Peter joined Watsi on December 9th, 2014. One year ago, Peter joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Peter's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Brice, a beautiful 3-year-old toddler from Haiti, to fund surgery prep and transport for his cardiac surgery.
Peter has funded healthcare for 55 patients in 13 countries.
Peter has funded healthcare for 55 patients in 13 countries.
Brice is a toddler from Haiti who was born with a heart condition. He lives with his parents and older brother in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince; his father is an accountant and his mother is a homemaker. Brice has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Unfortunately the cardiac care Brice needs is not available at any hospital in the country, so he will be flying to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On June 29th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch so that blood can no longer leak through it. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $7000 to help pay for surgery, but Brice's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports the cost of getting passports, and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Brice's family overseas. Brice's mother said: "Our family will be very happy and relieved once our son's heart is fixed and he can run and play like other children!"
Loucken is a 16-year-old student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and three siblings in a neighborhood outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Loucken enjoys making art, listening to music, and going to school and church. Loucken has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. As a result, blood leaks through this hole, leaving him feeling weak and unable to be active. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), can help Loucken receive treatment. Treatment is not available in Haiti, but on May 11th, he will fly to the Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch. HCA is covering the cost of Loucken's surgery, so Loucken's family is requesting assistance to help fund the $1,500 surgery preparation and travel costs. This cost includes all labs, medication, appointments, passports, and the help of a social worker from HCA who will accompany Loucken's family as they travel internationally. Loucken shared, "After the surgery, I hope that I will be able to start playing soccer with my friends."
Tricia is a one month old baby girl. She is being raised by a single young mother who completed high school and is planning to attend beauty college to become a hairdresser. Tricia and her mother live with Tricia's elderly grandmother who is a small-scale farmer in a one-acre ancestral home. Tricia and her mother do not have active medical insurance and have been dependent on support from relatives since her birth. Tricia has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Tricia's head started swelling at birth and has been increasing in size over time causing her family to worry. Due to complications, Tricia was referred to our medical partner's care center Bethany Kids Hospital for a neurosurgical review. Doctors diagnosed Tricia with hydranencephaly; a central nervous system disorder that requires Tricia to undergo surgery to eliminate the risk of severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Tricia's mother raise the $720 to cover the cost of the surgery scheduled for March 3rd. This procedure will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve Tricia's quality of life. With proper treatment, Tricia will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Tricia's mother says, “I am a new mother learning to raise a sick baby by myself. I have been left with all the responsibilities. I have hopes that this surgery will help with the increasing size of my baby’s head which is giving me worries.”
Jeffnalda is a four-year-old preschooler from Haiti. She lives with her parents, two older brothers, and baby sister. She enjoys playing with blocks and listening to music with her family. Jeffnalda has Down's syndrome and a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, which means there is a hole between the two lower chambers of her heart. Since the cardiac care she needs is not available anywhere within the country, to receive treatment Jeffnalda is a very brave girl and will fly to Dominican Republic. On March 17th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will sew a patch over the hole in her heart so that blood no longer leaks through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is also contributing $8,000 to help pay for Jeffnalda's critical surgery. Jeffnalda's family needs help raising funds to cover the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Jeffnalda's family overseas for her surgery. Jeffnalda's father shared, "our family is very hopeful that our prayers for our daughter might be answered soon!"
Benzaqueen is a 4-month-old baby and the youngest child in her family of two children. Her mother works casual jobs, such as plowing and helping people with chores, while her father is a laborer and works primarily at construction sites. The family shared that they do not have national health insurance and need assistance raising funds for Benzaqueen’s surgery. Benzaqueen was born with spina bifida, a neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Her family was referred to a few local hospitals before learning about the care center at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Upon examination at AMH's care center, doctors determined that surgery is needed, as Benzaqueen is at risk of developing lower-limb paralysis, tethered cord syndrome, infection, and possible developmental delays without treatment. Fortunately, on February 2nd, Benzaqueen will undergo spina bifida closure surgery at the hospital. This procedure will address any developmental risks and help her grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,151 to fund her procedure. Benzaqueen’s mother shared, “We had already given up the quest for our daughter’s treatment until we were told to come to the hospital. We now believe that she will be treated.”
Lesina is a married mother of two. Her firstborn was born in 1995 and has special needs that require a lot of support from Lesina. Lesina likes spending a lot of time with her and ensures her safety all the time. Her other child is 13 and is a 5th grade student. Lesina sells tomatoes at a nearby market while her husband is a driver. They own a three-bedroom iron sheet-roofed house for shelter. She also raises some local chickens with free-range farming, but shared that most of them were stolen. Currently, her family has no land where they can do farming and usually has to buy food from the market. Lesina was well until 2019 when she started having a lot of abdominal pains and other symptoms. She went to a clinic and was given medication which helped for while. But, her condition kept recurring. In 2020, she started feeling a hard mass on the left side of her abdomen and when she came to the hospital again the clinician ordered a cancer screening for her. During the procedure, the nurse felt a mass that is suggestive of uterine fibroids. She was referred to a gynecologist who after scanning and examination confirmed the diagnosis of uterine fibroids and ordered surgical intervention of a procedure called total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) which is the full removal of the uterus. Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman's uterus. Sometimes these growths become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding. If left untreated, fibroids can continue to grow, both in size and number and the symptoms will become worse. The fibroids' pain may increase and the heavy bleeding may become worse leading to anemia which may be fatal. After the surgery, it is expected that Lesina will stop having abdominal pains and heavy bleedings and will lead a full, healthy life. She is scheduled for surgery on January 3rd and is appealing for financial support. Lesina says, “I have heard that some uterine fibroids can burst and cause serious problems, I don’t want that to happen to me. My handicapped firstborn needs me in sound health to continue caring for her. Kindly support my surgery.”
Dolla is a 47-year-old woman who has been married for 25 years. She has four children between the ages of 19 and 24 years. Her first and second-born are in college and the last-born children are twins, currently in form 4 of school. Her husband works as a carpenter, while Dolla sells Thobwa drinks, freezers, and second-hand clothes. She shared that business is now slow due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so it is a hard time to earn money. Dolla started having difficulty swallowing 2 years ago. She went to a healthcare facility near her home where she was referred to a bigger facility for diagnosis. The healthcare givers there told her to avoid taking certain foods which might have been a result of her having a hard time swallowing food. After a year, she noticed swelling around her neck. She returned to the hospital and had an ultrasound which revealed an enlarged right side of her thyroid. It was diagnosed as goiter. A goiter is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland; a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. Although goiters are usually painless, a large goiter can cause a cough, irritation, and may also cause difficulty in swallowing and breathing. Dolla has been unable to eat well and constantly reports feeling like there is a foreign body in her throat. She is afraid of the goiter continuing to grow as she believes it may cause serious problems. She sought care at Partners In Hope Medical Center because she believes the surgery will prevent future complications and significantly improve her quality of life. Upon review at Partners in Hope, the surgeon confirmed a multi-nodular goiter and recommended a total thyroidectomy to remove it and heal her condition. It is expected that after the surgery the chronic sensation of choking and the feeling of having something ‘stuck’ in her throat will go away. This will allow her to eat and breathe without feeling uncomfortable. Dolla is not in a financial position to cater for surgery and is appealing for financial assistance. Dolla says, "I hope the surgery will prevent future complications and give me a chance to continue meeting my responsibilities as a parent like raising school fees for my children.”
Mark Andrei is a five-year-old boy from the Philippines. Mark Andrei loves to draw and dreams of becoming a policeman someday. His father is a farmer—earning lower than the minimum wage that is approved by the Department of Labor in the Philippines; while his mother is a stay-at-home mom. Mark Andrei was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Mark Andrei is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on November 10th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to cover the total cost of Mark Andrei's procedure and care. After his recovery, Mark Andrei will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. “We are thankful that there are organizations like WSFP and WATSI who are providing surgeries like this. This surgery will help increase Mark Andrei's confidence to interact with his classmates without being afraid of getting bullied,” shared Donnalyn, Mark Andrei's mother.
San is a 41-year-old woman who lives with her husband, daughter, and son in Burma. Her children are students, but the schools are closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak and teachers' strike against the military coup earlier this year. San and her husband rent land and grow sesame and sunflowers. They shared that their income last year from selling their harvest was about 1,500,000 kyat (approx. $1,500 USD) for the year, which is only enough to cover their daily expenses and basic health care. Unfortunately, the rainy season was late this year, and they could not grow any sesame as a result. San's family is worried about the impact this will have on their income and their family. Starting in May, San felt tired and developed a fever, so she visited the local clinic and received medication for her symptoms. While her fever reduced, she still felt tired, and her heartbeat increased. Three days later, her son developed a fever and also went to the local clinic. While there, San was able to share more about her condition with the clinicians. The doctor listened to her heart, gave her an injection and medication, and told her to come back if she continued to feel unwell. That night, San experienced heart palpitations and could not sit or lie down for long periods. On May 29th, she visited the Magway General Hospital, where she received oxygen, an injection, a blood test, and an electrocardiogram (ECG). Doctors also recommended an echocardiogram and a chest x-ray, which she received in follow-up care on May 31st. After reviewing the results of her tests, the doctors shared that San's heart valve does not work well and suggested meeting with a cardiologist for further testing. While the military coup made it challenging to find a cardiologist, San visited her brother's town for treatment. After further testing, a cardiologist diagnosed San with mitral valve stenosis and told her that she needed surgery to replace a damaged heart valve. Currently, San feels tired and suffers from heart palpitations when she walks short distances and cannot lie down for long periods. Fortunately, San was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), to help afford her surgery. On October 3rd, San will receive treatment, and BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help directly fund her procedure. San said, “I would like to get better soon because my family had to try hard to borrow enough money for my treatment. This year, we will not be able to earn a profit from our farm. This year is very difficult for everyone. I would like my daughter and son to finish their studies. I would like to work hard for my family’s future. After I recover from my operation, I want to open a shop in my village to earn more money. I will try to send my daughter and son to school until they graduate. Thank you so much for supporting the cost of my surgery.”
Barkot is a nine-month-old baby boy from Ethiopia who loves to play with his parents and with toys. He is his parents' first child. Barkot's father is a salesperson in an electronics shop. The family lives in a rented house, and other relatives help support the family's needs. Barkot underwent a colostomy, where a piece of the colon was diverted to an opening in the abdominal wall. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may require closure. Barkot's colostomy will require closure in order to restore his bowel function and to prevent future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,009 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Barkot. The surgery is scheduled to take place on September 14th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Barkot’s father shared, “Barkot’s mother is not working now. When Barkot finishes the surgery and when he can make a stool normally, we hope she will start working. We hope psychologically we will be stable just like before. We hope he can socialize now. We feared socializing with Barkot because of facing stigma and discrimination. We feared people might pick on him when he grows up and we hid him from others to protect him.”
Sreyleak is a 14-year-old student. Her parents are food sellers, and she has one brother and one sister, both of whom are in grade school. When Sreyleak is not at school or working, she likes to read books, exercise, and help her parents with their work. One month ago, Sreyleak had a severe ear infection that caused an abnormal skin growth to develop behind the eardrum. For this reason, Sreyleak experiences persistent uncomfortable symptoms and it is now difficult for her to communicate with her family and friends. Sreyleak traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On August 2nd, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear so that the surgeons can remove the growth. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sreyleak shares, "I hope that painful feeling can stop so that I can do my schoolwork in comfort, and enjoy playing with my friends."
Allan is 17-year-old student and an aspiring doctor. He is the fifth born in a family of six children. He shared that he sadly lost his father in 2011 and his mother is elderly. He depends on his older siblings, but they do not have stable jobs. Their family lives in their ancestral home and does small-scale farming to grow food to eat. Allan has a urethral stricture and is currently on dialysis. He feels unwell and his condition has affected his studies. He has visited several healthcare facilities over the past year in search of treatment. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Allan to receive treatment. On July 1, he will undergo an urethroplasty, or urethra repair. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,144 procedure. Allan shared, "I want to be a doctor and I am determined to do so. I even opted to sit for my exams despite the pain and my condition. I hope this sickness does not stop my ambitions.”