Brooke Schreier GanzUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Brooke's Story

Brooke joined Watsi on September 19th, 2016. Six years ago, Brooke joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Brooke's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support David, a 24-year-old male from Kenya, to fund a surgery to fix his leg and avoid potential amputation.

Impact

Brooke has funded healthcare for 117 patients in 14 countries.

patients you have funded

David is a 24-year-old male from Kenya. He is the last born in a family of four children raised by his mother. He works at a timber workshop near his home. In June 2020, David was involved in an accident where he was hit from the side by a motorbike. He was taken to the nearest public hospital and received emergency care. An x-ray revealed that he had an open right tibia fracture that needed surgery. Following his initial surgery, he has since had several additional surgeries due to the severity of the injury. In October 2022, he was referred to the care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital, run by our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for specialized review and care. His doctors quickly realized that he still walks with a limp, and his ankle is stiff with bloody discharge from the incision site. His doctors determined that a deeper examination was needed, and he ended up having a hardware removal surgery. However, the region where the fracture occurred is still severely infected, and he risks losing his right leg due to the infection. The doctors have recommended an additional procedure to remedy the remaining issues and clean the infection. Fortunately, AMH has scheduled David for a second-stage bone transport in hopes of avoiding amputation and helping him walk again. AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund the procedure and provide for David's post-operative care. David says, “I feel exhausted and worried. I am unable to walk despite having several surgeries. I hope this surgery [helps] to save my leg.”

$806raised
$694to go

Ma Tin is a 41-year-old mother from Burma. She lives with her husband and three sons in Karen State - an area with conflict and lots of uncertainty and insecurity for the people who live there. Her husband is a day laborer and her three sons are students. Ma Tin is a homemaker but she also sells vegetables sometimes to earn extra money. Her husband's income is usually enough to cover their basic needs, but they sometimes rely on financial support of their adult children. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her children. She is currently expecting a baby and her doctors recommend that she deliver via a caesarean section because she started to leak amniotic fluid at 32 weeks. On April 3rd, she experienced pain and the doctor scheduled her to undergo an emergency c-section to ensure the safety of both mother and child. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Ma Tin undergo a C-Section on April 4th at Taw Win Thu Kha Hospital. This procedure will cost $1328, and Ma Tin needs your support. Ma Tin said, "When I learned that I would need a c-section, I lost hope. I thought about giving birth at home and if I were lucky, I would be able to give birth like before [without complications]. If not, I would die. Now that I was told that there would be donors to help pay for my c-section, I felt so happy. You are a miracle that appeared in my life to help me when I needed it with the cost of my surgery. Thank you so much to all the staff and donors who are willing to help me."

$725raised
$603to go

Seint, who is 34 years old, lives with her parents and her aunt in Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. Her parents and her aunt make and sell mats from their home. When Seint was 13-years old, she noticed she started to easily tire, experienced heart palpitations, and had barely enough energy to play with her friends. Her mother took her to a nearby clinic, where the doctor examined her and told them that she had congenital heart disease. The doctor gave Seint medication, which she used together with traditional medicine. Both helped her to feel better. In November 2022, Seint felt extremely tired and experienced heart palpitations while she was completing physical exercises with her students. She also had difficulty breathing, and her vision became blurred. Her mother took her to a clinic, where she received medications which helped her to feel better. A few days later, however, she started to experience pain in her back whenever she felt tired. She also started to have difficulty breathing again, and had heart palpitations. Her mother brought her to a hospital in Yangon, where she received an echocardiogram that allowed the doctor to diagnose her with atrial septal defect. After additional testing, the doctor scheduled her to undergo urgent heart surgery at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is seeking $1,500 to fund Seint's surgery, which will allow her to regain her health, and to live symptom free. Seint said: "I would like to recover as soon as possible. In the future, I will continue to work as a teacher. I love teaching students and wearing our school uniform proudly."

$792raised
$708to go

William is a small-scale farmer from Kenya. He is a married man with twelve children. Some of his oldest children are married while others are still in school. William and his family live in a semi-permanent house. He has been a long-term potato farmer who has been growing them mainly for sale. His family has worked on their farm and it has contributed a lot to their income. Through the limited income William makes, he has been able to provide for his children's basic needs. William has medical insurance that he has been using throughout all his visits for inpatient and outpatient services for his medical procedures. In May 2019, when William was walking along the road, he was hit by a motorbike and he fell down, thus injuring his lower limb. Immediately, he was taken to a facility where he was admitted and surgery was done.  All was well up to last year when he started feeling unwell and decided to visit our partner's hospital. He presented with a lot of pain, he had a wound that was discharging pus, and his affected limb was swollen. An x-ray was recommended and it found that he had a non-union on his fractured bone and he had to be admitted for hardware removal, as it was already infected. He went to the operating theater for infected hardware removal and antibiotic nailing was done in order to treat his infection.  Since the nail was not stable, a patella tendon-bearing cast was applied in order to immobilize his non-united fracture. He has been in and out of the hospital for frequent check-ups, change of dressing, and casts. The wound has not improved and at some time after the antibiotic nailing, he went to the operating room for debridement and vacuum-assisted closure of the wound to help in healing and daily dressing change has been done in a health facility near his home. He also suffered eye problems in between and can barely see at the moment. On Monday when he came for review, his wound was not well and had a foul smell. His hardware needs to be removed, the non-union has to be taken down and a procedure will be done for stability. He was prepared for admission, but then it was realized that he had exhausted his inpatient insurance limit. In order to save his leg, it is vital to perform the surgery immediately. William has no alternative way of paying for his procedure, which is very complex. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 7th, William will undergo a fracture repair procedure that will help William to be able to walk normally and continue with farming to provide for his family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $679 to fund this medical care. William says, "Spending most of the time in the hospital has been quite challenging. I cannot work or supervise my work as I did before because of my fractured limb. I am really looking forward to getting better in order to stabilize my family again. Please help me."

$679raised
Fully funded

Brenda is a student from Tanzania who has had epileptic seizures since childhood. This has continued until now, though she is taking medication that is helping her manage the condition. She shared that she is not close to her parents as they are verbally abusive. She tries to keep her distance, but with her condition, it has been hard to depend on herself. After hearing about our health center and the work we do, she was hopeful that she is could get help. She had to take more than three buses to get to our center. “I am lucky. I did not have any seizure episodes during my journey," she says. She is at our center ready to receive treatment, but she cannot afford it. Earlier this year, Brenda had a seizure and fell on a hot stove. Her face was badly burned. Brenda received treatment, but after healing her face was left impacted. She has been living this way for four months now, hiding her face whenever she goes out. Her neighbor saw her one day and noticed that she was hiding her face. Thankfully, he told her about our health center and informed her that she could get help. It is hard for her to open her eyes fully, and due to the disfiguration, her self-esteem is affected. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Brenda receive treatment. On October 13th, surgeons there will perform a burn contracture release surgery, which will allow her to open her eyes fully, and will hopefully help improve her self-esteem. Now, she needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Brenda says, “I am a spiritual person. I know it was God’s will for me to get here and get help. Thank you.”

$874raised
Fully funded

Tin is a 45-year-old man. Originally from Burma, he fled to Thailand over 20 years ago due to civil war. He currently lives with his wife, who works as a street vendor selling various snacks and vegetable, and one of his daughters, who is currently in school. His family also raises chickens, which they sell when they need cash. Tin previously worked as a farmer and a construction worker, but he has recently been unable to work due to his condition. In the future, he hopes to go back to work and help support his family. After an incident that occurred this past April that caused him to be hit in the left eye by a mango, Tin lost his vision in that eye and began to experience headaches, swelling, severe eye pain, and dizziness when attempting to stand. Tin eventually sought medical attention at a clinic. There, a medic checked his left eye, gave him a bottle of eye drops, and told him to seek treatment at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) since they could not treat him there. However, he did not go to MTC right away due to financial constraints. He instead hoped that his eye would recover over time with the help of eye drops. Although his pain was temporarily reduced, the bruising disappeared, and the swelling went down over time, he never regained his vision. The pain in his eye eventually returned, and he noticed that he had a white spot on his left pupil. As the white spot increased in size, his eye progressively became more painful and began to itch. He now experiences discharge and watering in his eye, as well as difficulty sleeping. At the beginning of this month, a small lump appeared near the white spot on his left pupil. The lump gradually increased in size until it bursted on August 13th. After the discharge and bleeding from the lump stopped, he asked his friend to take him to MTC right away. When he arrived at the clinic, he was told to come back on Monday since there were not any eye specialist medics working on the weekend. When Tin returned on Monday, a medic examined his left eye, and he was diagnosed with corneal perforation, a condition resulting from the cornea being penetrated and damaged. Tin was also told that his eye is infected. He now must undergo surgery at our medical partner's care center, Mae Sot General Hospital, to remove his left eye as quickly as possible before the infection spreads to his right eye. Fortunately, Tin was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for financial assistance accessing treatment. On August 17th, surgeons at our medical partner's care center will perform an enucleation to remove his left eye. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Tin's life-changing procedure. Tin shares, “I feel very depressed and worried about my eye. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I lost vision in both of my eyes. I want to receive surgery quickly to prevent my right eye from becoming infected. Without your help, I don’t think I would be able to receive further treatment. Therefore, I want to say thank you to the donors and the organization for agreeing to support my treatment costs.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded