Dana joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Seven years ago, Dana joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Dana's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Stefano, a 5-year-old boy from Tanzania, to fund leg surgery so he can walk well.
Dana has funded healthcare for 91 patients in 12 countries.
Dana has funded healthcare for 91 patients in 12 countries.
Stefano is a 5-year-old child from Tanzania. Stefano’s parents are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers. They are not able to afford their son’s treatment costs thus they are asking for help. When we first met Stefano he was having difficulty walking and it was challenging for him to do day-to-day tasks. He looked tired despite being carried on her mother’s back. Stefano has needed support from the hospital to get healthy enough for surgery and has been receiving care since last November. He now is healthy enough to undergo surgery for his leg condition. Stefano was diagnosed with windswept deformity. His legs bow so that the knees appear windswept. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has a difficult time walking and experiences pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Stefano. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Stefano's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Stefano’s mother shared in her language, “Mchugaji alituambia tunaweza kupata msaada wa matibabu kwa ajili yam toto wetu hapa.” Meaning: "The pastor told us our son could get treatment help from here."
Darensky is a 10-year-old student from Haiti. He lives with his mother and grandparents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He is in the third grade and likes building things and making crafts. Darensky has a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus and tracheal ring. Two holes exists between two major blood vessels near his heart; blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs, leaving him weak and oxygen-deprived. The treatment that Darensky needs is not available in Haiti, so he will fly to United States to undergo surgery. Many years ago he had one hole closed so this is the second surgery he needs, and his family has been waiting for this moment for a long time. Fortunately, on March 10th, Darensky will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the remaining hole that leaks blood between his two main blood vessels at the same time. During the surgery, he will also have a muscular blockage removed from his trachea that affects his ability to breathe. Another organization, Akron Children's Hospital, is contributing $12,000 to help pay for surgery. Darensky'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 Darensky's family overseas. HIs mother told us: "I am very happy to know that after this surgery my son will finally be able to run and play normally!"
Srey Ne is a 32-year-old woman who is married with two young daughters, aged 5 and 7-years-old. Srey Ne works in a factory, while her husband works in construction. She shared that she enjoys swimming and cooking for her family in her free time. For six months, Srey Ne has been experiencing knee pain. She managed the condition with medication at first, but in December, the pain became so severe that she went to a government hospital. Doctors diagnosed her condition as osteoporosis, but Srey Ne was unable to afford the recommended treatment. When she learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled to there for review. Doctors at CSC conducted a biopsy and histology and determined she has a giant cell tumor on her left knee that is growing. Currently, Srey Ne experiences pain and discomfort. Fortunately, surgeons at CSC can help Srey Ne finally heal. On February 18th, she will undergo excision and fibular flap surgery to remove the tumor and heal the wound. CSC is requesting $657 to fund this procedure, which is also subsidized by Srey Ne's co-pay that she was able to gather. Srey Ne says, "This treatment will help me return to work so I can support my family. I am looking forward to being free of pain and walking easily."
U Than is a 45-year-old man from Burma who lived by himself in a village. He used to look after his neighbor's cows in exchange for rice. However, since January 2022, U Than is unfortunately unemployed, has no income and no permanent address. In mid-January 2022, U Than was on his way to Thailand to find better work. He arrived at a bus station, and, after requesting a ride to a local guest house, he was left on the side of the road and mugged. He visited a local hospital where he had an x-ray of his right arm that showed that both of the bones in his forearm were broken. The nurse there wrapped his arm in a bandage and gave him some pain medication, but told him he would need to get surgery elsewhere. Currently, he cannot use his right arm and has difficulty grabbing things with his right hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping U Than receive treatment. On January 26th, he will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will help him recover and find work again. Now, he needs help raising $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. U Than shared, "I feel very uncomfortable using my left hand when I eat or go to the toilet as I usually never use my left hand. I feel so sad that I have this unexpected problem. I thought that my life will be better when I come here and find work. This was not what I was expecting. I am happy to hear that there will be donors to help pay for my treatment’s cost. Thank you."
Sarah is a 5-year-old girl from Haiti. She is typically a healthy and active girl and is very loved by her family. Sarah 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, Sarah has been experiencing severe headaches. Sarah had a shunt placed when she was an infant for treatment and it allowed her to develop normally. The recent headaches alerted the doctors that the shunt stopped working and needed to be replaced. Without treatment, Sarah will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Sarah at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on December 7th. This critical treatment will replace the shunt and drain the excess fluid from Sarah's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Sarah will hopefully continue to develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Their family is grateful that Sarah will be able to continue to have a happy life after the shunt is replaced.
Joy is the first born child in her family. She is two weeks old. Their young family is feeling privileged and happy to welcome their firstborn baby, however, they are saddened by the fact that their baby needs medical care for her foot. Her condition has caused Joy’s parents a lot of worry about their daughter’s future. Joy’s mother is a housewife who completed secondary school and never was able to proceed to college due to a lack of funds. Joy's father just completed college and hasn’t been employed yet. The family doesn’t have a house of their own and still lives with their parents. When Joy was six days old, she was brought to the hospital by her mother with concerns of umbilical code sepsis. She was admitted to receive IV antibiotics and general medical management. While receiving medication in the ward, she developed wounds on her leg due to several attempts of cannulation. Over time her condition worsened and her wounds became septic. After several efforts to clean her wounds, it was noticed that her foot was not healing. After a long consultation with the medical team, the possibility of amputation was suggested to avoid further affecting her entire leg. Joy is in need and her family's inability to pay for the surgery has made them live with constant anxiety and worry about her future. Their family is appealing for financial assistance. Joy’s mother says, “I feel sorry about my child. It is painful for her to undergo this while she is just a few days old. Despite this, I will work hard to make her happy as she grows up."
Margret is a 69-year-old woman - a mother of five children and a grandmother to 13 children. She lives in a thatched house with her family. She and her husband are farmers and rely on seasonal farm products for their income. Due to a recent drought on their land, they do not have any farm products to sell. Margret and her husband are aging and shared that they are limited in how they can care for themselves. They also shared that their children are married but do not have stable jobs yet to help support the family. One week ago, Margret’s poor vision caused her to fall on her walk to the farm. She fell on her left hand and can longer use it or put any weight on it. Her daughter-in-law bought her to the hospital for an X-Ray. After an assessment by the doctor, she was diagnosed with a left distal humerus fracture, and surgery was recommended. Currently, Margret is experiencing pain in her left hand and requires 24-hour care from her daughter-in-law. On October 26th, Margret will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, with our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). This surgery will alleviate her pain and bring healing and restoration to the functioning of her left hand. She will be able to carry out her day-to-day activities and take care of herself again. AMH is requesting $941 to help fund this procedure. Margret shared, “I am in pain. I hope I get treated soon and be able to use my hand again. Please help me.”
Soriya is a 49-year-old seller of children's cookies. She lives with her husband who is a policeman. Together they have two children: one son and one daughter. Her son is married, while her daughter still lives at home. She likes to cook, exercise, and watch Khmer movies on TV in her free time. Two years ago, Soriya had a severe ear infection. The infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Soriya experiences severe ear aches, ear discharge, and pain. She visited a private hospital and received ear drops, but her symptoms did not improve and it is difficult for her to hear and communicate. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Soriya to receive treatment. She traveled to visit CSC's care center where, on September 14th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Now, CSC is requesting $925 to fund her procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Soriya shared that she hopes that the ear infection will finally stop and her hearing will improve.
Teltila is a lively five-month-old girl from Ethiopia and a sibling to an older brother and sister. She is sociable, loves to play with her mom, and enjoys it when her mom talks to her. Her dad is physically impaired and unable to move around easily. He sells candies and some sweets on the street for a living and her mom is a housewife raising their three kids. His income is not enough to maintain the family but fortunately, they are supported by a foundation in their town that works with people with impairments. Teltila was born with a birth condition called anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage causing pain and complications. She developed bowel obstruction because of her condition and an emergency colostomy, one of the series of procedures needed to eliminate the condition, was done for her at our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM). She has had multiple issues with her colostomy care and associated complications and as a result, she continues to feel significant discomfort. According to her mother, Teltila had her first surgery when she was 45-days-old and unfortunately, the second surgery was delayed due to finances. The money they saved could only cover doctor reviews and some level of surgical fees. After getting an appointment, her bag was stolen with all the money and documents at a bus stop. Teltila's mother was devastated and did not know what to do. She heard of a charitable organization that supports the poor and went there to share her story. Teltila is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on August 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Teltila's procedure and care. After her recovery, she will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Teltila's mother says, "I am now so thankful. I lost all I had and I just received it back through you all. I hope my daughter will be treated."
Benjamin is a father of a four-year-old child who works as a motorbike (boda-boda) driver, earning about $3.70USD per day. His income is also inconsistent and depends on the availability of customers. He is the sole breadwinner for his family. Unfortunately, he has no active medical insurance coverage and has had to rely on relatives and friends to settle hospital bills. Benjamin is full of smiles but finds it difficult to sit up while sharing his story. He opts to talk while lying flat on his back. Benjamin is currently immobile, unable to sit and walk, as a result of a road traffic accident from the beginning of the month. When the 25-year-old hitched a ride on his friend's water truck, the vehicle lost control and he was thrown out the window. He immediately experienced severe back pain and lost consciousness. The accident left Benjamin with multiple fractures and wounds that will require several fracture repair and spine surgeries in order for him to sit, walk, and be able to continue with his normal routine roles again. After stays at various hospitals and numerous referrals, Benjamin arrived at our medical partner's care center, Kijabe Hospital, for care on July 17th. One of the obstacles to treatment he had faced at other hospitals was a long waiting list that meant a delay in much-needed care, but fortunately Kijabe is able to offer his needed care more urgently. At Kijabe Hospital, the doctors recommended a spinal fusion procedure for him to help regain his mobility. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,500 for Benjamin's critical surgery, scheduled to take place on July 26th. Benjamin shares, “I just sleep on my back and cannot even sit or walk. I cannot work and fend for my family. I need this surgery to get back to my Boda-boda job and raise my family."
Baby Nejat is a sweet six-month-old boy from Ethiopia. He has one brother, a father who works as a laborer, and a mother who is a homemaker raising their two children. Baby Nejat loves playing and spending time with his parents and brother. Baby Nejat was born with an abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage, and needs to undergo a series of procedures to correct his condition. Baby Nejat's surgery is scheduled to take place on June 24th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Baby Nejat's procedure and care. After his recovery, Baby Nejat will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing serious health complications in the future. His mom is optimistic, “After the operation, I believe my son will grow healthy. And I hope I will educate him and help him reach higher in life."
John is very talkative and welcoming 46-year-old man. He arrived to the hospital with pain and distention for 3 days before admission to Kijabe Hospital this week. He had an x-ray and an endoscopy on the same day that revealed he has a Sigmoid Volvulus a condition in which the sigmoid colon wraps around itself, causing a closed-loop obstruction. This condition causes continued abdominal discomfort. He's now scheduled for a laparotomy and sigmoid colectomy to rectify the condition and needs financial support. Barely two weeks ago, John was very excited that he had found a job and was looking forward to his first day at work. Two days before he had to report to work, he noticed that he had not passed stool for some days. He started feeling uncomfortable but thought that he will be well soon enough. The day he was waiting for had arrived and he reported to work very happily but uncomfortable because his condition had worsened. He opened up to his immediate supervisor who advised him to go back home and seek medical attention. His supervisor went ahead to offer him some money to cater for the transport fee. John went to the terminus and boarded a matatu to head back home. Along the way, the pain worsened and was unbearable and he started vomiting. He requested the driver to drop him off at a nearby hospital. Luckily, the matatu was almost near our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital. The driver pulled over and helped him catch a taxi to Kijabe as fast as he could. He was admitted as an emergency case under the general surgery team. John is the father of six children, with his firstborn now 20 years old and married. Four of his children are in high school and the youngest is yet to join the school. Eight months ago, John lost his job as a security guard in a flower farm. After he was dismissed, he used the money he was given as service fees to buy a motorcycle, with which he started a bodaboda taxi business. His wife is involved in farming and mostly she sells the farm produce to supplement their family's earnings. John shared, “I feel sad for myself and my family because now I cannot do anything to provide for them as I am in hospital. I would really like to go back to work and earn enough for them.”