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Rebecca Ocel

United States   •   Born on May 26

Rebecca's Story

Rebecca joined Watsi on June 23rd, 2015. 39 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Rebecca's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Mpirirwe, a young man from Uganda, to fund a mass removal procedure.


Rebecca has funded healthcare for 20 patients in 10 countries.

All patients funded by Rebecca


Just one month old, Iyan lives with his parents and two older siblings in a one-room rental house in Kenya. His parents are subsistence farmers without an external source of income. Iyan was born with spina bifida, a condition in which the spine does not form completely. His spinal cord and its surrounding membranes protrude through an opening in his backbone, forming a sac on his lower back. As a result, Iyan's spinal cord is exposed, making him vulnerable to infection and loss of muscle function in his lower limbs. Iyan's mother did not know what the mass on his lower back meant until she took him to a district hospital. There, the medical team changed the dressing on Iyan's back for two days. A doctor explained to his mother the risks of his condition and referred them to our medical partner's care center for specialized treatment. Iyan underwent surgery to place his spinal cord and nerves back inside his spine, cover them with membranes, and close the opening on his back. Now, Iyan’s head is increasing in size, and a CT scan has revealed excess fluid accumulation in his skull. This condition, known as hydrocephalus, may lead to a progressive increase in head circumference, brain damage, loss of sight, and even death if not treated. Iyan's family used the little amount of money they had on the CT scan, and they are not able to raise funds for his continued care. Watsi's medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), requests $685 to pay for an operation to insert a shunt in Iyan's head to drain the excess fluid and transport it to his abdomen, where it can be resorbed by the body. Funding for Iyan also pays for five days of hospital care, blood tests, a second CT scan, pain medicine, and antibiotics. Iyan's surgery is scheduled for July 20. "I am pleading for help to see our only boy gets well," says Iyan’s mother. Let's help make that happen!

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Fully funded
Yi Swe

Yi Swe is a 55-year-old woman who has been diagnosed with a cardiac condition, mitral valve stenosis. This means that a valve in her heart has narrowed and blocks blood flow. Throughout her life, Yi Swe has lived in nine different cities and towns in Burma, and for the past three years she has lived the capital. She has worked for a government agency since 1981. She lives with her two sisters. Their monthly income is enough to cover their daily expenses, but they cannot afford expensive healthcare. In 1990, Yi Swe noticed the symptoms of her cardiac condition for the first time. She grew tired easily and was sleeping poorly. She first sought care at a local clinic. The clinic gave her medication, which helped to improve her symptoms. In December of the same year, Yi Swe’s condition grew more severe. She was very tired and had difficulty breathing. She visited a hospital in Rangoon, where she underwent blood and urine tests and an x-ray. The doctor drained fluid from her lungs and performed a mitral valvotomy to open the narrowed valve. The surgery greatly improved her condition. For the next 25 years, Yi Swe’s condition was markedly better. However, in 2015, her original symptoms returned. She sought care at a local hospital. Over three visits, she underwent blood and urine tests, an x-ray, an echocardiogram, an electrocardiogram, and an ultrasound. She was advised to undergo a mitral valve replacement, and she was scheduled to receive surgery three years in the future, in 2019. Yi Swe started to look for an alternative treatment option and was eventually referred to our medical partner. On December 19, 2016, she underwent a mitral valve replacement. Throughout this whole process, Yi Swe has been working to pay for her treatments. Now, she needs help to fund this final $1,500 surgery.

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Fully funded