Gustaf joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Eight years ago, Gustaf joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Gustaf's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Klyn, a bright 12-year-old boy from Haiti, to fund surgery that will finally heal his heart condition.
Gustaf has funded healthcare for 130 patients in 15 countries.
Gustaf has funded healthcare for 130 patients in 15 countries.
Klyn is a 12-year-old boy who lives in a small town in central Haiti with his parents, grandparents, and several other relatives. He likes school, especially science and math. Klyn was born with a condition called atrial septal defect. The defect means there is a hole between the two upper chambers of Klyn's heart. Blood leaks through this hole, which leaves him often weak and short of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, has arranged for Klyn and his mother to travel to the Dominican Republic for surgery since this treatment is not available within Haiti. On May 24th, doctors will first attempt to use a catheter to close the opening between Klyn's upper cardiac chambers. If that's not possible, they will need to perform open-heart surgery and use a patch to close the hole in Klyn's heart. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 for Klyn's care. His family is raising $1,500 to help cover remaining costs of the procedure and related care, including travel expenses for Klyn. Klyn's mother says, "We are very thankful to everyone who is making this surgery possible for our son!"
Pheap is a 49-year-old rice farmer and a caring father to his three sons and daughter. Unfortunately, Pheap's wife died of cancer last year, so now he only lives with his youngest son. On the weekends, Pheap likes to watch boxing on TV and go fishing with his son. When he was a child, Pheap had an ear infection, which caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Pheap experiences ear discharge, hearing loss, and tinnitus. In the last three months the symptoms have worsened. He cannot hear well and has a lot of trouble communicating clearly with others. Luckily, Pheap traveled to our medical partner's care center, Kien khleang National Rehabilitation Centre, to receive treatment. On February 24th, Pheap will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations, which will hopefully allow for Pheap to hear and communicate clearly again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to help fund this procedure. This cost covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Pheap says, "I really hope the infection will stop and I can hear people again."
Deborah is a nine-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her parents, several siblings, and her grandparents. She enjoys singing and listening to music in her free time. Deborah has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, where a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. Blood leaks through this hole without properly circulating through her body, leaving her feeling sick and weak. To receive treatment, Deborah will fly to Dominican Republic. On March 2nd, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in her heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is also contributing $8,000 to pay for her surgery. Deborah's family needs help raising money to fund the costs of her surgery prep. The $1,500 prep bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner who will accompany Deborah's family overseas for her surgery. Deborah's father shared, "our family has been praying for years for this surgery to happen, and would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping!"
Joseph is a sweet two-year-old boy and the second born in a family of two children. Even at his age, Joseph already likes to play a lot and makes his parents very happy. Joseph’s father did an electrical course but has not been able to find formal employment so has started doing casual work in the electrical field. Joseph's mother takes care of their home and the family. From the moment he was born, Joseph's parents noticed that he wasn't passing urine normally. They took him to the hospital, but it was suggested that they wait until he was around two years old to undergo surgery. When he reached this age, his parents brought him to our medical partner's care center Nazareth Hospital, where the surgeon recommends that he undergoes hypospadias repair. Joseph 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 future complications. Fortunately, Joseph is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 1st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $710 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Joseph's parents shared, "We humbly request support in order for our son to be cured and lead a normal life in the future. In the future, we'd like to see him start a family. According to the doctor, if he is not cured, he will never be able to have his own children. This is a condition that we really want to get healed."
Myat lives with his elderly mother. He stopped working two years ago after a stroke left the right side of his body weak. He is now unemployed and relies on his mother’s support. His mother is a street vendor, selling foraged vegetables and plants as well as sticky rice that she makes. The income she earns is not enough for their daily needs. They survive thanks to the generosity of their neighbors, who support them with food and allow them to live on their land in a hut rent-free. Starting three years ago, Myat has experienced pain in his lower right abdomen whenever lifting something heavy and now the pain is more regular. At the beginning of December, the pain in his lower right abdomen increased and became constant. His neighbor lent him 50,000 kyat (approx. $50 USD) and told him to seek treatment at Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH). Myat traveled to the hospital and was admitted right away. A doctor completed a physical examination, diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia, and told him that he would need surgery. When Myat told the doctor that he cannot afford to pay for it, the doctor referred him to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for assistance accessing treatment. “When I recover, I want to sell traditional medicine again,” Myat shared with a renewed sense of hope that he might be able to finally have surgery.
Baraka is a very active and jovial 7-year-old boy. Baraka and his twin brother are the only children in the family. His parents separated when they were still young babies and left them under the care of their grandmother. When Baraka was 1 year old, his grandmother noticed that she could not feel both of his testes. She took Baraka to the hospital where he was examined and diagnosed with bilateral undescended testes. Due to lack of finances, she went home and never returned to the hospital. A few weeks ago, a friend referred her to a medical camp that was visiting the neighborhood. She rushed Baraka to the clinic, he was examined and referred to BethanyKids Hospital. Upon arrival, he was examined again and booked for the surgery he needs. Baraka's grandmother does casual laundry work or any house chores she comes across to raise a living for her grandchildren; their parents are out of reach and do not support them financially. She can not raise the required amount of money to cater for Baraka’s hospital bill and is seeking financial aid. Baraka was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Baraka has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Baraka will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on November 16th. AMHF is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Baraka’s grandmother says, “It is very difficult for me to even provide for them as work is hard to come by. Any help offered to us will be highly appreciated.”
Joseph is a 9-year-old boy and bright student. His family hails from the Mathare neighborhood in Nairobi County in Kenya and he is the 1st born in a family of 2. Joseph's family lives in a one-roomed rental house in a difficult area of the capital city. His mother is a cook at a nearby school and father is a casual laborer at construction sites within Nairobi. They don't earn much and it is often hard to get by. At the age of 1, when Joseph was learning to walk, he accidentally fell on a pot of boiling water and sustained severe burns on his left hand. He was rushed to Machakos General Hospital where he was given first aid to prevent the burn from extending and also relieve the pain. His left hand now has severe contractures and he cannot use it in his normal duties. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Joseph receive treatment. On October 27th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery. The surgery will restore the functioning of his hand and enable him to live a comfortable life. However, his family is not in a position to raise the required amount of money. Now, they need help to fund this $840 procedure. Joseph's mother says, “We are unable to raise the estimated cost of this surgery but we would like to see our son using his hand fully. Any help for my son to undergo surgery will be appreciated."
Pov is a 52-year-old farmer with one son and three daughters. Her husband died seven years ago so she is raising her children on her own. In her free time, Pov likes to make desserts for her children and grow vegetables. About one year ago, Pov had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in her right ear to perforate. She cannot communicate clearly with others and she is in chronic pain. Pov traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On September 7th, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in her right ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $464 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Pov said, "I hope my hearing can improve and my health will be good after surgery."
Naw Dah is a 40-year-old woman who lives with her husband, four daughters and three sons in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Six of her children attend school in the camp, while Naw Dah looks after her youngest daughter at home. Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, her husband has had difficulty finding work outside of the camp for the past few months. The family survives on money they receive through a food card each month from an organization called The Border Consortium. Since 2016, Naw Dah has suffered from frequent, painful urinary tract infections. After she received an x-ray at a local hospital in April 2020, she was referred for further treatment and diagnosed with kidney stones. She received treatment in September 2020, but at follow-up appointments, the doctor told her that she still had fragments of the kidney stone, and she returned for multiple x-rays and oral medications. During her most recent follow-up in August 2021, the doctor told her that the stones are now 6mm in size and scheduled her for another ureteroscopy. She is unable to pay for surgery and was referred our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance accessing treatment. On September 3rd, she will undergo a ureteroscopy and now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. Naw Dah shared, "I am a bit scared as I already underwent treatment twice, but I really want to get better. So I put my trust in God and I will go through this pain again so that I will be free from this pain in the future."
Sophanha is a six-month-old baby who has an older brother and sister. His father and 20-year-old brother operate a coffee stand outside a factory, and his sister is a 17-year-old high school student. His mother stays home to take care of Sophanha right now. When he was born, Sophanha was diagnosed with Erb's palsy on his left arm and hand. This leads to weakness, loss of function and sensation so that the young boy is unable to lift his arm or use his hand. Sophanha traveled with his family to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 29th, he will undergo surgery that will help him be able to use his hand in the future as he grows up. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Sophanha's mother shares, "I am glad my baby can get this surgery, and I hope he can use his arm soon and grow strong."
Allan is 17-year-old student and an aspiring doctor. He is the fifth born in a family of six children. He shared that he sadly lost his father in 2011 and his mother is elderly. He depends on his older siblings, but they do not have stable jobs. Their family lives in their ancestral home and does small-scale farming to grow food to eat. Allan has a urethral stricture and is currently on dialysis. He feels unwell and his condition has affected his studies. He has visited several healthcare facilities over the past year in search of treatment. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Allan to receive treatment. On July 1, he will undergo an urethroplasty, or urethra repair. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,144 procedure. Allan shared, "I want to be a doctor and I am determined to do so. I even opted to sit for my exams despite the pain and my condition. I hope this sickness does not stop my ambitions.”
Rachael is a 21-year-old mother with two young children, who are 4 years old and 9 months. Rachael is a homemaker and also does farming in their small piece of land. Her husband has not been able to find other work, so her family has limited income. Rachael’s medical condition started in January 2020, when she was pregnant. She started experiencing pain in the right upper chest region, which sometimes became severe. Rachael has visited many health facilities without seeing much improvement. Eventually, after one of her scans, she was diagnosed with cholelithiasis, also known as gallstones. Upon being examined at Nazareth Hospital, the doctor recommended she undergo a laparotomy. If this condition is not treated, Rachael may have complications like obstruction of the gall bladder, inflammation, obstruction of the bile duct or she may have gall bladder cancer. However, Rachael cannot afford to pay for the surgery and appeals for financial support. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Rachael receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a laparotomy to remove her gallstones on May 27th at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $788, and she and her family need help raising money. Racheal shared, "I have small babies and this condition is making it hard for me to care for them. I kindly ask for assistance so that soon I can be able to give all my time to them.”