Matthew joined Watsi on January 2nd, 2021. One year ago, Matthew joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Matthew's most recent donation supported Wensly, a sweet two-year-old boy from Haiti, to fund surgery prep and travel so his heart condition can finally be treated.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 21 patients in 10 countries.
Matthew has funded healthcare for 21 patients in 10 countries.
Wensly is a sweet two-year-old toddler from Haiti who loves to draw and to play with his toy trucks. He lives with his parents and older sister in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital city. Wensly was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Wensly is scheduled to fly to the Cayman Islands where he will undergo cardiac surgery at Health City Cayman Islands on September 19th. During this procedure, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart to prevent blood from flowing through it. A portion of the cost of Wensly's treatment is being supported by Have a Heart Cayman. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is raising the remaining $1,500 to cover the costs of his surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA’s social workers to accompany Wensly and his family overseas. Wensly's mother shares, "Our family has been hoping for this surgery since our son was a baby, and we are so thankful it is almost here!"
Khristopher is a six-year-old boy from Malawi who attends primary school. He is the fourth born in a family of five children. To support their family, his parents work as small-scale farmers. When Khristopher was one year old, he began to experience frequent stomachaches. Although his parents thought they would go away, the stomachaches persisted. At three years old, his condition worsened and swelling began to occur in a sensitive area every time Khristopher cried, coughed, or did anything strenuous. His parents shared that these symptoms worry them as they helplessly watch their child in pain due to this condition. He was eventually diagnosed with a right inguinal hernia, and his doctor referred him to a different hospital for surgery. However, due to financial constraints that prevented their family from being able to pay for transportation and medical expenses, Khristopher’s father decided to continue trying to heal Khristopher using traditional methods. For another three years, Khristopher was treated with traditional herbs. Unfortunately, these methods were not successful, and his condition persisted. His father decided to seek medical care once more, so he brought Khristopher to our medical partner's care center, Nkhoma Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), is helping Khristopher receive treatment. On August 4th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at Nkhoma Hospital. AMHF is requesting $846 to fund Khristopher's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and prevent future complications. Khristopher’s father says, “I have prayed and hoped for a solution to my son’s condition, and I now have faith that he will be cured.”
Wilna is a 13-year-old student from Haiti. Her family lives in a rural area in northwest Haiti, as Wilna's parents both work as farmers. Wilna is in the sixth grade and enjoys her math and social studies classes. Wilna has a cardiac condition called severe mitral regurgitation, which means one of Wilna's heart valves was damaged due to an infection she experienced earlier in childhood. As a result, Wilna's heart is not adequately pumping blood through her body. The care that she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately, Wilna will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On July 26th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will either repair her damaged heart valve or implant an artificial replacement, so that her heart can pump blood normally. Wilna's family is requesting assistance to cover the costs of her surgery prep, as our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is contributing the funds to cover the cost of surgery. HCA is requesting $1,500 to cover Wilna's surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Wilna and her family overseas. Wilna shared, "I am glad to be having this surgery so that I will be able to walk without feeling tired."
Khu is a 42-year-old who lives with his three sisters and two nieces in a refugee camp. In February, he had to flee across the border from Karen State in Burma due to fighting around his village. His two younger sisters are students, while his other sister is currently working as an agricultural day laborer since Khu cannot work since his accident. He looks after his two nieces who are too young to go to school. In March, Khu was working on a local farm and was struck on the right forearm by a tire chain from an exploding tractor tire he was filling. After unsuccessfully trying for two months to heal his arm with blessed oil and turmeric paste, he sought medical help and was referred to Mae Sot hospital, where it was determined that he needs surgery for a broken forearm bone. Currently, Khu cannot lift up his right arm and cannot grab any objects with his right hand. He cannot move his right arm because of the pain. He has taken pain medicine since his accident to control the pain and he is not able to work. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Khu will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for June 1st and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help him regain use of his right arm so that he can go back to work and earn a living to support himself and his family. Khu said, “Everyone told me that I am very lucky that only my arm was injured. I feel very sad that I cannot work and that I have to depend on my sister’s income. She has to work hard since my accident. I hope I will get better soon so that I can find work again.”
Samir is a beautiful 12-day-old baby boy and the first-born child of his young parents. Both parents are very happy having had their first-born child, but they were became very concerned when they were informed that their son was born with a medical condition that need surgery to be corrected. Samir was born with clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. As he grows older, this condition will cause difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Samir’s father works as a mechanic, and he says he spent all his savings during the delivery, and he no longer has any money to be able to cover treatment for their son’s clubfoot treatment. Fortunately, Samir's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on April 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Samir's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to grow up healthy and walk well as he grows. Samir’s mother shared, “I don’t want our son to grow up with a disability of the foot just because we don’t have the money to treat him. Thank you for helping.”
Sa is a 36-year-old woman who likes to sew clothes. She also enjoys doing household chores and making delicious curries. Her husband is a nightguard at a hospital. Since 2015, Sa started to experience pain in her back and her pelvic area. Since December, her pain has worsened which makes it hard for her to sleep. She shared that she is feeling increasingly worried and depressed since she first experienced the pain and realized that she was unwell. Watsi donors helped support a CT scan and doctors have now diagnosed her with bilateral ovarian cancer. To help treat her condition, her doctors advised Sa to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Sa's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Sa is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on February 25th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she is hopeful that she'll no longer be in pain and will have a better shot at recovering from cancer. Sa said, "I was very worried when I heard that I needed surgery and that it would cost a lot of money. I was worried that if the donors stopped helping me, where would I come up with enough money to pay for my surgery. I could not sleep last night, constantly worrying about my treatment cost. When I called BCMF's staff and they told me that donors could pay for my surgery, I felt so much better. Thank you everyone for helping me."
Nan Hla is a 65-year-old nun. She lives alone, as she is the only nun in her monastery of monks in Karen State in Burma. Nan Hla shared that she meditates daily, and the community supports her with meals. Her son, who also lives in Burma, can sometimes provide Nan Hla with extra money to buy additional snacks. On February 20th, Nan Hla began to experience severe stomach pains. She visited a local hospital the next day, where she received an ultrasound and x-ray, but her test results were not clear. As a result, she was referred to another hospital for a CT scan a few days later. The CT scan indicated she has common bile duct stones. Currently, Nan Hla is experiencing heartburn, jaundice, and a poor appetite, as she feels nauseous after she eats any solid food. Doctors have advised her to undergo a cholecystectomy, which is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. If left untreated, Nan Hla's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Nan Hla receive treatment. On March 1st, she will undergo a cholecystectomy. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Nan Hla's procedure and care. Nan Hla shared, "I have never experienced these kinds of symptoms before. This is a very bad experience to go through. I pray that all the donors will be healthy. May all your work be successful."
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."
Jacinta is a 38-year-old woman. She's the third born child in a family of four children, and has one child who is 15 years old. Jacinta is separated from her husband, and is the sole breadwinner of her family. She studied hotel management and was working in a big hotel, but unfortunately, she lost her job due to the pandemic. She now runs a small food kiosk to care for her family. In 2015, Jacinta began experiencing pain in her upper abdomen. She was diagnosed with gallstones and a partial cholecystectomy was performed. However, last year, she began experiencing pain again, which is sometimes severe. After an ultrasound, she was diagnosed with gallstones again and admitted to the hospital with severe pain. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Jacinta receive treatment. On December 7th, she will undergo a laparotomy to remove the gallstones. If left untreated, she could experience complications such as inflammation of the gall bladder, or obstruction or infection of the bile duct. Now, she needs help raising $788 to fund her procedure and care. Jacinta shared, "I am so worried this problem is back, but I know with surgery I will be okay. At this time, I am not able to raise the fees required and have not been able to get the national health coverage card. I request help so that with this treatment I can go back to my small business and at least be able to take care of my family."
Desiree is a three-year-old girl from Venezuela. Seven months ago, her family left Venezuela for Colombia seeking better opportunities. After tragically experiencing the loss of Desiree's siblings, Desiree fills her parents' life with joy and happiness. She loves playing with dolls and dancing. One day, her parents hope she will become a ballerina. Desiree was born with amniotic band syndrome. Her condition has affected one of her right toes, which frequently bleeds. Fortunately, our medical partner, Clínica Noel, is helping Desiree receive treatment. On December 7th, she will undergo surgery to stop the bleeding and help her live a healthy and active life ahead. After surgery, she will be able to walk, run, and dance without pain. Now, her family needs help raising $1,500 to fund Desiree's procedure and care. Desiree's mother shared, "first of all I would like to thank you all for making this all possible. Thanks to you and the donors my daughter will stop her pain. I would love to invite people to continue making their donations in order to help families that unfortunately can't pay for their kids' treatment."
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.”
Thidar is a 43-year-old woman who lives with her husband and two daughters in Burma. She is a homemaker while her two daughters are students. However, the school in their village is closed due to the teachers being on strike following the country's coup earlier this year. Thidar was diagnosed with diabetes 13 years ago, and recently noticed that her toe on her left foot was becoming black. After visiting a local clinic, Thidar was diagnosed with having an ulcer and was prescribed medication as treatment. Unfortunately, the ulcer was not responding to medication and various treatments. Thidar then was advised to visit an hospital where the doctor's further noticed more of her toes were swollen and black as well. Thidar was diagnosed with gangrene, a rare infection where blood flow does not reach your extremities. Our medical partner, the Burma Children Medical Fund is requesting $694 for surgery on Thidar's foot to treat the gangrene. Currently, Thidar is in pain especially at night. She is unable to sleep well and is worried about her foot and her family's financial situation. She told us, "In the future I want to open a shop in my home,” she said. “Thank you so much to all the donors and supporters.”