UNIVERSAL FUND MEMBERspreading the health @watsi!
United States • watsi.org • Born on November 10th
Katya joined Watsi on May 7th, 2015. Seven years ago, Katya joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Katya's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Michael, a precious 20-month-old baby from Haiti, to fund the costs for heart surgery.
Katya has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 11 countries.
Katya has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 11 countries.
Michael is a beautiful baby who likes playing with blocks and waving his arms in time to music. Michael has a cardiac condition called tricuspid atresia: he was born without one of the four valves that is normally present in the heart. As a result, blood cannot flow through his lungs and body normally, leaving him sick and short of breath. On March 1st, Michael will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will perform a technique called a Glenn procedure to create a conduit to allow blood to bypass the missing valve and more easily circulate through Michael's body. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 to pay for surgery, but Michael's family is still in need of $1,500 and have turned to the Watsi community for support. Michael's mother says: "It has been very frightening to see my son have such difficulty breathing, and I am so glad we can finally find a way to help him."
Nine-year-old Thiri is a first-grader, living with her mother and two brothers in Burma. Her mother sells vegetables in a local shop, while Thiri and her brothers attend school. While playing with her friends in front of her house in early January 2023, Thiri tripped, and fell into a pile of rice sacks, injuring her left eye in the process. Immediately, she realized that she could not see out of her left eye. Over time, her eye injury became more painful, red, and sensitive to light. Eventually, when her eye did not heal, her mother brought her to Mae Sot Hospital, where she was diagnosed with traumatic glaucoma. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Thiri. On February 1st, doctors at Mae Sot General Hospital will remove the natural lenses from both of her eyes, and replace them with intraocular lens implants. Once she has recovered. Thiri will regain her ability to see clearly. Now she needs your help to fund this critical procedure. Thiri's mother said: "I want her to receive surgery and recover soon so that she [Thiri] can go back to school and I can go back to work. I want her to be rich in the future, not like me, and own her own shop, because she likes to cook."
Anthonie is a student from Haiti. He lives with his aunt and uncle and their family in a small town in northern Haiti. He enjoys going to school and church. Anthonie has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This condition involves several related defects including a hole between two chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These prevent blood from flowing normally through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. The care Anthonie needs is not available in Haiti so he needs to travel for surgery. He will fly to the Cayman Islands and on January 9th will undergo cardiac surgery. During surgery, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole to close it, and remove the muscular blockage in his heart. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is also contributing $16,000 to pay for his treatment. Anthonie's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep, travel, and follow-up care. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also pays for obtaining his passport, and for the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Anthonie's family overseas. Anthonie's aunt says, "Anthonie has been very sick for a long time, we are all praying that this is the miracle that will make him better!"
Stephen is a young man from Kenya. He is the firstborn in a family of 3 children. Their family has relied on their mother to provide for them as his father passed away when he was young boy. His mother does deliveries for different shop owners around their town. Stephen had to drop out from college do to inability to pay his school fees, and he now helps around the house and helps his mother with the deliveries, which is the how the family makes ends meet. Stephen 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, Stephen has been experiencing severe headaches since this past July. He visited a hospital where a CT scan was done that revealed that he had a cyst that was obstructing the normal flow of fluid in and out of the head. An urgent surgery was recommended to remove the cyst, but he did not undergo it due to not having the funds for the procedure. A shunt insertion surgery has been recommended along with a craniotomy that will be performed later to remove the cyst. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of surgery for Stephen that will treat his hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 23rd and will drain the excess fluid from Stephen's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Stephen will hopefully continue to develop into a strong, healthy man. Stephen says, “I really want to be treated so that I can help my mom provide for us.”
Meet Katweensly, a 16 year old student, living with her mother and siblings in a small town in Haiti, near the border with the Dominican Republic. Katweensly, who is a junior in high school, particularly enjoys her math and science classes. As a young child, Katweensly suffered a bout of rheumatic fever, which damaged one of the four valves in her heart. As a result, her heart cannot pump blood efficiently through her body, leaving her feeling weak and short of breath. Thanks to the help of our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, Katweensly is scheduled to travel to the Dominican Republic for surgery, which is scheduled for November 10th, at Hospital CEDIMAT. There, doctors will first try to repair the damaged valve. If they are unable to do this, they will implant an artificial valve. Another organization, Mitral Foundation, is helping supporting the cost of the surgery, but Katweensly's family needs an additional $1,500 to pay for lab tests, medicines, and follow up appointments that are a part of her overall treatment. In addition, support will help cover the travel costs and ensure a social worker from Haiti Cardiac Alliance can support the family during treatment in the Dominican Republic. Katweensly said: "I am feeling very happy to finally have the chance to have my heart repaired after waiting for so long."
Joshua is a 7-year-old student from Tanzania who is in grade two and enjoys Mathematics and English. He also loves to play soccer. He comes from a family of seven children. His hardworking mother practices small-scale farming, as well as livestock keeping, in order to support their family since she is the sole provider. Joshua has been diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, a condition that causes his legs to bow outward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he is unable to fully enjoy games and sports with his classmates and siblings. This condition has also affected his day-to-day activities around the house. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Joshua. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Joshua's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Joshua's mother shares, "As a mother, seeing my son play and walk freely gives me joy, and that is what I desire."
Komugisha is a calm 36-year-old woman from Uganda who enjoys caring for her family. Both her and her husband practice small-scale farming to support their family. She shares that they have limited land and capital, which prevents them from being able to practice large-scale farming. Komugisha is currently expecting her fourth child. Her doctors recommend that she deliver via a caesarean section due to her having three scars from delivering her first three children this way. By having Komugisha deliver via a C-section, doctors can ensure the safety of both her and her child. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Komugisha undergo a C-Section on September 1st. She and her family need your support to fund this $252 procedure. Komugisha says, “I lay all my hope of delivering well under your support. Without it, I am surely doomed because I have no other support.”
Dibora is a smiley and playful 13-month-old baby girl from Ethiopia. Her father is a farmer and her mother is a housewife. She has three older siblings and loves to eat and to play with her family. Dibora was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. Due to her condition, she developed a bowel obstruction and an emergency colostomy procedure was performed. She has had a number of complications due to this procedure, and requires an additional procedure to correct her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Dibora receive treatment. On September 8th, she will undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center. After her recovery, Dibora will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Now, she and her family need help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. Dibora's mother shared, "Once Dibora has recovered and is healed of this condition, I want to take care of her and her siblings well."
Chris is an adorable 19-month-old baby from Tanzania. He is the youngest of two children in his family. Chris’s parents are both small-scale farmers of corn, beans, potatoes, and other vegetables, which they use to feed their family. However, they also sell whatever they do not eat in order to earn some income. When Chris was born, his mother immediately noticed that his right foot was twisted out of shape. This is because he has clubfoot of his right foot, which caused this to occur and makes it difficult to walk and wear shoes. When his mother took him to receive a vaccination, she was referred to another hospital for treatment, but she shared that he could not undergo it due to financial constraints. She then sought the help of a local traditional doctor, who tried to heal his condition through massages and herbal medications, but they saw no effective change. Fortunately, Chris's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 15th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Chris's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Chris's mother shares, “We couldn’t find the money to take him to the hospital, and that’s why he is still this way. We have no other means.”
Simon is a 20-year-old who, since he was a little boy, he has worked selling goods at a nearby open market. He has no stable source of income and is currently unable to work due to his medical condition. His single mother is unable to support him. Fortunately, his friend is allowing him to stay in their single room close to the city market. Two years ago, Simon began experiencing pain in his left knee, causing him to limp as he walked. His pain eventually spread to his hip. He now cannot walk without a walking stick and has an infected hip and knee, which are limiting his mobility. After receiving a CT scan, Simon was diagnosed with septic arthritis, which is inflammation of a joint caused by an infection, and sequelae of the hip. In hopes to help his condition, Simon visited visited Kenyatta National Hospital. He has since been on medical follow-up for septic arthritis at the facility without any surgical intervention. He eventually had to stop attending the follow-up clinics due to a lack of financial resources. Fortunately, a friend told Simon about our medical partner's care center, and he traveled there to receive treatment. Now, Simon is scheduled to undergo a treatment on July 8th. This will hopefully finally help heal his condition and relieve his pain. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to fund his treatment. Simon shares, “I can barely move my leg without support from this walking stick. My hip is painful and my knee is just unbearable. I cannot work in my condition and therefore am struggling to survive.”
Meet Mercy, a 7-year-old jovial and calm girl. Our medical partner met Mercy at Cure Hospital's satellite clinic in Matuu, Kenya when she arrived with her mother. Mercy is a second grade student who is very bright and likes to study. Her mother is a homemaker while her father works on a tea farm whenever he can get small jobs there. Mercy has clubfoot of both of her feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Mercy's family was referred to our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 11th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Mercy's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk, play and run like other kids she knows. “As a mother, I will be so happy seeing my child walking like other children,” Mercy’s mother told us.
Debora is a young student and the last-born child to a single mother of two. She is charming and friendly. Her father left her family when Debora was very young. Debora’s mother has worked hard to raise her two children by herself ever since. She practices small-scale farming and grows bananas, maize, beans, and other vegetables as food for her children and to sell to others for money. Debora has clubfoot on her right leg. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Debora and her mother traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC). There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Debora's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily when she heads back to school. Debora’s mother shared, “I have watched my daughter turn from a normal child to a disabled child and all because I cannot afford her treatment cost. Please help.”