Jessica joined Watsi on November 27th, 2014. Six years ago, Jessica joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Jessica's most recent donation supported Gareth, a very special 4-year-old boy from Bolivia, to fund life-saving heart surgery.
Jessica has funded healthcare for 79 patients in 13 countries.
Jessica has funded healthcare for 79 patients in 13 countries.
Gareth, who is four years old, lives with his parents and three siblings in central Bolivia. His parents are shopkeepers and have so much love for their family. Gareth was born with ventricular septal defect, a heart condition that creates a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart. Blood, which should circulate through his lungs to obtain oxygen, simply leaks out through the hole, leaving Gareth weak and short of breath. In addition to his heart condition, Gareth was born with Down syndrome. Doctors at our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, are scheduled to operate on Gareth on January 19th, at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uria. During the procedure, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in Gareth's heart, so that his blood will flow normally. Gareth's family needs your help to fund the $1,500 to cover the costs of his care. Gareth's mother said: "Our family is very grateful to everyone who is making it possible for Gareth to have this surgery."
Festus is a cheerful boy who always has a friendly smile and a joyful, resilient spirit. The fifth born of six children, he is a third grader at a nearby primary school. His parents are small scale farmers who plant maize and beans for consumption and sale. Two of his siblings are in high school and the others are in primary school. His parents sell their farm produce in order to pay their school fees and manage their daily needs. Festus has had a long stay in hospital with an infected wound and multiple surgeries, two debridement surgeries and nerve repair after he sustained a deep cut in his left hand. He now needs a skin graft to cover the damaged area. The decision to perform the skin graft was recommended by his doctors because his wound has not healed after a long time. After undergoing three surgeries, Festus feels traumatized when he enters the operation theatre. His mother is worries that he might lose his hand if not treated. Their family has had to undergo counselling to promote resilience and assurance that everything will be okay, and that Festus will be able to use his hand again. After all this, the family is looking forward to the results of the surgery with excitement. His family is asking any well-wisher to support them in this time of need, as they need $1,089 to fund the skin graft. Festus's mother says, “It’s been a long journey for my son. For the last one week I haven’t slept well just thinking of his health. I hope he gets treated and will be well again.”
Ivan is an 11-month-old baby who is very energetic. He is now at the crawling stage, and from the moment he arrived at our medical partner's care centre, Ivan has not stopped crawling from one point to another. Ivan lives with both his parents. His father is a small-scale farmer, and the sole provider for the family, while his mother stays at home taking care of household chores. He is very close to his mother, but also not afraid to meet new people. His mother enjoys watching him move around. She has struggled to find treatment for him since he was a newborn baby. When Ivan was born, his parents tried their best to pay for his treatment, but halfway through the treatment plan, they could not afford to pay anymore. Ivan has clubfoot of his right foot. Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is twisted out of shape. This causes difficulty walking and wearing shoes as he grows. Fortunately, Ivan's family came to our medical partner's care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. There, surgeons will perform clubfoot repair surgery on November 8th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $935 to fund Ivan's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk easily when he grows up. Ivan’s mother says, “my biggest wish is to see my son learn how to stand and eventually start walking.”
Teresiah is a quiet but social mother of three children, who lives with her family in Kenya. She is a small-scale farmer while her husband works as a casual laborer. Teresiah's children are all in school and she has big hopes for their future. Teresiah started experiencing severe epigastric pains intermittently. She has visited many hospitals without much success. Finally, at Nazareth Hospital, an ultrasound scan examination was done, and it showed that Teresiah has Cholelithiasis - gall stones. In addition to the severe pain she is experiencing, Teresiah might also develop complications like inflammation of the pancreas, gall bladder, or gall bladder obstruction. The surgeons advised that she needs to undergo surgery to treat her condition. Teresiah is not in a position to fund her treatment and she therefore requests for help. She needs $788 to fund her surgery. Teresiah says, "Having kids in school and not being able to take care of them is very difficult. I humbly ask for assistance and medical attention. I want to take care of my family and return to my regular life."
Joyce is a 52 year old, small-scale farmer. She relies on the proceeds from her small farm, and from the milk that she sells from the one cow that she and her husband own. Her husband is also a farmer, and together, they have five adult children. In October 2017, Joyce began to experience troubling symptoms, including pain in her neck - especially during swallowing - and difficulty in breathing. She went to a nearby health facility, and underwent several surgical procedures on her thyroid and esophagus, but her condition did not improve. In May of this year, Joyce presented at Kijabe Hospital with progressive difficulty in breathing. After she was evaluated and scans were done, Joyce was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. While she has an excellent prognosis, Joyce needs to be treated quickly, to prevent the cancer from spreading. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Joyce access the care that she needs. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on September 20th, at our medical partner's care center, AIC Kijabe Hospital. During this procedure, surgeons will remove all or part of Joyce's thyroid gland. This operation will cost $949, and she and her family need help raising money. Joyce says, “I am almost losing my voice. I have been through several hospitals seeking treatment. This cancer is threatening my life.”
Peter is a 75-year-old man from central Kenya who has never been married and has no children. He is the thirdborn in a family of 10 siblings, all of whom are now adults. Peter previously worked on his small farm to support his basic needs, but he had to begin depending on his family members once he grew older and became unable to continue farming. On July 12th, Peter was hit by a sports motorcycle, causing him to sustain an injury to his left leg. An X-ray was taken at a nearby hospital, which showed that Peter fractured his left tibia and fibula. If left untreated, he risks developing a bone infection, since it is an open fracture. His injury can also result in a malunion, meaning the bones may not heal in their proper position, potentially impairing functioning of the bones and limb. Fortunately, his brother brought him to our medical partner's care center. On August 15th, Peter will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This procedure will help ensure he heals properly, and it will allow him to walk again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Peter says, “My brothers have been feeding me, but this is too much for them. They have no money to pay for my treatment. Please help so that at least I can be able to move around and also become less of a burden.”
Zuriel is a friendly three-year-old boy from the Philippines. He loves to play with his friends in the neighborhood! His mother is a full-time mom, and his father works as a tricycle driver. Two years ago, Zuriel's mother noticed a mass on his groin. She brought him to the nearest hospital to get it checked, and it was diagnosed as an inguinal hernia. This hernia occurs when tissue, such as part of the intestine, protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles. Zuriel's parents share that his father earns just enough to support their day-to-day needs, so they are unable to fund their son's needed surgery to heal his condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Zuriel receive treatment. He will undergo hernia repair surgery on July 23rd at WSFP's care center, Our Lady of Peace Hospital. A portion of the cost of Zuriel's treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation. WSFP is raising the remaining $845 to cover the cost of his surgery and care. Once completed, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Zuriel's mother shares, "It's hard to find help for my son's treatment. Fortunately, we were able to reach out to the World Surgical Foundation Philippines. This free surgery will be a big help to our family. Thank you so much to Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines. God bless you."
Brian is a 12 year old boy living with his parents and three older siblings. His father is a motorcycle taxi driver earning a living whenever he can from the limited work, while his mother stays at home to care for the children. When Brian was about nine months old, his parents noticed that he had general body weakness. He was diagnosed with rickets and additional medical conditions, which have caused a delay in many of his milestones as he continues to grow. Brian's physical coordination is limited, and he suffers from a profound hearing loss, for which his doctors have recommended hearing aids. But hearing aids are too expensive for his family to afford, so Brian currently attends a special school, which can accommodate his hearing loss. The doctors have assured Brian's parents that with hearing aids, Brian would be able to attend an ordinary school near their home. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,171 to cover the costs of the hearing aids and the fitting, which is scheduled to take place on June 17th at AIC Kijabe Hospital. With his hearing restored, Brian will be able to attend a regular school, and to interact more fully with the world around him. Brian's father says: “Brian is unable to pick up voices and this is affecting his studies. He shifted to a special school because of his condition. His doctors say that he can hear well if fitted with hearing aids. If he gets this medical attention, he can join his colleagues in a normal school.“
Lucas is a teenage boy and the third born out of seven children born to his mother. He is currently in the fifth grade in primary school and shared that his best subjects are social studies, Mathematics and Swahili. He likes playing football with his friends, but he has difficulty playing freely. When Lucas was a baby, he fell into an open fireplace and his left leg was burned severely. Although he had surgery then, burns scars (contractures) developed on his leg at the knee joint. They cause tightening around the joint making it hard for him to walk. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Lucas receive treatment. On May 10th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery to help him walk easily again. Now, he needs help to fund this $639 procedure. Lucas says, "I will be very happy if I get this treatment since I will be able to play football with my friends and also walk well."
Eden is a 15-month-old baby boy from Haiti. He lives with his mother, father, and two older brothers in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Eden's father is a teacher and his mother takes care of their family and home. Eden was born with a cardiac condition called complete atrioventricular canal defect. A large hole exists in the center of Eden's heart that causes blood to leak between all four chambers. This condition puts a strain on his heart and makes it difficult for oxygen to circulate through his body. The treatment and diagnostics he needs is not available in Haiti so on April 20th, Eden will fly to the Dominican Republic to hoping undergo cardiac surgery. Upon arrival at the hospital, doctors will perform advanced diagnostics to determine the best way to treat Eden's condition. Depending on the results of the exams, the doctors will determine if they recommend Eden undergo surgery or have his condition closely managed through medication and other care. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $4,000 towards Eden's medical care, but his family also needs assistance covering an additional $1,500 for labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. This also supports passport obtainment and the social workers who will accompany Eden's family overseas. Eden's mother shared, "We are very hopeful that the doctors will have good news to share with us about Eden's heart problem!"
Bo is an eighth grader who lives in the school dormitory during the school year. During his free time, he likes to play the guitar, cook, and garden. He recently had his arm is amputated to help treat his bone cancer condition, so he is no longer able to play guitar anymore. His parents and his siblings live on the Thai-Burma border. His brother and his mother are day labourers while his father is retired. In May 2021, Bo began to experience pain in the top of his left forearm, close to his shoulder. In June 2021, the top of his left forearm began to swell until it spread towards his shoulder. The swelling grew very large, encompassing his left shoulder and upper forearm. Bo was in a lot of pain and could not use his left arm. Doctors diagnosed him with bone cancer and amputated his left arm to help stop his cancer from spreading further. He has also undergone chemo treatment after his amputation and now his doctor wants to do an MRI to assess his prognosis and plan for any further treatment that may be needed to protect his health. An MRI is an imaging procedure that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce images of bodily organs. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $814 to cover the cost of Bo's MRI and care, scheduled for March 11th. Bo said, "Since I finished my surgery and finished chemo injection, I am able to continue my studies without any pain. I hope that I will be able to continue my studies until I gradate from school."
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."