UNIVERSAL FUND MEMBERBit of a klutz, nomad, dreamer.
United States • twitter.com/gpena • Born on December 10th
Gabriela joined Watsi on December 7th, 2015. Seven years ago, Gabriela joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Gabriela's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Ye Min, a 2-month-old baby boy from Thailand, to fund surgery for retinal detachment so he can grow up with vision.
Gabriela has funded healthcare for 89 patients in 12 countries.
Gabriela has funded healthcare for 89 patients in 12 countries.
Ye Min is is a 2-month-old baby from Thailand. His father works at a hotel and his mother is a homemaker. After being delivered, doctors assessed that Ye Min began to experience poor vision in both eyes. These symptoms have made it increasingly difficult for him to see clearly. Ye Min has been diagnosed with retinal detachment, a condition in which the retina pulls away from the supportive tissue in the eye, resulting in vision loss. If left untreated, he could lose vision completely. Ye Min is scheduled to undergo surgery to reattach his retina on January 26th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. After his surgery, Ye Min's vision will hopefully be restored, and he will resume his daily activities comfortably. Ye Min’s mother said, “I am worried about my son’s condition because he is too young to receive the surgery. I cannot wait to stay with him and take care of him well. I want my son to get better soon. I was very happy when I hear that this organization will help pay for my son’s treatment. I am really thankful to all of the donors who will help my son receive surgery.”
Kidus is a cute and playful little boy. He loves playing with toys and football with other children. His favorite food is Shiro (Ethiopian staple food) and meat. He also loves watching cartoons and is good at observing and imitating some characters from cartoon shows. He is the only child in the family. His dad is a tailor, employed at a local tailor shop. His father uses the little income to provide food for their family and pay rent. Kidus was born with a congenital anomaly called bladder exstrophy and he underwent surgery at BethanyKids with Watsi's support in 2021 to heal this condition. He was also born with a congenital anomaly called epispadias and has an inguinal hernia. Now he is scheduled for epispadias and right inguinal hernia repair. Epispadias impacts his ability to urinate and puts him at risk of future complications. Kidus is now much more playful than beforeand his family can see how intelligent he is. His family also shared how very much better psychologically they feel after his first treatment. But they are still worried about his urinary condition. He is now scheduled for the two surgeries that will take place simultaneously, and his family needs financial support. Kidus' father said, “Kidus means the world to me. To see him completely well will bring me so much joy. I want him to have a great personality with a kind heart; just like the amazing people helping him recover and become healthy. I really hope that he becomes a doctor in the future and helps those who are in need.”
Mary is a grade two pupil from Kenya and the fifth child in her family. Her mother is a single parent raising six kids on her own while also taking in work washing clothes. A little while ago, Mary broke her dominant arm while playing with her classmates at school. She was rushed to a health facility nearby, where an x-ray revealed a right supracondylar fracture that needs surgical attention. Her right arm is currently in a sling and she is unable to use it or attend school. Mary's mother pooled her resources with close relatives to bring Mary to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. On March 15th, surgeons with African Mission Healthcare will perform a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help to join the bone and enable Mary to use her arm again. Now, Mary and her family need $979 to fund this procedure. Mary’s mother said, “Mary is unable to go to school because of the fracture. She uses this hand that is broken and needs treatment.”
Emmanuel is a 39-year-old father of two from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He lives with his wife and children and works in sales at an electronics store. He has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. There is a hole between the two upper chambers of his heart, which causes blood to leak out without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Because the care he needs is not available in Haiti, Emmanuel will fly to the United States to undergo cardiac surgery on February 27th. Doctors will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital is contributing $10,000 to help pay for this surgery. His family now needs $1,500 to help fund costs of the surgery preparations, including labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments, and travel expenses. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance will accompany Emmanuel overseas and ensure he safely undergoes treatment. Emmanuel says, "I am excited for this surgery so that I can focus on taking care of my family without worrying about my health."
Valmy is a 10-month-old infant from Haiti. He lives with his mother, father, and older brother. Valmy 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, Valmy has been experiencing Increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Valmy will have severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Valmy at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available, and the procedure is scheduled to take place on February 2nd. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from Valmy's brain to reduce the intracranial pressure and will greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Valmy will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. The family is looking forward to their child being able to grow up to walk and talk.
Meet Night, a jovial and playful five year old girl. Night lives with her parents and two younger siblings in a traditional home in Kenya. Her father works selling second hand clothing, while her mother stays home to take care of the children. Shortly after she was born, Night's parents realized that something seemed wrong. They brought Night to a health facility in Turkana County where they lived, and were referred on to BethanyKids Hospital. There she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which meant that fluid was collecting in her head. Surgery was performed, and a shunt was placed to continuously drain the fluid from Night's head. A year later, however, Night's head began to increase in size, and she developed weakness on the right side of her body. The doctors at the local health facility urged Night's parents to take her back to BethanyKids Hospital for additional treatment, but Night's parents didn't have enough money to do this. With the help of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Night is now scheduled to undergo a craniotomy on January 5th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital, when surgeons will drain excess fluids from Night's brain. Night's father is providing as much of a co-pay as possible for this procedure, but the family needs your help to raise the remaining $1,500 required to cover all of the costs of Night's surgery and care. Night’s father said: “Night is not able to communicate well because of her condition. This surgery will help her to be able to speak.”
Stephen is a young man from Kenya. He is the firstborn in a family of 3 children. Their family has relied on their mother to provide for them as his father passed away when he was young boy. His mother does deliveries for different shop owners around their town. Stephen had to drop out from college do to inability to pay his school fees, and he now helps around the house and helps his mother with the deliveries, which is the how the family makes ends meet. Stephen 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, Stephen has been experiencing severe headaches since this past July. He visited a hospital where a CT scan was done that revealed that he had a cyst that was obstructing the normal flow of fluid in and out of the head. An urgent surgery was recommended to remove the cyst, but he did not undergo it due to not having the funds for the procedure. A shunt insertion surgery has been recommended along with a craniotomy that will be performed later to remove the cyst. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Stephen that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 23rd and will drain the excess fluid from Stephen's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Stephen will hopefully continue to develop into a strong, healthy man. Stephen says, “I really want to be treated so that I can help my mom provide for us.”
Jeremy is a beautiful five-year-old boy from Kenya who has autism. To support their family, his mother manages their home and cares for her children, and his father currently works as a mechanic. His parents share that their income is just enough to sustain the basic needs of their family of six. On July 7th, Jeremy was playing with his brother when he fell and broke his leg. An X-ray scan showed that he has a fracture of his femur bone on his right leg. Since the incident, he has been experiencing severe pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. On July 12th, Jeremy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will allow his injury to heal and help him walk again. Now, our medical partner is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Jeremy’s mother expressed, “I am desperate and worried...I am pleading for assistance so that soon he can be treated. I thank God in advance."
Dorcas is an adorable one-month-old baby from Tanzania who loves being close to her mother. Her mother practices subsistence farming, and she is their family's sole source of income. Dorcas was born with clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. Because of this, her right foot is twisted both downwards and inwards. This has made standing up, walking, and wearing shoes very difficult for her. Her mother shares that due to financial difficulties, she is worried about the cost of Dorcas's needed surgery. Fortunately, her family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. On August 9th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on Dorcas. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. After treatment, she will be able to walk without straining. Dorcas's mother says, "I will tell my daughter about the help she got here and how it changed her life."
Samwel, a very social and hardworking Kenyan father of eight children, is an active maize farmer who likes spending most of his time on his farm. He works hard to meet the needs of his family. His wife takes care of their home and helps him in his daily farming activities. Samwel lives with his family in a semi-permanent house in their farm. His elder children are married, and they also work hard to meet their own families' basic needs. Samwel presented to the emergency department with cuts on his left wrist joint and on his knees after an assault with a machete by a person known to him. This was brought up by family conflicts due to land disputes. Doctors diagnosed that he had multiple tendon injuries with nerve injuries in his wrist and an open fracture of his left distal femur in his leg. He is in pain and cannot walk with ease. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help him heal and get active again. On September 5th, Samwel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Samwel will no longer experience pain. He will go back to his family and continue with his farm activities. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Samwel says, “I have so much pain, but I am happy to be alive. I hope to get treated, go back home and be with my family.”
George is a brave boy from a village in southern Kenya. He is the third born in a family of four children. He is in pre-kindergarten and likes to play a lot. His mother does house work when available while his father does any jobs he can find. The family faces a lot of financial challenges which made it hard for them to bring George to the hospital for help. On June 30th, George accidentally fell and fractured both the radius and ulna bones in his right hand. The surgeon found that he needs a fracture repair surgery, but George's family cannot raise the money for it. George is in pain and cannot use his hand. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 7th, George will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help reduce his pain and be able to use the hand once he recovers. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1049 to fund this procedure. “I am desperate and have no way to help my son. I ask for help so that he can be treated, be able to use his hand, and continue with his education. I will appreciate this help,” said George’s mother.
Agrey is a five-month-old baby boy, and the first child born to his parents. Agrey was born with spina bifida and bilateral clubfoot. Agrey's father, who is a truck driver at a local sand quarry, was able to find enough money to take Agrey to a referral hospital for assessment of his spina bifida. But their family could not afford to pay for the surgery necessary to correct this condition, which put Agrey at risk of losing the ability to use his lower limbs, and endangering his life in the event of a serious infection. They were referred to the Plaster House for help, and through Watsi funding, Agrey had his spina bifida corrected. Agrey's bilateral clubfoot also means that both of his feet are twisted out of shape, which would make it difficult for Agrey to walk when he gets older. Fortunately, Agrey's family brought him to Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, our care partner's health center. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 13th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund this procedure and his care. After treatment, Agrey's feet will be straightened and he will be able to wear shoes and to walk easily as he grows up. Agrey’s mother says: “My son has had his first surgery of his back and it was successful. He now needs to start treatment for his feet. Thank you for your help.”