J

John barker

United States

John's Story

John joined Watsi on April 28th, 2013. 7 other people also joined Watsi on that day! John's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Mary, a primary school student from Kenya, to remove a life-threatening brain tumor.

Impact

John has funded healthcare for 18 patients in 8 countries.

All patients funded by John

Nilton

"We have such limited resources, and we could definitely not do this without your help," shares Nilton's mother. "Nilton is an only child of two very devoted, young parents. Both his mother and father work in the field as farm workers, and his mother also weaves blouses at night to bolster the family income. Nilton likes to play, and is generally a very happy, active baby. He is extremely social and enjoys being held by anyone around regardless if he knows them well or not," says our medical partner, Wuqu' Kawoq (WK). "Nilton is below the average height and weight for his age due to malnutrition," WK explains. "Nilton is 6-months-old, the age when children should be start to integrate solid food into their diet. This switch from breast milk to solid food adds a financial stress on the family, and oftentimes the parents do not know what and how to make this integration." "Generally, children tend to fall away from their growth curve, as parents continue to rely on breast milk as the primary or only source of nutrients," WK continues. "The food supplied is low in nutrients and quantity. Without intervention we believe Nilton will fall away from his curve, and therefore experience developmental delays, physical growth limitations and a weak immune system." For $535, we can provide Nilton with food and supplementation, and provide his mother with several nutrition education classes that emphasize the importance of a diet balanced in protein, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins. With treatment, "Nilton will begin to recoup the height and weight he has lost," WK explains. "Over time his energy and ability to concentrate will improve. His immune system will strengthen and we anticipate he will have the ability to go far."

100% funded

$535raised
Fully funded
Lah Ku

“Our greatest wish for our daughter is to get better and go to school,” say the parents of Lah Ku, an 11-year-old girl who lives in Thailand. Lah Ku came to our medical partner, Burma Border Projects (BBP), with thalassemia—a genetic condition in which the body does not make enough red blood cells, and the existing red blood cells do not transport oxygen efficiently. This is problematic because red blood cells carry oxygen to all of the body’s organs. When an organ’s oxygen supply is inadequate, the organ cannot function properly, and symptoms such as fatigue, pallor (pale skin), and slow growth rates can result. To help control these symptoms, individuals with thalassemia receive frequent blood transfusions. “Lah Ku is visibly jaundiced and currently has frequent nosebleeds and fever, headaches, and abdominal pain,” reports BBP. “Immediately after she receives her monthly blood transfusions, she plays a lot at first and has good energy, but her energy decreases over time, and most of the time she is very fatigued.” BBP adds, “Lah Ku does not attend school because the pain from her condition is too great.” “Now,” BBP tells us, “Lah Ku’s spleen is enlarged and needs to be removed.” An enlarged spleen, known as splenomegaly, is common in individuals with thalassemia. The spleen is responsible for destroying old and defective red blood cells. In thalassemia, the rate of destruction is increased in response to the abnormal and transfused red blood cells in circulation, and the spleen grows larger due to the increased activity. Lah Ku’s parents work as farmers and barely earn enough money to pay for food and daily expenses for themselves and their four children. As a result, there is no money to cover Lah Ku’s medical care. With $1,015 in funding, Lah Ku can undergo a splenectomy (removal of the spleen) and receive seven days of hospital care and follow-up appointments after surgery. “Surgery will relieve Lah Ku's pain and allow her to attend school,” shares BBP. “She will have more energy and a much better quality of life, as she will no longer require monthly blood transfusions.” Let’s help fund surgery for Lah Ku!

100% funded

$1,015raised
Fully funded
Cindy

Meet Cindy, a 13-year-old girl who lives with her parents and five siblings in Guatemala. “Cindy is unable to see because she has glaucoma in her right eye, and phthisis bulbi and a cataract in her left eye,” explains our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). The most urgent of these conditions is phthisis bulbi, in which trauma, infection, or inflammation causes irreversible scarring and hardening of the eyeball. “Phthisis bulbi in Cindy’s left eye is threatening to permanently render her eye as non-functional,” reports WK. “Cindy has never been to school due to her eye condition but has a strong desire to learn," WK adds. "Her neighbor is helping her develop her motor skills so she can eventually learn to write.” Cindy’s older sister acts as her primary caregiver and companion. Cindy’s family does not own any land, and they cannot afford to pay for her care. With $1485 in funding, however, Cindy will undergo eye surgery to halt vision loss in her left eye and restore vision in her right eye. “Without this surgery, she will lose all ability to see, thus decreasing her ability to work as well as severely lowering her quality of life,” explains WK. After surgery, “Cindy will be able to see clearly in one eye, which will make it easier for her to learn and have a shot at going to school,” shares WK. “Above all, Cindy’s quality of life will dramatically improve as she becomes more able to observe the world around her." “I would love to see my sister—see her face clearly and say ‘thank you,’” says Cindy.

100% funded

$1,485raised
Fully funded
Yese

“Yese is eager to start going to school but his condition won’t let him," his mother shares. Meet Yese, a happy six-year-old who lives with his parents and three siblings in Tanzania. Yese has hydrocephalus—a condition in which a buildup of fluid within the brain leads to an increase in intracranial pressure, causing swelling of the head. Yese was born without any health problems, but this onset condition has affected his vision and mobility. If his hydrocephalus goes untreated, it could lead to brain damage and premature death. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us that Yese “was growing well, he even started to crawl, but close to a year, the size of his head started to increase,” and he stopped crawling and walking. Yese appeared to be recovering by the time he was three years old, but now at age six his symptoms have worsened and AMHF reports, “He cannot walk without support and his vision is blurring.” “Yese is a good storyteller and enjoys singing and listening to the radio,” AMHF shares. Yese’s parents work hard—his mother sells avocados at a local market and his father makes and sells pottery—but their joint income is not enough to support their other children and Yese’s medical bills. With $775 in funding, Yese will undergo surgery to drain the excess fluid from his brain and alleviate the built-up intracranial pressure. Doctors will insert a shunt into Yese’s brain that will redirect the fluid to his abdominal cavity where it can be reabsorbed. This operation will reverse Yese’s symptoms—his vision will return so that he can walk well again. "I hope my son will regain his vision and ability to walk so that he can go to school like other children," his mother adds.

100% funded

$775raised
Fully funded
Angel

"I really am saddened by Angel’s condition. My greatest prayer is that she gets treated soon,” says the mother of Angel, a three-month-old baby girl who lives with her parents and two older siblings in Kenya. Angel was born with spina bifida, a condition characterized by the incomplete closure of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), tells us, “Angel has a mass swelling on her lower back. She is at risk of developing tethered cord syndrome that can lead to either scoliosis and or kyphosis and getting severe infections on the exposed nerves. She may possibly lose muscle function in the lower limbs if not treated.” Angel’s parents are laborers who some days cannot find work. The money that they do earn is not enough to pay for rent, food, and school fees for the older children. Given their financial situation, they cannot afford medical care for Angel. With $805 in funding, Angel can undergo a surgical procedure known as spina bifida closure. Doctors place the spinal cord and nerves back inside the backbone and cover them with membranes before closing the opening on Angel’s back. Funding for Angel’s treatment also includes a five-day hospital stay and three days of physical therapy. “Angel’s treatment will reduce the risk of infections, development of tethered cord, and loss of muscle function in her legs,” says AMHF. Let’s help fund surgery for Angel!

100% funded

$805raised
Fully funded
Jose

“I love my son for being the smallest, most beautiful baby I have ever seen, but I wish he was not sick,” says the mother of Jose, a four-year-old boy who lives with his parents and eight older siblings in Guatemala. “Ever since Jose was born premature, he has struggled,” shares our medical partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq (WK). “At two months old he began having regular seizures, which led to large developmental delays. At four years old, Jose is still unable to talk and has problems walking.” WK adds, “Jose is also malnourished, and his family does not have the resources to afford the appropriate nutritional support or medical treatment.” $1,385 in funding pays for a thorough diagnostic work-up and treatment phase, followed by ongoing therapy. This includes imaging and blood work to identify conditions contributing to Jose’s delayed development, anti-seizure medication to help prevent future seizures, and therapy—physical, speech, and nutritional—to support Jose’s growth and development. Funding also covers the cost of a case manager to help Jose’s family coordinate his care and monitor his progress. WK tells us, “This treatment will give Jose the support he needs to thrive. With time he will be able to operate more independently and even be able to work and contribute to his family’s economic well-being. With the help of Watsi support, we will be able to supply him with the right medical and educational support to recover his health and begin to grow normally.” Let’s help fund treatment for Jose!

100% funded

$1,385raised
Fully funded