Gareth joined Watsi on March 20th, 2014. Six years ago, Gareth joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Gareth's most recent donation traveled 3,100 miles to support Carlens, a three-year-old boy from Haiti, to fund heart surgery and grow up healthy.
Gareth has funded healthcare for 91 patients in 12 countries.
Gareth has funded healthcare for 91 patients in 12 countries.
Carlens is a three-year-old boy from Haiti. He lives with his parents and three siblings in a neighborhood in the capital city. He likes playing with blocks and drawing pictures. Carlens was born with a condition called aortic valve stenosis, in which one of the four valves of his heart is too small to allow blood to flow through normally. This causes his heart to work too hard, leaving him feeling sick and weak. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is helping Carlens to receive treatment. On September 9th, doctors will use a catheter with a balloon at the end to stretch the valve open so that his heart can pump blood more normally. Now, his family needs help to raise $1,500 towards the cost of his procedure and care. Carlens' mother shared, "we are very hopeful that our son will have more energy and will become stronger after his surgery!"
Furahini is a five-year-old student from Tanzania and the oldest child in a family of three children. Furahini is hardworking, friendly, and social; she is currently in kindergarten and loves coloring in her free time. "Furahini" is a Swahili word that means "be happy". Her grandmother suggested the name to her parents because even though they were worried about her birth condition, they were thankful for their firstborn child. Furahini has clubfoot of right foot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. The condition causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Furahini to receive treatment. She traveled to visit AMH's care center where surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on August 10th. Now, AMH is requesting $935 to fund Furahini's procedure. After treatment, she will able to walk easily and wear shoes. Her grandmother shared, "my granddaughter is struggling to walk thus she was sent to stay with me so that she does not have to walk long distances to school. If she is able to have her foot corrected she will go back to her family and enjoy living with her parents and siblings."
Gladys is a 47-year-old hardworking woman and a mother to three children. Gladys is separated from her husband and now lives with two of her children in a small rented room. In January, Gladys began experiencing troubling symptoms including neck swelling, headaches, and difficulty swallowing. She was diagnosed with an enlarged thyroid and needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Gladys receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on June 9th at AMH's care center, where surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. Now, she needs help to fund this $657 procedure. Gladys shared, "if this condition is treated, I can continue with my work. I am requesting help so that I can be treated and be okay to take care of my children."
Mwanzia is a 13-year-old student from Kenya. He loves playing football and he is a huge fan of Manchester United. In March of 2017, while at his grandfather’s house, Mwanzia's right hand and wrist were badly burned. Mwanzia now has burn contractures, which have affected the use of his hand and also his education as he cannot hold a pen or write well with his condition. In 2017, Mwanzia had burn contracture release surgery on his right wrist, and now he needs additional surgery on his right hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Mwanzia receive treatment. On June 6th, surgeons at AMH's care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery so that Mwanzia will have full use of his right hand and will be able to write well in school. Now, he needs help to fund this $840 procedure. Mwanzia's mother shared, “we are grateful to Cure Hospital and Watsi for the support for our family and we continue to plead for more support."
Elvin is a one-year-old baby boy and the youngest in a family of two children. His mother shared that he is usually a smiley and happy baby. Elvin's mother sells goods at a shop, while his father is a welder. Elvin has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Elvin has been experiencing pain and is at risk of brain damage. His condition has made him irritable and he experiences regular fevers and vomiting whenever he eats. Without treatment, Elvin will experience physical and developmental delays. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) can help. AMH is requesting $1,300 to cover the cost of surgery to treat Elvin's hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th and will drain the excess fluid from Elvin's brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Elvin will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Elvin’s mother shared, "my son’s head keeps increasing in size and his health keeps worsening each day, please help."
Naw Kwee Moo is a 54-year-old woman from the Karen region in Burma, who lives with her husband and their family in a refugee camp. Of her children, three daughters and three sons still live in the refugee camp along with them near the Thai-Burma border. Naw Kwee is a homemaker and her husband is currently too ill to work. Five of their children go to school in the camp, four other children have moved away, and her second oldest son graduated from a post-secondary program in May 2020. He worked as an agricultural day laborer at a nearby Thai village until mid-December 2020. Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, he was no longer allowed to leave the camp. Naw Kwe’s household receives a monthly cash card to purchase basic rations. Although they receive free education and basic health care in the camp, they shared how hard it is to make ends meet. Starting four years ago, Naw Kwee often went to the camp’s hospital run by Malteser International (MI) Thailand to receive treatment for urinary tract infections (UTI). Most of the time, she would feel better after taking medication, but she was no longer able to work as an agricultural day laborer because of her pain. Over the next few years, she was diagnosed with chronic UTI. “I think my condition was caused from consuming dirty water,” she said. “When I worked as a day laborer, we had no access to clean water.” Naw Kwee received antibiotics through an intravenous (IV) line at the camp’s hospital. When her condition did not improve, a doctor at the camp’s hospital referred her again to Mae Sariang Hospital in March 2020. There she received a urine test and an x-ray of her kidneys, ureters and bladder. She was finally diagnosed with a right kidney stone. After multiple visits, the doctor at Mae Sariang Hospital referred her to Chiang Mai Hospital (CMH) for further treatment. However, Naw Kwee could not travel to CMH for a while due to travel restrictions after the outbreak of Covid-19. Finally, last June medical staff from her camp were able to bring Naw Kwee to Chiang Mai. During her appointment, the doctor scheduled her to undergo an intravenous pyelogram on July 16th, 2020. After she received a diagnostic test, she returned to CMH for her follow-up appointment on November 19th, 2020. During her appointment, she received more tests and it was at her next appointment Naw Kwee was told she needed to undergo multiple rounds of laser treatment to break up the stone in her kidney. She received her first round of laser treatment on February 11th, 2021. Two days later, she developed a fever and could only pass a bit of urine. She also started to experience severe back pain and other troubling symptoms. MI staff took her back to the hospital where she received an ultrasound. The nurse shared with her that after her laser treatment, the stones had broken up and many of them where now stuck in her ureter, creating a blockage. She now needs emergency surgery to remove the stones. Our Medical Partner Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to support her surgery and finally relieve her of her painful condition.
Vannary is a 15-year-old 9th grade student. Vannary's father is a driver, her mother is a cleaner, and she has two twin younger sisters. At home, Vannary enjoys playing with her sisters, reading books, and helping out her mother. Three months ago, Vannary developed an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, which led Vannary to experience hearing loss, tinnitus, and discharge. In order for her condition to improve, Vannary needs a mastoidectomy procedure in her ear to remove the cholesteatoma and help her hear clearly again. Vannary shared, "I hope my hearing can improve and the ear discharge finally will stop."
Sinon is a 62-year-old rice farmer from Cambodia with four sons and five grandchildren. Her husband passed away last year from brain cancer. Sinon shared with us that she enjoys visiting the local pagoda to listen to the monks pray. Around three years ago, Sinon developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her blurry vision, tearing, itching, cloudy lens, and photophobia. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Sinon learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and a half hours with her son seeking treatment. On October 15th, doctors will perform phacoemulsification and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $229 procedure. Sinon said, "I hope my surgery will help me improve my vision so I can do work at home and take care of my grandchildren."
Herrieth is a one-month-old beautiful girl and the firstborn to her young parents who recently graduated from college. Herrieth’s father graduated as a clinical officer, while her mother graduated as a nurse. Unfortunately, both parents have not been able to get an employment opportunity yet. They now help each other make a living through a small business of selling fish in order to be able to raise and take care of their baby. Herrieth was born with a bilateral clubfoot, which her parents were informed is treatable, but due to financial challenges they couldn’t afford the treatment cost. If not treated, Harrieth will not be able to walk properly as she develops and her chances of growing up with disability will be very high. Her parents got to know about Watsi's medical partner and the possibility for their daughter to have her feet corrected, thus they are asking for help. Fortunately, Herrieth's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre and The Plaster House. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 12th and provide critical follow-up care. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Herrieth's clubfoot repair. After treatment, as she grows older, she will be able to walk easily, run, and play. Herrieth’s mother says: “We would love to see our daughter lead a normal life without the challenges that come along with being disabled. Please help her.”
Twongyeirwe is a farmer from Uganda. She is a married mother to seven children with two sons who are both teachers and five daughters who are all married and farmers. She completed primary seven in school but never proceeded due to lack of school fees. She currently earns a living from small-scale farming where she grows food crops for home consumption and sells off the surplus to generate an income to the family, alongside her husband. Five years ago, Twongyeirwe began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty in swallowing, breathing, and experiences shortness of breath. She was diagnosed with a goitre, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Twongyeirwe receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on July 14th at our medical partner's care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $240, and she and her family need help raising money. Twongyeirwe says: “I am really grateful for this offer and I am looking forward to getting rid off this disfigurement hoping for better health to continue with farming.”
16-year-old James is an active boy, he likes looking after his father’s cattle, digging, and playing football in his free time. He is the fourth born in a family of six children. His father has two wives and they live in a traditional grass-thatched mud house in West Pokot County in Kenya. James's father is a farmer while his mother is a housewife. At the age of four, while playing football, James fell and sustained a patella dislocation - a knee injury in which the knee cap slips out of its normal position. The condition has greatly affected his mobility to the point that he is not able to walk because of pain. He now limps as he walks, a situation which has affected his education. Fortunately, James is scheduled to undergo an open reduction surgery (with possible DFO) to return his knee's position and realign his bones so he can walk without any difficulty in the future. Their family cannot afford the treatment's bill and have requested for help meeting the cost of $1,224. "I desire to walk normally like my friends and so that I can continue helping my parents at home," James told us.
Ivan is a three-year-old boy from Tanzania. He loves playing with his friends, and doesn’t like staying indoors - sometimes, his mother has to force him to rest when he wants to play. Ivan is unable to use his right hand after being involved in a fire accident earlier this year in April. Ivan was outside playing with his friends, and his mother had put a pot of beans cooking on the stove. When it started raining, Ivan came back running into the house and slipped on the wet floor. His right hand went into the pot, burning him badly. Ivan's family took him to the hospital right away for treatment. It took time for his wounds to heal but eventually, they did. However, the burns healed with contractures, which make him unable to straighten his fingers and limit movement around his wrist. Ivan has been scheduled to have surgery, but his parents are unable to afford the treatment cost. Both of his parents have a small business of making and selling local soap, and they also make a living by selling fish. Their income is small, and they do not earn enough for Ivan's cost of care. They appeal for financial support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Ivan receive treatment. On December 11th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to allow Ivan to use his hand with ease. Once healed, he will be able to use his hand to care for himself, and learn to write when he starts school. Now, he needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Ivan’s mother shared, “Please help my son to get this treatment so that he can be able to write when he starts school. I am not able to afford his needed treatment, please help us."