Elliott joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. 1,770 other people also joined Watsi on that day! Elliott's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Ly, a second grade student from Cambodia, to restore his hearing.
Elliott has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 9 countries.
Elliott has funded healthcare for 19 patients in 9 countries.
"When I grow up, I want to be a doctor," says nine-year-old Ly, a second-grade student from Cambodia who enjoys reading books and doing homework. He traveled one hour with his mom to reach Watsi's medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, for treatment of his ear. Ly has had recurring infections in his left ear since he was five years old. This has caused left ear discharge and hearing loss, and he has developed a cholesteaoma—an abnormal skin growth located behind his eardrum. The tympanic membrane (eardrum) is perforated on the left side. He experiences headaches and has a hard time hearing his teacher in class. For $809, a surgeon will perform a mastoidectomy to remove the cholesteatoma and fix the perforated tympanic membrane. Funding also covers the costs of two hearing tests, one night in the hospital, one day of inpatient post-operative care, and three outpatient follow-up visits in the month following surgery. Once Ly heals, the discharge will stop, and over time, his hearing can improve. Ly's mother looks forward to a successful operation for her son. "I hope after the operation is done, my son's ear discharge will stop, and he can have good hearing and health," she shares.
Staniel is a 56-year-old father of seven. He works as a groundnut and maize farmer to support his family in Malawi. He has been experiencing symptoms related to his enlarged prostate for two years, but has been unable to access surgical treatment until now. For $742 our medical partner, World Altering Medicine (WAM), will be able to perform a surgery to remove part of Staniel's prostate gland. This will help treat some of Staniel's symptoms and allow for a better flow of the urinary tract. His symptoms have prevented him from being able to accomplish some of his farming tasks, and he is excited to return to his work. "I am happy I can receive the operation, and feel like I can have a healthy life now," shared Staniel.
12-year-old Pauline has an enlarged head size due to a condition called congenital hydrocephalus. She is experiencing severe headaches, and she has an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in her head. As a result, it causes increased intra-cranial pressure inside the brain. The elevated intra-cranial pressure may result to life-threatening brain stem compression and could potentially cause convulsion, tunnel vision or mental disability. The oldest in a family of two children, Pauline is a quiet and shy twelve-year old from Kenya. Her head first began increasing in size when she was only three months old. After an immediate shunt insertion to drain the excess fluid, Pauline was fine. At three years of age, Pauline began complaining of headaches which could not be calmed by painkillers, and needed a shunt revision. It is at this point that Pauline's father, the family's sole provider, left the family. Pauline is now back in the hospital in need of a shunt revision that will relieve her from the severe headaches she experiences. Her now single mother is not able to raise the required funds for the surgery. The income Pauline's mother gets from washing clothes in the neighborhood is hardly enough to even sustain their simple life’s basic needs, let alone cater for this surgery. $600 will cover the cost of a shunt revision surgery and a five day hospital stay. The treatment to fix the shunt in Pauline's brain will allow for normal drainage of excess cerebrospinal fluid into her abdomen. Her surgery will help reduce the excessive intracranial pressure on the brain, and Pauline will be able to live her life normally again. "I love Pauline so much and will not give up on her no matter what," Pauline's mother shares. "I have big dreams for her, just like she does and the only deterrent is this condition."
Meet Saret, a 66-year-old man from Cambodia. “Saret is married with four sons, four daughters, and 15 grandchildren. Saret enjoys to watch social news on TV and listen to monks pray on the radio," shares our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). Three months ago, Saret developed mature cataracts in each eye. A cataract occurs when a thin, cloudy layer forms over the eye’s lens. "This causes him blurred vision, discharge, tearing, and fear of bright lights. It is hard for him to see clearly, do work, or go outside," CSC explains. After learning about CSC, Saret and his daughter travelled four hours to visit their clinic. They learned that a simple surgical procedure may restore Saret’s sight. For $225, Saret will undergo cataract surgery, during which his old lenses will be removed and replaced with sheer artificial implants, allowing him to see again immediately after his operation.
Meet Lulu, a quiet, teenage girl from Tanzania. The 16-year-old has been living with her grandparents since infancy, but her aunt also plays an active role in her life. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us “Lulu has been noticing the size of her left breast increasing more than her right breast. She also feels there is a lump which is increasing in size and she sometimes feels pain.” AMHF will remove the lump through mass excision surgery. After the lump is removed, “biopsy results will determine whether further treatment will be needed or Lulu will be out of danger of developing cancerous lump.” The total cost of treatment is $920. For this amount, Lulu will receive the procedure, pain management in the hospital during her six day stay, and diagnostic testing. She will also be able to recuperate at a physical rehabilitation center post-surgery. Lulu's family does not make enough money to cover the cost of her surgery. Lulu has already had to pause her education because of finances, and the cost of treatment is too great of a financial burden for her grandparents. “When I get well, I wish to get an opportunity to go back to school,” shares Lulu. Before leaving school, she developed a passion for drawing. “I am very interested in fashion design,” she adds.
Meet Carlito, a 37-year-old man from the Philippines. "In June of 2015, Carlito underwent an operation on his left eye that later became infected," our medical partner, International Care Ministries (ICM), reports. Since the operation, Carlito has developed a perforated corneal ulcer—one that typically occurs when an infection causes the cornea to thin. The infection has greatly impacted Carlito's vision, making it difficult for him to work. As a pig farmer and factory worker, Carlito is the sole source of income for his family. He is married with three daughters, and is concerned about what will happen to his family if he should fully lose his vision due to the infection. $1,500 will cover the cost of a corneal autograft transplant, a procedure in which doctors will replace Carlito's damaged cornea with healthy corneal tissue. As the hospital, Mount Elizabeth Orchard, is located overseas in Singapore, the cost of treatment will also include two round-trip plane tickets for Carlito to access his care. Four days of post-operative care in Singapore will also be provided. After the operation, Carlito's vision will be restored, and he will be able to continue working. In his free time, Carlito is an active participant at the local church, and has even begun studying to become a full-time preacher. With the autograft transplant, Carlito will be able to continue with his lessons and "his life of learning can take its course," shares ICM. "Seeing my wife and my children smile means so much to me, and without your help, that would not be possible," Carlito says. "I am excited to follow the doctor's orders so I will be able to see again."
Mercy is a six-month-old girl from Kenya. She was brought to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), by her parents and her uncle. Mercy lives in a two room house with six other siblings where her mother watches over the family at home and nearby, her father works in a tea factory. When Mercy was born, she developed a sac-like protrusion on the lower backbone. This open defect on her spine, a condition called spina bifida, has already been hindering her normal development for the last few months. The congenital deformity is often a consequence of fetal hydrocephalus where cerebrospinal fluid adds pressure to the spinal cord. “Mercy came to the hospital with a leaking mass, so surgery must be done [promptly] to avoid severe infection and other complications,” explains AMHF. If her condition goes untreated, tethered cord syndrome is likely to develop, resulting in a permanently hunched back or a spine bent sideways. Mercy requires $805 for a spina bifida closure surgery, in which a surgeon will correct, reconstruct, and close the deformity. Long term monitoring and braces are part of the treatment process to observe her walking ability and gauge surgery success. AMHF believes the surgery will eliminate infections, prevent more nerve damage in the future, and decrease her chances of developing tethered cord syndrome. Mercy's father says, "I hope Mercy will get treatment and this condition will be past us. Please help us make her treatment possible."
“Sometimes I feel depressed about my current situation, and I am worried. I just want to be healthy and happy,” says Su, a 42-year-old woman living in Burma. Our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP), tells us that two years ago, Su began experiencing severe abdominal pain due to a mass in her uterus, called a uterine myoma. The mass was found after a long history of pregnancy complications and vaginal bleeding. Su has sought out medical attention numerous times to no avail. Because of Su’s abdominal pain, she has been forced to stop working as a private teacher, and instead do part-time teaching. This has caused a reduction in her income, forcing her to borrow money for medical expenses. BBP can treat Su through surgeries to remove her uterus and ovaries, known as a hysterectomy and oophorectomy. For $1,500, Su will undergo these two procedures in addition to prolapse surgery to ensure that her lower abdominal organs remain in place. The cost includes a 7-day hospital stay with food, and post-surgical care. “I would like to work more and go to computer training, so that I can learn how to use a computer,” shares Su. “I want to learn new things and work hard.” “With treatment for her myoma, Su should be able to return to her work and commence paying of the debts she has incurred while she has been unwell,” adds BBP. “She can commence computer classes and following her dreams.”
Meet 46-year-old Nou from Cambodia. “Nou is married with one son. She works as a seller at the market,” reports our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC). “In her free time, Nou likes to clean her house and study English.” Nou has a bilateral cholesteatoma, a non-cancerous skin cyst in the middle section of the ear. Over time, this skin growth can increase in size and destroy the surrounding delicate bones of the middle ear, resulting in loss of hearing and potential facial paralysis. “When Nou was 18-years-old, she began having ear discharge on both sides, with hearing loss, tinnitus [ringing in the ears], and pain,” continues CSC. With $809, Nou can receive a mastoidectomy in order to surgically remove cells in the hollow, air-filled spaces in the skull behind the ear and relieve her unpleasant symptoms. CSC explains, “After a mastoidectomy procedure, the ear discharge will stop, and Nou will be able to have improved hearing.” Nou and her husband remain hopeful for treatment and are eager to restore her good health. She tells us, “I hope the ear discharge will stop, and I can have good hearing without pain.”
Meet Ryan, a two-year-old boy from Kenya. This smiling toddler is the youngest of his family and lives with his parents and older brother. A month ago, Ryan’s mother was bathing him and noticed that his scrotal sac looked abnormal. After a trip to the doctor, Ryan was diagnosed as having an undescended left testicle. “Ryan’s left testis did not drop in the scrotal sac as expected in a baby boy soon after birth,” explains our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). Normally, testicles naturally descend about six months after birth. Occasionally, this process does not happen on its own and medical intervention is required to prevent further health complications. If left untreated, Ryan is at higher risk of developing an inguinal hernia, testicular cancer, or experiencing infertility in the future. Ryan’s mother runs a hair salon business while his father sells scrap metal within their community. Their modest combined income is not enough to afford Ryan’s surgical needs. With $540, Ryan will receive treatment for his condition. He will receive an orchidopexy, a surgery that involves moving his left testis into its proper place within the scrotum. After this procedure, Ryan will stay at the hospital for an additional three days, ensuring he has access to all of the medical care he needs to safely recover. This operation provides a long-term solution for Ryan’s condition, greatly reducing the likelihood of experiencing further complications as he continues to develop. Ryan’s mother shares, “My son’s condition caught me by surprise, and I had no idea it would require surgical care. I hope he gets treated to prevent the effects of his condition.”
Saraswati is a seven-year-old from Nepal with four older siblings. Our medical partner, Possible, explains that Saraswati has an open wound affecting several of her fingers. "Saraswati was playing a game on her brother's mobile phone when it was plugged to their charger. In a split second, the battery of the mobile phone burst in her hand; thrashing her index finger, bits of her thumb and burning her middle finger." "Her finger is missing, she will need assistance with simple things like lifting and washing. I am worried that she may have difficulties later in her life," says Saraswati's brother. $220 covers the cost of treatment for her wound, and will allow it to be cleaned and treated with sutures. “Saraswati's open wound will heal and be covered by healthy skin after the treatment," Possible reports. Saraswati’s quality of life will improve dramatically once her fingers are fixed. Her older brother shares, "We will help her through."
Kimberly is a one-year-old baby girl who lives with her parents in Guatemala. Kimberly is acutely malnourished, meaning that her diet doesn’t contain the nutrients she needs to build a strong immune system or feel energetic and alert. Acute malnutrition also has serious long-term effects if not treated. “Over time mental and physical development is stunted, thus leading to developmental delays and preventing Kimberly from reaching her full potential,” explains our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). “She will also be at increased risk of chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes.” Kimberly’s mother is eager for her daughter to get better and tells WK, “I want to see my daughter grow up to be a teacher.” Although she says that her daughter has started eating solid food, “Kimberly’s appetite is low and she has not transitioned from exclusively breastfeeding to solid food very well.” Kimberly’s mother is eight months pregnant with her second child and hopes intervention can occur soon so that she can be fully present for Kimberly’s treatment. “Once the baby is born, more stresses (both time and economic) will be placed on Kimberly’s mother, and limit her ability to give Kimberly the attention and resources she needs to thrive,” WK explains. Due to these circumstances, Kimberly needs medical attention as soon as possible. With $535 in Watsi funding, Kimberly will receive micronutrient and food supplementation to improve her health and bolster her immune system. Kimberly’s mother will receive the resources and intensive nutrition education she needs to make healthy decisions about what to feed Kimberly, as well as her baby on the way. According to WK, with this regimen in place, “Kimberly will begin to recoup the height and weight she has lost, and over time her energy and ability to concentrate will improve.” They continue, “With treatment, we anticipate Kimberly will have the ability to go far.”