Juan joined Watsi on May 13th, 2014. Seven years ago, Juan joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Juan's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Besufikad, a 4-year-old boy from Ethiopia, to fund hypospadias corrective surgery.
Juan has funded healthcare for 83 patients in 11 countries.
Juan has funded healthcare for 83 patients in 11 countries.
Besufikad is an energetic 4-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He loves playing football with other children. He enjoys eating Shiro with injera, meat, and vegetables and loves drinking milk. He has one older sister; she is in grade three at a community school. Besufikad's mother used to work at a government office, but she had to stop working in order to care for him. People around her support her with food and house rent. They live with her sister, who is paralyzed. She and her family are dependent on unreliable support, thus they are unable to afford the recommended treatment for Besufikad. Besufikad was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Besufikad is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on May 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Besufikad's mother said, “If he gets the treatment and becomes well, I may be able to start working again. I will educate him. I hope he will become a doctor.”
Christian is a two year old toddler, living with his parents in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He is a happy and playful child, who particularly enjoys listening to music. Christian has a cardiac condition called severe coarctation of the aorta. As a result of this condition, there is a narrowing in the major blood vessel leading from his heart, which causes his heart to strain too hard to push blood through it. The care he needs is not available anywhere in the country, so Christian needs to travel to the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. On April 4th, he will undergo open heart surgery, during which doctors will rebuild his aorta, restoring it to a more normal size. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, is contributing $16,000 to pay for this procedure. However, Christian's family also needs help to fund the $1,500 to cover the costs of pre-surgery prep, lab tests, medicines, and follow up appointments. This money will also pay for passport obtainment, and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Christian's family overseas. Christian's mother said: "Our family is hopeful that everything will go well with our son's surgery, and that he will have a safe and smooth recovery."
In 2018, Jerry noticed a palpable mass under his jaw that kept increasing in size. Although he sought medical attention, Jerry and his family were unable to support his continued need for medications and checkups. Over time, the mass kept growing, causing swelling in his neck. Due to his condition, Jerry was unable to receive job orders and support his family. This has affected his self-esteem and confidence in socializing with other people. Fortunately, a few months ago Jerry was referred by his friend to our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines. Doctors assessed Jerry and diagnosed him with a submandibular gland tumor. This condition usually presents as a painless neck mass but may progress into cancer if not treated immediately. World Surgical Foundation Philippines is helping Jerry access the care he needs and is asking for your help to fund his $1,479 procedure on March 11th. Jerry shared, "I’ve been praying to the Lord to heal my condition. Gladly, he sent you as an answer to my prayers. I may not be able to return the favor, but I’ll continuously pray that the Lord bless you more. Thank you so much, WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for helping me!”
Elysee is a 26-year-old farmer. He resides with his parents and several other relatives on a small farm in the mountains of central Haiti. Elysee lives with a double outlet right ventricle. This means that Elysee's aorta and pulmonary artery do not connect to the usual places in the heart. This condition, which is present from birth, can lead to numerous heart problems, making it rare for someone with this condition to live to adulthood. While Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital are contributing $10,000 to fund corrective cardiac surgery for Elysee on February 28th, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to fund the costs of Elysee's pre-surgical prep; lab tests; medicines and follow up appointments. The money is also needed to support the travel costs for the social workers from Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Elysee and his family on their trip to the United States. Elysee said: "I am excited to finally be healthy for the first time in my life!"
Da is a 64-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives alone and she is retired. Her daughter, who works as a day laborer, supports her with basic living cost and takes care of her when she is sick. On January 5th, after Da finished taking a shower, she tried to pick her shirt from the bathroom floor and she suddenly slipped. She fell down on the floor and broke her left femour bone. Currently, she experiences pain in her left thigh. She can’t move her left leg and can’t even sit down. She can only slightly move her toes. There is no external wound but the swelling has gotten worse, which is a concern for her. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Da will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for January 9th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will free Da from her pain, and help her walk and look after herself again. Da said, "I was capable of doing my household activities before the accident. After that, I wasn’t even able to sit properly. I had to lie down all the time because my thigh is so painful. My daughter can't go to work because she has to take care of me." She also added, "After the treatment, I want to take care of myself without anyone’s help. I don’t want anyone to get busy because of me.”
Gebre is a ten-year-old boy who lives with his family in Ethiopia. He loves playing football with his friends, and eating injera (a traditional Ethiopian food.) Gebre's father is a farmer, but as he is currently unwell, he can no longer work and maintain his family financially. Instead, Gebre’s two older brothers support the family. One brother works as a teacher, while the other brother manages the family farm. However, the area of Ethiopia where the family lives is significantly affected by war and poor climate, and their whole community currently needs support the government and from local NGOs for survival and basic needs. Gebre was born with an anorectal malformation, which is a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. In November 2022, Gebre had a colostomy, to prepare him for the additional procedures he will need to resolve his condition. Gebre is now scheduled to undergo surgery on December 6th, at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Gebre's procedure and care. After his recovery, Gebre will no longer experience bowel dysfunction, or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Gebre's brother says: “I hope my brother gets as normal as other boys. I hope he will be educated and have a bright future.”
Emmanuel is a 17-year-old student from Haiti who hopes to become a doctor. He lives with his aunt and uncle in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince so that he can more easily attend school, as his parents live in the countryside. Emmanuel has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation, which means one of his heart valves was severely damaged from an infection he experienced in early childhood. In 2017, Emmanuel underwent heart surgery to repair his existing valve. This surgery stabilized his heart for several years, but the valve remains unable to pump blood adequately throughout his body. Emmanuel needs to undergo a second surgery to replace the valve with a prosthetic heart valve. Emmanuel will fly to the Dominican Republic to receive treatment, as this surgery is unavailable in Haiti. On November 10th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove the damaged heart valve and implant a replacement valve. An organization called Mitral Foundation is contributing $8,000 to pay for help pay for surgery. Emmanuel's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Emmanuel's family overseas. Emmanuel shared, "I am looking forward to growing stronger and having much more energy after my surgery!"
Mark is a primary school student in a special need school in Nairobi. Mark wears a broad smile and is feeling proud to take his photo and share his story. Mark is the firstborn in a family of two children. Mark's parents are both hawkers at a local market in Githurai. His father sells second-hand shoes famously known as Mitumba and his mother sells t-shirts at the same market. This work results in inconsistent income for their family. Mark has a fracture and dislocation of the shoulder joint and the upper part of the bone of the arm (humerus). As a result of his disability, Mark is unable to communicate the cause of the injury, but his mother suspects he fell a couple weeks ago and injured himself. Mark is unable to use his arm and hand as a result of the fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 5th, Mark will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal well and he will be able to use his arm and hand again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Mark's family raise $1,500 to fund this procedure. Mark's mother shared, “Mark is struggling to use his hand. He is in constant pain and it is written all over his face. Normally, he is a jovial kid but the pain is making him frown constantly.”
Primer is a father of three from Haiti. He lives in a small village in southwestern Haiti with his wife and three children; he is a farmer and sells produce in the local market. Primer has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. One of the four valves of his heart is severely damaged as the result of a rheumatic infection he suffered a number of years ago, and cannot adequately pump blood through his heart and body. The surgery that Primer needs is not available anywhere in the country so he will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On September 13th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove the damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $9000 to pay for surgery. Primer's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also covers travel expenses for the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Primer's family overseas, as well as the cost of obtaining Prince's passport. Prince says: "I am very grateful to be having this surgery so I can take care of my family and see my children grow up."
Kidus is a five-month-old baby from Ethiopia who is his parents' first child. Some of his favorite activities include breast feeding and playing with his mother. His parents are both students and farmers. They earn their income by selling fruits from their farm; however, the weather in their area is very sunny and their land is dry, which makes their harvest limited. Kidus was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital condition that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Kidus recently underwent a colostomy, an intestinal procedure that inserts a colostomy bag. His parents share that paying for this surgery was very difficult. They had to borrow the money from individual loaners, and it has been difficult for them to repay it. In the middle of these challenging times, they heard about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, and their care center, BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre. Kidus's parents decided to seek financial assistance so he could complete the series of surgeries he needs. Kidus is now scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on August 17th. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Kidus's procedure and care. After his recovery, Kidus will no longer experience bowel dysfunction and will be able to live more comfortably and confidently. Kidus's dad says, “We were happy that we got this opportunity. We hope that our child will get the treatment and make stool just like other people.”
Sai lives with his parents and sister in a village in Karen State in the border region of Burma where there is currently a lot of violence and instability. His sister is a teacher, while both he and his parents run a shop from their home, selling various items such as snacks, drinks, dry goods, and cement. In his free time, he loves to play cane ball with his friends. In early November 2021, Sai received treatment for COVID-19. While getting treatment, doctors also discovered that he was born with a hole in his heart, and he was diagnosed with atrial septal defect. A doctor in Yangon confirmed his diagnosis and told him that he needs surgery. He recommended he go to Thailand as the only other option was to receive surgery at a military hospital in Burma, which have been impacted in the recent humanitarian crisis. Sai's aunt suggested he seek treatment at a clinic in Thailand and he was referred to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial support to make his care possible. Now, Sai is raising $1,500 for his Atrial Septal Defect Closure procedure, which is scheduled for July 12th. Sai said, “I would like to receive surgery as soon as possible so that I can help my parents like before. Now, my father has to do all the hard and heavy work, which is not good for him as he is getting old.”
Thu Zar is a 21-year-old woman who lives with her parents, three sisters, and three nieces in Mae Sot near the Thailand-Burma border. Her family moved from Shan State in Burma to Thailand in 2008 in search of better opportunities. She used to work at a logistics company until two weeks ago when she quit due to her condition. Her parents run a small shop from their home, and her oldest sister is a cleaner at a restaurant. One of her other sister’s is unemployed and her third sister as well as her three nieces all go to school. In 2015, Thu Zar felt a small mobile mass in her chest. She did not feel any pain at the time and forgot about the mass. In 2019, she attended a workshop about reproductive health at her school, run by Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). During the workshop she remembered the mass and later when she was alone, she checked to see if it was still there. She felt the mass and thought that it had increased in size, but she did not experience any pain. The next day, she told the workshop trainer about the mass. The trainer told her to go to MTC for treatment. However, Thu Zar decided she did not want to take time off from school to go to the clinic, since she thought the mass was not causing her any pain or discomfort. Now, Thu Zar's condition has worsened and causes her great pain. She can only sleep on her back, because if she sleeps in any other position she experiences immense pain. Thu Zar sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 9th to heal her condition. She is raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Thu Zar is very worried about her health and told us, "I feel very sad and depressed with this condition."