Ilya joined Watsi on February 28th, 2014. 14 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Ilya's most recent donation traveled 4,900 miles to support Ludmisha, a preschooler from Haiti, to fund prep for cardiac surgery.
Ilya has funded healthcare for 28 patients in 11 countries.
Ilya has funded healthcare for 28 patients in 11 countries.
Ludmisha is four years old. She lives in Port-au-Prince, Haiti with her parents and older sister. Her father is a roofer, and her mother is a market seller. She goes to preschool and likes dressing up and going to church. Ludmisha was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to get oxygen, leaving her feeling weak. Ludmisha needs to undergo pediatric cardiac surgery at our medical partner's care center, St. Damien Hospital. Surgeons will operate to close the hole. First, Ludmisha will undergo a full cardiac assessment on January 17. This assessment will include physical exams, labs, and an overnight stay at the hospital. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is requesting $1,500 to fund these procedures. Funding for Ludmisha also covers the cost of medications and social support for her and her family. Gift of Life International is contributing $3,500 to cover additional costs associated with Ludmisha's surgical care. "We have been very worried about our daughter's heart problem," says Ludmisha's mother, "and we are all praying that everything will go well this week!"
Josek is a 17-year-old boy from Kenya. While he was learning to ride a motorcycle, he was hit by another speeding motorcycle. He fractured his jaw and sustained injuries on his face and leg. Josek was rushed to the hospital to receive first aid, after which he was referred to our medical partner's hospital, AIC Kijabe Hospital. After the accident, Josek was unable to eat or speak comfortably. Without treatment, he risked infection or a fracture malunion. Fortunately, he underwent an open reduction internal fixation procedure on December 21. Josek is the youngest in a family of six children. His parents are farmers. The family lives in a house made of mud, and Josek's high school fees are paid through government scholarships. His parents need help to fund this $640 procedure. “I wish to be well to proceed with school," says Josek.
Daw Kyi is a Burmese woman who has lived in Thailand for the past ten years. She teaches mathematics at a local school and lives in a dormitory with her students. She sends a portion of her earnings home to support her mother, who is in poor health. About two months ago, Daw Kyi started to experience lower abdominal pain. Believing the pain to be nothing more than a stomachache, she attempted to treat it with traditional medicine. Her symptoms did not improve. Daw Kyi was in pain and could not sit for long periods of time. Worried about her condition, she was not eating or sleeping well. For two months, she was unable to work. Finally, she visited our medical partner’s clinic, where she underwent an ultrasound and blood and urine tests. She learned that she had a large mass in her lower abdomen and that she needed surgery. On November 15, she underwent a total hysterectomy at our medical partner’s hospital, Mae Sot General Hospital. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Daw Kyi spends her free time with her students, helping them with homework and studies. “If I am better,” she says, “I will work even harder for my students, for their future.”
"Theara is a 36-year-old garment factory worker married with one son and two daughters," shares our Cambodian medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). "She enjoys watching Khmer dramas and news on TV and listening to songs. She sometimes likes to go shopping." One year ago, Theara developed a pterygium in each eye. Also known as surfer's eye, a pterygium is a non-cancerous growth that can cause painful symptoms. In Theara's case, the pterygium causes blurred vision, burning, itching and redness. "Theara traveled 30 minutes with her husband to reach CSC for treatment," CSC shares. There, she can receive a simple surgery to remove the pterygiums in both her eyes. Surgery costs $148, something Theara cannot afford. With our help, she'll be able to see normally again and won't be in pain.
Mandala is a 74-year-old man from a village in Malawi's Central Region. He lives with his wife, near their seven children and 22 grandchildren. Mandala works as a farmer and in his free time likes to spend time with his grandchildren. For the past four years, Mandala his been experiencing symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate. Although his condition is easily treated with surgery, he has been unable to access quality care until now. For $726, Mandala will undergo a prostate resection at Nkhoma District Hospital in Malawi. He and his family are excited that he will finally be able to receive treatment and return to farming. Mandala is looking forward to being home, and finally free from pain.
Meet Karla, a nine-month-old girl from Guatemala. Karla is the youngest of three children in her family and lives with her parents in a one-room adobe house with a tin roof. She enjoys playing with a soccer ball. Her mother works at home, cooks, cleans, and takes care of the children. Her father is a day laborer in the fields, who makes only a couple dollars per day. Karla is below the average height and the average weight for her age due to malnutrition. She currently is not consuming enough calories and enough quality foods. As a result her physical growth is stunted, and we worry her mental growth will be stunted as well. As a result of food insecurity and marginalization, indigenous Guatemalan villages have the highest rates of stunting in the world. In addition to growth stunting, malnutrition can lead to lower IQ, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. $512 will fund the treatment Karla needs to address her nutritional deficit and improve her low energy and subsequent limited mental potential. This involves micronutrient and food supplementation, deworming medication to rid Karla of a parasitic infection, and nutrition education for her parents. With these combined efforts, Karla will recoup her weight and height and strengthen her immune system, laying the foundation for a healthier future.
Fedrick is a polite sixteen-year-old boy from Tanzania. He is the sixth born in a family of eleven children, but ever since he was a little boy he has been living with his grandparents. Fedrick’s grandparents are elderly, and can no longer manage the cattle herd that is their livelihood. So, for some time now, Fedrick has missed out on school so that he can help them. Apart from herding cattle, Fedrick also enjoys playing soccer with other children. Fedrick has become very good at herding cattle, but recently he has developed a physical problem that makes it hard for him to do this work. His right limb has begun to bow inwards, and is now bent to a point where it is difficult for him to walk without knocking his knees. This condition has reduced Federick’s efficiency in cattle herding, and he sometimes feel pain in his right knee. Fedrick needs corrective surgery to restore his normal gait and ability to better perform various activities. However, coming up with enough money for Fedrick’s treatment has been a challenge for his family. His parents, who are small-scale farmers, can already barely meet the basic daily needs of their eleven children and of Fedrick’s grandparents, whom they also support. That’s where we come in. $940 will cover the cost of the surgery that Fedrick needs to restore the bones of his right leg back to a normal position. This funding will also pay for Fedrick to receive two weeks of physical therapy and a three-month stay at Plaster House, a recovery center for children who have undergone major surgery. After these treatments, Fedrick will be able to walk again comfortably. Someday, Fedrick says, he would like to be an organic farmer. We can help him pursue this dream by ensuring that he can walk without pain.
Jonalyn is a happy, 13-year-old student who loves to study and play a game similar to kick-the-can. She lives with her parents and two siblings in the Philippines, where their one-room house has a cement floor and a thatched roof made of nipa leaves. Jonalyn noticed a mass on the right side of neck when she was 12 years old. She told her mother about it, but they did not seek help since they did not have money to spend on medical consultations or medicine. After a few months, she complained of pain when swallowing and difficulty breathing and also noticed that the mass on her neck was getting bigger. She has been unable to concentrate during her classes because of the on-and-off throbbing pain in her neck. During a church activity in May of 2015, Jonalyn felt a throbbing pain in her neck and was examined by a doctor. She was diagnosed with a goiter—an enlarged thyroid gland usually caused by a deficiency of iodine, an important element in the production of thyroid hormones that regulate the body's metabolism. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic for seven days and iron supplements for 10 days and referred Jonalyn to another care facility to undergo tests to determine the type of goiter. Unfortunately, the family was unable to seek further care for Jonalyn until now. She was screened by a health trainer in one of our sponsored communities, consultation was facilitated, and she was advised to undergo a thyroidectomy to remove the thyroid gland. Jonalyn's mother is a housewife, and her father raises pigs. They cannot pay for surgery for Jonalyn because their income is barely enough to sustain the family's daily needs. $1,500 covers the cost of Jonalyn's surgery, transportation to and from the hospital, 10 days of hospital care—including medicine, imaging, and blood tests—and medicine to take after she goes home. The surgery will lessen Jonalyn's discomfort due to her condition. "I am very thankful to you for helping people like me in my condition, especially those who are not financially capable in terms of health treatment," shares Jonalyn. "I was truly blessed because I was given an opportunity to be treated. After the surgery, I plan to continue my schooling to reach my dreams and help my family someday."
Moe Shwe is a 45-year-old woman originally from a village in Southern Shan State in Burma. She came to our medical partner with a diagnosis of myoma - a uterine mass. Moe Shwe moved to Thailand to work in a factory as a seamstress. She doesn’t know yet what her income will be because within days of arriving in Thailand she started to feel very unwell and worked for less than one week. Her husband still lives in Burma and works in his garden growing vegetables beside the family home. Currently the combined family income is not enough to cover daily expenses, therefore, they have been unable to save money and cannot afford health care costs. Moe Shwe has been experiencing symptoms related to her current health problem since early April, 2016. At that time she went to a clinic because she was having trouble passing urine. The doctor told her that she would need surgery and that the surgery cost would be 30,000 THB (approx. 1000 USD) but she could not afford this cost and returned home. One of her friends from the factory knew about Mae Tao Clinic (a Watsi partner) and encouraged her to attend the Clinic. On April 22nd, 2016 Moe Shwe came to the Mae Tao Clinic with her friend. Her abdomen was swollen and she had difficulty urinating. She also had sharp pain and numbness in her lower abdomen. At Mae Tao Clinic she received a blood test, urine test, and ultrasound. During her examination, the doctor detected a mass and she was diagnosed with a Myoma. Moe Shwe is currently unable to work because of her symptoms and she is very sad about her health problems and the effects they have on her life. She said that she does not have any siblings who can help pay for her treatment and even with the help of her daughter she is unable to afford treatment. She became so emotional that she began crying during the interview. Her daughter is waiting to hear if she has passed her Year 12 exams and will be accepted to university. "I am worried a lot and I cannot sleep well," Moe Shwe said. "I hope that I will be able to have surgery soon and when I get healthy again, I want to return to work in the factory and save money for my daughter’s university fees."
Six-year-old Elias lives with his mother and younger sibling in their home in Tanzania, where he enjoys playing with his friends and with his wooden cars. “Elias’s right [leg] started bowing inwards when he was 18 months old,” our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us. As a result, Elias experiences knee pain and difficulty walking. Elias’s condition—commonly known as knock knees—is typically part of the normal growth and development of the legs and resolves on its own by age seven or eight. However, in some children, underlying bone disease prevents straightening of one or both legs and contributes to strain of the involved knee joints. “Elias has not yet started school because he is unable to walk the long distance to the school,” AMHF continues. “If not treated, Elias will be at risk of developing osteoarthritis at an early age.” Treatment for Elias is a surgical procedure known as an osteotomy. Doctors will remove a wedge of bone from his upper leg and attach pins, a rod, or a metal plate and screws to close the gap and straighten the leg. Elias’s mother is a widow who sells vegetables and firewood to earn money to support herself and her two children, but her income is not sufficient to pay for the surgery that Elias needs. For $940, Elias will undergo surgery and also receive three pre- and post-surgical consultations, three days of hospital care, physiotherapy, medicine, and a three-month-stay at The Plaster House for recovery and rehabilitation. “I hope my son will be able to walk properly so that he can start going to school, and later on, have a good career and live a successful, independent life,” shares Elias’s mother.
Blessing is a 35-year-old seamstress from Nigeria who has one older and four younger siblings. Our medical partner, Hope for West Africa, tells us she has a "sweet personality" and likes to cook. Blessing was recently diagnosed with uterine fibroids, painful noncancerous growths in the uterus. As a result, she has been having painful, prolonged menstrual periods and difficulty urinating. "Due to the pains and prolonged menstrual flow she hasn't been concentrating in her business of making clothes," shares Hope for West Africa, our medical partner. Blessing is unable to pay for treatment, as she contributes part of her income to help her siblings attend school. For $1,500 we can fund surgery to remove the growths, relieving Blessing's pain. The funding will also cover hospitalization and recovery. "Blessing looks forward to when she can concentrate and spend most days in her shop without pain and heavy flow," the staff at Hope for West Africa adds.
Mayda, a 10-year-old girl from Guatemala, is the fourth of seven children. "Mayda's father works as a farm hand, harvesting coffee on their neighbor's plantation," our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK), tells us. “Mayda’s mother cooks, cleans, takes care of the children, and helps harvest coffee.” Two years ago, Mayda underwent successful surgery for a heart murmur, which was funded by Watsi. Recently, she was also diagnosed with epilepsy. Mayda was doing well until last December. "She came home one day from school with a note from the school nurse saying that she had a seizure that lasted several minutes,” WK explains. “She had lost consciousness and did not remember anything. Since then she has had two more seizures at home." Because of these seizures and the resulting symptoms, Mayda has been unable to attend school. With $967, Mayda can receive the medical care and anticonvulsant medications that she requires for a healthier life. She will receive a brain MRI and other diagnostic workup for preliminary testing. She will also receive anti-epileptic medication to control her spastic episodes and to improve her mobility and independence. With treatment, “Mayda will gain control of her body,” WK continues. “This will increase her quality of life and put her on track to receive the education she deserves and live a healthy and productive life.” "We want her to grow well and be healthy,” Mayda’s parents share. “She has already been through so much with her surgery and now her seizures. We just want her to get better."