Jonathan joined Watsi on December 1st, 2013. Eight years ago, Jonathan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jonathan's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Emmanuel, a future doctor from Haiti, to fund cardiac surgery.
Jonathan has funded healthcare for 107 patients in 12 countries.
Jonathan has funded healthcare for 107 patients in 12 countries.
Emmanuel is a 17-year-old student from Haiti who hopes to become a doctor. He lives with his aunt and uncle in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince so that he can more easily attend school, as his parents live in the countryside. Emmanuel has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation, which means one of his heart valves was severely damaged from an infection he experienced in early childhood. In 2017, Emmanuel underwent heart surgery to repair his existing valve. This surgery stabilized his heart for several years, but the valve remains unable to pump blood adequately throughout his body. Emmanuel needs to undergo a second surgery to replace the valve with a prosthetic heart valve. Emmanuel will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment, as this surgery is unavailable in Haiti. On November 10th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove the damaged heart valve and implant a replacement valve. An organization called Mitral Foundation is contributing $8,000 to pay for help pay for surgery. Emmanuel's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Emmanuel's family overseas. Emmanuel shared, "I am looking forward to growing stronger and having much more energy after my surgery!"
Elinipa is a beautiful two-year-old girl. She is an incredibly friendly child who loves to play with her five older siblings. At birth, she was a healthy child. It wasn't until she was learning to walk however, that her mother noticed that her legs were slightly curved, yet even so they did not seek treatment assuming it was a minor problem that she would outgrow. Elinipa has now been diagnosed with bilateral valgus, which is a condition caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result of her condition, Elinipa's legs bow inward to the point that her knees touch. This makes walking persistently more difficult as she continues to grow. Through our medical partner's outreach program her parents learned that their daughter needs surgery to correct her legs. Elinipa's parents are small scale famers who depend entirely on what they harvest to make a living. As a result, their income is not enough to afford to take Elinipa to the hospital to treat her condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Elinipa. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 13th at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. With this treatment Elinipa's mobility will hopefully be restored, thus allowing her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing her risk of future complications. Elinipa’s father says, “I am worried with how her legs continue to bend inward. Please help us.”
Maureen is a small-business owner and a single mom to three children. She moved near the capital city of Nairobi to start her business as a food hawker, cooking and selling Asian, Islamic, and local cuisines. For about ten years, Maureen has been experiencing abdominal pain, headaches, dizziness, and other worrisome symptoms. This condition has made it challenging for her to operate her business. She visited our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), and doctors diagnosed her condition as cystic adenomyosis. To heal she needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Fortunately, AMH can help Maureen finally heal. On April 29th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at the care center, so she can resume her daily activities free of pain once she recovers. AMH is requesting $755 to fund Maureen’s surgery. Maureen shared, “This condition has affected my normal life, even taking care of my children is a problem, and the doctor told me surgery should be done soon. I am humbly requesting help so that I can be back to my normal self to continue caring for them.”
Hassan is a hardworking 37-year-old from Kenya who works as a casual laborer. He lives in a single-room rental house that costs about $10 per month. On July 25th, Hassan was working as a night guard when he was attacked by unknown people. During the attack, his left leg was hit with a sharp object. He was eventually taken to a nearby health facility for emergency treatment, where he received stitches and was discharged with pain medication. However, his condition did not improve, and he was still unable to walk. Community health workers in the area took Hassan to a nearby hospital, where an X-ray revealed a transverse patella fracture with some displacement. A doctor at our medical partner's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital, recommends that he undergo fracture repair surgery. Hassan shares that income from casual labor jobs in Kenya is inconsistent and is not enough to pay for the proposed procedure. He also does not have medical insurance and would need to pay for the surgery in cash. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 26th, Hassan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $979 to fund this procedure. Hassan says, “I am struggling to walk as a result of the fracture. I am unable to get any manual work to earn a living because I cannot use my legs. Surviving without a job is an issue. I need this surgery to be able to work.”
Chit is a 40-year-old woman from Burma. This past April, she and her husband have moved in with her sister and two nephews in Mae Sot, a border city in Thailand, while she receives treatment. Prior to the move, Chit would sell various fruits from their home in the village, but she had to close her shop once they moved. Her husband has been unable to work due to his disability. They are now supported by Chit's sister, who works as a waitress at a restaurant. In her free time, Chit enjoys gardening and growing various fruit trees, such as avocado, lime, banana, and pomegranate. In the future, she wants to grow and sell fruit tree saplings because she greatly enjoys growing fruit trees! Since August of last year, Chit has been experiencing slight lower abdominal pains. She especially experiences tightness on the right side of her abdomen in the morning right after she wakes up. She has been diagnosed with a uterine fibroid, a noncancerous growth of the uterus. Doctors have advised her to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Chit's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Chit is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on July 26th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain and will be able to return home and work again. Chit shares, “I had to leave my house, and I always have to take care of my husband. But I also have to take care of myself because I am ill. Sometimes, I feel sad and tired of my life. I know surgery will help me...”
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.”
Meet Lydia, a 25-year-old mother of three, living with her husband and children in rural Kenya. Lydia and her husband both work as farmers, and live with her husband's parents. Lydia, who has epilepsy, fainted while she was preparing food for her children. She sustained severe burns on her left hand, extending to the left forearm. Lydia was admitted to the hospital, where she was treated, but her wounds became infected, and she lost her fingers. After three weeks of medication and surgeries, Lydia’s medical costs rose to a level that her family could not sustain, so the decision was made to discharge her from the hospital, even though her condition had not improved. Lydia is worried about being able to care for her children now that she can no longer work as a farmer. Her mother-in-law is also concerned about her future, and the difficulties she may face: will she be able to do laundry and cook, will she face social problems or financial challenges? Lydia requires skin grafting to heal her burn wounds and treat her infection. Her family, who sold everything at home to raise funds for Lydia's initial treatment, cannot afford the cost of her procedure. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,089 to fund her surgery, which is scheduled to take place on May 25th, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. Lydia shared: “It is difficult to look at my hand; I want to get better than this. Please help me improve the quality of my life.”
Gebreegziabher is a brave, young, and fun boy who loves to hangout with his friends. He loves to play chase and other games with his friends and brothers. He has five siblings and shared with us that he loves goats! Gebreegziabher never went to school because of his condition. He is a shepherd and helps to keep the sheep and goats of his parents. Because of his condition, he has endured bullying, but he continues to be brave and his dad shared: “He is so strong despite his sickness. When others pick on him and speak bad things about him and things related to his disease he even gets in to fights.” Gebreegziabher's mom and dad counsel him and comfort him and help him to bring out self-confidence and strength. His dad and his mom are farmers and his mom takes care of all the household chores. Dad said: “Our area is dry. We work hard and farm but the harvest is poor with lack of rain. We purchase food because our harvest is not enough to support the family.” They also raise animals to support themselves. The community survives with the dry land and the scarcity of food by donations from the government and NGOs. But the past two years they couldn’t get the donation since they are in the war zone. For these reasons they can’t afford the medical bill for their son. Gebreegziabher was born with congenital anomaly called bladder extrophy. That is an abnormally where the bladder is open to air. Given the pain and risk of infection, he just ties clothes around the wound. His mom is very much worried and concerned because of his condition. She shared that she has excluded herself from the community for years in taking care of him and raises him and recalls that when growing up, he would sit faraway from others and boys in his age. They keep up hope for better days ahead and are a loving family who support each other the best they can. His Dad said: “He learned to exclude himself from others growing up. We are sad as a family because of his condition. The neighbor insults us, discriminate us and we feel so sad about this. We couldn’t tell what will happen to him. And we bring him to God always.”
Meet Precious: a nine-year-old talkative girl who comes from a small village in Nandi County in Western Kenya. She's a bright third grade student who likes singing at home and at church. She is a second born in a family of two. Precious lives with her brother in their grandmothers’ house since their parents separated due to family conflicts. Precious' father is a casual laborer who works really hard to make ends meet. He is always determined to give what is best to his children and he now requests help so that his daughter can be well and be able to continue with her education without difficulty. Precious visited our medical partner's facility due to recurrent tonsillitis for more than a year. Medication has not improved her recurring infection and the medical team has recommended she undergo surgery to fully heal. With this treatment, Precious will finally have relief from her symptoms. Her family hopes she will be well and be able to concentrate in school and perform well once she is healthy. Precious' father shared, "I would like to see her well. I am motivated to work hard for my children to ensure they get a good education and prosper in life.”
Ann is a 33-year-old single mother with two children— a 14-year-old and a one-year-old. She works at building sites whenever she can get small jobs to support her family. She and her children live in a single-room rental home. In July 2021, Ann noticed a small lump on her neck that gradually grew more painful. She sought treatment at a local health facility and was diagnosed with a non-cancerous mass. The mass affects her breathing, along with her ability to eat, sleep, and work. She requires an urgent surgery called a CBT (carotid body tumor) excision. The procedure will help relieve her symptoms and prevent further tumor growth. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Ann receive treatment. On February 23rd, she will undergo mass excision surgery at AMH's care center. Now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. Ann shared, "my kids are my source of joy. They rely on me for everything and this sickness is making it so hard for me to take care of them."
Samuel is a hard working and handsome young 17-year-old. He is the second born in a family of four children. As his mother puts it, Samuel is a very obedient, hardworking, and kind boy. Samuel left high school after seeing how his mother was straining with his father being sick, so he started doing any casual work available to try and support his mother's efforts. Their family has encountered many challenges leaving Samuel's mother feeling helpless and frustrated. They shared that this is a hard moment for their family as Samuel's grandmother recently passed away and now Samuel has been in an accident. On January 15th, as Samuel was walking along the side of the road, a car hit him and the driver ran away. Samuel is experiencing pain from the fracture injury that resulted from the accident. If not treated, he may have malunion, where his leg may be permanently impacted and he may never be able to fully use his leg again. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On January 27th, Samuel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Following surgery, Samuel will no longer be in pain. His leg will heal and he will be able to walk. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “I left school to assist my mother, and now this has happened. I feel very frustrated and hope someone can assist me so that as soon as I get well, I can start working again to support my mother and our family,” said Samuel looking very concerned.
Margaret's smile lights up the room. She is a 41-year-old small scale farmer who is married and has one child. Her husband worked as a taxi driver, but, unfortunately, he lost his job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Three years ago, Margaret began experiencing troubling symptoms including difficulty swallowing, throat soreness and voice changes. Over time, her symptoms worsened, so she visited a local hospital for further evaluation. She was diagnosed with a multinodular goiter, or an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. A thyroidectomy was recommended to treat her condition. If left untreated, the goiter will continue to grow, which could lead to troubling complications like difficulty breathing, heart problems, thyrotoxicosis, or trachea obstruction. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Margaret receive treatment. On December 28th, she will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH's care center, where surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. Now, she and her family need help raising $657 to fund her procedure and care. Margaret shared, "this problem has affected my daily work and life for a long time, and now I worry I am becoming a bother even to my husband. I am therefore kindly asking for assistance to have this surgery so that I can regain my health."