United States • Born on April 9th
Mitch joined Watsi on November 1st, 2015. 8 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Mitch's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Guerdina, a 15-year-old girl from Haiti, to fund prep and overseas transport so she can receive life-saving cardiac surgery.
Mitch has funded healthcare for 93 patients in 12 countries.
Mitch has funded healthcare for 93 patients in 12 countries.
Guerdina is a 15-year-old girl who lives in the mountains of central Haiti with her parents and four siblings. When she was 10 years old, Guerdina suffered from rheumatic fever. Her illness severely damaged one of the valves of her heart, making it unable to adequately pump blood through her body. In 2019, she underwent a surgery to repair her damaged heart valve. That procedure helped for several years, but her repaired valve is becoming less functional and now needs to be replaced with an artificial valve. After surgery, Guerdina's heart should be able to pump more normally and her doctors share that she should be able to lead a full and active life. Because the surgery she needs in not available in Haiti, Guerdina must travel overseas to receive surgery. On June 2nd, she will undergo heart surgery with the Cardiac team at the Cleveland Clinic, where surgeons will replace her mitral valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) is helping Guerdina's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medication, and follow-up appointments. This will also support her family to obtain passports and the HCA social workers who will accompany Guerdina's family during their travels. Guerdina shared, "my entire family and I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been helping me!"
Dar is a 21-day-old baby girl who lives with her parents and her brother in a village in the border area of Karen State in Burma. Dar was born at home with the help of a traditional birth attendant. Two days after she was born, Dar's mother noticed a problem when Dar was passing stool. She told Dar’s father to call a medic from the clinic to their home. The medic realized that Dar was born with a anorectal condition and shared with Dar’s mother that baby Dar would urgently need surgery to receive a colostomy. Dar’s parents are subsistence farmers who grow rice and raise chickens. They also forage for vegetables in the jungle and go fishing when they want to eat fish. To purchase staples that they cannot produce such as salt and oil, Dar’s father works as an agricultural day labourer during the rainy season. However, since the rainy season has not yet begun, they currently have no income. However, their daily needs are fulfilled from living off the land. If they are sick and need to seek treatment, they go to the free clinic in their village run by Burma Medical Association (BMA). Fortunately our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund is helping Dar's family access the medical care she needs. They need help raising $1,500 to fund the treatment she needs. “We had to borrow money so far for Dar’s treatment and my husband cannot work,” said Dar’s mother. “I want to send my baby to school until she graduates so that she can become educated. I want this for her future because I only went to school until grade four. After she completes her studies, she can become whatever she wants one day.”
Rosemary is a loving grandmother and a single mother of five children, who have all grown now. Because of Rosemary's medical condition, she has not been able to work and therefore has no current source of income. She is currently staying with her sister who is taking care of her. Four months ago, Rosemary was hit by a car and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since. An X-ray revealed that her femur/thigh bone that connects to the hip socket is broken affecting her mobility. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On March 14th, Rosemary will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, to help heal her condition and hopefully be able to walk again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure and care. Rosemary shared, "I used to be well, and I could use my legs well. But after the accident, I am just confined to this wheelchair and cannot do anything without help. I hope this treatment will help me get back to my feet.”
Guy is an 8-year-old student from Haiti. Her lives with his parents and younger brother and sister in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. He likes going to school and dressing up for church. Guy has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart; blood leaks through this hole without properly circulating through his body, leaving him sickly and weak. Guy will fly to nearby Dominican Republic to receive treatment as the care he needs is not currently available in Haiti. On February 28th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is contributing $8000 to help pay for his surgery. Guy's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and his check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner who will accompany Guy's family overseas. His mom is relieved that his surgery is finally happening and shared: "I am looking forward to seeing my son gaining weight and strength after his surgery!"
Hezron is a talkative 26-year-old and hard working man. He gets work where ever he can and rents a small house in someone else's compound. When he doesn't have work to do, he helps care for the cattle on the farm or runs errands for his landlord. In August of last year, Hezron was attacked while transporting farm equipment. His leg was cut badly and his lower fibula was broken in the attack. He is at risk of infection and cannot walk like he used to. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On January 31st, Hezron will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. After treatment, Hezron will hopefully be able to return to his normal life. Now, AMH is requesting $1,500 to fund his procedure and care. Hezron shared, "I’m really looking forward to this surgery as it might be the last one in my treatment."
Da is a 67-year-old man who lives with his wife and son in a village on the border area of Thailand. Da cannot work since his vision deteriorated three years ago and his wife is a homemaker. His son works as a day labourer getting work when he can. In his free time, Da shared that he likes to listen to gospel songs. Starting three years ago, Da's right pupil gradually turned white. The vision in his eye also blurred over time. When he went to Mae Sot Hospital, the doctor diagnosed him with cataracts in both his eyes and told him he would need surgery to be able to see clearly again. The doctor scheduled him to receive surgery for his right eye first on December 28th. Currently, Da cannot see anything and can only perceive light. He needs someone to guide him to the bathroom and help him take a shower because he cannot see. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Da. Doctors can perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Da's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Da said, "I feel like I am in the darkness as I cannot see now. I hope that I will be able to see after surgery."
Greyson is a 2-week-old baby boy. Greyson’s mother is a stay-at-home mother, and his father is a salesman employed in a small motorcycle spare shop. Greyson 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, Greyson 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, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Greyson's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 29th. This procedure will hopefully spare Greyson from the risks associated with his condition, instead allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Greyson’s mother says, “Please help us save our child’s life. I have never seen a child with spina bifida before and I am scared for my son. Please help us.”
Bonface is a 27-year-old who works as a stone-mason to earn a living and raise his family. The income from this venture is inconsistent and therefore negligible to pay for major healthcare costs, including surgery. Bonface has been unable to work since he was in an accident earlier this year when he was coming home from work. He has a wife and a two-year-old son who both depend on him. Bonface's wife recently took a job as a shopkeeper in their hometown in Kirinyaga since he was unable to work. They live in a one-room house provided by a relative. Bonface walks with a severe limp and has a cast on his right leg. He was involved in a road traffic accident las January that resulted in a right open midshaft tibial fracture and has since visited different health facilities to help him walk and use his legs well. This fracture necessitated several surgeries including ex-fix, sequestrectomy, and 1st stage bone transport. He is currently scheduled for second bone transport and his family needs help to pay for the surgery. Bonface shared, "Accidents are terrible; they throw you off balance in life. I am now unable to walk and have not been able to work since the incident. My family relies on me and hopefully, after this treatment, I will be able to take care of them.”
Cho is a 50-year-old woman who lives with her husband and their three children in Burma. Cho is a homemaker, and her three children are students. However, their school is currently closed due to the ongoing political and humanitarian crisis in the country. Her husband used to work as a day labourer in Mawlamyine City but stopped working a few months ago because he was afraid of the military arresting him. To support his family, he goes fishing everyday near their village. From selling any surplus fish, he is able to earn about 100,000 kyat (approx. 100 USD) per month. This income is not enough to cover their daily needs or pay for basic health care, but they are working hard to get by. A few months ago, Cho noticed that she had a blister on her left heel. A few days later it burst and became an ulcer. Although she wanted to see a doctor, most of the public clinics and hospitals were closed, and she also could not afford to pay for treatment at them. In early September 2021, she went to a pharmacy nearby to buy medication for her diabetes but they could only provide her with painkillers and cleaning solution for the wound. At home, Cho cleaned the ulcer, but it continued to worsen. One day, her neighbour told her to go to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where she could receive affordable and good services. Cho borrowed money and went to MCLH. She was admitted on September 28th 2021, and the doctor examined her left heel and saw that her heel was swollen and that the ulcer had pus in it. The doctor then scheduled her to undergo surgery on September 30th 2021 to clean the ulcer and remove any necrotic tissue so she can heal. Our care center is requesting $694 to fund of Cho's wound debridement surgery, including her hospital stay and all other medical costs. Currently, Cho is in a lot of pain. When the temperature is cooler, especially at night, the pain worsens. If she does not take pain medication, she cannot sleep at night. Cho said, "When I heard donors may support my surgery, I felt very happy. Even though we have not met you in person, I want to thank you so much for helping me. I just want to live a healthy and happy life with my family.”
Salome is a jovial but very timid student. Her mother does most of the talking as she lovingly clings to her. Currently a fourth-grade student, and she aspires to be a teacher in the future. Salome is the second born in a family of four. Her older sibling is 17 years old, and the youngest is 8 years of age. Her father is a casual laborer who transports meat to butcheries around the Kagwe area in Kenya. Her mother is also a casual laborer and tends to farms for a living. They live in their ancestral home on a quarter an acre farm. Since birth, Salome has had an umbilical hernia. If not treated, the hernia could result in intestinal tissue damage and/or death. Fortunately, on August 26th, she will undergo repair surgery at our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $585 to fund Salome's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably and to continue her studies. Salome’s mother says, “My baby has had this condition since birth. We have not been able to take her to a hospital because we are financially struggling. I hope her condition does not threaten her life.”
Richard is an 11-year-old student and the oldest child in a family of four children. His parents are farmers and when they have a productive harvest, they are able to sell some of their produce. When he was born, Richard was diagnosed with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Richard is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on July 29th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $735 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Richard’s father shared, “as a parent, I would really be happy and grateful when Richard is treated.”
Makara shared, "I hope this surgery can help me return to work in the future so I can support my family. My life will change if I can use my arm again." Makara is a 31-year-old man who has been married for four years and has a three-year-old daughter. Makara's wife works in a garment factory near their home in the province. In April 2021, Makara was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of his left arm. He has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury on his left 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. He is unable to lift his arm and he cannot work. Makara traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On June 21st, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm normally again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure.