catherine joined Watsi on November 27th, 2013. Four years ago, catherine became the 1876th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 4,043 more people have become monthly donors! catherine's most recent donation supported Rithy, a kindergartner from Cambodia, to fund a mastoidectomy to restore his hearing.
catherine has funded healthcare for 50 patients in 12 countries.
Rithy is a 5-year-old student from Cambodia. He began kindergarten this year, and is excited to join Grade One next year. He has three siblings. Rithy's mother sells fruit at a local market, and his father is a tuk tuk driver. He and his older sister love to paint pictures together, and he is currently learning writing. Three years ago, Rithy had a serious ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Rithy experiences hearing loss, ear discharge, and fever. It is difficult for him to hear what the teachers say at school, and he is often absent from class due to his ear discharge and fever. Rithy traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 6th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. His parents said, "This problem has been bad for his hearing in both ears, so we worry about his ability to go to school in the future. We hope that after surgery, he can start his first full year at school with all his hearing."
Darun is a 20-year-old gas station worker from Cambodia. He is the fourth child in a family of five brothers and a sister. After work, he likes to exercise, listen to classical music, play games on his phone, and help his family around the house. He also enjoys going for walks around the city with his friends. In October of 2019, Darun was treated for a fractured right leg at a local hospital after getting in a motorcycle accident. He has swelling and pain when he walks. He cannot walk without support and is unable to work. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On March 9th, Darun will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. Surgery will fix Darun with hardware that will help his injuries heal, and allow him to walk again. "I hope that surgery will help fix my leg and I won't have any pain and can walk again," he said.
Hadija is a five-year-old girl from Tanzania and is the second born child in a family of three children. She is a friendly girl and currently in kindergarten. Her family is concerned she might not be able to walk to school any more due to her legs being curved making walking hard and painful for her. Hadija was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. Her legs are bowed so that her knees do not touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she cannot walk properly. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $838 to fund corrective surgery for Hadija. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 6th. Treatment will hopefully restore Hadija's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Hadija’s father says, “Please help my daughter, she might not be able to walk at all if her legs are not treated.’’
Sandra is an 11-year-old student from Haiti. She lives with her parents in a city in northwest Haiti. She is in the fifth grade and especially likes reading and art. Sandra has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect and pulmonary hypertension. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart; she also has blood flowing through her lungs at much higher pressures than normal. Sandra will fly to Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On February 24th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will first perform a catheterization to make sure the high pressures in her lungs can be reversed. If the results of this procedure are positive, she will go on to have open-heart surgery in which doctors will close the hole in her heart with a patch. Sandra's family 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 Sandra's family overseas. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for her surgery. Sandra shared, "I am looking forward to being able to walk to and from school without stopping to rest!"
Yabesera is a young boy from Ethiopia. Yabsira has a twin sister named Tseganesh. They both are cute toddlers and Yabsira loves to play with his sister Tseganesh. They have an older brother too. Yabsira’s dad is a shoe-shiner with limited income while his mom is a housewife and takes care of their babies at home. Yabesera was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Unfortunately, he contracted measles last year and could not undergo surgery. His mother brought him to our facility and requested to proceed with the surgery now and the family appeals for financial help. Fortunately, Yabesera is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on January 14th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,231 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Yabsira’s mom said, “We can’t afford the medical bill. I used to wash clothes for income but once the children were born, I had to take care of them. We are living by the income of my husband only and it is very limited to maintain the family’s needs. The community helps us by giving food and milk for our babies. But still, they are nutritionally badly affected. They didn’t start walking as a result of it. We came here by the support of an organization. We are here with the hope of getting treatment for our boy.”
Miriam walks slowly with the aid of crutches. She was overly active until the year 2017 when she began complaining of back pain and numbness on her feet. Miriam formerly an active farmer would tire easily from her farming activities and small house chores. From the nearest hospital, pain medication was administered but with time, her condition deteriorated. She thought maybe she had gained weight and that was the reason for the back pain. Dieting did not help either and over time, she couldn’t walk without the aid of a stick. Frustrated, Miriam resigned to fate as she thought she was a burden to her young children who were building their homes. A friend recommended that they visit Kijabe hospital for specialized treatment where Miriam was diagnosed with a spine disc dislocation and a spinal fusion surgery recommended. Miriam was glad that there is a solution to her condition and she looks forward to getting treated. If treated, Miriam will regain her ability to walk, resume work and become independent again. Miriam and her husband are subsistence farmers with four grown children. She lives with her husband in Central Kenya. Miriam is appealing for financial help. “I look forward to walking again,” says Miriam.
Peter is a young boy from Kenya. Peter was diagnosed with left undescended testis in mid-2018. This is a condition where the testis cannot be felt in the scrotal sac as expected in a baby boy soon after birth. For a year now, Peter has been under her grandmother’s care. He recently began complaining of abdominal pains. Painkillers could barely ease the pain. From the nearest local clinic, ultrasound scanning revealed that Peter has a left undescended testis. The funds needed were, however, way beyond what Peter’s grandmother could raise. She resigned to fate until recently when a friend told them about the SAFE program at Kijabe hospital. Upon review in our facility, surgery was advised. If not treated, Peter is at risk of developing testicular cancer and/or inguinal hernia and potentially a testicular torsion. Peter is the third born of four children. He lives with his widowed maternal grandmother and siblings in a two-room house in Central Kenya. His parents abandoned him and his siblings and do not offer any assistance whatsoever. Peter’s grandmother has three grown children and does subsistence farming to provide just enough for her grandchildren and herself. Peter is in class one and aspires to be a pilot in future. His favorite subject is mathematics. His grandmother is appealing for help to see him get treated. Peter will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on September 27th. AMHF is requesting $535 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. “I want to be a pilot when I grow up,” says Peter
Eh is a 22-year-old woman from Thailand. She was born and lives her parents and younger brother in Mae La Refugee Camp. Her younger brother studies at the bible school at the camp. Eh used to attend the same school as a third-year student, but she had to stop studying when her health deteriorated. Eh's father is a homemaker, and her mother works for the department of health at the camp. In 2017, Eh started to become more tired and began to have difficulty breathing. Her mother took her to the clinic in the camp and the doctor listened to her heart, did an electrocardiogram (ECG) and told Eh’s mother that Eh has a heart disease. She was then referred to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. Eh was not told anything about her condition, and the doctor only informed her parents without telling her. Eh had an echocardiogram (echo) at MSH in December 2018. After the echo, she travelled back and forward several times from Mae La refugee camp to MSH for medical follow-up visits. Finally, the doctor at MSH informed her that she needs surgery. Currently, Eh has dizziness, headaches, tiredness and sometimes experiences difficulty breathing. She sleeps well but has lost her appetite and she sometimes suffers from chest pain. She loves reading and playing football and volleyball in her free time. Eh was born with ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sick and short of breath. Eh is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on October 5th to correct her condition and improve her quality of life. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Eh's procedure and care. Eh said, “All my classmate graduated, and I want to as well, but I am tired of studying and when I think about this, I cry”.
Mary struggles with ambulation due to a spinal complication she is having. This has been the struggle for the past 12 months and continues to strain her daily life. Mary complained of fatigue and back pain in October of 2018 and sought treatment in a nearby hospital and was given no conclusive diagnosis. She was then referred to a more advanced facility and came to Kijabe. Mary had MRI and X-ray imaging done and was diagnosed with TB of the spine. Her surgeon recommended spinal decompression and fusion surgery to correct the condition. If not treated, Mary will continue experiencing much pain and ambulation struggles. Mary is a mother of 4 children and together, they live in her parent's house. Mary used to sell second-hand clothes but stopped in October when she could not bear the persistent fatigue and pain. Currently, her needs and those of her children are met by her relatives. She is not able to raise the full amount required for surgery.
Syndie is a student from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three siblings on a small farm in the mountains of southern Haiti. She likes going to school and helping her parents around the farm. Syndie has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves in her heart was severely damaged due to a fever she suffered earlier in childhood, and cannot adequately pump blood through her body. Syndie will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 29, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will first attempt to repair the damaged valve, and if this is not possible they will implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Mitral Foundation, is contributing $6,000 to pay for surgery. Syndie'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 supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Syndie's family overseas. She says, "I am looking forward to having more energy and better health after my surgery!"
Thaw is a 44-year-old woman from Burma. She lives in Hpa-An, Karen State with her friends. She is a Christian missionary. Thaw has a mass in her uterus. She has been diagnosed with a myoma. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Thaw's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Thaw is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on July 1. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After surgery, Thaw will be able to return home and continue her work as a missionary.
Zar is a 23-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her sister in Hpa-An Town, Karen State. Zar works as a seamstress at a shop and her sister works as a vendor in another shop that sells Karen clothes. Zar was born with encephalocele, a type of neural type defect characterized by sac-like protrusions of nervous tissue through openings in the skull. Both incomplete bone fusion in the skull and incomplete closure of the neural tube contribute to this condition. If left untreated, the lump will continue to grow, heightening the risks of developmental delays and permanent neurological impairment. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to help cover the cost of corrective cranial surgery for Zar, which is scheduled to take place on June 8. Surgeons will remove the protrusion and correct the skull defect, hopefully eliminating the risk of future neurological complications and allowing Zar to develop along a healthy trajectory. Zar says, "I feel lucky because some people have many appointments with their doctors and have to wait a long time to receive a surgery date. But in my case, I only had one appointment before I received my surgery date."