Brigitte joined Watsi on March 12th, 2013. Nine years ago, Brigitte joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Brigitte's most recent donation traveled 8,800 miles to support Savong, a 28-year-old hairdresser from Cambodia, to fund a mastoidectomy.
Brigitte has funded healthcare for 99 patients in 11 countries.
Brigitte has funded healthcare for 99 patients in 11 countries.
Savong is a 28-year-old hairdresser from Kampong Thom province in Cambodia, where she lives with her husband and their two daughters and son. Savong's husband works on a nearby rice farm while Savong works in the local market at a hairdressing stall. Her favorite hobby is cooking for her family. Fifteen years ago, Savong had an ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. As a result, Savong experiences hearing loss, ear pain, and discharge. Savong traveled to seek help from our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre. On April 27th, she will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre. During this procedure, surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma, restoring Savong's hearing, and ridding her of the distressing discharge she has been living with. Children's Surgical Centre is requesting $926 to fund this procedure. The money raised will cover the cost of medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Savong shared: "I hope I can help my hearing and be able to do my job and care for my kids better."
Kenay is a sweet eleven-month-old baby boy from Ethiopia who loves to play with his mom. He is the fourth child of his parents. Kenay has started weaning and is eating Plumpy Nut, a nutrition supplement donated by the government and organizations to children with malnutrition, as Kenay was underweight. Kenay’s dad is a farmer and has land, but because of the drought, they couldn’t harvest enough, even for the family’s consumption. Initially, Kenay got his emergency colostomy from Sekota Hospital, which was supported by the community. However, he became so sick and underweight that his mother and some family members lost hope in his ability to survive. Fortunately, his mom heard about our medical partner’s care center, BethanyKids, from a social worker, and upon learning that they could get treatment for his condition, their hope increased. Bethany Kids covered the family’s transportation and accommodation to bring Kenay to the hospital, where the medical team first put him on a nutrition program for over four months to treat malnutrition. Now, Kenay’s weight is normal, and he is fit for surgery. Kenay was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. He needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. The long journey with multiple issues with his colostomy care has significantly impacted the psychological health of his parents, and they are requesting financial assistance with his surgery cost. Kenay is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct his condition on November 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,500 to cover Kenay’s procedure and care costs. After his recovery, Kenay will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing health complications in the future. Kenay’s mom said, “I hope my child will get treatment, and I hope he will heal after the treatment. I hope I will see him growing up and start a decent life.”
Felix is a young man from Haiti. Felix lives with his parents, older sister, and younger brother in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. His father is a maintenance worker at a local hospital, and his mother is a market vendor. He attends high school and would like to become a teacher. Felix has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral stenosis. One of the four valves in his heart is severely damaged as the result of an infection he suffered earlier in childhood. As a result, his heart cannot adequately pump blood through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. Felix now has the opportunity to fly to United States to receive treatment as the care he needs is not available anywhere in Haiti right now. On October 21st, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove Felix's damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing $26,000 to pay for surgery, but Felix's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and follow up. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Felix's family overseas. Felix is excited for the future, and says "I am looking forward to being able to re-enroll in school once I have recovered from my surgery."
Ra is a 50-year-old mother of two. Ra lives in a refugee camp near the Thai-Burma border with her family, where they are provided with accommodation and a monthly food allowance. During her free time, Ra shared that she enjoys praying. Since July 2023, Ra has been experiencing discomfort in her lower abdomen, accompanied by pain and heavy menstruation. During a routine medical check-up in the camp, a mass was detected by the doctor. She has been diagnosed with severe endometriosis, an often-painful disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside the uterus. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, it is expected that Ra's symptoms would continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Ra is scheduled to undergo a hysterectomy on September 7. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, it is hoped that Ra will no longer experience pain, discomfort, and the other symptoms that have impacted her life. Ra said, "I feel uncomfortable and worried. It feels like something is moving in my belly. I hope this will go away after the surgery. Thank you BCMF and donors. May God bless you."
Sai is a 26-year-old veteran from Burma. He lives at a dormitory for people with disabilities in the Internally Displaced Person (IDP) Camp in Shan State, Burma. He has been unemployed since his injury. In his free time, Sai likes to exercise and garden. However, he is currently unable to do these activities because of his health. In 2019, Sai was shot in his right upper thigh. Following the event, he underwent an X-ray examination which confirmed a fractured hip. A doctor immobilized his right thigh and hip by applying a cast. Nevertheless, he has been grappling with persistent discomfort in his right leg and hip. On July 11th, with the assistance of Watsi, he underwent a CT scan of his hip, revealing a malunion of the hip fracture. Sai's right hip and leg continue to be a source of pain for him, despite his regular use of pain-relief medications. Due to the pain, he cannot stand or walk on his right leg without the support of crutches, and his sleep is often disturbed at night as the pain intensifies during colder weather and nighttime hours. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Sai will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for August 10th and will cost $1,500. The procedure will help him walk easily again without crutches and resolve pain. Sai said; "I feel very happy to receive treatment in an advanced hospital with your help BCMF, Watsi, and my donors. I cannot wait to walk with my leg and become healthy again. Thank you very much."
Nanyu is a 3-year-old girl from Southern Kenya near the Tanzania border. She is from a nomadic community and is the youngest of 6 children. Her mother is a homemaker, while her father is a pastoralist. The family lives in a traditional Masai mud-built grass-thatched house. Nanyu has a right foot deformity where her knee bends inwardly to touch the other left knee. This has made walking difficult, and sometimes she has pain. She has been taken to several clinics without getting any help. Luckily, our partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) can finally help. They will perform a surgery treat the deformity, scheduled for July 17th. Nanyu and her family are asking for $1,224 to fully fund the procedure. With successful treatment, Nanyu will be able to walk easily and grow up like any other child. Nanyu's mother shared, “As a mother, my joy would be to see my daughter walking well and playing with other friends."
Saw Ywa, who is an eight year old fourth grader, lives with his parents, his two sisters, and a brother, in Mae Ra Ma Luang Refugee Camp in Thailand. His mother helps at home, while his father works for an organization in the refugee camp. Saw Ywa loves to go to school, and to play football. When Saw Ywa was two months old, his mother noticed a concerning swelling. His parents brought him to the clinic in the refugee camp, where they were told to bring Saw Ywa back when he was five years old, and at an appropriate age for surgery they were told. Over time, Saw Ywa’s parents noticed that the swelling was increasing in size. He would also experience pain sometimes. is parents brought him back to the clinic, and after another examination, Saw Ywa was diagnosed with an irreducible inguinal hernia, which would require surgery. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is seeking $1,486 to fund the hernia repair surgery that Saw Ywa needs. The procedure is currently scheduled for May 18th, at Mae Sariang Hospital. After he has recovered, Saw Ywa should no longer suffer from the pain that he lives with now. He should also be able to walk comfortably, and to be free of the embarrassment he feels by the visible bulge in a sensitive area. Saw Ywa’s father said: “He loves to play football with his friends. But sometimes, he feels ashamed to play because his friends will make fun of him. I hope after surgery he will be free from discomfort and shame.”
Six-year-old Tay lives with her mother, sister, and brother in a village in Shan State in Burma. Tay's mother is a teacher. When Tay was three years old, she was frequently ill with a rapid heartbeat and fingertips that would turn blue. Her mother brought her to a nearby hospital, where the doctor told them that Tay had congenital heart disease and would need to be treated in Yangon. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Tay's mother did not feel it was safe to take Tay to Yangon. When she turned five, Tay's symptoms worsened, and her mother brought her to a hospital in Yangon in August 2022. At the hospital, Tay was diagnosed with an atrial septal defect, and her mother was told that Tay would require surgery- which the family could not afford to pay for. Fortunately, Tay's aunt referred her to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, for help. Now Tay is scheduled to undergo atrial septal defect closure at Pun Hlaing Hospital on May 13th. As Tay is becoming progressively more ill- with episodes of rapid breathing and weight loss due to a lack of appetite- this procedure is critical for her health and well-being. Burma Children Medical Fund is seeking $1,500 to cover the cost of Tay's care. “When I learned that my daughter [Tay] needs surgery, I felt very sad and I cried because I cannot afford to pay for her surgery. But when I learned that the organization [BCMF] will support the cost of my daughter’s surgery, I felt very happy and thankful to all the donors and that organization. I want to see her healthy,” said Tay's mother.
Zaw, who is 29 years old, lives with his wife and extended family members in Karen State, Burma. He and his wife are currently unemployed, although Zaw hopes to work as a second-hand motorbike seller. Zaw has had an irregular heartbeat since he was 10 years old. Although he visited a local clinic as a child, he was never provided a definitive diagnosis. By January 2022, he began to experience fatigue. His back and neck were stiff, and he lost his appetite. He also had difficulty sleeping, experienced a persistent cough and body aches, and his lips turned blue. After multiple hospital visits, Zaw was told he had a heart condition that required surgery. Unable to afford surgery in Burma, Zaw sought affordable care at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, he received a free echocardiogram, which revealed he had mitral valve regurgitation, atrial valve regurgitation, pulmonary valve regurgitation, and patent ductus arteriosus. He is now scheduled for a procedure at Kasemrad Prachachuen Hospital in Bangkok on April 18th to repair or replace three of his valves and address any other issues with his heart. Currently, Zaw continues to experience fatigue, thus he is unable to work. He experiences shortness of breath and a racing heartbeat, for which he requires oxygen therapy three times a day. He needs your help to raise the $1,500 to fund his life-changing surgery. Zaw said: “I want to be free from this disease as soon as possible. Thank you all for helping with my treatment cost.”
Douby is a 17 year old student, living with his Godmother and her family in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Douby enjoys going to school, and aspires to attain a PhD in agronomy, and to become a professor. As a result of rheumatic fever that he suffered as a child, Douby has a cardiac condition called rheumatic mitral and tricuspid regurgitation. Two of his four heart valves were severely damaged by the rheumatic fever, and his heart cannot adequately pump blood through his body, leaving him sick and short of breath. The care Douby needs is not available in Haiti so he urgently will fly to the United States to receive treatment on February 28th at Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital. He will undergo emergency cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will attempt to repair both damaged valves; if the valves cannot be repaired, they will be removed, and artificial valves will be implanted in their place. While another organization, Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000.00 to help pay for Douby's surgery, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to cover the costs for the surgery prep and transport support, including lab tests; medicines, and follow up appointments. The money will alsosupport the passport and travel expenses for the social workers that will accompany Douby and his family to the U.S. Douby was able to share: "I am looking forward to being stronger and healthier once my heart can be repaired!"
Marion is a 6-year-old student from the highlands of Elgeyo Marakwet county in Kenya. She is the second born in a family of three girls and currently attending preschool near her family home. Her parents are small-scale potato farmers. One day Marion's mother went to the river to fetch water. While she was gone, her children were sitting near an open fireplace at home making breakfast. Unfortunately, Marion's dress caught fire on the open flame, and as a result, she sustained severe burns on her back, abdomen and thighs. It has been difficult for her to walk, and the wounds are causing extreme discomfort. She especially needs a third surgery to treat the severity of her burns contractures. Despite Marion's parents having medical insurance, due to previous surgeries that she has had to treat the injuries, the insurance (a monthly subscription) has run its course and is no longer an option. Her parents do not have the funds to pay for Marion's surgery and need support. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Marion receive treatment. On January 25th, surgeons at their care center will perform a burn contracture release surgery that will allow her to walk with greater ease and resume her normal life at home and school. Now, she and her family are requesting $1,478 to help fund this procedure. Marion's mother says, “I am really looking forward to seeing my daughter live and walk in a normal way. I worked hard to pay for insurance coverage, but unfortunately, it cannot fund the upcoming procedure. I am disappointed, but I will not lose hope. Kindly help her.”
Meet Andy, a playful two year old boy, living in Kiambu county in Kenya. Andy likes to play, and while on his daily routine, he fell, and injured his right arm. He was taken to a nearby hospital, and was given antibiotics. Later, he was referred to a different hospital for further investigation. The X-rays that were done showed that Andy sustained a fracture of his right arm, and requires surgery urgently. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,224 to fund Andy's surgery, which will enable him to use his arm and hand again. The fracture repair procedure is scheduled to take place on January 19th at AIC Cure International Hospital. “I am appealing for support from well-wishers to help my son undergo surgery and continue with his normal life,” Andy's mother told us.