Alexander joined Watsi on May 3rd, 2016. Six years ago, Alexander joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Alexander's most recent donation supported Vania, a studious 14-year-old girl from Haiti, to fund heart surgery so she can finally return to school.
Alexander has funded healthcare for 73 patients in 11 countries.
Alexander has funded healthcare for 73 patients in 11 countries.
Vania is a hardworking 14-year-old student from Haiti. She lives in an urban area of the island nation's capital, Port-au-Prince, with her parents and three younger brothers. She enjoys studying, especially science and literature. Unfortunately, Vania has not been able to attend school for two years because of her heart condition. She suffered from rheumatic fever early in her childhood. The illness damaged one of the four valves in her heart, leaving her with a condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. Her heart cannot pump blood adequately through her body, which leaves her weak and short of breath. The good news is that surgery can help. Vania will fly to the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On May 16th, surgeons will remove her damaged valve and implant an artificial valve in its place. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for the procedure. But Vania's family also needs help to fund other medical and travel costs, which is where our Watsi donors come in. They are raising $1,500 to cover lab work and medicine for Vania, along with checkup and followup appointments. It also will help pay for her to get a passport and support social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Vania and her family overseas. Vania says, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can feel more normal and go back to school."
Jackson is a fifteen-year-old student and the last-born child to his mother. He has a large family, as is common in the Maasai community where he lives. Jackson is a very hard-working boy both at home and at school. He is social and self-driven. He shared that most boys his age don’t like school or don’t get the chance to attend school, but not Jackson! His favorite subjects are Physics, Swahili, and History. He wishes to be a teacher in the future to help educate his community. Jackson is a big football fan, but he had to stop playing because his legs started hurting and it has gotten difficult for him to walk. Jackson was diagnosed with Bilateral Genu Varus, where both of his legs are curving outwards. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he experiences pain and difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Jackson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Jackson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Jackson says, "My legs have made walking very difficult due to the pain. I would like to walk to school without difficulty and enjoy playing sports and helping my parents."
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!"
Meet Enock, a twelve-year-old playful boy in grade five. Enock is the youngest in a family of five. His father is an electrician while his mother does maize farming in their village to help support their family. Enock's family lives in a two-roomed iron sheet-built house in their small piece of land. Two months ago, Enock sustained a severe injury while he was playing with friends in school. He was taken to the nearest hospital where a cast was placed and was scheduled for follow-up. Seven weeks later, he was still having pain and he could not even move his leg. That is when his family sought a second opinion at our medical partner's care center Kapsowar Hospital. They visited the hospital and after X-ray imaging, a closed right femur fracture was revealed which needs surgery to heal. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On February 1st, Enock will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. With treatment, Enock will be able to walk again and play with friends at school. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Enock's father says, “He has so much pain, I feel sorry for him. I hope he gets treated and feels better and will be well again."
Bancy shared with us that she has been a widow since 1990 when her husband passed on. She raised her children on her own and they are all adults now. Bancy does small-scale farming on her one-acre ancestral piece of land. Bancy looks uneasy and eager to get treatment. She's had stomach pains for the last ten years. She says the prolonged stomach upsets are making her uncomfortable and in pain. The pain has been on and off but worsened this year. She was diagnosed with Pyloric Stenosis, a condition in which the opening between the stomach and small intestine thickens. Last month before visiting Kijabe Hospital, she had a series of painful instances. She visited a national referral hospital in Nairobi where she was reviewed and an endoscopy requested. She was scheduled for surgery but the cost was too high. She opted to try our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital where the same surgical operation can be carried out. There she can undergo a procedure called gastric antiectomy to finally heal her condition. Bancy is appealing for financial assistance. She shared, "For the last ten years, I have had prolonged stomach pains that are so uncomfortable. I have sought several interventions but so far have not received any help. I'm hopeful this surgery is my likely solution to my decade-old problem."
Marvens is a student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and three siblings in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He enjoys going to school and would like to continue to university and study business in the future. Marvens has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. Marvens will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment as it is not available within Haiti. On November 26th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is contributing $8000 to help pay for surgery. Marvens'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 passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Marvens's family overseas. Marvens wanted to share: "I would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to heal my heart so that I can be normal and healthy."
Aurelia nervously looked around the room and tightly clinged to her mother as our local Watsi rep met with her family at the hospital. Aurelia is the only child in her family. Her mother stays at home with her and has no source of income. Her father works as a volunteer cleaner at a local parish. The catholic priest heading the parish gives him $50 for upkeep and food. Aurelia's father lives in a single room provided for by the church, while her mother lives with Aurelia in their ancestral home in Shinyalu, Kenya. Aurelia does not have a medical insurance coverage and relies on support from friends and well-wishers. Aurelia is an 8-month-old baby and has been unable to pass stool normally since her birth. Doctors have diagnosed her with congenital condition and she needs a colostomy surgery to help treat her condition. If left untreated, the condition may cause complications with her spine, anus, heart, trachea, esophagus, kidneys, arms and legs, and digestive and urinary systems. When the beautiful bouncing baby girl was born in February, her parents and doctors realized that she could not pass stool. She was attended to and advised to visit the health facility in Shinyalu after three months. She went to the hospital but they didn’t have a pediatric specialist. They were referred to a bigger facility with pediatric surgery services. Their family went back home since they could not afford it. For several months, Aurelia has been straining to pass stool until a local priest intervened. The parish raised some amount for fare and consultation and they referred them to our medical partner's care center BethanyKids Hospital where similar services are offered. Aurelia's family visited the hospital on November 1st and doctors have recommended urgent surgery. Aurelia's father says, “My baby is jovial and active. But this condition is causing her a lot of strain especially when going to the bathroom. We are hopeful she will recover and be well.”
Ar is a 28-year-old man who lives with his wife, three sons, and two daughters in a refugee camp. Originally from Burma, his family fled to Thailand 20 years ago due to civil war. His children attend school, except for his youngest daughter, who is not yet old enough. His wife is a homemaker and Ar works as a day laborer when work is available. Ar's family shared that, in addition to his day laborer pay, they receive a monthly cash card from The Border Consortium to purchase food in the refugee camp. Overall, the family's total monthly income is just enough to cover their basic needs. On September 2nd, Ar climbed a tamarind tree to pick tamarinds fruit. When the branch he was standing on suddenly broke, he fell and landed on his right arm and experienced pain in his back. He visited the camp hospital that day, and the medic initially determined that his arm was not broken. Due to recent positive COVID-19 cases in the refugee camp, Ar could not be immediately referred to the local hospital for further testing and was kept for observation at the camp hospital. When the pain in Ar's back and arm did not subside the next day, the medic referred Ar to the local hospital. After receiving a negative COVID-19 test, Ar was finally able to visit the hospital on September 6th, where he received an X-ray for his arm and a blood test for a second COVID-19 test. The X-ray revealed that his upper right arm is broken. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ar will undergo surgery on September 8th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will enable Ar to continue working in the future. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Ar shared, "I am scared to receive surgery. But I was told that I will not be able to work using my right arm if I do not receive surgery, so I gave my consent to the doctor. I hope that I will be able to work again after I receive treatment."
Naw Eh is a 11-year-old girl who lives with her mother, five brother and two sisters in a refugee camp. She and her siblings study in the refugee camp while her mother weaves traditional indigenous Karen shirts to earn extra income for their household. In her free time, Naw Eh loves to play with her younger brother at home. Sometimes, she will play with her friends close to her house. She wants to be an English teacher at a primary school in the future. In late July 2021, Naw Eh went out to buy some snacks from a shop. On the way to the shop, she slipped and fell on the muddy road. When she fell she hurt her left leg. Since she was able to walk slowly, the medic in the camp did not think her leg was broken and only gave her pain medication. On 19 August 2021, Naw Eh lost her grip when she was sitting down in a chair and fell down. This time she could not stand up or walk. After a doctor at Mae Sariang Hospital diagnosed her with a fractured femur, she was referred to Chiang Mai Hospital for further treatment. At that hospital, the doctor told Naw Eh's brother that they want to do an MRI of her leg to check if she has any underlying conditions that caused her to break her femur so easily. With support from Watsi, the MRI was possible and now the surgeon has determined that surgery is required to help her leg heal properly. Currently, Naw Eh suffers from pain in her left leg and she cannot move or put weight on that leg. If she moves her leg, the pain increases. Her brother needs to help her use the bedpan as she cannot walk to the toilet. He also needs to help her get dressed. She is taking pain medication to help her sleep at night. She is worried that if her condition is not treated properly, she will never be able to walk again. She misses going to school and wants to continue her studies in grade four once her school reopens. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Naw Eh will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for September 2nd and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Naw Eh will no longer experience pain in her leg and she will be able to get herself dress and be able to walk to the toilet. Naw Eh said, "I am worried that if I do not receive surgery and receive proper treatment, I will not be able to walk again."
Lucy is a 31-year-old preschool teacher and a mother of two children. Her husband is a boda boda taxi driver who earns about two dollars a day, and the family lives together in their ancestral home. In June 2021, Lucy sustained a vertebral fracture and was admitted to the hospital for observation and spinal decompression. She underwent spine surgery and was discharged back home. At a follow-up appointment, doctors noticed that she was having difficulties breathing and walking, and that her surgical wound was infected. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Lucy receive treatment for the infection. On July 28th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help her heal and prevent sepsis. Now, Lucy needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Lucy shared, “I am unable to walk and even stopped working due to my condition. I need the surgery to be able to recover and get back to normal.”
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.”
Rexa is a 47-year-old mother from Malawi. She has four children, and her sister lives together with their family. Rexa has been selling second-hand clothes called kaunjika locally, but had to pause her business last December due to her health condition. Rexa’s husband is an electrician and is currently unemployed. Two of their children are in college, and they shared that their family is struggling to pay their school fees. Rexa also cares for her mom, who lives in the village. Last December, Rexa started having sharp pains in her abdomen radiating to the back and both legs. Her husband has taken her to many hospitals to figure out the cause of her pain, and it has cost their family a significant amount of money. After being evaluated for peptic ulcers, heart, liver, and kidney problems to no avail, she finally was diagnosed in April with uterine fibroids. Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman's uterus. These growths may 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 could result in increased heavy bleeding or a fatal case of anemia. Rexa was referred to Partners in Hope Medical Center for further review and the gynecologist recommended that she undergo a hysterectomy, which will remove her uterus and cervix and hopefully cure her of this pain. However, she has no insurance and is unable to pay for the cost of her care due to her family's earnings. Rexa will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. She is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on May 28th, and African Mission Healthcare is requesting $1,363 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After the surgery, Rexa is hopeful that she will stop having abdominal pains and can return to normal life, which can help her resume her business and support her family members again. Rexa's husband shared, “I am excited that finally there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. When my wife feels pain, I also feel pain and I fail to go and look for work to support the family. I strongly believe that this surgery will bring an end to our misery and sleepless nights. Now we will stop begging relatives for support with even transport money to the hospital, I am very grateful to the donors!”