Jennifer joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Three years ago, Jennifer became the 642nd member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 2,621 more people have become monthly donors! Jennifer's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Mary, a toddler from Kenya, to fund the purchase of hearing aids.
Jennifer has funded healthcare for 35 patients in 10 countries.
Meet three-year-old Mary from Kenya. She is youngest of two children, and her mother shares that she is a happy and playful child. Mary has been diagnosed with a congenital hearing condition known as sensorineural hearing loss. This results from a combination of damage to the inner ear and/or hearing nerve. Mary is unable to perceive sound with clarity, and she is yet to develop speech. Without early intervention, Mary's hearing impairment may become a barrier for her as she learns to speak and later, when she attends school. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, has arranged for Mary to be fitted with hearing aids on July 20. Her parents have contributed $104 towards the costs but need our help to pay for the remaining $712. Mary’s mother says, "I would like to talk with my child without her having hearing problems."
Sarah is a student from Haiti. She lives with her parents, brothers, and sisters in a rural area in the mountains of central Haiti. Her parents are both farmers. Sarah has graduated kindergarten but is not attending first grade this year because of her illness. Sarah has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This diagnosis involves several related defects, including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a blockage of one of the valves. Sarah will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On November 10, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in her heart with a patch and remove the muscular blockage in her valve. Another organization, Health City Cayman Islands, is contributing $22,000 to pay for surgery. Sarah's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Sarah's family overseas. Her aunt says, "Our family is very excited for Sarah's surgery so that she can be healthy and safe, and can go to school."
Ofelio is a 54-year-old man from Guatemala. He lives with his family in Guatemala's rural highlands. Six years ago, while working as a construction worker, Ofelio lost his leg after an accident with a woodcutter. As a result, he's had trouble finding a stable source of income to support his family. On July 19, Ofelio will be fitted for a custom prosthetic leg at our medical partner's care center, Hospital Regional de Zacapa. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, is asking for $1,166 to cover the cost of Ofelio's prosthetic. With his prosthetic leg, Ofelio will be able to walk comfortably and search for a new job. "I am happy to be able to walk again," says Ofelio. "Thank you for the support!"
Gilbert is the third-born in a family of five children. The family hails from the Rift Valley of Kenya. Gilbert's mother is a stay-at-home mother, while his father is a subsistence farmer and casual laborer on neighboring farms. In January, Gilbert injured his left elbow while playing with friends at school. Due to lack of money, he was not taken to the hospital. His hand has worsened since the accident. He cannot fold his hand up or lift anything, and thus he needs to undergo surgery. He will receive treatment on August 14. Now, his family needs help raising $1,165 for surgery. “I am appealing to people of good will to help me for I cannot afford to pay the bill," says Gilbert's mother. "My son has been living in pain since he fell in January and I am troubled by his condition as he grows. I kindly appeal for your help."
Liza is a 12-year-old fourth grader from Cambodia. She lives with her parents and brother and sister. When not studying, Liza enjoys reading books, drawing pictures, and chatting with her friends. When Liza was four, she developed an ear infection in her right ear that perforated her inner ear membrane. In 2015, she travelled to Vietnam twice seeking treatment. Her condition did not improve, and she has been experiencing ear discharge, hearing loss, and ringing sensations. After learning about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), from a relative, Liza's parents took her for treatment. On April 27, ENT surgeons at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre, CSC's care center, will perform a myringoplasty procedure on Liza to correct her hearing. CSC is asking for $423 to cover the cost of her treatment. Liza is looking forward to recovery and hopes to one day be a doctor!
Mu is a 19-year-old woman from Thailand who works as a babysitter. Both of her parents are farmers, and she has four siblings. She is originally from Burma, but she moved to Thailand to seek better work opportunities and support her family. Mu was born with a congenital cardiac condition that has caused her chest and back pain, difficulty breathing, and a rapid pulse. While she used to receive medications in her hometown in Burma, these did not help to completely alleviate her symptoms. She was eventually diagnosed with congenital aortic and mitral valve disorders that will require surgery to repair. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral and atrial valve repair and replacement. Mu's procedure is scheduled for May 2. Mu shares, “As we didn’t have money to visit the hospital and get treatment, there wasn’t a lot my mother could do to make me feel better.” With the proper treatment, Mu can resume living a normal, healthy life.
Anthoni is an 18-month-old baby boy from Guatemala. Anthoni's mother is a single working mom who washes clothes to support her family. Anthoni is experiencing symptoms of malnutrition, a dangerous condition that results from consuming too few calories and nutrients. In the short term, this means that Anthoni has little energy to grow, and he also gets sick more often than other children. The long-term consequences of malnutrition include increased risk of chronic diseases and delayed development. While malnutrition can have devastating effects, it is also very treatable. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, is asking for $492 to fund treatment for Anthoni. On March 27, Anthoni will begin routine growth monitoring and nutrient supplementation. Local health workers will also teach Anthoni's mother about nutrition. These interventions will ensure Anthoni grows up strong and healthy. Anthoni’s mother says, “I hope for my son to get better so that he can study in the future.”
Ken is a 16-month-old boy from Guimaras, an island in central Philippines. He lives with family in a bamboo house lit by gas lanterns. He has five siblings, with whom he loves to play. His father works as a carpenter. Ken has been diagnosed with acute malnutrition. "I hope he becomes a healthy boy and finishes his studies," says his mother, who is very worried about her son's health. Our medical partner, International Care Ministries, is requesting $268 to cover the cost of an in-home feeding program to treat Ken's malnutrition. This will pay for nutrient-enriched food packs, weekly visits from medical staff, and health education for family members. Ken is scheduled to begin treatment on February 23. After treatment, he will return to playing with his siblings.
Meet Khun, an 83-year-old man from Cambodia. Khun is married and has two sons, two daughters, and twenty grandchildren. He enjoys listening to monks pray at the pagoda. One year ago, Khun developed mature cataracts in each eye. A cataract occurs when a thin, cloudy layer forms over the eye’s lens. This causes him blurred vision, discharge, tearing, and fear of bright lights. It is hard for him to see clearly, do work, or go anywhere outside. "I hope I can see more clearly,” shares Khun, “so that I can look after my grandchildren easily and do some work." After learning about CSC, Khun and his daughter traveled two hours to visit their clinic. They learned that a simple surgical procedure may restore Khun's sight. On January 13, Khun will undergo cataract surgery, during which his old lenses will be removed and replaced with sheer artificial implants, allowing him to see again immediately after his operation. CSC is requesting $292 in funding.
Deborah is a newborn who is only three days old. When she was born, her doctors noticed that she had a sac on her lower back. She was diagnosed with spina bifida, a spinal cord malformation. The hospital immediately referred Deborah's mother to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, for treatment. On January 22, Deborah will undergo a $1,200 spina bifida closure surgery at the medical center. Without this treatment, Deborah is at risk of complications, such as tethered cord syndrome or lower limb paralysis. Deborah's parents cannot afford to pay for the care their daughter needs. They need help to pay her medical bill. "I hope that this treatment will help my child to be healed and she will be happy," says Deborah's mother.
Narith is a 43-year-old potato farmer who is married and has one son and one daughter. She likes to chat with her neighbors in her free time. Three years ago, Narith developed a cataract in each eye, causing her blurred vision and extreme sensitivity to light. She has difficulty seeing things clearly and working. When Narith learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On December 20, doctors performed a phacoemulsification cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, Narith will be able to see clearly again. Now, she needs help to fund this $292 procedure. "I hope that I can see everything more clearly," says Narith, "so that I can feed my cows and chickens. I can also earn money to support my family and go anywhere by myself."
Michael is a ten-year-old boy from Tanzania. He is the third born of four children, and his parents are subsistence farmers. The family lives near our medical partner's care center, The Plaster House. Michael's legs have been progressively bending. His parents were referred to The Plaster House by a neighbor whose child was born with the same condition. Michael was diagnosed with genu valgus, a condition in which the legs bend inward and the knees touch. On November 30, he began a treatment plan that includes surgery, casting, and physiotherapy. Now, his family needs help to pay his $940 medical bill. "There are days his legs are too sore to go to school," says Michael's mother. "I will be happy if he can start going every day."