Mercedes Castillo
Mercedes' Story

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.

Impact

Mercedes has funded healthcare for 14 patients in 8 countries.

All patients funded by Mercedes

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."

$1,500raised
Fully funded

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!

$1,500raised
Fully funded

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!

$1,500raised
Fully funded

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.”

$535raised
Fully funded

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.

$535raised
Fully funded