Irina joined Watsi on March 10th, 2015. Seven years ago, Irina joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Irina's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Erick, a football-loving 4-year-old from Tanzania, to fund leg surgery so he can grow up active and healthy.
Irina has funded healthcare for 68 patients in 12 countries.
Irina has funded healthcare for 68 patients in 12 countries.
Erick is a four year old boy, living with his parents and five siblings. He is a charming and playful fellow, who loves football. Erick was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, a condition which causes his legs to bow outward, making it difficult for him to walk, and causing him pain. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, has stepped up to help Erick access the corrective surgery he needs. They are requesting $880 to fund this procedure, which is scheduled to take place on June 7th at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, and which should restore Erick's mobility. After he heals, he will be able to engage in a variety of activities, and the risk of future complications will be greatly diminished. Erick’s father says: “We have hope that our son could have his legs corrected here.”
John is a 12-year-old student living in a small village in northern Haiti. John lives with his parents, three brothers, and one sister, and before he fell ill, he loved to play soccer and to go to school. John has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation, which means that one of his heart valves can no longer pump blood through his body. This condition is due to an infection John suffered earlier in childhood, and it has rendered him weak and left him in late-stage heart failure. The care John needs is not available in Haiti, so John will need to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On May 9th, he'll finally undergo the cardiac surgery he needs, during which surgeons will remove the severely damaged valve and implant a mechanical valve in its place. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $15,000 to pay for the surgery. However, John's family also needs help to fund all the pre and postoperative costs. The $1,500 they are seeking will cover laboratory tests, medicines, checkups and follow-up appointments. It will also help John to obtain a passport, and cover the costs of the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany John's family overseas for his treatment. John shared: "I am looking forward to being strong and healthy again once my heart is fixed."
Tecla is a shy and hardworking woman in her early 40s. She was born alone in her home and she now stays with her mother. Tecla did not complete schooling after she developed partial hearing loss at an early age. She also experienced a painful accident when she was young after she burnt her right fingers leaving her disabled. Due to this, Tecla does not work and depends on her mum for all her needs. They live together in a semi-permanent house. Starting five years ago, Tecla has been experiencing abdominal swelling and other symptoms. She has been diagnosed with a large fibroid uterus and needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Surgical removal should be performed as soon as possible. Since Tecla does not have national health insurance, she is requesting help to pay for her treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $918 to fund Tecla's surgery. On April 5th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Tecla shared, "It has never been easy for me. My hope here is to get treated and be well and live a normal life.”
Myo Myint is a 34-year-old woman who is married with two sons and a daughter. Myo Myint, her husband, and her oldest son work as day laborers, but since April 2020, they have had difficulty finding work due to COVID-19. She proudly shared that her younger son and daughter are both students. In her free time, Myo Myint likes to listen to the news on the radio and walk around to collect sticks and branches that she uses for her cooking. Myo Myint has been experiencing difficulty with her vision in her right eye. She can only read for a few minutes before her eye begins to hurt and her vision becomes doubled. She visited a local hospital, where the doctor determined she has a cataract in her right eye and recommended lens replacement surgery. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Myo Myint receive treatment. On March 1st, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Myo Myint's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help fund this procedure. Myo Myint shared, "I want to see clearly and find extra money to support my children to finish their education."
Boe is a 59-year-old Burmese woman who lives with her husband and granddaughter in a refugee camp in Thailand. She and her husband used to work as day laborers, but unfortunately, they have not been able to leave the camp for work since April 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions. Their family relies on a monthly cash card they receive from a local organization called The Border Consortium. On February 4th, Boe was buying snacks at a shop in the refugee camp. While she was standing in front of the shop on the road, a motorcycle ran her over, fracturing her left knee. Currently, Boe experiences pain in her leg and cannot put any weight on her left foot. Her left knee is swollen and she has to take pain medication to sleep at night. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Boe will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for February 8th. Once recovered, Boe will be able to walk again and will no longer experience pain. Now, Boe needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. Boe shared, "I am very scared to have surgery but the doctor told me that I will not be able to walk again if I do not receive it. So I agree with the doctor's plan. I am happy to hear that there will be donors to pay for my treatment. Without donors I could never afford to receive surgery."
Benson is a twin two-year-old. His mom shared that Benson is a playful boy but a little shy and quiet compared to his twin brother who is more social and more talkative. Benson’s mother makes a living doing other people’s laundry while his father is a public transport driver commonly known as a “daladala” driver in Tanzania. Their income is not enough to provide for the family's needs and still cover Benson’s needed treatment cost. They are asking for help to support his medical care. Benson was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus. He and his brother were born healthy babies and their growth has been on track until they learned to walk. Benson’s mother started to notice that his legs were not straight as he started to crawl. He took a long time to learn to stand and walk compared to his twin. When he got on his feet and walked, his mother noticed that his legs were bowed outwards. Benson's mother had never taken him to any hospital for help or treatment, she thought he would eventually grow out of it but that has not been the case. His condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, his legs keep bowing outwards, making walking more difficult. One of Benson’s father’s friends advised his parents to seek treatment for him. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Benson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 7th. Treatment will hopefully restore Benson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Benson’s mother says, “I would love to see Benson walking normally like his brother but the treatment cost is too high for us.”
Sarah is a 5-year-old girl from Haiti. She is typically a healthy and active girl and is very loved by her family. Sarah has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Sarah has been experiencing severe headaches. Sarah had a shunt placed when she was an infant for treatment and it allowed her to develop normally. The recent headaches alerted the doctors that the shunt stopped working and needed to be replaced. Without treatment, Sarah will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Sarah at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on December 7th. This critical treatment will replace the shunt and drain the excess fluid from Sarah's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Sarah will hopefully continue to develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Their family is grateful that Sarah will be able to continue to have a happy life after the shunt is replaced.
Vaughn is a three-year-old boy from the Philippines. He is the youngest sibling of three. He loves playing with his cousins just like any other child at his age. His father is a construction worker earning minimum wage; while his mother is a stay-at-home mom. Three months ago Vaughn's parents noticed a swelling around his belly button. They brought him to the hospital for care and Vaughn has been diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. This hernia causes severe stomachaches. Fortunately, on November 10th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner is requesting $1,130 to fund Vaughn's surgery at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. "After the surgery, we hope Vaughn will be able to enjoy his childhood and not ever hesitate to play," shared Edgar, Vaughn's father.
Touch is a 69-year-old mother of seven. She's a widow and has three sons, four daughters, and now thirteen grandchildren. She used to work as a cleaner before she retired and she lives with her youngest daughter who is a garment worker. When she is not chasing after her grandchildren, she likes to listen to the monks pray on the radio or visit the local pagoda. One year ago, Touch developed a cataract in her right eye causing her blurry vision and difficulty seeing in bright or low light. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Touch learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for three and a half hours seeking treatment. On September 20th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Touch shared, "I hope after surgery my eye can see better. I want to go outside, see all my relatives and do housework well."
Hai lives in Kandal province in southern Cambodia. He is married and has a son who is one year old. Hai's wife was a factory worker, but she stopped when their child was born. Hai enjoys playing football and listening to music in his free time. Hai was involved in a motor accident in October 2020 and experienced trauma to his back and lower limbs. After the accident, Hai went to a government hospital where he received X-rays and medications and was then sent home. Hai still feels poorly, continues to feel pain in his back, and has difficulty walking. He remains in a wheelchair and cannot work. Surgeons plan to use posterior instrumentation to stabilize his spine. A posterior instrumented fusion involves the placement of screws and rods in the spine. This procedure will provide realignment and stabilization of the spine allowing fusion to occur. Hai is seeking $1,500 to fund his surgery, as he is unable to pay for this treatment on his own. Hai shared, "I hope that I will walk again and can get my job back to support my family."
Musa is a beautiful, 5-month-old baby boy with a twin sister named Neema. His parents are small-scale farmers whose maize and vegetable crops, alongside their few goats, provide food and milk for their families. Musa is experiencing clubfoot in both of his feet, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. As a result, he has difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Musa's mother traveled to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for her son's treatment. On August 10th, surgeons will perform a clubfoot repair surgery that will allow Musa to walk easily. AMH is requesting $935 to fund this procedure. Musa’s mother says, "I was in shock when I realized my baby had a disability. We are a bit calmer to know his feet can be corrected but the cost is too high for us to afford. We don’t want him to grow up being disabled, please help our son."
Erick is a seven-month-old baby boy and the youngest child in a family of two children. His mother does laundry work to help provide for the family, while his father is a veterinarian in the area. His business was doing well before the COVID-19 pandemic, but unfortunately, they had to stop paying for health insurance when they became financially strained due to the pandemic. Erick was born with an anorectal malformation, or a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He is scheduled to have corrective surgery on July 5th and now our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,393 to cover the total cost of Erick's procedure and care. After his recovery, Erick will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing severe health complications in the future. Erick’s father shared, “during this hard time of the pandemic, we are not able to raise any money for Erick’s surgery. Please help us."