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Valerie Penso

MONTHLY DONOR

United States

Valerie's Story

Valerie joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Four years ago, Valerie joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Valerie's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Adere, a 14-year-old student from Ethiopia, to fund an epispadias repair procedure.

Impact

Valerie has funded healthcare for 64 patients in 11 countries.

All patients funded by Valerie

Adere

Adere is a 14-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He is a grade seven student who loves to go to school and study. Adere also loves music and spends his free time listening to country music and dancing with his friends. Adere's parents are farmers of teff and maize, but they have a limited harvest each year due to the hot and dry landscape. The local community is mostly supported by government and NGOs for food and other basic need. His parents have 12 children, most of whom they are still supporting financially. As a result, Adere's parents need assistance with the upcoming medical bill for their son's surgery. Adere was born with a congenital anomaly called bladder exstrophy, and last year he received surgery to treat this condition in BethanyKids Hospital funded through Watsi donor support. Now, he is scheduled to undergo another surgery for his epispadias condition. Epispadias is an abnormal defect in a sensitive area that prevents him from using the bathroom comfortably. His condition may also cause future infertility problems. Adere will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo an epispadias repair procedure on February 11th. African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,040 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. This procedure will enable him to use the bathroom comfortably and prevent risk of future complications. Adere's brother shared, “I hope he can be relieved of this condition soon. That would be a great blessing for him and for our family. I hope he will be a doctor and treat children in need.”

52% funded

52%funded
$542raised
$498to go
U Win

U Win is a 54-year-old man who lives with his wife and youngest son in the Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. He has three sons and three daughters, with five of his children already married and working. His 17-year-old son left school because they were unable to pay school fees, and worked as a day laborer until COVID-19 happened. U Win used to work as a day laborer as well, but stopped working around two years ago due to his health condition. His family survives on 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) each month that U Win's three other daughters and another son send them, enough to cover their basic expenses. In January 2012, U Win felt tired, had a headache, suffered from heart palpitations, and a rapid heartbeat. He went to a clinic where the doctor listened to his heart with a stethoscope and checked his blood pressure. U Win was told that he has high blood pressure and that he would need to take oral medication for a long time. He received an injection, oral medication, and another appointment for more medication. After he took the medication, he felt better and he went back to work. However, U Win continued to experience worsening symptoms over the next few years, returning to clinics and receiving the same treatment. He was told at one point to visit a cardiologist, but did not do so until later on. In August 2020, during another clinic visit in Yangon, the doctor diagnosed U Win with an atrial septal defect, and said that he would need to receive surgery to repair this hole in his heart. If not treated, the condition could weaken his heart further and cause lung problems later on. He was unable to receive surgery in November due to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases, and was also told the procedure would cost about 3,000,000 kyat (approx. 3,000 USD). Luckily, U Win’s wife remembered that there is a charity group in Yangon that might be able to help. The group told him about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, to look for assistance with accessing the treatment he needed. U Win currently experiences chest pain and back pain, has no appetite, and cannot sleep well at night. He appeals for financial support for his cost of care. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 20th, U Win will undergo an atrial septal defect closure procedure. Once recovered, his quality of life will significantly improve and he will be able to return to work. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. U Win shared, “I want to get better soon so that I can work for my family again. I am worried about my family’s future because we cannot find work in the village. My son also cannot go to Yangon to find another job because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.”

84% funded

84%funded
$1,261raised
$239to go
Peter

Peter is a 46-year-old man from Kiambu County in Kenya. He works mostly in construction sites as a manual laborer. Peter is the second born in a family of eight. He was hit by a motorbike while crossing the road on July 27th, 2020. He was taken to a nearby hospital where an x-ray confirmed he had sustained a fracture of his left femur. An ORIF surgery was recommended but he could not afford the cost of surgery. Peter had been on traction to help treat his fracture since his admission at a government hospital. A recent standoff between the county government and health workers led to a go-slow, which has prompted patients like Peter to seek treatment elsewhere since they cannot access care currently. Peter came to our medical partner's facility and saw the surgeon who again also recommended an ORIF procedure. Peter hopes that he finally has the life-changing surgery that will restore full functionality of his leg and enable him to go back to work. If not treated Peter’s fracture may fail to unite or mal-unite leading to loss of function of his left lower limb. He is not able to personally raise the amount required for surgery given that he is a casual laborer with minimal income.  Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 19th, Peter will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will allow him to walk with ease and reduce the instance of complications. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I have been in hospital and unable to provide for myself since the accident in July. I hope that the operation will enable me to walk again so that I can fend for myself once more,” Peter said.

100% funded

$1,049raised
Fully funded
Megan

Megan is a 3-month old baby girl from Tanzania, and the only child to her single mother. Megan was born with clubfoot and spina bifida, which contributed to her acquiring hydrocephalus. Megan’s father left their family when her mother was five months pregnant and they lost any contact with him. Megan's grandmother, who was also a single mom after her husband passed away at a young age, depends on selling second-hand clothes. Her income is very limited to be able to provide for her children and be able to afford school fees. Due to this, Megan's mother was not able to continue with her studies due to financial challenges and joined her mother in selling second hand clothes. Megan 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, Megan has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Megan will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery for Megan that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 21st and will drain the excess fluid from Megan's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Megan will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Megan’s mother says, “I have no one to run to for help and support, all my relatives have told me they can no longer support us in any way and yet my daughter is suffering. Please help save my daughter.”

100% funded

$1,300raised
Fully funded
Siphilina

Siphilina is a 68-year-old talkative grandmother. On 25th of October, 2019, Siphilina fell, sustaining severe left femoral neck fracture. She was taken to the nearest health facility but could not get treatment due to the severity of the condition. She spent some days at home as she was unable to afford medical care. She was in great pain, could not walk and had difficulties sitting or lying in bed. Fortunately, Siphilina went to Kapsowar hospital whereupon diagnosis, she had an ORIF surgery recommended. The surgery will relieve her of the pain, reduce the chances of ambulation problems and further closed fracture complications. Siphilina, a humble millet farmer lives with her daughter and three grandchildren in the village. She lost her husband years ago. Her only source of income is from subsistence farming which has very low-income yields. This limits her ability to raise the required hospital fee for the surgery. Siphilina appeals for help to be able to meet the cost of surgery.  Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 30th, Siphilina will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will reduce the pain, fix the fracture reducing chances of further complications on her left leg. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $968 to fund this procedure. Siphilina says, “I want to be able to walk sit and even feed by myself like other people.”

100% funded

$968raised
Fully funded