United States • Born on April 24th
Alexandra joined Watsi on December 28th, 2015. Six years ago, Alexandra joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Alexandra's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Ma Win, an 18-year-old girl from Burma, to fund life-saving heart surgery.
Alexandra has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 11 countries.
Alexandra has funded healthcare for 85 patients in 11 countries.
Ma Win is an 18-year-old girl who lives with her parents, sister and brother-in-law in Yangon, Burma. Ma Win’s sister works at a clothing factory, while her brother-in-law works as a day laborer. Her parents are homemakers. Before Ma Win's current illness, she also worked at a factory. When Ma Win was four years old, she experienced a bout of high fever, and was brought to the local clinic. She received an injection, and the doctor informed her parents that she was born with a heart problem. However, she was too young at the time for corrective surgery. Instead, she was sent home with medication, and appeared to be doing well until this past year. In April, Ma Win began experiencing chest pains, high fever and difficulty breathing. She went to a clinic, and received an x-ray and an echocardiogram. After the doctor checked her results, she was diagnosed with an opening between two major blood vessels leading from the heart. The doctor told her and her family that she would need to have surgery. When Ma Win explained to the doctor that her family could not afford to pay for the surgery, she was referred to the abbot of a local monastery, who provided the family with information about our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. Now Ma Win is scheduled for cardiac surgery on October 23rd at Pun Hlaing Hospital. After she has recovered, she should no longer experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, and she won't have to worry any longer about her condition. She will also be able to return to work, which will help ease her family's financial burdens. Now she needs your help to raise $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure. Ma Win said: “I am scared to receive surgery, but my mother tries to encourage me. However, I am very happy that I will be able to receive treatment with your help. I would like to say thank you so much to all the donors.”
Steevenson is a 21-year-old, living in a small farming village in southwest Haiti, with his parents and three younger siblings. Steevenson helps his parents tend to their farm, although he is hoping to be able to complete high school, once his health has improved. As a child, Steevenson suffered from a case of rheumatic fever, which left his heart severely damaged. As a result, one of his four heart valves cannot pump sufficient blood through his body, which leaves Steevenson weak and short of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is helping Steevenson to finally receive the treatment that he needs. Steevenson will fly to the Dominican Republic, where on September 26th, surgeons at Hospital CEDIMAT will attempt to repair his damaged valve. If this isn't possible, an artificial valve will be implanted. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for Steevenson's surgery. But Steevenson's family also needs your help to secure $1,500 to fund the cost of labs, medicines and follow up appointments, as well as for the passports and the social workers who will accompany the family to the Dominican Republic. Steevenson shared, "I have been praying for this surgery since I was a child, and I hope that when it is over I can be fully healthy and will have more energy."
Vit is a 35-year-old taxi driver from Cambodia who currently lives with and helps support his elderly parents. During his free time, he enjoys playing volleyball and watching the news on his phone. One month ago, Vit developed a chalazion in his right eye, causing him to experience eye swelling, itchiness, and chronic irritation. A chalazion is an inflamed cyst in a patient's tear gland. As a result of his condition, it is difficult for him to see clearly and drive. Vit traveled for three and a half hours to seek treatment from our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. On August 11th, surgeons will remove the cyst through a chalazion excision procedure. After recovery, Vit's symptoms should improve. He now needs help raising $210 to fund this procedure. Vit says, "I hope after surgery my eyelid will not be swollen and I can go back to driving a taxi to support my parents."
Sineth is an active 19-month-old toddler. He has an older brother and older sister and enjoys playing with toys and singing along with videos of children's songs. His favorite activity is taking naps on his mother's lap. His parents are rice farmers in Kampong Speu Province in southern Cambodia. Sineth was born with congenital stenosing tenosynovitis - also known as trigger finger - in both of his thumbs. It is a condition in which the finger gets stuck in a bent position. The tendons - tough bands of tissue that connect muscles and bones in the thumb - have an abnormal flexion. Sineth is not able to grasp objects and it is painful when his mother tries to straighten his thumbs. Fortunately, a villager told his parents that our partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can fix Sineth's fingers, so they traveled two and half hours for diagnosis and treatment. Now, his parents need help to pay the $572 cost of surgery. This includes surgical costs, medications, and post-operative care. Sineth's mother said: "I hope that the doctors can fix my baby's fingers so he can hold things, and will grow up to have normal hands."
Christmaelle is a beautiful toddler from Haiti. She lives with her parents, grandparents, and three older siblings in a small fishing village in southwest Haiti. The adults in her family all fish and raise livestock for a living. Christmaelle has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart; blood leaks through this hole without first passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. The surgery Christmaelle needs is not available in Haiti, so she will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On June 28th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in her heart with a patch so that blood can no longer leak through it. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $7,000 to pay for her surgery. Christmaelle's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and followup. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports the cost of getting passports and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Christmaelle's family overseas. Christmaelle's mother said: "Our family is praying for everyone who is helping our daughter to become healthy again!"
Malachi is a 5-year-old preschooler and the only son of a single mum. Their family hails from Nakuru County in Kenya. His mother is currently sick, and his family is being taken care of by his grandmother. Malachi's grandmother does small jobs, such as farming, washing, and weeding in their neighbor’s farms. She does this on a day-to-day basis in order to support the family. Malachi suffers from a condition known as lower limb deficiency. This hinders him from walking straight and squatting, which also impacts his self-esteem. Fortunately, Malachi was able to travel to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform surgery on May 9th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Malachi's treatment, which will help him to be able to walk, engage in school, and play. His family also hopes this will boost his self-esteem. “I want to become a doctor so that I help other sick people and my mum,” Malachi says.
Naing is a 27-year-old man who lives with his parents, brother and two sisters in Burma. He enjoys playing cane ball and reading. His parents are retired and grow vegetables in their garden. Naing's brother is a day laborer, but he has been unable to find regular work since the Covid-19 pandemic, so he cannot contribute towards household expenses. One of Naing's sisters works as a government officer, while the other is a shop worker. Naing used to work in his uncle’s shop selling groceries and flowers, but he was forced to stop working when his health began to decline. Naing first developed a cough and a fast heartbeat in November 2021. At a clinic in Dawei, Naing was diagnosed with high blood pressure, provided with medication, and sent home. In December 2021, because of his rapid heartbeat, Naing traveled to the hospital in Dawei, where he underwent a series of tests. Doctors at the hospital told Naing that there were problems with the valves in his heart. Once again, Naing was given medication, and sent home. Last February, Naing vomited, could not sleep, and felt tired when he stood or sat. He went to Dawei General Hospital, and showed the doctor his previous echocardiogram result. The doctor told him to continue taking his medication from Yangon, and gave him some vitamins. A few days later, Naing felt better. Then in March, Naing and his sister went to Yangon General Hospital, where he underwent more testing. This time the doctor told him that he might need to have two of his heart valves surgically replaced. Naing’s sister told the doctor that Naing had been to several hospitals over the past year, and the family had no more money left. Naing's health continues to decline, and he has lost five kilograms; he needs to have surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is here to help Naing access the care that he needs. They are requesting $1,500 to cover the costs of Naing's valve replacement surgery, scheduled to take place on August 9th, at Pun Hlaing Hospital. Naing said: “I am so tired of visiting several hospitals and hoping to receive surgery. My sister has had to take leave [from her work as a government officer] several times, and now she has had to take leave without pay [to accompany me as my caregiver]. I feel embarrassed that my family has used up all their money, sold all their jewelry, and made sacrifices for me. Finally, I have met your organization BCMF, and I will have the chance to receive surgery with the help of donors. I feel less stressed that I will not have to wait so long to receive surgery, and that my sister will be able to go back to work. Thank you so much.”
Ronald is a middle-aged farmer from Kenya who is the thirdborn in a family of six. He and his family all live in semi-permanent houses and work as small-scale farmers. His father passed away years ago, so his mother, who is diabetic, was left to care for the children alone. Ronald studied up to the college level, but he could not secure a job in his field, so he now works as a casual laborer. He also helps his mother with house chores since she is sick and on medication, making it difficult for her to do them alone. With the income he earns through doing casual labor, Ronald helps support his family's basic day-to-day needs. Ronald was recently involved in a road traffic accident while traveling as a passenger on a motorbike. After his driver lost control due to being hit by another motorbike, they both fell on the tarmacked road, and the motorbike landed on Ronald's lower limbs. Fortunately, there were people around who helped them, but he could not manage to stand. He had to be lifted onto a passenger service vehicle, which took him to the hospital. Since he sustained an open fracture to his foot during the accident, it was treated as an emergency, and he was immediately taken to the operating room for cleaning and debridement. He was then admitted to the ward and is now waiting to undergo fracture repair surgery. He is currently in pain and unable to use his limb Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 12th, Ronald will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. After the procedure, he will no longer be in pain and will be able to walk and work again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Ronald says, "I earn a living through casual jobs, which some are near and some are far from home. This state has actually brought me down. Please help me so that I may not be a burden once I am able to work.”
Choeun is a 37-year-old construction worker. He has been married for three years and is a father to twin boys. When he is not working in construction near his home, Choeun enjoys watching boxing and spending time with his sons. Eight years ago, Choeun had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. For this reason, Choeun experiences hearing loss, ear discharge, headaches, and ringing in his ear. This all makes it difficult for him to talk with others and to work. Fortunately, Choeun traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 6th, he will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in his right ear. During this procedure, ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $926 to fund this procedure. This covers medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Choeun says, "I am excited to heal from this disease after surgery."
Meet Emmanuel, a 9-year-old boy, living with his mother and four siblings in a small town in rural Kenya. Emmanuel's mother is a single parent, who works daily jobs like helping with laundry in an effort to support her children. Despite her hard work, the family's neighbors step in at times to make certain the children are fed, as Emmanuel's mother shared that she doesn't always have enough money for food. On Saturday evening, Emmanuel was brought to Kapsowar Hospital, after being hit by a speeding car. An X-ray confirmed that Emmanuel's left femur was fractured. He was admitted to the children's ward, and his leg was placed in traction until he can undergo surgery to repair the fracture. In the meantime, Emmanuel is in pain, and he cannot use his left leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On June 7th, Emmanuel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is seeking $1,145 to fund Emmanuel's surgery, which will enable him to walk easily again, and to resume the life of enjoying being a 9 year old. Emmanuel's mother says: “I am going through so many struggles. I have a one-year-old baby at home. I am unable to take care of her as I am at the hospital. My hope is to see Emmanuel treated so that I can take care of him at home with his siblings.”
Loserian is a student and the youngest of six children in his family in Tanzania. For over six years, Loserian experienced pain and discomfort when he walked, because his legs bowed inwards, forcing him to use a walking stick for support. Four years ago, he received surgery through Watsi funding, that helped to correct the inward bowing of the legs. This enabled him to walk with ease and to carry out his daily activities, like going to school and playing. However, Loserian was recently diagnosed with bilateral femoral varus, which causes his legs to bend outward at the thighs. This condition typically results from contaminated drinking water. Once again, Loserian is experiencing pain and difficulty walking. His parents, who are subsistence farmers, do not earn enough to be able to afford Loserian's treatment, and therefore, they are seeking help to cover the costs of his care. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Loserian. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Loserian's mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Loserian says: "After I had my surgery, walking became easy and normal and I was not having any challenges. But for the past few months, I have been feeling pain when walking and my legs are now bowing at the thighs."
Gebreegziabher is a brave, young, and fun boy who loves to hangout with his friends. He loves to play chase and other games with his friends and brothers. He has five siblings and shared with us that he loves goats! Gebreegziabher never went to school because of his condition. He is a shepherd and helps to keep the sheep and goats of his parents. Because of his condition, he has endured bullying, but he continues to be brave and his dad shared: “He is so strong despite his sickness. When others pick on him and speak bad things about him and things related to his disease he even gets in to fights.” Gebreegziabher's mom and dad counsel him and comfort him and help him to bring out self-confidence and strength. His dad and his mom are farmers and his mom takes care of all the household chores. Dad said: “Our area is dry. We work hard and farm but the harvest is poor with lack of rain. We purchase food because our harvest is not enough to support the family.” They also raise animals to support themselves. The community survives with the dry land and the scarcity of food by donations from the government and NGOs. But the past two years they couldn’t get the donation since they are in the war zone. For these reasons they can’t afford the medical bill for their son. Gebreegziabher was born with congenital anomaly called bladder extrophy. That is an abnormally where the bladder is open to air. Given the pain and risk of infection, he just ties clothes around the wound. His mom is very much worried and concerned because of his condition. She shared that she has excluded herself from the community for years in taking care of him and raises him and recalls that when growing up, he would sit faraway from others and boys in his age. They keep up hope for better days ahead and are a loving family who support each other the best they can. His Dad said: “He learned to exclude himself from others growing up. We are sad as a family because of his condition. The neighbor insults us, discriminate us and we feel so sad about this. We couldn’t tell what will happen to him. And we bring him to God always.”