Jessica VleugelMONTHLY DONOR
Jessica's Story

Jessica joined Watsi on November 22nd, 2014. Seven years ago, Jessica joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jessica's most recent donation traveled 5,900 miles to support Leakhen, a curious and playful student from Cambodia, for spinal surgery for her birth condition.

Impact

Jessica has funded healthcare for 83 patients in 11 countries.

All patients funded by Jessica

Leakhen is a bright and hardworking 12-year-old girl. She and her brother live with their parents, who are rainy day farmers, in Takeo province in Cambodia. Leakhen enjoys playing with her brother, reading books, and doing homework. When she grows up, Leakhen would like to be a teacher. Leakhen was born with congenital scoliosis. Congenital scoliosis is the presence of an abnormal curvature of the spine. The curvature causes the spinal column to bend left or right. Leakhen is not able to stand up straight or expand her lungs, which causes her frequent fatigue and chronic pain. Because of the stress that scoliosis places on the vital organs of adolescents and their ability to grow, active treatment is required. If not corrected, she could experience progressive weakness, numbness, or a loss of coordination. Leakhen is embarrassed to go places because of her condition. She has had two previous surgical procedures, and surgeons have determined that she needs a revision of her spinal rod to help her heal. Leakhen and her family traveled to our medical partner’s care center to receive treatment. On September 17th, she will undergo a revision of her spinal rod. During this procedure, surgeons will implant and expand a rod to allow her to continue to grow normally. Our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. This support will help her feel confident and be active like other children her age. Leakhen said, "I hope that my spine will look better and I can play with other children."

73%funded
$1,099raised
$400to go

Lemayan is a young three year old boy and the last born child to his mother of five. His father has two wives and a total of seven children in their family. Lemayan's parents are livestock keepers who depend on the sale of milk for their livelihood and once in a while, they are able to sell cattle, however their income is limited. Lemayan was diagnosed with Bilateral Varus. He is having difficulty walking and has pain when he stands or walks for a short distance. His mother noticed the condition when he learned to stand and walk. It began as a slight curve, but over the years the curve has increased significantly. His condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, it has led to Lemayan not wanting to stand or walk by himself, thus forcing the mother to carry him on her back most of the time. Through a visit of doctors to their village, his parents learned that he could get treated at Watsi's medical partner's care center. Lemayan's parents cannot afford the treatment cost and are asking for help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Lemayan. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 19th. Treatment will hopefully restore Lemayan's mobility, allow him to participate in all kinds of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Lemayan's mother says, “It was a slight curve back then when he learnt to stand but over the years the curve has increased significantly and now he is scared of walking. Please help.”

$880raised
Fully funded

U Win is a 54-year-old man who lives with his wife and youngest son in the Ayeyarwaddy Division in Burma. He has three sons and three daughters, with five of his children already married and working. His 17-year-old son left school because they were unable to pay school fees, and worked as a day laborer until COVID-19 happened. U Win used to work as a day laborer as well, but stopped working around two years ago due to his health condition. His family survives on 60,000 kyat (approx. 60 USD) each month that U Win's three other daughters and another son send them, enough to cover their basic expenses. In January 2012, U Win felt tired, had a headache, suffered from heart palpitations, and a rapid heartbeat. He went to a clinic where the doctor listened to his heart with a stethoscope and checked his blood pressure. U Win was told that he has high blood pressure and that he would need to take oral medication for a long time. He received an injection, oral medication, and another appointment for more medication. After he took the medication, he felt better and he went back to work. However, U Win continued to experience worsening symptoms over the next few years, returning to clinics and receiving the same treatment. He was told at one point to visit a cardiologist, but did not do so until later on. In August 2020, during another clinic visit in Yangon, the doctor diagnosed U Win with an atrial septal defect, and said that he would need to receive surgery to repair this hole in his heart. If not treated, the condition could weaken his heart further and cause lung problems later on. He was unable to receive surgery in November due to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases, and was also told the procedure would cost about 3,000,000 kyat (approx. 3,000 USD). Luckily, U Win’s wife remembered that there is a charity group in Yangon that might be able to help. The group told him about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, to look for assistance with accessing the treatment he needed. U Win currently experiences chest pain and back pain, has no appetite, and cannot sleep well at night. He appeals for financial support for his cost of care. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On December 20th, U Win will undergo an atrial septal defect closure procedure. Once recovered, his quality of life will significantly improve and he will be able to return to work. Now, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. U Win shared, “I want to get better soon so that I can work for my family again. I am worried about my family’s future because we cannot find work in the village. My son also cannot go to Yangon to find another job because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.”

$1,500raised
Fully funded

Pamela is wheeled into the consultation room wincing in pain. She briefly smiles but gets back to a serious face. Pamela is a widow whose husband passed away in 1993. After his passing, family conflicts forced her to move from their home village in Migori and settle in a crowded, more run-down neighborhood near Eastleigh. She used to work as a tailor but, after she needed a wheelchair in 2011, she has been unable to work. Pamela lives in a single room tin-roofed house and the local church helps to support her rent. She doesn’t have an ID so it has been hard for her to access local services such as medical support. Pamela told us that she has been relying on well-wishers and their local church for survival and her closest relatives live in Migori and rarely are able to offer her support. Pamela arrived to the hospital with bladder calculus with recurrent UTI that requires an urgent cystolithotomy, a curative laparotomy procedure, to aid relieve her stomach pains that have been recurrent for many years now. According to her neighbors who brought her to the facility, she had been in severe pain the whole night, and the medicine that she received from a nearby dispensary were not helping her. Pamela has been through a lot medically and socially. In late 2011, she suffered from TB of her spine and underwent spinal surgery. She has been using a wheelchair since then. In mid-2017, her stomach pains started and in November 2019, she underwent several tests and was booked for surgery at a hospital. She didn’t have funds so she went back home and continued managing her pains with pain medication. Upon hearing about Watsi's Medical Partner Kijabe Hospital, she came hoping for treatment. On November 7th this year, she was reviewed by the doctors and several tests were done which revealed her condition and need for surgery. She was discharged home and booked for a follow up appointment and possible surgery next week (November 23rd) but because of the pains, she was rushed back to the hospital. Pamela shared with us, “This is my only option to get rid of the pains. I have tried several medications but they are not working. I really need assistance to get this surgery. “

$616raised
Fully funded

Josphat is a baby boy from Kenya. Josphat was born with an anorectal malformation, which caused him to not be able to pass stool at all. Eager to see their third-born child treated, his parents immediately came to Kijabe Hospital. The physicians reviewed him and recommended him to first go through a colostomy, which is a procedure where the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall. Though they were not able to source funds for the surgery initially, a member of parliament ended up funding the entire procedure. Next, for the second surgery, a PSARP was performed with the support of Watsi donors. Josphat has successfully recovered from this surgery and is now scheduled for his third and final surgery. This surgery entails closure of the colostomy, enabling Josphat to pass stool normally and preventing future complications. Josphat’s father is a gardener in different people’s homes, and his mother is not working because she provides care for Josphat as he recovers. With no other source of income, Josphat’s parents are not able to raise extra money to pay for his surgery and are requesting financial help. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $650 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Josphat. The surgery is scheduled to take place on October 19th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Josphat’s mother shared with gratitude, “Having received help from this program before, I am again requesting for your financial support for my son and his health.”

$650raised
Fully funded