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Julie Vehrenkamp Berryhill

MONTHLY DONOR

United States

Julie's Story

Julie joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Six years ago, Julie joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Julie's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Fulgence, a playful 3-year-old from Tanzania, to fund a burn contracture surgery on his hand.

Impact

Julie has funded healthcare for 77 patients in 13 countries.

All patients funded by Julie

Fulgence

Fulgence is a 3-year-old boy and the fifth born child in a family of six children. Fulgence is a charming, friendly, and playful child. His parents are small scale farmers who grow maize, vegetables, and sunflowers. They depend entirely on what they harvest for their food and daily living. In 2019, Fulgence dipped his right hand in a pot of hot cooking oil, sustaining severe burns on his palm. His mother had been making mandazi, a morning snack, and left the hot oil unattended in a different room after she was done. Due to the family's income, Fulgence's parents were only able to take him to a local dispensary for treatment, where he had the burn dressed and continued with home treatments afterwards. His wounds eventually healed with contractures, which limit him from holding items comfortably. When Fulgence's mother heard about the plastic surgeons working at our medical partner's care center, she decided to seek treatment help for her son. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Fulgence receive treatment. On March 2nd, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery, which will help him to be able to use his right palm with ease. Now, he needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Fulgence’s mother shared, “The Watsi program has been of great help to me and my family through the funding of my daughter’s treatment cost, which we couldn’t afford. I am kindly asking for help for my son as well who is unable to hold things using his right hand. Please help him.”

22% funded

22%funded
$144raised
$495to go
Marline

Marline is a 7-year-old boy from Kenya. He is a cheerful boy and a Grade 2 student at Jayden Academy. Marline wants to be an engineer when he grows up. Marline's mother says that he loves to dismantle and assemble electronics in the house, and is well on his way to his career dreams. Additionally, Marline has a condition called spina bifida. Earlier in April 2020, Marline was playing with his friends when his mother noticed a small pimple-like wound on his right foot. It was small at first, but slowly started to grow bigger in size. His mother rushed him to a nearby health centre in their hometown, where he has been undergoing dressing in the facility but they have not seen much improvement. Since Marline has been coming to Kijabe Hospital for his spina bifida clinic, he opted to seek review in the hospital and get this wound checked. He was reviewed a week ago by the plastic and pediatric surgical teams, who recommended that he undergoes debridement, excision of calcaneal ulcer, and flap cover surgery to clean and heal his infected wound. Currently, Marline is in pain and at risk for further infection. If left unattended, the wound may result in severe infection and possible amputation. Unfortunately, these procedures are costly for Marline's family. His mother is a single mother raising two kids on her own. Their family lives in a bedsitter house in Ruai, at the outskirts of Nairobi. Marline's father left the family and his responsibility. Marline's mother is the sole breadwinner of the family and she has a small grocery kiosk. The total profit from the venture is very small, and her close relatives are not able to assist with financial support. Their family appeals for help. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Marline receive treatment. On January 6th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help heal the wound and prevent possible complications. Now, Marline's family needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Marline's mother says, “This wound is worsening by the day. If left unattended, doctors say that he might lose his leg. This would be hurting all of us. Kindly help us as we really don’t have a way out."

100% funded

$1,185raised
Fully funded
Jenipher

Jenipher is a 48-year-old mother of three from Kenya. She is married and lives in Umoja area in Nairobi County.  In August 2020, Jenipher started experiencing heavy bleeding. She visited a hospital in Umoja, where the doctor suggested that the bleeding may be a result of menopause. She was put on medication for hormonal imbalance and hematinic for blood cell production. Unfortunately, the bleeding continued, so she was referred by a friend to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Nazareth Hospital. There, Jenipher had an ultrasound, which unfortunately showed that she had a cervical mass. The gynaecologist recommended that she undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. However, this procedure is very costly for Jenipher and her family. Currently, they depend on her husband’s income from his small business as a carpenter. Since she was let go from her job as a school secretary due to the school's bankruptcy, Jenipher has tried her hand in several small businesses. Lately, she is unable to do much because the bleeding leaves her feeling very drained and uncomfortable. She hopes to get better and help her 20-year-old daughter start a boutique business that can supplement their family’s income. If left untreated, Jenipher's bleeding will continue and may lead to severe anaemia. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $755 to fund Jenipher's surgery. On October 30th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Jenipher will be able to resume her daily activities free of fatigue and pain. Jenipher shared, “I am hopeful that surgery will help me get better so that my daughter and I can start a small boutique business to enable us to take care of my grandchild.”

100% funded

$755raised
Fully funded
Khin

Khin Htay is a 26-year-old-Araknese woman who lives with her younger sister in Yangon, Burma. She is in her final year of university. Her sister works as a seamstress in a shop and earns 200,000 kyat (approx.200 USD) per month. Their parents and their eldest sister are rice farmers in Rakhine State. Every year, they sell half of their harvest to earn an income. Htay's sister in Yangon sends their parents money occasionally, while their parents support Htay's medical expenses. The income that Khin Htay's sister earns is enough to cover their daily expenses and pay for basic health care. In 2018, Khin Htay started to feel very tired and could not sleep well at night. She also experienced chest pains if she walked anywhere far. She took traditional medicine which helped her feel and sleep better. However, she continued to feel tired and experience pain. One day in 2019, a neighbor who has a heart condition, told her that she could have a heart disease like her; the neighbor had also experienced the same symptoms. The neighbor advised her to seek treatment at Pinlon Hospital in Yangon, where the neighbor had undergone heart surgery. She decided to follow the neighbor's recommendation and also moved in with her sister in Yangon for extra support. In December 2019, Khin Htay went to Pinlon Hospital to see a cardiologist. After receiving an echocardiogram (echo), the doctor told her that two valves in her heart no longer work and that she would need to receive surgery to replace those valves. The doctor also told her that because her condition is not severe, she did not need surgery yet. She received six month's worth of medication and a follow-up appointment for June 17th, 2020. When she came back for her appointment, she received another echo and an x-ray. After checking her results, the doctor told her that her condition had progressed and she now needed surgery, which would cost 15,000,000 kyat (approx.15,000 USD). When they learned about the price of the procedure, Khin Htay and her sister lost hope of ever getting Khin Htay treatment; they could not afford to pay such a large sum of money. When she told a nurse at the hospital called Sandar Ko about their financial situation, the nurse told her about an abbot who might be able to help her. The abbot heads Kyaung Gyi Parahita Monastery and is a partner of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Khin Htay called the abbot and asked for help accessing surgery. The abbot then referred Htay to Watsi's Medical Partner BCMF for assistance receiving treatment at Pinlon Hospital. Currently, Khin Htay feels tired and suffers from chest pains when she walks a lot. She cannot sleep very well at night and she feels short of breath at least twice a week. To try and cope with her symptoms mentally, she prays or recites Dhamma. She also tries to help her sister with household chore such as cooking and sweeping. She hopes that she will be able to continue her studies after surgery and she would like to work for the government as a civil servant once she graduates. Khin Htay shared, “When I graduate, I will work and support my parents because they are getting old and they will not be able to work on the farm in the future.”

100% funded

$1,500raised
Fully funded
Rachel

Rachel is a tailor from Kenya. She is a middle-aged woman from the east of the country. Eight years ago, she noted a lump on her right breast and consulted several hospitals. She had FNA tests run and cancer was ruled out. In 2014, she had a lumpectomy but unfortunately, the lump recurred in 2018. She was biopsied in a different hospital and still did not get a cancer diagnosis. Late in 2019, she opted to come to Watsi's Medical Partner Care Center Kijabe Hospital where she had several tests done, including an ultrasound and CT scan. Doctors diagnosed early-stage cancer. Rachel returned to the hospital in April and surgery is advised. If not operated on, she is at risk of cancer metastasis, which might result in an early death. Rachel is a mother of two children, ages 10 and 8 years old. She lives in a two-roomed rental house paying $34 per month. She sustains her family through her small tailoring venture in their house. Living with a disability, where she had a right femur osteomyelitis in 1982, she is not able to move with ease, and this limits her ability to earn a better living and lifestyle. She separated with her husband, making it hard for her to meet the daily cost of living. She left her two children with a neighbor to come for surgery and appeals for financial help. Without treatment, her cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $898 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Rachel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 6th. After treatment, Rachel will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Rachel says, “Thank you for agreeing to support my surgery. I am grateful and look forward to quick recovery.”

100% funded

$898raised
Fully funded