Grace joined Watsi on June 22nd, 2012. Three years ago, Grace became the 56th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 3,116 more people have become monthly donors! Grace's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Samuel, a toddler from Haiti, to fund prep for cardiac surgery.
Samuel is a 20-month-old little boy from Haiti. He is his parents' first child. His father works as a vendor to support their family, and his mother stays at home to look after him. Samuel was born with a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia. This means that Samuel has a hole between two chambers of his heart and is missing one of the four valves of his heart. On July 25, Samuel will be traveling from his home in Haiti to our medical partner's care center, Health City Cayman Islands, in the Cayman Islands. There he will undergo heart surgery. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is asking for $1,500 to help cover the cost of Samuel's surgery prep. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, has contributed $27,000 towards his treatment. We are also fundraising for his [transportation costs](https://watsi.org/profile/842333e978ee-samuel). "We are so glad to know that there are people who are willing to help Samuel!" says his mother.
Ruth is a 14-year-old girl living in Haiti with her mother, grandmother, and sister. She enjoys going to school and church, and would like to study to become a nurse when she's older. Several years ago, Ruth contracted rheumatic fever, which caused damage to her heart. She developed a condition called mitral and aortic regurgitation, where blood backs up into her heart and does not properly circulate through her body. This condition causes Ruth to experience shortness of breath, painful breathing, fatigue, and swelling of the legs. If left untreated, her condition could be fatal. Seeking treatment through our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, Ruth is scheduled to undergo heart surgery to correct her condition on July 10. Although Ruth's [transportation](https://watsi.org/profile/7b224fb3153e-ruth) to our medical partner's care center has already been funded by Watsi, she is still in need of $1,500 to cover the cost of her heart surgery prep. The organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is also subsidizing Ruth's surgery, donating $22,000 to cover the rest of her medical bills. "I am a little scared for my surgery, but I know that God will protect me and make everything go well," Ruth says.
Hope is a 46-year-old farmer from rural Uganda. She grows bananas, maize, sorghum, cassava, and potatoes. For the last 15 years, Hope's thyroid has been enlarged. She visited clinics and a traditional healer, but her pain continued. For the last two months, Hope has had difficulty breathing and singing in church, where she is a member of the choir. Hope is also a chairperson in the local loans group. Pain has caused her to miss meetings with group members. Upon visiting the hospital, Hope was diagnosed with a goiter (an enlargement of the thyroid, a gland located in the neck). A doctor recommended a thyroidectomy (surgical removal of some or all of the thyroid) to restore normal breathing. In her free time, Hope enjoys visiting friends and relatives. Hope also enjoys singing and dancing for God in her church. She hopes to build a house after treatment, which is scheduled for September 11. “I thank donors for supporting my treatment and I pray God to protect and bless donors in whatever they do in life,” says Hope. Watsi is requesting $279 to fund Hope's thyroidectomy.
Seiyanoi is the oldest child in her Masai family. Her parents are traditional Masai herders who abide by certain traditions, including traditions regarding health and medicine. In the Masai culture, herbal medicines are the most widely used form of medical treatment. In addition to attending school, Seiyanoi assists in household duties as well as herding activities. About one year ago, Seiyanoi was burned when she stepped on hot ash. Her father has treated her burns with herbal medicine, but her injuries never healed properly. She is at risk of developing further complications if she doesn't undergo a skin graft operation. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is sponsoring Seiyanoi's procedure, scheduled for June 13. AMHF is seeking $1,129 to cover her procedure, as well as fourteen nights of hospital stay and additional necessary medical supplies. Seiyanoi's family was able to contribute $103 towards her treatment. Seiyanoi has expressed her desire to continue her education and help her parents around their home. She says, “I want to go back to class like other children in my village."
Sarah is a 59-year-old woman who lives with her husband in Kenya. Until her stroke in 2013, Sarah worked as a business lady. Due to her stroke, Sarah had to abandon her business in order to concentrate on her treatment. Sarah is thankful to have been accompanied by her husband in her medical journey, which has been ongoing for several years. Sarah's stroke left her with difficulty ambulating, a monthly uptake of expensive medications, and hearing loss. Hearing aids were recently prescribed for Sarah's condition. Without assistance from the hearing aids, Sarah will continue to fear for her safety as she cannot perceive an oncoming vehicle and is at greater risk of accidents. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $712 to cover the cost of Sarah's hearing aids. She is scheduled to receive them on June 20 and hopes to experience positive results. “I mind about my safety and want to hear with clarity. I also would want to be active in church and in conversation," shares Sarah.
Victor is a 36-year-old man from Kenya who used to work as a fruit trader. Victor lives with his wife in a settlement in Nairobi, and together they have four children who, with the help of their grandparents, are all enrolled in school. Several years ago, Victor suffered a severe road accident. He was admitted to the hospital for three months and underwent two surgeries. Victor was left in crutches, unable to work. Last year, Victor underwent a first stage bone transport, a technique that allows for the regeneration of bony tissue. Surgeons have now recommended that Victor undergo a second stage bone transport in order to enhance his future mobility and prevent further infection. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Victor's operation. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 29 and, once completed, should allow Victor to walk with ease and live comfortably with his family again. “I would like to get well to continue providing for my family and educate my children," says Victor.
Steve is a 72-year-old farmer who lives with his wife in Malawi. They have nine grown children and 15 grandchildren. Steve spends his days working his land and raising chickens. In his spare time, Steve likes to go and worship at his church with his family. Starting in 2015, Steve began experiencing urinary dysfunction. This, along with other symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate, has reached the point where it is interfering with his ability to work and enjoy his life. Prostate resection, in which part of Steve's enlarged prostate gland will be removed, is needed in order to relieve Steve of his persistent pain and discomfort. Our medical partner, World Altering Medicine, is requesting $733 to fund prostate surgery for Steve. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 27 and, once completed, will hopefully allow Steve to live comfortably again. Steve's family was very happy to know that Steve will now get the operation that he desperately needs. "Thank you for the support!" adds Steve.
Mirlande is a 50-year-old woman who is from a commune in Haiti and resides there with her husband. She enjoys going to church and participates in the activities put on by her church regularly. To support herself, Mirlande has always sold alimentary products as a street merchant. In April 2016, Mirlande started to feel pain in her right arm that eventually moved to the top of her chest. She immediately went to the hospital. She was referred to another facility in Port-au-Prince, the capital, to have a sonogram and mammogram. Nothing abnormal was found in her breast. For three months, Mirlande had exams and multiple follow-up visits but she never received any results about the mass. After a lot of frustration and money spent, she finally went to a private doctor, where she was officially diagnosed with breast cancer and was referred to our medical partner's care center. In January, she started her chemotherapy, a treatment that decreases the cancerous cells in the body. After four sessions of chemotherapy, Mirlande will be having a mastectomy on August 4. Our medical partner, Innovating Health International, is requesting $1,085 to fund her care. She says, “We are human and we do get sick but you have to take care of yourself and be strong.”
Ketchina is an eight-year-old girl from Haiti. She lives with her parents, and two sisters. She is in the third grade and enjoys drawing and playing with dolls. Ketchina was born with tricuspid atresia, a condition in which her heart only has three valves, instead of the normal four. This prevents oxygen-rich blood from properly circulating throughout her body. On July 11, Ketchina will be traveling from her home in Haiti to our medical partner's care center, Health City Cayman Islands, in the Cayman Islands. There she will undergo heart surgery. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is asking for $1,500 to help cover the cost of Ketchina's surgery prep. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, has contributed $27,000 towards her treatment. We are also fundraising for her [transportation costs](https://watsi.org/profile/e94e481a0a43-ketchina). "I will be glad for the surgery to be over so that we can let Ketchina go to school and play with her friends without worrying about her," says Ketchina's mother.
Nyein is a 12-year-old student who lives in Thailand with his parents and two younger brothers. Nyein’s father works as a delivery man for construction sites, while his mother looks after the children at home. One day, Nyein was playing outside with his friends and younger brother. While they were playing, one of them accidentally threw the ball they were playing with over a tall fence. Nyein started to climb over the fence to fetch the ball, but while he was climbing, he lost his grip, fell, and broke his ankle. Nyein’s younger brother ran home and fetched their father, who hired a motorcycle taxi and took Neyin to a clinic. When they arrived, a medic told Nyein's father that they could not treat his son and suggested that Nyein’s family bring him to the hospital. Nyein’s father did not have any money and was worried Nyein would be refused treatment. Luckily, Nyein can receive the treatment he needs with help from our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Nyein says, "I hope that I can recover soon so that I can continue to study and become an educated man in the future." Watsi is requesting $1,500 to help fund the operation Nyein needs to treat his fracture, along with crutches, and his hospital stay. He will receive treatment on June 2.
Raphael is a 13-year-old boy from Kenya who is his mother's only child. He was born with an abnormal mass between his eyes called a frontal encephalocele. His ability to engage in the same activities as his peers has been severely impacted. As the mass continued to grow and worsen throughout the years, Raphael began to have impaired vision and difficulty breathing. Simple tasks are rendered difficult. If left untreated, his condition could also result in mental and growth retardation. His school teachers became concerned and decided to bring him to our medical partner's care center, Bethany Kids Kijabe Hospital, to seek treatment. It was determined that Raphael would need an encephalocoele repair to remove the mass from his face. Since Raphael's mother is the only provider for their family and earns a small income, it is difficult for her to come up with the funds herself. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $929 to help fund young Raphael's surgery, which is scheduled for April 12.
Roberto is ten years old and lives in the outskirts of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic with his mother and two sisters. He is in the fourth grade and would like to be a pilot when he grows up. Roberto was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sickly and weak. Although Roberto is not Haitian, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is collaborating with their partners in the Dominican Republic to offer treatment to Dominican children. He will undergo cardiac surgery at our medical partner's care center. First, Roberto will undergo a full cardiac assessment on February 13. This assessment will include physical exams, labs, and an overnight stay at the hospital. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is requesting $1,500 to fund these procedures. Funding for Roberto also covers the cost of medications and social support for him and him family. Gift of Life International is contributing $7,000 to cover additional costs associated with Roberto's surgical care. "I want to say thank you to everyone who is helping me to get my heart fixed," says Roberto.