Tapani joined Watsi on March 18th, 2014. Nine years ago, Tapani joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Tapani's most recent donation traveled 5,200 miles to support Sabina, a farmer and mother from Malawi, to fund breast surgery for cancer.
Tapani has funded healthcare for 94 patients in 10 countries.
Tapani has funded healthcare for 94 patients in 10 countries.
Meet Sabina: a married mother of six children aged 23, 16, 12, 10, 6 and 4 years from Malawi. She is a farmer together with her husband. Her first child is married with one child and the rest of the children are in primary school except the last born who is yet to join school. Sabina likes chatting with her children and enjoys eating nsima made from maize flour with vegetables. Sabina was well until 18 months ago when she noted a small lump on her right breast that was not painful. She visited the nearest hospital where she was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) for further assessments. At KCH, different tests were done, and a diagnosis of invasive ductal carcinoma was made followed by four cycles of neo-adjuvant therapy during September 2023. Sabina was later scheduled for surgery that same month, but unfortunately she did not report back since her last child was sick and admitted to the hospital for malaria. On January 16th this year, Sabina went back to KCH where she was referred to our medical partner's care center PIH for a modified radical mastectomy. Of late, Sabina has been experiencing needle pricking pains that are becoming unbearable without pain-relieving medications plus backache, weakness, and leg & chest pains affecting her farm work plus household chores. Sabina believes the surgical operation will help her get back to her normal condition and for her to continue taking care of her children and resume her farm work. Sabina said, “It is better to remain with one breast than have two with problems, I will move on with one breast.”
Ritchina is a 7-month-old baby girl from Haiti. She lives with both of her loving parents and her older brother. Ritchina has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Ritchina has been experiencing increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Ritchina will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Ritchina at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat her hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on January 4th. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from Ritchina's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Ritchina will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Her parents are hopeful that surgery will allow their child to grow up healthy.
39-year-old Florence lives on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. She shared that her husband abandoned her and their three children, two of whom are still in school, while the oldest is currently out of school and unemployed. Florence is now the sole breadwinner for the family, earning a living through sales made in a small shop that she has. About one year ago, Florence began to experience epigastric pains. She went to Mama Lucy Hospital, where she was treated for ulcers. Two months ago, the pain intensified, and began radiating to her back. She was advised to go to a hospital where she could have an endoscopy, and once this test had been performed, it was determined that Florence has a hiatal hernia. If Florence isn't treated, she could face complications, such as severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), strangulation of the hernia, and lung problems, since the contents of her stomach might be forced upward into her lungs. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is here to help. On October 23rd, Florence will undergo laparoscopic surgery at Nazareth Hospital, to correct the hernia. Now Florence needs your help to fund this $788 procedure. “My children have no one to turn to except myself. Therefore, my good health is very important to them. I am requesting help so that this problem can be solved, and I can take care of my children,'' said Florence quietly.
Justine, who is 37 years old, is a married man with three children in primary school. He is a laborer, who works with his wife on peoples’ farms to earn a living and to provide for their children. For over 20 years, Justine has been living with a large tumor located on his left cheek. While it started out small, it has continued to increase in size over the years. While he remains relatively symptom free, Justine is uncomfortable when he is out in public. Justine finally visited a facility for treatment, where a fine needle aspiration was performed, to determine whether or not the growth was malignant. The results indicated that the mass was benign, and doctors scheduled a procedure to excise it. However, as Justine didn't have sufficient funds to cover the costs of his treatment, he turned to herbal medicine for help. This has only worsened the tumor. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is seeking $1,196 to pay for Justine's mass excision, which is scheduled to take place on October 12th, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. Once the tumor has been removed, Justine's self esteem will be restored, and he will be able to lead a more comfortable life. Justine says: “I have been uncomfortable and without confidence for over twenty years. Please help me so that I may have a normal face and be able to carry out tasks that will help me provide for my family.”
Khin is a 28-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives with her parents and three elder sisters. Her family runs a small grocery store. Her elder brother works in a factory across the border in Thailand. In April 2020, Khin started to feel dizziness, headaches, and nausea. She also developed blurred vision, and her eyes became sensitive to light. Through Watsi, Khin received a CT and MRI and was diagnosed with pituitary macroadenoma. Khin underwent surgery in June. Following surgery, she no longer experiences headaches or nausea. While her vision is still blurred, it has become more clear. Now, Khin needs to undergo an MRI so the doctors can check the post-operative condition in her brain. An MRI imaging procedure uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will help Khin's doctors diagnose her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $814 to cover the cost of Khin's MRI and care, which is scheduled for August 7th. Khin said, "I have hope again after my operation. Now, my vision becomes clearer, and I believe I will become completely healthy in the near future. I would like to thank you [BCMF and the donors] for helping me get surgery and effective healthcare."
Lay is a 29-year-old mother from Thailand. She lives with her husband, son, uncle, aunt and two cousins in a refugee camp. Originally from Karen State, Burma, they fled to the refugee camp in March 2023 due to airstrikes in their village. Lay is a homemaker; her husband, uncle and aunt are unemployed, while her son is in preschool. One of her cousins is a teacher, while the other one is a student. During her free time, Lay enjoys weaving Karen shirts and bags for her family, as well as occasionally to sell. She also enjoys raising chickens and pigs and foraging vegetables in the forest. Lay is currently expecting her second child. Her doctors recommend that she deliver via a caesarean section (C-section) because she gave birth previously through a C-section. This way, doctors can ensure the safety of both mother and child. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Lay undergo a C-section scheduled on August 11th. This procedure will cost $1,500, and Lay and BCMF are asking for your support to fund the surgery. Lay shared, "I want to stay in the refugee camp. If I have the opportunity to do so, I would love to be resettled in another country.”
Kyaw resides in Karen State, Burma, with his parents, aunt, and two brothers. Due to concerns over potential bombings by the military regime following the 2021 coup, Kyaw and his brothers had to stop attending school. His mother takes care of the household as a homemaker, while his aunt enjoys her retirement. Kyaw's father and oldest brother earn a living as day laborers, involved in loading and unloading trucks. In his free time, Kyaw finds solace in listening to songs and playing games, making the most of his free moments. On June 1st, Kyaw began to encounter discomfort and swelling in his lower left leg and difficulty bending his left knee. As the pain escalated, he sought medical attention, and the doctor's diagnosis revealed a tumor in his left leg. Subsequent diagnostic tests confirmed that he has osteosarcoma affecting his left tibia. Medical professionals recommend an amputation of his lower left leg to prevent the cancer from spreading. Now, his family seeks your help funding this $1,500 to ensure his recovery and significantly improve his quality of life. He said, “I would like to say thank you so much to you. This is the worst pain that I have ever felt. I want to be free from this pain and worry.”
Tha Zin is a 43-year-old woman from Thailand. She lives in a refugee camp in Tak Province with her husband and two sons. Tha Zin and her husband run a shop in the refugee camp. Their total monthly income is not enough to cover their basic expenses, and sometimes Tha Zin needs to borrow money with interest from her neighbor for her children’s school expenses. Tha Zin shared that in her free time she loves reading the Bible, praying, and knitting hats for her family. In 2022, Tha Zin started to experience pain when sitting. She also experienced bleeding in a sensitive area. In the refugee camp, they receive free basic health care from the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Tha Zin went to the hospital in the refugee camp, where they completed a physical examination, diagnosed her with severe hemorrhoids, and provided her with basic medication. While Tha Zin took the medication, she felt relieved, but after she finished her medication, the pain worsened, and she experienced increased swelling and inflammation. As time went on, the pain worsened. She felt it was harder to stand up, walk or sit. Currently, Tha Zin feels like she has less energy and has difficulty completing her everyday tasks. She also experiences difficulty sleeping due to her worries about her condition. Tha Zin sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo surgery on June 2nd at our partner's care center. Tha Zin needs your help to raise $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Tha Zin said, “Because of my illness, I had to close my shop and leave my two children with my relatives. So, I worry about them. But I am thankful to those who will support my surgery because I cannot afford to pay for it by myself. When I recover, I will reopen my shop and pay back my debt that I borrowed for my children’s school expenses. If my family has the opportunity to do so, I want us to be resettled in a new country one day.”
Exavier is an adorable 5-month-old baby from Haiti who has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of his condition, Exavier's head circumference has increased. Without treatment, he will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Exavier at Hospital Bernard Mevs. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available, and the procedure is scheduled to take place on August 26th. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from his brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Exavier will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Exavier's family shares that they hope the surgery with allow him to grow, attend school, and play with the other children.
Linda is a beautiful three-week-old baby from Kenya who is the youngest of three children. A few months prior to Linda's birth, her mother became very sick and lost her job as a security guard. Her mother shares that this created many challenges for their family because she was their sole source of income after Linda's father left them. Additionally, they have not had many people nearby to help them since they came from Uganda. Fortunately, a Ugandan friend of Linda's mother heard about her condition and offered to accommodate her. This good Samaritan has since been facilitating hospital transportation and providing Linda’s family with financial support where possible. Shortly after her birth, Linda was diagnosed with spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect in which the spine does not properly close around the spinal cord. Without treatment, Linda is at risk of lower-limb paralysis, infection of the exposed nervous tissue, development of tethered cord syndrome, and possible developmental delays. The public hospital where she was born was unable to offer her any treatment and instead referred her to our medical partner's care center, Bethanykids Kijabe Hospital. Upon arrival, Linda was found to be in critical condition. She was immediately admitted and put on medication. She stayed in the hospital for more than two weeks under the care of the medical team. Once she got better, she was discharged and scheduled to undergo spinal repair surgery. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Linda's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 25th. This procedure will hopefully spare Linda from the risks associated with her condition and allow her to grow and develop along a healthy trajectory. Linda’s mother says, “I was shocked when I saw her at birth and did not know if she would ever be treated. Now, I have courage to face the future, as I have been told that she will be treated.”
Sai lives with his parents and sister in a village in Karen State in the border region of Burma where there is currently a lot of violence and instability. His sister is a teacher, while both he and his parents run a shop from their home, selling various items such as snacks, drinks, dry goods, and cement. In his free time, he loves to play cane ball with his friends. In early November 2021, Sai received treatment for COVID-19. While getting treatment, doctors also discovered that he was born with a hole in his heart, and he was diagnosed with atrial septal defect. A doctor in Yangon confirmed his diagnosis and told him that he needs surgery. He recommended he go to Thailand as the only other option was to receive surgery at a military hospital in Burma, which have been impacted in the recent humanitarian crisis. Sai's aunt suggested he seek treatment at a clinic in Thailand and he was referred to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) for financial support to make his care possible. Now, Sai is raising $1,500 for his Atrial Septal Defect Closure procedure, which is scheduled for July 12th. Sai said, “I would like to receive surgery as soon as possible so that I can help my parents like before. Now, my father has to do all the hard and heavy work, which is not good for him as he is getting old.”
Abegaelle is a five-year-old girl from Haiti. She lives in the capital city of Port-au-Prince with her parents and older brother. Some of her favorite activities include going to preschool and attending church with her family. Abegaelle was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. As a result, blood leaks through, leaving her weak and short of breath. The care she needs is not available in Haiti, but fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Abegaelle receive treatment. She will travel to the Dominican Republic to undergo surgery on July 26th, during which surgeons will insert a catheter to plug the hole in her heart and restore a healthy blood flow. Abegaelle's family is raising $1,500 to cover the costs of her surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA's social workers to accompany Abegaelle and her family overseas. Abegaelle's mother shared, "Our family is all very thankful that Abegaelle will have this chance to have her heart fixed!"