Patricia joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Nine years ago, Patricia joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Patricia's most recent donation traveled 9,000 miles to support Frazer, a four-year-old boy from Malawi, for hernia repair surgery.
Patricia has funded healthcare for 28 patients in 11 countries.
Patricia has funded healthcare for 28 patients in 11 countries.
Frazer is a 4-year-old from a village in Malawi. He lives with his mother and loves playing outside with his friends. Since he was very young, Frazer has had swelling and pain due to an inguinal hernia. Although hernias are easily treated surgically, his family has been unable to access treatment for him until now. Frazer's mother said that sometimes he cries from the pain, and that it can be difficult for him to enjoy playing. $327 will fund this life-changing operation for Frazer. Frazer is a bit nervous for the surgery, but he and his mom are both looking forward to him being pain free. He's excited to be back to his friends.
Meet Thuok, a 73-year-old Cambodian woman who has two sons, two daughters and 10 grandchildren. "She enjoys watching Chinese movies on TV and listening to the monks pray on the radio," shares our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). "Thuok developed a cataract in each eye 10 years ago," CSC tells us. Cataracts are a common cause of blindness in Cambodia and often go untreated. In Thouk's case, her cataracts have blurred her vision progressively. "She can't do her work well or get around outside alone," explains CSC. For $225, we can fund cataract surgery that will remove the old, cloudy lenses in Thouk's eyes and replace them both with clear implants, allowing her to see clearly again. This will improve her independence, allowing her to watch her favorite movies and go outside by herself once again.
Wilmer was referred to Watsi's medical partner in Guatemala, Wuqu' Kawoq, by a government-run health care center where they cannot afford to buy formula for patients. Wilmer has not had any breastmilk for five days now, since his mother has been unable to produce milk. Wilmer has lost a significant amount of weight, and is now a pound smaller than he was when he was born less than three weeks ago. His grandmother has been giving him sugar water with anise to try to calm him down, since he cries almost constantly. Without treatment, Wilmer will not survive, and will face risks of permanent brain damage, seizures, and diarrhea if he does not receive treatment soon. Wilmer is the only child to a single mother that has special needs. Since his mother cannot care for herself, Wilmer's grandmother takes care of him. Wilmer's family has few resources, and they depend on Wilmer's grandfather to provide for the family. Many days they do not even have money to buy tortillas to eat, let alone one tin of formula that costs more than their monthly income. The treatment that Wilmer requires is simple and will save his life. For $1,016, Wilmer will receive milk formula and micronutrient supplementation to nourish his body. This will allow him to grow normally, gain weight, and avoid permanent brain damage. "I dream that my grandson will be able to grow and one day can study and pursue a profession," said Wilmer's grandmother.
Catherine is a 24-year-old woman from Kenya. "Her mother separated from her father and thus has been raising Catherine and her siblings alone," reports our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). "Catherine dropped out of school after completing eight classes due to lack of school fees. She works as a house help to earn a living." "Catherine has been having hearing problems since she was a little girl of age five. She was not able to access hearing aids due to lack of funds," continues AMHF. "Catherine has difficulty communicating. She is not able to perceive sound well and often requires one to shout or repeat conversations. This affects her daily interactions with people. When Catherine came to the hospital for treatment, hearing aids were recommended, but Catherine is not able to meet the full cost." With $712, Catherine can receive the hearing aids necessary to improve her hearing capability. "If not assisted with the hearing aids, Catherine will have poor sound perception and will continue having poor communication and social interactions," explains AMHF. Catherine shares, “My wish is to get the hearing aids and be able to establish my own tailoring shop." Let's help make it possible!
Mary is a confident, 12-year-old girl who likes to run and skip rope. She is the youngest in a family of eight children in Tanzania. She cannot remember when exactly her left leg became weak and gradually bent outwards. Mary was born with bilateral genu varus, commonly known as knocked knees. As a result of her condition, Mary frequently has pain when running. If her condition is untreated she could develop early osteoarthritis. Her parents are not able to afford surgery, as they are small-scale farmers and only earn enough to support Mary and her siblings' basic needs. For $940, Mary's legs will be surgically aligned to prevent them from hitting one another when she walks and runs. With this operation, Mary will be more mobile and free from pain so that she can concentrate in school. She will be able to more easily fulfill her dream of becoming a kindergarten teacher.
Blessing is a 35-year-old seamstress from Nigeria who has one older and four younger siblings. Our medical partner, Hope for West Africa, tells us she has a "sweet personality" and likes to cook. Blessing was recently diagnosed with uterine fibroids, painful noncancerous growths in the uterus. As a result, she has been having painful, prolonged menstrual periods and difficulty urinating. "Due to the pains and prolonged menstrual flow she hasn't been concentrating in her business of making clothes," shares Hope for West Africa, our medical partner. Blessing is unable to pay for treatment, as she contributes part of her income to help her siblings attend school. For $1,500 we can fund surgery to remove the growths, relieving Blessing's pain. The funding will also cover hospitalization and recovery. "Blessing looks forward to when she can concentrate and spend most days in her shop without pain and heavy flow," the staff at Hope for West Africa adds.
When Sina was 7 years old, she began experiencing hearing loss and discharge in both ears. Although she received surgery on her left ear in 2007, and a subsequent mastoidectomy on her right ear in 2015, she still experiences difficulty with her left ear. Sina now needs a mastoidectomy surgery on her left ear to improve her hearing and stop the discharge. Sina is 21 years old and lives in Cambodia. She works in a factory to support herself. She learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC), on the radio and traveled for two hours with her mother to reach CSC. “I am unhappy that I have pain in my left ear," Sina told the CSC staff. "It is difficult to communicate with other people. Sometimes, I cannot go to work because of the pain.” With $809, Sina will recieve mastoidectomy surgery on her left ear. These funds will provide for the costs of surgery, medication, and post-operative care at the hospita. “After a mastoidectomy surgery on her left side, Sina’s left ear will stop producing discharge and her hearing will improve," CSC says.
Mercy is a six-month-old girl from Kenya. She was brought to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), by her parents and her uncle. Mercy lives in a two room house with six other siblings where her mother watches over the family at home and nearby, her father works in a tea factory. When Mercy was born, she developed a sac-like protrusion on the lower backbone. This open defect on her spine, a condition called spina bifida, has already been hindering her normal development for the last few months. The congenital deformity is often a consequence of fetal hydrocephalus where cerebrospinal fluid adds pressure to the spinal cord. “Mercy came to the hospital with a leaking mass, so surgery must be done [promptly] to avoid severe infection and other complications,” explains AMHF. If her condition goes untreated, tethered cord syndrome is likely to develop, resulting in a permanently hunched back or a spine bent sideways. Mercy requires $805 for a spina bifida closure surgery, in which a surgeon will correct, reconstruct, and close the deformity. Long term monitoring and braces are part of the treatment process to observe her walking ability and gauge surgery success. AMHF believes the surgery will eliminate infections, prevent more nerve damage in the future, and decrease her chances of developing tethered cord syndrome. Mercy's father says, "I hope Mercy will get treatment and this condition will be past us. Please help us make her treatment possible."
Princess is a two-month-old girl who lives with her parents in Kenya. Her father is a carpenter and her mother stays home to care for her. Princess was born with spina bifida, a congenital condition caused by an incomplete vertebrae closing around the spinal cord. This causes areas of the spinal cord to bulge outwards, forming a mass. The mass causes Princess to be in a lot of pain, and has taken an emotional toll on her parents. “Princess's agonizing cries, whenever the mass is touched, crushes their soul. They do their best to comfort and sooth her, but are always left feeling helpless,” says her doctor at African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Without treatment, Princess is at risk for developing complications, such as paralysis or scoliosis, an abnormal spinal curvature. Fortunately, AMHF can help Princess and her family. Spina bifida closure surgery will cost a total of $805 and “will help prevent risk of infections, development of a tethered spinal cord and paralysis of Princess's legs.” “Please help our firstborn daughter make it,” adds Princess’ mother.
Meet three-year-old Moise. Moise is a shy little boy who lives in Haiti with his mother, father, and two older brothers. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), shares: "Moise is very close to his family and likes to help them around the house and in the garden." His parents make a living for the family growing and selling fruit in a local market. "Moise was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of the heart,” shares HCA. “Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and sickly. If untreated, the condition could eventually become fatal.” For $1500, Moise will be transported overseas where he will receive heart surgery. Gift of Life International has contributed $5,000 toward his treatment cost. This surgery will restore normal blood flow to his heart, relieving him of all symptoms. "We are so very happy that Moise can get his heart fixed so that we no longer have to worry so much about his health," his mother adds.
“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.”
“Ana is a curious little girl and the youngest of four children,” our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK) tells us. “Ana likes to play with plastic bags and pretend they are balloons while her mom weaves blouses to sell.” One-year-old Ana and her family live in Guatemala. “Ana has had pneumonia two times since she was born, and is extremely under weight and height for her age,” reports WK. “Since her first bout of pneumonia, her appetite has declined and her mother reports she is losing weight.” Ana is suffering from the effects of malnutrition. Ana’s mother is the sole breadwinner in the family, supporting four children on her own. “She struggles to buy sufficient food for the family, and Ana’s sickness is a constant topic of concern and a financial burden that hurts the whole family,” WK shares with us. If her malnutrition goes unchecked, Ana will continue to get ill. Her immune system will weaken further; she will have low energy, and will be at risk for chronic illness and infection. This will impair her growth and development, and she will start to lag behind other children her age physically and mentally. With $535 in Watsi funding, Ana will receive malnutrition treatment. Doctors will provide Ana with medicine to treat her illnesses and improve her health, and macronutrient supplements to up her caloric intake. This intervention will increase her energy, strengthen her immune system, and help her recoup the weight she has lost. To ensure that Ana’s health is maintained long-term, Ana’s mother will receive intensive nutritional education. A nutritional specialist will teach her how to make healthy food choices that are cost-effective for the family. This will increase her confidence in her ability to maintain her children’s health with the resources the family has. With this intervention, Ana will be able to reach her developmental potential. Her mother will get to watch her achieve all the proper developmental milestones and hopefully one day attend school and get an education. “I am so thankful for your visit,” Ana’s mother tells WK. “This will be a great help to my family and me.”