Gabriela joined Watsi on December 7th, 2015. Six years ago, Gabriela joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Gabriela's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Thomas, a joyful and bright 9-year-old from Kenya, to fund mobility-restoring leg surgery so he can chase his big dreams.
Gabriela has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 12 countries.
Gabriela has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 12 countries.
We met Thomas, a 9-year-old jovial and social boy at Cure Hospital's Nyeri satellite clinic. He is the second born in a family of four children. His family hails from a village in Muranga County. Thomas is a third grade student and a very bright boy who aspires to be a pilot in the future. His mother is a small business lady while his father is a mason. Thomas lives with his grandmother. Thomas was born healthy, however at the age of three his grandmother noted an unusual bowing of his legs. He was taken to a hospital in Muranga, however, the condition has never improved and instead has continued to worsen. Fortunately our medical partner can help. Thomas is now scheduled to undergo surgery to heal his condition. The treatment will be impactful to him because he will be able to walk and play more easily. The severe pain he has been experiencing from straining when walking will be alleviated and he will be able to continue with his studies uninterrupted. We can't wait to see him flying in the skies one day! "I would request the hospital to help me undergo surgery so that my legs can be corrected and I can continue with my education," Thomas expressed.
Christian, who lives in the Philippines, is a hardworking father with a 7-month-old daughter. He works as an on-call waiter, while his wife is currently a student. With Christian’s limited income, he is worried about supporting all of his family’s needs and financing his medical treatment. In April, Christian was diagnosed with a hernia which requires surgery. Correcting the hernia will better enable Christian to find a new job and higher pay, and improve his ability to care for his family. With the help of our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, Christian is scheduled for surgery at Our Lady of Peace Hospital on May 3rd, for which they are requesting $1,130 to fund his procedure and care. “I always fail my physical exams because of my condition, and I'm burdened by it because, as a father, I need to support my family,” Christian shared. “This surgery will be a big help to our family so thank you so much World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for helping,” he added.
Esbon is a three-day-old baby and the fourth born in a family of four. His parents are both farmers, and also do casual jobs in order to sustain their lives and those of their children. Esbon's mother hopes that he gets well soon so they may go back home to be with her other children. Esbon was born with the umbilical cord tied around the calf muscle of his left lower limb, sustaining a wound around it that was deep. He was also born with a congenital condition of the feet, with missing digits in both lower limbs and the left upper limb. His mom is worried that he feels a lot of pain. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Esbon receive treatment. On March 10th, surgeons at their care center will perform a surgery to release the amniotic construction band with a skin graft. Now, their family needs help to fund this $1,478 procedure. Esbon's mother shared, "Kindly help my son so that he can be relieved from pain and be able to live normally in the future."
Misael is a smiley nine-month-old baby boy from Venezuela. His family moved to Medellín in Colombia after he was born, where his father works in construction and his mother is caring for Misael and dedicated to giving him all of her love. His smile is contagious and his energy is endless! Misael has clubfoot on his left foot. Clubfoot is a congenital musculoskeletal condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Misael and his family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel, where they can offer him the life-changing treatment he needs. Fortunately, on March 14th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery to correct his foot. Our medical partner is raising $1,422 to help fund Misael's surgery. After treatment, he will be able to walk and wear shoes as he grows up and eventually run around and play with his friends! His mother said, "Thank you so much for everything you are doing, being in Medellín and finding you has been a blessing."
Daw Khin is a 45-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her parents, who are retired and supported by Daw Khin's sister, who earns an income from renting out their land. Daw Khin used to work as a teacher before her condition made it difficult for her to continue teaching her students. Around June 2020, Daw Khin began to feel very tired and experienced heart palpitations. She shared that it felt like she could not breathe while teaching. Because these episodes happened infrequently, she did not seek treatment at the time; however, in December 2020, her condition worsened, and she went to a local hospital. After receiving an electrocardiogram, doctors determined she has an enlarged heart and an abnormal heartbeat and prescribed medication to help Daw Khin feel better. Since Daw Khin's symptoms continued, her sister brought her to a cardiologist in April 2021. Upon review, Daw Khin's condition was diagnosed as an atrial septal defect, a birth condition in which there is a hole in the wall that divides the upper chambers of the heart. The cardiologist informed her that she would need surgery, but the cost was too high for Daw Khin's family, so they returned home with medications. Daw Khin currently experiences headaches, difficulty sleeping, and fatigue and heart palpitations when talking or walking short distances. Fortunately, a friend visited Daw Khin in June and told her about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Daw Khin contacted BCMF and learned that BCMF will be able to help her finally heal. On February 6th, she will undergo an atrial septal defect (ASD) closure. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund her procedure. Daw Khin shared, "I would like to teach all my students again in the future. I like teaching students."
Rin is a 47-year-old farmer. Rin and his wife have three children, one son, two daughters, and one grandchild. His daughters are married, his son still lives at home and is a cook at a local restaurant. In 2019, Rin was hit by a car while on his motorcycle and fractured his right tibia and fibula. He was treated for his fracture at a local hospital, with external fixation of the bones to repair his fracture. A year later, the external fixation was removed, he had a fever and active infection, and his bones did not heal properly. On the advice of his neighbor, he visited Children's Surgical Centre in June and was given antibiotics for a month to clear up the infection prior to any surgery. He was not able to return until December due to the coronavirus lockdown and provincial restrictions for travel. He's unable to put weight on his leg and must use crutches. He feels unwell most of the time and has swelling and pain. His leg has not healed properly - it is bowed and the bone is freely moveable. Right now he cannot work on his farm or make money to feed his family. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On December 14th, Rin will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Proper correction and alignment of his bones will help him return to full function and to farming to support his family. "I hope after surgery my leg will finally heal, and I will be able to walk again. I want to work on my farm to feed my family and make sure my grandchild will go to school."
Azariyas is a curious and active toddler from Ethiopia who loves to play with his parents. He is an only child, and he loves running and playing football. His father is a day laborer, who also farms a small piece of land. His mother is a housewife, and was a student before she gave birth. Azariyas was born with hypospadias, a birth condition that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility and other complications. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Azariyas receive treatment. On November 4th, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Azariyas's father shared with a hopeful smile, "After the treatment, I hope our boy will heal and start to stand and pee. One day I hope he will reach a place in life that I couldn’t."
Ay is a 32-year-old garment worker. She is married and has one six-year-old daughter. Her daughter is in 2nd grade. Ay's husband is a construction worker. When Ay was just three the back of her leg was burned by a cooking fire. In 2018 her wound re-opened where her scar was. She went to a pharmacy for medications and clean dressings but the wound would not heal. Ay has a painful non-healing wound that makes it difficult for her to walk or flex her right leg. When Ay learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On October 29th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft procedure to to help her walk easily again. Now, Ay needs help to fund this $474 procedure. Ay says, "After surgery I hope my right leg will be free of pain and infection and once it heals I will be able to walk again and return to work."
Joffrey is three years old and the only child of his young parents. He's a playful and curious boy who wants to know and understand everything around him. He is a big lover of football just like his father despite his legs being curved. His mother said she thinks he's too cheeky for his age. Joffrey has not started school yet but he keeps asking his mother to take him to school. Both Joffrey's parents are small-scale farmers who grow maize, groundnuts, rice, and vegetables. They get most of their food from what they grow on their farm. Joffrey was recently diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. His legs bow outward so that his knees do not 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 feels pain even after a short walk. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Joffrey. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Joffrey's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Joffrey’s father says: “My son’s legs are worsening as days go by and from how I see it he might not be able to walk or enjoy his play, especially football, if he does not have this needed surgery.”
Naw Dah is a 40-year-old woman who lives with her husband, four daughters and three sons in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Six of her children attend school in the camp, while Naw Dah looks after her youngest daughter at home. Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, her husband has had difficulty finding work outside of the camp for the past few months. The family survives on money they receive through a food card each month from an organization called The Border Consortium. Since 2016, Naw Dah has suffered from frequent, painful urinary tract infections. After she received an x-ray at a local hospital in April 2020, she was referred for further treatment and diagnosed with kidney stones. She received treatment in September 2020, but at follow-up appointments, the doctor told her that she still had fragments of the kidney stone, and she returned for multiple x-rays and oral medications. During her most recent follow-up in August 2021, the doctor told her that the stones are now 6mm in size and scheduled her for another ureteroscopy. She is unable to pay for surgery and was referred our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance accessing treatment. On September 3rd, she will undergo a ureteroscopy and now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. Naw Dah shared, "I am a bit scared as I already underwent treatment twice, but I really want to get better. So I put my trust in God and I will go through this pain again so that I will be free from this pain in the future."
Gladys is a 47-year-old hardworking woman and a mother to three children. Gladys is separated from her husband and now lives with two of her children in a small rented room. In January, Gladys began experiencing troubling symptoms including neck swelling, headaches, and difficulty swallowing. She was diagnosed with an enlarged thyroid and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Gladys receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on June 9th at AMH's care center, where surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. Now, she needs help to fund this $657 procedure. Gladys shared, "if this condition is treated, I can continue with my work. I am requesting help so that I can be treated and be okay to take care of my children."
Joseph is a two-year-old boy and the youngest child in a family of four children. The family lives in a small timber house and his father sells vegetables to provide for the family. His mother often does laundry work for their neighbors, however, sometimes work is difficult to find and she works on neighbors' farms to supplement the family's income. Joseph was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended after birth. If not treated, Joseph will have an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, Joseph will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). He is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 5th and now, AMH is requesting $569 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Joseph’s father shared, “since we visited the last facility, I have never had peace in my heart after the doctor told us what will happen if the testes did not descend and he was not treated. Now, I’m more troubled that I cannot do anything for his surgery as we cannot raise any amount close to what is required. I really need support for my child's surgery."