Bonnie joined Watsi on January 8th, 2014. Five years ago, Bonnie joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Bonnie's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Michela, a baby from Haiti, to fund life-saving brain surgery to treat hydrocephalus.
Bonnie has funded healthcare for 71 patients in 11 countries.
Bonnie has funded healthcare for 71 patients in 11 countries.
Michela is a 6-month-old baby from Haiti. Michela's family shared that she was born healthy and they are very worried about how to help her condition now since they have limited ability to pay for hospital costs. Michela has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. When Michela was two months old, her parents noticed Michela's head looked bigger that it should be. They have not known how to help without money for her care. Without treatment, Michela will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Fortunately, our medical partner, Project Medishare, is teaming up with Watsi to raise $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Michela at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat her hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on October 15th. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from Michela's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Michela will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Their family has been so sad but now are very happy that their baby will get the surgery that she needs. They shared, "Thank you Jesus! Bless this organization who is so good to us and bless Bernard Mevs Hospital and it's team."
Ar is a 28-year-old man who lives with his wife, three sons, and two daughters in a refugee camp. Originally from Burma, his family fled to Thailand 20 years ago due to civil war. His children attend school, except for his youngest daughter, who is not yet old enough. His wife is a homemaker and Ar works as a day laborer when work is available. Ar's family shared that, in addition to his day laborer pay, they receive a monthly cash card from The Border Consortium to purchase food in the refugee camp. Overall, the family's total monthly income is just enough to cover their basic needs. On September 2nd, Ar climbed a tamarind tree to pick tamarinds fruit. When the branch he was standing on suddenly broke, he fell and landed on his right arm and experienced pain in his back. He visited the camp hospital that day, and the medic initially determined that his arm was not broken. Due to recent positive COVID-19 cases in the refugee camp, Ar could not be immediately referred to the local hospital for further testing and was kept for observation at the camp hospital. When the pain in Ar's back and arm did not subside the next day, the medic referred Ar to the local hospital. After receiving a negative COVID-19 test, Ar was finally able to visit the hospital on September 6th, where he received an X-ray for his arm and a blood test for a second COVID-19 test. The X-ray revealed that his upper right arm is broken. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ar will undergo surgery on September 8th to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure will enable Ar to continue working in the future. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Ar shared, "I am scared to receive surgery. But I was told that I will not be able to work using my right arm if I do not receive surgery, so I gave my consent to the doctor. I hope that I will be able to work again after I receive treatment."
Rhophence is struggling to speak when we meet her. She cannot pronounce words clearly or eat regularly due to a mandibular mass. She was diagnosed with Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia, which is also causing her teeth to loosen on the affected area. She is scheduled for a 10-hour surgery at our Medical Partner's Care Center Kijabe Hospital. Her chronic mandibular swelling started back in October 2020 as a small swelling and has gradually increased in size, so Rhophence was forced to visit the hospital. She was treated for pain in their local health centre and discharged home. But, the swelling worsened and Rhophence opted to visit Kijabe in May 2021. Several tests revealed the Mandibular Fibrous Dysplasia diagnosis and surgery was recommended. She does not have the funds for the various procedures to relieve her pain. She is a single mother of four children aged between 30 and 18 years. She comes from a remote village along the Kenyan coast. She is currently jobless with no source of income and stays with her younger brother who she depends on for survival. The surgery is estimated to cost about $4,500. She has active national health insurance coverage that has only approved $2,000. She is unable to raise the remaining amount. She fundraised money for travel fare to come to Kijabe and she is now being hosted in the local centre by a relative. Rhophence shared, "This swelling is so painful. My mouth is deformed and I cannot even speak clearly. It’s sadly starting to give a bad odour making people close to me uncomfortable. This is affecting my life. I need these surgeries to normalize my life.”
Chhorn is a 45-year-old food seller. He's married and has two sons and one daughter. Chhorn and his wife rent a small stall at the market where they sell food. Chhorn loves being a dad and on the weekends he enjoys talking his children to the river and teaching them how to cook. Many years ago when he was only five, Chhorn had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Chhorn experiences ear discharge, hearing loss, and tinnitus. He is in pain and cannot communicate clearly with others. Chhorn traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 15th, he will finally undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Chhorn said, "I hope that my hearing will improve and the ear discharge will finally stop."
Lah is a 50-year-old woman from Thailand who lives with her husband and her daughter in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Lah is a homemaker, and her daughter is a middle school student. Her husband cannot work since he was in an accident six years ago. Her neighbor pays for her daughter’s school fees and in return, Lah shares vegetables that she grows with her neighbors. Her family receives about $35 per month on a cash card, but this income is not enough to cover their daily needs. In her free time, Lah loves praying at home and she enjoys going to church every Sunday. Starting from 2018, Lah has been experiencing dizziness, back pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, and lower abdomen pain every day. If she sits for a longer period of time, she has difficulty standing up due to the back pain. Lah cannot walk longer distances because of the pain in her lower abdomen and back. Lah has been diagnosed with myoma uteri, and is advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy. If left untreated, Lah's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Lah is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on June 16th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once she is fully recovered, Lah will no longer experience pain in her back and abdomen and will be able to sit and walk without difficulty. Lah said, “I am so happy that my condition is treatable. I will be able to live with my family for a longer time. Now that I know donors may help pay for my treatment, I would like to thank them in advance for helping me. I want to live long, and look after my daughter and my husband. I prayed and God has answered my prayers, so I am very thankful to God and your organization who helped find donors for me.”
“I will be happy to see my health restored so that I can continue tending to my family and farm," Bampata told us as he shared his story. He is a married 71-year-old man and a father to 13 children. He practices small scale farming on his banana and coffee plantation and also raises cows for the family's daily needs. For three years, Bampata has had left inguinal swelling, but the pain has worsened over the past month. Due to the pain, he no longer tends to the farm and experiences pain when bending down or attempting to lift heavy loads. When Bampata visited our medical partner's care center, he was diagnosed with a left inguinal hernia and hernia repair surgery was recommended. Without treatment, Bampata will continue experiencing pain and there is a chance that the hernia could become strangulated. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $230 to fund Bampata's surgery. On April 20th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Once complete, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently.
Shoh is a 47-year-old man who lives with his wife, two sons, daughter-in-law and two daughters in Nu Poe Refugee Camp in Thailand. In the camp, Shoh and his oldest son are teachers who teach about the Quran for other refugees. They each earn 1,200 baht (approx. 40 USD) per month. His wife is often sick, and his eldest daughter has to look after her at home. His daughter-in-law is a homemaker while his youngest daughter and son are students. Shoh’s household receives 1,110 baht (approx. 37 USD) every month on a cash card to purchase rations in the camp. Their monthly household income is just enough to cover their daily expenses as they also receive free basic health care and education in the camp. Since February 2020, Shoh has had umbilical hearnia. Currently, Shoh’s abdomen pain is not severe but his hernia is still increasing in size. He feels uncomfortable when he walks because of his swollen abdomen. He cannot sleep well and is increasingly worried about his diagnosis. The pain in his abdomen increases when he feels cold, especially at night. Fortunately, on March 9th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Shoh's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 9th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Shoh said, “I do not want to stop being a teacher. I love teaching the Quran to young children. Also, if I do not teach, I do not earn an income and my family does not have enough income to cover our household expenses.”
Deborah works as a helper at a house and for a family in Kenya. Her husband passed away 11 years ago and she has been raising their three children on her own. Her children are now adults and, although they are supportive, they don’t yet have stable jobs. One year ago, Deborah began experiencing severe lower abdominal pain. She was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. She needs to have a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $794 to fund Deborah's surgery. On March 18th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at AMH's care center. Once recovered, Deborah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Deborah shared, “I am in so much pain and the discomfort has made me unable to work. My savings cannot cover the required cost of surgery.”
Isack is 34-year-old from Tanzania and the youngest in a family of six children. One of his older brothers passed away last year due to COVID-19, leaving the family in a tough situation. Before his accident, Isack was working as a driver’s assistant in a truck with his brother, who was the driver. Working as a driver's assistant helped Isack make a living and he was able to support himself. In 2019, however, Isack was involved in an accident which left him with an open wound on his right leg. On the day of the accident, Isack was checking on the truck that was being serviced. As the mechanics were working, gas was unknowingly spilt on Isack's trousers. Afterwards, a match stick caught on Isack's right trouser leg starting a fire. Since then, Isack has not been able to work or support himself due to his leg injury. The wound is not healing, making walking very difficult. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Isack receive treatment. On March 19th, surgeons will perform a skin graft procedure to heal his wound and infection. Now, Isack needs help to fund this $747 procedure. Isack shared, "I am not able to work and support myself because of my leg. My family is currently struggling and they too cannot help due to lack of money. Please help me have my leg treated so that I can work."
Su is a 16-year-old girl from Burma. She has three siblings. Su’s mother is a home maker, and her older brother works as a day labourer. Su and her youngest sister are students and this year Su is in grade seven. Her family's combined monthly income is around 200,000 kyat (approx. 200 USD) per month, which is just enough for their daily expenses, but not enough to pay for basic healthcare. When she has free time, Su loves to play football with her friends at school and she likes to be the goalkeeper. She also loves to read books and watch movies. Su plans to continue her studies as soon as she finishes her treatment. Su was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Su still feels tired, but not as much as before she started taking her medication. When she feels more tired, her breath quickens. Su has stopped attending school since she got sick. Although she wants to go back to school, her mother worries for her as her school is a little far and she normally walks there. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Su. The treatment is scheduled to take place on February 12nd and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Su's mother shared, “Su really wants to go to school but I worry that the long walking distance from our house to her school will make her tired and worsen her condition. So, I asked her to stay home for a while until she can get treated.”
Sao is a 59-year-old farmer from Cambodia. He has been proudly married for 35 years and together they have two sons and a daughter. His children are all married and live separately from him. Sao now has four delightful grandchildren with whom he he enjoys spending time. His wife stays home to cook and care for him. In his free time, he likes to exercise, help with house chores, listen to the radio, and care for his chickens. In February 2020, Sao fell off a motorcycle and fractured his right femur. He went for a Khmer traditional treatment, but his leg did not heal well. The fracture is still not healing well, he needs crutches to walk, and he is in constant pain. Surgeons put Sao's right leg in traction for 5 days to reduce the fracture, and plan to conduct an open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) surgery to repair the bone. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. On January 18th, Sao will undergo a fracture repair procedure, which will cost $465. This procedure will help him walk easily again, and return to helping his family around the house and working. Sao shared, "I hope my right leg will be fixed and I will no longer be in pain. I want to be able to walk again without crutches."
Celina is a young girl from Tanzania. She is the firstborn in her family who already loves school and has made so many friends. She does not know how to read and write yet, but she is very excited to be in school learning new songs and games. When she was one year old, Celina got into a fire accident. Her mother was preparing a traditional beans and maize dish, and during the process Celina fell with her left hand landing in the cooking pot. She was rushed to the hospital to receive treatment, but after the wound healed she had severe contractures on her left hand. When she was almost two years old, Celina received a contracture release surgery on her wrist. However, she still has contractures on her fingers and now needs surgery to release her fingers so that she can use her hand. Currently, she is not able to hold things or do many other things on her own. Celina's parents are not able to pay for her needed surgery. To make a living, her mother sells second-hand clothes, while her father trades in vegetables in the local market. The family appeals for financial support for her cost of care. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Celina receive treatment. On December 11th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to allow Celina to be able to utilize her hand with ease, and become more independent especially now that she has started school. Now, she needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Celina’s mother shared, "Please help my daughter be able to get this treatment. She is growing up now and I really would like for her to learn to do a lot of things on her own."