Altay joined Watsi on September 8th, 2014. 72 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Altay's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Francis, a student from Kenya, to treat undescended testis.
Altay has funded healthcare for 20 patients in 9 countries.
Altay has funded healthcare for 20 patients in 9 countries.
“I would like to be a pilot when I grow up,” says Francis, an 11-year-old boy from Kenya. “Francis is a brilliant primary school student who is in standard four. He meets you with a cheerful disposition and confidence for a child his age,” shares our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). “Francis was sharp enough to notice that his left testicle was ‘missing,’” continues AMHF. “He mentioned it to his mother jokingly but she took it with seriousness.” Francis’ mother took him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with cryptorchidism—a condition in which one or both of the testicles fail to descend into the scrotal sac. “If not treated, Francis is likely to develop testicular cancer and/or hernia,” states AMHF. “He will also be at risk of infertility in the future,” and the condition has the potential to affect Francis’s self-esteem as well. In order to eliminate these risks, Francis requires single orchidopexy surgery. During this procedure, doctors will move the undescended testicle to the scrotal sac and fix it permanently in place. “With a menial income from subsistence farming and no external income, Francis’ parents are not able to raise the funds required for his surgery,” explains AMHF. “The family of three children resides in a two-room house in Central Kenya.” “Francis’s parents just want the best for their children,” says AMHF, and together we can help them achieve this by funding the $540 operation, which includes a three-day hospital stay and medication. “Francis is a very active child. If only I knew that he could have been treated, this would be far behind us now,” says Francis’ father. “But I am happy we are not very late to get him treatment. I don’t want anything affecting how my son views himself— I want him to have good self-esteem. I hope we get funding towards his treatment.”
Nine-month-old Konjit was born with a birth defect called anorectal malformation. "She has only one functional hole," shares our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). "As a result, she cannot pass stool and urine in a normal way. Both come through only one hole." Due to the absence of her anus, Konjit is also exposed to infection and irritation. Konjit’s parents are from the southern part of Ethiopia. Both her parents are farmers with low income that can’t cover much more than food. For this reason, they don’t have the capacity to get their child the treatment she needs, and to pay her medical bill. Konjit is very beautiful and enjoys playing and laughing with her mom. This condition is causing her parents a lot of worry. Treatment for Konjit is a three-part surgery. Konjit may or may not need a colostomy - doctors will determine this after the first surgery. If in case colostomy is done, she will have a colostomy closure in 2-3 months after the anorectoplasty procedure. AMHF expects that after treatment, Konjit will be able to pass stool and urine normally, and the risk of infection and irritation will be reduced. “I have been in different hospitals but I couldn’t get any solution because of my low financial status," shares Konjit's mother. "When we come here all we have is a glimpse of hope for our baby to get the treatment. And it is our prayer for our hope to come true."
Darline is a 15-year-old student living in Haiti with her older sister’s family. Her sister is her primary caregiver. Darlene likes to listen to music and cook, and enjoys writing and drawing at school. Darlene has not gone to school for the past two years due to heart disease. Darline was diagnosed with a condition called severe mitral regurgitation, the result of an illness she suffered earlier in childhood. Her mitral valve does not function properly, allowing the abnormal leaking of blood backwards from the left ventricle, through the mitral valve, into the left atrium. People with mitral regurgitation often have symptoms of congestive heart failure, such as shortness of breath, pulmonary edema, painful breathing, fatigue, and swelling of the legs. "If left untreated, the condition could be fatal," shares our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA). Darline needs surgical intervention to repair or replace her mitral valve. However, this surgery is not safe to attempt in Haiti. HCA works to maintain a network of overseas referral hospitals in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere that are capable of accepting cases too complex to be attempted in-country. They organize not only the cost of the surgery, but also host family stay, airline fees, food, and travel insurance for the patient and parents for the duration of the medical care. Through HCA, $5,000 of the total cost has been subsidized by the Health City Cayman Islands, a medically advanced tertiary hospital located in Grand Cayman. HCA tells us that Charles’s family needs an additional $1,500 to complete payment for his surgery and stay abroad. Afterwards, Darline will have near-normal heart function with few to no cardiac symptoms. "I am a little bit afraid of having surgery but I know it will help me get better,” Darline shares. “I will be glad when it is over!"
“We just pray that our son will get well, have the ability to breastfeed and continue with normal growth,” share Christian’s parents. Their baby boy, Christian, was born in last December in Tanzania. When he was just a few days old, his mother became alarmed when "he did not want to breastfeed at all,” says our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). She also noticed that his abdomen was beginning to swell, and his skin was jaundiced. Soon after, “Christian was diagnosed with biliary obstruction secondary to choledochal cyst,” AMHF tells us. This means that Christian’s bile ducts, which carry digestive fluids from the liver to the intestines, are blocked. “This biliary obstruction has to be removed to prevent too much toxic bile [from building up] in the blood,” AMHF tells us. Christian needs a mass excision operation to un-block his bile duct. However, his parents cannot afford to pay for this procedure on their own. Christian’s mother recently had to quit her job to bring her ailing infant on frequent hospital visits, leaving the four-person family reliant on their father’s single income as a van driver. “The little that Christian’s father earns is not enough to cover their basic needs as well as the cost of operation which their son badly needs,” AMHF says. Fortunately, with $920 we can help Christian get the care he urgently needs. This sum will cover the surgery to remove the choledocal cyst blocking Christian’s bile ducts, as well as a six-week stay for the baby afterwards at a recovery center. After this procedure, “Christian’s liver will function well, allowing adequate bile flow to the intestine. Hence, no more toxins and Christian will feed well and continue with normal growth,” says AMHF.
Carlos is a one-year-old boy who lives with his parents, grandparents, and older brother in Guatemala. He likes eating soup made from beans and eggs and enjoys playing with his toy ball. About two months ago, Carlos began having multiple seizures daily. Doctors at our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), diagnosed Carlos with epilepsy, a seizure disorder resulting from abnormal electrical activity in the brain. An estimated 65 million people in the world have epilepsy, and in most cases the cause is unknown. “Carlos is also a little low in both weight and height for his age,” explains WK. “Our staff believe anti-convulsion medication will also help him maintain those calories he has been expending while seizing, and will therefore help him gain some weight and grow better as well.” Carlos’s mother weaves blouses to sell at the market, but she has stopped leaving home for fear of Carlos having a seizure. The family must depend on the income his father earns from cutting and selling wood and working as a helper on a public bus. The family does not own any land and can barely afford their basic necessities, leaving no money to pay for Carlos’s care. For $967, Carlos will receive medication to control his seizures and blood work to identify other potential health issues. “He will start to gain some more weight, because he will be able to preserve the calories he is currently using during convulsions,” says WK. “His mother will not have to worry about working while he is around, because he will not be at risk for seizing often.” “My dream for the future is that he grows healthy and strong,” shares Carlos’s mother. “He is my reason to live.”
Meet Jean Willio, a 17-month-old boy who lives in Haiti with his parents and seven older siblings. Jean Willio's two favorite pastimes are playing with his older siblings and enjoying music. His parents are both farmers. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) shares, "Jean Willio was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which a hole in the heart which normally closes shortly after birth, remains open." As a result of his heart condition, "blood leaks through this hole without passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen." Without treatment, Jean Willio will remain sickly and weak. Jean Willio's family cannot afford the $1,500 surgery he needs to restore blood flow to his heart. Fortunately, we can help. After the surgery, "he should not have any further cardiac symptoms," says HCA. "We have made many trips to the hospital with our son," Jean Willio's father shares. "We are very happy his heart can be fixed so we don't have to do that anymore."
Jacob is a 43-year-old security guard from Kenya. He lives at home with his wife, a farmer, and six children. After heading home from work one evening, Jacob was hit by a truck. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), shares that a group of good samaritans brought Jacob to a local hospital. Doctors determined that Jacob has two fractured bones in his right leg, the tibia and femur, and requires surgery to treat the fractures. Jacob's family does not make sufficient income to afford the cost of surgery. “My wife and children all look upon me for any financial needs. I don’t know what they would do if I am not able to work again, " shares Jacob. $1,125 will fund an ORIF (open reduction internal fixation) surgery to repair the fractures, and thereby alleviate his pain and allow him to regain use of his leg. "I hope that God will help me to have a successful surgery so that I can be strong again to go back to my work," Jacob shares.
Meet Moisa, a two-year-old toddler from Haiti. Moisa was born with a congenital heart disease called Tetralogy of Fallot, which causes a hole to form between two chambers of the heart and causes a muscular blockage in one of the heart valves. “As a result, blood cannot circulate normally through her body, and she is at constant risk of sudden death,” says our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA). Moisa was born with down syndrome, and she lives with her parents and three older brothers. “Although she has special needs, she is fully involved in the life of her family and has many friends in the neighborhood,” shares HCA. Moisa likes to wear pretty dresses and play, especially blowing bubbles. For $1,500, Moisa will receive the cardiac surgery she needs. Following the surgery, she will no longer have cardiac symptoms or be at risk of sudden death. "Moisa makes everyone smile when they are around her,” expresses her mother. “We are so happy she is getting the surgery she needs!"
Meet Zacharia, an eight-year-boy from Kenya whose favorite subject in school is social studies. Zacharia came to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), with hypospadias. "Zacharia’s urethral opening is abnormally placed on the ventral side [underside] of his penis, and as a result, he has an irregular stream," explains AMHF. "Passing urine for him is a challenge and leads to teasing by his brother and friends." AMHF adds, "Zacharia is likely to experience urinary tract infections and impotence if not treated." Treatment for hypospadias is surgery. The surgeon takes tissue grafts from the foreskin or from the inside of the mouth to extend the length of the urethra so that it opens at the tip of the penis. Zacharia’s father is retired and receives a monthly pension, but it is not enough to pay for surgery for Zacharia, in addition to the family’s household needs and education expenses for the children. $655 will cover the cost of surgery for Zacharia, as well as 10 days of hospital care. "If treated," says AMHF, "Zacharia will be able to pass urine normally and the risk of urinary tract infections will also reduce." "I don’t want my brother to laugh at me anymore," says Zacharia. "I hope I will be treated."
Meet Su, a 75-year old grandmother from Cambodia with seven children and 20 grandchildren. Su has a hypermature cataract in her right eye. Cataracts are a condition in which a structure develops over the eye lens, causing blurred vision, which can worsen over time. When they reach maturation, cataracts can lead to swelling and cover the entire lens with an opaque layer. CSC tells us that Su’s cataract “makes it hard for her to walk to the pagoda or anywhere far away and she can't do her house work very well.” With $150 in funding, Su will receive surgery to replace her old lens with an artificial substitute. Following this procedure, Su’s vision will be restored. CSC shares, “Su looks forward to going to the pagoda easily, looking after her house better, and doing more house work.”
Meet Cristian, a one-year-old baby boy from Guatemala. “When Cristian came to us, we immediately recognized that he was suffering from acute malnutrition,” reports our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). “His mother reports he has periodic diarrhea and is not growing as well as his neighbors. Indeed his height and weight are far below the average for his age, and he is lagging developmentally behind his peers.” “Where Cristian’s family lives, food security is a large issue, as many families do not have alternative options to earn higher incomes,” says WK. “Cristian’s parents strive to create the best lives possible for their children, but with a third baby on the way, Cristian’s mother worries they will not have enough money to supply them with the food they need to thrive.” The effects of Cristian’s malnutrition are persistent. “Insufficient intake due to food insecurity, and excessive output due to parasitic disease or bacterial infection prevent Cristian from absorbing the nutrients necessary to grow developmentally and physically,” explains WK. “Without intervention, this will affect Cristian’s ability to build a strong immune system, thus increasing his susceptibility to other illnesses.” For $535.00, Cristian can receive comprehensive treatment for acute malnutrition, which will allow him to avoid its permanent effects. “He will recoup the weight and height he has lost and begin to catch up developmentally to his peers. Deworming medication will remove the parasitic infection causing his diarrhea, and he will have the chance to grow to his full potential,” says WK. “He will receive nutritional support, thus allowing his brain to grow and develop normally. His mother will be given the educational tools to prevent malnutrition in her new baby and older son, as well as to continue Cristian’s treatment.” “I just want my children to have the option of a better future,” shares Cristian’s mother. “I could see my child was not growing, and I am so thankful that you have taken notice and want to help him.” WK adds: “With Watsi donor support, we believe this child will fully recover.”
"Pyae Son first became aware he had a heart condition two years ago," says our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP). "He remembers supervising on a construction site and feeling overly tired. Since that day he says he experiences poor appetite, difficulty breathing and numbness in his chest." Pyae Son is a 27-year-old young man from Burma. He lives with his parents and grandfather. "He was enrolled at university but had to stop his studies one year ago in order to financially support his family," BBP tells us. Pyae Son was diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease, and needs surgery to correct his defect. "Pyae Son hopes to receive surgery shortly so he can contribute financially to his family once more," BBP says. "He stated he want a ‘stable and simple life.’ The only thing he desires is to live a life where he has energy; he no longer wants to live as a patient." $1500 will fund a complex cardiac treatment for Pyae Son. BBP expects that this will resolve the underlying condition and resolve his current symptoms, such as the inability to sleep, pain, and numbness. He will also be able to return to work and support his family.