Lea joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Eight years ago, Lea joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Lea's most recent donation supported Rose, a 62-year-old widow of two children from Malawi, to fund surgery to remove a portion of her thyroid gland causing swelling and pain.
Lea has funded healthcare for 89 patients in 14 countries.
Lea has funded healthcare for 89 patients in 14 countries.
Rose is a 62-year-old widow with two fully grown children. She lost her husband four years ago. Rose owns a small business where she sells sand and also performs garden maintenance for a small fee. Rose gets support from both children, who are married with children themselves now. She lives with her second-born child in a three-bedroom house without water and electricity. Rose likes doing house chores and enjoys eating nsima, a culinary tradition of Malawi, made from maize flour with vegetables. In 2014, Rose started experiencing pain when she swallowed. She visited the hospital near her home, where she was treated. The treatment worked for awhile until December of last year when her daughter noticed that Rose's neck was swollen on the right side. In March, Rose noticed that the swelling was getting larger and also causing consistent pain. Rose decided it was time to visit Kamuzu Central Hospital in Malawi where a scan revealed her mass had grown substantially and was stemming from the right thyroid lobe. Her doctor diagnosed her with a goiter and determined that surgery would be needed. Due to her financial challenges, Rose could not afford the surgery. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), can help. Rose met with a surgeon who confirmed her diagnosis and the need for surgical intervention called a thyroidectomy, which removes part or all of the thyroid gland. Rose believes the surgery will help her to get better and prevent her symptoms from impacting her day to day life, and allow her to focus on how good her life is. She was able to contribute $10 toward her care and is grateful to all to help her raise the $1,015 needed. Rose said, “Thank you donors for supporting me, I want to live my normal life.”
Kyi is a 57-year-old woman, living with her husband in Burma. They shared that together they do not have children and they love to dedicate their time to helping others in their community. Kyi's husband volunteers with the Karen Forestry Department, helps with household chores, and grows rice and vegetables, while also raising chickens for them to eat. Kyi works in a medical clinic helping patients and is training in emergency obstetric care in Thailand. Kyi experiences back and abdominal pain, fatigue and weakness, and other symptoms. Doctors determined that Kyi suffers from gallstones; she has been advised to have her gallbladder removed to heal her symptoms and prevent further complications with her health in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Kyi is scheduled to undergo a cholecystectomy on April 7th, at Mae Sot General Hospital. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of Kyi's procedure and care. Kyi is determined to have a big impact in her community and shared: "I want to be healthy so that I can devote my mind, body, and work to fully serving my people until my last breath.”
Roly, who is two years old, is a happy and loving child, who lives with his family in a small town, which is a nine hour drive from La Paz, Bolivia. Roly's parents are farmers. Roly was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus. Because of this condition, blood leaks through a hole that connects two major blood vessels next to the heart, leaving Roly sick and short of breath. He needs surgery in order to be able to live a full and healthy life. Fortunately our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is helping Roly access the care that he needs. On March 1st, surgeons at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uria will operate on Roly, sewing the hole in his heart closed, so that blood can no longer leak through it. Now Roly and his family need your help to raise the $1,500 necessary to fund this life saving procedure. His mother is hopeful that he will be better soon and said, "We are hoping that our son will have a better appetite and gain more weight after his surgery is finished."
Peter is a young man who lives with his parents and two siblings. Peter loves soccer, and recently graduated from secondary school with hopes of joining the army. Peter's father, a bus driver, is the sole breadwinner for the family of five. In June of 2022, Peter fractured his right leg during a soccer tournament. He received a cast for his injury, but it became apparent that the extent of his injuries are more severe than initially anticipated. Peter's recent x-ray revealed a tibial shaft fracture along the length of the bone between his knee and ankle. Due to his injury, Peter is unable to walk without the help of crutches. As a result, he cannot play soccer, join the army, or work to help support his family. Fortunately, the surgeons at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, can help. On January 25th, Peter will undergo a procedure to repair to stabilize his leg and repair his fracture, allowing him to heal and walk again without crutches. Now, Peter's family is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Peter says, “I want to serve my country as a soldier. This fracture is dimming my hopes of joining the forces. I can also not play soccer; that is my passion. I need this treatment to be able to use my leg again.”
Esther is a young girl from Kenya. She likes reading books and enjoys going to school. Her family lives in a rural village, and she is the youngest in her family. Esther's mother is a business woman, while her father is a laborer on construction sites. Esther's right foot is affected by clubfoot, a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. She was born with hemiplegic CP, which means the right side of her body is weakened. Her condition has greatly impacted Esther and has made it difficult for her to engage with her peers at school. Earlier Esther was taken to a hospital, where she was given an orthosis to help correct her condition without surgery, however, she hasn't received treatment since then. Fortunately, Esther now traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, AIC Cure International Hospital. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on January 16th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,286 to fund Esther's surgery. After treatment, she will be able to walk more easily and proceed with her studies uninterrupted. Esther’s mother says, “I am appealing for your financial help so that my daughter can walk well like other girls.”
Sai is a six-year-old kindergarten student. He lives with his parents and siblings (a 12-year-old brother who is in grade four and a 11-month-old sister) at Mae Sot District, Tak Province in Thailand. His father is a daily worker and works as a blacksmith. Sai’s mother is a homemaker who looks after the children at home. Sai was born with a healthy delivery however just after his sixth birthday, his mother noticed that Sai’s left eye was red. He told her that it was not painful, so they did not worry about it. In June 2022 though, his mother saw that there was a white dot in the pupil of Sai’s eye. When his mother covered Sai’s right eye and asked if he could see, he answered that he did not see clearly. Sai had his eyes checked at Mae Tao Clinic and the medic suspected that he had a cataract. He was sent to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. He was referred to the ophthalmology department which later the doctor diagnosed him with mature left eye cataract. Currently, Sai’s vision in his left eye is blurry and he has trouble seeing the board when he is in the classroom. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Sai. On December 9th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Sai's natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Sai’s mother said, “We cannot afford to take a loan (for the surgery) because we would have to pay the interest. There is less work during the pandemic and so it makes things very hard to have such a large loan. My words cannot express the thanks that I feel. It is so lucky for us to have the assistance from BCMF and donors.”
Nicholas is a 17-year-old high school student, who aspires to become a professional driver. He is the youngest of eight children, and lives with his family in Kenya. When he was young, Nicholas was hit by a bicycle. He was treated for his injuries, and sent home. Now, as a teenager, Nicholas finds his left knee bowing inwards, and knocking against his right leg, making it difficult for him to walk. Nicholas' parents brought him to a local, mobile clinic to be evaluated. As a result of the evaluation, and with the support of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Nicholas is scheduled for corrective surgery on November 14th, at AIC Cure International Hospital. After he has recovered, Nicholas should be able to walk comfortably again. Now his family needs your help to fund this procedure, which will cost $1,224. “I would be happy to see my leg straightened so that I can walk normally like my friends,” Nicholas shared with us.
Mark is a primary school student in a special need school in Nairobi. Mark wears a broad smile and is feeling proud to take his photo and share his story. Mark is the firstborn in a family of two children. Mark's parents are both hawkers at a local market in Githurai. His father sells second-hand shoes famously known as Mitumba and his mother sells t-shirts at the same market. This work results in inconsistent income for their family. Mark has a fracture and dislocation of the shoulder joint and the upper part of the bone of the arm (humerus). As a result of his disability, Mark is unable to communicate the cause of the injury, but his mother suspects he fell a couple weeks ago and injured himself. Mark is unable to use his arm and hand as a result of the fracture. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 5th, Mark will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help him heal well and he will be able to use his arm and hand again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Mark's family raise $1,500 to fund this procedure. Mark's mother shared, “Mark is struggling to use his hand. He is in constant pain and it is written all over his face. Normally, he is a jovial kid but the pain is making him frown constantly.”
Saw Wah is a 14-year-old grade six student from Burma. Saw Wah lives with his parents and five younger brothers in a village in Hpapun Township in Karen State where there is a lot of unrest currently. Saw Wah's father works as a day labourer when there is no work on the farm. Saw Wah's youngest brother is too young to enroll in school while his four other brothers stopped going to school this last year. Saw Wah shared, “They do not want to attend school because fighting happens very often in this area. We have to run and hide in the jungle where we study and they do not like to study in the jungle.” Saw Wah’s family also raises chickens and two goats for their own consumption. They also often go fishing and forage for vegetables in the jungle. Even though his family does not have a regular income, they can gather enough food. Saw Wah's family receives free basic healthcare at a free clinic near their village. Around 2018 or 2019, Saw Wah developed a runny nose with yellowish nasal discharge. At first, he thought that this was normal, and it would go away on its own. Towards the end of April 2022, Saw Wah nose became blocked, and he could no longer breath through his nose. He finally told his parents about his symptoms and his father took him to the free clinic at Ei Tu Hta Internally Displaced Camp. At the clinic, the medic checked Saw Wah's nostrils and told them that there is mass blocking the nasal passage in both of his nostrils. The medic also recommended Saw Wah go to a larger hospital for further investigation. At this time, Saw Wah has to breathe through his mouth which causes him discomfort. He has lost his sense of taste and smell, and has a hard time sleeping. Due to these symptoms, Saw Wah has had to stop his studies while he receives treatment. Saw Wah worries that it will take a while, and he will not be able to study this year. Fortunately, Saw Wah sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF). Now he is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on September 6th. BCMF is fundraising $1,500 to cover the cost of Saw Wah's procedure and care. Saw Wah shared, "I am excited to receive surgery and I hope that I will be able to breath through my nose after surgery."
Walendjina is an adorable two-year-old toddler from Haiti. She lives with her parents, who are both market vendors, and her two older siblings in a small village in the mountains of northwestern Haiti. Walendjina has Tetralogy of Fallot, a rare condition caused by a combination of four congenital heart conditions. These conditions include a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. On August 15th, Walendjina will fly overseas to the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. During this cardiac procedure, surgeons will close the hole in her heart with a patch and remove the muscular blockage from her valve. A portion of the cost of Walendjina's treatment is being supported by Have a Heart Cayman, and our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is raising the remaining $1,500 to cover the cost of Walendjina's labs, medication, followup appointments, and travel fees for her and her family. Walendjina's father shares, "Our family has been very scared for our daughter's health ever since she was born. We will all be very glad to be able to stop worrying so much about her heart!"
Jane is a polite and calm 17-year girl from a family of four children. Jane’s father is a small-scale farmer of maize and vegetables and practices livestock keeping. Jane completed her primary education late last year and started secondary school, but had to stop because the walk to school grew to be too painful. Jane was diagnosed with left Genu Valgus meaning her leg is bent causing her knees to knock against each other when walking. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Jane experiences pain and exhaustion after just a short distance walk. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is raising $880 to fund corrective surgery for Jane. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 5th. Treatment will hopefully restore Jane's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Jane shared, “I would like to continue with my studies because I want to be either a teacher or a nurse.”
Baraka is a teenager and the oldest in his family of four. He currently studies in class six. Bakara's mother practices small-scale farming of maize, sorghum, and millet to provide food for the family. Baraka and his mother both experience epilepsy, and Bakara had a seizure that led to an accident. He suffered severe burns to his right leg and is unable to straighten his leg at the knee due to the burn contractures. Bakara can only walk with the use of a walking stick. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Baraka receive treatment. On June 7th, surgeons will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him walk easily. AMH is requesting $874 to help fund this procedure. Baraka says, “I would be so happy if I can have a chance to walk normally.”