UNIVERSAL FUND MEMBERBelieves in access to healthcare, grateful for WATSI
Rachael joined Watsi on January 6th, 2022. One year ago, Rachael joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Rachael's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Anthony, a 14-year-old boy from Kenya, to fund a colostomy.
Rachael has funded healthcare for 15 patients in 6 countries.
Rachael has funded healthcare for 15 patients in 6 countries.
Anthony, who is 14 years old, lives with his parents and seven siblings in Kenya. His parents make charcoal to earn a living for the family, but their situation has been made more difficult by the inter-communal war in their area, which has forced the family to move on several occasions in order to find safety. Anthony was diagnosed with anorectal malformations at birth. He had surgery to correct the blockage and did well for a few months, but the blockage recurred. He could not pass stool as he had done before, but his parents could not afford to take him back to the hospital. His stomach started to increase in size and has grown over the years. Over time he completely lost the ability to move his bowels and stopped going to school. Late last year the county government social worker heard of Anthony's situation and contacted the family. She was able to finance their transport to the hospital for Anthony to be examined. As a result of the examination, it was determined that Anthony required surgery urgently. Anthony is now scheduled for a colostomy on February 15th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,152 to cover the costs of this life-saving procedure. Anthony’s Aunt said: “It pains us that Anthony has to go through this. We really hope that he will be treated and go back to school.”
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."
Michelle is a young child with a sweet smile. She is the firstborn of a two-child family. Her parents are modest farmers who grow potatoes and vegetables primarily for their own family's consumption. Additionally, they run a small kiosk out of their home, but its limited earnings are insufficient to cover their basic needs. Michelle is presently enrolled in nursery school at a nearby public school. Michelle had a normal cold when she visited our medical facility. She was gasping loudly while inhaling and coughing frequently. Since last year, Michelle has been ill. Her mother noticed that whenever she had a cold, she would frequently complain of a sore throat and cough a lot. She also have a hard time sleeping, has trouble breathing, and has difficulty feeding because she always breathes through her mouth. Michelle has to wear extra warm clothing to stay warm during the colder months because her nose always gets congested, which is hard for her. She has been an inactive child as she is always tired. Her sleep patterns are constantly off, and she easily nods asleep during the school day, which has a negative impact on how well she does academically. Due to recurring tonsil infections that are resistant to therapy, Michelle has been in and out of the hospital several times. During her last visit, the doctor examined her and realized that her tonsils and adenoids had hypertrophied. She has been diagnosed with grade three tonsils, and since she was not responding to any medication, the doctor advised them to have surgery, which would provide a lasting, long-term solution to her problem. Michelle's parents have medical insurance, but in the last three months, they did not manage to pay their monthly subscriptions as they were low on income. Their coverage is in arrears, and unfortunately, it will not cover her procedure. She requires $714 for her surgery to be done, and her parents are appealing to all well-wishers reading her story to assist her in getting her surgery. Michelle's mother says, “My daughter has really suffered over a long period of time. She has taken numerous drugs without any noticeable change in her, and this has me very concerned. I want her to be able to have a regular life and do well in school. Please assist her so that she can eventually realize her goals."
Maribeth is a caring mother from the Philippines. She's a full-time mom to her three children, while her husband works as a grinder. In May 2022, Maribeth began to experience troubling symptoms, including fatigue, trembling hands, and masses on her neck that were growing in size. These symptoms prevent her from being able to take care of her children and do her daily chores. Maribeth sought a medical checkup, where doctors told her to undergo a neck ultrasound and biopsy. Her results indicated that she is experiencing a multiple colloid adenomatous goiter. This condition occurs when tumor formation occurs, caused by an overgrowth of thyroid tissue cells. Maribeth needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Maribeth receive treatment. On November 11th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy at WSFP's hospital. During this procedure, surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation is supporting a portion of the cost of her treatment, and WSFP is raising $890 to cover the remaining cost of Maribeth's procedure and care. Maribeth says, "This free surgery is a big help for me because we don't have enough money to pay for my bills. To all the hospital staff who are helping me, to WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines, thank you! May God bless you, and may you help more people in need."
Eliana is a friendly and talkative young girl from Tanzania. She is the firstborn child in a family of three. Her parents both work as small-scale farmers, and they depend entirely on what they harvest for their daily living. When Eliana was two years old, her parents noticed that her left leg was swelling up and that she would limp when walking. They initially thought she had fallen and hurt herself, so they took her to a local dispensary, where she was prescribed pain relieving medication. Eliana was eventually diagnosed with genu valgus, which is a malalignment of the knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Eliana struggles to stand and cannot walk more than four steps without either experiencing pain or falling down. This has resulted in her having to crawl most of the time in order to move from one place to another. In 2020, Eliana had corrective osteotomy surgery, which fortunately helped correct her legs to a point where she can now enjoy walking and playing with other children. However, she requires a second-stage procedure in order to remove her implant so her condition can heal entirely. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Eliana. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 11th. Treatment will allow Eliana's legs to completely heal, fully restoring her mobility, and greatly decreasing her risk of future complications. Eliana’s grandmother says, “The first surgery my granddaughter got helped ease her walking. I believe this next surgery will make her legs even better.’’
Naing is a 27-year-old man who lives with his parents, brother and two sisters in Burma. He enjoys playing cane ball and reading. His parents are retired and grow vegetables in their garden. Naing's brother is a day laborer, but he has been unable to find regular work since the Covid-19 pandemic, so he cannot contribute towards household expenses. One of Naing's sisters works as a government officer, while the other is a shop worker. Naing used to work in his uncle’s shop selling groceries and flowers, but he was forced to stop working when his health began to decline. Naing first developed a cough and a fast heartbeat in November 2021. At a clinic in Dawei, Naing was diagnosed with high blood pressure, provided with medication, and sent home. In December 2021, because of his rapid heartbeat, Naing traveled to the hospital in Dawei, where he underwent a series of tests. Doctors at the hospital told Naing that there were problems with the valves in his heart. Once again, Naing was given medication, and sent home. Last February, Naing vomited, could not sleep, and felt tired when he stood or sat. He went to Dawei General Hospital, and showed the doctor his previous echocardiogram result. The doctor told him to continue taking his medication from Yangon, and gave him some vitamins. A few days later, Naing felt better. Then in March, Naing and his sister went to Yangon General Hospital, where he underwent more testing. This time the doctor told him that he might need to have two of his heart valves surgically replaced. Naing’s sister told the doctor that Naing had been to several hospitals over the past year, and the family had no more money left. Naing's health continues to decline, and he has lost five kilograms; he needs to have surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is here to help Naing access the care that he needs. They are requesting $1,500 to cover the costs of Naing's valve replacement surgery, scheduled to take place on August 9th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Naing said: “I am so tired of visiting several hospitals and hoping to receive surgery. My sister has had to take leave [from her work as a government officer] several times, and now she has had to take leave without pay [to accompany me as my caregiver]. I feel embarrassed that my family has used up all their money, sold all their jewelry, and made sacrifices for me. Finally, I have met your organization BCMF, and I will have the chance to receive surgery with the help of donors. I feel less stressed that I will not have to wait so long to receive surgery, and that my sister will be able to go back to work. Thank you so much.”
Rodjana is a creative three-year-old girl from Haiti who lives in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital city, with her parents and three older siblings. She currently attends preschool and enjoys drawings and making crafts. Rodjana has several cardiac conditions. She has a heart valve that does not adequately allow blood to be pumped through her body, as well as a hole between two blood vessels near her heart. Fortunately, Rodjana will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive cardiac treatment on September 7th. There, surgeons will repair the faulty valve and close the hole near her heart. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by Haiti Cardiac Alliance. Rodjana's family needs help raising the remaining $1,500, which covers labs, medication, and travel costs. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. Rodjana's mother says, "I am hopeful that after this surgery, my daughter will be able to play normally and be more active."
Stephen is a hardworking 29-year-old from Kenya. He lives with his single mother and his ten-year-old son. To support his mother and son, he works at a barber shop. Four months ago, Stephen fell from a tree while he was fetching firewood for his mother. This fall caused a closed fracture of his right hand. This condition has profoundly affected Stephen, not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. He currently experiences a lot of pain and can no longer work. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 8th, Stephen will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The procedure will heal his fracture and alleviate his pain. After receiving treatment, he will be able to return to his barber shop business and generate income for his mother and son. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Stephen shares, "Already my mother has been taking care of me and my son. I desperately need help so that I can regain my own self, start working to support my son, and not be dependent on my mother.”
Elka is a 13-month-old baby who lives in Haiti with her parents. Both of her parents are hardworking vendors in their local market. Elka was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, meaning blood leaks through a hole between two blood vessels located near her heart. This leaves her feeling weak and short of breath. Since the required treatment is not available in Haiti, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Elka travel to the Dominican Republic where she will be able to access the care she needs. On July 28th, she will undergo a procedure where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole so blood can flow without issue through her body. Elka's family is looking to raise $1,500 to fund her necessary care, treatment, and travel. Elka also has a cleft lip and palate, so once her heart condition is treated, a team of doctors will soon be able to perform another surgery to repair this condition and help her have a healthier future and a full life ahead. Her mother says, "I am looking forward to my daughter growing up as a normal healthy child!"
Helena is a teenage girl and the fourth of six children. She is a friendly and social girl who loves sports and helping with home chores. Helena is in class two and her best subjects are writing skills and mathematics. Most children around Helena's age have finished their primary school education, but Helena's delay in her studies is caused by a foot disability she was born. Helena has clubfoot of both feet and her parents could not afford any form of medical treatment as small-scale farmers and livestock keepers. Learning to walk was very difficult for Helena. She can only stand or walk with crutches at this time, but it is still very painful. Therefore, Helena relies on a wheelchair to move from one place to another. Fortunately, Helena traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Helena's life-altering surgery. After treatment, she will be able to stand unassisted, walk and wear shoes like the other kids she knows. Helena shared, “I will be very happy if my feet can be treated and help me to stand and walk."
Zion is an adorable four-month-old baby boy from the Philippines. Despite being so young, Zion loves interacting with people and already responds when his name is called. Zion's mother is a full-time mom, while his father is a contract-of-service worker. Zion's father's income helps to sustain their family's daily needs. In March, Zion's family brought him to the hospital as he has skin tags on his body and they were concerned for his future health and development. This condition can be severe, especially at his age as it may cause discomfort that leads to itching, wounds, and infections. On May 4th, Zion is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Zion's parents raise $1,196 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. After recovery, Zion will no longer have multiple skin tags or be at risk of developing related health complications in the future. "Once this surgery is done, we don't have to worry about his condition, and we can focus on taking care of Zion," his father shared. "Thank you so much World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for your help. May you help other people in need like us," he added.
Margaret is a humble and quiet 13-year-old student, and the youngest child of three children in her family. She enjoys school, and reading in particular. Her mother works as a casual laborer at a flower farm in the area, and she is separated from Margaret's father. Margaret has clubfoot of both feet, a condition in which her feet are twisted out of shape. This causes her difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Margaret receive treatment. On April 11th, she will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, she will no longer use a wheelchair while in school, and she will be able to walk on her own. Now, Margaret and her family need help raising $1,286 to fund Margaret's procedure and care. Margaret's mother shared, "I will not be able to afford the estimated hospital bill despite my love for my daughter and my wish to see her walking on her feet. I request help for my daughter to undergo surgery and resume her normal life."