Bandello joined Watsi on October 24th, 2020. One year ago, Bandello joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Bandello's most recent donation supported Sarah, a five-year-old from Haiti, to fund hydrocephalus treatment.
Bandello has funded healthcare for 13 patients in 6 countries.
Bandello has funded healthcare for 13 patients in 6 countries.
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.
Hannah is a farmer and the 62-year-old mother of four kids. All her children are now grown. She lost her husband in 2014 who was the sole breadwinner for their family. Hannah does not have a job and grows food crops for home use. She depends on her children and some relatives to help pay for her medical bills. Hannah was using her husband's medical insurance but since his death, she has no medical coverage. She recently registered for a national insurance program, but it will be not be eligible for funding for at least a month or longer and her surgery is urgent. Hannah first started feeling a painless lump on her left breast in early 2020 but she did not feel alarmed. She felt better but seven months ago, the painful swelling recurred. She went to a government facility and then Hannah recently visited Kijabe Hospital. Doctors their ordered several tests including a CT scan and core biopsy which revealed cancer of the left breast. She needs surgery to control the spread of the cancer. Hannah has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. A mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, has been suggested to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $,1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Hannah. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 24th. After treatment, Hannah will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Hannah says, “I worry I have nothing to smile about. I am scared and in pain. If left untreated, this cancer will spread and even cause death. I need this surgery urgently to stop this.”
Edna is a 48-year-old single mother and small-scale farmer who grows food crops for home use. Her four children range in age from 17 to 29 years and have been depending on her. Unfortunately, Edna is now unable to walk due to lower limb weakness. She has been suffering from goiter for over 15 years and the thyroid malignancy has now spread to her spine impacting her mobility. Accompanied by her daughter, who had to push her in a wheelchair, Edna recently visited our medical partner's care center AIC Kijabe Hospital for help. She has been to other facilities but still hadn't been able to get the help she needs due to a lack of funds. After a multi-disciplinary team meeting comprising of Head & Neck and Ortho surgeons, she has been scheduled for a Total Thyroidectomy, Neck Dissection, and Spine Decompression and Fusion to help her heal and walk again. Our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is requesting $1,500 to cover this intensive procedure, a ten-day stay at the hospital, and wheelchair adjustments, tests, and physical therapy for Edna. Edna says, “I lost my ability to walk after this disease attacked me. I am afraid if not attended to I may be confined to a wheelchair for good. But my hope is up and alive now that doctors have scheduled me for surgery. This treatment is meant to rectify the situation and help me to walk again.”
Nehemia is a nine-year-old child from Tanzania and the fourth born in a family of five children. She is currently in kindergarten and she loves singing the vowels. Nehemia's parents keep livestock for a living and sell the milk. Once in a while, they also sell a goat to make additional money. Nehemia has clubfoot of her left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Nehemia traveled to visit our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), to receive treatment. On September 14th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform clubfoot repair surgery. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Nehemia's clubfoot repair. After treatment, she will be able to walk easily. Nehemia’s father shared, "every day when she gets home from school she complains of pain and you can easily see she is trying not to put pressure on the foot due to fear of pain. Please help my daughter."
Clementina is a ten-year-old student and the youngest in a family of four children. She is a loving girl who enjoys playing with babies, especially her neighbours'. Her mother says she would wake up in the morning and ask right away for permission to go see her neighbour’s baby. She is also a hard-working girl. She helps her mother clean the house and cleaning dishes. She cleans her own clothes too sometimes. Clementina was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Clementina is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH), is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Clementina's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 9th. This procedure will hopefully spare Clementina from the risks associated with her condition, instead allowing her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Clementina’s mother says, "We never knew the condition needed treatment all these years. But we are thankful that she is able to stand and walk. She has been scheduled for surgery but the cost is too high for us to afford please help."
Jackson is a three-year-old boy and loving big brother. His father's work at the welding shop provides the main source of income for the family. His earnings are just enough to support the household. Jackson's mother is not working so she can take care of Jackson and his very young sibling. The family currently lives in a small rented house. Jackson was born with hypospadias, which causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Jackson is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 27th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $735 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Jackson’s mother says, “It is difficult for us to raise the money for his treatment as we always rely on the National Insurance, which has turned us down.”
Ku is a seven-year-old boy who lives with his parents and two younger sisters in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Ku's mother weaves shirts that she sells, and Ku's father helps weave, too. Ku is a primary school student, while one of his sisters is in nursing school, and his youngest sister is too young to go to school. On June 6th, Ku and two of his friends were playing in a tamarind tree when they all fell out of the tree. Ku injured his left arm in the fall and his father carried him to the camp hospital for an exam. The medic there told Ku's father that his elbow might be broken. After they bandaged his arm, Ku visited another hospital for an x-ray and was diagnosed with a left elbow fracture. Ku is in pain and cannot bend his arm or lift anything. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ku will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for June 9th and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Ku will no longer be in pain and he will be able to go back to school. He will regain full mobility in his arm. Ku's father shared, "Ku is an active boy who loves school and reading a lot. He always says that he wants to become a health worker to look after his family and others when he grows up. I want him to recover and go back to school soon."
Veronica is a cheerful, married 29-year-old mother of two children. Veronica shared that she left school in primary school, because her parents could not afford her school fees. Her husband earns a living through helping people lift heavy luggage at a local bus station, and he also does a variety of other jobs when he has the opportunity. Veronica enjoys spending time with her two children, ages two and four; they give her joy and fulfillment as a mother. Her family lives in a one-bedroom rented house. In 2009, Veronica developed a swelling on her neck. She ignored it, thinking it would soon go away, but in 2014, the swelling grew. In 2015, she was diagnosed with a goiter, or enlarged thyroid, and surgery was recommended. As the goiter continues to grow, she has experienced coughing, difficulty breathing and difficulty swallowing. She can no longer sing in church or carry heavy things on her head, and she shared that she can no longer eat hard foods like msima, a Malawian staple. Veronica also told us that the condition has changed her appearance and has impacted her self-esteem. Veronica has visited the government hospital more than 15 times since her diagnosis, but her surgery was always rescheduled. Two weeks ago, she went to a different hospital and was referred to our medical partner's care center, where a surgeon recommended a thyroidectomy. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Veronica receive treatment. On May 25th, Veronica will undergo a thyroidectomy at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $1,015 to fund her procedure. The surgery is expected to improve her life and heal her symptoms. With a hopeful smile, Veronica shared, “I am overwhelmed with this opportunity to be sponsored for this operation. After the operation, I hope to live normally and care for my children properly. I believe I should be able to eat hard msima [the Malawi staple food] or raw cassava and potatoes which I now miss greatly. I look forward to sleeping without struggles after this surgery, much appreciation!”
Titus is a shy 12-year-old boy and the oldest of three siblings. His mother is a single mother who works in the laundry business. His mother's work has unfortunately been affected by the pandemic, so recently Titus has been staying with his aunt as she is able to provide the family with some extra support. On Wednesday, April 14th, Titus sustained a severe injury to his left fingers after a machete fell while he was fetching firewood from the forest with his friends. His aunt brought him to the hospital where he received an X-ray, which revealed a fracture. A cast was placed to stabilize the fracture and realign the normal position of the bone as he waits for surgery. Titus requires help so that he can undergo surgery. His family is asking anyone reading his son’s story to support her raise the amount needed for his treatment. Titus's aunt said, “Titus is in a lot of pain, I hope he gets treated and feels better and is well again.”
Alex is a 20-year-old high school student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and younger brother in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. When he's healthy, he enjoys dancing and playing drums in church. Before his most recent illness, he was in his final year of high school. Alex has a cardiac condition called mitral regurgitation. When Alex was a child, he became infected with rheumatic fever which severely damaged one of his heart valves so that it could no longer pump blood through his body. Four years ago, surgeons in the Cayman Islands repaired Alex's existing heart valve in order to avoid replacing it with an artificial valve. This repaired valve worked well for three years, but then began to have difficulty pumping blood as well. Doctors now need to implant an artificial valve to replace the valve that is no longer working well. Alex will fly to the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On April 7th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove Alex's damaged valve and implant a mechanical replacement valve. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman Islands, is contributing $20,000 to pay for surgery. Alex's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. 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 Alex's family overseas. Alex shared, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can get back to attending school and going to church."
Phorn is a 40-year-old construction worker with three children: two sons and one daughter. They all are now in school. Phorn is not working now but his wife is a factory worker. His parents live with his family and he supports them. For over two years, he has had pain in both hips. He feels his left side is much worse than the right. He describes his current health as generally very poor because he is in such pain. When he has pain, he has traditionally been able to buy pain medication from the pharmacy, but it has lately become unbearable. Doctors diagnosed his condition as avascular necrosis (death of bone tissue due to lack of blood circulation) of both hips. Fortunately, Phorn learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. At CSC, surgeons can perform a total hip replacement to relieve Phorn of his pain and allow him to walk easily. Treatment is scheduled for February 9th, and Phorn needs help raising $1,087 to pay for this procedure. He hopes after surgery, his left hip will not have pain, he can walk without help, and go back to work as before.
Dominick is a 4-year-old child from Tanzania. He is the firstborn child in a family of three children. Because he has difficulty walking, his mother has been unable to enroll him in school yet. Dominick was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, or bowleggedness. His legs bow outward when he walks. 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 physically struggles to walk and cannot walk for a long time. However, Dominick's parents cannot afford the cost of the treatment he needs to cure his condition. They are subsistence farmers who make a humble income to support the family, and they appeal for financial help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Dominick. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Dominick's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Dominick's mother shared, "I believe our prayers were answered when we met one of Watsi's colleagues who directed us here. We are not able to afford Dominic's treatment and we had lost hope, but we just thought of taking Dominick for prayers that week and God led us here."