UNIVERSAL FUND MEMBERA librarian who believes heath care should be a basic right.
Amy joined Watsi on February 14th, 2016. Seven years ago, Amy joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Amy's most recent donation traveled 1,000 miles to support Mervi, a two-year-old boy from Venezuela, to heal his clubfoot.
Amy has funded healthcare for 94 patients in 14 countries.
Amy has funded healthcare for 94 patients in 14 countries.
Mervi is an adventurous toddler from Venezuela who has recently moved with his parents to Colombia to seek better opportunities. Due to lack of work authorization, his mother stays home with her family while his father has informal employment in construction. Mervi has three siblings, but his little sister is his favorite. She is almost one year old and he loves playing with her and sharing their toys. Mervi has clubfoot in his right foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Mervi's family traveled to visit our medical partner, Clínica Noel, where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on Mervi on April 30th. Clínica Noel is requesting $1,422 to fund this procedure. After treatment, Mervi will be able to wear shoes and walk normally without pain. His father said: "I would really appreciate if you could help me with this operation for my kid, I'm working to find someone else that can help me pay at least a part of the treatment but I would really appreciate you helping me pay the surgery."
Elysee is a 26-year-old farmer. He resides with his parents and several other relatives on a small farm in the mountains of central Haiti. Elysee lives with a double outlet right ventricle. This means that Elysee's aorta and pulmonary artery do not connect to the usual places in the heart. This condition, which is present from birth, can lead to numerous heart problems, making it rare for someone with this condition to live to adulthood. While Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital are contributing $10,000 to fund corrective cardiac surgery for Elysee on February 28th, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to fund the costs of Elysee's pre-surgical prep; lab tests; medicines and follow up appointments. The money is also needed to support the travel costs for the social workers from Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Elysee and his family on their trip to the United States. Elysee said: "I am excited to finally be healthy for the first time in my life!"
Meet Zephania, a jovial, 34 year old farmer, living in the highlands of Kenya with his wife and three children. Zephania has a small piece of land, on which he plants maize and potatoes, mainly for his family's consumption. He dropped out of high school early because his family could not afford to cover the necessary fees. He has been a casual laborer working on people's farms, clearing bushes and carrying loads, in order to earn a living. His wife is not working currently, as she is expecting a child. Zephania was involved in an accident while riding his motorbike. When he arrived at the hospital, he was unable to stand or to walk, and he complained of a lot of pain in his left leg. Upon examination, it was revealed that his leg had been shortened, and there was also some swelling of the limb. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, can help. On January 10th, Zephania will undergo a fracture repair procedure at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. As a result of this surgery, called an open reduction and internal fixation, Zephania will no longer be in pain; his leg will heal, and he will be able to return to work and to provide for his family. Now, African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Zephania says: "My family depends on me for their daily needs, so it is really difficult for them. I don’t want to see them struggle when I am living.”
Sai is a six-year-old kindergarten student. He lives with his parents and siblings (a 12-year-old brother who is in grade four and a 11-month-old sister) at Mae Sot District, Tak Province in Thailand. His father is a daily worker and works as a blacksmith. Sai’s mother is a homemaker who looks after the children at home. Sai was born with a healthy delivery however just after his sixth birthday, his mother noticed that Sai’s left eye was red. He told her that it was not painful, so they did not worry about it. In June 2022 though, his mother saw that there was a white dot in the pupil of Sai’s eye. When his mother covered Sai’s right eye and asked if he could see, he answered that he did not see clearly. Sai had his eyes checked at Mae Tao Clinic and the medic suspected that he had a cataract. He was sent to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. He was referred to the ophthalmology department which later the doctor diagnosed him with mature left eye cataract. Currently, Sai’s vision in his left eye is blurry and he has trouble seeing the board when he is in the classroom. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Sai. On December 9th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Sai's natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Sai’s mother said, “We cannot afford to take a loan (for the surgery) because we would have to pay the interest. There is less work during the pandemic and so it makes things very hard to have such a large loan. My words cannot express the thanks that I feel. It is so lucky for us to have the assistance from BCMF and donors.”
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!"
Channa is a 29-year-old husband and father from Cambodia. He and his wife have an eight-year-old daughter in first grade. His wife manages a small grocery store in front of their home, where she sells snacks and drinks. In his free time, Channa enjoys reading the news, watching television, listening to music, and taking care of his daughter. When he was 12 years old, Channa's left leg was burned. Since then, he has experienced problems with the skin behind his kneecap. He has difficulty walking because he has a chronically swollen, open wound that often leaks from his skin contractures. On a recommendation from a local taxi driver, Channa and his family traveled three hours seeking treatment from our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). Doctors at CSC diagnosed Channa with a chronic ulcerating wound behind his left knee, and a wound debridement and free flap procedure was recommended. This is a reconstructive surgery technique that involves the transfer of skin from one area of the body to another, while maintaining blood supply. After surgery, Channa's wound should heal, and he will no longer experience pain or difficulty walking. Now, Channa needs help raising $991 to fund his procedure and care. Channa shared, "I hope after the operation, I can go back to work to support my family, and I can walk again without pain."
Chhuon is a 68-year-old retired rice farmer who is married and has one son, two daughters, and seven grandchildren. Chhuon lives with her husband and their daughter who is a food seller. She likes to go to the pagoda. Four years ago, Chhuon developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her blurry vision and photophobia. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking. When Chhuon learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. On May 6th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Chhuon says, "I hope after surgery my eye can see clearly so I can visit the pagoda by myself, see my relatives, and do housework well."
Primer is a father of three from Haiti. He lives in a small village in southwestern Haiti with his wife and three children; he is a farmer and sells produce in the local market. Primer has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of his heart is severely damaged as the result of a rheumatic infection he suffered a number of years ago, and cannot adequately pump blood through his heart and body. The surgery that Primer needs is not available anywhere in the country so he will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On September 13th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove the damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $9000 to pay for surgery. Primer'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 covers travel expenses for the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Primer's family overseas, as well as the cost of obtaining Prince's passport. Prince says: "I am very grateful to be having this surgery so I can take care of my family and see my children grow up."
Gedion is a happy and talkative 16-year-old from Kenya who is currently a student in standard eight. He is the thirdborn in a family of six. Since their mother left them a few years ago, he and his siblings live with their father in their rural home on a small piece of land. Gedion's father works as a casual laborer and burns charcoal for sale to provide for their family's basic needs, as well as to pay for the children's school fees. His family also plants maize and beans on their small piece of land to feed themselves. During holidays and on the weekends, Gedion and his siblings usually work on other people's farms to provide additional income. He shares that life for his family has been very difficult, but they have been working hard in order to fight poverty together. This past Saturday, Gedion was brought into our medical partner's care center, AIC Kapsowar Hospital, via an ambulance from a facility near his home after being involved in a road traffic accident. While Gedion was on his way home from a nearby shopping center, a tractor passed by. He hopped onto it in order to reach home faster since he was still far from home and it was already beginning to become dark. There were some people already on the tractor, so they continued with their journey together. While they were on their way, the tractor lost control and fell down. The people riding were all rushed to a nearby facility. While those with minor injuries were able to be treated at the local facility, three of the riders, including Gedion, had to be referred to our medical partner's care center. During the accident, he sustained a fracture of his right femur and is currently experiencing a lot of pain. He is also unable to use his leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 12th, Gedion will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which is called an open reduction and internal fixation. After treatment, he will be able to use his leg again, attend school, and help out at home. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Gedion shares, "This state has really pulled me down. I don’t know what to do. Kindly help me so that I may be able to pursue my dreams and change the state of my family.”
Abigael is a bright seven-year-old from Kenya. She is the firstborn in a family of two children. Her mother is a single mom who works to support her family by doing a variety of work on other people’s farms. Abigael attends school, and one of her favorite ways to spend time is playing with her friends, both at school and at home. Abigael was born with clubfoot on her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Abigael's mother noticed the condition and took her to the nearest hospital when she was two weeks old. She underwent a series of casting there; however, over time, her clubfoot became progressively worse rather than improving. Fortunately, Abigael and her family traveled to our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital, to seek treatment. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Abigael's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to put on shoes, walk comfortably, play with her friends freely, and continue with her education uninterrupted. Abigael’s mom shares, “I request support for my daughter's clubfoot to be corrected so that she can be able to put on her shoes and walk like other children.”
Seang Horn is a 68-year-old retired rice farmer. She has one son, one daughter, and six grandchildren. Seang Horn lives with her eldest daughter, who is also a farmer. In her free time, Seang Horn likes to listen to the monks pray on the radio. Four years ago, Seang Horn developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurry vision, photophobia, and tearing. As a result, she has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so she cannot go places on her own. When Seang Horn learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. On June 7th, doctors will perform cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. CSC is requesting $253 to fund this procedure. Seang Horn shared, "After surgery, I hope I can see well enough to go to the field on my own and help my husband."
Thu Zar is a 21-year-old woman who lives with her parents, three sisters, and three nieces in Mae Sot near the Thailand-Burma border. Her family moved from Shan State in Burma to Thailand in 2008 in search of better opportunities. She used to work at a logistics company until two weeks ago when she quit due to her condition. Her parents run a small shop from their home, and her oldest sister is a cleaner at a restaurant. One of her other sister’s is unemployed and her third sister as well as her three nieces all go to school. In 2015, Thu Zar felt a small mobile mass in her chest. She did not feel any pain at the time and forgot about the mass. In 2019, she attended a workshop about reproductive health at her school, run by Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). During the workshop she remembered the mass and later when she was alone, she checked to see if it was still there. She felt the mass and thought that it had increased in size, but she did not experience any pain. The next day, she told the workshop trainer about the mass. The trainer told her to go to MTC for treatment. However, Thu Zar decided she did not want to take time off from school to go to the clinic, since she thought the mass was not causing her any pain or discomfort. Now, Thu Zar's condition has worsened and causes her great pain. She can only sleep on her back, because if she sleeps in any other position she experiences immense pain. Thu Zar sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 9th to heal her condition. She is raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Thu Zar is very worried about her health and told us, "I feel very sad and depressed with this condition."