John joined Watsi on June 21st, 2014. Eight years ago, John joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. John's most recent donation traveled 8,500 miles to support Dennis, a 12 year old boy from Kenya, to fund clubfoot repair surgery.
John has funded healthcare for 61 patients in 13 countries.
John has funded healthcare for 61 patients in 13 countries.
Meet Dennis, a 12 year old boy living in Kenya with his parents and two younger siblings. When Dennis isn't in school - where math is his favorite subject - he enjoys playing with friends and reading books. Dennis' father works as a casual laborer, while his mother is a housewife. Dennis was healthy at birth, but at the age of two, his left foot started to bend inwards. His parents brought him to numerous hospitals, but his condition remained unresolved. This is very frustrating for Dennis, who has to walk on tiptoes, and is in pain when he walks. Doctors at our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, diagnosed Dennis with a clubfoot. Now he is scheduled to undergo clubfoot repair surgery at AIC Cure International Hospital on January 16th. This procedure which will allow Dennis to wear shoes and to walk with ease. African Mission Healthcare Foundation is requesting $1,286 to fund Dennis' life changing procedure. “Our joy will be to see Dennis walking and playing like other children,” Dennis’s mother told us.
Kenenitu is a young child from Ethiopia. She is a beautiful baby who loves playing with other children. She developed bowel obstruction and an emergency colostomy surgery was done at our medical partner's care center BKMCM. The condition and care has been challenging for Kenenitu and her mother who has been affected psychologically. Kenenitu's mother is a single mom with four children. Her brother stepped in to help raise the children as her husband has left without support. Before giving birth to Kenenitu, her mother used to make injera, an Ethiopian cuisine, for a living. Currently, she is not working. The family received logistical support from an NGO to arrive at the hospital and Kenenitu's mother is staying at another NGO in Addis Ababa for medical follow-up and accommodation. Due to their financial situation, the family cannot afford the medical bills for Kenenitu's treatment. Kenenitu's mother has struggled emotionally with her daughter's condition. She said, "I wondered what was going to happen to her. I used to cry a lot and I was not in my normal mental condition. But when I heard that she could be treated, my hope was restored and I felt better." Kenenitu 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. Kenenitu is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on December 20th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Kenenitu's procedure and care. After her recovery, Kenenitu will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Kenenitu's mother said, "After receiving treatment, I hope she will start making stool... I want to take her to school and educate her."
Arham is a sweet 7-month-old baby from Tanzania. He has a twin sister. His father works as a mechanic, and his mother stays home to care for the children and household. They shared that their income supports their basic needs and request assistance with Arham’s surgery. Arham has clubfoot of his left foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape, which causes difficulty walking and even wearing shoes. Arham’s family visited our medical partner’s care center. On November 15th, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery that will allow Arham to walk easily and wear shoes as he gets older. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Arham’s surgery. Arham’s mother says, “Life has been hard for us these few past months, and I can’t stop thinking about how to solve my baby’s condition. I hope my son grows to have a normal life like his twin.”
Christopher is the first born in his family of three children. He works in different homes taking care of cows or farming work. Although Christopher would have liked to go to college after completing secondary school, his family couldn't afford it. As a result, he earns limited income from casual labor jobs, which he shares with his mother who needs support. On Wednesday 5th October, as Christopher went to feed the cows, one cow pushed him to a corner and he was squeezed against the wall until he sustained fracture of the right clavicle. He is unable to attend to his duties that give him income and he is also experiencing pain. Christopher came to hospital accompanied by his employer. He is currently not in a position to fund his treatment and thus request for assistance. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 13th, Christopher will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Christopher will be able to use his hand without feeling pain. He will also be able to resume his daily duties and continue to support his mother. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Christopher says, “I have a lot of pain and am afraid because I rely on my hands to make a life. I request for help so that I can get my hand treated. I hope to return to my regular workload soon so that I may work and help my needy mother."
Yves is a young man from Haiti. He lives with his parents and sister in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince; they have been caring for him since he fell ill about five years ago. Prior to his illness, he worked as a clerk for a local business. Yves has a cardiac condition called severe rheumatic mitral insufficiency. One of the four valves of his heart was severely damaged by a rheumatic fever that he suffered a number of years ago, and cannot adequately pump blood through his heart and body. The care Yves is not available anywhere in Haiti, so Yves will fly to Dominican Republic to receive treatment. On September 12th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove his damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $9000 to pay for surgery. Yves's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It will also pay for the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Yves's family overseas, and the cost of obtaining Yves' passport. Says Yves: "I am hopeful that I can get back to a healthy and independent life once my heart problem is fixed!"
Meet Hour! He lives in Cambodia with his parents, who both work as farmers. His 26-year-old brother works as a seller at a local market. Hour completed school up to 6th grade, but he no longer attends. He enjoys spending time listening to music, playing games, and meeting friends. When he was a toddler, Hour was diagnosed with hemophilia, a medical condition that severely reduces the ability of blood to clot. This causes him to bleed heavily from even slight injuries. Four months ago, Hour began experiencing pain in his hips. He was diagnosed with bilateral hip necrosis, a painful condition that occurs when the blood supply to the head of the femur, or thighbone, is disrupted. Because bone cells need a steady supply of blood to stay healthy, his condition can ultimately lead to the destruction of his hip joint. Hour is currently unable to walk without support, has anemia, and is in chronic pain. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping him receive treatment. On August 10th, he will undergo a joint replacement, called an uncemented hip arthroplasty. CSC is requesting $1,500 to fund Hour's treatment and care. Hour shares, "I am thankful that I have a chance to have a new hip. This treatment will help me be able to work to help my family in the future."
Jean Pierre is a 45-year-old father from Haiti who lives with his wife and daughter. To help support his family, he works at the local city hall. His daughter was a previous Watsi patient and received life-changing surgery with the help of amazing donors. When bringing his daughter in a few months ago for a post-op checkup, he mentioned that he has been experiencing the same symptoms as his daughter for many years. After further examination, doctors found that Jean Pierre has the same life-threatening condition as his daughter and has somehow survived to his age! He was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, a condition in which blood leaks through a hole between two large blood vessels near the heart. After years of feeling weak and experiencing poor health, Jean Pierre's heart condition will finally be treated. On July 14th, doctors will use a catheter to insert a device into the hole so that blood can no longer leak through it. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is raising $1,500 to pay for Jean Pierre's life-saving procedure. Jean Pierre shares, "My family and I are very grateful that so many people are making it possible for me to have this surgery!"
Phyo Ko is a 33-year-old man, living in Thailand with his wife and two young children. Originally from Burma, Phyo Ko and his family moved to Thailand in 2009, in search of better job opportunities. Phy Ko's wife stays home with the children, who are too young to go to school, while Phyo Ko works as a construction day laborer, earning under $12 a day. In early 2021, Phyo Ko and his friend were at work at a construction site, when scaffolding fell onto Phyo Ko's left hand and thigh. Initially, he used oil made from traditional medicine to ease the pain. However, a month after the accident, Phyo Ko noticed that there was a mass on his left leg, so he sought medical attention. The first doctor he visited could find nothing wrong, and sent Phyo Ko back home. His mass continued to grow in size, and the pain increased, making it impossible for Phyo Ko to continue working, so once again, he went to the hospital. This time, there were no doctors available to see him because of the pandemic. Finally, in April, Phyo Ko was able to receive a CT scan, thanks to our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund and the Watis community. The CT scan revealed a hematoma, which requires surgical intervention. On June 16th, Phyo Ko will undergo surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, to have the mass removed from his thigh. After the procedure, Phyo Ko should be able to walk, stand and work without pain, something he is unable to do now. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs of Phyo Ko's surgery. Phyo Ko said: "I would like to receive surgery soon so that the pain will go away. Before I received the CT scan, I was told that my leg could be be amputated because the mass on my leg is very big. However, after the CT scan, the doctor told me that they could remove the mass without amputation. I was so happy to hear this. I want to work and earn an income for my family after surgery."
Loucken is a 16-year-old student from Haiti. He lives with his parents and three siblings in a neighborhood outside the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Loucken enjoys making art, listening to music, and going to school and church. Loucken has a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, which means a hole exists between the two upper chambers of his heart. As a result, blood leaks through this hole, leaving him feeling weak and unable to be active. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), can help Loucken receive treatment. Treatment is not available in Haiti, but on May 11th, he will fly to the Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in his heart with a patch. HCA is covering the cost of Loucken's surgery, so Loucken's family is requesting assistance to help fund the $1,500 surgery preparation and travel costs. This cost includes all labs, medication, appointments, passports, and the help of a social worker from HCA who will accompany Loucken's family as they travel internationally. Loucken shared, "After the surgery, I hope that I will be able to start playing soccer with my friends."
Rehiwilzahra is a sweet toddler from Haiti. She lives in Port-au-Prince with her mother, father, and three older siblings. Rehiwilzahra likes watching cartoons and playing with her older siblings. Rehiwilzahra has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This heart condition involves several related heart defects including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart, and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These defects prevent blood from circulating properly through the lungs leaving Rehiwilzahra weak and short of breath. The surgery Rehiwilzahra needs to heal is not available in Haiti, so she will need to fly to the Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery to close the hole in her heart with a patch and remove the blockage from her valve. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance is helping Rehiwilzahra's family raise $1,500 to cover the cost of labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This amount also supports passport obtainment and the social workers to accompany Rehiwilzahra's family overseas. Rehiwilzahra's mother shared, "We have been praying for a long time for a solution to our daughter's heart problem. We are very thankful to everyone who is helping her!"
Daw lives with her two sons who work as day labourers getting work where they can. While her sons work, her daughter comes over to do their household chores. The income her sons earn is not enough to cover their daily expenses and sometimes they have to borrow money from their neighbor. Around 15 years ago, Tin was diagnosed with high blood pressure and diabetes. In early January, she noticed that she had developed ulcers on her left soles. She could not even remember injuring her left foot, but she went to a clinic twice to have her foot treated. Unfortunately, her condition worsened and by the end of February, she also developed ulcers an on her right big toe. In March, she was brought to Mawlamyine Christian Leprosy Hospital (MCLH), where she was admitted. She underwent wound debridement surgery on her left foot. A few days later, the doctor told her they would need to do an amputate her right foot so that her infection did not spread further. Our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Tin and her family raise the financial support for her treatment. Currently, Tin is experiencing a lot of pain in both her left foot and her right big toe. At night, she has a fever and cannot sleep. She cannot walk and needs her son to help her go to the bathroom and take a shower. “Since I learned that donors could help pay for my surgery, I feel very happy,” she said. “I want to say thank you to the donors.”
Keysha is a bright 12-year-old who lives on a small farm in northwest Haiti with her parents and four siblings. She really likes going to school and helping to take care of her family's animals. Keysha was born with a hole between the two upper chambers of her heart; blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and fatigued. During her upcoming surgery, doctors will use a catheter probe to plug the hole in Keysha's heart with a device so that blood can no longer leak through it. With this treatment, she can finally have a healthier life ahead. Keysha is hopeful to have more energy and feel healthy after her surgery. She shared, "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can walk to my friends' houses to visit them without getting tired."