Brooke joined Watsi on September 19th, 2016. Five years ago, Brooke joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Brooke's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Ravuth, a bright 4th grader from Cambodia, to fund ear surgery so he can hear well and do his best in school.
Brooke has funded healthcare for 99 patients in 13 countries.
Brooke has funded healthcare for 99 patients in 13 countries.
Ravuth is a bright student in the 4th grade. He's the youngest in his family and has three older siblings. When not studying, Ravuth likes to play football, watch TV and play games with his friends from school. Six weeks ago, Ravuth had a severe ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. Ravuth now experiences ear discharge, pain, fevers, and hearing loss. It is difficult to listen and he feels shy because he doesn't understand the conversation. He has frequently been absent from class and his mother is worried that he might be held back in school. Ravuth's family traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On January 18th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his left 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. Ravuth said: "I hope my hearing will improve and I can go back to school!"
Ma Zin is a 22-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her older sister, who works as a seamstress in a factory. Her parents and older brother live in Burma as well. Her father is retired, while her mother works as a day laborer and homemaker. In 2019, Ma Zin began feeling tired very often. She also began having heart palpitations and occasionally difficulty breathing. She was examined by a doctor who gave her medication and referred her to a local hospital for a chest x-ray. The doctor diagnosed her with heart disease, and prescribed medication to treat her symptoms. However, in January of 2021, Ma Zin began experiencing greater fatigue and difficulty breathing. She quit her seamstress job due to her condition and visited a local hospital where she received an echocardiogram. She was diagnosed with atrial septal defect (ASD) and surgery was recommended. Fortunately, our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Ma Zin receive treatment. On December 19th, she will undergo an atrial septal defect closure at BCMF's care center. Now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. In talking about her dreams for the future, Ma Zin shared, "I want to become a designer in the future. I want to recover quickly so that I can go back to work. After I recover, I will learn how to design clothes and sew them myself. I will work hard for my family. I would like to see my parents smile and be happy. I would also like to live with my family in my village."
Melvin is a four-year-old girl. She has a twin brother and lives with her grandmother and her father. Her father works finding jobs wherever he can to support their family. Melvin was born with a condition which is known as genu varum, or bowleggedness. She has had examinations at different hospitals but, unfortunately, her condition has worsened. Currently, she is unable to walk, run, or play with her friends. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Melvin receive treatment. On November 22nd, she is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. After surgery, she will be able to walk well, play with her friends, and enroll in school. Now, she and her family need help raising $1,224 to fund her procedure and care. Melvin's grandmother shared, "I would love to see my granddaughter walking well like other children. Please support us."
Victor is a seven-year-old boy and the oldest child in a family of two children. To earn a living for their family, his mother has been selling clothes for the past five years in a local market near their home and his father is a Boda Boda (motorcycle taxi) driver. Victor has been diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Victor will have an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Victor receive treatment. On October 7th, he will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $646 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Victor’s mother shared, "it has been a very stressful journey for us but we believe and hope for the best from this surgery."
Ndaanya is a five-year-old boy and the youngest child in a family of three children. His mother is not married and works as a farmer to support her family growing maize, sunflowers, groundnuts and vegetables. Ndaanya has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Ndaanya traveled to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), to receive treatment. On September 14th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Ndaanya's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and start schooling. Ndaanya’s mother shared, "I had lost hope... I knew this problem could only be corrected when he was a small baby and because his treatment was not successful I thought he would live with this disability for the rest of his life. I will be so happy and grateful if you help correct my son’s feet.”
Shallet is a humble and jovial three-year-old girl. She's the third child born in a family of four children and her parents are teachers. Shallet has hydrocephalus, spina bifida, and clubfoot of both feet. She has visited local hospitals since birth for treatments, and began casting for clubfoot when she was four weeks old. Her condition causes her difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Shallet traveled to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for treatment. At AMH's care center, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 18th and now, AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Shallet's clubfoot repair. Her parents shared that they hope that the treatment will be of great impact to Shallet because she will be able to wear shoes and walk with ease. Shallet's father shared, “we have high hopes for Shallet and it is our joy to see her excel in life and become an independent person like other girls in the society.”
Johnson is a charming and playful toddler and the only child of his young parents. They are small scale farmers of maize, vegetable, sunflowers, and beans. It is through their harvest that the family is able to get food and earn money for other basic commodities. The little boy was diagnosed with genu varus, a condition typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, often stemming from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Johnson's legs bow outward at the knee. He has difficulty walking and experiences pain after playing or running around for longer periods of time. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Johnson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 15th. Treatment will hopefully restore Johnson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Johnson’s mother shares, "My child is having a hard time walking due to his legs being deformed. I would love for him to walk well like other children but the cost is too high for us to afford help us."
Mao is a 51-year-old rice farmer with one son, one daughter, and one grandchild. Mao lives with his wife who is a grocery seller. At home he enjoys listening to the news and Chinese dramas on TV. Two years ago, the retina of Mao's left eye detached, causing him blurry vision, pain, and tearing. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Mao learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled therewith his son seeking treatment. On June 9th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Mao shared, "I hope after surgery I can see better so I can plant rice and also sell piglets from my motorbike to earn money for my family."
Sarom is a 37-year-old farmer with a big family of two brothers and four sisters. Sarom is the second youngest, and Sarom and his younger sister still live at home with their parents. The other siblings are married and live elsewhere. In January 2021, Sarom fell down stairs and injured his left leg but did not go to a hospital. It is now difficult for him to walk and he is in chronic pain. He can not flex his left knee or stand for long periods of time. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On May 17th, Sarom will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Sarom shared, "I hope this surgery will allow me to get better and return to work. I need to help support my family. Thank you for your help."
Neema is a 5-year-old girl and the firstborn to her mother who has three children. Neema started kindergarten earlier this year. She is a hard-working girl for her age, and looks after her siblings when her mother goes out to work on the farm. She also likes to help her mother clean their home and wash dishes. Neema was involved in a fire accident when she was one year old. She had been left in the care of an older child when her parents went out to work on the farm. As the children were playing, Neema walked into a dying fire that had been started to burn cow dung from the cattle shed. She was rescued by a passer-by and was rushed to the hospital, where she was admitted for two months. Neema's wounds healed, but contractures formed on a finger on her right-hand and the toes on her right foot. Her feet and toes are especially painful when she wears shoes and walks for a long distance. Neema's parents are not able to afford the cost of her procedure that will help to treat her contractures. They depend solely on livestock keeping and small scale farming for a living. Neema's parents had not been able to seek treatment for their daughter earlier due to the remoteness of their village, lack of proper medical facilities, and financial challenges. They appeal for help and support for their daughter's surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Neema receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo surgery to free up her thumb for better movement and amputate her littlest finger at our medical partner's care center. This procedure will cost $1,088, and she and her family need help raising money. Neema's father shared, “The fire accident has left my daughter with a disability. We hope for her to get treated but we cannot afford the cost. Please help us.”
Fidelica is a third grade student from Haiti. She is an only child and enjoys learning to play piano and guitar. Fidelica has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, which means a large hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. This condition may have serious risk factors for heart failure or stroke. In order to receive treatment, Fidelica must fly from Haiti to the Dominican Republic. On March 15th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, as surgeons will use a patch to close the hole in her heart. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 to pay for her surgery. However, Fidelica's family needs help raising an additional $1,500 to fund related costs such as labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This funding will also help the family cover travel costs for the procedure, such as obtaining a passport and having social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, accompany Fidelica's family overseas. Fidelica's mother says, "I am excited for this surgery so that I can let my daughter run and play with other children!"
Guyo is a 2-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He has three siblings. Guyo's parents are from a rural area and make a humble living. His uncle, who brought Guyo to Watsi's Partner Care Center BethanyKids Hospital, helps to raise Guyo. Guyo is a sweet, outgoing boy who loves to play with his friends and siblings. He also loves playing with dogs. Guyo 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. Fortunately, Guyo is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 9th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Once recovered, he will no longer have any pain or discomfort and can return to happily playing with his friends. His uncle shared, “I believe if he is treated well, he will be good psychologically in the future. And all the family will be happy. I hope he will be a doctor in the future and help his community.”