Engineer in San Diego
United States • github.com/abrussak • Born on October 29th
Alex joined Watsi on April 20th, 2014. 8 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Alex's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Stanley, a young boy from Haiti, to fund prep for cardiac surgery.
Alex has funded healthcare for 42 patients in 12 countries.
Alex has funded healthcare for 42 patients in 12 countries.
Stanley is a young child from Haiti. He lives with his mother and grandmother in a small city southwest of the capital. He enjoys listening to music and playing with his toys. Stanley also has Down syndrome. Stanley has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. On October 4, he will undergo cardiac surgery at St. Damien Hospital, our medical partner's care center. During surgery, surgeons, will sew a patch over the hole to close it. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5000 to pay for surgery. Stanley's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 requested by our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, covers cardiac exams and medications. His mother says, "Our family is so happy to know that Stanley's heart can be fixed!"
Htay is a 43-year-old woman who lives and works with her nieces and nephew on a cabbage farm in Thailand. Since 2016, Htay has had pain in her lower right abdomen. When the pain started, she received medication from a clinic, which helped. However, in 2017 Htay’s symptoms returned. She went back to the clinic, and was diagnosed with a gallstone in the common bile duct. After being diagnosed she was sent to the hospital, where the doctors confirmed her diagnosis and told her that she needed surgery. “I want to recover very soon so that I can return to my work," said Htay. Watsi is requesting $1,500 to help fund Htay's treatment. She will undergo a biliary obstruction repair on August 28.
Elena is a 38-year-old from Guatemala. She lives with her mother, brother, and two children. A year and a half ago, Elena started to feel a mass in her breast. Since her symptoms started, Elena has been losing weight and feeling weak, which makes her both physically and emotionally fatigued. She also experiences pain when sitting up straight. Elena has been diagnosed with breast cancer. On July 22, Elena will begin receiving comprehensive chemotherapy through our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq. She will receive transportation and accompaniment while receiving her treatment. After finishing her chemotherapy sessions, Elena will receive follow-ups with experienced physicians. To help fund her treatment and its associated costs, Wuqu' Kawoq requests $1,461. Elena says, “Right now I am sad for this sickness because I have had to go far away from my family, but I know that it is necessary. I want to get cured because I have to take care of my children because I’m the only one they have. I thank you for this opportunity you are giving me, for the help. I was scared and alone but with the accompaniment you give me I feel better because you understand the doctors and what I mean to say. Thank you so much.”
Phat is a 66-year-old grandfather from Cambodia. He is married with three sons, one daughter, and 12 grandchildren. In his free time, Phat likes to listen to monks pray on the radio. About seven months ago, Phat developed a cataract in each of his eyes, causing him blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and tearing. Hearing about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), Phat decided to seek treatment. On May 11, Phat will undergo a phacoemulsification procedure at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre, CSC's care center, receiving intraocular lens implants in each of his eyes to improve his vision. CSC is asking for $292 to cover the cost of his treatment. After surgery, Phat will be able to see clearly again!
Filesi is a 45-year-old farmer and mother of two from Malawi. Filesi lives with her husband and together they cultivate their land. Filesi is very close to her children and likes to spend her free time with her kids and grandkids. For the past five years, Filesi has been struggling with an epigastric hernia (in her upper abdomen) as well as an umbilical hernia. These hernias have become progressively worse over time, since the family hasn't had enough money to pay for the surgeries. On June 6, Filesi will undergo surgery to repair both hernias. Our medical partner, World Altering Medicine, is requesting $334 to fund the total cost of the procedure. After her procedure, Filesi will be able to go back to her normal life and resume daily activities without pain and discomfort.
Meet Elizabeth. She is a 17-year-old expectant mother originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo. During her free time, she likes going to church and learning the local language in Uganda. She and her husband work together to grow food on a small farm. Elizabeth's pregnancy is considered to be high-risk due to her age and her baby's breech position. The doctors recommend that she receive medical attention before, during, and after labor to ensure a safe delivery. On April 4, she will begin to receive supplements and attend antenatal checkups and health education classes. She will deliver her baby in the hospital, and she will undergo a C-section if necessary. After birth, Elizabeth and her baby will be monitored by the hospital staff. Our medical partner, The Kellermann Foundation, is requesting $241 to fund hospital monitoring for Elizabeth. Elizabeth says, “I thank the donors for the support they are according to people like me, who come in need of safe deliveries. May God bless the donors, and I will tell my daughter about the miracle of Watsi at Bwindi Hospital."
Wense is the youngest of three children. His mother, Christine, works hard as a subsistence farmer on her small plot of land to grow food to support her young family. As a single mother, it is difficult for Christine to earn enough money to send her older children to school. Christine's neighbor provided her with money to take Wense to our medical partner's care center, Bwindi Community Hospital, for treatment. Wense has been diagnosed with severe pediatric malnutrition. Our medical partner, The Kellermann Foundation, has scheduled Wense for a treatment program that is to begin on March 13. Wense will be given medication, milk, and micronutrient supplements. During this time, Wense will stay at Bwindi Community Hospital. The treatment program will cost $316. Your donation will help to support Wense's recovery. "I had heard that I could get help for my child at the hospital, so I am very grateful to God for the donors and my neighbor who have helped us get here," says Christine.
Pedro is five years old and in preschool, where he is learning his letters and numbers. He has two older sisters, with whom he likes to play. He and his sisters live with their grandmother in a town not far from the capital of the Dominican Republic. Pedro was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him sickly and weak. Although Pedro is not Haitian, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is collaborating with their partners in the Dominican Republic to offer treatment to Dominican children. Pedro will be one of the first children to receive this care. First, Pedro will undergo a full cardiac assessment on February 11. This assessment will include physical exams, labs, and an overnight stay at the hospital. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is requesting $1,500 to fund these procedures. Funding for Pedro also covers the cost of medications and social support for him and his family. Gift of Life International is contributing $7,000 to cover additional costs associated with Pedro's surgical care. His grandmother says, "It makes me sad to see Pedro get tired so easily when his sisters are playing. We will all be very happy when he has a healthy heart."
Kauta is a 70-year-old maize farmer from Malawi. He and his wife have eight children and twenty grandchildren. When not farming and taking care of chores, Kauta enjoys going to church and fellowshipping with his friends. For the past four years, Kauta has been experiencing urinary dysfunction. He was diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition in which the prostate gland is enlarged, blocking the urethra and making it difficult to use the restroom. On February 16, Kauta will undergo a prostate resection, a procedure in which part of the prostate gland is removed. He will receive care at our medical partner's care center, Nkhoma Hospital. Our medical partner, World Altering Medicine, is asking for $733 to fund Kauta's hospital stay, physician's fees, and medication. "I give thanks to you," says Kauta.
Kabugho is 49 years old, a widow, and a mother to two boys and a girl. Hailing from Uganda, she works as a secretary at a local high school and supports her entire family with the money she earns. Two years ago, Kabugho began to feel lower abdominal pain and backaches. She tried using painkillers, but the pain did not go away. In 2016, she was admitted to the hospital twice and diagnosed with chronic pelvic pain and endometriosis, a condition in which the uterine lining grows outside the uterus. Kabugho continues to feel pain and is unable to bend or sit for long periods of time. “I have used various medications, but the pain has persisted," Kabugho shares. Fortunately, Kabugho visited our medical partner's care center, Holy Family Virika Hospital, where she will undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy on December 15. Surgeons will remove her uterus and cervix to alleviate her symptoms. She cannot afford the surgery because of her limited income. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $268 to fund her care. After her surgery, Kabugho hopes to continue her work as a high school secretary and begin to trade in used clothing to earn more money for her family.
Koem Leang is six years old and in the first grade. He has two sisters and two brothers. He likes to play with his toys. In August 2015, Koem Leang's right elbow and forearm were burned with hot water. After the accident, he received treatment from a local hospital. He also used Khmer traditional medicine, but his symptoms did not improve. Koem Leang has developed keloids, or raised scar tissue growths, from the burn. He has difficulty using his right arm, and he is in pain. When Koem Leang's father learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), the family traveled for six hours to seek treatment. On December 9, surgeons at CSC performed a procedure to release the scar tissue on his right elbow and forearm. They also performed a skin graft to allow Koem Leang to use his arm easily again. CSC is requesting $450 to fund these surgeries. "I hope that my son has a better elbow that can bend properly again," says Koem Leang's mother.
Analou, a two-year-old girl, lives with her parents and two siblings in the Philippines. Her father works as an electrician, but he has difficulty providing for his family. Without proper nutrition, Analou is lighter and shorter than other children her age. Analou has been diagnosed with moderately acute malnutrition. She began $184 malnutrition treatment on October 21. She is being treated by International Care Ministries (ICM), a Watsi medical partner. One out of five children under five in ICM communities is either severely or moderately acutely malnourished. Worldwide, poor nutrition is associated with nearly half of all deaths in young children. In remote communities and urban slums of the Philippines, the lack of clean water and unclean environments add risk to potentially fatal childhood diseases. ICM’s Home-Based Feeding program provides nutrient-enriched food packs to ensure malnourished children get additional food to regain normal weight and achieve optimum physical and mental development. After identifying a child as malnourished, staff and community volunteers make weekly visits to monitor this child’s progress. To help sustain the health of the child, ICM's professional staff educate the mother, guardian, or other family members about proper nutrition, sanitation, hygiene, and organic vegetable gardening. "I hope she will gain weight and be able to go to school," says Analou's mother.