Satu joined Watsi on July 19th, 2015. Seven years ago, Satu joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Satu's most recent donation supported Ericka, a baby girl from Guatemala, to treat and manage a rare genetic disorder.
Satu has funded healthcare for 11 patients in 5 countries.
Satu has funded healthcare for 11 patients in 5 countries.
Ericka is a 10-month-old girl from Guatemala. She traveled over five hours with her family to make it to our clinic. She suffers from a rare genetic disorder called propionic acidemia. This means that she cannot metabolize proteins in a normal way, and for this reason she has to have a very low-protein diet. Ericka lives with her family in a rural community in the Pacific coastal region of Guatemala. Ericka loves to eat strawberries and play with her mother. Her mother is unable to work because of Ericka's special needs, making it difficult for her to be able to make money to support Ericka's medical care. Ericka needs to receive a full diagnostic workup to identify any brain abnormalities that may have been caused by not eating a diet that her body can tolerate. Currently, she still cannot sit up on her own, and likely will not be able to for a while--because of her condition. Also, she needs a special diet in order to avoid the risks of high ammonia in the blood, stroke, and sudden death. $1,385 will fund diagnostic testing for Ericka, and allow her medical team to determine the best course of treatment for her moving forward. Funding will also go toward her initial treatment. "Our dreams are to see her grow one day, and get better," Ericka's mother shared. "Maybe she could learn to walk. We appreciate the support we will receive for our baby."
Angelica is a newborn baby girl from rural Guatemala. She was born one month prematurely. She was small and weak when she was born, and acquired an infection in her eyes and now her lungs. When she came to see us at the clinic, she was very sick, but now she is doing much better after receiving hospital care. Unfortunately, her mother had to receive antibiotics that are unsafe for breastfeeding. Since her mother had to stop breastfeeding while taking the medications, she lost her ability to make milk and now Angelica is acutely malnourished. Her mother says her heart breaks because she is unable to give her daughter enough milk to make her stop crying. Angelica lives with her parents and her older siblings in a humble one-room wood house with a tin roof. Her mother is worried because she can see her daughter losing weight, and she does not have enough milk to feed her. Since she spends so much time caring for Angelica and her father works as a day laborer in the coffee fields, barely making enough money to support basic living costs, they cannot afford the extremely expensive formula Angelica needs to survive. Although Angelica's life is in danger now, the treatment she needs to be a healthy and happy baby is simple. She will receive formula with the protein, calories, and nutrients she needs to grow and develop. Her immune system will grow stronger with the formula, and she will no longer cry from hunger. This treatment will not only save Angelica's life, but will mean she is no longer at risk for seizures, diarrhea, and long-term developmental delays due to her lack of milk. "My desire is that my daughter gets better and can grow healthily," her mother said. "I want to see her get big so that she can go to the school and study and be a person like you all that helps the people that need it."
Nine-month-old Konjit was born with a birth defect called anorectal malformation. "She has only one functional hole," shares our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). "As a result, she cannot pass stool and urine in a normal way. Both come through only one hole." Due to the absence of her anus, Konjit is also exposed to infection and irritation. Konjit’s parents are from the southern part of Ethiopia. Both her parents are farmers with low income that can’t cover much more than food. For this reason, they don’t have the capacity to get their child the treatment she needs, and to pay her medical bill. Konjit is very beautiful and enjoys playing and laughing with her mom. This condition is causing her parents a lot of worry. Treatment for Konjit is a three-part surgery. Konjit may or may not need a colostomy - doctors will determine this after the first surgery. If in case colostomy is done, she will have a colostomy closure in 2-3 months after the anorectoplasty procedure. AMHF expects that after treatment, Konjit will be able to pass stool and urine normally, and the risk of infection and irritation will be reduced. “I have been in different hospitals but I couldn’t get any solution because of my low financial status," shares Konjit's mother. "When we come here all we have is a glimpse of hope for our baby to get the treatment. And it is our prayer for our hope to come true."
Astania is two months old and lives in Haiti with her parents and four older siblings. She was born with a heart condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. "Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen," our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) shares. "This leaves her feeling sick and weak." Astania’s father works in construction, and her mother sells rice in a marketplace. Although they work hard, they cannot afford the heart surgery that their daughter needs. Her mother told HCA that “Astania has been sick ever since she was born,” and she is “very happy that [Astania] can have her surgery.” $1,500 will fund preparation and overseas transportation costs for Astania's surgery, which is also being funded with a subsidy of $5,000 from Gift of Life International. "A successful surgery will restore normal blood flow to Astania’s heart, and she will not have any further symptoms," HCA adds.
San is a 53-year-old woman from Burma who lives with her son and older brother. When she was 34 years old, working as maid in Bangkok, San began noticing her fatigue, inability to carry heavy loads, swelling of her face and joints, back pain, and shortness of breath. She frequently vomited and gasped for breath. Our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP) shares, “San went to a hospital in Bangkok, and the doctor diagnosed her with rheumatic heart disease (RHD).” After the diagnosis, San’s symptoms forced her to quit her job. Her other children, living abroad in Malaysia and Australia, send enough money home to cover daily living expenses. RHD is a chronic heart condition arising from complications with rheumatic fever, especially common in developing countries. This can lead to rheumatic mitral stenosis, which causes a heart valve to malfunction, decreasing blood flow to the rest of the body. The upper heart chamber swells as pressure builds, and blood and fluid collect in the lung tissue, making it difficult to breathe. San was diagnosed with rheumatic mitral stenosis. Now, she suffers from numbness in her back, lack of appetite, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath. $1500 will cover the cost of her surgery. BBP, explains, “Following the surgery, San should be able to work again. She should be able to not suffer from fatigue, numbness, or shortness of breath.” San shares, “I enjoy my work as a maid or seamstress, and if I can regain my health, I want to go back and work in Bangkok again.”
Meet Abubeker, a two-year-old boy from Ethiopia. Abubeker’s father is a newly employed teacher in a government school. “Abubeker was born with an abnormally placed urination hole," says our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), "As a result, Abubeker cannot pass urine normally. This condition puts Abubeker at risk of contracting urinary tract infections and infertility in the future." Abubeker's condition is known as hypospadias. For $1,155, we can fund an operation that will correct the abnormality. “Abubeker will have a straight penis with a urination hole at the tip. He will be able to pass urine normally and his risk of urinary tract infections and infertility in future will be minimized,” explains AMHF. Abubeker's father says, “I really pray and wish that in future, Abubeker will be an intelligent and educated professional.”
Meet Jean Willio, a 17-month-old boy who lives in Haiti with his parents and seven older siblings. Jean Willio's two favorite pastimes are playing with his older siblings and enjoying music. His parents are both farmers. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) shares, "Jean Willio was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which a hole in the heart which normally closes shortly after birth, remains open." As a result of his heart condition, "blood leaks through this hole without passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen." Without treatment, Jean Willio will remain sickly and weak. Jean Willio's family cannot afford the $1,500 surgery he needs to restore blood flow to his heart. Fortunately, we can help. After the surgery, "he should not have any further cardiac symptoms," says HCA. "We have made many trips to the hospital with our son," Jean Willio's father shares. "We are very happy his heart can be fixed so we don't have to do that anymore."
Meet Timothe, a three-year-old boy from Haiti. Timothe lives with his parents and five siblings. Timothe has a congenital neurological condition called hydrocephalus, which causes excess cerebrospinal fluid to build up in his brain. According to our medical partner, Project Medishare (PM), Timothe’s head first began to swell a month after he was born. “The situation of my son affects me very badly,” shares Timothe’s father. “The other kids of his age are now going to school while my son cannot even sit to carry his own head. This makes me very sad.” If untreated, hydrocephalus can lead to long-term health complications, including delayed mental development. For $1,260, Timothe will receive brain surgery to treat his hydrocephalus. A shunt will be inserted into his head, draining the excess fluid and releasing the intracranial pressure from his brain. Timothe’s mother works as a saleswoman while his father teaches at the local school. Together, they produce a modest income that is not enough to cover the cost of Timothe’s medical expenses. “I will be very excited to see my son doing well after the surgery,” Timothe’s father tells us. “I just want him to be healthy.”
This is Mary Gold, a 39-year-old woman who lives in the Philippines. Mary Gold has an angiomyolipoma, a common variety of benign tumor, in her right kidney. “Mary Gold is experiencing a tingling pain in her right flank area, which she rated an eight out of ten on the pain scale. Furthermore, she has a mass that has been growing for the past seven months,” explains our medical partner, International Care Ministries (ICM). Although this type of tumor is benign, it can impair kidney functionality or even lead to the dilation and eventual rupture of blood vessels in the area. ICM reports, “Mary Gold’s daily activities are limited because of her condition. With an enlarged abdomen, it is uncomfortable for her to move around and perform necessary activities such as household chores, laundry, and fetching water.” For $1,395, we can fund surgery to remove Mary Gold’s right kidney. “With treatment, she will be freed from the pain her tumor brings and from the increasing possibility of bleeding," ICM says. ICM describes Mary Gold as “responsible and patient in taking care of her family.” They continue that she “really wants peace with everyone. Whenever her husband gets angry, she always walks out of the room so as to avoid arguments. Whenever she has nothing else to do, she usually entertains herself by watching TV shows.” “I really want to be well. Though there is a strong feeling of fear, I am trying to stay strong. I am excited to be well and take care of my family without out pain,” Mary Gold explains.
Meet Rabira, an eight-year-old son of peasant farmers from Ethiopia. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), explains: “Rabira was born with a condition called ‘imperforated anus.’ For the last eight years he has lived with a colostomy that enables him to pass stool.” Also known as anorectal malformation (ARM), Rabira’s condition involves a blockage of stool flow and/or an incorrect alignment of the anus and rectum. Although Rabira has a colostomy, meaning that his colon is linked to an artificial opening so that he can effectively pass stool, his treatment is not complete. ARM still causes vomiting, pain, bloating, and malnutrition, and there is a stigma surrounding it. “Rabira has suffered from social stigma and colostomy complications,” AMHF reports. “[Rabira’s parents] do not have any money to cover any amount of the bills that Rabira's treatment will generate. That is why he has endured all these years without receiving treatment.” AMHF continues, “[They] are very eager to send him to school once he is cured.” This will be possible for $1,500, with which a new anal opening will be created. According to AMHF, “Rabira will undergo a PSARP (the next step following a colostomy) and then two to three months from now he will undergo the final stage of the surgery (colostomy closure).” After surgery, “Rabira will be able to pass stool normally. He will have a chance to attend school, work towards his dreams, and will no longer be under social stigma," AMHF shares. Furthermore, the discomfort caused by this condition will decrease dramatically, further improving Rabira’s quality of life. “Rabira wants to be a ball player but he has a very hard time playing with his peers because of the colostomy. He hopes to be able to play and go to school once he is well,” AMHF tells us.
“Two years ago, Paw May began to feel pain in her abdomen,” shares our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP). The pain was initially treated with medicine, but returned two months ago. After traveling to Thailand to find healthcare, 50-year-old Paw May was found to have kidney stones. Kidney stones form when a change occurs in the normal balance of salts and minerals found in the urine. When these stones attempt to pass through the body, they can cause a great deal of pain, fever and chills. BBP explains, “Paw May is no longer able to carry on with her daily household work.” As a mother to three children—two of whom are still in high school—Paw May works hard to take care of her family. According to BBP, “Her son and husband both cultivate rice and grow vegetables to eat. Paw May and her family live hand-to-mouth and are very self-sufficient.” Though this self-sufficient lifestyle supports the family most of the time, Paw May and her husband often have to borrow money and are looking for Watsi support to help out with treatment. $1,500 will fund the treatment Paw May needs to treat her condition. She will undergo a surgical procedure to remove her kidney stones, and receive transportation to and from the hospital. The funding also covers post-operative care and medication. With this treatment, Paw May will no longer run the risk of infection and increased discomfort, as surgical intervention will impede the growth of the kidney stones and prevent future problems. BBP tells us, “After surgery Paw May will be able to return home, where she will be able to return to her domestic chores and help her children.”