UNIVERSAL FUND MEMBERTreat others the way you want to be treated
Germany • Born on November 12th
Ramona joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Three years ago, Ramona joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Ramona's most recent donation traveled 4,200 miles to support Mwandu, a 5-year-old girl from Tanzania, to fund burn contracture surgery so she can use her arm.
Ramona has funded healthcare for 1206 patients in 19 countries.
Ramona has funded healthcare for 1206 patients in 19 countries.
Mwandu is a 5-year-old girl — the first born and the only child in her family. She lives with her parents in a small town called Msevya in the northwestern side of Tanzania. Her parents are subsistence farmers who rely on agriculture for food and money. Inflation has negatively affected their source of livelihood. As small-scale farmers, managing their crops has been more costly than purchasing crops from the market. One day when Mwandu was young, she was playing inside the house while her parents were working on the farm. Her mother had set a pot on the stove to prepare tea. Mwandu walked close to the stove and pulled the pot with her bare hands. Hot tea spilled on her arm and the right side of her body. She got burnt on her arm and armpit. Now burn contractures have developed, tightening the skin around her burn, limiting her arm extension and involvement in day-to-day activities. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Mwandu receive treatment. On March 3rd, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help her increase extension of her right arm and allow her fully enjoy her childhood and school activities. Now, she needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Mwandu’s father says, “I hope she gets better because she will be starting school soon.”
Obvious is a 12-year-old student from southwestern Uganda. She has one brother and two sisters. She and her siblings are all in school, with Obvious studying in grade four this year. Her parents are peasant farmers, and most of their income pays for their children’s school fees. During her free time, Obvious loves to play and sing with other children. For three months, Obvious has had a supra umbilical hernia that causes her pain, especially when she is walking or playing. She visited our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for review, and the doctors recommended surgery. On December 13th, Obvious will undergo hernia repair surgery that will allow her to live more comfortably and confidently. AMH is requesting $230 to fund this procedure. Obvious’s mother says, “My daughter requires surgery, but we do not have money for it. Please help us.”
Nobert is a one-month-old baby. His parents work in agriculture. They noticed that their newborn child's feet are twisted inward and downward. This worried the parents, for they have never come across a child born with such a disability. Nobert's parents shared that they spent a whole week in a dilemma, not knowing what to do. As they were about to go to a small local hospital nearby, they met with a friendly neighbour who helped to educate them on the problem and informed them of a health centre that can provide the proper treatment to their newborn child. Nobert has clubfoot of both feet. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, Nobert's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on December 13th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Nobert's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily and wear shoes when he grows up. Nobert's mother says, “I was worried that my son will grow up with his feet in this condition, but now I hope his feet will be normal after treatment."
Marivel is a hardworking and loving daughter from the Philippines. She is a 2nd-year college student. While studying, she tried to look for jobs to support her family. Unfortunately, to date she has been unable to pass the medical (health) requirements. The only breadwinner in the family is her father who works as a pedicab driver. Her father's income is often not enough to bring food to the table. In 2018, Marivel began to experience troubling symptoms, including a mass on her neck that is growing in size, and episodes of difficulty breathing. Due to the inadequate family resources, she did not seek treatment. By the time she finally had a chance to be checked by a doctor, her condition had worsened. She was diagnosed with Nodular Non-Toxic Goiter, a thyroid gland enlargement with no disturbance in the thyroid function. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Marivel receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on December 10th at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $890 to cover the cost of Marivel's procedure and care. Marivel shared, "I'd like to thank Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines. You're not just giving me surgery, but also a chance to support my family. After my treatment, I'd be able to find a decent job and provide for our needs."
James is a 13-year-old boy from Muranga County, Kenya. He is the second born in a family of three. James is in fifth grade, and he likes playing football and spending time with his friends. He aspires to become a pilot in the future. We met James at our main hospital, Kijabe, accompanied by a member of his church, Maina, who said “I know James as a hardworking and passionate boy in the church. I spotted him there doing presentations and performances and noticed that he had sustained a burn contracture on his neck which created a lot of discomfort because of the stiffness." James sustained burns when he was a child, which has caused him a lot of discomfort and prevents him from living a fully comfortable life. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping James receive treatment. On February 13th, surgeons at their care center will perform a single contracture release surgery on James; he will be able to move his neck more and be free from the stiffness. He will have a chance at a comfortable life. Now, he needs help to fund this $840 procedure. “Because of the challenges the family has, we are appealing for support to help this boy undergo surgery so he can be set free from neck stiffness and continue with his normal life,” Maina told us.
Hatsumi is a 19-month-old baby who lives with her parents and five older siblings. Her mother sells flowers in the market and her father takes care of her and her brothers and sisters at home. Hatsumi was born with a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, where a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart, causing blood leakage. This often leaves her weak and short of breath. Hatsumi and her family traveled to our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, to seek treatment. On March 8th, Hatsumi will undergo a surgical procedure where doctors will sew a patch over the hole to prevent blood from leaking through. Now, Hatsumi's family needs help raising $1,500 to fund the procedure. Hatsumi's mother said, "Our family is praying that our daughter will be able to breathe more easily once her surgery is over!"
Anthony, who is 14 years old, lives with his parents and seven siblings in Kenya. His parents make charcoal to earn a living for the family, but their situation has been made more difficult by the inter-communal war in their area, which has forced the family to move on several occasions in order to find safety. Anthony was diagnosed with anorectal malformations at birth. He had surgery to correct the blockage and did well for a few months, but the blockage recurred. He could not pass stool as he had done before, but his parents could not afford to take him back to the hospital. His stomach started to increase in size and has grown over the years. Over time he completely lost the ability to move his bowels and stopped going to school. Late last year the county government social worker heard of Anthony's situation and contacted the family. She was able to finance their transport to the hospital for Anthony to be examined. As a result of the examination, it was determined that Anthony required surgery urgently. Anthony is now scheduled for a colostomy on February 15th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,152 to cover the costs of this life-saving procedure. Anthony’s Aunt said: “It pains us that Anthony has to go through this. We really hope that he will be treated and go back to school.”
Olosirian is a 13-month-old baby boy from Tanzania and the youngest child in a family of four children. His parents are from a small remote town. They breed and sell cattle to make a living, but unfortunately drought conditions have made their work difficult and they have lost most of their cattle. Olosirian has clubfoot of both feet, a condition in which his feet are twisted out of shape. In the future, this may cause him difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Olosirian receive treatment. On January 20th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery at AMH's care center. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily. Now, he and his family need help raising $935 to fund his procedure and care. Olosirian’s mother shared, "our lack of knowledge is what kept us from seeking treatment. I hope it is not too late."
Elithon is a curious and outgoing 5-year-old from Tanzania and a member of the Maasai community. He is the fourth child in his family of five. Our medical partner’s team shared that he loves to talk and was so excited to share about the amazing wild animals he saw on his way to their care center - his favorite being elephants! He also loves the cold weather in the mountains near his home. Elithon could not hide his excitement when he arrived at the care center for treatment. Elithon fell and tripped over a stove with a pot of boiling soup, causing him to burn his right arm. Burn scar contractures have started to develop and tighten the skin around his burn. Consequently, it is difficult for him to stretch and use his hand. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Elithon receive treatment. On February 27th, surgeons at AMH’s care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery that will help him use his hand again. AMH is requesting $832 to fund this procedure. Elithon’s mother says: “We are very excited to know that there is a place where our son can get treatment.”
Milka is a 48-year-old woman. She is the mother of three children, between 6 and 26 years. She works harvesting tea at a tea plantation, while her husband gets jobs working at construction sites. Their income is not enough to pay for life-saving surgery, and they do not have medical coverage. Milka woke up one morning at the beginning of February this past year and discovered a lump in her right breast. It was painless at first, but later became painful. She went to a clinic in her local area, but was referred to a bigger facility that offers cancer care. She came to Kijabe Hospital this month where she had an ultrasound, mammogram, and a core biopsy that revealed cancer. Milka has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without treatment, the cancer may spread to other organs. Doctors recommend a mastectomy, a surgery to remove breast tissue, to rid her body of breast cancer and to prevent the cancer from metastasizing, or spreading. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1110 to cover the cost of a mastectomy for Milka. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 8th. After treatment, Milka will hopefully return to a cancer-free life. Milka says, "I might be scared that I am losing my breast, but I know it is important to stop the cancer.”
San Htay is a 45-year-old woman from Thailand and a mom to two sons. While she normally cares for their home, she has been unable to work since she became ill. Her husband and oldest son work as day laborers, and their youngest is too young to attend school. Her husband also makes and sells charcoal, and the family raises chickens. In her free time, San Htay enjoys gardening and growing vegetables, her favorite being cabbage and chilies. In October 2022, San Htay visited the hospital when she began to experience pain in her lower back. Through funding from Watsi donors, she underwent a CT scan and was diagnosed with cervical cancer and a left ovarian tumor. Currently, San Htay experiences headaches, fatigue, decreased appetite, pain, and other worrisome symptoms. The doctors referred her to our medical partner's care center where, on February 19th, she will undergo mass removal surgery. Our medical partner, Burma Children's Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of San Htay's procedure and care. San Htay said: "I am so happy that BCMF has agreed to continue to support the cost of my treatment. I never knew that cancer could be treated. My children can now live longer with their parents."
Hnin is a determined 5-year-old girl from Burma. In her free time, she likes to draw pictures. Hnin lives with her grandmother and brother in Mon State. She goes to kindergarten, her brother goes to primary school, and her grandmother is a washerwoman. Hnin's parents, who work as day laborers in Thailand, also send them money every month to help support basic needs. Hnin was born with club foot of her left leg. With the help of Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), she underwent casting at Mawlawmyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH) to straighten her foot. Hnin's family was told to bring her back when she was five years old as she would need another surgery to fully correct her clubfoot. Currently, Hnin still has a cast on her left leg. When she walks, she walks on the side of her left foot. Because of this, she cannot play on the playground or keep up with her friends. Without treatment, Hnin's condition will continue to cause her discomfort and will further limit her movement. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of surgery for Hnin, which is scheduled to take place on November 18th. This procedure will elongate her Achilles tendon, allowing increased motion at the ankle joint. Hnin said, “My left leg is so heavy with the cast, but I am not scared to have the operation on my leg. I want to have surgery."