Jessica joined Watsi on July 24th, 2014. Six years ago, Jessica joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jessica's most recent donation supported Titus, 34-year-old laborer from Kenya, to fund a skin graft surgery on his right arm and face.
Jessica has funded healthcare for 76 patients in 11 countries.
Jessica has funded healthcare for 76 patients in 11 countries.
Titus is the eldest son in a family of four. He shared his life's story with us: sometime back, his father was involved in a fatal argument with a neighbor, and went to prison. Titus' family became homeless as a result of this incident, and Titus could not stay in school after 8th grade due to financial difficulties. Recently, he has been working getting jobs near his home and sometimes he works at construction sites in order to earn a living. His jobs enable him to get his daily basic needs and be able to pay for his rent. Generally, Titus’ life is hard, and it is difficult for him to makes ends meet. Titus had a burn accident and his relatives rushed him to the hospital for treatment of severe burns on his hand and superficial burns on his chest and face. He has been on a daily dressing regime to lower the risk of infection and his doctor has determined that he needs a skin graft surgery in order to replace the lost skin and restore function of his right upper limb and forearm. Titus is requesting to be discharged home from the hospital without further treatment because he does not want the bill to accumulate as it will be hard to pay. However, it is critical for him to have the surgery, so that he can have the full use of his right arm. He needs $1,089 to pay for the surgery. Titus says, "Life has really been hard for me: when a problem ends, another one begins. I am so desperate, but I will not lose hope because someday things will be well. I kindly ask for your help to get well so that I may be able to continue working in order to change my current state.”
Thet is a 35 year old husband and father, who lives with his wife, son and in-laws in Mon State in Burma. Both Thet and his wife work in his uncle's grocery store, while his in laws are farmers. When he isn't working, Thet enjoys spending time with his son and reading. In November 2018, Thet started to experience tiredness when working, and frequent headaches. He also had a rapid heartbeat, and he couldn't sleep well. He went to a hospital in Mawlamyine, where he was referred to a different hospital in Yangon for further treatment. At the hospital in Yangon, Thet was diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation and stenosis, which would require surgery to correct. Thet was sent home with medications to manage his condition. In March 2022, Thet went back to the hospital in Yangon, because of continuing fatigue, headaches, coughing and fever. The doctor told him they would contact him to schedule his surgery in May, but Thet never heard back from the hospital. When Thet told his neighbor about this, his neighbor gave him the phone number of a heart patient who had been helped by our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Thet followed up, and thanks to the assistance of Burma Children Medical Fund, he is finally scheduled for surgery to replace the valve in his heart on October 13th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Now Thet needs your help to fund the $1,500 to cover the cost of this surgery. "I have sold all my jewelry to pay for the cost of traveling to the hospital. I feel less stressed since I met the BCMF staff,” said Thet.
Naima is a smiley and playful baby girl from Ethiopia. She loves to breastfeed and play with her seven older siblings and her mother. Her dad is a retired driver and the community elder, and her mother stays home to care for the children. Because Naima's father has no source of income, their older children support them financially. Naima was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Naima developed bowel obstruction because of her condition and an emergency colostomy was done. She has had multiple issues with her colostomy care and associated complications. As a result, she cannot make stool in a typical way. Her parents have been very troubled because of her condition and are asking for support. Naima is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on September 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Naima's procedure and care. After her recovery, Naima will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Naima's father says, “I hope my child will get the treatment and heal. Once she finishes her treatment, I hope she will be relieved from her pain and suffering and lead a healthy life.”
Josephine is a 70-year-old mother of eight children who lives with her husband in Kenya. Although she and her husband both do some small-scale farming in her community, they depend on their children to support them. However, Josephine has recently been unable farm due to her current medical condition. Since January, Josephine has been experiencing troubling symptoms, including uncontrolled bleeding. She visited a nearby health facility in her hometown to be evaluated and was referred to a hospital for additional tests. There, she received a CT scan and a biopsy, which revealed that she has uterine cancer. Her doctor recommends that she undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the uterus, to help remove the cancer from her body and hopefully stop its spread. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is requesting $1,260 to fund Josephine's surgery. Josephine has gathered funds to help with a copay, but the full cost of the specialist procedure is out of reach. On August 25th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMHF's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital. After this procedure, she should be able to resume her life free from discomfort and bleeding. Josephine says, “Struggling with cancer at my age is scary. I can’t believe it! I hope the surgery will help to get rid of the disease.”
Jackson is a loving 4-year-old child. His father is a small-scale farmer who grows mainly food crops for his family to eat. His income is very limited because he must work on other people's farms in addition to growing his own crops. Jackson was diagnosed with windswept deformity. He learned to stand and walk at the age of one year. He was walking and playing without any challenges. But after a few months, his parents noticed his left leg was slightly bent inwards at the knee. Over a few months, his left leg became worse making him walk with a limp. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Jackson has pain when he walks even for a short distance, making him not want to walk at all in fear of the pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Jackson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 8th. Treatment will hopefully restore Jackson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Jackson’s mother says, “At the dispensary, they told us to feed him with foods containing calcium, but it never helped him. He was suffering but I could not afford to take him to a bigger hospital.”
Oeun is a 70-year-old widow and retired rice farmer. He shared that his wife passed away several years ago. He used to farm rice, but with his declining vision, he stopped farming. He lives with his son and his family and has one grandchild. At home, he likes to listen to the news and the monks give sermons on the radio. Almost six years ago, Oeun developed a cataract in his left eye, causing him photophobia and blurry vision. It is hard for him to help around the house because he often has double vision, and it is difficult to coordinate. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so is not able to go places on his own. When Oeun learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On March 22th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery, and an intraocular lens implant in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this procedure costing $229. Oeun shared, "I hope after surgery I can see better. I hope to go outside again and take better care of myself and my family."
Silvia is a 38-year-old woman, living with her husband and two children. Today, Silvia sits in a hospital bed, awaiting surgery. But this story begins in December 2020, when she suffered a stroke. Because of the stroke, Silvia had to give up her work as a hairdresser, so she now relies on her husband, a freelance electrician, to provide for their family. After recovering from her stroke, Silvia began to notice worrying symptoms. The doctors at Kijabe Hospital continued to follow Silvia, but it wasn't until 2022 - after undergoing a scan - that her doctors realized that Silvia had a tumor in her bladder. Silvia underwent surgery to have the tumor removed, but developed post operative complications that required another operation. Subsequently, Silvia was found to have a bladder leakage, which now requires urgent surgical repair. Silvia and her family have no medical coverage, and in the past, they have relied on friends and family to help pay for all of her medical bills. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is here now to help Silvia access the care that she needs. They are requesting $1,074 to fund the surgical repair of Silvia's bladder perforation, which is scheduled for June 20th at AIC Kijabe Hospital. Silvia says: “I can't believe I am scheduled for another surgery again. I have been going through a lot. It is tough but I hope to be better soon.”
Dawiskenley is a toddler from Haiti who lives with his aunt, uncle and cousins in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Dawiskenley's mother and father live nearby and visit him regularly. Dawiskenley enjoys going to preschool and playing with his cousins. Dawiskenley has a cardiac condition called tricuspid endocarditis, one of the four valves of his heart has been infected and can no longer pump blood properly. The treatment that Dawiskenley needs is not available in Haiti, so he needs to fly to the Cayman Islands to undergo heart surgery. On May 25th, surgeons will attempt to repair the damaged valve so that it can pump blood more normally. Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for surgery. Our medical partners, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is requesting $1,500 to help Dawiskenley's family cover labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker who will accompany Dawiskenley's family overseas to support his treatment and care. Dawiskenley's uncle shared, "Our family is very grateful that so many people want to help Dawiskenley become healthy!"
Samuth is a 71-year-old grandmother. She proudly shared that she has been married to her husband for almost 50 years, and he works as a tuk-tuk driver. Together, the couple has one son, three daughters, and several grandchildren. Samuth spends her days keeping the house, helping to care for her grandchildren, and listening to monks pray on the radio. For the past year, Samuth has had a dark lesion on her face. It has grown quickly over the past month. The lesion feels itchy, and she feels embarrassed to go outside. Her neighbor suggested that she visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for diagnosis and treatment. Samuth traveled to CSC's care center, where doctors diagnosed her with a likely basal cell carcinoma, which will need to be removed. Afterwards, a skin flap will be performed to repair the surgical incision site. On April 21st, surgeons will remove the lesion. Now, Samuth needs help to raise $273 to fund her procedure and care. Samuth shared, "I hope that the lesion will be removed and will not grow back."
Shee is a 23-year-old woman from Burma. In 2016, Shee and her family moved to a refugee camp in Thailand. There she has been able to continue her studies. Shee graduated from the junior college and now helps her cousin-in-law weave and sell traditional Karen clothes. She shared that it has been difficult for her family to find work within the camp at this time, but she hopes to become a teacher soon. In her free time, Shee enjoys playing with her nephews. In February, Shee began to develop a mass and experience pain in her abdomen, so she visited the camp's hospital. Upon review, she was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection and given medication. Since the mass continued to grow, Shee was referred to her our medical partner's hospital, Mae Sariang Hospital, in early April. After receiving an ultrasound, the doctors determined Shee has an ovarian cyst and needs to undergo surgery to heal. Currently, Shee experiences severe pain that makes it challenging for her to sleep, eat, or continue her weaving. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Shee receive treatment. On April 20th, she will undergo surgery to remove the cyst. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund the total cost of this procedure. Shee shared, "I am not worried about my operation because I hope it will fix my health problem. I would like to become a teacher in the future because I like teaching. After I recover, I plan to apply at a school in the refugee camp."
Ikram is a charming and friendly 3-year-old boy. He's the youngest in a family of four children. Ikram’s mother works as “mamantilie”, which is a phrase used for women cooking street foods. His father is a casual laborer who seeks daily jobs like working at construction sites. Ikram was diagnosed with genu valgus. His legs bow so that his knees touch. 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 playing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Ikram. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 17th. Treatment will hopefully restore Ikram's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Ikram’s mother shared with us how happy she will be to see her son able to walk like other children.
Cristina is a 53-year-old woman from the Philippines. She works hard doing laundry to support her family and is the sole breadwinner of her household. In 2014, Cristina began to experience troubling symptoms, including a mass growing on her neck, followed by hoarseness in her voice and difficulty in swallowing. She was diagnosed with an inflamed mass in her neck and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Cristina receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo surgery on February 22nd at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Her treatment will cost $1,323, and she and her family need help to raise money for this life-changing care. "We are very thankful to WSFP and WATSI for this surgery. Our mom will be able to continue with her life without difficulty speaking and swallowing her food," Cristina's daughter shared.