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 Gay, a sweet baby boy from Thailand, to fund life-changing hernia surgery so he can grow up healthy.
Ilana has funded healthcare for 30 patients in 9 countries.
Ilana has funded healthcare for 30 patients in 9 countries.
Gay is a one-year-old boy living with his family in a refugee camp. His family is originally from Burma, but they left for Thailand due to conflict in the area. Gay lives with his parents, grandparents, aunt, uncle, and brother. Gay and his brother are too young to go to school, so they stay home with their mother. Gay's aunt and uncle are in school, while his father and grandfather work on a farm near the refugee camp. Gay was born with an inguinal hernia. The condition causes him severe pain, and he often cries, so his mother sits quietly with him to help reduce the pain he is experiencing. Gay needs to undergo surgery to finally heal. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Gay receive treatment. On May 27th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery to help him live more comfortably in the future. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. Gay's mother shared, “I have to be with him constantly. He cries and does not let anyone else hold him except me. I also have to look after my mother and sister, and sometimes we do not have time to cook. I cannot take care of everyone. I felt so happy when I heard that an organization will pay for my son's surgery. I would like to say thank you to all the donors who will help my son. I believe my son will get better soon and that he will grow up without feeling ashamed of himself due to his condition. I want him to become an educated person in the future.”
Colleta is a 26-year-old woman who works at a small boutique in Nairobi. She is married and has two children, who are four-years-old and five-months-old. Colleta and her family currently live in the capital city, but they plan to relocate to Colleta’s hometown soon. Colletta and her family were involved in a serious car accident last month. Her parents and brother passed away, and her husband and two children were seriously injured and admitted to the ICU. Although her husband’s condition has stabilized, Colleta’s kids are in critical condition and under pediatric intensive care. Colletta sustained a fracture to her right pelvic bones. As a result, she experiences severe pain and cannot sit, turn her body, or feed herself. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Colletta receive treatment. On April 28th, she will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, that will allow her to sit and walk again. AMH is requesting $979 to fund this procedure. Colleta shared, “I am in pain and cannot even turn or sit. I am also sad that I lost my parents and my brother. My kids and husband are in critical care and still in ICU. I feel confused and heartbroken.”
Nan Hla is a 65-year-old nun. She lives alone, as she is the only nun in her monastery of monks in Karen State in Burma. Nan Hla shared that she meditates daily, and the community supports her with meals. Her son, who also lives in Burma, can sometimes provide Nan Hla with extra money to buy additional snacks. On February 20th, Nan Hla began to experience severe stomach pains. She visited a local hospital the next day, where she received an ultrasound and x-ray, but her test results were not clear. As a result, she was referred to another hospital for a CT scan a few days later. The CT scan indicated she has common bile duct stones. Currently, Nan Hla is experiencing heartburn, jaundice, and a poor appetite, as she feels nauseous after she eats any solid food. Doctors have advised her to undergo a cholecystectomy, which is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, Nan Hla's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Nan Hla receive treatment. On March 1st, she will undergo a cholecystectomy. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nan Hla's procedure and care. Nan Hla shared, "I have never experienced these kinds of symptoms before. This is a very bad experience to go through. I pray that all the donors will be healthy. May all your work be successful."
Daw Than is 54-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, daughter-in-law, grandson, daughter and her son-in-law. Her daughter-in-law looks after her son, while the rest of her family makes and sells different types of breakfast food from their home to earn a living. Their income is just enough for their daily expenses, but they haven't been able to save any money. Five years ago, the vision in Daw Than's left eye began to blur. In 2021 she underwent surgery to replace the lens in that eye but soon after the surgery, she developed blurred vision in her right eye. She went to the hospital last week to have her right eye checked. The doctor told her she needs to undergo lens replacement surgery on that eye. She told the doctor that their family had used all the money that had for her first surgery so she went home feeling uncertain about the future. Later on, Daw Than's neighbour told her to go to a monastery where the abbot might be able to help her access surgery. Daw Than followed the neighbour's advice and went to see the abbot. The abbot then referred her to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing the surgery she needs. Daw Than's daughter said, "We do not have any money to pay for my mother's surgery. It is very helpful for us that the organisation and donors are hopefully willing to help pay for it."
Jaden is a one-year old boy from the Philippines. His mother is a public school teacher, while his father is an office clerk. They work hard, but their income is not enough to support their son's medical needs. Jaden was born with an anorectal malformation, a birth condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction and help him grow up healthy. Jaden is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on January 28th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to cover the total cost of Jaden's procedure and care. After his recovery, Jaden will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. "Thank you WATSI and WSFP. His operation would be a big help towards his growth and our financial situation," Jaden's mother shared.
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.”