Keith joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Eight years ago, Keith joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Keith's most recent donation traveled 4,200 miles to support Adrian, a 8-year-old boy from Bolivia, to fund cardiac surgery so that he can breathe well and grow strong.
Keith has funded healthcare for 105 patients in 14 countries.
Keith has funded healthcare for 105 patients in 14 countries.
Adrian is an 8-year-old boy from Bolivia. He lives in a neighborhood in the mountains above La Paz with his parents and three siblings; he is in the fourth grade in school. Adrian was born with a cardiac condition called pulmonary valvar and subvalvar stenosis, in which the area in and around one of his valves is too small to allow blood to flow through it properly. As a result, blood backs up into his heart, leaving him weak and short of breath. During surgery, doctors will use a balloon to stretch the valve open so that blood can pass through it more freely. His family is raising funds to support his treatment with our medical partner HCA. Adrian's mother says: "Our family is very excited to know that our son can finally have a normal heart!"
Dennis is a farmer from Kenya, who is happily married and a father of two boys. Together with his wife and children they live in semi-permanent houses and are small-scale potato farmers. When they can get work, they do casual jobs in the neighborhood in order to earn a living. They are a young family who shared that life is often hard for them. They have no medical coverage nor money to fund the surgery that Dennis needs. Dennis came in on Friday after being cut with a machete. He went to the operating theatre for emergency care. Later on, Dennis was splinted and admitted into the surgical ward to help him heal. Three days later, he was seen and examined by the surgeon, who is deeply concerned about his recovery. The surgeon recommended follow-up care that is needed right away to avoid serious, permanent damage to Dennis' hand. Dennis is at risk of losing his arm if not treated immediately. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Dennis receive treatment. On December 7th, surgeons at their care center will perform surgery so that Dennis will be able to use his arm, work and provide for his young family. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,089 procedure. Dennis says, “I am my family provider who does a lot of casual jobs and farming to earn a living. I am really worried about my current state. Kindly help me so that I can be able to use hand normally as before.”
Dieunese is a mother of two from Haiti. She lives in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince where she cares for her two young children along with her husband who is a taxi driver. Dieunese has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral stenosis which makes it extremely difficult for her heart to pump blood through her body, leaving her weak and short of breath. Dieunese requires surgery, but it is not available in her country. To access care, she will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On November 17th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair her heart valve; if they are unable to, they will remove it and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, the Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000 to pay for this surgery. Dieunese's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Dieunese overseas. Dieunese says, "I am hopeful that having this surgery will allow me to be alive and healthy for my children!"
Pauline is a 36 year old single woman, living in Kenya. She works at a facility where they take care of street children. Both of her parents have passed away, and she has no siblings. Pauline has lived in near constant pain for 26 years. After she was finally able to have an MRI, an ultrasound and blood tests, she was diagnosed with endometriosis. Because of this condition, tissue, which is similar to that of the lining of the uterus, grows outside of the uterus, enveloping the ovaries and fallopian tubes, causing chronic discomfort. The tissue can also affect other nearby organs, such as the bowel and the bladder. Surgical intervention is required to resolve this condition. With the assistance of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Pauline is now scheduled to undergo a hysteroscopy and operative laparoscopy, on October 11th, at AIC Kijabe Hospital. After the surgery, Pauline should be able to live her life, free from pain. Now she needs your help to fund the procedure, which costs $1,074. Pauline says: “I have always lived with pain since I was a small girl. I hope this discomfort will come to a halt once and for all.”
Chaw is 20-year-old who lives with his parents and three younger sister in a refugee camp. Chaw's sisters go to school, his mother is a homemaker and his father and brother work as agricultural day labourers. Chaw's brother lives on his employer's land and sends the family what money he can every month. After his accident, Chaw stopped working on the same farm as his brother. In his free time, before his accident, Chaw liked to play football with his friends and visit with them. In 2020, Chaw was carrying corn to the peeling machine where he worked and he slipped and hit his left lower leg against the fan of the machine. Chaw was in a great deal of pain and was brought to the hospital. Chaw was told that his left lower leg was broken, and underwent surgery to insert a steel rod into his leg. This past January, Chaw noticed a mass on his left lower leg, where he had received surgery. The mass was very painful and felt hot to the touch. Over time, the mass increased in size until his whole lower left leg became swollen. Although he received surgery to remove the mass, Chaw's leg never fully healed. Eventually he was diagnosed with osteomyelitis and was told the steel rod in his leg would need to be replaced. Chaw is in a lot of pain and his lower left leg continues to be swollen and red. He cannot sleep well and needs crutches and assistance to move around. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Chaw will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for September 6th and BCMF is raising $1,500 to cover the cost of this life-changing procedure that will help Chaw walk free of pain. Chaw shared, “I am happy that I will receive surgery with the help of the organisation [Burma Children Medical Fund] and I am thankful to all of the donors. In the future I want to get better quickly. I will find a new job and support my family.”
Christine is a 36-year-old mom who is expecting a new baby. Christine met her husband and got married at the tender age of 17 years. Since then, she has been blessed with her children. Christine is a farmer and her husband is a builder. He gets work whenever he can, but it is not consistent enough to support their family and meet medical needs. Our medical partner shared that without national health insurance programs in Uganda, medical care can be difficult especially for low-income families like Christine's. Her doctors have recommended a c-section delivery as she is at risk of uterine rupture, which could be fatal. Christine appeals for help to pay for her surgery and shared, “I will be able to resume farming once given your support to deliver successfully. I hope to deliver a live baby and in good health afterwards.”
Rose is a seven-year-old girl from Tanzania. She is an only child to her mother, who unfortunately passed away when she was one year old. She is now in the care of her aunt. Her aunt's husband practices farming and grows corn, sorghum, and potatoes. Rose had not been enrolled in school prior to this year due to her aunt's concerns about her condition, but she is now enrolled in kindergarten. Rose has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition where the foot is twisted out of shape. When she was three, her aunt noticed that she would fall every time she walked and that her legs seemed to be weakening. Rose currently experiences difficulty walking, playing, and carrying out other daily activities. Fortunately, Rose and her family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Rose's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Rose’s aunt shares, “...I would love to get her condition corrected, but I have no means.”
Meet Tessy, a beautiful 4-year-old girl, living in Kenya. In March 2022, Tessy and several of her family members were involved in an accident. Her grandparents and an uncle did not survive this event, and Tessy's parents and her sister - and Tessy herself - were all hospitalized with traumatic injuries. Her parents and her sister have all since recovered. Tessy sustained injuries to her head, chest, hand and legs, and she remained in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital for several months. While Tessy has a visible deformity of her left arm and her right thigh, her doctors shared that her overall progress since the accident is impressive. Some of her fractures are healing well, but the fracture of her right femur requires surgical intervention. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help Tessy access the care that she needs. On June 10th, Tessy will undergo an open reduction and internal fixation at AIC Kijabe Hospital. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is seeking $1,500 to fund this procedure, without which Tessy would find it difficult to walk, and would live in chronic pain. Tessy’s father says: “Her condition has greatly improved. She was in the ICU for almost two months and responded well to treatment. She needs the surgery to help with the healing and to be able to walk again.”
Randy is a 49-year-old from the Philippines. He has developed a large mass on his left shoulder. Because of this mass, Randy has been unable to secure full time employment. In order to support the needs of his family, Randy works part time in the neighborhood where he lives. Because of his inability to afford and access care, Randy had to delay treatment for a couple of years, and the mass increased in size. Fortunately, Randy found his way to our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, and he is now scheduled for surgery on May 3rd at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. World Surgical Foundation Philippines is requesting $1,196 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care, which will remove the mass and enable Randy to return to full time employment. “Randy is so eager to be treated so he can work and provide for his family,” his sister said. “We are very grateful to World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for helping people like us. Thank you for your generous hearts," she added.
Demetria is a peanut-butter maker from the Philippines. Demetria was diagnosed with cholecystitis 10 years ago and advised by her doctor to undergo surgery, but due to financial constraints, she opted to self-medicate using herbal medicines. This served as a temporary relief to her symptoms, but now these have worsened over time, and during the past 2 weeks, she started experiencing intolerable pain and difficulty keeping food down. With age and her worsening symptoms, Demetria is not capable of earning income to support her medical treatment. She shared that she and her husband rely on their granddaughter who works as an online tutor, to support their daily needs. Fortunately, Demetria was referred to our medical partner and is now scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on April 7th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,253 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After her recovery, Demetria will no longer experience severe pain in her abdomen or be at risk of other complications in the future. “Once the surgery is done, I hope to go back to doing my small peanut butter-making business so I can help sustain our daily needs like I used to before," Demetria shared. "Thank you so much WSFP and Watsi for all your help,” she added.
Phyu is a 17-year-old who lives with her parents, husband, and two brothers on the Thai-Burma border. Her father and husband work as day labourers, while her mother looks after her two younger brothers. Phyu used to help on small jobs too, but stopped six months ago when she first felt unwell. Beginning last October, Phyu felt tired, experienced chest tightness, and oedema in both her legs. A few days later, she went to a clinic and was told that she has a problem with her heart. She received medication and a follow-up appointment for the following week. Although she took the medication regularly, she did not feel any better. When she went back to the clinic, it was closed due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in their area. While she waited for the clinic to reopen, the swelling in her legs worsened and she also had difficulty breathing. Eventually, her employer drove her to Phop Phra Hospital, where she was admitted and given oxygen. The doctor at the hospital referred her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) the next day where she received a number of diagnostic tests. The doctor told her that she has a heart condition and diagnosed her with aortic valve regurgitation. The medical team shared that she needed to undergo surgery and told her to travel to Chiang Mai where they can provide the care she needs. Worried about how her family would afford the surgery, once Phyu arrived at the clinic, a medic referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing the treatment she needs. Currently, Phyu feels tired if she walks far or when she has to do anything strenuous such as carrying water or cleaning her house. If she sleeps on her back, she has difficulty breathing. Although she still has oedema in her legs, the swelling has gone down since she started taking medication from MSH. “When I recover from surgery, I want to work to help increase my family’s income so that we can pay back our debt. I also want to support my brother who is attending a teacher training college in Burma. He is a second-year student now," said Phyu with new hope for her future.
Irene is a beautiful baby girl and the only child in her family. Irene's mother is young and was still in school when she was born, so they are living with her grandmother. Her grandmother sells charcoal to earn a living and it is hard for them to make ends meet each month. Irene has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. When Irene was one month old, her mother noticed that her head was increasing in size. She took her to a nearby facility for examination, and was then referred to another facility who admitted her for a few days; however despite medication, her condition did not change. Irene was discharged and sent home, but a few days later she developed a fever so her mother took her back to the previous facility. After another examination, Irene was finally referred to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Hospital. Irene’s mother did not have the funds to cover their transport to BethanyKids, but with help from medical staff they were able to make it to the hospital with a social workers accompaniment. On arrival, Irene was booked for a shunt insertion surgery to help treat her condition. Without treatment, Irene will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of Irene's surgery to treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 9th, during which surgeons will drain the excess fluid from Irene's brain to reduce the pressure inside her head. This will greatly improve her quality of life, and allow her to develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Irene’s mother says, “It is a difficult moment for us for the past few months and we did not know if she will be treated as we do not have funds for the surgery.”