Rachael MillerUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Rachael's Story

Rachael joined Watsi on January 6th, 2022. Two years ago, Rachael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Rachael's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Jean, a 30-year-old man from Haiti, to fund care and travel for heart surgery.

Impact

Rachael has funded healthcare for 31 patients in 11 countries.

Patients funded by Rachael

Fatma is a 50-year-old mother of seven children aged between four and sixteen. She has faced considerable hardship, being a widow and the sole provider for her family, without a steady income. Fatma resides in Somalia, but also depends on the support of her niece that sells tea in Nairobi, Kenya. Unfortunately, she is unable to afford vital medical treatment. Since 2021, Fatma has been experiencing a persistent bloated feeling and discomfort in her lower abdomen. Initially treated for brucellosis and yellow fever at a local facility without improvement, the growth in her abdomen continued to enlarge, prompting both health concerns and a sense of self-consciousness due to the enlarged mass. She traveled to Kenya to seek medical advice, and further examination in Wajir suggested ovarian cancer, and the need for surgery. However, due to financial constraints, she sought help at our medical partner's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital. Here, the diagnosis confirmed a large non-cancerous abdominal pelvic mass that needed to be removed through surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Fatma receive treatment. On March 22nd, surgeons at AIC Kijabe Hospital will perform a total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (TAH/BSO) procedure to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer and prevent future surgery for benign ovarian masses. Now, Fatma needs help to fund this $1,260 procedure. Fatma is hopeful as she awaits the surgery that promises relief. She says, “I look like a seven-month pregnant lady because of the growth. It is painful. I hope to get treatment so that this pain can go away.”

$738raised
$522to go

Oliver is a married mother of four children, all of whom are married with children except the last one who is still in school. She is a farmer together with her husband. Her second child, a daughter, has been there for her support throughout her illness. Oliver likes chatting with her daughter and enjoys eating nsima made from cassava maize flour served with fresh fish. Oliver was well until one year ago when she noted a small lump on her right breast that was not painful. She visited her nearest hospital where some pain medication was provided. She visited many other hospitals after noting that the growth was becoming bigger as time passed. At one of the hospitals, a diagnosis of suspected breast cancer was made before proceeding to Kamuzu Central Hospital for further assessments. At Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), different tests were done, and a diagnosis of invasive ductal carcinoma was made followed by four cycles of neoadjuvant therapy. Oliver was later scheduled for surgery on January 15th this year but unfortunately, she did not report back since she did not have the funds. On January 29th, Oliver went back to KCH where she was referred to our medical partner's care center Partners in Hope Medical Center (PIH) so that she can undergo surgery more urgently. Of late, Oliver has been experiencing needle pricking pains, and weakness affecting her farm work plus household chores as a mother. On January 30th, Oliver reported to PIH and met the surgeon who confirmed the need for a modified radical mastectomy. Modified radical mastectomy is the removal of the entire breast, including the nipple, areola, and skin plus most axillary lymph nodes. Oliver believes the surgical operation will help her get back home in a good condition and enable her to resume her farm work. Oliver said, “Kindly remove this breast for me to have my peace of mind after getting rid of these bad symptoms that I experience, I would rather be able to move on in my age.”

$1,194raised
Fully funded

Flora is a single mother of a baby boy aged 1.5 years. She is a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo who found herself in Malawi in the year 2022 in search of her sister Esperance. Flora grew up in her sister’s house since she lost all her parents through war. She shared that they got separated in 2016 during a war where Esperance's husband was killed and the family all scattered. Esperance, the sister, found herself in a refugee camp in Malawi in 2016 where Flora was able to trace her 6 years later. They both now run a saloon business which earns them a little income that helps to meet their needs. Flora was doing well until her recent pregnancy. During one of her antenatal clinics that was done at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), she was noted to have uterine fibroids through abdominal ultrasound scanning. She had a successful caesarian section in June 2022. However, since the birth of her child, Flora has been experiencing difficult symptoms leading to frequent blood transfusions due to anemia. Flora is weak at the moment and has been seeking medical attention frequently. On January 17th this year, Flora was taken back to KCH due a dangerous low blood level. She received three pints of whole blood, recovered, and was discharged home. On January 31st, she was seen by the gynecologist at KCH who recommended a hysterectomy but due to the long list at KCH, she is not able to be seen for many months. The gynecologist referred her to our medical partner's care center PIH for urgent attention due to her condition. Her sister brought her to PIH where the surgeon confirmed her diagnosis and the need for a total abdominal hysterectomy, which is the removal of the uterus, including the cervix. Flora was then referred to the Watsi program due to her financial status. Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in a woman's uterus. Fibroids might become quite large leading to severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding. If left untreated, fibroids continue to grow, both in size and number worsening the symptoms. The heavy bleeding may become worse causing anemia which may be fatal. Flora needs help raising $1,363 to fund her hysterectomy surgery scheduled for February 3rd. After the surgery, it is expected that Flora will be able to live her normal life, and continue taking care of her baby as she works hand-in-hand with her sister. Flora Said, “Kindly help me to get better. I have already come through a lot in my life."

$1,363raised
Fully funded

Kenay is a sweet eleven-month-old baby boy from Ethiopia who loves to play with his mom. He is the fourth child of his parents. Kenay has started weaning and is eating Plumpy Nut, a nutrition supplement donated by the government and organizations to children with malnutrition, as Kenay was underweight. Kenay’s dad is a farmer and has land, but because of the drought, they couldn’t harvest enough, even for the family’s consumption. Initially, Kenay got his emergency colostomy from Sekota Hospital, which was supported by the community. However, he became so sick and underweight that his mother and some family members lost hope in his ability to survive. Fortunately, his mom heard about our medical partner’s care center, BethanyKids, from a social worker, and upon learning that they could get treatment for his condition, their hope increased. Bethany Kids covered the family’s transportation and accommodation to bring Kenay to the hospital, where the medical team first put him on a nutrition program for over four months to treat malnutrition. Now, Kenay’s weight is normal, and he is fit for surgery. Kenay was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. The long journey with multiple issues with his colostomy care has significantly impacted the psychological health of his parents, and they are requesting financial assistance with his surgery cost. Kenay is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on November 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,500 to cover Kenay’s procedure and care costs. After his recovery, Kenay will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Kenay’s mom said, “I hope my child will get treatment, and I hope he will heal after the treatment. I hope I will see him growing up and start a decent life.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Japhet is a baby and the last born in a family of five children living in Ngorongoro, Tanzania. His father works as a livestock keeper and farmer, cultivating crops for sustenance while selling part of the harvested produce to meet household expenses. Meanwhile, Japhet's mother fulfills the role of a homemaker, taking care of the children and managing house and family. Despite the father's efforts to provide for the family, there are difficulties in affording education and healthcare for their children, leading to their reliance on traditional remedies for medical treatment. Japhet was born with clubfoot, a condition where the foot is twisted out of shape, causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. This situation concerns his parents as they contemplate their child's future. While attending church, they received information about visiting specialists organizing a clinic specifically for children with treatable disabilities. Japhet's mother was able to attend the clinic, feeling relieved upon hearing about potential treatment options. With the church's assistance, transportation was arranged for them to travel to the hospital, and they arrived at our medical partner's center, where they were warmly welcomed. After assessing Japhet, he was diagnosed with clubfoot, specifically in his left foot. He will undergo manipulation and casting to gradually correct the foot's angle, followed by a tenotomy surgery to heal his condition. Thankfully, on June 16th, skilled surgeons at our medical partner, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, will perform clubfoot repair surgery. African Mission Healthcare is seeking $935 in funding to cover the costs associated with Japhet's treatment. This procedure will significantly improve Japhet's prospects for a better future. Japhet's mother says, "I hope my child will have the best treatment, and this treatment will make his future life better."

$935raised
Fully funded