appeals for funding to undergo surgery. Fortunately, on November 18th, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $170 to fund Generoza's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. Generoza says, “I hope to get well through surgery. I have struggled very much with my condition for a long period of life, but I finally hope to live a better and normal life again. I will continue with farming to hope to be able to take good care of my family.”
On is a 59-year-old rice farmer. She has three sons, three daughters, and many grandchildren. On lives with her eldest daughter, who also works as a farmer. In her free time, On likes to watch TV and listen to the monks pray on the radio. Over the past year, On developed a cataract in her left eye causing her itchiness, tearing, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When On learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four hours seeking treatment. On October 14th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. On shared, "I hope my eye can see well so I can go back to the rice field and do some housework well."
Haikaeli is a 3-month-old baby and the last born child in a family of four children. Her parents are both small-scale farmers who depend entirely on what they harvest for their living. With the rains delayed in their region of Tanzania, food is becoming scarce and making life difficult. Haikaeli 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, Haikaeli has been experiencing her head increasing in size significantly and as days go by her health keeps deteriorating. Without treatment, Haikaeli will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for Haikaeli that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 14th and will drain the excess fluid from Haikaeli's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Haikaeli will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Haikaeli’s mother says “My daughter worsens as days go by, she cannot eat well anymore. Please help her.”
Cheang is a 60-year-old cake baker. She's married and has one son, four daughters, and four grandchildren. She lives with her husband and her sister. She used to sell Khmer cakes outside the local grade school, but has been unable to do so recently to her vision. In her free time, she likes to listen to the monks pray on the local radio station, and visit her local pagoda to help the monks. Two years ago, Cheang developed a cataract in her left eye, causing a burning sensation in her eye, tearing, and sensitivity to light. She is uncomfortable in bright or dim light because she cannot see the ground well, and she afraid she will fall. This makes her very sad because she does not see her grandchildren as often as she would like to. When Cheang learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. On December 13th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Cheang shared, "I hope my eye will get better. I want to take care of my grandchildren and see them more often, and clean our house for my family."