Hendrik joined Watsi on January 5th, 2015. Eight years ago, Hendrik joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Hendrik's most recent donation traveled 3,900 miles to support Michelle, a sweet 6-year-old girl from Kenya, to fund surgery to remove her tonsils and adenoids.
Hendrik has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 13 countries.
Hendrik has funded healthcare for 82 patients in 13 countries.
Michelle is a young child with a sweet smile. She is the firstborn of a two-child family. Her parents are modest farmers who grow potatoes and vegetables primarily for their own family's consumption. Additionally, they run a small kiosk out of their home, but its limited earnings are insufficient to cover their basic needs. Michelle is presently enrolled in nursery school at a nearby public school. Michelle had a normal cold when she visited our medical facility. She was gasping loudly while inhaling and coughing frequently. Since last year, Michelle has been ill. Her mother noticed that whenever she had a cold, she would frequently complain of a sore throat and cough a lot. She also have a hard time sleeping, has trouble breathing, and has difficulty feeding because she always breathes through her mouth. Michelle has to wear extra warm clothing to stay warm during the colder months because her nose always gets congested, which is hard for her. She has been an inactive child as she is always tired. Her sleep patterns are constantly off, and she easily nods asleep during the school day, which has a negative impact on how well she does academically. Due to recurring tonsil infections that are resistant to therapy, Michelle has been in and out of the hospital several times. During her last visit, the doctor examined her and realized that her tonsils and adenoids had hypertrophied. She has been diagnosed with grade three tonsils, and since she was not responding to any medication, the doctor advised them to have surgery, which would provide a lasting, long-term solution to her problem. Michelle's parents have medical insurance, but in the last three months, they did not manage to pay their monthly subscriptions as they were low on income. Their coverage is in arrears, and unfortunately, it will not cover her procedure. She requires $714 for her surgery to be done, and her parents are appealing to all well-wishers reading her story to assist her in getting her surgery. Michelle's mother says, “My daughter has really suffered over a long period of time. She has taken numerous drugs without any noticeable change in her, and this has me very concerned. I want her to be able to have a regular life and do well in school. Please assist her so that she can eventually realize her goals."
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.”
Gladys is a strong, hardworking mother from Kenya who is raising her five children on her own. Her oldest child is 14 years old, while her youngest is only three. To support her family, she works as a casual laborer plucking tea. She currently lives in a single-room rental house, which costs Ksh.1200 (~10 USD) per month. Gladys shares that her income is inconsistent and not enough to cover her needed medical treatment. She also does not have active medical coverage and currently has a large accrued bill due to her recent hospital admission. Recently, Gladys was involved in a road traffic accident that caused several fractures. One of the fractures she sustained in this accident was of her left tibia. As a result of this injury, she is currently unable to walk. In order to properly heal her fracture, she must undergo an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) procedure. She also has facial fractures, which will require another ORIF later the same week. However, undergoing an ORIF for her fractured tibia is the current priority. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 8th, Gladys will undergo fracture repair surgery so she can walk easily again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Gladys says, “I cannot walk and my face is in pain. I am the only breadwinner of the family, and I cannot work if my leg is broken. All my five children depend on me for upkeep and survival. I need this treatment to get back on my feet.”
Veasna is a hardworking 42-year-old farmer and construction worker from Cambodia. He has two sons and two daughters, all of whom are students in public schools. To support their family, Veasna works as a small-scale farmer, and his wife sells vegetables at the local market. Veasna works construction jobs during the off-season to supplement their family's income. In his free time, he enjoys exercising, visiting his friends, and helping his wife with housework. Three years ago, Veasna underwent back surgery for sciatic pain, which led to a reduction in sensation in his feet. He stepped on a hot brick at work two years later and severely burned his left heel. Despite taking antibiotics, this wound has remained unhealed. The wound is currently producing discharge, which he shares is both unpleasant and painful. He is unable to walk on his left foot, preventing him from working. Veasna's wife now provides their family's sole income, and he shares that they are facing difficulty feeding their children and keeping them in school. When Veasna learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), he traveled for two hours seeking treatment. On August 11th, surgeons at CSC will perform an excision of dead skin and a sural skin flap procedure to heal his wound and help him walk again. Now, he needs help funding this $673 procedure. Veasna shares, "I hope after surgery my foot will heal soon with no infection. I am hopeful I can walk without pain and can return to work to support my family."
Meet Djounailena, an 11-year-old girl who lives with her parents and two sisters in a small city on the west coast of Haiti. Djounailena is currently in fifth grade and shares that she aspires to become a teacher when she grows up! As a result of a bout of rheumatic fever, Djounailena developed a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral regurgitation. Since her rheumatic fever was not treated quickly enough, one of the four valves of her heart was severely damaged. This now causes her to experience weakness and shortness of breath because her heart cannot adequately pump blood throughout her body. Fortunately, Djounailena is scheduled to fly to the Cayman Islands where she will undergo cardiac surgery at Health City Cayman Islands on September 13th. Surgeons will initially attempt to repair her damaged valve; however, if they are unsuccessful, an artificial replacement valve will be implanted. A portion of the cost of Djounailena's treatment is being supported by Have a Heart Cayman. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is raising the remaining $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 Djounailena and her family overseas. Djounailena's mother says, "Our family is all praying for our daughter's heart to be healthy after the surgery is finished."
Cristian is a sweet three-year-old boy from Bolivia who has Down syndrome. He lives in a small city in the mountains of central Bolivia with his parents and three siblings. To support their family, his parents operate a small market stall. Some of Cristian's favorite activities include clapping along to music and watching cartoons. Cristian was born with an atrial septal defect, a cardiac condition in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of the heart. Blood leaks through this hole instead of flowing properly through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Cristian is scheduled to undergo heart surgery on July 29th 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, healing his condition and improving his quality of life. Another organization, Gift of Life International, is contributing $2,500 to pay for a portion of Cristian'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 Cristian and his family can travel to receive his life-changing cardiac procedure in La Paz. Cristian's mother says, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping our son to become healthy!"
Meet John, a playful two-year-old, living with his mother. When John was nine months old, his mother noticed that he wasn't passing urine normally. She brought him to the hospital, where John was examined. His mother was told to return home and to give John time. Last month, John's mother brought him to a different facility, where he was diagnosed with hypospadias, which is the cause of John's urinating abnormally. Surgical intervention is required to remedy this condition. John's mother is a single parent, who works when she can as a caretaker, but is not able to raise enough funds to pay for John's surgery. Fortunately, they were referred to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare for help. They are now seeking $847 to fully fund John's hypospadias repair, which is scheduled for June 16th at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. The surgery will correct his birth condition, which can cause future complications for John's health. John’s mother has new hope that he son will be well, she shared: “Despite our financial hardships, I do believe that John will be treated.”
Thay is a one-year-old girl from Burma. She lives with her parents, grandfather, three sisters and a brother in a village. Thay's mother looks after her and her brother at home, her grandfather is retired, and her sisters go to school. Thay's father works as a porter, but has has difficulty finding work for over a month. With the increasing number of internally displaced people settling in their village due to the humanitarian crisis, there are now many individuals competing for the same work. When Thay was around eight months old, her parents noticed that her head was increasing in size. As a result, Thay cannot yet sit up or crawl. She is only able to turn her head, and will cry if she cannot see her parents. Thay was recently diagnosed with hydrocephalus, which has causes fluid to build up in her brain. Without immediate surgery to alleviate the intracranial pressure, Thay is at risk of developing severe, potentially fatal medical complications. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund the insertion of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for Thay, which will drain the fluid that has accumulated in her brain. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 20th and, once completed, will greatly improve Thay's quality of life as she grows up. Thay's father said, "I am thankful to every organisation and everyone for supporting my daughter’s treatment cost. Because of you, I believe that my daughter will receive surgery and be healthy and live a normal life after treatment."
Abigail is a bright three-year-old girl. She lives with her parents and one older brother in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, which is the capital of Haiti. Abigail was born with a condition called patent ductus arteriosus. The deformity causes blood to leak through a hole between two major blood vessels near the heart. That makes it difficult for her small heart to function properly and can lead to tiredness, shortness of breath and restricted growth as she gets older. Fortunately, the condition is highly treatable with surgery. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance has arranged for Abigail, her family and an escort to travel to the Dominican Republic, where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole near her heart. Abigail should then be able to go on to live a full, healthy life. Another charity, Gift of Life International, is also contributing $5,000 toward the procedure, which is scheduled to take place on May 24th. This $1,500 will help fund Abigail's life-changing surgery and related care. Abigail's mother says, "We would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to heal our daughter's heart!"
Sudes is an adorable baby boy who loves to smile and play with his mother and his older brother. Sudes is a happy child, especially when he is taking a bath. Sudes is the youngest child with one brother five years older. Sude and his brother are being raised by their single mother with limited support from his father. He works as a security guard in a government building, occasionally sending financial support to Sudes's mother. Sudes was born with a congenital malformation that causes an abnormally functioning segment of the bowel. Sudes requires corrective surgery so that he can grow to be a healthy boy. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare is helping Sudes's mother raise $1,500 to fund this life altering surgery. Sudes's mother shared, "When I knew about his condition, I was so surprised and confused. I was scared and worried. Whenever I think about it I cry and cry.”
Sina is a 36-year-old security guard. He has one brother and one sister, and his father works as a tuk-tuk driver to help support their family. Sina works as a security guard for a non-governmental organization, and enjoys listening to music, watching TV, playing games on his phone, meeting up with friends, and helping his mother in his free time. Three years ago Sina developed pain on his right hip. He has a history of leukemia and psoriasis, which he receives treatment for at Mercy Medical Center Cambodia. It was when Sina came in with hip pain that they referred him to our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC). He was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and now cannot walk due to the pain and instability of his hip. Fortunately, on February 23rd, Sina will undergo a total hip replacement at CSC which will relieve his pain and allow him to walk and work more easily. Our medical partner is asking for $1,087 to help Sina in paying for his procedure. Sina said, "I am thankful that I can return to work once I am healed. I look forward to being free of pain."
Dickson is a sweet five-year-old and the second born in a family of three children. Dickson’s father works finding jobs on construction sites for a living while the mother sells vegetables and fruits to be able to support their family. One of their relatives told Dickson’s parents to try seeking treatment for him with our medical partner's care center in Arusha. Dickson was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, where his knees bow so that they always touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has difficulty and pain walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Dickson. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 4th. Treatment will hopefully restore Dickson's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Dickson’s mother shared: “We have tried to seek treatment for our son but eventually we could no longer continue due to financial challenges."