Vignan joined Watsi on July 28th, 2020. Two years ago, Vignan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Vignan's most recent donation supported Cristian, a sweet three-year-old boy from Bolivia, to fund life-changing heart surgery so he can grow up in good health.
Vignan has funded healthcare for 25 patients in 9 countries.
Vignan has funded healthcare for 25 patients in 9 countries.
Cristian is a sweet three-year-old boy from Bolivia who has Down syndrome. He lives in a small city in the mountains of central Bolivia with his parents and three siblings. To support their family, his parents operate a small market stall. Some of Cristian's favorite activities include clapping along to music and watching cartoons. Cristian was born with an atrial septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole instead of flowing properly through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Cristian is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 29th 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, healing his condition and improving his quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Cristian'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 Cristian and his family can travel to receive his life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Cristian's mother says, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping our son to become healthy!"
Eddys is a farmer and tailor who hails from the highlands of Elgeyo Marakwet County in a small village well known for potato farming. She is a calm and conversational woman. Eddys is a mother of two aged between 5 and 9 years. She separated from her husband due to domestic violence at home. She returned to her homeland after the separation and now lives with her parents and her children in a semi-permanent house in their village. Before the incident, Eddys used to earn her wages through tailoring, a skill she learned in a polytechnic program. Eddys presented to our medical partner's hospital with a five-month-old fracture following a road traffic accident, which left her with severe injuries and a broken leg. Before they came to our hospital, Eddys was managed in a local health facility near her home. She had a cast applied and was told that she will heal without surgery. However, two months later, she started having pain in her leg. One of her relatives referred her to our facility where an X-Ray revealed a closed fracture of the shaft of her tibia. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On June 21st, Eddys will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Eddy will be able to walk, work and provide for her children once she heals. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Eddys has been surviving on her friend’s contributions and relies on her mother because she has not been working since the accident. She appeals for financial assistance so that she can be well again. Eddys says, “My children need my motherly support which I am unable to give them since I broke my leg, it has been a nightmare for us. My hope is to get my leg treated and be able to walk again.”
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!"
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."
Cali is a two-year-old girl from the Philippines. She loves to watch TV, and play with her siblings and cousins. Her mother takes care of her and her siblings while her father is a tricycle driver. The family’s income provides for their basic necessities but is not enough to cover Cali's medical treatment. Cali 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 and is scheduled to undergo surgery on March 23rd. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to cover the total cost of Cali's procedure and care. After her recovery, Cali will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. “Nowadays, you'll find bullies everywhere, and we have been worried that growing up, her condition might affect her ability to interact with others. So thank you, WSFP and Watsi, for helping us. We are hopeful that if the [colostomy] closure is done, she’ll be able to live a normal life, without worrying about her appearance and what others might say about her, ” Cali's mother shared.
Pwe is a 56-year-old woman who lives with her husband, her older brother, her daughter and her grandson in a refugee camp in Tak Province, Thailand. Since they came to the refugee camp, Pwe teaches at one of the primary schools and she earns 1,060 baht (approx. 35 USD) per month. She has a resourceful family: Her daughter teaches piano on a keyboard, and she earns around 2,000 baht (approx. 67 USD) per month. Her older brother is a carpenter who earns income when someone commissions a piece of furniture. When he does have work, he will earn around 150 baht (approx. 5 USD) per day. Pwe's grandson is a nursery school student in the refugee camp. Her son-in-law went back to Burma to visit his parents in 2019. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, he has been unable to come back to the refugee camp since then. All together, they work hard to make finances meet their day to day needs. The doctors at our medical partner's care center, Mae Sot General Hospital (MSGH), have diagnosed Pwe with a cataract in her left eye. Currently, Pwe cannot see people’s faces and she can only perceive light out of her left eye. With her right eye, she can see things that are near, but nothing that's far away. She received a pair of eyeglasses from the doctor at MSGH after her first visit, which helps her see better with her right eye but if she does not wear the eyeglasses, she cannot read or teach her students. Fortunately, on February 23rd, doctors will perform a lens replacement surgery, during which they will remove Pwe's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly again and go back to teaching her students without difficulty. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to help fund Pwe's treatment. She said, “Since the vision in my left eye worsened, I feel uncomfortable reading and teaching. Sometimes, I ask my daughter, who also graduated from high school in the refugee camp, to teach in my place as I cannot read or prepare my lesson plans.”
Shellden is a sweet two-year-old and the youngest-born child in her family. Her family lives in an informal settlement in Kenya's capital city of Nairobi. Shellden's mother is a homemaker, while her father is a laborer working in construction sites. Last year, Shellden's mother noticed a sudden bowing of her legs when she started to stand and take her first steps to walk. Her mother took her to a local hospital, where she has continued with follow-up visits over the past year. However, since there has been no improvement so far, her mother was referred to the care center at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for the treatment Shellden needs to heal. On February 28th, Shellden will undergo corrective surgery that will allow her to walk without difficulty and be able to easily attend school once she is old enough. AMH is requesting $1,224 to fund Shellden's procedure. Shellden's mother shared, "At the moment, we don’t have work and are unable to pay for national insurance because of our current economic status. Any support will be highly appreciated."
U Hla is a 43-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife, three sons and a three-year-old daughter in Mon State. His sons go to school, while he and his wife collect recyclable plastic items and sell it to a recycling plant to earn a living. In his free time, U Hla enjoys growing vegetables in their garden. In October, U Hla was walking around his hut barefoot when he stepped on a piece of glass that cut his right toe. He could not afford to go to a clinic or a hospital and, over time, the injury became infected. His right toe is swollen and has turned blue. He cannot put any weight on his toe and has to use a wheelchair. Due to the pain, he cannot work as much as he needs to and he shared that since the end of November, he had to take his sons out of school to help him earn enough income for them to survive. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping U Hla receive treatment. On December 16th, surgeons will perform a debridement to help his infection heal so that he can go back to work and his sons can go back to school. Now, U Hla needs help to fund this $694 procedure. “I really miss my children and I want to see them,” said U Hla. "After I recover, I will go back to work and plant more vegetables. My garden is small, but I want to grow more vegetables and sell it to earn more money. I want to support my family as much as I can."
Two months ago, Victor was born very healthy in a facility near their home. They were discharged and when they arrived home, Victor started to cry and feel uncomfortable. He was not crying too much and his mother did not take it too seriously. The following day, Victor’s aunt visited them and noticed that he was crying a lot. To her, the cry was not normal. She talked to his mother about it and they decided to take a closer look at his belly. A few minutes later, they noticed that his stomach was swollen and later found out that he was not passing stool. They rushed Victor to the facility where he was born and upon examination, Victor was immediately referred to BethanyKids Hospital. Being an emergency, he was brought in an ambulance and taken to an emergency department. He had a colostomy surgery that is the first stage of his treatment. He recovered fully and now he has been scheduled for a second surgery to help heal his condition. Victor is the last born in a family of six children. His parents are not well off financially. Both of them sell groceries and do casual labor when they can find it. The income they earn is just enough to feed the family. His parents are not in a position to raise any extra money for their son’s bill and are asking for financial support. Victor’s mother says, “It is very hard for us to raise any money to cater for Victor’s bill. Thank you.”
Letina is a bright sixteen-year-old student. He's from a large family with ten children with Letina being one of the oldest. At school, Letina's best subjects are math, Swahili, and social studies. He is a hard-working student and helps look after his father's cattle when he is not studying. About three years ago, Letina's legs began curving as he grew. At first, it was a slight curve but has worsened over the years. As a result, Letina has had to stop his studies in search of treatment for his legs. Due to the family's limited income, they could not previously seek treatment for their son. Letina visited our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), where he was diagnosed with bilateral valgus, a condition in which the bone joint is angled outward away from the body's midline. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, walking is painful and near impossible. Letina shared he is now unable to walk a long distance and feels pain when he does walk. On October 26th, Letina will undergo corrective surgery. Treatment should help restore Letina's mobility, allow him to participate in various activities, and significantly decrease his risk of future complications. AMH is requesting $880 to help fund Letina's surgery. Letina shared, "Walking has become very hard for me due to pain and how deformed my legs are. My friends have been making fun of me at school."
Soriya is a 49-year-old seller of children's cookies. She lives with her husband who is a policeman. Together they have two children: one son and one daughter. Her son is married, while her daughter still lives at home. She likes to cook, exercise, and watch Khmer movies on TV in her free time. Two years ago, Soriya had a severe ear infection. The infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Soriya experiences severe ear aches, ear discharge, and pain. She visited a private hospital and received ear drops, but her symptoms did not improve and it is difficult for her to hear and communicate. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping Soriya to receive treatment. She traveled to visit CSC's care center where, on September 14th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her left ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Now, CSC is requesting $925 to fund her procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Soriya shared that she hopes that the ear infection will finally stop and her hearing will improve.
Furahini is a five-year-old student from Tanzania and the oldest child in a family of three children. Furahini is hardworking, friendly, and social; she is currently in kindergarten and loves coloring in her free time. "Furahini" is a Swahili word that means "be happy". Her grandmother suggested the name to her parents because even though they were worried about her birth condition, they were thankful for their firstborn child. Furahini has clubfoot of right foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. The condition causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Furahini to receive treatment. She traveled to visit AMH's care center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 10th. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Furahini's procedure. After treatment, she will able to walk easily and wear shoes. Her grandmother shared, "my granddaughter is struggling to walk thus she was sent to stay with me so that she does not have to walk long distances to school. If she is able to have her foot corrected she will go back to her family and enjoy living with her parents and siblings."