UNIVERSAL FUND MEMBERWatsi believer. Co-founder Kiva.org
United States • Born on October 5th
Works at Branch
Premal joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Three years ago, Premal joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Premal's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Ruthmeeah, a one-year-old girl from Haiti, to fund pre-surgical preparation and transportation.
Premal has funded healthcare for 49 patients in 12 countries.
Premal has funded healthcare for 49 patients in 12 countries.
Ruthmeeah is a one-year-old baby girl living with her parents near the northern coast of Haiti. Ruthmeeah was born with a rare, congenital heart condition, known as Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition is characterized by four separate defects of the heart, including a hole between the heart's two lower chambers, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Ruthmeeah will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On April 25th, she will undergo cardiac surgery at Hospital CEDIMAT, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole to prevent blood from leaking through it; they will also remove the blockage from the valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is contributing $6,000 to pay for Ruthmeeah's surgery. Ruthmeeah's family needs your help to raise an additional $1,500 to cover the costs of her pre-surgical prep, labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This money will also be used to pay for passports and for the social workers who will accompany Ruthmeeah and her family to the Dominican Republic. Ruthmeeah's mother said: "Our family has been praying very hard that our daughter would survive long enough to have this surgery, and we are so glad that our prayers are being answered."
Sesilia is a 12-year-old student from Tanzania who was born and raised in the remote village of a Maasai community where her parents are subsistence farmers. She enjoys art classes and has a passion for painting and writing short stories. It is her dream to be a portrait painter. In 2013, while staying with her grandmother, Sesilia was involved in an accidental fire that burnt her right arm and chest. Sesilia's wounds took three months to heal and left her with damaged skin on her right hand and chest that limited her mobility. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Sesilia with treatment. On March 10th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her use her hand freely. Now, she needs help to fund this $832 procedure. Sesilia says, “I would like to be able to fully use my right hand. I wish I’ll be able to help with heavy chores around the house and at school.”
Stravensky, who is 18 years old, and in his final year of high school, lives in Port-au-Prince in Haiti, with his parents and two sisters. He aspires to go on to university to study engineering. Stravensky was born with atrial septal defect, a cardiac condition, where a hole exists between the upper two chambers in his heart. Instead of circulating through his lungs and picking up oxygen, the blood leaks through the hole, leaving him weak and short of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to fund the costs of the surgery that Stravensky needs to repair his heart. The procedure, during which the hole will be repaired, is scheduled for February 1st, at Clinica Corominas. After this life changing operation, Stravensky should be able to live a healthy and comfortable life, and to pursue his ambitions without experiencing his current symptoms. From Stravensky: "I have been hoping to have my heart fixed ever since I was a small child - I can't believe it is finally happening!"
Htwe is a 12-year-old student who lives with his uncle's family in Thailand. His parents are day laborers in Bangkok, who send his uncle money every month to support him. In his free time, Htwe enjoys playing football with his friends. Two years ago, Htwe's right eyelid became swollen and red. By July 2021, the swelling had worsened and he felt a small mass in his right eyelid. He also developed double vision. He visited several clinics and was given oral medications and eye drops, but he never felt better. Currently, Htwe has redness and swelling in his right eyelid, and sometimes his eye will water. He also has blurry vision and feels uncomfortable with the mass pressing on his eyelid. Due to his blurry vision, he finds it hard to study and do his homework. Eventually, his aunt took Htwe to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH), where he was diagnosed with a cyst in his right eyelid. The doctor told him that he will need to have surgery to remove the cyst. Thanks to our partner's care center, Htwe will have the cyst surgically removed on May 11th. Now his family needs your help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Htwe said, “I want to be a football player when I grow up.” (His family hopes he'll become a medic himself one day and can help others in need!)
Malaika lives on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince in Haiti with her parents and four siblings; she is in the third grade and likes her science and reading classes. She was both with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. The surgery she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately for Malaika, doctors at the Clinica Corominas in the Dominican Republic will be able to perform an interventional heart catherization procedure to fix her condition. During the procedure, doctors will insert a catheter into her heart to plug the hole with a device. Now, her family needs $1,500 to help pay the costs of the procedure and travel. Another organization Gift of Life International is also contributing to her life-saving care. Malaika's mother says: "Our family is very hopeful that our daughter will be healthier and happier after her heart is fixed."
Hnin is a determined 5-year-old girl from Burma. In her free time, she likes to draw pictures. Hnin lives with her grandmother and brother in Mon State. She goes to kindergarten, her brother goes to primary school, and her grandmother is a washerwoman. Hnin's parents, who work as day laborers in Thailand, also send them money every month to help support basic needs. Hnin was born with club foot of her left leg. With the help of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), she underwent casting at Mawlawmyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) to straighten her foot. Hnin's family was told to bring her back when she was five years old as she would need another surgery to fully correct her clubfoot. Currently, Hnin still has a cast on her left leg. When she walks, she walks on the side of her left foot. Because of this, she cannot play on the playground or keep up with her friends. Without treatment, Hnin's condition will continue to cause her discomfort and will further limit her movement. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of surgery for Hnin, which is scheduled to take place on November 18th. This procedure will elongate her Achilles tendon, allowing increased motion at the ankle joint. Hnin said, “My left leg is so heavy with the cast, but I am not scared to have the operation on my leg. I want to have surgery."
Lynemandy is a 28 year old woman from Haiti, who is studying for a business degree at a local university. She lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Lynemandy has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation, which is a result of a bout of rheumatic fever that she suffered as a child. One of the four valves in her heart was severely damaged as a result of this illness, and in 2018, Lynemandy underwent surgery to repair the damaged valve. The valve functioned well for four years, but now it needs to be replaced so she can live healthy in the future. The care she needs is unfortunately not available within Haiti, so Lynemandy will need to travel to undergo cardiac surgery in the United States on November 17th. Her surgery, during which a new valve will be implanted, is being funded by Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital. Now Lynemandy and her family need to raise $1,500 to cover the costs of pre and post operative treatment, and for the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Lynemandy when she travels to the United States. Lynemandy said: "I am very grateful to everyone who is working so hard to keep me alive and healthy."
Kay is 43-year-old woman and garment factory worker. She lives alone on the border of Thailand and Burma. Kay supports her parents in Burma by sending them money every month. In her free time, she enjoys reading books about Buddhism. In the middle of 2021, Kay began experiencing pain and abnormal bleeding. By September of 2022, the pain and symptoms had worsened. Kay has been diagnosed with myoma, or a noncancerous growth in the uterus. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, which would surgically remove her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Kay's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Kay is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on September 19th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain or abnormal bleeding. She will be able to go back to work, and to continue supporting her family. “When I recover fully, I will continue to work in the garment factory. I will save my money and I will pay back my debt. I will try to continue supporting my parents,” said Kay.
Patrick is a 16-year-old student from Tanzania who is the secondborn in a family of three children. To support him and his two siblings, his parents work as subsistence farmers. When Patrick was only nine months old and learning how to walk, he accidentally fell into a fire pit, resulting in burns to his right hand and underarm. As a result of the incident, he eventually developed scarring and burn contractures, which limit his ability to use his right hand. Last year, Patrick received burn scar contracture release surgery on both his underarm and his right elbow. Fortunately, this treatment has improved his range of motion. However, he now has an open wound on his right elbow that is taking longer to heal and requires a skin graft to ensure smooth and quick healing. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Patrick receive treatment. On August 29th, surgeons will perform a skin graft procedure to heal his chronic wound and prevent an infection from developing. Now, Patrick and his family need help to fund this $747 procedure. Patrick's mother says, "I hope my son gets treatment because his arm has limited him for a while now."
Efraim is a 16-year-old high school student from Tanzania. Despite his difficulties walking, he loves playing football with his classmates! Efraim comes from a large family with 6 siblings. His parents are livestock keepers who also practice small-scale farming. They work hard to ensure that their family's day-to-day needs are able to be met. In 2020, Efraim sustained an injury to his leg while playing. On top of the pain he experienced, he noticed that his right leg began bending inward months later. He has since been diagnosed with genu valgus, a condition that causes the leg to bow inward and touch the opposite knee. As a result, he experiences difficulty working, playing, and doing any physically demanding activities. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Efraim, which is scheduled to take place on August 9th. The goal of this treatment is to restore Efraim's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Efraim's mother says, "It scared the whole family when his leg started having problems, but when we heard that he could get treatment, it brought joy to us."
Simon is a 20-year-old who, since he was a little boy, he has worked selling goods at a nearby open market. He has no stable source of income and is currently unable to work due to his medical condition. His single mother is unable to support him. Fortunately, his friend is allowing him to stay in their single room close to the city market. Two years ago, Simon began experiencing pain in his left knee, causing him to limp as he walked. His pain eventually spread to his hip. He now cannot walk without a walking stick and has an infected hip and knee, which are limiting his mobility. After receiving a CT scan, Simon was diagnosed with septic arthritis, which is inflammation of a joint caused by an infection, and sequelae of the hip. In hopes to help his condition, Simon visited visited Kenyatta National Hospital. He has since been on medical follow-up for septic arthritis at the facility without any surgical intervention. He eventually had to stop attending the follow-up clinics due to a lack of financial resources. Fortunately, a friend told Simon about our medical partner's care center, and he traveled there to receive treatment. Now, Simon is scheduled to undergo a treatment on July 8th. This will hopefully finally help heal his condition and relieve his pain. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to fund his treatment. Simon shares, “I can barely move my leg without support from this walking stick. My hip is painful and my knee is just unbearable. I cannot work in my condition and therefore am struggling to survive.”
U Tin is a 36-year-old man, living with his mother on the western coast of Burma. U Tin’s mother is retired and helps with household chores. U Tin works in a photo studio, printing photos and wedding invitations. Through this, his monthly income is just enough to pay for their basic living expenses. One year ago, U Tin started to experience pain in his lower left abdomen. Thinking that the pain would go away, U Tin relied on traditional medicine and pain medication. In February, the pain increased, but U Tin could not afford to seek treatment at a hospital. Instead, he purchased more pain medication from a pharmacy, which helped ease his discomfort somewhat. However in April, the pain became so severe that he could no longer work. He borrowed money from his friend, and went to a hospital. The doctor examined him, and diagnosed him with an inguinal hernia. When the doctor told him the surgery would cost 1,200,000 kyat (approx. $1,200 USD), U Tin told the doctor he could not afford to pay such a sum, and he returned home still feeling unwell. A few days later, U Tin told his neighbour about his problem, and she suggested that he seek treatment at Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where care is more affordable. He followed his neighbour’s advice, and went to MCLH, where the doctor confirmed his diagnosis and the need for surgery. When U Tin explained that he could not afford to pay for the surgery, the doctor referred him to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, for assistance in accessing the treatment he needs. Currently, U Tin is experiencing severe pain, and he cannot sit or stand for any length of time. Fortunately, he is now scheduled for surgery on May 24th, and Burma Children Medical Fund is requesting $807 to cover the cost of U Tin's hernia repair treatment. U Tin said: “I would like to recover. I am worried that I will not be able to work and take care of my mother. When I recover, I will go continue to work [at the shop] and pay back the money I borrowed from my friends.”