United States • Born on June 29th
Jerome joined Watsi on February 22nd, 2016. Seven years ago, Jerome joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jerome's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Riyaq, an 18-month-old baby from Kenya, to fund a hydrocephalus.
Jerome has funded healthcare for 89 patients in 11 countries.
Jerome has funded healthcare for 89 patients in 11 countries.
Riyaq is an 18-month-old baby from Kenya. She is the last born in a family of four children. Her mother is a housewife while her father sells water to the community. Riyaq has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Riyaq has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Her family was referred to Bethany Kids where an examination was done and surgery recommended. Without treatment, Riyaq will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $685 to cover the cost of surgery for Riyaq that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 8th and will drain the excess fluid from Riyaq's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Riyaq will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Riyaq’s aunt says, “We have never seen such a condition. We did not know what to do and have given up but coming here has changed us, and we hope that all will be well in the end.”
Aung, who is 25 years old, lives with his mother, brother and two sisters in Burma. His mother is retired, and his brother is a security guard. One of his sisters works at a bicycle factory, while the other one works for a local company. Aung is currently unemployed because of his poor health. In October 2022, Aung fell ill and developed a persistent cough. He went to a charity hospital, where he was told that he had a heart infection. After he was treated with injected antibiotics, the doctor told him that he needed an echocardiogram, because he might have a heart condition due to the infection. After the echo was completed, he was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation, and he was referred to a cardiologist in Yangon. Aung went to see the cardiologist, who told him that he would need surgery, which he could not afford. On December 25, 2022, both of Aung's legs and his arms became swollen, and he was unable to sleep. He went to a private hospital, where it was determined that he would need surgery as soon as possible. Currently, Aung feels extremely fatigued, experiences chest pains, and has difficulty breathing. Sometimes, his legs and his arms become swollen, and he cannot sleep well at night. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 for the mitral valve replacement surgery that Aung needs. The procedure is currently scheduled to take place on April 2nd, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. "In the future, I want to work as a taxi driver, because I believe that I could easily earn money doing this [in the city]," said Aung.
Hana is a cute and happy baby who loves playing with toys and interacting with the people around her. Her favorite foods are porridge with bread and pasta. She is the only child of her parents. Her mother used to sell candles at church gates, and her father is in the military, though he currently has no contact with the family. Last year, Hana started refusing her mother’s milk, and her abdomen began to swell. Her mother was extremely concerned about her baby's condition and immediately took Hana to the clinic. Hana was diagnosed with Hirschsprung's Disease, a condition in which missing nerve cells in the large intestine cause intestinal blockage. Further referrals led her to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, who will help Hana and her mother with a treatment plan. Now, African Mission Healthcare is asking for $1,500 to help fund Hana's Hirschsprung's pull-through surgery scheduled for March 16th. Hana's mother said, “After her surgery, I want her to be well and to grow healthy. I will send her to school. I will try my best to give her a better life, and I don’t want her to suffer as I did. I hope she will be wise and independent in her future.”
Ye Min is is a 2-month-old baby from Thailand. His father works at a hotel and his mother is a homemaker. After being delivered, doctors assessed that Ye Min began to experience poor vision in both eyes. These symptoms have made it increasingly difficult for him to see clearly. Ye Min has been diagnosed with retinal detachment, a condition in which the retina pulls away from the supportive tissue in the eye, resulting in vision loss. If left untreated, he could lose vision completely. Ye Min is scheduled to undergo surgery to reattach his retina on January 26th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. After his surgery, Ye Min's vision will hopefully be restored, and he will resume his daily activities comfortably. Ye Min’s mother said, “I am worried about my son’s condition because he is too young to receive the surgery. I cannot wait to stay with him and take care of him well. I want my son to get better soon. I was very happy when I hear that this organization will help pay for my son’s treatment. I am really thankful to all of the donors who will help my son receive surgery.”
Meet Andy, a playful two year old boy, living in Kiambu county in Kenya. Andy likes to play, and while on his daily routine, he fell, and injured his right arm. He was taken to a nearby hospital, and was given antibiotics. Later, he was referred to a different hospital for further investigation. The X-rays that were done showed that Andy sustained a fracture of his right arm, and requires surgery urgently. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,224 to fund Andy's surgery, which will enable him to use his arm and hand again. The fracture repair procedure is scheduled to take place on January 19th at AIC Cure International Hospital. “I am appealing for support from well-wishers to help my son undergo surgery and continue with his normal life,” Andy's mother told us.
Zeblom is a four-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He loves toys, playing football with his brother, and enjoys going to school. His twin brother is currently suffering from pneumonia and his parents are struggling to pay for medical treatment for both of them. His mother is currently not working as she is taking care of her kids, while Zeblom's father cuts wood for a living — his income is limited to providing basic needs for his family. They have not yet managed to get proper treatment for Zeblom due to these financial constraints. Zeblom was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of cancer and future infertility. Fortunately, Zeblom is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on December 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Zeblom's mother says, “After he goes through his surgery, I want to start working again and educate him. I hope he will be healthy like other children.“
Dieunese is a mother of two from Haiti. She lives in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince where she cares for her two young children along with her husband who is a taxi driver. Dieunese has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral stenosis which makes it extremely difficult for her heart to pump blood through her body, leaving her weak and short of breath. Dieunese requires surgery, but it is not available in her country. To access care, she will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On November 17th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair her heart valve; if they are unable to, they will remove it and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, the Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000 to pay for this surgery. Dieunese's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Dieunese overseas. Dieunese says, "I am hopeful that having this surgery will allow me to be alive and healthy for my children!"
Agnes is a college student and is in her final year pursuing an architectural course. She lives with her parents and is the second born in a family of three children, all of whom are in school and rely on their parents for school fees and upkeep. Her father is a carpenter in their hometown, Kimende, and his income is inconsistent and not enough to cover the cost of the required surgery. Her mother is a small-scale farmer. Agnes was heading home in the evening last night when she remembers hearing screams and was hit by an unknown motorist from behind. She has no recollection of what happened after that. She lost consciousness and could not recognize her surroundings. She was brought to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital and had an x-ray that revealed a left distal femur fracture. Doctors have recommended an urgent fracture repair surgery since the wound is open and she is in extreme pain. Today, she has regained her consciousness but cannot sit or walk due to the fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner are here to help. On October 14th, Agnes will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help get rid of the pain and she will eventually be able to sit and walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Agnes says, “I am in so much pain and I cannot walk. I don’t remember what happened, I just found myself bedridden with lights all over. I am unable to go back home because of the fracture.”
Joyce is a 52 year old, small-scale farmer. She relies on the proceeds from her small farm, and from the milk that she sells from the one cow that she and her husband own. Her husband is also a farmer, and together, they have five adult children. In October 2017, Joyce began to experience troubling symptoms, including pain in her neck - especially during swallowing - and difficulty in breathing. She went to a nearby health facility, and underwent several surgical procedures on her thyroid and esophagus, but her condition did not improve. In May of this year, Joyce presented at Kijabe Hospital with progressive difficulty in breathing. After she was evaluated and scans were done, Joyce was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. While she has an excellent prognosis, Joyce needs to be treated quickly, to prevent the cancer from spreading. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Joyce access the care that she needs. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on September 20th, at our medical partner's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital. During this procedure, surgeons will remove all or part of Joyce's thyroid gland. This operation will cost $949, and she and her family need help raising money. Joyce says, “I am almost losing my voice. I have been through several hospitals seeking treatment. This cancer is threatening my life.”
Peter is a 75-year-old man from central Kenya who has never been married and has no children. He is the thirdborn in a family of 10 siblings, all of whom are now adults. Peter previously worked on his small farm to support his basic needs, but he had to begin depending on his family members once he grew older and became unable to continue farming. On July 12th, Peter was hit by a sports motorcycle, causing him to sustain an injury to his left leg. An X-ray was taken at a nearby hospital, which showed that Peter fractured his left tibia and fibula. If left untreated, he risks developing a bone infection, since it is an open fracture. His injury can also result in a malunion, meaning the bones may not heal in their proper position, potentially impairing functioning of the bones and limb. Fortunately, his brother brought him to our medical partner's care center. On August 15th, Peter will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help ensure he heals properly, and it will allow him to walk again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Peter says, “My brothers have been feeding me, but this is too much for them. They have no money to pay for my treatment. Please help so that at least I can be able to move around and also become less of a burden.”
Sai lives with his parents and sister in a village in Karen State in the border region of Burma where there is currently a lot of violence and instability. His sister is a teacher, while both he and his parents run a shop from their home, selling various items such as snacks, drinks, dry goods, and cement. In his free time, he loves to play cane ball with his friends. In early November 2021, Sai received treatment for COVID-19. While getting treatment, doctors also discovered that he was born with a hole in his heart, and he was diagnosed with atrial septal defect. A doctor in Yangon confirmed his diagnosis and told him that he needs surgery. He recommended he go to Thailand as the only other option was to receive surgery at a military hospital in Burma, which have been impacted in the recent humanitarian crisis. Sai's aunt suggested he seek treatment at a clinic in Thailand and he was referred to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial support to make his care possible. Now, Sai is raising $1,500 for his Atrial Septal Defect Closure procedure, which is scheduled for July 12th. Sai said, “I would like to receive surgery as soon as possible so that I can help my parents like before. Now, my father has to do all the hard and heavy work, which is not good for him as he is getting old.”
Kasaine is an 8-year-old boy, living with his family in a mud and grass thatched house in Southern Kenya. Kasaine's father is a farmer and a herder, while his mother stays home to take care of their family. Kasaine was born with a condition known as Rt hemiplegic CP, which means that his right side is weak, affecting his mobility, and the use of his hand. He tiptoes when he walks, and is able to walk only short distances. Kasaine also has clubfoot of his right foot, which causes his foot to be twisted, making it even more difficult for him to walk or to wear shoes. Fortunately, Kasaine's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Kasaine's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he'll be able to walk much more easily, play with friends, and continue with his education. “My prayer is to see my son walking normally like other children.” Kasaine's mother told us.