Spencer joined Watsi on October 6th, 2015. Seven years ago, Spencer joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Spencer's most recent donation supported Kalyan, a 13-year-old girl from Cambodia, to fund spinal surgery.
Spencer has funded healthcare for 81 patients in 11 countries.
Spencer has funded healthcare for 81 patients in 11 countries.
Kalyan, a 13-year-old seventh grader, lives with her mother and brother in Kandal province in Cambodia. She enjoys studying home economics and Khmer literature and would like to be a singer when she grows up. Kalyan was born with a spinal condition called listhesis, which is an unnaturally mobile vertebra that moves, leaves its normal position, and can cause different complaints when it compresses nerves and other vertebrae. Listhesis can be caused by a bone abnormality, trauma from an accident or injury, or result from a fracture or a tumor. Pinched nerves and chronic back pain are common symptoms of this condition, as is loss of flexibility and possible paralysis. Kalyan is frequently unable to attend school due to her condition. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, can help. Specialty surgeons at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre can fuse her spine to avoid any further damage to Kalyan's back, while also alleviating her pain. Kalyan and her mother need your help to raise the $1,500 cost of the surgery, implants, hospitalization, and post-op medication. After recovery from the procedure, which is scheduled for February 7th, Kalyan's spine will be more stable, and she will be able to engage in all of the normal activities of a 13-year-old. Kalyan's mother shared: "I hope my daughter will no longer have pain and she can go back to school."
Kyaw is a 80-year-old man who lives with his wife and his sister-in-law in Mon State, Burma. Kyaw and his wife are retired, while his sister-in-law is paralyzed. They are supported by Kyaw’s brother-in-law, who is a monk, and his niece, who owns a small food shop. In his free time, Kyaw likes to meditate while using prayer beads and he enjoys going to the temple. He also likes to listen to old Burmese songs and the news. During the first week of October, Kyaw began to experience severe pain in the sole of his right foot and now he cannot put any weight on that foot. He has to use a stick when he walks, and his wife has to support him. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Kyaw receive treatment to heal his condition and help him walk again. On October 13th, he is scheduled to undergo a procedure to drain the abscess. This procedure will cost $760, and he and his family need help raising money. His wife said, "Thank you to the donors and the organisation (BCMF) for paying for my husband’s surgery.”
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.”
Alma is a 46-year-old woman, living with her sister and daughter in the Philippines. Their basic needs are sustained by her sister’s small business. In 2020, Alma developed a sore on the inside of her right cheek. The sore kept increasing in size, until her face became highly swollen. Because her family had insufficient financial resources, Alma was unable to seek help for her condition. Fortunately, Alma was referred to our partner care facility, the Our Lady of Peace Hospital. There, she was assessed, and diagnosed with a Buccal Mass. This condition begins when the cells that make up the inner cheek have abnormal growth, and form lesions or tumors. Alma needs to undergo surgery to remove the mass. Our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is helping Alma to access the care that she needs. She is scheduled to undergo an excision of the mass on September 10th, at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. World Surgical Foundation Philippines is asking for your help to fund this procedure, for which they need $1,452. Alma shared: “I’ve lost my confidence since the lump is very visible on my face. This surgery is the answer to my prayers. Thank you so much WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines for helping me!”
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.
Wensly is a sweet two-year-old toddler from Haiti who loves to draw and to play with his toy trucks. He lives with his parents and older sister in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital city. Wensly 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 weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Wensly is scheduled to fly to the Cayman Islands where he will undergo cardiac surgery at Health City Cayman Islands on September 19th. During this procedure, surgeons will sew a patch over the hole in his heart to prevent blood from flowing through it. A portion of the cost of Wensly'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 his surgery prep, which includes all labs, medication, check-up and follow-up appointments, and the passports needed for HCA’s social workers to accompany Wensly and his family overseas. Wensly's mother shares, "Our family has been hoping for this surgery since our son was a baby, and we are so thankful it is almost here!"
Stephen is a hardworking 29-year-old from Kenya. He lives with his single mother and his ten-year-old son. To support his mother and son, he works at a barber shop. Four months ago, Stephen fell from a tree while he was fetching firewood for his mother. This fall caused a closed fracture of his right hand. This condition has profoundly affected Stephen, not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. He currently experiences a lot of pain and can no longer work. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On August 8th, Stephen will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. The procedure will heal his fracture and alleviate his pain. After receiving treatment, he will be able to return to his barber shop business and generate income for his mother and son. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Stephen shares, "Already my mother has been taking care of me and my son. I desperately need help so that I can regain my own self, start working to support my son, and not be dependent on my mother.”
Elka is a 13-month-old baby who lives in Haiti with her parents. Both of her parents are hardworking vendors in their local market. Elka was born with a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus, meaning blood leaks through a hole between two blood vessels located near her heart. This leaves her feeling weak and short of breath. Since the required treatment is not available in Haiti, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA), is helping Elka travel to the Dominican Republic where she will be able to access the care she needs. On July 28th, she will undergo a procedure where doctors will use a catheter to plug the hole so blood can flow without issue through her body. Elka's family is looking to raise $1,500 to fund her necessary care, treatment, and travel. Elka also has a cleft lip and palate, so once her heart condition is treated, a team of doctors will soon be able to perform another surgery to repair this condition and help her have a healthier future and a full life ahead. Her mother says, "I am looking forward to my daughter growing up as a normal healthy child!"
Meet Lydia, a 25-year-old mother of three, living with her husband and children in rural Kenya. Lydia and her husband both work as farmers, and live with her husband's parents. Lydia, who has epilepsy, fainted while she was preparing food for her children. She sustained severe burns on her left hand, extending to the left forearm. Lydia was admitted to the hospital, where she was treated, but her wounds became infected, and she lost her fingers. After three weeks of medication and surgeries, Lydia’s medical costs rose to a level that her family could not sustain, so the decision was made to discharge her from the hospital, even though her condition had not improved. Lydia is worried about being able to care for her children now that she can no longer work as a farmer. Her mother-in-law is also concerned about her future, and the difficulties she may face: will she be able to do laundry and cook, will she face social problems or financial challenges? Lydia requires skin grafting to heal her burn wounds and treat her infection. Her family, who sold everything at home to raise funds for Lydia's initial treatment, cannot afford the cost of her procedure. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,089 to fund her surgery, which is scheduled to take place on May 25th, at AIC Kapsowar Hospital. Lydia shared: “It is difficult to look at my hand; I want to get better than this. Please help me improve the quality of my life.”
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."
Kelvin is a shy, 14-year-old sixth grader. Kelvin was born to Ugandan parents who later abandoned him in Kenya. Kelvin was adopted by a potato farmer who gave him work on his farm and helped him enroll in school. Kelvin and his guardians live in a semi-permanent house in the West Pokot region of Kenya. Two weeks ago, Kelvin was struck by a motorbike in a hit and run accident. Kelvin was rushed to a nearby health facility for immediate care. Kelvin was then brought to Kapsowar Hospital for x-rays and further treatment. At this time, Kelvin is unable to walk and is in a great deal of pain. On April 1st, Kelvin will undergo a fracture repair procedure that will allow him to walk again and return to school. Our medical partners, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Kelvin raise $1,145 to fund this life altering procedure. Kelvin shared, “I miss home, I want to get treated and be well again.”
Barnaba is four-year-old boy and the second-oldest of four children. His father plans to enroll him in school next year, when he turns five. Both his parents depend on small-scale farming for a living, growing maize and vegetables for their family. Due to financial challenges, they are not able to afford medical treatment for Barnaba. In 2021, Barnaba was out playing with his sibling and friends when he fell, and his right hand went into hot ashes. His parents rushed him to the hospital where he had the burns dressed. His wounds healed but he was left hand has been permanently impacted, which limits his motor function and affects daily life. The doctors at the local hospital advised his parents to seek treatment at a bigger hospital to have his hand surgically corrected. Fortunately, our medical partner at African Mission Healthcare shared Barnaba's story and are helping him get the care he needs. Now his family is seeking financial assistance to fund the $1,088 procedure. Barnaba’s father says, “He now needs this treatment most because next year he is going to start school. He will struggle a lot if his fingers are not corrected.”