Cait Reichbach
Cait's Story

Cait joined Watsi on February 26th, 2016. 21 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Cait's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Logan, a toddler from Kenya, to fund hernia repair surgery.


Cait has funded healthcare for 15 patients in 7 countries.

All patients funded by Cait

Meet Consuelo, a 17-month-old baby girl from Guatemala. Consuelo lives with her large family in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof. Since she has so many brothers and sisters, her mother is unable to give all of them the nutrition they need to stay healthy. Since her father abandoned the family, Consuelo's mother has been struggling to raise her and her siblings alone. She has had to move in with her parents, leave every morning before dawn to look for firewood to sell, and work on a farm harvesting peas in order to make enough money to even buy just tortillas to eat. Consuelo does not even eat one egg, fruit, or vegetable per day. Consuelo is far too small for her age, growing too slowly because of her malnutrition. Since she does not have access to a nutritious diet, she has been losing weight, getting sick more frequently, and lacking the energy to play and learn. Since her immune system is weakened by her low-calorie diet, getting sick not only takes away her energy and prevents her from growing, but is dangerous and can be life-threatening. If she does not receive treatment, she could face problems such as stunted neurodevelopment, chronic diseases, and difficulty getting and keeping a good job. A multifaceted treatment consisting of growth monitoring, micronutrient and food supplementation, and deworming medication will help Consuelo recover from malnutrition--saving her life now and putting her on track to live a better life in the future. She will gain weight and grow taller to catch up with other children her age. Her immune system will grow stronger with the increased caloric intake, preventing her from having any more life-threatening situations with diarrhea, fevers, and cough. Her mother will receive the support she needs to feel empowered to give Consuelo the diet she needs to grow and develop healthily. Intervention now will prevent the future devastating effects of malnutrition, and give Consuelo the chance to live a healthy and productive life, finish school, get a good job, and escape the cycle of malnutrition and poverty that made her sick in the first place. In her mother's words, "I dream that my daughter will grow and when she's big be a good student."

Fully funded

Tariku is a ten-month-old little boy from Ethiopia. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), introduces Tariku: “Tariku is very active and loves to play and laugh with his parents. He is a beautiful baby. Unfortunately, Tariku was born with an anorectal malformation. An anorectal malformation is a congenital birth defect in which the rectum develops abnormally, making bowel movements difficult and often putting the patient at risk for spinal or heart complications as well. Depending on the severity of the malformation, emergency colostomies are sometimes necessary to avoid a bowel obstruction. This was the case with Tariku, who received his colostomy bag at just three days old. Since then he has been unable to independently pass stool, and is likely to undergo further colostomy complications such as leakages, infections, or obstruction if his condition is not addressed. Furthermore, Ethiopia, Tariku’s home, is located in a region whose weather patterns are significantly affected by El Niño; the country is currently experiencing its worst drought in 50 years. Tariku’s family is one of the many who are having difficulty harvesting crops during the drought. Subsequently, with already limited finances, they are unable to afford further treatment for Tariku. “His father and I don’t have the money to cover our son’s expenses,” Tariku’s mother shares. “I hope I will see my baby’s condition treated and see him be healthy.” Tariku needs a posterior sagittal anorectoplasty to surgically reposition his rectum and anus and allow for regular bowel movements. While Tariku recovers from the anorectoplasty, another colostomy opening will be created. Then, two to three months later a colostomy closure will be done to complete the process. With $1,500, this will be possible for Tariku. The funds will also include his antibiotics, imaging, and inpatient stay. After his recovery, Tariku is expected to be able to independently pass stool and live a normal and healthy childhood.

Fully funded

Ivan is a two-year-old boy, and the son of subsistence farmers in Uganda. He currently lives with severe malnutrition. Ivan lives with his parents and newborn sister, who is only three weeks old. His parents grow millet, sweet potatoes, cassava and ground nuts. Ivan’s favorite food is bread, and he loves to sing along to music on the radio. Last year, Uganda went through an unusual harvest season, with a prolonged dry season followed by torrential downpour. The result was the widespread destruction of crops. Ivan’s family is one of many families who are feeling the strain of low crop yield and the associated malnutrition. Ivan has common symptoms of malnutrition, such as skin lesions, edema, and diarrhea. There is also an increased risk of stunting and cognitive impairment if he does not receive the nutrition needed. Our medical partner, The Kellermann Foundation, tells us that for $375 Ivan will receive IV fluids with therapeutic nutrition for 10 days, which is enough for Ivan to return to normal development and investigate for other causes of his symptoms. Ivan's mother will also receive nutritional education to give her the confidence she needs to provide her children with the nutrition they need on their budget and with the foods they have available. The treatment will help Ivan overcome these obstacles to development, and help him reach his full mental and physical potential. “I was worried about the hospital bills so I thank you very much," Ivan's mother shares. "May God bless you.”

Fully funded

Grace is a four-month-old baby girl who lives with her parents and great-grandmother in a single-room house in Kenya. In October 2015, at only two weeks old, Grace underwent surgery to treat spina bifida, a birth defect characterized by the incomplete closure of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord. “She was treated successfully and recovered from the surgery,” our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us. “Two months later, Grace’s parents noticed that her head was increasing in size much faster than the rest of her body,” AMHF continues. They returned to the hospital, where Grace was diagnosed with acquired hydrocephalus, an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. “Grace is at a risk of brain stem compression due to the increased pressure from the excessive fluid in her head,” AMHF explains. To drain the excess fluid, Grace needs a shunt placed in her brain to divert the fluid to her abdomen, where it can be resorbed by her body. Grace’s mother is a small-scale farmer, and her father is a tractor driver who works on a casual basis. “My husband’s small income is mostly spent on taking care of our grandmother,” shares Grace’s mother. “We are therefore not able to raise funds towards Grace’s surgery.” For $615, Grace will undergo surgery and spend five days in the hospital as she recovers. Funding also covers the costs of imaging, blood work, and medicine. “Grace’s surgery will help regulate her intracranial pressure and prevent brain stem compression that can result in death,” predicts AMHF. Let’s help fund surgery for baby Grace!

Fully funded