United States • susansantiago.com
Susana joined Watsi on March 20th, 2013. Eight years ago, Susana joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Susana's most recent donation traveled 8,600 miles to support Khin, a 65-year-old woman from Thailand, to fund cataract surgery.
Susana has funded healthcare for 107 patients in 13 countries.
Susana has funded healthcare for 107 patients in 13 countries.
Khin is a 65-year-old woman who lives with her daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren in Tak Province, Thailand. Three years ago Khin, who is retired, moved to Thailand from Burma in order to live with her daughter. Currently, the vision in Khin’s right eye is blurred as a result of a cataract. Khin finds it difficult to help with household chores, as she has to rely on her left eye alone. She finds that if she tries to focus on something, she develops a headache. She worries she might lose the vision in her left eye. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Khin. On February 23rd, doctors at Mae Sot General Hospital will perform cataract surgery, implanting an intraocular lens in Khin's eye, restoring her vision. Khin said: “I feel like I am losing an eye since I cannot see with my right eye. I am also worried about losing vision in my other eye. I am afraid to undergo surgery, but I want my vision back so that I can see people’s faces again. I feel sorry for my children, and I pity them since they need to help me with everything. I felt really happy when I learned that a donor will support my treatment cost.”
Stevenson is a 26-year-old man from Haiti. He lives in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince with his parents and several siblings. Stevenson had been attending university, studying for a business degree, when poor health forced him to leave school. When he was a child, Stevenson developed rheumatic fever, which has resulted in rheumatic mitral valve prolapse. This condition has meant that one of Stevenson's heart valves is unable to pump sufficient blood through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. Thanks to our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, Stevenson will fly to the Dominican Republic, where on September 27th, surgeons at Hospital CEDIMAT will perform surgery to remove the damaged valve, and implant an artificial one. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $8,000 to pay for Stevenson's surgery. But Stevenson's family also needs your help to fund the $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medicines, and follow up appointments, as well as for the passports and the social workers, who will accompany the family to the Dominican Republic. Stevenson shared, "I feel very lucky to have this chance to finally have my heart healed!"
Aung is a six-year-old student from Thailand. He lives with his parents and brother. His mother works at a factory, his father is a homemaker, and his brother goes to school. In his free time, Aung likes to play with his toys and watch cartoon movies on the television. Aung has cataract in his right eye. As a result, he can only see light with that eye, and his eye is very sensitive and irritated. Fortunately, on November 15th, Aung will undergo lens replacement surgery, during which surgeons will remove Aung's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to this surgery for Aung. Aung's mother shared: “We do not have money to treat him ourselves. My son is so lucky to be treated through the help of donors."
Meet Ratha! She is a loving 48-year-old grandmother. She has one son, two daughters, and three grandchildren. She lives with her family and her husband, who is a local policeman. She used to sell groceries from a family store, but since her vision has deteriorated she now stays at home. Ratha spends much of her time cooking for her family and caring for her grandchildren. One year ago, the retina of Ratha's left eye detached, causing her to have partial blindness and reduced peripheral vision. She feels like a shadow is always over her left field of vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, recognizing faces, and going anywhere outside. When Ratha learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled there seeking treatment. On September 15th, eye surgeons will perform a retinal detachment repair procedure in her left eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $649 procedure. Ratha said, "I hope after surgery I will be able to see out of my left eye. I want to take care of my grandchildren better and do housework well."
Samuel is a nine-year-old student who lives with his parents and three siblings in Haiti's capital city, Port-au-Prince. He is currently in third grade and enjoys studying history and science. Samuel has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot, which is a combination of four different congenital heart defects, including a hole between two chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. Fortunately, Samuel is scheduled to travel to the United States where he will undergo cardiac surgery on September 14th at Akron Children's Hospital. During the procedure, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart and remove the blockage from his valve. A portion of the cost of Samuel's treatment is being supported by Akron Children's Hospital. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is raising the remaining $1,500 to cover the costs of his surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA’s social workers to accompany Samuel and his family overseas. Samuel's mother says, "I have been very worried about my son's health for many years. I am looking forward to being able to stop worrying so much after this surgery!"
Shee is a bright and caring 12-year-old girl from Thailand who likes to play the piano, listen to music, and help her caregiver garden with her friends. She lives with 30 students, including her younger brother, in the dormitory of Has Thoo Lei Learning Centre. She is currently in fifth grade, and her brother is in third grade. Both her and her brother's dormitory fees, including food and accommodations, are funded by a Christian nonprofit organization called Compassion Thailand. Both of her parents currently live in Burma and work as subsistence farmers. Her father also works as a day laborer. Shee's parents support her and her brother with their school fees and pocket money. For the past two years, Shee has dealt with femoral hernias. As a result of her condition, she experiences pain in her right groin, as well as pain and discomfort when she sits for a long period of time. When she plays with her friends or is active, the bulge increases in size. Her condition has progressively worsened, and she has had to miss school frequently as a result. Fortunately, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Shee's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 22nd. Once completed, she will hopefully be able to live more comfortably. Shee says, “I want to become a nurse when I grow up one day and help people in my community who are sick and need my help.”
Nhoeng is a 75-year-old retired rice farmer. She currently lives with her niece, since her husband unfortunately passed away. She enjoys spending her time listening to monks pray. Four years ago, Nhoeng developed a cataract in her right eye, causing her to experience light sensitivity, eye tearing, and blurry vision. She has difficulty seeing things clearly, including colors and faces, and is worried about falling when walking, so she is not able to go places on her own. When Nhoeng learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, she traveled for four and a half hours seeking treatment. On July 6th, doctors will perform a small incision cataract surgery and an intraocular lens implant in her right eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $253 procedure. Nhoeng says, "I hope I will see well again so I can go places on my own and see things."
Nickson is a 5-year-old boy from Tanzania. Both he and his older brother live with and are being raised by their hardworking mother. She single-handedly supports her children by working as a secretary. Two years ago, Nickson mother took him to a hospital where he was diagnosed with genu valgus, a condition that causes his leg to bow inward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Nickson has difficulty walking and is at risk of developing more complications as he grows up if the condition is not corrected. Although the hospital he visited provided him with medication, it did not improve his condition. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner's care center can help treat his condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Nickson, which is scheduled to take place on August 5th. Treatment will hopefully restore Nickson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Nickson's mother says, "I am a single mother with no husband supporting me. I try hard to provide, but it is not enough to afford my son's treatment cost."
Keysnaelle is a bright and caring 5-year-old who lives in the mountains of central Haiti. She lives with her parents, who are both farmers, and several older siblings. Keysnaelle enjoys helping her family out with different activities on the farm, as well as going to kindergarten and learning new things. Keysnaelle was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, in which blood leaks through a hole between two blood vessels near her heart. This causes her to experience weakness and shortness of breath. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is asking for $1,500 to fund Keysnaelle's procedure and care. During the procedure, which is scheduled for July 27th, doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole so blood can flow with ease. This will eliminate her difficulties with breathing and allow her to grow stronger. Her mother said, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping Keysnaelle to become healthy!"
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!"
Josiah is a laborer who gets work whenever he can at local construction sites. He also works as an artisan in the jua kali sector (informal economy). His wife also works as a casual laborer, washing clothes for a living. They live in their ancestral home in the outskirts of the capital city of Nairobi. Josiah has pain and swelling that has lasted for a week now, and is preventing him from working. When the pain medication prescribed for him didn't work, an ultrasound and CT scan revealed a right inguinal-scrotal hernia and surgery is needed to heal. Fortunately, on May 18th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $684 to fund Josiah's surgery. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Josiah says, “This condition is embarrassing and I have not been able to talk to about it. But it is worsening and affecting my lifestyle. I have no choice but to seek help. Sadly, I am also unable to afford the cost of the treatment.”
Jane is a loving mother from the Philippines. She has an adorable 8-month-old baby boy. Jane works as as a municipal administrative aide, while her husband works as a contractual college teacher. However, even with their combined salaries, they still cannot afford to cover her medical treatment. In 2019, Jane began to experience troubling symptoms, including a painful, palpable mass on her neck. She was diagnosed with a nodular goiter, which is a solid or fluid-filled lump that forms within the thyroid. However, due to financial constraints, she opted to take the doctor’s prescribed medicine to alleviate the symptoms instead of having the surgery she needs. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Jane finally undergo treatment. She is scheduled for a thyroidectomy on May 3rd at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $1323, and she and her family need help raising money for this life-changing care. “Once this surgery is done, I won’t have to endure this pain. Thank you World Surgical Foundation Philippines and Watsi for this opportunity to be treated. Now, we don't have to worry about where to get the money for my treatment,” Jane shared with relief.