Brooke joined Watsi on January 3rd, 2021. Two years ago, Brooke joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Brooke's most recent donation supported Mylene, a 39-year-old small business owner from Philippines, to fund her cholecystectomy.
Brooke has funded healthcare for 27 patients in 8 countries.
Brooke has funded healthcare for 27 patients in 8 countries.
Mylene is a small food business owner from the Philippines. She lives with her mother and two cousins. Her earnings from her business contribute towards sustaining the family's daily needs. Two months ago, Mylene began to experience troubling symptoms, including stomachaches and back pain. Thinking it was simply a urinary tract infection, she opted to delay her checkup. However, her symptoms worsened as her skin began to yellow and she began to experience severe skin itchiness. As a result, she temporarily closed her business as she was compelled to see a doctor. She was advised to undergo an ultrasound test and was diagnosed with Chronic Calculous Cholecystitis, a condition that causes swelling and irritation of the gallbladder. Doctors have recommended she undergo a cholecystectomy, the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Mylene is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on February 24th. Mylene needs help raising $1,128 to fund her procedure and care. Mylene shared, "This free surgery is a life-changing opportunity. I no longer have to worry about how or where to find money to pay for my hospital bill. I'm truly grateful to WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for helping me!"
Natalia, who is 13 years old, lives in the mountains above La Paz with her parents and two younger brothers. Natalia was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. Because of this hole, blood leaks out without passing through the chambers of her heart to gather oxygen, leaving Natalia weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Natalia's family sought care through our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, and Natalia is now scheduled for corrective surgery on January 17th, at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría. During the surgery, doctors will sew a patch over the hole in Natalia's heart, enabling her to live a healthy life. Another organization Gift of Life International has contributed $3,000 and our medical partner is seeking your help to fund the remaining $1,500 needed for this life-saving procedure. Natalia said: "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can go to school without feeling tired."
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."
Saw Myo is a 14-year-old boy from Burma. He lives with his grandparents, parents, two sisters and a brother in a village in Karen State in eastern Burma. His grandparents are retired, and his father is a farmer who grows paddy and rubber trees on their own land. Saw Myo’s mother is a homemaker, while his two sisters and his brother go to school. The family income is just enough to cover their daily expenses. They cannot afford to pay for basic healthcare. Saw Myo used to go to school but stopped attending since his condition worsened in 2021. Saw Myo has had a lump at his lower spinal cord since he was nine years old, when he was hit by a slingshot in that area. He was given a medicinal ointment by a traditional healer which appeared to stop the lump from growing and helped with the stiffness temporarily. When Saw Myo was 12 years old, he fell off of his bicycle. He did not have any cuts or bruises but felt stiffness along his spinal cord. Afterwards, the lump appeared to be growing in size again. He was seen at a local clinic and then at a clinic in Hpa-An in January 2021, where he had an X-ray. The doctor suspected a spinal cord problem, so they encouraged Saw Myo and his mother to follow up with a computerized tomography (CT) scan at the Yangon Orthopedic Hospital in Yangon. Due to Covid-19, Saw Myo was unable to get in for a CT scan. Saw Myo’s parents did not want to give up, so they went to the Asia Royal Hospital, also in Yangon. Again, they were told that Saw Myo’s condition could not be treated locally. Finally, they returned to their home without receiving treatment. Saw Myo’s mother then contacted a medic who works at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot, Thailand, who is originally from their village. The medic told her to bring Saw Myo to the clinic as soon as possible. They spent the next few months trying to raise money, borrowing from family and neighbours. Doctors recommended Saw Myo to undergo an MRI, an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. After analyzing the MRI, the doctors recommended Saw Myo undergo surgery to remove the tumor on his back. The tumor is cancerous, and Saw Myo will need to undergo chemotherapy after his surgery. Currently, Saw Myo is suffering a lot. He has to be careful when sitting because his whole back along his spinal cord is painful if he does not sit down slowly, and he can only sit for short periods of time before his back begins to ache. The lump is not painful to touch, but when he lays down on his right side, he has to support the lump with a pillow, making it difficult for him to sleep. He also has backpain if he has to walk for more than 15 minutes. Saw Myo sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. He is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on November 24th and his family needs $1,500 to cover the cost of his procedure and care. Saw Myo said, "I enjoy going to school and my favourite subject is mathematics. I hope that I will be able to go to school after my treatment. I would also like to raise chickens and cows to help my family in the future."
Paw is a 46-year-old woman who lives with her husband, son, and daughter in the refugee camp in Mae Hong Son Province. Originally from the conflict area of Karen State, Burma, she and her family fled to the refugee camp due to conflict in their area. Today, her daughter goes to school in the camp, while her son stays home because he has an intellectual disability. In her free time, Paw enjoys gardening. Paw and her husband also raise chickens and grow vegetables to supplement their family's diet. Every month, their household receives 1,460 baht (approx. $49) on a cash card from an organization called The Border Consortium to support their day-to-day needs. Sometimes, Paw also receives pocket money from her other son, who works as a security guard in the refugee camp and lives with his wife and children. This amount is not enough to cover their daily needs, so they often have to purchase food on credit, which they pay back at the end of the month. They receive free basic health care at the hospital in the refugee camp, provided by Malteser International (MI) Thailand, but surgery there is not available. In early 2020, Paw started to experience pain in her lower abdomen. She also experienced severe back pain, dizziness and nausea when she ate. She went to the hospital in the refugee camp, where she was treated for a urinary tract infection (UTI). When the UTI kept returning, MI staff referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital for further treatment. Paw went to that hospital in February 2020, where she was diagnosed with a stone in her right kidney and acute pyelonephritis, a bacterial infection causing inflammation of the kidneys. She was admitted for five days and received treatment for the infection. Afterwards, she was referred to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further treatment for the kidney stone. In July 2020, MI staff brought Paw to CMH, where she received various x-rays. Doctors confirmed her diagnosis, but also diagnosed her with severe hydronephrosis, or a buildup of urine, in her right kidney. She received a catheter to drain urine from her kidney, and was brought back to CMH every three months to change the catheter. The doctor also scheduled Paw to have the stone removed from her right kidney on October 31st. Our partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is asking for financial assistance to help Paw pay for this surgery. Currently, Paw experiences pain and has difficulty sleeping. Traveling to the hospital regularly is also difficult for her family. Paw thinks a lot about her future and shared: “In the future I want to buy and raise a pig and more chickens. I do not want to be resettled in another country because I love living near my siblings. If they [my siblings] are resettled, I might go with them."
Meet Britney, a sociable, six year old girl, living in a village in rural Kenya. Britney is an only child, and is currently in school. Her mother is unemployed, and relies on family to support her and Britney. While Britney was born a healthy child, her legs began to bow out when she turned two. While her mother, who suffers from the same condition, brought her to various doctors, Britney's condition continued to deteriorate. Well wishers, who noticed Britney's condition, brought her to the AIC Cure International Hospital for further evaluation. Thanks to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Britney will undergo surgery on September 27th, to help correct her bowed legs. This procedure will enable Britney to walk more easily, and to live without pain. Britney and her family are seeking $1,224 to fund the operation. "I will be grateful to see my daughter growing and walking well like other children,” Britney’s mother told us.
Henrico is a kind 3-year-old boy, who lives with his parents in a small fishing village in western Haiti. He was born with a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which involves several related defects including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. As a result of these defects, his heart cannot adequately provide oxygen to his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. As the care he needs is not available in Haiti, Henrico will fly to Italy to receive treatment and, on September 27th, he will be able to undergo the life-saving cardiac surgery he needs. Henrico's family needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany his family overseas. His family hopes he will have a bright future and plans to start him in preschool as soon as he has recovered from his heart surgery. Henrico's mother shared, "Our family is praying for everyone who is making it possible for our son to have this surgery!"
Adonai is a one-month-old baby boy and the last-born child in a family of five children. Adonai's parents are small-scale farmers of maize, vegetables, beans, and a bit of tobacco. Through farming, they can get their food while the tobacco is usually sold to get money to pay for daily necessities. Adonai was diagnosed at birth with a congenital disability of the left clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape causing difficulty in walking and wearing shoes. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, will perform clubfoot repair surgery on July 5th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is raising $935 to fund Adonai's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when he grows up. Adonai’s father shared, “Things are really tough, and money has become hard to get. I depend on farming which has been very poor this season. Please help treat my son.”
Biancha is a 4-month-old baby girl from Haiti, who is the first child born to her parents. Biancha's mother loves to sing to her and wants to see her daughter grow up healthy. Biancha has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain, increasing intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, the circumference of Biancha's head has been increasing in size, and she has difficulty feeding. Without treatment, Biancha will experience severe physical and developmental delays as she grows older. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Biancha at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only facility in Haiti where surgery for treating hydrocephalus is performed. This procedure, which is scheduled for June 23rd, will drain the excess fluid from Biancha's brain, reducing the intracranial pressure, and greatly improving Biancha's quality of life. With proper treatment, Biancha will hopefully develop into a strong and healthy young girl. Her family is hoping for a complete recovery, and is happy she will not be suffering anymore.
Davin is a 10-year-old 3rd grade student. He has three older brothers and one older sister. Davin's parents are rice and lemongrass root farmers. Davin told us how much he enjoys playing football. Two years ago, Davin 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. Now, Davin experiences ear pain, discharge, hearing loss, and tinnitus. He has difficulty hearing his teacher or classmates and is often absent from school due to his ear pain. Fortunately, on June 1st, Davin 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 $926 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Davin's parents say, "I hope his hearing improves and he can enjoy school again."
Loucken is a 16-year-old student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and three siblings in a neighborhood outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Loucken enjoys making art, listening to music, and going to school and church. Loucken has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. As a result, blood leaks through this hole, leaving him feeling weak and unable to be active. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), can help Loucken receive treatment. Treatment is not available in Haiti, but on May 11th, he will fly to the Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch. HCA is covering the cost of Loucken's surgery, so Loucken's family is requesting assistance to help fund the $1,500 surgery preparation and travel costs. This cost includes all labs, medication, appointments, passports, and the help of a social worker from HCA who will accompany Loucken's family as they travel internationally. Loucken shared, "After the surgery, I hope that I will be able to start playing soccer with my friends."
Liam is a playful four-year-old boy and the only child in his family. Liam and his young, single mother both live with Liam's grandmother, and depend on her farm for food. Liam was born with a condition known as quad cop, which is a subset of cerebral palsy that affects all four of his limbs (both arms/hands and legs). In addition, Liam has clubfoot on both of his feet. Clubfoot is a congenital musculoskeletal condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes him to have a great deal of difficulty walking and wearing shoes. Fortunately, on March 15th, Liam will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,286 to fund Liam's treatment. After treatment, Liam will be able to place his entire foot on the ground when he walks, compared to now where he can only walk on his tiptoes which makes it hard for him to get around freely and independently. In the future his mother hopes he will be able to run, play, and join school like other children. Liam's mother says, "We would like to request support because we have nothing in our pockets to facilitate the surgery he needs."