Brooke joined Watsi on August 21st, 2014. Four years ago, Brooke joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Brooke's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Nerold, a 5-year-old boy from Haiti, to fund surgery for his hydrocephalus condition.
Brooke has funded healthcare for 56 patients in 10 countries.
Brooke has funded healthcare for 56 patients in 10 countries.
Nerold is a 5-year-old boy from Haiti. He is cherished by his family who want to see him healthy and active as he grows. Nerold has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Nerold underwent surgery but has been experiencing problems with a shunt he had placed 6 months ago. It began to malfunction causing him infection and severe pain from the increasing pressure in his head. Without treatment, Nerold will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Nerold at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on November 19th. This critical treatment will place a new shunt to drain the excess fluid from Nerold's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Nerold will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Nerold's mother shared that she was devastated when the original shunt stopped working. She is relieved that with this new surgery he will continue to have a chance for a happy life.
Emily is a kind 26-year-old woman who recently got engaged to her childhood friend. She is the fourth born in a family of 7 and lives with both of her parents. One day in 2008, Emily started to experience severe abdominal pains. The pains kept increasing and she could not pass stool. On the third day, her parents rushed her the hospital where a diagnosis of bowel obstruction was made. She was taken to the operating room and had an ileostomy done as a temporary treatment for the bowel obstruction. An ileostomy is an opening in the abdominal wall that is made during surgery, part of the small intestines are diverted through an opening in the abdomen called a stoma. A special bag is placed over the stoma to collect fecal matter that are unable to pass through the colon out of the body. An ileostomy is reversible since it is only made to provide a temporary passage for the release of stools out of the body while allowing healing of the operated part of the intestines/ bowels. Emily was scheduled for ileostomy reversal in July 2008 and the parents took her back to the hospital where she was admitted. She was later discharged home and the surgery rescheduled since the there were many patients in the waiting list. She has since had more than 7 admissions for the procedure but each time she is discharged and the surgery rescheduled. They kept going to the hospital and in 2011 they gave up since they were not getting help and had already spent a lot on transport and meals. Emily eventually dropped out of school due to discrimination and the stigma associated with the condition. She now uses cheap thin plastic papers as stoma bags as the family cannot afford to buy the all the bags due to financial constraints. She has grown to live with this condition. Despite all that has been in her way, Emily is still very hard working and earns a living from washing clothes at people's homes. This enables her to buy the plastic bags for the stoma. Often, she runs out of money to buy the bags and is forced to stay indoors. Recently, one of their neighbors had a thyroidectomy done at Partners in Hope Hospital under a special program and urged her parents to bring her for assessment. The surgeon reviewed her and indicated that the condition can still be corrected through laparotomy where an ileostomy reversal will be done. This surgery will greatly improve Emily’s life, restore her dignity as a human being and remove the emotional pain and torture that Emily has lived with the past 13 years. Her parents are seeking financial support to help their daughter undergo the surgery. “I remember that when I was young, I used to use the bathroom normally in the pit latrine. I pray that one day I will be able to use the toilet again. I hope that when I get married I will be like all other women and will not have to embarrass my husband with this condition," shared Emily with a shy smile on her face.
Nin is a 27-year-old rainy day farmer from Cambodia. He has 3 older sibling. Nin shared that he enjoys playing volleyball, football, fishing, and plays chess with his friends. In July 2021, Nin was in a motor vehicle accident that caused a mandible injury and paralysis of his shoulder. After the accident, he had his mandible fixed at a local government hospital. He was also diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his right side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. Nin still has no shoulder abduction, no elbow or wrist flexion, and has no sensation at the level of his forearm. Nin needs nerve reconstruction surgery to repair the injured nerves. Nin traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On September 6th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm and hand again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Nin hopes that he can use his hand again as soon as possible.
Fred is a motorbike delivery man from Kenya. He is the last born in a family of five. Fred recently got a job in Nairobi making deliveries using a motorbike. He has only been working for two months at his job. On average, he can make $4 a day. The single young man lives in an apartment costing $30 a month. He does not have active medical insurance coverage do to the cost. His parents are small-scale farmers who grow food crops for home-use on their half an acre piece of land in Kisii. Fred's parents rely on him for upkeep and income since not all his siblings have jobs. To save money, he had travelled to his ancestral home in Kisii (about 500 km from Nairobi) to visit his elderly parents using his work motorbike. He was involved in an accident along Maai Maihiu road while going back to Nairobi. A personal car was on the wrong side of the narrow road and unfortunately hit him. He was rushed to Kijabe Hospital as an emergency case and admitted right away. X-rays revealed that he has a midshaft fracture femur, distal fibular fracture, ulna styloid fracture, Scaphoid fracture, and fracture of his finger.. The Orthopedic team has recommended right femur and right distal tibia fracture repair surgery. He is currently unable to walk or use his right leg and arm. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 25th, Fred will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. He will be able to walk again and use his arm again Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Fred says, “I am young and have a life to lead, I cannot lose my leg. I recently started working with high hopes for my future and supporting my elderly parents. I also promised my brother to pay for his college fees. Sadly, I now cannot walk or use my legs”.
George is a young boy in grade six who loves playing football. George is the youngest of three children. Both of his parents are farmers. To earn a living, his mother sells their farm's produce, which earns a small amount to support their needs. To supplement their earnings, his father does whatever work he comes across. George was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, George has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. George will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMH). Fortunately, he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 12th. AMHF is requesting $561 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. George’s father says, “It is very difficult for us as a family to raise the required amount for his surgery. Any help offered to us will highly be appreciated.”
Omar is a 14-year-old student and the youngest of eight children. He is in grade 5 and likes reading. His father is a farmer and his mother died last year after a long illness. Omar has clubfoot in both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Omar and his father traveled over a day to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on June 28th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Omar's clubfoot repair. He is scheduled to undergo right foot triple arthrodesis surgery to first correct his right foot. After treatment, he will be able to walk and be able to put on shoes. “Any support rendered to make my son walk like other children will be highly appreciated,” Omar’s father told us.
Saray is a 16-year-old student who with his mother and his five older siblings. His father passed away a few years ago. His mother and older brothers work as farmers. When he is not at school, Saray likes to help with household chores or go for walks with one of his brothers. About five years ago, Saray had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Saray experiences pain, hearing loss, tinnitus and ear discharge. It is difficult for Saray to hear his family members, listen to the teacher at school, and in the past few months he has had to take time away from school. Saray traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On May 25th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $925 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Saray said, "I hope that this ear pain will be gone after surgery. I want to hear well at school and also listen to music on the radio when I am at home."
Naomi is a 15-year-old girl from Kenya. She is a very fun, talkative, and outgoing girl. In school, she is in Grade 5 and is among some of the best students in her class. Naomi is the sixth born in a family of seven children. Some of her siblings are in college with different sponsorship programs, while others are in high school and primary school. Naomi’s father works hard finding labor jobs to provide for their family. Her mother currently stays at home to mainly take care of Naomi, as she is not able to go to school at the moment. Naomi has a history of spina bifida and hydrocephalus. In 2019, when her shunt that was helping treat her hydrocephalus unfortunately started malfunctioning, her mother brought her to a facility to see a neurosurgeon. At the facility, Naomi was admitted as an emergency case and was operated on successfully. After the surgery, she had a lengthy stay at the facility and was in and out of the Intensive Care Unit several times. During this time, Naomi was bedridden and developed two pressure sores in the process; one on the sacral and the other one on the right gluteal region. The medical practitioners in the facility were not able to offer any treatment for her pressure sores. As time went by, the pressure sores worsened and grew deeper. One medical practitioner advised Naomi’s mother to dress the wounds with vinegar and honey on a daily basis. Her mother tried this and noticed some small improvement. Until she had enough money to take Naomi to the hospital, she continued with this home treatment. Eventually, Naomi was brought to our Medical Partner Kijabe Hospital, where doctors examined her. Now, Naomi will undergo a colostomy conducted by the pediatric surgery team to divert the stool and avoid infection. Later, she will undergo debridement and flap reconstruction with the plastic surgery team to help her heal. However, Naomi's parents are unable to afford the cost of her care. Their family has a National Health Insurance Fund coverage that will help fund her later reconstruction procedures, but they need help raising money for the procedures Naomi must undergo now. Naomi’s mother appeals for financial support. Naomi will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. She is scheduled to undergo her colostomy surgery on April 13th. African Mission Healthcare is requesting $592 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will be free of pain and will be able to return to her studies again. Naomi’s mother shared, “Since Naomi was born, I knew that this was a God-given responsibility to take care of her and be with her throughout her treatment. Over the years, it is been difficult because of the cost of treatment as a result of several trips to seek care. She really needs this surgery but sadly we are I am unable to facilitate for it.”
Say is a four-year-old boy who lives with his mother, brother, sister, and grandfather in a refugee camp on the border of Thailand. His father returned to Burma to visit his village last year. When Thailand closed its borders because of the COVID-19 outbreak, his father could not come back to the camp. Say's grandfather is an assistant pastor in the camp and he receives his income through donations when he visits his church members for home prayers. Say goes to nursery school while both of his siblings go to primary school. His mother does all the household chores. Every month, their household receives some funding to purchase rations in the camp, which is just enough for their basic needs. They receive free healthcare and education in the camp, but specialized procedures like the care that Say needs are often not possible. In early February 2021, Say developed an inguinal hernia on his right side, which has resulted in swelling and pain. His mother has noticed that since he developed the hernia, his appetite has decreased, as eating more can sometimes cause additional discomfort. Fortunately, on March 25th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Say's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on March 25th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Say's mother said, "When I heard that my son needs surgery, I became so worried because he is the youngest in our family." She is eager for the surgery to be complete and for Say to have healed.
Sanchez is a 3-year-old boy from Haiti. He is an only child who lives with his mother and father in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He likes drawing pictures and playing with toy cars. Sanchez has a heart condition called ventricular septal defect, which means that there is a hole between the two lower chambers of his heart. He will fly to the United States to receive life-saving treatment. On February 17th, Sanchez will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will close the hole in his heart by sewing a patch over it. Another organization, HeartGift Foundation, is contributing $17,000 to pay for the surgery. Sanchez's family also needs help funding the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Sanchez's family overseas. Sanchez's mother shared, "our family has been praying for years that our child would be able to have this surgery. We are nervous but very glad it is happening!"
Lewis is a playful and social 11-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the sixth born in a family of eight children, and is brother to Jonah, another Watsi patient. When he's older, Jonah aspires to be in the special forces as a military officer in the future. His mother is a single parent and used to be a farmer, but currently stays at home to take care of her children. She recently underwent an amputation on her leg after suffering from diabetes. Lewis had clubfoot of both his feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Lewis traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons healed one foot with support from Watsi and now will perform his other clubfoot repair surgery on January 25th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Lewis's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk and play with his brother more easily. Rosaria, Lewis' mother shared, “We are grateful that Watsi is helping my two sons undergo surgery. We have seen a lot of impact on their feet. Previously, they used to complain of pain while walking and they like playing a lot. We plead for more support to ensure that their feet can be able to step on the ground and walk like other children. God bless you."
Khaing is a 27-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her husband and a three-year-old son in a village in Tak Province. Originally from Karen State, Burma, they moved to their current home three years ago in search of better job opportunities. Her husband is a day laborer and she is homemaker. Ten years ago, Khaing started feeling like her nose was blocked and that she could not breathe well. She also had a runny nose and saw a small mass in her nostril while looking at her reflection in the mirror. At the time, Khaing did not go to see a doctor because she could not afford to pay for treatment, and she thought that she would feel better over time. However, four years ago she noticed that the mass had grown. Khaing went to her local hospital in Burma, where the doctor confirmed she had a mass in her nostril and gave her medication for a week. She did not go back to her follow-up appointment as she had run out of money. She then tried to treat herself with traditional medicine unsuccessfully as the mass continued to increase in size. In the beginning of May 2020, Khaing developed a severe headache and pain in her nose. The area around her nose also became swollen. She went to Mae Tao Clinic for treatment, where the medic found large masses in both of her nasal cavities. She was then taken to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. At MSH, she received an x-ray of her nose and the doctor told her that the masses were large and surrounded by a lot of pus. After a CT scan, the doctor diagnosed her with a nasal polyp and scheduled her for surgery on December 28th, 2020. Currently, the area around her nose is swollen and painful. Her nostrils feel itchy, her nose is blocked, and has to breathe through her mouth. She still has a headache, though since she received pain medication from the doctor at MSH, this has been less severe. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 28th, Khaing will undergo an endoscopic sinus surgery. Once recovered, she will be able to breathe normally again and her quality of life will significantly improve. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Khaing shared, "I really want to have surgery and feel better. I am not scared because I believe that the surgery will help me be free from headaches and breathe well again."