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Joshua from the Philippines raised $1,464 for surgery to treat his cleft lip.

  • $1,464 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Joshua's treatment was fully funded on October 14, 2016.
March 7, 2017

Joshua did not receive treatment as expected.

Joshua’s surgery did not proceed as scheduled because he developed recurrent cough and colds. Joshua received a course of multivitamins and medications, but he has not recovered.

Our medical partner will resubmit Joshua’s case once he recovers and is cleared for surgery by their medical team.

Joshua's surgery did not proceed as scheduled because he developed recurrent cough and colds. Joshua received a course of multivitamins and ...

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August 14, 2016

Meet Joshua, a five-year-old boy who loves his mother very much. Like other boys his age, he wants to be with his friends and play with them. However, right now, he prefers to play with his relatives because the other children tease him about the way he speaks. They say that he is “ Ngo-ngo” or “ Punga” which are terms that indicate he cannot pronounce words well. Because of this, Joshua is often very shy around other people.

Joshua has a cleft lip and palate, a congenital facial malformation where there was not enough developed tissue for his lip. This has significantly affected his ability to speak. Apart from his condition, Joshua is a loving and active child, willing to help his family in the best way possible. He wants to be a doctor someday and treat kids with conditions like his.

$1,464 will pay for surgical services provided by Watsi’s medical partner, International Care Ministries. Plastic surgeons will mend the soft tissue of the cleft palate, rearranging the muscles to close the gap. After treatment, Joshua is excited to able to talk normally like his friends.

His mother was very thankful that help will be given to Joshua, since the family cannot afford the treatment on their own. His father is not working and his mother is a vendor who earns only enough for their daily needs.

Joshua’s mother shares with us, “We really want Joshua to be treated so that he will enjoy his childhood. Although we cannot afford treatment, we do not cease to pray that someday he will get treated and talk normally. This operation will really change his life. Thank you so much for making this possible for Joshua.”

Meet Joshua, a five-year-old boy who loves his mother very much. Like other boys his age, he wants to be with his friends and play with them...

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Joshua's Timeline

  • August 14, 2016

    Joshua was submitted by Krishiel Ferenal, National Health Officer at International Care Ministries.

  • August 18, 2016

    Joshua was scheduled to receive treatment at Tebow CURE Hospital in Davao in Philippines. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • September 9, 2016

    Joshua's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • March 7, 2017

    Joshua is no longer raising funds.

  • March 7, 2017

    Joshua's treatment did not happen. Read the update.

Funded by 14 donors

Funded by 14 donors

Cleft Lip / Palate Repair - WITHOUT PHIL-HEALTH
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,464 for Joshua's treatment
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

A cleft lip is a common birth defect that causes a split in the upper lip, which divides the lip into two parts separated by a gap. A cleft palate is a birth defect that causes a split in the palate. Some patients have splits in their lips, palates, and gums. These patients have difficulty eating and speaking clearly. Their appearances are affected, which may cause social difficulty. Finally, those with a cleft palate may also have difficulty swallowing and experience chronic ear infections.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

Children with cleft lips experience a variety of psychosocial issues, such as anxiety, low self-esteem, and social isolation. They may also experience difficulty eating, speech impediments, ear infections, and hearing loss.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

This treatment is necessary and has no historical, cultural, or regional significance.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

A child is admitted prior to the surgery to be assessed by the surgeon and the anesthetist. The surgery is done under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make incisions to both sides of the cleft and create extra flaps of tissue to bridge the gap. These flaps are then brought together and sutured. If the patient has a split in more than one area, he or she will undergo multiple surgeries. The lip is repaired first, and the palate will be treated after six months. If the gum is split, the patient will undergo another surgery after several years.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

The patient will have only a thin scar on the upper lip, improving his or her appearance. The child's speaking ability and quality of life will improve tremendously.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Cleft lip repair is a relatively simple surgery that usually results in normal lip appearance, structure, and function. The main potential complication is infection. Patients may also develop abnormal scar tissue called keloids or hypertrophic scars.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

Many regional hospitals provide this surgery. However, there are often significant out-of-pocket expenses that make the surgery inaccessible. Furthermore, families may not know how to navigate the health system. They need a case manager to guide them through each stage of treatment, which our medical partner provides.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Surgery is the only means of correcting the defect in the upper lip. This surgery will be supplemented by speech and nutrition therapy.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Loy is a 46-year-old small scale farmer and a strong mother to her five children who range from the ages of 21 to 11 years old. Due to difficult finances and lack of resources, all of Loy's children have received a partial primary school education at various levels. Loy and her husband earn their income by farming, and their family lives together in a four-room mud house for shelter. Four months ago, Loy began experiencing severe lower abdominal pains that have caused her many sleepless nights. She believes that her uterus is very weak because she had a number of complicated deliveries when she gave birth to her children. She visited a doctor in March and was given temporary medication to help ease the pain and discomfort. Months later, she can now no longer sleep comfortably, and has had to completely stop farming due to the pain. Loy has been diagnosed with chronic pelvic inflammatory disease and needs to undergo a hysterectomy, the surgical removal of the uterus, in order to treat her condition. Fortunately, on May 13th, Loy will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center, Rushoroza Hospital. Once recovered, Loy will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain and continue on with her farming in order to take care of her family. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $319 to help fund this surgery. Loy says, “I can no longer practice farming in my current condition and my family depends on farming. I hope to get well through surgery so that I may be able once again take better care of my family.”

6% funded

$299to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.