Caitlin joined Watsi on September 24th, 2016. Six years ago, Caitlin joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Caitlin's most recent donation traveled 4,200 miles to support Kimberly, a 5-month-old baby girl from Bolivia, to fund surgery to heal her heart condition.
Caitlin has funded healthcare for 83 patients in 12 countries.
Caitlin has funded healthcare for 83 patients in 12 countries.
Kimberly is a 5-month-old baby girl. She lives in a small city in central Bolivia with her parents, who work in the mining industry, and three siblings. Kimberly was born with several defects in her heart, including a hole between the two upper chambers as well as a second hole between the two lower chambers. As a result of these conditions, her heart struggles to pump blood through her body. During surgery, doctors will be able to sew these holes shut so that her heart functions well and is stronger. Her surgery is scheduled for January 19th. Fortunately, the organization, Gift of Life International, is subsidizing part of Kimberly's medical care, but her family still needs help to fund the remaining $1,500. Kimberly's mother says, "Our family is very hopeful that this surgery will be a success!"
Meet Kosal, a 32-year-old husband and father who lives in Cambodia with his wife and three children. When he is not working, he enjoys playing volleyball, watching television, and spending time with his family. On June 12th, Kosal's left hand was burned at work by an electric shock. He visited a private clinic for wound care and medication and remained there for 15 days. Although he eventually returned home, the wound on his hand remained unhealed and has since become infected. He is currently experiencing pain and has a loss of sensation. Kosal traveled to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), to seek treatment for his infected wound. On September 1st, surgeons at CSC's care center, Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre, will perform a debridement and nerve graft procedure on his left wrist. This surgery should enable Kosal to heal completely and regain full motion of his hand. CSC is now seeking $572 to fund his procedure. Kosal says, "I hope my left hand heals and I can return to work again."
Maureen is a charming and friendly three-year-old from Tanzania. She is the firstborn child of her parents, who are both small-scale farmers. They depend on the food they harvest to feed their family, and they earn money by selling the vegetables. Maureen was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, a condition that causes her legs to bow inward, making her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Maureen has a difficult time walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Maureen. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 15th. Undergoing this treatment will hopefully restore her mobility, allowing her to participate in a variety of activities. It will also greatly decrease the risk of future complications. Maureen’s mother says, “My daughter’s walking has been of concern for a long time. Please help her.”
Poeun is a 70-year-old grandfather with two daughters, five sons, and six grandchildren. He takes care of his grandchildren when his children go to work. Eight years ago, Poeun developed a severe ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membranes, or the ear drums, in both of his ears to perforate. As a result, Poeun experiences hearing loss, pain, and discharge, and it is difficult for him to communicate clearly with others. Poeun traveled to Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre, the care center of our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, to seek treatment. On June 7th, he will undergo a procedure on both ears, during which doctors will close the perforations. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $914 to fund this procedure, and to cover Poeun's medications, supplies and inpatient care. Poeun says: "I hope after surgery my hearing improves and the pain stops."
John is a 38 year old father of two, living in Kenya. He is separated from his wife, and works as a taxi driver. For ten years, John has experienced difficulty swallowing food and liquid. He tried to treat his condition with traditional medicines, but that has been unsuccessful. When his condition worsened and he found himself losing weight, John decided to meet with doctors from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation. He was diagnosed with Achalasia, which is usually the result of damage to the esophagus. In order to prevent his condition from progressing, John will require surgery. Thanks to the assistance of our medical partner, John will undergo a curative laparotomy on October 17th, at AIC Kijabe Hospital, which should restore his ability to swallow, and return him to good health. John is requesting your support to fund this procedure, which will cost $1,074. John says: “My neck is paining, and I am unable to swallow solid foods. I have seriously lost a lot of weight. I need this treatment to be able to eat and be well again.”
Putsat is a 46-year-old rice farmer who is married with one son, five daughters, and five grandchildren. Putsat lives with her husband who is a farmer and with her youngest daughter who is still a student. Pusat likes to watch movies, play with her grandchildren, and watch the news on the TV. Four years ago, Putsat developed a pterygium in her right eye, causing her to feel irritation and tearing. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. Putsat is unable to see much beyond shadows and it has greatly limited what she is able to do. When Putsat learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for five and half hours seeking treatment. Putsat needs a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent recurrence. CSC is requesting $225 to cover the procedure scheduled May 11th along with medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. Putsat shared, "I hope after surgery my eye will feel comfortable and I won't have any more redness or tearing. I am worried I cannot see out of my eye and want to see well to grow food for and take care of my family."
Kamsoth is a 39-year-old construction worker. He's married and his wife works in a local garment factory. The couple has one son and two daughters. In his free time, Kamsoth enjoys meeting friends for coffee, exercising to improve his health, listening to the news on the radio, and watching boxing on television. Kamsoth is diabetic and receives treatment from a local medical center. Since January, his left foot has been swollen and showing signs of severe infection. He underwent a wound debridement procedure, but his foot did not heal well, and the wound has reopened. Kamsoth experiences pain and it is difficult for him to walk. When Kamsoth learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled there hoping to undergo treatment. On April 25th, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin graft procedure to allow his foot to heal. Now, Kamsoth needs help raising $487 to fund his procedure and care. Kamsoth shared, "I hope my pain will stop and the wound will heal so I can return to work."
Ryan is a handsome three-year-old boy and his mother's only child. He and his mother are supported by his grandmother, who works washing clothes for neighbors. In mid-2021, Ryan was frequently contracting common colds, and experienced difficulty sleeping and swelling of the tonsils. He visited many hospitals, and finally an ENT clinic where a doctor recommended that he undergo an adenotonsillectomy, or a procedure in which surgeons will remove his adenoids and tonsils. If left untreated, Ryan will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of complications like nasal obstruction, infection, difficulty swallowing or even heart problems. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Ryan receive treatment. On April 8th, he will undergo an adenotonsillectomy. After treatment, his symptoms will subside, his quality of life will improve, and he will be able to join school with no challenges. Now, he and his family need help raising $565 to fund his procedure and care. Ryan's grandmother shared, "we have seen our child suffer for a long time. We have tried all we could and our boy continues to suffer. We kindly seek sponsorship so that our boy can be happy and be ready to start school."
John is a motivated 16-year-old footballer from Kenya. He aspires to be a professional footballer and currently plays the position of goalkeeper. He attends school and is in class seven. He currently lives in a children's home with his younger brother. His other two siblings live with his mother in a nearby town. She is a single parent who works as a hawker. She had to give her two sons up to the home because she was unable to care for them due to financial constraints. Two months ago, John broke his right leg while on the playing field with his friends. He has a right tibia fracture that is currently affecting his mobility. As a result of the injury, he has a long leg cast and has to use crutches to get around. X-ray images show that his bones are not properly aligned. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On July 25th, John will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal and be able to use his leg again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. John says, “I love football, and it is my passion. This fracture is affecting my passion to play and threatening my future goal of being a professional footballer.”
Misgana is a 15-month-old girl from Ethiopia. She is a happy and friendly baby. She has one older sister she loves to play with, and she also loves playing with her dolls. Her mom makes injera (a traditional Ethiopian food) for a living. She brings her two daughters along with her to work because she has no one to look after them while she is away. Misgana's dad is a farmer and they live in a rented house. Misgana was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Misgana underwent emergency colostomy surgery at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM) and now needs to have her next stage of treatment to fully heal. Her mom shared how difficult this has been on their family psychologically and that they cannot afford Misgana's medical bill. Fortunately, Misgana is now scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on July 7th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Misgana's procedure and care. After her recovery, Misgana will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing related health complications in the future. Her mom says “I hope my child will heal and grow. I want her to learn about God. And I wish she will get a good education and become a teacher.”
Thay is a one-year-old girl from Burma. She lives with her parents, grandfather, three sisters and a brother in a village. Thay's mother looks after her and her brother at home, her grandfather is retired, and her sisters go to school. Thay's father works as a porter, but has has difficulty finding work for over a month. With the increasing number of internally displaced people settling in their village due to the humanitarian crisis, there are now many individuals competing for the same work. When Thay was around eight months old, her parents noticed that her head was increasing in size. As a result, Thay cannot yet sit up or crawl. She is only able to turn her head, and will cry if she cannot see her parents. Thay was recently diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which has causes fluid to build up in her brain. Without immediate surgery to alleviate the intracranial pressure, Thay is at risk of developing severe, potentially fatal medical complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for Thay, which will drain the fluid that has accumulated in her brain. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 20th and, once completed, will greatly improve Thay's quality of life as she grows up. Thay's father said, "I am thankful to every organisation and everyone for supporting my daughter’s treatment cost. Because of you, I believe that my daughter will receive surgery and be healthy and live a normal life after treatment."
Gebreegziabher is a brave, young, and fun boy who loves to hangout with his friends. He loves to play chase and other games with his friends and brothers. He has five siblings and shared with us that he loves goats! Gebreegziabher never went to school because of his condition. He is a shepherd and helps to keep the sheep and goats of his parents. Because of his condition, he has endured bullying, but he continues to be brave and his dad shared: “He is so strong despite his sickness. When others pick on him and speak bad things about him and things related to his disease he even gets in to fights.” Gebreegziabher's mom and dad counsel him and comfort him and help him to bring out self-confidence and strength. His dad and his mom are farmers and his mom takes care of all the household chores. Dad said: “Our area is dry. We work hard and farm but the harvest is poor with lack of rain. We purchase food because our harvest is not enough to support the family.” They also raise animals to support themselves. The community survives with the dry land and the scarcity of food by donations from the government and NGOs. But the past two years they couldn’t get the donation since they are in the war zone. For these reasons they can’t afford the medical bill for their son. Gebreegziabher was born with congenital anomaly called bladder extrophy. That is an abnormally where the bladder is open to air. Given the pain and risk of infection, he just ties clothes around the wound. His mom is very much worried and concerned because of his condition. She shared that she has excluded herself from the community for years in taking care of him and raises him and recalls that when growing up, he would sit faraway from others and boys in his age. They keep up hope for better days ahead and are a loving family who support each other the best they can. His Dad said: “He learned to exclude himself from others growing up. We are sad as a family because of his condition. The neighbor insults us, discriminate us and we feel so sad about this. We couldn’t tell what will happen to him. And we bring him to God always.”