Mary joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Mary joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mary's most recent donation supported Rehiwilzahra, a loving 2-year-old girl from Haiti, to fund prep and transport for heart surgery.
Mary has funded healthcare for 76 patients in 11 countries.
Mary has funded healthcare for 76 patients in 11 countries.
Rehiwilzahra is a sweet toddler from Haiti. She lives in Port-au-Prince with her mother, father, and three older siblings. Rehiwilzahra likes watching cartoons and playing with her older siblings. Rehiwilzahra has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This heart condition involves several related heart defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These defects prevent blood from circulating properly through the lungs leaving Rehiwilzahra weak and short of breath. The surgery Rehiwilzahra needs to heal is not available in Haiti, so she will need to fly to the Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery to close the hole in her heart with a patch and remove the blockage from her valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance is helping Rehiwilzahra's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This amount also supports passport obtainment and the social workers to accompany Rehiwilzahra's family overseas. Rehiwilzahra's mother shared, "We have been praying for a long time for a solution to our daughter's heart problem. We are very thankful to everyone who is helping her!"
Daniel is a smart sixteen-year-old boy. He is the eldest in a family of three children and has been living with his aunt ever since he was a little boy. He joined the primary school at the age of nine and he passed his class 7 exams with flying colors. It is now getting difficult for him to walk to school due to a condition that started when he was in class six. He dreams of becoming an orthopedic doctor in the future. Daniel's aunt works as a security guard in a hospital in Arusha and her husband is a driver. They have four children of their own and they are also looking after Daniel. Daniel was diagnosed with genu valgus. His legs bow so that his knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. He used to enjoy playing soccer, but now he can no longer run as well as he used to. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Daniel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 17th. Treatment will hopefully restore Daniel's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Daniel shared, “There were lots of things I enjoyed doing like playing football and being able to walk and run easily, but due to my legs bending it is hard now.”
Debash is an adorable two-year-old boy from Ethiopia. His dad shared that although he can be a bit shy in front of new people, his playfulness comes out whenever he's around his siblings. He has three sisters and one brother. Debash's parents are farmers on their own land, however the weather in their environment is dry most of the year, which causes their harvest to be limited. The amount of fruit they yield is frequently not enough to meet their family's needs, in turn causing them to spend money on purchasing food, after consuming their own, for the rest of the year. During the months of the year when they are not farming, they work in a factory to earn additional income. Even so, their income is limited and supports the basic needs of the family. Debash has a condition called Hirschprung's Disease. This is a birth condition that affects the large intestine and causes problems with passing stool. As a result, Debash has needed a series of treatments to remove an abnormally functioning segment of his bowel. Now he has returned for a follow-up procedure to a colostomy operation he had when he was younger. Because of COVID-19, financial limitations, and social unrest in his region they weren't able to follow up for his second surgery a quickly as they'd hoped and have been waiting a long time. A social worker met with their family and informed them of the services at our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Mygungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM), and recommended they take Debash there to proceed with his needed treatment. Due to Debash's condition, his parents are under a lot of psychological and financial stress. They cannot afford the medical bill for their son's treatment, and appeal for help. Fortunately, on February 17th, Debash will receive treatment at BKMCM. There, Debash will undergo hirschprung pull through surgery to remove the diseased portion of his intestine. With treatment, Debash will grow up to hopefully lead a happy life, and will no longer be in a constant state of discomfort. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, asks for $1,500 to help fund Debash's medical bill. His dad said, “We hope he will heal about his second surgery now. That will be great and it will make us happy. I want to educate my child. I hope he will get a good job after that. Either being a government worker or a doctor or a teacher or a trader or a farmer, I hope he will lead a good and healthy life in his future.”
Abigael is a joyful and smiley three-year-old and the last born in her family of four children. As her mother left for Saudi Arabia in search of a better job, Abigael’s father cares for her and her siblings. He shared that his work as a laborer means he cannot financially support four children, so Abigael’s grandparents care for her and one of her older siblings. Abigael’s grandfather was employed as a butcher but recently lost his job. Abigael has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result, Abigael has been experiencing frequent headaches and stomach aches since she was one year old. Her grandparents took her to different hospitals, but nothing helped relieve her pain. A friend referred them to another hospital, and her family raised funds for her assessment. After some scans, doctors diagnosed her condition as hydrocephalus. Without treatment, Abigael will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Abigael finally heal. On January 13th, surgeons will drain the excess fluid from Abigael’s brain to reduce the intracranial pressure. This procedure will significantly improve her quality of life and help her develop into a strong, healthy young girl. AMH is requesting $720 to cover the cost of her surgery. Abigael’s grandmother shared, “We did not know that her condition was this serious, and we do not have funds to cater for her surgery.”
Sarah is a 5-year-old girl from Haiti. She is typically a healthy and active girl and is very loved by her family. Sarah 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, Sarah has been experiencing severe headaches. Sarah had a shunt placed when she was an infant for treatment and it allowed her to develop normally. The recent headaches alerted the doctors that the shunt stopped working and needed to be replaced. Without treatment, Sarah will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Sarah at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on December 7th. This critical treatment will replace the shunt and drain the excess fluid from Sarah's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Sarah will hopefully continue to develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Their family is grateful that Sarah will be able to continue to have a happy life after the shunt is replaced.
Sambath is a 42-year-old soldier who now lives in a rural province of Cambodia with his mother. In his free time Sambath enjoys reading books, watching TV, listening to music, and meeting with friends. One year ago Sambath began experiencing pain in both hips. Now he has difficulty walking. Sambath was evaluated by doctors and due to the osteonecrosis in his hips, where his bones break down due to lack of blood flow, a total hip replacement surgery is recommended to restore his mobility. Fortunately, Sambath learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Sambath of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for November 23rd, and Sambath needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. Sambath says, "I really hope that the pain will go away and I can walk easily again."
U Ghwe is a 70-year-old man who lives with his wife and granddaughter in Burma. His wife is ill and not able to look after household chores most of the time. His granddaughter is a student in grade 12, but since her school is closed right now, she looks after the household chores. U Ghwe is a weaver and primarily makes bamboo baskets used to carry materials for construction. The family also fishes and raises chickens. Four years ago, U Ghwe had a stroke which left the muscles in his right foot very stiff. Although he can walk, he cannot wear sandals comfortably and instead goes barefoot. About a month ago, while cutting bamboo for weaving, he felt something bite the sole of his right foot. When he got home that evening, his foot was painful, itchy, red and swollen. Unfortunately, he did not have money to seek treatment at a clinic and eventually, the wound developed into an abscess filled with pus. A family member finally recommended that he visit our medical partner's care center for further examination and treatment. After examination, a doctor diagnosed him with an ulcer and told him that he has diabetes. The doctor shared with him that any injury U Ghwe sustains will not heal easily. His doctor has recommended surgery to clean the ulcer and help it to heal. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping U Ghwe receive the recommended treatment. On October 7th, he will undergo a wound debridement procedure at BCMF's care center to help his wound heal. Now, he needs help raising $694 to fund his procedure and care. U Ghwe shared, "I do not know how long my daughter will not be able to [give] me money. Today, my daughter called me and said that my son-in-law will need to have surgery so she cannot send me money. I am the only one who can earn an income, so if I do not feel better, I will not be able to work. I am interested in working with wood. If was younger, I would learn and become a carpenter but now I feel I am too old."
Marher is an adorable and smart 22-month-old boy from Ethiopia. He loves to run and play outdoor games. Marher is the only child in his family, and he loves talking with others. His dad is a construction worker but is currently not working since the termination of the project due to Covid-19 and hyperinflation of construction materials. His mom is a cook and the breadwinner of the family as of now. Her income is limited to sustain their family needs. They live in a rented house which makes their living conditions expensive, and so they often depend on support from friends and family. Marher 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 infertility. Fortunately, Marher is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on October 14th, 2021. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. His dad said, “Marher will be happy if he receives the surgery and recovers to live like any other boy. He will not be psychologically affected by his condition as he grows up. I hope he will be educated and lead a quality life.”
Meshack is a young baby and the third born in a family of three children. His mother sells groceries in a local market and his father is a mechanic. His parents work hard to earn a humble income, just enough to provide for the family. Meshack was born a healthy and happy baby. However, a few days later, his mother noticed that he was not passing urine properly. His parents took him to a nearby hospital for examination where he was diagnosed with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. The doctor referred Meshack to visit BethanyKids Hospital once he turned 7 months old. Once they visited the hospital, he was scheduled to undergo a hypospadias repair surgery. Fortunately, Meshack is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on August 19th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $847 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Meshack’s mother shared, “It is hard for us to even think of raising any money as we cannot afford it, please help us. Thank you for your support.”
Paw is a 59-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters in a refugee camp. In her free time, Paw like to feed her three chickens and sing gospel songs. She also loves looking after her granddaughters at home when their mother is teaching. On a late evening earlier this month, Paw was walking home in the rain when she slipped and fell on the muddy road. She accidentally hit her forehead against a tree stump and tried to break her fall by sticking out her right arm. Right after she fell, Paw experienced a sharp pain in her right arm and forehead. Her son and daughter-in-law brought her to the camp hospital, where Paw was given stitches for her forehead as well as pain medication, and her arm was put in a splint and a sling. The medic then referred her to another hospital, where she was finally admitted at two days later when a car became available to take her. At the hospital, Paw received a X-Ray and was told that her right wrist is broken and requires surgery. With her hand wrapped in a bandage, she was referred to our medical partner's care center, Chiang Mai Hospital, for further treatment. Currently, Paw cannot move her right wrist, not even to lift her hand. Without more pain medication, her hand and forearm experience severe pain with any movement, so Paw has to be careful to keep her right hand straight. Because of this, Paw cannot complete her daily chores nor look after her grandchildren. Fortunately, with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Paw will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 23rd and will cost $1,500. This surgery will help Paw move her hand around and resume her daily activities again with ease. “I want to get well soon so that I can go back to taking care of my grandchildren,” Paw said. “They are waiting for me at home to go back to my daily life. Now, I have to come for my treatment and there's nobody look after them. It is hard for my daughter in-law.”
Hong is a 27-year-old man who works as a truck driver. He is married and has one son. In July 2020, Hong was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a fracture of his left proximal ulna and his left femur. Now it is difficult for him to use his hand and he is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On June 18th, Hong will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will help him use the left hand easily again. Hong said "I hope I can use my hand better than before so I can return to work."
Veronica is a cheerful, married 29-year-old mother of two children. Veronica shared that she left school in primary school, because her parents could not afford her school fees. Her husband earns a living through helping people lift heavy luggage at a local bus station, and he also does a variety of other jobs when he has the opportunity. Veronica enjoys spending time with her two children, ages two and four; they give her joy and fulfillment as a mother. Her family lives in a one-bedroom rented house. In 2009, Veronica developed a swelling on her neck. She ignored it, thinking it would soon go away, but in 2014, the swelling grew. In 2015, she was diagnosed with a goiter, or enlarged thyroid, and surgery was recommended. As the goiter continues to grow, she has experienced coughing, difficulty breathing and difficulty swallowing. She can no longer sing in church or carry heavy things on her head, and she shared that she can no longer eat hard foods like msima, a Malawian staple. Veronica also told us that the condition has changed her appearance and has impacted her self-esteem. Veronica has visited the government hospital more than 15 times since her diagnosis, but her surgery was always rescheduled. Two weeks ago, she went to a different hospital and was referred to our medical partner's care center, where a surgeon recommended a thyroidectomy. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Veronica receive treatment. On May 25th, Veronica will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $1,015 to fund her procedure. The surgery is expected to improve her life and heal her symptoms. With a hopeful smile, Veronica shared, “I am overwhelmed with this opportunity to be sponsored for this operation. After the operation, I hope to live normally and care for my children properly. I believe I should be able to eat hard msima [the Malawi staple food] or raw cassava and potatoes which I now miss greatly. I look forward to sleeping without struggles after this surgery, much appreciation!”