Jeremy joined Watsi on August 5th, 2014. Seven years ago, Jeremy joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jeremy's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Vania, a studious 14-year-old girl from Haiti, to fund heart surgery so she can finally return to school.
Vania is a hardworking 14-year-old student from Haiti. She lives in an urban area of the island nation's capital, Port-au-Prince, with her parents and three younger brothers. She enjoys studying, especially science and literature. Unfortunately, Vania has not been able to attend school for two years because of her heart condition. She suffered from rheumatic fever early in her childhood. The illness damaged one of the four valves in her heart, leaving her with a condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. Her heart cannot pump blood adequately through her body, which leaves her weak and short of breath. The good news is that surgery can help. Vania will fly to the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On May 16th, surgeons will remove her damaged valve and implant an artificial valve in its place. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $17,000 to pay for the procedure. But Vania's family also needs help to fund other medical and travel costs, which is where our Watsi donors come in. They are raising $1,500 to cover lab work and medicine for Vania, along with checkup and followup appointments. It also will help pay for her to get a passport and support social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Vania and her family overseas. Vania says, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can feel more normal and go back to school."
Aljahnie is a four-year-old boy from the Philippines. He loves to play with toy cars, to sing nursery rhymes, and to listen to songs. His mother is a stay-at-home mom, and his father is a jeepney driver. Despite working hard, they are unable to finance his medical needs. Aljahnie was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Aljahnie is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on March 17th. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is requesting $1,279 to cover the total cost of Aljahnie's procedure and care. After his recovery, Aljahnie will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. "By the grace of God, and extra caution, we hope that his condition will be much better after this treatment. We are very grateful to World Surgical Foundation and WATSI for helping us," shared Aljahnie’s mother.
Sina is a 36-year-old security guard. He has one brother and one sister, and his father works as a tuk-tuk driver to help support their family. Sina works as a security guard for a non-governmental organization, and enjoys listening to music, watching TV, playing games on his phone, meeting up with friends, and helping his mother in his free time. Three years ago Sina developed pain on his right hip. He has a history of leukemia and psoriasis, which he receives treatment for at Mercy Medical Center Cambodia. It was when Sina came in with hip pain that they referred him to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). He was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and now cannot walk due to the pain and instability of his hip. Fortunately, on February 23rd, Sina will undergo a total hip replacement at CSC which will relieve his pain and allow him to walk and work more easily. Our medical partner is asking for $1,087 to help Sina in paying for his procedure. Sina said, "I am thankful that I can return to work once I am healed. I look forward to being free of pain."
Joseph is a sweet two-year-old boy and the second born in a family of two children. Even at his age, Joseph already likes to play a lot and makes his parents very happy. Joseph’s father did an electrical course but has not been able to find formal employment so has started doing casual work in the electrical field. Joseph's mother takes care of their home and the family. From the moment he was born, Joseph's parents noticed that he wasn't passing urine normally. They took him to the hospital, but it was suggested that they wait until he was around two years old to undergo surgery. When he reached this age, his parents brought him to our medical partner's care center Nazareth Hospital, where the surgeon recommends that he undergoes hypospadias repair. Joseph 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 future complications. Fortunately, Joseph is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 1st. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $710 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Joseph's parents shared, "We humbly request support in order for our son to be cured and lead a normal life in the future. In the future, we'd like to see him start a family. According to the doctor, if he is not cured, he will never be able to have his own children. This is a condition that we really want to get healed."
Gideon is four years old and the last-born in his family of six children. He is a playful, charming, friendly, and happy boy. Gideon comes from the southern highlands of Tanzania close to Katavi National Park. Gideon has not yet started school, but his father says when he gets to be six years old, he will enroll him. Most children in this region join school starting at the age of six due to the long distance they must walk to school. Parents must wait for their children to grow strong enough to walk to and from school before enrolling them. Gideon’s parents are small-scale farmers of maize, beans, and vegetables and only sell a few of their harvests to get money to buy other basics for their family. Gideon has been diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, where his legs bow inward so that they touch. 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 experiences pain and discomfort. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Gideon. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 4th. Treatment will hopefully restore Gideon's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, including school in the future, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Gideon’s father says “My son walks with a gait and falls down a lot. He also complains of pain after a long day of play.”
Marian is a seven-year-old student and the youngest child of three children in her family. Her mother is a housewife, while her father is a small-scale farmer. Marian has clubfoot of the right foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Marian tiptoes when she walks, has difficulty walking for long distances, and often falls. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Marian receive treatment. On November 22nd, she will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, she will be able to walk well, run, and play with her peers in school. Now, AMH is requesting $1,286 to fund Marian's procedure and care. Marian's mother shared, "I would love to see my daughter walking like other girls, and any support to make her surgery possible will be highly appreciated by our family."
U Hla is a 42-year-old man from Burma. He lives in a monastery with his daughter in Mon State. U Hla spends most of him time volunteering at the monastery, cooking and cleaning for the monks. Sometimes, he works as a motorcycle taxi driver. His daughter goes to school and the abbot pays for her school fees. For the past 20 years, U Hla has suffered from recurring infections. Two weeks ago, he developed an ulcer on his backside and now U Hla is in pain and he cannot sleep well. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping U Hla receive treatment. On October 28th, surgeons will perform a debridement to help the ulcer heal and stop him from being in pain. Now, U Hla needs help to fund this $694 procedure. "I just want to be healthy and live with my family happily,” U Hla said.
Eh Eh is a 24-year-old woman who lives with husband, daughter, sister and parents in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. She got married three years ago and her husband works at the pharmacy in the refugee camp. He is able to earn 900 baht (approx. $30 USD) per month to support their livelihoods. Her parents are retired, and her sister is in school in grade 11. Eh Eh works for the Camp Information Team and earns 1,000 baht (approx. $30.33 USD) per month. Their household also receives 1,662 baht ($55.40 USD) per month on a cash card from an organisation called The Border Consortium. Eh Eh became pregnant soon after her wedding in 2018. When she went into labour, she was unable to give birth due to her daughter being too big to fit through her pelvis. Malteser International (MI) staff, who run the hospital in the refugee camp, rushed her to Mae Sariang Hospital, where the surgeon performed an emergency C-section to deliver Eh Eh's daughter. On 28 December 2020, Eh Eh found out she was pregnant again. Due to her previous complications during labour, MI staff referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital for further care while she wis in her 39th week. Knowing that she will need to undergo another C-section, and that she cannot afford to pay for it, Eh Eh was referred to our medical partner, the Burma Children Medical Fund for assistance accessing the treatment she needs for a safe delivery for her and her new baby. Currently, although Eh Eh feels fine physically, she has mixed emotions about the surgery. She is worried and scared about undergoing the operation but she is excited to meet her baby. She shared: “I can cope with the worry because I have experienced this before, and because my husband will take care of me,” she said. “I just really hope that my operation will go well, and that baby will be safe."
Mary is an elderly woman and a farmer from the Rift Valley region in Kenya. She now lives alone after losing her husband a few years ago. Her 4 children have left the nest and live separately with their own families. She does small scale farming to meet her daily needs. Her social-economic status is low and therefore she is unable to meet the cost of surgery. On August 26th, she was a passenger on a motorcycle when the motorcycle got into an accident. She was rushed to the hospital for first aid and debridement of the open wound on her right foot. She is in pain and unable to walk. At Kapsowar hospital, she had an x-ray done and was diagnosed with a fracture. She needs a surgery, but is unable to raise the funds needed. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 30th, Mary will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help her walk again with ease. She will also be free from pain and the infections caused by the open wound will be cleared. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1016 to fund this procedure. Mary said, “My hope is to get treated early for fast recovery so that I can walk and work again.”
Ankunda is a 30-year-old mother of three. After completing high school, she was unable to raise funds for college and thus had to stop with school. She got married to her first husband, but lost him to a road accident. She has later remarried and currently bakes at home to earn a living. Her husband is a photographer but does not have much business at the moment. Their family lives in a rental house. Ankunda was reviewed at our medical partner's care center, Nyakibale Hospital, during her antenatal visits. Having had three previous scars and a prior miscarriage, an elective caesarean section surgery was recommended to ensure safe delivery. Attempts to deliver normally might result in a uterine rupture, risk of postpartum haemorrhage, or fetal and maternal death. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $252 to fund Ankunda's C-Section procedure. Ankunda shared her plans after delivery, “I hope that when my operation comes out successfully with a live baby and in good health, I will be able to resume with my baking business to continue sustaining my family.”
Kishimwi is a playful and friendly young boy who is currently having a hard time walking. Kishimwi has a younger sibling, and his parents are small-scale maize and vegetable farmers who grow food for their family. His father also works as a hawker selling Maasai beads, belts and sandals in order to make extra income. Kishimwi was diagnosed with genu valgus, causing his legs to bend inward to form knock knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Kishimwi's parents noticed a slight bent in his leg when he was three years old, but became alarmed when the problem worsened over the past year to the point where walking became difficult. Kishimwi experiences pain when participating in daily activities, so his parents decided to seek treatment for him at a local hospital in their village. The family was advised to give Kishimwi foods containing high calcium and calcium supplements to strengthen his bones and prevent his legs from bending further. However, the effects were negligible and Kishimwi's legs became more bent. Fortunately, an older patient's parent told the family about Watsi's medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC), and the family traveled to the hospital hoping for treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Kishimwi. The procedure will take place on June 29th. Treatment will hopefully restore Kishimwi's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Kishimwi’s father hopes his son's pain will be alleviated after this care, "We have used medication and foods containing high calcium but none has helped. Please help treat my son because as you can see his legs are badly affected."
Kennedy is a 23-year-old high school graduate and the second born of four children in his family. Kennedy shared that his father sadly passed away in 2006, and his mother works as a house helper in Nairobi. His older brother works as a watchman in the city and his younger siblings are still in school. He is not working currently, and he lives alone in his family home on a quarter-acre of land. On May 22nd, while training to drive a motorbike so that he may be able to do this for an income, he was hit by a speeding vehicle and lost control. He fell along the roadside and fractured his right leg. It is difficult for him to walk and he is in chronic pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On June 2nd, Kennedy will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him walk easily again. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Kennedy shared, “I recently finished my form four and I have my future to think of. I need to be able to walk well but first I need the surgery to help me.”