Elliott Carlson
Elliott's Story

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.

Patients funded by Elliott

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."

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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."

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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."

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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.”

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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.”

Fully funded