United States • Born on February 4th
Marilyn joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Eight years ago, Marilyn joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Marilyn's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Myrcayela, a beautiful 9 year old girl from Haiti, to fund heart surgery.
Marilyn has funded healthcare for 137 patients in 13 countries.
Marilyn has funded healthcare for 137 patients in 13 countries.
Myrcayela, a nine year old fifth grader, lives with her parents and five siblings in a suburb of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Myrcayela was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus. In the womb, a ductus arteriosus is a normal part of a baby's blood flow system. If it doesn't close shortly after birth, however, a hole remains between the two major blood vessels leading from the heart. This is what happened with Myrcayela, resulting in oxygen poor blood circulating through her body, leaving her weak and short of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of the surgery that will correct Myrcayela's condition. This life changing procedure, during which doctors will plug the hole with a device to prevent leakage, is scheduled to take place on February 1st, at Clinica Corominas. Myrcayela's mother said: "Our family will pray every day for all the people who are helping our daughter!"
Kalyan, a 13-year-old seventh grader, lives with her mother and brother in Kandal province in Cambodia. She enjoys studying home economics and Khmer literature and would like to be a singer when she grows up. Kalyan was born with a spinal condition called listhesis, which is an unnaturally mobile vertebra that moves, leaves its normal position, and can cause different complaints when it compresses nerves and other vertebrae. Listhesis can be caused by a bone abnormality, trauma from an accident or injury, or result from a fracture or a tumor. Pinched nerves and chronic back pain are common symptoms of this condition, as is loss of flexibility and possible paralysis. Kalyan is frequently unable to attend school due to her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. Specialty surgeons at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre can fuse her spine to avoid any further damage to Kalyan's back, while also alleviating her pain. Kalyan and her mother need your help to raise the $1,500 cost of the surgery, implants, hospitalization, and post-op medication. After recovery from the procedure, which is scheduled for February 7th, Kalyan's spine will be more stable, and she will be able to engage in all of the normal activities of a 13-year-old. Kalyan's mother shared: "I hope my daughter will no longer have pain and she can go back to school."
James is a 63yr old man from Elgeyo Marakwet County in Kenya. He is married and has eight children - some of still in high school while others are married. Formerly, James worked in the forestry department for twenty years and he managed to educate his children as he used to earn a salary. Currently he is a farmer who plants maize, millet and sorghum in his small piece of land for consumption and sale. He has been able to get his basic needs and that of his family through the sale of farm produce. He has no medical coverage or insurance at the moment. Recently, James fell down and rolled down a hill when he was attempting to move his cow. He is in a lot of pain, unable to use both legs. The timing of his injury is unfortunate, because he needs to tend to his farm. He has nothing that can enable him get funds at the moment. Two of his sons managed to get ksh 10,000 which is not even a quarter of the required amount for his procedure. James has suffered fractures around both his knee joints, and they require special attention so that they may not damage the articular cartilage. He needs an urgent procedure on one of his limbs, which will also enable him undergo the surgery he needs on his other leg more quickly as well. The finance issue is barring him from getting his surgery. He is now appealing to all well-wishers for help in order to get his surgery done. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 7th, James will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. He will no longer be in pain, and will be able to walk, work and provide for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. James says, “I am in so much pain. I cannot imagine that I am not able to walk and do things on my own. I don’t regret anything, I just thank God who protected my life. Kindly help me so that I may not become a burden to my children.”
Sharon is a 23-year-old small-scale farmer from Kenya. She is married with two children, aged four years and one year old. Sharon and her husband grow and sell vegetables and take on casual labor jobs to help supplement their income. They have a three-room house for their family. A week ago, Sharon was grazing her sheep when she tripped on a root. She was located on a hill and fell from a high distance causing her to fracture her right leg. Unable to walk or stand, some neighbors heard her call for help and rushed her to the hospital. Sharon was experiencing severe pain, swelling, and skin traction on her right lower leg. She underwent an x-ray, which showed that she had a fracture on her right femur. She also underwent skeletal traction to realign the bone and keep it in place until she could undergo surgery. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On November 29th, Sharon will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, to mend her right femur and allow her to move again. AMH is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Sharon says: “It’s so unfortunate that I broke my leg at a time when my children needed me the most. I am now forced to stop breastfeeding my son, who is still young, but I am grateful as I am still alive. I need your help, and I believe that someday things will get back to normal, and I will be able to be there for my family.”
Irine is a hardworking 76-year-old grandmother and widow from Kenya. She lives in a semi-permanent house and works as a small-scale farmer, growing food to feed herself. She receives other basic necessities from her children. Irine's home is located in an area with many hills, which become very slippery when it rains. One rainy day, Irine was doing her daily duties when she unfortunately slipped and fell. As she fell on the side of her hip, the load she was carrying also fell on top of her. She could not get up or move due to her right lower limb being in pain. Since she was home alone, she had to shout for help, and a neighbor eventually came to her rescue. A family member later took her to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with a fracture of her right femur. Irene currently experiences pain and is unable to use her leg. Although she was previously among the beneficiaries who received health insurance paid for by the government, the government eventually stopped providing payment. This meant Irine had to pay for her own monthly bill, a cost she could not provide. Due to financial constraints and not having insurance, Irine cannot fund her needed treatment. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 2nd, Irine will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After the surgery, she will hopefully be able to walk and care for herself again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,247 to fund this procedure. Irine says, "I know how my children struggle to earn a living. Kindly help me so that I may not be a burden to them.”
Nancy is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. Together with her elderly husband, they grow food crops for home use on their half-acre piece of land. She is a mother of eight children who are all adults. All her children don’t have a stable source of income at the moment. She needs care but does not have medical coverage and hasn't been able to raise the required amount for treatment. In early July this year, Nancy was tripped by her dog and fell on a stone, hurting the left side of her hip. She sustained a left sub-trochanteric fracture that is making her immobile. This is a fracture of the proximal femur located a few centimeters from the hip. She was taken to a nearby health facility and had an x-ray done after review. She was then referred to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital for surgery. She is unable to walk and is currently using a wheelchair and although jovial and smiling, she is in pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 30th, Nancy will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will relieve her of her pain and help her walk easily again. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Nancy says, “I am unable to walk. I am desperate, and also struggling to pay for my treatment. I need this treatment to be able to get out of this wheelchair.”
Gladys is a strong, hardworking mother from Kenya who is raising her five children on her own. Her oldest child is 14 years old, while her youngest is only three. To support her family, she works as a casual laborer plucking tea. She currently lives in a single-room rental house, which costs Ksh.1200 (~10 USD) per month. Gladys shares that her income is inconsistent and not enough to cover her needed medical treatment. She also does not have active medical coverage and currently has a large accrued bill due to her recent hospital admission. Recently, Gladys was involved in a road traffic accident that caused several fractures. One of the fractures she sustained in this accident was of her left tibia. As a result of this injury, she is currently unable to walk. In order to properly heal her fracture, she must undergo an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) procedure. She also has facial fractures, which will require another ORIF later the same week. However, undergoing an ORIF for her fractured tibia is the current priority. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 8th, Gladys will undergo fracture repair surgery so she can walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Gladys says, “I cannot walk and my face is in pain. I am the only breadwinner of the family, and I cannot work if my leg is broken. All my five children depend on me for upkeep and survival. I need this treatment to get back on my feet.”
Win is a 34-year-old mother of two from Thailand. She works as an agricultural day laborer to support her two children who live with her relative. Last month, Win was walking down the stairs in front of her home when she suddenly slipped and fell. This fall caused a fracture of her lower right leg, preventing her from both standing up and straightening her right leg. She first tried to treat herself with traditional medicine, but when she saw no improvement, she sought medical attention at a clinic. Win's lower right leg is currently swollen and in a lot of pain. She cannot straighten it nor put any weight on it. Because of the pain, she is experiencing difficulty sleeping and a loss of appetite. To get around, she is using a wheelchair provided by the clinic. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Win will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The treatment is scheduled for August 5th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help her walk again and return to work to support her children. She said, “I felt very happy when I learned that an organization will support the cost of my surgery. I am very thankful to all the donors and the organization for their support."
Blessed is a five-year-old boy. He is very jovial and was born with a condition called cerebral palsy. He's the second born in a family of three children, one of whom is his twin brother. His parents separated long ago leaving his mother solely responsible for raising the kids and earning an income. Blessed's family lives in a small rented house in Wangige, a town roughly 30 minutes outside of Nairobi, where his mother worked. In March however, she lost her teaching job at a small private school, and now does casual jobs like ploughing farms and ferrying manure to earn a living and support her family. In 2018, Blessed's mother took both him and his twin brother to the doctor after developing some concerns about their health. After examination, both boys were diagnosed with a condition called cryptorchidism which causes the testes to not descend properly. After taking them to another facility in Nairobi, she was referred to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Hospital for help. If left untreated, Blessed has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Thanks to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, Blessed and his mother will receive the help they need. Blessed is scheduled to undergo corrective orchidopexy surgery on June 21st. Our medical partner is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. After treatment, Blessed will be able to grow up without having to worry about his condition worsening or developing additional problems. Blessed’s mother says, “It is very sad for me as a parent to not be able to facilitate the treatment that my son requires.”
Poe is a 43-year-old man who lives alone in Bangkok and works as a construction contractor. He supports his wife and son in Burma, but has been unable to work for the past four months since his health deteriorated. Currently, he is getting by on money his friends have given him. Poe was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, he has edema (swelling) in both of his legs. If he walks short distances, he feels tired, experiences shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. He cannot sleep if he lays down and has to sleep in a sitting position. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Poe. The treatment is scheduled to take place on May 6th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. "After I recover from surgery, I will go back to work. I will save the money to pay back my debts. After that I will save money to support my son and wife. I want my son to go to school, and I want him to become an educated man," said Poe.
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.
Tecla is a shy and hardworking woman in her early 40s. She was born alone in her home and she now stays with her mother. Tecla did not complete schooling after she developed partial hearing loss at an early age. She also experienced a painful accident when she was young after she burnt her right fingers leaving her disabled. Due to this, Tecla does not work and depends on her mum for all her needs. They live together in a semi-permanent house. Starting five years ago, Tecla has been experiencing abdominal swelling and other symptoms. She has been diagnosed with a large fibroid uterus and needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Surgical removal should be performed as soon as possible. Since Tecla does not have national health insurance, she is requesting help to pay for her treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $918 to fund Tecla's surgery. On April 5th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Tecla shared, "It has never been easy for me. My hope here is to get treated and be well and live a normal life.”