Elizabeth Engen-BrinkUNIVERSAL FUND MEMBER
Elizabeth's Story

Elizabeth joined Watsi on April 14th, 2022. Two years ago, Elizabeth joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Elizabeth's most recent donation supported Khryzanelle, a mother from Philippines, to fund gallbladder removal surgery.

Impact

Elizabeth has funded healthcare for 28 patients in 9 countries.

Patients funded by Elizabeth

Flora is a single mother of a baby boy aged 1.5 years. She is a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo who found herself in Malawi in the year 2022 in search of her sister Esperance. Flora grew up in her sister’s house since she lost all her parents through war. She shared that they got separated in 2016 during a war where Esperance's husband was killed and the family all scattered. Esperance, the sister, found herself in a refugee camp in Malawi in 2016 where Flora was able to trace her 6 years later. They both now run a saloon business which earns them a little income that helps to meet their needs. Flora was doing well until her recent pregnancy. During one of her antenatal clinics that was done at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), she was noted to have uterine fibroids through abdominal ultrasound scanning. She had a successful caesarian section in June 2022. However, since the birth of her child, Flora has been experiencing difficult symptoms leading to frequent blood transfusions due to anemia. Flora is weak at the moment and has been seeking medical attention frequently. On January 17th this year, Flora was taken back to KCH due a dangerous low blood level. She received three pints of whole blood, recovered, and was discharged home. On January 31st, she was seen by the gynecologist at KCH who recommended a hysterectomy but due to the long list at KCH, she is not able to be seen for many months. The gynecologist referred her to our medical partner's care center PIH for urgent attention due to her condition. Her sister brought her to PIH where the surgeon confirmed her diagnosis and the need for a total abdominal hysterectomy, which is the removal of the uterus, including the cervix. Flora was then referred to the Watsi program due to her financial status. Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in a woman's uterus. Fibroids might become quite large leading to severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding. If left untreated, fibroids continue to grow, both in size and number worsening the symptoms. The heavy bleeding may become worse causing anemia which may be fatal. Flora needs help raising $1,363 to fund her hysterectomy surgery scheduled for February 3rd. After the surgery, it is expected that Flora will be able to live her normal life, and continue taking care of her baby as she works hand-in-hand with her sister. Flora Said, “Kindly help me to get better. I have already come through a lot in my life."

$1,363raised
Fully funded

Leonard is a 41-year-old lumberjack from Kenya. He is a bachelor, has no children, and lives alone in his grandfather’s place. His work as a lumberjack is seasonal and he sometimes works on peoples' farms to earn money for basic needs. His relatives live in faraway places and are of limited socio-economic status. Leonard has no medical coverage and cannot raise the money required for his needed medical treatment. Leonard was injured while felling trees. One of the trees fell on Leonard, hitting him on his right hip. He fell, and the people with him ran away, thinking he had died. Leonard was unable to walk and slept at the scene. Luckily one of his neighbors passed by and found him. Leonard's neighbors carried him to the hospital for treatment as he could not stand or walk. An x-ray revealed that he had a complete fracture of the upper end of his right femur. He is now admitted to the surgical ward on bed rest because his fracture is at a weight-bearing joint. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 2nd, Leonard will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. A surgeon will make an incision, realign the bones, and insert hardware to hold the bones together. Subsequently, after recovery, Leonard will be able to walk again. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,247 to fund this procedure. Leonard says, “It is so sad that I cannot now walk but I thank God that I am alive because that tree was big. Please help me so that I may be able to work and be able to sustain myself because I have nobody to depend on.”

$1,247raised
Fully funded

Biruk is an adorable toddler from Ethiopia who loves to play and walk. He has recently started walking, and it seems like he only wants to explore the world on his feet. He also enjoys playing with other children, always eager to share their toys or try to claim some for himself. Being the only child in the family, he receives a lot of love and attention from his parents. Biruk's dad holds a university degree in agriculture, and his mom graduated from college with a diploma in ICT. Despite her educational background, she couldn't find a job in that field and now assists her husband with their farming endeavors. They were fortunate to receive a small farming land from their parents, and they work diligently to make a living from it. In addition to farming for their needs, they also purchase crops to sell, aiming to generate additional income and improve their economic situation. Although their income is modest, they work hard to support their family's daily necessities and strive to save up to purchase more land. Biruk was born with Hypospadias, a congenital abnormality which affects the male urinary opening. When he was just five months old, his parents took Biruk to a hospital for medical attention. The doctor mentioned that they would need a referral when the child reaches six months of age. Unfortunately, when they returned to the hospital later, they were informed that the doctor was unavailable, leaving them uncertain and frustrated. Without treatment, Biruk will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. Biruk is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery at AMH's care center on August 8th. AMH is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Biruk's mum said, “I will work hard to bring my child to a successful future once he receives the treatment and is healed. I hope he will be successful and lead a good life in the future.”

$1,293raised
Fully funded