Ilana joined Watsi on December 31st, 2018. Two years ago, Ilana joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ilana's most recent donation supported Velonica, a loving mother from Malawi, to fund thyroid surgery.
Ilana has funded healthcare for 25 patients in 8 countries.
Ilana has funded healthcare for 25 patients in 8 countries.
Velonica is a 43-year-old woman and a mother of three living children. She shared that she lost a set of twins just a few days after birth some 15 years ago but still holds fond memories of her lovely tiny twins. Her children are aged between 25 and 8 years old and they are all in school. The oldest daughter is at a teachers' training college and the youngest in 4th grade in primary school. Velonica lives with her children and husband in Dowa about 40 kilometers away from the city of Lilongwe in Malawi. She and her husband are subsistent farmers, although they usually don’t have enough food for the year and they seek support from her husband’s relatives that live in the same village. In 2013, Velonica developed a swelling on her neck. She visited different hospitals and finally was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where a diagnosis of goiter was made. A partial thyroidectomy was done at the facility in 2014. However, in 2019 her neck swelling resurfaced again. She started feeling pain, having sleepless nights, difficulties in swallowing, feeling neck tightness, and headaches. She reported again to Kamuzu Central Hospital and a rescan was recommended but unfortunately, it was not done at the time. While seeking alternatives, Velonica came to Partners in Hope Medical Center. She was seen by a surgeon who, after laboratory tests and a scan, concluded that her goiter has recurred. He recommended surgery to remove the enlarged thyroid gland in a procedure called a total thyroidectomy. Velonica is currently unable to help her husband on the farm and has challenges in performing daily duties. She is unable to lift water on her head or to carry other heavy loads. Velonica feels the condition is interfering with her life and is looking forward to living her normal life again soon. Velonica said, “I live at my husband’s village among my in-laws and it has been about 2 years now of failing to do the things that every woman does, this is threatening my marriage and makes me feel bad. I hope this operation will bring an end to all this and I will be able to do my household chores again.”
Richensley is a 4 month old baby boy from Haiti. Richensely is loved and cherished by his family. Richensley has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Richensley has been experiencing a large head that was noticed by his father when he was 2 months old. Without treatment, Richensley will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Richensley at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat his condition. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on November 30th. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from Richensley's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Richensley will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Richensley's father is relieved that his son can have the surgery that will give him hope for the future.
Mapai is a three-year-old and the second born child in a family of three children. Mapai is a charming and social. He was born a healthy child but when he was two years old his parents noticed his right leg was slightly curved. They thought he would grow out of it with time. At the time, his parents couldn’t afford to seek treatment for him due to financial challenges. Mapai’s parents are livestock keepers from a remote village where health facilities are not easy to get to. A family who also had a similar condition to Mapai shared with his parents that they should visit our medical partner at The Plaster House. They had received treatment there and their child was now doing well. Mapai's family decided to travel there and hoped they could also get the care he needed. Mapai was diagnosed with right valgus, where his right leg is bending inwards. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Mapai is having a hard time walking and moving around. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Mapai. The procedure is scheduled to take place on October 26th. Treatment will hopefully restore Mapai's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Mapai’s father says, “You can see how much he is struggling to walk, I have no means to afford the treatment costs, please help.”
Panna is an 11-year-old student in fourth grade. He's an only child; his mother is a factory worker, and his father is a tuk-tuk driver. One year ago, Panna had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the eardrum, in his right ear to perforate. For this reason, Panna experiences pain, hearing loss, and ear discharge. He cannot attend school due to infections and pain. He also has difficulty hearing and communicating clearly with others. Panna traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On September 13th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforation. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $464 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. This support will help him feel confident and participate in class once he returns to school. Panna hopes that his ear will stop the infection and improve his hearing loss.
Felix is a grade four student who lives with his grandmother. His elderly grandmother, who is a small scale farmer, takes care of him and his younger sibling, because their mother was not able to. On July 24th, when Felix was playing, he fell and caused a fracture on his right hand, so that he is now unable to move it. Felix was brought to our medical partner's care center by his grandmother. Fortunately, the surgeons there can help. On August 2nd, Felix will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Felix's grandmother said, "I love my grandchildren even if their mother left them. I want to see them happy and growing like other children. I kindly ask for help and hope his surgery will go well.”
Richard is an 11-year-old student and the oldest child in a family of four children. His parents are farmers and when they have a productive harvest, they are able to sell some of their produce. When he was born, Richard was diagnosed with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Richard is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 29th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $735 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Richard’s father shared, “as a parent, I would really be happy and grateful when Richard is treated.”
Meet Nahashion: a playful, four-year-old boy in kindergarten. Nahashion is the only child in his family. His mother gave birth to Nahashion when she was very young, so she had to drop out of school to take care of her baby. His father is a maize farmer, but he also does odd-jobs like working on other peoples’ farms to supplement his maize farm. Both parents did not finish primary education (eight years), which poses difficulty when trying to find better paying jobs. The young family lives in a rental house in a small town. After giving birth to Nahashion, his mother was told by a doctor that her child had hypospadias, a disease causing urinary dysfunction. She was very worried about it because it was the first time she heard about such a case. Without treatment, Nahashion will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility when he grows up. A few months afterwards, she started searching for treatment and could not find a specialist in the many hospitals she visited. Finally, Nahashion traveled with his parent's many miles from their hometown to arrive at Kapsowar Hospital, where he was seen by a visiting surgeon. They had heard about the specialist after hearing an advertisement on the radio of the urology clinic that is taking place at Kapsowar. Fortunately, now Nahashion is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on June 24th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $631 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Nahashion’s mother is optimistic and strong. She says, “I am really not sure what is going to happen, but I am confident that my child will be able to proceed well after the surgery.”
Gavin is a sweet 2-year-old boy. Earlier this year, Gavin’s mother found a job as a house help and before this job, she used to do laundry for her neighbors to help support her family. Gavin’s father works as a security guard in a rental flats house. Gavin was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Gavin's family does not have National Health Insurance Fund coverage and are not able to raise the required amount for Gavin’s surgery. His parents are appealing for financial help. Fortunately, Gavin is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on May 27th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $735 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Gavin’s mother shared, “As a family, we cannot raise the money required for our son’s surgery as we both earn very little.”
Jane is a 53-year-old woman who works as a street vendor in Kenya. Her husband was a hotelier, but she shared with us that he has been jobless for over ten years since he suffered a stroke. She shared that he has been in and out of the hospital seeking treatment and the family has been relying on friends and relatives to settle bills and cover medical trips. Jane herself has now been diagnosed with breast cancer. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been recommended to rid her body of the cancer and to prevent it from metastasizing. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Jane to receive treatment. On May 3rd, she will undergo a mastectomy at AMH's care center. After treatment, Jane will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Now, AMH is requesting $857 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Jane. Jane shared that she is feeling, “I have nothing to smile about, the cancer is threatening my health and we have been treating my husband who had a stroke. I hope I will be able to get help.”
Rickshadez is a young student and the third of four children. He's a very active and clever boy. His parents sell clothes in Nairobi to earn a living. They live in a small house on the same property where they work. In the middle of last year, Rickshadez began to experience swelling on one side of his lower abdominal area, and his father brought him to the doctor. Rickshadez was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Rickshadez has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. This condition can be healed through corrective surgery, which will help prevent these potential complications. Rickshadez will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 25th. AMHF is requesting $561 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Rickshadez’s mother says, “We are not blessed enough to raise the required amount for Rickshadez’s surgery.” With some financial help, Rickshadez can undergo this surgery to heal the swelling and protect against future risks.
Ye is a 48-year-old man from Thailand. Ye lives with his wife and daughter on the Thai-Burma border. He used to work as a carpenter, but had to stop working two years ago when his health deteriorated. Ye's wife is a homemaker, and his daughter works as a vendor selling mobile phones. His family income is just enough to cover their daily needs. Currently, Ye experiences back pain and also a strong discomfort when using the bathroom. He sometimes has a slight fever if his pain is more severe. To remedy this, Ye underwent laser treatment for kidney stones, which helped relieve some of his pain, but the doctors have determined that his case is severe and surgery has now been advised. If left untreated, Ye's symptoms will continue to worsen and put him at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ye is scheduled to undergo his cholecystectomy on February 22nd. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Ye's procedure and care. Once recovered, he will be able to be more active and hopefully be pain-free. Ye shared, "I have been experiencing this condition for many years and I hope that after surgery I will be freed from pain and I will be able to work again."
Lewis is a playful and social 11-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the sixth born in a family of eight children, and is brother to Jonah, another Watsi patient. When he's older, Jonah aspires to be in the special forces as a military officer in the future. His mother is a single parent and used to be a farmer, but currently stays at home to take care of her children. She recently underwent an amputation on her leg after suffering from diabetes. Lewis had clubfoot of both his feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Lewis traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons healed one foot with support from Watsi and now will perform his other clubfoot repair surgery on January 25th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Lewis's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk and play with his brother more easily. Rosaria, Lewis' mother shared, “We are grateful that Watsi is helping my two sons undergo surgery. We have seen a lot of impact on their feet. Previously, they used to complain of pain while walking and they like playing a lot. We plead for more support to ensure that their feet can be able to step on the ground and walk like other children. God bless you."