Gautam joined Watsi on November 5th, 2014. Eight years ago, Gautam joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Gautam's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Stravensky, a future engineer from Haiti, to fund heart surgery.
Gautam has funded healthcare for 100 patients in 12 countries.
Gautam has funded healthcare for 100 patients in 12 countries.
Stravensky, who is 18 years old, and in his final year of high school, lives in Port-au-Prince in Haiti, with his parents and two sisters. He aspires to go on to university to study engineering. Stravensky was born with atrial septal defect, a cardiac condition, where a hole exists between the upper two chambers in his heart. Instead of circulating through his lungs and picking up oxygen, the blood leaks through the hole, leaving him weak and short of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to fund the costs of the surgery that Stravensky needs to repair his heart. The procedure, during which the hole will be repaired, is scheduled for February 1st, at Clinica Corominas. After this life changing operation, Stravensky should be able to live a healthy and comfortable life, and to pursue his ambitions without experiencing his current symptoms. From Stravensky: "I have been hoping to have my heart fixed ever since I was a small child - I can't believe it is finally happening!"
Da is a 64-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives alone and she is retired. Her daughter, who works as a day laborer, supports her with basic living cost and takes care of her when she is sick. On January 5th, after Da finished taking a shower, she tried to pick her shirt from the bathroom floor and she suddenly slipped. She fell down on the floor and broke her left femour bone. Currently, she experiences pain in her left thigh. She can’t move her left leg and can’t even sit down. She can only slightly move her toes. There is no external wound but the swelling has gotten worse, which is a concern for her. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Da will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for January 9th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will free Da from her pain, and help her walk and look after herself again. Da said, "I was capable of doing my household activities before the accident. After that, I wasn’t even able to sit properly. I had to lie down all the time because my thigh is so painful. My daughter can't go to work because she has to take care of me." She also added, "After the treatment, I want to take care of myself without anyone’s help. I don’t want anyone to get busy because of me.”
Nobert is a one-month-old baby. His parents work in agriculture. They noticed that their newborn child's feet are twisted inward and downward. This worried the parents, for they have never come across a child born with such a disability. Nobert's parents shared that they spent a whole week in a dilemma, not knowing what to do. As they were about to go to a small local hospital nearby, they met with a friendly neighbour who helped to educate them on the problem and informed them of a health centre that can provide the proper treatment to their newborn child. Nobert has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Nobert's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 13th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Nobert's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when he grows up. Nobert's mother says, “I was worried that my son will grow up with his feet in this condition, but now I hope his feet will be normal after treatment."
Sharon is a 23-year-old small-scale farmer from Kenya. She is married with two children, aged four years and one year old. Sharon and her husband grow and sell vegetables and take on casual labor jobs to help supplement their income. They have a three-room house for their family. A week ago, Sharon was grazing her sheep when she tripped on a root. She was located on a hill and fell from a high distance causing her to fracture her right leg. Unable to walk or stand, some neighbors heard her call for help and rushed her to the hospital. Sharon was experiencing severe pain, swelling, and skin traction on her right lower leg. She underwent an x-ray, which showed that she had a fracture on her right femur. She also underwent skeletal traction to realign the bone and keep it in place until she could undergo surgery. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On November 29th, Sharon will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, to mend her right femur and allow her to move again. AMH is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Sharon says: “It’s so unfortunate that I broke my leg at a time when my children needed me the most. I am now forced to stop breastfeeding my son, who is still young, but I am grateful as I am still alive. I need your help, and I believe that someday things will get back to normal, and I will be able to be there for my family.”
Regina is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. She rears cattle on a rented piece of land. She has two cows from which she gets milk for sale. Her husband is unemployed, and the income Regina earns is not sufficient to cater to all the family's needs. Regina first experienced a painful lump in her right breast in early August when she was taking a shower. She immediately went to a local health facility for a check-up and was later referred to a local government hospital in Olkalau town, situated several kilometers from her home. She has since had several tests including a mammogram and a CT scan. The result revealed the presence of cancerous cells. She opted to visit Kijabe Hospitals’s breast clinic after a referral by a friend. After a review, doctors recommended a partial mastectomy and she needs financial assistance to go through the surgery. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. The mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, aims to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Regina. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 2nd. After treatment, Regina will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Regina says, “This is shocking, but I know God will give me strength to overcome the cancer.”
Abraham is a 27-year-old farmer from Kenya. He is a happy and joyful man who loves smiling. Abraham is married with two sons aged six and three years. He also does construction work when he can find jobs on local building projects. His wife sells secondhand clothes at the local markets around. Abraham and his family live in a rental house which has two rooms. He works hard but it has been difficult to earn a living and pay his monthly bills. Earlier last year, Abraham was among the people who got sponsorship from the county to study in technical training institutes. He is almost done with his studies and will soon be able to work toward a better job. Abraham arrived at the hospital on Saturday afternoon with right lower limb pain. On physical examination, his lower limb had bruises and it was swollen to the knee. After the examination, the clinician recommended an x-ray and the results revealed that Abraham had sustained a fracture of the upper end of tibia and fibula. The Orthopedic surgeon met him and recommends that he undergo surgery. Abraham has no medical insurance coverage, and he is now appealing to all well-wishers to help him in order to get his surgery. Abraham shared that he was hit by a tree while cutting it down. He cannot walk easily and more and has a lot of pain and swelling. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On September 27th, Abraham will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. After surgery Abraham will be able to continue with his studies, and he will no longer have pain. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Abraham says, “I cannot walk without support. I am really worried because of my family. Kindly help me so that I may be able to get back to them and offer them my support.”
Alvin is a beautiful 10-month-old baby from Tanzania. He is his single mother's only child. Since his mother is still young, she depends on her parents to provide for her and her son. Alvin was born with clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, causing him difficulty standing, walking, and even wearing shoes. His mother was unable to seek treatment for her son immediately due to financial challenges. She shares that she felt so ashamed of her son’s condition that she kept it a secret, covering Alvin's legs to keep people from seeing them. However, a neighbor saw his feet once, and she advised his mother to seek treatment for him because she knew his condition was treatable. Fortunately, his mother eventually traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on September 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Alvin's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to stand and to walk without difficulty. Alvin's mother says, “The shame I had for my son's disability is what kept me from seeking help. I hope he gets the necessary treatment."
Josias is a three-year-old boy from Haiti. He lives with his parents and older brother. He is a happy and playful toddler who loves to smile and play! Josias 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, Josias has been experiencing developmental delays. He cannot walk or talk yet. Without treatment, Josias will continue experiencing severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Josias at Hospital Bernard Mevs to treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 20th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Josias's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Josias will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Josias's family has shared that they hope this surgery will allow him to be more independent.
Evangeline is a hardworking 46-year-old from the Philippines. She runs a small business there, and her husband works as a tricycle driver. In 2021, Evangeline started experiencing mild abdominal and lower back pains. She opted to try alternatives such as herbal medicines and back massages for relief, but these did not stop her condition from worsening. In August 2021, she was brought to a nearby hospital due to severe abdominal pain, heartburn, and difficulty breathing. An ultrasound showed that she has gallstones that need to be removed surgically. Evangeline was grateful and overjoyed when a friend from a Rural Health Unit referred her to our medical partner World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP) for medical assistance. She is now scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on June 29th. Our medical partner, WSFP, is requesting $826 to cover her procedure and care costs. "This surgery will be of great help to me and my family as it will ease our fear that one day my gallbladder will rupture and put my life in danger," Evangeline said tearfully. "To Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines, thank you for this opportunity. We know you've helped a lot of people and changed their lives. I'm so grateful that I am one of them."
Shantel is a 5-year-old cheerful girl from Elgeyo Marakwet County in western Kenya. Shantel is the eldest child in her family and lives with her grandmother in a semi-permanent house. Shantel's family grows maize on their small piece of land as their source of food along with casual jobs working on other farms and doing laundry to earn a living. Shantel recently visited AIC Kapsowar Hospital for an x-ray of an elbow fracture and a posterior splint for her right arm. She sustained the injury after falling from a tree while playing with other children. They visited another hospital near their home where she was stabilized with the splint, but was asked to wait to be seen by a surgeon. Shantel is right-handed and this injury has impacted her performance at school since she cannot write. An orthopedic surgeon determined that Shantel needed percutaneous pinning urgently to help restore the normal functioning of her limb and to be able to continue with her education. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $679 to cover Shantel's surgery on May 24th. Shantel's mother shared, "It hurts when my child needs help that I cannot offer her. Kindly help her so she may be able to go to school like other children.”
Christian, who lives in the Philippines, is a hardworking father with a 7-month-old daughter. He works as an on-call waiter, while his wife is currently a student. With Christian’s limited income, he is worried about supporting all of his family’s needs and financing his medical treatment. In April, Christian was diagnosed with a hernia which requires surgery. Correcting the hernia will better enable Christian to find a new job and higher pay, and improve his ability to care for his family. With the help of our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, Christian is scheduled for surgery at Our Lady of Peace Hospital on May 3rd, for which they are requesting $1,130 to fund his procedure and care. “I always fail my physical exams because of my condition, and I'm burdened by it because, as a father, I need to support my family,” Christian shared. “This surgery will be a big help to our family so thank you so much World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for helping,” he added.
Allan is an adorable two-year-old boy from the Philippines. Allan loves to sing nursery rhymes and listen to music. Allan's father works as a welder in Saudi Arabia, while his mother stays at home to look after their children. Allan’s father's income is only enough to support their basic needs, the family works hard to shoulder Allan’s medical treatment. Allan was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. Allan needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Allan is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on April 4th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Allan's family raise $1,279 to cover the total cost of Allan's procedure and care. After his recovery, Allan will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Allan's mother shared, “This surgery is important for us. Through this, Allan will have a chance to grow as a normal kid - no more discomforts and pain. This will also ease our financial burden to buy his colostomy supplies. WSFP and WATSI will be of really great help to us, and so we’re grateful to them!”