Andrew Tillie-Smith
Andrew's Story

Andrew joined Watsi on July 12th, 2014. 18 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Andrew's most recent donation traveled 7,400 miles to support Koem, a father of five from Cambodia, to repair his fractured wrist.

Impact

Andrew has funded healthcare for 9 patients in 5 countries.

All patients funded by Andrew

Meet Melvin, a one-year-old from Guatemala. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), shares, “Melvin is the youngest of four children (the oldest is five years old), and lives with his mother and grandmother.” WK adds, “Melvin likes to play with his sister Petrona, and when his mom is busy around the house she has noticed that they enjoy pushing a plastic ball back and forth and using empty cans to make music.” Melvin is acutely malnourished, as his height and weight are far below the average for children his age. “Although he currently does not suffer from any one illness, his immune system is weak and his mother reports that she is worried that without help his health will continue to decline.” Untreated, Melvin risks many of the effects of malnutrition, from delayed development to chronic illness that could affect his schooling and job opportunities. When Melvin’s mother noticed her son was not well, she visited a local health center but was turned away. According to WK, “Melvin’s father was kicked out of their house recently, so now his mother is trying to support herself, her mother, and her four children alone,” WK explains. Given this situation, “Melvin’s mother has to work twice as hard to care for him and her other children, but worries constantly that it will not be enough.” Melvin’s mother is now seeking assistance from WK’s recuperative nutrition program, which lasts one to four months and provides intensive intervention in the home. With $535 in Watsi funding, Melvin will undergo this treatment and be provided with antibiotics, micronutrient supplementation, food, and a nutritionist who will make weekly visits to monitor Melvin’s health and educate his mother. “This treatment will give Melvin’s mother the education and support she needs to help Melvin avoid the permanent effects of malnutrition,” WK explains. He will be able to strengthen his immune system and reach his full physical and mental potential. Melvin’s mother remarks, “I want to fight for my children, I want to raise them to be successful people.”

$535raised
Fully funded

Though he doesn't enjoy posing for pictures, Norman is a happy, playful baby from Guatemala. "When he feels well enough he loves to eat noodle soups with vegetables, and enjoys playing with toy cars in the front yard," shares our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq (WK). The only child of two loving parents, Norman has had a rough time in his short life. WK tell us, “Norman has suffered from chronic diarrhea since birth, and at 3 months old he began having regular seizures. His parents have been able to successfully manage his seizures with medication, but brought him to us when they realized he was not growing well.” After a check-up with the family, our partner determined that Norman is acutely malnourished. "His immune system is weak; he gets sick roughly every 15 days," WK shares. Norman's mother "is now finding it hard to afford medication so often, especially in addition to the cost of his anti-seizure medication.” "Due to lack of access to an adequate food supply, Norman is not eating sufficient calories and his diarrhea is preventing absorption from the food he does manage to consume. This lake of caloric intake further weakens his immune system, causing him to get sick more often and be even less able to eat. His energy levels are low, and he rarely feels well enough to play with other children.” The consequences of Norman’s condition, if left untreated, will have long-standing effects. “Without intervention, Norman will not receive the caloric and nutrient support he needs to reach his full mental and physical potential. He will have difficulty concentrating and succeeding in school, and later on in life will have a higher risk of developing chronic diseases. If his diarrhea is not stopped, he will be at risk for dehydration and perhaps death,” WK warns. With treatment, Norman can be put back on the path to health! With $535 in funding, WK can provide Norman with: “deworming medication to remove his parasitic infection which is currently causing the chronic diarrhea—allowing him to recoup the height and weight and strengthen his immune system; micro-nutrient and caloric supplementation—which will save Norman from the long lasting effects of malnutrition; and parental education—to teach his family how to provide nutritious and economically feasible options for Norman in the future.” Norman’s mother shares with us, “I just hope my child will recover from this period of his life, and it won’t permanently affect him. I want him to grow well and to become a normal child, and to have the chance to attend school and graduate into a profession. I believe he can be an important member of society one day if he is given what he needs to grow.”

$535raised
Fully funded

Zar Zar is a shy 14-year-old girl from Burma. She lives with her parents, 17-year-old brother, and two younger brothers. Her mother says that Zar Zar is a good student and she studies hard. Zar Zar is in the 9th grade and is looking forward to completing her studies. Her parents and older brother work as rice farmers, but this is typically not enough income to cover their expenses. Zar Zar has been diagnosed with encephalocele, a neural tube defect that causes a mass to grow. “When she was born her parents noticed a small lump on the bridge of her nose,” Zar Zar’s doctor at Burma Border Projects (BBP) tells us. “At that time the bump did not cause her any physical discomfort and she was otherwise a healthy, active baby. Her encephalocele now takes up the bridge of her nose and completely obstructs the vision in her left eye. Although it causes her considerable discomfort, she has learned to make do as well as she can. Only having vision in one eye has not stopped her from going to school, nor has the stigma attached to her condition.” “In the future, she said that she would like to be a teacher,” BBP adds. “At the moment, teaching is like a hobby for her, and she helps her younger siblings and her peers with their school work, she added that she enjoys explaining things and helping people learn. In addition, in her free time, she likes running and staying healthy.” Zar Zar’s family cannot afford the surgery needed to remove the growth from Zar Zar’s face, but with $1,500 we can make sure she receives the treatment. “After treatment she will concentrate on her education and hopes to help her family,” BBP explains. "Treatment will improve her confidence and make her more outgoing. Zar Zar’s treatment will also benefit the family as they will no longer have to worry about paying for expensive surgery and can look to the future with happiness."

$1,500raised
Fully funded