Alexis Ohanian
Alexis' Story

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.

patients you have funded

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.”

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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