Lewis joined Watsi on March 9th, 2014. 6 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Lewis' most recent donation traveled 9,300 miles to support Glenda, a baby girl from Guatemala, to treat acute malnutrition.
Lewis has funded healthcare for 24 patients in 6 countries.
Lewis has funded healthcare for 24 patients in 6 countries.
Meet Glenda, a 20-month-old baby who lives in Guatemala with her parents and six older siblings. Her favorite toy is a doll that was given to her by her siblings and her favorite fruit is an orange. Glenda has acute malnutrition. “Her mother and father knew she was malnourished because the community health center told them when they weighed her,” our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq, explains. “Glenda is far below the average height and weight for her age. Without intervention, Glenda’s weight and height will continue to fall away from the curve and she will be at risk for the long-term effects of malnutrition.” “Her physical and mental development and growth will be stunted, preventing her from reaching her full potential,” Wuqu’ Kawoq continues. “Her immune system will continue to weaken and her parents will likely have to spend money (that they do not have) on medication and medical consultation.” $535 covers the full treatment cost to get Glenda back on a normal growth curve. “This treatment will supply Glenda with the growth monitoring, micronutrient and food supplementation, and medication needed to increase her overall caloric intake,” Wuqu’ Kawoq says. “Her mother will receive intensive nutrition education, thus building her confidence and ability to care for Glenda throughout her childhood. Intervention now will prevent the future devastating effects of malnutrition, and give Glenda the chance to live a healthy and productive life.” “This work is good,” shares Glenda’s mother. “With this support, we can improve the quality of food for our child. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to enter in this program.”
"It has been difficult for my wife to support our family alone over the past year,” says Julius, a 37-year-old man who lives with his wife and two young children in Kenya. “Julius first began having back problems in 2009,” our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us. “His limbs often become numb, and he cannot bend or lift anything. If not treated, Julius could suffer permanent nerve damage, and this might render him disabled.” Julius has a condition known as spinal disc prolapse, commonly known as a slipped disc or herniated disc. Spinal discs sit between adjacent bones (vertebrae) of the spine. When the fibrous outer covering of the disc weakens, the gel-like core expands and contacts a nerve from the spinal cord, causing pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling in the legs. Julius has not been able to work as a driver since last year because of his condition. To support the family, his wife farms arrowroot to sell and use at home and also works on other farms for additional income. Doctors recommend surgery—laminectomy, discectomy, and spinal fusion—to cut away a portion of the vertebrae and the prolapsed disc and join the adjacent vertebrae. With $1,500, Julius can undergo back surgery and receive 10 days of hospital care and physiotherapy. “We expect that after treatment and recovery,” says AMHF, “Julius will no longer be in pain or suffer numbness. He will be able work again.” “I hope to get well soon so that I can work again and provide for my family," says Julius.
Meet Hugo, a 16-month-old boy from Guatemala. His favorite food is hard boiled eggs and he enjoys playing with toy cars. Hugo is the only child to his mother, a blouse weaver, and father, a plantation worker. Our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), reports that Hugo has acute malnutrition. His symptoms include a below average height and weight. "Most children in the village where Hugo lives are malnourished, and as a result it is more difficult for the mothers to identify that their children are suffering, as there are limited examples of how healthy children grow/develop," WK states. If left untreated, Hugo's malnutrition could lead to a weakened immune system, decline in energy, and delays in developmental milestones such as walking and talking. WK shares that as a result of a continued decline in Hugo's health, his family may face tough financial challenges. $535 will fund care for Hugo's acute malnutrition. "This treatment will supply Hugo with the growth monitoring, micronutrient and food supplementation, and medication for him to recoup some of the weight and height he has lost and prevent any sort of parasitic infection," states WK. “This is a great help… this will help our son grow well. We can’t afford what he needs to grow well at this time, but the education and supplementation will help us learn what we can do,” says Hugo's mother.
Meet Bwanakei, a three-month-old baby boy from Kenya. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us, “Bwanakei has an abnormal head size due to accumulation of cerebral spinal fluid in the brain.” Bwanakei’s swelling is caused by a condition called hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a condition in which an excess of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) builds up, creating heavily pressurized areas in the brain. As Bwanakei grows and develops throughout his childhood, this condition could pose serious health complications, including vision loss and limited physical mobility. AMHF tells us, if Bwanakei “is not treated, the accumulation of cerebral spinal fluid may cause brain damage.” Bwanakei’s Parents are subsistence farmers who not only provide for their eight children, but also for Bwanakei’s grandparents. AMHF explains that, Bwanakei’s parents have a hard time “harvesting crops from their small piece of land because there are wild animals nearby that destroy their crops.” AMHF adds, “They are therefore not able to raise funds for Bwanakei’s treatment.” With $980 in funding Bwanakei will receive a surgery where a stunt will be put in his head to reroute the cerebral spinal fluid to the abdomen, where it can be more easily absorbed. AMHF believes this surgery will prevent brain damage. Bwanakei’s father shares, “I came here in faith with nothing but bus fare for my wife and child. I am hopeful that Bwanakei will get treated.”
Meet Chan, a 21-year-old student from Cambodia! Our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC), shares, “Chan enjoys reading the newspaper and listening to Khmer pop and traditional music in his free time.” Due to a broken arm sustained from an accident, however, Chan is currently unable to attend school. CSC explains, “Chan was in a traffic accident about three months ago and broke his left forearm in a couple of places.” Upon visiting a local hospital, “The doctors put him in a hard cast for six weeks without resetting the bone first.” As a result of this improper procedure, “Chan’s arm is now deformed,” reports CSC. The uncorrected injury limits the functionality of Chan’s arm and he experiences issues with “bending his elbow and carrying things.” With $405 in funding, Chan will receive an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) operation. This two-part surgery will first reset the broken bones in his left arm. Afterwards, metal rods and plates will be used as internal fixatives to provide structure for the bone’s regrowth. In addition to surgery, Chan will receive five days of hospitalized care and all of the necessary examinations for a successful procedure. CSC fully expects this operation to positively impact Chan’s life as “Chan will have a corrected arm and will be able to fully use it.” After his recovery, Chan will be able to return to school and resume his studies.
"Like everybody else, I have dreams of getting a wife and my own children,” says Barnabas. "I really hope I can get help to be treated." Meet Barnabas, a 31-year-old man from Kenya. "Barnabas was hit by a motorbike as he was walking on the road," reports our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). "He sustained leg fractures. Due to lack of money, Barnabas has not received treatment." Barnabas has fractures in his tibia and fibula. "He has been experiencing severe pain and inability to use his right leg," AMHF continues. "If not treated, Barnabas will continue to suffer and the bone may have delayed union." Barnabas is single and works as a casual laborer at a training college. He makes very little money, and cannot afford the $1125 open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) surgery to heal his bones. “We expect after an ORIF, the bones will unite," AMHF adds. "Barnabas will be able to use his leg. He will be able to work and achieve his dream of having his own family.”
“I want to marry and have children soon. I want to be able to work so that I will be able to support my future family,” says Festus. Meet Festus, a 40-year-old man from Kenya who has a fractured right femur, the leg bone located above the knee. “Last week, Festus was harvesting Macadamia when he lost his footing and fell from the tree,” reports our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). “Festus is in pain and cannot walk nor sit without support. He is not able to work on his farm. If the surgery is not done soon, Festus may require more complex treatment such as a total hip replacement. He will also not be able to work on his farm nor walk again if not treated.” Festus is the oldest son in a family of five. “Festus is not married but has a fiancée,” continues AMHF. “Festus lives on a part of the family land that his father gave him and he farms bananas and vegetables on the land to support himself. He also takes care of his parents farm for them." For $1115, we can fund an Open Reduction and Internal Fixation (ORIF) procedure to heal his broken leg and ensure that he is able to walk properly. AMHF concludes, “We expect that after the surgery and recovery, Festus will be able to fulfill his dream and have a family that he can support by working on his farm.”
Say hello to Joselin, a newborn girl from Guatemala! "This little baby with Down’s syndrome came to see us last week. She has a loud murmur and our ultrasound of the heart shows a defect called a patent ductus," explains our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq (WK). "She is experiencing mild heart failure symptoms and is losing weight.” “Joselin’s mom knew about the murmur from the time the baby was born 6 months ago. However, she has such limited financial resources that she was scared and never brought her back to see the doctor,” WK continues. For $1,130, Joselin will receive the heart surgery to treat her heart defect and save her life. “I just want her to get better and to grow up to be healthy. I was so scared, but I’m glad I found you all,” says Joselin’s mom. Let’s help Joselin’s heart beat healthy again!
Meet Fednaelle, a two-year-old girl from Haiti. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, tells us that Fednaelle is from a family of seven kids, but that three of her siblings were lost during the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The family lives in the Haitian countryside and has a tough time making ends meet. Project Medishare shares with us that Fednaelle’s mother “used to sell food products from her farm in order to help the family but due to the illness of her last kid, she does not have time to do that.” Fednaelle’s mother is referring to Fednaelle’s illness. “Fednaelle was born with imperforate anus, the opening of her anus is blocked,” our medical partner in Haiti, Project Medishare, explains. This physical obstruction makes anal defecation impossible and led to an infection and ultimately an emergency surgery when Fednaelle was a baby. For $1,500, we can fund a procedure that Project Medishare explains will, “fix her bowel and reconstruct her anus and rectum; after the treatment she will be able to pass stool normally, be healthy and live a good life.” Together, we can help both Fednaelle and her family.
Julia is a 43-year-old woman from Kenya who is dealing with a painful case of uterine fibroids. Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths on the uterus which cause severe abdominal pain, prolonged menstruation, and anemia. "If not treated, the fibroids will continue to grow," our medical partners at African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF) explain, "increasing the swelling of Julia's lower abdomen causing her discomfort and pain and this growth will also affect other body organs." Julia is a widow with two children and she works as a casual laborer to provide for her family and cover their basic needs. However, Julia has been suffering from this condition for two years now, and her condition is growing worse. “My husband, who was the bread winner, died. I have been doing my best to at least feed my family and take our children to school. However, this sickness is hindering me from that responsibility. I pray that I get well soon so that my children will not suffer,” says Julia. With your support, treatment is just around the corner for Julia. She needs a total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH), which AMHF is prepared to perform for her. "We expect after a TAH, Julia will be relieved from the pain and swelling. She will recover fully and be able to work and raise her children,” shares our partner. Let's do it!
“I would like to become a pilot when I grow up,” says Ryan, a five-year-old boy from Kenya. He has one older sibling, a mother that does small-scale farming, and a father that runs a small business. “Ryan has difficulty passing urine because his urethra opens [in the wrong place],” our partners at African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF) tell us. This condition is called hypospadias. “If the surgery is not done, Ryan will not be able to have children when he grows up and this will affect his self esteem greatly,” AMHF continues. His parents have taken him to different health facilities, but have been unable to raise funds for his treatment. AMHF will provide Ryan with hypospadias repair surgery for $655 to help him pass urine normally. Let’s help Ryan get healthy!
About a month ago, while Vichet was working, a very heavy object dropped on his wrist, breaking his ulna. It is very difficult for him to carry and hold objects and he relies heavily on his sister for support. “I’m sad because I cannot work and help support my family,” Vichet says. We can fund a successful treatment for $405. “With this treatment, Vichet will regain use of his wrist and hand without pain,” reports our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre. Let’s help Vichet!