Helen joined Watsi on August 8th, 2013. Eight years ago, Helen joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Helen's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Myrcayela, a beautiful 9 year old girl from Haiti, to fund heart surgery.
Helen has funded healthcare for 104 patients in 13 countries.
Helen has funded healthcare for 104 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."
Nobert is a one-month-old baby. His parents work in agriculture. They noticed that their newborn child's feet are twisted inward and downward. This worried the parents, for they have never come across a child born with such a disability. Nobert's parents shared that they spent a whole week in a dilemma, not knowing what to do. As they were about to go to a small local hospital nearby, they met with a friendly neighbour who helped to educate them on the problem and informed them of a health centre that can provide the proper treatment to their newborn child. Nobert has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Nobert's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 13th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Nobert's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when he grows up. Nobert's mother says, “I was worried that my son will grow up with his feet in this condition, but now I hope his feet will be normal after treatment."
Emmanuel is a 17-year-old student from Haiti who hopes to become a doctor. He lives with his aunt and uncle in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince so that he can more easily attend school, as his parents live in the countryside. Emmanuel has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation, which means one of his heart valves was severely damaged from an infection he experienced in early childhood. In 2017, Emmanuel underwent heart surgery to repair his existing valve. This surgery stabilized his heart for several years, but the valve remains unable to pump blood adequately throughout his body. Emmanuel needs to undergo a second surgery to replace the valve with a prosthetic heart valve. Emmanuel will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment, as this surgery is unavailable in Haiti. On November 10th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove the damaged heart valve and implant a replacement valve. An organization called Mitral Foundation is contributing $8,000 to pay for help pay for surgery. Emmanuel's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Emmanuel's family overseas. Emmanuel shared, "I am looking forward to growing stronger and having much more energy after my surgery!"
Daw San is 64-year-old woman who lives with her daughter-in-law in a border town in Thailand. Originally from Burma, she moved to Thailand to live with her son and daughter-in-law after her daughter unfortunately passed away. Daw San is now retired and helps her family with cooking. At the end of 2020, Daw San began experiencing lower back pain and a fever. After receiving an ultrasound at a medical clinic, she was diagnosed with stones in her right kidney. The medic provided her with oral medication and follow-up appointments. At these appointments, she would receive an ultrasound and a refill of her medication. After feeling her symptoms improve, she did not return to the clinic. However, Daw San began experiencing strong pain in her lower abdomen and back this past June. She also began to experience dizziness, difficulty sleeping, a lack in appetite, and pain when using the restroom. After undergoing an ultrasound and X-ray, it was determined that Daw San has very large stones in her right kidney, which need to be broken up through laser treatment. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Daw San receive treatment. On August 3rd, surgeons will perform shockwave lithotripsy to break down and treat the kidney stones. Now, she needs help funding this $1,500 procedure. Daw San shares, “I am very happy to learn that an organization will help pay for the cost of my surgery. I am very thankful to the donors and the organization. When I recover fully, I will go back to my village in Bago Division to live with my aunt.”
Joseph is a bright six-year-old student from Kenya. He is the oldest in a family of two children. Both of his parents work as small-scale farmers to support their family. Joseph has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Joseph traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 6th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Joseph's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk without difficulty and wear shoes again. Joseph mother says, “I have a very bright son. Everything else about him is fine except his feet. I hope he becomes a holistic, confident young man in the future, and I will definitely offer him my all to ensure that is achieved.”
Meet Djounailena, an 11-year-old girl who lives with her parents and two sisters in a small city on the west coast of Haiti. Djounailena is currently in fifth grade and shares that she aspires to become a teacher when she grows up! As a result of a bout of rheumatic fever, Djounailena developed a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. Since her rheumatic fever was not treated quickly enough, one of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged. This now causes her to experience weakness and shortness of breath because her heart cannot adequately pump blood throughout her body. Fortunately, Djounailena is scheduled to fly to the Cayman Islands where she will undergo cardiac surgery at Health City Cayman Islands on September 13th. Surgeons will initially attempt to repair her damaged valve; however, if they are unsuccessful, an artificial replacement valve will be implanted. A portion of the cost of Djounailena's treatment is being supported by Have a Heart Cayman. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is raising the remaining $1,500 to cover the costs of her surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA’s social workers to accompany Djounailena and her family overseas. Djounailena's mother says, "Our family is all praying for our daughter's heart to be healthy after the surgery is finished."
Katelyn is an eight-year-old girl from Kenya. She is the middle child, with her older sibling being 11 years old and her younger sibling being two. Her father previously worked as a butcher in their hometown, but he has since stopped and currently does not have a source of income. Her mother is a homemaker and takes full-time care of the children. They all live together in a rental house. Katelyn was born with an ear condition, which has caused her to experience hearing loss. She eventually had to stop attending school due to her condition. She is currently unable to communicate with others despite her having some speech. Last month, Katelyn's parents took her to Kenyatta National hospital to receive medical care. After undergoing an audiogram scan, it was confirmed that Katelyn has moderate to profound hearing loss. Her doctor recommends that she receive hearing aids since this would help with her hearing and likely her speech as well. However, her family is not able to pay for them due to financial constraints. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Katelyn receive treatment on August 5th. Now, Katelyn's family needs help funding these $1,171 life-changing hearing aids. Katelyn's mother shares, “We didn’t know that she could not speak because she is unable to hear! Doctors have said that it’s possible for her to both hear and speak if she gets the aids.”
Keysnaelle is a bright and caring 5-year-old who lives in the mountains of central Haiti. She lives with her parents, who are both farmers, and several older siblings. Keysnaelle enjoys helping her family out with different activities on the farm, as well as going to kindergarten and learning new things. Keysnaelle was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which blood leaks through a hole between two blood vessels near her heart. This causes her to experience weakness and shortness of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is asking for $1,500 to fund Keysnaelle's procedure and care. During the procedure, which is scheduled for July 27th, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole so blood can flow with ease. This will eliminate her difficulties with breathing and allow her to grow stronger. Her mother said, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping Keysnaelle to become healthy!"
Khu is a 42-year-old who lives with his three sisters and two nieces in a refugee camp. In February, he had to flee across the border from Karen State in Burma due to fighting around his village. His two younger sisters are students, while his other sister is currently working as an agricultural day laborer since Khu cannot work since his accident. He looks after his two nieces who are too young to go to school. In March, Khu was working on a local farm and was struck on the right forearm by a tire chain from an exploding tractor tire he was filling. After unsuccessfully trying for two months to heal his arm with blessed oil and turmeric paste, he sought medical help and was referred to Mae Sot hospital, where it was determined that he needs surgery for a broken forearm bone. Currently, Khu cannot lift up his right arm and cannot grab any objects with his right hand. He cannot move his right arm because of the pain. He has taken pain medicine since his accident to control the pain and he is not able to work. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Khu will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for June 1st and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help him regain use of his right arm so that he can go back to work and earn a living to support himself and his family. Khu said, “Everyone told me that I am very lucky that only my arm was injured. I feel very sad that I cannot work and that I have to depend on my sister’s income. She has to work hard since my accident. I hope I will get better soon so that I can find work again.”
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.
Joseph is 15-year-old student and the oldest in a small family of two kids. Joseph is a shy and reserved teenager. He was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Joseph's mother worries that this condition has caused Joseph to have low self-esteem. Joseph has been examined and scheduled for a corrective surgery at our partner facility Bethany Kids Kijabe Hospital on March 31st. Joseph's parents separated last year and his father does not offer financial support. Jospeh's mother picks up jobs doing laundry or selling food to make ends meet. Joseph's family does not have medical insurance to afford the necessary surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Joseph and his family raise $847 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Joseph says, “For a long time, I have been praying and wishing my parents to get money so that I can be treated.”