Stephanie joined Watsi on November 6th, 2014. Eight years ago, Stephanie joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Stephanie's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Elithon, a joyful, elephant-loving kid from Tanzania, to fund burn contracture release surgery.
Stephanie has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 12 countries.
Stephanie has funded healthcare for 95 patients in 12 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.”
Valmy is a 10-month-old infant from Haiti. He lives with his mother, father, and older brother. Valmy has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Valmy has been experiencing Increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Valmy will have severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Valmy at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat his hydrocephalus. 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 Valmy's brain to reduce the intracranial pressure and will greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Valmy will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. The family is looking forward to their child being able to grow up to walk and talk.
Boramey is an adorable 2-year-old toddler from Cambodia. She has an older sister, who is seven and in the 1st grade, and an older brother, who is four and not in school yet. Her father works as a driver for a construction company, and her mother sells groceries at a local market. Boramey's favorite activities include playing with the other children in her neighborhood and snacking on bread. When Boramey was born, she experienced an injury called shoulder dystocia, which occurs when one or both of a baby's shoulders become stuck inside the pelvis during childbirth. As a result, the nerves responsible for providing feeling and movement in her shoulder and arm were stretched. Boramey cannot move her left arm and has no shoulder abduction or elbow or wrist flexion. She has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on her left side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand; injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. Our medical partner's care center is the only center in Cambodia where the treatment Boramey needs is available. On January 3rd, she will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $709 to fund this procedure. Boramey's parents were able to gather $100 to contribute to her care. Boramey's mother said: "I hope the doctors can fix her arm so she can use it like other children and be able to go to school when she is old enough."
Saw Myo is a 14-year-old from Burma. He lives with his grandparents, parents, two sisters, and brother. His grandparents are retired. His father farms paddy and rubber trees on their land, while his mother is a homemaker. Saw Myo and his siblings are all in school, but Saw Myo recently had to stop attending due to a medical condition. Saw Myo has had a lump on his lower spinal cord since he was nine years old due to an injury from a slingshot. He received medicinal ointment from a traditional healer that helped with the stiffness and prevented further growth. However, Saw Myo fell off his bicycle a few years later, and the lump grew in size. His family took him to several clinics, and an X-ray indicated a potential spinal cord problem. The doctors recommended a computerized tomography (CT) scan, but due to COVID-19 policies, Saw Myo could not receive the scan. His parents continued to try and help Saw Myo receive treatment but learned that his condition could not be treated locally. Saw Myo's mother then contacted a neighbor who worked as a medic at a clinic in Burma and began raising money for his care. The doctors want Saw Myo to undergo an MRI, which is an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Saw Myo receive this treatment. On November 15th, he will undergo an MRI. BCMF requests $814 to cover the cost of Saw Myo's MRI procedure and care. Saw Myo's mother said: “We have been so worried since we saw the mass increasing in size. It was tiring to seek treatment in Burma, and we now have borrowed a lot of money without Saw Myo having received treatment."
Meet Gemechu, an adorable and cheerful nine-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He lives with his parents and five siblings. His father is a farmer, and his mother is a homemaker. Gemechu loves imitating others and trying to do what he observes others doing. He also loves to play with toy cars and with his siblings. Gemechu was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. His parents share that at one point, Gemechu's condition left him unable to talk, as well as unable to move his head and body. Although he has received a colostomy insertion procedure, he still needs further treatment in order to fully heal his condition. Fortunately, Gemechu is scheduled to undergo surgery to help correct his condition on August 9th at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Gemechu's procedure and care. After his recovery, he will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Gemechu's father shares, "Our hope grew a lot, even now. The colostomy changed his life. He is healthy, he eats well, and we hope for a lot more after this planned surgery, specifically for him to get better and to live a normal life. We hope his life will change after this surgery."
Aye is a 47-year-old mother, living with her daughter in Thailand. Up until four months ago, Aye worked as a day laborer on a farm. Because she has had to stop working, Aye's daughter left school, and now works as a nanny to help support her mother. Aye's siblings have also stepped up to support their sister. Five years ago, Aye began to experience pain on the left side of her body. She also developed a fever and vomiting, lost her appetite, and found it difficult to sleep. In addition, she experienced night sweats and a stiff neck. Aye was treated by a local health worker, and for a while, she felt better. However, in June 2021, her symptoms worsened, and she went to Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), where she was told to go to the hospital. Due to a lack of funds, Aye could not go to the hospital, and was treated at a local clinic, instead. In April 2022, Aye's symptoms returned, and she went back to Mae Tao Clinic, where she was diagnosed with stones in her left kidney. This time she did go the hospital, where she was told that she would need to have surgery, to remove the stones from her kidney. Thanks to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Aye is scheduled for surgery to remove the kidney stones on October 3rd, at Mae Sot General Hospital. After she has recovered, Aye should be able to return to her work and to enjoying her life, free from all of her uncomfortable symptoms. Aye and her family need your help to cover the $1,500 needed to pay for her surgery. Aye said: "I am happy that I will be able to receive surgery through donors. Thank you so much for saving my life.”
John is an adorable 1-month-old infant from Haiti. He lives with his parents and older sister John has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, John has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, John will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of John's surgery at Hospital Bernard Mevs, which will treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 11th. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from John's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, John will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. His family share that they are happy to have this early intervention to prevent brain damage from the hydrocephalus.
Saw Eh is a two-year-old boy who lives with his mother and older sister in a refugee camp in Thailand. Both he and his older sister go to nursery school. His mother weaves and sells traditional Karen clothing to earn extra money in addition to the small amount they receive every month on a cash card. When Saw Eh was two months old, he began crying a lot and his mother noticed swelling in a sensitive area. He received medication at the hospital in the refugee camp, which helped alleviate his discomfort and crying. However, Saw Eh began experiencing pain in the same sensitive area this past June. This pain often causes him to miss school, as well as to cry frequently again. His mother shares that when he cries, she must hold him, meaning she no longer has time to weave clothes. During the short moments when the pain lessens after taking painkillers, Saw Eh loves playing with his friends and his sister. When his family brought him to the hospital, a medic told them that they would have to wait for a doctor to visit the refugee camp. When Saw Eh was finally seen by a doctor in late July, he and his family were referred to our medical partner's care center, Mae Sariang Hospital, for treatment. He was diagnosed with hydrocele in his left scrotum and a left inguinal hernia. Due to his severe condition, the doctor admitted him and scheduled his surgery to take place that same night, August 4th. However, Saw Eh's mother shares that she cannot pay for her son's needed treatment due to financial constraints. Fortunately, she was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for financial assistance accessing treatment. On August 4th, surgeons will perform hernia repair surgery to treat Saw Eh's hernia and help alleviate his symptoms. BCMF is requesting $1,486 to fund his surgery and care. Saw Eh’s mother shares, “I feel so sad when I see my son in pain. I love to see him playing with his sister, but if he is in pain, he will cry a lot.”
Keysnaelle is a bright and caring 5-year-old who lives in the mountains of central Haiti. She lives with her parents, who are both farmers, and several older siblings. Keysnaelle enjoys helping her family out with different activities on the farm, as well as going to kindergarten and learning new things. Keysnaelle was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which blood leaks through a hole between two blood vessels near her heart. This causes her to experience weakness and shortness of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is asking for $1,500 to fund Keysnaelle's procedure and care. During the procedure, which is scheduled for July 27th, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole so blood can flow with ease. This will eliminate her difficulties with breathing and allow her to grow stronger. Her mother said, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping Keysnaelle to become healthy!"
Agrey is a five-month-old baby boy, and the first child born to his parents. Agrey was born with spina bifida and bilateral clubfoot. Agrey's father, who is a truck driver at a local sand quarry, was able to find enough money to take Agrey to a referral hospital for assessment of his spina bifida. But their family could not afford to pay for the surgery necessary to correct this condition, which put Agrey at risk of losing the ability to use his lower limbs, and endangering his life in the event of a serious infection. They were referred to the Plaster House for help, and through Watsi funding, Agrey had his spina bifida corrected. Agrey's bilateral clubfoot also means that both of his feet are twisted out of shape, which would make it difficult for Agrey to walk when he gets older. Fortunately, Agrey's family brought him to Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, our care partner's health center. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on May 13th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund this procedure and his care. After treatment, Agrey's feet will be straightened and he will be able to wear shoes and to walk easily as he grows up. Agrey’s mother says: “My son has had his first surgery of his back and it was successful. He now needs to start treatment for his feet. Thank you for your help.”
Boniface is an 8-year-old student who is in the fourth grade. His mother shared that he is an avid learner, and his best subjects are Swahili and Mathematics. Boniface is the youngest child in his family of four children. He comes from a community where they practice small-scale farming and keep livestock. Where he lives, children around the age of three to five start looking after the baby goats and lambs around their home to help contribute to the family's daily chores. Boniface also enjoys going out with his older sibling to collect firewood. Boniface has clubfoot in his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Boniface's family was able to travel to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for treatment at their care center. On April 22nd, surgeons will perform a clubfoot repair procedure to help Boniface walk easily. AMH is requesting $935 to fund this surgery. Boniface is hopeful that he will be able to be more active soon!
Khoem is a loving grandmother and a widow with two sons, two daughters, and several grandchildren. Her husband passed away several years ago, so she lives with her youngest daughter, who works in a local factory and supports her mother. Over the past several years, her greatest joy is playing with her grandchildren when they come to visit. Due to her age, she mostly stays home and listens to the radio. Earlier this month, Khoem tripped in her house and fell, fracturing her left hip. Although she experienced a lot of pain and was not able to walk, she did not seek any medical help because she was worried she could not pay. A relative visited her and suggested she go to Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) for diagnosis and treatment. She is in constant pain and cannot walk so is using a wheelchair to get around. Fortunately, Khoem took her relatives advice and came to CSC. There surgeons can perform a surgery to relieve Khoem of her pain and allow her to walk more easily again. Her treatment is scheduled for March 15th, and Khoem needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. "I hope that I can walk without pain, and play with my grandchildren again," shared Khoem.