Sefora joined Watsi on January 1st, 2021. One year ago, Sefora joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Sefora's most recent donation supported Guerdina, a 15-year-old girl from Haiti, to fund prep and overseas transport so she can receive life-saving cardiac surgery.
Sefora has funded healthcare for 20 patients in 8 countries.
Sefora has funded healthcare for 20 patients in 8 countries.
Guerdina is a 15-year-old girl who lives in the mountains of central Haiti with her parents and four siblings. When she was 10 years old, Guerdina suffered from rheumatic fever. Her illness severely damaged one of the valves of her heart, making it unable to adequately pump blood through her body. In 2019, she underwent a surgery to repair her damaged heart valve. That procedure helped for several years, but her repaired valve is becoming less functional and now needs to be replaced with an artificial valve. After surgery, Guerdina's heart should be able to pump more normally and her doctors share that she should be able to lead a full and active life. Because the surgery she needs in not available in Haiti, Guerdina must travel overseas to receive surgery. On June 2nd, she will undergo heart surgery with the Cardiac team at the Cleveland Clinic, where surgeons will replace her mitral valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) is helping Guerdina's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medication, and follow-up appointments. This will also support her family to obtain passports and the HCA social workers who will accompany Guerdina's family during their travels. Guerdina shared, "my entire family and I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been helping me!"
Angel is a one-year-old girl from Haiti. She is her parent's first child. Her dad works as a taxi driver to support the family. Angel 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, Angel's head has been increasing in circumference. Without treatment, Angel will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery that will treat her hydrocephalus at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on April 26th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Angel's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Angel will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Angel's parents are looking forward to her being able to grow up and play like other children.
Feven is a beautiful 7-month-old baby girl from Ethiopia. She has two older brothers and five sisters. She loves to play with her mom. Her dad is a farmer and he works hard, but his income is not enough to maintain the family so his brother often helps. All their children are in school and Feven's mom sometimes is able to sell items at the market. Feven was born with a birth defect called anorectal malformation. She developed bowel obstruction because of her condition and had an emergency colostomy surgery. Her parents shared that they are highly affected psychologically and are sad and worried about their baby. Feven now needs a follow up surgery to help her eliminate bowel dysfunction. She is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on March 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After her recovery, Feven will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing related health complications in the future. Her mom shared, “We were so worried. But thank God he gave us this opportunity.”
Victor is a 9-year old boy and the oldest of two children in his family. Victor's mother is a single parent working as a housekeeper. While his mother is at work, Victor often spends time with his grandmother who is a farmer. Victor was born with cerebral palsy and his grandmother shared that he has a lot of energy! Victor was brought to Cure International Hospital's outreach clinic by his grandmother. His condition makes it challenging for Victor to walk without falling. Now he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 28th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Victor and his family raise the $1,224 necessary to fund this surgery so that Victor will be able to live a full, healthy live as he grows up. Victor's grandmother said, "I would love to see my grandson’s feet fully corrected and walking well like other children."
Naika is a fifth-grade student who lives in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Hait with her parents and five siblings. She is a very good student and likes literature and history. Naika was born with a hole between the two upper chambers of her heart; blood leaks through this hole leaving her weak and short of breath. Our Medical Partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance is raising funds so she can have the life-saving surgery that she needs to grow up healthy. During surgery, doctors will use a catheter probe to insert a device into the hole that will block it and prevent blood from leaking through. She is scheduled to undergo surgery at Clinica Corominas on February 14th. Naika's mother shared: "We are hopeful that Naika will be able to live more normally once the hole in her heart is fixed!"
Ibrahim is a playful three-year-old boy who is about to start kindergarten. His mother is a hardworking single parent of two children who works as a hawker selling goods. Since birth, Ibrahim has had a right inguinal hernia. On December 21st, his mother brought him to the hospital because he was experiencing frequent vomiting and periodic swelling in his inguinal area that worsens when he stands. Ibrahim can experience pain, vomiting, a reduced appetite, and discomfort while walking. Upon review, doctors recommended surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is helping Ibrahim receive surgery that will help him live more comfortably. On December 29th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at the care center. AMHF is requesting $631 to fund Ibrahim’s procedure. Ibrahim’s mother shared, “I am happy that his condition can be treated surgically. Ibrahim needs to be happy like other children and play with friends during this holiday.”
Greyson is a 2-week-old baby boy. Greyson’s mother is a stay-at-home mother, and his father is a salesman employed in a small motorcycle spare shop. Greyson was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Greyson is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Greyson's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 29th. This procedure will hopefully spare Greyson from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Greyson’s mother says, “Please help us save our child’s life. I have never seen a child with spina bifida before and I am scared for my son. Please help us.”
Dennis is a talkative and inquisitive 20-year-old man. He is the second born child in a family of five children. He lives with his mother in a small village where most of the residents work on farms or do casual jobs whenever they can find them. He completed his secondary education in 2018, but his mother could not afford to send him to college. To make a living, he works on farms. Dennis dreams of being a teacher and in a position to support his mother and siblings. In October 2021, Dennis was admitted to a local hospital after being involved in a motorcycle accident when the brakes on his bike failed. He fractured his left hand in the accident and urgently needs surgical treatment. He experiences pain in his hand and he cannot move his fingers. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), are helping Dennis receive treatment for his injury. On October 28th, he will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help restore normal movement in his fingers and alleviate his pain. Now, AMH is requesting $941 to fund Dennis's procedure and care. Dennis shared, "my hope is to get the hand treated so that I can resume my daily duties of providing for my family and my siblings, especially during this difficult time."
Cho is a 50-year-old woman who lives with her husband and their three children in Burma. Cho is a homemaker, and her three children are students. However, their school is currently closed due to the ongoing political and humanitarian crisis in the country. Her husband used to work as a day labourer in Mawlamyine City but stopped working a few months ago because he was afraid of the military arresting him. To support his family, he goes fishing everyday near their village. From selling any surplus fish, he is able to earn about 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month. This income is not enough to cover their daily needs or pay for basic health care, but they are working hard to get by. A few months ago, Cho noticed that she had a blister on her left heel. A few days later it burst and became an ulcer. Although she wanted to see a doctor, most of the public clinics and hospitals were closed, and she also could not afford to pay for treatment at them. In early September 2021, she went to a pharmacy nearby to buy medication for her diabetes but they could only provide her with painkillers and cleaning solution for the wound. At home, Cho cleaned the ulcer, but it continued to worsen. One day, her neighbour told her to go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where she could receive affordable and good services. Cho borrowed money and went to MCLH. She was admitted on September 28th 2021, and the doctor examined her left heel and saw that her heel was swollen and that the ulcer had pus in it. The doctor then scheduled her to undergo surgery on September 30th 2021 to clean the ulcer and remove any necrotic tissue so she can heal. Our care center is requesting $694 to fund of Cho's wound debridement surgery, including her hospital stay and all other medical costs. Currently, Cho is in a lot of pain. When the temperature is cooler, especially at night, the pain worsens. If she does not take pain medication, she cannot sleep at night. Cho said, "When I heard donors may support my surgery, I felt very happy. Even though we have not met you in person, I want to thank you so much for helping me. I just want to live a healthy and happy life with my family.”
Sothina is a four-year-old girl who lives with her family in Cambodia. Her father is a construction worker and her mother is a garment factory worker. She has one older sister who just started grade school. Sothina has not started school yet, but shared that she already thinks she wants to be a lawyer when she grows up! She loves to play with toys with her sister, watch TV, and eat fried noodles. Two months ago, Sothina injured her finger on a household fan. Her family took her to a clinic to receive treatment. Even though the wound has healed, Sothina now has a contracture that has left her unable to extend her fingers. Her family traveled to visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), with her parents. On August 27th, doctors there will perform a skin graft and contracture release surgery to allow Sothina to regain full use of her hand. Now, they need help raising $454 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Sothina's father shared, "I am hopeful that she will recover quickly and will use her hand well when she enters school."
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.”
Guadalupe is an one-year-old baby from Colombia. She is an only child, so she is regarded as the little princess of the family, which consists of her mother, grandma, and uncle. She is already sympathetic and friendly, and loves to play with stuffed toys and with other kids. Guadalupe has clubfoot on 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, Guadalupe's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel, where they can offer treatment. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 13th. Our medical partner is requesting $1,422 to fund Guadalupe's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to start walking and running without pain. Her mother shares a story and her hopes for Guadalupe, "I would really love to see her walk and run normally, she is not the first person with this condition in our whole family, I have a cousin who received treatment when he was 8 years old and it was really hard to see him asking why he couldn't run like the other kids."