Dijana joined Watsi on May 11th, 2017. Six years ago, Dijana joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Dijana's most recent donation supported Michael, a three-month-old baby boy from Haiti, to fund surgery for hydrocephalus so he can develop into a healthy young boy.
Dijana has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 11 countries.
Dijana has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 11 countries.
Michael is a three-month-old infant from Haiti. He was born to a very young mom. He and his mom live with her parents while she attends high school. Michael 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, Michael has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Michael will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Fortunately, our medical partner Project Medishare can help. Michael is scheduled to undergo surgery on August 8th when doctors will drain the excess fluid from his brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. Project Medishare is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Michael. With proper treatment, Michael will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Michael's family said they are grateful for this procedure to give him a chance at a normal, healthy life.
Shashi is a 15-year-old student and the second-born child in a family of five children. His parents are farmers who depend on small-scale agriculture for sustenance and to generate some income to cover their daily expenses. Shashi was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, a condition characterized by bilateral knocking of the knees that is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones. He first experienced this condition when he was 5 years old. Despite trying various traditional treatment methods, they were all unsuccessful. Due to the fear of being unable to afford the medical expenses, they did not initially seek help from a hospital. As a result, as Shashi grew older, his condition continued to deteriorate. What initially began as a slight bowing of his legs progressively worsened over time, causing immense concern for his parents. It became increasingly challenging for him to walk and engage in activities that required long distances of walking. He was forced to stop attending school because of its distance from home and the lack of transportation options available in his area. His condition has made it difficult for him to connect with his peers. Fortunately, our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) can help. Shashi is scheduled for corrective surgery on August 1st, and AMH is requesting $880 to fund the procedure. Treatment will hopefully restore Shashi's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Shashi says, “It is painful living like this. My legs hurt when I walk. I can’t play and socialize with my friends. I hope the treatment I get will make my life better.”
Ya is a 41-year-old woman from Burma. She currently lives with her father who is retired, her brother who is a student, and her son who works on the family rice farm with her. Their farming sustains their family, as they have no other source of income. They also forage for plants and vegetables from the forest. In her free time, Ya enjoys weaving traditional Karen (her ethnic community) bags. As a result of COVID-19 and the February 2021 coup, it is no longer feasible for Ya’s family to have traditional jobs. Her family faces extreme instability due to ongoing fighting in their area. Often, they must escape to nearby forests to avoid the conflict. They spend around a week at a time displaced in the forests. After the fighting has moved, they return to their village. Recently they had to sell their two cows to support themselves. In September 2020, Ya began experiencing back pain, and it was uncomfortable for her to walk and do regular activities because she cannot put pressure on her abdomen. She was diagnosed with myoma, or uterine fibroids. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Ya's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Ya is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on July 10th with the help of our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), who is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, Ya will no longer be in pain and will be able to walk without discomfort and work on the farm with her son. Ya said, “I want to get the surgery and recover quickly so I can go back to my family and help with the farm.” She is not sure what the future will hold as the fighting in her village is still happening, but she said, “I just want to be happy and stay with my family for the rest of my life.”
Melesh is a playful and smiley four year old girl who lives with her mother, two brothers and one sister in Ethiopia. She is the youngest of the four children, and loves going to school. Melesh's older siblings have finished high school, but did not proceed to university, and are currently unemployed. Her mother - who is divorced from Melesh's father - makes and sells traditional beverages for a living. Her mom shared that their family does not receive any support from the father. Melesh was born with a rare, congenital anomaly, called bladder exstrophy. As a result of this condition, the abdominal wall doesn't fully form as the bladder is developing, leaving the pubic bones separated, and the bladder exposed to the outside surface of the skin. Urine leaks directly into Melesh's abdomen, so that she suffers from infections and other symptoms. In fact, Melesh has stopped going to school because the other children insult her because of her condition. Melesh's mother is worried, as Melesh has isolated herself to avoid being stigmatized by the community. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,500 to fund the Mainz Pouch procedure which if successful, should enable Melesh to pass urine normally. Surgery is scheduled for May 16th at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre, and should allow Melesh to resume the life of a happy and healthy four year old. Melesh's mother said: “I will educate her once she gets the surgery and heals. I will work on keeping her clean. I hope she will be content and healthy."
Ann is a 16-year-old student from Kenya. Ann was orphaned when her father took his and her mother's life. Fortunately, Ann, who aspires to become an architect, now lives with relatives who adopted her. In October 2022, Ann was also in a horrible incident and one of her fingers was cut in half. She was rushed to the hospital for treatment, where she underwent surgery. While the right middle finger has healed, it developed a contracture during the healing process. The contracture is causing Ann to experience difficulties when she uses her hand - keeping her from writing and drawing. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Ann receive treatment. On May 3rd, surgeons at AIC Kijabe Hospital will perform contracture release surgery, which should improve Ann's grip and her ability to hold things, aiding in her aspirations to become an architect. Now she needs your help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Ann says, “Architects draw building designs; this is what I want to do. I have been through a lot, but I am determined.”
Kyi is a 57-year-old woman, living with her husband in Burma. They shared that together they do not have children and they love to dedicate their time to helping others in their community. Kyi's husband volunteers with the Karen Forestry Department, helps with household chores, and grows rice and vegetables, while also raising chickens for them to eat. Kyi works in a medical clinic helping patients and is training in emergency obstetric care in Thailand. Kyi experiences back and abdominal pain, fatigue and weakness, and other symptoms. Doctors determined that Kyi suffers from gallstones; she has been advised to have her gallbladder removed to heal her symptoms and prevent further complications with her health in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Kyi is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on April 7th, at Mae Sot General Hospital. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Kyi's procedure and care. Kyi is determined to have a big impact in her community and shared: "I want to be healthy so that I can devote my mind, body, and work to fully serving my people until my last breath.”
Marion is a 6-year-old student from the highlands of Elgeyo Marakwet county in Kenya. She is the second born in a family of three girls and currently attending preschool near her family home. Her parents are small-scale potato farmers. One day Marion's mother went to the river to fetch water. While she was gone, her children were sitting near an open fireplace at home making breakfast. Unfortunately, Marion's dress caught fire on the open flame, and as a result, she sustained severe burns on her back, abdomen and thighs. It has been difficult for her to walk, and the wounds are causing extreme discomfort. She especially needs a third surgery to treat the severity of her burns contractures. Despite Marion's parents having medical insurance, due to previous surgeries that she has had to treat the injuries, the insurance (a monthly subscription) has run its course and is no longer an option. Her parents do not have the funds to pay for Marion's surgery and need support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Marion receive treatment. On January 25th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery that will allow her to walk with greater ease and resume her normal life at home and school. Now, she and her family are requesting $1,478 to help fund this procedure. Marion's mother says, “I am really looking forward to seeing my daughter live and walk in a normal way. I worked hard to pay for insurance coverage, but unfortunately, it cannot fund the upcoming procedure. I am disappointed, but I will not lose hope. Kindly help her.”
Esther is a young girl from Kenya. She likes reading books and enjoys going to school. Her family lives in a rural village, and she is the youngest in her family. Esther's mother is a business woman, while her father is a laborer on construction sites. Esther's right foot is affected by clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. She was born with hemiplegic CP, which means the right side of her body is weakened. Her condition has greatly impacted Esther and has made it difficult for her to engage with her peers at school. Earlier Esther was taken to a hospital, where she was given an orthosis to help correct her condition without surgery, however, she hasn't received treatment since then. Fortunately, Esther now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Esther's surgery. After treatment, she will be able to walk more easily and proceed with her studies uninterrupted. Esther’s mother says, “I am appealing for your financial help so that my daughter can walk well like other girls.”
Gebre is a ten-year-old boy who lives with his family in Ethiopia. He loves playing football with his friends, and eating injera (a traditional Ethiopian food.) Gebre's father is a farmer, but as he is currently unwell, he can no longer work and maintain his family financially. Instead, Gebre’s two older brothers support the family. One brother works as a teacher, while the other brother manages the family farm. However, the area of Ethiopia where the family lives is significantly affected by war and poor climate, and their whole community currently needs support the government and from local NGOs for survival and basic needs. Gebre was born with an anorectal malformation, which is a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. In November 2022, Gebre had a colostomy, to prepare him for the additional procedures he will need to resolve his condition. Gebre is now scheduled to undergo surgery on December 6th, at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Gebre's procedure and care. After his recovery, Gebre will no longer experience bowel dysfunction, or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Gebre's brother says: “I hope my brother gets as normal as other boys. I hope he will be educated and have a bright future.”
Dieunese is a mother of two from Haiti. She lives in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince where she cares for her two young children along with her husband who is a taxi driver. Dieunese has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral stenosis which makes it extremely difficult for her heart to pump blood through her body, leaving her weak and short of breath. Dieunese requires surgery, but it is not available in her country. To access care, she will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On November 17th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair her heart valve; if they are unable to, they will remove it and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, the Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000 to pay for this surgery. Dieunese's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Dieunese overseas. Dieunese says, "I am hopeful that having this surgery will allow me to be alive and healthy for my children!"
Meet Sokhorn, a recently married 27 year old man, living with his wife in Cambodia. Sokhorn works at a factory that produces automobile and motorcycle plates, and when he has free time, he enjoys swimming, running, and keeping up with current events. In August 2022, when he was on his motorcycle delivering food, Sokhorn was in a collision with a car. He fractured his left tibia, and was operated on at a local hospital. An external fixation device to keep the bones in place was used, and Sokhorn was sent home to heal. Because he lacked the money to do so, Sokhorn never followed up with the doctors who treated him. He now finds that he has no range of motion in his ankle; has lost all sensation in the area where the surgery was performed, and he is unable to walk. He feels so unwell overall, that he no longer goes to work, leaving his wife as their sole support. Fortunately, a neighbor introduced Sokhorn to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, where he was diagnosed with a chronic infection of his wound, and osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone. Sokhorn needs debridement of the wound and reconstructive surgery, in order to save his leg and to heal completely. Thanks to Children's Surgical Centre, Sokhorn is scheduled for this life changing procedure on October 6th, at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre. Now he needs your help to fund the $991 required to cover the costs of his surgery and care. Sokhorn said: "I hope the doctors will fix my leg so I have no more infections. I want to find work so I can support my wife and have a good life with her."
Naing is a 27-year-old man who lives with his parents, brother and two sisters in Burma. He enjoys playing cane ball and reading. His parents are retired and grow vegetables in their garden. Naing's brother is a day laborer, but he has been unable to find regular work since the Covid-19 pandemic, so he cannot contribute towards household expenses. One of Naing's sisters works as a government officer, while the other is a shop worker. Naing used to work in his uncle’s shop selling groceries and flowers, but he was forced to stop working when his health began to decline. Naing first developed a cough and a fast heartbeat in November 2021. At a clinic in Dawei, Naing was diagnosed with high blood pressure, provided with medication, and sent home. In December 2021, because of his rapid heartbeat, Naing traveled to the hospital in Dawei, where he underwent a series of tests. Doctors at the hospital told Naing that there were problems with the valves in his heart. Once again, Naing was given medication, and sent home. Last February, Naing vomited, could not sleep, and felt tired when he stood or sat. He went to Dawei General Hospital, and showed the doctor his previous echocardiogram result. The doctor told him to continue taking his medication from Yangon, and gave him some vitamins. A few days later, Naing felt better. Then in March, Naing and his sister went to Yangon General Hospital, where he underwent more testing. This time the doctor told him that he might need to have two of his heart valves surgically replaced. Naing’s sister told the doctor that Naing had been to several hospitals over the past year, and the family had no more money left. Naing's health continues to decline, and he has lost five kilograms; he needs to have surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is here to help Naing access the care that he needs. They are requesting $1,500 to cover the costs of Naing's valve replacement surgery, scheduled to take place on August 9th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Naing said: “I am so tired of visiting several hospitals and hoping to receive surgery. My sister has had to take leave [from her work as a government officer] several times, and now she has had to take leave without pay [to accompany me as my caregiver]. I feel embarrassed that my family has used up all their money, sold all their jewelry, and made sacrifices for me. Finally, I have met your organization BCMF, and I will have the chance to receive surgery with the help of donors. I feel less stressed that I will not have to wait so long to receive surgery, and that my sister will be able to go back to work. Thank you so much.”