Mercedes joined Watsi on June 26th, 2015. 13 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Mercedes' most recent donation supported Angela, a mother from Philippines, for surgery to remove her thyroid gland.
Mercedes has funded healthcare for 14 patients in 8 countries.
Mercedes has funded healthcare for 14 patients in 8 countries.
Angela is a 44-year-old mother of six children who lives in the Philippines. Seven years ago, Angela began tiring easily when doing household chores and would sometimes not finish her tasks for the day because she would need to stop and rest multiple times. She also began feeling nervous and having difficulty sleeping at night due to discomfort. To support the family, Angela's eldest son works as a fisherman and gives his mother money every month. His income is necessary to provide for their daily needs, as Angela's husband leaves only enough money to cover a month's worth of expenses when he goes away for five months of the year. Angela cannot work as she has to take care of her children, and she tries hard to keep them in school. Recently, Angela was visited by her family's pastor and a friend who is a part of our sponsored community to discuss a program to help her family elevate their economic status. During the second week of the program, Angela underwent a medical screening and was diagnosed with thyroiditis, a condition involving inflammation of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate the body's metabolism. When the gland is inflamed, thyroid hormone production can decrease, leading to fatigue. After completing blood tests, Angela was cleared to undergo surgery to remove her thyroid so that her condition would not progress. $1,500 covers the cost of Angela's surgery, transportation to and from the hospital, 10 days of hospital care—including medicine, imaging, and additional blood tests—and medication to take after she goes home. Angela looks forward to having more strength to take care of her family. "I would like to be healed and become better to serve my children and family and have quality time with them," she shares. "I want to be effective as a mother and friend to them. Thank you for your kind hearts."
Lae Lae is a 40-year-old woman who lives in Burma. She lives with her husband, 18-year-old daughter, 14 year-old son and 12-year-old daughter. Lae Lae first experienced gynecological symptoms in September of 2014. Her present symptoms include pain in the abdomen, back and lower body. She is unable to work as she is easily overcome with fatigue due to lack of sleep. She also suffers from chronic hypertension and late onset diabetes. In addition, her appetite decreased, resulting in loss of weight. She is concerned about her condition as it is quite painful. She has been confirmed by ultrasound and physical examination to have a uterine mass. Lae Lae is disappointed that she cannot fulfill her chores as a mother and housewife. Her husband has taken on more of the chores such as cleaning, cooking and looking after the children. His salary is not sufficient to meet all of the family’s expenses so he occasionally borrows money from a moneylender at 20% interest. They are unable to save money or meet major medical expenses. In her intake interview, Lae Lae said: “I hope to regain my strength so I can be the mother that my family needs. If I fully recover, I have ambitious plans to buy land and open up a shop selling dry goods."
Snow is a ten-year-old Burmese girl who lives in a refugee camp with her parents and older sisters. For the past eight years they have lived in the camp. Snow's family moved to the camp as they didn’t own their own home or land, and they were living with Snow’s grandmother and other members of the extended family. This situation influenced their decision to migrate to the refugee camp in Thailand. Snow and her family would like to relocate to a third country but they are uncertain whether the opportunity will present. In the camp, Snow’s mother does laundry for others for a small income. Previously her father worked as a carpenter but is unable to work now because of hemorrhoids. Their monthly income is insufficient for daily expenses, savings or health care expenses. Living in the camp, they receive food rations which offset the burden. At times the family has to borrow small amounts of money, which they repay when they can. Snow and her two sisters attend school. Symptoms first appeared with Snow when she was seven-years-old. She had severe pain in her abdomen when she was just sitting, and she was uncomfortable walking. After an examination at the camp's medical clinic, she was diagnosed with rectal polyps. On January 28th, the surgeon excised a rectal polyp. Snow’s mother didn’t receive information from the hospital regarding Snow’s diagnosis or treatment due to the language barrier. Snow was symptom-free for eight months but she had to return to the clinic on several occasions with the same symptoms. She was finally given a diagnosis of juvenile polyposis - marked by frequent recurrence of polyps in the colon and rectum with third degree internal hemorrhoids. $1500 will cover the cost of Snow's surgery to remove the additional polyps she now has. Although she is still going to school, Snow is unable to engage in active play and her appetite and sleep patterns have been disturbed. She likes to play with her dog and she enjoys singing and listening to music. "I would like to be a singer when I am older," Snow said. Let's help make it possible!
At one-month-old, Ana is the youngest of eight children. Her father works as a laborer harvesting coffee in their native Guatemala, and “does not make enough money to even buy basic foods for his family, let alone expensive infant formula,” explains our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq (WK). Ana's mother cannot produce breastmilk, and because the family is unable to afford formula, Ana is now acutely malnourished. "Her life is in danger if she does not receive formula," explains WK. Ana’s hunger causes her to cry frequently, and she frequently has diarrhea, a common symptom of malnutrition. “In the long term,” WK explains, “she could face permanent brain damage, have developmental delays, and have stunted growth if she does not receive treatment.” For $1016, we can fund a multi-pronged treatment plan that will restore her health. “Ana’s mother will receive deliveries of formula every week for a year, and will have in-home motivational nutrition classes to teach her about what Ana needs to be healthy,” WK reports. “This treatment will help Ana grow, strengthen her immune system, and help her avoid life-threatening seizures and diarrhea.” Ana’s mother is optimistic about Ana’s future. “Now that we can receive your help, we are sure that our daughter will be able to grow healthy. We hope that she will be a very intelligent girl and will become a professional."
Blessing is a 35-year-old seamstress from Nigeria who has one older and four younger siblings. Our medical partner, Hope for West Africa, tells us she has a "sweet personality" and likes to cook. Blessing was recently diagnosed with uterine fibroids, painful noncancerous growths in the uterus. As a result, she has been having painful, prolonged menstrual periods and difficulty urinating. "Due to the pains and prolonged menstrual flow she hasn't been concentrating in her business of making clothes," shares Hope for West Africa, our medical partner. Blessing is unable to pay for treatment, as she contributes part of her income to help her siblings attend school. For $1,500 we can fund surgery to remove the growths, relieving Blessing's pain. The funding will also cover hospitalization and recovery. "Blessing looks forward to when she can concentrate and spend most days in her shop without pain and heavy flow," the staff at Hope for West Africa adds.
Six-year-old Nehemie lives with her mother and father in Haiti. She enjoys attending school and playing with friends in her kindergarten class. “Nehemie was born with a heart defect called atrioventricular canal defect,” our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), tells us. “Holes exist between the upper and lower chambers of the heart, allowing blood to pass freely through all four chambers. This leads to heart failure and deprives the body of oxygen, leaving her sickly and weak.” "We have been very worried about Nehemie because she cannot keep up with the other children and gets tired very easily,” shares Nehemie’s mother. To repair Nehemie’s heart defect, doctors will perform a surgical procedure known as cardiac catheterization. Using imaging as a guide, doctors will thread a catheter—a thin, flexible tube inserted into a blood vessel—from the groin to the holes in the heart. Next, they will position a mesh patch contained within the catheter to close the holes and then remove the catheter. Over time, heart tissue grows into and around the mesh to permanently close the holes. For $1,500, HCA will provide the overseas preparation and transportation required for Nehemie’s surgery. Gift of Life International has donated $5000 to cover the costs of surgery and post-operative hospital care. “Following surgery, Nehemie should be able to lead a normal life with no further symptoms from this condition,” says HCA. Let’s help make that happen!
Edna is a mother of seven from Haiti. Four years ago, she lost her husband and now raises their children alone. Until recently, she managed a small business selling clothes on the street. Two years ago, Edna noticed a lump in her breast but did not seek treatment for some time. Recently, she visited our medical partner, Project Medishare, and was diagnosed with breast cancer. “She is scared of the cancer diagnosis and can’t wait to have the treatment,” they share. The cancer made her ill to the point she could no longer work, and now has no income for her family and the treatment. “She has significant physical limitations as a result of the cancer,” explains Project Medishare. “Her children are in school and cannot help her with everything and she is unable to afford her treatment.” With our support of $1,500, Edna will undergo a mastectomy to remove the cancer in her breast and chemotherapy to ensure that it does not come back. These funds will cover the necessary pre-operative care, surgical costs, chemotherapy drugs, and hospital stay. “She hopes to get back to work selling clothes and to get back to caring for her children,” Project Medishare shares. “Since her husband died, she is their sole caretaker.” Let’s help Edna get well and return to enjoying time with her family.
“Maung Win is a 45-year-old man who lives in Burma with his wife and 18-year-old son,” shares our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP). “He has lived in the township his entire life and works as a shop vendor with his wife. Their son is currently studying at college.” “Maung Win has rheumatic heart disease,” reports to BBP. “He is often tired and feels tenderness in his chest. It is difficult to breathe when it is hot at home. Due to his conditions, he has to take medicines every day and has to buy more medicine once a month. It is difficult to afford to costs of medicine and is sometimes difficult to work as a shop vendor due to fatigue.” $1,500 will cover life-saving cardiac surgery for Muang Win. This procedure will increase his ability to breathe and decrease his tiredness. Post-surgery, he should be able to return to work full-time. “After surgery, I want to work hard for my family, especially for my son who is studying at college,” Maung Win says. “I worry for my son and his schooling. I worry that I cannot earn as much money as I can to support my family.”
Maria, a 17-month-old girl from Guatemala, loves to play with a doll lent to her by a neighbor. “Maria is a generally happy child,” shares our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). “Maria is the youngest of five children and her mother is pregnant with a 6th. She is cared for by her 10-year-old sister who generally watches over all of the children, while their father works on a committee for the government health center and their mother works weaving textiles to sell.” Maria has acute malnutrition, and in the last several months she has been sick often with diarrhea and a cough. “Maria is weak and she is far below the average height and the average weight for her age,” says WK. With another child on the way, Maria’s mother does not have the resources to take Maria to a doctor. Her family fears they cannot afford the protein rich foods and the medicine Maria needs to recoup her weight and height. Childhood malnutrition has serious consequences that persist into adulthood. “Her immune system will continue to weaken and mental and physical development will be compromised which will, in turn, affect her ability to succeed in school and the work force,” explains WK. With $535, Maria will be provided with micronutrients, food supplements, and medication to treat her diarrhea and cough. After treatment, she will have more energy and her risk for chronic diseases later in life will be reduced. Lastly, her mother will enroll in WK's nutrition education courses. Maria’s mother shares, “Parents want what is best for their children, but without money we just simply cannot achieve this.”
Meet Timothe, a three-year-old boy from Haiti. Timothe lives with his parents and five siblings. Timothe has a congenital neurological condition called hydrocephalus, which causes excess cerebrospinal fluid to build up in his brain. According to our medical partner, Project Medishare (PM), Timothe’s head first began to swell a month after he was born. “The situation of my son affects me very badly,” shares Timothe’s father. “The other kids of his age are now going to school while my son cannot even sit to carry his own head. This makes me very sad.” If untreated, hydrocephalus can lead to long-term health complications, including delayed mental development. For $1,260, Timothe will receive brain surgery to treat his hydrocephalus. A shunt will be inserted into his head, draining the excess fluid and releasing the intracranial pressure from his brain. Timothe’s mother works as a saleswoman while his father teaches at the local school. Together, they produce a modest income that is not enough to cover the cost of Timothe’s medical expenses. “I will be very excited to see my son doing well after the surgery,” Timothe’s father tells us. “I just want him to be healthy.”
14-month-old Abel "lives with his mother and great grandmother. He feeds well, loves playing and recognizes his name well," shares our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). "His mother dropped out of school two years ago when she got pregnant and is still under the care of her aged grandmother." Abel was born without an anal opening. "He is not able to pass stool normally," AMHF shares. "Abel is susceptible to infections and blockage." "Abel’s great grandmother does subsistence farming while his mother runs a vegetable business, and hopes to sell enough every day to provide for her son," AMHF continues. "Her business however is not very stable, and often incurs loses because her products are perishable. Abel’s father who is a student, is not able to support them and is not willing to be associated with them. Abel's mother hopes to go back to school once her son is treated." $1,260 will fund the 2-stage surgery Abel needs to allow him to pass stool normally again. Surgery will prevent infection and blockage, and allow him to have a fully functional anal opening. "I hope I can get help for Abel's treatment, and get back to school once he’s well," his mother shares.
Meet Sayda, a one-year-old girl from Guatemala. “Sayda is cared for by her mother and two older brothers,” shares our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). “When Sayda feels her best, she loves to play with a baby doll given to her by a neighbor. Currently, however, her mom reports that she has been too tired to play.” Sayda is experiencing the effects of acute malnutrition. “She suffers from a cough, fever, and diarrhea and has been losing weight as a result,” WK reports. “Sayda’s immune system is weak and she has decreased energy.” Malnutrition can cause long-term damage if it goes untreated. “Over time Sayda's mental and physical development will be permanently stunted, thus leading to developmental delays and preventing her from reaching her full potential,” WK explains. “Limited brain development and chronic illness will limit her ability to concentrate and succeed in school. Without intervention, in the long term she will have an increased risk of chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, as well as decreased economic success.” $535 will help Sayda’s family get her health back on track. With this funding, Sayda will receive nutritional supplementation, medication, and growth monitoring to ensure that she is meeting her nutritional needs. These measures will help Sayda reach a healthy height and weight for her age, boost her energy, and bolster her immune system. She will thus be at a lower risk of developing the medical problems she has recently been fighting—such as cough, fever, and diarrhea. Sayda’s mother will also receive nutritional education to equip her with the skills and knowledge to make healthy choices for the family. This will help Sayda and her siblings maintain their health in the future. “I’m worried because she has more problems growing than the boys did,” shares Sayda’s mother. “I want her to study when she gets older, find a job and build a better way of life.” With our support, Sayda’s health will improve and her mother will be able to watch her baby begin to thrive.