Alvin joined Watsi on December 29th, 2014. Five years ago, Alvin became the 864th member to automatically support a new Watsi patient every month. Since then, 5,608 more people have become monthly donors! Alvin's most recent donation traveled 8,700 miles to support Sifa, a three-month-old from Tanzania, to fund surgery for his spina bifida condition.
Alvin has funded healthcare for 57 patients in 11 countries.
Sifa is a baby from Tanzania. Sifa is a three months old baby boy and the youngest child in a family of four children. Sifa's parents come from the central part of Tanzania where most people depend on farming for their living. His parents own a small piece of land from which they are able to grow maize and sunflowers. Their income is not much and barely enough to support their family. Sifa was born with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Sifa is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,015 to cover the cost of Sifa's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 24th. This procedure will hopefully spare Sifa from the risks associated with his condition, allowing him to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Sifa’s mother says, “Please help my son."
Gathoni is an 18-month-old girl from Kenya. She is the second-born in a family of two. Her mother is a stay-at-home mom while her father is a fruit vendor in a nearby market. The family lives in a two roomed rental house. On July 15th, Gathoni tripped on boiling water while playing with her 7-year-old brother. Doctors have recommended a debridement to reduce chances of further infections. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Gathoni receive treatment. On July 20th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to help ensure that her wounds heal without an infection. Now, Gathoni needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Gathoni’s mother shared, “I just wish that I can find help for my little baby so that she a grow into a successful young woman in future."
Sophal has two sons, five daughters, and ten grandchildren. She enjoys cleaning the house, cooking, and taking care of her grandchildren. In early January 2019, Sophal started to experience pain in her left shoulder after an accident, and was unable to work or continue with daily activities. Her pain persisted, and she visited other hospitals for treatment, but they did not have any success. When she arrived, her biopsy results showed that Sophal is likely to have malignant cancer in her arm. Sophal will undergo a shoulder disarticulation to remove her arm, which will hopefully limit the spreading of the cancer and relieve her pain. Sophal shared, "I hope that my surgery will go well and that afterwards, I will no longer be in anymore pain."
Htet is a 24-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her grandparents, her uncle, her uncle’s wife, her niece, her aunt, and her aunt’s husband in Yangon, Burma. Her parents passed away when she was 19 years old. Htet's uncle is still searching for work and is currently unemployed, while his wife is a homemaker. Her niece is still too young to enroll in school. Htet works as shop vender at a construction store. Htet’s aunt is a homemaker while her husband is a day laborer. Htet’s grandparents are retired. Their family's combined incomes are is just enough for their daily expense and for basic healthcare needs. Htet was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Htet feels very tired and cannot walk long distances. Sometimes, she has chest pains. She often has a headache and shared that she feels stressed and unhappy all the time. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Htet. The treatment is scheduled to take place on May 31st and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Htet said, “In the future if I recover, I would like to become a makeup artist. In my free time, I try to make my own makeup.”
Adere is a nice thirteen year old boy who loves to go to school and study. He is in grade six and loves music. He spends his free time listening to country music and also loves to dance with his friends. His parents are farmers of teff and maize. But their harvest from their farm is very limited because of the hot and dry landscape. The population in the area is mostly supported by the government and NGOs for food and other basic needs. His parents have 12 children. Three of them are dependently living and the rest of the children are supported by their parents. Adere was born with congenital anomaly called Bladder Exstrophy. The child’s bladder is open to the air and not within the body. He leaks urine directly to his abdomen. As a result, he has bladder exposed to dirt which can cause infections and injury. Adere suffers from pain from irritation of the bladder, infection, and a bad smell from the continuous urinary leakage for the past years. In his classroom, he sits far from other students in the back alone. He mostly prefers to be alone, psychologically affected by the bad smell. His parents are always very worried and concerned because of his condition. They took him to a clinic in their area when he was a child, and the clinic told them this has to be treated in referral hospital. Their village is very rural that they couldn’t get to a hospital and the parents couldn’t bring him to the capital. Adere's brother said, “I believe he will have a normal life, free from any smell and psychological concerns.”
Win is a 49-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband and four sons. Two of her sons are distant learners at university while her husband and two other sons work as masons. However, her husband had to stop working to look after the housework when she was no longer able to do so. Win was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of her mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Win feels tired, has no appetite, cannot sleep well nor walk longer distances. She also has a headache, chest pains, and tingling and numbness in her extremities. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Win. The treatment is scheduled to take place on March 11th and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably. Win said, “When I recover from my illness, I will go back to doing the housework so that my husband can also go back to work.’’
Marvens lives in a rural area in northwestern Haiti with his aunt and uncle and their family. He has not yet started school due to his cardiac illness. He has a condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which involves several related defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Marvens will fly to Jamaica to receive treatment. On March 4th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which doctors will close the hole in his heart with a patch, and remove the muscular blockage. Another organization, Chain of Hope UK, is contributing $6,000 to help pay for surgery. Marvens'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 supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Marvens's family overseas. His uncle said, "We are hopeful that after this surgery Marvens will become stronger and gain weight so that he can be enrolled in school."
Aung is a 34-year-old man from Burma who lives with his wife, son, and daughter. Both he and his wife work as government officers. In his free time he likes to read books. Aung was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Aung feels tired, has chest pains, and has difficulty breathing. However, he can eat and sleep well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Aung. The treatment is scheduled to take place on January 27th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. “I want to go back to work [as a] healthy [person] and support my family,” said Aung.
Lowasa is a three-year-old boy from Tanzania and the firstborn child in his family. At two years of age, his knees started curving inwardly forming knocked knees. His parents thought it was a normal ricket condition that would end with time. With time, the swell kept worsening and made walking painful and difficult for Lowasa. He would sit most part of the days while his friends played. Lowasa was referred to our facility by a friend. He was diagnosed with knocked knees and surgery recommended. Upon successful surgery, he will be able to walk with ease and less pain. His parents are livestock keepers who rely on selling them to make ends meet. The only money they had was exhausted in a different facility to relieve Lowasa the swelling on his legs. They are not able to afford the planned surgery and are requesting help. Fortunately, Lowasa traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform surgery on December 10th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $890 to fund Lowasa's treatment. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and with less pain. Lowasa's parents say, “His legs keep worsening as days go by and we are unable to afford the cost. Please help our son if it’s possible.”
Thaw is a 44-year-old woman from Burma. She lives in Hpa-An, Karen State with her friends. She is a Christian missionary. Thaw has a mass in her uterus. She has been diagnosed with a myoma. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Thaw's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Thaw is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on July 1. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. After surgery, Thaw will be able to return home and continue her work as a missionary.
Hnin is a 15 year-old student from Thailand. In early June, she fell from a roof and fractured her arm. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Hnin will undergo surgery to reset her fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for June 26 and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Hnin will no longer be in pain, and she will be able to continue her studies. Hnin says, “I want to be a medical doctor in the future and treat sick people."
Sieng is a first grade student from Cambodia. She likes to watch television and play with her toys, and her favorite subject in school is painting and reading. When Sieng was one year old, she received a poorly administered injection, which resulted in the contracture of her left knee. She is unable to fully straighten her leg. When Sieng learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On May 9, surgeons at CSC will perform a quadricepsplasty procedure of her left leg to help release the contracture and allow her to walk and bend her leg without difficulty. Now, Sieng needs help to fund this $413 procedure. Her mother says, "I hope that after surgery, my daughter will be able to move her leg normally."