Brooke joined Watsi on August 21st, 2014. 30 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Brooke's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Natinael, a sweet and shy boy from Ethiopia, to fund life-changing surgery to heal his birth condition.
Brooke has funded healthcare for 58 patients in 10 countries.
Brooke has funded healthcare for 58 patients in 10 countries.
Natinael is a sweet toddler who loves to play with toys. He loves birds especially looking at the doves where he lives with his mom. Natinael's mom shared that he is shy and always wants to be at her side. She is a single mom and has been raising Natinael on her own with help from her family. Natinael was born with birth condition called Bladder Extrophy, which means that his bladder is open to air and at great risk of infections and injury. He needs surgery to help heal his condition, but his mother is unable to afford the cost. She is very much worried and concerned by his health and wants to do whatever she can to make sure he grows up healthy. She shared, “At first I did not know about the gravity of his condition. Then when I went to the hospitals they said they can’t do the surgery and they referred me to another hospital. I was in so much distress. I thought ‘what is this disease that the doctors refer it to another hospital.’ One doctor explained the condition to me and that was my lowest time of my life. I couldn’t eat or drink or sleep. All I could do was cry. I asked God why this happened to me." Fortunately someone referred her to an organization that knew our medical partner's care center BKMCM Hospital where doctors can perform the surgery he needs. Natinael's mom says, "If he heals, I hope I will work hard and raise him well and give him good education. I did not go to school and that makes me to want to send Natinael to school more. I'd like to spend the rest of my life with him protecting him.”
Adrian is a shy and happy five-year-old boy. He is the oldest child in a family of two children, and lives in a single roomed rental house with his family. His mother works at a shop selling cereal near their home, while his father works as a casual laborer to make a living for their family. For about a week, Adrian has had a right inguinal hernia—a condition where soft tissue bulges through a weak place in the abdominal muscles. After a CT, ultrasound, and several tests, he was diagnosed with a hernia and surgery was recommended by his medical team. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Adrian receive treatment. On December 21st, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Now, he and his family need help raising $585 to fund his procedure and care. Adrian mother shared, "my son is in constant pain and complains a lot. He is in dire need of this treatment. Please help us."
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!"