Jeff joined Watsi on January 4th, 2019. Three years ago, Jeff joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jeff's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Christmaelle, a sweet 2-year-old from Haiti, to fund surgery prep and travel for life-saving cardiac surgery.
Jeff has funded healthcare for 41 patients in 8 countries.
Jeff has funded healthcare for 41 patients in 8 countries.
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!"
Loucken is a 16-year-old student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and three siblings in a neighborhood outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Loucken enjoys making art, listening to music, and going to school and church. Loucken has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. As a result, blood leaks through this hole, leaving him feeling weak and unable to be active. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), can help Loucken receive treatment. Treatment is not available in Haiti, but on May 11th, he will fly to the Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch. HCA is covering the cost of Loucken's surgery, so Loucken's family is requesting assistance to help fund the $1,500 surgery preparation and travel costs. This cost includes all labs, medication, appointments, passports, and the help of a social worker from HCA who will accompany Loucken's family as they travel internationally. Loucken shared, "After the surgery, I hope that I will be able to start playing soccer with my friends."
Jephte is a sweet 3-year-old boy who lives with his parents in a small town in Northern Haiti. He loves playing with toys and watching cartoons. Jephte has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect. A hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through his lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him weak and short of breath. The care the Jephte needs is not available in Haiti, so he will fly to the Cayman Islands for treatment. On March 18th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will sew a patch over the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Their family has raised funds for his surgery, but they also need help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Jephte's family overseas. His mother shared, "Our family will be praying for everyone who is making this surgery possible for our son!"
Kelvin is a shy, 14-year-old sixth grader. Kelvin was born to Ugandan parents who later abandoned him in Kenya. Kelvin was adopted by a potato farmer who gave him work on his farm and helped him enroll in school. Kelvin and his guardians live in a semi-permanent house in the West Pokot region of Kenya. Two weeks ago, Kelvin was struck by a motorbike in a hit and run accident. Kelvin was rushed to a nearby health facility for immediate care. Kelvin was then brought to Kapsowar Hospital for x-rays and further treatment. At this time, Kelvin is unable to walk and is in a great deal of pain. On April 1st, Kelvin will undergo a fracture repair procedure that will allow him to walk again and return to school. Our medical partners, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Kelvin raise $1,145 to fund this life altering procedure. Kelvin shared, “I miss home, I want to get treated and be well again.”
Isaac is a 32-year-old man from Kenya. He is married and his wife works at a saloon, while Isaac often works as a truck driver when he can find work. The couple has two children. Last week, Isaac visited a petrol station to fill his tires with air. Unfortunately, one of the wheels burst and the rim hit his leg, fracturing bones in his right leg and injuring his right hand. He is now in pain and unable to walk due to the fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. On March 2nd, Isaac will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. After recovery, he will be able to walk well. Now, he needs help raising $1,049 to fund his procedure and care. Isaac shared, "the pain I am having is too much to bear. I kindly requested assistance so that I could see my leg whole again. I also need this leg to be well so that I can go back and work to sustain my family."
Mary is a 33-year-old woman and arrived to meet with our local Watsi rep having a lot of pain. She has a cancerous tumor in her abdomen that requires surgery. Over the past year she has been through a lot and, while she has insurance coverage, they will no longer cover her treatment. She is currently scheduled for a laparotomy surgery to help with the removal of the tumor and relieve her stomach pains. Mary is a mother of one child who is six years old. She used to work as a shop steward but stopped due to her condition so no longer has a source of income. Her husband works as a motorbike ‘boda-boda’ driver and income from this venture is inconsistent and can't cover the cost of her surgery. She has been relying on friends and relatives to raise money for travel fare and medication. Mary says, “I have been through a lot. My stomach keeps swelling and it is very painful. I need to get better so as to raise my little kid and family.“
Lesina is a married mother of two. Her firstborn was born in 1995 and has special needs that require a lot of support from Lesina. Lesina likes spending a lot of time with her and ensures her safety all the time. Her other child is 13 and is a 5th grade student. Lesina sells tomatoes at a nearby market while her husband is a driver. They own a three-bedroom iron sheet-roofed house for shelter. She also raises some local chickens with free-range farming, but shared that most of them were stolen. Currently, her family has no land where they can do farming and usually has to buy food from the market. Lesina was well until 2019 when she started having a lot of abdominal pains and other symptoms. She went to a clinic and was given medication which helped for while. But, her condition kept recurring. In 2020, she started feeling a hard mass on the left side of her abdomen and when she came to the hospital again the clinician ordered a cancer screening for her. During the procedure, the nurse felt a mass that is suggestive of uterine fibroids. She was referred to a gynecologist who after scanning and examination confirmed the diagnosis of uterine fibroids and ordered surgical intervention of a procedure called total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) which is the full removal of the uterus. Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman's uterus. Sometimes these growths become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding. If left untreated, fibroids can continue to grow, both in size and number and the symptoms will become worse. The fibroids' pain may increase and the heavy bleeding may become worse leading to anemia which may be fatal. After the surgery, it is expected that Lesina will stop having abdominal pains and heavy bleedings and will lead a full, healthy life. She is scheduled for surgery on January 3rd and is appealing for financial support. Lesina says, “I have heard that some uterine fibroids can burst and cause serious problems, I don’t want that to happen to me. My handicapped firstborn needs me in sound health to continue caring for her. Kindly support my surgery.”
Hser is a 38-year-old woman who lives with her parents in a refugee camp in Tak Province, Thailand. She and her family fled there many years ago from Karen State in Burma because of civil war. Hser is now a high school teacher in the refugee camp, and she earns 1,000 baht (approx. 33 USD) per month. Hser used to teach groups of students at their home due to Covid restrictions that closed schools in July 2021, but all home teaching was also stopped in September 2021 when Covid cases increased in the refugee camp. Since then, Hser teaches students online, but many of her students cannot afford to pay for mobile data to study from their family’s mobile phones. Since late 2019, Hser has been experiencing pain in the right side of her abdomen every day, especially at night. She says that she has lost her appetite and has lost some weight because of this. She feels like the mass is gradually increasing in size and feels more comfortable lying down then sitting. She also feels tired when she walks. She has been diagnosed with an ovarian tumour, and has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, which involves surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Hser's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Hser is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on November 9th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, this treatment will help Hser to live free from pain and she has hope that she'll be able to live her life happily with her parents in the future. Hser said, “I love being a teacher and when I have recovered, I will continue to teach. My parents worry about me a lot and they want me to receive surgery as soon as possible. They are stressed about my condition, but I do not want to feel stressed because stress cannot help me feel better. So even though I cannot eat a lot, I try to eat as much as I can to stay strong.”
Samuel is a hardworking laborer getting jobs whenever he can to earn a living. He's a 37-year-old single man who hails from Kawaida Village in Kenya. His parents separated many years back, and his mother has brought their family up single-handedly. He shared that their family has lived a very difficult life making it hard for them to acquire an education. Samuel lives with his mother in a single rented house. He does mechanic jobs when available while his mother sells fruits at the roadside near their home. On the evening of September 8th 2021, as Samuel was going home, he was hit by a motorbike. He sustained an open fracture of his left tibia. He was taken to Kiambu County Hospital where the wound was treated and later the doctor advised them to have a fracture surgery. His mother could not afford the cost and took him home. Last week, our medical partner's Community Health Worker heard about Samuel and brought him to the hospital for possible support. He has pain, difficulty walking, and has been fully depending on his mother. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 28th, Samuel will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). The surgery will rid him of the pain, bring healing, and eventually, Samuel will be able to walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Samuel says, “It is now almost 2 months, I have had pain and difficulties going anywhere and I have to fully depend on my mother. I am also worried that my leg could be amputated if I don't get treated in time. I plead for help so that I can be independent and go back to work and support my mother.”
Sat is a 33-year-old sandwich seller. He lives with his wife and and two daughters. Their oldest daughter is in grade two and their younger daughter is four years old and not yet in school. At home, he likes listening to music, playing football or watching TV. When he was 10 years old, Sat had an ear infection that caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, Sat experiences ear discharge, headaches, pain and hearing loss. He cannot communicate clearly with others and has frequent headaches that make work challenging. Sat traveled to our visit our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), for treatment. On September 15th, he will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Now, CSC is requesting $913 to fund this procedure. This covers the cost of medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sat shared that he hopes the surgery will stop the pain and improve his hearing.
Vedastus is a two-year-old boy and the only child of his young parents. He's a friendly boy who is currently having a hard time walking because his legs bow outwards. Vedastus' mother works at a local food joint as a cook. Her income is not much, but enables her to support and care for her son. Vedastus' father is still in college studying, which leaves Vedastus' mother as the only parent with an income. Vedastus was diagnosed with fluorosis - genu varus, where his legs bowing outwards so that his knees do not touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Vedastus cannot walk well and he is in pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Vedastus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 2nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Vedastus's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Vedastus’s mother says "I am the only person working to be able to provide for our son. The father of my son is still studying and my income is not enough to care for Vedastus and afford his treatment cost. Please help us, he needs treatment for his leg because he is struggling to walk.”
Ann is a social, jovial, and bright young girl. Ann is in currently in grade six; she likes reading and aspires to become a surgeon in the future. Ann was born with a congenital musculoskeletal malformation in her legs and started therapy when she was two years old, but eventually had to stop due to a lack of finances. As Ann has grown, her condition has continued to worsen and is now affecting her mobility, her studies, and her self-esteem. Ann was recently seen at the Cure Hospital Mobile Clinic in Embu, Kenya, and recommended for surgery. Ann's mother is a single mom who makes her living selling samosas in their hometown. Ann's mother also has from a similar untreated congenital malformation and cannot walk for long distances. On August 8th, Ann is scheduled to undergo multiple osteotomy surgery to correct the bowing in her legs. The treatment will have a great impact on her life, allowing her to walk freely again, engage with her peers, and continue her schooling. “I want my daughter to be treated so that she can be able to walk like other girls,” says Ann’s mother.