Gary joined Watsi on July 6th, 2014. Two years ago, Gary joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Gary's most recent donation traveled 4,200 miles to support Natalia, a 13 year old girl from Bolivia, to fund heart surgery.
Gary has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 13 countries.
Gary has funded healthcare for 88 patients in 13 countries.
Natalia, who is 13 years old, lives in the mountains above La Paz with her parents and two younger brothers. Natalia was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. Because of this hole, blood leaks out without passing through the chambers of her heart to gather oxygen, leaving Natalia weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Natalia's family sought care through our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, and Natalia is now scheduled for corrective surgery on January 17th, at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría. During the surgery, doctors will sew a patch over the hole in Natalia's heart, enabling her to live a healthy life. Another organization Gift of Life International has contributed $3,000 and our medical partner is seeking your help to fund the remaining $1,500 needed for this life-saving procedure. Natalia said: "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can go to school without feeling tired."
Treshass is a three-week-old baby. She is the only child in her family. Her parents are hardworking and already are learning to be exceptional parents. Her father depends on casual labor jobs, while her mother has established a small local business selling groceries. They live near the city and the current inflation and high standard of living makes it difficult for them to provide even basic needs for their family. They are worried if their child will live a full life because they are not in a position to fund her medical bill. Treshass has clubfoot of both legs. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Treshass's family 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 Treshass's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to grow with her legs being straight and walking with ease. Treshass's father says, “When we heard of the work and treatment offered here, we decided to visit. We hope our baby will receive the required treatment."
Evangeline is a hardworking mother of two from the Philippines. She and her husband work as graphic artists; however, they were highly impacted by the pandemic, resulting in them being switched from full-time workers to part-time ones. This affected their ability to save up for Evangeline's needed treatment. In 2016, Evangeline began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, and difficulty sleeping. When she was finally able to seek medical care, an ultrasound showed a large mass located on her throat. She was diagnosed with colloid adenomatous goiter, a benign, noncancerous enlargement of thyroid tissue. She now needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from worsening. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Evangeline receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on July 16th at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $890 to cover the cost of Evangeline's procedure and care. Evangeline shares, "Our income is just enough to provide for our basic needs. This free operation will be a big help to us. I've been praying that my pain will go away, and God answered my prayer through Watsi and World Surgical Foundation. Thank you so much for your help."
Mary lives with her husband and 5-year-old child in Kenya. She is 28 years old and works as a laborer on farms. Her husband does labor jobs when we can get them at construction sites. Their combined income is inconsistent, and they have no savings or medical insurance. Mary has been unwell for a while now. She had a hemorrhagic stroke in January of this year, which has mostly been resolved. However, an ultrasound revealed that she has a right ovarian serous cystadenoma. These are abnormal growths that need to be removed. If left untreated, they can turn into cancer (serous carcinomas). Mary needs surgery, but cannot afford it. She is scheduled for an oophorectomy procedure, which is the surgical removal of an ovary or ovaries. This surgery will cost $1074, and she needs help raising the payment. Mary says, "I am in so much pain and need treatment. If left untreated I am scared of losing my life.”
Loveness is a charming, friendly and smart girl who is currently in the 8th grade. She is a charismatic girl who makes friends easily. Loveness wishes to be a doctor in the future, and she is already working hard towards fulfilling her dreams. Her best subjects are mathematics, science, biology, and physics. She says English as a subject is giving her a hard time, but she is determined to keep improving. She enjoys drawing and painting in her spare time. Loveness lost her mother when she was just two years old. After her mother passed away, her aunt on her mother’s side decided to take Loveness and raise her as her own daughter because, she shared, the father had a hard time managing by himself. Loveness has clubfoot of her right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Loveness traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 7th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Loveness's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Loveness says, “I wish I could have my foot treated so that I can walk normally.”
Heng is a 61-year-old vegetable seller, who has one daughter, four sons and four grandchildren. Her husband passed away many years ago. Heng lives with her eldest son, who is also a vegetable seller, and enjoys watching movies and the news on TV. Two years ago, Heng developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her partial blindness. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so she is not able to go places independently. When Heng learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two and a half hours to seek treatment. On May 12th, doctors will perform cataract surgery, and implant an intraocular lens in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Heng shared: "I hope after surgery my eye can see clearly so I can return to selling vegetables without so much difficulty."
Moses is a seven-year-old boy. His father shared that he is jovial and active, just as most of the kids his age, however, he is not doing well in school because he has had reduced hearing in both ears. Moses has been diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss. He requires bilateral amplification, and is scheduled for treatment and fittings of hearing aids in both ears to help him pick up voices and be able to study well. The income from his father's work as a tout in the transport industry is inconsistent and, therefore, not sufficient to cover the scheduled procedure. His mother recently traveled to the UAE to work as a domestic worker, but they are not able to gather the funds needed for his care. His family is requesting financial help them pay the $1,171 cost for his treatment and care. Moses' father shared, “Our kid is eager to go to school. He always accompanies his sibling to school although he is not examined yet. If he gets the hearing aids, they will help him study well."
We met Thomas, a 9-year-old jovial and social boy at Cure Hospital's Nyeri satellite clinic. He is the second born in a family of four children. His family hails from a village in Muranga County. Thomas is a third grade student and a very bright boy who aspires to be a pilot in the future. His mother is a small business lady while his father is a mason. Thomas lives with his grandmother. Thomas was born healthy, however at the age of three his grandmother noted an unusual bowing of his legs. He was taken to a hospital in Muranga, however, the condition has never improved and instead has continued to worsen. Fortunately our medical partner can help. Thomas is now scheduled to undergo surgery to heal his condition. The treatment will be impactful to him because he will be able to walk and play more easily. The severe pain he has been experiencing from straining when walking will be alleviated and he will be able to continue with his studies uninterrupted. We can't wait to see him flying in the skies one day! "I would request the hospital to help me undergo surgery so that my legs can be corrected and I can continue with my education," Thomas expressed.
Kwan is a 17-year-old boy who enjoys watching TV and learning Mandarin online during his free time. Although he is originally from Burma, he lives with his parents, two brothers, and both of his grandmothers in a village in Thailand. They moved to Thailand about five years ago in search of safer living conditions. Both of Kwan’s grandmothers are retired, and his father is unable to work due to being ill. His mother and older brother support their family by working as day laborers. Kwan and his younger brother both attend a local migrant school, where Kwan is a 10th grade student. In September of 2017, Kwan broke his left forearm while playing basketball with his friends. He was referred to Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial assistance accessing treatment, and he underwent surgery to insert a steel rod into his left forearm at their medical care center, Mae Sot Hospital (MSH). Following surgery, doctors told Kwan that the steel rod would need to be removed a year after surgery. However, he was not scheduled for an appointment to remove the rod, and he was not told why it needed to be removed. Initially, this did not seem like an issue since Kwan regained movement in his fingers, was able to move his arm more comfortably, and was able to help his mother with household chores. Since he was not in pain and his family did not have enough money to pay for the procedure, Kwan was not brought back to MSH to have the rod removed. However, he began working as an agricultural day laborer in 2020 when his studies were moved online due to the outbreak of COVID-19. He began to experience pain in the area where the rod was located when carrying anything even slightly heavy. Due to financial constraints and a fear of being arrested for traveling to the clinic without documentation because of an increase in main road checkpoints, Kwan kept his pain a secret. However, he eventually sought medical attention at MSH after the pain progressed. There, a doctor confirmed that his arm had healed well and the rod needed to be removed. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund is helping Kwan receive treatment. On July 27th, doctors will perform rod removal surgery. This procedure will cost $1,500, and Kwan and his family need your support. He mentions that after he recovers from surgery, he wants to find work as a day laborer. He wants to help his family earn more money so his mother no longer has to do hard labor. His mother says, “I don’t know what to say, but in our heart, we are so thankful to the donors for helping Kwan with his first, as well as this second, surgery. We will never forget this help for the rest of our lives.”
Silvia is a 38-year-old woman, living with her husband and two children. Today, Silvia sits in a hospital bed, awaiting surgery. But this story begins in December 2020, when she suffered a stroke. Because of the stroke, Silvia had to give up her work as a hairdresser, so she now relies on her husband, a freelance electrician, to provide for their family. After recovering from her stroke, Silvia began to notice worrying symptoms. The doctors at Kijabe Hospital continued to follow Silvia, but it wasn't until 2022 - after undergoing a scan - that her doctors realized that Silvia had a tumor in her bladder. Silvia underwent surgery to have the tumor removed, but developed post operative complications that required another operation. Subsequently, Silvia was found to have a bladder leakage, which now requires urgent surgical repair. Silvia and her family have no medical coverage, and in the past, they have relied on friends and family to help pay for all of her medical bills. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is here now to help Silvia access the care that she needs. They are requesting $1,074 to fund the surgical repair of Silvia's bladder perforation, which is scheduled for June 20th at AIC Kijabe Hospital. Silvia says: “I can't believe I am scheduled for another surgery again. I have been going through a lot. It is tough but I hope to be better soon.”
Prince is a 5-year-old and the youngest of three children. His father works at a construction site to help provide income for his family. In early February, Prince was on the school bus when the bus ran into a nearby shop. Prince was trapped between seats and became injured. He was rushed to a nearby health facility for first aid and underwent surgery. Two weeks later, he was referred to our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital for review. Prince then underwent a debridement and skin graft procedure in mid-February. Currently, Prince cannot walk and attend school, which is affecting his ability to move up in grades this year. Prince’s first two surgeries were paid for using his parent’s medical coverage, but the medical insurer turned down the current request for the surgery Prince needs to heal. Prince’s family shared that their trips to the hospital have exhausted their savings. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help Prince receive treatment. On May 25th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure. This surgery will address any risks of infection so that Prince’s leg can heal and he can walk again and resume his studies. AMH is requesting $1,185 to help to fund this procedure. Prince’s father said, “Prince has missed school since February. He was supposed to graduate to grade one, but due to the injuries, he did not. He needs this surgery so that he can be able to walk again.”
Bb Lafleur is a newborn baby from Haiti. She has an older brother and two loving parents. Bb Lafleur 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, Bb Lafleur has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, she will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Bb Lafleur at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat her hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on April 7th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Bb Lafleur's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Bb Lafleur will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Her family hopes that this early treatment of their baby's hydrocephalus will allow her to grow up without any health problems and have a full life ahead.