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Caroline Desler

Caroline's Story

Caroline joined Watsi on June 17th, 2015. 18 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Caroline's most recent donation supported Patrick, a man from Malawi, to fund prostate surgery.



Caroline has funded healthcare for 12 patients in 6 countries.

All patients funded by Caroline


Two years ago, Augustine was kicked by a donkey on the head as he was preparing to go fetch water at a long distance from their home in Kenya. He was immediately taken to the hospital. A scan was later to reveal that Augustine had some of the veins in his head blocked. Drugs were administered as his parents could not afford a more specialized treatment. All seemed well up until seven months ago when Augustine began complaining of headaches and blurred vision. He was referred to an eye clinic where a second scan revealed that Augustine had a growth in the brain. A surgery was required the soonest possible. A shunt was administered in the local hospital they went to, to reduce the increased intracranial pressure, but that did not help the situation as Augustine's sight was deteriorating fast. A friend recommended that they visit Bethany Kids, a Watsi partner hospital, for specialized treatment. Augustine is 14 years old, and is experiencing progressive visual loss, persistent headaches, vomiting and gait walking abnormalities. If not treated, Augustine is at high risk of increased intra-cranial pressure, which is likely to cause brain damage or even death. He will continue to have persistent headaches and not be able to resume schooling. Augustine is the last born in a family of five children. He is calm and collected and it is not until you move around that you notice he cannot see you. Augustine was not born blind, he has had the pleasure of seeing much and hopes that one day he will regain his sight. Augustine is meant to be in primary school class eight but he is way behind in school due to absenteeism. He aspires to be a doctor, a dream which he still has. Augustine’s parents are subsistence farmers and they sell very little of their produce which brings them a minimal income. They live in a two roomed house in Eastern Kenya. They have exhausted their savings, but they are however hopeful that they are at the right place and that their son will be well. If treated, Augustine will be relieved from risks associated with high intra-cranial pressure like brain damage or even death. Augustine will be free from the headaches, gait abnormalities and may possibly have his vision restored and have a longer and better quality of life. Augustine will also resume school and follow his dream of becoming a doctor.

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“Jairo’s older siblings love to play with him. They let him run around through their soccer matches, and tie him to their backs when they climb the peach trees in their front yard," says our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq (WK). An adorable one-year-old boy from Guatemala, Jairo is the youngest of six siblings and according to his mother, “a surprise gift from God.” As six years separate him from the second youngest child, Jairo is definitely the baby of the family. Unfortunately, he suffers from acute malnutrition – a condition marked by a below average weight and height for his age. “Jairo has chronic diarrhea and his family has no access to clean water," says WK. "Without any intervention he will be at risk of the long-term effects of malnutrition.” For a kid who loves to play outside and “is obsessed with cats, chickens, and cows” – all of which inhabit his front yard – this diagnosis is particularly distressing. If his condition goes untreated, WK shares, “He will start to miss developmental milestones. His energy will decline, and he will be unable to develop to his full mental potential, thus limiting his ability to concentrate and go far in school. His immune system will weaken, putting him at risk for infections, such as pneumonia, and later in life he will be at higher risk for chronic illness such as diabetes and hypertension.” Though Jairo’s father works as a corn farmer and “his older siblings help support the family by weaving beautiful blouses or working on the corn farm,” the family is unable to afford his treatment. $535 in funding, however, can fully treat Jairo’s acute malnutrition and guarantee him a healthy future – providing food supplementation, nutritional support and medication. “His treatment will supply supplemental nutrition to physically bolster Jairo’s capability to recoup his weight and height, as well as intensive nutrition education for his parents. The education will give Jairo’s parents the tools they need to continue providing nutrition to their children even after Jairo’s treatment is complete,” explains WK. When asked what she most enjoys doing with her little brother, Jairo’s sister responds, “Squeezing him, and telling him stories.” She also thinks he’ll grow up one day to be a great doctor and dad. Let’s help Jairo reach his full mental and physical potential and continue to spend quality time with his family!

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Meet Kennedy, a smiling five-year-old boy from Kenya. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), shares, “Kennedy is the last-born in a family of two children, and has been experiencing headaches and persistent vomiting.” Kennedy has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition where cerebrospinal fluid accumulates within the brain, causing increased intracranial pressure. If Kennedy goes untreated, this increased pressure could result in permanent brain damage or even death. Kennedy lives with his parents and elder sister – a special needs child who also requires medical attention. According to AMHF, “Kennedy’s father serves as a church cleaner earning a meager monthly income of $45. Kennedy's mother on the other hand hawks porridge in the streets.” Their combined income is not sufficient to sustain the family, especially since both children are in need of care. In addition, as a result of his symptoms and delayed development, Kennedy could not be enrolled in school. For that reason, and in hope of her son securing a better future, Kennedy’s mother looks forward to the treatment: “It has been trying watching my children grow up like this. I really hope Ken can get treated,” she says. For $980, we can fund Kennedy’s treatment. He will receive a shunt to drain the cerebrospinal from the brain into another part of the body where the fluid can be absorbed. AMHF states, “Kennedy's surgery will help reduce the intracranial pressure thus stopping the headaches and vomiting. Kennedy will also be enrolled in a learning institution and live normally among his peers once he starts developing normally.” Let’s help Kennedy receive the treatment he needs to live a pain-free childhood!

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