Emily McDaniel
Emily's Story

Emily joined Watsi on January 20th, 2016. 26 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Emily's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Hun Ly, a retired farmer and widow from Cambodia, to fund eye surgery so she can see clearly.


Emily has funded healthcare for 12 patients in 7 countries.

All patients funded by Emily

Nine-year-old Khu is the youngest of six children and lives on her family’s farm in Burma. “When Khu was a year old, she first developed jaundice, fever, and a distended abdomen,” our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP), tells us. She was prescribed medicine from a local clinic to treat her symptoms, and at age six, she was diagnosed with thalassemia. Thalassemia is a genetic condition in which the body does not make enough red blood cells, and the existing red blood cells do not transport oxygen efficiently. This is problematic because red blood cells carry oxygen to all of the body’s organs. When an organ’s oxygen supply is inadequate, the organ cannot function properly, and symptoms such as fatigue, pallor (pale skin), and slow growth rates can result. “Khu needs a blood transfusion every month, and if [she does not receive it], she becomes pale and tired,” explains BBP. “Khu no longer goes to school as her illness continually forces her to miss classes, and she falls behind the rest of the class.” Khu also has an enlarged spleen—known as splenomegaly— which is common in individuals with thalassemia. The spleen is responsible for destroying old and defective red blood cells. In thalassemia, the rate of destruction is increased in response to the abnormal and transfused red blood cells in circulation, and the spleen grows larger due to the increased activity. “With thalassemia, a splenectomy [removal of the spleen] is often required to alleviate symptoms,” BBP continues. The family’s farm work—growing rice, selling livestock, fishing, and collecting wild fruits and vegetables—provides sufficient income for their day-to-day expenses, but they can afford only the most basic medications for Khu. For $1,015, Khu will undergo a splenectomy and receive seven days of hospital care and follow-up appointments after surgery. “Following the surgery,” says BBP, “Khu should be able to go back to school, and she will no longer need blood transfusions.” "Hopefully, my girl can regain her health, return to school, and possibly become a medic in her future," shares Khu’s mother.

Fully funded

Two-month-old Anthony lives with his parents and three older siblings in a one-room house in Kenya. “Anthony was born with a head that was not proportional to his body in size,” our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us. “Anthony’s head has been progressively increasing in size.” Anthony’s increasing head size is the result of hydrocephalus, a condition in which there is an accumulation of fluid in the brain as a result of infection, trauma, malformation of the central nervous system, or genetic defect. AMHF continues, “Anthony is at a risk of increased intracranial pressure, which may result in brain damage if not treated.” Treatment for Anthony is a shunt to drain the excess fluid from his brain. Doctors insert the shunt into the brain and connect it to a tube that runs under the skin and empties into the abdomen, where the excess fluid can be resorbed by the body. The procedure “will reduce the risk of Anthony suffering brain damage,” says AMHF. Anthony’s father works as a welder, and the family runs a small-scale farm on their ancestral land. Despite their hard work, they do not earn enough money to pay for the surgery that Anthony needs. For $615, Anthony will undergo surgery and spend five days in the hospital as he recovers. Funding also covers the costs of imaging, blood work, and medicine. “If there is anything I could do, I would not hesitate so as to eliminate whatever he is undergoing,” shares Anthony’s mother. “My hope is that someday he will be well.”

Fully funded