Cindy joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. 1,771 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Cindy's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Sea, a rice farmer from Cambodia, to fund cataract surgery.
Cindy has funded healthcare for 31 patients in 11 countries.
Cindy has funded healthcare for 31 patients in 11 countries.
Sea is a 58-year-old rice farmer with four sons, one daughter, and four grandchildren. She likes to listen to monks pray on the radio and watch the comedy and news channels on TV. Four years ago, Sea developed a cataract in each eye, causing her blurred vision, burning, itchiness, cloudy lenses, and extreme sensitivity to light. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, working, and going anywhere outside. When Sea learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for five hours with her son seeking treatment. On October 26, doctors performed small incision cataract surgery in each eye and inserted intraocular lens implants. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly again. Now, Sea needs help to fund this $292 procedure. "I hope I can see everything more clearly," she says, "so that I can continue my work as a farmer and go anywhere outside by myself without needing to disturb another person to take care of me."
Jonalyn is a happy, 13-year-old student who loves to study and play a game similar to kick-the-can. She lives with her parents and two siblings in the Philippines, where their one-room house has a cement floor and a thatched roof made of nipa leaves. Jonalyn noticed a mass on the right side of neck when she was 12 years old. She told her mother about it, but they did not seek help since they did not have money to spend on medical consultations or medicine. After a few months, she complained of pain when swallowing and difficulty breathing and also noticed that the mass on her neck was getting bigger. She has been unable to concentrate during her classes because of the on-and-off throbbing pain in her neck. During a church activity in May of 2015, Jonalyn felt a throbbing pain in her neck and was examined by a doctor. She was diagnosed with a goiter—an enlarged thyroid gland usually caused by a deficiency of iodine, an important element in the production of thyroid hormones that regulate the body's metabolism. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic for seven days and iron supplements for 10 days and referred Jonalyn to another care facility to undergo tests to determine the type of goiter. Unfortunately, the family was unable to seek further care for Jonalyn until now. She was screened by a health trainer in one of our sponsored communities, consultation was facilitated, and she was advised to undergo a thyroidectomy to remove the thyroid gland. Jonalyn's mother is a housewife, and her father raises pigs. They cannot pay for surgery for Jonalyn because their income is barely enough to sustain the family's daily needs. $1,500 covers the cost of Jonalyn's surgery, transportation to and from the hospital, 10 days of hospital care—including medicine, imaging, and blood tests—and medicine to take after she goes home. The surgery will lessen Jonalyn's discomfort due to her condition. "I am very thankful to you for helping people like me in my condition, especially those who are not financially capable in terms of health treatment," shares Jonalyn. "I was truly blessed because I was given an opportunity to be treated. After the surgery, I plan to continue my schooling to reach my dreams and help my family someday."
Etan is a 21-month-old boy who enjoys playing with toys and taking walks with his mother near their home in Ethiopia. Etan was born with a birth defect of the urethra called hypospadias. This means that the urinary tract opening is not at the usual location at the head of the penis. In Etan's case, the urethral opening is both at the head of the penis and under the penis. As a result, he cannot pass urine while standing as other boys do because the urine leaks at the second opening. It has been hard for Etan's mother to pay for the surgery that her son needs, as she is a single mother with a low income from her work as a hotel waitress. She sought treatment for him at two other hospitals, but because of lack of money, he has not yet been treated. She is also worried about the social stigma and potential medical complications that Etan may face. “I am always thinking about my son's future when he goes to school," she shares. "I am sure he will face medical complications and discrimination and that worries me a lot.” For $1,155, Etan will undergo hypospadias repair, a procedure in which a surgeon takes tissue grafts from the foreskin to cover the opening on the underside of the penis. Funding also covers the costs of 14 days of hospital care after surgery, lab work, imaging, and medicine. We expect a hypospadias repair will enable Etan pass urine normally. He will be free from the risk of urinary tract infections and infertility in the future, and he will have a chance to grow up normally and healthy.
Sela is an eight-month-old baby girl from Cambodia. Sela is living with syndactyly--she has webbed fingers and an extra digit on her left hand. Due to these abnormalities, it has been very difficult for Stela to use her hand. Thus, she and her mother traveled three hours to seek the help of our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC). Under normal conditions, the webbing dissolves, leaving five independent digits on every extremity. With syndactyly, on the other hand, the degradation of the tissue between fingers or toes is left incomplete during gestation and, in a few cases, like Sela’s, the webbing also covers an extra digit wedged in between. This specific situation, known as “polysyndactyly,” is a very rare occurrence, but when treated early in life it does not present lasting complications. However, if left unaddressed, Sela will lose significant functionality in her left hand. For $321, Sela will undergo a syndactyly repair, which will include a release to separate her fingers and a procedure to remove her extra digit. She will have also receive a skin graft to help heal her remaining digits. The funds will also cover supplies, inpatient care for ten days, and follow up visits for up to one year after the procedure. Because of the skin graft, this operation can be slightly more complicated than other surgeries, but CSC’s medical team says that the benefits of surgery (releasing Sela’s digits and allowing her to live a comfortable life) outweigh the minor risks. Sela’s parents are grateful and eager to have her surgery done. “I hope my daughter will have a normal hand like other people after surgery,” shares Sela’s mother.
Meet Layoni, a two-year-old boy from Tanzania. Our medical partner, African Mission Health Foundation (AMHF), tells us that Layoni was born to a large, loving family. His parents are both small scale farmers and tend a few livestock to support their five children. "Layoni was born with multiple deformities; Spina bifida, hydrocephalus and bilateral clubfoot," AMHF tells us. His neural tube defects were addressed with surgery when he was young, and he is doing much better because he received the medical treatment he needed at the time. "He likes to crawl and sit together with other children drawing on the ground," shares AMHF. He is getting eager to stand and walk, but with clubfeet, a musculoskeletal malformation where the feet are twisted out of shape, his feet and ankles are unable to support weight. With $1160, Layoni will receive surgery, stretching, and casting to reshape and strengthen his muscles. AMHF will provide a surgeon and hospital respite for his recovery, so that Layoni will be able to run around and play with other children. "I hope my grandson will one day be able to walk," Layoni's grandmother shared in their pre-operative interview with AMHF. With our help, Layoni will be able to walk normally.
42-year-old Naing is a veteran of the Burmese army who lost his right leg in combat 15 years ago. He is married with five daughters, one of whom works in the city, and two of whom are still in school. "Naing began to experience painful urination, back pain, and a tender abdomen eight months ago. He did not try to access healthcare in Burma because he knew that it would be too expensive for his family," explains our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP). Naing has been diagnosed with bladder stones which require surgery to remove. BBP explains, "Currently, he has back pain and painful urination. He can still work as a day labourer sometimes but it is hard for him to work when he is in more pain. He said now he has blood in his urine and he has stopped working. His family and friends are worried about his condition." Naing was discharged from the army with no disability pay or retirement benefits and does not have enough savings to cover his surgery. For $1,500, we can pay for surgery to remove the stones, including transportation to the hospital and all expenses while he recovers from the procedure. Niang shares, "I want to have surgery and recover soon. I would like to work as a barber ... since it would pay better than my present work."
“Ran began having ear discharge from her left ear when she was 10 years old,” says our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Center (CSC). Ran is now an 18-year-old woman living in Cambodia, and her condition has led to further complications. CSC continues, “The recurrent discharge caused hearing loss and an infected perforation of the tympanic membrane (eardrum). Her left ear experiences pain and tinnitus as well.” After learning about CSC from another individual in her village, Ran traveled three hours with her mother to reach our partner. She is married without children, and she spends her days cleaning her home and helping her parents on their farm. Ran tells CSC, “It is difficult to communicate with other people and this makes me unhappy that I can’t hear clearly.” In order to combat her infection and improve her hearing, Ran will need a mastoidectomy, a surgery that will remove cells in the hollow, air-filled spaces in the skull behind the ear. This procedure is used to treat infection and eliminate discharge and pain. For $809, Ran can receive the surgery she requires. Her mother shares: “I hope after the operation is done my daughter’s ear discharge stops, and she can have better hearing.”
Two years ago, Naangayok underwent a mass excision for a benign tumor on his leg. This procedure was funded by Watsi donors, and was successful. Recently, however, Naangayok returned to the hospital in pain and unable to walk. Doctors discovered that the tumor had recurred and diagnosed the tumor as cancerous. Naangayok is an 18-year-old man from Tanzania, who lives with his parents and helps his father herd cattle. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), shares, “The tumor cannot be excised as there is no way of doing so without destroying some nerves and blood vessels. This would result in a non-functional limb and a high change of a recurring tumor.” Doctors recommend that Naangayok’s leg be amputated above the knee. After the wound has healed, Naangayok will need a prosthetic to walk again. $1,035 will fund the operation Naangayok needs. Even if Naangayok’s parents sell the few cattle they own, they will not be able to afford the operation for their son. AMHF says that with the operation, “We expect that the surgery will reduce the chances of the cancer spreading and save Naangayok’s life.” “I wish I didn’t have to lose my leg, but I am feeling a lot of pain that I have accepted," Naangayok shares. "My changes of healing are higher without that part of my leg. I hope I will still be able to walk when I get an artificial leg."
Meet Jean Willio, a 17-month-old boy who lives in Haiti with his parents and seven older siblings. Jean Willio's two favorite pastimes are playing with his older siblings and enjoying music. His parents are both farmers. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) shares, "Jean Willio was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which a hole in the heart which normally closes shortly after birth, remains open." As a result of his heart condition, "blood leaks through this hole without passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen." Without treatment, Jean Willio will remain sickly and weak. Jean Willio's family cannot afford the $1,500 surgery he needs to restore blood flow to his heart. Fortunately, we can help. After the surgery, "he should not have any further cardiac symptoms," says HCA. "We have made many trips to the hospital with our son," Jean Willio's father shares. "We are very happy his heart can be fixed so we don't have to do that anymore."
“Florence is the last-born in a family of five children,” says our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). The four-month-old baby girl lives in Kenya with her mother and siblings in a single mud-walled house. Due to hydrocephalus, Florence’s head began to increase one month after she was born. This congenital neurological condition causes an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain--making the head swell. “[Hydrocephalus] leads to blockage of the return-flow channels, chronic headaches and irritability. If not treated, accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid may cause brain damage,” AMHF tells us. A single parent, Florence’s mother works on a local farm to support her children. However, her income alone is not enough to cover the cost of Florence’s surgical needs. For $980, a shunt will be inserted into Florence's head to remove the excess fluid. AMHF explains that this procedure will help stabilize intracranial pressure and prevent Florence from having long-term health issues. “It has been hectic for me and at times I feel like giving up but the urge to give my children the best keeps me moving,” Florence’s mother shares. “I really hope that Florence will get treatment.”
Meet Nancy, a 21-month-old baby girl from Guatemala. Nancy lives with her parents and two brothers. “Nancy loves to play with her brothers, and they are the ones that care for her when their parents are working,” our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), tells us. “Her mother makes textiles to earn some money, while her father works as a day laborer on a farm near their house.” Nancy is suffering from acute malnutrition. Her weight and height are far below the average for her age, and she is at risk of long-term negative effects from malnutrition. “If left untreated, Nancy will start to miss developmental milestones,” says WK. “She currently has low energy, and her body is struggling to grow and develop normally. Her immune system is weak, and she is at risk for infections, such as pneumonia.” Nancy is also at risk of longer-term health issues if the condition is left untreated. “She will be at higher risk for chronic illness such as diabetes and hypertension,” says WK. “Even her children in the future may be affected, as malnutrition in childhood is linked to higher rates of complicated pregnancy and having children whom also suffer from malnutrition.” With $535 in funding, Nancy will receive supplemental nutrition to remedy her condition. Her mother will also receive nutritional education to help her care for Nancy in the future. “This education will have long lasting effects, giving Nancy’s mother the tools she needs to continue providing nutrition to Nancy and her other siblings even after treatment is complete,” says WK. “This intervention will prevent Nancy for suffering from the long term effects of malnutrition. Her immune system will strengthen allowing her to better combat infections and illness throughout her life.” “I want her to grow up and become a great professional, who perhaps works in our municipality,” shares Nancy’s mother. With your help, Nancy will have the support she needs to recover her strength and continue growing with her family.
One-year-old Yoselin is the youngest of four children in a family from Guatemala. She loves playing with her pet cat and her toy puppy that squeaks. “Yoselin is malnourished and has a cough,” our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), tells us. “If intervention does not occur, Yoselin will be at risk of all the long-term effects of malnutrition.... [including] limited brain development and a weakened immune system.” Yoselin’s father does field work as a day laborer, and her mother weaves blouses to support their family. They're unable to raise enough funds to cover the cost of Yoselin's treatment. $535 covers treatment to identify conditions contributing to Yoselin’s malnutrition and for medical care to address those conditions. “This treatment will allow us to monitor and assess Yoselin’s growth and progress as well as give her the nutritional support she needs to thrive,” explains WK. “She will receive medication, micronutrient supplementation, and food to eliminate any parasitic infection she may have, as well as her cough, and bolster her caloric intake.” Yoselin's family will also receive help from a nutritionist to educate them on a healthy diet. “Yoselin’s mother will participate in intensive nutrition education courses that will give her the background to better provide healthy, nutrient-dense options for her children,” WK shares. The positive impact of treatment for Yoselin will be long-lasting. “Yoselin will avoid the long-term effects of malnutrition and develop the ability to concentrate and eventually succeed in school and the work force,” explains WK. “This is going to help her so much, because now I cannot buy what is necessary for my child, so this will be such great help for her,” says Yoselin’s mother.