Rajiv Ayyangar
Rajiv's Story

Rajiv joined Watsi on April 11th, 2015. 5 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Rajiv's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Ly, a university student from Cambodia, to relieve her ear discharge and pain.



2 members


Rajiv has funded healthcare for 14 patients in 7 countries.

Patients funded by Rajiv

Ly is a 23-year-old student from Cambodia. She is in her second year at university where she is studying economics. In her free time, she enjoys reading books, listening to music, and cooking food. Ly developed an ear infection in her right ear when she was five years old. This caused her right tympanic membrane to perforate. This has caused hearing loss, pain, and recurrent discharge from her ear. She has received ear drops from various health centers over the years for treatment, but her condition requires surgery to be fully treated. After hearing about Watsi's medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), on the radio, she traveled two hours with her mom to reach the facility for treatment. Doctors at CSC discovered a cholesteatoma—an abnormal skin growth located behind the eardrum—in Ly's right ear. A cholesteatoma initially develops as a cyst after chronic ear infections. Over time, the cyst sheds layers of old skin that collect within the ear. Without treatment, a cholesteatoma can grow large enough to cause hearing loss, dizziness, or facial paralysis. For $809, surgeons at CSC will perform a mastoidectomy, a surgical procedure in which doctors remove the diseased cells in the hollow, air-filled spaces in the skull behind the ear. The cells—known as mastoid air cells—are diseased as a result of Ly's ear infections that spread to the skull structures near her right ear. Doctors will also remove the cholesteatoma that has grown behind her right eardrum. Funding for Ly also covers the costs of two hearing tests, one night in the hospital, one day of inpatient post-operative care, and three outpatient follow-up visits in the month following surgery. After surgery, Ly's ear discharge and pain will stop. Let's help make that happen!

Fully funded

Daniel, a one-month-old boy from Kenya, is the only child to his parents. “He seems healthy and according to his mother, Daniel feeds pretty well,” says our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Unfortunately, Daniel has a lump in his navel area that has been diagnosed as an umbilical hernia, or a protrusion of the intestine through the abdominal wall. “The lump gets bigger when Daniel coughs, cries, or when he goes to the bathroom. It shrinks when he is relaxed or when he is lying down,” explains AMHF. “If not treated early, Daniel is likely to develop intestinal obstruction or strangulation,” continues AMHF. However, Daniel’s parents cannot afford the treatment their son needs. “Daniel’s father is a casual worker in a tea factory near their home,” says AMHF, and he is the sole provider for the family. “My son is still very little and I am worried of the effects that come with this condition,” shares Daniel’s father. “We have tried our best and have raised $52 towards his treatment but unfortunately it cannot cover all the cost of Daniel’s surgical care.” With the help of Watsi donors, the remaining amount of $430 can be raised for his hernia repair surgery. During the procedure, doctors will return the herniated intestinal tissue to Daniel’s abdominal cavity and fix the weakened area in his abdominal wall. “After a hernia repair, Daniel’s risk of intestinal obstruction or strangulation will be lowered,” states AMHF. “He will have a chance to grow up healthy and normally.”

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Mercy is a six-month-old girl from Kenya. She was brought to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), by her parents and her uncle. Mercy lives in a two room house with six other siblings where her mother watches over the family at home and nearby, her father works in a tea factory. When Mercy was born, she developed a sac-like protrusion on the lower backbone. This open defect on her spine, a condition called spina bifida, has already been hindering her normal development for the last few months. The congenital deformity is often a consequence of fetal hydrocephalus where cerebrospinal fluid adds pressure to the spinal cord. “Mercy came to the hospital with a leaking mass, so surgery must be done [promptly] to avoid severe infection and other complications,” explains AMHF. If her condition goes untreated, tethered cord syndrome is likely to develop, resulting in a permanently hunched back or a spine bent sideways. Mercy requires $805 for a spina bifida closure surgery, in which a surgeon will correct, reconstruct, and close the deformity. Long term monitoring and braces are part of the treatment process to observe her walking ability and gauge surgery success. AMHF believes the surgery will eliminate infections, prevent more nerve damage in the future, and decrease her chances of developing tethered cord syndrome. Mercy's father says, "I hope Mercy will get treatment and this condition will be past us. Please help us make her treatment possible."

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Meet Foska, a two-year-old girl from Uganda. “Foska is the youngest of four children and lives with her family in a small village,” reports our medical partner, the Kellerman Foundation. “Foska’s mother grows and picks tea, which is the family’s main source of income. Her father works, making lumber when he can, but he is gone from home a lot.” Foska has severe acute malnutrition, characterized by below average height and weight for her age group. Malnutrition is widespread in Uganda – affecting approximately 39 percent of young children. “Foska is suffering from severe acute malnutrition complicated by diarrhea, an eye infection, and severe edema," an excess of watery fluid collecting in tissues of the body, KF explains. “It has the potential of affecting her normal growth and cognitive development.” For $375, Foska will receive comprehensive treatment for malnutrition. This cost includes intravenous medication to combat infection, cannulation to supply a steady stream of nutrients, therapeutic milk preparation, diagnostic tests, and a ten-day hospital stay. “Foska will return to normal growth and development patterns. Her Oedema, diarrhea, and eye infection will be treated,” her doctor says. Foska’s mother is relieved that her child will be able to enjoy a healthy life. KF tells us, “She is very grateful to be part of this program. She is looking forward to her child getting well and following the recommendations of the Community Health Nurse in the future.”

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Meet, Alinafe, a one-year old baby girl living in Malawi. To support the family, “Alinafe’s mother runs a small scale business to earn their living,” shares our medical partner, World Altering Medicine (WAM). At a crucial point in her early childhood development, Alinafe has experienced growth issues as a result of a condition called hydrocephalus. Alinafe was brought to WAM’s clinic when her mother observed a growth on her head. A medical examination confirmed the diagnosis of hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a rare neurological medical condition caused by a fluid buildup in a localized area of the brain. Without intervention, the pressure and fluid buildup can lead to long term health complications, especially throughout important stages of childhood development. At this point, Alinafe is beginning to have problems with her vision and is experiencing issues with walking. With, $992, Alinafe will undergo surgery to drain the excess fluid from her brain. This procedure will be done by means of an endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV), which will naturally drain out the blocked fluid. In addition to her operation, Alinafe will receive seven days of hospitalized care as well as all of the necessary preoperative and postoperative examinations required for a safe surgery. This procedure is expected to have a great impact on Alinafe’s childhood growth and overall health, allowing her to “regain her sight and start walking again,” comments WAM. “I am hopeful to have the surgery done,” Alinfe’s mother shares.

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Meet Gabriel, an adorable baby boy who lives with his mother in Kenya. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us that Gabriel is living with hypospadias. AMHF explains, “his urethral orifice is abnormally placed on the side of his penis. As a result, he has an irregular urine stream.” Due to this condition, “Gabriel is likely to experience urinary tract infections. He might also suffer impotence. When he gets older, Gabriel will not be able to pass urine in a standing position,” AMHF reports. With proper treatment, hypospadias is curable. However, Gabriel’s mother is not in a position to afford the necessary surgery. AMHF shares, “Gabriel and his mother live at his widowed grandmother’s home. His mother had been living in Malaysia with her husband who turned abusive when she became pregnant. She escaped back to Kenya, [but] left all her possessions including her documents, and therefore securing a job has been a challenge.” Despite the hardship, Gabriel’s mother has not lost hope for helping her son receive medical care. With $655, Gabriel will be able to get the treatment he needs. The money will pay for surgery to reconstruct the urinary channel into the proper position, thus correcting the hypospadias. AMHF adds, “if treated, Gabriel will be less likely to suffer urinary tract infections and impotence. He will be able to pass urine normally.” Looking forward to that day, Gabriel’s mother says, “It will be my delight to see my beloved son well. I hope to one day secure a job and be able to provide for him.”

Fully funded