Ryan joined Watsi on November 6th, 2014. Eight years ago, Ryan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ryan's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Elithon, a joyful, elephant-loving kid from Tanzania, to fund burn contracture release surgery.
Ryan has funded healthcare for 97 patients in 10 countries.
Ryan has funded healthcare for 97 patients in 10 countries.
Elithon is a curious and outgoing 5-year-old from Tanzania and a member of the Maasai community. He is the fourth child in his family of five. Our medical partner’s team shared that he loves to talk and was so excited to share about the amazing wild animals he saw on his way to their care center - his favorite being elephants! He also loves the cold weather in the mountains near his home. Elithon could not hide his excitement when he arrived at the care center for treatment. Elithon fell and tripped over a stove with a pot of boiling soup, causing him to burn his right arm. Burn scar contractures have started to develop and tighten the skin around his burn. Consequently, it is difficult for him to stretch and use his hand. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Elithon receive treatment. On February 27th, surgeons at AMH’s care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery that will help him use his hand again. AMH is requesting $832 to fund this procedure. Elithon’s mother says: “We are very excited to know that there is a place where our son can get treatment.”
Ciara is a 10-month-old infant from Haiti. Her family enjoys playing with her and watching her smile. Ciara 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, Ciara has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Ciara will have severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Ciara 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 February 2nd. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from Ciara's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Ciara will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. The family is looking forward to having their baby girl grow up healthy and happy.
Queen is an adorable 4-month-old baby from Tanzania. Her mother is a sole proprietor who has recently started a new small business, while her father works as a security guard. Queen has an older sibling. While their current income is limited, her mother is confident that her new business provide for their family's basic needs. Queen has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Queen's parents took her to a nearby hospital, but they lacked the needed specialized medical staff. Concerned about waiting a long time for a consultation, Queen's father visited another hospital but experienced the same issue. Queen's father then visited the hospital of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), where the doctors were able to diagnose the condition and recommended surgery. On November 18th, Queen will undergo clubfoot repair surgery that will allow her to learn to stand and walk as she grows. AMH is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Queen's father shared: "We have been traveling far and wide in pursuit of a cure for our daughter. We're determined to see her feet get back to normal. We appeal for your financial support to help our daughter receive treatment."
Rechael is a 38-year-old widow and mother of three children, who works in a small grocery store. Her husband died in a traffic accident in 2018, and her life changed dramatically as a result. Her husband's family sent her away with the children, and since her mother had also died earlier, she shared with us that she had nowhere to go. Her aunt agreed to have Rachael and her children come live with her. Rechael was accompanied by her aunt and uncle when she came to Nazareth Hospital this week. She was very anxious, and when she started narrating her story she began to cry. She had become depressed, had experienced periodic upper abdominal pains, and occasional vomiting. She has been admitted at hospitals three times, and a scan showed that she had gallstones. Doctors advised that she have surgery to heal her condition. Unfortunately, she is unable to pay the $788 needed for this surgery. If not treated, Rechael will continue to experience these symptoms, and could develop complications such as pancreatitis, or obstruction of the gallbladder among others. “I am desperate and don’t know what to do. I can only depend on my family, and they are not in a position to help. I pray for help so that at least my life can be normal again for the sake of my children,” said Rechael.
Travis is a wonderful baby boy from Tanzania. He is his single mother's only child. He spends most of his time with his grandmother, as they both have a strong bond. His mother is very hard working; she works a nine-hour job throughout the week. Because of this, she has limited time with her son. Travis has clubfoot of both legs. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, causing him to have difficulty sitting and standing. Since his father does not provide any support, Travis depends fully on his mother for his daily needs. They live near the town center, and due to inflation and the high cost of living, his mother's income only caters to their basic needs. Travis was brought to the hospital by his grandmother seeking financial support for his treatment. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, will perform clubfoot repair surgery for Travis on September 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Travis's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to sit and walk comfortably without support. Travis's grandmother shares, “I look at how my daughter struggles to raise my grandson on her own. It is hard and this weighs on her every day. I hope her son will get better."
Shee is a bright and caring 12-year-old girl from Thailand who likes to play the piano, listen to music, and help her caregiver garden with her friends. She lives with 30 students, including her younger brother, in the dormitory of Has Thoo Lei Learning Centre. She is currently in fifth grade, and her brother is in third grade. Both her and her brother's dormitory fees, including food and accommodations, are funded by a Christian nonprofit organization called Compassion Thailand. Both of her parents currently live in Burma and work as subsistence farmers. Her father also works as a day laborer. Shee's parents support her and her brother with their school fees and pocket money. For the past two years, Shee has dealt with femoral hernias. As a result of her condition, she experiences pain in her right groin, as well as pain and discomfort when she sits for a long period of time. When she plays with her friends or is active, the bulge increases in size. Her condition has progressively worsened, and she has had to miss school frequently as a result. Fortunately, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Shee's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 22nd. Once completed, she will hopefully be able to live more comfortably. Shee says, “I want to become a nurse when I grow up one day and help people in my community who are sick and need my help.”
Shwe is a 24-year-old woman who lives with her family in Burma and enjoys listening to Burmese pop music! Shwe previously worked in a factory, but she had to stop working last December when her health began to deteriorate. Her brother and stepfather both work as agricultural day laborers, and her sister-in-law and mother are both homemakers. The rest of her siblings are all waiting for schools to reopen so they can return to their studies. The schools were closed in February of 2021 following the Mayanmar military coup. About a year and a half ago, Shwe began to experience pain in her chest, as well as fatigue. She initially did not think that her symptoms were serious, but this changed after she fainted at work a few months later. After receiving an echocardiogram, she was diagnosed with mitral valve, aortic valve, and tricuspid valve regurgitation, which are all cardiac conditions that occur when the specified valve does not close properly. As a result, she experiences difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, a lack of appetite, and trouble sleeping. She also feels very tired when walking longer distances. Shwe now needs cardiac surgery to help alleviate her symptoms and allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. However, once the doctor told her and her family the cost of surgery, they left the hospital because they could not pay for Shwe's needed procedure. Fortunately, they happened to meet a taxi driver who kindly told them about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). BCMF is now helping Shwe undergo cardiac surgery on August 12th at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Shwe and her family need your support to fund this $1,500 procedure. Shwe says, “When I recover fully, I will go back to work and work hard. I will save my money and support my family.”
Stephen is a hardworking 29-year-old from Kenya. He lives with his single mother and his ten-year-old son. To support his mother and son, he works at a barber shop. Four months ago, Stephen fell from a tree while he was fetching firewood for his mother. This fall caused a closed fracture of his right hand. This condition has profoundly affected Stephen, not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. He currently experiences a lot of pain and can no longer work. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 8th, Stephen will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The procedure will heal his fracture and alleviate his pain. After receiving treatment, he will be able to return to his barber shop business and generate income for his mother and son. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Stephen shares, "Already my mother has been taking care of me and my son. I desperately need help so that I can regain my own self, start working to support my son, and not be dependent on my mother.”
Agrath is a beautiful seven-month-old baby girl. She is a healthy and happy little girl raised by a single mother and her grandmother. Agrath was born with bilateral clubfoot, a congenital musculoskeletal malformation that causes the foot to twist of our shape, ultimately impairing the ability to walk. She was scheduled for corrective casting once she was given her diagnosis, but it was too expensive for their family to cover. Understanding the financial challenges the family was facing, and the potential dangers associated with discontinuing treatment, the doctors referred Agrath's family to the Plaster House to seek help. Fortunately, on May 13th Agrath will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Agrath's clubfoot repair. After treatment, her legs will be corrected and she will be able to grow up walking, running, and playing like other kids. Agrath’s grandmother says, “I am a widow and my granddaughter’s father is nowhere to be seen. We have no means of affording the surgery costs. Please help us.”
John is a 12-year-old student living in a small village in northern Haiti. John lives with his parents, three brothers, and one sister, and before he fell ill, he loved to play soccer and to go to school. John has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation, which means that one of his heart valves can no longer pump blood through his body. This condition is due to an infection John suffered earlier in childhood, and it has rendered him weak and left him in late-stage heart failure. The care John needs is not available in Haiti, so John will need to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On May 9th, he'll finally undergo the cardiac surgery he needs, during which surgeons will remove the severely damaged valve and implant a mechanical valve in its place. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $15,000 to pay for the surgery. However, John's family also needs help to fund all the pre and postoperative costs. The $1,500 they are seeking will cover laboratory tests, medicines, checkups and follow-up appointments. It will also help John to obtain a passport, and cover the costs of the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany John's family overseas for his treatment. John shared: "I am looking forward to being strong and healthy again once my heart is fixed."
Kai is an adorable baby boy from the Philippines who loves to listen to nursery rhymes. Kai's mother is a stay-at-home mom, while his father works as a construction worker. Kai's father's income helps to meet their day-to-day basic needs. Kai was born with a birth condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo surgery to help him heal on May 4th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to help cover the total cost of Kai's procedure and care. After his recovery, Kai will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing severe health complications in the future. Kai's mother shared, "This surgery is a big help for our family. The bigger portion of my husband's income goes to Kai's colostomy supplies. Now, we do not have to worry about it anymore. Thank you so much, World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for helping us."
Myo Myint is a 34-year-old woman who is married with two sons and a daughter. Myo Myint, her husband, and her oldest son work as day laborers, but since April 2020, they have had difficulty finding work due to COVID-19. She proudly shared that her younger son and daughter are both students. In her free time, Myo Myint likes to listen to the news on the radio and walk around to collect sticks and branches that she uses for her cooking. Myo Myint has been experiencing difficulty with her vision in her right eye. She can only read for a few minutes before her eye begins to hurt and her vision becomes doubled. She visited a local hospital, where the doctor determined she has a cataract in her right eye and recommended lens replacement surgery. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Myo Myint receive treatment. On March 1st, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Myo Myint's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund this procedure. Myo Myint shared, "I want to see clearly and find extra money to support my children to finish their education."