Laurie joined Watsi on September 2nd, 2013. Six years ago, Laurie joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Laurie's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Keziah, a 36-year-old mother from Kenya, to fund treatment to remove a large ovarian cyst.
Laurie has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 12 countries.
Laurie has funded healthcare for 86 patients in 12 countries.
Keziah is a lovely, 36 year old mother of three, who lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Nairobi. Before her current illness, Keziah would hawk food, while her husband works as a laborer to support their family. After giving birth to her last child in 2016, Keziah began to experience pain around her umbilicus, and then her abdomen began to swell. Despite numerous trips to the hospital, Keziah was always sent home without a solution. Fortunately, Keziah was referred to Nazareth Hospital, where the doctor who first met with her thought that she was pregnant, because of the size of her belly, and because she was wearing maternity clothes. A CT scan revealed an unusual and benign cyst on Keziah's ovary, that had grown to a very large size. If Keziah does not have the cyst removed soon, she risks having the cyst rupture, which might lead to blood poisoning from the bacteria in the cyst. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $788 to fund the surgery to excise Keziah's cyst, which is scheduled to take place on June 10th at Nazareth Hospital. “I am worried and exhausted. I pray that I get help so that this problem can be treated so that I can resume my normal life, and also be able to restart my small business to support our family,” said Keziah.
Jamesly is an 11-year-old boy who lives with his parents and older brother in Haiti. He shared that he likes to play with his friends. Jamesly has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain, increasing intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Jamesly has developed headaches, and he is unable to walk. Without treatment, Jamesly will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Jamesly at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only hospital in the country where Jamesly can receive the treatment that is critical to resolving his hydrocephalus. This life-changing surgery is scheduled for May 12th, and it should allow Jamesly to develop into a strong and healthy young man. His family is hopeful the surgery will enable Jamesly to go back to school, and be able to play with his friends.
Abity is an adorable 5-year-old boy who loves food and playing with friends. He spends his days playing football and loves to play with toys. He is a shy child in front of new people, and especially likes spending time with his sister and a brother. His mom is a daily laborer finding work whenever she can and his dad has been sick for some years resulting in him leaving his job in a government office. They shared that there are days that his mom gets outside work and there are days that she spends at home. All the children in their family are not able to go to school yet as a result of Abity's health and the financial constraint in the family. Abity's has an abnormally functioning segment of bowel. He has suffered with partial bowel obstruction & other severe symptoms. He now is waiting for a procedure called a coloanal pull through. His parents shared that because of the condition, they are also affected psychologically. Abity's mom hoped that we could help him to finally heal, she said: “His belly was too big before the colostomy and we were so scared and sad. When I was confused as to what I could do, people advised me to go to a charitable organization and the organization brought me here.”
Jephte is a sweet 3-year-old boy who lives with his parents in a small town in Northern Haiti. He loves playing with toys and watching cartoons. Jephte has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. The care the Jephte needs is not available in Haiti, so he will fly to the Cayman Islands for treatment. On March 18th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will sew a patch over the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Their family has raised funds for his surgery, but they also need help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Jephte's family overseas. His mother shared, "Our family will be praying for everyone who is making this surgery possible for our son!"
Priscillah is a joyful 52-year-old farmer. Sadly, she lost her husband in 2008 so is raising her five children on her own. She has a son who drives a motorcycle taxi, two daughters who are married to farmers, and two other children who are still in school. To support her family, Priscillah grows food for home consumption and sells the surplus for other basics for their family. Two years ago, Priscillah began experiencing troubling symptoms, including difficulty breathing and hoarseness. Until about a month ago, she was able to live with the symptoms, however she recently visited the hospital when her breathing difficulties worsened. She has been diagnosed with a traumatic goiter and requires surgery to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Priscillah receive treatment. On March 23rd, she will undergo a thyroidectomy, where surgeons from AMH will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. Now, she needs help raising $252 to fund her procedure and care. Priscillah shared, "I'm requesting you to support me to undergo this surgery because my finances are too limited to enable me to afford it on my own."
Phyu is a 17-year-old who lives with her parents, husband, and two brothers on the Thai-Burma border. Her father and husband work as day labourers, while her mother looks after her two younger brothers. Phyu used to help on small jobs too, but stopped six months ago when she first felt unwell. Beginning last October, Phyu felt tired, experienced chest tightness, and oedema in both her legs. A few days later, she went to a clinic and was told that she has a problem with her heart. She received medication and a follow-up appointment for the following week. Although she took the medication regularly, she did not feel any better. When she went back to the clinic, it was closed due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in their area. While she waited for the clinic to reopen, the swelling in her legs worsened and she also had difficulty breathing. Eventually, her employer drove her to Phop Phra Hospital, where she was admitted and given oxygen. The doctor at the hospital referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) the next day where she received a number of diagnostic tests. The doctor told her that she has a heart condition and diagnosed her with aortic valve regurgitation. The medical team shared that she needed to undergo surgery and told her to travel to Chiang Mai where they can provide the care she needs. Worried about how her family would afford the surgery, once Phyu arrived at the clinic, a medic referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing the treatment she needs. Currently, Phyu feels tired if she walks far or when she has to do anything strenuous such as carrying water or cleaning her house. If she sleeps on her back, she has difficulty breathing. Although she still has oedema in her legs, the swelling has gone down since she started taking medication from MSH. “When I recover from surgery, I want to work to help increase my family’s income so that we can pay back our debt. I also want to support my brother who is attending a teacher training college in Burma. He is a second-year student now," said Phyu with new hope for her future.
On Monday night this week, Christine started experiencing pain in her abdominal area which she thought would disappear but it did not. The pain began when she was in school and her roommate heard her cry at night and went to her help. Upon learning about Christine’s pain, she immediately requested a taxi and rushed her to a nearby hospital. She was examined in the emergency department where first aid and a diagnostic scan was done. Her scan did not reveal anything unusual and she was referred to another facility where she could have a CT scan. Based on her results from the CT scan she was immediately referred to Kenyatta National Hospital. She was taken there in an ambulance, but on arrival they were asked for money which her father did not have. Their family made a decision to bring her to Kijabe Hospital for treatment with hopes that she could get the care she needed there. Christine’s family is having a difficult time right now and is requesting help to support her treatment. They need help raising $1,074 to fund the emergency laparotomy that will heal her pain.
Ko Myo lives with his mother in a village in Burma. He used to be a motorcycle taxi driver but stopped working two months ago when his health deteriorated. His mother and wife currently care for him, washing clothes and working in a clothing factory in Yangon, earning income to support their family. With the help of Watsi donors, Ko Myo underwent his second round of laser treatment in January 2020, at Mae Sot Hospital in Thailand, to breakup stones in his left kidney. He was scheduled to undergo a third round of laser treatment however, when the Thai-Burma border closed in March 2020 due to increasing COVID-19 cases, Ko Myo was not able to go back to the hospital. He felt better until the first week of December 2021 when he started experiencing a lot of pain in his waist when he sat for a long time. With the border still closed and without enough money to go to a hospital, Ko Myo sought advice. He then went with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, in Yangon to a clinic in January 2022 and was able to visit our partner's care center, Shin Par Ku Hospital. The doctor has told him he will need surgery on his left kidney to remove the stone and has scheduled him to have the procedure on February 6th. Currently, Ko Myo has little appetite and experiences pain in the left side of his back. He is eagerly awaiting surgery. He shared, "I pity my wife because she has to work hard and support me. Now, I am so happy that I will receive surgery soon," he said. "One day I want to open my own shop in the market and sew children's clothing."
Grace is a two-month-old baby and the second born in a family of two children. Their family lives in a small rented house in Kenya's capital, Nairobi. Her father is the bread winner of the family but he is not employed formally. He does casual electrical jobs and work is hard to come by. Her mother used to sell clothes before she was expecting her baby. Their family does not have national health insurance coverage and cannot raise the required funds for their daughter’s surgery. Grace has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. Grace was born pre-maturely at Kijabe Hospital and was admitted in the nursery for close monitoring and extra care. After spending two weeks in nursery, she was diagnosed with hydrocephalus. At the time, there was not a neuro surgeon locally who could help and she was not stable enough to be referred to another facility. She has been doing well now, and a shunt surgery is scheduled to happen tomorrow as an urgent surgery to help treat her condition. Without treatment, Grace will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Grace that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 12th and will drain the excess fluid from Grace's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Grace will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Grace’s mother says, “At first I was shocked when I heard about the condition and found it hard for us, but we believe all will be well.”
Agrey is a 10-day old baby boy and the first child of his young parents. Agrey's parents have been happy to welcome their firstborn. His mother takes care of their home and Agrey's father works as a truck driver at a local sand quarry. His income is not much, but helps them make ends meet. Agrey was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Agrey is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Agrey's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 14th. This procedure will hopefully spare Agrey from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Agrey’s mother says “The cost for my son’s surgery is too expensive for my husband to afford and our son needs this surgery, kindly help us.”
Daudi is a sweet 6-month-old baby and the youngest in a family of five children. Daudi’s parents are subsistence farmers and they shared that their income will not begin to cover Daudi’s treatment. Daudi was born with clubfoot in both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which a foot is twisted out of shape, causing difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Daudi’s family traveled to the care center at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), to receive treatment. On November 16th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery, which will allow Daudi to walk easily when he grows up. AMH is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Daudi’s mother shared, “I would like to see my child be able to walk without difficulty once he grows and starts to walk. Please help us get this treatment.”
Naw Day is a 31-year-old pregnant woman who lives with her husband and three-year-old son in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Naw Day works as a high school teacher, however since August 2021, schools have been closed in the refugee camp due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. She currently only works one day a week, where she helps clean the school. Naw Day and her husband are expecting their second child. Her doctor has recommended that she give birth through a scheduled Caesarean section to ensure a safe arrival for her baby. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Naw Day to receive labor and delivery care. On October 8th, she will deliver her baby via C-Section. Now, their family needs help raising $1,500 to fund a healthy and safe delivery for her and her baby. Naw Day shared, "Thank you for helping me."