Jay joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Eight years ago, Jay joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jay's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Festus, a 6-year-old boy from Kenya, to fund a congenital repair.
Jay has funded healthcare for 108 patients in 13 countries.
Jay has funded healthcare for 108 patients in 13 countries.
Festus is a lively 6-year-old boy from Kenya. He is the third born in a family of five children. His parents own a small corn farm, which they use to earn a living by selling produce. Festus was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience discomfort and will be at risk for infertility. Fortunately, Festus’ father was introduced to a social worker who brought the family to the care center, BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital (BKKH). BKKH is run by our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). As a result, on February 16th, surgeons at AMH will perform the corrective surgery. AMH is requesting $847 to fund the total cost of his procedure and care. Festus’ father says, “I want Festus to be treated and grow up like other children.”
Kalyan, a 13-year-old seventh grader, lives with her mother and brother in Kandal province in Cambodia. She enjoys studying home economics and Khmer literature and would like to be a singer when she grows up. Kalyan was born with a spinal condition called listhesis, which is an unnaturally mobile vertebra that moves, leaves its normal position, and can cause different complaints when it compresses nerves and other vertebrae. Listhesis can be caused by a bone abnormality, trauma from an accident or injury, or result from a fracture or a tumor. Pinched nerves and chronic back pain are common symptoms of this condition, as is loss of flexibility and possible paralysis. Kalyan is frequently unable to attend school due to her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. Specialty surgeons at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre can fuse her spine to avoid any further damage to Kalyan's back, while also alleviating her pain. Kalyan and her mother need your help to raise the $1,500 cost of the surgery, implants, hospitalization, and post-op medication. After recovery from the procedure, which is scheduled for February 7th, Kalyan's spine will be more stable, and she will be able to engage in all of the normal activities of a 13-year-old. Kalyan's mother shared: "I hope my daughter will no longer have pain and she can go back to school."
Saw Kyaw is a 25-year-old man living in Thailand. He currently lives with his older sister, younger sister, mother and her niece. He moved from Burma to Thailand for job opportunities three years ago. He was working in a shop and was able to support two younger siblings who are studying in Karen State in Burma. Around the end of July, he was playing football with friends when he slipped trying to kick the ball. His lower right leg was very painful, but he was still able to bear weight lightly on that leg. At the time, Saw Kyaw didn’t have health insurance, so he went to a clinic instead of the hospital. There they examined his leg, gave him some medication for the pain and advised him to go to the hospital for an X-ray if the pain persisted. Saw Kyaw rested for two days and then went back to work. That day at work, Saw Kyaw was carrying a heavy load when he slipped again. This time, the pain was severe, and he was unable to stand on his right leg. He went to a hospital in Bangkok where they X-rayed his lower right leg and told him that the tibia was fractured. The doctor recommended surgery where they would use a metal rod to connect the bones and set them in the correct position to heal. Saw Kyaw was told that the surgery would cost between 40,000 to 50,000 baht (approx. 1,330- 1,660 USD). He told them that he did not have insurance and was unable to afford the surgery, so they gave him pain medication and bandaged up his leg. He returned to the hospital three times and each time the doctor recommended surgery, but Kyaw was unable to figure out how he could get that kind of money. His employer was not helpful and refused to assist with the cost of the surgery. Since Saw Kyaw didn’t have the money, he decided to just rest and see whether the bones would heal on their own. Saw Kyaw recalled that he had fractured his femur when he was young, and he had used a traditional medicated oil to help heal the injury. He hoped that he could use this on his new fracture. But now he cannot walk properly and cannot work since his accident. He is stressed about his condition and his future. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Saw Kyaw will finally undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for December 7th and will cost $1,500. He will able to go back to work after surgery Saw Kyaw said, “I would like to go back to Bangkok and find work again so I can go back to helping my family; my siblings who are studying in Burma, and also my mother who is getting older. I also want to save some money for my future. I will not work at the same place though as they have not been kind or caring since I had the accident.”
Dieunese is a mother of two from Haiti. She lives in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince where she cares for her two young children along with her husband who is a taxi driver. Dieunese has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral stenosis which makes it extremely difficult for her heart to pump blood through her body, leaving her weak and short of breath. Dieunese requires surgery, but it is not available in her country. To access care, she will fly to the United States to receive treatment. On November 17th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair her heart valve; if they are unable to, they will remove it and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, the Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000 to pay for this surgery. Dieunese's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and check-up and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Dieunese overseas. Dieunese says, "I am hopeful that having this surgery will allow me to be alive and healthy for my children!"
Selina is a student who comes from Nodusoto village, one of the rural parts of Arusha, Tanzania. She came to our partner's health center earlier this month. She likes to help out with translations when she is close by, and enjoys spending time with the other junior residents. Selina comes from a middle-size family of five children. Her parents work on a farm as small-scale farmers and sell some of their harvest to earn money that enables them to provide for the family's basic needs. When Selina was three years old, she was accidentally pushed and fell into a pit of burning manure that burned both her hands. The parents took her to the hospital, and she received treatment. The treatment helped but she now has burn scar contractures on both of her hands. There is limited use of her hands as her fingers are now not defined. Despite this, she went on to pursue her goals. She has now completed her ordinary secondary school and wants to go further in studies. She is asking for your help see her through the treatment and make the journey ahead easier. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Selina receive treatment. On October 18th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her use her hands easily again. Now, she needs help to fund this $874 procedure. Selina says, “I hope this treatment will make my school journey easier.”
Perlisa is a 34-year-old, full-time mother of two sons and one daughter, living in the Philippines. Her partner is a construction worker, with only limited earnings to support the family. In 2020, Perlisa began to experience a broad constellation of symptoms, ranging from weight loss and extreme fatigue, to chest pain and shortness of breath, a bloated stomach and back pain. After undergoing an ultrasound, it was determined that Perlisa had a gallstone which needed to be surgically removed. Because of a lack of funds, Perlisa delayed her surgery, missed appointments with her doctors, and relied on medications to ease her symptoms. Ultimately, Perlisa found her way to our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, and they will be able help Perlisa access the care that she needs. On September 10th, Perlisa will undergo surgery to have her gallbladder removed at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Without this procedure, Perlisa's symptoms could worsen, and she would be at risk for more health complications in the future. While a portion of the cost of Perlisa's procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, World Surgical Foundation Philippines is looking to raise the remaining $826 needed to cover the costs of Perlisa's surgery and care. "Ive been praying for so long to be treated for my illness. We're financially incapable to pay for my medical bills. This surgery is an answered prayer." Perlisa shared. "I'm eternally grateful to WATSI, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, and all the doctors who helped me. May the Lord continue to bless you so that you may be able to help more people," she added.
Yi is a 67-year-old woman from Bruma who lives in a monastery with 40 other monks, nuns, and villagers. Although she does not have an income, all of her basic needs are met by the monastery. Yi enjoys spending most of her time reading religious books. Over 15 years ago, Yi's vision in her right eye became blurred, but she did not seek treatment because she thought it was simply something that was destined to occur due to her aging process. However, she eventually sought medical care at a hospital with the support of donors because her vision progressively worsened. There, she was diagnosed with a cataract and was scheduled to undergo repair surgery. On the day she was supposed to receive treatment, her son unfortunately passed away, so she did not return to the hospital for the procedure. Over the next couple of years, Yi began to also experience blurred vision in her left eye. The vision in both of her eyes deteriorated to the point where she could no longer recognize people. Fortunately, she was able to undergo cataract surgery of her left eye two months ago with the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Now, she is scheduled to undergo cataract surgery on August 10th. During this procedure, surgeons will perform a lens replacement on her right eye. BCMF is requesting $769 to cover the total cost of Yi's procedure and care. Yi shares, "As long as I am alive, I want to see and I do not want to depend on others to help me. I felt so happy when I learned that donors will pay for the cost of my surgery. Thank you so much to all the donors.”
Katelyn is an eight-year-old girl from Kenya. She is the middle child, with her older sibling being 11 years old and her younger sibling being two. Her father previously worked as a butcher in their hometown, but he has since stopped and currently does not have a source of income. Her mother is a homemaker and takes full-time care of the children. They all live together in a rental house. Katelyn was born with an ear condition, which has caused her to experience hearing loss. She eventually had to stop attending school due to her condition. She is currently unable to communicate with others despite her having some speech. Last month, Katelyn's parents took her to Kenyatta National hospital to receive medical care. After undergoing an audiogram scan, it was confirmed that Katelyn has moderate to profound hearing loss. Her doctor recommends that she receive hearing aids since this would help with her hearing and likely her speech as well. However, her family is not able to pay for them due to financial constraints. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Katelyn receive treatment on August 5th. Now, Katelyn's family needs help funding these $1,171 life-changing hearing aids. Katelyn's mother shares, “We didn’t know that she could not speak because she is unable to hear! Doctors have said that it’s possible for her to both hear and speak if she gets the aids.”
Elka is a 13-month-old baby who lives in Haiti with her parents. Both of her parents are hardworking vendors in their local market. Elka was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, meaning blood leaks through a hole between two blood vessels located near her heart. This leaves her feeling weak and short of breath. Since the required treatment is not available in Haiti, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Elka travel to the Dominican Republic where she will be able to access the care she needs. On July 28th, she will undergo a procedure where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole so blood can flow without issue through her body. Elka's family is looking to raise $1,500 to fund her necessary care, treatment, and travel. Elka also has a cleft lip and palate, so once her heart condition is treated, a team of doctors will soon be able to perform another surgery to repair this condition and help her have a healthier future and a full life ahead. Her mother says, "I am looking forward to my daughter growing up as a normal healthy child!"
Htun is a four year old boy living with 12 other children and a pastor and his wife who are helping to raise them in Tak Province, Thailand. Htun enjoys riding bicycles, watching cartoons, and playing with action figures. Towards the beginning of April, Htun began experiencing discomfort while walking and when he was sitting down. According to his guardian, whenever Htun begins to feel pain, he will point to where the pain is coming from and cry. Htun has been diagnosed with an inguinal hernia, which will need to be treated with surgery. Fortunately, he was brought to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, and he is now scheduled for hernia repair surgery on May 31st, at Mae Sot General Hospital. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Htun's hernia repair surgery, after which Htun will be able to live a full and healthy life ahead. "I want to support him as if he were my own child, and I want him to feel like we are his family," shared the pastor.
Abigail is a bright three-year-old girl. She lives with her parents and one older brother in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, which is the capital of Haiti. Abigail was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus. The deformity causes blood to leak through a hole between two major blood vessels near the heart. That makes it difficult for her small heart to function properly and can lead to tiredness, shortness of breath and restricted growth as she gets older. Fortunately, the condition is highly treatable with surgery. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged for Abigail, her family and an escort to travel to the Dominican Republic, where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole near her heart. Abigail should then be able to go on to live a full, healthy life. Another charity, Gift of Life International, is also contributing $5,000 toward the procedure, which is scheduled to take place on May 24th. This $1,500 will help fund Abigail's life-changing surgery and related care. Abigail's mother says, "We would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to heal our daughter's heart!"
Grace is a bright and hardworking student who is ready to sit for her government-mandated national exams for high school students in just two days. She is the youngest in her family of four. Grace's family came to Kenya as refugees from Rwanda to escape the 1994 genocide. Her parents started a small cereal shop after they settled. They don’t have medical insurance so are requesting help for Grace. She has had many ear infections that have now caused difficulty for her to hear and she strains to pick up voices. This has been affecting her classwork and she's even worried she may not be able to hear during her final exams on Monday. Grace urgently needs hearing aids on both ears and our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping her receive this treatment and care. AMH is raising $1,171 to fund the full cost. Grace father shared, "Grace has been struggling with her studies because of her hearing. She is now supposed to sit for her final exams in two days and will need the hearing aids so as not to miss the instructions during the exams.”