Joe joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Eight years ago, Joe joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Joe's most recent donation traveled 1,900 miles to support Guerdina, a 15-year-old girl from Haiti, to fund prep and overseas transport so she can receive life-saving cardiac surgery.
Joe has funded healthcare for 76 patients in 13 countries.
Joe has funded healthcare for 76 patients in 13 countries.
Guerdina is a 15-year-old girl who lives in the mountains of central Haiti with her parents and four siblings. When she was 10 years old, Guerdina suffered from rheumatic fever. Her illness severely damaged one of the valves of her heart, making it unable to adequately pump blood through her body. In 2019, she underwent a surgery to repair her damaged heart valve. That procedure helped for several years, but her repaired valve is becoming less functional and now needs to be replaced with an artificial valve. After surgery, Guerdina's heart should be able to pump more normally and her doctors share that she should be able to lead a full and active life. Because the surgery she needs in not available in Haiti, Guerdina must travel overseas to receive surgery. On June 2nd, she will undergo heart surgery with the Cardiac team at the Cleveland Clinic, where surgeons will replace her mitral valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) is helping Guerdina's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medication, and follow-up appointments. This will also support her family to obtain passports and the HCA social workers who will accompany Guerdina's family during their travels. Guerdina shared, "my entire family and I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been helping me!"
Ruth is a two-year-old girl who lives with her parents in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, which is the capital of the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. She is her parent's first child. Ruth was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus, which causes blood to leak through a hole between two major blood vessels near her heart. The condition makes it difficult for Ruth's small heart to fully function. Fortunately, her condition is highly treatable with surgery. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, so our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged to take Ruth and her mother to the Dominican Republic, where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole near her heart. The treatment, scheduled for May 25th, will stop blood from leaking into her blood vessels and should allow her to live a full life ahead. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $5,000 toward the surgery cost. Her family is raising $1,500 to help cover the rest of her treatment and related care, including travel for Ruth and her mother. Her mother shared, "Our family is very hopeful that after the surgery, our daughter will have more energy and a better appetite."
Margaret is a humble and quiet 13-year-old student, and the youngest child of three children in her family. She enjoys school, and reading in particular. Her mother works as a casual laborer at a flower farm in the area, and she is separated from Margaret's father. Margaret has clubfoot of both feet, a condition in which her feet are twisted out of shape. This causes her difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Margaret receive treatment. On April 11th, she will undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, she will no longer use a wheelchair while in school, and she will be able to walk on her own. Now, Margaret and her family need help raising $1,286 to fund Margaret's procedure and care. Margaret's mother shared, "I will not be able to afford the estimated hospital bill despite my love for my daughter and my wish to see her walking on her feet. I request help for my daughter to undergo surgery and resume her normal life."
Victor is a 9-year old boy and the oldest of two children in his family. Victor's mother is a single parent working as a housekeeper. While his mother is at work, Victor often spends time with his grandmother who is a farmer. Victor was born with cerebral palsy and his grandmother shared that he has a lot of energy! Victor was brought to Cure International Hospital's outreach clinic by his grandmother. His condition makes it challenging for Victor to walk without falling. Now he is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on February 28th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Victor and his family raise the $1,224 necessary to fund this surgery so that Victor will be able to live a full, healthy live as he grows up. Victor's grandmother said, "I would love to see my grandson’s feet fully corrected and walking well like other children."
Karen works as a guard at a secondary school in Cavite, Philippines. Her husband is a police officer, but even with their combined income to cost of the surgery she needs is out of reach. Five years ago, Karen began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty in swallowing and a swollen neck. She was diagnosed with goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Karen receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on February 4th at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $1,323, and she and her family need help raising money for this life-changing care. "This surgery will greatly improve my well-being, so I can continue working for my future without worry," Karen shared.
Edwin is a young boy from Tanzania and the youngest in his family of three children. He is a friendly and playful boy. Edwin’s parents are small-scale farmers who mainly grow food crops like maize, potatoes, and vegetables. Edwin was diagnosed with genu varus, where his legs bow outward at the knee. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has difficulty walking and running with his agemates. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Edwin. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 4th. Treatment will hopefully restore Edwin's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Edwin’s mother says “We don't like seeing his legs this way and the struggle he has in walking. It is because of financial challenges that we haven’t been able to seek treatment for him.”
Vaughn is a three-year-old boy from the Philippines. He is the youngest sibling of three. He loves playing with his cousins just like any other child at his age. His father is a construction worker earning minimum wage; while his mother is a stay-at-home mom. Three months ago Vaughn's parents noticed a swelling around his belly button. They brought him to the hospital for care and Vaughn has been diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. This hernia causes severe stomachaches. Fortunately, on November 10th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner is requesting $1,130 to fund Vaughn's surgery at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. "After the surgery, we hope Vaughn will be able to enjoy his childhood and not ever hesitate to play," shared Edgar, Vaughn's father.
Andrew is a 32-year-old, energetic businessman from Malawi who is married with two sons. He sells fish in a nearby market and lives with his family in a rented 2-bedroom house. His wife is a homemaker, and his children are students in primary school. While selling fish at the market last year, Andrew experienced sharp pain and swelling that slowly decreased but soon became a recurring experience. He visited a traditional healer and then the local health center, where he was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia and referred to the hospital for surgical review. Andrew was placed on a long surgery waitlist, but when the pain became so severe that he could no longer work, his sister informed him about the care center with our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Surgeons at AMH confirmed Andrew's diagnosis of an inguinal hernia, which is a condition that occurs when the intestines or fat from the abdomen protrudes through the abdominal wall. Complications can include bowel obstruction and strangulation, which may be fatal if not surgically repaired. Fortunately, on October 26th, Andrew will undergo reparative surgery. AMH is requesting $575 to help fund this procedure, which is also subsidized by Andrew's co-pay that he was able to gather. Andrew is hopeful that surgery will significantly improve his quality of life and reduce his pain and discomfort. He shared, “I hope that I will be able to concentrate on my business after the surgery. I want to see my children excel in school, and I need to provide for them."
Davis is a bright young student from a village in Kenya. He's a six-year-old playful boy and the fourth-born in a family of six. His family lives in a two-roomed iron-built house on their inherited small farm. His father is a farmer who plants maize and his mother is a housewife. Davis' parents do not have any other source of income and only depend on farming. Due to this, they are having a difficult time financially, especially amid the pandemic. Unfortunately, on September 27th, Davis sustained a severe injury to his right lower limb after falling from a Sheller machine (a machine for shelling maize cobs) after trying to climb it. After hearing his cries, his father brought him to our medical partner's care center. The doctors reviewed him and an X-Ray revealed a fracture to his right femur. Davis was admitted to the hospital for skin traction to stabilize his fracture and realign the normal position of the bone. Due to the severity of the injury, Davis is in a lot of pain and couldn't walk nor sit properly. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On October 1st, Davis will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. AMH is requesting $1,145 to help fund this procedure. After successful treatment, Davis will be able to walk and resume his normal life and playful activities. Davis' father says, “He has so much pain, I feel sorry for him. I hope he gets treated and feels better and will be well again.”
Mary is an elderly woman and a farmer from the Rift Valley region in Kenya. She now lives alone after losing her husband a few years ago. Her 4 children have left the nest and live separately with their own families. She does small scale farming to meet her daily needs. Her social-economic status is low and therefore she is unable to meet the cost of surgery. On August 26th, she was a passenger on a motorcycle when the motorcycle got into an accident. She was rushed to the hospital for first aid and debridement of the open wound on her right foot. She is in pain and unable to walk. At Kapsowar hospital, she had an x-ray done and was diagnosed with a fracture. She needs a surgery, but is unable to raise the funds needed. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 30th, Mary will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The surgery will help her walk again with ease. She will also be free from pain and the infections caused by the open wound will be cleared. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1016 to fund this procedure. Mary said, “My hope is to get treated early for fast recovery so that I can walk and work again.”
Mao is a 51-year-old rice farmer with one son, one daughter, and one grandchild. Mao lives with his wife who is a grocery seller. At home he enjoys listening to the news and Chinese dramas on TV. Two years ago, the retina of Mao's left eye detached, causing him blurry vision, pain, and tearing. He has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Mao learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled therewith his son seeking treatment. On June 9th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in his left eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $648 procedure. Mao shared, "I hope after surgery I can see better so I can plant rice and also sell piglets from my motorbike to earn money for my family."
Mengsim is a 49-year-old tour guide from Cambodia. He is married and lives in the province with his wife and two sons. Mengsim's wife sells soft drinks from their home. In December 2020, Mengsim was in a car accident that caused paralysis of his right hand. This injury, a branchial plexus nerve injury, can cause him to lose feeling and control of his shoulder, arm, and hand. Mengsim is unable to lift his arm and he cannot work. Mengsim traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On June 23rd, he will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, He will be able to use his arm again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Mengsim shares, "I am thankful that I will be able to return to work when my arm heals so I can support my family."