Maribel joined Watsi on February 21st, 2016. Four years ago, Maribel joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Maribel's most recent donation supported Ann, a hardworking woman from Kenya, to fund fracture repair surgery for a broken wrist.
Maribel has funded healthcare for 53 patients in 9 countries.
Maribel has funded healthcare for 53 patients in 9 countries.
Ann is a 45-year-old woman from Kenya and a mother of four children aged between 23-27 years old. Her husband passed away in 1999. Her children have been unable to secure steady jobs, and Ann works as a casual laborer washing clothes to provide a living. However, she shared that her income is inconsistent, as it depends on the availability of work. She lives alone in a single room. Ann does not have medical coverage and is requesting assistance with her treatment costs. In April 2023, Ann slipped and fell on the road causing a fracture in her right wrist. She went to a local pharmacy for first aid and has since been using hot water and salt to treat the fracture due to a lack of medical coverage. However, her hand has continued to swell, and she is in chronic pain, making it challenging to use her right hand. A church member recommended Ann visit Kijabe Mission Hospital for review. Through church members’ contributions, Ann received an X-ray, and the doctor recommended she undergo surgery to treat the fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On May 15th, Ann will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will heal the broken bones and enable her to use her hand again. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Ann says: “I can’t use my hand because it is broken. I am unable to work and sometimes sleep hungry because I depend on my hand to work and earn a living. I need the surgery to earn a livelihood.”
Khu is a 65-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her nephew in a village in Karen State. Khu is a missionary while her nephew raises pigs and chickens for their own consumption. In her free time, she likes to read the Bible and pray. She also enjoys talking about her religious beliefs with her community. Khu has gallstones. She feels bloated and she cannot eat a lot of food. If she tries to eat more, she vomits. She experiences a burning sensation and pain in her abdomen and on the right side of her back. Her back pain intensifies when she sits for long periods of time and walks long distances. Khu has been advised to undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, Khu's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Khu is scheduled to undergo her cholecystectomy on April 19th. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Khu's procedure and care. "Thank you so much BCMF organization for supporting my treatment’s cost. I want to recover and become more active in my missionary work,” said Khu.
A cheerful grandmother from Kenya, Susan is blessed with eight children. One of her sons died while he was still young, and the others got married moved away. She is a widow, and lives with her grandson who goes to a nearby primary school. Susana's children, like her, did not go beyond the primary level of their education. She lives in a semi-arid area of the county where they plant millet and sorghum as their main socio-economic activity. The area is affected by insecurity issues and bandits have affected their way of doing things. She took a long time to come to seek medical attention since her home area was not safe at that time. Susana recently fell while carrying firewood and sustained an injury to her left humerus. Susana came into the hospital with her arm splinted in the company of her daughter hoping to find the help she needs to return her normal life. Susana had an X-ray that showed that she had a fracture of the proximal humerus. The splint was removed during the examination, as she had developed a cast sore that got infected. It was thoroughly cleaned and dressed, and she was discharged home with antibiotics. Currently, Susana cannot lift or move her hand due to pain. The fracture is more than a month old and so she needs a complex procedure in order to align her broken bone, allowing her to heal quickly. Her economic status is challenging and she cannot afford to pay for her procedure. She is appealing for help from all well-wishers reading her story. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 21st, Susana will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The treatment will help Susana to do activities by herself. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Susana says, "It’s really hard to depend on people in activities such as bathing. I am so disturbed when I see my children leave their houses for my sake. Kindly help me so that I may be able to depend on myself and for them to be able to work and provide for their families.”
Queen is a sweet 11-month-old from Tanzania. She is the youngest child in her family of eight children. Queen is very curious and charming; when she was at our medical partner’s care center, she could not stop playing with the other children. Her family is from a remote part of Western Tanzania, and her parents farm maize and beans. Queen’s mother shared that the recent weather changes made it hard for them to cultivate maize, and they are now dependent on their cultivation of beans. The low harvest also means there are not enough surplus crops to sell and earn money to support the family’s basic needs. Queen has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Queen’s family was able to travel to our medical partner’s care center for assistance. On February 7th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery that will allow Queen to walk easily and wear shoes as she grows up. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Queen’s mother says: “I am worried that my daughter will be so limited when she grows up. I hope she gets the treatment for her condition.”
Meet Gianna, a lovely, four year old girl from Kenya. Gianna lives with her grandmother, while her mother works at a local hotel, and her father is a casual laborer on construction sites. Gianna was born with Osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease. A child born with this condition has soft bones that break easily. Gianna has never walked, and lives in near constant pain. When she did try to walk using support, she fractured some bones. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is here to help Gianna access the care that she needs. On January 16th Gianna will undergo a procedure at AIC Cure International Hospital, that will provide greater support for Gianna's bones, and which may even enable her to gain sufficient strength to walk. Gianna's family is seeking your support to fund the $1,224 needed to pay for the surgery. Gianna's grandmother said: "Gianna has never walked, and my desire is to see her walk like other children. Your financial support to help her undergo surgery will be greatly appreciated."
Meet Nicolas, a lovely, two year old boy. He lives with his parents and one brother in a nature preserve in the far, southeast corner of Bolivia, where his parents work as beekeepers. When Nicolas was born, it was determined that he suffered from atrioventricular septal defect, which means that there is a large hole between all four chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through the hole without passing through his lungs and obtaining oxygen, leaving Nicolas weak and short of breath. Nicolas was also diagnosed with Down syndrome. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, has stepped up to help Nicolas access the care that he needs. On December 22nd, surgeons at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría will close the hole in Nicolas' heart, allowing the blood to flow normally, and enabling Nicolas to breathe without difficulty. Our medical partner is seeking your help to raise the $1,500 necessary to fund this procedure. Nicolas' father said: "We have been waiting many months for this surgery, and we will pray to God to bless everyone who is helping to make it possible."
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.”
Ma Win is an 18-year-old girl who lives with her parents, sister and brother-in-law in Yangon, Burma. Ma Win’s sister works at a clothing factory, while her brother-in-law works as a day laborer. Her parents are homemakers. Before Ma Win's current illness, she also worked at a factory. When Ma Win was four years old, she experienced a bout of high fever, and was brought to the local clinic. She received an injection, and the doctor informed her parents that she was born with a heart problem. However, she was too young at the time for corrective surgery. Instead, she was sent home with medication, and appeared to be doing well until this past year. In April, Ma Win began experiencing chest pains, high fever and difficulty breathing. She went to a clinic, and received an x-ray and an echocardiogram. After the doctor checked her results, she was diagnosed with an opening between two major blood vessels leading from the heart. The doctor told her and her family that she would need to have surgery. When Ma Win explained to the doctor that her family could not afford to pay for the surgery, she was referred to the abbot of a local monastery, who provided the family with information about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Now Ma Win is scheduled for cardiac surgery on October 23rd at Pun Hlaing Hospital. After she has recovered, she should no longer experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, and she won't have to worry any longer about her condition. She will also be able to return to work, which will help ease her family's financial burdens. Now she needs your help to raise $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure. Ma Win said: “I am scared to receive surgery, but my mother tries to encourage me. However, I am very happy that I will be able to receive treatment with your help. I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors.”
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.”
Hassan is a hardworking 37-year-old from Kenya who works as a casual laborer. He lives in a single-room rental house that costs about $10 per month. On July 25th, Hassan was working as a night guard when he was attacked by unknown people. During the attack, his left leg was hit with a sharp object. He was eventually taken to a nearby health facility for emergency treatment, where he received stitches and was discharged with pain medication. However, his condition did not improve, and he was still unable to walk. Community health workers in the area took Hassan to a nearby hospital, where an X-ray revealed a transverse patella fracture with some displacement. A doctor at our medical partner's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital, recommends that he undergo fracture repair surgery. Hassan shares that income from casual labor jobs in Kenya is inconsistent and is not enough to pay for the proposed procedure. He also does not have medical insurance and would need to pay for the surgery in cash. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 26th, Hassan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $979 to fund this procedure. Hassan says, “I am struggling to walk as a result of the fracture. I am unable to get any manual work to earn a living because I cannot use my legs. Surviving without a job is an issue. I need this surgery to be able to work.”
Santiago is a charming four-year-old boy from a mining community in the mountains of central Bolivia. His parents both work in office roles at a local mining company. Santiago enjoys watching cartoons and making new friends. He also loves to dress up as his favorite superheroes like Spiderman, who he aspires to be when he grows up! Santiago was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Santiago is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 26th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through his body and improving his quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Santiago's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Santiago and his family can travel to receive his life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Santiago shares, "I hope that after my surgery, I will grow up to be Spiderman!"
Hellen is a charming and playful 3-year-old girl, living with her mother. They live with Hellen's grandparents who are also helping to raise her. The grandparents are small scale farmers, who rely on the crops that they grow, and on any income their surplus crops generate. While Hellen was born a healthy child, her mother noticed that when she began to walk, her legs bent outwards. Ultimately, Hellen was diagnosed with bilateral varus, a condition which is typically caused by the accumulation of excess fluoride in the bones, which results from the drinking of contaminated water. Hellen now walks with a limp, and has pain in her knees when she walks. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Hellen. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 17th, at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. Treatment will hopefully restore Hellen's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of any future complications. Hellen’s mother says: “I have watched my daughter's legs move from bad to worse for two years, but I cannot afford to seek treatment for her. I am in dire need of your support.”