Salil joined Watsi on November 7th, 2014. Two years ago, Salil joined the Universal Fund and became the 607th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 2,354 more people have joined! Salil's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Khin Wint, an 18-month-old baby girl from Burma, to fund a CT scan after brain surgery.
Salil has funded healthcare for 28 patients in 10 countries.
Meet Khin Wint, an 18-month-old baby girl from Burma. She lives in a village with her mother, siblings, and extended family. Her father has been living and working in Thailand for the past two years, sending money back to his family twice a year. While this income covers the daily needs of the family, it is not enough to cover any extra unforeseen costs—including healthcare. This has become a problem for the family because Khin Wint recently underwent surgery for a rare birth defect known as encephalocele. This means that part of Khin Wint’s skull failed to close completely while she was in utero, and so a portion of her brain and its membranes protruded from between her eyes. Prior to surgery, Khin Wint’s encephalocele had been growing steadily in size and was painful to the touch. Fortunately, through the aid of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Khin Wint was able to receive an operation to remedy her encephalocele on April 3 of this year. She received Watsi funding for that [surgery](https://watsi.org/profile/b1f990acf80c-khin-wint). Now, however, Khin Wint has a fever. She needs to undergo a CT scan in order to determine whether the fever is due to excess fluid building up in the aftermath of the procedure. If this is the case, the doctor will insert a shunt to drain liquid away from the head and towards other parts of Khin Wint’s body, where the fluid can be safely absorbed. With your help, we can cover the cost of this vital test, set to take place on April 4. $693 will pay for Khin Wint’s CT scan, in addition to her three-day hospital stay and roundtrip travel to the medical center. "I am happy that my daughter has received surgery,” Khin Wint’s mother shares, “but I am still worried about her recovery.” Let’s help put those worries to rest by ensuring that Khin Wint’s doctor has all of the information necessary to oversee her safe recuperation.
Dalishon is a 65-year-old man from Malawi. He lives with his wife, and together they have six children and seven grandchildren. To make an income, Dalishon runs a small farm and manages a small-scale business crafting mats. In his spare time, he likes to sit and chat with his friends in the village. Since January of this year, Dalishon has been experiencing pain related to an inguinal hernia, which means that part of his intestine has protruded through the abdominal muscles. If left untreated, the pain will worsen and the hernia may become strangulated, which will cut off blood flow to the affected tissue. Dalishon is now scheduled to undergo an operation on April 6 to repair the hernia. Our medical partner, World Altering Medicine, is requesting $334 to cover the expenses of the surgery, which will include the price of surgical supplies, anesthesia, and other medicine. After surgery, Dalishon is expected to make a full recovery. He is excited about having his operation so that he can return to running his business and tending his crops without any pain or discomfort.
Maung Chit is 43 years old and the father of a large family. He lives with his family in Burma. He works very hard as a day laborer, employed by several large farms. In April 2016, Maung Chit experienced an accident while unloading timber from a wagon. A portion of the load fell on top of him and broke his right leg above the ankle. In June 2016, he made the four-hour journey to a clinic, where an X-ray of his leg was taken. He was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), to examine the large bulge on his leg, which was preventing him from walking. In December 2016, Maung Chit underwent an internal and external fixation surgery. Maung Chit now needs another surgery to remove the rod placed during his first operation. Our medical partner, BCMF, is requesting $1,500 for this procedure.
Thorn is an industrious 59-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia. He is married and has two sons, three daughters, and five grandchildren. horn is close to his family and takes pride in his ability to support them. In his free time, he enjoys watching TV and shepherding his cattle. Three years ago, Thorn began to develop blurred vision, tearing, cloudy lenses, and itchy eyes. The symptoms affected his work and everyday life. He sought help at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), where he was diagnosed with cataract in both eyes. The physicians at CSC have recommended a small incision cataract surgery and intraocular lens implant in each eye. These procedures will remove Thorn's natural lenses and replace them with clear, artificial lenses. CSC is requesting $292 for his surgery set for February 21.
Agapita is a 59-year-old woman who lives with her husband and son in the Philippines. For the past 20 years, she has lived with a mass on her neck, which causes her difficulty swallowing and occasional pain. She has also experienced blurry vision. Her symptoms continue to worsen, which has made working difficult. Recently, Agapita was screened and diagnosed with a thyroid goiter, which means that part of her thyroid gland is enlarged. Doctors will surgically remove the goiter on January 13. Our medical partner, International Care Ministries, is requesting $1,500 to fund her surgery and hospital stay. Agapita and her husband are farmers. She is looking forward to recovery, so that she can work and support her son's education. "This will really mean a lot to me and my family," says Agapita. "After the surgery, I am planning to help my husband to supplement our income and let my son go back to school again. Thank you so much in advance for all your help, and may you be blessed more and more."
Bagonza is a 34-year-old married father of five children who lives in Uganda. He and his wife are farmers. However, in the past two years, he has been incapable of farming due to pain from an inguinal hernia. An inguinal hernia is a protrusion of the intestines through a weak region in the abdominal muscles. Its presence makes coughing, bending at the waist, or lifting heavy objects very painful. Bagonza first began experiencing pain and swelling from the hernia ten years ago. He says he lived with this condition for so long because he lacked money for treatment. Due to the pain, he became unable to lift heavy items, dig, or do any straining. His wife was the only one supporting the family, and she did not earn enough money to pay their children's school fees. Bagonza came to our medical partner's care center, Holy Family Virika Hospital, after encouragement from a friend who knew about Watsi. At the hospital, he was diagnosed with a reducible right inguinal hernia and was advised to have surgery. Without treatment, he was at risk of strangulation of the hernia, which might result in loss of life. On November 30, Bagonza underwent hernia repair surgery. During the surgery, the doctor pushed the protruding tissue back into the abdomen and sewed together the weakened muscle with a synthetic mesh. Over time, muscle tissue will grow into and around the mesh to strengthen the area. Watsi's medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $249 to fund this procedure. Funding for Bagonza also covers the costs of a three-day hospital stay, pain medicine, antibiotics, and blood tests. After surgery, Bagonza hopes to work hard and put his children back in school.
Yeferson was born just a few weeks ago. Since then, however, his mother has been unable to produce enough breastmilk. As a result, Yeferson is losing weight and not growing. When he is hungry, his mother gives him warm water in a bottle. This limited diet is insufficient and has dangerous implications for Yeferson's health. Lactation failure can lead to starvation and dehydration. Brain development is compromised, and Yeferson is at risk of long-term damage. Fortunately, he began treatment on November 22. Yeferson lives with his parents, two sisters, and brother in rural Guatemala. The family owns their own home, but their resources are limited. Yeferson’s father works in agriculture, which means his income is inconsistent. He needs help to fund this $1,107 treatment. Yeferson's treatment will be simple and effective. He will receive formula, which will give him the protein, calories, and nutrients he needs to grow and develop. His mother will receive in-home nutrition education, so she will learn low-cost ways to prevent future cases of malnutrition. Yeferson's immune system will strengthen, and he will grow up to be a healthy, energetic baby. "I don't want him to get sick," says Yeferson's mother. "I want to see him grow healthy and happy. I appreciate the help you will give my son, and when he is grown, I would like him to be a professor to give classes in the school."
Fileah is a seven-month-old baby girl who is malnourished. She lives with her parents in a small bamboo house with no electricity in a remote area of the Phillipines. Her father, who is a farmer, has to rely on government supplies to provide water for his family. There is still not enough money to ensure that Fileah gets enough food. With $184, Fileah can receive comprehensive treatment. ICM’s Home-Based Feeding program will provide nutrient enriched food packs to ensure she regains normal weight, and achieves optimum physical and mental development. Staff and community volunteers will make weekly visits to monitor her progress. To help sustain Fileah's long-term health, ICM's professional staff will educate her mother, guardian or other family members about proper nutrition, sanitation, hygiene and organic vegetable gardening. Fileah's family member shares, "I hope Fileah becomes healthy and recovers from malnutrition."
Abigael is the youngest in a family of three children from Kenya. She developed meningitis and pneumonia at eight months old. It was while at the hospital receiving treatment that her head circumference started increasing in size at an abnormally high rate. A scan early last month revealed that Abigael has hydrocephalus, a condition associated with excess fluid in the head, and a surgery is required to ease the pressure Abigael is in. Now at 16-months-old, if not treated, she may suffer brain damage which may result in death. Abigael lives with her mother and siblings in a three-room house in Central Kenya. Abigael’s mother is a primary school teacher and the sole provider, having lost her husband in an accident two years ago, before Abigael was born. Abigael’s mother was advised to seek specialized treatment, but it comes at a cost her mother cannot afford. For $685, Abigael will have a shunt inserted to reduce the pressure in her head and allow her to grow up healthy. “It is hard to raise the required funds for my daughter’s surgical care and the little savings I had were all used up during her previous stay in the hospital,” says Abigael’s mother.
Laraha is a 15-year-old boy who lives with his family in Tanzania. He is the fourth of ten children, and he loves singing traditional songs and dancing. Laraha has been herding cattle ever since he was a little boy and has never attended school. Recently, Laraha has been experiencing some knee pain after long days of herding cattle. He usually feels pain in the evenings when he is relaxing. It has also become difficult for him to run because his legs bow inwards and his knees knock when he runs. Laraha’s condition—known as genu valgus—is part of the normal growth and development of the legs and typical resolves on its own by age seven or eight. However, in some children, underlying bone disease prevents straightening of one or both legs and contributes to the strain of the involved knee joints. To improve his gait and reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis at a young age, Laraha needs corrective surgery known as an osteotomy. During the surgery, doctors will remove a wedge of bone from each upper leg and attach pins, a rod, or a metal plate and screws to close the gap and straighten the leg. Laraha’s parents raise livestock and earn just enough to cover the family's basic needs. With such a large family to support, coming up with enough cash for Laraha’s corrective surgery has been difficult. $940 pays for Laraha's surgery as well as three pre- and post-surgical consultations, three days of hospital care, physiotherapy, medicine, and a three-month-stay at The Plaster House for recovery and rehabilitation. “I hope my legs will be straight like before so that I can continue to herd cattle,” shares Laraha.
Krouss is a four-year-old boy from Haiti who was born with a cardiac condition called valvar pulmonic stenosis. One of the valves of his heart is too small to allow blood to adequately pass through. As a result, oxygen does not reach his body in sufficient quantities, leaving him sickly and weak. Krouss needs surgery to ensure he can grow up healthy, and without further complications from his heart condition. Surgeons will insert a balloon inside the valve and inflate it to stretch the valve open. Depending on the result, he may or may not then need an open-heart procedure. The treatment will cost $6,500, however Health City Cayman Islands has subsidized part of the treatment. Through Watsi, $1,500 will cover the cost of overseas preparation and transportation for Krouss and one parent as the surgery will be performed in the Cayman Islands. Krouss lives with his mother and father, and he is their first child. His father is a security guard and his mother sells goods in the local market. He is a very intelligent boy and has already learned to read, and is looking forward to starting school next year. "I am most excited about getting to go on a plane ride," Krouss shared excitedly.
"I am unhappy that I have right ear pain, and it is difficult to communicate with other people," shares Sao, a 39-year-old wife and mother. She works as a cook and cares for her parents in her home in Cambodia. “For two years, Sao has experienced discharge from her right ear every day as well as hearing loss,” our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC), tells us. “She has been treated with antibiotics at another hospital, but her condition did not improve.” Doctors at CSC have discovered a cholesteatoma—an abnormal skin growth located behind the eardrum—in Sao’s right ear. A cholesteatoma initially develops as a cyst after chronic ear infections or perforation of the eardrum. Over time, the cyst sheds layers of old skin that collect within the ear. Without treatment, a cholesteatoma can grow large enough to cause hearing loss, dizziness, or facial paralysis. Treatment for Sao is a mastoidectomy, a surgical procedure in which doctors remove the diseased cells in the hollow, air-filled spaces in the skull behind the ears. The cells—known as mastoid air cells—are diseased as a result of the chronic ear infections that spread to the skull structures near Sao’s right ear. Doctors will also remove the cholesteatoma that has grown behind her right eardrum. $809 pays for surgery for Sao as well as two hearing tests, one night in the hospital, one day of inpatient post-operative care, and three outpatient follow-up visits in the month following surgery. “Sao’s ear discharge and pain will stop after the surgery,” says CSC. Sao’s uncle, who accompanied her to the appointment at CSC, looks forward to a successful procedure for his niece. "I hope after the operation is done, Sao's ear discharge will stop, and she can have good hearing and health,” he shares.