Gilberto joined Watsi on July 31st, 2013. One year ago, Gilberto joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Gilberto's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Ruth, a sweet two-year-old girl from Haiti, to fund surgery that will heal her heart condition.
Gilberto has funded healthcare for 25 patients in 9 countries.
Gilberto has funded healthcare for 25 patients in 9 countries.
Ruth is a two-year-old girl who lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, which is the capital of the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. She is her parent's first child. Ruth was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus, which causes blood to leak through a hole between two major blood vessels near her heart. The condition makes it difficult for Ruth's small heart to fully function. Fortunately, her condition is highly treatable with surgery. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, so our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged to take Ruth and her mother to the Dominican Republic, where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole near her heart. The treatment, scheduled for May 25th, will stop blood from leaking into her blood vessels and should allow her to live a full life ahead. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 toward the surgery cost. Her family is raising $1,500 to help cover the rest of her treatment and related care, including travel for Ruth and her mother. Her mother shared, "Our family is very hopeful that after the surgery, our daughter will have more energy and a better appetite."
Sina is a 36-year-old security guard. He has one brother and one sister, and his father works as a tuk-tuk driver to help support their family. Sina works as a security guard for a non-governmental organization, and enjoys listening to music, watching TV, playing games on his phone, meeting up with friends, and helping his mother in his free time. Three years ago Sina developed pain on his right hip. He has a history of leukemia and psoriasis, which he receives treatment for at Mercy Medical Center Cambodia. It was when Sina came in with hip pain that they referred him to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). He was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and now cannot walk due to the pain and instability of his hip. Fortunately, on February 23rd, Sina will undergo a total hip replacement at CSC which will relieve his pain and allow him to walk and work more easily. Our medical partner is asking for $1,087 to help Sina in paying for his procedure. Sina said, "I am thankful that I can return to work once I am healed. I look forward to being free of pain."
Ezekiel is a two-year-old boy from the Philippines. He loves learning the alphabet and playing with cars. Ezekiel's mother is a stay-at-home mom and his father works at a fast food restaurant earning just enough to sustain the family's daily needs. Ezekiel was born with a congenital abnormality that causes intestinal blockage and requires a series of corrective procedures. Ezekiel's parents shared that they "prayed long and hard for a miracle" to get their child the healthcare he needs. Fortunately, Ezekiel is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on March 2nd and our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping his parents raise $1,279 to cover the cost of Ezekiel's procedure and care. After his recovery, Ezekiel will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of further health complications. Ezekiel's mother shared, "First and foremost, we are eternally grateful to everyone who has made a difference in our son's life. Second, we are excited and hopeful that after this treatment Ezekiel will be healthy and active just like the other children his age."
Marimar is from Samar, an island approximately 530 km away from the capital city of Manila. She's been diagnosed with cholelithiasis, also known as gallstone disease. She saw several doctors in her province after experiencing shooting pains in her stomach whenever she walked. Eventually, her condition has gotten severe to the point that she had to stop working due to her worsening symptoms. Due to the lack of equipment and specialists in their province, she has needed to travel to Manila to get the surgery she needs to heal. If left untreated, her condition may lead to tissue damage, tears in the gallbladder, and infection that can spread to other parts of her body. Luckily, her brother who works in construction in Manila is able to host her to stay with him until she undergoes surgery and afterward as she heals. Her surgery is scheduled for February 1st and our medical partner World Surgical Foundation Philippines is raising $1,253 to fund her procedure and care. After recovering, Marimar will be able to work again to support her family in Samar. Looking forward to a better future, Marimar shared, "after the surgery, I hope to be able to live and work again without the excruciating pain."
Bancy shared with us that she has been a widow since 1990 when her husband passed on. She raised her children on her own and they are all adults now. Bancy does small-scale farming on her one-acre ancestral piece of land. Bancy looks uneasy and eager to get treatment. She's had stomach pains for the last ten years. She says the prolonged stomach upsets are making her uncomfortable and in pain. The pain has been on and off but worsened this year. She was diagnosed with Pyloric Stenosis, a condition in which the opening between the stomach and small intestine thickens. Last month before visiting Kijabe Hospital, she had a series of painful instances. She visited a national referral hospital in Nairobi where she was reviewed and an endoscopy requested. She was scheduled for surgery but the cost was too high. She opted to try our medical partner's care center Kijabe Hospital where the same surgical operation can be carried out. There she can undergo a procedure called gastric antiectomy to finally heal her condition. Bancy is appealing for financial assistance. She shared, "For the last ten years, I have had prolonged stomach pains that are so uncomfortable. I have sought several interventions but so far have not received any help. I'm hopeful this surgery is my likely solution to my decade-old problem."
Liam is 3-year-old and the only child in his family. His mother is a housewife without a source of income and his father is a small-scale farmer tending food crops. They occasionally can sell crops when there's surplus to help earn more for their family. The income from the venture is small and inconsistent, and not sufficient to help pay for the treatment Liam requires. In August 2020, Liam was diagnosed with right inguinal hernia. He successfully had a right hernia repair surgery last year in August with support from Watsi donors. Unfortunately, doctors have now diagnosed a recurrence on his left side. He now has pains and a swollen stomach. Fortunately, on December 7th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $585 to fund Liam's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Liam’s mother says, “We had hoped our kid was doing well. This hernia is making his stomach swell and in pain. He needs this treatment urgently to relieve these discomforts.”
Aurelia nervously looked around the room and tightly clinged to her mother as our local Watsi rep met with her family at the hospital. Aurelia is the only child in her family. Her mother stays at home with her and has no source of income. Her father works as a volunteer cleaner at a local parish. The catholic priest heading the parish gives him $50 for upkeep and food. Aurelia's father lives in a single room provided for by the church, while her mother lives with Aurelia in their ancestral home in Shinyalu, Kenya. Aurelia does not have a medical insurance coverage and relies on support from friends and well-wishers. Aurelia is an 8-month-old baby and has been unable to pass stool normally since her birth. Doctors have diagnosed her with congenital condition and she needs a colostomy surgery to help treat her condition. If left untreated, the condition may cause complications with her spine, anus, heart, trachea, esophagus, kidneys, arms and legs, and digestive and urinary systems. When the beautiful bouncing baby girl was born in February, her parents and doctors realized that she could not pass stool. She was attended to and advised to visit the health facility in Shinyalu after three months. She went to the hospital but they didn’t have a pediatric specialist. They were referred to a bigger facility with pediatric surgery services. Their family went back home since they could not afford it. For several months, Aurelia has been straining to pass stool until a local priest intervened. The parish raised some amount for fare and consultation and they referred them to our medical partner's care center BethanyKids Hospital where similar services are offered. Aurelia's family visited the hospital on November 1st and doctors have recommended urgent surgery. Aurelia's father says, “My baby is jovial and active. But this condition is causing her a lot of strain especially when going to the bathroom. We are hopeful she will recover and be well.”
Davis is a bright young student from a village in Kenya. He's a six-year-old playful boy and the fourth-born in a family of six. His family lives in a two-roomed iron-built house on their inherited small farm. His father is a farmer who plants maize and his mother is a housewife. Davis' parents do not have any other source of income and only depend on farming. Due to this, they are having a difficult time financially, especially amid the pandemic. Unfortunately, on September 27th, Davis sustained a severe injury to his right lower limb after falling from a Sheller machine (a machine for shelling maize cobs) after trying to climb it. After hearing his cries, his father brought him to our medical partner's care center. The doctors reviewed him and an X-Ray revealed a fracture to his right femur. Davis was admitted to the hospital for skin traction to stabilize his fracture and realign the normal position of the bone. Due to the severity of the injury, Davis is in a lot of pain and couldn't walk nor sit properly. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On October 1st, Davis will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. AMH is requesting $1,145 to help fund this procedure. After successful treatment, Davis will be able to walk and resume his normal life and playful activities. Davis' father says, “He has so much pain, I feel sorry for him. I hope he gets treated and feels better and will be well again.”
Naw Dah is a 40-year-old woman who lives with her husband, four daughters and three sons in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Six of her children attend school in the camp, while Naw Dah looks after her youngest daughter at home. Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, her husband has had difficulty finding work outside of the camp for the past few months. The family survives on money they receive through a food card each month from an organization called The Border Consortium. Since 2016, Naw Dah has suffered from frequent, painful urinary tract infections. After she received an x-ray at a local hospital in April 2020, she was referred for further treatment and diagnosed with kidney stones. She received treatment in September 2020, but at follow-up appointments, the doctor told her that she still had fragments of the kidney stone, and she returned for multiple x-rays and oral medications. During her most recent follow-up in August 2021, the doctor told her that the stones are now 6mm in size and scheduled her for another ureteroscopy. She is unable to pay for surgery and was referred our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance accessing treatment. On September 3rd, she will undergo a ureteroscopy and now, she needs help raising $1,500 to fund her procedure and care. Naw Dah shared, "I am a bit scared as I already underwent treatment twice, but I really want to get better. So I put my trust in God and I will go through this pain again so that I will be free from this pain in the future."
Hy is a 38-year-old fisherman from Cambodia. He has been married for 9 years and has 2 young sons. His wife worked in a factory but now stays at home to look after Hy. One year ago, Hy was in a motor vehicle accident that left him with fractures that caused paralysis of his left arm. He was brought to a government hospital for treatment, but his arm still did not recover sensation or feeling after weeks of treatment. Hy 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, is in chronic pain, and can't work Fortunately, Hy traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 30th, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery so that he will be able to use his arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. He hopes that he can use his arm as soon as possible and can return to work to support his family.
Jackline is a nine-year-old student who does well in school and enjoys helping with household chores. Her favorite subject in school is Kiswahili. Jackline's mother is a housewife, while her father is a casual laborer who works at construction sites. Three years ago, Jackline was playing at home with friends when she fell and injured her left leg. She was taken to a nearby hospital where her leg was casted, but since then, she has been limping and experiences pain in her hip. She is unable to walk well or play with her friends, and the pain has affected her schooling. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Jackline to receive treatment. She visited AMH's care center for an orthopedic consultation and is scheduled to undergo an osteotomy on July 15th. The procedure will improve Jackline's mobility. Now, AMH is requesting $1,224 to fund Jackline's procedure. Jackline's mother shared, “I would like to see my daughter walking and continue with her normal life."
Wit is a four-year-old boy who lives with his parents in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Wit goes to junior kindergarten, while his parents own a small shop in the camp. In his free time, he enjoys drawing and coloring. He's also already really interested in fixing and building things. Since he was a year old, Wit has had an inguinal hernia. The hernia causes him pain in his scrotum and in his stomach. Due to the pain, he cannot run and play with his friends and he sometimes he misses school. To control the pain, he takes pain medication three times a day. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Wit to receive treatment. On June 1st, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once completed, the procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Wit's surgery. Wit's mother shared, "he tells me he wants to become a doctor [in the future], but he also says that he wants to become a mechanic or a builder. He will ask me to buy him tools and things to fix. He will try to fix his [father’s] motorcycle and bicycle.”