Alexis joined Watsi on November 7th, 2014. 24 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Alexis' most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Agness, a subsistence farmer from Uganda, to remove an umbilical hernia.
Alexis has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 9 countries.
Alexis has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 9 countries.
This is Agnes, a 23-year-old farmer, from Uganda. The last few years have been especially difficult for Agnes and her mother. Her mother recently fractured her leg and has just started walking again. During that time, both Agnes and her mother have been completely dependent on family members for help because they also lost Agnes' father a year ago. As a child, Agnes developed an umbilical hernia, a swelling on her belly that usually resolves itself, but hers has remained. The swelling has gotten progressively worse, now causing her much pain and restricting her ability even to walk. She has not been able to work or participate in daily activities. $208 in funding will cover surgical expenses and medication provided by Watsi's medical partner, the Kellermann Foundation, so that a repair of her weakened abdominal muscle wall can be done. A small incision, re-placement of the intestinal tissue, and mesh reinforcement of the abdominal wall should allow Agnes to be back on her feet quickly. She will be able to work on their small farm again and provide support for her mother. “My mother has helped me so much; I want to help her," shares Agnes. "Thank you to all the donors for their help and healing me of this illness. It has given me hope for the future." Eventually, once she is healthy, Agnes would like to learn tailoring so she can start a small business of her own, making and repairing clothes.
Five-year-old Kusemererwa is a shy, nursery school student who lives with his mother, grandmother, and three older siblings in Uganda. When he was two years old, Kusemererwa developed a small swelling in his right scrotum. Within a year, the swelling increased, and he was taken to a hospital where he was diagnosed with a hydrocele. A hydrocele is a sac of watery fluid around one or both testicles that presents as swelling in the scrotum or groin. The fluid comes from the abdomen and travels along the same paths that the testes follow when they descend into the scrotum before or shortly after birth. Hydroceles can occur at any age, and their cause is generally unknown. The doctor who evaluated Kusemererwa told his mother that his condition required surgery, but they should wait until he is at least five years old. Now, the swelling pains Kusemererwa, and he becomes restless. A delay in treatment would prolong his pain and discomfort. Kusemererwa's grandmother brought him to Holy Family Virika Hospital to seek assistance for his surgery after learning about Watsi's program from a friend. Kusemererwa’s mother, who works as a casual laborer at a tea plantation, does not have funds to pay for her son’s surgery. For $215, Kusemererwa will undergo hydrocele repair surgery to reduce his scrotal swelling and relieve his pain. The surgeon will make a small incision in his scrotum to remove the sac of fluid and then use stitches to close the path between the scrotum and abdomen so that no more fluid can accumulate. Funding for Kusemererwa also covers the costs of a two-week hospital stay and medicine to prevent infection. Kusemererwa's mother and grandmother hope to see him happy and healthy after surgery. “Kusemererwa has suffered with pain for a long time," shares his mother. "We will have peace if he gets surgery.”
Thoeun is a 21-year-old hospitality student from Cambodia, training to work in a hotel. She enjoys reading books about food and watching the news on TV. Two weeks ago, Thoeun developed a chalazion, or non-cancerous cyst-like lump, on her right eye. The cyst causes her eye to be swollen and painful, and prevents her from seeing clearly out of her right eye. She traveled one hour with her teacher to seek help from Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). For $150, CSC can surgically remove the chalazion from Thorn's eye using an incision procedure. After the incision surgery, the cyst will be removed, and Thoeun will no longer have the chalazion. With your help, Thoeun's eye will be pain-free!
Brendah is a 16-year-old student who lives in Uganda, pregnant with her first child. She lives with her sister, a subsistence farmer. In her free time, Brendah and her sister weave baskets. She used to attend her local primary school, and intends to return to her schooling when her newborn child turns two years old. Brendah first saw her community health nurse for her pregnancy, and was referred to antenatal clinics at her local hospital. She and her sister have attended three sessions now, and now that Brendah is approaching her due date, she is awaiting her delivery in a mothers' hostel. During one of her antenatal visits, Brendah's doctors informed her that it may be unsafe to have a vaginal delivery due to the baby's relative size and Brendah's age. Instead, they recommended a C-Section. However, Brendah is already struggling to afford her visits at the antenatal clinic. Our medical partner, The Kellermann Foundation, tells us that $303 will cover Brendah's three antenatal care visits, her C-Section procedure for delivery, and five days of inpatient care. Brendah has already contributed $4, but this is all she has. Brendah's sister is very grateful for the help Watsi brings. "Childbirth is very difficult, and even more so for a person under 18 years of age," she explains. "Hospital bills alone have hindered many people from having safe deliveries under supervision. I would like to thank all who support my little sister's delivery." Brendah and her sister are eager for their new addition to their family.
"I am hoping that I will be able to have surgery, so that I can run and play soccer like my friends," Jean Wilson tells our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA). Jean Wilson is a studious 16-year-old who was born with tetralogy of fallot, a heart condition that causes a hole to form between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage to form over one of the valves. As a result, Jean Wilson is chronically short of breath and his body is not able to absorb oxygen as easily as it could if his heart were healthy. "Because he has lived so long with this condition, there is a chance it may no longer be repairable, but the only way to determine this is by inserting a catheter into the chambers of his heart," HCA says. "Since this is not possible in Haiti, arrangements are being made to bring him to the Dominican Republic to perform this extremely important test in the hopes that he can have heart surgery later in the year." For $1500, Jean Wilson will be transported to the Dominican Republic for the catheterization procedure that will determine the operability of his congenital heart defect. If Jean Wilson is a good candidate for surgery, he will then undergo the operation so that he can regain his health and fulfill his dreams of becoming an engineer.
Meet Rebecca, a three-year-old girl from Haiti. Rebecca lives with her mother and father, and she likes to play dress-up and play with dolls. She is very outgoing and likes to sing and dance, according to our medical partner, the Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA). “Rebecca was born with a congenital heart condition called tetralogy of fallot, which involves several related defects, including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the heart's valves," explains HCA. "As a result, Rebecca's heart cannot deliver enough oxygen to her body, and she is sickly and weak. If untreated, the condition would be fatal." For $1,500, we can fund a treatment that will restore normal blood flow to Rebecca’s heart and allow her to live a normal life. This amount provides funding for overseas prep and transport, as HCA secures overseas heart surgeries for procedures that are not easily accessible in Haiti. The treatment is subsidized by a $10,000 donation from Safra Children’s Hospital. "We were very happy to find out that Rebecca could have surgery for her heart problem," her mother shares. "We are praying that all will go well!"
Andy is an 11-month-old boy living in Guatemala with his parents. “He loves to play with a little toy car that he has,” shares our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). “He is just now starting to walk with his parents’ help.” Andy has acute malnutrition. “His appetite is limited and his mother says that it is a fight to get him to eat any sort of food regardless of if whether it is healthy or not,” says WK. Andy is underweight and below the average height for his age; he only eats around a tablespoon of food at each meal time. “Without intervention,” explains WK, “Andy is at risk of starvation, dehydration, and defective physical and mental development.” For $535, Andy can receive the necessary interventions he needs. “Andy’s mother is dedicated to caring for her child but simply does not make enough money to buy him the food he needs to grow,” shares WK. Treatment will provide Andy with micronutrients and food supplements to boost the quantity and quality of calories he consumes. His mother will also receive an education in nutrition. “This information will help her care for her child…as well as prevent malnutrition in other children that may be born in the future,” says WK. "The interventions will prevent Andy from suffering the long term effects of malnutrition and will treat the acute illness he is currently battling,” explains WK. His mother is very happy to be part of Watsi. “We do not have a place to live and have no money to pay for many things for our son,” Andy’s mother says, “but my dream is that he will grow up healthy and strong.”
Francisco is a three-month-old baby from Guatemala. His parents "believe he is the largest gift they have ever received," says our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq (WK). "His mother had lost their last baby during the third trimester of her pregnancy, so when she got pregnant again with Francisco, it was a wonderful surprise." "Shortly after giving birth, Francisco's mother realized that she could not produce enough breast milk to feed her baby," WK explains. Soon after, doctors at WK diagnosed Francisco's mother with a condition called lactation failure. Due to the lack of nutritious breast milk from his mother, "Francisco started to lose weight and now he is below the average height and average weight for his age," says WK. Without access to maternal milk, he is at risk of dehydration and starvation, which will quickly begin to impact his development. Francisco's parents are very concerned that their baby will continue to lose weight. "They do not have a lot of money and formula is out of their budget," WK tells us. $1,220 covers the cost of a 12-month program that will provide Francisco with infant formula in order to replenish his calories and nutrition. This funding will also provide his mother with intensive counseling on how to properly prepare and mix infant formula, as well has one-on-one health education to prepare her for transitioning Francisco's diet to solid food and watching out for other signs of illness. Francisco's parents are very dedicated to their son's health and hopeful for his future. "Their dream for their child is that he will grow up to become a young professional, and have the dream to be a doctor and help his people like we do," says WK.
Meet Hugo, a 16-month-old boy from Guatemala. His favorite food is hard boiled eggs and he enjoys playing with toy cars. Hugo is the only child to his mother, a blouse weaver, and father, a plantation worker. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), reports that Hugo has acute malnutrition. His symptoms include a below average height and weight. "Most children in the village where Hugo lives are malnourished, and as a result it is more difficult for the mothers to identify that their children are suffering, as there are limited examples of how healthy children grow/develop," WK states. If left untreated, Hugo's malnutrition could lead to a weakened immune system, decline in energy, and delays in developmental milestones such as walking and talking. WK shares that as a result of a continued decline in Hugo's health, his family may face tough financial challenges. $535 will fund care for Hugo's acute malnutrition. "This treatment will supply Hugo with the growth monitoring, micronutrient and food supplementation, and medication for him to recoup some of the weight and height he has lost and prevent any sort of parasitic infection," states WK. “This is a great help… this will help our son grow well. We can’t afford what he needs to grow well at this time, but the education and supplementation will help us learn what we can do,” says Hugo's mother.
“I really hope Watsi will support me and that my treatment will be successful so that I can support my children and see them grow,” says Vonta, a 38-year-old single mother of two from Nairobi. Vonta works as a house cleaner, and barely makes enough money to support herself and her children. For over a year Vonta has suffered from uterine fibroids, a condition that causes heavy uterine bleeding and lower abdominal pain. The fibroids are affecting Vonta’s ability to care for her family; she explains, “This bleeding and the pain is making it difficult for me to go to work.” Without treatment, Vonta’s fibroids will continue to grow and she will be at risk for anemia. A fellow Watsi patient brought Vonta to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), to seek help. For $790, Vonta will receive a total abdominal hysterectomy to remove her multiple intramural fibroids. According to her doctors at AMHF, after the procedure Vonta will be relieved of bleeding, anemia and pain, and will be able to resume work and raise her children.
Meet Cho, a 42-year-old mother of two from Thailand. Cho was recently diagnosed with an ovarian cyst. “For the past four or five months Cho's abdomen has started getting bigger and bigger and she started to experience a lot of pain,” explains our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP). “She cannot sit or stand easily. She cannot sleep well at night and she is in a lot of pain. She can feel the mass in her abdomen when she lies down. She cannot eat a lot because her abdomen is distended. She has difficulty breathing and suffers from fatigue." With $1500 in funding, Cho will receive surgery to remove the ovarian cyst. Funding will also provide pre-surgery CT scans and post-surgical outpatient visits. Following treatment, Cho hopes to work as a domestic helper in order to pay for her son's school fees. "I want to have surgery, and I want to be happy and to take care of my son's future," Cho shares. "I want to work hard for my son to ensure he has good education."
"Daudi is the 11th born in a family of twelve children," says our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). "He lives with his family in the coastal region of Kenya. He was enrolled in school (class two) but dropped out of school in 2014 due to persistent headaches. In May 2015, he lost his ability to walk and he has to be assisted to move about." Daudi, a nine-year-old boy from Kenya, was subsequently diagnosed with a brain tumor. "Daudi is at a high risk of intra-cranial pressure, which may cause brain damage or death," AMHF continues. "It can lead to decreased cardiac respiratory function, and eventually loss of consciousness. In addition, the tumor can also result to visual impairment if not treated and may not regain his walking ability." For $1260, Daudi can undergo a craniotomy to remove the tumor. His mother is a farmer and his father is older, and cannot work. Together they are unable to raise the funds for their son's treatment. “It has been a difficult few years watching our son lose most of his functionalities and drop out of school," shares Daudi’s mother. "I pray that he gets well." Let's support Daudi and his family, and help this young boy heal.