Mimi joined Watsi on July 6th, 2019. Three years ago, Mimi joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Mimi's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support John, a streetside vendor and father of six from Kenya, to fund a curative laparotomy to treat colorectal cancer.
Mimi has funded healthcare for 46 patients in 11 countries.
Mimi has funded healthcare for 46 patients in 11 countries.
John is a hawker (the local name for a street vendor) from Kenya. He has six children all under the age of 18 years. His wife helps at home and John is the family's sole breadwinner. Lately, due to his condition, John has been unable to work. He has no alternate source of income, and shared that he is struggling to raise his family. John first started experiencing a loss of appetite and stomach pain in April 2022. He visited a local health center and was treated for stomach aches, but his condition did not improve. He later started having episodes of diarrhea and has lost a significant amount of weight. He also has been experiencing bleeding that has caused him anemia. As a result, he has had several blood transfusions and hospital admissions. Recently, a biopsy at Kijabe Hospital revealed that John has colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is a disease in which cells in the colon grow out of control. At the current stage, his doctors feel the cancer can be stopped surgically from spreading. However, the procedure has to be done as soon as possible because it is urgent. He is now scheduled to undergo surgery and needs support. Unfortunately, John does not have medical coverage and cannot afford the surgery. He is requesting financial assistance to support the $1,074 needed for his medical care. John says, “I cannot eat, and I have lost a lot of weight. I have had several blood transfusions because of bleeding. I need this surgery to help fight the cancer.”
Sue is a 25-year-old woman living with her husband, mother and child in a camp for internally displaced people and refugees in Thailand. Both Sue and her husband are unemployed, and the family depends upon the rations that they receive from the organizations that support the camp. Five months ago Sue noticed that her abdomen was swelling. At first she thought that she might be pregnant, but other symptoms started to emerge. She was able to receive an ultrasound at the hospital, which showed that there is a large tumor growing on her ovary. As the tumor may prove to be cancerous, the doctors told Sue that she would need to have both of her ovaries and her uterus surgically removed. Sue sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, and she is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on December 23rd at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. Her family is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. Sue said: "I wish my condition will get better so that I can spend more time with my daughter and mother, and my husband in the future." Her husband also shared: "I feel pity on my wife when I see she is in pain and cannot sleep. I am stressed about her condition, but now I feel released of worry when I heard that she is going to receive surgery soon. Thank you to Burma Children Medical Fund and all the donors for helping my wife."
Kaptuya is a widow and a happy mother of three sons and a daughter from the semi-arid area of Baringo County in Kenya. Her husband passed away some years back after a short illness. Kaptuya and her children live in a semi-permanent three room house on her late husband's piece of land in an area well known for insecurity and cattle rustling. During the rainy season, they plant maize and millet that sometimes yields enough for both her school-aged children, and for her to sell. Currently, the area is faced with drought and famine, so they depend on relief food from the government and from well-wishers due to the lack of rain experienced this year. Six months ago, Kaptuya applied for a job as a housekeeper at a nearby health center. She was happy knowing that she would earn some money, and that the facility would pay for her medical coverage, but unfortunately that did not happen. The salary was also inconsistent and, thus, unreliable. In 2013, when Kaptuya was expecting her last born, she developed a growth at her neck which gradually increased in size. Kaptuya began to experience troubling symptoms, including neck swelling, which is most visible on the right side. She currently experiences shortness of breath, especially at night, and she sleeps with difficulty. She also has a fast heart rate, and easily gets tired, which affects her daily duties. She was diagnosed with non-toxic goiter, or an irregular growth of the thyroid. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Kaptuya receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on November 22nd. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and she and her family need help raising money. Kaptuya says, “I am the only hope for my dear children. I live because of them, and my well-being keeps them going. I would like to get well so that I may continue working in order to support them to pursue their dreams. Please assist me.”
Janeth is a two-year-old girl and the youngest in a family of two children. Her father is a small-scale farmer, while her mother has a few cattle whose milk she sells to buy food and other commodities. They also harvest and sell some of their crops to earn money. They are living in a harsh environment, but they try to manage on a day-to-day basis. Janeth was involved in an accident last year where she sustained severe burns. Her mother had made porridge for breakfast. She took the pot off the fire and placed it at a corner to cool down so that she could feed Janeth. As she went out to clean the plates Janeth took a cup and tried to take porridge by herself from the pot. She dipped her hand in the pot of hot porridge and while pulling her hand out, some of the porridge spilled on her left foot. Her mother ran inside when she heard Janeth crying, but she had already been badly burned. Her mother gave her first aid and rushed her to the nearest clinic where she got treatment that helped with the open wounds. The wounds have healed, but left her with scars that make her left-hand fingers hard to use, and the toe on her left food was disfigured. A relative who saw Janeth advised her mother to seek treatment at our medical partner's care center ALMC (The Plaster House). Janeth was diagnosed with burn scar contracture on her left hand and left foot. Her hand needs a release surgery with skin grafting because her fingers are webbed, and the fifth toe of her left foot needs to be amputated because it causes pain when she tries to wear shoes. Her mother cannot afford the $1,088 cost of treatment and is asking for help. Janeth’s mother says, "I had to convince my husband to let me come and seek treatment for our daughter. I am not at peace every time I think of her.”
Naima is a smiley and playful baby girl from Ethiopia. She loves to breastfeed and play with her seven older siblings and her mother. Her dad is a retired driver and the community elder, and her mother stays home to care for the children. Because Naima's father has no source of income, their older children support them financially. Naima was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Naima developed bowel obstruction because of her condition and an emergency colostomy was done. She has had multiple issues with her colostomy care and associated complications. As a result, she cannot make stool in a typical way. Her parents have been very troubled because of her condition and are asking for support. Naima is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on September 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Naima's procedure and care. After her recovery, Naima will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Naima's father says, “I hope my child will get the treatment and heal. Once she finishes her treatment, I hope she will be relieved from her pain and suffering and lead a healthy life.”
Rosalie is a 26-year-old mother of three from the Philippines. She is a full-time mom, and her husband works multiple part-time jobs to provide for their family's basic needs. Last November, Rosalie began to experience troubling symptoms, including severe upper abdominal and back pain. Her condition hinders her from doing household chores and looking after her children, and it also worries her family, as the episodes of pain have become more frequent. Rosalie was diagnosed with cholelithiasis, or gallstones, and has been advised to have surgery to remove her gallbladder. If left untreated, her symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Rosalie is scheduled to have her gallbladder surgically removed on August 20th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $826 to cover the cost of Rosalie's surgery and care. Her husband shares, "We are incapable of financing her surgery, and we don't know where to find the money to help her. So, thank you, Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines! Your support is a big help to our family."
Alejandro is a tech-savvy 11-year-old boy from western Bolivia who just finished fifth grade. He loves everything related to computers and video games. He lives with his parents, who are both schoolteachers, and his two younger brothers. Alejandro was born with a ventricular septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole without first passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving him feeling weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Alejandro is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 27th with the support of our long-standing medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance, which is now growing and expanding into Bolivia. Surgeons will close the hole with a patch, allowing blood to properly flow through his body and improving his quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Alejandro's procedure costs. Our medical partner is requesting $1,500 to cover the remaining costs, which cover surgical expenses, cardiac exams, medications, and travel fees so Alejandro and his family can travel to receive his life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Alejandro shares, "I am excited to be allowed to play soccer once I have recovered from my surgery!"
Shabamukama is a 26 year old small-scale farmer, living with her husband and three children in a one roomed house. She and her husband grow crops primarily to feed their family, but they sell the surplus to generate income for their family. Shabamukama also works in other people's gardens to help provide for her family. She loves caring for her husband and children, and taking care of their house. Shabamukama is currently carrying her fourth pregnancy at a recent antenatal visit, her doctor recommended that she deliver by C-section to ensure a safe and healthy delivery. Shabamukama cannot afford the cost of the C-section. Fortunately, she was referred to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, and she is now scheduled for her C-section on May 31st, at Karoli Lwanga Hospital in Nyakibale. African Mission Healthcare is requesting $252 to fund this procedure for Shabamukama. Shabamukama says: “I have always had a bad experience with delivery by operation. Whenever I could be operated, we had to sell off part of our land to cover the bill, but I hope that with your support now, I will be able to deliver well."
Josias is a three-year-old boy from Haiti. He lives with his parents and older brother. He is a happy and playful toddler who loves to smile and play! Josias 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, Josias has been experiencing developmental delays. He cannot walk or talk yet. Without treatment, Josias will continue experiencing severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery for Josias at Hospital Bernard Mevs to treat his hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 20th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Josias's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve his quality of life. With proper treatment, Josias will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young boy. Josias's family has shared that they hope this surgery will allow him to be more independent.
Eddys is a farmer and tailor who hails from the highlands of Elgeyo Marakwet County in a small village well known for potato farming. She is a calm and conversational woman. Eddys is a mother of two aged between 5 and 9 years. She separated from her husband due to domestic violence at home. She returned to her homeland after the separation and now lives with her parents and her children in a semi-permanent house in their village. Before the incident, Eddys used to earn her wages through tailoring, a skill she learned in a polytechnic program. Eddys presented to our medical partner's hospital with a five-month-old fracture following a road traffic accident, which left her with severe injuries and a broken leg. Before they came to our hospital, Eddys was managed in a local health facility near her home. She had a cast applied and was told that she will heal without surgery. However, two months later, she started having pain in her leg. One of her relatives referred her to our facility where an X-Ray revealed a closed fracture of the shaft of her tibia. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On June 21st, Eddys will undergo a fracture repair procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation. Eddy will be able to walk, work and provide for her children once she heals. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this procedure. Eddys has been surviving on her friend’s contributions and relies on her mother because she has not been working since the accident. She appeals for financial assistance so that she can be well again. Eddys says, “My children need my motherly support which I am unable to give them since I broke my leg, it has been a nightmare for us. My hope is to get my leg treated and be able to walk again.”
John is 22-year-old who is working hard to make a life for himself. He currently stays with his parents in their ancestral home in the South Central Kenyan town of Narok, and works as a casual laborer who loads and off-loads maize for a living. Unfortunately during a dispute at a farm where he was working, John and other workers were attacked. John was hit on the head, resulting in an intracranial hematoma (pooled blood in his skull). The internal injuries are currently affecting his mobility and speech, and could be fatal without treatment. John urgently needs a craniotomy to remove the hematoma and this family is raising $1,500 for his surgery at Kijabe Hospital. His father says, “John is a young hardworking man. He was attacked while trying to earn a living. These head injuries are serious, they have made him almost immobile, and has started having trouble speaking. This surgery is urgent to restore his speech and ability to walk.”
Shee is a 23-year-old woman from Burma. In 2016, Shee and her family moved to a refugee camp in Thailand. There she has been able to continue her studies. Shee graduated from the junior college and now helps her cousin-in-law weave and sell traditional Karen clothes. She shared that it has been difficult for her family to find work within the camp at this time, but she hopes to become a teacher soon. In her free time, Shee enjoys playing with her nephews. In February, Shee began to develop a mass and experience pain in her abdomen, so she visited the camp's hospital. Upon review, she was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection and given medication. Since the mass continued to grow, Shee was referred to her our medical partner's hospital, Mae Sariang Hospital, in early April. After receiving an ultrasound, the doctors determined Shee has an ovarian cyst and needs to undergo surgery to heal. Currently, Shee experiences severe pain that makes it challenging for her to sleep, eat, or continue her weaving. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Shee receive treatment. On April 20th, she will undergo surgery to remove the cyst. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund the total cost of this procedure. Shee shared, "I am not worried about my operation because I hope it will fix my health problem. I would like to become a teacher in the future because I like teaching. After I recover, I plan to apply at a school in the refugee camp."